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