Daily Archives: September 10, 2019

September 10 Things Not Shaken

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:25–29

Key Verse: John 14:8

Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”

The Titanic was deemed unsinkable, invincible. Yet today it lies at the bottom of the ocean. Its tragic demise is a reminder that no matter how invincible we perceive things to be, nothing on this earth is beyond destruction. Only God and His Word are indestructible.

Jesus told His disciples that He would not leave them as orphans (John 14:18). However, after His arrest they began to doubt His Word to them. By the time He was crucified, their doubts had turned to fear. When Jesus was alive, it was easy to believe that He was the Messiah. However, two days after His death, with their prayers seemingly unanswered, they began to doubt, and their faith sank.

We do the same thing. We place our faith in Christ and then, through a turn of events or sorrows, we find ourselves crying out to God. We also doubt His promises to us and wonder why He allows adversity to touch our hearts. But be assured—even when we feel shaken, God is not. He is our firm, immovable anchor of hope.

Have you placed your faith in something that is unshakable? Or have you given your hopes and dreams to something that will sink whenever the slightest adversity strikes? Only God is unshakable. When your heart is anchored to His, no storm or adversity can harm you.

Lord, when doubt smolders, do not let me fan it into flames of fear. I choose to believe in the indestructible nature of Your person and Your word.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 265). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

September 10 The Power Within

Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:26–31

Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 1:27

God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.

God has equipped you for every good work. The presence of the Holy Spirit is His guarantee that no matter what you face, He is committed to providing the power and strength you need to accomplish the task, get through the hurt, and end up victorious in Him.

  1. L. Moody had only a fifth-grade education, but he became one of the greatest evangelists of our time. He was never ordained to the ministry, yet God used him to lead thousands to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The book More Than Conquerors tells us that “during the nineteenth century when mass media consisted of only printing presses and public oratory, more than 100 million people heard or read the gospel message of D. L. Moody. The evangelist spoke to at least 1.5 million in London during four months in 1875, long before radio and television.” God chooses the weak things to shame those who think they are strong (1 Cor. 1:27–29).

There is only one way God can be glorified in your life, and that is through your willingness to lay aside your ability, talent, and personal desires in order to follow Him in obedience. Sacrifice and submission lead to a life of tremendous hope, freedom, and eternal joy. D. L. Moody could do nothing apart from the Savior, and what he did through the power of the Holy Spirit can never be duplicated.

O Lord, thank You for equipping me for every good work. Your presence is my guarantee of success. Help me accomplish the task, get through the hurt, and end up victorious in You.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 265). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Confusion: A Judgement on Society — Banner of Truth USA

It would appear that one of the many ways in which God punishes the sins of men and nations is to give them over at times to widespread perplexity and confusion. Life in a perfect world would be ideally simple. We should all instinctively seek first the glory of God and he would unfailingly supply our every need. Supply would always providentially balance demand. Men would never know want. As they delighted themselves in God as their highest and only good, so he would manage their private and social affairs for them, anticipating their requirements and tailoring all circumstances to their comfort, convenience and capacities. As a wise and kind parent foresees the needs of his children in their nursery and arranges everything for their safe and profitable enjoyment, so God would dispose all events (if we were still in our first paradise) so that nothing would terrify or confuse us. That the world we live in is not so now, is a reflection, not on the power, wisdom or goodness of God, but on our deeply sinful state.

Sin made all things complicated upon earth. Every human enterprise is now beset with labour, sweat and tears. We are not to be surprised by that. Our Maker foretold us that it would be so when he informed Adam that from the first hour of man’s Fall all his labour would henceforth be with ‘the sweat of his face’ (Gen. 3:19). The testimony of history is that God’s words have most assuredly come to pass. Look where we may on earth ‘all things are full of labour; man cannot utter it’ (Eccles. 1:8). There is a crook in every lot, a twist in every path, a thorn under every rose. Foolish man calls it the cursed spite of Fate. The Apostle calls it by the name of Vanity, that frustration appointed by God for the whole world in its present state under the discipline of God’s judgement upon sin (Rom. 8:20).

But God’s judgements intensify when sinners grow worse. Men are perversely blind when they refuse to pause in the course of their frenzied lives to observe the perfection of God’s judgements in this world. The judgements of providence are not as complete as they are going to be on the Last Day. But they are not entirely mysterious or inscrutable either. They are proportioned, more or less, to the conduct of men in this life. The more sinful society becomes, the heavier God’s judgements become. This at any rate is the general tendency of God’s dealing with us in society. The many exceptions to the rule are to remind us all that an ultimate judgement on men’s sins awaits them at another time and in another place.

