Daily Archives: January 15, 2020

January—15 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

At evening-time it shall be light.—Zech. 14:7.

Then must it be miraculous; for nothing short of a supernatural work could produce such an effect. Sunrise at eventide is contrary to nature; and the rising of the Sun of Righteousness is a work of grace. Pause then, my soul, over the promise, and see whether such an event hath taken place in thy circumstances. As every thing in Jesus, and his salvation, in respect to his Church and people, is the sole result of grace, not nature; so all the Lord’s dispensations carry with them the same evidences. It is even-time in the soul, yea, midnight darkness, ere first the Lord shines in upon it; it is so in all the after dispensations, when some more than ordinary manifestation is made; it is among the blessed methods of grace, when the Lord surpriseth his people with some rich visits of his love and mercy. “I said, (cried the Church, at a time when the waters of the sanctuary ran low,) my way is hidden from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God.” But it is in creature weakness that Creator strength is manifested; and when we are most weak in ourselves, then is the time to be most strong in the Lord. We have a lovely example of this in the case of the patriarch Jacob. His beloved Joseph was torn in pieces, as the poor patriarch thought, by wild beasts; a famine compelled him to send his sons into Egypt to buy corn, and there Simeon, another son, was detained; and the governor of Egypt declared, that until Benjamin, Jacob’s youngest son, was sent, Simeon should not return. Under these discouraging circumstances, the poor father cried out, “Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and will you take Benjamin also? All these things are against me.” But the sequel proved that all these things were for him, and all working out a deliverance for him and his household, in which the Church of Jesus (which was to be formed from the house of Jacob) should triumph for ever. “At evening-time it shall be light.” The Lord sometimes, and perhaps not unfrequently, induces darkness, that his light may be more striking. He hedges up his people’s way with thorns, that the almighty hand, which removes them, may be more, plainly seen. Oh! it is blessed to be brought low, to be surrounded sometimes with difficulties, to see no way of escape, and all human resources fail, purposely that our extremity may be the Lord’s opportunity, and when we are most low, Jesus may be most exalted. My soul! is it now eventide in the soul, as it is eventide in the day? Art thou stripped, humbled, convinced of thy nothingness? Oh! look to all-precious, all-suitable Jesus. Hear what the Lord saith: When the poor and the needy seek for water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I, the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open rivers in dry places, and fountains in the midst of valleys. “At evening-time it shall be light.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 18–19). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

God, My Exceeding Joy — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

“Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy: yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.”  Psalm 43:4

Have you ever felt misunderstood, alone, harassed by others, even ‘cast off‘ by God Himself?  I certainly have, more times than I care to admit.  My life is so rich compared to a majority of my brothers and sisters in the world.  Why should I ever complain about anything?  And yet, I do.

David faced a much more difficult situation in this psalm than I have ever known, as he was in exile, pursued by Saul.  What was his response?  First, he expressed his grief and feelings of injustice.  Then he asked some hard questions:

Why dost thou cast me off? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy.”

But to whom does he pour out his complaints?  To his friends or family? No.  He goes straight to God with his pain and doubt.

Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy.”

When his focus turned to God, all else paled by comparison and even seemed irrelevant.  He seemed to say,

Why was I ever so troubled by circumstances or people, when I have such a great God” “my exceeding joy?”  The margin reads “the gladness of my joy,” i.e. the very soul and heart of my joy.

David immediately broke forth into praise to this God of gods, with special emphasis on the personal, “my God.”

The psalm ends with David talking to himself about this wonderful God.  Things came back into perspective again as he realized these trials were only temporary (2 Corinthians 4:17, 18).  He would spend eternity praising Him for Who He is and reveling in the assurance that He is ‘my God..’ Let’s join him right now and

go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy.”

by Violet Tse
Used by Permission

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via God, My Exceeding Joy — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

January 15 Streams in the Desert

And the Lord appeared unto Isaac the same night.” (Gen. 26:24.)

APPEARED the same night,” the night on which he went to Beer-sheba. Do you think this revelation was an accident? Do you think the time of it was an accident? Do you think it could have happened on any other night as well as this? If so, you are grievously mistaken. Why did it come to Isaac in the night on which he reached Beer-sheba? Because that was the night on which he reached rest. In his old locality, he had been tormented. There had been a whole series of petty quarrels about the possession of paltry wells. There are no worries like little worries, particularly if there is an accumulation of them. Isaac felt this. Even after the strife was past, the place retained a disagreeable association. He determined to leave. He sought change of scene. He pitched his tent away from the place of former strife. That very night the revelation came. God spoke when there was no inward storm. He could not speak when the mind was fretted; His voice demands the silence of the soul. Only in the hush of the spirit could Isaac hear the garments of his God sweep by. His still night was his starry night.

My soul, hast thou pondered these words, “Be still, and know”? In the hour of perturbation, thou canst not hear the answer to thy prayers. How often has the answer seemed to come long after! The heart got no response in the moment of its crying—in its thunder, its earthquake, and its fire. But when the crying ceased, when the stillness fell, when thy hand desisted from knocking on the iron gate, when the interest of other lives broke the tragedy of thine own, then appeared the long-delayed reply. Thou must rest, O soul, if thou wouldst have thy heart’s desire. Still the beating of thy pulse of personal care. Hide thy tempest of individual trouble behind the altar of a common tribulation and, that same night, the Lord shall appear to thee. The rainbow shall span the place of the subsiding flood, and in thy stillness thou shalt hear the everlasting music.—George Matheson.

Tread in solitude thy pathway,

Quiet heart and undismayed.

Thou shalt know things strange, mysterious,

Which to thee no voice has said.

While the crowd of petty hustlers

Grasps at vain and paltry things,

Thou wilt see a great world rising

Where soft mystic music rings.

Leave the dusty road to others,

Spotless keep thy soul and bright,

As the radiant ocean’s surface

When the sun is taking flight.

(From the German of V. Schoffel) H. F.[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 17–18). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

January 15, 2019 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

A federal judge put on hold a bid by a U.S. House of Representatives
committee to obtain President Trump’s tax returns, saying he would wait for
a much-anticipated appeals court decision relating to congressional
subpoenas before ruling.

The House of Representatives is expected to send impeachment charges
against President Trump to the Senate, to consider whether Trump should be
removed from office.

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives said they would include new
evidence when they send formal impeachment charges against President Trump
to the Senate, seeking to expand the scope of a trial that will dominate
for the next several weeks.

Six Democratic U.S. presidential candidates sparred over war and trade,
gender and health care, in a pressure-packed debate in Des Moines, Iowa, on
Tuesday, with the first nominating contest in the state less than three
weeks away.

The U.S.-China trade war is set to enter a new, quieter phase as President
Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He sign an initial trade deal aimed to
vastly increase Chinese purchases of U.S. manufactured products,
agricultural goods, energy and services.

A Wisconsin appeals court intervened on Tuesday to stop as many as 209,000
names from being scrubbed from the state’s voter registration rolls, in a
case voting rights advocates say could impact access to the polls in a key
2020 election state.

Pope Francis named the first woman to hold a high-ranking post in the
Secretariat of State, the male-dominated Vatican’s diplomatic and
administrative nerve center.

Iranians called on social media on Wednesday for fresh demonstrations a
week after the shooting down of a passenger plane, seeking to turn the
aftermath of the crash into a sustained campaign against Iran’s leadership.

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday proposed a nationwide vote on
sweeping constitutional changes that would shift power from the presidency
to parliament and the prime minister, a move that could allow him to extend
his rule after leaving the Kremlin.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that his government was
resigning to give President Putin room to carry out the changes he wants to
make to the constitution.

Rogers Communications said on it has started rolling out the
fifth-generation (5G) telecoms network in Canada’s select cities, becoming
the country’s first cellphone provider to offer the super-fast telecom
services.

AP Top Stories

Populist Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr called on Tuesday for a
million Iraqis to march against the U.S. “presence and violations” in Iraq
after Washington’s killing of an Iranian commander in Baghdad.

Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos said his company will invest $1 billion to bring
small businesses online in India, reaching out to some of his fiercest
critics in a goodwill visit that saw him donning traditional Indian attire
and fly a kite with children.

