Daily Archives: August 22, 2019

August 22 Protecting Your Peace

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:25–34

Key Verse: Matthew 6:25

Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?

Webster’s Dictionary defines peace as “an agreement or treaty to end hostilities.” If we are to experience peace in our daily lives, what are the “hostilities” that need to be reckoned with? Most of the time, peace ceases when concern becomes anxiety.

Concern stems from a caring feeling about someone or something, and allows God to be involved. Anxiety, however, is a tormenting form of worry that focuses on the problem instead of on God. To protect our peace, we must learn to thwart anxiety before it begins.

There are three ways to recognize the onset of anxiety:

  • If you find that you are more concerned with what you desire rather than the will of God, you are heading for a period of anxiety.
  • If you find yourself feeling hurried into making unwise decisions, you are inviting anxiety.
  • If you are living in a constant state of agitation and uneasiness, you are likely suppressing anxious feelings.

Walking in peace does not involve escaping reality or responsibility; rather, peace enables us to face trials and hardships with genuine confidence in God. Peace guards our hearts and minds from damaging thoughts.

Use your quiet time today to conduct a “peace check.” Examine your spirit in the presence of the Lord and commit to banish anxious feelings when they arise.

Lord, examine my heart to see if I am resisting Your divine peace by focusing on what I want, making unwise and hurried decisions, or experiencing agitation.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 245). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Results of True Worship — Christian Blogs – Delivered By Grace

What do you think of when you consider the weekly and regular worship of God by the gathered church on the Lord’s Day? Do you think of the singing or the preaching or the praying? What happens when God’s people worship him rightly?

In his book titled, Worship: The Ultimate Priority John MacArthur provides four specific results that occur in the lives of God’s people when they engage in true biblical worship.

  1. God is Glorified
  2. The Church is Purified
  3. The Church is Edified
  4. The Lost are Evangelized

As we read about the early church in Acts and as we examine the work of church planting—it seems that these effects are the natural outflow of a healthy church. What about you and your local church? Are these results evident in your context of worship?

God is Glorified

One thing that must be central as we gather weekly for worship is that the service is not about us. If it’s about us—including the music, the preaching, or any other element—it cannot be about God. We gather to praise God for his worthiness and exalt God for his glory and magnificence. Worship is not entertainment.

The sobering reality is that God is not glorified by sloppy and unbiblical worship. It matters how we pray to God. It matters how we sing to God. It matters how we listen to the sermons. Everything we do as we gather for worship should be vertically focused and we must make much of our glorious God. When God is central, only then can God be rightly glorified.

The Church is Purified

How many worship services have you attended in your Christian life? Do you believe that you’ve been changed as a result of worshiping God? Worship—true and biblical worship—changes us. We cannot draw near to God and expect to remain the same.

Have you met a professing Christian who claims to have an unbridled tongue? Maybe they’ve said something like, “I come about my tongue honestly. I get it from a long line of family members. We just don’t have a filter.” The question remains, how can a person draw near to God and not have their tongue impacted by God? Remember Isaiah in his magnificent vision of Isaiah 6? That was one thing that was immediately clear to him.

Isaiah 6:6 – Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. (ESV)

The calling of God upon us as his people is to be holy—as God is holy (1 Pet. 1:16). If we can gather for worship on a weekly basis and it doesn’t change us and cause us to become more conformed the image of God’s Son—we have not worshiped God properly (Rom. 8:29).

John MacArthur rightly states, “If the corporate worship in the church leaves people unchanged the church is not worshiping.”

The Church is Edified

The edification of God’s people is essential in true worship. When we come to the realization that worship matters because God matters it will revolutionize our worship. Since worship matters, how we worship God is essential. Words matter and words serve as the building blocks of doctrinal truth. If we are to know God and worship God rightly, we must engage our minds. If we are to be edified in worship, we must know some things about ourselves and about God.

Often times proper edification comes on the other side of confrontation. The kind of preaching that refuses to confront people with their sin leads a church in the opposite direction of biblical worship. Soft preaching produces hard hearts and hard preaching produces soft hearts. When David was confronted, his response was repentance and then edification (Ps. 51). When Peter denied Jesus, he repented and was later restored by Jesus (John 21). We will be edified in the faith as we draw near to God (James 4:8) and pursue God in holiness.

The Lost are Evangelized

In the book of Acts, the church was divided as it grew in number and some of the widows were being neglected. They were not receiving the proper care from the church. In Acts 6, we find the origination of the office of deacon and upon the establishment of these seven men—the church was unified and able to free up the apostles to study the Word and pray. The result is key—the word of God increased and many people came to faith in Christ.

A church that learns to worship properly will leave with burning hearts that desire to proclaim the good news of King Jesus. Selfish people have shallow worship and cold hearts to the lost world. We must learn the proper connection between true worship and true evangelism.

The weekly and regular worship of the church should not be designed for the unbeliever nor should it be designed as an evangelistic crusade. The people of God must worship God and the people of God must be fed properly with a rich diet of God’s truth. However, when God’s people worship rightly, any unbeliever who is present will come face-to-face with the good news of Jesus and the living hope of the church. A sloppy and lazy worshiping church is a shameful thing in the eyes of a watching world.

via The Results of True Worship — Christian Blogs – Delivered By Grace

August 22 Fruit Producing

Scripture Reading: John 15:1–8

Key Verse: John 15:5

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

What kinds of sounds do you hear in a grape arbor or other fruit orchard? You can probably hear birds chirping, the wind rustling through leaves, and many other usual outdoor sounds.

You do not hear the sounds of the vines or trees groaning and straining. The plants are not laboring to produce their fruit; the fruit just comes out of the branches naturally as a part of the growing process. The vine does not have to concentrate on producing grapes. When the vine is healthy and has all the water and nutrients it needs, the grapes come forth.

Jesus compared your life to the branches on a grapevine. He said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 nasb).

The secret to fruit producing is as basic for you as it is for a real grapevine: stay attached to the Vine and focus all of your energy and attention to simply being there, or abiding, in Christ. Worship Him, praise Him, meditate on His words, seek solitude in Him, and let yourself be absorbed into His purposes.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, who bears testimony that you are attached to the Vine, your “grapes” will grow. Your fruit is a direct reflection of the quality of your relationship with Christ.

Precious Lord, help me give up groaning and straining and simply learn to abide. I’m tired of trying to do it in myself. Produce Your fruit in me.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 245). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Step Away From Your Media Political Commentary and Look to the Lord! — The Ignorant Fishermen Blog

Hear me my dear friend, I plead with you with all my being, I would like for you – in ALL REALITY and TRUTH – turn off your media-political commentary and direct your attention away from the EXPONENTIAL political and social problems that engulf our nation and world; and REDIRECT your focus and attention to Almighty God our ETERNAL CREATOR and His INFALLIBLE RIGHTEOUS Word for your soul and hour!

Look to and seek the Lord!

“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:22).

“And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 29:14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 29:13).

“Have faith in Almighty God and His Word! Have Faith in God” (Mark 11:22).

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

Put your hope and expectations in Almighty God and His solutions for you here in time and for ETERNITY!

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8).

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

My friend, the question needs to be asked; Do you know The Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior as taught in the Holy Scriptures?” Our moral virtues and conservative ideologies are not good enough for ETERNITY. We must not trust in our own human goodness, but only in the ABSOLUTE RIGHTEOUSNESS (perfection), that is found in Jesus Christ to enter into God’s perfect (holy) Heaven.

The Bible states; “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Romans 10:2-4).

Do you have Almighty God’s RIGHTEOUSNESS that is only found in The Lord Jesus Christ? This is the dire question at hand for you, not what are we to do now in Washington.

In these very difficult days may you redirect your hope and expectations from Washington D.C. into the very throne room of Almighty God’s perfect heaven. Almighty God and His Word will never change and that is the anchor of the soul for any – who by faith – place their full trust in Him. His promises (past, present, future) are sure, steadfast and true. May you place your trust in Him today – saved or unsaved for in doing so you will never be the same.

The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!


via Step Away From Your Media Political Commentary and Look to the Lord! — The Ignorant Fishermen Blog

August 22 Training in Godliness

Scripture reading: 1 Timothy 6:1–12

Key verse: 1 Timothy 4:7

Reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness.

The athletes who run twenty–six-mile marathons usually have trained for years. So have those who run sixty-meter sprints. In more important confrontations—like those against temptations—are we to be any less prepared to run, to flee?

In The Practice of Godliness, Jerry Bridges writes,

In urging Timothy to train himself in godliness in 1 Timothy 4:7, Paul borrowed a term from the realm of athletics. The verb which is variously translated in different versions of the Bible as “exercise,” “discipline,” or “train” originally referred to the training of young athletes …

Paul said, “Train yourself to be godly.” You and I are responsible to train ourselves. We are dependent upon God for his divine enablement, but we are responsible; we are not passive in this process. Our objective in this process is godliness—not proficiency in ministry—but God-centered devotion and Godlike character.

Training in godliness requires commitment, the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit through His Word, and practice on our part. Are we prepared to accept our responsibility and make that commitment? As we ponder that question, let us remember, “godliness has value for all things, holding promise—for both the present life and the life to come,” and “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 4:8; 6:6).

Father, empower me with Your strength to train myself in godliness. I commit myself to walk in Your ways.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 245). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 22, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Shield of Faith

the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. (6:16)

Roman soldiers used several kinds of shields, but two were the most common. The first was a rather small round shield, perhaps two feet in diameter, that was secured to the arm by two leather straps. It was relatively lightweight and was used to parry the sword blows of one’s opponent in hand-to-hand fighting.

The second kind was the thureos, to which Paul refers here. This shield was about two and half feet wide and four and a half feet high, designed to protect the entire body of the soldier—who was considerably smaller than the average man today. The shield was made of a solid piece of wood and was covered with metal or heavy oiled leather.

The soldiers who carried these shields were in the front lines of battle, and normally stood side by side with their shields together, forming a huge phalanx extending as long as a mile or more. The archers stood behind this protective wall of shields and shot their arrows as they advanced against the enemy. Anyone who stood or crouched behind such shields was protected from the barrage of enemy arrows and spears.