It should not surprise us to hear that God proportions his blessings and curses to men and nations according to their conduct (generally speaking), even in this life. The more wicked a society becomes, the more it provokes God and fetches down his wrath upon itself. For the Almighty is not an idle spectator of mankind’s behaviour but is daily on the watch, taking constant notice of the way public policies and private attitudes are altering for the worse, or for the better. We should not suppose therefore that he has reserved all his punishment for the last great judgement. Even in the course of mankind’s history, he takes out his weapons to punish men’s sins. Sometimes he removes from his quiver a sheaf of arrows with which to wound men and nations, and at other times he lays aside his bow and gives a respite to sinners when they relent and plead for mercy.

If perplexity and confusion are, as we think, judgements of God on sinful nations, we need to confess that God’s hand is manifestly ‘stretched out’ (Isa. 9:12, 17, 21; 10:4) upon us at this hour. For confusion and perplexity are everywhere to be seen — from the throne to the poor-house and from the prince to the prelate. In just about every sphere of life there is a widespread uncertainty and agony of distress. Our jobs and our currencies are about as unsteady as our morals. Those who lead us appear frequently to be without any sense of vision. Too often they are found wanting in their private lives. Our modern world has become sophisticated and clever. But the problem is that God is cleverer still and he frustrates us at every stroke by turning our unblessed efforts to vanity and futility. Concerning very few of our modern societies would it be true to say: ‘Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the Lord is his treasure’ (Isa. 33:6). God has set his face against us and thrown over us the mantle of confusion.

Those who take the Bible seriously are in no doubt as to how and why this modern confusion has become so widespread. Men are attempting to live without any understanding of the principles of righteousness. Society is stampeding towards greater and greater misery and damage because it will not stop to listen to the voice of God speaking in Scripture and in providence. When each new crack appears in the wall, instead of examining the fault to its foundation, men are content simply to ‘daub it with untempered mortar’ (Ezek. 13:10).

What ought to be happening to us as a society when so many problems are enveloping us is to question the prevailing philosophy of life as a whole. But that is, sadly, the last course of action which men welcome. The pretence is kept up on every side that our troubles have nothing to do with our sins. Prosperity is always ‘just around the corner’. Tomorrow, or the next day, our national debts will be paid off, jobs will be here for all and peace and plenty will be on hand for every citizen. But this hollow optimism is itself nothing more than a symptom of our tragic confusion. Massive questions call for an answer but are presently meeting only a deafening silence: What new factor in tomorrow’s world is going to make our vast populations industrious, law-loving, neighbourly, upright, wise and moral? What new influences deriving from our prevailing philosophy of Atheism are capable of making the society of tomorrow any happier or better than the society of today?

The frank and honest answer — for those who are prepared to hear it — ­is that there is none. Society is spiralling ever further downwards because of the bankruptcy of its moral and religious outlook. Men need to have the mists of spiritual ignorance dispelled from their minds by a new vision of the world, as God has given it to us in his Word. Nothing novel is needed to lift our modern civilisation out of its moral quagmire. No new formulas are required to put the ship of state back on a safe and prosperous course. What is needed is to return to an understanding of those ancient truths of revelation which our forefathers cherished in their day but which have been sinfully neglected and ridiculed for so long.

The need of the hour, to put matters plainly, is for society to be renewed and reformed from the pulpit outward. Let all who enter pulpits see it as their unique calling to labour in Christ’s name to lift society up by giving it large doses of biblical teaching. When fogs and mists overspread the face of society the only power that will dispel them is the genial sunshine of pure evangelical preaching. Let us be convinced of that more than ever in the light of the evident failure of political humanism or social science to heal the troubles of mankind. What the modern man needs to hear is the old curriculum of religious truths which used popularly to be referred to as the ‘three Rs’: ruin by the Fall; redemption by the blood of Christ; and regeneration by the Spirit of God. If the reader feels a momentary disappointment that we have nothing else to offer as a remedy for present ills in the world, let him ponder the historic and undeniable fact that this is the apostolic message which God has blessed times without number in the past to ‘turn the world upside down’. Nothing else is the ‘power of God unto salvation’ (Rom. 1:16). If society today is to be raised again from its acknowledged depravity and confusion, it must be done in the same way as in the past. God will bless what he has given to man as the gospel, and he will bless nothing else.

