Daily Archives: October 1, 2019

October 1 The Godly Way to Success

Scripture Reading: Psalm 1:1–6

Key Verse: Psalm 1:3

He shall be like a tree

Planted by the rivers of water,

That brings forth its fruit in its season,

Whose leaf also shall not wither;

And whatever he does shall prosper.

Every time we turn on the television or radio, we can hear someone claiming to have the formula for quick success. The ads tell us that if we want success, we can have it now, and we can have it for only $49.95.

Such is merely man’s success. It’s a far cry from godly success, the kind that represents God’s heart for us and personifies the great joy and fulfillment that comes with knowing Him.

If we want to stand out from the rest of the world, Psalm 1 shows us the pathway to godly success that will bring us fulfillment like we’ve never known: be careful about your relationships. In order to be successful, you need to hear God’s perspective on things and should seek godly counsel, not the counsel of just anyone who has an opinion. There are some well-meaning Christians who relish the opportunity to give their thoughts on a situation without searching out the Scriptures for what God says.

Commit to the principles of the Scriptures. A warning sign of when you might be drifting is when you begin to compromise God’s Word. Ask those around you to hold you accountable to what the Bible says. By making His Word the standard for which you live your life, you will experience a world of success.

God desires success for our lives. He wants us to be a people who bring glory and honor to His name as we receive the best He has to give.

Lord, I want true success, not man’s success. Help me seek Your counsel and commit to the principles of Your Word.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 288). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

October 1 Meeting with God

Scripture Reading: Psalm 63

Key Verse: Colossians 4:2

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.

Are you devoted to praise, prayer, and the Word? This kind of commitment to communing with God—sharing the deepest desires of your heart and praising Him for His goodness—is not a mystery. It’s not a spiritual secret known only to a chosen few. By following some basic steps for preparation, you can develop the habit of meeting with God regularly:

Set a definite time. With hectic schedules and daily pressures, it’s easy to let the day slip by unless you’ve made an “appointment” with God. Treat this worship as a meeting you can’t break, and push other items on your list to a later time.

Set a definite place. It’s best to find a quiet nook or secluded area where you won’t be disturbed.

Establish a definite purpose. Prepare your heart with Bible study, and come to Him with a desire to build a relationship. If you ask Him, God will give you a growing passion to know Him more. Then time with God will be time you won’t want to miss.

Dear Lord, deepen my relationship with You as I renew emphasis on prayer, meditation, and the Word. Help me make it a priority to meet with You regularly.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 288). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Michael Goodwin wants Obama’s White House phone calls released following Trump impeachment inquiry | FOX news

As President Trump faces an impeachment inquiry over how he handled a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin said he wants to see former President Barack Obama’s calls with world leaders, to perform a proper comparison.

Source: Michael Goodwin wants Obama’s White House phone calls released following Trump impeachment inquiry

October 1 On the Mountain with Jesus

Scripture reading: Mark 9:1–9

Key verse: Matthew 17:5

While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”

Peter, James, and John followed Jesus up the high mountain. They must have been mystified, knowing somehow it was a journey during which something important would happen.

Suddenly, Jesus was transformed before their eyes into a dazzling figure, “Shining, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them” (Mark 9:3). And to add to their astonishment, Elijah and Moses appeared beside Jesus, talking with Him.

Peter’s reaction was much as ours would probably be: “He did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid” (Mark 9:6). He wanted to build the radiant figures tabernacles right there on the mountain, to preserve the beautiful moment and keep the vision before their eyes. But Jesus did not answer the request, and the heavenly spectacle was over almost as soon is it had begun. In fact, Jesus even told them not to speak about it until after He had risen from the dead.

When God gives you a special glimpse of His holiness—an intimate view of Himself—He doesn’t let you remain in that place indefinitely. He wants you to come back down from the mountain and let His glory fill your heart as you go about the business of daily living. A deeper understanding of His greatness will give you encouragement and energy, and He wants His glory to shine forth from your life as you draw closer to Him.

Father, help me reflect in the valleys of everyday life what I receive in the mountaintop experiences with You.[1]


[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 288). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Analysis reveals Hunter Biden’s ties to China | WND

(Washington Examiner) A high-ranking Chinese businessman was charged by the Justice Department with global corruption and bribery in 2017, and the first call he made after his arrest was to Vice President Joe Biden’s brother, James Biden, who thinks the call was meant for Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.

Patrick Ho, the lieutenant to the founder of the multibillion-dollar Chinese conglomerate CEFC China Energy, was indicted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in the Southern District of New York for his role in a global money laundering and bribery scheme aimed at government officials in Africa. The Justice Department also accused Ho of helping with Iranian sanctions evasion and working to use the Chinese company’s connections to sell weaponry to Chad, Libya, and Qatar.

Ho immediately tried reaching out to the younger Biden for help because that summer, as investigators circled, Hunter agreed to represent Ho as part of Hunter’s efforts to work out a liquified natural gas deal worth tens of millions of dollars with CEFC China Energy’s leader Ye Jianming.

Source: Analysis reveals Hunter Biden’s ties to China

Thousands of Girls in Asia Saved from Possible ‘Fate Worse Than Death’ | Christian Newswire

Marking International Day of the Girl Child, October 11, mission agency Gospel for Asia spotlights ‘crisis of abuse’ facing girls in Asia

GIRLS IN PERIL: Tens of thousands of girls at risk of being sold into prostitution or slave labor have been saved from a possible “fate worse than death” by Texas-based mission agency Gospel for Asia (GFA, www.gfa.org), working in Asia’s poverty-stricken slums and villages. International Day of the Girl Child is October 11.

Gospel for Asia
Oct. 1, 2019

WILLS POINT, Texas, Oct. 1, 2019 /Christian Newswire/ — Tens of thousands of girls in Asia at risk of being sold into prostitution or slave labor have been saved from a possible “fate worse than death” by Gospel for Asia, a Texas-based mission organization, and its field partners working in Asia’s poverty-stricken slums and villages.

To mark International Day of the Girl Child on October 11, Gospel for Asia (GFA, www.gfa.org) revealed tens of thousands of girls are enrolled in 600-plus GFA-supported Bridge of Hope centers across Asia – providing safety, free schooling, medical care and meals for at-risk children living in extreme poverty.

The 2019 Day of the Girl Child draws attention to critical issues facing millions of girls around the world, including education inequality, gender-based violence, and forced child marriage.

“Some of these girls living in the impoverished communities served by Bridge of Hope are among the most vulnerable in the world, with many of them unwanted and treated by their own families as nothing more than free labor or goods to be sold,” said GFA founder Dr. K.P. Yohannan. “It’s a crisis of neglect and abuse.”

Severe poverty results in parents taking extreme steps just to survive, including forcing their young daughters into slavery-like labor conditions or – worse – prostitution.

Girls “Never Seen Again”
“Prostitution is legal in some parts of Asia so the chances of girls being victimized are drastically increased,” said Yohannan. “Many of the poorest families are manipulated into selling their daughters to opportunists who promise a better life for them. But many of these girls are never heard from or seen again. It’s a fate worse than death.”

In this century, more young women and girls are enslaved in brothels each year than were shipped to slave plantations at the height of the slave trade in the 18th and 19th centuries, according to reports.

“Despite the good work the governments in these nations are doing to combat these issues, so much work still needs to be done,” Yohannan said.

In South Asia, Lakshmi’s 10-year-old sister worked in bonded labor – security for repayment of a debt – seven days a week, starting at 7 a.m. and finishing at 9 p.m. “(Her employer) treated her very badly,” Lakshmi said. “He hit her if he thought she was working slowly; if she talked to the other children, he yelled at her. He came looking for her if she was sick and couldn’t go to work. All I wanted was to bring my sister home.”

Girls Deliberately Starved
Meanwhile, many impoverished parents in Asia deliberately starve their daughters in favor of feeding their sons.

“In some places, girls will be forced to go hungry while their brothers are well fed,” Yohannan said.

Supported by GFA, indigenous churches across Asia are speaking up for girls in danger.

“This is our opportunity to stand alongside indigenous churches as they raise awareness in their communities, teach girls how to protect themselves, and present a message of hope that emphasizes the value of girls and their tremendous God-given potential,” said Yohannan, whose organization has been serving the poor in Asia for 40 years.