The National Security Agency has discovered a major security flaw in
Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system that could let hackers intercept
seemingly secure communications. But rather than exploit the flaw for its
own intelligence needs, the NSA tipped off Microsoft so that it can fix the
system for everyone.

U.S. government officials presented the British government with new
evidence on Monday about the risks of including Huawei equipment in future
5G mobile networks, branding it “madness”, the Guardian newspaper reported.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) wants Defense Secretary
Mark Esper to step in following a swearing-in ceremony for new Space Force
chief Gen. John Raymond. The group took issue with Raymond using a Bible
for his swearing-in ceremony.

BBC

A passenger plane has dumped fuel over several schools as it made an
emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport. At least 60 people,
many of them children, were treated for skin irritation and breathing
problems.

Peru’s top court has ruled that the dissolution of the country’s Congress
on 30 September was legal.

The West Africa coastline recorded a 50% increase in kidnapping of sailors
last year, according to a maritime watchdog, even as overall piracy
incidents declined worldwide.

WND

A new poll finds 47% of young Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents
believe that other countries are better than the United States.

Pro-abortion students at Bowling Green State University who were confronted
with the moral reasoning required to maintain their stance were unable to
condemn Nazism in an exchange with pro-life activists.

After three days of anti-government protests, some analysts believe Iran’s
Islamic regime is more vulnerable than at any time since its founding in
1979.

Rapper Kanye West will be bringing his Sunday Service to Sun Devil Stadium
in Tempe, Arizona, on Saturday as part of a massive day-long event that
many are believing God will use to help spark the next national spiritual
awakening in the United States.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Jan. 15, 2020

The Foundation

“Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason.” —Benjamin Franklin (1735)

Demo Debate: Things Left Unsaid Were Loud and Clear

Sanders wasn’t asked about his violent campaign worker, and Soleimani was absent.


Americans More Conservative as Democrats Turn Hard Left

Gallup’s latest survey shows that Americans aren’t quite buying what Dems are selling.


Despite Naysayers, Europe Sides With Trump on Iran

Britain, France, and Germany initiate a dispute mechanism that will trigger sanctions.


Left Claims ‘Russian Meddling’ to Protect Bidens

Russians allegedly hacked into Burisma, which Democrats conveniently blame on Trump.


Civil Rights: Civics Class From the Rearview Mirror

Public schools will never give our kids the full story of American history, but we can.


Editor’s Note:

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Video: Child Predator Claims He’s an Eight-Year-Old Girl

“On what basis do we reject [these] claims to being young girls if we accept the idea that a man can be a woman?”


Video: Iranians Are Protesting, but They Aren’t Protesting Trump

And the media can’t stand it, Brittany Hughes reveals.


Video: Second Chance Denied by Licensing Rules

Government rules often ban people with years-old misdemeanors from working.



Today’s Opinion

Gary Bauer
Pelosi Pushes Impeachment Along
Betsy McCaughey
Dems Smear Trump: ‘Impeached for Life’
Kay C. James
Congress’ Personal Disdain for Trump Impedes National Security
Tony Perkins
Unsettled: The Refugee Question
Ben Shapiro
The Perpetual Intersectional Revolution Eats Its Own
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Wednesday News Executive Summary

Warren-Sanders squabble, Dems’ Iran appeasement, Flynn plea, and more.


Wednesday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Jim Jones, Kevin McCarthy, Justin Trudeau, and more.



Today’s Meme

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

Today’s Cartoon

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

Headlines – 1/15/2020

In milestone, Israel starts exporting natural gas to Egypt

Report: Israel to use EU funding to build natural gas pipeline for Gaza

Pompeo: US commitment to Israel’s security is unwavering

Video surfaces of Putin, Assad laughing about Trump at Damascus summit

Syria says Israeli aircraft strike base thought used by Iranian forces

In first, Turkey included as threat in IDF’s annual intel assessment

Netanyahu urges immediate return of international sanctions on Iran

Netanyahu: ‘We know exactly what’s up with Iran’s nuclear program’

Israeli Intel: Iran Will Have Enough Enriched Uranium for Nuke by Year’s End

EU countries launch dispute against Iran over nuclear violations

UK open to broader Iran deal that tackles destabilizing behavior: Raab

Trump agrees with British PM Johnson on a ‘Trump deal’ for Iran

Instagram says it’s removing posts supporting Soleimani to comply with US sanctions

Pompeo: Killing of Soleimani marks beginning of new US policy to deter enemies

Up to 10 GOP senators consider bucking Trump on war powers

Democrats say they have the Senate votes to rein in Trump on Iran

In debate, Democrats attack Trump for escalating tensions with Iran

US-Iran conflict could lead to slower global growth or even recession

Iranians keep up protests against downing of airliner after arrests announced

Ukraine asks Iran to return black boxes from crashed plane

Iranian cleric says UK ambassador better expelled than ‘chopped into pieces’

Turkey arrests priest who gave water and bread to Kurdish fighters: report

Lebanon in ‘week of wrath’ protests over political vacuum, economic crisis

ISIS claims responsibility for Niger army base attack

China’s government poses a ‘global threat to human rights,’ report finds

GOP leadership: There aren’t 51 votes to dismiss Trump articles of impeachment

Pelosi sets Wednesday vote to send Trump impeachment to US Senate

Ted Cruz: ‘Open To The Possibility’ Of Senate Calling Witnesses, Including Whistleblower

Michael Bloomberg: I’m going to spend all of my money to get rid of Trump

Despite Election Security Fears, Iowa Caucuses Will Use New Smartphone App

Fed Adds $82 Billion to Financial Markets

cybersecurity: The FBI Can Unlock Florida Terrorist’s iPhones Without Apple

Stay away from North Korea cryptocurrency conference: UN sanctions experts

Russian spy satellite has broken up in space says harvard astronomer

Magnetic storms originate closer to Earth than previously thought, threatening satellites

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Kupang, Indonesia

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits South of the Fiji Islands

5.2 magntiude earthquake hits near Pinotepa de Don Luis, Mexico

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 19,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Taal: Multiple new fissures reported, total evacuation within 14 km (8.6 miles), Philippines

China sinkhole swallows bus, leaves at least 6 dead, several missing

Hit by new natural disasters, Puerto Rico’s woes deepened by corruption

More than 50 killed as heavy snow and floods hit Pakistan and Afghanistan

UK weather: Storm Brendan brings rain and 80mph gusts

Hawaii’s Big Island saw more than 2 1/2 feet of rain over the weekend

Flash flood emergency in Mississippi, dam in ‘imminent danger’ of failing

Rain Is Expected to Fall in Australia This Week, but Fires Will Continue to Rage

It’s finally going to rain in Australia but it could make the situation even worse with the risk of “landslips”

Australia: The sweet relief of rain after bushfires threaten disaster for our rivers

Smoke from Australian wildfires will circle the entire world, NASA says

UN sets 2030 biodiversity deadline to combat possible mass extinction

We have 10 years to save Earth’s biodiversity as mass extinction caused by humans takes hold, UN warns

How climate change may raise the suicide rate, kill 2,000 extra people a year

Scientists use stem cells from frogs to build first living robots

New Survey Shows Increasing Number of Parents With Young Children Don’t Support Vaccination

CDC says there’s a mismatch in the flu shot — and it’s not good news for children

Illinois revamping system to let birth mother identify as father on child’s birth certificate

Parents allegedly left their toddler in a running car as they gambled. Then the car was stolen

‘All The Supplies She Needed To Cause Mass Destruction’, Florida Woman Accused Of Trying To Build Bomb In A Walmart

India: Hindu extremists protest 114 foot tall Jesus statue amid escalating persecution

Robot priests can bless you, advise you, and even perform your funeral


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

Could January Mark a Top for Oil and the Stock Market? — Kimble Charting Solutions

It’s a good idea for investors to be aware of key indicators and inter-market relationships.

Perhaps it’s watching the US Dollar as an indicator for precious metals or emerging markets. Or watching interest rates for the economy. Experience, history, and relationships matter. And it’s good to simply add these to our tool-kit.