But it is at this point that the churches of Christ are generally failing today. Preachers are themselves confused. The true message is not sounding forth from even one pulpit in twenty. The generality of preachers do not tell their people of their sinful and lost state. The wrath of God is not pronounced against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men. Jesus Christ is not being held forth as the only Saviour of hell-­deserving sinners. And the New Birth is not being preached as indispensably necessary to men. Those preachers who do proclaim these old truths are few and precious. Even once evangelical pulpits are sliding into the sleepy confusion and apathy which has come to be the prevailing norm. Preaching has given way to something akin to entertainment. The trumpet has been muted. Heaven and hell are not felt realities in the consciences of most preachers. We are all in danger of becoming so polite that the sinners who come to listen to us will never hear one awakening sermon till they die in their blood.

The sight of a perishing and miserable world must be a stimulus to all who go to church to seek a fresh baptism of spiritual enlightenment and power to come upon the preachers of our modern world. This is no age for the fooleries of ecclesiastical pantomime or charade. We cannot afford the dubious luxuries of religious plays produced in the name of evangelicalism. Even the exercise of speaking in angelic tongues may have to wait till another world arrives. Our business today is clear enough — to preach righteousness and to confront men’s consciences and their reason with the claims of God and truth. In short, we need to get to as many ears as possible the plain message that they are called on to ‘flee from the wrath to come’ (Luke 3:7). Other matters are secondary to that and need to be looked at as secondary. To put smaller things at the top of our agenda is to fiddle while Rome is burning.

As Christians, we will not be able to see above the general confusion if we live only at the level of the world around us. The prophet must climb the high mountain and dwell in a watch-tower. The smoke of modern permissiveness and ungodly entertainment can only blind us unless we shun it and discipline ourselves to live apart and only for God. The call of the hour is to live near to Christ and to get ever closer to him till we have that power with God which will prevail and which will call down the fire of fresh authority on this generation of preachers.

God has darkened our age very extensively with judicial blindness at every level of society. The mists of confusion thicken visibly. But our glorious confidence is that the same God is well able to remove the veil of obscurity which covers the eyes of the multitudes. This he always does, when he does it to mankind, only by one means: by the old gospel preached faithfully and ‘with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven’ (1 Pet. 1:12).

Let us labour steadfastly to have this judgement on society removed to the eternal glory of God through our Lord Jesus Christ.


This article was first published in the December 1992 edition of the Banner of Truth magazine, and remains pertinent to our day.

via Confusion: A Judgement on Society — Banner of Truth USA

10 Sep 2019 – Rapture Ready News

Killer slime that can ‘kill you in seconds’ taking over France’s beaches
France’s beaches have been inundated by lethal slime with what experts say has the potential to kill sunbathers within seconds.

Dorian death toll feared to reach thousands as storm caused ‘absolute destruction’ and ‘nightmare’ to the Bahamas
Category 5 Hurricane “Dorian” unleashed its fury on the Bahamas on September 1, 2019, as the strongest ever to hit the archipelago. 45 fatalities were initially confirmed but with the extreme damage that eradicated 45% of infrastructure on Grand Bahama and 90% on Abaco, the death toll is feared to dramatically rise to thousands. Residents described the aftermath a nightmare, saying “everything is absolutely gone,” comparing the output to that of an atomic bomb.

Out of Chaos Comes Order-The Hegelian Dialectic Is the Master Plan To Usher In the New World Order
Out of Chaos Comes Order-The Hegelian Dialectic Is the Master Plan To Usher In the New World Order.  It is simple, problem, reaction, solution. This the game plan and their false flag operations are achieving their goals (red flag laws). Here is the story:

After a decade, an odd star is back to spitting bright flashes of radio waves at us
Ten years ago, the bright star XTE J1810-197 went dark and silent on the radioscopes without warning. Now, researchers report that the magnetar has recently roused from dormancy and has started behaving differently than it did in the past.

Breaking: Van Filled With 1,000 Gallons Of Gasoline Found In Downtown Baltimore Parking Structure Ahead Of Trump’s Visit
 A large area of downtown Baltimore was evacuated on Monday after a van filled with 1,000 gallons of gasoline was found in a parking garage — just days before President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit the city.

Trump Lifts Historic Number Of Americans Off Food Stamps
According to a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a shocking 6.2 million people are off of food stamps since President Donald Trump took office back in 2017.

