Daily Archives: January 12, 2020

January—12 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down.—Ruth 4:1.

It is blessed to see when, from general calls in the gospel, the call becomes personal. The general invitation is, “Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” The personal call is, “Ho! such a one.” Jesus calleth his own sheep by name; how is this done? When at any time the Lord speaketh by the ministry of his word to their particular state and circumstances; as for example, Jesus saith, I came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance; faith saith in answer, Then it is for me; for I am a sinner. So again when it is said, God commendeth his love to us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us; faith replieth, Then is that love suited to my case and circumstances, for I am both by nature and by practice a sinner before God. So again, when Jesus ascended up on high, he is said to have received gifts for men, yea, for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them. Faith again finds similar encouragement to go upon, in order to make the thing personal; for the believer saith, I have been rebellious from the womb. In short, faith always discovers ground to rest for assurance, when, from general rules, there is found sufficient scope for special application; and in the suitableness of Christ to the sinner’s necessity, and the suitableness of the sinner for the Redeemer’s glory, the word comes with power to the heart, and with an energy not unlike the application of the Apostle’s sermon: To you is the word of this salvation sent; for then like the kinsman of Boaz, the call becomes personal, altering the appellation from every one to such a one; and the believing soul comes at the call, turns aside, and sits down, as the very one with whom the business is to be transacted. My soul! hast thou heard the gospel invitation, and found it personal? The answer will not be far to obtain, if such evidences be discoverable in thyself. Faith is a precious grace, which never rests until it hath acquired all it stands in need of. As the invitation comes from Christ, so, where it is personally received and accepted, it leads to Christ. Faith is never satisfied with general views, its whole aim is at personal enjoyments. There is a selfishness to appropriate and bring home all that is offered. Salvation is proclaimed from heaven for sinners. God the Father gives it; God the Son purchaseth it; God the Spirit sends it to the heart with a Ho! such a one, turn aside, sit down. See to it, my soul, that thou hast this personal interest in it, and that Christ is formed in thy heart the hope of glory.[1]


[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 14–15). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

January 12 Streams in the Desert

Reckon it nothing but joy … whenever you find yourself hedged in by the various trials, be assured that the testing of your faith leads to power of endurance.” (James 1:2, 3.) (Weymouth.)

GOD hedges in His own that He may preserve them, but oftentimes they only see the wrong side of the hedge, and so misunderstand His dealings. It was so with Job (Job 3:23). Ah, but Satan knew the value of that hedge! See his testimony in chapter 1:10. Through the leaves of every trial there are chinks of light to shine through. Thorns do not prick you unless you lean against them, and not one touches without His knowledge. The words that hurt you, the letter which gave you pain, the cruel wound of your dearest friend, shortness of money—are all known to Him, who sympathizes as none else can and watches to see, if, through all, you will dare to trust Him wholly.

“The hawthorn hedge that keeps us from intruding,

Looks very fierce and bare

When stripped by winter, every branch protruding

Its thorns that would wound and tear.

“But spring-time comes; and like the rod that budded,

Each twig breaks out in green;

And cushions soft of tender leaves are studded,

Where spines alone were seen.

“The sorrows, that to us seem so perplexing,

Are mercies kindly sent

To guard our wayward souls from sadder vexing,

And greater ills prevent.

“To save us from the pit, no screen of roses

Would serve for our defense,

The hindrance that completely interposes

Stings back like thorny fence.

“At first when smarting from the shock, complaining

Of wounds that freely bleed,

God’s hedges of severity us paining,

May seem severe indeed.

“But afterwards, God’s blessed spring-time cometh,

And bitter murmurs cease;

The sharp severity that pierced us bloometh,

And yields the fruits of peace.

