Daily Archives: October 16, 2019

OCTOBER 16 WISE RELATIONSHIPS

SCRIPTURE READING: 1 SAMUEL 20:1–42
KEY VERSE: 1 SAMUEL 20:42

Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of the Lord, saying, ‘May the Lord be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.’ ” So he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.

How do we develop wise friendships? Friendship usually begins because of mutual concerns and interests, and deepens as you take time to build your relationship. Whether our interests may be in a sport, classical music, or raising our children—as believers, we have a mutual interest in our faith in Jesus Christ and our relationship with Him.
Many times our past experiences influence our ability in building trusting relationships. If we have been hurt before, we may be less likely to open our hearts again. Or we may base our friendship on personal ambition or selfishness. When we depend on another person for our security or take advantage of someone for our own personal gain, we are not building wise, lasting relationships.
A friendship that is based on the issue of what someone can do for you is not a true friendship. No person can ever satisfy the longing and need in your life. Only Jesus can meet all your needs—spiritual, physical, and emotional.
Building friendships requires risk of possible pain and rejection. However, it is worth the risk to find a friendship anchored by genuine trust, devotion, and loyalty. Ask God to show you how to be a true friend, and begin to work toward a lasting, rewarding friendship.

Lord, thank You for the good friendships You have provided. Help me to be one of those friends who comes alongside others without selfish motives.

Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 303). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Semper Reformanda in Context — Ligonier Ministries Blog

The phrase ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda (the church reformed, always reforming) has been used so often as to make it a motto or slogan. People have used it to support a surprising array of theological and ecclesiastical programs and purposes. Scholars have traced its origins to a devotional book written by Jodocus van Lodenstein in 1674. Van Lodenstein, no doubt, had no intention of being a phrase-maker or sloganeer. What was his intention, and what did he mean by this phrase?

Van Lodenstein was a minister in the Reformed Church of the United Provinces in what we know today as the Netherlands. This church was born of decades of faithful preaching by ministers—many educated in Geneva—who risked their lives to carry the gospel, first into the French-speaking regions of the Low Countries, and later into the Dutch-speaking regions farther north. Some ministers were martyred for their faith, but they gathered a rich harvest of committed believers. Their message of the need for the reform of the church according to the Bible resonated with many who saw the corruptions of the old church.

Under the rulers Charles V and Philip II, the government of the Low Countries made every effort to suppress the Reformed religion, which was a large part of the reason for the Dutch revolt against their Spanish overlords. This revolt (1568-1648) became known as the Eighty Years’ War, giving birth to a new state in the northern part of the Low Countries. In this new state—the Dutch Republic, also known as the United Provinces—the Reformed Church was dominant, receiving government support and becoming the church of the majority of the population by the middle of the seventeenth century.

This church subscribed to the Belgic Confession (1561) and the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), and had an essentially presbyterian form of government. Interference from the Protestant civil authorities of the new state limited the freedom of the Reformed Church, particularly in matters of discipline. That interference, in part, led to a crisis in the church in the early seventeenth century with the rise of Arminianism. That crisis was addressed and settled at the great international synod held in the city of Dordrecht in 1618-19. The Canons of Dort prepared at this synod became another doctrinal authority in the life of the church.

Jodocus van Lodenstein was born into a prominent family in the city of Delft in 1620. He was educated by two of the most distinguished Reformed professors of the day: the scholastic and pietist theologian Gisbertus Voetius of Utrecht and the covenant theologian Johannes Cocceius of Franeker. While being personally friendly with both theologians, he was more influenced by Voetius. Voetius stressed both precise theology and Christian living. Van Lodenstein was called to serve as a pastor in Utrecht, where he ministered from 1653 until his death in 1677. As a pastor, he always encouraged the faithful to disciplined, vital Christianity.

Van Lodenstein was an inheritor of a body clearly and fully reformed according to the Reformed or Calvinistic interpretation of the Bible. The Calvinists often described their vision of the church in three categories: doctrine, worship, and church government. In all three of these areas, the Dutch Reformed Church was thoroughly Calvinistic, similar in most ways to Calvinistic churches throughout the rest of Europe.

