Daily Archives: February 27, 2020

We Are Watching The Stock Market Do Things That It Has Never Done Before — The Economic Collapse

Stock prices are falling faster and harder than they ever have before.  If the financial markets are in this much chaos even though not a single American has died from the coronavirus yet, what are things going to look like if this outbreak starts sweeping across America like wildfire?  The number of confirmed cases continues to explode all over the world, and the discovery of a case of “unknown origin” in northern California has really shaken up global financial markets.  It has become clear that efforts to contain this virus have failed, and investors are now coming to grips with the fact that this crisis is just getting started.  We haven’t seen this much panic on Wall Street in a very long time, and on Thursday we actually witnessed the largest single day point decline in all of U.S. history

Rising anxiety over the global coronavirus outbreak pushed the stock market into a new zone of fear Thursday.

After falling sharply all week, the Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 1,190.95 points to close at 25,766.64 – its worst one-day point drop in history.

Overall, this is turning out to be an absolutely disastrous week for stocks.

The Dow fell more than 1,000 points on Monday, it fell another 879 points on Tuesday, and stock prices continued to drop on Wednesday.

But hardly anyone expected a brand new all-time record to be set on Thursday, and now we will wait to see what happens on Friday.

Incredibly, the S&P 500 has already plunged into correction territory.  It only took six trading sessions for that to happen, and that is also a brand new record

Six days. That’s all the time it took for the S&P 500 to fall more than 10% from a record into a correction.

That’s the quickest turnaround of the sort ever, according to data from Deutsche Bank Global Research.

We have never seen anything like this, and many are now wondering what is going to happen if this outbreak gets much, much worse.

Without a doubt, stocks could potentially fall a long, long way.  Thanks to a tremendous rally earlier this year, stock prices were pushed to the most overvalued levels that we have ever seen.  It was inevitable that prices would fall, and this coronavirus outbreak looks like it could greatly accelerate that process.

Meanwhile, analysts are increasingly coming to the realization that this virus is going to have very serious implications for the entire global economy.

For example, on Thursday David Kostin of Goldman Sachs warned that American companies “will generate no earnings growth in 2020”

“US companies will generate no earnings growth in 2020,” Goldman’s chief U.S. equity strategist, David Kostin, said in a note to clients Thursday. “We have updated our earnings model to incorporate the likelihood that the virus becomes widespread.”

And Guggenheim’s Scott Minerd is even more pessimistic

Guggenheim’s Scott Minerd says the coronavirus crisis is possibly the worst thing he’s ever seen in his career: “This has the potential to reel into something extremely serious”

This virus is spreading great fear all over the planet, and it is going to be exceedingly difficult for the world economy to function normally when people are afraid to even leave their own homes.

At this point, the travel industry is being hit particularly hard

“We don’t even need to wait for economic data to see how badly the economy is being hit. You can tell that the sales of airlines and hotels are already falling by a half or something like that,” said Tomoaki Shishido, senior economist at Nomura Securities.

Up until recently, Wall Street had been acting as if this was a temporary problem that would soon fade.

But now it has become clear that we will be battling this virus for many months to come.

And what happens if this crisis is like the Spanish Flu pandemic which lasted for three years?

By the way, tens of millions of people died during the Spanish Flu pandemic.  Let us pray that the death toll will not be anything like that this time around.

Unfortunately, with each passing hour this virus makes even more headlines.  The Vice-President of Iran has become a confirmed case, and the Iranian Ambassador to the Vatican has actually died after catching the virus.

Speaking of the Vatican, the Pope just cancelled a service “after he was struck down with illness”

Pope Francis cancelled a church service today after he was struck down with illness.

The 83-year-year-old pontiff was not well enough to attend the mass, although there is no suggestion at this stage he has coronavirus as the outbreak in Italy topped 500 cases.

I should be clear that so far there is absolutely no indication that Pope Francis has been infected by the coronavirus.

But hopefully he is getting tested for it.

In Italy this virus is now officially completely out of control.  On Thursday, we learned that it has now spread to ten different regions

Ten of Italy’s twenty regions are infected with coronavirus as of Wednesday, with Lombardy and Veneto the two most heavily affected regions in the nation.

So far, 400 people have been confirmed to be infected with the virus, which has resulted in 12 deaths as of Wednesday, according to a report by La Repubblica.

Many communities are already in a near total state of shutdown, but that has not stopped the virus from spreading.

Meanwhile, the number of confirmed cases in France actually doubled in just 24 hours

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in France has more than doubled in 24 hours, the French Health minister said on Thursday, with the tally now at 38 from 18 on Wednesday.

During a press conference, Olivier Veran said this “sharp increase” was due to the identification of so-called “contact persons” linked to previously known cases, adding France was “ready” for an epidemic.

In my entire lifetime, I have never seen anything like this.

And if the number of cases continues to rise at an exponential rate it is going to be absolutely devastating for the world economy and for global financial markets.

For a long time many have been watching for the “trigger event” that would burst the biggest financial bubble in the history of the planet.

That “trigger event” appears to have arrived, and nothing is ever going to be the same from this point forward.

via We Are Watching The Stock Market Do Things That It Has Never Done Before — The Economic Collapse

February 27 Life-Changing Moments With God

Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I hear Your word, Lord Jesus, and believe in God who sent You; I have everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment.… I have passed from death into life … dead to the law … I live to God. I am crucified with Christ; I no longer live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Because You live, Jesus, I will live also. You give me eternal life; I shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch me out of Your hand. God, who has given me to You, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch me out of His hand. You and Father are one.

If then I was raised with You, Lord Jesus, I seek those things which are above, where You are, sitting at the right hand of God.… For I died, and my life is hidden with You in God.

Lord Jesus, I live now by faith in Your loving sacrifice. Help me to seek eternal things, alone.

Romans 6:11; John 5:24; Galatians 2:19–20; John 14:19; John 10:28–30; Colossians 3:1–3[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 68). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Rush Limbaugh: Democrats and Bernie Sanders pose greater threat to U.S. than coronavirus – Washington Times

Rush Limbaugh claimed Wednesday the Democratic Party and its current front-runner for president, Sen. Bernard Sanders, are more dangerous to the U.S. than the deadly coronavirus.

Devin Nunes: ‘The Deep State here is much worse than even I thought’ – WND

‘You have to wake up every day to fight because the socialist left, they worked hard to take over the Democratic Party,’ Nunes said.

California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes warned Americans that the “deep state here is much worse” than he ever thought during an appearance Wednesday evening on Fox News.

“One thing that  I tell the American people every time that I speak and I go out on the road and I talk to people is that, remember, the deep state here is much worse than even I thought it ever was,” Nunes told host Sean Hannity.

“People have to remember that this is one yard in a cloud of dust. You have to wake up every day to fight because the socialist left, they worked hard to take over the Democratic Party, they work hard to get Bernie Sanders in the lead. They’re not going away.”

The California representative said that Republicans need to take the House back in November if they want the seemingly endless investigations into President Donald Trump brought about by the Democrats to end.

Nunes appeared alongside Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan to discuss Republican efforts to renew and reform parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Attorney General William Barr told Republican senators this month that he is working on internal reforms to prevent the errors Inspector General Michael Horowitz determined that the FBI made when it sought permission to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, the Washington Examiner reported.

Jordan said that while the FISA warrant was used in 2016 to spy on four American citizens, the main reason the reforms are important is that “it could happen again.”

“Remember, 2016 was an election year, that’s what they did in 2016,” he said.

“This is 2020. They could do it again because remember what happened two weeks ago. They went and the intelligence community goes and briefs Adam Schiff and people on Capitol Hill but they didn’t tell the president what they were going to tell folks on Capitol Hill.

“And as it turns out, what they conveyed to Mr. Schiff, which he then leaked, what they conveyed to Mr. Schiff was inaccurate.”

Hannity then asked if the two representatives had confidence that people would be held accountable for the failures of 2016.

“I think that the Attorney General Barr knows that there won’t be a Republican left in this country that trusts the FBI or the Department of Justice if people aren’t brought to and held accountable,” Nunes said.

The president, in particular, has expressed his distrust with government officials after his impeachment and acquittal and has reportedly created a detailed list of disloyal officials to oust, according to Axios.

“I don’t think it’s a big problem. I don’t think it’s very many people,” Trump said during a media conference in India, Axios reported.

He added he wants “people who are good for the country, loyal to the country.”

Both Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and former Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, high-profile witnesses in the impeachment investigation, were forced out of their roles following Trump’s acquittal.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

— Read on www.wnd.com/2020/02/devin-nunes-reveals-deep-state-much-worse-even-thought/

Barna Study: This Is How Americans Feel About Going to Church — ChurchLeaders

A new Barna study highlights the current attitudes Americans have toward attending church services. Notable trends found by Barna Group’s “State of the Church” project include that church hopping is increasing, church membership is declining among younger attendees, and people’s mixed perceptions of the church are calling its relevance into question. Among the study’s encouraging findings were that there are multiple spiritual benefits of church membership and that many churchgoers said they enjoyed attending church.

Barna Study Spotlights American Attitudes Toward Church

The Barna study is the “first of its kind” for the company and the “most comprehensive look” at the church that the organization has conducted in its 35-year history. The project divided American churchgoers into two categories, “practicing Christians” and “churched adults.” The first group of 63.5 million is comprised of people who are the most committed to their faith. As defined by Barna, practicing Christians attend church a minimum of once per month and say their faith is “very important” to them. This group is a subset of the broader category of churched adults, who number 124.4 million and have attended church at least once in the past six months. 

via Barna Study: This Is How Americans Feel About Going to Church — ChurchLeaders

Research: Progressive (Social Justice) ‘Christianity’ — Christian Research Network

Do not be fooled by professing Christians who prefer either “progressive Christian” or “social justice Christian” to evangelical. It matters not what trendy terms people use to describe themselves, a progressive by any other name is still a liberal. So it should not come as a surprise to learn that some PC’s are avowed Marxists. Marxism is the theory of economics and politics of atheists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that holds that “actions and human institutions are economically determined, that the class struggle is the basic agency of historical change, and that capitalism will ultimately be superseded by communism.” Clearly, this theory is unbiblical.

The Center for Progressive Christianity’s homepage makes it abundantly clear how PC’s view themselves:

By calling ourselves progressive, we mean we are Christians who recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God’s realm, and acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us.