For more information about Bridge of Hope, visit https://www.gfa.org/press/sponsor-girl-child.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019, Gospel for Asia (GFA, www.gfa.org) is a leading faith-based mission agency, bringing vital assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially to those who have yet to hear the “good news” of Jesus Christ. In GFA’s latest yearly report, this included more than 70,000 sponsored children, free medical camps conducted in more than 1,200 villages and remote communities, over 4,000 clean water wells drilled, over 11,000 water filters installed, income-generating Christmas gifts for more than 200,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry. For all the latest news, visit our Press Room at https://press.gfa.org/news.

SOURCE Gospel for Asia

Source: Thousands of Girls in Asia Saved from Possible ‘Fate Worse Than Death’

Australian Ambassador Offered to Help AG Barr with Investigation of Mueller Probe’s Origins — National Review

Australian ambassador Joe Hockey offered in May of this year to help Attorney General William Barr with the Department of Justice’s investigation.

via Australian Ambassador Offered to Help AG Barr with Investigation of Mueller Probe’s Origins — National Review

BREAKING: Pompeo Meets Officials in Italy – Days After AG Bill Barr and US Attorney John Durham Meet Italian Officials on Spygate Scandal — The Gateway Pundit

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos tweeted out on Friday night that Attorney General Bill Barr is currently on official business in Italy.

As was previously reported there are suggestions that Italian officials were working with the US Deep State in 2016 to set up Trump campaign officials.

Attorney General Barr traveled to Italy days ago to investigate Obama administration’s spying on the Trump campaign.

George Papadopoulos: AG Barr has been on official travel in Italy for the past two days. As I explained months ago, on Fox and in my book, Mifsud was an Italian operative handled by the CIA. Italy holds the keys to the kingdom. Right government, right time.

Now this…

Attorney General Bill Barr met with British and Italian officials during his European trip to gain evidence on Obama intel officials spying on the Trump campaign and administration.

This ought to put the Deep State in an absolute panic!

And US Attorney John Durham, who is investigating the origins of the Russia collusion probe, is traveling with Attorney General Bill Barr in Europe this past week.

The two interviewed officials in England and Italy.

And now this…
Attorney General Mike Pompeo is in Italy to meet with the country’s president and prime minister.

And, according to Rush Limbaugh the Durham investigation has gotten so big that they’ve had to rent office space in Washington to have a place to house all the investigators.

via BREAKING: Pompeo Meets Officials in Italy – Days After AG Bill Barr and US Attorney John Durham Meet Italian Officials on Spygate Scandal — The Gateway Pundit

Graham Says He Plans to Send Letter to Ask Countries to Cooperate With Barr’s Counterintelligence Origins Probe | The Epoch Times

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he plans to send a letter asking countries to cooperate with the Justice Department’s (DOJ) probe into the origins of the counterintelligence probe into the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

During an appearance on Fox News’s Sean Hannity, Graham criticized a report by The New York Times that said President Donald Trump had “pressed” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help Attorney General William Barr’s probe into origins of the Russia investigation. The report, which was published on late Monday, Sept. 30, cited two anonymous U.S. officials.

“This New York Times article about Barr talking to Australia is the beginning of an effort to shut down Barr’s investigation to find out how this whole thing started,” Graham said during his appearance on Monday.

He continued, “Barr should be talking to Australia. He should be talking to Italy. He should be talking to the UK to find out if their intelligence services worked with our intelligence services improperly to open up a counterintelligence investigation of Trump’s campaign. If he’s not doing that he’s not doing his job.”

“So I’m going to write a letter to all three countries and asking them to cooperate with Barr,” he added.

Following the report, a number of details emerged that conflict with the New York Times’ insinuation that Australia had been “pressed” by Trump to cooperate with Barr.

letter addressed to Barr, shared by a reporter from Australian news outlet Nine on Monday, showed that Australia under the leadership of Morrison had reached out and expressed its willingness to support the DOJ’s probe. The letter was dated May 28 and sent by the Ambassador of Australia to the United States, Joe Hockey, in response to the president’s comments that he hoped Barr’s team would “look at” Australia, and also the UK and Ukraine, “because there was a hoax that was perpetrated on our country.”

“The Australian government will use its best endeavors to support your efforts in this matter,” Hockey wrote in the letter. “While Australia’s former high commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer, is no longer employed by the Government, we stand ready to provide you with all relevant information to support your inquiries.”

An Australian government spokesperson told Epoch Times on Tuesday: “The Australian government has always been ready to assist and cooperate with efforts that help shed further light on the matters under investigation.

“The Prime Minister [Scott Morrison] confirmed this readiness once again in conversation with the president,” the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec confirmed on Monday that Trump’s call to Morrison was done at the request of Barr for the purposes of the investigation.

“As the Department of Justice has previously announced, a team led by U.S. Attorney John Durham is investigating the origins of the U.S. counterintelligence probe of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign,” Kupec said.

“Mr. Durham is gathering information from numerous sources, including a number of foreign countries. At Attorney General Barr’s request, the president has contacted other countries to ask them to introduce the attorney general and Mr. Durham to appropriate officials.”

Barr appointed Durham to examine the origins of the Russia meddling investigation in early May and to determine if intelligence collection on the Trump campaign was “lawful and appropriate.”

Former special counsel Robert Mueller, who led the Russia investigation for over two years, released a report in April concluding that there was no collusion between Trump or his campaign and Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

During the interview, Graham brought up a 2018 letter written by his Democratic colleagues to ask Ukraine to cooperate with Mueller or else they would stop foreign aid to the country.

“So here’s what I want American people to know: it’s OK to cooperate with Mueller to get Trump but it’s not OK to cooperate with Barr to find out if Trump was the victim of an out-of-control intelligence operation. We’re not going to have a country like that,” Graham said.

Source: Graham Says He Plans to Send Letter to Ask Countries to Cooperate With Barr’s Counterintelligence Origins Probe

Rep. Scalise: ‘Democrat Schemes Are Beyond Madness at This Point’ | CNS News

Rep. Steve Scalise (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)

“These reckless Democrat schemes are beyond madness at this point,” House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said Tuesday.

Democrats have been leveling “baseless accusations” – which all turned out to be false – against President Donald Trump since before his election, but now, their claims have gone “beyond madness,” Rep. Scalise tweeted:

“Democrats have been throwing out baseless accusations against @realDonaldTrump since before he was even elected—and they’ve all turned out to be wrong. There has to be a level of responsibility. These reckless Democrat schemes are beyond madness at this point.”

Scalise included video of his appearance on Fox News, in which he reminded viewers of the false promises of evidence made in the past by Democrats like Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) – and how they’ve even resorted to fabricating Trump quotes in order to accuse the president:

“Whatever it is, it’s still not high crimes and misdemeanors. You know they’ve been throwing this innuendo out there. And, Adam Schiff was on T.V. yesterday, throwing even more baseless accusations.

“And, keep in mind, he’s the one who, during the Mueller investigation for two years, promised that he had more than circumstantial evidence that a crime was committed. And, there was no crime committed. He never, by the way, brought forward that mysterious that he had – because it never existed.

“And, then, today, at the committee hearing the other day, he started making up a story that, later, even he admitted wasn’t even fact to try to accuse the president of something.

“At some point, there’s got to be a level of responsibility.”

Democrats have been throwing out baseless accusations against @realDonaldTrump since before he was even elected—and they’ve all turned out to be wrong.

There has to be a level of responsibility. These reckless Democrat schemes are beyond madness at this point. pic.twitter.com/4xYyLucCbz

— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 1, 2019

In a tweet on Monday, Rep. Scalise attributed the Democrats’ “baseless impeachment inquiry” to “left-wing rage”:

“Radicals & socialists have taken over the Democrat Party. They’re calling all the shots now. Just last week, they pressured Pelosi into launching a baseless impeachment inquiry based on false rumors & left-wing rage.

“This is a witch hunt of @realDonaldTrump, plain & simple.”

Source: Rep. Scalise: ‘Democrat Schemes Are Beyond Madness at This Point’

Sarah Sanders: ‘The Only Corruption In This Entire Process Has To Do With The Bidens’ | The Daily Caller

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 11: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders speaks during a news briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House March 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. Sanders was joined by Acting Director of Office of Management and Budget Russell Vought to discuss various topics, including the $4.75 trillion budget request the Trump Administration has requested from the Congress for the 2020 fiscal year. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders defended her former boss Tuesday on Fox News, while saying that former Vice President Joe Biden and his family should be the focus of anti-corruption efforts.

Sanders also pushed back against criticisms over President Donald Trump’s handling of the now-infamous whistleblower complaint filed against him.

