Daily Archives: August 4, 2019

August 4 The Trustworthiness of God

Scripture Reading: Psalm 89:1–9

Key Verse: Hebrews 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Sometimes we find ourselves in deeply threatening situations where we can’t see how God can possibly carry out His promises of being with us always or sustaining us through difficulties. Yet, as we read in Psalm 89 (ncv), David, in spite of the many times he felt his life was threatened and feared he had lost everything, said with conviction, “Your love continues forever; your loyalty goes on and on like the sky” (verse 2).

So, too, God’s loyalty to us is everlasting. His promises are trustworthy. God sees beyond the here-and-now to what was and what will be.

In this one truth, we find our reason for hope and for unwavering confidence. God’s unchanging nature teaches us that even when we feel unlovely, we are beautiful to Him. There is nothing we can do to change His love for us. It is unconditional, and it flows freely from His throne of grace.

Do you trust Him? Have you experienced a strong assurance that comes from placing your faith in His unfailing ability? Roll the burden of your heart onto Him.

Lord, my confidence is in You. My peace comes from the assurance that You know what is best, do what is best, and provide Your best.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 227). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 4 An Inseparable Relationship

Scripture Reading: John 21

Key Verse: John 21:6

He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish.

All the disciples knew to do was to go on about their business. Now that Jesus wasn’t with them physically, they had to make many adjustments. What would life be like now that they were not traveling around the region with Him every day? What did it mean to be fishers of men? Was it all over?

The mood was probably quiet that night on the boat as they fished. Peter must have mused silently as he tugged at the nets, hoping for a catch. The light seemed to have gone out of his life. His heart was sore, for the last thing his Lord had heard him do was betray Him and deny he ever knew Him. Discouragement weighed him down with doubts and fears about the future.

Dawn came. As the light grew stronger, they could make out a figure on the beach. The man called to them, “Cast the net on the right-hand side of the boat and you will find a catch.” When John said, “It is the Lord,” Peter dived into the water to swim to shore.

Peter would never forget the conversation they had that day by the breakfast fire. He knew Jesus still loved him, and he had the chance to tell Jesus the same. Jesus knew exactly how to comfort Peter, reassure him of His eternal love, give him hope, and reignite his vision for the future. Jesus can do the same for you.

If you’ve shut Him out for any reason, He is still waiting for you on the shore.

Father, forgive me for the times I have shut You out of my life. Reassure me of Your love, give me renewed hope, rekindle my vision for the future.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 227). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 4 The Breastplate of Righteousness

Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 6:1–7

Key verse: Romans 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

One of the most essential pieces of spiritual armor is the breastplate of righteousness. In her book Lord, Is It Warfare? Kay Arthur explains why it is so foundational to your defense:

The Roman soldier’s breastplate covered all his vital organs, protecting his body, front and back. Usually the breastplate was made of metal, unless the soldier could afford a scale or chain mail to cover his chest and hips … The breastplate of righteousness is a gift given to every child of God …

When you were nothing but a sinner—helpless, ungodly, and without hope—God justified you … You were forgiven by God for all your sins: past, present, and future … Because your sins were absolutely forgiven, Satan no longer has the power of death over you …

One of Satan’s most effective strategies is to keep our sin before us. He’ll remind us of sins we’ve already confessed or try to convince us that because of them God doesn’t want us or cannot use us. Sometimes he tries to convince us that God will never forgive us, our sin is too terrible. To believe any of this is to go into battle without your breastplate.

So, when condemnation or difficulties come and you think it’s because God doesn’t love you or is punishing you, you must recognize who’s the instigator of those accusations.

Lord, thank You for Your forgiveness of my sins—past, present, and future. I praise You that Satan no longer has power over me.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 227). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Voice assistant companies abandon snooping practices after being found out | RT

Amazon has become the latest of the trio of tech giants to curb their secretive harvesting and processing of voice recordings via virtual assistants. The practice was rife with Google and Apple, as well.

Amazon announced on Friday that it would allow users of its smartphone assistance app Alexa to deny the company access to their private conversations. “We take customer privacy seriously and continuously review our practices and procedures,” the Amazon spokesperson told Bloomberg.

Also on rt.com Constant surveillance: How big tech’s household devices are SPYING on you

She said that Amazon would also be updating the app’s settings for it to include a disclaimer informing the customers that Amazon might subject their recordings to manual review if they don’t opt out.

That practice reportedly saw Amazon employees listening to and transcribing some of the recordings, with the stated goal of improving the virtual assistant’s services. Amazon was not alone in spying on its customers while keeping them in the dark. Google and Apple were doing the same using Google Assistant and Siri, respectively.

It all came to an abrupt end after the clandestine practice was exposed in a series of groundbreaking revelations. Google came under intense scrutiny from a German watchdog after some 1,000 voice recordings were leaked to Dutch public broadcaster VRT NEWS last month. About one-tenth of recordings studied by VRT turned out to have been made in error, without a direct command by the customer. Caught red-handed, Google assured the regulator it would not be making any transcripts of speech data in the EU for at least the next three months.

Also on rt.com Siri ‘regularly’ records sex encounters, sends ‘countless’ private moments to Apple contractors

Apple said on Thursday that it was discontinuing the practice and initiating a “thorough review” as well. That was, however, not before an explosive Guardian report last week revealed that third-party contractors for Apple were able to listen to medical appointments, business deals, sexual intercourse and even what appeared to be criminal interactions while combing through the troves of data vacuumed by Siri.

Amazon was the last of the three to put the human reviews on pause, although Bloomberg reported back in April that “thousands” of Amazon employees could be snooping on customers’ “conversations” with Alexa with the ostensibly noble cause of upgrading the software.

Source: Voice assistant companies abandon snooping practices after being found out

Ron Paul: US turning more fascist than socialist | Video

Former Presidential candidate and Congressman Dr. Ron Paul (R-Texas) joins Rick Sanchez to talk about the creep of “socialistic corporatism,” the retreat of voluntarism and free market principles and Americans’ capitulation to elites who “have run roughshod over us.”

China Is Extremely Angry, And They Now Consider The United States To Be Enemy #1 | The Most Important News

Have relations between the United States and China finally reached the point of no return? At this moment, it would be difficult to overstate how angry the Chinese are with the United States. Chinese officials are firmly blaming the United States for the enormous political protests that we have witnessed in Hong Kong in recent weeks, and on Thursday President Trump slapped another round of tariffs on Chinese imports. Sadly, most Americans aren’t even paying much attention to these developments, but over in China everyone is talking about these things. And of course the truth is that they aren’t just talking – the Chinese are absolutely seething with anger toward the U.S., and they aren’t afraid to express it.

Let me give you a perfect example of what I am talking about. One of the most highly respected news anchors in China, Kang Hui, actually used an expletive when referring to the United States during a news broadcast earlier this week. Normally I would never have such language in one of my articles, but this comment made headlines all over the globe, and I think that it is very important for all of us to understand what the Chinese are saying about us. So since this is a news item of critical importance, I have decided not to censor this quote at all. The following comes from the New York Times

“They stir up more troubles and crave the whole world to be in chaos, acting like a shit-stirring stick,” Mr. Kang said on the usually stolid 7 p.m. national news program on CCTV, China’s state broadcaster. The expletive quickly became one of the most-searched-for phrases on Chinese social media.

In a follow-up video on a CCTV social media account, Mr. Kang boasted about how he had taunted the United States.

“If a handful of Americans always stir up troubles, then we are sorry,” he intoned. “No more do we talk about certain issues. We will also target you. We will bash you till your faces are covered with mud. We will bash you till you are left speechless.”

Could you imagine Anderson Cooper saying something similar about China on CNN?

And actually Mr. Kang likely has far more viewers than Anderson Cooper does.

Most Americans spend very little time thinking about relations with China, but over in China they are absolutely furious with us right now, and the developing situation in Hong Kong is one of the biggest reasons for that anger. Millions of people have flooded the streets of Hong Kong in recent weeks, and it appears that the Chinese have decided that enough is enough. According to Bloomberg, U.S. officials are closely watching “a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border”…

The White House is monitoring what a senior administration official called a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border.

Weeks of unrest in the Chinese territory have begun to overwhelm Hong Kong’s police, who have found themselves in violent clashes with protesters. China warned Monday that the civil disorder had gone “far beyond” peaceful protest after police deployed tear gas over the weekend.

Could it be possible that Chinese forces could soon storm across the border?

And there have also been other signs that China is about to do something drastic

And also on Wednesday, Chen Daoxiang, the commander of China’s military garrison in Hong Kong — which holds around 6,000 troops — said his forces were “determined to protect national sovereignty, security, stability and the prosperity of Hong Kong.” His remarks came as China released a new propaganda video which include armed forces practicing shooting at protestors, after which he underscored his support for the city’s chief executive for “rigorously enforcing the law.”

Yes, Hong Kong is now technically part of China. But according to the agreement that was signed when the British handed over Hong Kong, the city is supposed to be allowed to govern itself to a large degree until 2047

After taking over Hong Kong in a war in the 1800s, Britain returned it to China in 1997 with an important stipulation: The city would partly govern itself for 50 years before fully falling under Beijing’s control. So until 2047, the expectation was that the city and the mainland would operate under the principle known as “one country, two systems.”

So if China ends up sending troops into Hong Kong to end the political protests, the Trump administration will be extremely upset, and tensions between our two nations will go up several more notches.

A new development in the trade war is the other reason why the Chinese are so angry with us right now.

After President Trump hit China with new tariffs on Thursday, China’s ambassador to the United Nations warned that the Chinese are prepared to implement “necessary countermeasures”

China’s new ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said Beijing would take “necessary countermeasures” to protect its rights and bluntly described Trump’s move as “an irrational, irresponsible act.”

“China’s position is very clear that if U.S. wishes to talk, then we will talk, if they want to fight, then we will fight,” Zhang told reporters in New York, also signalling that trade tensions could hurt cooperation between the countries on dealing with North Korea.

In other words, the Chinese are not going to back down one bit, and they are going to hit us back hard.

And Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said similar things when she addressed reporters on Friday

“China will not accept any form of pressure, intimidation or deception,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference Friday.

China‘s Ministry of Commerce released a statement that said Beijing would impose countermeasures.

“The U.S. has to bear all the consequences,” the statement said. “China believes there will be no winners of this trade war and does not want to fight. But we are not afraid to fight and will fight if necessary.”

In the end, it is very true that there “will be no winners” in this trade war. The Chinese know where our pain points are, and they will not be afraid to fight dirty.

A rapidly deteriorating relationship with China is a big part of the scenario that we have been anticipating. As I discussed yesterday, it is exceedingly unlikely that there will be a trade deal between the United States and China before the 2020 presidential election. And to be honest, it is far more likely that our conflict with China will escalate well beyond just a “trade war” in the months ahead.

The two largest economic superpowers on the entire planet are now locked in a monumental struggle for dominance, and it is going to result in a tremendous amount of economic pain for the entire planet.

Unfortunately, most Americans are completely and utterly clueless about what is going on, and so most of them are still convinced that everything is going to be just fine.

Source: China Is Extremely Angry, And They Now Consider The United States To Be Enemy #1

Mueller Investigation Spent Nearly $32 Million: What a Colossal Waste of Money | LifeZette

So instead of working for the American people, the U.S. Congress frivolously spent time and money that wasn’t theirs on a quest fueled largely by emotional angst.

After listening to former special counsel Robert Mueller give a press conference and then sit before Congress and the American people for two separate live hearings across one day, I do not believe he was a major part of the Russian investigation that bore his name.

Related: The 25 Most Incredible Reactions to Robert Mueller’s Capitol Hill Appearance

I think his minions ran and completed the work.

It’s my opinion he did not write the report — and he may not even have bothered to read it before he testified.

Every taxpayer in the United States should be upset about this, but most people won’t even know about it, because they’re watching the right TV stations or reading the right publications or material.

CNN and the rest of those mainstream channels would never let them know this.

Check out these details:

The special counsel’s office directly spent about $16.4 million since it was brought into the fold in May 2017. Mueller spent approximately $6.56 million in the last eight months of the probe, of which $4.12 million was personally spent from the special counsel’s office, and the Justice Department used up $2.44 million to assist Mueller’s work, according to CNBC.

The nearly $32 million price tag, Politico reports, covered all expenditures through May 31, two months after Mueller wrapped up his investigation and the Justice Department released his 448-page report, with redactions, detailing Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, but did not find a criminal conspiracy between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

Though Mueller’s investigation carried an expensive cost, DOJ officials would have accrued $15.3 million throughout the inquiry regardless if Mueller had been brought in to serve as special counsel. The biggest component of Mueller’s receipts covered salaries and benefits, with $9.7 million allocated to the various lawyers, FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other personnel who assisted with the investigation.

Mueller’s office also revealed it spent $3.1 million on rent, communications, and utilities, and $1.6 million was allocated for travel and personal transportation. (source: Washington Examiner)

What a colossal waste of money — and it was all initiated by a bunch of people who should be punished for their political tactics.

Democrats don’t seem to care how they spend our money — and some of them knew the investigation was a lie from the beginning, all in an attempt to ruin a president who beat them in an election.

Related: ‘Disaster for the Democrats’: See All Those Who Had Problems with Mueller’s Testimony

Why wasn’t the origin of the Steele dossier investigated?

What was the date they found no interference on the part of the Trump campaign or associates — but continued anyway?

The Mueller investigation has been a rip-off from day one, as I see it.

Politicians, individual congressional members and attorneys got the money, and the citizens of this nation got the screws.

A version of this article appeared in WayneDupree.com and is used by permission.

Source: Mueller Investigation Spent Nearly $32 Million: What a Colossal Waste of Money

WaPo Publishes Gabbard Smear Piece Filled With Blatant Lies | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

The Washington Post, which is wholly owned by a CIA contractor who is reportedly working to control the underlying infrastructure of the global economy, has published a shockingly deceitful smear piece about Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard in the wake of her criticisms of her opponent Kamala Harris’ prosecutorial record during the last Democratic debate.

The article’s author, Josh Rogin, has been a cheerleader for US regime change interventionism in Syria since the very beginning of the conflict in that nation. It is unsurprising, then, that he reacted with orgasmic exuberance when Harris retaliated against Gabbard’s devastating attack by smearing the Hawaii congresswoman as an “Assad apologist”, since Gabbard has been arguably the most consistent and high-profile critic of Rogin’s pet war agenda. His article, titled “Tulsi Gabbard’s Syria record shows why she can’t be president”, is one of the most dishonest articles that I have ever read in a mainstream publication, and the fact that it made it through The Washington Post’s editors is enough to fully discredit that outlet.