That, brethren, is moral relativism.

So here’s the bottom line: Progressive is simply a euphemism for socialism.

Authority of Scripture

  • PC’s do not hold to a high view of Scripture. They out right reject the notion that all Scripture is God breathed — inspired, inerrant, infallible.
  • PC’s will tell you that in their view a large part of the scriptures do not present a true understanding of God’s mind and heart, and much of the Bible is not inspired by the Spirit of God.
  • PC’s hold to a non-traditional view of the Bible. Because they question tradition, they’re willing to re-write Scripture to ensure that God’s written Word is cutting-edge and meets their politically correct criteria.

Environmentalism Besides an emphasis on caring for the poor through social justice, PC’s are environmentally conscious and believe followers of Jesus are commanded to be the guardians of the Earth.

We Are One Many PC’s believe in the “Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life.”

Who Are These People? From “Liberals Created the Culture of Evil and Death.” Progressive Christians are:

ubiquitous, aggressive liberals many of whom are renowned pastors, authors, conference speakers, missionaries, televangelists, radio hosts, and CEOs of Christian organizations. As of late, even some of our most beloved evangelical leaders appear to be morphing into theological liberals. The extent of the movement to liberal ideology varies with each individual, but in certain cases they have gone completely off the rails. False doctrine abounds in books, Bible studies and Bibles authored by notable Christians and promoted by so-called Christian publishers and book sellers. We have been duly warned about this sort of thing happening:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils. 1 Tim. 4:1 (Source)

Social Justice  According to Jeff Maples:

The social gospel advances ideas such as racial justice, open borders, and left-wing political ideology that has a facade of Christlikeness, but under the surface, merely replaces the gospel with social activism.

Moreover,

Social justice is not a missing piece of the gospel that has been recently discovered by progressive elitists in evangelical leadership positions. It’s a mass effort to appease large numbers of people who view biblical Christianity negatively by appealing to their sense of self-entitlement. Progressive entitlement ideology is rampant in liberal circles. It’s all about what society can do for me, and how society, instead of me, can take the blame and responsibility for my wrongdoings. (Source)

The religious left demands the redistribution of wealth under the guise of social justice. Beware when you hear terms such as “social reform” and “social justice” because those terms are doublespeak for the transfer (redistribution) of wealth.

Critical Race Theory (CRT) CRT recognizes that racism is engrained in the fabric and system of the American society. The individual racist need not exist to note that institutional racism is pervasive in the dominant culture. This is the analytical lens that CRT uses in examining existing power structures. CRT identifies that these power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the marginalization of people of color. (Source)

The Gospel of Jesus Christ according to CRT:

In broad terms, the narrative tends to work along the following lines. The Gospel is less about God saving sinners from eternal condemnation through the righteous life, substitutionary death, and glorious resurrection of his Son than it is about God’s solidarity with the oppressed and his demand for justice. God identifies with the poor, the victim, the minority, the immigrant. God picked a particular group, the Jews, liberating them from slavery. He sent his prophets to speak truth to power, offending exploiters and giving hope to the exploited. He came in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, as an impoverished peasant, a refugee threatened by a murderous king, an immigrant born to an unwed mother. He sought social justice. He refused to submit to the privileged of his day and called them to let loose the chains of greed and power. So they killed him. They hung him on a tree. He was lynched because he refused to conform. But by his life and death, God himself says to the world that he is One with the victim, the stranger, the outcast, the refugee, the woman, the person of color. Wherever there is inequity, Christ is the victim. He calls all those occupying privileged social places to repent of their racism, sexism, and exploitation.  (Source)

The following falls under the CRT’s big umbrella (for a complete explanation click on the Source link):

Social Justice –  a concept of fair and just relations between the individual and society. This is measured by the explicit and tacit terms for the distribution of wealth, opportunities for personal activity, and social privileges. (Source) (See how Jeff Maples’ defines progressive/social justice Christianity under the heading “Social Justice theology, Social Justice Gospel” above)

Intersectionality – a theory developed by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw. The term is used to describe how different forms of discrimination can interact and overlap with each other. In recent years, it has become a feminist buzzword. As a concept, intersectionality deals with the cumulative societal effects of systemic discrimination on people who belong to more than one disadvantaged group. For example, a woman is oppressed by the anti-women crowd; a black woman faces anti-woman and anti-black bias; a black lesbian woman faces anti-woman, anti-black, and anti-gay discrimination, etc. The point of intersectionality is that the victim of only one type of discrimination may have a hard time identifying with those who face multiple types of oppression. (Source) (Intersectionality examined by Josh Buice)

Cultural Marxism – cultural Marxism is a revolutionary leftist idea that traditional culture is the source of oppression in the modern world. Cultural Marxism is often linked to an insistence upon political correctness, multiculturalism, and perpetual attacks on the foundations of culture: the nuclear family, marriage, patriotism, traditional morality, law and order, etc. Cultural Marxists are assumed to be committed to establishing economic Marxism, in which case their cultural attacks are a necessary preparation for their ultimate goal. (Source)

Black liberation theology – refers to a theological perspective which originated among African American seminarians and scholars, and in some black churches in the United States and later in other parts of the world. It contextualizes Christianity in an attempt to help those of African descent overcome oppression. It especially focuses on the injustices committed against African Americans and black South Africans during American segregation and apartheid, respectively. (Source)

Deconstructionism – a term tied very closely to postmodernism, deconstructionism is a challenge to the attempt to establish any ultimate or secure meaning in a text. Basing itself in language analysis, it seeks to “deconstruct” the ideological biases (gender, racial, economic, political, cultural) and traditional assumptions that infect all histories, as well as philosophical and religious “truths.” (Source)

Rauschenbuschism – the Social Gospel of Walter Rauschenbusch, a Baptist pastor of a congregation. “His work “Christianity and the Social Crisis” may be “the finest distillation of social gospel thought.” Rauschenbusch railed against what he regarded as the selfishness of capitalism and promoted a form of Christian socialism that supported the creation of labour unions and cooperative economics.” (Source)

Emergent Christianity From “Doublespeak: The Language of Deception, Part 5″:

Progressive Christians brought us the emergence/emergent/emerging Church movement (EC). “The words Emergence and Emergent are often used synonymously,” says Carl Teichrib. “There is a difference: Emergence refers to the larger context of global change. Emergent is the new Christian reaction to this world shift. There are various degrees attached to this church movement, making it difficult (and dangerous) to use a single brush stroke when dealing with this issue. This does not negate ‘contending for the faith,’ it does mean, however, that we must be careful when attaching labels.

I have no problem labeling the EC apostate. I’m not alone. Listen to how Pastor Ken Silva describes EC:

The term Emergence Christianity, which adherents such as Phyllis Tickle see as the new reformation, itself incorporates more than just a nod to emergence theory of evolutionary science; and many in the EC believe that, right now, mankind is evolving upward into a higher state of consciousness.

For such as these, their practice of neo-Gnostic Contemplative Spirituality/Mysticism is where they think that they’ll actually be receiving this “transformation” from God; that’s why, in their minds, meditation in an altered state of consciousness known as Contemplative/Centering Prayer is so important. To some EC leaders, words mean pretty much whatever they want them to mean. They are in fact master wordsmiths. (Source)

Political Activism According to Wikipedia:

Progressive Christians have a deep belief in the centrality of the instruction to “love one another” (John 15:17) within the teachings of Jesus Christ.[1] This leads to a focus on promoting values such as compassion, justice, mercy, tolerance, often through political activism. Though prominent, the movement is by no means the only significant movement of progressive thought among Christians.

Missions Emerging ‘progressive Christianity’ is changing the way evangelical/Protestant missions is being conducted,” observes Roger Oakland. “The idea is that you can go for Jesus, but you don’t have to identify yourself as a Christian or part of the Christian church. This concept spills over into some missionary societies too, where they teach people from other religions they can keep their religion, just add Jesus to the equation. They don’t have to embrace the term Christian. (Source)

Gary Gilley reveals:

The social gospel became the hallmark of the liberal church because the liberals had emptied their message and ministry of biblical truth and were left with no other ‘good news’ than solving physical problems. Sadly, evangelicals today are increasingly adopting the missional, social gospel of liberalism. (Source)

What Progressives Say About Themselves

The 8 Points of Progressive Christianity–We are Christians Who…

What is Progressive Christianity? What Do they Believe? Is It Biblical?

Progressive “Christian” Leaders (in no particular order) Pope Francis, Richard Rohr, Marcus J. Borg, Gregory Boyd, Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne, John Dominic Crossan, Diana Butler Bass, Rob Bell, Alan Chambers, Hillary Clinton, Nate Collins, Greg Coles, Bart Ehrman, Peter Enns, David Gushee, Rachel Held Evans, Brandon Hatmaker, Jen Hatmaker, Bill Hybels, Lynn Hybels, Tony Jones, Timothy Keller, Ann Lamott, Brian McLaren, Bekah Mason, Carol Howard Merritt, Chrissy Messick. Beth MooreRussell Moore, Barack Obama, Doug Pagitt, Elaine Pagles, Fred Plumer, John Shelby Spong, Warren Throckmorton, Carrie Underwood, Matthew Vines, Rick Warren, Ken Wilson, Karen Swallow Prior, Scot McKnight and a host of others. Also included are same-sex attracted (SSA) “Christians”; gay “Christians”;  LGBTQ+  “Christians.”

Following is The Statement On Social Justice & The Gospel, September 2018

In view of questionable sociological, psychological, and political theories presently permeating our culture and making inroads into Christ’s church, we wish to clarify certain key Christian doctrines and ethical principles prescribed in God’s Word. Clarity on these issues will fortify believers and churches to withstand an onslaught of dangerous and false teachings that threaten the gospel, misrepresent Scripture, and lead people away from the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

Specifically, we are deeply concerned that values borrowed from secular culture are currently undermining Scripture in the areas of race and ethnicity, manhood and womanhood, and human sexuality. The Bible’s teaching on each of these subjects is being challenged under the broad and somewhat nebulous rubric of concern for “social justice.” If the doctrines of God’s Word are not uncompromisingly reasserted and defended at these points, there is every reason to anticipate that these dangerous ideas and corrupted moral values will spread their influence into other realms of biblical doctrines and principles.