Today, we look at another relationship that has signaled several stock market tops and bottoms over the years, and especially the past several months.

When crude oil tops or bottoms, it seems that the stock market follows along. And with Crude oil reversing lower last week, it’s probably a good idea that investors pay attention here.

Looks like an important test for crude oil and stocks could be in play at each trend line (2). Stay tuned!

This article was first written for See It Markets.com. To see original post CLICK HERE

via Could January Mark a Top for Oil and the Stock Market? — Kimble Charting Solutions

Video: “As a Man Thinketh — Part One” by Alistair Begg — Truth For Life Blog

Our thoughts don’t always align with our words. We see this truth illustrated in Saul, who showered David with generous invitations even as he eyed him with increasing envy and hostility. Giving the appearance of civility, Saul even offered God’s anointed king his daughter’s hand in marriage while secretly plotting to eliminate him. This attempt to override the Lord’s plan failed, teaches Alistair Begg, because God is sovereign, able to use even man’s evil schemes for His people’s good.

via Video: “As a Man Thinketh — Part One” by Alistair Begg — Truth For Life Blog

Metternich, Discourse & the Southern Baptist Convention’s Balance of Power — Capstone Report

If only every Southern Baptist Elite were as gracious as Dr. Jason K. Allen. Allen’s response to an error this website made is an exemplar of graciousness. He engaged with real problems in the Southern Baptist Convention in a kind, gentle manner. His essay on Southern Baptist discourse cited Prince Metternich, Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) and terrorism—and included advice on how to engage with SBC leaders. It was a tour de force of softhearted openness. Let’s examine Dr. Allen’s wise advice and apply it to the modern problems in Big Evangelicalism.

Dr. Allen advises Southern Baptists to write letters to our entity heads. He writes,

“For inquirers, the best way to express concerns, especially if you don’t personally know the leader, is by writing them a letter. A letter arrives with a certain degree of formality, which prompts a response. A letter has a name associated with it, a return address and, hopefully, a cogent statement of the question or concern.

“If you write a letter to a ministry leader, especially a Southern Baptist leader, I’m confident you’ll receive an answer from them or their office. If not, you’ll have a legitimate complaint, and perhaps legitimate cause to escalate by writing the entity’s chairman of the board or even drawing public attention to the matter.”

If only this were true of every Southern Baptist leader!

In the experience of many Southern Baptist churches, Elite Southern Baptist leaders ignored legitimate requests. For example,

“In September 2016, Cadwell Baptist Church (Cadwell, Georgia) pastor J.T. Taylor penned hand-written letters to the heads of the ERLC, IMB, NAMB, the Georgia Baptist Convention, and both Steve Gaines and J.D. Greear. There were no responses from the ERLC, IMB or NAMB. Dr. J. Robert White, Executive Director and CEO of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board responded by letter and forwarded Taylor’s letter to Southern Baptist seminaries. This prompted a telephone call from Paige Patterson.”

Not every leader would be as forthcoming as Dr. Patterson, or no doubt, Dr. Allen would be. The example of the SBC proves this advice to be gracious naïveté. And just in case you don’t want to believe something from the Capstone Report—here’s the info on Cadwell Baptist Church from Religion News Service.

And lest you think we have only one example of the ERLC’s aloofness. Here’s another:

“Jesse Lott, senior teaching pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church (Hickory, NC) and members of his church penned letters to ERLC trustee chairman Kenneth Barbic. The letters of concern were mailed and so far, the church has only heard silence.

“We have received no type of response,” Lott said of their attempts to reach out to the ERLC trustees.

Accountability and the Southern Baptist Convention Elite

So, how do concerned Southern Baptists hold denominational leaders accountable? Not everyone and not every church can afford a trip to the exotic, big city locations where the Southern Baptist Convention holds its Annual Meeting.

And, it is not like Baptist Press will do anything to hold the SBC Elite to account. In fact, they even publish demonstrably false statements using Planned Parenthood logic to defend the Soros-funded Evangelical Immigration Table.

So, where does a conservative Southern Baptist turn?

The alternative media.

And this is where Dr. Allen graciously recognizes the power of the Internet’s disintermediation of information flow. He writes,

“With terrorism, there often is no state sponsor, thus, no identifiable nation-state against which to retaliate. The loss is imbalanced. A nation, like the United States, has everything to lose while an extremist, in a cave plotting an attack, has next-to-nothing to lose.

With the arrival of the internet and, in particular blogging and social media, a similar scenario has developed in the online world. There’s an imbalance of loss when public accusations are made. The one who leads a public ministry has everything to lose, while an anonymous blogger has nothing to lose.

“This new reality is causing chaos in the Southern Baptist Convention. False accusations are circulated online daily. Ironically, some of these instigators aren’t even Southern Baptist. Nonetheless, they malign SBC ministries and sully the reputations of those who lead them. And, for Southern Baptists, our cooperative work is being threatened.

Blogging is like terrorism in the SBC Elite view. One can only wonder what they think of Twitter and Facebook then.

But, Dr. Allen’s gracious response is instructive. SBC Elites fear alternative media. Why? It threatens the cooperative work.

Translation: It threatens the flow of dollars.

Why does it threaten the flow of dollars? Because people know more about Russell Moore and the political aims he and his ERLC pursue. And, the rank-and-file Southern Baptist doesn’t like it.

But, for the cooperative work to flourish, the dollars must flow.

And online critics threaten that flow. So, they are analogous to terrorists—not legitimate Southern Baptists concerned about the direction of the SBC.

We must assume the worst about anyone online. Error could not be bad information and a mistake. No, it is a Hitler-like lie. Seriously, the essay even cited Hitler’s dictum, “And, as Adolf Hitler famously reflected, ‘If you tell a big enough lie, and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.’”

Fortunately, the SBC Elites are this gracious when dealing with critics. This entire situation shows it, and Dr. Allen models the way forward in SBC discourse. He gives practical advice and we should all give it the consideration it requires.

The Southern Baptist Convention and Realpolitik

Bonus points for any essay that launches into contemporary issues with talk of Prince Metternich—the diplomat who kept a declining Austria as a Great Power for another century. It was a masterwork that kept the multi-ethnic Austria together until it was dismembered into smaller, less stable states by the hands of Wilsonian idealists at Versailles.

Of course, what is perplexing is this paragraph:

“Metternich observed that nation-states are motivated to act in their own best interest. That principle outlasted the man himself and, during the Cold War, it informed the United States’ posture toward the Soviet Union.”

Certainly, Metternich subscribed to raison d’état or what would later be known as realpolitik. However, this contradicts American foreign policy after Woodrow Wilson. Through FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan, America denied it had interests. As Henry Kissinger in his magnum opus, Diplomacy observed,

“In his only inaugural address, Kennedy carried the theme of America’s selflessness and duty to the world even further. Proclaiming his generation to be the linear descendant of the world’s first democratic revolution, he pledged his Administration, in soaring language, ‘Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.’ The sweeping American global commitment was not related to any specific national-security interest and exempted no country or region of the world.”

Or put another way, Kissinger explained: “America, in the pursuit of liberty, had no interests, only friends.” This is a minor point, but an important one. If the US pursued national interest instead of idealism, it would have avoided the Vietnam War and George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq.

From here, Dr. Allen’s essay takes a fascinating turn by pointing to Mutually Assured Destruction as the opposite form of World Order to what we experience in the Age of Terrorism—where threats are asymmetrical.

There is much to commend this analysis. Certainly, the world is different than the Cold War. States, corporations and celebrities (even celebrity pastors and seminary presidents) deal with asymmetrical threats to their image and power.

Of course, it is a strain to analogize online critics to political terrorists—but that’s just one element of the gracious reply. A key point—Dr. Allen recognizes a shift in the balance of power in the SBC.

The elites have lost control of the flow of information. For example, Breitbart or Todd Starnes or The Gateway Pundit or Pulpit & Pen or Reformation Charlotte or Enemies Within the Church or Sovereign Nations have 500x the reach of denominational Pravda. So, when Baptist Press decides to lie about the Evangelical Immigration Table’s relationship with George Soros, these other outlets can expose the truth.

