Daily Archives: September 20, 2019

September 20 Don’t Miss Your Miracle

Scripture Reading: Matthew 9:19–22

Key Verse: Matthew 8:26

But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

When they set sail on a stormy sea, even Christ’s disciples were afraid. Jesus asked them why, and then He calmed the storm (Matthew 8:25–27).

You may be faced with a similar situation. It is easy to give in to fear and doubt when things all around you are in a state of tumult. The important thing to remember is this: if Christ is in you, He will be faithful to you. With Jesus on board, the disciples’ ship would not have gone anywhere God did not ordain it to go. So it is with your life. Although you cannot see Him, God is aware of your situation and will navigate it successfully.

Ironically, the faith of a woman who had never previously seen Christ dwarfed that of His own disciples. Because she earnestly believed He could heal her, she dared to touch the hem of His garment. Jesus turned to her and said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well” (Matthew 9:22 nasb).

Jesus is faithful to all of His followers, regardless of the degree to which they trust Him. But you will miss out on the richness of His blessings when you give in to doubt and fear. When Jesus visited His hometown, the people who had known Him as a child could not believe that He was a prophet. Because of their lack of faith, Jesus did not perform many miracles there (Matthew 13:54–58). How many miracles do you miss out on because of your unbelief?

Lord, I do not want to stand in the way of Your miraculous workings. Help me to set aside my human fears and trust You to do what humans can’t.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 275). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

September 20 Stewards of His Grace

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 4:7–10

Key Verse: Romans 12:13

Distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

His Sunday school class began a supper club designed to help members get to know one another and to be a ministry to people outside the church.

Hosting one of the dinners was an ideal opportunity for involvement, but he was afraid to offer. I’m living alone now, he thought. I don’t cook that well, I don’t know much about being a host, and it’s been a while since I’ve had people over. With great hesitation, he finally put his name on the list.

As the day approached, he was amazed when several class members called and volunteered to help him get ready. Some made food, some brought chairs, and others even donated festive decorations. The dinner was a success, and everyone felt welcomed and loved.

Hospitality isn’t just for certain homemakers with large homes or a special knack for party throwing. The same command is given to all believers: “Be hospitable to one another without complaint. As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:9–10 nasb).

It doesn’t matter how experienced or equipped you are. What counts is offering what the Lord has given you. God uses everything for His glory. Your home and belongings become a blessing many times over when you open them up to someone else.

Father God, use everything I have for Your glory—my home, my finances, my talents and abilities. Whatever I have, it’s Yours.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 275). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

September 20 The Power of Encouragement

Scripture reading: Deuteronomy 3:8–23

Key verse: Proverbs 12:25

Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,

But a good word makes it glad.

Have you ever hesitated to speak words of encouragement because you weren’t sure how they would be received? Being an encourager means reaching out even when you’re not sure. You never know the impact you might have.

In his book The Power of Encouragement, Dr. David Jeremiah explains,

I can be encouraged by what I hear. If I sense someone genuinely cares about me, that person’s words can be powerful. As the adage goes, “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”

The Book of Proverbs speaks often about encouragement. Here’s one example: “Anxious hearts are very heavy but a word of encouragement does wonders!” (Prov. 12:25, tlb). Have you ever been weighed down by anxiety when someone came along and spoke a good word which lifted your spirit?

During one of the deepest, darkest times in my life, a fellow pastor called me just to say “I want you to know I’m here if you need me. I want to pray with you.” And he prayed with me on the phone. He called me every week for several weeks with a word of encouragement. He poured courage into my heart … Believe it or not, two or three sentences can turn a person’s life around.

Father, give me words to speak to others that will encourage them in the difficult times of life. Pour Your love and compassion through me to them.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 275). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Wycliffe, YWAM, & Other Evangelical Groups to Take Part in Roman Catholic-Endorsed Global Event in 2020 | lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog

This week, we received a letter to the editor that alerted us to plans for a “2020 Global Year of the Bible.” As you read the information below, please keep in mind, Lighthouse Trails does not oppose the idea that “billions” of people in the world could potentially read the Bible. Of course not! The underlying and significant story here is the ecumenical, “let’s-all-come-together-no-matter-what” aspect and the unspoken but obvious objective ” to “engage in a global conversation” about the Bible in order to draw followers into specific belief systems.

The letter to the editor says:
To Lighthouse Trails:
I just read an article today on the Christian Post regarding a new initiative called “A.D. 2020 Global Year of the Bible.”
[LTRP Note: The CP article begins:
“Missionary leaders from over 34 countries convened at the Museum of the Bible on Monday morning to launch A.D. 2020 Global Year of the Bible, a first-of-its-kind evangelical initiative endorsed by Roman Catholic Pope Francis. . . . In a recorded video endorsement from the Vatican, Pope Francis praised the Global Year of the Bible initiative and told those leading it to ‘be encouraged.’”]

Promoters include over 500 leaders and organizations from 200 countries, YWAM, American Bible Society, Wycliffe Bible Translators, the World Evangelical Alliance and Call2All. Many other Bible translation and missionary groups from around the world are involved. One should read the entire article to get the full scope; it is staggering. And groups like PULSE and others who stage enormous gatherings of youth are also involved. The piece de resistance, however, comes at the end of the article which states that the entire endeavor is being heartily endorsed by Pope Francis in a recorded video from the Vatican.

We are seeing it folks, the one-world religion, not only forming, but gaining momentum and almost at the point of culmination. I do not know how any Bible-believing Christian can be in agreement with such a clearly ecumenical agenda. The Pope will very likely be the head of the false church described in Revelation. He is not “officially, visibly” that yet, but it is there, just waiting in the wings. Millions of evangelicals now eagerly agree with the Catholic Church and going along with what seem to be endless initiatives and efforts to “Christianize the world.” It is dominionism and the one-world religion—there is no other conclusion to come to.

The 2020 Global Year of the Bible website is registered with the University of the Nations in Hawaii. Loren Cunningham (YWAM’s leader) is the International Chancellor of that school. You may remember a 2018 article from Lighthouse Trails titled “YWAM—Wants Every YWAMer to Practice Contemplative Prayer!” YWAM has been a big promoter of contemplative prayer and emergent missiology for several years. A “natural” outcome of contemplative/emergent spirituality is a change in spiritual outlook that takes on ecumenism—with all faiths.

In a September 16, 2019 article from Religious News Service titled “WEA launches curriculum for the AD 2020 global Year of the Bible,” it also discusses the “2020 Global Year of the Bible”:

Bishop Efraim Tendero, Secretary-General of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), today launched a global campaign to mark 2020 as the “Year of the Bible”. Founded in 1846, the WEA represents over 600 million Christians worldwide with national alliances in 130 nations.

Projected to be one of the most collaborative movements in Christian history, the Year of the Bible is also supported by His Holiness Pope Francis of the Catholic church, the global Lausanne network, Youth With A Mission, the United Bible Societies, The Seed Company, Biblica and many more.

The year-long initiative is expected to achieve the greatest global Bible engagement in history, as billions follow a call to read the Bible and engage in a global conversation on its message. (emphasis added)

Lighthouse Trails can’t help be nervous about this “global conversation” with which “billions” might be involved. If organizations like YWAM and the Roman Catholic Church are instigators of this global conversation with billions, then we can easily speculate what this conversation will look like given that YWAM and the Catholic Church are leaders in promoting the interspiritual, panentheistic contemplative prayer movement (not to mention YWAM’s “new missiology” views that often leaves the Gospel out of missions and the Catholic Church’s overwhelming emphasis on the Eucharist that re-crucifies Christ at every Mass). All the while, Christian leaders either stand by passively and silently or join in helping to bring about a global “revival.”

It’s ironic, to say the least, that the Roman Catholic Church would endorse the 2020 Year of the Bible when the RCC discourages their members in reading the Bible. Historically, the RCC leadership has not wanted Roman Catholics to read the Bible but has taught them to leave the reading and interpretation of the Bible up to the popes and priests. So why would the present Pope endorse such an initiative, unless his reasons are to use the occasion to “bring back the lost brethren” into the “Mother Church”? And tragically, evangelical leaders are helping to accomplish the task, whether they realize it or not.
See Related YouTube video below Related Articles.

Related Articles:
Christian Leaders – A New Openness . . . by Ray Yungen
Wheaton College “Dialogue” Evening – Exploring “Common Ground” with Catholicism in “A Conversation on Unity”
“One World Religion: Pope Francis Signs Historic Covenant With Islam”

Related Video:
First Video: One year ago, the Vatican proposed that 2020 would be the Year of the Bible in honor of St. Jerome who first translated the Bible into Latin (for the Catholic Church). 2020 is the 1600th year anniversary of Jerome’s death.

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

via Wycliffe, YWAM,

Greg Koukl debates Michael Shermer on God, atheism, meaning and morality


Two tough rams butt heads, and may the best ram win! Two tough rams butt heads, and may the best ram win!

The full transcript of a debate between Michael Shermer, editor of Skeptic magazine, and Greg Koukl, president of Stand to Reason. This debate occurred on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, and was moderated by Hugh Hewitt.

HH = Hugh Hewitt
GK = Greg Koukl
MS = Michael Shermer

Here is the full debate transcript from Stand to Reason.

And here’s an excerpt:

GK: Right. Actually, the big question here, Hugh, is whether it’s possible to be good without God. Now I’m not talking about whether it’s possible to be good without a belief in God. I certainly think that’s possible, but be good without God. And the answer to that question hinges entirely on precisely what you mean by good. And so I was going to give an illustration. So a man drags a young girl into the alley…

View original post 3,331 more words

John MacArthur Calls Tullian Tchividjian a Heretic, Created a Theology to Accommodate His Sin — Christian Research Network

Watch the video!

(Jeff Maples – Reformation Charlotte)  John MacArthur is one of the foremost living defenders of the faith in this day and age and one of the few well-known pastors left who aren’t afraid to call out false teachers. Recently, MacArthur preached a sermon at a Master’s Seminary chapel on Jude — defending the faith and calling out false teachers — whereby he called out the fallen pastor Tullian Tchividjian on his heresy of antinomianism.