We submit these affirmations and denials for public consideration, not with any pretense of ecclesiastical authority, but with an urgency that is mixed with deep joy and sincere sorrow. The rapidity with which these deadly ideas have spread from the culture at large into churches and Christian organizations—including some that are evangelical and Reformed—necessitates the issuing of this statement now. More

Initial Signers:  John MacArthur, Voddie Baucham, Phil Johnson, James White, Tom Buck, Anthony Mathenia, Michael O’Fallon, Tom Ascol, Darrell Harrison, Craig Mitchell, Justin Peters, Jeremy Vuolo and Josh Buice.

Be A Berean Bible believing Christians must compare each claim of people who are in the Progressive Christian (social justice) movement with what God’s Word says. “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11) Pray and ask God for wisdom and discernment. He has promised wisdom to all who seek it. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. (James 1:5).

RESOURCES

Marsha West’s articles 

Doublespeak: The Language of Deception, part 4  part 5

Jen Hatmaker’s Revision of Truth

Liberals changing word meanings with intent to deceive

Liberals created the culture of evil and death, part 3

Progressive Christians and their doctrines of devils

Purpose Driven dismantling of Christianity, part 3

The “Progressive Christian” Charade

Helpful Articles

 

Recognizing Critical Theory by Matt Kennedy – New!

Social Justice Is An Attack On the Sufficiency of Scripture by Josh Buice

Slouching to Ancient Rome (Follow up to Revoice: Sliding Into Heresy) by Peter Jones

Revoice: Sliding Into Heresy by Peter Jones

5 Facts About Tim Keller/Follow up to ‘Tim Keller’s Full Endorsement of Being Gay & Christian’

Tim Keller’s Full Endorsement of Being Gay & Christian

Albert Mohler Forbids SBTS Faculty From Signing “Social Justice Statement”

The Life & Teaching of Social Justice Jesus (satire)

Bart Campolo says Progressive Christians turn into atheists. Maybe he’s right

Have your cake and eat it too Christianity by Greg Koukl

Heil to the Coming Progressive Utopia by Peter Jones

How the Social Gospel is Becoming the Dominant Theology in Evangelicalism by Jeff Maples

Jim Wallis, Progressive “Cleric” Tortures Bible to Promote Intolerant Islam – Berean Research

The Coalescing of the Christian Right With Apostolic Dominionism by Ken Silva

The Immorality of Liberals by Selwyn Duke

The Left vs. Reality by Lee Duigon

The Social Gospel Yesterday and Today, Part 1 Part 2 by Gary Gilley

The Usurpation of Evangelicalism by Social Action Warriors by Al Baker

Social Justice Is An Attack On the Sufficiency of Scripture by Josh Buice

Slouching to Ancient Rome (Follow up to Revoice: Sliding Into Heresy) by Peter Jones

 

Helpful videos

Social Justice and the Gospel — The Statement Framers panel. In this informative panel discussion with Dr. Josh Buice, Dr. James White, Dr. Voddie Baucham, Tom Buck, Phil Johnson, and Dr. Tom Ascol, Sovereign Nations Founder Michael O’Fallon leads the presenting scholars in a exploration of the postmodern crisis within the Christian Church.

Defining Social Justice: meaning, movement, mission–Voddie Baucham

Todd Friel of Wretched Radio –  Part 2

Josh Buice examines intersectionality

Phil Johnson examines Virtue Signaling

 

Books

The New Missiology – Doing Missions Without the Gospel

Living the Questions: The Wisdom of Progressive Christianity Bringing together the voices of top [progressive] Bible scholars and church leaders–including Diana Butler Bass, John Dominic Crossan, Amy-Jill Levine, Brian McLaren, Helen Prejean, and John Shelby Spong–pastors David Felten and Jeff Procter-Murphy present a lively and stimulating tour of what it means to be a “progressive” Christian.

 

Views  expressed by individual authors and/or sources don’t necessarily reflect those of Marsha West 

 

Updated 2/26/20

 

Copyright by Marsha West, 2015

via Research: Progressive (Social Justice) ‘Christianity’ — Christian Research Network

02/27/2020 — Wretched

WR2020-0227

•Voddie Baucham joins Todd at the G3 conference
•The good and bad of American Christianity from an African perspective
•Is persecution already here?
•What do we do when the government tells us to give up our guns?
•How to misapply Scripture
•The Voddie Baucham school of homiletics
•How the Regulative Principle actually works
•Should one church have two services?
•Considering music in the Church

Download Now (right click and save)

via 02/27/2020 — Wretched

BREAKING: Ukraine Launches CRIMINAL Proceedings Against Joe Biden Over Firing of Prosecutor Viktor Shokin — The Gateway Pundit

After leaving office in 2017, former Vice President Joe Biden Bragged about strong-arming the government of Ukraine to fire its top prosecutor Viktor Shokin.

Joe Biden made the remarks during a meeting of foreign policy specialists. Biden said he, “Threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.” Biden suggested during his talk that Barack Obama was in on the threat.

In April 2019 John Solomon revealed what Biden did not tell his audience. Joe Biden had Shokin fired because he was investigating Joe Biden’s son Hunter.

Since then Joe Biden and Democrats have then gone out on an international smear campaign to destroy Viktor Shokin’s education.

In January fired Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin filed an official complaint against Joe Biden for interference in Ukraine’s legal proceedings.

And today Ukraine launched criminal proceedings against former US Vice-President Joe Biden on allegations he pressured authorities into forcing the resignation of Ukrainian Prosecutor-General Viktor Shokin, Interfax-Ukraine news agency reports, quoting Shokin’s lawyer.

via BREAKING: Ukraine Launches CRIMINAL Proceedings Against Joe Biden Over Firing of Prosecutor Viktor Shokin — The Gateway Pundit

Fake News New York Times Says 11,000 Gun Murders Is An ‘Epidemic’, But Calls 10,489 Late-Term Abortions ‘Exceedingly Rare’ And Not Worthy Of Discussion — Now The End Begins

When is something “exceedingly rare?” When is something an “epidemic?” It seems the answer lies in how it fits your narrative, at least when it comes to The New York Times.

Liberals these days cannot seem to get enough abortion, they want it on demand, they want it up to the due date, and soon it will be after the due date. In the warped and permanently confused Liberal mind, 11,000 gun murders is a “raging epidemic”, while 10,489 late-term abortions where the baby feels everything is so ‘exceedingly rare’ that it doesn’t even need to be discussed they say. What did Margaret Sanger call them? Ah, that’s right, Planned Parenthood founder Sanger called them ‘weeds’.

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, thatI have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” Deuteronomy 30:19 (KJB)

Let’s not be shocked anymore about the people Adolf Hitler killed in the Nazi Holocaust if 2,362 US babies aborted each and every day in 2017 doesn’t raise an eyebrow. Gun violence? Don’t make me laugh, 450 people are killed daily in alcohol-related car crashes, are we banning cars or alcohol? What a strange thing it must be to have a Liberal mind where distortion is their only reality. Please watch the video at the bottom to see how evil, vile and wicked Margaret Sanger was, and how evil, vile and wicked Planned Parenthood is.

If Gun Murders Are ‘Epidemic,’ Why Does NYT Call 10,000 Late-Term Abortions ‘Exceedingly Rare’?

FROM THE WESTERN JOURNAL: Take late-term abortions. In an article about how Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is “looking to energize social conservatives,” Sheryl Gay Stolberg pinned the “exceedingly rare” tag on two bills involving late-term abortions.

”Both bills put a spotlight on late-term abortions, which are exceedingly rare — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last year that abortions after 20 weeks accounted for 1.2 percent of abortions in 2016, the latest period studied,” Stolberg wrote in the Monday article.

As Ramesh Ponnuru pointed out at National Review, however, this number wasn’t as insignificant as Stolberg wants you to think it is.

“She cites a CDC estimate that abortion after 20 weeks accounted for 1.2 percent of abortions in 2016. There were 874,100 abortions in the U.S. that year; 1.2 percent would be 10,489,” Ponnuru wrote. “For comparison, the number of gun homicides in the U.S. that year was estimated to be about 11,000. Perhaps the Times should start calling them ‘exceedingly rare’ too?”

Funny he should mention that.

Two days after the San Bernardino mass shooting in 2015, The Times’ editorial board was pretty clear regarding how it felt about the number of gun deaths in America, declaring the time had come to “End the Gun Epidemic in America.

The article was hyper-specific, too, in that the board felt a particular danger was posed by those evil “assault weapons,” an ill-defined category of rifles that look really minatory and hold a special appeal to mass shooters not because they’re particularly efficient at murder but because they get media coverage like this.

“It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency,” the board wrote. “These are weapons of war, barely modified and deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection. America’s elected leaders offer prayers for gun victims and then, callously and without fear of consequence, reject the most basic restrictions on weapons of mass killing, as they did on Thursday. They distract us with arguments about the word terrorism. Let’s be clear: These spree killings are all, in their own ways, acts of terrorism.”

In 2017, the year with the highest number of mass shooting deaths on record, 224 people were killed. In 2016, the year after San Bernardino, 374 people were murdered by rifles, certainly not all of them from those “weapons of mass killings” that are “deliberately marketed as tools of macho vigilantism and even insurrection.” READ MORE

21 Quotes by Margaret Sanger

“No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child, and no man shall have the right to become a father, without a permit for parenthood.”
Margaret Sanger, “America Needs a Code for Babies,” Article 4, March 27, 1934.

via Fake News New York Times Says 11,000 Gun Murders Is An ‘Epidemic’, But Calls 10,489 Late-Term Abortions ‘Exceedingly Rare’ And Not Worthy Of Discussion — Now The End Begins

February—27 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

But none saith, Where is God, my maker, who giveth songs in the night?—Job 35:10.