“I think in the best way that they can, and that’s fighting back against the hypocrisy and what the real scandal here is,” Sanders said. “The only corruption in this entire process has to do with the Bidens.”


The former vice president and current democratic presidential front-runner has been the subject of criticism over his role in ousting a Ukrainian prosecutor who at the time was investigating Burisma holdings, a company his son was involved with. Biden denied ever speaking to his son Hunter over his role with the company, but a 2014 photo that emerged Monday showed the vice president golfing in the Hamptons with Hunter and Devon Archer, who also sat on the board of Burisma holdings at the time.

“It’s not the President, it’s not the White House, it’s the fact that Joe Biden was acting inappropriately and making probably sweetheart deals for his son,” Sanders said. “That’s the corruption in this process.”

“The President shouldn’t be getting impeached,” Sanders continued. “He should be celebrated for draining the swamp and following through on another one of his campaign promises.”

Source: Sarah Sanders: ‘The Only Corruption In This Entire Process Has To Do With The Bidens’

Gay Advocacy Group Says Hillsong Leaders Are Privately Gay-Affirming, But Won’t Publicly Admit It — Reformation Charlotte

A gay church advocacy group recently stated that there are leaders at Hillsong at all levels who are gay-affirming, but because it’s a controversial subject, they aren’t ready to come forth with it.

Ambassadors and Bridge Builders International (ABBI) is a gay advocacy group whose mission is, according to its website,

to create understanding and acceptance for LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex) people, empower community members and build bridges with religious organisations and leaders.

ABBI recently published an article that detailed Hillsong’s history with gay-conversion therapy, their banning of the practice, and what the future holds for Hillsong’s LGBTQ inclusion. In the article, the author poses the question, “Are there people in Hillsong who are affirming?”

Read more: Gay Advocacy Group Says Hillsong Leaders Are Privately Gay-Affirming, But Won’t Publicly Admit It — Reformation Charlotte

Former Clinton Impeachment Manager: Intelligence Operatives Sabotaging Trump — CBN News feeds

Before President Trump started taking on the “Deep State” and members of the US intelligence community, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) warned him that intelligence officials have “six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

Now, the former congressman who managed the US House of Representatives impeachment hearings on President Bill Clinton admits US intelligence operatives are playing a serious game of “gotcha” with a “whistleblower” complaint regarding a presidential phone call. The complaint is the foundation of a House of Representatives impeachment inquiry against the president.

Former Rep. Bob Barr, a Republican from Georgia, says there has been tension between President Trump and the intelligence community – particularly career intelligence operatives within the intelligence community – since even before Trump was sworn into office in January 2017.

“So, it’s not surprising in a sense that it would be intelligence operatives that are behind this sabotage of the Trump administration.”

And Barr told CBN News the person Democrats and the mainstream media characterize as a “whistleblower” who exposed President Trump’s phone call to the Ukrainian president is not a whistleblower at all.

Barr said House Democrats depict the complainant as a true patriot – someone who is protecting America and the Constitution from abuse, but he or she is actually a saboteur.

“This is not a patriot, this is not somebody that has pure motives such as was characterized by the Director of National Intelligence (Joseph Maguire) last week,” Barr insisted. “The whole notion of a whistleblower – particularly in the intelligence business – is someone who uncovers something that is an urgent matter that would not otherwise get out and relates to foreign intelligence classified information,” Barr explained.

Barr, a former CIA analyst, said the complaint received by the intelligence community inspector general about the July 25th conversation between President Trump and the president of Ukraine has “nothing whatsoever to do with the foundation for an intelligence community whistleblower in the first place.”

Barr explained that it did not concern classified material or abuses relating to foreign intelligence.

And he maintains that intelligence community Inspector General  Michael K. Atkinson did not listen to the underlying conversation or read the transcript of the July 25th call.

“How in the world this inspector general decided legitimately that this was an urgent matter involving intelligence or classified material without even looking at or listening to the underlying call is really a mystery to me. It’s either gross incompetence, or he was trying to enable and assist the so-called whistleblower,” Barr insisted.

And Barr said after examining the complaint compiled by the “so-called whistleblower” it became clear to him that the complainant has a “deep animus toward the president” and “had been putting together a compendium of information” gathered from various sources – second and third-hand information over a long period of time.

Also, Barr said the difference between this impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump and the one he managed of Bill Clinton in 1998 is the difference “between night and day.”

He said in September of 1998, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr provided the House Judiciary Committee with an exhaustive report on the findings of his investigation of President Bill Clinton. It was what Barr described as an “exhaustive analysis…of potential impeachable offenses which Judge Starr was required by law to send to the House of Representatives.”

Barr said after The House Judiciary Committee led by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL) held hearings and supplemented testimony with updated material and information, the committee passed four articles of impeachment against President Clinton. Those included, perjury, subornation of perjury, intimidation of witnesses, and obstruction of justice.

“(They were) very clear, very precise, very well-supported showing that the president had committed four violations of federal criminal law.”

And what about the July 25th phone call President Trump made to President Zelensky of Ukraine soliciting information regarding the investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter?

“It is still very unclear if there is anything at all in this incident (phone call) that would rise to the level of an impeachable offense,” he says.

So, what does Barr expect may happen now?

Although it may not help them win votes, Barr believes House Democrats are determined to move forward with impeachment.

“I think the Democrats have gotten on their horse. They’re going to run with it no matter how bad it is, no matter which direction it takes it in because they are absolutely committed to do anything they can between now and the next year election to undermine and destroy President Trump.”

via Former Clinton Impeachment Manager: Intelligence Operatives Sabotaging Trump — CBN News feeds

Secretary of State Pompeo Says State Dept. Officials Will Not Testify Next Week Before House Show Trials on Impeachment — The Gateway Pundit

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pushed back on the House Democrats on Tuesday in their committee show trials on President Trump’s impeachment.

Pompeo told Demcratic Chairman Eliot Engel that no State Department officials will testify in the House show trials.

Secretary Pompeo told the Democrats, “I’m concerned with aspects of the Committee’s request that can be understood only as an attempt to intimidate, bully, & treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State.”

Pompeo added this: “Let me be clear: I will not tolerate such tactics, and I will use all means at my disposal to prevent and expose any attempts to intimidate the dedicated professionals whom I am proud to lead and serve alongside at the Department of State.”

Democrats want to push through their show trials before Christmas break on the sham accusations against President Trump.
They won’t be happy with this.

The Press Herald reported:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo fired a broadside at House Democrats on Tuesday, saying State Department officials scheduled to appear this week before committees conducting the impeachment inquiry would not be made available until “we obtain further clarity on these matters.”

The refusal, in a letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., described the demand for depositions by five officials who played a role in U.S. relations with Ukraine as “an attempt to intimidate, bully, and treat improperly, the distinguished professionals of the Department of State.”

The statements came as Pompeo’s role in the Ukraine investigation broadened with reports that he was a participant in the July 25 call by President Trump to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, which led to the impeachment investigation.

via Secretary of State Pompeo Says State Dept. Officials Will Not Testify Next Week Before House Show Trials on Impeachment — The Gateway Pundit

Greta Thunberg: History’s Warning about Secular Child Saints

Child polemicists have almost always had the dubious distinction of being indicators of movements that have gone to seed.

Child polemicists have almost always had the dubious distinction of being indicators of movements that have gone to seed. As formerly stable paradigms of thinking and doing reach exhaustion, new leaders tend to embrace extremism in order to keep true believers in the fold. Sometimes childish and unstable rantings are regarded as signs of exceptional and unassailable devotion to truth.

The child army whose passionate support fueled the Bonfire of Vanities, the fiery conclusion to Giroloma Savonarola’s campaign to purify corrupt fifteenth century Florence, is but one example of the use of children to promote a supposedly righteous cause.

Savonarola organized tough street kids that were regarded as the dangerous refuse of Florentine society into a group of holy terrors.  They marched through the city singing hymns while raiding homes for filthy lucre, ill-gotten gains and spiritualy contaminated objects such as wigs, cosmetics, jewelry, obscene books and decadent art.

Everything the kids collected was thrown onto a sixty-foot-high pyre and cremated for the glory of God and the purification of Florence. Adults joined in the frenzy.  It was even rumored that the artist Botticelli threw his own paintings into the fire.

But after seeing the bonfire devour their wealth, the people of the city began to repent of their repentance and turned on the reformer.  Savonarola lost favor and shortly thereafter was burned at the stake, his vanity turned to ashes by a bonfire.

