Daily Archives: February 23, 2020

This Coronavirus Outbreak Just Took Some Bizarre New Turns — The Economic Collapse

Many were hoping that this coronavirus outbreak would begin to subside, but instead we witnessed an explosion of newly confirmed cases over the weekend.  In fact, the number of confirmed cases outside of China has doubledover the past five days.  If that number continues to double very rapidly, authorities will be talking about a full-blown “global pandemic” in no time.  When I watched a victim suddenly collapse and start to twitch on a subway in Hong Kong, I thought about the sort of panic that would set off if that happened in New York.  When I saw a video of Chinese authorities using butterfly nets to capture sick people, it made me wonder what U.S. authorities might do to round up those that are ill.  The level of fear that a full-blown pandemic would cause would transform our society overnight.  Even now, Chinese restaurants in Canada are completely empty due to concerns about catching this virus.  But once this virus is being spread in virtually every city in North America, many of us won’t want to go anywhere at all, and that would bring economic activity to a complete and utter standstill.

For a while, it seemed like this outbreak was almost entirely a Chinese problem, and most Americans were not too alarmed about it.  But over the weekend the rapid spread of the virus in South Korea, Italy and Iran spooked financial markets and mainstream news outlets in the U.S. started publishing stories about this outbreak with very alarming headlines.

And those alarming headlines are justified, because experts are telling us that we could very well be on the verge of a horrifying global pandemic

“We are at a turning point in the Covid-19 epidemic,” said Lawrence Gostin, a global health law professor at Georgetown University. “We must prepare for the foreseeable possibility, even probability, that Covid-19 may soon become a pandemic affecting countries on virtually all continents.”

Once this virus starts to spread in a community, the number of cases can explode within hours.  For example, the number of confirmed cases in South Korea went from 30 to 602 in just 96 hours

Confirmed infections in South Korea have exploded over the last 96 hours from just 30 cases to 602 confirmed cases. Local residents there are scrambling to purchase preparedness supplies, stripping shelves bare and leading to a sense of urgency. Some cities in South Korea have already taken on a “ghost town” vibe, with streets emptied and nearly all community functions shut down.

And as I write this article, the number of confirmed cases in South Korea has now shot up to 763.  By the time you read this article, it will probably be even higher.

In Italy, the number of confirmed cases went from 3 to more than 150 in just a couple of days

In Italy, officials said a third person infected with the flu-like virus had died, while the number of cases jumped to above 150 from just three before Friday.

Authorities sealed off the worst affected towns and banned public gatherings in much of the north, including halting the carnival in Venice, where there were two cases, to try to contain the biggest outbreak in Europe.

Alarmingly, Italian officials can’t even figure out how the virus got to Italy in the first place, and then have now placed “almost a dozen towns” under quarantine…

Italian health authorities were struggling to find out how the virus started. “If we cannot find ‘patient zero’ then it means the virus is even more ubiquitous than we thought,” said Luca Zaia, the regional governor of the wealthy Veneto region.

Almost a dozen towns in Lombardy and Veneto with a combined population of some 50,000 have effectively been placed under quarantine.

This morning I went to take a look at the Serie A results from over the weekend, and I was particularly interested in seeing how Atalanta had done after their stirring Champions League victory last week.  Unfortunately, their game was among three matches that were called off due to the virus

On orders from the government, the Italian league games that were set to be played today – Inter Milan v Sampdoria, Atalanta v Sassuolo and Hellas Verona v Cagliari – were called off.

However three other matches in Genoa, Turin and Rome on Sunday were allowed to go ahead as scheduled with many fans wearing facemasks while sitting in the stands.

This is basically the equivalent of cancelling NFL games in the United States.  It is something that simply does not happen under normal circumstances.

But these are not normal times.

There has also been an eruption of cases in Iran, and five of their confirmed cases have already died

As of Sunday, Iran reported 28 cases, including 5 deathsdays after authorities there said they had no Covid-19 within their borders. Cases with links to Iran have already turned up in Canada and Lebanon.

Very quickly, the country’s narrative about the virus has changed. Schools and universities across the country are being shuttered as a “preventive measure,” along with some cinemas and restaurants, according to Al Jazeera.

So now we can’t just try to isolate ourselves from China and assume that everything is going to be okay.

This virus has already spread all over the world, and that means that it could come into the United States from almost any direction.

Of course China continues to be the epicenter of this outbreak.  According to Epoch Times reporter Jennifer Zeng, there are tens of thousands of people in the hospitals in Wuhan, and crematoriums continue to burn bodies 24 hours a day…

50-60 K people in hospitals in #Wuhan, out of 18 cremators at a crematorium, 3 were burned out due to overuse. Other 15 in operation 24/7. Many families died out.

Here in the United States, we only have 35 confirmed cases so far, and many have been wondering why that number has stayed so low.

Well, perhaps it is because the CDC has only tested 414 people so far…

Given the tens of thousands of Chinese nationals entering the United States of America every month, the thousands of Chinese students and the many thousands of residents who are under “observation” by state health authorities in places like Washington and California, a reasonable person might expect that the CDC has so far tested at least 10,000 people for the CoVid-19 coronavirus. But guess how many the CDC has actually tested?

To the great shock of anyone paying attention, the CDC’s own website admits the agency has tested only 414 people in the entire country.

As I discussed the other day, there are thousands upon thousands of people currently under “self-quarantine” in the United States.

Why have the vast majority of them not been tested?