You can read Rogin’s smear piece without giving Jeff Bezos more money by clicking here for an archive. There’s so much dishonesty packed into this one that all I can do is go through it lie-by-lie until I either finish or get tired, so let’s begin:

“Gabbard asserts that the United States (not Assad) is responsible for the death and destruction in Syria, that the Russian airstrikes on civilians are to be praised

This is just a complete, brazen, whole-cloth lie from Rogin. If you click the hyperlink he alleges supports his claim that Gabbard asserts “Russian airstrikes on civilians are to be praised,” you come to a 2015 tweet by the congresswoman which reads, “Bad enough US has not been bombing al-Qaeda/al-Nusra in Syria. But it’s mind-boggling that we protest Russia’s bombing of these terrorists.”

Now, you can agree or disagree with Gabbard’s position that the US should be participating in airstrikes against al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria, but there’s no way you can possibly interpret her acceptance of Russia doing so to be anywhere remotely like “praise” for “airstrikes on civilians”. There is simply no way to represent the content of her tweet that way without knowingly lying about what you think it says. The only way Rogin’s claim could be anything resembling truthful would be if “al-Qaeda” and “civilians” meant the same thing. Obviously this is not the case, so Rogin can only be knowingly lying.

“That bias, combined with her long record of defending the Assad regime and parroting its propaganda, form the basis for the assertion Gabbard has ‘embraced and been an apologist for’ Assad, as Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) said Wednesday post-debate on CNN.”

Gabbard has no record whatsoever of “defending the Assad regime”. This is a lie. There exist copious amounts of quotes by Gabbard opposing US regime change interventionism in Syria and voicing skepticism of the narratives used to promote said interventionism, but there are no quotes anywhere in which she claims Assad is a nice person or that he hasn’t done bad things. If such quotes existed, Rogin would have included them in his smear piece. He did not. All he can do is lie about their existence.

“To repeat: There is no quote in which Tulsi praises, supports, or otherwise ‘apologies for’ Assad,” journalist Michael Tracey recently tweeted with a link to his January article on the subject. “I checked the record a long time ago, and it doesn’t exist. This is just a smear intended to delegitimize diplomatic engagement”

“Claiming that politicians are ‘defending’ objectionable rulers they meet with, in pursuit of achieving some alternative to war, is a tired trope that has been frequently used throughout history to discredit diplomatic engagement,” Tracey wrote. “As Gabbard told me in an interview shortly after returning from Syria: ‘The reason why I decided to take this meeting on this trip was because if we profess to care about the Syrian people — if we really truly care about ending their suffering and ending this war — then we should be ready to meet with anyone if there is a chance that that meeting and that conversation could help to bring about an end to this war.’”

Gabbard has been remarkably consistent in explaining her position that she opposes US regime change interventionism in Syria because US regime change interventionism is reliably disastrous. This isn’t “defending” anyone, nor is it “parroting propaganda”. It’s an indisputable, thoroughly established fact.

“Other Democratic candidates have promised to end U.S. military adventurism without making excuses for a mass murderer. It’s neither progressive nor liberal to defend Assad, a fascist, totalitarian psychopath who can never peacefully preside over Syria after what he has done.”

Again, claiming that Gabbard has done anything at all to “defend Assad” is a lie. If anything Gabbard has been too uncritical of establishment war propaganda narratives, calling Assad “a brutal dictator” who has “used chemical weapons and other weapons against his people.” Gabbard’s sole arguments on the matter have been in opposition to US military interventionism and skepticism of narratives used to support such interventionism, which only an idiot would object to in a post-Iraq invasion world.

Rogin argues that it’s possible to end US military adventurism without defending and making excuses for Assad, yet this is exactly the thing that Tulsi Gabbard has been doing since day one. Which means Rogin doesn’t actually believe it’s ever okay for any presidential candidate to want to end US military adventurism under any circumstances. Which is of course the real driving motivation behind his deceitful smear piece against Gabbard.

“Gabbard never talks about her other trip — to the Turkish-Syrian border with a group of lawmakers in June 2015, when she met with authentic opposition leaders, victims of Assad’s barrel bombs and members of the volunteer rescue brigade known as the White Helmets. Their stories, which don’t support Assad’s narrative, never make it into Gabbard’s speeches on the campaign trail.”

This one is bizarre. Rogin says this as though Gabbard’s meeting with Assad is something that she brings up “on the campaign trail” rather than something war propagandists like himself bring up and force her to respond to. The fact that those propagandists never bring up Gabbard’s meetings with the Syrian opposition is an indictment of their bias, not hers. The mental gymnastics required to make Gabbard’s meetings with all sides of the Syrian conflict feel more pro-Assad rather than less deserve an Olympic gold medal.

Obviously Gabbard having met with all sides is indicative of an absence of favoritism, not the presence of it. The fact that she didn’t come away from her meetings with empire-allied opposition forces with the opinion that the US should help storm Damascus doesn’t mean she supports any particular side.

“Gabbard’s candidacy should be taken very seriously — not because she has a significant chance of being president, but because her narrative on Syria is deeply incorrect, immoral and un-American. If it were adopted by her party and the country, it would lead the United States down a perilous moral and strategic path.”

Saying a “narrative” can be “un-American” is a fairly straightforward admission that you are authoring propaganda. Unless you believe your nation has one authorized set of narratives, a narrative can’t be “un-American”. This is as close as you’ll ever get to an admission from Rogin that US power structures work to control the dominant narratives about world events, and that he helps them do it. To such a person, opposition to your narrative control agendas would be seen as the antithesis of the group you identify with.

The US empire has an extensive and well-documented history of using lies, propaganda and false flags to initiate military conflicts which advantage it. To continue to deny this after Iraq is either willful ignorance or propaganda.

The fact that Rogin adds “strategic path” to his argument nullifies his claim that his position has anything to do with morality. If your foreign policy concern is with strategic leverage, you will naturally try to interpret anything which advances that strategic path as the moral choice.

“Listening to Gabbard, one might think the United States initiated the Syrian conflict by arming terrorists for a regime-change war that has resulted in untold suffering.”

This is exactly what happened. The US armed extremist militants with the goal of effecting regime change, and before Russia intervened they almost succeeded. According to the former Prime Minister of Qatar, the US and its allies were involved in this behavior from the very beginning of the conflict in 2011. Here is a link to an article full of primary source documents showing that the US and its allies had been scheming since well before 2011 to provoke a civil war in Syria with the goal of regime change. They did exactly what they planned to do, which is exactly the thing Rogin claims they did not do.

But Gabbard never even takes her analysis this far. She simply says the US should not get involved in another US regime change war, because it shouldn’t.

“Responding to Harris, Gabbard called Assad’s atrocities ‘detractions,’[sic] before eventually saying she doesn’t dispute that he’s guilty of torture and murder. That’s a slight improvement from her previous protestations that there was not enough evidence.”

Rogin falsely implies here that Gabbard only just began accusing Assad of war crimes, and that she only did so in response to new pressure resulting from Harris’ criticism. As noted earlier, this is false; Gabbard has been harshly critical of Assad.

“Gabbard then quickly accused President Trump of aiding al-Qaeda in Idlib. ‘That does sound like a talking point of the Assad regime,’ CNN’s Anderson Cooper said. He could have just said she is wrong.”

Even the US State Department has acknowledged that Idlib is an al-Qaeda stronghold, and the Trump administration has taken aggressive moves to prevent the Assad coalition from launching a full-scale campaign to reclaim the territory. Claiming that this did not happen is a lie per even the accepted narratives of the US political/media class.

“Gabbard’s 2017 trip was financed and run by members of a Lebanesesocialist-nationalist party that works closely with the Assad regime.”

Former US Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who accompanied Gabbard on this trip, dismissed this accusation as “so much horseshit I can’t believe it.” All parties involved have denied this narrative, which Rogin has played a pivotal role in promoting from the very beginning and to which he has been forced to make multiple embarrassing corrections.

“Gabbard’s plan to overtly side with Assad and Russia while they commit crimes against humanity would be a strategic disaster, a gift to the extremists and a betrayal of decades of U.S. commitments to stand up to mass atrocities. Democratic voters who believe in liberalism and truth must reject not only her candidacy but also her attempt to disguise moral bankruptcy as a progressive value.”

Another lie; Gabbard has no such plan. Opposing US regime change interventionism isn’t “siding” with anybody, it’s just not supporting a thing that is literally always disastrous and literally never helpful.

Rogin’s closing admonishment to reject not just Gabbard but her skepticism of US war narratives is yet another admission that he’s concerned with narrative control here, not with truth and not even really with a US presidential candidate.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world, and shameless war propagandists like Josh Rogin are the attack dogs of establishment narrative control.

Source: WaPo Publishes Gabbard Smear Piece Filled With Blatant Lies

Online dating seen from the other side — Reformed Perspective

Editor’s note: In “The pros and cons of online dating” Peter Riemersma shared how he met his wife via a Reformed singles site. In this post Robin shares her side of the story.

*****

I was skeptical about the whole online dating thing…until I saw that the  Soverign Grace Singles website was a smaller, more close knit and “safer” community and would be good to try even to just make friends. Then, Peter from Canada (yikes – it seemed so far at the time) wrote me and I wondered what to do.

So I prayed about it, and thought to myself (with nudges from the Holy Spirit I’m sure)…is anything impossible for God? Maybe He wants me to go through this type of courting, rather than the type I had always imagined. I always thought someone would just be “sent” to my local vicinity and we could spend time in groups together and get to know one another over a long period. The Lord had something quite different in store for me!

Something about Peter was different. I wasn’t afraid, though I was very cautious at first, and we just naturally corresponded even despite the distance. And we both enjoyed doing so. With the proper prayer and caution, I don’t think distance should prevent a relationship.

But it is very difficult, at the same time. Being apart between visits was hard, yet at the same time it forced us to really get to know one another through talking, and not just going to movies together and sitting there like zombies, or getting too physically involved (in fact Peter and I chose not to even kiss until our wedding day). We had to pray for one another remotely, and trust God to work out the immigration details as well. It was a lot to handle…but I wouldn’t trade the whole experience, or having Peter as my husband now, for the world. I see how God led us through everything step by step.

Step by step – I guess that’s the key thing. Try not to feel rushed – and if a gentleman is rushing you slow down and see if he’ll wait or cool it a bit. That’s what I did with Peter for a time, too. We both knew it was right when we felt the same after this “test.”

via Online dating seen from the other side — Reformed Perspective

The pros and cons of online dating — Reformed Perspective

I first wrote on online dating more than a dozen years ago, back when the Internet was still young, and people still called it the “information highway.” A lot has changed since then – Facebook groups, smartphones, and apps, have increased the number of online dating options. But it’s still strangers trying to get to know each other via long distance communication so a lot remains the same.

When I started out, being rather new to computers, I had to be taught the basics of how to get online. Through this cyberspace navigating I came across various ads for “Christian” dating websites. I paid my fee and began to browse many profiles with a particular Christian service. Over time I discovered many familiar faces I knew from various locations. I also discovered some of the pros and cons of online dating.

Watch out for weeds!

Over time I soon noticed that many on this site who claimed to be Christian were not necessarily so, and that there was a real need to test the spirits (1 John 4:1).

That might seem a given. After all, God says there are weeds mixed in with the wheat in the Church (Matt. 13:24-30). But it took me time to realize, and after I did, I had a lot of online correspondence with people on the site trying to warn them to be careful and not trust every site or person who claimed to be “Christian.” 

God can use the “friend-zone”

During my first paid term on the site I met a dear sister in the Lord. After a while of encouraging one another by writing on the site we began encouraging one another with email exchanges using our personal email addresses (all the while still cautiously using our aliases, rather than giving our real names at this point).

From that, more trust began and in time the next step was undertaken and we exchanged telephone numbers and snail mail addresses, and new correspondence again was initiated.

Over time the limitations caused by our distance from one another became obvious and an in-person meet-and-greet was arranged. This was somewhat nerve-wracking – I certainly made a point of being on time for our “date”! We met, spent a few days together, and in parting ways both of us agreed to remain as friends.

While our relationship didn’t go any further, our correspondence and encouragement continued until one day she informed me that the Lord had led her to a godly man she had begun to court. They soon got engaged too, and shortly after I opened my snail mail to find a wedding invitation. This was to be a Reformed wedding, as their relationship had become one built on the Reformed faith. They have built their marriage on this and the promises of God’s infallible word. This was the doing of the Lord and she credits me for being used by the Lord as to the one who introduced her to the riches of the Reformed faith. And how rich they are!

A need for more than generic “Christian”

At this same time the Lord had begun to stir an interest in someone I’d soon get to know. This brother in the Lord saw the need to create not only a truly Christian online singes website, but a specifically Reformed Christian online singes website. And it came to him as he was on a fishing trip!

So in 2005, Dean Scott had SovereignGraceSingles.com (SGS) up and running. Once it was, many friends who had been on the previously mentioned “Christian” website were alerted about this new Reformed website – a site that would be specifically for us who were different in our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ than those in mainline churches.

I prayerfully decided to try it out. I’m very thankful for the sister in the Lord who led me, and many others, to it, as I soon realized this site was indeed legitimate. It was a great environment in which to meet godly sisters and brothers in the Lord. 

Try and try again

It was then that I met a sister on the site who, at one point, I thought was to be my life partner. But that’s not how things went.

After this second “failed” online relationship, I began to get rather disillusioned with online dating. And in response to this disappointment I reminded myself, as I have various times through my life, “You will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” But I took this passage more seriously than perhaps I had ever done before in my life. Recalling someone’s wise advice, I considered how I was to surrender all of my desires to the Lord and delight in Him, “and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4). I knew I needed to make the Lord’s priorities my own. Instead of impatience, I would be content, knowing He was in charge.

So I went back to my computer, but with a very different mindset, and heart. In browsing the SGS website I noticed the profile of someone new. I did not know it then, but the Lord had also placed it on her heart to wait on the Lord and let “His will be done,” as well as to give “cyberspace relationships” one more try.

When I came across her profile I prayed once again “Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” and I initiated contact with her. Not expecting anything from it, I once again was put to the test, and called upon to practice the gifts of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Two days later, upon revisiting SGS’s website, I noticed there was a message in my mailbox from her (we did not know one another other than our aliases). And we both, having sought God’s will, began encouraging one another.

Our communication became more regular, and we began to focus on really getting to know one another exclusively. Praise God! Today as a married couple we are united as one in Christ. “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

Ask, ask, ask

In addition to my gratitude to God, I will always be grateful to Dean Scott and for SGS, for how they helped bring my wife I together.