The UN Is Normalizing Pedophilia: The Deep State Is Free to Prey Upon Your Children
The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is sanctioning a sexual revolution that will culminate in the legalization and whole-hearted support of transgenderism but will also support the legalization of pedophilia.

At Least 21 Dead, After Likely Israeli Air-Strike On Iranian-Backed Militias In Syria
President Obama promised that his radical JCPOA would prevent war between Israel and Iran. Obama lied. Instead, Obama’s JCPOA has made war between Israel and Iran inevitable.

ANTIFA Has Become Indistinguishable From The Neo-Nazis And It’s Time We Demand That Congress Condemns Them As A Domestic Hate Group
Antifa combines the red flag of Communism with the black flag of Nazism to create the flag and banner that they march under as they riot in the streets and beat over the head anyone who will not comply with their terroristic threats and demands. Their actions over the past few years have rendered them virtually indistinguishable from the neo-nazis they claim to be fighting against. In word and in deed, Antifa has become more nazi-like than the Neo-Nazis. It is time we pulled the plug on this cowardly group of black-hood wearing cowards.

A New Phase of Red Dawn Preparation and Activity Has Commenced
As followers of this website, it is clear that a Red Dawn invasion of a weakened invasion is planned. We are now witnessing the unveiling of domestic terrorism on a larger scale designed to weaken America. Meanwhile, south of our border, the Russians have moved in heavy armor in large numbers and are awaiting a sufficiently weakened America before attacking. This report exposes the beginnings of this two-pronged action. MS-13 is on the loose and the Russians are moving tanks into Nicaragua after signing a naval agreement with Ortega.

Alien Disclosure Taking Place At Branson This Week
This past Saturday, I popped into a recent UFO conference in Phoenix with my former news director, Annie DeRiso. I got to hear the presentations of two individuals that you will hear in Branson this week. Wow! I was mesmerized at the quality of the presentations by Chase Kloetzke and George Knapp. I walked away feeling like I had witnessed history and when you see these two at Branson, you will be overwhelmed at their expertise and scientific command of the subject.

LGBT Activists Seek to Destroy Christianity
Quarterback Drew Brees came under brutal attack last week for having the audacity to appear in a video encouraging Christian students to bring Bibles to school.

Planned Parenthood Employee Admits To Trafficking In Baby Body Parts
Day one of the preliminary hearing for pro-life activist David Daleiden kicked off Tuesday morning at the San Francisco Superior Court with testimony from an abortion technician, a third-trimester abortionist, and a vice president of the National Abortion Federation, who testified she doesn’t know what a human tissue procurement company is or does.

Source: 10 Sep 2019

September 10 Resolving Disagreements

Scripture reading: Luke 17:1–4

Key verse: Romans 12:19

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

The two friends argued and then went their separate ways without reconciling their differences. That evening neither could sleep. The Bible instructs us to settle our differences before we part: “ ‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil” (Eph. 4:26–27).

There are obvious reasons why God wants you to solve a disagreement quickly. For one, when you bring the right kind of closure to a hurtful matter, you free yourself and the other person emotionally and spiritually. Those who refuse to extend forgiveness are the losers. Nothing soothes a guilt-worn conscience like the forgiveness and love of God.

When we forgive others, we do what Jesus did for us. We also align our lives with His standard of obedience. Forgiveness is not always easy, but it is essential to emotional and physical health. God promises to deal personally with those who have harmed us (Rom. 12:19). However, many people refuse to wait on Him. They want vengeance, and they want it now.

If this is your attitude, ask God to remind you of how your life looked to Him before He saved you. Whether six or sixty, every one of us deserved death. Yet through the work of His wondrous grace and forgiveness, we were given eternal life.

I deserved death, Lord, but You forgave me and gave me life. Now give me the ability to extend Your love and forgiveness to others.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 265). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

CITI: Gold could shatter $2,000, reach all-time high if recession risks continue | Business Insider

Reuters

  • Gold could hit historic highs and even break $2,000 per ounce in the next couple years if recession risks and rate cuts continue, analysts at Citi said in a Tuesday note.
  • The precious metal is up about 17% year-to-date as trade war tensions and downturn fears drive investors toward the “safe haven” asset.
  • The analysts’ positive outlook sees risks from the possibility of a surprise trade deal between the US and China, and from possible hawkish decisions from the Federal Reserve.
  • Watch gold trade live here.