And it looks like the quarantine period being used in the U.S. and in much of the rest of the world may be way too short.

In fact, Chinese officials are telling us that one Chinese man “took 27 days to show coronavirus symptoms”

A Chinese pensioner who took 27 days to show coronavirus symptoms has sparked fears that a 14-day quarantine is two weeks too short.

The 70-year-old man was infected with the killer virus in China’s Hubei Province and showed symptoms nearly four weeks later, the local government said on Saturday.

So we may be releasing countless numbers of potentially sick people back into the general population way too early.

This is a nightmare that is getting worse with each passing day, and if this turns into a true global pandemic the impact on the global economy is going to be off the charts.

We can get an idea of where things could be heading by taking a look at what is already happening inside China.  Small businesses all over the nation are rapidly running out of cash, and in just a matter of weeks virtually all of them will be out of cash.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Let’s start with Chinese businesses: while China’s giant state-owned SOEs will likely have enough of a liquidity lifeblood to last them for 2-3 quarters, it is the country’s small businesses that are facing a head on collision with an iceberg, because according to the Nikkei, over 85% of small businesses – which employ 80% of China’s population – expect to run out of cash within three months, and a third expect the cash to be all gone within a month.

Should this happen, not only will China’s economy collapse, but China’s $40 trillion financial system will disintegrate, as it is suddenly flooded with trillions in bad loans.

Now try to imagine what that might look like on a global scale.

We have never dealt with something like this in the post-World War II era, and there is still so much about this virus that is not known.

Personally, I am still hoping that this outbreak will start to fizzle out once warmer weather arrives.  But so far nothing seems to be able to slow this virus down, and it appears that a “tipping point” has now arrived.

via This Coronavirus Outbreak Just Took Some Bizarre New Turns — The Economic Collapse

The Coming Day of the Lord

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

1 Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. 5 You…

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Sunday Talks: Lindsey Graham -vs- Maria Bartiromo… — The Last Refuge

 

Sooner or later Ms. Bartiromo is going to have to call Senator Graham to task for his delays, obfuscations and can-kicking.   During an interview this morning Maria Bartiromo asks Lindsey Graham about whether he is actually going to hold the hearings he has discussed for over six months.  Graham’s response isn’t exactly inspiring confidence.

One of Graham’s “problems” per se’, is the reality that many members of the Senate, including John McCain, Richard Burr, Dianne Feinstein, Harry Reid and later Mark Warner, participated in the events in/around the intelligence targeting of candidate -then President- Donald Trump.  About mid-way through this interview it appears Bartiromo recognizes Graham is professionally can-kicking once again. WATCH:

via Sunday Talks: Lindsey Graham -vs- Maria Bartiromo… — The Last Refuge

Trump Trolls Mueller Amid Reports Kremlin is Helping Bernie Sanders’ Campaign, ‘Bob Will Get to the Bottom of it!’ — The Gateway Pundit

President Trump trolled Mueller on Sunday amid reports the Kremlin is helping Bernie Sanders’ campaign.

U.S. officials informed Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders that Russia is trying to aid his presidential campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

When asked by reporters about it, Bernie said he was briefed on the news ‘about a month ago.’

“President Trump and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have also been informed about the Russian assistance to the Vermont senator, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence,” the Washington Post said.

Trump trolled Mueller and the 13 angry Democrats who investigated ‘Russian collusion’ for two years.

“Are any Democrat operatives, the DNC, or Crooked Hillary Clinton, blaming Russia, Russia, Russia for the Bernie Sanders win in Nevada. If so I suggest calling Bob Mueller & the 13 Angry Democrats to do a new Mueller Report, Democrat Edition. Bob will get to the bottom of it!” Trump said in a tweet on Sunday.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Are any Democrat operatives, the DNC, or Crooked Hillary Clinton, blaming Russia, Russia, Russia for the Bernie Sanders win in Nevada. If so I suggest calling Bob Mueller & the 13 Angry Democrats to do a new Mueller Report, Democrat Edition. Bob will get to the bottom of it!

35.7K people are talking about this

Of course we now know the senior intel briefer “overstated” the assessment of 2020 Russian interference.

All joking aside, President Trump makes a great point.

If Russia is ‘interfering in the 2020 election to help Bernie,’ why wasn’t he spied on by the FBI?

Why was Bernie’s campaign briefed on intel the Kremlin was trying to help his 2020 campaign?

The entire US government was unleashed on Trump’s 2016 campaign on fake, Hillary-funded intel claiming Trump was colluding with the Russians.

via Trump Trolls Mueller Amid Reports Kremlin is Helping Bernie Sanders’ Campaign, ‘Bob Will Get to the Bottom of it!’ — The Gateway Pundit

John Ratcliffe Discusses Manufactured ODNI Intel Briefing on Russia and Upcoming FISA Reauthorization… — The Last Refuge

Representative John Ratcliffe appears with Maria Bartiromo to answer questions about the fraudulent information within an intelligence briefing last week and the House democrats weaponizing a false narrative.  Ratcliffe points fingers toward Adam Schiff for manufacturing the false media assertions & perpetuating a hoax on the American people.

Additionally Mr. Ratcliffe notes the upcoming reauthorization of FISA authority is taking place under a cloud of abuse by government officials and a host of deep state resistance interests who do not want to admit abuse within the FISA system.

.