Ah, Lord! is it so, that among men of the world, though oppressed by the world, and the evils of it, and some are compelled to cry out under the bitterness of their sorrows, yet are there no hearts, no voices, directed to thee? When death entereth into their window, and taketh away the desire of their eyes with a stroke; or when pains, and chastenings of the body chain them to their beds: do they lament the earthly bereavements, and groan under the consequences of sin, by which death and sickness came; and yet in all these things, will nothing lead their unthinking minds “to hear the rod, and who hath appointed it?” Will they turn from one creature-comfort to another, and strive to fill up the vacancies made by distressing providences in their fancied happiness with any thing, or even nothing, rather than look to thee for comfort and support under their trouble? Oh! how great are my privileges, if this be the case, compared to the carnal! And oh! how distinguishing thy grace to my poor soul, that when sleepless on the bed, or when pains keep me awake, I can, and do look to Jesus, and say, “Thou art God my maker, who giveth songs in the night!” Yea, Lord! thou hast refreshed my soul with many a sweet song, when all the world was to me asleep, and could not interrupt my happiness. Oh! how often have I been blessed with the harmony of the songs of redemption, and run over in some of the blessed verses of it, how Jesus hath loved me, and given himself for me. Yea, Lord! may I not say, as the prophet, “Thou hast wakened me morning by morning; thou hast wakened mine ear, to hear as the learned.” For methinks I have been often wakened in the night by thee, and I have found my soul instantly led out by thy grace to a sense of thy presence, and to a desire after thee: and was not this, my Lord, calling, as upon the Church of old, “Let us get up early to the vineyards, for there will I give thee my loves!” O precious Redeemer! grant me such frequent visits, and such sweet communications of thy grace; and if in thy wise and kind providences, sickness, or pain, or afflictions, be at any time appointed me, do thou sit up by me, Lord, and keep my heart in sweet recollection of thee, that in the multitude of the sorrows of my heart, thy comforts may refresh my soul, and frequently may the earnest petition for thy presence and thy love go forth in the inquiry, “Where is God my maker, who giveth songs in the night?”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 62–63). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

February 27, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

15 This complex sentence (simplified in the NIV by being divided into two parts with a dash) sets out a basic understanding of what it means for Jesus to be the “mediator of a new covenant” (see on 8:6 for the phrase and cf. also “guarantor” in 7:22); it states both the purpose and the means of that mediation. The purpose is “that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.” In 6:12, 17 we have heard of the promises that Abraham “inherited” and that are a model for all those who after him will also become “heirs,” and in 1:14 God’s people have been described as “those who will inherit salvation.” The theme of receiving God’s promises by faith will be developed more fully in ch. 11. The phrase thus speaks of all the good things God has in store for his people (cf. also the “heavenly rest” of 4:1–11). It was the purpose of the covenant that they should receive these blessings, and under the new covenant they have been more fully spelled out as the knowledge of God and the forgiveness of sins (8:10–12). Hebrews has spoken of our “heavenly calling” in 3:1 and so here can describe Christians as “those who are called” (cf. Ro 1:6–7; 8:30; 1 Pe 5:10; etc.; and also “chosen,” Ro 8:33; etc.).

We have considered the theme of “mediator” in 8:6 and noted that Jesus not only “stands between” God and his people but is also by his sacrifice the one who has made the relationship possible. Moses offered a blood sacrifice to effect the old covenant (see vv. 18–21), but Jesus’ mediation has gone still further—he is the sacrifice. His death is a “ransom to set them free” (apolytrōsis, see on v. 12), thus making possible the forgiveness of sins that is at the heart of Jeremiah’s vision of the new covenant (8:12). “Sins” here is not the usual word but parabasis, “transgression” (GK 4126), which is particularly appropriate to the breaking of laws, and the added phrase “under the first covenant” suggests our author is thinking again of Jeremiah’s complaint that Israel failed to keep the provisions of the old covenant (8:9). It was these “transgressions” that the old sacrificial system failed to deal with adequately (7:11, 18–19; 9:9); only the perfect sacrifice of Christ can achieve this (v. 14). But while the words used focus especially on the breaking of the Mosaic laws, as the argument proceeds it will be clear that it is not only from sins “under the first covenant” that we can be set free by Jesus.[1]


15 That Jesus is “mediator of a better covenant”—the new covenant foretold by Jeremiah—has already been stated in 8:6. But now the basis of his mediatorship is made plain; that basis is his sacrificial death. By virtue of his death redemption has been provided for those who had broken the law of God; the life of Christ was the costly price paid to liberate them from their sins. The first covenant provided a measure of atonement and remission for sins committed under it, but it was incapable of providing “eternal redemption”; this was a blessing which had to await the inauguration of the new covenant, which embodies God’s promise to his people: “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:34). The basing of the new covenant on the death of Christ is a New Testament doctrine not peculiar to our author; it finds clearest expression in the words of institution spoken by our Lord over the cup: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many” (Mark 14:24) or, in their earliest recorded form, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (1 Cor. 11:25). And now that this redemptive death has taken place, the “promise of their eternal inheritance” has been made good to those “who have been called”; the new covenant, and everything that the grace of God provides under it, is forever theirs. Christians have already been described in Heb. 6:17 as “the heirs of the promise”; the fulfilment of the promise is the “eternal inheritance” into which they have entered. “Eternal” is an adjective which our author associates especially with the new covenant; that covenant itself is eternal (13:20), and so the redemption which it provides and the inheritance into which it brings the people of God are likewise eternal (vv. 12, 15); the Mediator of this covenant, having offered himself up to God as “a spiritual and eternal sacrifice” (v. 14, NEB), has become to all who obey him the “source of eternal salvation” (5:9). The eternal inheritance of grace and glory both here and hereafter is for those who “have been called”—for those who have already been designated “partakers of a heavenly calling” (3:1). The close connection between God’s effectual calling of his people and the heritage which is theirs as his sons and heirs, joint-heirs with Christ, is set out more fully by Paul in Rom. 8:14–30.[2]


15 “On account of” the effective sacrifice offered by Christ described in v. 14, “he is” now “the Mediator of [the] New Covenant.” This sacrifice is the death that “has occurred for redemption of the transgressions based on the First Covenant.” By cleansing the inner being of the worshiper, Christ’s sacrifice brought an end to the sacrifices that could cleanse nothing but the “flesh” (9:10). Thus, by establishing an effective way of approaching God, he terminated the Old Covenant as a way of salvation and inaugurated the New that it typified. His self-offering became a sacrifice of covenant inauguration. He is no mere go-between, but a Mediator who, on the basis of his all-sufficient self-offering, guarantees (7:22) the benefits provided to all “those who draw near to God through him” (7:25). He functions now as Mediator for beleaguered believers, enabling them to obtain their promised “eternal inheritance.”

“Transgressions based on the First Covenant” does not limit the effectiveness of Christ’s sacrifice to offenses committed before his coming or before the hearers became believers. The Old Covenant may not have been able to cleanse the heart, but it did expose the true nature of sin as unbelief and disobedience springing from an evil heart.75 Apart from Christ the condemnation of the broken covenant described in 8:7–13 continues to threaten the people of God. God’s people who come after Christ are endangered by the same unbelief and disobedience that characterized the wilderness generation (3:7–4:11; 8:8–9). Christ’s coming has only intensified the condemnation of the Old Covenant on those who reject God’s grace (2:1–4). The pastor uses “transgressions” to underscore the deliberate character and thus the seriousness of these disobedient acts. Christ’s death provides “redemption” from “the consequences and … power” of these transgressions.77 His self-offering cleanses God’s people from sin so that they can escape the condemnation of the broken Old Covenant and receive the promised inheritance that it anticipated.

Christ exercises his present ministry both as High Priest at God’s right hand and as Mediator of the New Covenant. His high priesthood and his mediatorship are two sides of the same coin. We might say that as High Priest he does what the Old Covenant could not do by cleansing the heart from sin. As Mediator he undoes what the Old did, by removing the condemnation pronounced on the sinner. Yet the two cannot be separated because the New Covenant he mediates results in God’s law written on the cleansed hearts of his people (10:15–18). Priesthood and covenant are inseparable (7:11).

“Those who have been called” describes God’s people in this world. The divine promise to Abraham (11:8) was a “heavenly calling” (3:1) that invited the people of God to join him in his heavenly abode. The life of the “called” is to be a life of faith and obedience appropriate for those offered such a destiny. All who persevere through the mediation of Christ will attain this “eternal inheritance.” However, those who imitate the unbelief of the wilderness generation will fail to reach that final destination. God’s people once experienced “redemption” from Egypt so that they could “receive” their “inheritance” in the Promised Land. Christ has now provided a “redemption” that opens the “eternal inheritance” in the heavenly homeland (11:10, 13–16) for all the faithful (11:1–40). No one needs to go the way of unbelief (3:7–4:11), for Christ is the Mediator and High Priest who removes condemnation and provides cleansing so that his people can persevere until entrance into that final, “eternal,” heavenly “inheritance” promised them.

  • Freed from the Condemnation of a Broken Covenant (9:16–22)

16 For where there is a covenant, of necessity the death of the one making the covenant must be borne. 17 For a covenant becomes valid on the basis of death, since it never is in force when the one making the covenant is alive. 18 Therefore, the First Covenant was not inaugurated without blood. 19 For when all the ordinances according to the law had been spoken by Moses to the whole people, he took the blood of goats and bulls, with water and with scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying: “This is the blood of the covenant that God has completed for you.” 21 And the tent and all the utensils of worship he likewise sprinkled with blood. 22 And almost everything is purified with blood according to the law, and without the shedding of blood there is no release.

In the covenant section (8:7–13) of the opening movement of this symphony the pastor quoted the New Covenant prophecy from Jer 31:31–34. According to that passage, God condemned those who broke the Old Covenant and promised that he would institute a New and effective Covenant. In 9:16–22 the pastor shows how Christ removes the condemnation engendered by the Old. In 10:15–18, the final covenant section, he will enumerate the blessings of the promised and now fulfilled New.