The faith to which Paul refers here is not the body of Christian beliefs (for which the term is used in 4:13), but basic trust in God—the faith in Christ that appropriates salvation and continues to bring blessing and strength as it trusts Him for daily provision and help. The substance of Christianity is believing that God exists and that He rewards those who seek Him (Heb. 11:6); putting total trust in His Son as the crucified, buried, risen, and ascended Savior; obeying Scripture as His infallible and authoritative Word; and looking forward to the Lord’s coming again. Habakkuk’s great declaration that “the righteous will live by his faith” (Hab. 2:4) is quoted and reaffirmed twice by Paul (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11) and once by the writer of Hebrews (10:38).

Every person lives by some form of faith. We cross a bridge with the faith that it will support us. We eat food trusting that it is not poisoned. We put our lives in the security of airplanes, trains, ships, buses, and automobiles, confident that they are safe. The fact that faith in such things is usually well founded makes life and society as we know it possible. Reflecting on this fact in a more philosophical manner, Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “It is faith in something that makes life worth living.”

But faith in God is immeasurably more reliable and more important than the practical, everyday faith by which we live. And it is far from being simply “faith in something.” Faith is only as reliable and helpful as the trustworthiness of its object; and Christian faith is powerful and effective because the object of faith, Jesus Christ, is infinitely powerful and absolutely dependable. Christian faith never fails, because the One in whom that faith is placed never fails.

When John Paton was translating the Bible for a South Seas island tribe, he discovered that they had no word for trust or faith. One day a native who had been running hard came into the missionary’s house, flopped himself in a large chair and said, “It’s good to rest my whole weight on this chair.” “That’s it,” said Paton. “I’ll translate faith as ‘resting one’s whole weight on God.’ ”

In New Testament times the tips of arrows would often be wrapped in pieces of cloth that had been soaked in pitch. Just before the arrow was shot, the tip would be lighted and the flaming missile would be shot at the enemy troops. The pitch burned fiercely, and on impact it would spatter burning bits for several feet, igniting anything flammable it touched. In addition to piercing their bodies, it could inflict serious burns on enemy soldiers and destroy their clothing and gear. The most reliable protection against such flaming missiles was the thureos shield, whose covering of metal or leather soaked in water would either deflect or extinguish them.

The spiritual flaming missiles against which believers need protection would seem primarily to be temptations. Satan continually bombards God’s children with temptations to immorality, hatred, envy, anger, covetousness, pride, doubt, fear, despair, distrust, and every other sin.

Satan’s initial temptation to Adam and Eve was to entice them to doubt God and instead to put their trust in his lies. That was the first of his flaming missiles, from which all the others have lighted their flames. Every temptation, directly or indirectly, is the temptation to doubt and distrust God. The purpose of all of Satan’s missiles, therefore, is to cause believers to forsake their trust in God, to drive a wedge between the Savior and the saved. He even tempted God’s own Son to distrust Him in the wilderness—first to distrust His Father’s provision, then to distrust His protection and His plan (Matt. 4:3–9).

Efforts to justify fornication or adultery in the name of God’s grace—arguing, as some do, that sex was created by God and that everything He created is good—pervert logic, contradict God’s Word, and impugn His integrity. Trying to justify marriage to an unbeliever—arguing that the relationship is so beautiful that it must be of God—follows Satan’s will instead of God’s. Doubting God is to disbelieve God, which, as the apostle John tells us, makes a liar of Him who cannot lie (1 John 5:10; cf. Titus 1:2). Whenever and however we try to justify any sin, we degrade God’s character and elevate Satan’s. To sin is to believe Satan, and to follow righteousness is to believe God. Therefore, all sin results from failure to act in faith in who God is and in what He is. Faith, then, is the shield.

Sin forsakes and contradicts God’s promises that the person who listens to Him is blessed (Prov. 8:34), that He will never give His children a stone when they ask for a fish (Matt. 7:9), that He will open the windows of heaven and pour out immeasurable blessings on His faithful children (Mal. 3:10), that He has given “every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift” (James 1:17), that He will “supply all [our] needs according to His riches in glory” (Phil. 4:19), that He has already “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3), and a hundred other such promises.

The only way to extinguish Satan’s flaming missiles of temptation to doubt God is to believe God, taking up the shield of faith. “Every word of God is tested,” the writer of Proverbs tells us. “He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words lest He reprove you, and you be proved a liar” (Prov. 30:5–6). David reminds us that “the word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him” (Ps. 18:30). “This is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4).

The evil one (or “vile, wretched one,” ponēros) refers to the devil, whose supernaturally evil schemes we are to stand firm against and “to resist in the evil day” with the armor God supplies (vv. 11–13). Paul here again emphasizes that our struggle is against personal forces of evil—not simply against bad philosophies or wrong ideas, as liberal theologians and preachers have long maintained. Our battle is not against abstract evil influences but the personal evil one and his hordes of personal demons.[1]

16. Taking the shield of faith. Though faith and the word of God are one, yet Paul assigns to them two distinct offices. I call them one, because the word is the object of faith, and cannot be applied to our use but by faith; as faith again is nothing, and can do nothing, without the word. But Paul, neglecting so subtle a distinction, allowed himself to expatiate at large on the military armour. In the first Epistle to the Thessalonians he gives both to faith and to love the name of a breastplate,—“putting on the breastplate of faith and love.” (1 Thess. 5:8.) All that was intended, therefore, was obviously this,—“He who possesses the excellencies of character which are here described is protected on every hand.”

And yet it is not without reason that the most necessary instruments of warfare—a sword and a shield—are compared to faith, and to the word of God. In the spiritual combat, these two hold the highest rank. By faith we repel all the attacks of the devil, and by the word of God the enemy himself is slain. If the word of God shall have its efficacy upon us through faith, we shall be more than sufficiently armed both for opposing the enemy and for putting him to flight. And what shall we say of those who take from a Christian people the word of God? Do they not rob them of the necessary armour, and leave them to perish without a struggle? There is no man of any rank who is not bound to be a soldier of Christ. But if we enter the field unarmed, if we want our sword, how shall we sustain that character?

Wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the darts. But quench appears not to be the proper word. Why did he not use, instead of it, ward off or shake off, or some such word? Quench is far more expressive; for it is adapted to the epithet applied to darts. The darts of Satan are not only sharp and penetrating, but—what makes them more destructive—they are fiery. Faith will be found capable, not only of blunting their edge, but of quenching their heat. “This,” says John, “is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5:4.)[2]

16 Paul’s fourth instruction (again a participle attached to the main verb “stand”) consists of “taking up” (analabontes, GK 377) the shield of faith in all circumstances. The sole occurrence of this word for “shield” (thyreos, GK 2599) in the NT, it refers to a stone that covered the opening to a door or, obviously here, a large oblong shield—the Roman scutum that was shaped like a door, with the approximate dimensions of 4 feet by 2½ feet. Paul urges believers to take up the shield, which is faith (“of faith” is a genitive of apposition), since this shield has the capacity to “extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” The “evil one” is the devil (v. 11); his flaming arrows signify an evil or destructive intent, such as to burn down the church. O’Brien, 480, includes among the flaming arrows “not only every kind of temptation to ungodly behaviours (cf. 4:26–27), doubt, and despair, but also external assaults, such as persecution or false teaching.”

How does faith extinguish these intentions? Certainly Paul does not urge his readers here to obtain the salvation that comes by faith (2:8); they already have that (1:15). Rather, believers need to exercise their faith or trust in God (cf. 3:12, 17) as they wage the spiritual battles. Besides being a shield himself, God often supplies a shield for his people (e.g., Pss 18:35; 91:4). When Jesus encountered the devil’s attacks, he resisted by using the words of God (Mt 4:11 par.); in other words, he trusted God to protect him. When Satan sends one of his flaming arrows against the church, believers either trust God and act on what God wills for them, or they attempt to ward off the attacks in their own ways, using their own resources. Those who follow the latter course cannot survive the devil’s darts. Paul insists that trust in God is essential for survival as a church and as a Christian.[3]

16  In addition to the defensive equipment actually worn on the body comes the shield, carried on the left arm and maneuvered so as to repel attacks of various kinds, including “fire-tipped darts” or other flaming missiles designed to cause personal or material damage. Even when such a missile was caught by the shield and did not penetrate to the body, says Livy, it caused panic, because it was thrown when well alight and its motion through the air made it blaze more fiercely, so that the soldier was tempted to get rid of his burning shield and expose himself to the enemy’s spear-thrusts.71 But the “shield of faith” not only catches the incendiary devices but extinguishes them. The “fire-tipped darts of the evil one” are the “wiles of the devil” already mentioned; the best defense against them is faith in God. Here too a question arises: is it faith in God or faithfulness to God that is meant? In 1 Pet. 5:8–9, where the assaults of the devil are described by means of a different figure of speech (he “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour”), faith again is recommended as the best means of defense against him: “resist him, firm in your faith.” There, as E. G. Selwyn says, “a flint-like resolution” is what is called for; such a resolution is the product of an unshakable faith in God.

There is a figurative reference to fiery missiles in the Qumran Hymns of Thanksgiving, where the speaker says of the mighty men who surround him with their weapons of war:

They have let fly arrows

against which there is no cure,

and the flame of (their) javelins

is like a consuming fire among trees.”

But his loyalty to God’s covenant protects him; his “foot remains upon level ground.”[4]

“The shield of faith” (v. 16)

Take up “the shield of faith,” Paul says, “with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” We must ask two questions of this verse.

First, what sorts of arrows does Satan launch at God’s people? What is it that we are to guard against, exactly? He aims the arrows of theological doubts at our minds: “Are you really, in today’s world, prepared to believe the entire Bible?” He aims to strike fear into our hearts—that perhaps we have sinned our way past the point of grace; or that maybe the promises of God will not prove faithful after all. He fires accusations at us: “How can you call yourself a Christian, having stumbled so many times?” He looses the arrows of false doctrine at God’s people, too. In addition, he constantly seeks to inflame us with sinful desires and passions. How do we fend off all these attacks? With “the shield of faith.”