But as history reveals, the impulse to use children to whip up religious and ideological reform has always been strong. The irrational impulses that drove the Children’s Crusade and inspired Savonarola’s ragazzi army were the same impulses affecting the teenage girls who prophesied during the Salem Witch trials.  The children’s ecstatic and hysterical sensibilities temporarily overrode any rule of law. Innocent people died.

Childish zeal, often whipped up by callous adults for their own purposes, continues to be utilized by those adults whose ideological goals are seen as furthered by frenzy stoked by fear and anger. Once again, it is adults who are using children to promote their agenda.

It is hard to avoid the conclusion the hapless Greta Thunberg is being used to further the causes of global climate change, whose proponents continually warn about the potential demise of the planet.  It certainly appears she has been stoked into polemical excesses. 

Sadly, it appears she has Aspergers, and is high on the autism spectrum. Such a diagnosis is not dehumanizing and should evoke sympathy and understanding.  But it does tend to diminish her reliability as a spokesperson for an environmentalist cause.  It diminishes considerably her supposedly innate authority to give inerrant spiritual and scientific guidance to the nations represented within the UN.  It also gives pause in seeing her as a sybil who can give an inspired and authoritative word capable of leading the world toward the realization of the environmentalist equivalent of the Peaceable Kingdom.

On the contrary, the fact Thunberg regards her placement on the autistic spectrum as giving her super powers is rather chilling. Her description of herself as possessing prescience and power the rest of the human race does not indicates she sees herself as a secular prophetess possessing visionary acuity similar to that of St. Joan of Arc.  Such beliefs, divorced from pragmatism and driven solely by passion, should cause anyone some hesitation in taking her polemics at face value. People who feel their special vision should be believed merely because of their extreme passion do not always prove to be the best world leaders.

Perhaps more recollections of similarly impassioned child leaders and secular children’s armies will help to put this unfortunate, vulnerable and exploited child and her devotees into proper focus.

The now deposed 16-year-old Saint Werner of Oberwesel, sainted during the thirteenth century, is a case example of what happens when a child is considered a symbol for a cause. His death, which happened on Maundy Thursday in 1287, was blamed on the Jews.  They were accused of hanging him up by the feet in order to get him to regurgitate a Eucharist wafer.  When world of his death spread, pogroms destroyed Jewish communities.  Revenge was taken for what the inflamed mobs saw as a ritualistic murder. A Cult of Werner dedicated to the memory of the youthful saint arose among the deceived faithful. The sect’s observances were only struck from the church calendar in 1963.   

Fast forward to the secular equivalent of St. Werner: Horst Wessel, by all accounts a particularly vicious youth, was killed — supposedly by Communists — in 1930. He was made into a martyr for the Nazi movement by Joseph Goebbels, and the Horst Wessel song became the hymn of the Third Reich.  Hundreds of thousands of Hitler Youth paraded to the tune as enthusiastically as children of the twelfth century Children’s Crusade, who stoked to spiritual fervor by twelve-year-old Stephen of Cloyes and a ten-year-old German boy named Nicholas, allegedly marched to the Crusaders’ hymn, “Fairest Lord Jesus.”

Stephen of Cloyes (source)

Short years after the demise of the third Reich, Mao Tse-Tung’s Red Guards, inspired by the examples of Germany’s Hitler Youth movement and Russia’s Little Octobrist youth group, became one of the most vicious and destructive movements in modern history.  The entire movement was comprised of mere children who, like Miss Thunberg, were wired by ideological tenets to become angry, passionate and destructive forces against Westernization of Chinese society.  Having absorbed Mao’s precepts as written in his little Red Book, Chinese communism’s substitute for the Sermon on the Mount, the reductionist tenets the youth imbibed gave them a fanatical certainty.  The government used their fanaticism as a sword to wield against anyone perceived to resist Mao’s communist cause.

The result was that mere foolish children were given reign in universities, hospitals and local communes to humiliate or to eliminate whomever they wished. The nation fell into chaos.

There is nothing in current day secular cults that is not derived from religious practices and cults of the past.  While the childish leaders may not invoke the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they do invoke the gods of their sects and passionately believe in anger and fear as the chief motivating forces of change.

As William Butler Yeats noted decades ago, those who are the worst  are “full of passionate intensity.” Those who like Greta Thunberg and her followers, sermonize about second comings and apocalypses tend to loose “mere anarchy upon the world and drown innocence.”

The conclusion is that genuine concerns for the environment are not best represented by an environmental cult with apocalyptic views promoted by an emotionally unstable child leader utilizing fear, anxiety and anger rather than science and reason. 

Such leaders do not persuade anyone that theirs is a movement that will benefit the planet, much less save it.

Fay Voshell holds a M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, which awarded her the prize for excellence in systematic theology.  Her thoughts have appeared in many online magazines, among them American Thinker, CBN, LifeSiteNews, The Christian Post, RealClearPolitics, Russian Insider and National Review. She may be reached at fvoshell@yahoo.com.

— Read on www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/10/greta_thunberg_historys_warning_about_secular_child_saints.html

October 1, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Bride and the Bridegroom

John 3:29

“The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete.”

These words are intended to illuminate John the Baptist’s important role in the great drama of salvation. He is the shoshben who, according to Jewish custom, arranged the marriage ceremonies and conducted the bride to her husband. Even more importantly, however, they also teach us about Jesus Christ in the role of the bridegroom and about what believers in Christ have become because of their engagement to him.

In the annals of the Persian kings there is a story about the wife of one of the generals of Cyrus, the king mentioned in Isaiah who ruled several hundred years before the birth of Christ. The wife, the story says, was charged with treason and after a trial was condemned to die. At first her husband did not realize what had taken place, but he was told about it and at once went bursting into the throne room. He threw himself on the floor before the king and cried, “Oh, Lord, take my life instead of hers. Let me die in her place.” Cyrus, who by all historical accounts was a humane and fairly sensitive man, was touched by this offer. He said, “Love like that must not be spoiled by death.” Then he gave the husband and wife back to each other and let the wife go free. As they walked away happily the husband said to his wife, “Did you notice how kindly the king looked upon us when he gave you the pardon?” The wife replied, “I had no eyes for the king. I saw only the man who was willing to die in my place.”

I believe that if we can enter into the spirit of that story, we can also understand what the Bible means when it shows us that Jesus Christ is the great lover, bridegroom, husband, and provider of his church. He is the One who not only offered himself in our place but who actually died for us in order that he might present us to himself “radiant … without stain or blemish” (Eph. 5:27). As his bride our eyes, hearts, minds, and souls should be fixed upon him.

Jesus Is God

Before we begin to apply this theme to ourselves, however, we need to see what it teaches about Jesus Christ. This is important, for John was teaching that Jesus is God. This is seen in the fact that when John the Baptist applied the image of the bridegroom to Jesus he was certainly not just making the comparison up. John was applying an Old Testament image to Christ, and the point is that in the Old Testament Jehovah, the God of Israel, is the bridegroom.

The earliest suggestion of the image in the Old Testament, so far as I can tell, is in the Book of Exodus. Here, in the context of the giving of the law, God tells Israel, “Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land; for when they prostitute themselves to their gods and sacrifice to them, they will invite you and you will eat their sacrifices. And when you choose some of their daughters as wives for your sons and those daughters prostitute themselves to their gods, they will lead your sons to do the same. Do not make cast idols” (Exod. 34:14–17). In these verses the fact that Jehovah is the bridegroom or husband of Israel is not spelled out explicitly, but it is implied in the argument that for Israel to worship other gods is harlotry. These verses are the seed of the later imagery.

By the time we get to the Book of Deuteronomy, the warning against committing spiritual adultery, which is found in Exodus, is changed to a prophecy that this is precisely what will happen. Thus we find God saying to Moses, “You are going to rest with your fathers, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them” (Deut. 31:16).

In the prophetic books we find that Israel has already done this, departing from the Lord. Here the language becomes explicit. Isaiah writes, “For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name” (Isa. 54:5). Several chapters later Isaiah again says, “As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you” (Isa. 62:5). From this point on the comparison occurs more frequently, several times in the books of Jeremiah and Ezekiel, for instance. Finally, the entire personal story of Hosea and the opening chapters of his prophecy are based on this theme. In all of these books God is the faithful lover and husband. Israel is the unfaithful wife and bride.

