Daily Archives: August 7, 2019

August 7 Empowering Confidence

Scripture Reading: Psalm 40:1–5

Key Verse: Psalm 40:5

Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works

Which You have done;

And Your thoughts toward us

Cannot be recounted to You in order;

If I would declare and speak of them,

They are more than can be numbered.

What is the basis for your confidence? Is it in an ability or a talent that you feel you have perfected? God allows you to do many things—some of which seem to come naturally. But in reality, it is God working in and through your life that enables you to do what He has called you to do. Never be guilty of taking credit for what only God can do.

David grew to be a mighty warrior and king. However, as is obvious in Psalm 40, he never lost sight of the fact that it was God who trained his hands for battle.

How can you avoid becoming overconfident and insensitive to God’s ability in your life?

  • Keep your focus on the Lord. Ask Him to point out any pride you may have displayed.
  • Set aside time each day to be alone with the Lord. Prayer and meditation teaches us to rely on God and not on ourselves.
  • Choose to trust God. An active faith builds our character and confidence. David confidently faced Goliath because he knew the Lord would grant him the victory.

Is your confidence in the eternal source of God’s power and strength?

Lord, thank You for a strong confidence that will drive away doubt, fear, and anxiety and give me peace.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 230). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 7 Solitude with God

Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:1–5

Key Verse: Colossians 3:3

You died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Oswald Chambers wrote,

A servant of God must stand so very much alone that he never realizes he is alone. In the early stages of the Christian life, disappointments will come—people who used to be lights will flicker out, and those who used to stand with us will turn away. We have to get so used to it that we will not even realize we are standing alone.

Paul said, “… No one stood with me, but all forsook me … But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me …” (2 Timothy 4:16–17). We must build our faith not on fading lights but on the Light that never fails. When important individuals go away we are sad, until we see that they are meant to go; so that only one thing is left for us to do—to look into the face of God for ourselves.

A characteristic of life lived in the Spirit is the ability to enjoy solitude with God. This does not mean a life void of relationships. Instead it means that you have learned to look to Jesus for His companionship and approval before you look for the nod of others.

When trouble comes, walk swiftly in your mind to a place where only you and God reside. Our human minds have a tendency to replay frantic images that do not mirror the faithfulness of God. When you enjoy the company of the Savior, you experience a peace that goes beyond anything this world has to offer.

Lord, when others forsake me, help me remember that You are with me in my solitude. Let me hear Your voice calling me to that place where only You and I reside.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 230). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 7 A Winning Device

Scripture reading: Romans 8:35–39

Key verse: Proverbs 6:27

Can a man take fire to his bosom,

And his clothes not be burned?

We constantly face situations that have the potential to cause us to compromise our walk with the Lord. Therefore, a good way to handle temptation is to view it as a warning device.

An alarm should go off blaring, “Warning! Warning!” In temptation, there is always a moment of decision when we must decide to yield and sin or to say no to the tempter of our souls. Proverbs 6:27 poses an interesting question: “Can a man take fire to his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?” Can you play with temptation, nurse it in your heart, bolster it with your thoughts, and not end up being burned? The obvious answer is no. And often the strength to endure temptation is far too great for you on your own.

But it is not too great for Jesus. He understands how Satan works in the life of a believer. Once you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, the enemy knows your life is sealed in Christ. There is nothing he can do to steal you away from God’s powerful grip. However, Satan uses temptation to make you feel defeated and worthless before the throne of God.

God has given you a strong defense against the enemy. Ephesians 6 outlines God’s plan. Memorize this chapter, and live each day victoriously in the armor of God.

Lord, thank You for the strong defensive weapons You have provided. Thank You that I can live each day victoriously in Your armor.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 230). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

President Trump Delivers Remarks Departing White House… — The Last Refuge

Chopper pressers are the best pressers.  As President Trump departed the White House to travel to Dayton, OH and El Paso, TX, he stopped to deliver remarks and answer questions from the press pool. [Video and Transcript below]

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[Transcript]

via President Trump Delivers Remarks Departing White House… — The Last Refuge

Kamala Harris Campaign Is Struggling; She’s Polling Only 1 Percent with Black Voters | LifeZette

MSNBC and CNN tried to push Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) (shown above, far right) over the line a couple of weeks ago when those media outlets thought she wounded former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in the first round of debates — but it seems that was short-lived.

Harris was destroyed last week during the second round of debates when Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) pulled up her record as a California’s top cop — attorney general — and that was the end of the story.

Related: Joe Biden Played One Role in Latest Debate: Punching Bag

Gabbard really dealt the political death blow when she claimed Harris jailed marijuana users in the Golden State.

Meanwhile, she laughed during a radio interview about using the drug herself.

Check out these details below about the poll results.

“Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren [was] the big winner in the second round of Democratic presidential debates, but former Vice President Joseph Biden retains his frontrunner status with 32 percent of Democrats and independent voters who lean Democratic, according to a Quinnipiac University National Poll released today.”

“Sen. Elizabeth Warren has 21 percent among Democrats, with 14 percent for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and 7 percent for California Sen. Kamala Harris.”

“This compares to results of a July 29 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University National Poll, showing Biden with 34 percent, Warren with 15 percent, Harris with 12 percent and Sanders with 11 percent.”

The survey also found the following:

  • Biden gets 47 percent of black Democrats, with 16 percent for Sanders, 8 percent for Warren and 1 percent for Harris;
  • Women Democrats go 31 percent for Biden, 24 percent for Warren, 10 percent for Sanders and 7 percent for Harris;
  • And very liberal Democrats go 40 percent for Warren, 20 percent for Sanders, 19 percent for Biden and 7 percent for Harris.

Even Harris’ Twitter exchange isn’t getting any respect.

Check out the below:

Here’s another response to Harris — who tried to latch on to the tragedies in Dayton and El Paso by promoting gun control:

Harris is done for the simple reason that she locked up black people over smoking pot — and then went on a talk radio show and laughed about her own time doing the same thing.

She was a prosecutor and Democrats don’t roll like that.

Related: Harris Says Marijuana Brings People ‘Joy’

She was not the social justice worker as she likes to portray herself to be.

Gabbard’s cutting statement ran so deep the tourniquet is not working.

I’ve noticed that ever since those Senate hearings some time ago, Kamala is always channeling her inner tyrant: She would say, “Answer the question, yes or no.” In my mind, she is a bully and would become a dictator if she achieved any more power.

To me, it is right there for everyone to see and Tulsi Gabbard further confirmed it.

Gabbard won’t get my vote, but she did win my respect for giving Harris the verbal beat down of the year.

That’s how it is done: Call out evil — and then swing the sword of truth.

This piece by Wayne Dupree originally appeared in The Political Insider and is used by permission.

Read more at ThePoliticalInsider.com:
Obama Criticized the President Over Shootings, Trump Just Took Him Apart
AOC’s Chief of Staff Resigns, Under Federal Investigation – Did She Help Cover Up?
This Hero Soldier Saved Lives in El Paso Thanks to His Training and Carry-Conceal Weapon

Source: Kamala Harris Campaign Is Struggling; She’s Polling Only 1 Percent with Black Voters

4 Main Things Christians Need to Know About Critical Race Theory — Christian Research Network

“In CRT, being “black” means one’s identification with oppression (much of this is from the work of James Cone who founded Black Liberation Theology and went so far as to say Jesus was black because he identified with the oppressed). In this sense, one can be “black” even if they do not have dark skin or African or Islander ancestry, so long as they identify themselves with an oppressed people group.”

(JD Hall – Pulpit & Pen)  As Christian institutions like Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary, and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary are promoting Critical Race Theory, many believers are confused as to what the doctrine is or why it’s dangerous….

As the Southern Baptist Convention approved Resolution 9 in June, which promotes Critical Race Theory as an analytical tool, we need to know why it’s dangerous.

This information should provide a quick guide to four main things Christians need to know about Critical Race Theory (CRT).

CRT IS FUNDAMENTALLY OPPOSED TO THE AMERICAN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

Invented by Derrick Bell and other attorneys as a spin-off of Critical Legal Theory in American law schools in the 1980s, these theorists were disenchanted with the results of the Civil Rights Movement. Bell, Richard Delgado, and other CRT thinkers viewed classical liberal ideas such as meritocracy (people being rewarded based on their individual merits), equal opportunity, and colorblind justice (like that promoted by Dr. King) to all be factors that cause systemic, invisible, intangible racism.

What many people don’t understand is that CRT rejects most of the things that the 1960s Civil Rights Movement fought for, like treating people equally in institutions and under the law. Instead, CRT teaches that if power is to be properly redistributed from the “haves” to “have-nots” (which in their eyes include minority identity groups), the law may actually need to biased in favor of minority identity groups.