Gold could hit $2,000 per ounce in the next year or two if lower interest rates and recession fears stick around, Citi analysts said in a Tuesday note.

The analysts’ “medium term” target represents a new historic high for gold, which last peaked in August 2011 when it reached $1,830.55 per ounce.

The coveted metal surged through 2019, and is up about 17% year-to-date. Geopolitical tensions, lower global interest rates and looming recession risks fueled the run-up, Citi analysts said. Though the bank expects “profit taking” in the short term, it sees gold trading “stronger for longer” in the next three years.

“We find it reasonable to consider an increasing probability that bullion markets can re-test the 2011 to 2013 nominal price peaks and trade to $1,800-2,000 per ounce by 2021 and 2022 on the back of a US business cycle turn towards slower growth/recession on top of election uncertainty,” the team led by Aakash Doshi wrote.

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The note upgrades the bank’s fourth-quarter target price for gold to $1,575 per ounce, and its 2020 price target to $1,675. Gold traded at $1,491.53 as of 1:35 p.m. ET Tuesday.

Citi’s rosy outlook for gold does see “clear risks” from a hawkish pivot by the Federal Reserve and upgrades in global growth expectations, the analysts noted. A surprise deal ending the trade war would suggest a price peak at $1,550 per ounce, they added.

The precious metal is a popular “safe haven” investment during times of economic volatility, as its physical scarcity and steady demand appeals to those looking to escape tanking markets.

The People’s Bank of China has been stockpiling gold in its reserves for eight months in a row, signalling the nation expects continued market volatility and a prolonged trade war with the US.

Source: CITI: Gold could shatter $2,000, reach all-time high if recession risks continue

White House Rips CNN Report On Spy’s Extraction From Russia, Issues Dire Warning — The Gateway Pundit

The White House on Tuesday blasted CNN for a now-mostly debunked report claiming the CIA recalled a high-level spy from Russia after President Trump supposedly “mishandled” classified material.

“CNN’s reporting is not only incorrect, it has the potential to put lives in danger,” Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

CNN, meanwhile, stands by its reporting from reporter Jim Sciutto — a former Obama administration official — even though the Central Intelligence Agency condemned his report as “misguided” and “simply false.”

“CNN’s narrative that the Central Intelligence Agency makes life-or-death decisions based on anything other than objective analysis and sound collection is simply false,” CIA Director for Public Affairs Brittany Bramell said in a statement.

“Misguided speculation that the President’s handling of our nation’s most sensitive intelligence — which he has access to each and every day — drove an alleged exfiltration operation is inaccurate,” she added.

According to CNN’s report, the U.S. pulled a spy from Moscow in 2017, partly because Trump officials had “repeatedly mishandled classified intelligence and could contribute to exposing the covert source as a spy.”

Sciutto said the decision extract the spy “occurred soon after a May 2017 meeting in the Oval Office in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak. The intelligence, concerning ISIS in Syria, had been provided by Israel.”

The disclosure “prompted intelligence officials to renew earlier discussions about the potential risk of exposure,” CNN reported.

But the New York Times put out a piece late Monday that shot holes in CNN’s story, saying CIA officials “made the arduous decision in late 2016 to offer to extract the source from Russia” — weeks before Trump took office.

“Former intelligence officials said there was no public evidence that Mr. Trump directly endangered the source, and other current American officials insisted that media scrutiny of the agency’s sources alone was the impetus for the extraction,” the Times wrote.

The Times said the spy at first refused to be extracted citing family concerns, but after the CIA “pressed again months later after more media inquiries” endangered the spy’s anonymity, he acquiesced.

“Other holes surfaced in CNN’s reporting,” Fox News reported. “Commentator Aaron Mate pointed out in a Twitter thread that several major news organizations had previously cited a high-level official in the Russian government as a source — suggesting that the intelligence community itself, not Trump, had compromised the spy.”

For example, The Washington Post reported in June 2017 of “‘sourcing deep inside the Russian government’ — so deep that it purportedly ‘captured Putin’s specific instructions’ to launch a pro-Trump influence campaign,” Mate noted.

And the Times reported in August 2018 of “anonymous intel officials complaining that their ‘vital Kremlin informants have largely gone silent.’” But “if these Kremlin informants are so vital, why are U.S. intel officials talking about them?” Mate asked.

Daniel Hoffman, a retired CIA station chief with deep expertise on Russia and a Fox News contributor, faulted the intelligence community for the information leaking out in the first place.