No church’s life is ever static, however, and van Lodenstein certainly saw some changes in his lifetime. In doctrine, for example, Reformed theologians were developing a covenant theology that would give great insight into both the structure of the unfolding revelation of the Bible and the work of Christ. Most Reformed Christians have seen this as a real theological advance. Van Lodenstein also saw the increasing use of the organ in public worship in the Reformed churches in his time. He knew the debates as to whether this change was a reformation or a deformation in the worship of the church. Are these the kinds of changes that he had in mind when he wrote about a church reformed and always reforming?

The answer to this question is no. Van Lodenstein was not thinking about adjustments and improvements to the church’s doctrine, worship, and government. These matters of external reform had been absolutely necessary when the Reformers accomplished them in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. But for Calvinists like van Lodenstein, they had been definitively accomplished and settled. He was not contemplating the value of relatively minor changes. He was not a man of later centuries who believed progress and change were necessary and good in and of themselves. He believed the Bible was clear on the foundations of doctrine, worship, and government, and that the Reformed churches had reformed these things correctly. In this sense, reform was a return to the teaching of the Bible. The Reformers had gotten these things right, and they were settled.

The great concern of ministers like van Lodenstein was not the externals of religion—as absolutely important as they are—but rather the internal side of religion. Van Lodenstein was a Reformed pietist and part of the Dutch Second Reformation. As such, his religious concerns were very similar to those of the English Puritans. They all believed that once the externals of religion had been carefully and faithfully reformed according to the Word of God, the great need was for ministers to lead people in the true religion of the heart. They saw the great danger of their day not as false doctrine or superstition or idolatry, but as formalism. The danger of formalism is that a church member could subscribe to true doctrine, participate in true worship in a biblically regulated church, and yet still not have true faith. As Jesus had warned against the Pharisees of His day, citing the prophet Isaiah, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Matt. 15:8).

The part of religion that always needs reforming is the human heart. It is vital religion and true faith that must be constantly cultivated. Formalism, indifferentism, and conformism must all be vigorously opposed by a faithful ministry.

Van Lodenstein and those who stood with him believed that the Canons of Dort presented a vision of true religion like their own. In the battle against Arminianism, one of the great issues had been the doctrine of regeneration. In sixteenth-century Reformed theology, theologians used regeneration as one of several synonyms for sanctification. So, for example, Article 24 of the Belgic Confession could state that we are regenerated by faith. But in the struggle against the Arminians, regeneration took on a more technical meaning, referring to the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit in planting the new life in the soul that is necessary for faith. This new use of regeneration explained how faith was a gift of God, not the work of human free will. But it also explained how Christians were, by the grace of God, able to live a new life, pursuing holiness. The Canons of Dort declared:

When God carries out this good pleasure in his chosen ones, or works true conversion in them, he not only sees to it that the gospel is proclaimed to them outwardly, and enlightens their minds powerfully by the Holy Spirit so that they may rightly understand and discern the things of the Spirit of God, but, by the effective operation of the same regenerating Spirit, he also penetrates into the inmost being of man, opens the closed heart, softens the hard heart, and circumcises the heart that is uncircumcised. He infuses new qualities into the will, making the dead will alive, the evil one good, the unwilling one willing, and the stubborn one compliant; he activates and strengthens the will so that, like a good tree, it may be enabled to produce the fruits of good deeds.

This doctrine of regeneration was used, then, to stress the new principle of life in the Christian and the need for that new life to be lived out. The Christian needed to eschew formalism and live out his faith in the daily struggle against sin, finding rest and hope in the promises and Spirit of God.

So what did van Lodenstein mean by his famous phrase reformed and always reforming? Probably something like this: since we now have a church reformed in the externals of doctrine, worship, and government, let us always be working to ensure that our hearts and lives are being reformed by the Word and Spirit of God. Whatever other meanings may be made of this phrase, this original meaning is well worth pondering and preserving.

This post was originally published in Tabletalk magazine.

via Semper Reformanda in Context — Ligonier Ministries Blog

OCTOBER 16 Powerful Praying

SCRIPTURE READING: Colossians 1:9–14
KEY VERSE: Hebrews 10:19

Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus.