The pastor has shown that Christ’s death brings genuine inner cleansing from sin. By providing this cleansing it does away with the Old Covenant as a means of approaching God because that Covenant was unable to purify its adherents from sin. Thus by providing for genuine cleansing, Christ’s death inaugurated the New Covenant as an effective way of coming into God’s presence (9:11–14) and established him as its “Mediator.” Thus his death provided “for redemption from transgressions committed under the First Covenant” (9:15). As noted above, that First Covenant’s condemnation of sin has only been intensified for those who reject Christ. Verses 16–17 explain how Christ’s sacrifice procured this liberation according to the terms of that First or Old but broken Covenant. Verses 18–22 verify this liberation through a description of the First and Old Covenant’s inauguration.[3]


9:15 / For this reason—that is, because of his death—Christ (lit., “he”) is the mediator of a new covenant. It is clear that the author has in mind the new covenant spoken of by Jeremiah (cf. the quotation in 8:8–12 and 10:16–17). The result of the inauguration of the new covenant is that those who are called receive the promised eternal inheritance. The author has already spoken of a special calling received by Christians through the preaching of the gospel in 3:1. It is significant that he uses particularly Jewish concepts of “promise” and “inheritance” here (cf. 6:17). This strengthens the motif of the fulfillment of the ot promises in the church (cf. 13:20). The basis of this new covenant and its reception by the called is now set forth. (In the original text, the basis is explicated before the result, whereas niv places the basis last, introducing it with the words now that.) The basis of the new situation is that he has died, which has as its result that it sets people free (cf. the reference to “an eternal redemption” in v. 12). It redeems them from the sins (lit., “transgressions”) committed under the first covenant. The real answer to sins against the commandments of the Mosaic law is found not in the sacrifice of animals, but in the sacrifice of Christ. The new covenant thus contains within it the answer to the failure to abide by the requirements of the old covenant (cf. 8:12; 10:17–18). And, forgiveness experienced during the ot period depended finally—although this was hardly understood at the time—upon an event that was to take place in the future. The sacrifice of Christ is the answer to sin in every era, past and present, since it alone is the means of forgiveness.[4]


Christ’s Death and the First Covenant

9:15

Weaving his artistic verbal cloth, the author of Hebrews is ready to bring in the concepts of mediator and covenant. In chapter 8, especially verse 6, he introduced the role of mediator that Jesus has been given. Having explained Christ’s death and its effect in chapter 9, he now develops the significance of this mediatorial role in relation to the covenant that God has made with his people.

  1. For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

When the author writes “for this reason,” he wants us to look at verses 13 and 14 specifically and the preceding context generally. In these two verses, the writer contrasts the sacrifices of the first covenant with the sacrifice of Christ that introduces a new relationship. In verse 15, the author summarizes and says, “Christ is the mediator of a new covenant.”

Before we proceed any further, we ought to take note of the institution of the first covenant, recorded in Exodus 24. Moses read the Law of God to the Israelites, who responded, “Everything the Lord has said we will do” (v. 3). Then burnt offerings and fellowship offerings were presented to God, and blood was sprinkled on the altar. Moses then read the Book of the Covenant to the people, who said, “We will do everything the Lord has said; we will obey” (v. 7). Thereupon Moses, sprinkling blood on the people, said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words” (v. 8).

Here are the characteristics of this covenant:

  1. The covenant God made with his people had two parties: God and the Israelites entered into a solemn commitment on the basis of the content of the Book of the Covenant.
  2. The covenant was sealed by the death of animals that were offered to God. The blood of those animals was sprinkled on altar and people.
  3. The covenant was ratified by the people who promised obedience to God.

Why did this covenant become obsolete? The author quotes a lengthy passage from Jeremiah 31 in chapter 8, and in the first part of the next chapter he explains that the regulations of the first covenant were external (9:1, 10). “The gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper” (9:9). Sins committed against God, as a violation of the covenant promise, could not be erased from man’s conscience by presenting gifts and offerings to God. The blood of animals sacrificed to atone for man’s transgressions sanctified him outwardly, but inwardly man struggled with a guilty conscience. The first covenant, then, needed to be replaced.

By his sacrifice on the cross, Christ validated the new covenant that he instituted at the time he celebrated the Passover with his disciples. He said: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20; also see the parallel passages in Matt. 26:28; Mark 14:24; and 1 Cor. 11:25).

Christ has become the mediator of this new covenant (12:24). He stands between God and man. By his death he removes sin and guilt, and thus all “those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.” Through the mediatorial work of Christ, they who are effectively called inherit salvation. And that inheritance is eternal.

What is the meaning of “new” in the expression new covenant? First, the new comes forth out of the old. That is, the new covenant has the same basis and characteristics as the old covenant. Next, in both covenants, sacrifices were presented to God; but whereas the sacrifices offered to atone for the transgressions of the people in the time of the first covenant could not set the sinner free, the supreme sacrifice of Christ’s death redeemed God’s people and paid for their sins. Moreover, in the structure of the first covenant, the mediator (i.e., the high priest) was imperfect. In the new covenant Christ is the mediator who guarantees the promise of salvation. God puts his laws in the minds and writes them on the hearts of his redeemed people, so that as a result they know God, experience remission of sin, and enjoy covenantal fellowship with him.[5]


[1] France, R. T. (2006). Hebrews. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, pp. 119–120). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] Bruce, F. F. (1990). The Epistle to the Hebrews (Rev. ed., pp. 219–221). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[3] Cockerill, G. L. (2012). The Epistle to the Hebrews (pp. 401–404). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[4] Hagner, D. A. (2011). Hebrews (p. 141). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of Hebrews (Vol. 15, pp. 254–255). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

February 27 Streams in the Desert

And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.” (Gen. 32:24.)

LEFT alone! What different sensations those words conjure up to each of us. To some they spell loneliness and desolation, to others rest and quiet. To be left alone without God, would be too awful for words, but to be left alone with Him is a foretaste of Heaven! If His followers spent more time alone with Him, we should have spiritual giants again.

The Master set us an example. Note how often He went to be alone with God; and He had a mighty purpose behind the command, “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray.

The greatest miracles of Elijah and Elisha took place when they were alone with God. It was alone with God that Jacob became a prince; and just there that we, too, may become princes—“men (aye, and women too!) wondered at” (Zech. 3:8). Joshua was alone when the Lord came to him. (Josh. 1:1.) Gideon and Jephthah were by themselves when commissioned to save Israel. (Judges 6:11 and 11:29.) Moses was by himself at the wilderness bush. (Exodus 3:1–5.) Cornelius was praying by himself when the angel came to him. (Acts 10:2.). No one was with Peter on the house top, when he was instructed to go to the Gentiles. (Acts 10:9.) John the Baptist was alone in the wilderness (Luke 1:80), and John the Beloved alone in Patmos, when nearest God. (Rev. 1:9.)

Covet to get alone with God. If we neglect it, we not only rob ourselves, but others too, of blessing, since when we are blessed we are able to pass on blessing to others. It may mean less outside work; it must mean more depth and power, and the consequence, too, will be “they saw no man save Jesus only.”

To be alone with God in prayer cannot be over-emphasized.

“If chosen men had never been alone,

In deepest silence open-doored to God,

No greatness ever had been dreamed or done.”[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (p. 65). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

February 27th The D. L. Moody Year Book

My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.—1 Corinthians. 2:4.

MANY people think that we need new measures, that we need new churches, that we need new organs, and that we need new choirs, and all these new things. But what the Church of God needs to-day is the old power that the apostles had: if we have that in our churches, there will be new life. Then we will have new ministers—the same old ministers renewed with power, filled with the Spirit.

I remember when in Chicago many were toiling in the work, and it seemed as though the car of salvation didn’t move on, when a minister began to cry out from the very depths of his heart, “Oh, God, put new ministers in every pulpit.” The next Monday I heard two or three men say, “We had a new minister last Sunday—the same old minister, but he had got new power.” I firmly believe that is what we want to-day all over the land. We want new ministers in the pulpit and new people in the news. We want people quickened by the Spirit of God.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (pp. 45–46). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Coronavirus and the Human Death Rate of 100% – “Knowing it all ends soon, what should I do today?” — Istoria Ministries Blog

Photo: Claudio Furlan, LaPresse, Courtesy Associated Press

The United States and people all over the world seem to be in a panic that over the Coronavirus.

The death rate from the here-to-for unknown virus is 2.3% overall. The death rate is a 8% for people in their 70s, and it stands at almost 15% for people in their 80s. But overall, just 2.3%.
That means, for every 100 people infected with Coronavirus, less than 3 people will die from it.
That’s just plain silly.
The human race has a death toll of 100%.

“People are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 NIV)

If you’re living your life differently today because the Coronavirus has a 2.3% mortality rate, you’re not yet comprehending that the human race (which means “you”) has a 100% death rate.
Steve Jobs once said,

Death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. Death is life’s change agent.

Death clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now, the new is you, but someday not to long from now you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.

Sorry to be so dramatic, but it’s quite true. Your time is limited; so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

The original Martin Luther, the one after whom Jr. was named, was once asked, “If you knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, what would you do?”

Martin Luther responded:

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

Luther reveals that the person “at peace with God” has no need to change the course direction of his or her life.

If you’re considering your mortality because of the Coronavirus, you’ve not yet learned what it means to live.

Nobody is truly living until they are comfortable with dying. Peace with God brings a person to the place of planting an apple true the last day of one’s life.

This peace with our Creator comes from trusting the truth that He in His love for you,  has done for you through His Son Jesus Christ what you could never accomplish for yourself.

Christ died that I might live.

Pardon me as I go plant my apple tree.

via Coronavirus and the Human Death Rate of 100% – “Knowing it all ends soon, what should I do today?” — Istoria Ministries Blog

The Left Prays for Coronavirus Black Swan Event to Take Out Trump, But it Won’t Happen. Here’s Why. — Christian Research Network

“The “aggressive containment strategy” by the U.S. “has been working and responsible for the low level of cases that we have so far,” according to the career CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat, who spoke at the White House news conference on COVID-19. But she also urged schools, institutions, and universities to “dust off pandemic emergency plans” to be prepared. She reminded reporters assembled that the last time the U.S. had a concern like this was with the H1N1 influenza.”

(Victoria Taft – PJ Media)  It’s hard to tell if the superheated response by the Left (the media) to the coronavirus outbreak from China is due to there being a slow news cycle (which is hard to believe), a legitimate news story with U.S. ramifications, or as something to tattoo Donald Trump with a ‘Hurricane Katrina’ moment.

via The Left Prays for Coronavirus Black Swan Event to Take Out Trump, But it Won’t Happen. Here’s Why. — Christian Research Network

MORE BAD NEWS FOR DEMOCRATS: New Poll Shows Only 29% of US Voters Have Favorable View of Socialism — The Gateway Pundit

As Marxist Bernie Sanders continues to surge in the Democrat primary a new poll finds that only 29% of US voters support Socialism.

This could spell doom for Democrats in November.

It was already going to be a very difficult year for the death cult but with Crazy Bernie as the public face of the party it’s going to be even more difficult.