“Who is divulging this information and why are they doing it? That is not the way an intelligence officer should behave, even a retired one,” Hoffman said Tuesday. “It risks our sources and methods, and it risks those behind enemy lines.”

via White House Rips CNN Report On Spy’s Extraction From Russia, Issues Dire Warning — The Gateway Pundit

Methodists, Wesleyans, and Lutherans are being influenced by the social justice movement — Pulpit & Pen

Since the infamous “Resolution 9,” which endorsed Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality as “analytical tools” in the Southern Baptist Convention, there has been a lot of talk about America’s largest Protestant denomination. However, it’s worth noting that the social justice movement is having a universal impact on many evangelical groups, including Methodist, Wesleyan, and Lutheran denominations.

Asbury University, a traditional Wesleyan institution, now offers small group leaders the opportunity to study “social justice,” and if they’d like, to earn a DMin in “Social Justice, Ethics and the Church,” through the seminary, which covers topics such as “poverty, health care, crime, prison overpopulation, corporate responsibility, addiction, race relations, marriage, policies governing sexuality and gender, unwanted pregnancies, [and] refugees.” This development follows on the heals of a 2013 grant from the Kern Family Foundation which established an “Office of Work and Economics in the Wesleyan Tradition” at the seminary.

Indiana Wesleyan University strives to be a “multicultural institution” and a “diverse learning community reflecting the world in which we live” while serving the Wesleyan church’s “twenty-first century emphasis . . . on exalting Christ through worldwide missions, compassion ministries, and concern for social justice that reaches out to all people.” Through the office of “Intercultural Learning and Engagement” the school “offers scholarship opportunities for students of diverse intersectionalities who exhibit community leadership and willingness to engage in questions of cultural identity, equity, and justice.”

In July, Shenandoah University, affiliated with the United Methodist Church, hired “Hanaa Unus,” a Muslim, “to serve as chaplain and Muslim community coordinator.” The same month, Southern Wesleyan University sent seven religion students to Chicago and Milwaukee for ministry training where, instead of learning and applying gospel evangelism, they “had sessions . . . on incarnational theology, [and] systemic problems in urban areas.” Students learned that “being hospitable means you are leveling the playing field between yourself and others . . . equalizing the power dynamic.”

In August, “The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America passed a measure declaring their entire denomination a ‘sanctuary church’ for migrants, including those who entered the United States illegally.” Chris Boerger, the ELCA’s secretary stated, “As a white church we say the right words. We, the majority population of this church, need to do more than talk.”

These websites and news stories only highlight the tip of the iceberg. Enemies Within the Church is tracing the money trail behind the interdenominational social justice movement.

This article was originally posted at Enemies Within the Church.

via Methodists, Wesleyans, and Lutherans are being influenced by the social justice movement — Pulpit & Pen

Emulate Paul! — The Watchman’s Bagpipes

Some consider it unbiblical to correct error and name the false teachers who trouble the church. Paul didn’t. Every one of Paul’s epistles corrected errors and false teachings. Several times Paul named false teachers as he warned the church about their heresies.

 

Gary E. Gilley, This Little Church Stayed Home: A faithful church in deceptive times, pg.9

via Emulate Paul! — The Watchman’s Bagpipes

September 10, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

13 Confidence in the Lord’s ability to discern and perceive the nature and needs of his people comes from a belief in God’s purpose. He is the Creator, and his creative concerns include individuals.

In a sense this section continues the emphasis on divine involvement by an emphatic use of “you” (ʾattâ, vv. 2, 13: “you know … you created”) and by the use of the pronominal prefixes and suffixes to the verbs and nouns in Hebrew (translated by “you” and “your”). The Lord has formed the individual as a spiritual (“you created [qānâ, GK 7865; Ge 14:22; Pr 8:22] my inmost being [‘kidneys’],” v. 13) and a physical being (“you knit me together”; cf. Job 8–11; Jer 1:5). All beings owe their existence to the Creator-God. How much more the individual who walks with God, who knows that the Lord has formed him or her for a purpose.