But am I trying to say that you shouldn’t use any other “Christian” or singles websites? Not quite. But the problem that comes with these other sites is the constant temptation to compromise your faith – compromise your relationship with God – because most of the people you meet are not going to be a spiritual match with you. And God should never be second. So I’ve seen people become willing to compromise, and they have either left the Reformed faith, or been misled by not fully understanding their mate by not watching for red flags.

So, the only way to use a secular, or generically Christian site, is if you are willing to ask tough questions right away, and ruthlessly weed out anyone who does not love the Lord as you do.

Even on a Reformed site, you need to be cautious. Much grief can be avoided by observing potential life partners very carefully in their natural habitat and immediate surroundings in meet and greets. Also, never presume something – when in doubt, ask! You should also get to know his/her pastor, elders, or deacons. Ask them for a character reference or referral, and take time to get to know your suitors’ family, closest friends, and congregation.

When appropriate ask about how they handle their finances. And most of all – ask yourself serious questions. If it is a long-distance relationship, ask, am I prepared for long intervals apart? Am I prepared to be faithful, both mentally and physically? 

Conclusion

So…are you considering looking for a mate online?

If so, the very first thing to do is get your relationship with God right. Spend time praying and in His Word. Enjoy time with and serve your local Body of Christ. Do the work the Lord has given you for employment or vocation with all your heart. And pray. Wait on Him and ask for healthy relationships. One of them – whether online or not – may just turn out to be a lifelong love, blessed by God and truly joyful.

A version of this article first appeared in Christian Renewal back in February of 2009. Peter’s wife Robin shares her side of their story here.

via The pros and cons of online dating — Reformed Perspective

FBI Seeking TECH to Catch Criminals and Terrorists on Social Media BEFORE they Strike | Bongino Staff

Article Image
https://bongino.com, by Bongino Staff

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has asked interested vendors to propose “social media early alerting” tools that will “help insiders proactively and reactively monitor how terrorist groups, foreign intelligence services, criminal organizations and other domestic threats use networking platforms to further their illegal efforts.”

In the FBI’s statement of objectives, it acknowledged that “virtually every incident and subject of FBI investigative interest has a presence online” and the mission is to enable the Bureau to “proactively detect, disrupt, and investigate an ever-growing diverse range of threats” on social media.

American citizens’ initial response may be concern with regard to their privacy and civil liberties. However, the Bureau’s synopsis of the project states “The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) intends to award a firm fixed-price contract for the purpose of acquiring subscriptions services to a social media early alerting took in order to mitigate multifaceted threats, while ensuring all privacy and civil liberties compliance requirements are met.”

Nextgov.com released an article reminding us that we are “at a time when society is growing accustomed to the painful reality of the weaponization of social media outlets to cause harm.” Citing specific events, the article reminds us that earlier this year, a mass shooter in New Zealand who opened fire at two mosques killing 50 people had “posted a 74-page manifesto and images of his weapons online ahead of the attack.” He also streamed the shooting on Facebook live.

Just last week the man who shot and killed three people at a food festival, the annual ‘Gilroy Garlic Festival’ in California had posted a racist manifesto from 1890 online prior to his killing spree. The FBI has extended the window for proposals from potential vendors to August 27th, and the anticipated award date to assign a contract is currently August 30th although it could also be pushed back.

 

The Rise Of The American Gestapo | ZeroHedge News

Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

Adolf Hitler is alive and well in the United States, and he is fast rising to power.”

– Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, on the danger posed by the FBI to our civil liberties

Despite the finger-pointing and outcries of dismay from those who are watching the government discard the rule of law at every turn, the question is not whether Donald Trump is the new Adolf Hitler but whether the American Police State is the new Third Reich.

For those who can view the present and past political landscape without partisan blinders, the warning signs are unmistakable: the Deep State’s love affair with totalitarianism began long ago.

Indeed, the U.S. government so admired the Nazi regime that following the second World War, it secretly recruited Hitler’s employees, adopted his protocols, embraced his mindset about law and order, implemented his tactics in incremental steps, and began to lay the foundations for the rise of the Fourth Reich.

Sounds far-fetched? Read on. It’s all documented.

As historian Robert Gellately recounts, “After five years of Hitler’s dictatorship, the Nazi police had won the FBI’s seal of approval.” The Nazi police state was initially so admired for its efficiency and order by the world powers of the day that J. Edgar Hoover, then-head of the FBI, actually sent one of his right-hand men, Edmund Patrick Coffey, to Berlin in January 1938 at the invitation of Germany’s secret police—the Gestapo.

The FBI was so impressed with the Nazi regime that, according to the New York Times, in the decades after World War II, the FBI, along with other government agencies, aggressively recruited at least a thousand Nazis, including some of Hitler’s highest henchmen.

All told, thousands of Nazi collaborators—including the head of a Nazi concentration camp, among others—were given secret visas and brought to America by way of Project Paperclip. Subsequently, they were hired on as spies and informants, and then camouflaged to ensure that their true identities and ties to Hitler’s holocaust machine would remain unknown. All the while, thousands of Jewish refugees were refused entry visas to the U.S. on the grounds that it could threaten national security.

Adding further insult to injury, American taxpayers have been paying to keep these ex-Nazis on the U.S. government’s payroll ever since. And in true Gestapo fashion, anyone who has dared to blow the whistle on the FBI’s illicit Nazi ties has found himself spied upon, intimidated, harassed and labeled a threat to national security.

As if the government’s covert, taxpayer-funded employment of Nazis after World War II wasn’t bad enough, U.S. government agencies—the FBI, CIA and the military—have fully embraced many of the Nazi’s well-honed policing tactics, and have used them repeatedly against American citizens.

Indeed, with every passing day, the United States government borrows yet another leaf from Nazi Germany’s playbook: Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Censorship. Intimidation. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment. Indoctrination. Indefinite detention.

These are not tactics used by constitutional republics, where the rule of law and the rights of the citizenry reign supreme. Rather, they are the hallmarks of authoritarian regimes, where the only law that counts comes in the form of heavy-handed, unilateral dictates from a supreme ruler who uses a secret police to control the populace.

That danger is now posed by the FBI, whose laundry list of crimes against the American people includes surveillance, disinformation, blackmail, entrapment, intimidation tactics, harassment and indoctrination, governmental overreach, abuse, misconduct, trespassing, enabling criminal activity, and damaging private property, and that’s just based on what we know.

Whether the FBI is planting undercover agents in churches, synagogues and mosques; issuing fake emergency letters to gain access to Americans’ phone records; using intimidation tactics to silence Americans who are critical of the government; recruiting high school students to spy on and report fellow students who show signs of being future terrorists; or persuading impressionable individuals to plot acts of terror and then entrapping them, the overall impression of the nation’s secret police force is that of a well-dressed thug, flexing its muscles and doing the boss’ dirty work of ensuring compliance, keeping tabs on potential dissidents, and punishing those who dare to challenge the status quo.

Whatever minimal restrictions initially kept the FBI’s surveillance activities within the bounds of the law have all but disappeared post-9/11. Since then, the FBI has been transformed into a mammoth federal policing and surveillance agency that largely operates as a power unto itself, beyond the reach of established laws, court rulings and legislative mandates.

Consider the FBI’s far-reaching powers to surveil, detain, interrogate, investigate, prosecute, punish, police and generally act as a law unto themselves—much like their Nazi cousins, the Gestapo—and then try to convince yourself that the United States is still a constitutional republic.

Just like the Gestapo, the FBI has vast resources, vast investigatory powers, and vast discretion to determine who is an enemy of the state.

Today, the FBI employs more than 35,000 individuals and operates more than 56 field offices in major cities across the U.S., as well as 400 resident agencies in smaller towns, and more than 50 international offices. In addition to their “data campus,” which houses more than 96 million sets of fingerprints from across the United States and elsewhere, the FBI has also built a vast repository of “profiles of tens of thousands of Americans and legal residents who are not accused of any crime. What they have done is appear to be acting suspiciously to a town sheriff, a traffic cop or even a neighbor.” The FBI’s burgeoning databases on Americans are not only being added to and used by local police agencies, but are also being made available to employers for real-time background checks.

All of this is made possible by the agency’s nearly unlimited resources (its minimum budget alone in fiscal year 2015 was $8.3 billion), the government’s vast arsenal of technology, the interconnectedness of government intelligence agencies, and information sharing through fusion centers—data collecting intelligence agencies spread throughout the country that constantly monitor communications (including those of American citizens), everything from internet activity and web searches to text messages, phone calls and emails.

Much like the Gestapo spied on mail and phone calls, FBI agents have carte blanche access to the citizenry’s most personal information.

Working through the U.S. Post Office, the FBI has access to every piece of mail that passes through the postal system: more than 160 billion pieces are scanned and recorded annually. Moreover, the agency’s National Security Letters, one of the many illicit powers authorized by the USA Patriot Act, allows the FBI to secretly demand that banks, phone companies, and other businesses provide them with customer information and not disclose those demands to the customer. An internal audit of the agency found that the FBI practice of issuing tens of thousands of NSLs every year for sensitive information such as phone and financial records, often in non-emergency cases, is riddled with widespread constitutional violations.

Much like the Gestapo’s sophisticated surveillance programs, the FBI’s spying capabilities can delve into Americans’ most intimate details (and allow local police to do so, as well).

In addition to technology (which is shared with police agencies) that allows them to listen in on phone calls, read emails and text messages, and monitor web activities, the FBI’s surveillance boasts an invasive collection of spy tools ranging from Stingray devices that can track the location of cell phones to Triggerfish devices which allow agents to eavesdrop on phone calls.  In one case, the FBI actually managed to remotely reprogram a “suspect’s” wireless internet card so that it would send “real-time cell-site location data to Verizon, which forwarded the data to the FBI.” Law enforcement agencies are also using social media tracking software to monitor Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. Moreover, secret FBI rules also allow agents to spy on journalists without significant judicial oversight.

Much like the Gestapo’s ability to profile based on race and religion, and its assumption of guilt by association, the FBI’s approach to pre-crime allows it to profile Americans based on a broad range of characteristics including race and religion.

The agency’s biometric database has grown to massive proportions, the largest in the world, encompassing everything from fingerprints, palm, face and iris scans to DNA, and is being increasingly shared between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in an effort to target potential criminals long before they ever commit a crime. This is what’s known as pre-crime. Yet it’s not just your actions that will get you in trouble. In many cases, it’s also who you know—even minimally—and where your sympathies lie that could land you on a government watch list. Moreover, as the Intercept reports, despite anti-profiling prohibitions, the bureau “claims considerable latitude to use race, ethnicity, nationality, and religion in deciding which people and communities to investigate.”

Much like the Gestapo’s power to render anyone an enemy of the state, the FBI has the power to label anyone a domestic terrorist.

As part of the government’s so-called ongoing war on terror, the nation’s de facto secret police force has begun using the terms “anti-government,” “extremist” and “terrorist” interchangeably. Moreover, the government continues to add to its growing list of characteristics that can be used to identify an individual (especially anyone who disagrees with the government) as a potential domestic terrorist. For instance, you might be a domestic terrorist in the eyes of the FBI (and its network of snitches) if you:

  • express libertarian philosophies (statements, bumper stickers)
  • exhibit Second Amendment-oriented views (NRA or gun club membership)
  • read survivalist literature, including apocalyptic fictional books
  • show signs of self-sufficiency (stockpiling food, ammo, hand tools, medical supplies)
  • fear an economic collapse
  • buy gold and barter items
  • subscribe to religious views concerning the book of Revelation
  • voice fears about Big Brother or big government
  • expound about constitutional rights and civil liberties
  • believe in a New World Order conspiracy

Much like the Gestapo infiltrated communities in order to spy on the German citizenry, the FBI routinely infiltrates political and religious groups, as well as businesses.

As Cora Currier writes for the Intercept: “Using loopholes it has kept secret for years, the FBI can in certain circumstances bypass its own rules in order to send undercover agents or informants into political and religious organizations, as well as schools, clubs, and businesses…” The FBI has even been paying Geek Squad technicians at Best Buy to spy on customers’ computers without a warrant.

Just as the Gestapo united and militarized Germany’s police forces into a national police force, America’s police forces have largely been federalized and turned into a national police force.

In addition to government programs that provide the nation’s police forces with military equipment and training, the FBI also operates a National Academy that trains thousands of police chiefs every year and indoctrinates them into an agency mindset that advocates the use of surveillance technology and information sharing between local, state, federal, and international agencies.

Just as the Gestapo’s secret files on political leaders were used to intimidate and coerce, the FBI’s files on anyone suspected of “anti-government” sentiment have been similarly abused.

As countless documents make clear, the FBI has no qualms about using its extensive powers in order to blackmail politicians, spy on celebrities and high-ranking government officials, and intimidate and attempt to discredit dissidents of all stripes. For example, not only did the FBI follow Martin Luther King Jr. and bug his phones and hotel rooms, but agents also sent him anonymous letters urging him to commit suicide and pressured a Massachusetts college into dropping King as its commencement speaker.

Just as the Gestapo carried out entrapment operations, the FBI has become a master in the art of entrapment.

In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks the FBI has not only targeted vulnerable individuals but has also lured or blackmailed them into fake terror plots while actually equipping them with the organization, money, weapons and motivation to carry out the plots—entrapment—and then jailing or deporting them for their so-called terrorist plotting. This is what the FBI characterizes as “forward leaning—preventative—prosecutions.” In addition to creating certain crimes in order to then “solve” them, the FBI also gives certain informants permission to break the law, “including everything from buying and selling illegal drugs to bribing government officials and plotting robberies,” in exchange for their cooperation on other fronts. USA Todayestimates that agents have authorized criminals to engage in as many as 15 crimes a day. Some of these informants are getting paid astronomical sums: one particularly unsavory fellow, later arrested for attempting to run over a police officer, was actually paid $85,000 for his help laying the trap for an entrapment scheme.

When and if a true history of the FBI is ever written, it will not only track the rise of the American police state but it will also chart the decline of freedom in America, in much the same way that the empowerment of Germany’s secret police tracked with the rise of the Nazi regime.

How did the Gestapo become the terror of the Third Reich?

It did so by creating a sophisticated surveillance and law enforcement system that relied for its success on the cooperation of the military, the police, the intelligence community, neighborhood watchdogs, government workers for the post office and railroads, ordinary civil servants, and a nation of snitches inclined to report “rumors, deviant behavior, or even just loose talk.”