When we put this imagery into the context of John the Baptist’s preaching, we find that John was identifying the Lord Jesus Christ with God. John preached on the basis of Old Testament themes. He knew that Israel was the bride and Jehovah was the bridegroom. Now Jesus appears, and John immediately casts him in God’s role. In mathematics, whenever you have two equations like “A equals B” and “B equals C,” it is always possible to make a third equation which says that “A equals C.” The rule is that things equal to the same thing are equal to each other. In the same way, if Jehovah is the bridegroom and Jesus Christ is the bridegroom, it follows that Jesus is Jehovah.

Is he your God? Is he your bridegroom?

The Church

The second major teaching of the bride and bridegroom imagery is of the high calling of the church. She is the one for whom Christ died. She is married to him. Consequently, she is called to be faithful.

This is the sense in which the imagery is developed several times in Paul’s writing. For instance, in the eleventh chapter of 2 Corinthians Paul writes of his concern lest the church he had established in Corinth prove unfaithful to the Lord Jesus. “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him. But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (vv. 2–3). In the following verse he shows that unfaithfulness occurs whenever the church, which is called by his name, adopts “another Jesus,” “another spirit,” or “another gospel” as its message.

Do you see what this means? It means that the church of Jesus Christ can be faithful, but she can also be unfaithful. She can commit spiritual adultery. She commits adultery whenever she departs from the Jesus of the Bible, the spirit of Jesus that witnesses to him through Scripture, or the gospel of salvation by faith in Christ alone.

Has the church done this? This is a question that must be asked afresh in each age. Have we another Jesus, another spirit, or another gospel in our churches? I am not speaking of faithful churches when I say this, of course, but I believe that (with the exception of such churches) honesty forces us to admit that this has indeed happened in our age. The quest of another Jesus is called often laudably “The Quest of the Historical Jesus.” The trend to another spirit occurs whenever people follow private leadings or visions rather than the clear statements of Scripture. Another gospel emerges whenever works are mixed with faith in salvation. This has occurred, but it is all apostasy. We must counter such trends with the insistence that membership in the church of Jesus Christ involves great ethical and doctrinal responsibility as well as high privileges.

Sex and Marriage

In an appendix on the theme of the bride and the bridegroom in The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century, Francis A. Schaeffer also notes that the bride and bridegroom theme speaks to the issue of sexual morality and the standards for Christian marriage. This is important also, particularly in our day when the old sexual norms are threatened and when faithfulness in marriage seems to be losing its appeal for many persons.

Why is it that promiscuous sexual relations and unfaithfulness in marriage are wrong? There are three major reasons, Schaeffer notes. First, these things are wrong simply because God says so. That which is right is right and that which is wrong is wrong, not because men judge it to be right or wrong, but because good is related to God’s character. His character is the morality of the universe. Hence, if he tells us that something is wrong, it is wrong, however we may feel about it personally.

The second reason why promiscuity or unfaithfulness is wrong is that these things are not good for us as God made us. It is true that right is right and wrong is wrong because God says so, but it is equally true that morality is related to the way in which we are made. Thus, we find ourselves entering into a fuller realization of the happiness we are made for as we obey God’s laws. And conversely, we find ourselves upon an increasingly destructive path when we flout them.

The final, and best, reason why promiscuous sexual relations and marital unfaithfulness are wrong is that these things break the picture of what God intends marriage to be. Schaeffer states, “Marriage is set forth to be the illustration of the relationship of God and his people, and of Christ and his church.… The relationship of God with his people rests upon his character, and sexual relationship outside of marriage breaks this parallel which the Bible draws between marriage and the relationship of God with his people.” Women are to love as the church loves Christ. Men are to love as Christ loves. “If we break God’s illustration by such a relationship, it is a serious thing.”

How do we apply this personally? It depends upon who we are and where we are on the graded spectrum of love, marriage, and sex. Some are not yet married but will be thinking about it. If you are in this category, you must determine to hold up the highest possible standards of marriage and then evaluate the one you are thinking of marrying in terms of them. Young woman, you must look at your young man and ask, “Can he be as Jesus Christ to me?” If he cannot be, look elsewhere. Young man, you should ask, “Do I love this young woman enough to give myself for her? Am I willing to cover up her faults and be patient with her, as God instructs me to do? Am I willing to die for her?” If you are not willing to do these things, it is not right for you to marry her.

Others will be beyond thinking about marriage. They are already married, and there are difficulties. If you are in this category, you must not give up because of the difficulties. To do so would be to suggest that God gives up on us, and this is untrue. Instead you must love with a love that overcomes difficulties—first, by changing yourself and then by winning over the other person. If you will yield to Christ and his standards, he will begin by making of you a new creation and then end by making all things new.

The Lord’s Return

Finally, there is this great lesson in the image. Not only does the theme of the bride and the bridegroom teach us of the deity of Jesus Christ, not only does it set the highest standards for the conduct of the church and for individual conduct in the areas of sex and marriage—it also teaches us about the return of Jesus Christ. We see this when we apply the image in time, for in a temporal sense we are presently only engaged to Jesus Christ awaiting that final consummation of the engagement at the future marriage supper of the Lamb.

Does an engaged woman look forward to her wedding day? Of course she does! So should we also look forward to our Lord’s return and act accordingly.

How do you live as you wait for the Lord’s return? Let me illustrate how you should live by these two contrasting stories from the book God’s Methods for Holy Living by Donald Grey Barnhouse. At the time of the First World War there was a young aristocrat in England who married and then went off to the trenches on the continent. The young bride wrote that she was preoccupied with war work and was nursing in a certain hospital. She apologized for not writing often, saying that she was spending long hours every day tending the war wounded. Some time later, when her husband was coming home on leave, a friend, who knew what was actually going on, said to him, “If I were you, I would not write in advance that I am coming. I would simply slip over quietly.” The husband did so. He went to the hospital where his wife was supposed to be working and found that those working there had never heard of her. She was not at her apartment either. Someone said, “Oh, she will probably be at a tea dance at the Ritz today.” The husband went there and found his wife in the company of another man. In time, he found out a good deal more and was granted a divorce by British authorities.

The other story is this. At the beginning of the same war, in the western part of America, there was a young couple who had made plans to be married. Everything was in readiness. They had a small cottage. They had furnished it. The date was set for the marriage. Suddenly war was declared, and the young man, who was in the reserve, was called up to active duty. He was to be sent to the Mexican border to train before being shipped off to France. On the day before he was to be sent off for training, the young woman said to him, “I know that it is not quite the date for our wedding, but you might be ordered overseas immediately; you might be killed, and I would much rather go through life bearing your name than go through life always explaining that the man I loved had been killed in the war. So let’s be married now.” On the next day they were married; and for their honeymoon the husband went with the troops, and the bride went alone to the little cottage.

She was very lonely, of course, as you can imagine, and she longed for the day when she would again see her lover-husband. Day after day he wrote to her. He sent her gifts—a Navajo rug, some Mexican lace, some Indian pottery. Months passed, and the day came when she was so lonely that she sat down on some pillows in front of the fireplace, spread out the rug, put the other gifts on a piece of furniture, and then began to read through all the accumulated letters while having herself a good cry. Suddenly, as she was reading the letters, there was a step on the porch, the door opened, and there he was! He had sent a telegram, but it was delayed, as telegrams often were in those days. He had arrived before it. When she saw him and realized that he was home, the young bride jumped to her feet, scattered the letters about, and even knocked over the pottery. A few of the letters fell into the fire, but she did not care at all. He had returned to her, and having him she had all.