The second question is this: How is faith like a shield? Roman shields were sometimes coated in leather and doused in water so that arrows tipped with fire would be quickly extinguished before the fire could spread or do damage. Paul says that this is precisely the function of “faith” in the life of a Christian. Faith in God will snuff out the fires of doubt, fear, accusation, false doctrine, and temptation that Satan wants to create in your soul.

For instance, when difficult circumstances arise in our lives, Satan often whispers the lie that God has surely forgotten us, or that everything in our lives is an irreparable wreck. How do we extinguish these “flaming arrows” of doubt and fear? By exercising “faith” in a specific promise of God—perhaps one like Romans 8:28, which tells us that “God causes all things [even difficult circumstances] to work together for good” for his beloved people. To give another example, how do we respond when we have sinned and the accuser tempts us to think that our failings are irremediable and unforgiveable? We extinguish the “flaming arrows” of accusation by calling to mind and believing a biblical truth like 1 John 1:7: “the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

The above are just two of many potential examples, with the main point being that it is “the shield of faith”—faith in specific promises of and truths about our God—that extinguishes the arrows of doubt, temptation, fear, false teaching, and accusation that Satan constantly slings our way! Biblical faith knows and trusts God, and is able, therefore, to recognize the devil’s lies and schemes for what they are. Biblical faith functions, therefore, like a shield—extinguishing the devil’s lies and accusations before they catch fire in the soul. Let us be diligent to take up this “shield”! Let us have “faith” in the promises and character of our God![5]

6:16 / Fourth, take up the shield of faith. According to ancient historians, the large door-shaped protective shield was composed of two layers of wood covered with a flame-resistant hide. The flaming arrows that the enemy shot would strike the shield and burn out without penetrating it. Faith, claims the author, acts like an impregnable shield and will extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Faith is complete confidence in and reliance upon God to give the victory.[6]

16. Above all—rather, “Over all”; so as to cover all that has been put on before. Three integuments are specified, the breastplate, girdle, and shoes; two defenses, the helmet and shield; and two offensive weapons, the sword and the spear (prayer). Alford translates, “Besides all,” as the Greek is translated, Lu 3:20. But if it meant this, it would have come last in the list (compare Col 3:14).

shield—the large oblong oval door-like shield of the Romans, four feet long by two and a half feet broad; not the small round buckler.

ye shall be able—not merely, “ye may.” The shield of faith will certainly intercept, and so “quench, all the fiery darts” (an image from the ancient fire-darts, formed of cane, with tow and combustibles ignited on the head of the shaft, so as to set fire to woodwork, tents, &c.).

of the wicked—rather “of the evil one.” Faith conquers him (1 Pe 5:9), and his darts of temptation to wrath, lust, revenge, despair, &c. It overcomes the world (1 Jn 5:4), and so the prince of the world (1 Jn 5:18).[7]

Ver. 16.—Withal taking up the shield of faith. The θυζεός was a large oblong shield covering a great part of the body, not the ἀσπίς, smaller and more round. Faith, in its widest sense, constitutes this shield—faith in God as our Father, in Christ as our Redeemer, in the Spirit as our Sanctifier and Strengthener—faith in all the promises, and especially such promises as we find in Rev. 2 and 3 “to him that overcometh” (comp. promise to Ephesus, Rev. 2:7) Wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one. “Fiery darts” were weapons tipped with inflammable materials, firebrands, curiously constructed, adapted to set on fire. Metaphorically, considerations darted into the mind inflaming lust, pride, revenge, or other evil feelings, emanations from the great tempter, the evil one. That such considerations sometimes start up suddenly in the mind, against the deliberate desire, sometimes even in the middle of holy exercises, is the painful experience of every Christian, and must make him thankful for the shield on which they are quenched. An act of faith on Christ, placing the soul consciously in his presence, recalling his atoning love and grace, and the promises of the Spirit, will extinguish these fiery temptations.[8]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1986). Ephesians (pp. 357–360). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and Ephesians (pp. 339–340). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Klein, W. W. (2006). Ephesians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, pp. 166–167). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Bruce, F. F. (1984). The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (pp. 408–409). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[5] Strassner, K. (2014). Opening up Ephesians (pp. 145–146). Leominster: Day One.

[6] Patzia, A. G. (2011). Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon (p. 289). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[7] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, pp. 357–358). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[8] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Ephesians (p. 259). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

Mark Levin: ‘Media and Democrat Party Are Tied at the Hip’ | CNS News

Nationally syndicated radio talk show host, TV host, author and American lawyer Mark Levin (Screenshot)

Mark Levin began his nationally syndicated radio talk show “The Mark Levin Show” on Wednesday comparing the media reaction to a speech by former President Barack H. Obama campaigning at the Congressional Black Caucus on behalf of then presidential candidate Hillary R. Clinton with that of President Donald J. Trump, Levin suggesting the “media and Democrat Party are tied at the hip.”

“Now, this is a speech he’s [Obama] is giving to the Congressional Black Caucus dinner,” stated Mark Levin. “So the vast majority in the auditorium are African Americans. So, it’s a personal insult to his legacy if they don’t vote for Hillary Clinton.

“Nobody ever called him a racist,” Levin went on. “Nobody ever called him a racist. That’s because the media and the Democrat Party are tied at the hip.”

Mark Levin’s comments stem from a clip from Real Clear Politics posted on Sept. 17, 2016, which shows former President Barack H. Obama campaigning at the Congressional Black Caucus on behalf of then presidential candidate Hillary R. Clinton, Obama encouraging the audience to vote for Hillary Clinton to continue his legacy.

Below is a transcript, in pertinent part, of Mark Levin’s remarks from his show on Wednesday:

Former President Barack H. Obama: “If you care about our legacy, realize everything we stand for is at stake, all the progress we’ve made is at stake in this election. My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. …”

Mark Levin: “Hilary’s on the ballot.”

Obama: “Ending mass incarceration, that’s on the ballot right now. And there is one candidate …”

Levin: “Stop a second. Notice— Yes, it’d be me, Mark Levin. Welcome. Notice they never compare his cadence, and all the screaming, to the Third Reich, and Trump is regularly said to sound like he’s creating a Third Reich.

“Notice, ‘[indiscernible],’ screaming at the top of his lungs. Notice his audience isn’t said to be filled with neo-Nazis and reprobates. He’s not riling up racism or anything else.”

Obama: “… those things. And there’s another candidate whose defining principle, the central theme of his candidacy is opposition to all that we’ve done. There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter. It all matters. And after we have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African American community, I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election. …”

Levin: “Now, this is a speech he’s giving to the Congressional Black Caucus dinner. So the vast majority in the auditorium are African Americans. So, it’s a personal insult to his legacy if they don’t vote for Hillary Clinton.

“Nobody ever called him a racist. Nobody ever called him a racist. That’s because the media and the Democrat Party are tied at the hip.

“The president’s right about the Democrat Party. That’s why there’s all the fury in the media. That’s why you see things showing up in the ‘Washington comPost,’ ‘The New York Slimes,’ the ‘Constipated News Network,’ ‘MSLSD.’ You’ve offended the media when you offend the Democrat Party.”

Source: Mark Levin: ‘Media and Democrat Party Are Tied at the Hip’

Facebook is Hiring a Team of Reporters to Curate What News You Can See — Pulpit & Pen

With a recent surge in censorship, big companies such as YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest have been blocking and censoring users and news under the guise of political correctness. Facebook is officially joining the club.

Facebook released details on Tuesday of their plan to put together a “small team” of “seasoned” journalists from various outlets to curate news as part of its News Tab mobile app. Facebook claims that the reporters won’t be “editing headlines, stories, writing content, etc.,” and users will be able to tell which articles have been curated.

Facebook hopes the changes to the current news system will change the way millions receive their news, as told to Axios.

Companies such as Bloomberg, ABC News, and The Washington Post will be paid $3 million to have their content featured on the app. The Washington Post reported that a test with 200,000 users will take place in October.

Read more: Facebook is Hiring a Team of Reporters to Curate What News You Can See — Pulpit & Pen

CHOSEN ONE: President Trump’s Retweet Of ‘Second Coming Of God’ Comment Only Goes To Show What We Have Said About Him From The Beginning — Now The End Begins

Evangelicals who now say they ‘feel betrayed’ by Trump’s comments only prove that never knew who he really was when they started supporting him.

It brings a smile to my face as I watched evangelicals struggling to understand the words and actions of President Trump. Why? Because evangelicals didn’t understand why God placed him in office 3 years ago, and they still don’t understand in 2019 why he is there. Evangelicals, who are strong on evangelizing but tragically short on bible doctrine and prophecy, cannot fathom why Trump would call himself “the chosen one”, and retweet comments about him being the “second coming of God”. To the people like the man who wrote the article below, it is bewildering, but to us it is pretty clear.

“For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.” Haggai 2:6,7 (KJV)

Donald Trump as president is exactly what we said he would b when we first start writing about him in 2015 and ’16. We told you then that it was our considered opinion that God was placing Trump in power for two reasons. The first being to bless Israel and get something done for the Jewish people. This Trump has done is amazing fashion. Doing what no other president, Red or Blue, ever had the guts to do, Trump moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. And in typical Trump style, he did it on May 14th, the 70th anniversary of regathered Israel. Not stopping there, Trump then proceeded to proclaim Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and finally recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. For prophecy watchers it was a giddy time to say the least. Then we get to reason number two why God placed Trump in power. Judgment.

In our article entitled ‘THE GLOBAL SHAKING FROM A TRUMP PRESIDENCY WE WARNED YOU ABOUT LAST YEAR HAS ALREADY STARTED‘ we told that as we had felt that God placing Barack Obama into office was God’s judgement for national sin on America, God placing Trump into office is God’s judgment on the world. God is using Trump to shake American and the world right down to its very core, letting him be a catalyst for the ever-rising chaos and confusion we now see around the globe. God is shaking everything, and we will not see an end to that shaking right up to the moment we are taken up and out of here in the Pretribulaton Rapture of the Church.