It is likely that the 1960s Civil Rights leaders like Dr. King, Bayard Rustin, Hosea Williams, and Gloria Richardson all would have opposed CRT vehemently, as it denies that people should be judged “by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.” CRT, conversely, teaches that skin color (or identity group) is the lens through which all things – especially justice – should be viewed.  View article →

Research

Social Justice Christianity

via 4 Main Things Christians Need to Know About Critical Race Theory — Christian Research Network

As Big Tech Silences Christians, New Platform Gives People of Faith a Voice — CBN News feeds

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – When it comes to censorship, Christian influencers complain they’re being squelched on social media platforms at the same rate as Nazis and White Supremacists.

Just look at these examples:

Pinterest blocked the pro-life group, “Live Action,” labeling its content pornographic.

YouTube has been accused of restricting Christian content by classifying it as homophobic.

Google recently changed its criteria to prohibit the word “Christian” from being used as a keyword to boost ads on its platforms.

Twitter and Facebook are regularly accused of banning or blocking Christians for posting content they say doesn’t meet their standards.

‘A Place For People to Share the Gospel’

As big tech seems set on silencing Christians, a new platform seeks to give them a voice.

“As those news alerts from all different platforms and their whistleblowers are coming out, we’re more dedicated than ever to creating a place for people to share the gospel, consume the gospel, upload the gospel,” Bryan Joy, the co-founder of Gfaith, a new Christian tech company, told CBN News.

Gfaith has a series of products planned for people of faith.

“We right now are launching a video service for pastors around the globe and our goal, our single goal, which is our trademarked slogan, is to connect the kingdom and bring the gospel of Jesus Christ to people all over the world,” Joy said.

He says his video service is different from anything else out there, specifically in the faith world.

“So our pastors around the globe are uploading their best sermons and content, Christian podcasters are doing the same…but those video content pieces are getting scattered across hundreds of thousands of different platforms and websites and our goal is to bring that under one roof,” Joy explained.

Hollywood veteran David Heavener now produces Christian content using platforms like YouTube and Amazon to stream his programming. He has more than 80,000 YouTube subscribers.

“It’s all faith-based, it’s current events matches the book of Revelation. I deal with demonic activity, I deal with miracles, deal with even relationships, but all this stuff is now funneling through the new world of social media,” Heavener told CBN News.

That’s where things can get tricky.

Faith = Demonetization 

“Probably about 40 percent of my videos are demonetized. I only release about 50 percent of what I film because I know the other 50 will get demonetized. What it is, they call it ‘advertiser unfriendly.’ They say that the advertisers don’t want to run adds because of the topics,” Heavener explained.

He says while it’s hard to pin down exactly what will be flagged, there is one recurring theme:

“Faith is the common thread that causes demonetization. You could take the same topic, nine times out of ten if you don’t mix faith with it, it probably won’t get demonetized,” Heavener said.

Heavener knew Bryan Joy and his business partner were working on a new tech platform. When he learned about Gfaith Video he knew his content belonged there.

“Jesus was uncensored…so the reason it’s important to have a platform with no censorship is because you’re able to preach the gospel 100 percent pure and you don’t worry about being politically correct, you think about being spiritually correct,” Heavener said.

‘Cutting Edge’ Technology Sets Gfaith Apart

As content producers like Heavener begin using Gfaith Video, they’re able to take advantage of cutting edge technology, like the platforms keyword or topic search. That’s an especially important feature for growing an audience.

“What reaches a younger generation are clips of content that aren’t long. So if we want to reach them where they are we wanted to develop a technology to pull out meaningful gospel messages in 90-second to three-minute clips that we could pass around the world,” Joy said.

Now that Gfaith Video is live, Joy and his partner have a number of new products in the pipeline.

“It won’t be your typical app products or tech products, we’re going to be hearing feedback from people in ministry, in missions, and people of youth ministry to find out what do they need and we’re going to develop those products to share the gospel,” Joy told CBN News.

Heavener says he believes platforms like Gfaith are the future and encourages those who have been censored by big tech to do what they have to do to keep sharing.

“God’s given you a story. You need to tell that story and not worry about who you’re going to offend, don’t worry about who you’re going to try and attract, God will do all that, he’s in that business. You’ve got to be honest to your story and you’ve got to pour your heart out and do everything you can to tell that story,” said Heavener.

via As Big Tech Silences Christians, New Platform Gives People of Faith a Voice — CBN News feeds

Democrat Candidates Bernie Sanders and Julian Castro to Speak at Convention Hosted by Terror-Tied Islamic Group — The Gateway Pundit

Bernie Sanders

The left’s unholy alliance with Islam.

Bernie Sanders and Julian Castro, two very far left candidates running for president, will be speaking at a radical Islamist convention on August 31st.

Sanders and Castro will be speaking at a “presidential forum” hosted by ISNA (Islamic Society of North America), a radical Islamic group with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Clarion Project reported:

ISNA says it is inviting other Democratic presidential candidates and President Donald Trump to address its audience.

The U.S. Justice Department lists ISNA as an “entity” of the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical and often violent arm of the Islamist global political project. The Brotherhood’s goal is a worldwide caliphate with all of humanity living under sharia law.

The Trump administration announced three months ago that it was considering designating the Brotherhood as a domestic terrorist organization.

The presidential forum is also being hosted by Emgage Foundation and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), a group that has an inflammatory and Islamist-friendly history but has taken a stronger public stance against the Islamist ideology in recent years.

ISNA was designated as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terror-funding trial in U.S. history – that of the Holy Land Foundation, an entity founded by the Muslim Brotherhood to finance Hamas (the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing).

It was during this trial that the Justice Department explicitly listed ISNA as an “entity” of the Muslim Brotherhood’s American network. This determination was supported by large quantities of publicly available evidence and internal Brotherhood documents.

The Democrat-media complex happily embraces radical Islamic groups while screeching about the non-existent threat of ‘white supremacy.’

Imagine if President Trump spoke at a convention hosted by a radical white supremacist group? The media would explode.

via Democrat Candidates Bernie Sanders and Julian Castro to Speak at Convention Hosted by Terror-Tied Islamic Group — The Gateway Pundit

Time To Kiss The Gospel Coalition Goodbye — Reformation Charlotte

In the wake of Joshua Harris’ apostasy — the Purity Culture pastor who divorced his wife, denounced Christianity, and embraced homosexuality — many people are wondering just exactly what went wrong. The apostasy follows a string of The Gospel Coalition contributors who have either been disqualified or have completely turned from their faith altogether.

From Tullian Tjividjian and Mark Driscoll to James MacDonald and C.J. Mahaney, many men that had been warned about by those “pesky discernment blogs” ultimately showed their true colors and were caught up in scams ranging from sex abuse cover-ups to bullying their staff at church.

The entire paradigm exemplifying The Gospel Coalition gave rise to a new breed of professing Christian — New Calvinism. While some, like Kevin DeYoung, ponder the reasoning behind the rampant apostasy at The Gospel Coalition, speculating that it is because they are too quick to “elevate gifted men,” I suspect the problem is much deeper than that. DeYoung writes,

What is worth exploring in this instance [Harris’ apostasy]—and, we can tell you, has already for years generated a great deal of soul searching—is why a number of young men who were at one time closely associated with The Gospel Coalition have been forced to leave the ministry. Our primary takeaway is that in years past our tribe was too quick to elevate gifted men who may not have had enough time to prove themselves faithful for the long haul. But even here, we would note that the public crises always get more attention than scores of young men who have quietly continued to serve the Lord with growing maturity.

The problem, you see, isn’t being “too quick” to “elevate gifted men.” The problem is elevating men who have a primary cause that fits the theme and narrative of The Gospel Coalition. The problem is, The Gospel Coalition isn’t really about the gospel — it’s about other things, like social justice, egalitarianism, LGBTQ activism, etc. The Gospel Coalition merely cloaks these causes in Christian-themed language, slaps the phrase “gospel-centered” on it, and brings aboard anyone who is willing to advance their cause.

Read more: Time To Kiss The Gospel Coalition Goodbye — Reformation Charlotte

August 7, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Donald Trump said on Wednesday discussions have begun with South Korea, aimed at getting the country to pay more for the cost of maintaining U.S. troops in the region to guard against any threat from North Korea.

President Donald Trump, whose rhetoric about an immigrant “invasion” has alienated many in the predominantly Hispanic city of El Paso, will visit the grieving Texas border town on Wednesday after a gun massacre that killed 22 people.