Via Rasmussen Reports:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 29% of Likely U.S. Voters share a favorable opinion of socialism, with just nine percent (9%) who have a Very Favorable one. Fifty-nine percent (59%) view socialism unfavorably, including Very Unfavorables of 42%. Eleven percent (11%) are undecided.

via MORE BAD NEWS FOR DEMOCRATS: New Poll Shows Only 29% of US Voters Have Favorable View of Socialism — The Gateway Pundit

Nancy Pelosi Criticizes Trump Over Coronavirus, But Teeming Outdoor Homelessness In Her District In San Francisco May Just Become Ground Zero For Outbreak In United States — Now The End Begins

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is criticizing Trump over handling of coronavirus, but the teeming homeless problem and sanitary conditions in her home district of San Francisco may just lead to a ground zero outbreak of the disease.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is criticizing President Trump over his response to the coronavirus, but she needs to look a little closer to home to see where the real problem is. She is a congresswoman for San Francisco, an area that has a massive outdoor homeless tent city population, and an area of the country already teeming with diseases like the bubonic plague. The homeless there openly defecate on the streets amid the squalor of this once idyllic city by the bay. If the coronavirus comes to Nancy Pelosi’s district, cases will spread like wildfire.

Why is Nancy Pelosi so silent on this issue? In San Francisco thousands of homeless openly defecate on the city streets, and it is causing myriad health issues. 

Forbes reports that in Nancy Pelosi’s district: ” The trash, used needles, and human waste littering California’s cities have led to increased numbers of rats and—along with them—fleas and deadly diseases. There were 13 reported cases of typhus in California in 2008, spiking to 167 in 2018, while hepatitis A, tuberculosis, and staph has been spreading aggressively in San Francisco and other California cities. A new public health threat may be on the verge of making a deadly appearance: bubonic plague—known in the Middle Ages as the “Black Death”—it was responsible killing about 60% of the population of Eurasia in the mid-1300s.” READ MORE

San Francisco is a dirty, rotten, disease-infested rat hole thanks to the Democratic policies that have destroyed it, and Nancy Pelosi has done literally nothing about the homeless problem. Nothing. What did she do yesterday to reassure her people that she was “handling things”? She baked fortune cookies with the message “United We Stand”, but guess what? Her district is sinking, and with the coronavirus now here, Nancy Pelosi and her filthy district may just be overseeing the spread of it. See video below on just how crazy bad San Francisco has become.

President Trump tears into Nancy Pelosi, Schumer for politicizing coronavirus

FROM THE NY POST: President Trump on Wednesday ripped House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer over their criticism of his response to the coronavirus threat — charging that they were playing politics while he was trying to protect the American people. “I think Speaker Pelosi is incompetent. I think she’s not thinking about the country,” he said when asked about the California Democrat’s statement that Trump didn’t know what he was doing in his response to the threat.

“Instead of making a statement like that where I’ve been beating her routinely at everything, instead of making a statement like that, she should be saying we have to work together because we have a big problem potentially and maybe it’s going to be a very little problem,” Trump said at the White House during a press briefing on the administration’s response to the worldwide virus.

“I hope that it’s going to be a very little problem but we have to work together. Instead she wants to do the same thing with ‘Crying’ Chuck Schumer,” he said.

While Her District Wallows In Filthy Human Excrement, Nancy Pelosi Makes Fortune Cookies That Say All Is Well When It Absolutely Is Not

The New York senator had panned the administration’s request for $2.5 billion to combat the virus, saying it wasn’t enough, and urged Congress to spend $8.5 billion.

“He goes out and says the president only asks for $2.5 million. He should have $8.5 billion. This is the first time I’ve ever been told we should take more, usually it’s we have to take less,” the president said. “He shouldn’t be making statements like that because it’s so bad for the country, and Nancy Pelosi, she should go back to her district and get it cleaned it up. I’m just saying, we should all be working together. She’s trying to create a panic and there’s no reason to panic because we have done so good,” he asserted.

“All they’re trying to do is get a political advantage. This isn’t about political advantage, we’re all trying to do the right thing. They shouldn’t be saying this is terrible, president trump isn’t asking for enough money. How stupid a thing to say?”

Nancy Pelosi’s deputy chief of staff, Drew Hammill, responded to Trump’s claims by retweeting a video the House speaker originally posted Monday of her making fortune cookies in San Francisco with the message, “United We Stand.”

“This is what competent leadership looks like,” Hammill tweeted. “The Speaker on Monday visited San Francisco’s Chinatown, the beautiful heart of her district, to urge calm and support local businesses. Ridiculous to suggest her actions have caused panic.”

“This is not political. Our proposal was put together after hearing from public health experts and looking at historical precedents, like in 2009 when Congress appropriated over $7B to fight the H1N1 flu,” Schumer said in a statement to The Post. “My message to the president is simple: It was incompetent and dangerous to propose cuts to CDC funding or simply trust other governments (like China) to handle this. Simply incompetent.” READ MORE

Here’s What You Missed From Trump’s Coronavirus Press Conference

President Trump held a press conference to address the nation on the measures his administration has been taking and will take to combat the coronavirus.

Left Behind: Homeless Crisis in San Francisco

Nancy Pelosi is the representative to the 12th District in San Francisco, what you see in this video are her people. Why does she do nothing to solve this problem?

San Francisco Is The Home District For Nancy Pelosi

San Francisco is often in the news for its homeless problem, rampant drug use, crime, and human feces and syringes found on the sidewalk. In today’s Pseudo-Intellectual, Lauren Chen looks at just how bad San Francisco’s problems are, and what could be causing them. Welcome to Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco.

via Nancy Pelosi Criticizes Trump Over Coronavirus, But Teeming Outdoor Homelessness In Her District In San Francisco May Just Become Ground Zero For Outbreak In United States — Now The End Begins

February 27, 2020 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

Positive Hope in Jesus Christ

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”—in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (3:13–14)

Turning again to the positive, Paul reminds the Jewish believers in Galatia of the fact that Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having been a curse for us.

Redeemed is from exagorazō, a word commonly used of buying a slave’s freedom. Christ justifies those who believe in Him by buying them back from their slavery to sin. The price He paid was the only one high enough to redeem all of mankind, the “precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:19).

The curse of the Law was the punishment demanded because no man could keep from violating its demands, but Christ took that curse upon Himself as a substitute for sinners and became a curse for us in His crucifixion, for it is written (Deut. 21:23), “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.”

In ancient Judaism a criminal who was executed, usually by stoning, was then tied to a post, a type of tree, where his body would hang until sunset as a visible representation of rejection by God. It was not that a person became cursed by being hanged on a tree but that he was hanged on a tree because he was cursed. Jesus did not become a curse because He was crucified but was crucified because he was cursed in taking the full sin of the world upon Himself. “He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed” (1 Pet. 2:24; cf. Acts 5:30).

That truth was extremely hard for most Jews to accept, because they could not imagine the Messiah’s being cursed by God and having to hang on a tree. First Corinthians 12:3 suggests that “Jesus is accursed” was a common, demon-inspired saying among unbelieving Jews of that day. To them, Jesus’ crucifixion was final and absolute proof that He was not the promised Messiah.

But for those who trust in Him, the two words for us become the two most beautiful words in all of Scripture. Because God sent His Son to bear the penalty for man’s sin, every person who puts his trust in the crucified Savior has had the curse borne for him.

Jesus’ sacrifice was total and for all men, in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. On man’s part, the curse is lifted by faith, which God, on His part and by grace, counts as righteousness on the believer’s behalf, and the river of blessing begins to flow as the rushing water of God’s grace engulfs the believer. Jesus Christ bore the curse, Paul affirms, to bring the blessing of Abraham … to the Gentiles. Salvation was for the purpose of God’s blessing the world. All that God desired for and promised to Abraham of salvation and its benefits would spread to the nations. A coordinate purpose clause is added—so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (cf. Acts 1:4–5; Eph. 1:13), who comes as the resident, indwelling Person to bless us with power.

All of this blessing is through faith. Justifying faith involves self-renunciation, putting away all confidence in one’s own merit and works. Like the Israelites who had Pharaoh’s pursuing army behind them and the impassable Red Sea in front of them, the sinner must acknowledge his sinfulness and his total inability to save himself. When he sees God’s justice pursuing him and God’s judgment ahead of him, he realizes his helplessness in himself and realizes he has nowhere to turn but to God’s mercy and grace.

Justifying faith also involves reliance on and submission to the Lord. When a sinner sees that he has no way to escape and no power in his own resources, he knows he must rely on God’s provision and power. Finally, justifying faith involves appropriation, as the sinner gratefully receives the free gift of pardon Christ offers and submits to His authority.

Justifying faith does not have to be strong faith; it only has to be true faith. And true faith not only brings salvation to the believer but glory to the One who saves.

When a person receives Christ as Lord and Savior, he receives the promised blessing and the promised Spirit, which Paul describes in Ephesians as being “blessed … with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (1:3). This blessing gives a testimony of praise to “the glory of His grace” (1:6). God receives glory when His attributes are on display, and nowhere is His grace more evident than in the sending of His only Son to be crucified on man’s behalf, the Sinless paying the debt of the sinful. Believers are “raised … up with Him, and seated … with Him in the heavenly places, in Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward [them] in Christ Jesus” (2:6–7).

Men are redeemed in order to exhibit God’s majestic being before all creation. His supreme purpose is to demonstrate His glorious grace against the backdrop of man’s sinfulness, lostness, and hopelessness. The very purpose of the church is to “stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” and to praise “the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, … [for His] glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever” (Jude 24–25).[1]


14  (d) This verse describes the purpose for which Christ redeemed his people from the curse of the law. NEB’s “that … so that” (cf. NASB, NIV) seems to regard the second clause as subordinate to the first; but the two clauses, both introduced by hina, are probably to be taken as coordinate (cf. AV, RV, RSV).

The first clause makes a statement from the perspective of salvation history: it was in Jesus Christ—the one who delivered his people from the curse of the law by vicariously bearing it upon himself (v. 13) and who is the offspring of Abraham in whom all the Gentiles were to be blessed (v. 16)—that the Gentiles receive Abraham’s blessing, which (as vv. 6–9 have shown) is that of being justified through faith. In this way Christ’s coming opened to the Gentiles the door of faith and of justification through faith apart from the works of the law.