A striking feature of Paul’s prayers is their sheer power. He was a gifted evangelist with a mastery of language that God used to capture intense spiritual truth. His prayers serve as models of how you can approach God in prayer with the boldness and confidence that are yours because of Jesus’ sacrifice.
Paul’s prayers dealt with issues and ideas that would bring victory in any situation. In Colossians 1:9 (NASB), he asked for the believers of the Colossian church to “be filled with the knowledge of [God’s] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.”
You need the Lord’s infinite and exacting wisdom every moment of your life, and asking God to fill your heart and mind with wisdom means consciously acknowledging that you need Him. This prayer is so rock-solid because it is based in part on a promise of wisdom in James 1:5, and praying from the basis of God’s promises is an excellent way to be sure that you ask Him for something within His purposes.
Paul’s whole motivation for requesting wisdom and power from God was the glorification of Jesus: “So that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:10 NASB).
You don’t have to settle for timid requests. You can pray within the privilege of your eternal position as a beloved one in Christ.

Father, give me power in prayer. Give me boldness in place of timidity. Make me a warrior in the spiritual realm.

Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 303). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Salvation from Start to Finish Is a Work of God for His Glory — Ligonier Ministries Blog

We contribute nothing to our salvation. In this brief clip, Stephen Nichols explains that from start to finish, salvation is a work of God for His Glory.

This Reformation Month, watch a short video every day on the history and insights of the Protestant Reformation. And don’t forget that for this month only, you can request your free digital download of R.C. Sproul’s video teaching series Luther and the Reformation plus the ebook edition of The Legacy of Luther, edited by R.C. Sproul and Stephen Nichols at ligm.in/Reformation. Offer ends October 31, 2019.

Transcript

via Salvation from Start to Finish Is a Work of God for His Glory — Ligonier Ministries Blog

The Heretical Doctrine Of Pelagianism Denies The Biblical Fact That All Humans Born Since Genesis 5 Have Been Created In The Image Of Fallen Adam — Now The End Begins

Pelagianism says that human beings are not born with a natural inclination toward sin, but the scriptures written by our apostle Paul for the Church Age tell a very different story

Many of you right now who just read the headline are likely scratching your heads and saying to yourself “what on earth is Pelagianism, and why should I care?” Well, you should care because it is a false teaching about the nature of man, the nature of sin, and what you believe to be true about it will have a huge impact on how you see and understand large portions of the Bible. So let’s take a look at false teaching of Pelagianism and where it came from.

Pelagianism is named after a Catholic monk named Pelagius who was active in the early 400’s AD. Pelagius denied original sin and taught that every person was born morally neutral: we are able to sin but also able not to sin. Pelagius said that human beings fall into sin by choosing to follow Adam’s example. People can be saved by following the example of Christ instead of that of Adam. While grace is helpful, Pelagius taught, it is not necessary for a person to attain eternal life; the exercise of one’s free will is enough. In this way, Pelagius denied the substitutionary atonement of Christ. You can read more about Pelagius and his beliefs here, but as you can see in this short biographical snippet, Pelagius was not a Bible believer and his teachings were obviously not in line with scripture.

Adam was created in the image of God as the Bible says, from original material taken from the ground. God breathed the breath of life into Adam and he became a ‘living soul’. Eve, his wife, was not taken from the ground but from a rib from Adam. These are the first two humans ever recorded, and no one since them has come into the world in the way they did. Everyone after them would be born vaginally from the womb of a woman. As we all know, Adam and Eve fell into sin, were judged and removed from the garden as punishment. Adam and Eve had lots of children, and we read about the start of their replication process in Genesis 5. And it is here in Genesis 5, that the key understanding our sin nature is found.

“This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth: And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters:” Genesis 5:1-4 (KJV)

Do you see the problem? I have underlined and bolded it for you to make it crystal clear. Everyone since Genesis 5:3 has been born not in the image of God, but in the image of fallen Adam. From the day you exited your mother and opened your eyes, you were born in a sin-cursed body provided you by Adam, you are his child and you are in his image. We are the “sons and daughter” who were born in the image of Adam.

Now let’s time travel all the way to the New Testament and listen as Jesus says something to Nicodemus that will blow his mind. Listen as Jesus tells Nicodemus that his first birth is no good.