The U.S. ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, has resigned from his post after two years as Washington’s envoy to Moscow, the State Department said on Wednesday, amid speculation he plans to run for Utah governor.

Hong Kong is facing its worst crisis since it returned from British to Chinese rule in 1997, the head of China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs office said on Wednesday, as more anti-government protests rocked the Asian financial hub.

Thousands of Indian security forces kept a lid on protests in disputed Kashmir on Wednesday, helped by the continued suspension of telephone and internet services after the Himalayan region’s special status was scrapped this week.

Thousands of British Airways passengers had to endure cancellations, delays and long queues at airports as the airline suffered its third major computer failure in a little more than two years.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide car-bomb attack on a police station in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Wednesday which the government said killed 14 people and wounded 145.

Britain will experience shortages of some fresh foods for weeks or even months if a disorderly no-deal Brexit leaves perishable produce rotting in lorries at ports, Britain’s food and drink lobby warned on Wednesday.

China’s rare earths association said it would support Chinese counter-measures in the escalating trade row with the United States, which it accused on Wednesday of “bullying”.

Turkey’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday it agreed with the United States to establish a joint operation center in Turkey to coordinate and manage a planned safe zone in northern Syria.

Oil prices fell further to $57.90 a barrel, extending recent heavy losses as deepening U.S.-China trade tensions weighed on the outlook for the global economy and energy demand.

NATO needs to understand the implications of China’s rise as Beijing expands its power around the world, including areas that may challenge members of the North Atlantic security body, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday.

AP Top Stories

Armed robbers broke into a Mexican government coin manufacturer on Tuesday and filled a backpack with more than $2 million worth of gold coins from a vault that had been left open, security officials said.

Two members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards have been killed in clashes with militants in a northwestern region near the border with Turkey, Iranian state television reported on Wednesday.

More than 2.5 million Muslims will on Friday begin the annual hajj pilgrimage in the Islamic holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, against a backdrop of tensions in the Gulf.

Three days after a horrific massacre at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, the accused gunman Patrick Crusius still has not been arraigned in court.

Iran asked U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday to push back against the United States after it imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, describing the move as a “a dangerous precedent.”

Venezuela’s U.N. ambassador is accusing the Trump administration of “sabotaging” talks between Maduro’s government and opposition, saying Washington is trying to start a war.

Hong Kong lawyers held a silent march in support of anti-government protesters, highlighting the movement’s enduring broad appeal despite increasingly ominous warnings from Beijing.

A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down Google’s class-action settlement meant to resolve claims it invaded the privacy of millions of computer users by installing “cookies” in their browsers, but paying those users nothing for their troubles.

Walgreens said on Tuesday it plans to close about 200 U.S. stores and expects to record related pre-tax charges of between $1.9 billion and $2.4 billion.

A U.S. aircraft carrier sailed through the disputed South China Sea on Tuesday in the latest show of America’s military might amid new territorial flare-ups involving China and three rival claimant states.

There are only three countries that have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms: Mexico, Guatemala, and the United States.

BBC

Australia’s highest court has made a landmark ruling that a public servant was lawfully sacked for writing tweets which criticized government policies.

More than five million people in Zimbabwe – about a third of the population – need food aid, with many coming close to starving, the UN said.

Women in Saudi Arabia can now travel abroad without a male guardian’s permission, royal decrees said.

WND

Claiming to represent hundreds of sexual abuse victims, an organization called Abused in Scouting called on Congress to address what it calls the “largest pedophile ring on earth.”

A New York professor is calling for the abolition of grades. He claims they are not only unfair to students, but that they are a means of propping up capitalism, and as such, academia would be better off doing away with grading entirely.


News – 8/7/2019

UK Continues Preparing For No-Deal Brexit After Boris Johnson Takes Charge
UK companies are getting ready for a no-deal Brexit even though the new prime minister, Boris Johnson, has indicated he would try to renegotiate the withdrawal agreement with the European Union. At the same time, Johnson has stressed that the United Kingdom would have to leave by October 31, whatever the circumstances are, and Brussels has reiterated it does not want to reopen negotiations on the withdrawal deal.

Rouhani says Iran favors talks but US must lift sanctions
He said Iran was ready for talks regardless of whether or not the US was party to a landmark nuclear deal. However, Rouhani also warned: “Peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, war with Iran is the mother of all wars”

Taliban say differences resolved on US troop withdrawal
KABUL, Afghanistan: A Taliban official says the United States and the Taliban have resolved differences in peace talks over troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, as well as Taliban guarantees to cut ties with extremist groups. The development came during talks over the past two days in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office.

Stay out of Syria, US defense chief tells Erdogan
A military offensive by Turkey against Kurdish forces in northeast Syria would be “unacceptable” and the US would act to prevent it, the Pentagon warned on Tuesday. The warning came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed threats to drive US-backed Kurdish militia away from its border, because Ankara considers them a terrorist threat to its security.

Hitler’s secret history revealed: Study suggests Nazi leader’s grandfather was Jewish
For years, the rumor existed that Adolf Hitler’s paternal grandfather was Jewish, but the claim went unsubstantiated. Now, a new study suggests that the grandfather of the Nazi leader was indeed Jewish.

Colorado fighting plague-infested fleas
‘It is getting very serious’ that’s why we’re out here today,” Gilbert Cazier is with the Tri-County Health Department. “We’re assessing the situation, we’re posting signs, and we’re also dusting some of the holes with insecticide to try to prevent flea transmission.” The concern is that fleas carrying the plague have begun infecting and killing a prairie dog colony just north of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Boy Scouts running ‘largest pedophile ring on Earth’
Claiming to represent hundreds of sexual abuse victims, an organization called Abused in Scouting called on Congress to address what it calls the “largest pedophile ring on earth.” At a press conference in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, AIS lawyers announced their first lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America, the Daily Caller reported.

Will Ban On Gas Appliances Be The Next Push To Save The Planet?
As more cities and states try to cut carbon emissions, some are taking aim at a new target: natural gas inside homes. Buildings, through heating and cooking, use almost a third of the natural gas consumed in the U.S.

July was the hottest month ever measured across the world
July was the hottest month across the globe ever measured, and 2019 is on track to be one of the warmest years, according to data released Monday by the European Union’s Earth observation network.

6 asteroids are headed for Earth this month, and 1 is bigger than the Empire State Building
Scientists at NASA are tracking six asteroids that will be heading in the direction of our planet during the next few weeks, and one of them is larger than the Empire State Building.

Military suicides reached an all-time high in 2018, Pentagon says
Military suicides reached their highest recorded level last year, the Pentagon reports, highlighting a crisis affecting both civilians and veterans.

Ruby Rose Hopes Lesbian Batwoman Appeals to Everyone
The CW drama features the first out lesbian superhero to have her own show.

Pentagon’s Next Dystopian Surveillance Exercise Will Launch Spy Balloons Over These States
The Guardian reported Friday that the US military is conducting a surveillance exercise across six midwest states using surveillance radars attached to high-altitude balloons.

We Won’t Get Fooled Again! The Anatomy of a False Flag Event
With regard to JFK, RFK, MLK, 9/11, Oklahoma City, Ruby Ridge, Waco, Vegas Massacre; We won’t get fooled again! History shows that when the FBI moves into control the crime scene and manage the scene, the first casualty is the truth.

“The End Of The World As We Know It” – China Going Nuclear Means There’s No Turning Back Now
At the end of last week, President Trump announced that the U.S. would be imposing a 10 percent tariff on 300 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports, and that marked a dramatic escalation in our trade war with China.  This move by Trump came as a total shock to Chinese officials, and global financial markets were thrown into a state of turmoil.  Since that announcement, we have been waiting for the other shoe to drop, because we knew that the Chinese would retaliate.  But honestly, very few of the experts expected something like this.  On Monday, China announced that it is going to completely stop buying U.S. agricultural products…

President Trump Announces His Call For A National ‘Red Flag’ Gun Law That Will Allow The Government To Begin Confiscating Guns From US Citizens
An estimated 88,000 people die every year from alcohol, and yet alcohol is legal in all 50 states. Over 324,000 babies are killed in abortion each year, and yet abortions are legal in all 50 states. Over 40,000 people each year die in car crashes, the majority of which are linked to alcohol, and yet automobiles are legal in all 50 states.  In 2018, less than 15,000 people died from gun violence in America. Yet somehow, guns are the real problem, go figure.

Spain No Longer Catholic Country as ‘Non-Believers’ Now Make Up Majority
Since the Catholic Church was established in Spain in the 1st century, it has remained the majority religion in the country, with most Spanish people identifying themselves as practicing Catholics, until now.