The second clause expresses the same truth in terms of individual spiritual experience: “the blessing of Abraham which has been revealed in Christ is received in the gift of the promised Spirit.” This gift of the Spirit (who is the substance of the promise) is to be received “through faith,” literally “through the faith”—the faith spoken of in vv. 7, 9, 11f. In the original promise to Abraham there was no mention of the Spirit but only the blessing of justification by faith, and yet here Paul conceives of the fulfillment of that promise as constituted above all in the bestowal of the Spirit upon those who have faith. It is thus manifest that in Paul’s thinking the blessing of justification is almost synonymous (it is certainly contemporaneous) with the reception of the Spirit (cf. above on 3:6, next to last paragraph).

Before proceeding further in the text of Paul’s letter, we pause to summarize in four statements our findings from this passage (3:7–14) which bear upon the subject of justification by faith.

(a) Paul shows from God’s promise to Abraham that faith is the way to the blessing of justification (vv. 8f.); works, on the other hand, can never justify (vv. 10–12). Thus, justification through faith is not only illustrated in Paul’s own conversion (2:15ff.), in the experience of the Galatian converts (3:1ff.), and in the case of Abraham (3:6), but is also seen to be intended from the time of Abraham as God’s abiding principle of dealing with mankind; the announcement of this principle to Abraham was a proleptic announcement of the gospel (v. 8).

(b) Justification by faith is closely linked with sonship to Abraham, since being blessed with Abraham, which is identical with being justified by faith (v. 9), is said to be equivalent to being sons of Abraham (v. 7). Justification by faith is also closely linked with reception of the Spirit, so much so that the two may be equated (v. 14). Thus we can establish an intimate relationship between these three ideas: justification by faith, sonship to Abraham by faith, and reception of the Spirit by faith. The obvious common factor is faith: the men of faith are, as regards the formal side, sons of Abraham; as regards the material side, they are justified and receive the gift of the promised Spirit. The near-equation of justification and reception of the Spirit repeats and confirms what we found in examining vv. 1–6, while the presentation of justification in terms of sonship to Abraham reflects and confirms what was seen in 2:14–21, that is, the polemical orientation of the doctrine of justification, the formulation of which has been shaped in part by the position being combated.

(c) Justification through faith is set in the context of salvation history: God’s promise to Abraham that the Gentiles would be blessed by means of faith (v. 8) was fulfilled in Christ, whose death delivered the Gentiles from the curse of the law and opened to them the door of justification by faith (vv. 13–14a).

(d) Justification through faith, viewed from the experiential point of view, is based upon the salvation-historical event of Christ’s death (vv. 13, 14b): it is Christ’s bearing of the law’s curse in his death that made reception of the Spirit through faith possible. This provides the key to understanding the relation between righteousness and Christ’s death which was noted but not defined in our discussion of 2:16; it can now be said that righteousness or justification has its objective ground in the vicarious death of Christ, and that the purpose of that death is fulfilled in the bestowal of justification (and of the Spirit) through faith.[2]


13–14 Relying on works of the Torah as the path to righteousness and life, or putting oneself under the yoke of Torah on this side of the Christ event, is ultimately contrary to God’s purposes in Christ—purposes achieved only at the greatest and grisliest cost to Jesus himself: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Torah by becoming a curse on our behalf (because it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone left hanging upon a tree’) in order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the nations in Christ Jesus, so that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through trust.” Paul speaks here about the purposes of Christ’s death and thereby the benefits that Christ’s death have brought—benefits that are jeopardized where “grace” is set aside (2:21). To prefer slavery to liberation won at great cost alienates the liberator (5:2–4).

Paul quotes an excerpt from Deut 21:22–23, a regulation originally limiting the amount of time an executed criminal’s body should be displayed on a tree or a pole to further degrade that criminal and serve as a warning to others. The regulation stipulated that the body of the deceased criminal was to be buried before nightfall, so as not to defile the land of Israel, “because anyone hung on a tree is under God’s curse” (Deut 21:23 NRSV). Curiously, we do not find Jewish authors connecting the victims of crucifixion with this verse, deducing therefrom that they die accursed. Philo and Josephus refer frequently to crucifixion—Philo, five times (Flaccus 72, 83); Josephus, seventeen times (Antiquities 13.380–81; War 5.449–51), never speaking of the victims as cursed. Blame falls instead upon the perpetrators of these executions: upon Flaccus, Alexander Jannaeus, and the soldiers who crucified refugees fleeing Jerusalem during the siege. Even in the Testimonium Flavianum, the somewhat doctored reference to Jesus in Josephus, there is no mention of curse. Pesher Nahum (4QpNahum fragments 3–4, col. 1, lines 7–8) also recalls the acts of Alexander Jannaeus, who crucified 800 of his enemies (presumably Pharisees, as that party opposed him most virulently), but this text envisions God vindicating the victims against Alexander Jannaeus’s heirs. The Testament of Moses (6.9; 8.1) also speaks sympathetically of faithful Jews who are the victims of crucifixion, clearly not cursed by God for standing by the covenant and being “hung on a tree” as a result. The Temple Scroll, by contrast, does apply Deut 21:22–23 to crucifixion, reversing the order of the killing and the hanging, such that the hanging now becomes the mode of execution (11QTemple 64.6–13). This is perhaps the only text that understands both the “hanging” (on a cross) to indicate the mode of death and God’s curse to fall upon the victim as a result. Crucified Jews were otherwise not widely viewed as automatically cursed apart from the justice of their sentence and execution—hence, the fact that they had indeed been transgressors of such a kind as merited capital punishment and postmortem degradation.88

There is therefore almost no evidence that Deut 21:22–23 figured prominently in Jewish criticism of Christians and their Messiah. It may have been sufficiently problematic that the one proclaimed by Christians as Messiah had been subjected to suffering, degradation, and death, without critics also feeling the need to bring up (or perhaps not perceiving the possibility of applying) Deut 21:22–23. These verses, however, do rise to the fore in Christian texts, which focused in some instances not on the fact of the curse but on the command to bury the crucified victim the same day (as in John 19:31). The passage is also referred to obliquely in Acts 5:30; 10:39; 13:29, texts that focus on Jesus’s innocence. In the resurrection of Jesus, God had personally intervened to vindicate Jesus as righteous (hence not guilty of the capital crime for which he was executed) and not as accursed, overturning the verdict of the Jewish authorities, the Roman enforcers, and (in Christian discourse) the Torah itself.

Paul may introduce the quotation here not because of popular anti-Christian application calling for rebuttal, but because it affords him an opportunity to demonstrate how Jesus’s death announces an end to the rule of the law and its power to curse. The principle of gezera shawa is again operative in the selection and juxtaposition of Deut 21:23 and Deut 27:26:

Cursed is everyone who … (Deut 27:26).

Cursed is everyone who … (Deut 21:23).

Christ suffered crucifixion—was hung upon a tree—so as to die accursed under the Torah, specifically in order to redeem all those who had been born under the threat of Torah’s curse (or who, because of their actual disobedience during their lives, suffered the curse itself). The word translated “redeem” probably carries the sense of “secure the rights to someone by paying a price,” as in the purchase or sacral manumission of a slave.92 The use of this verb anticipates Paul’s depiction of life under Torah as a form of slavery (3:23–25; 4:1–4; 4:21–5:1). Christ made himself an “exchange curse” for all who lived under the threat of curse and brought the authority of Torah to an end by buying out all who lived under its jurisdiction. With the term of Torah—that which separated Jew from gentile—ended, God would now deliver the blessing, promised through Abraham, to “all the nations,” Jewish and gentile alike (3:14).

When Paul speaks of Christ as cursed by virtue of hanging upon a cross, it is unclear whom he regards to be doing the cursing. He has omitted the phrase “by God” in his citation of Deut 21:23, which may be an indication of his desire to suggest that not God, but Torah, pronounces Jesus accursed. As a result, Torah itself would appear to have been ranged against God and God’s Messiah by virtue of pronouncing the latter “cursed” when, in fact, he was the first human being to experience the ultimate blessing of resurrection from the dead (the sign of God’s vindication of the righteous person). It is also possible, however, that Paul assumes—and knows that his readers would assume—the curse pronounced in Torah to be pronounced by God. In this case, Paul would regard Jesus as willingly enduring God’s curse in order to redeem those laboring under the curse of the law, with God, however, nevertheless also affirming Jesus to have been righteous and to have died to advance God’s own salvific purposes for all peoples. In either understanding, returning to the Torah-observant way of life as a means to acquittal before God entails placing oneself back under the slavish existence from which Christ redeemed that individual by dying accursed on the cross—and thus also entails a “setting aside of God’s favor” (2:21), a repudiation of this death on the person’s behalf by repudiating its beneficial consequences.[3]


3:14 / Paul speaks of the blessing given to Abraham in the first instance, which accords with the scriptural passages. Yet he immediately moves to his own interpretation of that blessing—the promise of the Spirit. It is this which Paul says we … receive … by faith. Whereas in 3:2 he had reminded his readers of what they had received, now Paul also affirms that he too has received the promise through faith. This shift is perhaps related to the fact that Paul directly relates reception of the promise to the death of Christ. As Paul tends to speak personally of the death of Christ as one in which he participates or one that is for him (2:20), it may be that Paul instinctively includes himself when speaking of Christ’s death (3:13) and its consequences (3:14).

Paul says that the promise comes through Christ Jesus. The Greek reads not “through Christ,” but “in Christ,” en Xristō. This verse resonates with the scriptural quote in 3:8: “All nations will be blessed through [in] you.” Just as God promised that in Abraham the nations would be blessed, so now it is in Christ Jesus that that blessing has come about. As R. B. Hays says about this verse: “It is only through participation in him that the Gentiles receive the blessing” (The Faith of Jesus Christ, p. 208).