“There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:1-3 (KJV)

For those of you who have read this amazing third chapter of the gospel of John, you are well aware of Nicodemus’ struggle to wrap his head around this strange, new teaching of needing to become ‘born again’. And what was Nicodemus reply? He says “How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?” Great question! As we read further though the Bible and into the writings of Paul, it is then we begin to understand the truth about these bodies we all are born in. We are born as sinners, in the image of our father Adam, who was a sinner and created children in his image. This is what the Bible teaches.

Pelagianism is the unbiblical teaching that Adam’s sin did not affect future generations of humanity. According to Pelagianism, Adam’s sin was solely his own, and Adam’s descendants did not inherit a sinful nature passed down to them. God creates every human soul directly, and therefore every human soul starts out in innocence, free from sin. We are not basically bad, says the Pelagian heresy; we are basically good.

You will notice that I am purposely not using terms like “original sin” because those words do not appear in the Bible, but the idea that we are all born in sin and all born as sinners absolutely does. The problem is not that we commit sin as we grow, the problem is that we go up as sinners who need a new birth, who need to have the ‘old man’ washed away and the ‘new man’ formed.

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” Titus 3:5 (KJV)

Pelagius basically said that since we have free will, which is true, all we need to do is “make better choices” and all will be well. But Jesus said nothing about making better choices, no, He told Nicodemus that he was corrupt from his birth! Choose all you like, be as good and as moral a person as you can possibly be, but you were born in the image of Adam and you need to be born again in the image of Jesus Christ. This right here, is the fundamental platform of New Testament Christianity.

Calvinists take the opposite position to Pelagius and say that since we are “dead in trepasses in sin” that we are unable and incapable of getting saved or even to be able to ask God to save us because we are “dead” and dead people cannot take any action. This is just as much heresy as what Pelagius taught, just 180 degrees on the other side. If we are incapable of asking God to save us, and that people only get saved because God forces them to become saved, then you are left with a God that creates people He has no intention of saving all the while tormenting them about their unsaved condition. That would not be God, that would be what a sadist would do, and that is not the God of the Bible who did this for us:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (KJV)

You are not a sinner because you commited sin or because you have besetting sins, or any combination thereof. You are I are sinners because we were born in the image of fallen Adam, hardcoded and hardwired, and it is not fixed by the ‘software update’ of making better choices or using your free will to be a better you. You don’t need new software, you need new hardware and new software, and that can only come by:

  • Realizing that you on your best day doing great things for other people are still a Hell-bound lost sinner who cannot ‘good works’ your way out of going to the Hell you so richly deserve. You are not in this condition because you have been “bad”, but because you were born this way. You were born in the image of a sinful, fallen man named Adam, God wants you to be born again in the image of the perfect man, Jesus Christ.
  • Understanding that Jesus Christ has already provided the ‘fix’ you so desperately need on the cross at Calvary, and has PAID IN FULL your sin debt, went to Hell in your place, and offers that pardon to you at no cost of any kind to you. As an added Church Age bonus, if you will accept that FREE GIFT, the Bible says that the Holy Spirit will “seal you in” until the day of redemption so you can never lose it.
  • Accepting that there can be no works attached to grace for salvation. As we have said many times already, your free will can help you make better choices, absolutely, but no one can choose how they are born into this world. You cannot chose to be born male or female, you cannot choose your race or ethnicity, you can’t even chose the location of your birth, but there is One and only Only who can and did. God chose to be born into this life as a male, chose to be born as a Jew, and chose to be born in Bethlehem. We call that person Jesus the Son of God, our sinless Saviour. He came to save sinners who could not save themselves, no matter how much free will He gave them. But you can use your free will to willingly accept Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross as your payment for your sin.

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Scriptures Showing All Are Born Sinners In This Life

Pelagius was condemned as a heretic, and rightly so, by the Council of Ephesus in 431. Now you know that here at NTEB, we put very little value if any on the various councils and creeds that arose in the time period beginning from the takeover of biblical Christianity by Rome around 313 AD, and on forward as the Roman Catholic church grew in strength and power. But what we do place a very high value on is what does the Bible say about it? So here are just a smattering of verses smashing to pieces the rank heresy known as Pelagianism.