In December of 2019 congress buried the short-term extension to reauthorize the FISA “business records provision”, the “roving wiretap” provision, the “lone wolf” provision, and the more controversial bulk metadata provisions [Call Detail Records (CDR)], all parts of the Patriot Act.  As a result of the FISA CR inclusion the terminal deadline was pushed to March 15, 2020. [Backstory]

via John Ratcliffe Discusses Manufactured ODNI Intel Briefing on Russia and Upcoming FISA Reauthorization… — The Last Refuge

The Church, Apostasy and Homosexuality — CultureWatch

Full-blown apostasy is among us, with homosexuality leading the way:

Here are three things that you should have heard repeatedly: One, the Bible often warns about the dangers of apostasy, of falling away. Two, Scripture and church history both attest to the fact that the church is sabotaged from within as much as from without. Three, I have constantly said that Christians embracing homosexuality is a key indication of apostasy.

As to the third point, I just penned a piece saying that things like abortion and homosexuality are key litmus tests – we can assess a church or a Christian in good measure by what they do with these two moral matters. You can find that article here: billmuehlenberg.com/2020/02/20/culture-wars-and-christian-litmus-tests/

I have written on both of these vital ethical issues hundreds of times now – in books and in articles. And I have demonstrated how countless believers and churches have already crashed and burned as they promote these things. So many have been utterly snookered by the enemy into believing these things are just peachy, and that a follower of Jesus can somehow be involved in both. They are of course fully deceived, and they are sadly dragging so many others down with them.

Consider the threat of homosexuality: I have been seeking to alert the churches about this for well over 30 years now – but such warnings have too often fallen on deaf ears. I of course have not been alone in sounding the alarm on these matters: plenty of Christian leaders have been warning about this for decades now.

For example, ex-homosexual Joe Dallas has written at least ten books on the topic – most of which I have. His first book on this was Desires in Conflict (Harvest House, 1991). Near the end of that important volume he said this:

“The debate over homosexuality and the Bible – specifically, whether or not the Bible condemns homosexual acts in all cases – will do no less than rip the body of Christ apart within the next decade. It will force believers to declare, in black and white terms, where they stand on issues of sexuality and biblical interpretation.”

He certainly got that right. The churches are indeed being ripped apart by the homosexual tsunami. One church after another, one church leader after another, and one Christian after another, is falling for the lies of the enemy. So many are now rejecting biblical truth on this issue and embracing the world’s agendas.

I have documented far too many cases of this over the years. Consider one of the more recent examples of this in the US. Traditionally charismatic and Pentecostal churches have tended to stand strong on this issue while firmly emphasising holiness and the like.

But an Assemblies of God church in Texas has fully gone over to the dark side on this. One recent article on the church says this in part:

I’ve attended Assemblies of God churches at various times throughout my life, and I have so appreciated their devotion to holiness and classic, historic, biblical Christianity. I was stunned to hear about an Assemblies of God church in Texas making the decision to fully embrace homosexuality, without apology, becoming what is known as an inclusive church.

Eikon Church in Kyle, Texas, led by Pastors Dan and Kelly Matlock has sadly, tragically been duped by modern, cultural arguments and is now fully affirming. On an interior page on their website, suggested resources are provided, including a podcast titled “How to Be a Girl Podcast: A Christian Family’s Story of Raising Their Trans Child,” a book titled God and the Gay Christian by Matthew Vines, a glossary of LGBTQ+ terms and much more. http://www.charismamag.com/life/culture/44432-former-ag-church-in-texas-falls-for-deception-fully-embraces-homosexuality

Of course there is nothing new here. Entire denominations have been caving in on this issue over the years, and plenty of noted Christian leaders have fallen for this as well. All this is a clear indication of the apostasy that is warned about so frequently and so seriously in Scripture.

Image of The Coming Apostasy: Exposing the Sabotage of Christianity from Within
The Coming Apostasy: Exposing the Sabotage of Christianity from Withinby Array

One year ago Shane Idleman wrote a piece on these matters entitled, “The Gay Divide Is Taking Out Churches; Is Yours Next?” In it he makes five main points. Let me share just two of them with you:

1. The definition of love is misunderstood. To truly “love” others, we must first love God and His truth; that’s the foundation (see Matt. 22:36-40). Does loving someone mean we approve of their lifestyle? Or does it mean we love them enough to share the truth? If a person is more worried about being liked than being truthful, do they really love those caught in sin more than those who are willing to speak the truth in love? The answer is obvious: Authentic Christians love the truth and others to the degree that they are willing to risk the consequences of confrontation in order to help others. This is genuine love, not hatred. The greatest gift parents can give to their children is love and truth rather than reinforcing a destructive lifestyle.

How can one person review Bible verses dealing with this topic and come to the conclusion that gay marriage is biblical while others come to the opposite conclusion? It’s very simple: The first group looks through the lens of opinion; the second group through the lens of genuine love and absolute truth….

4. Who’s influencing your decision: Hollywood or the Holy Spirit? Our beliefs should reflect God’s heart rather than the world’s influence. The world will know we are Christians by our love for one another and by our obedience, not by how well we imitate the world around us. Oswald Chambers once noted that a sinner, who is now saved by grace, “proves he is forgiven by being the opposite of who he was.”