The Declining Empire Of Chaos Is Going Nuts Over Iran
The transition in recent years from a unipolar to a multipolar world order has created international tensions that seem to threaten to escalate into clashes between regional and global powers.

U.S. Air Force and Raytheon Join Navy and Lockheed Martin by Introducing Directed Energy Weapons
After many years of speculation as to whether the use of Directed Energy Weapons in war would be unleashed upon the world, we now have our answer.

Merkel’s Germany in ‘Economic Meltdown’ Amid Trump’s China Trade War
Germany is facing an economic meltdown as the trade war between the US and China continues to escalate, according to reports.

Gold Hits Record Highs!
Gold hit record highs in a number of currencies this week as trade war worries, geopolitical uncertainty drove investors to seek safe haven… following central banks buying a record amount of the precious metal in the first six months of the year…


Headlines – 8/7/2019

Israel advances plans for over 2,300 settlement homes, most deep in West Bank

EU condemns approval of construction in Judea and Samaria

EU pans new settlement expansion, says move harms chances for peace

Temple Institute encourages Jews to hope for Third Temple in new video

Netanyahu: There will not be a unity government – pledges to form right-wing coalition

Lithuanian Jews indefinitely shut community center, only synagogue after threats

Man filmed calling UK couple ‘dirty Jews’ says he was first called ‘dirty Arab’

Palestinian who saved Jewish kids after terror attack gets Israeli residency

Iran has effectively taken over Gaza – In exchange for the sharp increase in financial aid, Iran wants accurate intelligence from Hamas on Israel’s missile arsenal.

Israel involved in US-led naval mission in Strait of Hormuz – foreign minister

Iran asks U.N. chief to push back against U.S. sanctions on foreign minister

Iran unveils three new precision-guided missiles

Rouhani warns war with Iran will be ‘mother of all wars,’ calls for peace

Pentagon chief: US would prevent ‘unacceptable’ Turkish invasion of Syria

At least 95 wounded as large explosion rocks Kabul

Armed thugs returned to the streets of Hong Kong to attack protesters

Kim says North Korean launches were warning to US, South

Trump freezes Venezuela government assets in dramatic escalation of tensions

El Paso residents tell Trump to stay away after shooting

Beto O’Rourke compares Trump rally to Nazi Germany in wake of El Paso shooting

Trump trashes Beto O’Rourke, tells him to ‘be quiet’ ahead of El Paso visit

Trump planned visit to grieving El Paso stokes debate about his rhetoric

‘Red Flag’ Gun Control Bills Pick Up Momentum With G.O.P. in Congress

Biden says he’s coming for assault weapons, as 2020 Dems urge new ban in wake of shootings

Inquiries Into License To Carry Classes Up After Mass Shootings

Texas to loosen firearm laws, allowing guns in churches and on school grounds

Demand for bulletproof backpacks surging in the wake of shootings: report

Mass Shootings Can Be Contagious, Research Shows

Motorcycle backfiring causes panic in Times Square, cops say – “sounded like gun shots”

A Montana man attacked a 13-year-old boy and fractured his skull for ‘disrespecting’ national anthem, police say

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

August 7, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Humble

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; (4:7)

But introduces a contrast with verse 6, which describes the immense and incalculable glory of the eternal God revealed in the incarnate Christ. That priceless divine treasure is contained in a lowly human container—a humbling perspective every preacher and believer must have. Paul’s humble view of himself was at the heart of what made him so usable. Later in this epistle he wrote, “For we are not bold to class or compare ourselves with some of those who commend themselves” (2 Cor. 10:12). He refused to evaluate himself based on the false apostles’ shallow, external criteria; he was not interested in comparing himself with those who “measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves” (10:12). He would not “boast beyond … measure” (10:13), because “he who boasts is to boast in the Lord” (10:17) and, “It is not he who commends himself that is approved, but he whom the Lord commends” (10:18).

The treasure in view here is the same as the “ministry” in 4:1. Both terms describe the glorious gospel message that the eternal God came into the world in the person of Jesus Christ, and died on the cross and rose again to provide forgiveness of sin and eternal life for all who repent and believe. The treasure is of incalculable worth, because “in [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.… For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form” (Col. 2:3, 9). The gospel message reveals the most profound truths the world has ever known, which produce the most powerful eternal effects. Through the gospel people are freed from the power of sin and death (Rom. 8:2; Heb. 2:14), released from condemnation (Rom. 8:1), transformed into the image of Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18), and given eternal joy, peace, and satisfaction.

Yet, amazingly, that priceless gospel treasure is contained in simple earthen vessels. Ostrakinos (earthen) refers to baked clay. The vessels Paul describes here were just common pots: cheap, breakable, easily replaceable, and virtually valueless. Occasionally they were used to hide valuables, such as gold, silver, and jewelry. The pots containing such valuable items would often be buried in the ground. In fact, the man in Jesus’ parable who found the treasure hidden in a field (Matt. 13:44) might have discovered it when his plow broke a buried pot. Clay pots were also used to store valuable documents; the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered stored in clay pots in a cave near Qumran.

But earthen vessels were most frequently used for ignoble, everyday purposes. In ancient times, human waste and garbage were stored and transported in clay pots. They were “vessels … of earthenware … to dishonor” (2 Tim. 2:20); that is, they were used for dishonorable, distasteful, unmentionable tasks. Such clay pots had no intrinsic value; their only worth came from the valuables they contained or the service they performed.

Far from disputing the false apostles’ disparaging assessment of him, Paul embraced it and turned it into an affirmation of his authenticity. The apostle acknowledged his human limitations and weaknesses, even describing himself as the “foremost” of sinners (1 Tim. 1:15). But like a cheap, fragile, ordinary clay pot used to hide valuable treasure, Paul carried the priceless treasure of the glorious new covenant gospel. Therefore he could boldly affirm, “I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles” (2 Cor. 11:5). In the next verse he declared, “Even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge.” Though he lacked the polished oratorical skills so highly prized by the Greeks, Paul was not at all lacking in spiritual knowledge.

God delights in using humble, common people, those who are overlooked by society. He places in such clay pots the incalculable treasure of the gospel. In his first inspired letter to the Corinthians, Paul reminded them of that truth:

For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. (1 Cor. 1:26–29)

Earlier he asked rhetorically, “Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” (1 Cor. 1:20). By using common clay pots, God gets the glory, “so that, just as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord’ ” (1 Cor. 1:31). The prerequisite for spiritual usefulness is to be humble, to see one’s self for what one really is, and acknowledge that all the glory for one’s accomplishments belongs to God, who placed the treasure in us. His own trials had taught Paul the lesson that God’s glory and strength were best manifest in his weakness. Because God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9), Paul could joyously affirm, “Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (12:10).

The world is filled with people too enamored with their own cleverness, importance, and ability to be used by God. But when God chose the men through whom He would give His Word to mankind, He did not choose the learned scholars of Alexandria, the distinguished philosophers of Athens, the eloquent orators of Rome, or the self-righteous religious leaders of Israel. He passed them all by in favor of simple Galilean fishermen like Peter, John, James, and Andrew, despised traitors like Matthew the tax collector, and obscure men like Philip, Mark, and Nathaniel (see John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men [Nashville: Word Publishing, 2002]). Even the educated people He chose, such as Luke the physician and Paul, the rabbinic scholar, were humble, unimposing people. To those common, earthen vessels God entrusted the priceless treasure of the gospel.

God chooses humble people to proclaim the gospel message so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of Him. He alone reveals “the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (4:6). By using frail, fallible people, God makes it clear that the power lies not in the human messenger but in the divine message. God’s power transcends the limitations of the clay pot. And it is precisely those limitations that allow Christians to experience the greatest demonstration of God’s power.[1]


7. But we have this treasure. Those that heard Paul glorying in such a magnificent strain as to the excellence of his ministry, and beheld, on the other hand, his person, contemptible and abject in the eyes of the world, might be apt to think that he was a silly and ridiculous person, and might look upon his boasting as childish, while forming their estimate of him from the meanness of his person. The wicked, more particularly, caught hold of this pretext, when they wished to bring into contempt every thing that was in him. What, however, he saw to be most of all unfavourable to the honour of his Apostleship among the ignorant, he turns by an admirable contrivance into a means of advancing it. First of all, he employs the similitude of a treasure, which is not usually laid up in a splendid and elegantly adorned chest, but rather in some vessel that is mean and worthless; and then farther, he subjoins, that the power of God is, by that means, the more illustrated, and is the better seen. “Those, who allege the contemptible appearance of my person, with the view of detracting from the dignity of my ministry, are unfair and unreasonable judges, for a treasure is not the less valuable, that the vessel, in which it is deposited, is not a precious one. Nay more, it is visual for great treasures to be laid up in earthen pots. Farther, they do not consider, that it is ordered by the special Providence of God, that there should be in ministers no appearance of excellence, lest any thing of distinction should throw the power of God into the shade. As, therefore, the abasement of ministers, and the outward contempt of their persons give occasion for glory accruing to God, that man acts a wicked part, who measures the dignity of the gospel by the person of the minister.”