In other words, ordinary citizens working with government agents helped create the monster that became Nazi Germany. Writing for the New York Times, Barry Ewen paints a particularly chilling portrait of how an entire nation becomes complicit in its own downfall by looking the other way:

In what may be his most provocative statement, [author Eric A.] Johnson says that ‘‘most Germans may not even have realized until very late in the war, if ever, that they were living in a vile dictatorship.’’ This is not to say that they were unaware of the Holocaust; Johnson demonstrates that millions of Germans must have known at least some of the truth. But, he concludes, ‘‘a tacit Faustian bargain was struck between the regime and the citizenry.’’ The government looked the other way when petty crimes were being committed. Ordinary Germans looked the other way when Jews were being rounded up and murdered; they abetted one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century not through active collaboration but through passivity, denial and indifference.

Much like the German people, “we the people” have become passive, polarized, gullible, easily manipulated, and lacking in critical thinking skills.  Distracted by entertainment spectacles, politics and screen devices, we too are complicit, silent partners in creating a police state similar to the terror practiced by former regimes.

Had the government tried to ram such a state of affairs down our throats suddenly, it might have had a rebellion on its hands.

Instead, the American people have been given the boiling frog treatment, immersed in water that slowly is heated up—degree by degree—so that they’ve fail to notice that they’re being trapped and cooked and killed.

“We the people” are in hot water now.

The Constitution doesn’t stand a chance against a federalized, globalized standing army of government henchmen protected by legislative, judicial and executive branches that are all on the same side, no matter what political views they subscribe to: suffice it to say, they are not on our side or the side of freedom.

From Clinton to Bush, then Obama and now Trump, it’s as if we’ve been caught in a time loop, forced to re-live the same thing over and over again: the same assaults on our freedoms, the same disregard for the rule of law, the same subservience to the Deep State, and the same corrupt, self-serving government that exists only to amass power, enrich its shareholders and ensure its continued domination.

Can the Fourth Reich happen here?

As I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, it’s already happening right under our noses.

Source: The Rise Of The American Gestapo

The Empire Is Coming for Tulsi Gabbard

Article Image
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org by Tom Luongo

Harris came out of the first debate the clear winner and Gabbard cut her down to size with one of the single best minutes of political television since Donald Trump told Hillary Clinton, “Because you’d be in jail.”

Gabbard’s takedown of Harris was so spot on and her closing statement about the irresponsible nature of the Trump Administration’s foreign policy was so powerful she had to be actively suppressed on Twitter.
And, within minutes of the debate ending the media and the political machines moved into overdrive to smear her as a Russian agent, an Assad apologist and a favorite of the alt-right.
Now, folks, let me tell you something. I write and talk about Gabbard a lot and those to the right of me are really skeptical of her being some kind of plant for Israel or the establishment. If she were truly one of those she wouldn’t have been polling at one percent going into that debate.

Millions of ‘slaves’ around the world still making stuff we buy today | RT Business News

There were 40.3 million people living in conditions of slavery in 2018, mostly women, a recent report by the Walk Free Initiative shows. Researchers say slavery did not end with abolition in the 19th century but just changed form.

The initiative undertakes research to build the world’s most comprehensive evidence-base of modern slavery. While there isn’t an official legal definition of modern slavery, the UN describes it as the condition of people whose work “is performed involuntarily and under the menace of any penalty.” The organization and its member states committed to eliminating slavery by 2030, along with human trafficking, forced labor, and child labor.

According to Walk Free, modern slavery is increasing, particularly in business supply chains.

Also on rt.com Nestle sued for perpetuating child slavery overseas from headquarters in US

Katharine Bryant, the manager of global research for Walk Free, told Quartz that some 16 million victims of slavery work within poorly-monitored supply chains. That doesn’t include child labor, or exploitative work conditions that don’t limit freedom of movement.

Fewer than 40 of the 183 countries (out of 193 UN member states) surveyed have systems and laws to prevent businesses from buying products that may have used slave labor somewhere along the line of production. Despite those laws being in place, countries are failing to enforce them effectively.

The report points out that the global circulation of goods makes it extraordinarily challenging to ensure products are slave-labor free because it’s hard to track.

Also on rt.com New forms of human trafficking revealed in charity report

Many countries that supply consumer goods have a high percentage of people working in conditions of slavery, enduring long shifts and exhausting conditions without the option to leave. Fashion and tech industries are the main sectors known for their use of forced labor.

The US imports the largest volume of goods that are made with slave labor at some point before it reaches the consumer, according to the report. This is happening despite efforts and laws passed to address the phenomenon.

Also on rt.com Number of children forced into slavery hits record high, Brits comprise largest group

“Labor exploitation is a spectrum,” said Bryant, adding the more nuanced the abusive practice, the harder it is to define and control it. Lack of education among people at risk of exploitation is another important element which is missing, according to the researcher.

“We see cases where people have been exploited and didn’t realize they were in slavery conditions,” she said.

Source: Millions of ‘slaves’ around the world still making stuff we buy today

El Paso Terrorist Is a Hardcore Progressive and White Nationalist: Wants Universal Income And Universal Healthcare — The Gateway Pundit

Mass shooter Patrick Crusius murdered 20 people today at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

Crusius published a manifesto before his shooting spree.

It is clear from his words that he is a PROGRESSIVE white nationalist – what was once defined as a “Nazi.”

This is not to say he’s a Democrat or a Republican, but he is without question a progressive.

All you have to do is read his manifesto to see the obvious tell-tale signs.

Under his section titled “Economic Reasons” for the attack, the shooter states:

In the near future, America will have to initiate a basic universal income to prevent widespread poverty and civil unrest as people lose their jobs (to automation). Joblessness is in itself a source of civil unrest. The less dependents on a government welfare system, the lower the unemployment rate, the better. Achieving ambitious social projects like universal healthcare and UBI would become far more likely to succeed if tens of millions of defendants are removed.”

Now THAT is some Nazi level stuff right there. Kill the undesirables so we can have our glorious government programs!

His was an act of environmental terrorism as well:

“The decimation of our environment is creating a massive burden for future generations. Corporations are heading the destruction of our environment by shamelessly overharvesting resources.”

Not exactly sounding like a Republican, but this next quote does remind me of one of the parties:

“I am against race mixing because it destroys genetic diversity and creates identity problems….But the idea of deporting or murdering all non-white Americans is horrific. Many have been here as long as the whites, and have done as much to build our country. The best solution to this for now would be to divide America int a confederacy of territories with at least 1 territory for each race.”

Huh. Where have we heard about a confederacy in the past? We’ll have to think on that one.

The fact is, this guy is the real deal NAZI. He’s a white nationalist socialist, and this is EXTREMELY inconvenient for progressives because he throws progressive history right in everyone’s faces.

Nazis weren’t just white nationalists. They were proud Progressives of their day, and this terrorist is a proud white nationalist progressive millennial.

No wonder progressives are running from this story, and begging you to run from it as well.

Here again is the deranged killer’s manifesto.

Image

via El Paso Terrorist Is a Hardcore Progressive and White Nationalist: Wants Universal Income And Universal Healthcare — The Gateway Pundit

More Mass Shootings? 4 Dead, 38 Wounded In ‘Normal’ Weekend In Chicago | ZeroHedge News

At risk of being slammed for pure racism, amid a duo of terrible mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, we thought it noteworthy that a somewhat “normal” weekend of death and mayhem in Chicago barely even warranted a mention in mainstream media headlines.

As HeyJackass.com reports (the most definitive tracker of Chicago’s ‘values’), there has been 50 shootings so far in August (yes it’s the 4th of the month):

  • Shot & Killed: 4
  • Shot & Wounded: 46

This weekend has seen 4 killed and 38 wounded, but as the chart below shows, this is actually ‘better’ than normal for a Chicago weekend…

Source

As The Epoch Times’ Jack Phillips reports, at least seven people were shot and wounded on Aug. 4 as they gathered near a children’s playground on Chicago’s West Side. The people gathered at 1:20 a.m. as they stood in the park on the 2900 West Roosevelt Road when a person opened fire from a black Chevy Camaro, said Chicago Police.

  • According to NBC Chicago, a 21-year-old male was shot in the groin before he was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in critical condition.
  • A 25-year-old woman was hit in the arm, torso, and leg, and she was taken to Mount Sinai, police told the local station.
  • A 22-year-old was also shot and was rushed to the hospital, and she is in stable condition, officials said.
  • Police added that a 20-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman were taken to Stroger Hospital.
  • A 23-year-old and a 21-year-old took themselves to Mount Sinai with gunshot wounds, ABC7 reported.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that no arrests have been made. Detectives are still investigating.

So far, in 2019, more than 1,600 people have been shot in the city (of which 274 have been killed), which is about 129 fewer than in 2018, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Source

“Shooting victims are most concentrated in the South and West sides for shooting victims so far in 2019,” the report noted.

What is odd though is the lack of Democratic Party presidential candidates “praying for Chicago” or unleashing hashtags demanding ever more gun control (oh wait isn’t Chicago among the most gun-constrained cities in the country?)

Illinois  is one of seven that requires licenses or permits to buy any firearm, and it’s one of five that requires waiting periods for buying any firearm. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which tracks gun laws nationwide, has given the state a B+ for its gun laws. Chicago itself has some tough laws – there is an assault-weapons ban in Cook County, for example.

Source: More Mass Shootings? 4 Dead, 38 Wounded In ‘Normal’ Weekend In Chicago

MASS SHOOTING IN CHICAGO! 7 Shot in Douglas Park in Drive-by Shooting at 1:20 AM — Ignored by Media — The Gateway Pundit

On Saturday, early Sunday there were two horrific mass shootings at an El Paso Walmart and a Dayton, Ohio club district.

At least 29 people were murdered in the two mass shootings.

There was also a mass shooting late Saturday, early Sunday morning in Chicago.

At least seven people were injured in a shooting near Douglas Park in Chicago.

The media mostly ignored this latest mass shooting for some reason?

The shots were fired from a black Camero.

Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in the country.

via MASS SHOOTING IN CHICAGO! 7 Shot in Douglas Park in Drive-by Shooting at 1:20 AM — Ignored by Media — The Gateway Pundit

America’s Collapse: Paul Craig Roberts Exposes An Economy Based On Plunder | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

Capitalists have claimed responsibility for America’s past economic success.  Let’s begin by setting the record straight. American success had little to do with capitalism. This is not to say that the US would have had more success with something like Soviet central planning.

Prior to 1900 when the frontier was closed, America’s success was a multi-century long success based on the plunder of a pristine environment and abundant natural resources. Individuals and companies were capitalized simply by occupying the land and using the resources present.

As the population grew and resources were depleted, the per capita resource endowment declined.

America got a second wind from World War I, which devastated European powers and permitted the emergence of the US as a budding world power.  World War II finished off Europe and put economic and financial supremacy in Washington’s hands.  The US dollar seized the world reserve currency role from the British pound, enabling the US to pay its bills by printing money.  The world currency role of the dollar, more than nuclear weapons, has been the source of American power. Russia has equal or greater nuclear weapons power, but it is the dollar not the ruble that is the currency in which international payments are settled.

The world currency role made the US the financial hegemon.  This power together with the IMF and  World Bank enabled the US to plunder foreign resources the way vanishing American resources had been plundered.

We can conclude that plunder of natural resources and the ability to externalize much of the cost have been  major contributors right through the present day to the success of American capitalism.  Michael Hudson has described the plunder process in his many books and articles, as has John Perkins in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.

Essentially, capitalism is a plunder mechanism that generates short-run profits by externalizing long-run costs.  It exhausts natural resources, including air, land, and water, for temporary profits while imposing most of its costs, such as pollution, on the environment.  An example is the destruction of the Amazon rain forest by loggers.  The world loses a massive carbon sink that stabilizes the global climate, and loggers gain short-run profits that are a tiny percentage of the long-run costs.

This destructive process is amplified by the inherently short-run time perspective of capitalist activity which seldom extends beyond the next quarter.  

US economic success was also a result of a strong consumer demand fed by rising real wages as technological advances in manufacturing raised the productivity of labor and consumer purchasing power. The middle class became dominant. When I was an economics student, Paul Samuelson taught us that American prosperity was based entirely on the large American consumer market and had nothing to do with foreign trade.  Indeed, foreign trade was a minor factor in American GDP.  America had such a large domestic consumer market that the US did not need foreign trade to enjoy economics of scale.

All of this changed with the rise of free market ideology and the collapse of the Soviet Union. When I was a student we were taught that boards of directors and corporate executives had responsibilities to their employees, their customers, their communities, and to their shareholders.  These responsibilities were all equally valid and needed to be kept in balance.

In response to liberals, who tried to impose more and more “social responsibilities” on corporations, free market economists responded with the argument that, in fact, corporations only have responsibilities to their owners. Rightly or wrongly, this reactive argument is blamed on Milton Friedman.  Conservative foundations set about teaching jurists and legislators that companies were only responsible to owners.

Judges were taught that ownership is specific and cannot be abridged by government imposing obligations on the investments of owners for responsibilities that do not benefit the owners. This argument was used to terminate all responsibilities except to shareholders and left profit maximization as the corporate goal.

Thus, when the Soviet Union collapsed and China and India opened their economies to foreign capital, US corporations were free to desert their work forces and home towns and use cheaper labor abroad to produce the goods and services sold to Americans. This increased their profits and, thereby, executive bonuses and shareholder capital gains at the expense of the livelihoods of their former domestic work force and tax base of their local communities and states.  The external costs of the larger profits were born by their former employees and the impaired financial condition of states and localities. These costs greatly exceed the higher profits.

Generally speaking, economists assume away external costs.  Their mantra is that progress fixes everything.  But their measures of progress are deceptive.  Ecological economists, such as Herman Daly, have raised the issue whether, considering the neglect of external costs and the inaccurate way in which GDP is measured, announced increases in GDP exceed in value the cost of producing them.  It is entirely possible that GDP growth is simply an artifact of not counting all of the costs of production.

As we approach the end of the second decade of the 21st century, the long history of American capitalism fed by plunder seems to be coming to an end simultaneously with the ability of the US central bank to protect existing financial wealth by creating ever more money with which to support stock, bond, and real estate prices.  The US has a long history of overthrowing reformist governments in Latin America that threatened American control over their resources.  Washington’s coups against democracy and self-determination succeeded until Venezuela.  Washington’s coup against Chavez was overturned by the Venezuelan people and military, and so far Washington’s attempt to overthrow Chavez’s successor, Maduro, has failed.