14 Creation is existential! The intensely personal language to which the psalmist returns (“I” and “my”) complements that of the second section. God is concerned with the individuals he has formed for his purpose. Therefore praise is the proper response to God’s grace of discernment, perception, and purpose. The child of God sees God’s presence everywhere (vv. 7–12) and experiences the joy of God’s watchful eye over him. All God’s “works” are “wonderful,” but the believer, more than any other part of God’s creation, senses that he is “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Though God’s grace toward him is like “knowledge … too wonderful for” him to comprehend (v. 6), he lives with a personal awareness of God’s gracious purpose (“I know that full well”). The psalmist reveals a unique awareness of God’s grace toward him and responds with a hymn of thanksgiving (“I praise you”).[1]


For His Omnipotence (vv. 13–14)

God’s power is evidenced by his creation of each individual. God created our ‘reins’ (our innermost being, that is, those things that control us—minds, hearts, wills). He ‘covered’ us while we were in the womb. The word ‘covered’ may also be translated ‘knit’ or ‘wove’. By using this term the psalmist pictures himself as a fine piece of art and God as a skilled craftsman.

The psalmist’s conclusion is that he is ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’. Henry writes: ‘… we may justly be astonished at the admirable contrivance of these living temples, the composition of every part, and the harmony of all together.’

Some of the newer translations render this phrase as a description of God—‘You are fearfully wonderful’, that is, a God who is so marvellous and wonderful that the only thing one can do is stand in awe of him.

It isn’t all that important which of the two translations we follow. A fearfully wonderful God can only do fearfully wonderful works.

David would have us know he is not just getting carried away with his own writing. He is not indulging in poetic licence. He says it is the deep conviction of his soul that all God’s works are marvellous (v. 14).[2]


13. For thou hast possessed my reins. Apparently he prosecutes the same subject, though he carries it out somewhat farther, declaring that we need not be surprised at God’s knowledge of the most secret thoughts of men, since he formed their hearts and their reins. He thus represents God as sitting king in the very reins of man, as the centre of his jurisdiction, and shows it ought to be no ground of wonder that all the windings and recesses of our hearts are known to him who, when we were inclosed in our mother’s womb, saw us as clearly and perfectly as if we had stood before him in the light of mid-day. This may let us know the design with which David proceeds to speak of man’s original formation. His scope is the same in the verse which follows, where, with some ambiguity in the terms employed, it is sufficiently clear and obvious that David means that he had been fashioned in a manner wonderful, and calculated to excite both fear and admiration, so that he breaks forth into the praises of God. One great reason of the carnal security into which we fall, is our not considering how singularly we were fashioned at first by our Divine Maker. From this particular instance David is led to refer in general to all the works of God, which are just so many wonders fitted to draw our attention to him. The true and proper view to take of the works of God, as I have observed elsewhere, is that which ends in wonder. His declaration to the effect that his soul should well know these wonders, which far transcend human comprehension, means no more than that with humble and sober application he would give his attention and talents to obtaining such an apprehension of the wonderful works of God as might end in adoring the immensity of his glory. The knowledge he means, therefore, is not that which professes to comprehend what, under the name of wonders, he confesses to be incomprehensible, nor of that kind which philosophers presumptuously pretend to, as if they could solve every mystery of God, but simply that religious attention to the works of God which excites to the duty of thanksgiving.[3]


Ver. 13.—For thou hast possessed my reins. Thou knowest me and seest me always, because thou madest me. Thy omniscience and thy omnipresence both rest upon thine omnipotence. Thou hast covered me (rather, woven me) in my mother’s womb (comp. Job 10:11).

Ver. 14.—I will praise thee. The note of praise, which has rung through the whole poem in an undertone, is here openly struck. Reflections upon God’s wonderful works must overflow into praise; and the phenomena of man’s creation and birth are, at least, as calculated to call forth praise and adoration as any other. For I am fearfully and wonderfully made. The wonderfulness of the human mechanism is so great that, if realized, it produces a sensation of fear. It has been said that, if we could see one-half of what is going on within us, we should not dare to move. Marvellous are thy works; i.e. thy doings generally. And that my soul knoweth right well. The extent of the marvellousness I may not be able to comprehend; but at least I know the fact that they are marvellous. That fact I know “right well.”[4]


13. “For thou hast possessed my reins.” Thou art the owner of my inmost parts and passions: not the indweller and observer only, but the acknowledged lord and possessor of my most secret self. The word “reins” signifies the kidneys, which by the Hebrews were supposed to be the seal of the desires and longings; but perhaps it indicates here the most hidden and vital portion of the man; this God doth not only inspect, and visit, but it is his own; he is as much at home there as a landlord on his own estate, or a proprietor in his own house. “Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.” There I lay hidden—covered by thee. Before I could know thee, or aught else, thou hadst a care for me, and didst hide me away as a treasure till thou shouldst see fit to bring me to the light. Thus the Psalmist describes the intimacy which God had with him. In his most secret part—his reins, and in his most secret condition—yet unborn, he was under the control and guardianship of God.