And that’s what really troubles Evangelical Elites. They are losing power.

That’s the most revealing part of Dr. Allen’s gracious and illuminating essay on denominational discourse.

via Metternich, Discourse & the Southern Baptist Convention’s Balance of Power — Capstone Report

The WHORE of BABYLON: Watch the Entrance to HELL

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

I do wish that I could say that this shocked me. As disgusting as it was, having Pope Francis in the middle of it; enjoying the scantily dressed women and even participating at the end – well, brethren, this is just coming attractions for the Whore of Babylon which will be revealed.

I believe that Jesus will have his remnant believers safely with Him in heaven.

Does the reader remember the bizarre and very satanic “show” which was put on for the heads of state in Europe, for the unveiling of the Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland?  It was certainly hard to forget.  But remember – that production was for heads of state – not the head of the Roman Catholic Church!

Gotthard Tunnel bizarre extravaganza:

We keep on wondering, don’t we?

We can’t help but wonder if Francis might very well be the prophesied “False Prophet.”

Now I am…

View original post 416 more words

January 15th The D. L. Moody Year Book

And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.—Matthew 11:23.

A MAN said to me some time ago: “Don’t you think David fell as low as Saul?”

Yes, he fell lower, because God had lifted him up higher. The difference is that when Saul fell there was no sign of repentance, but when David fell, a wail went up from his broken bean, there was true repentance.[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.) (p. 16). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

January 15, 2020 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

62:1 Truly my soul finds rest in God. God alone is the source of rest. See “Theological Insights” for the translation of “truly/alone” (’ak). “Rest” signifies faith, as it does in Psalm 37:7 (“Be still [dmm; see 62:5] before the Lord”).[1]


1. Liturgy and life

Scholars give much thought to how the psalms generally would have been used in the temple cultus in Jerusalem, and who would have sung this or that section. This poem’s I and you and people—who did the worshippers suppose them to be? To whom was verse 10 addressed? Did the temple liturgy expect a prophecy at verse 11?

As we have seen, however, the real-life situations that lie behind so many of the psalms are of still greater interest. Even if we cannot be certain what they were, we do know that David himself, for example, both talked and listened to God, just as the Davidic psalms do. How such things did happen historically is likely to be of more practical value to modern readers than how they may have happened liturgically.

Once again the meaning of the phrase A psalm of David could include authorship, and once again it could have been the great rebellion that prompted the writing of it. How long will you assault a man? cries our psalmist, echoing a psalm in the first David Collection which seems to belong to the same period (4:2). The downfall (v. 3) of one so eminent (v. 4a), brought about by a man of deceit (v. 4b; see 2 Sam. 15:1–6), fits these circumstances. So does the sense of desperation: in spite of many loyal friends, the outlook is so serious that if God does not rescue the psalmist he is doomed. If this is not the King David of 2 Samuel 15–16, it must (as the schoolboy said of Second Isaiah) be another person of the same name.[2]


62:1–2. My rock and my salvation

Rather than beginning with complaint, the composer asserts his utter confidence in God’s ability to protect him. While circumstances conspire to upset his life and fill him with anxiety (see vv. 3–4), he relaxes in his relationship with God. He knows that the solution to his troubles comes from God who is his salvation. Through his use of metaphors of protection (rock and fortress [18:2], but there miśgāb is translated ‘stronghold’), he reveals his belief that God will not let those who assault him overwhelm him.[3]


1–2. Whether we behold Christ in the first place, or David, as a member of Christ, in the next point of view; or whether we consider the whole body of Christ in any of the exercised members of Jesus in his body, which is the church, as we read these words; still in every sense they will be blessed to our meditation. Christ had an eye to the support of the Father in all his sufferings. Psalm, 22:19. Psalm, 89:20, &c. The words imply a silent, patient waiting. So all God’s people should manifest their sure dependence, for he that believeth shall not make haste; Isaiah, 28:16. Reader, if you and I peruse these precious words with reference to Christ, think what a double blessedness is in them, not only in having an interest in Christ’s salvation, but Christ himself for our salvation![4]


1. “Truly,” or verily, or only. The last is probably the most prominent sense here. That faith alone is true which rests on God alone, that confidence which relies but partly on the Lord is vain confidence. If we Englished the word by our word “verily,” as some do, we should have here a striking reminder of our blessed Lord’s frequent use of that adverb. “My soul waiteth upon God.” My inmost self draws near in reverent obedience to God. I am no hypocrite or mere posture maker. To wait upon, God, and for God, is the habitual position of faith; to wait on him truly is sincerity; to wait on him only is spiritual chastity. The original is, “only to God is my soul silence.” The presence of God alone could awe his heart into quietude, submission, rest, and acquiescence; but when that was felt, not a rebellious word or thought broke the peaceful silence. The proverb that speech is silver but silence is gold, is more than true in this case. No eloquence in the world is half so full of meaning as the patient silence of a child of God. It is an eminent work of grace to bring down the will and subdue the affections to such a degree, that the whole mind lies before the Lord like the sea beneath the wind, ready to be moved by every breath of his mouth, but free from all inward and self-caused emotion, as also from all power to be moved by anything other than the divine will. We should be wax to the Lord, but adamant to every other force. “From him cometh my salvation.” The good man will, therefore, in patience possess his soul till deliverance comes; faith can hear the footsteps of coming salvation because she has learned to be silent. Our salvation in no measure or degree comes to us from any inferior source; let us, therefore, look alone to the true fountain, and avoid the detestable crime of ascribing to the creature what belongs alone to the Creator. If to wait on God be worship, to wait on the creature is idolatry; if to wait on God alone be true faith, to associate an arm of flesh with him is audacious unbelief.[5]


[1] Bullock, C. H. (2015). Psalms 1–72. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (Vol. 1, p. 472). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[2] Wilcock, M. (2001). The Message of Psalms: Songs for the People of God. (J. A. Motyer, Ed.) (Vol. 1, p. 220). Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press.

[3] Longman, T., III. (2014). Psalms: An Introduction and Commentary. (D. G. Firth, Ed.) (Vol. 15–16, p. 244). Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press.

[4] Hawker, R. (2013). Poor Man’s Old Testament Commentary: Job–Psalms (Vol. 4, p. 353). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[5] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 56-87 (Vol. 3, pp. 48–49). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

January 15 The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible

January 15.—Morning. [Or January 29.]
“I have prayed for thee.”

WE must not suffer the intercession of Abraham to pass away from our thoughts till it has reminded us of the yet more powerful advocacy of our Blessed Lord Jesus. We see him in one of his own parables describing himself as preserving the sinful by his pleadings, and the passage is a fit sequel to our yesterday’s reading.

Luke 13:1–9

There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilæans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilæans were sinners above all the Galilæans, because they suffered such things?

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (See the need of repentance. Philip Henry once said, “Some people do not like to hear much of repentance; but I think it so necessary that if I were to die in the pulpit, I should desire to die preaching repentance, and if I should die out of the pulpit I hope to die practising it.”)

Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?

I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

When we hear or read of terrible judgments upon sinners, such as these here recorded, and that which befell Sodom of old, we ought not to congratulate ourselves as though we were exempted because of our innocence, but rather we should regard these events as warnings to ourselves; since, if we fall into the same sins, sooner or later a doom equally overwhelming will come upon us. If any enquire why it has not come already, let them pay special attention to the parable which follows. There has been an intercessor at work, or we should have perished long ere this.

¶ He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. (It was in good soil, and under the gardener’s care; it would therefore yield fruit, or prove itself to be good for nothing.)

Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

Three years was long enough for a test: there might have been two bad seasons to account for the absence of fruit, but when a third time the tree was fruitless the fault must be in the tree itself. God gives us time enough for trial. All of us have been borne with quite long enough to prove us, and perhaps at this moment the Lord is saying, “Cut it down.” How very like are some of us to the barren tree! In itself it is of no use, it fills the place of a good tree, it draws the goodness from the soil, and hurts others near it. It is thus that men live useless lives, and meanwhile are occupying wastefully positions in which others would bring glory to God.