Carnal Christians give God “His due,” a few hours on Sunday. The things of the world are exciting, and the things of God are dull. The love of this world and the praise of men have drawn a large section of Christendom away from God, hence the divide. A carnal Christian does not pray and seek the heart of God. A deep prayer life exposes facades and crushes hypocrisy. Carnality also destroys spiritual power and hinders the infilling of the Spirit. In short, everything God calls us to be is compromised, including a skewed view of sexual purity. http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/74789-the-gay-divide-is-taking-out-churches-is-yours-next

Finally, back in 2017 Mark Hitchcock and Jeff Kinley wrote a book called The Coming Apostasy (Tyndale Momentum). Early on they say this:

Apostates are those who profess faith but rebel or fall away from it. They never possessed Christ and eternal life but simply professed faith. Apostates are consistently characterized by two things in the New Testament: false doctrine and ungodly living. Apostates believe wrong and behave wrong. “They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him” [Titus 1:16]. Apostates are the fifth column within the visible church.

Needless to say, they have an entire chapter devoted to homosexuality. In it they offer “three main reasons why homosexual behaviour is a watershed issue related to apostasy”:

First, in a unique way, this sin is contrary to nature and rubs against the grain of God’s created order. Three times in Romans 1 Paul emphasizes that homosexual sin is contrary to nature or unnatural. With this sin, a line is crossed that is different from other sins. A divinely appointed barrier is breached. Romans 1:27 seems to make that clear … In this one verse homosexuality is called unnatural, indecent, error, and bringing a due penalty….

The second reason homosexual behavior is a watershed issue for culture and the church—a bright red line—is that until very recently, belief that homosexual behaviour is wrong was pervasive…. Almost no one, including even the most hardened unbelievers, considered homosexual behavior acceptable. The avalanche in the last twenty years that has culminated in the nationwide legality of same-sex marriage has been nothing short of breathtaking. The radical redefining of marriage goes to the heart of humanity and society. The first human institution God created was marriage. Changing its definition means that nothing is sacred – nothing is off limits. Everything is up for grabs.

Third, more and more professing Christians are capitulating to the culture and accepting same-sex relationships….

Much more can be said about this, but let me close with some words by the Apostle Paul uttered two millennia ago. It is obvious that they are absolutely fitting in the year 2020:

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. [2 Timothy 4:1-4]

(Australians can find The Coming Apostasy here: http://www.koorong.com/product/the-coming-apostasy-mark-hitchcock-jeff-kinley_9781496414076 )

via The Church, Apostasy and Homosexuality — CultureWatch

February 23 Life-Changing Moments With God

The blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.

Lord Jesus, You are the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world—my sin! You are the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away my sins. Therefore, when You came into the world, You said: “Sacrifice and offering God did not desire, but a body He has prepared for Me.” By that will I have been sanctified through the offering of Your body, Jesus, once for all. Abel brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering. Christ, You have loved me and given Yourself for me, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

Let me draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having my heart sprinkled from an evil conscience and my body washed with pure water. May I have boldness to enter the Holiest by Your blood, Lord Jesus.

Cleansed by Your blood, Jesus—offered once for all—I give myself to You. Draw me closer to You in faith’s full assurance.

Hebrews 12:24; John 1:29; Revelation 13:8; Hebrews 10:4–5, 10; Genesis 4:4; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 10:22; Hebrews 10:19[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 64). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

February—23 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

The hidden manna.—Rev. 2:17.

We have an authority from Jesus himself, to say, that he, and he alone, is the manna of the gospel: for in his discourse with the Jews, he called himself, in allusion to the manna of the wilderness, “the living bread,” and “the bread of God, which came from heaven;” of which, he said, whosoever should eat, should live for ever. But when Jesus imparts this blessed food to his people, it is hidden. And, indeed, many of the properties of it are made more blessed, from the very nature of its secrecy. My soul, ponder over the subject a few moments this evening, and behold in it, how truly gracious it is in the Lord, to hand to his people in secret those enjoyments of himself, of which the world is altogether unconscious. Mark the outlines of it, and trace it in its effects in thine own experience. As Jesus was preached to the world, both by the law and the prophets, and when appearing in substance of our flesh manifested forth his glory, yet was he known only to his disciples: the great mass of men neither knew him, nor regarded him. If he was preached in types and sacrifices, under the Old Testament dispensation, or in open gospel under the New, few believed the report: the cry still went forth, “Is not this the Carpenter’s son?” Say, my soul, is not Jesus still “the hidden manna?” Dost thou discover him in his holy word? still is his word hidden: for though it is read openly by all, yet the mystery of it is known but to few. Doth the Holy Ghost testify to thee of Jesus, in thy desires after him; in thy communions with him; in the actings of thy faith upon him; and in thy enjoyments from him? Nevertheless in all these, however certain and refreshing to thee, thy pleasures are hidden from the world. This is mercy, personal and peculiar: strangers do not, cannot intermeddle with this joy. Precious Lord Jesus! give me larger and fuller enjoyments of thee day by day; and night by night let my secret and retired meditations of thee be sweet! Oh! for grace to live more and more upon those hidden privileges, and more and more to prize them. Come to me, dear Lord! and give me such rich participations of thyself, in the fulness of thy person, blood, and righteousness, that receiving from thee the hidden manna, I may say in thine own precious words, “I have meat to eat which the world knows not of.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, p. 59). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

February 23, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

7 There is also rejoicing because the “wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” It is John’s way of giving us a glimmer of the next great vision at the close of the former one (cf. 21:2, 9). Contrast the prostitute and her lovers in the preceding chapters with the Lamb and his chaste bride (v. 8, “fine linen, bright and clean”).