Lastly, and please don’t miss this point, Donald Trump remains, despite evangelical fantasy, unsaved and headed for the fires of Hell as all unsaved people are at this very moment. His official ‘spiritual advisor’ is gospel pimp and fraud Paula White who makes a great show for the cameras but is all Laodicean fluff and nonsense. And because he is unsaved, President Trump will say things like he is the ‘chosen one’ and retweet comments calling him the ‘second coming of God’. He has no idea who God is because he has no relationship with Him. Pray for Trump’s soul.

Evangelicals like Washington’s Christian power brokers of ‘The Family‘ run by the late master marketeer Doug Coe have done this nation a great disservice with their powerless ‘love gospel’ as we see on display in their yearly ecumenical ‘National Prayer Breakfast‘ nonsense. Evangelicals who now say they ‘feel betrayed’ by Trump’s comments only prove that never knew who he really was when they started supporting him. Bible believers know who Trump is, and we have from the beginning, he is the chosen one. Chosen to bring judgement.

I’m an evangelist and a Trump voter. But Trump as the ‘second coming of God’ is blasphemous.

FROM GREENWICH TIME: Since President Donald Trump’s election, many in the evangelical community have lauded him, grateful for his work to protect and propel some of the Christian values we hold so dear. The support has been unwavering, as he enjoys high marks from about 70 percent of evangelicals, many of whom are so concerned with protecting their rights and key issues that they don’t want to do anything that might jeopardize that support for Trump and cause people to vote against him.

But perhaps one of Trump’s most disturbing steps came Wednesday, when the president, who claims to be a Christian, tweeted quotes of and therefore validated radio host’s Wayne Allyn Root words that “the Jewish people love Trump . . . like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God.”

Christians believe and profess that the only true “King of Israel” is God, as clearly stated in Isaiah 44:6, and that he sent his son, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, into this world. That makes the description of Trump as “the second coming of God” shocking, blasphemous and sacrilegious.

The silence from my fellow evangelical colleagues, ministry partners and friends that has followed is deafening. Many of them refuse to call out moral failures on the right that they have so vehemently attacked on the left.

In the evangelical community, we have come to believe incorrectly that any critique of Trump only serves to promote the party on the left. But embracing critiques proves we are objective, not blind to the flaws in political parties or our presidents.

Trump is neither the “Second Coming of God” nor the “Messiah.” In repeating the profane quote, he gave a narcissistic endorsement and even thanked Root, a well-known conspiracy theorist, for his words.

Messianic claims are dangerous, because God does not share glory with anyone.

Another historic leader, Herod Agrippa – the king of Judea after Jesus’ death, from 41 to 44 A.D. – once found himself in a similar situation. In the New Testament chapter of Acts 12, Herod was called “God.” Herod’s response? He took credit. The Lord’s response? He sent an angel to kill Herod. In Herod’s case, the Bible doesn’t say he repeated the title – only that he allowed it to be spoken. Perhaps the president can learn from Herod’s mistake.

I am a conservative evangelical who cast my vote for Trump for the very same reason many other evangelicals did: his conservative stance on issues concerning abortion and religious freedom. I visited Washington last October for a briefing at which faith leaders listened to White House officials address many policy issues.

Inconsistency is at least one reason I hear a growing antagonism toward evangelicals. As a full-time evangelist traveling all over the United States, I find it increasingly obvious that many people legitimately see evangelicals as hypocrites. Why? Because too often, we dismiss or excuse every indiscretion of the president by approving his other accomplishments.

Being fair and equitable does not mean simply applauding what many of us endorse about Trump, including his stance on abortion, his promotion of freedom of religion, his appointment of conservative judges and his aggressive support for Israel. We must also vocally denounce his blatantly egregious actions, including not only Wednesday’s tweets but also his consistently negative interactions and dialogue with people of different races, genders and ethnicities.

As evangelicals, we have taken a hard line on conservative values, but we have also been moving our standards to fit our narrative. If we are going to condone or condemn certain actions, policies or behaviors coming from the current administration, then we had better be ready to do the same with the next president. Otherwise, we will continue to lose credibility and display a polluted brand of Christianity that is word without deed – completely unlike that of the true Messiah we claim to follow. READ MORE

Trump: “I Am The Chosen One”

Speaking to reporters, Trump defended his actions against china arguing that the US has been exploited to the tune of $500 Billion and that somebody had to stand up to them. Watch as he calls himself the ‘chosen one’. 

via CHOSEN ONE: President Trump’s Retweet Of ‘Second Coming Of God’ Comment Only Goes To Show What We Have Said About Him From The Beginning — Now The End Begins

The “Lungs Of The Earth” Are Being Burned Away As Unprecedented Wildfires Absolutely Ravage The Planet | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Michael Snyder via The End of The American Dream blog,

We have never seen anything quite like this.

This week the skies above Brazil’s largest city turned black in the middle of the afternoon due to the massive wildfires that are currently raging in that country.  But the wildfires aren’t actually happening anywhere near São Paulo.  In fact, the smoke that turned the skies black actually came from fires that were happening more than 1,000 miles away.  Can you imagine how powerful the fires have to be in order to do that?

And it isn’t just Brazil – right now horrific fires are scorching vast stretches of our planet from South America all the way up to the Arctic.  Some of the fires are producing so much smoke that you can actually see it from space.  And in the process, irreversible damage is being done to our ecosystems.

I know that this number is hard to believe, but there have been more than 72,000 wildfires in Brazil so far in 2019, and most of those fires are happening in the Amazon rainforest.  I understand that many of you may not care what happens in Brazil, but you should.  Approximately 60 percent of the entire Amazon rainforest is in Brazilian territory, and that rainforest produces approximately 20 percent of all the oxygen in our atmosphere.  So essentially the “lungs of the Earth” are being burned away right in front of our eyes

The fires are burning at the highest rate since the country’s space research center, the National Institute for Space Research (known by the abbreviation INPE), began tracking them in 2013, the center said Tuesday.

There have been 72,843 fires in Brazil this year, with more than half in the Amazon region, INPE said. That’s more than an 80% increase compared with the same period last year.

The Amazon is often referred to as the planet’s lungs, producing 20% of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Every minute of every single day, an average of 1½ soccer fields of Amazon rainforest are being wiped out.  This is an ongoing crisis that hasn’t been getting nearly the attention that it deserves in the United States.

You will find more infographics at Statista

But when the skies above Sao Paulo suddenly turned completely black at three in the afternoon on Monday, that set off a social media frenzy

São Paulo’s skies were blackened for roughly an hour at around 3 p.m. Monday due to raging fires throughout the region and weather conditions that pushed particulate matter over the city, setting off intense speculation on social networks about the reason why the day was seemingly transformed into night.

Videos and images posted by local residents depicted disturbing scenes of pedestrians walking under black skies and cars driving in the mid-afternoon with their headlights on as the continued fires throughout the Amazon rainforest drove the hashtags #PrayforAmazonia and #PrayforAmazonas to worldwide viral status.

Sadly, these fires are not going to end any time soon.  It is being reported that more than 9,000 fires are raging at the moment, and it is being estimated that 640 million acres have been affected by those fires.

Yes, you read that number correctly.

640 million acres.

Meanwhile, 50 large wildfires are burning in a dozen U.S. states right now.  The worst fires are happening in Alaska, where “more than 400,000 acres are currently burning”

Multiple fires are burning near the state’s biggest city, and firefighters have called in assistance from the Lower 48. More than 400,000 acres are currently burning, and one of the biggest concerns is the McKinley Fire, which has destroyed at least 50 structures about 100 miles north of Anchorage. Officials with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough declared a state of emergency, and firefighters hoped that calmer weather predicted for Wednesday could permit evacuees to return.

When I think of Alaska, I think of a place that is bitterly cold.  But apparently it is hot enough this year for wildfires to sweep across hundreds of thousands of acres.

And we are also witnessing highly unusual wildfires in the Arctic in 2019…

The Arctic as a whole has seen unusually high wildfire activity this summer, Parrington said, including areas such as Greenland that typically don’t see fires. One estimate found that the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from fires burning within the Arctic Circle in in June 2019 was greater than all of the CO2 released in the same month from 2010 through to 2018 put together.

To me, it is very strange to be talking about “wildfires in the Arctic”, but we have entered a period of time when our entire definition of “normal” is going to change.  Last winter we experienced one of the coldest winters in ages, during the first half of this year the middle of the U.S. experienced unprecedented rainfall and flooding, and now we are being told that last month was the hottest July ever recorded

The average global temperature in July was 1.71 degrees F above the 20th-century average of 60.4 degrees, making it the hottest July in the 140-year record, according to scientists at NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.

The previous hottest month on record was July 2016. Nine of the 10 hottest recorded Julys have occurred since 2005; the last five years have ranked as the five hottest. Last month was also the 43rd consecutive July and 415th consecutive month with above-average global temperatures.

Unfortunately, many believe that this is just the beginning.  Global weather patterns are going haywire, and so the extremes that we have seen so far may just be the tip of the iceberg.

The environment that we depend upon for life every moment of every day is being shaken, and many are deeply alarmed about what is happening to the Earth.  Each day it is being destroyed a little bit more, and the clock is ticking…

Source: The “Lungs Of The Earth” Are Being Burned Away As Unprecedented Wildfires Absolutely Ravage The Planet

11 Reasons Why So Many Experts Believe That A US Economic Crisis Is Imminent | Zero Hedge

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

The numbers are telling us that we have never been closer to the next recession than we are right now.  The storm clouds that were gathering on the horizon are now directly above us, and suddenly the mainstream media is filled with storiesabout when the next recession will begin and the effect that this may have on President Trump’s chances of winning in 2020.  In fact, there has been so much chatter about this that even President Trump is talking about itAll over television, experts are breathlessly speculating about when the coming recession will begin, and they are dispensing lots of advice about how people should be preparing for it.

So what evidence has led so many of these talking heads to come to such a conclusion?

Well, the following are 11 reasons why so many experts now believe that a U.S. economic crisis is imminent…

#1 Last week, the “spread between the U.S. 2-year and 10-year yields” turned negative for the very first time in 12 years.  An inversion of the yield curve has occurred prior to every single U.S. recession since the 1950s, and this is one of the most important economic signals that we have seen yet.

#2 U.S. consumer sentiment just fell to the lowest level that we have seen in all of 2019.