And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it. (It is the voice of Jesus the Intercessor. He is unwilling to see the axe uplifted, for he is full of compassion. See how unconverted men owe their lives to Jesus. They are not preserved by their own worth or worthiness, but they live upon sufferance, and will die as soon as the voice of Jesus ceases to plead for them.)

And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

May we who have been without grace till now hear the word of God at this hour and live; for this may be our last year of grace, and when it is over we may be cast into the fire of hell. Jesus has pleaded that we may be tried once more; but there is a limit to his pleadings. Note the two ifs, “And if,” “and if not.” Upon these two ifs hang eternity. The Lord grant that none of us may be cut down and cast into the eternal burnings.

See how the fruitless fig-tree stands,

Beneath its owner’s frown:

The axe is lifted in his hands,

To cut the cumberer down.

“Year after year, I come,” he cries,

“And still no fruit is shown;

Nothing but empty leaves arise,

Then cut the cumberer down.”

Sinner, beware! the axe of death

Is rais’d and aimed at thee:

Awhile thy Maker spares thy breath,

Beware, O barren tree!

January 15.—Evening. [Or January 30.]
“Remember Lot’s wife.”

Genesis 19:1–3; 15–26

AND there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;

And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn in, I pray you, into your servant’s house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your ways. (Bad as his neighbours were, Lot had not forgotten to be hospitable. Grace does not flourish in bad companionship, but still it lives.) And they said, Nay; but we will abide in the street all night.

And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.

Then at nightfall followed a horrible scene in which the angels saw for themselves that Sodom was filthy, cruel, malicious, and abominable. Those holy beings, therefore, shut to the door, and waited till the morning to execute the sentence of God upon the city. It was time that such a den of abominations should be swept away. Meanwhile, Lot went to his sons-in-law, and urged them to fly with him, but they thought him mad, and refused.

15 ¶ And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.

It is true kindness to men to warn them earnestly of their danger; and we cannot be too pressing in urging them to escape.

16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

We must repeat our warnings, and use holy violence with sinners. At the same time let us beware of lingering ourselves. We are never safe a single moment till we have fled to Jesus.

17 ¶ And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.

18, 19 And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die:

20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.

21 And he said unto him, See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city, for the which thou hast spoken.

22 Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.

Though Lot was not such a believer as Abraham, yet being a good man his prayer was heard, and at his request a little city was saved. Was not this also an answer to Abraham’s prayer?

23 ¶ The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.

24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;

25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

26 ¶ But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. (Lot’s prayer saved Zoar, but could not save his wife. A minister may bring thousands to Jesus, and yet his own household may perish. The Scripture says, “Remember Lot’s wife.” Remember that she was Lot’s wife, and yet was destroyed. She was half way to Zoar and out of Sodom, and yet escaped not, and all because her heart was still with sinners, and she could not leave them. She started to escape, but she started aside. O for grace to persevere.

Remember Lot’s wife, and beware of even a desire to return to old sins, lest we prove ourselves unworthy of eternal life. This terrible chapter should make us tremble if we have not reached the mountain of atoning love. Let us not delay, but flee to Jesus now, and put our trust in him.

Hasten, sinner, to be blest,

Stay not for the morrow’s sun,

Lest perdition thee arrest

Ere the morrow is begun.

Lord, do thou the sinner turn!

Rouse him from his senseless state;

Let him not thy counsel spurn,

Rue his fatal choice too late![1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 29–30). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

January 15 Our Immortality in Christ

1 Corinthians 15:54

So when this … mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

People addicted to the need for recognition want their name to live forever. A famous real estate developer in our day has built and acquired numerous properties and buildings in New York City and attached his name to all of them. Perhaps he thinks if he can get his name on enough things he will be immortal and that, after his death, his name will live on. The problem is that moth and rust eventually corrupt, and thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19). To what will the name be attached then?

If you know the Word of God, you know that immortality does not come from our achievements, but from a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. While it is true that every person will live forever, only those in Christ will truly live.

If you know the Lord, you don’t have to worry about immortality. It’s yours. God has given it to you as part of your gift of eternal life. You don’t have to do all the things people do today to make sure they are remembered forever. If you live and die in Jesus Christ, you will be immortal.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 16). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

January 15 Thoughts for the quiet hour

They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint

Isa. 40:31

This, my soul, is the triumph of thy being—to be able to walk with God! Flight belongs to the young soul; it is the romance of religion. To run without weariness belongs to the lofty soul; it is the beauty of religion. But to walk and not faint belongs to the perfect soul; it is the power of religion.

Canst thou walk in white through the stained thoroughfares of men? Canst thou touch the vile and polluted ones of earth and retain thy garments pure? Canst thou meet in contact with the sinful and be thyself undefiled? Then thou hast surpassed the flight of the eagle!

George Matheson[1]

 

[1] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

Core Christianity | God Can Heal, He Will Heal, but What If He Doesn’t?

All of us will face suffering. We are all only a phone call away from our life changing forever. We will get sick. We will lose loved ones. Trials will come. And we don’t know when suffering will hit us. For me, it was Thanksgiving morning 2009. I walked into our living room at home to give my youngest, Norah, her bottle. I burped her. I took her back to her Johnny Jump Up. I turned. And then I woke up in the hospital. I’d had a brain seizure, and I was diagnosed with a primary brain tumor, facing immediate surgery, chemo and radiation—and an estimate of a few years to live.

In that season, I found that my Christian friends tended to fall into one of two camps. The first camp was all about the will of God, and praying for the will of God. The second camp believed that If I had faith and believed that the Lord would heal me, then he would heal. Those two camps tend not to play too well together. But here’s the thing: I actually believe they can help one another. One tells us how to pray for healing, and the other tells us how to respond when God doesn’t heal. We need both. We see that played out in the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, in Daniel 3.

The Real Story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego

You may well remember the characters of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from felt-board stories in Sunday School, but this Bible story has direct implications for how we think about healing and how we pray for healing.

To recap Daniel 3, King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden image and demanded that the people of God, who had been exiled to Babylon, worship it. Three of God’s servants who had been put in a place of authority in Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—refused. When the King threatened to throw them in a fiery furnace because of their disobedience, they responded by saying:

Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up. (Daniel 3:17-18)

In other words; our God can save us, we believe that the Lord will save us, and even if He doesn’t, we will still praise the name of the Lord. This should be our default position, regardless of what we’re walking through, and especially when we’re walking through the valley of suffering:

The Lord Can

God is sovereign. He is the Creator of all things, he is the Sustainer of all things, he has the power to do whatever he wills. Whatever suffering we are facing, we know that God has the power to intervene and to redeem and heal our pain and brokenness. Colossians 1:16-17 says, “For by him [Christ] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

The Lord Will

God is not only all-powerful, he is also personal. He loves us and cares about us. He bends his ear to the cries of his people. God invites us to pray to him and tells us that he will answer our prayers. Psalm 34:17 says, “When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.” 

If He Doesn’t

God is good. We can see throughout the Scriptures, as he reveals who he is and what he is about, that God is a loving Father who knows best and wants what is best for his children. We can trust that if he chooses not to bring healing to us that he knows something we don’t know—and that one day he will end suffering and death once and for all. As Jesus pointed out, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11).

How to Go About Praying 

The Bible frees us up to pray boldly and courageously for healing—not to simply pray God’s will—because we know that he can heal, that he will heal, and that his will will be done regardless of the outcome. We’re not setting low bars. We have this crazy high bar. We come to him believing that he will heal, and believing that if he does not, it will be because he has a better plan and a higher aim in mind.

The Bible calls us to pray and plead with the Lord, asking Him to bring healing. I’m going to ask and believe with all my heart that Jesus Christ is going to heal me and heal the people I’m praying for, but then I’m going to open my hands, knowing that the will of God will take place. That’s the example Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego give to us. That’s how we pray in our trials—Lord, I know you can heal, Lord, I believe you will heal, and Lord, if you don’t, would you bring glory to your name and keep me worshiping you. 

This content originally published here. Used with permission The Good Book Co. 