The bride is the heavenly city, the new Jerusalem (21:2, 9), which is the symbol of the church, the bride of Christ, the community of those redeemed by Christ’s blood. The wedding imagery, including the wedding supper, was for the Jews a familiar image of the kingdom of God. Jesus used wedding and banquet imagery in his parables of the kingdom (Mt 22:2–14; 25:1–13; Lk 14:15–24). The OT used the figure for the bride of Israel (Eze 16:8; Hos 2:19), and NT writers have applied it to the church (2 Co 11:2; Eph 5:25–33). Heaven’s rejoicing has signaled the defeat of all the enemies of God. The time of betrothal has ended. Now it is the time for the church, prepared by loyalty and suffering, to enter into her full experience of salvation and glory with her beloved spouse, Christ. The fuller revelation of the realization of this union is described in chs. 21 and 22.[1]


7 The heavenly multitude continues its song of praise with the exhortation, “Let us rejoice and be glad.” The only other place in the NT where these two verbs are used together is Matt 5:12, where the cause for rejoicing is given as the greatness of the heavenly reward awaiting those who were reviled and persecuted for the cause of Christ. That reward is now pictured as a great wedding feast in which the Lamb and his bride celebrate their union. The metaphor of marriage as expressing the relationship between God and his people has its roots in the prophetic literature of the OT. To Israel God said, “I will betroth you to me for ever” (Hos 2:19). Israel in exile is comforted by the remembrance that the Lord of hosts is her husband and will bring her back (Isa 54:5–7). This same symbolism runs throughout the NT. Matt 22:2ff. compares the kingdom of heaven to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son. Paul portrays the relationship of Christ and his church in terms of the intimacy of marriage (Eph 5:32).

In biblical times a marriage involved two major events, the betrothal and the wedding. These were normally separated by a period of time during which the two individuals were considered husband and wife and as such were under the obligations of faithfulness. The wedding began with a procession to the bride’s house, which was followed by a return to the house of the groom for the marriage feast. By analogy, the church, espoused to Christ by faith, now awaits the parousia when the heavenly groom will come for his bride and return to heaven for the marriage feast that lasts throughout eternity. John is not saying that the eternal festivities have in fact arrived, but is speaking proleptically of that period of blessedness which follows the millennium (cf. the declaration in 14:8 with the actual fall of Babylon in chaps. 17 and 18).[2]


19:7–8 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) God’s people are called to rejoice, be glad, and give God glory because of the arrival of the Lamb’s wedding, a centerpiece of the universal reign of God. In keeping with Jewish wedding customs, the time of betrothal was followed by the wedding proper. On her wedding day the bride would prepare herself by bathing, anointing, and being clothed with special garments (cf. Ezek. 16:9–13). (Interestingly, the verb “prepare” is used seven times in Revelation to emphasize how God is working out his sovereign plan: 8:6; 9:7, 15; 12:6; 16:12; 19:7; 21:2.) The bridegroom and his entourage would then process to the bride’s home and escort her back to his home for the consummation of the marriage and the wedding feast (John 14:1–3). The “bride” of Christ is identified as “God’s holy people” or the saints (14:4; 21:2, 9; 22:17; Ezek. 16:8–14). They have prepared themselves by holding to the testimony of Jesus and faithfully enduring in obedience to God’s commands. God has graciously given (another divine passive: edothē) them the privilege of wearing special wedding garments—“fine linen, bright and clean.” These brilliantly white garments (cf. 3:4; 6:11; 7:9, 13–14; 19:14; Isa. 61:10) stand in contrast to the purple and scarlet linen worn by the harlot (17:4; 18:12, 16). Beale argues persuasively that the fine linen represents both the righteous acts performed by God’s people (subjective genitive) and God’s righteous acts presented to them (objective genitive) through judging their oppressors. Even here, the righteous acts done by the saints come as a result of their redemption by Christ (cf. 22:11; Eph. 2:8–10; Phil. 2:12–13).[3]


7. “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory, for the wedding of the Lamb has come and his wife has prepared herself. 8. And fine linen that is bright and clean was given to her to clothe herself”—for fine linen represents the righteous deeds of the saints.

  • Festivity. The exhortation to rejoice, be glad, and give glory to God is directed to all his people who receive the invitation to the wedding of the Lamb. The question now is whether God’s people are portrayed as the bride and as the wedding guests at the same time. But in John’s framework of symbolism pictures overlap, so that we have to conclude: “the guests and the Bride are one and the same.” That is, John’s images flow into each other and ought not to be interpreted separately. The symbolic portrayal of the Lamb’s wedding is not to be understood literally, for that results in absurdity.

John borrows his phraseology from the Psalter: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” and “Ascribe to the Lord glory due his name” (Ps. 118:24 and 96:8a respectively). God not only destroys the kingdom of the Antichrist, but he also grants salvation to his people and gives them the honor of being wedded to his Son. His people rejoice because God has removed their enemy, and they express their thanks by rendering him praise and glory.

  • Betrothal and Wedding. Engagements and weddings differ from culture to culture and from age to age. The picture that John shows the reader is that of a Hebrew betrothal, which after a given period is followed by the wedding ceremony. The betrothal rite binds bride and bridegroom in a relationship of being promised to one another—a relationship sealed in the presence of witnesses. Paul writes that he promised the Corinthian church as a pure virgin to her husband Christ (2 Cor. 11:2). The New Testament features Christ as the bridegroom and the church as his bride. Also the Old Testament mentions a similar relation between God and his people (Isa. 54:5, 6; 62:5; Jer. 3:20; Hos. 2:19).