Paul, however, does not speak merely of the universal condition of mankind, but of his own condition in particular. It is true, indeed, that all mortal men are earthen vessels. Hence, let the most eminent of them all be selected, and let him be one that is adorned to admiration with all ornaments of birth, intellect, and fortune, still, if he be a minister of the gospel, he will be a mean and merely earthen depository of an inestimable treasure. Paul, however, has in view himself, and others like himself, his associates, who were held in contempt, because they had nothing of show.[2]


7 Here is the first paradox—the difference between the indescribable value of the gospel treasure and the relative worthlessness of the gospel’s ministers. Verse 6 referred to the treasure in jars of clay as the illumination that comes from “the knowledge of the glory of God.” In describing as “earthen vessels” (NASB) those to whom the gospel is entrusted (1 Th 2:4), Paul is not disparaging the human body or implying that the body is simply the receptacle of the soul (see Notes). Rather, he is contrasting the relative insignificance and unattractiveness of the bearers of the light with the inestimable worth and beauty of the light itself. Behind this contrast Paul sees a divine purpose—that people may recognize that “this all-surpassing power” is God’s alone. His power finds its full scope in human weakness (2 Co 12:9).[3]


7 In this new passage Paul sets out to explain the paradox stated first in 2:14–16. Although his ministry imparts life (2:16), and brings the Spirit of God (3:3) and the glory of God (4:4, 6), in himself he suffers humiliation in God’s triumphal procession (2:14) and the basis of his ministry is that of a slave, the crucified Christ (4:5). Those things that the Corinthians and their new teachers disdain in him, that is, his missionary sufferings, he now declares to be fundamental to ministry that faithfully represents the Crucified One.

The human vessel bearing “this treasure” (= “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God,” v. 6) is a mere “jar of clay.” But this is for a divine purpose—stated positively and negatively5—that the “all-surpassing power might be (1) “from God,” and (2) “not from us.” This “all-surpassing power of God” probably picks up—but so as to reverse—a reference to his sense of overwhelming debility that he made near the beginning of the letter (1:8).

His verb (“we have”) in the first part of the verse occurs a number of times in the immediate context of the letter, where Paul is reflecting upon the new covenant ministry. Paul is deeply conscious of the “treasure”7 that he carries within him.

The previous passage (3:18–4:6) powerfully celebrated the glory of God/of Christ as it is mediated to human lives by the apostolic word. But now there is reintroduced the somber note of the suffering of the one who bears that word, which will run through the entire passage 4:7–5:10. Each part of this verse expresses the antithesis between the power of God and weakness of the apostle (treasure/in clay jars, on the one hand; power from God/not from us, on the other). Such antitheses will characterize the entire passage 4:7–5:10.

Striking is the contrast between the radiant treasure of the knowledge of God/Christ in the heart (4:4, 6) and the inexpensive and easily breakable receptacle11 that bears it, an earthen pot. Such vessels are both cheap and fragile,13 thus having no enduring value in their own right. Only their contents give them worth.

The immediately following references to his sufferings in ministry (vv. 8–9) and the workings of death within the apostle’s life (vv. 10–12) spring from this understanding of the vulnerability of the bearer who carries the treasure. Indeed, the general statement made by this verse should be seen as an introduction to the whole section 4:7–5:10, which becomes universal in its application (4:13–5:10).

Similarly imposing is the juxtaposition of the power of God, which is “all-surpassing,” and human power, which is feeble. This is a recurring theme within 2 Corinthians. Earlier, Paul wrote of being “under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure” (see on 1:8). Now, in exact answer, he points to God’s power, which surpasses the weakness of his mortal body. Later, Paul will recall Jesus’ words to him, “My power is made perfect in weakness” (12:9).

This is no merely pious acknowledgment of his limitations as compared to the greatness of God. Rather—as the syntax (purpose construction shows)—it is divinely ordained that the human bearer of the divine revelation should be an earthenware vessel. The enabling—indeed, the surpassing—power for that ministry cannot, must not, arise from the bearer of the message, but only from God. But this is to reiterate Paul’s earlier conviction, “Our sufficiency comes from God, who has made us sufficient as ministers of a new covenant” (3:5–6).

Why should Paul teach this? Is it because it happens to be true and worth saying, or is there also a special point to be made? In all probability Paul is giving this emphasis because the newly arrived “peddlers” claim to be superior in ministry to Paul, and even to possess special powers. Indeed, Paul’s word that characterizes their self-presentation is hyper, “above”; they are “superlative” apostles (see on 10:12–18; 11:5). It is as if they claim that power for ministry arises from within them; they have more of it than Paul. In response Paul will often point to the sufferings in apostolic ministry within the letter, and—as here—he will insist that it is only by God’s power that the revelation of the glory of God in the gospel can be given (vv. 2, 4, and 6) and that such power can only be seen where its human vessel is “clay.” Paul is not the powerhouse but only the place where the power is exhibited. It is not the power inherent in the minister, but only the word he bears, and which he bears in mortal frailty, that brings light and salvation.

Nonetheless, although Paul’s comments seem to be conditioned by the particular circumstances then prevailing in Corinth, similar views can be found elsewhere in his writings (e.g., 1 Cor 4:8–13; Phil 3:10). In Paul’s mind the proclaimer must reflect the proclaimed. He who proclaims a crucified Messiah must himself live cruciform. Let the Corinthians and their current teachers know that the glory of God does not reside on the face of Moses but on the face of the Christ who was crucified. This truth is reflected in the missionary sufferings of the ambassador, the apostle Paul (cf. 5:20; 12:10).

Moreover, it is doubtful whether such remarks are to be confined in their application to him. Although they begin with him, they do not end with him. The present section (4:7–5:10) has, at a number of points, a degree of applicability to all members of the new covenant and not merely to the apostolic leader (see especially 4:16–5:10). Although Paul is referring in the first instance to himself as an apostle, there is a real sense in which Paul here writes representatively for all fellow members of the new covenant, including the Corinthians (3:18; 5:10; but cf. 12:19). Paul’s sufferings as an apostle, when considered against the claims of the triumphalists who oppose him (2:14–17), have caused him to reflect more generally on what might be called “the human condition.” Thus he reminds readers of these words—then and now—that the power to lift humans out of their powerlessness in the face of suffering, decay, and death does not come from within themselves; it comes only from God. Indeed, these words teach that it is not God’s plan—apparently—that the power for revelation or redemption should arise from within a man or woman. Had the priceless treasure of the knowledge of God been contained in a strong and permanent body, it could have proved fatal, given the fact of human pride. This is true even of an apostle.[4]


4:7 / Having shown the transcendent power and glory of his apostleship in 2:14–4:6, Paul is careful not to claim personal credit for these things. Paul wants to avoid the appearance of self-commendation (3:1) and claims instead that his competence is from God (3:5). This treasure probably refers to the revelation of the glory of God in the face of Christ through which Paul received his apostolic commission (4:6). Paul has this revelatory treasure in jars of clay. It is difficult to know exactly why Paul has chosen this metaphor for his physical body (cf. b. Taʿan. 7a; Acts 9:15). In the ancient world, the most common vessels were earthenware. They were used for storing and transporting (of water, oil, grain, and olives), cooking, eating, drinking, and presenting offerings. They are found in every domestic excavation site and in graves, where they accompanied the deceased with provisions. Pottery vessels became the main type of containers in most Near Eastern cultures. Yet the vessels were fragile and their usual life spans were probably a few years at the most. Therefore, when Paul refers to his body as a clay jar, he may be regarding himself, on one level, as quite ordinary and transitory (cf. Lam. 4:2; Song Rab. 1:19: “Just as water does not keep well in a vessel of silver or gold but in the commonest of vessels, so the Torah resides only in one who makes himself like a vessel of earthenware”).