— Read on corechristianity.com/resource-library/3/1682

15 Jan 2020 – Rapture Ready News

Selection bias and abortion propaganda from CNN
There aren’t many life events a woman is lesslikely to discuss with a stranger than abortion. There aren’t many issues where the major media’s bias is stronger and more uniform than abortion. Add those two factors together, and you get a factually misleading, seemingly agenda-driven piece from CNN asserting that almost no women feel regret five years after having an abortion.

Taal: Multiple new fissures reported, total evacuation within 14 km (8.6 miles), Philippines
Multiple new fissures (cracks) were observed around Taal volcano on January 14, 2020, two days after intense unrest began. Fissures, accompanied by intense seismicity activity, are an indication of an imminent explosive eruption, PHIVOLCS warns. The agency strongly reiterated total evacuation of Taal Volcano Island and areas at high risk to pyroclastic density currents and volcanic tsunami within a 14 km (8.6 miles) radius from the volcano. Areas around the volcano are advised to guard against the effects of heavy and prolonged ashfall. New eruption could force more than 200 000 additional people from their homes.

Extreme winter weather wreaks havoc across Pakistan, death toll jumps to 75
Severe winter weather affecting Pakistan over the past couple of days has claimed at least 75 lives and injured around 64 people, as of Tuesday, January 14, 2020, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) reports. The death toll is expected to increase as the powerful weather system continues to dump heavy rain and snow on parts of the country.

Syrian Army Says Israel Carried Out Airstrikes On Their T-4 Military Base Near The City Of Homs In Western Syria
Just yesterday we reported about unidentified airstrikes happening in Syria, and today, Syria is claiming that Israel has been bombing their military installations and that is probably quite accurate. Israel has to routinely bomb these facilities in Syria because they house Iranian forces and equipment, which is how Iran wages war with Israel by proxy through Syria. Israel has been forced into the unenviable position of have to consistently not only defend themselves from Muslim aggression, but to be ever vigilant and do preemptive strikes as well. As along as there as Israelis who remember the Six Day War, they stand a pretty good chance of not being taken by surprise.

‘Only God Knows’: Hero Who Saved Lives in Texas Church Attack Awarded State’s Highest Civilian Honor
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott gave the state’s highest civilian honor to 71-year-old Jack Wilson on Monday for shooting and killing an armed attacker during a church service in December.

US Navy Says That UFOs Spotted In 2004 And 2015 Represent A ‘Grave Threat’ To National Security And Has No Plans To Officially Release Them
2019 was the year that UFOs became real, with their existence even being officially acknowledged by the US Navyon multiple occasions. But in 2020, the Navy is saying that while it is true that they cannot explain what type of craft are in the videos, that releasing what they know about it would ‘gravely damage’ our national security. But you and I who believe the Bible know what’s going on, because we have already had the only ‘official briefing’ that matters.

NYT: Trump’s Economic Sanctions Have Destroyed Iran’s Will to Fight | Breitbart
The New York Times noted Monday that one reason the United States successfully stared down the Iranian regime last week was that President Donald Trump’s renewed economic sanctions have made the cost of war too high for Iran to bear.

California Homeless Crisis: Fecal Bacteria Detected in State’s Waterways
President Donald Trump, a self-described germophobe, has made no secret of his disgust with California’s growing homeless problem, which he has called a “disgrace” and “inappropriate” and equated to “living in hell.”

The USMCA Will Place the Average American Into Feudalism
In Part One, I detailed the history of trade agreements as a lead to help people understand what is coming with the USMCA. This is a combination of the TPP, the North American Union and NAFTA on steroids. The provision of this agreement will turn America into a corporate dictatorship.

Unknown Jet Aircraft Continue To Bomb Iranian Militias In Eastern Syria And Iraq Border Since Drone Strike Killed Qassem Soleimani Two Weeks Ago
No one is talking about the identity of the military that has been continuously bombing Iranian militias for the past two weeks, but common sense would tell you that it’s either the United States or Israel dropping the bombs. Whoever it is, they are doing a great job, and Iran is feeling the heat from all sides including their own people who are protesting them.

— Read on www.raptureready.com/2020/01/15/15-jan-2020/

Wednesday Briefing January 15, 2020 – AlbertMohler.com

PART I

 Where Do We Stand on the Issue of Abortion at the Beginning of 2020? Issue 1: Current Threats to Conscience Protections for Medical Professionals

PART II

 Issue 2: Government Healthcare Plans that Fund Abortion Will Require a Separate Billing for Abortion Coverage—Yes, It Matters

PART III

 Issue 3: Democratic Presidential Candidates Put Radical Abortion Views on Full Display in New York Times Survey

PART IV

 Issue 4: The Ever Widening Partisan Gap on Abortion

PART V

 Issue 5: The Fight for Vocabulary in the Abortion Debate—Why the Pro-Abortion Movement Hates ‘Fetal Heartbeat’


DOCUMENTATION AND ADDITIONAL READING

PART I

PART II

PART III

PART V

January 15, 2020 Morning Verse Of The Day

Jesus Is Equal to God in His Honor

“so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (5:23–24)

The Father’s purpose in entrusting all His works and judgment to Jesus is so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. It is only fitting that those equal in nature (vv. 17–18), works (vv. 19–20), power and sovereignty (v. 21), and judgment (v. 22) would be accorded equal honor. The Father’s honor is not diminished by the honor paid to Christ; on the contrary, it is enhanced.

Although the unbelieving Jews thought they were truly worshiping God while rejecting His Son (cf. 16:2), such was not the case, for he who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. This was an astounding claim on Jesus’ part, as D. A. Carson notes:

In a theistic universe, such a statement belongs to one who is himself to be addressed as God (cf. 20:28), or to stark insanity. The one who utters such things is to be dismissed with pity or scorn, or worshipped as Lord. If with much current scholarship we retreat to seeing in such material less the claims of the Son than the beliefs and witness of the Evangelist and his church, the same options confront us. Either John is supremely deluded and must be dismissed as a fool, or his witness is true and Jesus is to be ascribed the honours due God alone. There is no rational middle ground. (The Gospel According to John, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1991), 255).

When He was asked, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent” (6:28–29). “He who hates Me,” He warned, “hates My Father also” (15:23). Those who refuse to honor the Son while claiming to honor the Father are actually self-deceived. John Heading writes,

It is not up to a man to decide that he will honour the One or the Other; it is either both or neither. In religious circles, it is too easy for unbelief to contemplate God but not the Son. Knowledge of One implies knowledge of the Other (John 8:19); hatred of One implies hatred of the Other (15:23); denial of the One implies denial of the Other (1 John 2:23). (What the Bible Teaches: John [Kilmarnock, Scotland: John Ritchie, 1988), 93)

That the Father and the Son are to be afforded equal honor forcefully asserts Christ’s deity and equality with God, who declared through the prophet Isaiah, “I will not give My glory to another” (Isa. 42:8; 48:11). Yet, the Father has commanded that all will honor the Son. In Philippians 2:9–11 Paul wrote,

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Willingly or unwillingly, everyone will eventually obey the Father’s command to honor Jesus Christ.

Jesus closed this section of His discourse by reaffirming His authority to give eternal life to whomever He desires. The Lord underscored the statement’s monumental significance by introducing it with the solemn formula amēn, amēn (truly, truly). He identified those who receive eternal life as those who hear His word (or message) and believe the Father who sent Him. As always in the Scriptures, divine sovereignty in salvation is not apart from human responsibility to repent and believe the gospel. The blessed promise to those who believe is that they do not come into judgment, but have passed out of death into life. As Paul wrote to the Romans, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).

The claims of Jesus Christ confront everyone, forcing all to make a decision either for or against Him. There is no neutral ground, for as Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters” (Luke 11:23). Those who accept Him for who He is, God incarnate in human flesh, will be saved from their sins through Him (Matt. 1:21; 1 Tim. 1:15; Heb. 7:25). But those who believe Him to be anything other than who He truly is will one day face His judgment (John 3:18; 9:39; 12:47–48; 16:8–9; Acts 10:38–42; 17:31; 2 Tim. 4:1).[1]


Possessing Eternity in Time

John 5:24–27

“I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.”