Antinomianism is a heresy rampant in certain Evangelical and Protestant circles that teaches that Christians are exempt from the obligations of the moral law of God. Generally, antinomianism manifests in its adherents falling into deep sin, often sexually immorality, but others as well such as alcohol abuse, habitual swearing, financial fraud, etc.  View article →


Tullian Tchividjian


via John MacArthur Calls Tullian Tchividjian a Heretic, Created a Theology to Accommodate His Sin — Christian Research Network

Giuliani Annouced Trip to Ukraine in May to Question Leaders on Biden Crime Family — Fake News CNN and The Hill Pretend This is Breaking News Today — The Gateway Pundit


NEVER – EVER Trust the Fake News Liberal Media!

Rudy Giuliani announced in May that he would travel to the Ukraine to question leaders on the Biden Crime family.

After leaving office in 2017, Vice President Joe Biden Bragged about strong-arming the government of Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor.

Joe Biden made the remarks during a meeting of foreign policy specialists. Biden said he, “Threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.” Biden suggested during his talk that Barack Obama was also in on the threat.

In April John Solomon revealed what Biden did not tell his audience. Joe Biden had Shokin fired because he was investigating bribes to Joe Biden’s son Hunter.

Shokin was investigating $3 million in funds that were being transferred out of Ukraine and into accounts in the United States at that time.
Joe Biden had him fired.

John Solomon joined Hannity in April to drop this bomb on the Biden family.

Then IN MAY Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani announced he was traveling to Ukraine to push the current leadership on several investigations including the probe on the Biden corruption case.

But now the liberal fake news media is pretending this is the first time they heard about this.
The fake news is trying to blame President Trump for Biden’s criminal acts in Ukraine.

The Hill reported on Thursday.

President Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani gave conflicting answers in an interview on CNN on Thursday night as to whether he asked Ukraine to look into former Vice President Joe Biden, saying at one point “of course I did.”

After CNN host Chris Cuomo questioned whether Giuliani had asked Ukraine to investigate Biden, Giuliani said, “No, actually I didn’t. I asked the Ukraine to investigate the allegations that there was interference in the election of 2016 by the Ukrainians for the benefit of Hillary Clinton.”

“You never asked anything about Hunter Biden? You never asked anything about Joe Biden?” Cuomo followed up.

“The only thing I asked about Joe Biden is to get to the bottom of how it was that Lutsenko … dismissed the case against AntAC,” Giuliani said, referring to former Ukrainian prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko and the Ukrainian-based Anti-Corruption Action Centre (AntAC).

The only criminal act here is the Biden crime family fleesing the Ukrainians.

But The Hill, CNN, The Washington Post and fake news New York Times are trying to put the blame on President Trump.
NEVER EVER trust the fake news media.

via Giuliani Annouced Trip to Ukraine in May to Question Leaders on Biden Crime Family — Fake News CNN and The Hill Pretend This is Breaking News Today — The Gateway Pundit

DAYS OF LOT: Six States Now Allow Women To Appear Topless In Public With More To Follow As America’s Morals Continue To Evaporate In The Rising Spiritual Darkness — Now The End Begins

A Colorado city’s decision to discontinue a legal battle to bar women from appearing topless in public has effectively legalized the risque fashion statement in six western states

Most people are not aware that the nascent campaign for women to be able to ‘free the nipple‘ in public was started by feminists in the LGBTQ+P for Pedophile Movement in America, and now has quickly spread out to receive support from many other groups as well. So why after 6,000 years of human existence is this such a big deal? Because public nudity and open immorality are part of what life will be like in the time of Jacob’s trouble under Antichrist, that’s why. The Bible refers to this dark people as the ‘days of Lot‘ when Lot lived in Sodom, so it is no coincidence that the sodomites are behind the current push to go topless.

“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” Luke 17:28-30 (KJV)

Six states now allow women to be topless in public, with many more if not all of them to follow. As America doubles down on her resolve to embrace the LGBTQ+ agenda, morals are being tossed out right out the window. If any of the current Democratic candidates running for their party’s nomination win in 2020, this state of immorality will proceed at a pace that will make your eyes bleed. And don’t forget one thing. In all this new found sexual ‘freedom’ that people are embracing right now, just remember that the LGBTQ+ is going to add the “P” for pedophile to their umbrella as well. Think about that as you watch the ‘free the nipple’ people lobbying hard for change. Change is indeed coming.

Going topless effectively legalized in six states

FROM THE NY POST: Fort Collins, Colorado, decided not to continue its challenge to a federal court’s decision that a ban on going topless in the city amounts to unconstitutional discrimination, NBC News reported.

The city had argued that a repeal of the ban would lead to women “parading in front of elementary schools or swimming topless in the public pool,” according to the report.


The city decided not to appeal the decision this month after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on the legal battle already, NBC reported.

The decision to not move forward with the appeal effectively legalizes the practice in the six states covered by the 10th Circuit court, according to the report.

Women will now be able to go topless in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming because of the decision. READ MORE

Teen Girls Can Now Walk Around Topless in Colorado

Girls as young as 11 can now walk around Colorado topless, all thanks to a campaign by feminists to “Free the Nipple.”

via DAYS OF LOT: Six States Now Allow Women To Appear Topless In Public With More To Follow As America’s Morals Continue To Evaporate In The Rising Spiritual Darkness — Now The End Begins

Climate Strike Kids Would All Fail This Elementary, Global Warming Test… — Christian Research Network

I believe that all children should be free to bunk off school to attend today’s Climate Strike. But only if they can get at least 80 percent of the answers right on this climate quiz prepared by the Global Warming Policy Foundation. Here is a taster…

(John Delingpole – Breitbart)  Across the Western world tens of thousands of brainwashed kids are bunking off school in what has misleadingly been described as a ‘Climate Strike.’

No. A strike involves the withholding of productive labour. These kids are simply playing truant using the best ‘dog ate my homework’ excuse evah: ‘If I don’t do this, the planet will die!!’

To give us an idea of just how ignorant these kids are on the so-called ‘climate emergency’, Guardian Australia has helpfully released a video.

Must watch propaganda video on the site

Daisy, 9, thinks:

“It is making fires in the Arctic where there is supposed to be no fires at all, only snow.”

James, 10, explains:

“Carbon goes into the world’s atmosphere making the world get hotter.”

Hannah, 10, says:

“Some cows are farting and that’s putting carbon into the atmosphere and that’s bad because the sunlight goes out and can never come back.”   View article →

via Climate Strike Kids Would All Fail This Elementary, Global Warming Test… — Christian Research Network

The ‘Progressive Christian’ Charade (Reprise) — Christian Research Network

This article by CRN managing editor Marsha West was first published September 13, 2017.

In 2012 I penned a series of articles entitled “Liberals Created the Culture of Evil and Death.” Due to the aggressive tactics of the “fake news” media and counterfeit Christians, I decided to re-post part 3. One of the liberals who has been masquerading as a Christian is founder and editor of Sojourners  magazine, Jim Wallis. Wallis is one of those who profess Christianity, but adheres to “politically entrenched concepts of equality and redistribution of wealth.” In other words, Marxism.  These ideas are rooted in Wallis’ “Christian” beliefs. And thanks to progressive clergy who hold the same views, these ideas are firmly entrenched in American churches. Even though Rev. Wallis is no longer serving as Barack Obama’s “spiritual adviser” he remains in the spotlight. What he’d like us to think is that when it comes to what makes for an authentic Christian, look no further than Jim Wallis. As an aside, it may surprise you to learn that Lynne Hybels, co-founder of Willow Creek Community Church, is a columnist for Sojourners magazine.

In 2009 the Barna Research Group released a study on the religious practices of liberals and Christians. According to the report:

The research…discovered that liberals are more likely than conservatives to develop their own set of religious beliefs rather than adopt those proposed by a church or other entity. A greater percentage of liberals also indicated they are very open to accepting different moral views than those they presently possess.”

Eight years ago I stated that,

Liberal “Christians” abhor “fundamentalist” Christianity. So they cast it aside and adopt their own set of religious beliefs and values. Times have changed, after all, so they feel it’s incumbent upon them to bring Christianity out of the Dark Ages into our postmodern world. Christianity must shed its traditional, orthodox beliefs to blend in with the popular culture.” (Source)

So now that I’ve set the stage, here’s why Progressive Christianity is a charade:

By far the biggest obstacle the Church faces is the infiltration of ubiquitous, aggressive liberals, many of whom are renowned pastors, authors, conference speakers, missionaries, televangelists, radio hosts, and CEOs of Christian organizations.  As of late, even some of our most beloved evangelical leaders appear to be morphing into theological liberals.  The extent of movement to liberal ideology varies with each individual, but in certain cases they have gone completely off the rails. False doctrine abounds in books, Bible studies and Bibles authored by notable Christians and promoted by so-called Christian publishers and book sellers.  We have been duly warned about this sort of thing happening:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils (1 Tim. 4:1).

That, brothers and sisters, is a pretty severe warning!

Marxist Christianity

To give readers a sense of what kind of person to be on the lookout for let me introduce one of the most dangerous wolves in Christendom, the Rev. Jim Wallis.  This man wears many hats.  He is the founder of Sojourner’s Magazine, speaker, author and activist.  He’s also President Obama’s “spiritual advisor.”  This alone speaks volumes.  Rev. Wallis insists that he’s an evangelical Christian even though he has abandoned the biblical gospel for the “social gospel.”  He believes he’s on a mission from God to assist the poor and oppressed to bring forth the Kingdom of God on earth.

David Noebel sheds light on some of the good reverend’s activities:

Wallis’ Sojourners enterprise has been a radical, socialistic undertaking from the start. Frontpage Magazine (March 17, 2009) says, “As one of its first acts, Sojourners formed a commune in the Washington, D.C., neighborhood of Southern Columbia Heights, where members shared their finances and participated in various activist campaigns that centered on attacking the U.S. foreign policy, denouncing American ‘imperialism,’ and extolling Marxist revolutionary movements in the Third World.” (Source) 

Jim Wallis is also a champion of unbiblical movements such as the Emergent Church, Spiritual Formation (contemplative prayer/mysticism) and what he refers to as “spirituality.”  Here is his view of prayer: 

I pray, but there are many understandings about prayer. For many, prayer is talking to God, sometimes a great list of requests and needs—sort of like a child’s Christmas list mailed to Santa Claus. But at least for me, prayer is becoming a time of listening rather than talking. There is so much noise in our world and our lives (much of our own making); prayer becomes a quiet space that enables us to stop talking long enough to see what God might be trying to say to us. 