In a Hebrew setting, there was a waiting period between betrothal and wedding while the bride and bridegroom lived separately (Deut. 22:23–24; Matt. 1:18–19). During this period the two families involved arranged the terms of the dowry. When this sum was paid, the actual wedding followed. On that day, the bridegroom in procession accompanied by friends brought the bride from her parental home to his own home. There the wedding feast was held to celebrate the wedding. William Hendriksen presents a brief sketch of this nuptial sequence as he applies it to Christ and the church.

In Christ the bride was chosen from eternity. Throughout the entire Old Testament dispensation the wedding was announced. Next, the Son of God assumed our flesh and blood: the betrothal took place. The price—the dowry—was paid on Calvary. And now, after an interval which in the eyes of God is but a little while, due Bridegroom returns and “It has come, the wedding of the Lamb.” The Church on earth yearns for this moment, so does the Church in heaven.

I am fully cognizant of John’s brevity and the risk of placing something in the text that is not there. Yet I can confidently suggest that the wedding picture John portrays must be seen against the Jewish cultural background of his day.

  • Preparation. John next writes, “And his wife has prepared herself.” How does she ready herself for the wedding? John answers by saying that she is given fine linen to wear that is bright and clean. The bride can prepare herself only when God provides the wedding gown for her, because this garment is beautiful and pure. Her own clothes are but filthy rags, but Christ cleanses and presents her to himself “without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish” (Eph. 5:26, 27; see Isa. 61:10). Nevertheless, what are the obligations of the bride of the Lamb while she is still on earth? These obligations are to be faithful to the bridegroom, to show him her love and devotion, and to wait expectantly for his coming. But the clothing provided for her must be seen as an unconditional gift of God. This fine garment she receives is nothing but an act of grace granted her by God. There is more. The saints who washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb to make them white are now collectively called the bride.21 And the fine linen bright and clean is the same garment the armies of heaven wear as they follow Christ in the war against the anti-Christian forces (v. 14).

The Apocalypse graphically delineates the contrast between the great prostitute, who is dressed in gaudy apparel (17:4), and the bride of the Lamb, who is given fine linen that is bright and clean. The prostitute is brought to ruin; by contrast the bride is brought to Christ to be his wife. The woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet who, as a symbol of the church, bore the Son (12:1–2, 5) is now the bride of the Lamb redeemed by the Son.

Last, the guests who came to the wedding banquet in the parable were given wedding clothes, a symbol of purity and holiness. But one of these guests refused to wear them and consequently was thrown outside (Matt. 22:11–13). Hence, John explains the phrase fine linen bright and clean as “fine linen represents the righteous deeds of the saints.”

What are these righteous deeds that the saints are able to perform? Paul sheds light on this question when he writes, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Eph. 2:10). These righteous deeds, therefore, are made possible through God’s grace at work in the hearts of the saints. Set free from bondage to Satan, the redeemed dedicate their lives to serve God. They feed the hungry, give the thirsty something to drink, supply hospitality to strangers, clothe the needy, and visit the sick and those in prison (Matt. 25:37–39). Christ blesses those deeds by perfecting them through his perfect righteousness.[4]


[1] Johnson, A. F. (2006). Revelation. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 755). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Mounce, R. H. (1997). The Book of Revelation (p. 347). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[3] Duvall, J. S. (2014). Revelation. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (pp. 251–252). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Vol. 20, pp. 513–515). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

February 23 Streams in the Desert

And there came a lion.” (1 Sam. 17:34.)

IT is a source of inspiration and strength to come in touch with the youthful David, trusting God. Through faith in God he conquered a lion and a bear, and afterwards overthrew the mighty Goliath. When that lion came to despoil that flock, it came as a wondrous opportunity to David. If he had failed or faltered he would have missed God’s opportunity for him and probably would never have come to be God’s chosen king of Israel. “And there came a lion.

One would not think that a lion was a special blessing from God; one would think that only an occasion of alarm. The lion was God’s opportunity in disguise. Every difficulty that presents itself to us, if we receive it in the right way, is God’s opportunity. Every temptation that comes is God’s opportunity.

When the “lion” comes, recognize it as God’s opportunity no matter how rough the exterior. The very tabernacle of God was covered with badgers’ skins and goats’ hair; one would not think there would be any glory there. The Shekinah of God was manifest under that kind of covering. May God open our eyes to see Him, whether in temptations, trials, dangers, or misfortunes.—C. H. P.[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 60–61). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

February 23d The D. L. Moody Year Book

I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ our Lord.—Romans 8:38, 39.

THERE can be no true peace, there can be no true hope, there can be no true comfort, where there is uncertainty. I am not fit for God’s service, I cannot go out and work for God, if I am in doubt about my own salvation.[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. 43). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

MSNBC anchors keep comparing Sanders’ campaign and its supporters to Nazis, and they’re being called to resign | Business Insider

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

  • MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews compared Sanders’ victory in Nevada to the Nazi invasion of France on Saturday.
  • It sparked calls for his resignation as the hashtag #FireChrisMatthews trended on Twitter.
  • Matthew’s comments come less than two weeks after MSNBC host Chuck Todd quoted a conservative column on air that likened supporters to “brownshirts.”

MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews compared the victory of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in the Nevada caucus to the Nazi invasion of France, triggering calls for his resignation on social media on Sunday.