The one who tells those stories then wrote, “Dear friends, our Lord Jesus is coming back and He is going to find you and … me in one of those two attitudes. Will you be flirting with the world, or will you be occupied with His love letters, His gifts, His work, thinking of Him?” Jesus is coming. The Bible says that “Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure” (1 John 3:3).[1]

29 John the Baptist now restates the relationship using the metaphor of a Jewish wedding ceremony. Jesus had spoken of himself as a bridegroom (Mk 2:19), and Paul employs the same metaphor (2 Co 11:2; Eph 5:23–32). The “bride” (in this case, a collective reference to those who were coming to Jesus for baptism) belongs to the “bridegroom” (Jesus). John’s role (assigned “from heaven,” v. 27) was to be “the friend who attends the bridegroom.” According to Jewish custom, the groom’s closest friend was chosen as the shoshben (roughly equivalent to “best man”) and would make all the necessary wedding arrangements. (Some differences exist between Galilean and Judean nuptial customs, but here the metaphor is used in a general sense.) The friend waits and listens for the coming of the groom, and when he hears his voice he is filled with joy. Here the shoshben is pictured either as standing guard at the bride’s house waiting for the arrival of those who will escort her to the groom’s house, or as waiting at the groom’s house for the arrival of the bride. Once bride and bridegroom are together, the friend will hear them talking with each other and will rejoice. A more specific interpretation of the “bridegroom’s voice” is that it is “the triumphant shout by which the bridegroom announced to his friends outside that he had been united to a virginal bride” (Schnackenburg, 1:416).[2]

29 So far from being downcast at what is happening, John rejoices. He now employs the illustration of a wedding to bring this out. At a wedding the bridegroom is the important man. His friend may stand by him and rejoice with him. Indeed, in the Jewish scene he could do more. “The friend who attends the bridegroom” was an important person. He was responsible for many of the details of the wedding, and in particular it was he who brought the bride to the bridegroom. But when he had done this, his task was over. He did not expect to take the center of the stage.111 “The bride belongs to the bridegroom.” But a wedding is a happy occasion for others than the bridegroom. The bridegroom’s friend “is full of joy.” The joy of his friend brings joy to him, too. In the same way, says John, his own joy,113 not simply that of Jesus, fills him completely. The news his disciples brought him was what he had been longing to hear. It filled his cup of joy to the full. Elsewhere Jesus used the wedding illustration to explain why his disciples did not fast (Mark 2:19). The present passage shows that the joy of his coming was not confined to his immediate circle. There may be more to the present passage than a happy illustration. The Baptist would have been well aware that in the Old Testament Israel is regarded as the bride of Yahweh (Isa. 54:5; 62:4–5; Jer. 2:2; 3:20; Ezek. 16:8; Hos. 2:19–20). This imagery made its appeal as a way of referring to the Messiah, and we find it applied to Christ, for example in 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:32. “In some real sense the Baptist testified that God Himself was in Christ betrothing His bride to Himself afresh” (Murray). At the time the Evangelist records the saying it would be impossible to miss the overtones that Jesus, not the Baptist, is the Bridegroom. The church is his bride, not that of his forerunner.114[3]

29. Then John takes an illustration from marriage customs. He says, He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The Baptist points out that the bride belongs to the bridegroom, not to the latter’s friend. Now Christ is the Bridegroom, and his people are the Bride. The Bride, then, must be brought to the Bridegroom. That is exactly what John has been doing. He is constantly pointing to the Lamb of God, hoping that many will follow the latter. Now, the bridegroom’s friend who stands and hears him is very happy to hear the bridegroom’s voice. So it is with John. Just as the friend of the bridegroom, who stands at his side, listening, rejoices when the bridegroom voices his joy upon receiving the bride, so also the Baptist is very happy when he reflects on the satisfaction in the heart of the real Bridegroom, Christ, upon welcoming his own. He says, This joy of mine is now full. He means: when, in connection with the report regarding the dispute concerning purifying, I receive further assurance that people are leaving me and are flocking to Jesus, my cup of joy is running over.[4]

3:29 The Lord Jesus Christ was the bridegroom. John the Baptist was merely the friend of the bridegroom, the “best man.” The bride does not belong to the friend of the bridegroom, but rather to the bridegroom himself. Therefore, it was fitting that the people follow Jesus rather than John. The bride was used here to refer in a general way to all who would become disciples of the Lord Jesus. In the OT, Israel was spoken of as the wife of Jehovah. Later on in the NT, those who are members of Christ’s church are described under the figure of a bride. But here in John’s Gospel, the word was used in a general sense to include those who left John the Baptist when the Messiah appeared. It did not mean either Israel or the church. John was not unhappy to lose followers. It was his great joy to listen to the bridegroom’s voice. He was satisfied that Jesus receive all the attention. His joy was fulfilled when Christ was praised and honored by men.[5]

3:29 In explaining why people were flocking to Jesus (v. 26), John the Baptist pointed out that the bridegroom receives the bride. John compared himself to the friend of the bridegroom, who was appointed to arrange the preliminaries of the wedding, to manage the wedding, and to preside at the wedding feast. When the friend of the bridegroom finished his job, he had to get out of the way. His joy came from the success of the bridegroom. John was satisfied with his position in life. He was content to be a “voice” (1:23) and a friend.[6]

3:29 bridegroom … friend of the bridegroom. John conveyed his understanding of his own role through the use of a parable. The “friend of the bridegroom” was the ancient equivalent of the best man who organized the details and presided over the Judean wedding (Galilean weddings were somewhat different). This friend found his greatest joy in watching the ceremony proceed without problems. Most likely, John was also alluding to OT passages where faithful Israel is depicted as the bride of the Lord (Is 62:4, 5; Jer 2:2; Hos 2:16–20).[7]

3:29 The Baptist’s reference to Jesus as the bridegroom (cf. Matt. 9:15 par.) identifies Jesus as Israel’s long-awaited King and Messiah. In the OT, Israel is frequently depicted as God’s “bride” (e.g., Isa. 62:4–5; Jer. 2:2; Hos. 2:16–20). The Baptist’s role is that of the bridegroom’s friend, who selflessly rejoices with the groom (cf. John 1:6–9, 15, 19–36). On Christ as bridegroom, see Eph. 5:25–27; Rev. 19:7–8.[8]

3:29 the bridegroom The marriage relationship provides a powerful metaphor for God’s love for His people in Isaiah (Isa 62:5). The image of waiting on the bridegroom is used in Matthew to symbolize waiting on Christ’s return (Matt 25:1). The other Gospels also use it as a symbol of rejoicing (Matt 9:15; Mark 2:19–20; Luke 5:34). In Revelation, Jesus is the bridegroom returning for His bride, the Church (Rev 19:7). This imagery possibly reflects the expectation of a banquet that ushers in the messianic age, an idea found in the Dead Sea Scrolls (see the Rule of the Community; the Elect of God Text) and rabbinic literature (see the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 96–99).

friend of the bridegroom John styles himself in the role of friend of the bridegroom, participating in the ceremony but not the center of attention. Compare Matt 25:1.[9]

29. He who hath the bride. By this comparison, he confirms more fully the statement, that it is Christ alone who is excluded from the ordinary rank of men. For as he who marries a wife does not call and invite his friends to the marriage, in order to prostitute the bride to them, or, by giving up his own rights, to allow them to partake with him of the nuptial bed, but rather that the marriage, being honoured by them, may be rendered more sacred; so Christ does not call his ministers to the office of teaching, in order that, by conquering the Church, they may claim dominion over it, but that he may make use of their faithful labours for associating them with himself. It is a great and lofty distinction, that men are appointed over the Church, to represent the person of the Son of God. They are, therefore, like the friends whom the bridegroom brings with him, that they may accompany him in celebrating the marriage; but we must attend to the distinction, that ministers, being mindful of their rank, may not appropriate to themselves what belongs exclusively to the bridegroom. The whole amounts to this, that all the eminence which teachers may possess among themselves ought not to hinder Christ from ruling alone in his Church, or from governing it alone by his word.

This comparison frequently occurs in Scripture, when the Lord intends to express the sacred bond of adoption, by which he binds us to himself. For as he offers himself to be truly enjoyed by us, that he may be ours, so he justly claims from us that mutual fidelity and love which the wife owes to her husband. This marriage is entirely fulfilled in Christ, whose flesh and bones we are, as Paul informs us, (Eph. 5:30.) The chastity demanded by him consists chiefly in the obedience of the Gospel, that we may not suffer ourselves to be led aside from its pure simplicity, as the same Apostle teaches us, (2 Cor. 11:2, 3.) We must, therefore, be subject to Christ alone, he must be our only Head, we must not turn aside a hair’s-breadth from the simple doctrine of the Gospel, he alone must have the highest glory, that he may retain the right and authority of being a bridegroom to us.

But what are ministers to do? Certainly, the Son of God calls them, that they may perform their duty to him in conducting the sacred marriage; and, therefore, their duty is, to take care, in every way, that the spouse—who is committed to their charge—may be presented by them as a chaste virgin to her husband; which Paul, in the passage already quoted, boasts of having done. But they who draw the Church to themselves rather than to Christ are guilty of basely violating the marriage which they ought to have honoured. And the greater the honour which Christ confers on us, by making us the guardians of his spouse, so much the more heinous is our want of fidelity, if we do not endeavour to maintain and defend his right.