The disciplines of prayer, silence, and contemplation as practiced by the monastics and mystics are precisely that—stopping the noise, slowing down, and becoming still so that God can break through all our activity and noise to speak to us. Prayer serves to put all parts of our lives in God’s presence, reminding us how holy our humanity really is. (The Great Awakening: Seven Ways To Change The World, 290) (Source)

Wallis is promoting unbiblical contemplative/centering prayer. 

On homosexuality he believes: 

[T]he major differences of theology and biblical interpretation in the church with regard to issues such as the nature of homosexuality, gay marriage, and ordination are not issues that should be allowed to divide the churches – that local churches should lead the way here, and that an honest, open, respectful, and, hopefully, loving dialogue should characterize the church on these very controversial questions. (Source) 

Issues which are clearly unbiblical, such as the sin of homosexuality, should not be allowed to divide us?  Really?

Are professing followers of Jesus Christ supposed to ignore the Bible’s explicit teaching on marriage, one man and one woman for life, so that men can marry men?  Should we really go against what God says in His Word regarding His plan for sexuality and marriage and adopt a “pro-gay” theology to accommodate a small group of gays and lesbians?  The answer is “May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar, as it is written, ‘That Thou mightiest be justified in Thy words, And mightiest prevail when Thou art judged.’” (Romans 3:4)

Going against God is folly!  (For the biblical view of homosexuality read Answering the Gay Christian Position)

Even though Wallis is a Red-Letter Christian and a Wild Goose chaser, he poses as an evangelical.  Sadly, he and his ilk have many starry-eyed, misguided followers who, like most liberals, wish to farm out their obligations to the tax payers.

Liberals such as Jim Wallis dub themselves “progressive Christians” and more recently “social justice Christians” (SJC).  Social justice has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  But hold your horses!  SJC has its roots in communism and has the same aim: The common good.

Sounds magnanimous, doesn’t it?  Don’t be fooled!  What these people are striving for is government transfer of wealth from one group of citizens to another to level the playing field.  Some liberals use Genesis 4:9 “I am my brother’s keeper” to make their case.  Leftist hypocrites have no problem quoting Scripture to defend wealth redistribution, but when conservative Christians quote Scripture to defend their opposition to abortion, homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and so forth they cry foul!

In an essay entitled “A Biblical View of Social Justice,” John Wheaton writes:

[I]t is essential that Christians clearly define what social justice entails. On its face, the term has a positive connotation that conveys a seemingly strong sense of virtue and morality. Basing a claim on an appeal to “social justice” provides the claim holder with a degree of persuasive advantage – a kind of moral blessing on his or her political, theological, or social ideas.  However, social justice involves much more than a superficial label or feelings of compassion. It must involve a clear understanding and delineation of each social problem, the root cause of the problem, and the best solution for the problem. In short, “Good justice requires good judgment.” (Source) 

For SJCs, Christianity is a lifestyle.  Their morality comes, not from Scripture, but from popular opinion.  Although they believe that some things in the scriptures are true, the Bible doesn’t hold a place of authority in their lives.  As one blogger put it, “the emphasis is more on growth thru the process of work and serving others.”  In other words, a person must have faith plus he/she must do good “works” in order to be saved.  This teaching is demonstrably unbiblical.  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Eph. 2:8, 9) (Bold added)

Many SJCs are Darwinian evolutionists, environmental extremists (save the planet, not souls), and they think nothing of co-mingling Christianity with paganism gleaned largely from Eastern mysticism.  They are supposedly Christians, yet many of them support abortion, the normalization of homosexuality, and same-sex “marriage.”  What is most telling is their denial of basic biblical doctrines such as the inerrancy of Scripture; the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ as God’s judgment for sin; Hell; and Jesus Christ as the only way to God and instead hold to collective salvation – all roads lead to God (religious pluralism).

What it all boils down to is that many SJCs are cultural Christians.  They are not regenerate (born again) believers.  In fact, they are hostile to the true gospel. Moreover, their goal is the redefinition of traditional Christianity.

Liberal wolves are spreading a false gospel or what Peter called “damnable heresies.” (2 Peter 2:1–2)  In a word, evil.


Besides the wolves I drew attention to in parts 1 & 2, others to be on the lookout for are as follows:

Purpose-Driven aka Seeker Sensitive/Seeker-driven/Radicalis (Pragmatism)

Some of the most prominent players are Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Perry Nobel, Steven Furtick, Ed Young, Jr., Ed Stetzer, Craig Groeschel, and Kerry Shook.

Neo-liberal/Progressive/Emergent/Emerging (Post-modernism)

Individuals like Brian McLaren, Marcus Borg, Dallas Willard, Richard Foster, Leonard Sweet, Brennon Manning, Eugene Peterson, Donald Miller, Rob Bell, Erwin McManus, Tony Jones, Doug Pagitt, Ken Wilbur, Tony Campolo, Andy Stanley, John Ortberg, Frank Viola, Laurie Beth Jones, Ruth Haley Barton, Shane Claiborn, Shane Hipps, Spencer Burke, and Jay Bakker hang their hats here. The Leadership Network has played a pivotal role in the Emerging Church movement. So have Catholic mystics. Be aware of Meister Eckhart, Ignatius of Loyola, St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, Thomas Merton, Thomas Keating, Henri Nouwen, William Meninger and Basil Pennington.

New Apostolic Reformation aka Kingdom Now/Latter Rain/Elijah’s List/Joel’s Army/International House of Prayer (Gnosticism)

Some of the movers and shakers are Kenneth Hagin, William Branham, C. Peter Wagner, Doris Wagner, Cindy Jacobs, Chuck Pierce, Rick Joyner, Dutch Sheets, John Arnott, Mike Bickle, Paul Cain, Bill Hamon, John Eckhardt, Lew Engle, Che Ahn, John Benefiel, Bill Johnson, Jack Deere, Ed Silvoso, Lance Wallnau, Todd Bentley, Samuel Rodriguez, Harry Jackson, Steve Shultz, Patricia King, Alice Smith, Kim Clement and Reinhard Bonnke.

Word of Faith aka Prosperity/Health and Wealth/Name-it-and-claim-it (What you believe you can achieve)

Leaders in this heretical movement are Joel Osteen, T.D. Jakes, Pat Robertson, John Hagee, James Robison, Paula White, Jan and Paul Crouch, Ken and Gloria Copeland, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Rod Parsley, Robert Morris, Creflo Dollar, Fred Price, John Avanzini, Eddie Long, Jim Bakker, Robert Tilton, Jentezen Franklin, and Jesse Duplantis.

Off the reservation

In this group are luminaries such as “possibility thinker” Robert Schuller, so-called Christian historian David Barton, Southern Baptist Bible teacher Beth Moore, influential pastors like James MacDonaldTim KellerMax LucadoJim GarlowDavid Jeremiah and formerly Emergent/Reformed now Charismatic pastor Mark Driscoll.

Bad Books:

Become A Better You by Joel Osteen

The Shack by William P. Young

The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn

Love Wins by Rob Bell

Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick

A New Kind of Christianity by Brian McLaren

Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson


Spiritual discernment is almost becoming nonexistent in the visible Church. So — what exactly is spiritual discernment? Pastor and Bible expositor John MacArthur defines it thusly:

In its simplest definition, discernment is nothing more than the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making careful distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically.

First Thessalonians 5:21-22 teaches that it is the responsibility of every Christian to be discerning: “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” The apostle John issues a similar warning when he says, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). According to the New Testament, discernment is not optional for the believer-it is required.

The key to living an uncompromising life lies in one’s ability to exercise discernment in every area of his or her life. For example, failure to distinguish between truth and error leaves the Christian subject to all manner of false teaching. False teaching then leads to an unbiblical mindset, which results in unfruitful and disobedient living-a certain recipe for compromise. (Source)

In an article entitled Got Meat? I offered some advice on how to avoid the pitfalls of compromise:

[It is] important to learn what someone really believes about God. A discerning Christian will pick up on the deception. Always find out what a professing Christian believes about Jesus. Is He the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, as orthodox Christians believe? Is He the Son of God? The Savior of the world? If someone’s view of God is radically different from what the Bible teaches, that person is not a Christian!

Had followers of Jesus Christ exercised spiritual discernment, perhaps what my friend Ken Silva refers to as the apostasy-palooza would never have gotten a foothold in the Church — and the wolves in sheep’s clothing would be considerably less threatening to the Body of Christ than they are today.

I’ll close with this reminder:

Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. (Acts 20: 31)

Part 1part 2


Defining Orthodoxy in Our Modern World by Peter Jones

Jim Wallis, Progressive “Cleric” Tortures Bible to Promote Intolerant Islam

Copyright by Marsha West, 2012. All rights reserved.

via The ‘Progressive Christian’ Charade (Reprise) — Christian Research Network

Crooked Hillary Clinton Accuses Trump of ‘Asking a Foreign Power’ to Help Him Win Presidential Election When SHE WAS THE ONE to Ask Ukrainians for Info on Trump! — The Gateway Pundit

What would a Deep State hit be without Hillary Clinton, the most crooked woman in Washington DC?

The Russian collusion canard failed so Adam Schiff, a Deep State snitch and their stenographers in the media are attacking President Trump with a new whistleblower ‘scandal.’

This new Deep State hit began effervescing last week when House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) subpoenaed Acting DNI Joseph Maguire and accused him of illegally withholding a whistleblower complaint from Congress that could potentially be ‘covering up the president’s misconduct’ over a phone call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The Democrat-Deep State cabal is alleging Trump and his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani sought to manipulate the Ukrainian government into assisting Trump win the 2020 presidential election.

Joe Biden previously had Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin fired because he was investigating Joe Biden’s son Hunter — Giuliani asked the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden and now all of a sudden it’s Trump’s scandal.

And now the Democrats want a transcript of President Trump’s phone call with Zelensky.

The real scandal is that President Trump is being spied on and the legislative branch is trying to access his privileged and private conversations with foreign leaders with the help of a Deep State snitch.

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson on Thursday appeared before the House Intelligence Panel in a closed-door, classified setting to testify about the whistleblower complaint.

According to a leak to CNN, IC Inspector General Michael Atkinson on Thursday said during his testimony to the House Intel Committee that he could not disclose details in the whistleblower complaint because the Justice Department said it was outside his jurisdiction being that he is in ODNI [Office of Director of National Intelligence].