#3 74 percent of the economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics believe that a recession will begin in the United States by the end of 2021.

#4 U.S. industrial production just slipped back into contraction territory.

#5 The IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index just fell to the lowest level that we have seen since September 2009.

#6 Just like we witnessed in 2008, fear and volatility have returned to Wall Street in a major way.  In fact, so far this month we have already seen the 4th and 7th largest single day point declines in U.S. stock market history.

#7 The total number of bankruptcy filings in the United States has been steadily shooting up, and it rose another 5 percent during the month of July.

#8 Major U.S. retailers continue to shut down more stores, and we have continued to stay on a pace that would break the all-time record for store closings in a single year.

#9 As I discussed yesterday, on a year over year basis U.S. freight shipment volume has now fallen for 8 months in a row.

#10 According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the probability that a recession will happen within the next 12 months is now the highest that it has been since the last financial crisis.

#11 President Trump is suggesting that the Federal Reserve should cut interest rates by 100 basis points and that the Fed should restart quantitative easing as soon as possible.  Both of those moves would be considered to be “emergency measures” that should only happen if a major economic downturn was imminent.

In that list, I didn’t even mention our rapidly escalating trade war with China.  The two largest economies on the entire planet are engaged in an extremely bitter trade dispute, and that alone has the potential to plunge the entire global economy into a very deep downturn.

On the surface, the Trump administration is trying to assure us that everything is going to be just fine, but behind the scenes they appear to be preparing for the worst.  For example, we have just learned that the Trump administration is actually considering pushing for an emergency payroll tax cut

Several senior White House officials have begun discussing whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut as a way to arrest an economic slowdown, three people familiar with the discussions said, revealing the growing concerns by President Donald Trump’s top economic aides.

The talks are still in their early stages, and the officials have not decided whether to formally push Congress to approve the cut, these people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose internal discussions. But the White House in recent days has begun searching for proposals that could halt a slowing economy.

If the U.S. economy really was “booming”, an emergency payroll tax cut wouldn’t make any sense at all.

But if we are on the verge of a very serious economic crisis, then such a move would make perfect sense.

Of course the U.S. is definitely not the only major economy that is facing serious troubles.  In fact, signs of economic trouble have been emerging all over the globe lately

The economies in Germany, Brazil, Italy, Mexico and a number of other countries are also showing vulnerabilities, experts say. The uncertainty is exacerbated by fears of the potential financial fallout that could happen if the United Kingdom leaves the European Union in October without first reaching a deal on the terms of its departure.

In particular, developments in Germany are quite troubling.  Their economy actually contracted last quarter, and the German government is “preparing to embrace new fiscal stimulus measures should its economy stumble into a deep recession”

Nearly two weeks after Der Spiegel sent its first trial balloon about the prospects that the German government might crank up its fiscal stimulus if Europe’s largest economy slides into recession (which, as we explained last week, is already on the cusp of doing),the trial balloons have crossed the Atlantic.

Bloomberg reported on Monday that the German government is preparing to embrace new fiscal stimulus measures should its economy stumble into a deep recession, “citing two people with direct knowledge of the matter.”

We haven’t seen talk like this in a very, very long time.  For many people, the extreme pain caused by the economic crisis of 2008 and 2009 has almost faded from memory, but the truth is that many experts believe that what is ahead is going to be even worse.

If everything was going to be just fine, President Trump would not be trying to get the Federal Reserve to make extremely deep interest rate cuts.  In life, what people do is far more important than what they say, and the moves that global leaders are making right now are telling us that huge trouble is coming.

So enjoy the relative stability that we are currently experiencing while you still can, because it looks like it won’t be lasting for too much longer.

Source: 11 Reasons Why So Many Experts Believe That A US Economic Crisis Is Imminent | Zero Hedge

August 22, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that his administration was
seriously looking at ending the right of citizenship for U.S.-born children
of noncitizens and people who immigrated to the United States illegally.

South Korea said on Thursday it will scrap an intelligence-sharing pact
with Japan, a decision that could escalate a dispute over history and trade
and undercut security cooperation on North Korea.

Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, who dropped out of the 2020
Democratic presidential race last week, said on Thursday he will run for a
Senate seat in the state instead.

An Iranian tanker which the United States wants seized is not heading
towards Greece as it sails through the Mediterranean.

Hong Kong banks published full-page newspaper ads calling for law and order
in the Chinese-ruled city and international jewelers sought the
rescheduling of a huge trade fair as weeks of pro-democracy protests showed
no sign of let-up on Thursday.

Imposing surveillance, fear and repression, Cuba helped Venezuela revamp
its armed forces and military intelligence service. Reuters reveals how two
agreements, undisclosed since 2008, let Havana remake Venezuela’s security

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell
sharply last week, suggesting the labor market was holding firm despite a
manufacturing slowdown and concerns the economy is on a path toward
recession. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 12,000 to
a seasonally adjusted 209,000 for the week ended Aug. 17.

U.S. manufacturing industries recorded their first month of contraction in
almost a decade amid concern about whether the U.S.-China trade conflict
would tip the economy into a recession, a private survey showed on

China has partially lifted restrictions on imports of gold, bullion
industry sources said, loosening curbs that had stopped an estimated
300-500 tonnes of the metal worth $15-25 billion at current prices from
entering the country since May.

AP Top Stories

The United States has removed nearly 2.7 million barrels of Iranian oil
from global markets daily as a result of Washington’s decision to reimpose
sanctions on all purchases of Iran’s crude, U.S. Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo said on Tuesday.

Donald Trump has once again suggested that his administration is
considering ways to deny citizenship to children of undocumented immigrants
born in the United States, which is a right laid out in the US

Syrian regime forces took full control of a key northwestern town
Wednesday, surrounding rebel-backing Turkish forces at a nearby observation
post, a war monitor said.

A Yale professor sexually assaulted five students over decades, according
to a report, which had investigated the professor’s behavior in 1994 but
failed to stop him.

A death row inmate who always maintained his innocence has been executed
for the abduction, rape and murder of a student more than 20 years ago.
Larry Swearingen received a lethal injection at the state penitentiary in
the Texan city of Huntsville for the 1998 killing of 19-year-old Melissa

After nearly 18 years of conflict in Afghanistan, the situation has become
so dire that the US is negotiating to withdraw its forces from the country
with the terrorist organization it originally invaded to destroy following
the 9/11 attacks.

Beijing accused Ottawa of worsening bilateral relations after Canadian
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed to stand up to China amid deepening
diplomatic and trade disputes.

Dozens of migrants who disembarked on Italy’s Lampedusa island were again
in limbo Wednesday as a European deal to redistribute them failed to
materialize and Madrid said it could hit the Spanish charity with a huge
fine for rescuing them.

President Donald Trump said Wednesday that other countries must assume the
battle against Islamic extremists as the US negotiates a withdrawal from
Afghanistan. He also warned Europeans to take back nationals captured
fighting for the Islamic State, or he will release them back to their

Iran is prepared to work on French proposals to salvage the international
nuclear deal that Tehran signed with world powers in 2015 but it will not
tolerate U.S. interference in the Gulf, its foreign minister said on


Venezuela’s embattled President Nicolás Maduro said he had been in
talks with the Trump administration for months, even as the US ramped up
its sanctions.

Qantas will run test services of its planned 19-hour flights to determine
whether passengers and crew can withstand the marathon journeys.

Russia has launched a rocket carrying a life-sized robot to the
International Space Station (ISS). The robot, named Fedor (Experimental
Demonstration Object Research), is the first ever sent into space by

A powerful Iran-backed paramilitary force in Iraq has said it holds the US
responsible for a series of blasts at its bases in recent weeks. Abu Mahdi
al-Muhandis said the force would use “all means at its disposal” to prevent
and deter future attacks. The US and Israel have not commented.


Crime-ridden San Francisco has introduced new sanitized language for
criminals, getting rid of words such as “offender” and “addict” while
changing “convicted felon” to “justice-involved person.”

According to a new survey of 2,000 Americans, relationships are
incompatible if there is a $36,000 or more salary disparity between

Mid-Day Snapshot · Aug. 22, 2019

The Foundation

“The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment.” —George Washington (1783)

Birthright Citizenship and Detaining Illegal Aliens

One change to detention rules and one mulled change President Trump would like to make.

Trump Cautions Jewish Voters Who Support Democrats

His comments on Jewish loyalty highlight the growing problem of leftist anti-Semitism.

Transgender Fascism

The appalling story of an Illinois family’s encounter with a school district’s Rainbow Mafia.

Democrats Perpetuate Urban Poverty

Problems of poverty and homelessness are rising in the nation’s largest cities.

Boy Donates All $15k in Winnings to Children’s Hospital

The seventh grader’s school is calling him a hero for his selfless generosity.

Video: NYT Pushes Radical 1619 Project

Ben Shapiro debunks many of the falsehoods in the New York Times’s “1619 Project.”

Video: Trump’s Latest Huge Win

While the media is focused on Trump’s tweets, Michael Knowles explains how he is winning.

Today’s Opinion

Cal Thomas
You Didn’t Build That II
Todd Starnes
White School Teachers Told People of Color Cannot Be Racist
Hans von Spakovsky
When Illegal Aliens Break the Law
R. Emmett Tyrrell
Woodstock, the Last Word
Victor Davis Hanson
What Could Sink Trump’s Chances in 2020?
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Thursday Top News Executive Summary

Economy updates, Sanders’s climate plan, Flores workaround, countering antifa, and more.

Thursday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Ben Shapiro, Donald Trump, Steve Cohen, Jeff Markley, and more.