The hashtag ‘#FireChrisMatthews’ trended on Twitter after Matthews made the analogy on air Saturday, saying it represented a disaster for the Democratic Party.

“I was reading last night about the fall of France in the summer of 1940,” Matthews said on MSNBC. “And the general, Reynaud, calls up Churchill and says, ‘It’s over.’ And Churchill says, ‘How can that be? You’ve got the greatest army in Europe. How can it be over?’ He said, ‘It’s over.’ So I had that suppressed feeling.”

 

Other MSNBC contributors like James Carville joined in the freakout over Sanders’ victory, saying it was due in part to reported Russian interference in the election, according to Business Insider’s Eliza Relman. The Vermont senator has long argued that “mainstream” media coverage is biased against him.

The comparison to the Nazi victory over France sparked an onslaught of criticism on Twitter calling for the host of MSNBC’s Hardball to be fired.

Several users noted that Sanders, who is Jewish, had family members killed in the Holocaust:

 

Criticism also came from the Sanders campaign’s communications director Mike Casca.

“Never thought part of my job would be pleading with a national news network to stop likening the campaign of a jewish presidential candidate whose family was wiped out by the nazis to the third reich,” Casca tweeted. “But here we are.”

 

Others like MSNBC political analyst and journalist Anand Giridharadas called for the media to be more introspective and even-keeled in its analysis of political events:

“Why is Chris Matthews on this air talking about the victory [of] Bernie Sanders, who had kin murdered in the Holocaust, and analogizing it to the Nazi conquest of France? ” Giridharadas said. “The people who are stuck in an old way of thinking… are missing what is happening.”

The Sanders campaign and MSNBC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The remarks from Matthews come only less than two weeks after MSNBC host Chuck Todd cited a conservative column on air that likened Sanders’ online supporters to “brown shirts.” That also sparked calls for his resignation with the hashtag #FireChuckTodd, Newsweek reported.

Source: MSNBC anchors keep comparing Sanders’ campaign and its supporters to Nazis, and they’re being called to resign

Trump suggests ‘calling Bob Mueller’ after Sanders win following Russia report | FOX news

https://video.foxnews.com/v/embed.js?id=6135165284001&w=466&h=263

President Trump teased Democrats following a significant win by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., in the Nevada Caucuses and a Washington Post report that Russia was trying to help Sanders win the Democratic primary race.

Sanders’ victory Saturday — his second after being narrowly edged out in Iowa — has the Democratic establishment reeling, with former Vice President Joe Biden looking to turn things around quickly after finishing a distant second. Trump offered some free advice.

“Are any Democrat operatives, the DNC, or Crooked Hillary Clinton, blaming Russia, Russia, Russia for the Bernie Sanders win in Nevada. If so I suggest calling Bob Mueller & the 13 Angry Democrats to do a new Mueller Report, Democrat Edition,” Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon. “Bob will get to the bottom of it!”

Trump was referring to the Post’s report that Sanders was brief regarding Moscow’s efforts to interfere in the Democratic primary race on his behalf, and Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and suspicion of links to Trump’s campaign.

Sanders disavowed alleged Russian efforts to help his campaign Friday after the report was published.

“I don’t care, frankly, who [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wants to be president,” Sanders said in a statement. “My message to Putin is clear: stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do.”

The Post’s story, citing people familiar with the matter, said President Trump and lawmakers on Capitol Hill also have been informed of the Russian attempts. A New York Times report also said that during a House intelligence briefing, lawmakers learned that Russia wanted Trump to win the general election.

Marc Short, chief of staff for Vice President Pence, sharply denied that intelligence pointed to Russia wanting Trump to win.

In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Short said that news of Russian interference or preferences is the result of “selective” leaking from the House Intelligence Committee led by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

Trump has also accused Schiff of being behind the “disinformation” and echoed this in a Sunday tweet.

“Somebody please tell incompetent (thanks for my high poll numbers) & corrupt politician Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff to stop leaking Classified information or, even worse, made up information, to the Fake News Media,” Trump said. “Someday he will be caught, & that will be a very unpleasant experience!”

Source: Trump suggests ‘calling Bob Mueller’ after Sanders win following Russia report

Rep. Ratcliffe on Russia reportedly trying to interfere with 2020 election: Dems ‘leaked information that’s not accurate’

In an exclusive interview on “Sunday Morning Futures,” Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, addressed reports that Russia is allegedly trying to interfere with 2020 election, saying Democrats “leaked information that’s not accurate.”

Source: Rep. Ratcliffe on Russia reportedly trying to interfere with 2020 election: Dems ‘leaked information that’s not accurate’

President Trump Impromptu Presser Departing White House – Video — The Last Refuge

Chopper pressers are the best pressers.  Earlier today President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump departed the White House heading to Ramstein Air Base in Germany on the first leg of their trip to India.  As the president departs he paused to answer a variety of questions from the media.  [Video Below, Transcript Will Follow]

via President Trump Impromptu Presser Departing White House – Video — The Last Refuge

Intelligence Sources? All Candidates Are Russian Agents But Pete Buttigieg | ZeroHedge News

Today’s Caitlin Johnstone essay has been replaced by this breaking report by the National News Conglomerate. NNC: Obey.

Following shocking reports from The New York Times and The Washington Post that Moscow is simultaneously working to both re-elect Donald Trump and ensure the nomination of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary race, NNC has obtained further information confirming that nearly all candidates currently running for president are in fact covert agents of the Russian government.