Paul’s metaphor, however, has a deeper significance: His body is a “jar of clay” because “the Lord God formed man (ʾādām) from the dust of the ground (ʾadāmāh)” (Gen. 2:7; cf. Ps. 103:14; Isa. 29:16; 45:9; Sir. 33:10, 13; 1QH 1.15; 3.21; 1QS 11.21–22). The Hebrew verb yāṣar here is most often used of a potter who “forms” a vessel out of clay (cf. Isa. 29:16; 41:25; Jer. 18:4, 6; 1 Chron. 4:23; Lam. 4:2). In the account of the curse, Genesis goes on to underscore the relationship of human beings to the soil: “You are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:19; cf. Ps. 104:29; Job 10:9; 17:16; 21:26; 34:15; Eccl. 3:20; cf. Schäfer, §973). Therefore, when Paul refers to his body as a clay jar, he regards himself as having a mortal human body.

Verse 7b goes on to give the purpose for which the revelatory treasure is contained in the clay jar of Paul’s mortal body. In the previous context, Paul has been careful not to claim any credit for the surpassing glory and power of his apostolic ministry (cf. 3:6, 10). In fact, the apostle strictly denies any sufficiency in and of himself (3:5). If his body fails to emanate this glory and power, that merely underscores the point, for while Paul considers himself to possess all-surpassing power, this power is not inherently Paul’s own; it is from God (v. 7b; cf. 6:7; 12:9; 12:12).[5]


7. “Lest any should say, How then is it that we continue to enjoy such unspeakable glory in a mortal body? Paul replies, this very fact is one of the most marvellous proofs of God’s power, that an earthen vessel could bear such splendor and keep such a treasure” [Chrysostom, Homilies, 8.496, A]. The treasure or “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.” The fragile “earthen vessel” is the body, the “outward man” (2 Co 4:16; compare 2 Co 4:10), liable to afflictions and death. So the light in Gideon’s pitchers, the type (Jdg 7:16–20, 22). The ancients often kept their treasures in jars or vessels of earthenware. “There are earthen vessels which yet may be clean; whereas a golden vessel may be filthy” [Bengel].

that the excellency of the power, &c.—that the power of the ministry (the Holy Spirit), in respect to its surpassing “excellency,” exhibited in winning souls (1 Co 2:4) and in sustaining us ministers, might be ascribed solely to God, we being weak as earthen vessels. God often allows the vessel to be chipped and broken, that the excellency of the treasure contained, and of the power which that treasure has, may be all His (2 Co 4:10, 11; Jn 3:30).

may be of God … not of us—rather, as Greek, “may be God’s (may be seen and be thankfully [2 Co 4:15] acknowledged to belong to God), and not (to come) from us.” The power not merely comes from God, but belongs to Him continually, and is to be ascribed to him.[6]


Ver. 7.—In earthen vessels. The glorious light which we have to show to the world is, like Gideon’s torches, carried in earthen pitchers. The word skēnos, vessel, is used in Mark 11:16, and “vessels of earthen ware” in Rev. 2:27. St. Paul, in Acts 9:15, is called “a vessel of election,” whence Dante calls him lo vas d’ elezione. Man can never be more than an earthen vessel, being frail and humble, and the metaphor specially suits an apostle of Christ (see 1 Cor. 2:3–5; 2 Tim. 2:20). But when he takes the Word of life from the earthen pitcher and waves it in the air, it illuminates all on whom the light shines. No commentator seems to have seen the probable allusion to Gideon’s pitchers. It is the “light,” of which he has been speaking exclusively in the last verses, which constitutes the “treasure.” Those who suppose that the “treasure” is gold or silver or something else of value, refer to Jer. 32:14, and Herod., iii. 103; Pers., ‘Sat.,’ ii. 10. The excellency; literally, the excess or abundance. Of God, and not of us; rather, of God, and not from us.[7]


Power in weakness (4:7)

Paul contrasts a priceless jewel with its receptacle, an everyday earthen jar. The jewel, or treasure, is ‘the knowledge … of God in the face of Christ’ which God has ‘made … shine in our hearts’ (verse 6). The earthen jar in which this treasure is contained, the human body, is subject to decay and vulnerable to disease and injury. It is, in ultimate terms, powerless.

This is not accidental, but deliberate, to show that this all-surpassing power is from God (verse 7). The power to lift man out of his powerlessness in the face of suffering, decay and death does not come from within himself; it comes only from God. Man is like a jar of clay in order that the all-surpassing power might be from God, and not from ourselves. Earlier (1:8), he wrote of being ‘under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure’. Now, in exact answer, he writes of God’s power which surpasses the weakness of the human body.

It is, apparently, part of God’s plan that the power is not from us. Had this priceless treasure been contained in a strong and permanent body it would have proved a fatal combination for proud and sinful man. Like Adam, he would have reached for the heavens to be a spiritual superman, a ‘god’, a reference perhaps to Paul’s opponents (cf. 12:6–7, 11). We come to appreciate how powerful God is only when we acknowledge the certainty of our own death. This, apparently, had been Paul’s experience. Human life is short, its form easily defaced and its fabric destructible in a second. It is an earthen jar, a cheap clay pot. Hughes comments that ‘the immense discrepancy between the treasure and the vessel serves simply to attest that human weakness presents no barrier to the purposes of God, indeed, that God’s power is made perfect in weakness’.

This teaching about power in weakness, so far from being applicable only to the apostles, is, along with the teaching on transformation (3:18) and illumination (4:6), true for all believers. In fact, the opinion that the power of God impinges on man not in his supposed strength but in his real weakness is no passing sentiment, but is the theological insight, the chief theme, which binds together the whole letter and gives it its unity. It was stated near the beginning (1:8), is restated here (verse 7) and will reappear near the end in the memorable words of Jesus to Paul: ‘My power is made perfect in weakness’ (12:9).[8]


7. And we have this treasure in earthenware pots, so that the extraordinary power may be of God and not out of us.

This verse shows double contrast: first, the treasure of gospel light (v. 6) and worthless clay pots; next, God’s supernatural power and human weakness. The first clause states a fact that in the second results in achieving purpose.

  • “And we have this treasure in earthenware pots.” The phrase and we have refers not to Paul only but to everyone who has received and possesses the good news of salvation. This treasure consists of the gospel message that we have received from the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul tells us that this message is a priceless gift that we carry around in earthenware vessels. He uses an illustration taken from everyday life: clay pots that contained everything from wealth to worthless things, from foods to liquids. Because jars, pots, and vessels were made from clay, they were subject to breakage and, therefore, were inexpensive and discarded in short order.

Jewish rabbis used to say: “It is impossible for wine to be kept in gold or silver vessels but in the most inferior of containers, namely, in earthen vessels. Similarly, the words of the Law are kept only in the person who is most humble.” An analogy is the valuable Dead Sea Scrolls, which were stored for more than two millennia in ordinary clay jars that were decaying while the scrolls remained intact. E. F. F. Bishop suggests that Paul may have had in mind “earthenware lamps of different shapes and sizes.”29 Other scholars wish to link earthenware jars to Paul’s remark about the triumphal procession in Christ (2:14). Filled with coins, grain, wine, or water, vessels were carried along in offering processions.

Lamps made out of clay spread light in every home and jars filled with various commodities were part of triumphal processions. But if Paul had intended to draw attention to either a lamp or a jar in a procession, he would have been able to express this in appropriate words. For him, the contrast of the incomparable value of the gospel and the cheap, fragile clay jars is important. He emphasizes not so much the fragile pots but their content, namely, the treasure.

Assaulted and battered numerous times, Paul’s own body was living proof of its frailty and impending mortality (5:1). For this reason, Paul uses the example of earthenware pottery to illustrate the bodies and minds of humans. He himself calls attention to the potter who fashions vessels for noble and common purposes (Rom. 9:21; Isa. 29:16; Jer. 18:6). And Jesus describes Paul as “a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles” (Acts 9:15, KJV).

  • “So that the extraordinary power may be of God and not out of us.” We hold the gospel as it were in clay jars to exhibit the phenomenal power of God, so that everyone may see that not we but God is its source. The original text reads: “the extraordinary (quality of the) power.” The Greek perhaps reflects Hebraic syntax that merely says “extraordinary power.” What is this great power? It is God’s word that created light (Gen. 1:3), that led Israel out of Egypt (Exod. 3:7–10), that raised Jesus from the dead (Rom. 1:4), and that called Paul to be a missionary to the Gentiles (Acts 26:16–18).