  • “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Romans 5:10 (KJV)
  • “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 5:12 (KJV)
  • “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Romans 5:18 (KJV)
  • “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:19 (KJV)

Paul shows us over and over and over again that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, nothing at all. No amount of good works, good deeds, and abstaining from sinful pursuits counts towards our salvation in any way at all. But Paul shows us that our free will can be put to good use, if we use it properly and how God intended us to us it. This account is recorded for us in Acts 16, and it is just as powerful today as it was 2,000 years ago.

“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:25-31 (KJV)

Paul invited the Philippian jailer to use his free will to believe on Jesus and receive the free gift of God’s grace and mercy for the pardon of his sins. The Bible records that the jailer did exactly that, and he and his whole house was saved. Are you lost? Be like the jailer and use your free will to believe on Jesus according to the scriptures in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJV). Are you saved? Use your free will resist the Devil and turn from your sins as you work out your sanctification as a child of God. But you cannot use your free will to live any way you want to live, be the ‘master of your fate’ and the ‘captain of your destiny’, as Pelagius taught. It is about submitting ourselves to the will of the Father, and not about making ‘better choices’.

Apart from the intervention of the Holy Spirit of God, our free will is a useless trinket that cannot erase one smudge of the sin stain we were all born with. Pelagius was a heretic then, and his false teaching remains a heresy today. We will let the Bible have the last word on whether or not man is born in sin or not, and here it is:

“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:5-7 (KJV)

via The Heretical Doctrine Of Pelagianism Denies The Biblical Fact That All Humans Born Since Genesis 5 Have Been Created In The Image Of Fallen Adam — Now The End Begins

Candidates Mock Anderson Cooper For ‘Ellen’ Question, Ignoring Immigration And Climate Change — The Gateway Pundit

In Tuesday night’s three-hour debate, moderator Anderson Cooper never found time to ask about issues Democrats hold dear, like climate change and immigration and LGBT rights.

But he did take time to ask a question about … Ellen DeGeneres?

“Last week, Ellen DeGeneres was criticized after she and former President George W. Bush were seen laughing together at a football game. Ellen defended their friendship, saying, ‘We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s OK, that we’re all different,’” Cooper said to the 12 candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“So in that spirit, we’d like you to tell us about a friendship that you’ve had that would surprise us and what impacts it’s had on you and your beliefs,” he said.

The question went over like a lead balloon.

“Three hours and no questions tonight about climate, housing, or immigration,” candidate Julian Castro wrote on Twitter. “Climate change is an existential threat. America has a housing crisis. Children are still in cages at our border. But you know, Ellen.”

Sen. Kamala Harris also ripped the question.

“Three hours. Not one question about the climate crisis. Not one question about LGBTQ+ rights. Not one question about immigration. These issues are too important to ignore. #DemDebate,” she wrote.

Trevor Noah of “The Daily Show” also mocked the question.

DeGeneres, the famed daytime talk show host, and her wife, actress Portia de Rossi, were invited to a Dallas Cowboys game by Charlotte Jones, daughter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Former president George W. Bush, who has a home in Dallas, also attended, sitting in the owners box.

When she posted a picture, Twitter blew up, with liberals shaming her for sitting next to Bush.

But DeGeneres fired back.

“People were upset,” DeGeneres says in a segment set to air on her show Tuesday. “They thought, ‘Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?’ … A lot of people were mad, and they did what people do when they’re mad: They tweet.”

She explains that people can be friends, even if they have differing views on politics.

“I’m friends with George Bush,” DeGeneres said. “In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have.”

DeGeneres joked that she knew before she went that there would people there with different views.

“When we were invited, I was aware that I was going to be surrounded with people from very different views and beliefs. And I’m not talking about politics… I was rooting for the Packers,” DeGeneres said. “So I had to hide my cheese hat in Portia’s purse.”

And she added that people should simply be more kind.

“Just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them,” she said. “When I say be kind to one another, I don’t mean only the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone.”