Washington’s attempt to overthrow the Syrian government was prevented by Russia, and most likely Russia and China will prevent Washington from overthrowing the government of Iran.  In Africa the Chinese are proving to be better business partners than the exploitative American corporations.  To continue feeding the empire with its heavy costs is becoming more difficult.

Washington’s policy of sanctions is making it even more difficult. To avoid the arbitrary and illegal sanctions, other countries are starting to abandon the US dollar as the currency of international transactions and arranging to settle their international accounts in their domestic currencies. China’s Silk Road encompasses Russia with much of Asia in a trade bloc independent of the Western financial system.  Other countries hoping to escape US control are turning to Russia and China to achieve sovereignty from Washington.  These developments will reduce the demand for dollars and impair US financial hegemony.  Alternatives to the World Bank will remove areas of the world from the reach of US plunder.

As plunderable resources diminish, American capitalism, which is heavily dependent on plunder, will have one foundation of its success removed.  As aggregate consumer demand collapses from the absence of growth in real income, absence of middle class jobs, and the extreme polarization of income and wealth in the US, another pillar of American capitalism disintegrates.  As business investment has also collapsed, as indicated by the use of corporate profits and borrowing to repurchase the corporations’ equity, thus decapitalizing the companies, total aggregate demand itself collapses.

The absence of growth in aggregate demand will make the gap between high stock prices and dismal prospects for corporate profits too great to be bridged by the Federal Reserve flooding money into financial assets.  Without the ability to prop up financial asset prices with money creation, flight from dollar-denominated assets could bring down the US dollar.

What is left will be a ruin.

Source: America’s Collapse: Paul Craig Roberts Exposes An Economy Based On Plunder

Five Good Reasons Why Nationalism is Christian — Pulpit & Pen

Nationalism is not Christianity, but it is Christian. There is much confusion about the ideology of Nationalism in recent months, and much of it is being propagated by those who oppose Christianity altogether. Here are five good reasons why Nationalism is Christian, and why Christians should be Nationalists.

This is an important topic to understand, considering leftist evangelicals overcome by the ideology of Cultural and Economic Marxism published earlier this week a statement called, Christians Against Christian Nationalism.

To those indoctrinated by Globalist ideas, Nationalism is often spoken of in derision, without knowledge as to what it is.

Definitions

First, a few definitions are in order. Nationalism is a term denoting belief that the nation-state political unit, or body-politic, is an essential component in the preservation of civil liberties and individual rights. The opposite of Nationalism is Globalism, a belief that nation-states should be either non-existent or be subordinate to global and/or regional governments and international bodies. Those holding to Nationalism are most concerned with civil liberties, and those holding to Globalism are most concerned with what they call ‘human flourishing.’

Historically, since the time of the Reformation – as the West was dividing into nation-states independent of the Roman Church and the concept of religious freedom and individual rights were being formulated by thinkers like John Locke – Western Civilization has endorsed Nationalism over the utilitarian ideas that would come to be known as Globalism. During this period of time, ideas were formulated that asserted a nation-state’s main purpose as supporting the rights and interests of its Peoples.

A nation-state is an individual body-politic that maintains sovereign geographical borders, a common culture, and common language. Without these three things, there is no independent or unique nation-state that can exist. In this sense, nation-state refers to body-politics and not ethnic, tribal, or religious groups.

What Nationalism Does Not Mean

Nationalism does not imply hatred or bigotry toward other nations. Rather, it merely asserts that the goal of the nation-state is to preserve the rights of its people against foreign or domestic enemies.

Furthermore, Nationalism does not imply isolationism from other nations. Nationalists often see value in healthy diplomatic relationships with other nations.

Likewise, Nationalism does not imply that any nation-state is innately made by God as superior to another. It does acknowledge the reality that some nations are less or more pleasing to God by their actions, laws, and fulfillment of the roles of government as seen in 1 Peter 2 or Romans 13. Nationalism is a realistic outlook on the world, and can acknowledge that some nation-states are currently better places to live than others, but deny that any nation is innately less than another.

Nationalism does not imply that only one nation-state may be exceptional, or special to God. It does not have to imply that any nation is special to God.

As Nationalism requires sovereign borders, common culture, and common language it does not by necessity imply the enforcement of any particular religion, although it is understood that religion helps to create culture. However, especially in Western Civilization, nation-states have not typically required religious hegemony enforced by national governments, even in majority Christian nations.

Nationalism does not imply any bigotry toward various ethnicities, because a nation-state – with common sovereign borders, a common language, and a common culture – can exist with people from all various ethnicities. America’s rich heritage as a “melting pot” of various ethnic groups who choose to identify merely as Americans, demonstrates this fact. People of any skin color, melanin count, or ethnic heritage may have an equal place in the nation-state, should they choose to honor sovereign borders, a common language, and common culture.

Finally, the historic principle of Nationalism upon which Western Civilization was born, is not synonymous with Christian Nationalism, White Nationalism, Black Nationalism, or any other kind of Nationalism. These represent a conflation of ideas that are unhelpful for a productive conversation about the best kind of government.

Here are five good reasons why Nationalism is Christian.

Read more: Five Good Reasons Why Nationalism is Christian — Pulpit & Pen

August 4, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

To Glorify God’s Integrity

just as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob.” “And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. (11:26b–29)

Scripture is replete with affirmations of God’s utter truthfulness and trustworthiness. “God is not a man, that He should lie,” Balaam informed Balak, “nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Num. 23:19). The writer of Hebrews gives the encouraging assurance, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23). From Peter we have a similar affirmation: “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). God’s promises are certain and they are punctual. They will be fulfilled in exactly the way and at exactly the time that the Lord has determined and declared. Others cannot thwart God’s promises, and He Himself will not break them. In every form and to every degree, His Word is immutable.

As he nears the conclusion of this momentous section on God’s dealing with Israel (chaps. 9–11), Paul emphasizes once again God’s sovereignty and integrity. In saving “all Israel,” the Lord will display Himself to the One who always keeps His promises and fulfills His covenants. Just as it is written, Paul says, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob” (emphasis added; cf. Isa. 59:20–21). Quoting again from Isaiah, he then says, “And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins” (cf. Isa. 27:9).

Salvation is the forgiveness and removal of sin, the eradication of that which separates fallen man from the holy God. The power of salvation is God’s grace, and the condition of salvation is man’s faith. But even that required faith is divinely provided. As Paul has already made clear, our calling to salvation, our justification, sanctification, and glorification all flow from God’s sovereign grace, the fruit of His divine foreknowledge and predestination (Rom. 8:29–30).

The ultimate salvation of Israel is also assured by divine certainty. In order for “all Israel [to] be saved,” all her sin must be forgiven and removed. And that is expressly what God promises to do: remove ungodliness from Jacob and take away their sins. The promise is unconditional. It will not depend on Israel’s deciding on its own to comeback to the Lord but on the Lord’s sovereignly bringing Israel back to Himself.

Perhaps God’s most dramatic promise of final, unconditional dealing with His chosen people Israel is seen in the mysterious and unique covenant He made with Abraham that is described in Genesis 15. In answer to the patriarch’s question, “O Lord God, how may I know that I shall possess [the land]?” God directed him to take “a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram” and to cut them in half (vv. 8–9). The parts of each animal were then laid out opposite each other, along with a turtledove and a pigeon. After causing Abraham to fall into a deep sleep, God alone passed between the pieces, thereby sealing several divine promises. Abraham would die peacefully in old age; after 400 years of oppression and enslavement, his descendants would be delivered from a foreign nation; and God’s promise of the land was reiterated (vv. 10–21). But unlike other covenants, not only its terms but its ratification were wholly God’s doing. Despite his being asleep, Abraham was aware of what God was doing and saying, but only as a silent onlooker. Abraham was not required so much as to acknowledge, much less agree to, this covenant. The promises were without condition. This covenant amounted to a divine and unalterable declaration, to which God bound Himself in the unique act described in this passage.

Paul continues to explain that, from the standpoint of the gospel they [Israel] are enemies for your [the Gentile’s] sake, but from the standpoint of God’s choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers. As he has already explained at some length (vv. 11–24), because of Israel’s transgression in rejecting her Messiah, she was set aside—becoming God’s enemies, as it were—in order that salvation could come to the Gentiles. That was her temporary situation from the standpoint of the gospel. But from the permanent, eternal standpoint of God’s sovereign choice, Israel is even now (they are) and forever will be beloved for the sake of the fathers—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

When the Lord elected (by divine choice) the nation of Israel to be His own people, He bound Himself by His own promises to bring the Jews to salvation and to be forever His beloved and holy people. During this present age, Israel might be called the “beloved” enemies of God. Because of unbelief, they are, like all the unsaved, at enmity with God (Rom. 5:10; 8:7). But God’s eternal election guarantees that their enmity is not permanent, for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. Gifts translates charismata, which carries the fuller connotation of grace gifts, gifts flowing from the pure and wholly unmerited favor of God. Calling refers to God’s divine election of Israel to be His holy people. God will not change His plan for Israel’s spiritual regeneration.

Just as God’s sovereign grace and election cannot be earned, neither can they be rejected or thwarted. They are irrevocable and unalterable. Nothing, therefore, can prevent Israel’s being saved and restored—not even her own rebellion and unbelief, because, as Paul has just declared, her ungodliness will be sovereignly removed and her sins graciously taken away (vv. 26–27). What is true of elected believers is true of elected Israel: “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thess. 5:24).[1]


“All Israel Will Be Saved”

Romans 11:26–27

And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

“The deliverer will come from Zion;

he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.

And this is my covenant with them

when I take away their sins.”

About one hundred years ago, Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, was having a discussion with his chaplain about the truth of the Bible. The king had become skeptical about Christianity, largely through the influence of the French atheist Voltaire. So he said to his chaplain, “If your Bible is really true, it ought to be capable of very easy proof. So often, when I have asked for proof of the inspiration of the Bible, I have been given some large tome that I have neither the time nor desire to read. If your Bible is really from God, you should be able to demonstrate the fact simply. Give me proof for the inspiration of the Bible in a word.”

The chaplain replied, “Your Majesty, it is possible for me to answer your request literally. I can give you the proof you ask for in one word.”

Frederick was amazed at this response. “What is this magic word that carries such a weight of proof?” he asked.

“Israel,” said the chaplain.

Frederick was silent.

There are many other proofs for Christianity, of course. But it can hardly be doubted that the continuing existence of Israel as a distinct people throughout the four thousand years of her history is a striking phenomenon. Dispossessed of her homeland and dispersed throughout the world, Israel has nevertheless survived while other peoples in similar situations have not. Coupled with the Bible’s identification of the Jews as God’s elect people and its many prophecies concerning their unfolding history, the preservation of Israel as a people is strong evidence for the Bible being the inspired and inerrant Word of God.

Even more than that, and much to the purpose for our study, the survival of Israel suggests that God has preserved these people through their many dispersions and persecutions not because he does not care for them, but because he does, and because he has a plan for the Jewish people that will unfold in blessing in the last days.

Proof from Isaiah

Romans 11:26 is the conclusion and clearest statement of this argument, the bottom line of Paul’s discussion of God’s historical purposes with the Jews, namely, that in the last days God will fulfill his promises to the Jews nationally by bringing the mass of Israel to faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah: “And so all Israel will be saved.”

We have already made that point several times over in the studies that have been leading up to this one, but what is unique about verse 26 is the fact that here at last Paul proves his argument from the Old Testament. This has been his pattern before, as I have already pointed out several times. Paul’s pattern is to make his argument first and then, when he has completed it, to nail it down with one or more Old Testament citations. He did this in chapter 3, after having argued the case for human depravity. He did it again in chapter 4, after explaining the gospel at the end of the previous chapter. The same pattern was followed in chapters 9 and 10.

This is opposite to the pattern followed by the apostle Peter, to give just one contrary example. In his sermon on Pentecost, Peter first gave his texts and then argued from them, rather than the other way around. He did this three times, expounding Christian truth on the basis of Joel 2:28–32; Psalm 16:8–11, and Psalm 110:1 (cf. Acts 2:14–41).

In Romans 11, Paul proves his argument concerning Israel by a quotation from Isaiah 59:20–21. Isaiah 27:9; Jeremiah 31:33–34, and Psalm 14:7 may have also been in his mind, since he seems to have included wording from those additional verses in his quotation.

However, there are two ways in which this quotation can be taken, and, not surprisingly, they correspond to the two ways of looking at what Paul is saying about Israel, which I have already examined. The text could be saying that the Redeemer will emerge out of Israel in order to take away the people’s sins by his death on the cross. In that case, it would be a reference to Jesus’ first coming and earthly ministry. Or else it could be saying that Jesus will come out of heaven to Israel in order to turn the hearts of the people from unbelief to faith. In this case, it would (or could) be referring to a time of future blessing. Those who do not believe in a future period of national conversion for Israel naturally incline to the former interpretation. Those who think Paul is prophesying an age of future blessing choose the latter.

I have already indicated my reasons for choosing the second of these views. I add here that in my judgment the emphasis in Paul’s quotation of Isaiah 59:20 is on the future tense of the verb “to be,” that is, the words “will come.” From Isaiah’s point in history, to say that the Messiah “will come” could be a reference only to Jesus’ first coming. But from Paul’s vantage point, which followed that first coming, the verb must be looking to a period still future, and Paul must be thinking of it.

Here are two observations that are very important.

  1. Although by itself the passage in Isaiah could refer either to the first coming of Jesus or to a time of future blessing of Israel by God, from the point at which Paul under the guidance of the Holy Spirit has interpreted it as referring to this future blessing, we have the proper meaning and ought to interpret the verses in this way. In other words, to go back to the idea of the “mystery” Paul says he is revealing (v. 25), it is as if Paul acknowledges that readers of the Bible could not be sure what Isaiah was referring to before this revelation but that now we can be sure of it because of what he is teaching.

Robert Haldane says, “We may be assured that the Apostle, speaking by the same Spirit as the Prophet, and directed by the Spirit to quote him, has … given the meaning of his words.”

Following a similar line of thought, Charles Hodge says, “We are, of course, bound to receive the apostle’s interpretation as correct.”

  1. My second observation is that this positions us to see many passages that might otherwise be construed as referring only to a past blessing as actually referring to a day of future blessing, or at least possibly referring to it. This is what John Murray is arguing when he says, “This express application is an index to the principle of interpretation which would have to be applied to many other Old Testament passages which are in the same vein as Isaiah 59:20, 21, namely, that they comprise the promise of an expansion of gospel blessing such as Paul enunciates in verses 25, 26.”