“Then let us sing, our guarded way thus wending

Life’s hidden snares among,

Of mercy and of judgment sweetly blending;

Earth’s sad, but lovely song”[1]


[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 13–14). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

Sunday Talks: Robert O’Brien -vs- Chris Wallace…. — The Last Refuge

National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien appears on Fox News Sunday to discuss the recent conflicts with Iran, and the government of Iran blaming the U.S. for their shooting down of Ukraine Airline flight 752.

via Sunday Talks: Robert O’Brien -vs- Chris Wallace…. — The Last Refuge

Christians, Don’t Let Atheists Misuse Science Against Christianity — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

Christians, Don’t Let Atheists Misuse Science Against Christianity

by Mark Farnham

My original title for this post was going to be “Three Reasons Why Darwinian Evolution Is So Universally Accepted, and Three Reasons Why It Is Beginning to Crumble.” But you probably wouldn’t have clicked on it to read it.

For many Christians seeking to defend their faith, the question of science’s commitment to evolution over the Christian explanation of creation presents one of the biggest challenges. For anyone without a scientific background, trying to answer scientific objections can be intimidating and overwhelming. The intent of this article is to show you why Darwinian evolution is so fiercely protected in the scientific community, and why the commitment to Darwin’s version of evolution is losing support in the scientific community.

Why is it that among the intellectual elite, evolution is the predominant view of the origin and development of our universe, specifically biological life, and even more specifically, human development and progress? There are at least three reasons for this near-universal acceptance in the sciences and three reasons why it is beginning to crumble in the sciences and among the masses of the world…

Christians, Don’t Let Atheists Misuse Science Against Christianity

via Christians, Don’t Let Atheists Misuse Science Against Christianity — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

How to “Speak the Truth in Love” — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

How to “Speak the Truth in Love”

by Logan Judy

“Love” is a word that has become muddled thanks to cultural slogans and idioms. This includes “free love” and “love wins,” but also “tough love,” the sentiment behind the similar idea of “telling it like it is.” How can we navigate all of these in telling the truth in love?

Speak the Truth

“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” – Eph. 4:15

Ephesians actually has quite a bit to say about how we talk. The centerpiece of chapters 4-6 is truth itself. 4:1 refers to walking according to our calling, and that is based on the truth of the gospel, contrasted with the falsehood of secularism and idolatry (4:14, 18, 21, 25, and so on).

This is why it is so critical that speaking the truth in itself does happen; we cannot shy away from spiritual discussions because they are uncomfortable…

How to “Speak the Truth in Love”

via How to “Speak the Truth in Love” — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

5 Questions Every Youth Leader and Parent Should be Ready to Answer — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

5 Questions Every Youth Leader and Parent Should be Ready to Answer

by Steven Kozak

When I began my teaching career I began each year asking my students to write about their reasons for believing—or in some cases, not believing—in Jesus. I never expected them to really articulate much of anything. Some managed to write some great reasons, but most were left repeating phrases they heard in their elementary years in church. But I was okay with that, because that wasn’t the point. I didn’t really intend for them to write much. The point was to simply create a specific kind of culture in my classrooms. I wanted to create a culture of questions.

Every one of your students have questions. There is no way around it, and there is no way of avoiding it, so please don’t. Students need to feel a part of a community and culture where questions are encouraged and answered. Keep in mind there are students who have been raised to believe that to doubt and question is to have insufficient faith. However, questions and doubts can be incredibly productive when it leads to answers and certainty…

5 Questions Every Youth Leader and Parent Should be Ready to Answer

via 5 Questions Every Youth Leader and Parent Should be Ready to Answer — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

Faith of the Scientist — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

Faith of the Scientist

I’ll often hear people say things like, “I have no time for faith. I live my live on reason, observation and evidence.” Really?

I see. Well – let’s see how that works, shall we?

Lets imagine a scientist is doing some rigorous analysis, studying something in nature. How about, the behaviour of enzymes in the human digestive system. Well – I agree. That scientist is going to use reason, she’s going to make observations and also appeal to the evidence she gathers as she reaches her conclusions. But – what else is going on as she does so?…

Faith of the Scientist

via Faith of the Scientist — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

January 12th The D. L. Moody Year Book

He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.—Daniel 3:25.