The Trump Administration asserted executive privilege over the whistleblower complaint and now the media is spinning a new narrative that Trump is seeking the help of a foreign power to win in 2020 — and Hillary Clinton is helping push that narrative.

Like clockwork, Hillary Clinton jumped into the fray and attacked President Trump and accused him of ‘asking a foreign power’ to help him win a presidential election, AGAIN.

Hillary Clinton


The president asked a foreign power to help him win an election.




WATCH: Rudy Giuliani denies that he asked Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, before admitting to Chris Cuomo seconds later: “Of course I did!”

Embedded video

27.5K people are talking about this

Hillary Clinton in 2016 asked many foreign countries to help her win the presidential election — and she still lost.

Hillary’s aides went to the Ukrainian embassy and got ‘dirt’ on Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort which was eventually used to put Manafort in prison.

Crooked Hillary also paid millions of dollar to a former British spy to compile a fake Russia dossier which she used to spy on her political opponent, Donald Trump.

President Trump defended himself again on Friday and slammed “Little Adam Schiff” and “highly partisan” whistleblowers seeking to harm his presidency.

Donald J. Trump


The Radical Left Democrats and their Fake News Media partners, headed up again by Little Adam Schiff, and batting Zero for 21 against me, are at it again! They think I may have had a “dicey” conversation with a certain foreign leader based on a “highly partisan” whistleblowers..

Donald J. Trump


….statement. Strange that with so many other people hearing or knowing of the perfectly fine and respectful conversation, that they would not have also come forward. Do you know the reason why they did not? Because there was nothing said wrong, it was pitch perfect!

22.1K people are talking about this

via Crooked Hillary Clinton Accuses Trump of ‘Asking a Foreign Power’ to Help Him Win Presidential Election When SHE WAS THE ONE to Ask Ukrainians for Info on Trump! — The Gateway Pundit

Antinomianism Is A Serious Error And So Is Nomism — Abounding Grace Radio

The Problem Of Antinomianism

Repeatedly in the history of Christianity there have been two competing, damaging impulses regarding the moral law of God. One of those impulses is known as “antinomianism.” This view denies the abiding validity of the moral law for the Christian. It argues that because Christ fulfilled the moral law for the Christian it can no longer norm the Christian life. Proponents of this view emphasize the the fact that the Ten Commandments (Ex 20; Deus 5) were given under the Mosaic or Old Covenant. They note that they Old or Mosaic Covenant has expired with the death of Christ and that we are in the New Covenant now. They point to biblical contrast between being “under the law” versus being under “the law of Christ” (e.g., 1 Cor 9:20–21). It is assumed that the moral law entered history at Sinai and has expired with that covenant. Then there is practical antinomianism, where the moral law is formally affirmed but practically ignored. Often in such contexts the moral law is not distinguished from the Old Covenant judicial laws and ceremonial or religious laws. Since the ceremonial and judicial laws are abrogated in the New Testament (e.g., Mark 7:19; Acts 10:15; 11:9). Evangelical Christians often take the attitude, “that [the moral law] was then, this is now.” As a practical matter few Christians are willing to say that Christians are free to commit idolatry, adultery, theft, murder, etc but it manifests itself most frequently in the denial of what the Reformed number as the fourth commandment:

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy (Ex 20:8–11; ESV).

Whether formally or informally the abiding validity of the fourth commandment is widely rejected.

There are those, however, who will argue that anyone who makes a profession of faith of any sort, i.e., who walks the aisle in response to an evangelistic invitation, who prays a prayer during an evangelistic conversation, or who perhaps responds to a television preacher is a Christian simply by virtue of that response. This version of antinomianism argues that no matter what that person says or does after responding, they must be regarded as a Christian and that sanctification, i.e., being conformed to Christ, the gracious, gradual work of the Spirit in putting to death of the old man and making alive the man in the believer, is a second blessing. This view argues that those who have responded thus to the gospel, even if they are impenitent for their sins, must be regarded as Christians is a form of antinomianism.

These denials of the abiding validity of the moral law are serious errors. First, they do not understand that the moral law was not first given at Sinai. The Ten Commandments are simply another expression of the moral law given in the garden to Adam and Eve encapsulated in the one command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:17). In that one command was embedded the two tables of the moral law: love God and neighbor. Our Lord Jesus summarized the entire moral law thus:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matt 22:37–40; ESV)

The moral law was expressed in the “ten words” (Decalogue) at Sinai and throughout the Old Testament Scriptures and it is repeated throughout the New Testament. The Apostle Paul quotes the Decalogue in his epistles as he explains what is expected of those who profess faith in Christ. To be sure, and this gets us to the second point (nomism): Christians do not keep the law in order to be saved but because they have been saved. The book of Romans is in three parts: Guilt, Grace, and Gratitude. We obey out of gratitude not in order to win God’s favor or to keep what we have been given.

My Other Brother Darryl

Antinomianism has a twin brother: Nomism. The Nomist does not understand that the law has three functions:

To teach us the greatness of our sin and misery (the pedagogical function)

To serve as a norm for civil life (to suppress murder theft, adultery etc)

To serve as the moral norm for the Christian

Just as the antinomian denies the third use of the law (and the second), the nomist changes the 1st use by replacement: to be the way (i.e., the instrument and/or ground) of salvation. The nomist denies that the law teaches us our sin because he does not think that we are that sinful. He thinks that just as Jesus trusted and obeyed, so too we can trust and obey if only we will. The nomist is a big fan of the second use, the civil use of the law, but he is dissatisfied with the third use (the normative use) of the law. He is also dissatisfied with the Guilt, Grace, Gratitude scheme. To him, obeying the Lord out of gratitude is insufficient. He fears that if we leave it to the Spirit to work gratitude in Christ’s people to produce willing, thankful obedience to God’s holy law, we will not get the desired results. So, he truly believes that the Christian needs to be under the law as a covenant of works whereby the law says: “do this and live” (Lev 18:5; Luke 10:28). Ironically, most nomists deny that there is a covenant of works but they turn the covenant of grace into a covenant of works, even as they deny the covenant of works exists.

Strangely, though they seem poles apart, the antinomian and the nomist are twins. Neither group understands the law for what it is: God’s holy, unyeilding moral standard, an expression of the divine nature. The nomist downplays the holiness and righteousness of the law by teaching that sinners can keep it sufficiently to salvation. The antinomian denies it by disconnecting it from the divine nature, by making it arbitrary or temporary. No, the law is holy, good, and just. God’s nature does not change and neither does his moral law.

The Reformation Alternative

This brings us to the renewed recent discussion of the so-called “Lordship Salvation” debate. For background on this debate take a listen to this discussion of the issues with Mike Horton. The debate did not arise, at least in the 20th century, in historic Reformed or Lutheran circles. It arose in the context of American Dispensational theology, which struggles to account for the abiding validity of the moral law because of the way they understand the history of salvation. Dispensationalism is not a good account of what we understand to the unity of the covenant of grace. So, not surprisingly, some of them adopted a form of antinomianism. In response, some of them articulated what is known as “the Lordship Salvation” view.

Now, to be sure, different people mean different things by this expression. This is one of the difficulties in this debate. Whereas the Reformed and Lutheran churches have confessions that articulate their official, churchly understanding of God’s Word, the Dispensational tradition tends to be suspicious of confessions or publish statements in parachurch organizations.

Nevertheless, the original articulation of the Lordship Salvation view argued that saving faith is “the total complete surrender of your life to Christ.” It is coming “to the place of total surrender of your life and supreme allegiance and supreme loyalty to Christ.” Only when one has reached this place of total and complete surrender will you “have the weight of sin lifted off of you and you will now have the yoke of Christ.” The forgiveness of sins is conditioned upon “the total commitment of your life to Him.”

In some cases, anyway, people react to this presentation of the doctrine of salvation by embracing antinomianism. The good news is that this is not the good news. The good news is that Jesus obeyed on behalf of sinners, that he died in their place, that he was raised for their justification (Rom 4:25). He freely accepts sinners. All who will may come. Sinners are not saved because they met conditions. They are saved by the righteousness of Jesus for them. They are justified by the imputation of that righteousness to their account. They receive Christ and his righteousness by grace alone, through faith alone.

Both the antinomian and the nomist are confused about conditions. Against the antinomian and the nomist we should say that we are saved unconditionally but those who have been saved recognize the greatness of their sin and misery, they are sorry for their sins, they confess them and struggle against them and seek to obey God’s holy law out of gratitude to Jesus for al that he has done. They do so in union with Christ. They do so out of love for the Savior and a desire to glorify his name. Anyone who refuses to acknowledge his sins and to seek to turn from them, should come under church discipline (Matt 18). Should he continue in impenitence he must be declared by the church to be an unbeliever. For more see this essay.

We may speak of the moral necessity of obedience as a consequence of our salvation but not as a condition unto salvation. With these distinctions we have avoided both the errors of the nomist and the antinomian and set ourselves on a path toward the Christian life as understood by the Reformation churches and, we dare say, our Lord and his apostles.

For more on conditions in the covenant of grace see these resources.

via Antinomianism Is A Serious Error And So Is Nomism — Abounding Grace Radio

September 20, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)


U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, proposed legislation on Thursday to let the federal government negotiate lower prices for costly prescription drugs, drawing praise from Republican President Donald Trump, who urged a bipartisan solution.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg met with President Donald Trump on Thursday during a fence-mending visit to Washington where the chief executive faced aggressive questioning from lawmakers about the social network’s failures to protect consumer privacy.

With new abortion cases on a fast track to the U.S. Supreme Court, the nine justices will get an opportunity within weeks to take up legal fights over Republican-backed laws that could lead to rulings curbing a woman’s ability to obtain the procedure.

A Russian court on Friday ordered the release of an aspiring actor whose prison sentence for injuring a police officer on the sidelines of an opposition protest sparked a public outcry over alleged police brutality and judicial injustice.

Hundreds of thousands of students, office workers and other protesters took to the streets around the world on Friday to demand global leaders gathering for a U.N. climate summit take urgent action to avert an environmental catastrophe.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in the center of Algiers on Friday in the first significant test of the months-old protest movement since the government called an election for December, a Reuters journalist said.

The U.S. air strike killed eight suspected Islamic State militants in southern Libya near the town of Murzuq, the U.S. military said on Friday.