Bush’s spokesman, Freddy Ford, told Fox News on Tuesday: “President and Mrs. Bush really enjoyed being with Ellen and Portia (de Rossi) and appreciated Ellen’s comments about respecting one another. They respect her. “

via Candidates Mock Anderson Cooper For ‘Ellen’ Question, Ignoring Immigration And Climate Change — The Gateway Pundit

Trump Blamed For Causing Violence In Typically Peaceful Middle East — The Babylon Bee

U.S.—After Trump moved some troops from Northern Syria, he was immediately blamed for causing violence in the typically peaceful Middle East.

Syria, which was known around the world as an idyllic paradise until January 20, 2017 at 12:00 PM EST, is now in shambles thanks to some minor troop reassignments. Trump tried to restablize the Middle East by announcing a deployment of 2,000 U.S. troops to defend the famed bastion of democracy and freedom Saudi Arabia, but it was too late. The damage had been done.

“It’s sad that the usually serene resort destination of Syria has been transformed into a war-torn hellscape under Trump,” said Hillary Clinton. “Under my watch, the Middle East was basically a big golf resort.”

Barack Obama and George W. Bush joined in their condemnation of what Trump has done to the Middle East. “It’s like they say in Texas,” said Bush. “Attack Iraq once, shame on me. Attack it twice, well, then you won’t get attacked again.”

“Trump has betrayed our allies, the Kurds,” said one man in Arizona who had just googled “who are the Kurds” a few minutes before. “Look at all this violence he’s causing in the usually utopian paradise of Syria.”

The nation has called on Trump to allow U.S. soldiers to stick around for another few centuries in order to bring our various conflicts to a satisfactory conclusion.

At publishing time, the Pentagon had issued a reminder to the nation that “we’ve always been at war with Turkey.”

via Trump Blamed For Causing Violence In Typically Peaceful Middle East — The Babylon Bee

President Trump Meets With Italian President Mattarella – Oval Office – Video and Transcript… — The Last Refuge

Earlier today President Trump met with Italian President Matarella and held a press availability in the oval office prior to bilateral discussions. [Video and Transcript below]

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[Transcript]

via President Trump Meets With Italian President Mattarella – Oval Office – Video and Transcript… — The Last Refuge

Satan Endorses Paula White’s New Book — The Babylon Bee

HELL—After a long day of going to and fro upon the earth seeking whom he may devour, Satan, ruler of demons, took a moment to send out a tweet about a new book he was very excited to endorse: prosperity preacher Paula White’s new release Something Greater.

White, who claims to be a preacher but is actually a heretic and also a woman, put out her new book and was praised by many, including the Prince of the Power of the Air.

Satan wrote on his official Twitter account: “My friend @Paula_White has a WONDERFUL new book releasing tomorrow about God’s power to transform lives. Read SOMETHING GREATER and give it to anyone looking for hope!” He also tweeted out several selfies of him reading the book by a cozy fire.

Several major evangelical leaders followed the lead of the Prince of Darkness and also sang the book’s praises including Jerry Falwell Jr, Franklin Graham, and Robert Jeffress.

White, who is said to be President Trump’s spiritual advisor and pastor, accepted all the high praise of her new book by tweeting out, “Blessings will overtake you, Satan!… God says so!”

via Satan Endorses Paula White’s New Book — The Babylon Bee

OCTOBER 16 A Zeal for God

SCRIPTURE READING: Psalm 63:1–11
KEY VERSE: John 17:3

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Jesus defined eternal life in John 17:3, our key verse today. Thus, while eternal life is certainly the possession of unending fellowship with Christ, the principal context is the quality of relationship with your Savior.
There is no substitute for a personal hunger to know Christ experientially. The God who sought you and saved you jealously desires to reveal Himself to you. But you must pursue Him.
“Everything is made to center upon the initial act of ‘accepting’ Christ (a term, incidentally, which is not found in the Bible) and we are not expected thereafter to crave any further revelation of God to our souls,” A. W. Tozer wrote in The Pursuit of God.

We have been snared in the coils of a spurious logic which insists that if we found Him we need no more seek Him.
I want deliberately to encourage a mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people.

If your heart for God has dimmed, seek Him today. As Tozer announced, “He waits to be wanted.”

Dear Lord, don’t let my zeal for You grow dim. Don’t let complacency hamper my spiritual growth. Manifest Yourself to me today in a new and deeper dimension.

Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 303). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.