Today’s Meme

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

Today’s Cartoon

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

Headlines – 8/22/2019

IDF attacks twice in Gaza in retaliation for rocket attacks on the south

2nd rocket fired from Gaza Strip following IDF retaliatory strikes on Hamas

Trump: Any Jew voting Democratic is uninformed or disloyal

Israel’s President Contradicts Trump’s ‘Disloyal’ Jews Remarks, Saying Ties ‘Not Dependent’ On One Political Party

‘Like the King of Israel’: Trump Unleashes Bizarre Twitter Storm Day After ‘Disloyal’ Jews Comment

Trump tweets claim Israelis ‘love him like he is the second coming of God’

‘I Am The Chosen One’: Trump’s Religious Comments Enrage Critics

The evangelical conspiracy theorist Trump used to validate his comments on Jews

Donald Trump’s Last 24 Hours Have Been Particularly Stupid And Offensive And Weird

Trump is either trolling everyone or thinks he’s like a god

Trump is the product of a narcissistic media age

Last Jews from South Sudan arrive in Israel

Israel Launches Satellite over Africa to Give the Continent Internet Access

Iranian supertanker sought by US is leased to Revolutionary Guard in apparent act of defiance: report

Iran displays domestically built mobile missile defense system

Putin says US missile test raises new threats to Russia

‘We won’t give an inch’: India faces defiance in ‘Kashmir’s Gaza’

Japanese report to say North Korea has miniaturized nuclear warheads: newspaper

N. Korea dismisses nuclear talks if us ‘hostile military moves’ continue

Trump says ‘I am the chosen one’ in tirade over looming recession and China trade war

Mike Pompeo tells business execs, economists that he thinks the China trade war could end by 2020 election

Trump Skips Visit To Denmark, Calls Danish Leader ‘Nasty’ For Greenland Sale Rebuff

Trump signs executive order cancelling student loan debt for disabled veterans

Economic twilight zone: Bonds that charge you for lending

Mortgage Market Reopens to Risky Borrowers

Faithless elector: A court ruling just changed how we pick our president

Seeing Is Believing: Fake News May Lead To False Memories, Voter Study Finds

A ‘Fact Checker’ Declares War On Satire

YouTube blocks PragerU Ten Commandments videos, restricts to ‘mature audiences’

Facebook Finally Meets a Regulator With Bite

EU antitrust regulators raise concerns about Facebook’s Libra currency: sources

Google DeepMind Co-Founder Placed on Leave From AI Lab

Google, Mozilla, and Apple are using this one weird trick to block Kazakhstan’s surveillance of its own citizens

Secretive warfare training being staged in 21 North Carolina counties, Army says

These four looming threats may bring the end of civilization, warns top scholar

6.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Western Indian-Antarctic Ridge

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Panguna, Papua New Guinea

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits the Western Indian-Antarctic Ridge

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Taloqan, Afghanistan

Earthquake swarm in Bardarbunga volcano

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Karymsky volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 20,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 19,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 17,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 14,000ft

Nevados De Chillan volano in Chile erupts to 14,000ft

Sangeang Api volcano in Indonesia erupts to 10,000ft

Scores missing after southwestern China hit by mudslides

Tropical Storm Bailu to unleash strong winds, flooding downpours on Taiwan, China later this week

Eastern Pacific Ocean gives birth to Tropical Storm Ivo

Chantal forms, more areas to watch over Atlantic as the peak of hurricane season approaches

A tropical disturbance is moving toward Florida, and forecasters are watching

July was the hottest month ever on Earth. Now massive wildfires are burning across the globe.

In Brazil, sudden darkness befalls Sao Paulo, baffling thousands

A team of designers wants to build an iceberg-making submarine to pop out ‘ice babies’ and combat sea-level rise

Cancer Patient Says Question Could Save Lives: ‘Do You Have Eastern European Jewish Ancestry?’

Venezuela Crisis Pushes Women Into ‘Forced Motherhood’

States are finding ways for teens to get HPV shots without parental consent

Nurses sentenced to five years in prison for incorrectly administering MMR vaccine that led to deaths of two infants in Samoa

The UK Just Lost Its Measles-Free Status, and the U.S. Could Be Next

Disabled 41-Year-Old Man is Euthanized After Funding for Home Health Care Runs Out

Attorney General William Barr tamps down conspiracy theories, but notes ‘irregularities’ at jail where Jeffrey Epstein died

Epstein may have gamed the system from beyond the grave

Apostasy Watch Daily News

Mike Ratliff – Our Heavenly Dwelling

Video: SBC Leader and Mike Bickle Explain Why Fake Miracles Are Okay

And They’re Back! MacDonald and Tchividjian Restore Themselves To Ministry

Further proof Phil Pringle is a false prophet as City Harvest founder Kong Hee is released from prison

Rachel Hollis’ self-help book should not be touted as Christian, some say

John Piper’s Former Church Promotes Heretic Who Denies Penal Substitution in the Name of “Wokeness”

Pastor Shot and Killed During Sunday Service in Mexico

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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 22 A Common Objective

scripture reading: Romans 8:28–30
key verse: John 3:17

God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

  1. S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity that God has a common objective in each Christian’s life:

Salvation is the changing from being confident about our own efforts to the state in which we despair of doing anything for ourselves and leave it to God. I know the words “leave it to God” can be misunderstood, but they must stay for the moment. The sense in which a Christian leaves it to God is that he puts all his trust in Christ: trusts that Christ will somehow perfect human obedience which He carried out from His birth to His crucifixion: that Christ will make the man more like Himself and, in a sense, make good his deficiencies.

In Christian language, He will share His sonship with us, will make us, like Himself, sons of God.

This is what God is up to in good and bad, adventure and drudgery, favor and misfortune. He wants you to be like Christ, and He equips you with the Holy Spirit to make you progressively so. In all things, God is working to help you enjoy completeness in Christ and become like Jesus in word and deed. This is God’s remarkable doing, and the common events of each day work toward this eternal purpose.

Heavenly Father, let me look beyond the common events of this day to see Your greater eternal purpose. Make me like Your Son, Jesus Christ. Empower me with Your Holy Spirit so that Christlikeness will become a reality in my life.[1]

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

22 Aug 2019 – Rapture Ready News

1 058 killed, 1.8 million displaced since the start of the monsoon season, India
The number of people killed in floods, landslides and other weather-related incidents since the start of this year’s monsoon season in India has reached 1 058.

Chantal forms as the third named storm of the unusually slow 2019 Atlantic hurricane season
Tropical Storm “Chantal” formed in the North Atlantic Ocean, south of the Newfoundland at 03:00 UTC on August 21, 2019, as the third named storm of the unusually slow 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.

FEDS Suggest Optimum Temperature Citizens Should Maintain In Their Homes…A Slippery Slope?
On March 7, 2011, Rush Limbaugh warned about how smart meters that energy companies were starting to install in residential homes, could be the first step in the rationing energy in private citizen’s homes.

Workers Exposed To ‘Trash & Bodily Fluids’ At L.A. City Hall Building, Citations Issued In Response To Typhus Case
California’s occupational safety and health agency found that workers at a Los Angeles City Hall building “were exposed to unsanitary conditions from trash and bodily fluids,” issuing multiple citations for failing to keep the structure’s passageways and exteriors clean.

Powerful Bloodlines Behind the Dark Cabal
ith the recent arrest of a Nazi remnant hiding in Hungary, we are reminded of the holocaust from the last century which cost millions of lives, and all for the glory of the bloodlines.

BREAKING: Pentagon Confirms US Military Drone Shot-Down Over Yemen
US officials confirmed Wednesday that a US military drone was shot-down over Yemen late Tuesday evening.

Cargo ship busted with over a billion dollars worth of cocaine was owned by JP Morgan Chase 
JPMorgan Chase, one of the largest banks in the United States, is the owner of a cargo ship found carrying over $1 billion worth of cocaine at a port in Philadelphia recently. More than 20 tons of cocaine were seized from the MSC Gayane, the ship in question.

Why do so many “trans” pushers turn out to be pedophiles?
A British politician who lobbied heavily for the implementation of “gender neutral” toilets following his election has since been outed as a pedophile who was allegedly charged with nine counts of inappropriately touching underage children

Big Cities That Are Struggling With Hepatitis, Typhus, Mountains Of Human Feces And Millions Of Rats Are All Run By Democrats
Today, large cities all over the country are dealing with mountains of feces, millions of rats and horrific diseases that we once had completely under control.  Let’s start our tour in Philadelphia, where cases of Hepatitis A are starting to spread like wildfire…

Watch As Parents Boo Christian Street Preacher Dorre Love As He Confronts The Pedophiles At Drag Queen Story Hour And Stands Up For The Children
Street preacher Dorre Love said the Lord told him to go to the Drag Queen Story Hour event in Ottawa, Canada, and tell them to repent or risk dying and going to Hell. So Love did just that. You will see in the video below as he firmly but respectfully confronts the pedophiles in dresses at the Drag Queen Story Hour meeting. It will break your heart as you watch him standing up to protect the little children that were present, while their parents booed him.

Pope Francis In Rome On Thursday Blasphemously Declared That Mary Is The ‘Gate Of Heaven’ Even Though The Bible Declares That Only Jesus Christ Is
Just when I think that Pope Francis cannot possibly double-down any further on his blasphemous worship of Mary, he goes and shows me just how serious he is about idol worship. During the Roman Catholic Feast of the Assumption on Thursday, he confidently declared that the door, or the gate, to getting into Heaven is not Jesus Christ, but Mary.

Pro-Lifers Say Planned Parenthood Just Exposed the Truth: ‘Their Primary Focus Is Not Women’s Healthcare’ 
Planned Parenthood says it will no longer accept Title X funding so that it can continue to refer women for abortions. The abortion provider announced the news in the wake of a new Trump administration rule which says clinics that refer for abortions can’t receive the funds.

Largest Child Porn Bust in History Ignored By Mainstream Media 
Norwegian Police has just uncovered over 150 terabytes of child porn, in the largest child sex abuse case in modern history, according to reports.

Statistical Analysis of America’s 8 Stage Decline Into Genocide
Gregory H. Stanton, President of Genocide Watch, wrote the most salient paper on the topic of Democide, that is by definition, genocide by government against its people. In his analysis, Stanton identified 8 key stages related to the process of genocide? Classification Symbolization Dehumanization Organization Polarization Preparation, Extermination and Denial.