This my joy therefore is fulfilled. He means that he has obtained the fulfilment of all his desires, and that he has nothing further to wish, when he sees Christ reigning, and men listening to him as he deserves. Whoever shall have such affections that, laying aside all regard to himself, he shall extol Christ and be satisfied with seeing Christ honoured, will be faithful and successful in ruling the Church; but, whoever shall swerve from that end in the slightest degree will be a base adulterer, and will do nothing else than corrupt the spouse of Christ.[10]

Ver. 29.—And now the Baptist bethinks him of another remarkable image, with which, as a student of the Old Testament, and being himself “more than a prophet,” he was familiar. The tenderness of the imagery had not hitherto, however, comported with the ministry of the vox clamantis. Whereas the New Testament represents the loving-kindness and righteousness of the Lord God under the metaphor of a Father’s love to his prodigal but repenting children, the prophets were often disposed to set forth the same idea in the light of a Husband yearning over his bride, even betrothing her a second time unto himself after her faithlessness and folly. Jehovah and Jehovah’s King and Representative are set forth as the Bridegroom of the true Israel (Ps. 45.; Isa. 54:5; Hos. 2:19, 20; the Song of Songs; Ezek. 16.; Mal. 2:11, etc.); and the New Testament writers, especially John himself, who delights in the image (Rev. 19:7; 21:2, 9; 22:17), and Paul, who compares the relation of the Saviour to his Church under this endearing imagery (Eph. 5:32; 2 Cor. 11:2), vindicate the legitimacy of the metaphor. The Baptist might easily think of this language, but it is more than possible that he had been profoundly touched by the news that had reached him concerning the presence of Jesus at a marriage-feast. John had been a Nazarite from his birth. Jesus was revealing himself amid the pleasures and innocent joys of life and love. John’s conception of the kingdom had been that of severance from the world—seclusion, ascetic restraint. Jesus had manifested his glory amid the festival and in the common life and daily ways of men. John may have seen that there was much in this to captivate the heart of the true Israel; and he glances at the bridal of heaven and earth in this new conception of the mission of the Messiah. It may have staggered him, as he had taught Israel to hope for One whose hand would be more heavy upon them and on their sins than his had been. Where was the axe laid at the root of the trees? where the fire that scorches to cleanse and purify? But he accepted to some extent the new revelation, and found his own place in the novel reconstruction of the kingdom. So he says, He that hath the bride is the bridegroom. However, John throws in a novel thought, explanatory of his own position, and not found in the Old Testament imagery: “I am not the Bridegroom,” says he; “but it is also true that I am not the Bride. Such is my position that I am standing outside the company of those who are the prophetic ‘Bride.’ ” The friend of the bridegroom (φίλος τοῦ νυμφίου, παρανύμφιος, answering to the אוֹחֵב and שׁוֹשְׁבֶן of the Aramaic writers) is he who acts the part of intermediary—the confidant of both. He presides at the ceremonies of the betrothal and at the wedding-feast, and especially in the interests of the bridegroom. The image was probably suggested to him by the great discovery made by the friend of the Cana bridegroom touching the “glory” of the mysterious Guest on that typical occasion. “The friend of the bridegroom” differs profoundly from the Bridegroom. The Christ will prove ready to occupy this position, and John has declared that he is not the Christ. Moreover, John differs from the Bride; he does not receive the lavish love, nor the deep intimacies of that affection, nor the dowry of sacrificial devotion with which that love will at length be won. This paranymphios standeth and beareth him. It is not said, “seeth him.” Some have argued that John here calls attention to the fact that all that the Bridegroom has been saying has reached him by means of the information brought to him on the part of those who were both his own disciples and the disciples of Jesus; but the next clause is inconsistent with this. The friend of the bridegroom stands ready to do the will and promote the honour and pleasure of his friend. (The materialistic and sensualistic manner in which some have pressed the force of the imagery is out of place.) “The voice of the bridegroom,” the hilarious joy of the bridegroom, is a proverbial expression (Jer. 7:34; 16:9; 25:10). There is a contrast felt between the formal business-like fellowship that prevailed between the bride and the friend of the bridegroom, and the free outspoken love of the bridegroom himself. The lispings of prophecy are contrasted with the outspoken utterances of the gospel of love. And he rejoiceth with joy (χαρᾷ χαίρει; cf. for this form of expression, which corresponds with the frequent Hebrew juxtaposition of the finite verb with the infinitive absolute, the LXX. of Isa. 30:19; 66:10; Deut. 7:26, etc.; Luke 22:15; Acts 4:17; 5:28; 23:14; Jas. 5:17). It is not an indubitable Hebraism, because similar expressions are found in the classics, as Plato, ‘Sympos.,’ 195, B., φεύγων φυγῆ; ‘Phædr.,’ 265, D.; Soph., ‘Œd. Rex,’ 65; see Winer, ‘Gramm. E. T.,’ p. 585. This is the only place where such a construction occurs in the writings of John) because of the bridegroom’s voice. Intense joy is thus ascribed to one who was the minister of the bliss of another. This my joy—or, this joy, therefore, which is minehath been made full. “I have thus completed my task, and reached the climax of my bliss. I have wooed and won,” The bridal of heaven and earth is begun. In subsequent words of Jesus and his disciples other great epochs of complete consummation are referred to. The joy of the Lord will only be entirely realized when, after the resurrection and the second advent, the rapture of fellowship with his Bride will be completed. But the Baptist recognized that his own work was finished when the Messiah had been introduced to those who understood something of his claims, when the kingdom was at hand, when there were many who sought and found their Lord.[11]

[1] Boice, J. M. (2005). The Gospel of John: an expositional commentary (pp. 258–263). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[2] Mounce, R. H. (2007). John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, p. 404). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Morris, L. (1995). The Gospel according to John (pp. 213–214). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to John (Vol. 1, pp. 148–149). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[5] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1481). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1321). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[7] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Jn 3:29). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[8] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2026). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[9] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Jn 3:29). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[10] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Gospel according to John (Vol. 1, pp. 134–135). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[11] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). St. John (Vol. 1, pp. 131–132). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

George Soros Responds To Giuliani’s “Ranting” | ZeroHedge News

George Soros has responded to recent claims by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani linking the billionaire financier to a Ukrainian organization accused of meddling in the 2016 US election for Hillary Clinton, as well as another organization whose joint report with BuzzFeed was cited three times in an August 12 whistleblower complaint lodged against President Trump by a CIA employee.

A Monday email from Soros spokesman Michael Vachon with the subject “Ukraine Debunking” reads: “You may have heard (or seen) Rudolph Giuliani’s ranting about George Soros allegedly playing some nefarious role in Ukraine.” The letter then directs people to a Washington Post article authored by Emily Tamkin – who has previously written in Soros’s defense (and loves the word ‘boogeyman’).

Giuliani has come under fire by the left for his recent work to uncover the truth behind several claims regarding Ukraine – including meddling in the 2016 US election to benefit Hillary Clinton, as well as efforts to encourage Ukraine’s new president, Volodomyr Zelensky, to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden openly bragged last year about strongarming Ukraine when he threatened to withhold $1 billion in US loan guarantees unless a prosecutor investigating energy giant Burisma Holdings – which was paying Biden’s cocaine-addict son Hunter $600,000 to sit on its board – wasn’t fired immediately. 

While the CIA whistleblower and initial media reports suggested that Trump was abusing his office to threaten Ukraine into investigating the Bidens, transcripts of a July 25 phone call between Trump Zelensky reveal that Trump applied no such pressure.

Giuliani’s ‘ranting’ 

In an appearance on Fox News last week, Giuliani said: “What I’m talking about, this, it’s Ukrainian collusion, which was large, significant, and proven with Hillary Clinton, with the Democratic National Committee, a woman named Chalupa, with the ambassador, with an FBI agent who’s now been hired by George Soros who was funding a lot of it” (for more on the situation with Chalupa and the DNC, follow the work of journalist Lee Stranahan).

Ukrainian Ambassador Valeriy Chaly confirmed that DNC contractor of Ukrainian heritage, Alexandra Chalupa, approached Ukraine seeking information on Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s dealings inside the country, in the hopes of exposing them to Congress.

Chaly says that, at the time of the contacts in 2016, the embassy knew Chalupa primarily as a Ukrainian-American activist and learned only later of her ties to the DNC. He says the embassy considered her requests an inappropriate solicitation of interference in the U.S. election.

The Embassy got to know Ms. Chalupa because of her engagement with Ukrainian and other diasporas in Washington D.C., and not in her DNC capacity. We’ve learned about her DNC involvement later,” Chaly said in a statement issued by his embassy. “We were surprised to see Alexandra’s interest in Mr. Paul Manafort’s case. It was her own cause. The Embassy representatives unambiguously refused to get involved in any way, as we were convinced that this is a strictly U.S. domestic matter.