IT was doubtless the Son of God. That Great Shepherd of the sheep saw three of His true servants in peril, and He came from His Father’s presence and His Father’s bosom to be with them in it. He had been watching that terrible attempt to burn the faithful. His tender pitying eye saw that they were condemned to death because of their loyalty to Him. With one great leap He sprang from the Father’s presence, from His palace in glory, right down into the fiery furnace, and was by their side before the heat of the fire could come near unto them. Jesus was with His servants as the flames wreathed around them, and not a hair of their heads was singed. They were not scorched; not even the smell of fire was upon them. I can almost fancy I hear them chanting:

“When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”[1]


[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (pp. 14–15). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Iran Says De-Escalation ‘Only Solution’ As Anti-Government Protests In Tehran Turn Bloody | ZeroHedge News

The government of Iran signaled that they would prefer to de-escalate tensions with the United States following 10 days of military skirmishes during which Tehran shot down a civilian aircraft.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told the visiting emir of Qatar that de-escalation is the “only solution” to the regional crisis sparked by the US killing of Iran’s top general, Qasem Soleimani, according to AFP citing the emirate’s ruler.

“This visit comes at a critical time in the region,” said Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, adding “We agreed… that the only solution to these crises is de-escalation from everyone and dialogue.”

Rouhani, meanwhile, said “Given the importance of security of the region… we’ve decided to have more consultations and cooperation for the security of the entire region.”

Also on Sunday, Hossein Salami, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said the missiles it fired last Wednesday on Iraqi bases hosting US troops were not aimed at killing American personnel.

“Our aim was not really to kill enemy soldiers. That was not important,” he told parliament.

The US said no American personnel were harmed in the attacks.

Across the border in Iraq, the military said rockets slammed on Sunday into Al-Balad, an Iraqi airbase where US forces have been stationed, wounding two Iraqi officers and two airmen. –AFP

While millions of Iranians turned out for the funeral of Solemani, Iran’s call to de-escalate comes as waves of anti-government protesters have taken to the streets to demand that Iran’s leaders, including Ayatollah Khamenei, step down over their initially concealing the truth about the airline downing.

After several days of denial, Rouhani on Saturday admitted that “human error” was to blame after a Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 was shot down two minutes after taking off from Tehran, killing all 176 people on board. The Guards’ aerospace commander General Amirali Hajizadeh has accepted full responsibility, however demonstrators quickly filled the streets during a Saturday evening memorial at Tehran’s Amir Kabir University and shouted “death to liars!

The protests, meanwhile, have gotten bloody;

Seems like Iran sees the writing on the wall and is trying to head off another colorful revolution courtesy of Regime Change, Inc.

Source: Iran Says De-Escalation ‘Only Solution’ As Anti-Government Protests In Tehran Turn Bloody

C.S. Lewis on Making Sense of the Human Experience — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

C.S. Lewis on Making Sense of the Human Experience

by Dan DeWitt

How are we to make sense of humanity in our day. Neuroscientists often reduce humans to brains, leaving no room for personhood. Philosophers regularly deny the will, rejecting the idea that humans can make real, meaningful decisions, and thus have moral accountability. Scientists often discount immaterial human values and regard them as illusions.

No wonder the humanities are in the decline in favor of the hard sciences. But can science explain the human experience? C.S. Lewis thought so. At first. But then he changed his mind.

As a careful logician, Lewis feared that an accidental universe might not afford a foundation for rationality. Where was he to go to make sense of it all? Though he rejected the idea of God due to cruelty and injustice in the world, he understood without God he couldn’t seem to find a standard by which to call the world unjust. And while he spent his early adult years as an atheist, he wrestled with a life-long pursuit of joy that nothing in this world seemed able to satisfy…

C.S. Lewis on Making Sense of the Human Experience

via C.S. Lewis on Making Sense of the Human Experience — The Poached Egg Christian Worldview and Apologetics Network

Most millennials, Gen Z don’t view marriage, family formation as life goals: study

New research from Barna reveals that younger generations of around the world are more interested in the pursuit of professional success than they are focused on family formation and building a home.