— Read on www.raptureready.com/2019/08/22/22-aug-2019/

22 august (1858) 365 Days with Spurgeon

As thy days, so shall thy strength be

“As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Deuteronomy 33:25

suggested further reading: Psalm 91

What a varying promise it is! I do not mean that the promise varies, but adapts itself to all our changes. “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Here is a fine sunshiny morning; all the world is laughing; everything looks glad; the birds are singing, the trees seem to be all alive with music. “My strength shall be as my day is,” says the pilgrim. Ah! Pilgrim, there is a little black cloud gathering. Soon it increases; the flash of lightning wounds the heaven, and it begins to bleed in showers. Pilgrim, “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” The birds have done singing, and the world has done laughing; but “as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Now the dark night comes on, and another day approaches—a day of tempest, and whirlwind, and storm. Dost thou tremble, pilgrim?—“As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” “But there are robbers in the wood.”—“As thy days so shall thy strength be.” “But there are lions which devour me” “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” “But there are rivers; how shall I swim them?” Here is a boat to carry thee over; “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” “But there are fires: how shall I pass through them?” Here is the garment that will protect thee: “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” “But there are arrows that fly by day.” Here is thy shield: “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” “But there is the pestilence that walketh in darkness.” Here is thy antidote: “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Wherever you may be, and whatever trouble awaits you, “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.” Children of God, cannot you say that this has been true hitherto? I can.

for meditation: We often spoil our lives by trying to live tomorrow today. God does not promise to provide for the needs of his people before they have them (Matthew 6:34; 1 Corinthians 10:13).

sermon no. 210[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 241). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

Thursday, August 22, 2019 – AlbertMohler.com


 Could the Cosmos Just Be a Computer Simulation? The Threat of Meaningless Existence vs. the Sure and Certain Hope of Biblical Realism


 Leading Scientists Claim We Live in a Subjective Reality: Are We Gripped by a Collective Delusion about the Material World?


 Are You Prepared for the Cataclysmic Eruption of the Supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park? The New York Times Thinks You Should Be






22 AUGUST 365 Days with Calvin

Knowing Godly Sorrow

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10

suggested further reading: Psalm 51

To understand what is meant by godly sorrow, we must observe that godly sorrow is contrasted here with sorrow of the world. There is also a contrast between two kinds of joy. The joy of the world is when men foolishly and without the fear of the Lord exult in vanity, that is, with the world. Intoxicated with a transient happiness, they look no higher than the earth. True joy is when men place all their happiness in God and take satisfaction in his grace. They show this joy in contempt of the world, regarding earthly prosperity as if it is of no use to them and being joyful in the midst of adversity.

So, the sorrow of the world is when men despair as a consequence of earthly afflictions and are overwhelmed with grief. Godly sorrow has an eye to God; those who have it reckon it misery to have lost the favor of God. Impressed with the fear of God’s judgment, they mourn over their sins.

Paul says godly sorrow is the cause and origin of repentance. It is to be carefully observed, for unless the sinner is dissatisfied with himself, detests his manner of life, and is thoroughly grieved by an apprehension of sin, he will never betake himself to the Lord. On the other hand, it is impossible for a person to experience sorrow of this kind without giving birth to a new heart.

Hence repentance arises in grief, for the reason that I have mentioned. No one can return to the right way unless he hates sin. Where there is hatred of sin, there is grief and dissatisfaction with self.

for meditation: There are many sorrows in this world, and none of them are pleasant. Godly sorrow is not pleasant, either, and thus it is avoided by most. But it is a sorrow that leads to the great joy of salvation. It is not to be regretted, for it leads to repentance and life. Have you experienced godly sorrow? Think of the joy that it has brought about.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 253). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

August 22 – An ominous warning — Reformed Perspective

“Nevertheless the children of Israel did not drive out the Geshurites or the Maachathites, but the Geshurites and the Maachathites dwell among the Israelites until this day.” – Joshua 13:13

Scripture reading: Joshua 13:8-14

Because of the Lord’s righteous judgment against sin, the Israelites were to exterminate all of the Canaanites from the Promised Land. This was a foreshadowing of what will happen at the end of time when God’s eternal judgment is brought upon the whole earth. In our passage today, we see the first occurrence of what will quickly become a common pattern with Israel: a failure to walk by faith and to trust in the Lord. Even though they have God’s specific promise to lead them, they fail to do as He commands. Pagans are allowed to live in Israel.

Our tendency is to read this and not see anything too threatening. This is not much to get worked up over, is it? A couple of minor Canaanite tribes? Whom we have never even heard of before? Whose names we can’t even pronounce? Is this really such a big deal? After all, Israel has been through a lot already. They have been very faithful in the big tests given them against those massive coalitions of pagan kings! So they deserve a break, don’t they? Maybe later they can take care of these last few stragglers.

But “later” never comes. Israel too easily lives with sin. They become comfortable with pagans in their midst. And within one generation these pagans have taken over God’s people (see Judges 2:7-10). This is how easily sin infects our heart. Do not live with it. Fight it! Trust in Jesus, and He will strengthen you for this battle.

Suggestions for prayer

Ask the Lord to reveal and root out sin from your life. Ask the Spirit to increase your spiritual fervour. Ask Christ to work within you in powerful new ways.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Ed Marcusse is the pastor of the Oak Glen United Reformed Church of Lansing, Illinois.

via August 22 – An ominous warning — Reformed Perspective

August 22, 2019 Morning Verse Of The Day

28:20 The Great Commission (vv. 19–20) is preceded by a reference to Jesus’s authority and followed by the promise of Jesus’s spiritual presence among us. Both are necessary if we are to fulfill our God-given mission.[1]

28:20 teaching them to observe. Disciples are not just taught what to believe, but how to obey. Jesus taught practical holiness.

I am with you always. Jesus was named Immanuel (“God with us”) at His birth (1:23), and now He promises to be with His disciples to the end of the age. He is with them specifically in the responsibility of teaching His will to the world. See “The Mission of the Church in the World” at John 20:21.[2]

28:20 Teaching is a means by which disciples of Jesus are continually transformed in order to become more like Christ (cf. 10:24–25; Rom. 8:29; 2 Cor. 3:18). observe. Obey. I am with you always. Jesus concludes the commission, and Matthew his Gospel, with the crucial element of discipleship: the presence of the Master, who is “God with us” (cf. Matt. 1:23).[3]

28:20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. The kind of evangelism called for in this commission does not end with the conversion of the unbeliever. I am with you. There’s a touching echo of the beginning of Matthew’s gospel here. Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us” (1:23), remains “with” us “even to the end of the age”—i.e., until He returns bodily to judge the world and establish His earthly kingdom.[4]

Ver. 20.—Teaching (διδάσκοντες) them (i.e. all the nations) to observe all things, etc. The word for “teaching” is quite different from that used in ver. 19, and there wrongly translated. Instruction is the second necessary condition for discipleship. In the case of adults, as was said above, some teaching must precede the initiation; but this has to be supplemented subsequently in order to build up the convert in the faith and make him perfect; while infants must be taught “as soon as they are able to learn, what a solemn vow, promise, and profession they have here made.” All must be taught the Christian faith and duty, and how to obtain God’s help to enable them to please him, and to continue in the way of salvation, so that they may “die from sin, and rise again unto righteousness; continually mortifying all their evil and corrupt affections, and daily proceeding in all virtue and godliness of living” (‘Public Baptism of Infants’). “He gives,” says St. Chrysostom, “the one charge with a view to doctrine [i.e. the form of baptism], the other concerning commandments” (‘Hom.,’ xc.). All that Christ commanded, both in doctrine and morals, all that he had taught and enjoined during the three past years, they were henceforward to take as their text-book, and enforce on all who were admitted into the Church by baptism. As the Greek is, “I commanded,” being aorist and not perfect, it may be rightly opined that Christ here alludes also to various details which he set forth and enjoined during these great forty days, between his resurrection and ascension, when he gave commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen, and spake to them of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God (Acts 1:2, 3). And, lo. “After that, because he had enjoined on them great things, to raise their courage, he says, Lo!” etc. (Chrysostom). I am with you alway (ἐγὼ μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν εἰμι πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας). Every word is emphatic. The Ascension was at hand; this implied an absence of his visible presence, to be replaced by a spiritual presence, more perfect, potent, effectual, infinite. It is I myself, I, God and Man, who am (not “will be”) henceforward ever present among you, with you as Companion, Friend, Guide, Saviour, God. I am with you in all your ministrations, prayers public and private, baptisms, communions, exhortations, doctrine, discipline And this, not now and then, not at certain times only, but “all the days” of your pilgrimage, all the dark days of trial and persecution and affliction; all the days when you, my apostles, are gathered to your rest, and have committed your work to other hands; my presence shall never be withdrawn for a single moment. Often had God made an analogous promise to his servants under the old dispensation—to Moses (Exod. 3:12), to Joshua (Deut. 31:23), to Jeremiah (Jer. 1:8); but this spiritual presence of Christ is something unknown to previous history, a nearness unspeakable, in the Church at large and in the Christian’s heart. Even unto the end of the world; the consummation of the age, as ch. 24:3 (where see note). When the new era is ushered in, evangelizing work will cease; God shall be all in all; all shall know him from the least unto the greatest. And they shall ever be with the Lord; “wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:18). Amen. The word is here an interpolation, but it expresses what every pious reader must say in his heart, “So be it, O Lord; be with us unto the end; guide and strengthen us in life, and bring us safely through the valley of the shadow of death, to thy blessed presence, where is the fulness of joy for evermore!”[5]

20. Teaching them—This is teaching in the more usual sense of the term; or instructing the converted and baptized disciples.

to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I—The “I” here is emphatic. It is enough that I

am with you alway—“all the days”; that is, till making converts, baptizing, and building them up by Christian instruction, shall be no more.

even unto the end of the world. Amen—This glorious Commission embraces two primary departments, the Missionary and the Pastoral, with two sublime and comprehensive Encouragements to undertake and go through with them.