If that is right, this is the place in our exposition to recognize that there are other Old Testament texts that should be seen as prophesying the future conversion of the mass of Israel and to look at some of them.

Old Testament Texts

There must be hundreds of such passages. An exhaustive study would fill volumes. Yet here are some that are especially significant.

  1. Jeremiah 16:14–16. “ ‘… the days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when men will no longer say, “As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,” but they will say, “As surely as the Lord lives, who brought Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.” For I will restore them to the land I gave their forefathers. But now I will send for many fishermen,’ declares the Lord, ‘and they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks.’ ”

Since Jeremiah was writing before the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonian armies under Nebuchadnezzar, this might be taken as a prophecy of the return of the Jews to Judah in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, and it may even have had a partial fulfillment at that time. However, in view of the apostle Paul’s understanding of Isaiah 59:20–21, it may also be referring to a more important return of Israel to her ancient homeland in the last days.

In fact, when we begin to think of the text along these lines, the words “and out of all the countries where he had banished them” take on new meaning. For now the prophecy is seen not merely as foretelling the return of the Jews from one nation alone, that is, from Babylon, but from all the world’s nations, where the Jews have indeed been scattered and from which they must come if they are to return to the land of Israel.

  1. Jeremiah 32:36–40. In Jeremiah 32, the chapter in which God tells Jeremiah to buy a field as a symbol of his lasting commitment to the Jewish homeland, God says, “You are saying about this city, ‘By the sword, famine and plague it will be handed over to the king of Babylon’; but this is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.”

Like Jeremiah 16:14–16, this passage seems at first to be referring only to the return of the Jews to Jerusalem from Babylon, even though some of the elements in the prophecy do not seem to fit perfectly, for instance, that the people will serve God in “singleness of heart” and “always fear” him, and that God will make “an everlasting covenant with them.” Singleness of heart hardly describes the history of the people from the days of Ezra and Nehemiah on. In fact, they were as wayward then as ever, and in the days of Jesus they actually turned against their Messiah.

On the other hand, as soon as we begin to think in terms of a still future blessing, the idea of “singleness of heart” and “always fearing” God and “an everlasting covenant” have an exact meaning and are seen to refer to the same future conversion of the mass of Israel that Paul is prophesying.

  1. Hosea 1:10 and 2:21–23. A classic and often re-echoed prophecy of this future age is found in Hosea’s symbolic naming of his children and God’s promise to change their names in that day. Hosea called his children Jezreel (meaning “scattered”), Lo-Ruhamah (meaning “Not-Loved”), and Lo-Ammi (meaning “Not-My-People”). But God said, changing the names to Planted, Loved, and My People, “I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one,’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’ ” (See study 135, “ ‘Children of the Living God,’ ” in this volume.)

There are prophecies similar to this toward the end of many of the minor prophets (cf. Joel 3:17–21; Amos 9:11–15; Micah 7:8–20; Zeph. 3:9–20).

  1. Zechariah 12–14. Special attention should be given to the last three chapters of Zechariah, which are presented as “an oracle” about the final days. The words “on that day,” which customarily refer to God’s final wrapping-up of history, including the last judgment, occur sixteen times and tie the chapters together. These chapters describe a time in which:

First, God will deliver Jerusalem from the nations of the earth, which are attacking her (12:1–9),

Second, the people will “look on … the one they have pierced” and “mourn for him” (12:10–13),

Third, a “fountain” will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem “to cleanse them from sin and impurity” (13:1–3),

Fourth, the people will call on God, causing him to say, as in Hosea 2:23, “They are my people,” and the people to say, “The Lord is our God” (13:9),

Fifth, the Lord will descend on the Mount of Olives to save the people in a time of great trouble, deliver Jerusalem, and bring prosperity to the land (14:1–15),

Sixth, Gentiles will go to Jerusalem to worship God (14:16–19), and

Seventh, the people will become holy in all they are and do (14:20–21).

Nothing like this has ever happened; therefore, it must be future. Besides, these things were written after the regathering of the people in the days of Nehemiah and Ezra, which means that they cannot refer to those past days but must refer instead to a time yet future. That is, they must refer to the time of future Jewish belief about which Paul is writing.

Jews for Jesus

At this point the natural reaction is to say that widespread Jewish conversions are unlikely, considering the traditionally strong opposition of Judaism to Jesus and Christianity. But even if we are only looking at this from a human point of view, it may not be as far out as many think, because there seems to be a new interest in Jesus by Jewish thinkers.

Sholem Asch, a Polish Jew who was one of the best-known Jewish writers of his day, said in an interview published in the Christian Herald many years ago:

Since I first met him [Jesus], he has held my mind and heart.… I was seeking that something for which so many of us search—that surety, that faith, that spiritual content in my living which would bring me peace and through which I might bring some peace to others. I found it in the Nazarene.…

Jesus Christ, to me, is the outstanding personality of all time, of all history, both as Son of God and as Son of Man.… No other religious leader … has ever become so personal a part of people as The Nazarene. When you understand Jesus, you understand that he came to save you, to come into your personality. It isn’t just a case of a misty, uncertain relationship between a worshipper and an unseen God; that is abstract; Jesus is personal.”

Constantine Brunner, the German Jewish philosopher, looked upon Jesus as the great representative of pure Judaism. He wrote:

Is it only the Jew who is incapable of seeing and hearing all that others see and hear? Are the Jews stricken with blindness and deafness as regards Messiah Jesus, so that to them alone he has nothing to say?… Understand, then, what we shall do: We shall bring him back to us. Messiah Jesus is not dead for us—for us he has not yet lived: and he will not slay us, he will make us alive again. His profound and holy words, and all that is true and heart-appealing in the New Testament, must from now on be heard in our synagogues and taught to our children, in order that the wrong we had committed may be made good, the curse turned into a blessing, and that he at last may find us who has always been seeking after us.

Ferdynand Zweig, a contemporary English Jew who has taught at the Hebrew and Tel Aviv universities, says, “The Jewish religion seems to be at present to the large mass of Israeli Jews uninspiring and uninspired. Could it be that Jesus could give it a new lease of life?”

Hans Joachim Schoeps, the Jewish theologian who taught the history of religion at Erlangen University in Germany, wrote:

The Messianism of Israel aims at that which is to come, the eschatology of the Gentile church at the return of him who has come. Both elective covenants confront the ebb and flow of the finite world in the shared expectation that the decisive event is still to come—the goal of the ways of God that he travels with mankind in Israel and in the Church. The church of Jesus Christ has preserved no portrait of its lord and savior. If Jesus were to come again tomorrow, no Christian would know his face. But it might well be that he who is coming at the end of days, he who is awaited by the synagogue as by the church, is one, with one and the same face.

None of these authors has accepted Jesus as his personal Savior from sin, and no one would say on the basis of these quotations that the Jews as a whole are ready to accept Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah. But they do indicate what even many Jews are calling a new openness to Jesus and suggest, to Christians at least, that the time of future national conversion that Paul writes of in Romans, may not be far distant.

Jews and the Gentile Church

I close with a few observations on what God’s historical dealings with the Jewish people mean for today’s largely Gentile church.

First, the experience of Israel through the thousands of years of her history is a demonstration of the biblical principle that where there is obedience there will be blessing, and where there is disobedience there will be judgments. Israel has suffered many judgments during the centuries of her disobedience to God’s law and rejection of God’s Messiah. But it is the same for Christians. God is not mocked. If we disobey God’s Word and persist in going our own way, God will discipline us, gently if he can but also forcefully if he must. Many believers have been so disciplined. You may be one. Learn from it. You cannot fight against God successfully.

Second, God is faithful to his covenant. We are going to pursue this in our next study, because it is the explicit teaching of Romans 11:27 (“And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins”). This is an encouragement because it tells us that God will not give up on those whom he has chosen, even if our sins cause him to turn away his face for a time.

Third, there is a lesson about grace. For ultimately that is what this discussion is all about. God’s relationship to Israel is a tremendous illustration of his grace. Chosen, yet frightfully disobedient, even to the point of rejecting and actually killing the very Son of God sent to them, Israel nevertheless has been loved by God, continues to be loved by him, and will one day be brought back to God—because God is gracious. This is our God, too. The New Testament calls today the day of God’s grace.

But this day of grace will not last forever, and the regathering of Israel in her own land may indicate that God’s days of grace are fast drawing to a close. Where do you stand in your relationship to Jesus, who came into this world and died on the cross to save you?

He is coming again! Will you be ready for him when he comes?

The Bible says, “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?” (Heb. 2:1–3a).[2]


26. And so all Israel, &c. Many understand this of the Jewish people, as though Paul had said, that religion would again be restored among them as before: but I extend the word Israel to all the people of God, according to this meaning,—“When the Gentiles shall come in, the Jews also shall return from their defection to the obedience of faith; and thus shall be completed the salvation of the whole Israel of God, which must be gathered from both; and yet in such a way that the Jews shall obtain the first place, being as it were the first-born in God’s family.” This interpretation seems to me the most suitable, because Paul intended here to set forth the completion of the kingdom of Christ, which is by no means to be confined to the Jews, but is to include the whole world. The same manner of speaking we find in Gal. 6:16. The Israel of God is what he calls the Church, gathered alike from Jews and Gentiles; and he sets the people, thus collected from their dispersion, in opposition to the carnal children of Abraham, who had departed from his faith.

As it is written, &c. He does not confirm the whole passage by this testimony of Isaiah, (Is. 59:20,) but only one clause,—that the children of Abraham shall be partakers of redemption. But if one takes this view,—that Christ had been promised and offered to them, but that as they rejected him, they were deprived of his grace; yet the Prophet’s words express more, even this,—that there will be some remnant, who, having repented, shall enjoy the favour of deliverance.

Paul, however, does not quote what we read in Isaiah, word for word; “come,” he says, “shall a Redeemer to Sion, and to those who shall repent of iniquity in Jacob, saith the Lord.” (Is. 59:20.) But on this point we need not be very curious; only this is to be regarded, that the Apostles suitably apply to their purpose whatever proofs they adduce from the Old Testament; for their object was to point but passages, as it were by the finger, that readers might be directed to the fountain itself.

But though in this prophecy deliverance to the spiritual people of God is promised, among whom even Gentiles are included; yet as the Jews are the first-born, what the Prophet declares must be fulfilled, especially in them: for that Scripture calls all the people of God Israelites, is to be ascribed to the pre-eminence of that nation, whom God had preferred to all other nations. And then, from a regard to the ancient covenant, he says expressly, that a Redeemer shall come to Sion; and he adds, that he will redeem those in Jacob who shall return from their transgression. By these words God distinctly claims for himself a certain seed, so that his redemption may be effectual in his elect and peculiar nation. And though fitter for his purpose would have been the expression used by the Prophet, “shall come to Sion;” yet Paul made no scruple to follow the commonly received translation, which reads, “The Redeemer shall come forth from Mount Sion.” And similar is the case as to the second part, “He shall turn away iniquities from Jacob:” for Paul thought it enough to regard this point only,—that as it is Christ’s peculiar office to reconcile to God an apostate and faithless people, some change was surely to be looked for, lest they should all perish together.[3]


26a  The first clause of v. 26 is the storm center in the interpretation of Rom. 9–11 and of NT teaching about the Jews and their future. Three issues must be settled: the meaning and reference of houtōs (“in this way”); the reference of pas Israēl (“all Israel”); and the time and manner of all Israel’s salvation (sōthēsetai).

We have four basic options in the interpretation of the word houtōs. First, it might have a temporal meaning: “And then [after the events depicted in v. 25b] all Israel will be saved.” But Fitzmyer seems to be right: “a temporal meaning of houtōs is not otherwise found in Greek.” Second, houtōs could introduce a consequence or conclusion: “And in consequence of this process [v. 25b] all Israel will be saved.” This use of houtōs is attested in Greek and in Paul, but it is rare, and there seems no good reason to abandon the usual meaning of the word, which is to denote the manner in which an action takes place. A third option understands houtōs to have this meaning and connects it with the “just as it is written” formula that follows: “It is in this way that Israel will be saved: namely, just as it is written.…” But Paul never elsewhere pairs houtōs and “just as it is written.” Therefore the fourth option—taking houtōs to indicate manner and linking it with what comes before—is to be preferred: “And in this manner all Israel will be saved.” The “manner” of Israel’s salvation is the process that Paul has outlined in vv. 11–24 and summarized in v. 25b: God imposes a hardening on most of Israel while Gentiles come into the messianic salvation, with the Gentiles’ salvation leading in turn to Israel’s jealousy and her own salvation. But this means that houtōs, while not having a temporal meaning, has a temporal reference: for the manner in which all Israel is saved involves a process that unfolds in definite stages.

But what is the “all Israel” so destined to be saved? We can best answer that question by examining the interpretive possibilities, beginning with the word “Israel” and then moving on to the word “all.”

Pauline usage makes it possible to define “Israel” as (1) the community of the elect, including both Jews and Gentiles; (2) the nation of Israel; or (3) the elect within Israel. The first of these options received some support in the very early church and became especially widespread in the post-Reformation period but has received less support in the modern period.46 Moreover, this lack of support seems to be justified. Paul has used the term “Israel” ten times so far in Rom. 9–11, and each refers to ethnic Israel. This clearly is the meaning of the term in v. 25b, and a shift from this ethnic denotation to a purely religious one in v. 26a—despite the “all”—is unlikely. But another factor is even more damaging to the idea that Paul uses Israel in v. 26a to refer to the church generally: the hortatory purpose of Rom. 11:11–32. Paul’s view of the continuity of salvation history certainly allows him to transfer the OT title of the people of God to the NT people of God, as Gal. 6:16 probably indicates (cf. also Phil. 3:3). And this same theology surfaces in Romans itself, as Paul argues that Abraham’s “seed” consists of faithful Jews and Gentiles (4:13–18). But the difference in purpose between Rom. 11 and these other texts makes it unlikely that Paul would make the semantic move of using Israel to denote the church here. In both Galatians and Rom. 4 Paul is arguing that Gentiles, as Gentiles, can become recipients of the blessings promised to Abraham and full members of the people of God. Paul’s application to Gentiles of OT people-of-God language is perfectly appropriate in such contexts. But Paul’s purpose in Rom. 11 is almost the opposite. Here, he counters a tendency for Gentiles to appropriate for themselves exclusively the rights and titles of “God’s people.” For Paul in this context to call the church “Israel” would be to fuel the fire of the Gentiles’ arrogance by giving them grounds to brag that “we are the true Israel.”