Source: Most millennials, Gen Z don’t view marriage, family formation as life goals: study

Wikihow Website Teaches Children How to Get Vaccinated in Secret by Scheming Against Their Parents — The Gateway Pundit

Via Natural News:

The WikiHow website, a hub for how-to information, has joined the other evil tech giants by going all-in with vaccine propaganda that poses a very real danger to the health and safety of children. The site now features a dangerous article that teaches children how to scheme against their own parents and stage fake cover stories to get vaccinated with toxic vaccines that even the U.S. government admits cause thousands of injuries, hospitalizations and even some deaths every year in America. (VAERS.HHS.gov and HRSA.gov)

The WikiHow article, entitled, “How to Get Vaccinated Without Parental Consent,” begins by warning children that their parents might “fall into rabbit holes of conspiracy theories” about vaccines, falsely implying that all evidence of vaccine dangers or vaccine injuries is a “conspiracy.” The article appears at this link:


The article goes on to teach children how to “get vaccinated in secret” and claims that anti-vaccine parents might “abuse you if they learned that you disobeyed them.”

via Wikihow Website Teaches Children How to Get Vaccinated in Secret by Scheming Against Their Parents — The Gateway Pundit

U.S. Military to Stop Selling Scripture Candy After Secular Organization Files Complaint — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Military Religious Freedom Foundation

The Army & Air Force Exchange Service said it will stop selling Jesus-themed candy in response to a complaint filed by a secular legal organization warning that selling the treats at commissary and exchange stores is a violation of the U.S. Constitution. 

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation announced Friday that it received a response to a letter it sent recently to the AAFES objecting to the sale of “Jesus Candy” at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

AAFES is the retailor found on U.S. Army and Air Force installations worldwide.

The package of candy comes in mini stockings that have the words “Jesus Sweetest Name I Know” written on the top. The product is produced by a company called Scripture Candy, which carries the motto: “Reaching the World One Piece at a Time!”

The New Mexico-based MRFF accused the candy package of being “more of a Christian proselytizing kit than a package of candy” and argued that the sale of the product violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The clause prevents the establishment of a state religion.

MRFF demanded that the product be removed from store shelves.

In an op-ed Friday,  MRFF senior research director Chris Rodda said MRFF attorneys received a response from the AAFES on Thursday.

AAFES reportedly agreed to stop selling the candies, but did not say it agreed with MRFF’s claim that selling the product was a violation of the Constitution. Instead, AAFES said it would stop selling the candies due to “limited historical demand.”

“Upon exhaustion of the very small quantity of inventory we have remaining in stock, AAFES will discontinue the stocking and sale of the products from this vendor due to limited historical demand,” the AAFES letter reads, according to MRFF.

Rodda wrote that MRFF assumes that the AAFES’ discontinuation of Scripture Candy products will apply to Scripture Candy’s products for other holidays as well.

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith

via U.S. Military to Stop Selling Scripture Candy After Secular Organization Files Complaint — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Iran’s Only Female Olympic Medalist Defects

Iran’s only female Olympic medalist said she defected from the Islamic Republic in a blistering online letter that describes herself as “one of the millions of oppressed women in Iran.”Taekwondo athlete Kimia Alizadeh posted the letter on Instagram as Iran’s semiofficial…

Source: Iran’s Only Female Olympic Medalist Defects

The Counterfeit Society Is Heading Towards A Horrendous Disaster by Ron Paul

Article Image
• Ron Paul Liberty Report

Counterfeit money produces a counterfeit economy. A counterfeit economy is bolstered by counterfeit news. All of this leads to a counterfeit society, and America’s counterfeit society is heading towards a horrendous disaster. You should know about sound money. It’s the only way out.

“You Can’t Make This Up! The FISA Court Must be Trying to Abolish Itself!” – Devin Nunes Goes Off after FISA Court Picks Trump-Hating Loon to Fix Itself (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

On Friday, Judge James Boasberg, the new head of the FISA Court, announced in an order that he has appointed Obama-era national security leader at the DOJ David S. Kris as amicus counsel to review the reforms the FBI will be making to its FISA application process.