A call to “storm” the secretive U.S. military base in the Nevada desert known as Area 51 attracted several dozen revelers to a heavily guarded entrance early Friday, but most did not attempt to enter the site, long rumored to house secrets about extraterrestrial life.

AP Top Stories

Dozens of people – including six doctors and seven pharmacists – have been charged with fraud for illegally distributing more than 6 million opioid pills. Some of the pills were obtained using counterfeit prescription pads, and the stolen identities of legitimate doctors.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that the United States would return about $100 million to the Treasury for an energy infrastructure project in Afghanistan and would withhold a further $60 million in planned assistance to the country due to a lack of transparency.

Guatemala is no longer just a transit point for traffickers seeking to smuggle cocaine north towards the United States, authorities said on Thursday after security officials discovered several coca plantations and processing laboratories.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is sending highway patrol troopers and other state workers to St. Louis as part of an effort to fight the surge of violent crime that has included the killings of more than a dozen children in the region so far this year.

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday displayed remnants of what it described as Iranian drones and cruise missiles used in an attack on Saudi oil facilities, saying they were “undeniable” evidence of Iranian aggression.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that U.S.-allied Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates seem to wish to “fight Iran to the last American”.

More than 500 people have been diagnosed with vaping-related breathing illnesses, but the cause remains unknown, U.S. health officials said Thursday. An eighth death was also reported.

The World Health Organization congratulated India on Thursday for its ban on electronic cigarettes, the latest evidence of a global backlash against a technology touted as safer than regular smoking.

The Philippine justice minister on Friday urged police to abort a manhunt of dozens of potentially dangerous convicts freed in error, fearing possible violence after the president offered big bounties to kill or capture them.

President Trump said Wednesday that he thinks the Iranian president and foreign minister should be granted U.S. visas to attend next week’s United Nations General Assembly.

A transgender prison inmate who sued the state of New York, saying she was raped in a men’s prison, has died of cancer days before she was to be freed on parole.


Two Muslim men in the US have demanded an investigation after they say they were subjected to racial and religious profiling on a flight home to Dallas.

Nigeria’s army has stopped the work of international NGO Action Against Hunger accusing it of supplying a militant Islamist group with food and drugs.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government has agreed to set a price on carbon emissions in a bid to meet a 2030 climate target of cutting greenhouse gases by 55% on 1990 levels.


Two illegal aliens who were granted the right to stay in the United States by Barack Obama have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration to make sure they can continue to receive taxpayer money in the form of welfare and still be able to obtain green cards to permanently stay in the country.

Since surviving a 1991 mass shooting at a Luby’s in Killeen, Suzanna Gratia Hupp has lobbied for looser gun control laws that she says could have allowed her to save the 23 victims, including both of her parents.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted a “clear bias” in the way his platform handled the pro-life organization Live Action.

Mid-Day Snapshot

The Foundation

“Foreign influence is truly the Grecian horse to a republic. We cannot be too careful to exclude its influence.” —Alexander Hamilton (1793)

So Demos Are Outraged About Presidential Promises to Foreign Leaders?

They voiced no concern over Obama’s infamous promise to Russia’s president.

Will Trump Accept O’Rourke’s Gun-Ban Gift?

Beto poisoned the well when it comes to discussions on background checks.

Colt Stumbles Into Civilian Rifle Suspension

Liability fears are the likely motive behind Colt’s surprising decision on AR-15s.

It’s Time for Climate Confessions

“Where do you fall short in preventing climate change?” NBC asks for “Climate Confessions.”

Can Trump Be a Middle East Peacemaker?

Conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia, coupled with Israeli elections, present problems.

The Rent Is Too Darn High

Government regulation took a bad situation and made it worse with rent control.

Democrats Are a Party Divided

But as identity divides voters among the slew of candidates, the party has a bigger strategy.

Color Me Confused

Take our guns, trash our economy, change our sex, label us racist. Vote Democrat?

National POW/MIA Recognition Day

We honor the American Patriots who were prisoners of war and those who remain missing in action.

Video: NYC Allows Kids to Skip Class for Climate Protest

Under pressure from kids determined to picket for the planet, New York City buckled.

Video: What Is the Constitution a Reminder Of?

Andrew Klavan reminds us why the Constitution is important to life and Liberty.

Today’s Opinion

David Harsanyi
The Smearing of Brett Kavanaugh Is an Attack on the Supreme Court
Marc A. Thiessen
Democrats Want to Impeach Kavanaugh? Go for It!
David Limbaugh
The Idolatry of Environmental Extremism
Erick Erickson
The Passion of Zealots
Mona Charen
Why Reparations Talk Is Harmful
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Friday Top News Executive Summary

Colt’s AR-15 reduction, whistleblower complaint, tax-return victory, fake hate groups, and more.

Friday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Meghan McCain, Michael Bloomberg, Andrew Yang, Joy Behar, and more.

Today’s Meme

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

Today’s Cartoon

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

Headlines – 9/20/2019

Greenblatt to speak with Gantz and Netanyahu about ‘Deal of the Century’

‘Let Me Try to Dispel the Myths’: Jason Greenblatt Tells Hamodia the Inside Story

Tillerson says Netanyahu skillfully ‘played’ Trump using misinformation

Committee publishes ‘almost final’ results; Blue and White lead Likud 33-31

Results aren’t even official, but already nightmare 3rd election scenario looms

Rivlin to begin consultations Sunday on tasking next prime minister

Liberman said to tell aides he intends to recommend Gantz for prime minister

Weakened Netanyahu’s offer of unity government rebuffed by rival Gantz

Gantz says he should lead unity government, rejects coalition led by right

Dethroning King Bibi: Why, and how, Likud could get rid of its longtime leader

Netanyahu Says No Intention of Seeking Plea Bargain in Corruption Cases

Iran May Exploit Israel’s Political Instability: How Trump Must Deter Tehran

Putin: Russians consider Israel a ‘Russian-speaking country’ – says he feels kinship with Jewish State

Syrian state media says drone downed outside Damascus

Rival UN resolutions on Syria cease-fire shot down

Lebanon says crashed Beirut drones were on Israeli attack mission

U.S. Man Charged With Terrorism Offenses Targeting Landmarks for Hezbollah

Iran’s top diplomat warns of ‘all-out war’ if hit for Saudi attack

US military presenting range of options to Trump on Iran

Pompeo wants ‘peaceful’ solution to crisis over Saudi strikes

Iran’s Zarif questions U.S. coalition for ‘peaceful resolution’ in Middle East

Pentagon Weighs Sending More Military Assets to Mideast

Border wall, Iran, Space Force among hurdles for $700 billion U.S. defense bill

The billions Saudi Arabia spends on air defenses may be wasted in the age of drone warfare

Arab Coalition launches military operation north of Hodeidah in Yemen

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis say Hodeidah ‘escalation’ violates Stockholm deal

Turkey’s Anti-Israel, Anti-Western Policies Could Outlast Erdogan

U.S. drone strike kills 30 pine nut farm workers in Afghanistan

Pompeo announces US to rescind $160 million in aid to Afghanistan, cites government corruption

The Fed pumps another $75 billion into markets – its 3rd straight daily injection

Democrats and Republicans Aren’t Just Divided. They Live in Different Worlds.

‘Only plausible candidate’: Never Trump Republicans plotting to back Biden

Federal judge blocks California law requiring Trump tax returns

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg Meets With Trump, Faces Tough Questions From Senators

Zuckerberg meets Trump, senators; nixes breaking up Facebook

Report: Mark Zuckerberg Admits Facebook’s ‘Clear Bias,’ Dependence on ‘Activist’ Fact Checkers

Baltimore officials pitched on putting three surveillance planes in the sky at once, covering most of city

Muslim men claim racial profiling after flight canceled at Birmingham airport

China Launches ‘Belt and Road News Network’ Workshop to Indoctrinate Journalists

Alien enthusiasts arrive in Nevada despite canceled Area 51 event

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Neiafu, Tonga

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Neiafu, Tonga

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Ohonua, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Neiafu, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Tobelo, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Kokopo, Papua New Guinea

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 25,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 22,000ft

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

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 19,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Sakurajima volcano on Japan erupts to 15,000ft

Rising number of fatal landslides makes 2019 the worst year on record

‘Worse than Hurricane Harvey’: At least 2 dead as Imelda overwhelms Texas with’ incredibly dangerous’ flooding

Flooding from Imelda turns deadly in Texas as rainfall totals approach 4 feet

More than 40 inches of rain falls across Southeast Texas; I-10 shut down, reports TxDOT

Tropical Storm Imelda: 2 dead in Texas, including man trying to save horse from flood

Imelda: 2nd ‘500-year rainfall’ in 2 years will cause $8 billion in damages

‘They’re forming like roaches.’ The 6 tropical storms whirling at once have set a record

Tropical storm may hit Japan on weekend again

Mumbai Records Highest-ever September Rainfall; Set to Witness More Rain

Kids in Australia, Pacific launch millions-strong global climate strike

‘It’s our future that’s at stake’: US students plan to skip school Friday to fight climate ’emergency’

North American bird population has dropped by 3 billion since 1970, study reveals

Uptick seen in rare mosquito-borne virus in some US states

Philippines declares new polio outbreak after 19 years

Pete Buttigieg says 2,200 aborted fetal remains found in his city ‘disturbing’ but don’t politicize

Pete Buttigieg ‘Can’t Even Read the LGBT Media Anymore’: ‘It’s All, ‘He’s Too Gay, Not Gay Enough, Wrong Kind of Gay”

Fashion brand condemned over school shooting clothes with bullet-like holes

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

RenewAmerica Newsletter for September 20, 2019

September 19, 2019
MATT ABBOTT — It was yet another horrid story that made national, even international, headlines. More than 2,200 aborted babies were discovered at the Illinois home of Indiana abortionist Ulrich Klopfer, who died earlier this month. Why did he collect all those human remains? The reason is unclear. What is clear, however, is the fact he was responsible for the deaths of thousands of preborn children during his murderous “career.”… (more)

September 19, 2019
JERRY NEWCOMBE — Protests in Hong Kong have been going on for months. Is there a Christian element to these protests that has been widely overlooked? Hong Kong has a population of over 7 million people. Yet it has been estimated that, at one point in recent weeks, as many as a million protestors hit the streets. Hong Kong has officially been a part of China since 1997, when it was handed back over after being a British colony and territory for more than a century…. (more)