The choice between the other two options is more difficult to make. Paul uses “Israel” in Rom. 9–11 of both the nation generally and of the elect from within Israel, as 9:6b succinctly reveals: “not all who are from Israel [the nation] are Israel [the elect].” If Paul uses “Israel” here in the latter sense, he would be affirming that all elect Jews would be saved. Some have dismissed this interpretation because it would turn Paul’s prediction into a purposeless truism: after all, by definition those who are elect will be saved. But this objection is not decisive. As we have seen, Paul’s focus is not so much on the fact that all Israel will be saved as on the manner in which it will be saved. A more serious objection to this interpretation is that it requires a shift in the meaning of “Israel” from v. 25b to v. 26a since the Israel that has been partially hardened is clearly national Israel. For this reason, and also because of the usual meaning of the phrase “all Israel” (see below), I incline slightly to the view that Israel in v. 26a refers to the nation generally.

What, then, is the significance of Paul’s emphasis that it is all the nation of Israel that will be saved? A few scholars have insisted that this must indicate the salvation of every single Jew. But Paul writes “all Israel,”54 not “every Israelite”—and the difference is an important one. “All Israel,” as the OT and Jewish sources demonstrate, has a corporate significance, referring to the nation as a whole and not to every single individual who is a part of that nation. The phrase is similar, then, to those that we sometimes use to denote a large and representative number from a group; that is, “the whole school turned out to see the football game”; “the whole nation was outraged at the incident.” A more difficult issue is whether “all Israel” refers to the nation as a whole as it has existed throughout history (a “diachronic” sense) or to the nation as a whole as it exists at one moment in history (a “synchronic” sense).57 In favor of the former is the “all,” which, it could be argued, is hardly justified if Paul has in mind only the nation at one moment of time, excluding the many millions of Jews who have lived at other periods. But usage of the expression “all Israel” and the perspective from which Paul writes favor the synchronic sense. No occurrence of the phrase “all Israel” has a clearly diachronic meaning. And Paul, we must remember, is not consciously thinking in terms of the passing of many centuries before these events are completed, but of a potentially very short time.

We conclude that Paul is probably using the phrase “all Israel” to denote the corporate entity of the nation of Israel as it exists at a particular point in time. We must note, however, that the interpretation that takes the phrase to refer to the elect among Israel throughout time deserves consideration as a serious alternative.

We turn, finally, to the question of the time and manner of “all Israel’s” salvation. Many points that I have already made in the course of my interpretation of vv. 11–24 and of vv. 25–26a in particular make clear that Paul places this event at the time of the end.

(1) The prediction of v. 26a seems to match the third step in the salvation-historical process that Paul describes throughout these verses (“their fullness” [v. 12]; “their acceptance” [v. 15]; the grafting in again of natural branches [v. 24]; cf. also vv. 30–31). Since Paul makes clear that this reintegration of Israel is in contrast to the situation as it exists in his own time—when Israel is “rejected”—it must be a future event.

(2) The specific point in the future when this will occur is indicated by Paul’s probable connection between Israel’s “acceptance” and the eschatological resurrection of the dead (v. 15).

(3) The implication of v. 25b is that the current partial hardening of Israel will be reversed when all the elect Gentiles have been saved; and it is unlikely that Paul would think that salvation would be closed to Gentiles before the end.

We may add to these points two others drawn from v. 26 itself. First, the OT quotation that Paul cites in v. 26b–27 to confirm the truth that “all Israel will be saved” probably refers to the second coming of Christ (see below). Second, the hope of a spiritual rejuvenation of the nation of Israel is endemic in the OT prophets and in Jewish apocalyptic. This rejuvenation is often pictured as a regathering of Jews that reverses the judgment of Israel’s exile and that ushers in the eschatological age. Paul—and the rest of the NT—teaches that the coming of Christ has brought the fulfillment of many of these prophecies about Israel’s renewal. But Paul’s language in Rom. 11 seems deliberately calculated to restate this traditional hope for Israel’s renewal. His point seems to be that the present situation in salvation history, in which so few Jews are being saved, cannot finally do full justice to the scriptural expectations about Israel’s future. Something “more” is to be expected; and this “more,” Paul implies, is a large-scale conversion of Jewish people at the end of this age. The corporate significance of “all Israel” makes it impossible to reckon the actual percentage of Jews living at that time who will be saved. But the contrast between the remnant and “all Israel” would suggest a significantly larger percentage than was the case in Paul’s day. Nor is it possible to be precise about the exact timing of the conversion of Israel in comparison with other events of the end times, although the fact that it will take place only after the salvation of all elect Gentiles suggests that it will be closely associated with the return of Christ in glory.

How will this eschatological salvation of “all Israel” happen? Several scholars have argued recently that the absence of any specific christological language in Rom. 11 is very significant for this question. They think that this absence is deliberate and that Paul is implying that Israel will be saved in a “special way,” a different way than the faith in Christ required of Gentiles for salvation. The most extreme form of this view finds in Rom. 11 the exegetical basis for a “bi-covenantal” theology, according to which Gentiles are saved in their (“new”) covenant by faith in Christ while Jews are saved in their (Mosaic) covenant by their adherence to torah. Such a view, allowing as it does for both the Jew and the Christian to affirm the integrity of each other’s religion, has proved quite attractive to our “post-holocaust” and pluralistic age. But Paul knows nothing of it. He teaches that salvation can be found in one place only: within the one community made up of those who believe in Jesus Christ. There is only one tree, and one becomes attached to this tree by faith: Jews can be grafted back in only if they do not persist in unbelief (v. 23). Nor can the absence of the name of Christ in Rom. 11 justify the conclusion that this faith need not be faith in Christ. Paul has defined the faith he is talking about here quite adequately in the first ten chapters of the letter: it is faith in Jesus Christ (see esp. 3:22, 26; 10:4–13). As Paul has made clear in the immediately preceding chapter, faith is inextricably tied to Jesus and his resurrection victory (10:9), and it is this faith that brings salvation to Gentile and Jew alike (10:10–13). Jews, like Gentiles, can be saved only by responding to the gospel and being grafted into the one people of God. Paul has certainly not forgotten his great summary of the theme of his letter as he writes chap. 11: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation for all who believe, for the Jew first, and then for the Gentile” (1:16). The end-time conversion of a large number of Jews will therefore come about only through their faith in the gospel of Jesus the Messiah.65

26b–27  As Paul has done in the conclusions of each of the other main parts of his argument in Rom. 9–11 (cf. 9:25–29; 10:21–21; 11:8–10), he reinforces his teaching with a composite quotation from the OT. He quotes Isa. 59:20–21a in vv. 26b–27a and a clause from Isa. 27:9 in v. 27b. Both parts of the quotation follow the LXX closely, with one notable exception: where the LXX of Isa. 59:20 says that “the redeemer will come for the sake of [heneken] Zion,” Paul says “the redeemer will come out of [ek] Zion.” And not only does Paul’s reading differ from the LXX, it differs also from the Hebrew text and from every known pre-Pauline text and version. How are we to account for this variation? Paul may have inadvertently assimilated this text to others in the OT that speak of Israel’s deliverance as coming “from Zion” (cf. Ps. 13:7; 53:7; 110:2). He may have deliberately changed the wording to make a point: to show that Christ, “the redeemer,” originates from the Jewish people (cf. 9:5); to show that the final “missionary” to the Gentiles, Christ, comes, like the present missionaries to the Gentiles, from Jerusalem (cf. 15:19); or to show that Christ will save Israel by coming from the “heavenly” Zion at his parousia.71 Or Paul may, in fact, be faithfully quoting from a form of the LXX text that we no longer have.72 The last alternative must certainly be taken seriously, but it is perhaps on the whole best to think that Paul is assuming the tradition that surfaces in Heb. 12:22, according to which “Zion” is associated with the heavenly Jerusalem, the site of Christ’s high-priestly ministry. If so, he probably changes the text in order to make clear that the final deliverance of Israel is accomplished by Christ at his parousia.74

While, therefore, the “redeemer” in Isa. 59:20 is Yahweh himself, Paul probably intends to identify Christ as the redeemer. It is when Christ comes “out of” heaven that he will “turn away ungodliness from Jacob” and thus fulfill the covenant with Israel.76 In light of Paul’s reference to the patriarchs in the next verse and his extensive use of the OT traditions about God’s covenant with Abraham, we are justified in assuming that he would identify this covenant with the promise-covenant that God entered into with Abraham and his descendants. Paul, of course, insists that this covenant has been fulfilled in the first coming of Christ and his provision for both Jews and Gentiles to enter, by faith, into the people of God (Gal. 3; Rom. 4). But, in a pattern typical of the NT, Paul suggests that this covenant with Abraham still awaits its final consummation—a consummation that will affect Israel in particular.

Paul uses a clause from Isa. 27:9 to interpret this covenant in terms of the forgiveness of sins. Some similarity in wording between this verse and Isa. 59:20–21 probably helped draw Paul’s attention to this verse; but more important is the context from which it is taken. For Isaiah 27, like Isa. 59:20–60:7, predicts that Yahweh will deliver “Jacob” from her exile/sins, bringing the scattered people back to their own city. Isaiah 27 notes that the judgment God has brought on Israel (in the Exile) is different from the judgment God brings on other nations: for Israel’s judgment, it is implied, will be both temporary and sanitive (vv. 7–8). The prophet therefore foresees “days to come” when “Jacob shall take root, Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots, and fill the whole world with fruit” (v. 6); when God will regather his people and the exiles will return to “worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem” (vv. 12–13). The parallel between this scenario and Paul’s teaching in 11:11–32 that the hardening of Israel is temporary and intended to lead to her ultimate deliverance cannot be missed. Moreover, by focusing on “the forgiveness of sins” as integral to the fulfillment of God’s covenant with Israel, Paul ties this final deliverance to the cross, where the price for these sins has been paid (cf. 3:21–26). With this quotation, then, Paul not only suggests when Israel’s deliverance will take place; he also makes clear how it will take place: by Israel’s acceptance of the gospel message about the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ.[4]


11:25–27 / “Let us remember of this word mystery,” says Calvin, “that [the Jews’] conversion will neither be common nor usual.… It is called a mystery because it will be incomprehensible until the time of its revelation” (Romans, p. 435). Note also Paul Achtemeier’s discussion of mystery:

Clearly, Israel’s rejection of Christ is open to a variety of interpretations. One interpretation: They rejected Christ because when Christ came, God was through with them, and so their call proved to be only temporary. Another interpretation: Israel’s call never was valid, and their claims of a special relationship to God the Creator were self-serving illusions. Yet another: In the end God rejected them because of their rejection of his Son. All are possible, indeed even plausible—and all are wrong. The reason for Israel’s being hardened in its rebellion against God’s Son? Grace! Grace for gentiles, and finally grace for Israel as well! God’s plan, says Paul, runs from God choosing Israel, to his hardening Israel to save gentiles, and then to his saving gentiles in order finally to save Israel (Romans, p. 188).

Ernst Käsemann (Romans, p. 324) and Otfried Hofius (“Das Evangelium und Israel,” ZTK 83 [1986], pp. 318–19) argue that whereas Gentiles come to faith through proclamation of the gospel, Jews will come to faith only through the word of Christ himself at his second coming. It is an intriguing thesis, but does it not run counter to passages like 9:2ff. and 11:23, where Paul struggles with the Jews’ disbelief? Must the future tense of the deliverer will come from Zion (which is, after all, an ot quotation) refer unconditionally to the Parousia, or could it not possibly refer to Christ’s first coming and the covenant (v. 27) of the cross? Moreover, does not 10:14–21 imply that Jews, like Gentiles, come to faith through the preaching of the gospel?[5]


Vers. 25–27.—For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that hardness (πώρωσις; see ver. 8) in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved. Πᾶς Ἰσραὴλ here must mean the whole nation; not, as Calvin explains, “complebitur salus totius Israel Dei [i.e. of the spiritual Israel, as in Gal. 6:16] quam exutrisque [i.e. with Jews and Gentiles] colligi oportet;” for “Israel” must surely be understood in the same sense as in the preceding verse, where it denotes the Jewish nation as opposed to the Gentiles. Σωθήσεται, as seems required by the whole context, means coming into the Church (cf. Acts 2:47, Ὁ δὲ κύριος προσετίθει τοὺς σωζομένους καθ᾽ ἡμέραν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ). As it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; and this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. Referring, as throughout the Epistle, to the Old Testament for confirmation, St. Paul here, as in former instances, combines passages, and quotes freely, perhaps from memory. The main citation is from Isa. 59:20, 21, with an addition from Isa. 17:9, the LXX. being followed. The citations are relevant, being specimens of many others that might have been adduced, predicting the final pardon and restitution of the house of Israel itself, notwithstanding judgments, through the Redeemer who was to come.[6]


26a. And so all Israel will be saved.

Three Interpretations

1. The Most Popular Theory

“All Israel” indicates the mass of Jews living on earth in the end-time. The full number of elect Gentiles will be gathered in. After that the mass of the Jews—Israel on a large scale—will be saved. This will happen just previous to, or at the very moment of, Christ’s Return.

For the names of some of the advocates of this theory see p. 307.

Evaluation

  • The Greek word οὕτως does not mean then or after that. The rendering “Then all Israel will be saved” is wrong. In none of the other occurrences of this word in Romans, or anywhere else in the New Testament, does this word have that meaning. It means so, in this manner, thus.
  • This theory also fails to do justice to the word all in “all Israel.” Does not “all Israel” sound very strange as a description of the (comparatively) tiny fraction of Jews who will still be living on earth just before, or at the moment of, Christ’s Return?
  • The context clearly indicates that in writing about the salvation of Israelites and Gentiles Paul is not limiting his thoughts to what will take place in the future. He very definitely includes what is happening now. See especially verses 30, 31.
  • Would it not be strange for God to single out for a very special favor—nothing less than salvation full and free—exactly that generation of Jews which will have hardened its heart against the testimony of the longest train of Christian witnesses, a train extending all the way from the days of Christ’s sojourn on earth—in fact, in a sense, all the way from Abraham—to the close of the new dispensation?
  • The reader has not been prepared for the idea of a mass conversion of Israelites. All along Paul stresses the very opposite, namely, the salvation, in any age (past, present, future) of a remnant. See the passages listed under 11:5, p. 363. If Rom. 11:26 actually teaches a mass conversion of Jews, would it not seem as if Paul is saying, “Forget what I told you previously”?
  • If Paul is here predicting such a future mass conversion of Jews, is he not, contradicting, if not the letter, at least the spirit, of his earlier statement found in 1 Thess. 2:14b–16:

“… the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and do not please God, and are hostile to all men, in that they try to prevent us from speaking to the Gentiles that they may be saved, so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But upon them the wrath [of God] has come to the uttermost”?