In December presiding FISA judge Rosemary Collyer announced she would be stepping down early from the FISA Court due to ‘health issues.’

Chief Justice Roberts tapped Judge James Boasberg, an Obama appointee to replace Collyer.

The moves were in response to the FBI abusing the FISA process after it obtained a total of four FISA warrants on Carter Page.

David Kris is an anti-Trump activist who wrote several articles lying about Rep. Devin Nunes and President Trump.
And HE was picked to clean up the FISA process!


On Sunday Rep. Devin Nunes joined Maria Bartiromo on Sunday Morning Futures to discuss the shocking development by the corrupt Department of Justice.

Nunes argued that this is even MORE OF A REASON to shut down the criminal FISA Court system.

Rep. Devin Nunes: So the fact that of all the people in the swamp… this is the guy that you come up with? A guy that is accusing me of federal crimes. A guy that was defending dirty cops at the FBI. That’s why I said it last night in a tweet, the court must be trying to abolish itself. Because there is long term damage, this is another misstep. Remember the judge from last year, that now was in charge of all of these FISAs She claimed at the end of the year, which is great, oh there is a problem here we need the FBI to do something. Well, that in and of itself was essentially a lie, or very close to a lie. Because she knew from the House Republicans that there was a fraud on the court. They had more information and evidence than we did. And so now you have a new judge who’s put in place and he picks one of the guys who was essentially covering up for the dirty cops. I guess we’re going to have to abolish this whole FISA system at this point and try to build something new. I don’t think the American people and Republicans in Congress, if this continues, you are going to have a continued concern amongst Republicans and conservatives that there is something wrong with the FBI… but this court is not acceptable.

Nunes made similar comments on Twitter on Saturday.

Via Sunday Morning Futures:


via “You Can’t Make This Up! The FISA Court Must be Trying to Abolish Itself!” – Devin Nunes Goes Off after FISA Court Picks Trump-Hating Loon to Fix Itself (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

January 12, 2020 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Deception of Many (13:4–6)

Having crossed the Kidron Valley and ascended the Mount of Olives, Jesus and the disciples looked back at the temple complex. As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately. These two sets of brothers comprised the innermost circle of Jesus’ disciples. Having heard prophecy of the temple’s destruction, they were eager to learn more about what the future held. Hence, they asked Him, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?” According to the parallel passage in Matthew 24:3, their full question was, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” As Matthew’s account indicates, their question was bigger than just an inquiry into the coming ruination and carnage at the temple. They wanted to know about the end of the present age.

As noted above, the disciples (like other first-century Jews) envisioned only a single coming of the Messiah. But God intended the Messiah to come twice—once as the Suffering Servant (cf. Isa. 53:1–12) and again as the conquering King (cf. Rev. 19:11–19)—with an extended period of time elapsing between His two advents. In order to help them understand that reality, Jesus gave His disciples a detailed reply to their question. In fact, the response found in Mark 13 (and the parallel passages in Matt. 24–25 and Luke 21) constitutes the longest recorded answer given by Jesus to any question He was asked. Clearly, the Lord intended it as vitally important truth for His followers to grasp.