September 19, 2019
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON — Donald Trump is waging a nonstop, all-encompassing war against progressive culture, in magnitude analogous to what 19th-century Germans once called a Kulturkampf. As a result, not even former President George W. Bush has incurred the degree of hatred from the left that is now directed at President Trump. For most of his time in office, Mr. Trump, his family, his friends and his businesses have been investigated, probed, dissected and constantly attacked…. (more)

September 19, 2019

BYRON YORK — Have Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee figured out what President Trump did to them? By the looks of their questioning of Corey Lewandowski on Tuesday, the answer is no…. (more)

September 19, 2019
Uses televised appearance as opportunity to blast Democrats for conducting a ‘witch hunt’ against the president
NEWSMAX — Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign manager, defiantly refused to answer most questions from House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler in a combative hearing that’s the first explicitly tied to the potential impeachment of the president…. (more)

September 18, 2019

COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE — Modern doomsayers have been predicting climate and environmental disaster since the 1960s. They continue to do so today. None of the apocalyptic predictions with due dates as of today have come true. What follows is a collection of notably wild predictions from notable people in government and science…. (more)

September 18, 2019
MARLO LEWIS — The Democrats running for their party’s presidential nomination are focusing more on climate change. Here are five questions reporters should ask to test whether the candidates’ climate policies deserve the support of the American people. In fact, these are questions that should be asked of all politicians who advocate climate policies, regardless of their party affiliation…. (more)

September 18, 2019

NEWSMAX — resident Donald Trump’s call to “substantially increase” sanctions on Iran is the “right decision” after the attack on major Saudi oilfields this past weekend, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said Wednesday. “The president is taking a measured response to this,” Barrasso told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “The sanctions have been biting. They’ve been hurting. Iran has been suffering as a result. Their currency has been devalued significantly. Less buying power there.”… (more)

September 18, 2019
NEWSMAX — Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, ripped into The New York Times for reporting sexual misconduct allegations regarding Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and said it was part of a broader effort by the left to “intimidate the court.”… (more)

September 16, 2019
NEWSMAX — A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday ordered that an American Airlines mechanic charged with purposely damaging an aircraft that was due to take off from Miami with 150 aboard remain behind bars before a trial, court papers showed…. (more)

September 16, 2019
And why banning “assault rifles” won’t save even one life
SELWYN DUKE — How did AR-15s become the plastic straws of the gun world? It’s simple: Demagogues need scapegoats. Yet just as banning plastic straws won’t make a dent in the ocean-polluting plastics problem, banning “assault rifles” (which aren’t) won’t save even one life…. (more)

September 16, 2019

NEWSMAX — President Donald Trump has “broken the Democratic Party” by delivering on GOP policies, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Sunday. In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Cruz said “results matter.” “I think Donald Trump has broken the Democratic Party,” he said. “They are defined now just by hating him. They ought to be the party of jobs. They used to be a party focused on jobs. They’re not anymore… Results matter. We’ve delivered on policy. Cruz also responded to a New York Times report on fresh revelations about the Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged behavior as a student at Yale University in the 1980s…. (more)

September 16, 2019
CNBC — 2020 presidential contenders including Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke on Sunday called for the impeachment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh after an article in The New York Times surfaced a previously unreported allegation of sexual misconduct against the justice when he was a undergraduate at Yale University…. (more)

September 16, 2019
WASHINGTON TIMES — Former Housing Secretary Julian Castro called out the elephant in the room when he questioned whether Joseph R. Biden was mentally fit to be president, pulling back the curtain on a debate that has been raging inside the Democratic Party since the former vice president entered the race…. (more)

September 16, 2019
The sound of one hand clapping
ROBERT KNIGHT — If you weren’t looking closely, you might not have noticed that Republicans won two North Carolina congressional races last Tuesday, not just one. The media featured the 9th District race in which Dan Bishop defeated Dan McCready by 50.7 percent to 48.7 percent. They ignored the 3rd District, where state Rep. Greg Murphy swamped Democrat Allen Thomas with nearly 60 percent of the vote to fill the seat of the late Rep. Walter Jones, who died in February…. (more)

September 16, 2019
New Mexico called ripe target because president has a “good story to tell” about job creation there
WASHINGTON TIMES — The Trump 2020 campaign noticed something interesting while crunching data from its February rally in El Paso: A significant percentage of the crowd crossed into Texas from Las Cruces, New Mexico, including plenty of women and Hispanics, who will be pivotal to the president’s reelection prospects…. (more)

September 16, 2019
NEWSMAX — More than 2,000 medically preserved fetal remains have been found at the Illinois home of a former Indiana abortion clinic doctor who died last week, authorities said. The Will County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release late Friday that an attorney for Dr. Ulrich Klopfer’s family contacted the coroner’s office Thursday about possible fetal remains being found at the home in an unincorporated part of Will County in northeastern Illinois…. (more)

September 16, 2019
WORLDNETDAILY — A prosecutor in California’s criminal case against two undercover journalists whose 2015 videos revealed abortion executives discussing their scheme to profit from baby body parts is “ignorant” of the law, contend defense lawyers. California alleges David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt of Center for Medical Progress, defended by Liberty Counsel, violated state privacy laws by secretly recording executives in public places such as conventions and restaurants…. (more)

September 16, 2019
FOX 11 LA — An emotional meeting was held Tuesday night in Oak Park where parents were fired up about the school district’s new curriculum that teaches elementary school kids about transgender issues. The district says the curriculum is meant to discourage bullying against transgender children, but some parents are outraged…. (more)

September 15, 2019
NEWSMAX — The Dixon, Chicago, home where President Ronald Reagan grew up is at risk of closing down as a tourist destination due to financial constraints, The Chicago Tribune reports. The white, two-story house is running at a loss of more than $80,000 per year and only attracts between 5,000 and 6,000 visitors compared to 1994, when the home attracted about 20,000 visitors…. (more)

September 15, 2019
Quote from New Testament calls same-sex relationships ‘shameful’

WORLDNETDAILY — Police are investigating a lawmaker in Finland for posting Bible verses on Facebook. Päivi Räsänen, a member of parliament, was expressing criticism of the national church’s support for the LGBT agenda when she posted Romans 1:24-27…. (more)

September 15, 2019
MUST SEE: Role of Obama, Dem power-brokers, and liberal media in creating ‘fake news’ hysteria aimed at discreditingTrump
YOUTUBE — Hillsdale College’s National Leadership Seminar on “What is American Greatness” with Sharyl Attkisson, investigative reporter, on “Is Fake News a Myth?”… (more)

September 14, 2019
NATIONAL REVIEW — At the Democratic-primary debate in Houston last night, Beto O’Rourke formally killed off one of the gun-control movement’s favorite taunts: The famous “Nobody is coming for your guns, wingnut.” Asked bluntly whether he was proposing confiscation, O’Rourke abandoned the disingenuous euphemisms that have hitherto marked his descent into extremism, and confirmed as plainly as can be that he was. “Hell yes,” he said, “we’re going to take your AR-15.”… (more)

September 13, 2019
NATIONAL REVIEW — Texas senator Ted Cruz took aim at fact-checking website PolitiFact on Friday, criticizing the site for having previously claimed that Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke does not plan to “take our guns” after O’Rourke explicitly suggested otherwise at Thursday night’s Democratic debate…. (more)

Weekly Watchman for 09/20/2019

What Would Jesus Say to Christians in America Today?

If Jesus rebuked many of the early churches for straying, leaving their first love, putting up with false doctrine, or for being lukewarm, how could we, American Christians, think He wouldn’t harshly warn and correct many of our churches today? Too many of us love the things of this world, pursue leisure and comfort over […]

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Psychology, Mental Illness; and Life Matters/Robia Scott Interview

In our first segment, we discuss counseling from a Christian perspective. Studies show an increasing percentage of Americans battle depression and mental illness.  Along with skyrocketing suicide rates among young people and middle age men, we are in the midst of an epidemic that is affecting millions of people. Dr. Ab Abercrombie of The Biblical […]

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Archived Friday Q&A from March 15, 2019

Today’s post includes the archived podcast that originally aired 3/15/19.

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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The Art of Christian Apologetics

Knowing what the Bible teaches is one thing. Explaining it to others is another. We need to be reminded that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation.  We can over-complicate it, but it is important to be prepared to share the basics or the essentials of the faith, as well as being ready […]

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Gathering Storms of War in the Middle East

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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Who Wants to be God?

Daily podcast, relevant articles on issues pertaining to Christians and more can be found on Stand Up For The Truth.

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September 20, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

19:3–6 / Godthe Lord called to him from the mountain. The Lord’s first words to Moses upon his return to Sinai contain the formality of poetic parallelism: say to the house of Jacob / tell the people of Israel. The short but powerful speech that follows this introduction contains the primary themes and the structure of Mosaic faith (Muilenburg, “Form and Structure”). Brueggemann called it “the most programmatic for Israelite faith that we have in the entire tradition of Moses” (Brueggemann, “Exodus,” p. 834). Rabbinic tradition notes the inclusivity of the parallel address, with “house of Jacob” specifically referring to the households of women and children.

The Lord’s intentions with regards to this redeemed people are immediately clear. God asks them to declare their intentions. Verse 4 describes the three stages of their journey and the Lord’s provision in it. The second part of God’s speech (vv. 5–6) presents an invitation to a special vocation in the world. God attaches a conditional promise to this offer to serve the Lord as intermediary between God and the other nations of the earth. God called Israel to be his holy nation and a kingdom of priests to the world.

This call begins with a description of God’s grace in three stages: bringing Israel out of bondage, providing for them in the wilderness, and guiding them to an encounter with God that would continue to transform their lives. The Lord reminds them that they had indeed been witnesses to these gifts. They had seen “what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.” The Lord spoke very personally, saying: “I did,” “I carried you,” and “I brought you to myself.” The point is that it was the Lord who brought them out of bondage, who carried them through their fears in the wilderness, and who brought them beyond those external and internal forms of oppression to worship God. They did not seek God before God sought them. They did not begin by keeping laws or making sacrifices. They simply cried out for help. Their relationship with God began with God’s own unexpected mercy and provision. Moses expands the reference to the Lord carrying Israel on “eagles’ wings” in his song at the end of the wilderness sojourn in Deuteronomy 32:10b–11.