14. “I will praise thee:” a good resolve, and one which he was even now carrying out. Those who are praising God are the very men who will praise him. Those who wish to praise have subjects for adoration ready to hand. We too seldom remember our creation, and all the skill and kindness bestowed upon our frame: but the sweet singer of Israel was better instructed, and therefore he prepares for the chief musician a song concerning our nativity and all the fashioning which precedes it. We cannot begin too soon to bless our Maker, who began so soon to bless us: even in the act of creation he created reasons for our praising his name. “For I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Who can gaze even upon a model of our anatomy without wonder and awe? Who could dissect a portion of the human frame without marvelling at its delicacy, and trembling at its frailty? The Psalmist had scarcely peered within the veil which hides the nerves, sinews, and blood-vessels from common inspection; the science of anatomy was quite unknown to him; and yet he had seen enough to arouse his admiration of the work and his reverence for the Worker. “Marvellous are thy works.” These parts of my frame are all thy works; and though they be home works, close under my own eye, yet are they wonderful to the last degree. They are works within my own self, yet are they beyond my understanding, and appear to me as so many miracles of skill and power. We need not go to the ends of the earth for marvels, nor even across our own threshold; they abound in our own bodies.

And that my soul knoweth right well.” He was no agnostic—he knew; he was no doubter—his soul knew; he was no dupe—his soul knew right well. Those know indeed and of a truth who first know the Lord, and then know all things in him. He was made to know the marvellous nature of God’s work with assurance and accuracy, for he had found by experience that the Lord is a master-worker, performing inimitable wonders when accomplishing his kind designs. If we are marvellously wrought upon even before we are born, what shall we say of the Lord’s dealings with us after we quit his secret workshop, and he directs our pathway through the pilgrimage of life? What shall we not say of that new birth which is even more mysterious than the first, and exhibits even more the love and wisdom of the Lord.[5]


139:13–14. The theme of verses 13–18 is announced here: the Lord (You is emphatic in Heb.; cf. v. 2) created him in his mother’s womb. The language is figurative in that creating and knitting describe God’s sovereign superintendence over the natural process of reproduction (on knitting; cf. Job 10:11).

This fact prompted the psalmist to break forth in praise over the thought of how marvelously he had been made. Even David’s rudimentary knowledge of the marvels of the human body led him to be in awe and wonder. The words wonderfully and wonderful are mindful of God’s marvelous knowledge (Ps. 139:6).[6]


139:13, 14 So much then for the omnipresence of God. David now turns to consider His power and skill. And the particular phase of divine omnipotence he chooses is the marvelous development of a baby in his mother’s womb. In a speck of watery material smaller than the dot over this i, all the future characteristics of the child are programmed—the color of his skin, eyes and hair, the shape of his facial features, the natural abilities he will have. All that the child will be physically and mentally is contained in germ form in that fertilized egg. From it will develop:

… 60 trillion cells, 100 thousand miles of nerve fiber, 60 thousand miles of vessels carrying blood around the body, 250 bones, to say nothing of joints, ligaments and muscles.

David describes the formation of the fetus with exquisite delicacy and beauty. “You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.” Yes, God formed our inward parts; each one a marvel of divine engineering. Think of the brain, for instance, with its capacity for recording facts, sounds, odors, sights, touch, pain; with its ability to recall; with its power to make computations; with its seemingly endless flair for making decisions and solving problems.

And God knit us together in our mother’s womb. This aptly describes the marvelous weaving of the muscles, sinews, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels and bones of the human frame.

David bursts forth in praise to the Lord. As he thinks of man, the crown of God’s creation, he can only confess that he is fearfully and wonderfully made. The more we think of the marvels of the human body, its orderliness, its complexity, its beauty, its instincts and inherited factors—the more we wonder how anyone trained in natural science can fail to be a believer in an infinite Creator.[7]


[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 962). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Ellsworth, R. (2006). Opening up Psalms (pp. 126–127). Leominster: Day One Publications.

[3] Calvin, J., & Anderson, J. (2010). Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Vol. 5, pp. 214–215). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Psalms (Vol. 3, pp. 314–315). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[5] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 120-150 (Vol. 6, pp. 262–263). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

[6] Ross, A. P. (1985). Psalms. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 892). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[7] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 770). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.