Verse 5 marks the actual beginning of the Olivet Discourse, in which Jesus explained what would take place throughout the world, with a particular emphasis on those events that will immediately precede His return to earth. Having already predicted the imminent demolition of the temple and its operations (v. 2), Jesus shifted His focus to the distant future in verses 5–37. Some interpreters (who deny that there will be a future earthly kingdom) insist that everything Jesus foretold in the Olivet Discourse was fulfilled in a.d. 70, around the time of the temple’s destruction. But such a concept is untenable for a number of reasons. First, the fact that Jesus used the figure of birth pangs (13:8; cf. 1 Thess. 5:3) indicates that He was speaking about the end of the church age, not the beginning. After all, labor pains do not occur throughout the entire pregnancy but only at the end. Since the destruction of the temple occurred early in church history, the figure of birth pangs could not apply to that event. Second, the Lord indicated that “the gospel must first be preached to all the nations” (v. 10), something that clearly had not occurred by a.d. 70. Third, Jesus spoke about the “Abomination of Desolation” (v. 14), the ultimate desecration of the Antichrist in the temple during a period just before the second coming (cf. Dan. 9:27; 11:31; 2 Thess. 2:4; for further details see, John MacArthur, The Second Coming [Wheaton: Crossway, 2006]). That event did not take place in a.d. 70, and in fact has not yet occurred. Fourth, the Lord also spoke of “a time of tribulation such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will” (v. 19). Those words cannot refer to the destruction in a.d. 70, since they speak of a time when the calamity on earth will be worse than it has ever been in all of human history, even during the time of the flood (cf. v. 20; cf. Matt. 24:38). Finally, Jesus identified heavenly signs that would accompany the end of the age, including the darkening of the sun and moon, and the falling of the stars from heaven (vv. 24–25). Obviously, such cosmic catastrophes have not yet taken place. When they do, Jesus warned that those alive at that time should recognize that He is about to return (v. 29). As He explained, the generation that experiences those end-time events will be the same generation that is alive at the second coming (v. 30), meaning that all of the final cataclysms on earth will occur within the span of a single generation. Since nothing remotely like a global and cosmic upheaval of the magnitude described in the Olivet Discourse occurred in a.d. 70 nor yet in earth’s history, the specific fulfillment of these universal judgments must still be future.

In answer to the disciples’ question, the Lord delineated some specific birth pangs, or warning signs, that would precede His return. First, as Jesus began to explain to them, the world will be subjected to relentless deception by spiritual frauds. He told them, “See to it that no one misleads you. Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many.” The imperative see translates a form of the Greek word blepō. In this context, it means more than merely “to see” but carries the sense of “beware” or “take heed.” In verses 22–23, Jesus repeated the same warning: “For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.” Jesus’ followers were to watch out for false teachers (cf. 2 Tim. 3:13; 2 Peter 2:1–3; 1 John 4:1–3), so that they would not be misled. Though there have been many counterfeit messiahs and false prophets throughout history, both before and after the time of Christ, their numbers will vastly increase at the end of the age. Their work of deception foreshadows that of the ultimate false teacher who will be revealed during the time of the tribulation—the Antichrist (cf. Dan. 8:23; 11:36; 2 Thess. 2:3; Rev. 11:7; 13:1–10). Though he will mislead many (cf. 2 Thess. 2:3–4), even the Antichrist will be unable to deceive the elect (cf. John 10:3–5).[1]

5–6 The first word of the discourse proper is blepete (“watch”). This word recurs throughout the passage (cf. vv. 9, 23, 33)—a clear indication that admonition is Jesus’ main concern. He begins by warning the disciples against false claimants to messiahship. This is apparently what “in my name” and “I am he” (i.e., the Messiah) refer to (v. 6). That Jesus said there would be many such false messiahs suggests that his statement should be understood broadly to refer to various kinds of “messianic” figures. Eschatological expectations were high in first-century Palestine, and at various times individuals claiming to be God’s agent of deliverance gained prominence. In Acts 5, the rabbi Gamaliel speaks of two such messianic pretenders: Theudas, who “claimed to be somebody” (a messiah?), and Judas the Galilean, who led a tax revolt against the Romans (5:36–37). Similarly, in Acts 21:38 Paul is suspected by the commander of the Roman temple guard of being a certain Egyptian who led four thousand Jews to the Mount of Olives in a messianic action. Josephus (J.W. 2.13.4–6 §§258–65; cf. J.W. 6.5.4 §§312–13) describes some of these prophetic and messianic figures and more. In one account he relates how a group of “wicked men” deceived the people by claiming divine inspiration and leading them into the wilderness to await a sign of God’s deliverance. The procurator Felix responded by sending troops to destroy and disperse them. Writing in the wake of the destruction of Jerusalem, Josephus takes a pro-Roman view and describes these messianic figures as dangerous brigands whose actions were disastrous for the Jewish nation. Beasley-Murray (Commentary on Mark Thirteen, 31) speaks of the situation in Palestine before AD 70 when he writes, “Whereas the popular messianism hardly ever produced a claimant to the messianic office in the strictest sense, it both fostered and was nourished by men who asserted the possession of messianic authority or who regarded themselves as forerunners of the Kingdom.”[2]