If we are to judge by television shows today—which, incidentally, is not a bad way of judging what is on most people’s minds most of the time—then certainly many people are concerned about life. One of the most popular programs ever to appear on television is This Is Your Life. One of the great afternoon moneymakers is Love of Life. Even the commercials get into the act when they argue, “You’ve got a lot to live,” and then offer something to help you live it better.

A concern with life and its qualities is basic to men. Unfortunately, the promises being offered in our day for an abundance of life are inadequate, and even the best of these solutions fades into insignificance when compared to the great offer of life that is presented to us by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Apparently matters were not so different in the past either, for men and women were just as concerned with life then as now. This state of affairs undoubtedly led John, the author of the fourth Gospel, to speak of life and of Jesus as the source of life many times. For instance, in the opening verses of the letter he wrote, “In him was life, and that life was the light of men” (1:4). In the third chapter he records the conversation with Nicodemus about the new birth. This is a discussion of life. In speaking to the Samaritan woman Jesus offers “living water.” The theme occurs again and again in each of the great discourses. Finally, in the first of the two conclusions to John’s Gospel, occurring in chapter 20, the author of the Gospel writes, “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (vv. 30–31). According to this last verse, the desire to see all men enter into the life of God was one of John’s main purposes in writing. It is also one aspect—and from one point of view even the major aspect—of Christ’s coming to earth to save men.

This theme is discussed at some length in the verses that are now before us, verses 24–29 from the fifth chapter of John. In discussing life these verses take us through the entire scope of the believer’s experience with the Lord. First, in verse 24, Jesus is quoted as saying that God gives life initially; that is, God acts first in placing spiritual life within the individual whom he is drawing to himself. Second, verses 25 and 26 say that in this present time, after we have become Christians, God gives abundance of life through Christ Jesus. Third, verses 28 and 29 speak of a special manifestation of that life in the resurrection of our bodies. These verses deal with a divine life that God gives freely, and they teach that it is possible to live that life now.

The Gift of Life

The first point of these verses, then, is that the possession of divine life begins with God’s action rather than man’s. In other words, life is not a reward for believing. It is the other way around. Life comes first; a person believes afterward. He believes because God has first placed his life within him. The verse says, “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life” (v. 24).

I must admit, of course, that many preachers have taken this verse in the other sense. They have taught that the phrases represent a temporal sequence so that a person must first hear and believe, then, as a result of his believing, come into the possession of life. This is not right. In the first place, no sequence is involved at all. In John’s vocabulary “hearing” is the same thing as “believing.” It means to hear with the heart. The point of these two phrases is that hearing the words of Christ and believing God are identical. This is even the main point of the discourse.

Second, the tense of the verb “have” is present rather than future. If the possession of eternal life were the result of believing, then the verse should have a future verb. It should say, “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me will have eternal life.” Actually, the present tense of the verb is used to indicate that the one who believes does so because he already has the life of God within him.

A chapter later Jesus expresses precisely the same teaching negatively when he says, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (6:44).

The third and conclusive reason for taking John 5:24 in the sense I have been indicating is that this is the teaching of the Word of God as a whole. Take the case of Abraham, as an example. What did God do when he called Abraham? Did he look down from heaven and say, “Let’s see now, perhaps I can find a man who has a little bit of goodness in him, perhaps a little bit of faith. Can I find something to work with? Ah, yes, there’s a person who has something. Abraham! He has faith. I’ll start with him.” Not at all! The Word of God tells us that Abraham was no different from the rest of his contemporaries (Josh. 24:2). They were devil worshipers. So it was an act of pure grace when God called one man out of the rest. Not one of the people then living in Ur of the Chaldees knew anything about the true God. But God came to Abraham in such a blaze of glory, as Stephen relates (Acts 7:2), that Abraham immediately obeyed the divine call. God always comes first, and when he comes to a person, that person follows.

Abraham’s Descendants

Unfortunately, while it is true that many persons will admit this in the case of others, there will always be some who will seek an exception for themselves. This was true in Jesus’ day, as in ours. In Jesus’ day the argument went like this. “Granted,” his opponents would say, “that Abraham was called when he was a devil worshiper and had nothing in himself to commend him to God! Granted that truth. But how does it follow from this that the same is true for those of us who are Abraham’s descendants? Certainly our descent counts for something.” When this objection was raised, Jesus answered it by pointing out that God is concerned with spiritual rather than physical descent. Thus, while it is true that those who argued this way may have been descendants of Abraham physically, it was just as obvious that they had not descended from him spiritually, for all of Abraham’s spiritual children would believe in Jesus. He concluded, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here.… You belong to your father, the devil” (8:42, 44). Where does spiritual descent come from? The only answer is that it comes directly from God.

We see this in the case of Abraham’s immediate descendants. The Jews were claiming to have a special position with God because they were descended from Abraham, but they had overlooked the fact that Abraham had given life to more than one son. Isaac was the child of promise. But before Isaac there had been Ishmael. What about him? Clearly God had chosen Isaac, thereby demonstrating that he is the sole source of life and that he does not choose to impart that life to everyone.

There might have been some—there undoubtedly were in Paul’s day—who would have argued that God made his choice on the basis of the worthiness or unworthiness of the mother. They would have pointed out with great glee that although both Isaac and Ishmael were sons of Abraham, only Isaac was Abraham’s son by Sarah. The other—they would have said it with contempt—was the son of the Egyptian slave girl Hagar.

Is that the reason for God’s choice? We have only to pass down to the next generation to see the answer, for when God makes his next choice he makes it between two brothers, born of the same Jewish mother. And, lest anyone try to introduce the question of age as a factor, he sees to it that the two boys are twins. Moreover, just to make sure that no one can argue that the choice was made on the basis of the moral character of the sons, God announces his choice when they are still in the womb; in other words, before either Esau or Jacob had a chance to do anything that was good or evil.

Once again the choice lay entirely in the heart of God. God gives blessing to whom he chooses. He gives life to whom he chooses. There is just no possible human way of accounting for his ways.

Here is the way Paul presents the argument in Romans 9:

It is not as though God’s word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham’s children. On the contrary, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” In other words, it is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring. For this was how the promise was stated: “At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son.”

Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

verses 6–13

Moreover, this is the way God always works. When did God call Moses? The answer is, when Moses was merely a baby floating in a basket on the waters of the Nile. When did God choose John the Baptist to have faith in himself and eventually to be the forerunner of the Messiah? The answer is, before he was born, as was announced both to his mother Elizabeth and to Mary, the mother of the Lord. When did Christ call most of his disciples? When they had first come seeking him? No, rather when they were fishermen practicing their trade. That is the way he calls you. God calls through different means, of course. It is often through preaching. Sometimes it is through the life or witness of a Christian friend. Sometimes he uses a radio program or a book. But whatever the means, the point is that God calls first. What is more, he places the new spiritual life within the individual so that, being awakened to the call of eternity, the one who is the object of that call can hear him and respond, believing.

Life Abundant

We must not think, of course, that this initial call of God is the whole story. There is also the present life of the believer and the life of the resurrection, which is future. Jesus goes on to speak of these two further aspects of life in the verse following the one we have been studying.

Verses 25 and 26 declare, “I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.” Here the reference to the “dead” is to those who are spiritually dead, as in the verse that goes before. But the verb that introduces the word “life” is future, rather than present. This means that in this verse Jesus has in view the increasingly abundant present life of the one who believes in him. The order is this. First, God plants his life within the one whom he desires to become his child. Second, because of the new life within, the child now hears the Word of God and believes. Third, the child increasingly enters into the experience of that life by believing. So Jesus is saying, “The one whom I have called is to live now in an abundant way.”

Is your life abundant? It is possible to be a Christian and miss the abundant life; many do. Still, it is your privilege to enter into it increasingly as you permit Jesus to change your life daily.

Resurrection Life

Finally, in verses that we are going to return to more extensively in our next study, Jesus also speaks of future life, referring to the resurrection. He has spoken of the initial gift of life, in which a person becomes a believer. He has spoken of life in the present. Now he turns to the future. “Marvel not at this; for the hour is coming, in which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth: they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (vv. 28–29). According to these verses, the life that is given in the moment of spiritual regeneration will have its true end only in the total entrance into life through the resurrection.