The second part of the Lord’s first message for the people at Sinai was an invitation for a reciprocal relationship. It begins with the conditional statement, “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant.” The most obvious reference is to the covenant that was about to be given: the book of the covenant (21:1–23:19). The people’s agreement to this condition in verse 8 could be read as a declaration of their intent to receive that covenant. On the other hand, the Abrahamic covenant was also clearly on the table in Exodus, both before and after the meeting at Sinai. The reference to the Lord’s covenant need not be read exclusively. God’s work in the world extended through the exodus and at Sinai, but this did not supersede the earlier covenants. Sinai’s grounding in the promises made to the cultures of the world through Abraham would become dramatically evident in 32:13–16. During the golden calf crisis, the appeal to the Abrahamic covenant was enough for the Lord to preserve Israel and the Sinai covenant. Moses had also previously imparted case law from the Lord (18:15–16), the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread and firstborn statutes (12:1–11, 21–27, 43–50; 13:1–16), and the Sabbath commands (16:16–30).

The result of their acceptance of the covenant was not, as is sometimes assumed, simply their salvation. Rather, it indicated something larger that encompassed the Lord’s mission for the whole earth and all the peoples.

“out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.

Although the whole earth is mine,

you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

The meaning of “treasured possession” is found in the parallel line that further defines it, “you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” This is something new. For the first time in Scripture since the mention that God would bless all the nations of the earth (Gen. 12:3; 22:18), the Lord adds a dimension to the relationship between God and other peoples. Israel would be a treasured possession among all nations as a holy nation in as much as it was a kingdom of priests. The phrase “kingdom of priests” provides an interpretive key to the Lord’s offer. Priests mediate God’s law and grace. If they were all priests, then their calling was to mediate, through all that they were and communicated (e.g., written Scripture), the word and life of God to the world. The context for Israel’s mediating work would be the kingdom of Israel, the political reality in which some in each generation lived faithfully, preserving God’s social vision for the world and God’s written word.

A second interpretive key is found in the phrase “Although the whole earth is mine” (v. 5). In the Exodus context, that the “whole earth” belonged to the Lord meant the reversal of the domination of chaos and the proclamation of the Lord’s reputation, that the Lord might be known “in all the earth” (9:16)

Another, better, translation is: “because the whole earth is mine, I choose you to be a kingdom of priests in order to bring it blessing.” This reading uses the immediate and the broader Genesis-Exodus context. Israel is thus not seen over against less honored nations, but as a nation chosen in order to bring the blessing (Fretheim, “Whole Earth,” p. 237).

The transformation or restoration of the nonhuman creation often accompanies the transformation of God’s people in Scripture. Because the whole earth belongs to the Lord, the wilderness that the people initially experienced as an inhospitable place was made hospitable. God transformed undrinkable water at Marah. Bread rained down from heaven and quail abounded in the Sin wilderness. A waterless place burst forth with abundant water at Horeb. Isaiah described a similar transformation in the promise of the people’s return from Babylon (Isa. 35:6–7; 41:17–18; 43:19–21; 48:21). Paul described the transformation of the nonhuman creation as bound up with human transformation in the new creation (Rom. 8:21–23). The whole creation was thus at stake and involved in the Israelites’ decision at Sinai.

“These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.” The Lord wanted Moses to repeat these words immediately to the Israelites. God wanted them to declare their intentions regarding this offer for them to enter into a partnership for the world’s sake. This served as Israel’s call narrative, mirroring Moses’ own call (3:10–12).[1]

19:3–8. These verses reveal the covenant itself and reflect the provisions of a standard ANE suzerain treaty (that is a treaty between an underling and an overlord; see J. W. Marshall, “Decalogue,” in Dictionary of the Old Testament Pentateuch, ed. T. Desmond Alexander and David W. Baker [Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity: 2003], 173ff.). There was a standard pattern or formula to such treaties: preamble (“Hear ye, hear ye”; 19:3); history of relations between the vassals and their master (“This is how we have arrived at this stage in our relationship”; 19:4); stipulations (“This is what you [underling] will do”; 19:5a); promises/blessings (“This is what I [overlord] will give you”; 19:5b–6a); formal presentation (19:6b–7); and formal acceptance (19:8). A covenant such as this was meant to elevate and formalize an already extant relationship (see Hamilton, Exodus, 301). Here the relationship with the nation was based on the Lord’s promises to the patriarchs (cf. 6:8; 13:5) and on His sovereign and gracious deliverance of them from bondage: bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself (19:4).

The stipulations obey My voice and keep My covenant (19:5) were thus not the means to earn the promises (as noted above, those promises had been given to the patriarchs Abraham [Gn 12:1–3; chaps. 15; 17], Isaac [Gn 26:24], and Jacob [Gn 28:13–15; 35:11–12), but the way to live so as to enjoy the promises. The idea is “If you obey and keep the commandments you will prove to be My own possession …” (19:5). They already were His people (see Hamilton, Exodus, 301). God gave Israel the law to ensure that Israel would be able to fulfill the Abrahamic covenant by avoiding sin and therefore, the consequences of experiencing the temporal discipline of God.

If God disciplined them, the nation would be driven from the land (Dt 28:64–65) and they would not be able to experience His glory and blessings. A further result would be that the Abrahamic covenant could not be fulfilled in its entirety. Eventually, of course, Moses anticipated Israel’s inability to keep the law (Dt 31:29) and predicted that God would make the fulfillment of the promises possible for Israel through receiving the circumcised hearts of the new covenant (Dt 30:6). Thus, God gave these laws to Israel because only by living as He commanded and according to His standards by His own nature could they expect to enjoy His blessings. “In essence, the Sinaiatic covenant spells out the type of nation that Yahweh intends Israel to be.… Israel, the patriarch’s promised descendants, could enjoy the divine-human relationship anticipated in Genesis 17:7–8 only by maintaining the ethical distinctiveness enshrined in God’s instructions to Abraham (‘Walk before Me and be blameless,’ Gen 17:1)” (P. R. Williamson, “Covenant,” in Dictionary of the Old Testament: Pentateuch [Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2002], 150).

The blessings were summarized in three “titles”: they would prove to be My own possession (“unique treasure,” a “chosen and special status”; Dt 7:6; 14:2; 26:18; Ps 135:4; Mal 3:17), they would be a kingdom of priests, and they would be a holy nation (19:5–6; cf. 1Pt 2:9). These titles indicate that as a new nation (in the truest sense “under God”) they had a unique relationship with the Lord, they had a unique responsibility to the rest of humanity, and they had a unique standing in the world of nations—a new name and privilege, a new responsibility, and a new character. These titles speak of the nation’s royal (kingly), priestly, and prophetic standing before God and before the world, among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine (19:5). This has been called the “Great Commission” of the OT (cf. Youngblood, Exodus, 90).

In sum, to enjoy their promise-based relationship with God they had to accept it. Then they had to commit to it; that is, they had to commit to live by the stipulations and live up to the blessings. The people were enthusiastic at this point, answering, All that the Lord has spoken we will do! (19:8). Sadly this commendable sentiment was not always matched with consistent action.[2]

19:5–6. This proposal made by God (My covenant) would give Israel an exalted position among the nations in view of their acceptance of God’s righteous standards. If they accepted and obeyed the covenant stipulations, God promised to make them His treasured possession (cf. Deut. 7:6; 14:2; 26:18; Ps. 135:4; Mal. 3:17). They would be His own people, highly valued by and related to Him. Also they would become a kingdom of priests, that is, each member of the nation with God as his King would know and have access to Him and mediate on behalf of each other as did priests. Also they would be a holy nation, a nation morally pure and dedicated entirely to the service of God. God redeemed Israel so that she might be in touch with and separated to Him.[3]

19:5 — “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.”

What an amazing thing to be called the “special treasure” of God! Obedience always brings blessing, and far more than we can imagine.[4]

19:5, 6 Three titles for Israel, “My own possession,” “a kingdom of priests,” and “a holy nation,” were given by the Lord to the nation, contingent upon their being an obedient and covenant-keeping nation. These titles summarized the divine blessings which such a nation would experience: belonging especially to the Lord, representing Him in the earth and being set apart unto Him for His purposes. These expanded ethnically and morally what it meant to have brought them to Himself. “For all the earth is Mine,”in the midst of the titles, laid stress upon the uniqueness and sovereignty of the Lord and had to be understood as dismissing all other claims by so-called other gods of the nations. It was more than the power of one god over another in Israel’s situation; it was the choice and power of the only Lord! See 1Pe 2:9, where Peter uses these terms in the sense of God’s spiritual kingdom of the redeemed.[5]

19:6 When the Lord calls Israel a kingdom of priests and a holy nation, he is not referring exclusively to the role that Aaron and his sons will fill as priests (28:1) but also to what Israel’s life as a whole is to represent among the nations. By keeping the covenant (19:5), the people of Israel would continue both to set themselves apart from, and also to mediate the presence and blessing of the Lord to, the nations around them (see Gen. 12:3; Deut. 4:6; note on Isa. 61:5–7). When Peter applies these terms to the church (see 1 Pet. 2:5, 9), he is explaining that the mixed body of Jewish and Gentile believers inherit the privileges of Israel, and he is calling the believers to persevere in faithfulness so that those around them “may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation” (1 Pet. 2:12).

19:6 The privileges of Israel prefigure the higher privileges of the NT church (1 Pet. 2:9–10), won through Christ’s redemption (Heb. 10:10).[6]

19:5 a treasured possession The Hebrew term used here, segullah, refers to both inanimate objects and servants as personal property (Eccl 2:8; 1 Chr 29:3). In ancient Near Eastern covenant-legal literature, the term used here sometimes describes those in covenant with a deity—a context reflected here.

all the earth is mine Though all the earth and its nations belong to Yahweh, Gen 11:1–9 describes God disinheriting the nations of the world. After the Babel event, God turned the nations over to lesser gods (Deut 32:8–9; compare Deut 4:19–20). In the next divine act recorded in the ot, He called Abram and promised him a line of descendants that culminated in the sons of Jacob—the 12 tribes of Israel—who now stand before Him at Sinai.