5–6 Jesus’ response forms an extended prophecy designed to prepare his followers for the period of distress which must precede the coming of the Son of Man. The reply provides an answer to the question of verse 4 concerning the destruction of the Temple. At the same time it serves to bring this incident within the perspective of the events which are preliminary to the end of time. The purpose of this first section of the discourse is to discourage a false sense of imminence and to urge vigilance in the turmoil and stress which precedes the catastrophe overtaking Jerusalem. The primary element in Jesus’ counsel is exhortation motivated by deep pastoral concern for his people. In solemnly warning the disciples about the danger of deception by false prophets or by a misreading of the significance of contemporary events, Jesus stood in the main line of the prophetic tradition. The formulation of his prophecy has been strongly influenced by the language of the OT, which furnishes parallels to nearly every phrase in this section.

The admonition “take heed” introduces a call to vigilance which is sounded throughout the chapter, appearing again in verses 9, 23 and 33. In verse 5 it is prompted by the ever present danger that the people of God may be led astray by false leaders who appear in a situation of crisis. In the OT it is the false prophets who lead Israel astray (e.g. Jer. 23:13, 32; 29:8f.), and this understanding of verse 6 is reflected in the Old Latin MS k, which reads “for many false prophets (pseudoprophetae) shall come in my name and say I am he.” The Greek text, however, is not as clear as this. The interpretation of the peril that is seen depends upon the nuance expressed in the related phrases “in my name” and “I am he.” The first phrase was a technical expression designating an appointed emissary or representative (see on Ch. 9:37, 39) and would ordinarily mean “claiming to be sent by me.” Its close association with the ambiguous “I am he,” however, points in another direction. In the Semitic world the “name” of a person denotes his dignity and power. Understood in this manner, “in my name” signifies “arrogating to themselves the title and authority which properly belong to me.”42 The enigmatic phrase “I am he” is intelligible in this light. As used by Jesus, these words have been generally understood to constitute a claim of dignity which finds its significance in God’s own self-designation. The deceivers will claim this dignity for themselves. Thus Jesus cautions his disciples that men will emerge in the crisis who will falsely claim to have the theophanic name and power of the Messiah and they will lead many astray.44 Their intention will be to lead men to believe that the time of vigilance is past.

The reference in verse 6 is to be understood primarily in terms of the messianic pretenders who throughout the first century won momentary support from segments of the Jewish population by the promise to provide the tokens of redemption that would validate their claims. A succession of false messiahs appeared and gathered followers, but the movements which took their impetus from them were dissipated with their capture and death. They represented a misplacement of hope that could only yield deception and disaster.[3]

13:5 / Watch out that no one deceives you: The verb here for “deceive” appears also in v. 6 and in v. 22 in a more intensive form in the Greek, showing that the concern about deception is a major theme of the passage.

13:6 / In my name can describe someone who is a follower of Jesus (cf. the same or similar constructions in 9:37–41; 13:13); but the people referred to in the present verse are said to claim I am he—perhaps implying that they claim to be the Christ. It is also possible that their claim is an allusion to the divine name for God (cf. discussion and notes on 6:50) and amounts to an assertion of their own divinity![4]

13:5 Watch out. This is the first of many warnings to “beware” (vv. 9, 23, 33), calling for spiritual vigilance in a dangerous situation. In this discourse (vv. 5–6, 21–23), the “deceivers” are false messiahs (Christ’s day) and false teachers (Mark’s day) who lead the people into “stumbling” (9:42) or spiritual apostasy.