  • The immediately following context (11:26b, 27) refers to a coming of “the Deliverer” who will turn away godlessness and remove sin from Jacob. Was not that the purpose of Christ’s first coming? But the popular interpretation of Rom. 11:26 predicts a mass conversion of Jews in connection with Christ’s second coming. That theory is, accordingly, not in harmony with the context.

For these several reasons Interpretation A. should be rejected.

2. John Calvin’s Theory

“All Israel” refers to the total number of the elect throughout history, all those who are ultimately saved both Jews and Gentiles. In his Commentary on his passage Calvin expresses himself as follows:

“I extend the word Israel to all the people of God, according to this meaning: when the Gentiles shall come in, the Jews also will return from their defection to the obedience of faith, and thus will be completed the salvation of the whole Israel of God, which must be gathered from both …”

The same view is defended by J. A. C. Van Leeuwen and D. Jacobs, op. cit., p. 227; and, in a sense, by Karl Barth, Der Römerbrief, Zürich, 1954, p. 401; English tr., p. 416.

Evaluation

Inasfar as Calvin interprets the term Israel spiritually—“Israel” refers to the elect—his theory must be considered correct. Cf. Rom. 9:6. Also his claim that the section, verses 25–32 (considered as a unit), describes the one people of God cannot be successfully refuted. On the other hand, Calvin’s application of the term “Israel,” in verse 26, to all the people of God, both Jews and Gentiles, is wrong. In the preceding context the words Israel, Isrealites(s) occur no less than eleven times: 9:4; 9:6 (twice); 9:27; 9:31; 10:19; 10:21; 11:1; 11:2; 11:7; and 11:25. In each case the reference is clearly to Jews, never to Gentiles. What compelling reason can there be, therefore, to adopt a different meaning for the term Israel as used here in 11:26? To be sure, at the close of verse 25 the apostle makes mention of the Gentiles, but only in order to indicate that the partial hardening of the Jews will not cease until every elect Gentile will have been brought into the kingdom. Accordingly, Paul is still talking about the Jews. He does so also in verse 26b. Even verse 28 contains a clear reference to Jews. Not until verses 30–32 are reached does the apostle cause the entire body of the elect, both Jews and Gentiles, to pass in review together.

Therefore, while appreciating the good elements in Calvin’s explanation, we cannot agree with him in interpreting the term “all Israel” in 11:26 as referring to all the elect, both Jews and Gentiles. A passage should be interpreted in light of its context. In the present case the context points to Jews, not to Gentiles, nor in verses 26–29 to a combination of Jews and Gentiles.

3. A Third Theory

The term “All Israel” means the total number of elect Jews, the sum of all Israel’s “remnants.” “All Israel” parallels “the fulness of the Gentiles.” Verses 25. 26 make it very clear that God is dealing with both groups, has been saving them, is saving them, and is going to save them. And if “All Israel” indicates, as it does, that not a single elect Israelite will be lacking “when the roll is called up yonder,” then “the fulness of the Gentiles” similarly shows that when the attendance is checked every elect Gentile will answer “Present.”

For the meaning of “will be saved” see on 1:16, p. 60. For Jew and Gentile the way of salvation is the same. In fact, their paths run side by side. Opportunity to be saved will have ended for both when Christ returns. As indicated previously, the two—“the fulness of the Gentiles” and “All Israel”—constitute one organism, symbolized by a single olive tree. It should be clear that if, in the present connection, fulness must be interpreted in its unlimited sense, the same holds for all in “All Israel.”

The words “And so” are explained by Paul himself. They indicate, “In such a marvelous manner,” a manner no one could have guessed. If God had not revealed this “mystery” to Paul, he would not have known it. It was, in fact, astonishing. The very rejection of the majority of Israelites, throughout history recurring again and again, was, is, and will be, a link in the effectuation of Israel’s salvation. For details, see above, p. 366, 367, 377, 378 (Rom. 11:11, 12, 25).

Although, to be sure, this interpretation is not nearly as popular as is theory A, among its defenders are men of recognized scholarship (as holds also, of course, for theories A and B). Let me mention but a few.

One of the propositions successfully defended by S. Volbeda, when he received his summa cum laude doctor of theology degree from the Free University of Amsterdam was: “The term ‘all Israel’ in Rom. 11:26a must be understood as indicating the collective elect out of Israel.”

  1. Bavinck, author of the four-volume work Gereformeerde Dogmatiek [Reformed Dogmatics], states, “ ‘All Israel’ in 11:26, is not the people of Israel, destined lo be converted collectively, neither is it the church consisting of united Jews and Gentiles; but it is the full number which during the course of the centuries is gathered out of Israel.” Cf. H. Hoeksema, God’s Eternal Good Pleasure, Grand Rapids, 1950, p. 465.

And L. Berkhof states, “ ‘All Israel’ is to be understood as a designation not of the whole nation but of the whole number of the elect out of the ancient covenant people … and the adverb οὕτως cannot mean ‘after that,’ but only ‘in this manner.’ ”

For a similar interpretation see H. Ridderbos, op. cit., p. 263.

Not only scholars of Reformed persuasion and Dutch nationality or lineage have adopted this interpretation, but so have many others, as is clear from a glance at Lenski’s commentary on Romans, pp. 714, 726, 727. See also O. Palmer Robertson, “Is There a Distinctive Future for Ethnic Israel in Romans II?,” in Perspectives on Evangelical Theology, Grand Rapids, 1979, pp. 81–94. These interpreters are convinced that this is the only interpretation that suits the text and context.

Objections Stated and Refuted

  • Objection No. 1

This interpretation destroys the contrast between the remnant mentioned in 11:5, on the one hand, and the mass of Israel, on the other.

  • Answer

Our interpretation does not destroy a contrast but defines it more accurately. The real contrast is that between single remnants (see, for example, 11:5), on the one hand, and “all Israel,” that is, the sum of all the remnants throughout history (verse 26), on the other.

  • Objection No. 2

According to this interpretation the “mystery” mentioned by Paul amounts to no more than that all Israel’s elect will be saved. But that is a truth so obvious that it fails to do justice to the implications of the term “mystery.”

  • Answer

Not so! The mystery of which Paul speaks has reference to the marvelous chain of events that results in Israel’s salvation. It points to seemingly contradictory factors which in God’s loving and overruling providence are so directed that ultimate salvation for “all Israel” is effected. See above, pp. 377, 378.

26b, 27.… as it is written:

“Out of Zion will come the Deliverer;

he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.

And this is my covenant with them

whenever I shall take away their sins.”

Note the following:

  • It is logical to connect “And so all Israel will be saved” with “Out of Zion will come the Deliverer,” and to interpret this divine deliverance as rescue from sin and bestowment of salvation, which blessings Jehovah brought about through the person and work of the Mediator, Jesus Christ.
  • As the words “as it is written” indicate, what immediately follows upon “And so all Israel will be saved” is material quoted from the Old Testament. It does not consist, however, in a quotation of this or that single passage, but rather in a skillful symposium of several passages; such as, Isa. 59:20; 27:9; 59:21, in that order, with reminders of Micah 5:2 (or a similar verse) and probably Jer. 31:31 f.

In addition, it should be borne in mind that Paul is conversant with the LXX (Greek) translation of the Old Testament as well as with the original Hebrew text. What is to be admired is that he is able to weave these various strands into one beautiful, consistent pattern.

  • The words “Out of Zion will come the Deliverer” are quoted from LXX Isa. 59:20, except for the fact that LXX has “for the sake of Zion,” the original Hebrew “to Zion,” and Paul “out of Zion.”

This presents no real difficulty, for all three are true. Did not the Deliverer come “for the sake of Zion,” that is, to rescue Zion? And did he not also come “to Zion”? How else could he have saved it? And is it not also true that according to his human nature he came “out of Zion”? Think of Mic. 5:2. In connection with “out of,” “from” or “from among,” see also Deut. 18:15, 18; Ps. 14:7; 53:6; and Isa. 2:3.

  • The task which, according to prophecy, the Deliverer was to perform, consisted, according to the LXX of Isa. 27:9, in this: to turn away godlessness or lawlessness from Jacob, that is, from Israel. Naturally it would be turned away only from the elect of Israel. We now understand why Paul has a right to quote these very passages to prove that “all Israel” would be saved; for, in order to save Israel it must be delivered not from this or that earthly foe but from godlessness, from sin.
  • Returning again to Isa. 59, this time to verse 21, the apostle continues (quoting the Lord as saying), “As for me, this is my covenant with them.” He then quickly turns his attention to another precious passage in which that divine covenant is mentioned in connection with the removal of sins, namely, Jer 31:31 f. There we read, “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah … I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.” So he writes, “… whenever I shall take away their sins.”
  • It is clear that in this entire passage (11:26b, 27) Paul is not thinking of what Jesus will do at his second coming, when he will come not “out of Zion,” but “from heaven” (1 Thess. 4:16), and when forgiveness of sin will no longer be possible. Paul is thinking of Christ’s first coming when, by means of his vicarious death, he established the basis for the forgiveness of sins, and therefore also for the salvation of “the fulness of the Gentiles” and of “all Israel.”
  • Paul is not deviating from his central theme. Is not the removal of sin one of the main ingredients of justification by faith? See Rom. 4:25; 5:8, 9, 19; 8:1–3. The promise of the covenant goes into effect “whenever” in the life of any Israelite sin is removed. Romans 9–11 shows that this doctrine is historical, indicating what happens again and again during history’s course.[7]

11:25–27. But when might that happen? How long will Israel remain “cut off” from the root through which their salvation and blessings had flowed since their beginning? The short answer is, Until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. The longer answer, that Paul wants his Gentile readers (brothers) to understand, is that Israel’s hardening is not complete, it is only in part. It is not permanent, it is only temporary—until the elect among the Gentiles are saved. Paul does not want the Gentile believers in Rome to become conceited or arrogant in their new-found position of blessing. Israel is waiting in the wings to enter back into covenant fellowship with God, as the prophets had declared.

As he has done before in Romans, Paul draws on several Old Testament prophetic passages to put together a description of future events, in this case, Isaiah 59:20–21; 27:9 and Jeremiah 31:33–34. God prophesied to Israel in the Old Testament that her sins would one day be removed, and here Paul confirms that they will be—when the deliverer [comes] from Zion to turn godlessness away from Jacob. At that time (apparently at the return of Christ), all Israel will be saved.

All Israel is not best understood numerically any more than “the Gentiles” should be taken to mean every individual Gentile. The implication is not that at the parousia of Christ all Jews alive at that time will be saved. The best understanding is that offered by F. F. Bruce: “ ‘All Israel’ is a recurring expression in Jewish literature, where it need not mean ‘every Jew without a single exception,’ but ‘Israel as a whole’ ” (Bruce, p. 209). Paul’s point here is that in the future, when the elect of the Gentiles have been saved, the hardening currently afflicting Israel will be removed and all Israel will resume its position as the elect people of God before him. At that point, salvation of individuals will occur as it did for Paul and always has—on the basis of personal faith in Israel’s Savior and Messiah, Jesus Christ.[8]


11:25–27. A mystery (v. 25) could be a truth hinted at in the OT but fully revealed in the NT, or one altogether unknown in the OT and revealed in the NT. The latter is the sense here, for the OT speaks of an enormous number of Gentiles being included in the one people of God (cf. the notes on Is 2:2–4; 66:18–24), but the idea that those Gentiles are included prior to the wholesale restoration of Israel is not seen in the OT. Partial hardening means that a (majority) part of Israel were not saved based on God’s sovereign choice, but a minority (the faithful remnant) like Paul believed. Fullness of the Gentiles refers to the “full number of Gentiles” whom God has determined to be saved prior to Him lifting the hardening from Israel. All Israel will be saved (v. 26) is the climax of all of Rm 9; 10, and 11. All Israel, according to the use of the phrase in the LXX, never referred to every single Jew (cf. 1Ch 19:17 where it refers only to soldiers; 1Sm 25:1, where it refers only to those who buried Samuel), and more than likely Paul does not mean that in the future every Jew will be saved. All Israel should probably be understood to refer to the vast majority of the ethnic people of Israel, Jews from every tribe and from every locale all over the world. For the timing of Israel’s salvation, cf. the comments on Zch 12:10, Mt 23:37–39, and Ac 3:19, which indicate that Israel’s salvation happens during the tribulation period—before, not during, the second coming—and is a necessary precursor for His return. In addition, all Israel never referred to every Jew from all time. When the phrase is used in the LXX, it refers to a representation of Jewish people at a given point in time (e.g., Nm 16:34; 1Ch 11:10; 15:25; 2Ch 10:3), and Paul’s use of the phrase reflects the same understanding. At a specific point in time that was future to Paul (and to us), a colossal number of Jews from all wings of Judaism will turn to Christ. Paul is not referring to Jewish people who became believers throughout the church age and who are enfolded into the church, and in fact Israel does not refer to “the Church” comprised of Jews and Gentiles in Christ, though it is often understood that way. In 11:25, Israel clearly refers to the ethnic people of Israel, and there is no indication that Paul redefines the term in v. 26 to mean the Church. In addition, in v. 28, they has as its antecedent all Israel in v. 26, and in v. 28 the Church is not in view. Paul cited Is 59:20–21 in 11:26b, c, and 27a, and Is 27:9 in 11:27b to provide warrant for his confidence that in the future all Israel will be saved, and it is less likely that they present the time of this conversion. Some view these OT verses as an indication of the time of Israel’s salvation (when the Deliverer comes from Zion—i.e., at the second coming), but it was already argued above that the salvation of all Israel must precede the second coming, so that Is 59:20–21 and 27:9 give the assurance from the OT that all Israel will be saved, rather than establishing the time when that salvation takes place. Israel’s salvation is grounded in the death of Messiah Jesus at His first coming, not at His second.[9]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (Vol. 2, pp. 130–132). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (1991–). Romans: God and History (Vol. 3, pp. 1375–1382). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

[3] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (pp. 437–439). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] Moo, D. J. (1996). The Epistle to the Romans (pp. 719–729). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[5] Edwards, J. R. (2011). Romans (pp. 279–280). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). The Pulpit Commentary: Romans (pp. 323–324). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[7] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (Vol. 12–13, pp. 379–384). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[8] Boa, K., & Kruidenier, W. (2000). Romans (Vol. 6, p. 344). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[9] Vanlaningham, M. G. (2014). Romans. In The moody bible commentary (p. 1764). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.