According to sources familiar with the matter, the lone candidate not literally conducting espionage on behalf of the Russian government is Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

“Intelligence has revealed that Mr. Buttigieg is at this time the only candidate who we can count on not to place our nation’s interests square in the hands of Vladimir Putin,” an anonymous source in the Central Intelligence Agency told NNC on Saturday.

“In fact Mr. Buttigieg is the only candidate running with the skill, the experience and the multilingual relatability needed to bridge our nation’s deep divisions and bring Americans together in this time of uncontrolled hostility,” the CIA source continued.

“Because in truth, the unity of our togetherness is in the freedom of our democracy,” added the source.

“The long and winding road to the American flag was built upon the steps of our founding fathers. You don’t have to be a big shot Washington insider to see that the problems our nation faces are tearing us apart at our own peril with radical divisive rhetoric saying you need to burn down the establishment and voice a concrete foreign policy position. And that’s why I for one believe we don’t have to choose between revolution and the status quo: we can come together and find solutions that help the working class and billionaires.”

Experts say these new revelations on Russian election interference should consume one hundred percent of all news coverage for the entirety of 2020, and that Democrats should definitely spend all their time from now until November focusing solely on President Trump’s suspicious ties to the Russian government.

“I can’t think of a single thing that could possibly go wrong if Democrats focused exclusively on the possibility that the president conspired with Vladimir Putin in the lead-up to the election in November,” said Les Overton of the influential think tank Americans for an American America.

“If Democrats want to prevent another four years of Trump they should hit him where they know it hurts: nonstop 24/7 Russia conspiracy theories. That’s what Americans really care about.”

Asked if it’s possible that undue emphasis on Russian collusion could prove a fruitless endeavor given Trump’s soaring approval rating after impeachment resulted in his acquittal and the Mueller report failed to indict a single American for conspiring with the Russian government, Overton disagreed and said this time will be “like, totally different.”

“Democrats should definitely invest all of their mental and emotional energy in this Trump-Russia scandal, because this time it’s a sure thing,” Overton said.

“Put all your eggs in this basket and get your hopes up very, very high. The big BOOM is coming any minute now, I promise.”

Overton then departed with an envelope full of cash which he said was his life savings, reportedly to invest in lottery tickets.

Source: Intelligence Sources? All Candidates Are Russian Agents But Pete Buttigieg

Tim Allen takes a shot at Sanders and Warren in ‘Last Man Standing’ | WND

The hit comedy “Last Man Standing” on Fox has long been known for its refusal to hew the liberal Hollywood line.

On Thursday, character Mike Baxter, played by actor Tim Allen, delivered a conservative-themed discourse on the subject of capitalism and threw a rhetorical elbow at two of its biggest detractors — Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Both of the Democratic presidential contenders have campaigned heavily on what they consider the evils of American capitalism.

“Hey, Mike Baxter for Outdoor Man to talk about one of my favorite passions. No, no, no, not gutting a deer while listening to the Lovin’ Spoonful. I’m talking about capitalism,” Baxter’s pitch began in the clip, as reported by Newsbusters.

“Now, old Bernie and young Elizabeth tell the folks capitalists are coldhearted, money-grubbing vultures. When you put it that way, you make it sound like a bad thing. But we’re also human beings with a conscience. Conscience. You remember those?” he said.

The video is available here. (Note: Vulgarity in Twitter text.)

Baxter notes that capitalism needs to be seasoned with a thought for the workers as well as profits.

“I mean, sure, paying your workers with baseball cards and bubble gum would increase profits, but it’s wrong! Listen, a good boss should know how to make a buck and still be a human being. You see, capitalism, it’s just a recipe for economic success, and it doesn’t taste quite right until you sprinkle in a little morality,” he said.

“That’s why, here at Outdoor Man, we provide benefits for our part-timers, paid medical leave and all-you-can-eat chili at the Annual Meat Summit. Which sadly leads to a lot of paid medical leave. Happy employees make good employees, and that’s good business. Baxter out,” he said.

Warren has proposed what she called an “accountable capitalism plan.”

Her plan calls for “very large American corporations to obtain a federal charter as a ‘United States corporation,’ which obligates company directors to consider the interests of all corporate stakeholders, not just shareholders.”

The plan “[e]mpowers workers at big American corporations to elect no less than 40% of the company’s board members.” She says it borrows from an approach used in Germany.

Sanders has used the term “democratic socialism” to define his campaign.

At Wednesday’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas, he said, “We are living, in many ways, in a socialist society right now. Problem is, as Dr. Martin Luther King reminded us, we have socialism for the very rich, rugged individualism for the poor,” according to Axios.

“We have to talk about democratic socialism as an alternative to unfettered capitalism, where the rich get richer and almost everybody else is getting poorer. I think that’s a message that young people are receptive to, and I think it’s a message that working people are receptive to,” Sanders said in a 2019 interview with The Nation.

President Donald Trump, in a September speech to the United Nations, attacked socialism.

“One of the most serious challenges our countries face is the specter of socialism.  It’s the wrecker of nations and destroyer of societies. Events in Venezuela remind us all that socialism and communism are not about justice, they are not about equality, they are not about lifting up the poor, and they are certainly not about the good of the nation.  Socialism and communism are about one thing only: power for the ruling class,” he said.

“Today, I repeat a message for the world that I have delivered at home: America will never be a socialist country,” Trump said then.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Source: Tim Allen takes a shot at Sanders and Warren in ‘Last Man Standing’