First, The Missionary department (Mt 28:18): “Go, make disciples of all nations.” In the corresponding passage of Mark (Mk 16:15) it is, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature.” The only difference is, that in this passage the sphere, in its world-wide compass and its universality of objects, is more fully and definitely expressed; while in the former the great aim and certain result is delightfully expressed in the command to “make disciples of all nations.” “Go, conquer the world for Me; carry the glad tidings into all lands and to every ear, and deem not this work at an end till all nations shall have embraced the Gospel and enrolled themselves My disciples.” Now, Was all this meant to be done by the Eleven men nearest to Him of the multitude then crowding around the risen Redeemer? Impossible. Was it to be done even in their lifetime? Surely not. In that little band Jesus virtually addressed Himself to all who, in every age, should take up from them the same work. Before the eyes of the Church’s risen Head were spread out, in those Eleven men, all His servants of every age; and one and all of them received His commission at that moment. Well, what next? Set the seal of visible discipleship upon the converts, by “baptizing them into the name,” that is, into the whole fulness of the grace “of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” as belonging to them who believe. (See on 2 Co 13:14). This done, the Missionary department of your work, which in its own nature is temporary, must merge in another, which is permanent. This is

Second, The Pastoral department (Mt 28:20): “Teach them”—teach these baptized members of the Church visible—“to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you,” My apostles, during the three years ye have been with Me. What must have been the feelings which such a Commission awakened? “We who have scarce conquered our own misgivings—we, fishermen of Galilee, with no letters, no means, no influence over the humblest creature, conquer the world for Thee, Lord? Nay, Lord, do not mock us.” “I mock you not, nor send you a warfare on your own charges. For”—Here we are brought to

Third, The Encouragements to undertake and go through with this work. These are two; one in the van, the other in the rear of the Commission itself.

First Encouragement: “All power in heaven”—the whole power of Heaven’s love and wisdom and strength, “and all power in earth”—power over all persons, all passions, all principles, all movements—to bend them to this one high object, the evangelization of the world: All this “is given unto Me.” as the risen Lord of all, to be by Me placed at your command—“Go ye therefore.” But there remains a

Second Encouragement: “And lo! I am with you all the days”—not only to perpetuity, but without one day’s interruption, “even to the end of the world,” The “Amen” is of doubtful genuineness in this place. If, however, it belongs to the text, it is the Evangelist’s own closing word.[6]

20 Hitherto in Matthew’s narrative it has been Jesus who has been the “teacher.” But now the verb “teach” is used with the disciples as subject, marking the decisive change which follows Jesus’ death and resurrection. But even so their duty of teaching derives from the authority of the risen Lord (v. 18). So they are to teach not their own ideas, but what Jesus has “commanded,” entellomai, a term which hitherto has been especially associated with the “commandments” (the cognate noun entolē, cf. 5:19; 15:3; 19:17; 22:36–40) given by God through Moses. The basis of living as the people of God will henceforth be the new “commandments” given by Jesus.46 Not that these are necessarily opposed to the commandments of the OT, but as we have seen in 5:17–48 Jesus’ teaching has given a new interpretation to the old law, and it is by obedience to his words that salvation is henceforth to be found (7:24–27). To be a disciple is to obey Jesus’ teaching.

But the presence of Jesus himself among his people (cf. 18:20) ensures that it is not simply a relationship of formal obedience. In context this assurance is focused not on the personal comfort of the individual disciple but on the successful completion of the mission entrusted to the community as a whole. In OT commissioning scenes the assurance of God’s presence was to empower his often inadequate servants to fulfill the task he had called them to (Exod 3:12; 4:12; Josh 1:5, 9; Judg 6:16; Jer 1:8; cf. also the angel sent with the Israelites in Exod 23:20–23). So here it is to the commissioned disciples as they set about their daunting task that the divine presence is promised, without which they cannot be expected to succeed. But the difference now is that it is not God himself who promises to be “with” them, still less an angel sent by him, but the risen Jesus, who has just been declared to stand alongside the Father and the Holy Spirit in heavenly sovereignty. In the Fourth Gospel Jesus promises the continuing presence of the Spirit with his disciples after he has left them (John 14:16–17, 25–26; 16:7), but in Matthew the presence is that of Jesus himself. And this is not simply for a short-term objective, for the mission they have been given will keep them (and their successors) busy to “the end of the age.” Jesus’ physical presence with his disciples was limited to the period of his earthly life-span, but the spiritual presence of the risen Jesus has no such limitation: it is as an eternal, divine being that Jesus will be among his obedient people, “God with us.”[7]

20 Those who are discipled must be not only baptized but also taught. The content of this instruction (see comments at 3:1 for kērygma [“preaching,” GK 3060] and didachē [“teaching,” GK 1439]) is everything Jesus commanded the first disciples. Five things stand out.

  1. The focus is on Jesus’ commands, not OT law. Jesus’ words, like the words of Scripture, are more enduring than heaven and earth (24:35); and the peculiar expression “everything I have commanded you” is, as Trilling (Das wahre Israel, 37) has pointed out, reminiscent of the authority of Yahweh (Ex 29:35; Dt 1:3, 41; 7:11; 12:11, 14). This confirms our exegesis of 5:17–20. The revelation of Jesus Messiah at this late stage in salvation history brings the fulfillment of everything to which the OT Scriptures pointed and constitutes their valid continuity; but this means that the focus is necessarily on Jesus.
  2. Remarkably, Jesus does not foresee a time when any part of his teaching will be rightly judged needless, outmoded, superseded, or untrue. Everything he has commanded must be passed on “to the very end of the age.”
  3. What the disciples teach is not mere dogma steeped in abstract theorizing but content to be obeyed.
  4. It then follows that by carefully passing on everything Jesus taught, the first disciples—themselves eyewitnesses—call into being new generations of “ear-witnesses” (O’Brien, “Great Commission,” 264–65). These in turn pass on the truth they received. So a means is provided for successive generations to remain in contact with Jesus’ teachings (cf. 2 Ti 2:2).
  5. Christianity must spread by an internal necessity or it has already decayed, for one of Jesus’ commands is to teach all he commands. Failure to disciple, baptize, and teach the peoples of the world is already itself one of the failures of our own discipleship.

But the gospel ends, not with command, but with the promise of Jesus’ comforting presence, which, if not made explicitly conditional on the disciples’ obedience to the Great Commission, is at least closely tied to it. “Surely” captures the force of idou here (see comments at 1:20). He who is introduced to us in the prologue as Immanuel, “God with us” (1:23; cf. 18:20), is still God with us, “to the very end of the age.” The English adverb “always” renders an expression found in the NT only here—namely, pasas tēs hēmeras, strictly “the whole of every day” (Moule, Idiom Book, 34). Not just the horizon is in view, but each day as we live it. This continues to the end of the age (for this expression, see comments at 13:39–40, 49; 24:3; cf. Heb 9:26)—the end of history as we know it, when the kingdom will be consummated. Perhaps there is a small hint of judgment. The church dare not drift, because it, too, rushes to the consummation. The period between the commission and the consummation is of indefinite length; but whatever its duration, it is the time of the church’s mission and of preliminary enjoyment of her Lord’s presence.

Matthew’s gospel ends with the expectation of continued mission and teaching. The five preceding sections always conclude with a block of Jesus’ teaching (3:1–26:5); but the passion and resurrection of Jesus end with a commission to his disciples to carry on that same ministry (see Introduction, section 14) in the light of the cross, the empty tomb, and the triumphant vindication and exaltation of the risen Lord. In this sense, the gospel of Matthew is not a closed book until the consummation. The final chapter is being written in the mission and teaching of Jesus’ disciples.[8]

Matthew 28:20. Teaching them to observe all things. By these words, as I have formerly suggested, Christ shows that, in sending the apostles, he does not entirely resign his office, as if he ceased to be the Teacher of his Church; for he sends away the apostles with this reservation, that they shall not bring forward their own inventions, but shall purely and faithfully deliver from hand to hand (as we say) what he has intrusted to them. Would to God that the Pope would subject to this rule the power which he claims for himself; for we would easily permit him to be the successor of Peter or of Paul, provided that he did not usurp a tyrannical dominion over our souls. But as he has set aside the authority of Christ, and infects the Church with his childish fooleries, this shows plainly enough how widely he has departed from the apostolic office. In short, let us hold that by these words teachers are appointed over the Church, not to put forward whatever they may think proper, but that they, as well as others, may depend on the mouth of the Master alone, so as to gain disciples for him, and not for themselves.

And, lo, I am with you always. As Christ gave to the apostles a commission which they were unable to discharge by reliance on merely human power, he encourages them by the assurance of his heavenly protection. For before promising that he would be with them, he began with declaring that he is the King of heaven and earth, who governs all things by his power and authority.

The pronoun I must be viewed as emphatic; as if he had said that the apostles, if they wished zealously to perform their duty, must not consider what they are able to do, but must rely on the invincible power of those under whose banner they fight. The nature of that presence which the Lord promises to his followers ought to be understood spiritually; for it is not necessary that he should descend from heaven in order to assist us, since he can assist us by the grace of his Spirit, as if he stretched out his hand from heaven. For he who, in respect of his body, is at a great distance from us, not only diffuses the efficacy of his Spirit through the whole world, but even actually dwells in us.

Even to the end of the world. It ought likewise to be remarked, that this was not spoken to the apostles alone; for the Lord promises his assistance not for a single age only, but even to the end of the world. It is as if he had said, that though the ministers of the gospel be weak and suffer the want of all things, he will be their guardian, so that they will rise victorious over all the opposition of the world. In like manner, experience clearly shows in the present day, that the operations of Christ are carried on wonderfully in a secret manner, so that the gospel surmounts innumerable obstacles.

So much the more intolerable is the wickedness of the Popish clergy, when they take this as a pretext for their sacrilege and tyranny. They affirm that the Church cannot err, because it is governed by Christ; as if Christ, like some private soldier, hired himself for wages to other captains, and as if he had not, on the contrary, reserved the entire authority for himself, and declared that he would defend his doctrine, so that his ministers may confidently expect to be victorious over the whole world.[9]

[1] Dever, M. E. (2017). Church Discipline. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1553). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1411). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[3] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1888). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[4] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Mt 28:20). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[5] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). St. Matthew (Vol. 2, pp. 645–646). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[6] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, pp. 63–64). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[7] France, R. T. (2007). The Gospel of Matthew (pp. 1118–1119). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co.

[8] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, pp. 669–670). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[9] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 3, pp. 390–391). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.