All ideas floated by Alexandra were related to approaching a Member of Congress with a purpose to initiate hearings on Paul Manafort or letting an investigative journalist ask President Poroshenko a question about Mr. Manafort during his public talk in Washington, D.C.,” the ambassador explained. –The Hill

Chalupa, who told Politico in 2017 that she had “developed a network of sources in Kiev and Washington, including investigative journalists, government officials and private intelligence operatives,” said she “occasionally shared her findings with officials from the DNC and Clinton’s campaign.

Giuliani also said that former Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin, Biden had fired, “dropped the case on George Soros’ company called AntAC,” adding “AntAC is the company where there’s documentary evidence that they were producing false information about Trump, about Biden. Fusion GPS was there,” Giuliani added. “Go back and listen to Nellie Ohr’s testimony. Nellie Ohr says that there was a lot of contract between Democrats and the Ukraine. (via the Daily Wire).

Meanwhile, a footnote in the whistleblower’s August 12 complaint cites a joint report from BuzzFeed and Soros-funded Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) to support their argument – notably leaving the “BuzzFeed” association out of the complaint.

Every page of the OCCRP website features the same bottom section listing the icons of four of the organization’s top funders, including Soros’s Open Society Foundations and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Indeed, OCCRP provides a hyperlink to the webpage for Soros’s Open Society at the bottom left corner of every page on OCCRP’s own website.

Soros’s Open Society was listed as the number two donor in most of the annual financial records posted on OCCRP’s website starting in 2012. Some years list Soros as the organization’s top donor.

OCCRP advertises its other funders, including Google, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the U.S. State Department Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.


According to Breitbart, the whistleblower’s account cites the OCCRP report on three more occasions, to:

  • Write that Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko “also stated that he wished to communicate directly with Attorney General Barr on these matters.
  • Document that Trump adviser Rudi Giuliani “had spoken in late 2018 to former Prosecutor General Shokin, in a Skype call arranged by two associates of Mr. Giuliani.”
  • Bolster the charge that, “I also learned from a U.S. official that ‘associates’ of Mr. Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team.” The so-called whistleblower then relates in another footnote, “I do not know whether these associates of Mr. Giuliani were the same individuals named in the 22 July report by OCCRP, referenced above.”

Soros, meanwhile, is scrambling to disassociate his name and organizations from Giuliani’s investigation. According to the Washington Post’s defense of the billionaire, “Soros, through his Open Society Foundations, has indeed been philanthropically engaged in Ukraine for decades.”

In short, Soros and his orgs are so deeply involved in Ukraine that there’s no way he couldn’t be caught up in this whole thing.

Soros explained that Ukraine was particularly important to him because he thought the country’s independence was geopolitically important. “As long as Ukraine prospers, there can be no imperialist Russia,” he wrote.

At the time, Soros’s foundation in Ukraine was supporting a whole network: an institute to train public servants, a foundation to develop legal culture in the country and a center for modern art, among other institutions. He claimed that all of this was important because he wanted “to supply Ukraine with the infrastructure necessary for a modern state — and an open society.” –Washington Post

That said, the Post‘s Tamkin admits that the AntAC-Soros link is a “small kernel of reality buried deep within Giuliani’s conspiracy theory.”

“I asked some of the protesters and anti-corruption groups working at the time if they received Open Society funding. And many, if not most, of them had. But that is different from Soros himself orchestrating efforts against political enemies, which is what their opponents were suggesting.”

So – just because Soros’s Open Society foundation funded groups which may have meddled for Hillary in the 2016 US election, and are cited by a CIA whistleblower against President Trump, his defenders claim it doesn’t mean his fingerprints are personally on any of it.

Source: George Soros Responds To Giuliani’s “Ranting”

Pompeo Accuses House Dems of ‘Bullying’ State Dept. Officials, Signals Intent to Fight Impeachment-Probe Subpoenas — National Review

Mike Pompeo pushed back Tuesday against a subpoena seeking documents and testimony from the State Department as part of the impeachment probe.

via Pompeo Accuses House Dems of ‘Bullying’ State Dept. Officials, Signals Intent to Fight Impeachment-Probe Subpoenas — National Review

WAYNE ALLYN ROOT: Let’s See Obama’s Transcripts — The Gateway Pundit

By Wayne Allyn Root

The Trump-Ukraine phone call controversy is still at the top of the news.

First, let me start by urging all good conservatives to call House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to congratulate her on re-electing President Trump.

Nancy did a great job. With enemies like her, who needs friends? In the words of President Trump, “Nancy, you’re the greatest!”

Secondly, I’m a big supporter of the right to bear arms. Another big shout out to Nancy. Because Pelosi and the Democrat Congress just proved you don’t need a gun to commit suicide. You can just talk yourself to death.

It’s clear Pelosi and the Democrats just committed mass political suicide. Radical Democrats suffering from “Trump Derangement Syndrome” convinced Nancy to jump off a cliff…and the entire Democrat Congress followed like sheep.

Think I’m wrong? John Kasich is the Governor of Ohio. He hates Trump. He attacks and denigrates Trump at every opportunity. Even he just reported on Friday, in Ohio and the Heartland of America, no one cares about this, no one is even talking about it.

Democrats haven’t just “over-reached.” They’ve walked into the biggest trap in the history of politics.

No normal person, without mental illness, cares that Trump had a phone call with a world leader and asked him to look into massive corruption by an American politician on foreign soil. Most normal Americans are saying, “It’s about time.”

Now to the real point of this column.

We’re debating a phone call between a President and a world leader. Why would any of us have access to this call? Have you ever heard the details of any other phone call between world leaders and a U.S. President?

Heck, Trump is now the most transparent president in history. He released the transcript of a classified call with a world leader.

Meanwhile Obama still has never released his college transcripts. There’s never been a single leak. You’d think his college records were “classified.”

But the real question that should be asked because of this controversy is, why can’t we see transcripts of Obama’s conversations with world leaders?

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

We’ve now seen Trump’s conversation. We all want to see Obama’s conversations with Putin.

We all heard Obama whisper on an open microphone to Russia’s president that once re-elected he could give Putin whatever he wanted. So, what do you think Obama said on private classified calls to Putin?

Liberals think we have a right to listen to Trump’s calls, right? So why can’t we listen to Obama’s calls with world leaders? We need something to measure Trump’s supposed “crimes” against.

I heard from a friend, who heard from a friend, that Obama sold America down the river in calls with Putin. Let’s see the transcripts of Obama’s calls to Putin.

I heard Obama was way too friendly with the radical leaders of the Arab Spring and Muslim Brotherhood. Let’s see the transcripts.

I heard Obama sold Israel down the river in calls with leaders of Middle Eastern countries. Let’s see the transcripts.

I want to see a transcript of John Kerry’s Iran Treaty negotiations with rogue terrorist nation Iran. Why did he give them a “deal of the century?”

Can we hear the conversations between Kerry and Obama about the Iran Treaty?

How about the negotiation for American hostages held by Iran? I can’t wait to hear Obama offer ransom to terrorists.

And of course, the obvious transcript everyone is dying to read. We all want to see transcripts of Obama and Biden discussing the Ukraine situation. Did Joe disclose to Obama what his son Hunter was up to? Did they discuss Burisma, his son’s energy company? Did Obama give Biden permission to withhold aid to Ukraine until they killed the criminal investigation into the company employing Biden’s son?

The precedent has been set. You’ve all opened up a big can of worms. I won’t rest until I see the transcipts of Obama’s calls. Only then, can we know if Trump did anything wrong, or unusual.

I can’t wait to be a fly on the wall to hear what Obama said to world leaders about America, Americans, American exceptionalism, Israel and the Jewish people. I’d give my left arm to hear those conversations.

C’mon Obama. Show us all these transcripts. Maybe even your college transcript. I dare you.

Wayne Allyn Root is the host of “The Wayne Allyn Root Show” on Newsmax TV, nightly at 8 PM ET, found on DirecTV Ch #349, or Dish TV Ch #216, at http://www.newsmaxtv.com/Shows/The-Wayne-Allyn-Root-Show He is also a nationally syndicated radio host of “Wayne Allyn Root: Raw & Unfiltered” found at http://usaradio.com/wayne-allyn-root/

via WAYNE ALLYN ROOT: Let’s See Obama’s Transcripts — The Gateway Pundit