19:6 a kingdom of priests The only instance of the Hebrew phrase used here in the ot, although the language of Isa 61:6 is similar. The reference to a kingdom presupposes a king, who would be Yahweh. Phrases like this in the ot demonstrate that the Israelites resisted the idea of human kingship prior to the establishment of the monarchy (e.g., Judg 8:22; 1 Sam 12:17).

holy This refers to being set apart from that which is common (or profane). It indicates something devoted to God’s presence and specific use.

you will speak Yahweh begins the conversation by describing His broad plans for the people. He commands Moses to inform the elders and the people of their moral and spiritual obligations to Him.[7]

19:5 obey my voice and keep my covenant. Terms summarizing the proper human response to God’s gracious covenant (Gen. 17:2 note). The latter phrase (Gen. 17:9, 10; 1 Kin. 11:11; Ps. 78:10; 103:18; 132:12; Ezek. 17:14) always refers to fidelity to a previously revealed covenant. Since 6:4 has referred to the Exodus as the fulfillment of the patriarchal covenant, the revelation at Sinai must also be seen as an extension of the Abrahamic covenant.

treasured possession. As the following clause shows, God means that Israel will be His personal treasure within what is more generally owned (1 Chr. 29:3). Israel is separated by God’s election from the world that belongs to Him.

19:6 kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Israel is to be a priestly royalty, a holy nation set apart from the world as a priest was set apart in ancient society. The emphasis here falls on Israel’s relation to God rather than on any priestly ministry to the nations, yet Israel’s relation to the Lord also bears witness to the world. Verses 4–6a reflect the Abrahamic covenant of Gen. 12:1–3. What this passage prescribes for Israel, the new covenant makes a reality for believers (1 Pet. 2:9–10; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).[8]

19:5, 6 This is a loving promise to Israel that they will be highly esteemed and carefully guarded (cf. Ps. 135:4; Is. 43:1–4). This will be an exclusive relationship with Yahweh, one that is not to be shared equally with others. God planned for Israel to be a theocracy with all the people directly accountable to God (cf. 1 Sam. 12:12). This they forfeited, however, by unfaithfulness and disobedience. As a “holy nation,” they were consecrated to God’s service, outwardly marked as His by the symbol of circumcision and inwardly identified by purity and holiness.[9]

19:5 The Lord wanted Israel to be known by what he had done as well as by what they would do. My own possession uses a word that is sometimes translated “treasure.” David used it to speak of his “personal treasures of gold and silver” that he had set aside for building the Lord’s temple (1Ch 29:3). In extrabiblical literature a king sometimes used a closely related word to speak positively of a vassal with whom he had a good relationship and where a king advertised himself on his royal seal as the treasured possession of a certain god.

19:6 The ideas of priesthood and holiness go together, since special requirements marked priests as set apart for special service that benefited others (Lv 21). The tasks of priests included helping people offer sacrifices to God, according to the need or condition of the person (Lv 1–7). Priests acted as judges, both in matters of ritual purity and in civil controversies (Lv 13–14; Dt 17:9; 21:5), and they taught God’s law (Lv 10:11; Mal 2:7–9). These tasks pointed to the work of Israel among the nations. As the priesthood in Israel was to the nation as a whole, so Israel should be to the other nations; as Israelite priests had unique requirements, duties, and privileges among the Israelites, so Israel would have unique requirements, duties, and privileges among the nations (Lv 20:22–26; Dt 4:5–8; 14:21; 26:17–19; Is 2:1–5). Now all who believe in Christ are a royal priesthood and a holy nation (1Pt 2:9).[10]

5. Now, therefore. God declares that He will ever be the same, and will constantly persevere (in blessing them), provided the Israelites do not degenerate, but remain devoted to their Deliverer; at the same time, He reminds them also, wherefore He has been so bountiful to them, viz., that they may continually aspire unto the end of their calling; for He had not willed to perform toward them a single act of liberality, but to purchase them as His peculiar, people. This privilege he sets before them in the word סגלה, segullah, which means all things most precious, whatever, in fact, is deposited in a treasury; although the word “peculium,” a peculiar possession, by which the old interpreter has rendered it, is not unsuitable to the passage; because it is plain from the immediate context, that it denotes the separation of this people from all others; since these words directly follow: “for,” or, although “all the earth is mine;” the particle כי, ki, being often taken adversatively, and there is no doubt but that God would more exalt His grace, by comparing this one nation with the whole world, as it is said in the song of Moses, “When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel; for the Lord’s portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.” (Deut. 32:8.) The sum then is, that whilst the whole earth is in God’s dominion, yet the race of Israel has been chosen by Him to excel all nations. Whence it is evident, that whereas the condition of all is alike, some are not distinguished from others by nature, but by gratuitous adoption; but, in order that they should abide in the possession of so great a blessing, fidelity towards God is required on their part. And, first, they are commanded to listen to his voice, (since no sacrifice is more pleasing to him than obedience, 1 Sam. 15:22;) and then a definition of obedience is added, viz., to keep His covenant.

6. And ye shall be unto me. He points out more clearly, and more at length, how the Israelites will be precious unto God; viz., because they will be for “a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation.” By these words, he implies that they will be endowed with sacerdotal as well as royal honours; as much as to say, that they would not only be free, but also like kings, if they persevered in faith and obedience, since no kingdom is more desirable, or more happy, than to be the subjects of God. Moreover, he calls this “an holy kingdom,” because all the kingdoms of the world were then in heathenism; for the genitive, according to the usual idiom of the language, is put for an adjective, as if he had said, that they would enjoy not merely an earthly and transitory dominion, but also a sacred and heavenly one. Others understand it passively, that God would be their king; whilst mortals, and for the most part cruel tyrants, would rule over other nations. Though I do not altogether reject this sense, yet I rather prefer the other, to which also St. Peter leads us: for when the Jews, who by their refusal of Christ had departed from the covenant, still improperly gloried in this title, he claims this honour for the members of Christ only, saying, “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,” &c. (1 Pet. 2:9.) But the passive sense would not accord with these words, viz., that believers are subject to the priesthood of God, for the Apostle gracefully applies the words to take away the unacceptableness of novelty; as if he had said, God formerly promised to our fathers that they should be to Him for a royal priesthood. This privilege all, who separate themselves from Christ the Head, falsely lay claim to, since He alone makes us a royal priesthood. Meanwhile he teaches, by this apparent adaptation of the words, that what had been spoken by Moses is actually fulfilled. And, in fact, Christ appeared invested with the kingdom and the priesthood, that He might confer both of these privileges upon His members; whence it follows, that whosoever divorce themselves from Him, are unworthy of either honour, and are justly deprived of them. The nation is here called holy, not with reference to their piety or personal holiness, but as set apart from others by God by special privilege. Yet on this kind of sanctification the other depends, viz., that they who are exalted by God’s favour should cultivate holiness, and thus on their part sanctify God.[11]

Ver. 5.—Now therefore. Instead of asking the simple question—“Will ye promise to obey me and keep my covenant?”—God graciously entices the Israelites to their own advantage by a most loving promise. If they will agree to obey his voice, and accept and keep his covenant, then they shall be to him a peculiar treasure (segullah)—a precious possession to be esteemed highly and carefully guarded from all that might injure it. (Compare Ps. 135:4; and see also Is. 43:1–4.) And this preciousness they shall not share with others on equal terms, but enjoy exclusively—it shall be theirs above all people. No other nation on the earth shall hold the position which they shall hold, or be equally precious in God’s sight. All the earth is his; and so all nations are his in a certain sense. But this shall not interfere with the special Israelite prerogative—they alone shall be his “peculiar people” (Deut. 14:2).

Ver. 6.—Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests. Or “a royalty of priests”—at once a royal and a priestly race—all of you at once both priests and kings. (So the LXX. render, βασίλειον ἱεράτευμα; the Targums of Onkelos and Jerusalem, “kings and priests;” that of Jonathan, “crowned kings and ministering priests.”) They would be “kings,” not only as “lords over death, the devil, hell, and all evil” (Luther), but also partly as having no earthly king set over them, but designed to live under a theocracy (1 Sam. 12:12), and partly as intended to exercise lordship over the heathen. Their unfaithfulness and disobedience soon forfeited both privileges. They would be “priests,” as entitled—each one of them—to draw near to God directly in prayer and praise, though not in sacrifice, and also as intermediaries between God and the heathen world, to whom they were to be examples, instructors, prophets. And an holy nation. A nation unlike other nations—a nation consecrated to God’s service, outwardly marked as his by the symbol of circumcision, his (if they chose) inwardly by the purity and holiness whereto they could attain. These are the words. Much speaking was not needed. The question was a very simple one. Would they accept the covenant or no, upon the conditions offered? It was not likely that they would reject such gracious proposals.[12]

[1] Bruckner, J. K. (2012). Exodus. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (pp. 171–174). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[2] Zuber, K. D. (2014). Exodus. In The moody bible commentary (pp. 139–140). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[3] Hannah, J. D. (1985). Exodus. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 1, p. 138). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[4] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Ex 19:5). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ex 19:5). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 174). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[7] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ex 19:5–6). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[8] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 120). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[9] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Ex 19:5). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[10] Coover-Cox, D. G. (2017). Exodus. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 119). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[11] Calvin, J., & Bingham, C. W. (2010). Commentaries on the Four Last Books of Moses Arranged in the Form of a Harmony (Vol. 1, pp. 318–320). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[12] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Exodus (Vol. 2, p. 107). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

September 20 A Supernatural Change Agent

scripture reading: Philippians 4:4–9
key verse: Philippians 1:6

Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

What’s your attitude toward life? About people, work, and family? Whatever your disposition, it eventuates from your thought processes. And how you think and what you think about have a tremendous influence on your outlook.

Part of the fantastic good news of salvation is that Christ has come into your life to give not only a new destiny, but a new disposition as well. The apostle Paul wrote that you are “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2 nasb).

God desires to revolutionize your mind as well as your soul! Why? Because He knows that your thoughts are the breeding ground for behavior and attitude. Change your thinking and you’ll ultimately change your ways.

You’re not hostage to your past or to your current conditions. The Holy Spirit is a supernatural Change Agent who can surmount any and all entrenched mental configurations.

You can indeed change. God is now, even at this moment, at work in you to bring about the transformation: “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6 nasb). If you are willing, God will make it happen.

Find specific verses of Scripture that provide God’s perspective on your particular situation. Memorize them, think repeatedly on them, and the transformation will be well under way.

Dear Lord, please change my thinking so that my ways can change. You have begun a good work in me, and I trust in Your promise to complete it.[1]

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