What is the life that we who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ possess? It is the life of God himself. Peter tells us that we may “participate in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). Therefore, that life is as eternal and indestructible as God himself. It will go on forever; and it will not be an eternally wretched and debased existence, as our lives would be if we were left to ourselves, but rather the continually entering into that life that possesses all the qualities of God.

Some have imagined that this life is not everlasting. Some have imagined that it is not eternal. But if that can be so, then words have no meaning and the Word of God is meaningless. If eternal life can be lost, it is not eternal. If it can be taken from us, it is not eternal. If we can renounce it so that it no longer belongs to us, it is not eternal. Is God changeable? Certainly not! Then his gifts cannot be withdrawn. The Bible says, “God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable” (Rom. 11:29). If God had given us ten years’ life, then that life could not be lost before the end of the ten years. If he had given us one thousand years’ life, then that life could not be lost before the end of the one thousand years. In the same way, if he has given us eternal life, then that life is eternal life. We can be certain that it will lead straight on to the moment of our own physical resurrection … and beyond.[2]


24 Once again Jesus prefaces an important truth with his characteristic “I tell you the truth.” As in the other locations, it does not stem from fear that the hearer might think that Jesus is not telling the truth. Rather, it is a rhetorical way of underscoring the crucial importance of the pronouncement that will follow. Jesus has just spoken of his role in judgment; now he explains how not to be condemned. To be set free from condemnation and enter into eternal life requires that a person hear the message that Jesus brings and believe in the one who sent him. In John’s language, hearing and believing are not so much two separate steps as they are a single act of obedience. Barrett, 261, notes that “akouein [GK 201] is used, as shama [GK 10725] is often used in the Old Testament, with the meaning ‘to hear and do,’ ‘to be obedient.’ ” As Jesus spoke a word and an invalid who lay helpless by the pool of Bethesda rose and walked away, now he speaks a word and spiritual invalids who respond in faith rise up and enter into “eternal life.”

The message that Jesus brought centers in the redemptive love of God the Father. To learn of the Father who longs for the return of the prodigal and to return in faith to that intimate relationship abandoned by Adam is to “cross over from death to life.” The verb (metabainō, GK 3553) may be used to indicate a change of residence (BDAG, 638; cf. Lk 10:7). Jesus is saying that those who hear and believe have by that response left their former residence in the realm of death and moved to a new home in the sphere of life. The perfect tense of the verb indicates that the change of quarters has already been made. Believers are enjoying eternal life right now. This is the strongest statement of “realized eschatology” found in the NT. Those who have eternal life will “not be condemned.” They will “not come into judgment” (NASB; eis krisin [GK 3213] ouk erchetai [GK 2262]) because that question has been settled forever on the cross.[3]


24 The unity of the Father and the Son is seen also in the way people are saved. This very important saying is introduced with the emphatic “I tell you the truth” (see on 1:51). The person who receives the blessing is the one who hears Christ and believes the Father, in itself a striking way of affirming the unity between the two. “Word,” as often in the New Testament, stands for the whole message of Jesus. “Believes him who sent me” is unusual. It is more common to have a reference to believing “in” than simply to believing, in the sense of giving credence to, accepting as true. And it is more usual to have Christ as the object of faith than the Father. Yet the form of the expression here is important. All those who believe the Father, who really believe the Father, accept Christ. It is not possible to believe what the Father says and to turn away from the Son. The theme of this whole passage is the unity of the Father and the Son. Consequently it is natural to refer faith to the Father, the ultimate Object, with whom the Son is one (see further Additional Note E, pp. 296–98). Anyone who gives heed to the Son and the Father in this way “has” eternal life. The life is that person’s present possession. For “eternal life” see on 1:4; 3:15. The implications of the present possession of eternal life are brought out in the assurance that its possessor “will not be condemned” or, more accurately, “does not come into judgment.” This is the usual Johannine thought that judgment takes place here and now. People who accept the way of darkness and evil have already been judged. Their judgment lies in that very fact. So with those who have eternal life. Their vindication is present in the here and now. They have already passed right out of the state of death, and have come into life. Though this is a present state it has future implications. Those who do not come into judgment will not come into judgment on the last great day either (Moffatt translates with a future: “he will incur no sentence of judgment”). The saying points to their permanent safety. To have eternal life now is to be secure throughout eternity.

The words of this verse should not be taken simply as a statement of fact. They are that. Anyone who hears and believes has eternal life. But the words also constitute an invitation, a challenge. They are a call to hear Christ and to take the step of faith.[4]


24 Again (as in v. 19) Jesus uses the “Amen, amen” formula to highlight what he will say next. Here, as in 3:3 and 5, two such pronouncements follow in quick succession and with similar meaning (vv. 24 and 25). The first of these drops “the Son” as a self-designation and shifts back to the “I” of verse 17. Jesus accents the solemn declaration, “I say to you,” by referring to “my word,” and to the necessity of “hearing.” It is as if he repeated the “Amen, amen” formula in bold italics, adding a kind of Johannine equivalent to another common Gospel formula, “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear.” This is what the pronouncement does for “the Jews” to whom Jesus is speaking.

For the Gospel’s reader it does more, identifying Jesus’ “word” (logos) as first of all a life-giving word, not a word of judgment. It is familiar ground, for the implied reader knows that Jesus is himself “the Word” (1:1, 14), and that “In him was life” (1:4). While this is the first time Jesus has referred to “my word,” the expression echoes earlier references to “the word Jesus spoke” (2:22), and to “his word” (in contrast to the Samaritan woman’s, 4:41). “My word” does not of course mean Jesus’ word in distinction from the Father’s, for John’s testimony was that “the one God sent speaks the words of God” (3:34). On the contrary, the appropriate response of “the person who hears my word,” Jesus says, is not to believe him, but to “believe the One who sent me.”45 The presumption is that God is speaking through Jesus. To believe Jesus is to believe God, or as he put it a moment before, to honor the Son is to honor “the Father who sent him” (v. 23). The reader now learns that Jesus’ “word” is the means by which he “brings to life those he wants” (v. 21). Whoever “hears” the Son’s word and “believes” the Father “has eternal life” as a present possession, and consequently “does not come into judgment.” Here, as in Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus, “life” and “judgment” are mutually exclusive realities (see 3:16–18). The point is not that those who believe are already judged and acquitted, and thereby granted eternal life. Rather, those who “have life” escape judgment altogether, while those who “come into judgment” do not have life. Moreover, those who “hear” and “believe” do not have to wait for some future “life after death,” but have already “passed47 from death into life” (see also 1 Jn 3:14). There is indeed “life after death,” but “life” in this instance is present, while “death” belongs to the past. This is the first mention of “death” in John’s Gospel. “Death” is presumed to be the situation in which people in the world find themselves by default, apart from the “light” that comes in the person of Jesus. Up to now it has been called “darkness” (see 1:5; 3:19), the opposite of “light”—just as “death” is the opposite of “life.” The author and his readers both know that “the light is shining in the darkness” already, and that “the darkness did not overtake it” (1:5; see also 1 Jn 2:8). They know that death’s power is broken for those who believe, and that they themselves have “passed from death into life.” The characteristically Johannine promise of “eternal life” here and now is for them, outside and beyond the story, not for Jesus’ accusers within the story, who know none of these things and have no way of comprehending what Jesus is saying. Quite conspicuously, he does not say to them, “If you hear my word and believe,” but “the person who hears my word and believes,” looking beyond them to a more receptive audience typified by the readers of the Gospel.50[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). John 1–11 (pp. 190–191). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2005). The Gospel of John: an expositional commentary (pp. 391–396). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] Mounce, R. H. (2007). John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, pp. 428–429). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] Morris, L. (1995). The Gospel according to John (pp. 279–280). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[5] Michaels, J. R. (2010). The Gospel of John (pp. 314–316). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

The Intelligence Briefing | January 14, 2020 | S1E2 | Bible Thumping Wingnut Network

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