God’s power is revealed in human beings who, in the eyes of the world, are of no account. For example, a company of uneducated fishermen follow Jesus and, filled with the Holy Spirit, spread the gospel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Jason and some fellow Christians are dragged before the city officials in Thessalonica and are accused of causing trouble all over the world (Acts 17:6). Paul is told that he is unimpressive and lacks oratorical skills (10:10), yet he proclaimed the gospel, founded congregations, strengthened the believers, and composed epistles that have brought the message of salvation to countless multitudes around the globe. Commenting on his physical weakness and Christ’s power, Paul affirms that when he is weak, the divine power of Christ is resting on him (12:7–9). The authority of the gospel is not human in origin but has its source in God. “For from him and through him and to him are all things” (Rom. 11:36).[9]


4:7. Paul began this section with a clear thesis statement that he would develop in the verses to follow. Although Paul and other apostles were determined to serve in ministry because of the light of Christ in their hearts, they had this treasure in jars of clay. The image of this metaphor is twofold. On the one hand, there is treasure. The treasure represents the new covenant ministry empowered by “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God” (4:6). In Paul’s day earthenware containers were used to hold many different items. Paul had in mind precious items such as silver or gold. Paul viewed the gospel and its ministry as precious cargo.

On the other hand, this priceless gospel ministry was carried about in jars of clay. Artifacts from Paul’s day indicate that not all items were stored in earthenware containers. Boxes of gold and ivory, decorated with precious stones, were available for the wealthy. Yet, it was common for items of great value to be stored in inexpensive pots of clay.

The counterpart to the jars of clay in Paul’s metaphor is the ministers themselves. Paul had in mind not only the physical body, but also the many trials and troubles that came upon him and those who ministered with him. He introduced the idea that God had placed the treasure of the gospel ministry in frail, ordinary humans. A priceless treasure was contained in common earthenware.

Paul chose this metaphor because it symbolized the reality of his ministry. He had received the incredible light of God in Christ and was commissioned to spread this gospel throughout the world on Christ’s behalf. Yet, this precious treasure did not raise Paul out of ordinary human life. He still faced the weaknesses of physical trials and persecutions in this world.

What was the purpose of this design? The grand message of Christ was carried through the world by ordinary, weak human beings to show that this all-surpassing power was from God and not from the ministers. The expression all-surpassing power alludes to 4:6, which focused on the divine power demonstrated first at the command that light appear (Gen. 1:3), and later in the order that the light of Christ shine in the hearts of believers. God spoke and the light of creation shone; he spoke and the light of re-creation shone as well.

This power of God was also evident in the preaching of the gospel (Rom. 15:18–19). The weakness of Paul and other ministers, coupled with their refusal to use deception, could not have produced the powerful, re-creative effects that the gospel produced. God chose weak creatures to minister the gospel so that it would be all the more clear that he had accomplished the work through these ministers (2 Tim. 1:8).

The effectiveness of their ministry might have caused some people to attribute honor to the ministers themselves. But Paul insisted that the weakness of the jars of clay demonstrated that ministers of the gospel deserved no glory for their work. The power came through weak instruments to demonstrate that it was from God and not from the ministers.[10]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2003). 2 Corinthians (pp. 139–142). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[2] Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (Vol. 2, pp. 201–202). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Harris, M. J. (2008). 2 Corinthians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 469). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Barnett, P. (1997). The Second Epistle to the Corinthians (pp. 229–232). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[5] Scott, J. M. (2011). 2 Corinthians (pp. 103–104). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 306). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[7] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). 2 Corinthians (p. 90). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[8] Barnett, P. (1988). The message of 2 Corinthians: power in weakness (pp. 86–87). Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[9] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 19, pp. 146–147). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[10] Pratt, R. L., Jr. (2000). I & II Corinthians (Vol. 7, pp. 337–338). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

July/Aug 2019 issue — Reformed Perspective

 

WHAT’S INSIDE: A biblical case for global warming skepticism / Technology and our anxious hearts /  Rachel Jankovic’s You who? / Why we should study Scripture together / Tactics in defending our faith / How then shall we watch? / Whether Koran or Qur’an, it’s important to understand / and much more…

Click the cover to view or right-click to download the PDF

via July/Aug 2019 issue — Reformed Perspective

The Real Reason Mass Shootings Occur, But Few Acknowledge — David Fiorazo

Two more mass shootings over the weekend in Ohio and Texas sparking another frenzy as liberals in the media renew their calls for gun control. Others demand solutions to the mental health crisis, still others say it’s because of the alienation of young men today, and progressive politicians – including former president, Barack Obama and many 2020 Democrat hopefuls blame President Trump.

I don’t mean to oversimplify a very complicated issues, but few seem to suggest let alone address man’s greatest problem: sin.

In a culture where discipline and respect for authority is lacking, where people have bowed to the god of self-fulfillment, where narcissists abound, and where young people are coddled and not given healthy boundaries, it’s no wonder darkness and violence are increasing.

But there is a natural and spiritual law that affects every human being, like it or not: you will reap what you sow.

In the Old Testament of the Bible, the Prophet Jeremiah said,

“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it? “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds. (Jeremiah 17:9-10)

One glaring problem in our society is the rejection of any fixed moral anchors with which to guide and govern people. Chaos and godlessness are the result. Another clear consequence of removing the one true God from public places is that the culture of death spreads like a disease.

For example, abortion is the number one killer in the world today. More lives are eliminated under the guise of “choice” than from cancer, heart disease, accidents, and of course, gun violence.

Planned Parenthood alone commits over 900 abortions every single day (that’s one death every 95 seconds) and as a whole, all abortion clinics, businesses, and providers in the U.S. commit about 3,600 abortions a day.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock movement, a rebellion aimed at eradicating God and moral authority using music as an escape from reality. Those same ideas and philosophies are popular today: spirituality without religion, sex without consequences, relativism without moral absolutes, and salvation without repentance.

The ongoing, residual affect is hopelessness. The Apostle Paul warned:

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, …disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, …without self-control, …haters of good; conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God;” (2 Timothy 3:1-4)

Sounds like American culture and the world today, doesn’t it? The truth is human beings were born with a sin nature and we all fall short of God’s standard.

Monday, Tucker Carlson of Fox News quoted author and cultural observer, James Howard Kuntsler on the recent mass shootings and violence he believes results in part from isolation and the modern void of lacking social interaction:

“[T]his is exactly what you get in a culture where anything goes and nothing matters. Extract all the meaning and purpose from being here on earth, and erase as many boundaries as you can from custom and behavior, and watch what happens, especially among young men trained on video slaughter games.”

Last year in the first weekend of August, 66 people were shot, 12 fatally, in Chicago. Shootings across the city this past weekend have left seven people dead and another 52 people wounded. This is the unreported new normal for Chicago and many inner cities in America.

When we forget the value of life and what’s important, apathy and hopelessness result.

Depression and suicide rates among teenagers continue to climb, and it seems answers are difficult to come by. According to the Pentagon, military suicides reached an all-time high in 2018.

And now, a majority of Americans support physician-assisted suicide. You can lawfully murder an elderly person in five states so far. It’s time to expand our discussions about mass shootings and guns to include abortion, suicide, euthanasia, and we need to go deeper than mental health.

But we’re simply unwilling. Evil is something God neither intended nor created. But we’re not robots. If we are truly free, then we have the free will to choose moral evil rather than good. This is why we need laws and morality.

The things we see increasing in America should be a warning for Christians who have found lasting peace and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. We shouldn’t deny or ignore what’s happening. The Bible says, “because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12)

We must not be overwhelmed by death and decay or become indifferent to the suffering of others. Control what is within your control. We can’t allow our hearts to grow cold because without love, it is impossible to show compassion to those who are suffering and to obey God’s command to love our neighbor.

As for those who commit lawless deeds such as murder, there will be a day of reckoning.

Solutions aren’t easy, but in the book of Ecclesiastes, one of the wisest men to have lived on earth put it this way:

“The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

*Video courtesy of Freedom Project Media

via The Real Reason Mass Shootings Occur, But Few Acknowledge — David Fiorazo

LGBTQ+ Activist Transforming Public Schools Freely Admits That Their Goal Is To ‘Train School Teachers To Completely Smash Heteronormativity’ — Now The End Begins

Elly Barnes, founder of Educate and Celebrate, describes her organisation as a “charity” that “transforms schools” into LGBTQ-friendly places.

The LGBTQ+P for Pedophile movement has no idea of any kind about wanting to ‘live in harmony’ with those around, no sir. They don’t want mere tolerance, they don’t even want you to grant them ‘acceptance’. So what do they want? As Elly Barnes so clearly states, they want to “completely smash heteronormativity“, that is to say they want to destroy the notion that being heterosexual is the normal way to be. Where does this idea of heteronormativity come from? It comes from the mouth of God.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27 (KJV)

The Bible clearly teaches us that being heterosexual is not only ‘normative’, it is ordained by God. Nowhere in the entire Bible do we read even one positive example of someone who was gay or lesbian. Every time it does mention homosexuality it is always in the context of being a sin and an abomination. In fact, God goes on to say that homosexual relations are a ‘vile affection’, that it is unnatural, and that it goes completely against the what God created.