13:6 Many will come in my name. The first false sign of the end is the presence of false Messiahs and the lies that they proclaim. In the first century there were many false, self-proclaimed messiahs (note Theudas and Judas the Galilean in Acts 5:36–37, and many others in Josephus, J.W. 2:261–63, 433–56; 6.285–87; 7.437–39), and in the early church false teachers (the “many antichrists” in 1 John 2:18) often led people into dangerous heresies. “In my name” means not that they will claim to be Jesus himself but rather that they will seek to take his messianic office as their own. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 this becomes the great “apostasy” (apostasia) that heralds the end of history.

God’s Wrath against an Apostate People

Throughout the Old Testament God first warned and then carried out curses upon the nation when it fell into apostasy (see Deut. 28:15–68). The wilderness generation wandered in the desert for forty years and then died without entering the promised land (Ps. 95:7–11). In the book of Judges the people of Israel were delivered over to the Philistines and enslaved again and again as they turned away from God. The Assyrian and Babylonian exiles were the direct result of apostasy in the land. In all these instances God was working redemptively to bring them back to himself, and that is the case with the destruction of Jerusalem as well. The turn to the Gentiles was intended to make Israel jealous and to bring a “remnant” back to God (Rom. 11:1–24). God’s discipline is redemptive at the heart, but there is a time when people have gone beyond the pale, and then God’s wrath is the only answer. There is also a punitive side to the work of the holy God, who is a God of justice as well as of love and mercy. The events of AD 68–70 are, in a sense, the covenant curses falling upon a nation that has abandoned God and rejected his Son (see Mark 12:1–9).[5]

13:5. A more detailed account of what Jesus said to the disciples can be found in the parallel passages in Matthew 24–25 and Luke 21. For instance, Luke’s emphasis with the Olivet Discourse centers on the fall of Jerusalem and the captivity of the Jews and domination of the city by the Gentiles. Mark emphasizes the danger to faith that will arise in the time that follows Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. In fact, Jesus started by saying, Watch out that no one deceives you. At least three times Jesus warned his disciples to “watch out” or “be on your guard” (vv. 5, 23, 33). In other words, “Do not be caught napping. Live life in alertness and awareness.”

13:6. Jesus began to answer the disciples’ questions by pointing out certain “non-signs.” These are signs that have deceived people throughout time. The first of the non-signs Jesus pointed out are claims of others to be the returning Messiah. Jesus taught that popular religious leaders will claim to be the Messiah and have solutions for the problems of life. Jesus warned his disciples not to be deceived by these imposters.

Over eight hundred people lost their lives by following the command to drink poisoned Kool-Aid from Jim Jones, in Jonestown, Guyana. Many people were killed in a fire that destroyed their compound in Waco, Texas, because of following David Koresh, who claimed he was the Messiah. Finally, over thirty suicides took place in Los Angeles, California, among a group called Heaven’s Gate because they followed a leader who claimed to know when God was returning. These people were barren in their souls. Their thirst for meaning and purpose caused them to follow these so-called Messiahs. Jesus warned us not to be deceived by such false prophets as these.[6]

[1] MacArthur, J. (2015). Mark 9–16 (pp. 229–232). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[2] Wessel, W. W., & Strauss, M. L. (2010). Mark. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, pp. 919–920). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Lane, W. L. (1974). The Gospel of Mark (pp. 456–457). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Hurtado, L. W. (2011). Mark (p. 218). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Osborne, G. R. (2014). Mark. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (pp. 231–232). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[6] Cooper, R. L. (2000). Mark (Vol. 2, p. 217). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Trump Bump: President’s Approval Rating Skyrockets After Soleimani Strike

President Donald Trump’s approval rating has ticked up substantially since he launched a targeted strike, killing Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and striking a significant blow against Iranian involvement in destabilizing the fledgling Iraqi government.

Source: Trump Bump: President’s Approval Rating Skyrockets After Soleimani Strike

FNC’s Pirro: Admit It, Nancy Pelosi — You Simply Caved

Saturday during her program’s “Opening Argument” segment, Fox News Channel’s Jeanine Pirro excoriated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who she described as being publicly humiliated in her handling of the impeachment, particularly concerning Pelosi’s efforts to attempt to gain an advantage over Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

Source: FNC’s Pirro: Admit It, Nancy Pelosi — You Simply Caved