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” Romans 1:26,27 (KJV)

So you see, at the heart of the LGBTQ+P for Pedophile movement, it is an accusation against God, and a rejection of His word and His truth. God didn’t create people to be gay, lesbian and transgender, that is the result of fallen man and sin. Thank you Elly Barnes for being so willing to expose your real agenda, and your campaign against God and the Bible. We will be praying that you repent of this wicked lifestyle and get saved, like our friend Laura Perry did. But we won’t let you and your agenda steal our children, there we will fight.

LGBTQ+ activist transforming schools admits: “We’re training public school teachers to completely smash heteronormativity”

FROM CAULDRON POOL: According to Barnes, that means the organisation is “predominantly training teachers” to be “confident in the language of gender identity and sexual orientation.”

The goal is to make sure LGBTQ ideology is an “every-day occurrence within the school.” But the “bottom line,” as Barnes puts it, is to train teachers to “completely smash heteronormativity.”

Sarah Hopson, a primary school teacher from Warrington, is a perfect example. Last year, Hopson told the BBC she conditions school children as young as six to accept LGBTQ ideology while they’re young and impressionable, so they’ll be less likely to accept a Christian view of sexuality later on in life.

“The more they can be accepting of ‘diversity’ at this age — you’re not going to face it further on, because the children will be accepting now and will be accepting this diversity around them,” Hopson said.

One method Hopson employs is requiring her young pupils to write a gay love letter from one male character to another male character. The school has also adopted “non-gender-specific” uniforms. Sadly, in many instances, these activists seem more passionate about indoctrinating our children than we are about protecting and educating them. We must be aware of what our kids are hearing in the classroom and who’s training them. Because, as Jesus warned: “Every pupil when he is fully trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40). And these activists know this well. READ MORE

Smashing Heteronormativity In Schools Nationwide

via LGBTQ+ Activist Transforming Public Schools Freely Admits That Their Goal Is To ‘Train School Teachers To Completely Smash Heteronormativity’ — Now The End Begins

August 7 The Intercessor

scripture reading: 1 John 5:6–8
key verse: Job 32:8

There is a spirit in man,
And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.

Catherine Marshall in her book The Helper provided keen insight into the Holy Spirit’s intercessory role:

Unquestionably, all of us need massive help with praying aright. So set is our flesh against praying at all that the Helper’s first task is to create in us even the basic desire to pray. He is the One Who also spotlights for us the prayer–need or topic for prayer by creating a “concern” within us.

Then the Helper has to uncover for us the essence, or kernel, of what it is we really want. Usually, the true desire at the heart of our prayer petition is buried under debris that obscures and muddles the real issue.

It is also the Helper’s task to show us the blockages in the way of a given prayer–petition: any self–seeking, our desire to control, any resentments and unconfessed sin, etc.

He is also the One who gives us His own prayer faith; also His fervor to replace our tepid love and caring.

As we recognize our ignorance about praying aright and our helplessness, and actively seek the Spirit’s help, our prayer life becomes the anteroom to amazing adventure.

As I wait before You this morning, Lord, let Your Spirit intercede through me. As I lift my requests to You, reveal the true desires of my heart. Remove the things that hinder the flow of Your life through me.[1]


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

It Begins: “Death Camps to All Trump Supporters” Fliers Posted in New York City — The Gateway Pundit

New York City– Fliers were posted on Tuesday calling for “Death Camps to all Trump Supporters.”

New York City is increasingly intolerant of conservative beliefs.

New York City is becoming more communist by the day.

Summit News reported:

The photos were taken by a member of the Shock Theater collective, a group that lays on haunted house tours and horror scenarios, but the company said it was not responsible for creating or posting the fliers.

Suffolk County police said they weren’t alerted to the fliers, which now appear to have been removed.

Just remember; Love trumps hate!

via It Begins: “Death Camps to All Trump Supporters” Fliers Posted in New York City — The Gateway Pundit

Trump Blasts NY Times For Changing Its Headline After Democrats ‘Went Absolutely Crazy’ — The Gateway Pundit

After two mass shootings within hours left 32 dead and 52 wounded, President Trump delivered a somber statement from the White House on Monday. He laid out several avenues as potential solutions, called for unity and bipartisanship, soothed Americans as the comforter-in-chief and loudly denounced racism and white supremacy.

“Together, we lock arms to shoulder the grief, we ask God in Heaven to ease the anguish of those who suffer, and we vow to act with urgent resolve,” he said. “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America,” he said. “Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside — so destructive — and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love,” he said.

The New York Times captured the essence of the president’s speech with a headline for its first print edition that read: “TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM.” The headline carried no bias for either Left or Right, simply summing up the expansive message Trump had delivered.

But the Left went nuts — “absolutely crazy,” in the words of Trump.

Former Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, a candidate for the presidential nomination in 2020, found it “unbelievable” and said so as he retweeted a post from Nate Silver, a former New York Times writer.

Sen. Cory Booker, another 2020 hopeful, wrote: “Lives literally depend on you doing better, NYT. Please do,” as he retweeted the same Silver post.

“Hey, @nytimes — what happened to ‘The Truth Is Worth It?’ Not the truth. Not worth it,” wrote New York City mayor and 2020 candidate Bill de Blasio.

“That’s not what happened,” said candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

And newcomer Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic socialist the Democratic National Committee chairman called “the future of the party,” followed suit.

“Let this front page serve as a reminder of how white supremacy is aided by – and often relies upon – the cowardice of mainstream institutions,” she wrote on Twitter.

For its second edition, out was the clear and concise headline encapsulating the essence of Trump’s comments. In was a new one blasting him as weak and spineless on guns.

“ASSAILING HATE BUT NOT GUNS” read the new headline.

The paper literally changed the headline from what Trump said to what Trump didn’t say.

The change drew scorn and ridicule across the political spectrum, and on Wednesday, Trump took a whack.

” ‘Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism,’ was the correct description in the first headline by the Failing New York Times, but it was quickly changed to, ‘Assailing Hate But Not Guns,’ after the Radical Left Democrats went absolutely CRAZY! Fake News – That’s what we’re up against…” Trump wrote on Twitter.

But Trump wasn’t done.

“This is an astounding development in journalism. I’ve never seen it happen before, I’ve just never seen anything like this! Is that journalism today? I don’t think so!” Mark Penn, Former Clinton Advisor. @TuckerCarlson. After 3 years I almost got a good headline from the Times!” he wrote.

No wonder Trump calls The Times “fake news.”

via Trump Blasts NY Times For Changing Its Headline After Democrats ‘Went Absolutely Crazy’ — The Gateway Pundit

Stock Market Pullback or Bear Market Beginning? (Moment of Truth Part II) — Kimble Charting Solutions

Stock Market Indexes Topping?

Well, that was fast. The stock market pullback has been sharp and likely is not over yet.

Last week, I shared the same chart, calling it a moment of truth for the stock market. Would the 3 underperforming stock market indexes (in the lower half of the chart) bring down the outperforming 3 indexes (in the upper half)? Dow JonesS&P 500 IndexNasdaq 100 versus the Russell 2000Dow Transportation Index, and S&P Mid-Cap Index.

So far, the answer is yes. Well, at least the under-performers have helped to bring about a short-term sharp pullback.

BUT the question now is: Will the underperformers drag the broader market into a correction… or perhaps a bear market?

Let’s look closer at the chart above.

As you can see, each of stock market indexes in the upper and lower half is testing critical up-trend support at (3). Bulls need these price areas to hold.

If support at each (3) breaks, bearish messages will be sent after small, mid and transports sent a bearish divergence message of late.

This article was first written for See It Markets.com. To see original post CLICK HERE.

via Stock Market Pullback or Bear Market Beginning? (Moment of Truth Part II) — Kimble Charting Solutions

Video: “Saul’s Folly” by Alistair Begg — Truth For Life Blog

Trouble was brewing in Israel. As the Philistine army assembled against them, the nation watched in fear and hopelessness, hiding among rocks and tombs. Surveying the circumstances, Saul chose not to wait for Samuel; instead, he offered an unauthorized sacrifice to the Lord. Examining Saul’s actions, Alistair Begg explains that while trusting God is seldom simple, disobeying Him is the heart of folly. Thankfully, our hope does not rest in ourselves, but in Christ, the obedient King.

via Video: “Saul’s Folly” by Alistair Begg — Truth For Life Blog