The phrase by faith in the Greek is literally “through the faith” (dia tēs pisteōs), and it stands in parallelism with “in Christ Jesus.” If a subjective genitive reading for 2:16 is adopted (see Introduction), the sense here would be “we receive the Spirit through the faith (of Christ) in which we participate by being in Christ, and we are in Christ because we are believers.”[4]


14. The curse having thus been borne and lifted off our shoulders, the blessing can now flow forth: in order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles in Jesus Christ, in order that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. The two purpose clauses are co-ordinate. They cover the same ground, the second explaining the first. Among all the priceless gems sparkling in the crown of Abraham’s blessing (the blessing he received) this surely was one of the most precious, namely, that through him—more precisely through his seed, the Messiah—a countless multitude of people was to be blessed. Through Christ and his Spirit (literally “the Spirit of promise,” but this means “the promised Spirit,” cf. Acts 1:4, 5; Eph. 1:13) the river of grace (cf. Ezek. 47:3–5; Ps. 46:4; Rev. 22:1, 2), full, flowing, freshening, fructifying, and free, would continue on and on, blessing first the Jews but subsequently men of every race, Gentiles as well as Jews. And to receive this blessing, namely, the realization of the promise, “I will be your God,” all that is necessary is faith, confidence in Christ Crucified, for it is at Calvary that the fires of Gods wrath have spent all their fury, and believers of every tribe and tongue and people and nation are therefore perfectly safe![5]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Galatians (pp. 78–79). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Fung, R. Y. K. (1988). The Epistle to the Galatians (pp. 151–153). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[3] deSilva, D. A. (2018). The Letter to the Galatians. (N. B. Stonehouse, F. F. Bruce, G. D. Fee, & J. B. Green, Eds.) (pp. 293–296). Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[4] Jervis, L. A. (2011). Galatians (pp. 92–93). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book.

[5] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Galatians (Vol. 8, p. 131). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

February 27, 2020 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

President Trump’s administration can withhold millions of dollars in law
enforcement funds from states and cities that refuse to cooperate with
federal immigration authorities, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Wednesday.

Democratic presidential hopefuls spread out across South Carolina on
Thursday ahead of the state’s primary election on Saturday – their first
big test with African-American voters.

Republican activists in South Carolina are urging party voters to do the
seemingly unthinkable: support U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ bid for the
White House in the state’s Democratic primary on Saturday. The unusual
effort is aimed at exposing what the activists see as flaws in the Southern
state’s open primary system – and at boosting the candidate many
Republicans view as the easiest rival for Republican President Donald Trump
to beat in November.

The number of new coronavirus infections inside China – the source of the
outbreak – was for the first time overtaken by fresh cases elsewhere on
Wednesday, with Italy and Iran emerging as epicenters of the rapidly
spreading illness.

The Federal Reserve, long criticized for being too white and male, crossed
a substantial milestone last year: for the first time in its 107-year
history, white men held fewer than half of board seats at the Fed’s 12
regional outposts.

The coronavirus’ rapid spread in Iran, Italy, South Korea and elsewhere
left alarmed governments and people across the globe rushing on Thursday to
implement emergency measures.

The United States on Thursday granted a license to allow for certain
humanitarian trade transactions with Iran’s sanctioned central bank, a move
it said was in step with the formalization of a Swiss humanitarian aid
channel.

Iran said on Thursday its death toll from coronavirus had risen to 26, the
highest number of fatalities from the virus outside China, and the total
number of infected people now stood at 245, including several senior
officials. The outbreak prompted authorities to call off Friday prayers in
several cities including Tehran, state TV later reported, while state news
agency IRNA said Iran has banned Chinese citizens from entering the
country.

At least 32 people have been killed in the deadliest violence to engulf
India’s capital New Delhi for decades as a heavy deployment of security
forces brought an uneasy calm on Thursday.

Iraqi politicians failed to agree on a new government, prolonging deadlock
that has failed to resolve unprecedented mass unrest and has stalled the
country’s recovery from years of war.

AP Top Stories

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday confirmed an
infection in California that would represent the first U.S. person to
contract the virus despite not visiting a foreign country recently or
coming in contact with an infected patient.

Iran says it won’t quarantine towns and cities, despite recording the most
deaths from the novel coronavirus outside China.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said Filipino forces can
fight insurgents and Muslim extremists without American military help, in a
defense of his recent decision to terminate a U.S. security pact.

A cruise ship from the Miami-based cruise line MSC Cruises has been denied
entry to the Cayman Islands and Jamaica amid fears of the novel
coronavirus.

A woman in her 40s living in Japan tested positive for the coronavirus for
a second time on Wednesday, less than four weeks after recovering from her
first infection.

The president of Belarus said Thursday that his country is “being forced
into integration” with Russia and insisted that real integration of the two
countries’ economies implied “sovereignty and independence” for Belarus.

China is making U.S. lobster eligible for a tariff reduction, good news for
lobster fishermen who lost a key export market during trade hostilities,
Maine’s congressional delegation announced Tuesday.

A year after asylum-seekers and other migrants overwhelmed U.S. immigration
authorities at the southern border, the Border Patrol is opening a
processing facility in Texas that officials say could help it better care
for detainees following outcry last year over young children and adults
held in squalid, crowded conditions.

Walt Disney Co.’s theme parks, resorts and cruise line will serve
Impossible Foods’ plant-based meat burgers, the companies said on Tuesday,
a new win for the vegan patty maker that is broadening its reach across
fast-food chains.

BBC

Snow has fallen in mountainous parts of Tasmania, rounding out a summer of
dramatic weather changes in Australia.

After 100 years, the US House of Representatives has overwhelming voted to
make lynching a federal hate crime in the country.

An explosion at the Marathon Refinery, which is located in Carson near Los
Angeles, led to a huge fire that crews battled to put out overnight into
Wednesday.

Two more patients have tested positive for coronavirus in England, bringing
the total number of UK cases to 15.

WND

The Mississippi Republican Party is welcoming some new members and all of
them were elected public offices as Democrats or Independents in this most
recent election cycle.

Just over a quarter of surveyed Americans between the ages of 54-73 believe
there is no amount of money that could sit in their savings account that
would make them feel comfortable retiring. Many millennials (14.4%) and
generation Z (15.2%) respondents shared the same sentiment.

The International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers of the 2020
Tokyo Olympics are continuing to prepare for the summer games as planned.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Feb. 27, 2020

The Foundation

“Men, to act with vigour and effect, must have time to mature measures, and judgment and experience, as to the best method of applying them. They must not be hurried on to their conclusions by the passions, or the fears of the multitude. They must deliberate, as well as resolve.” —Joseph Story (1833)

The Politics of a ‘Fear Pandemic’

Democrats are, predictably, using coronavirus headlines for political advantage.


‘Berning’ Down America

Democrats petrified by the rise of Bernie Sanders have only themselves to blame.


A Big Win Against ‘Sanctuary’ States

Second Circuit Court’s ruling sets up SCOTUS to weigh in on leftists’ “sanctuary” policies.


Peace in Afghanistan? We’ll See

Why not just sign the peace deal — any peace deal — walk away and call it good?


Senate Dems Kill Newborn and Preborn Protections

Democrats prove once again that theirs is the party of death.


Video: Unelected Judges or Unelected Bureaucrats: Which Should Interpret the Law?

Justice Clarence Thomas this week failed to get his colleagues to review his own 2005 decision.


Video: Harvey Weinstein Is Guilty … but Still Loved by the Left

Weinstein may have been found guilty, but the Left still loves him!



Today’s Opinion

Victor Davis Hanson
Trump’s Chances for Reelection Are Looking Better and Better
Laura Hollis
American Socialists Don’t Understand American Business
Armstrong Williams
Anybody But Bernie Syndrome: Why a Brokered Democratic Convention Is the Mainstream Party’s Only Hope
Cal Thomas
The Russians are Coming (Again)
Gary Bauer
The Left’s Hate
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Thursday News Executive Summary

Coronavirus response, New York Times sued, sanctuary-city win, and more.


Thursday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Frank J. Fleming, Joe Biden, John Legend, 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 – 2/27/2020

Sanders says he would weigh moving US embassy back to Tel Aviv if elected – calls Netanyahu a ‘reactionary racist’

Foreign minister condemns Sanders’ ‘shocking’ comment on US embassy

Israel’s Netanyahu pulls his punches after Sanders calls him a racist

Rivlin eulogizes ‘brave leader’ Mubarak, who ‘forged new relationship of peace’

UN envoy: ‘Settlements’ are a substantial obstacle to peace

UN slams ‘worrying’ Israeli plans to build in West Bank, East Jerusalem

Palestinian Authority lashes Netanyahu’s vow to build in West Bank corridor

The Gaza Strip could go up in flames at any time

As ceasefire takes hold, Islamic Jihad vows new rounds of violence

Tires slashed, West Bank village threatened with ‘war’ in apparent hate attack

Jewish leader okays Brazilian carnival costumes with swastikas

Polls suggest momentum with Netanyahu, as campaigns turn nasty in final days

Lieberman: ‘No more talk of unity, we will form a government without Netanyahu’

Gantz: Netanyahu ‘poisoning’ Israel, carrying out ‘hate crime’ against democracy

Ultra-Orthodox MK says he’ll demand law banning public transportation on Shabbat

Turkey vows to drive Syrian forces back from Idlib

World powers express ‘serious concerns’ about Iran’s atom program

Ethiopia asks US to postpone final talks over dam dispute

More Violence Erupts in New Delhi Over Indian Citizenship Law

Trump praises India’s Modi for ‘great, open religious freedom’ despite rampant persecution

Trump administration launches new unit to strip US citizenship from foreign-born terrorists, criminals

Trump campaign sues The New York Times for libel over Russia opinion article

AI Comes to the Tax Code

ICE has run facial-recognition searches on millions of Maryland drivers

California reservoir ordered to be drained over fears earthquake could collapse dam

5.9 magnitude earthquake hits near Saumlaki, Indonesia

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Chamba, India

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 23,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Sakurajima volcano on Japan erupts to 13,000ft

Emergency declared in Indonesia’s West Java as widespread floods and landslides displace 10,000

Severe thunderstorm and worst hailstorm since 2010 wreak havoc across Perth, Australia

‘Senseless violence:’ Fired Miller Brewery employee killed 5; shooter dead

Koreatown Company Clones Dogs, Cats, Horses For Pet Owners Who Don’t Want To Let Go

Virus hits more countries as health official warns world ‘not ready’

Most new coronavirus cases no longer in China, WHO says

Saudi Arabia suspends entry for Umrah pilgrimage over coronavirus fears

In unprecedented move, Israelis advised to avoid all travel over virus fears

El Al official warns airline could go under ‘in weeks’ due to coronavirus

Airlines unleash herpes disinfectant to clean virus-tainted planes

EU says no reason to panic about coronavirus outbreak in Europe

U.S. Identifies First Coronavirus Case Without Outbreak Ties

Coronavirus live updates: Trump puts Mike Pence in charge of US response, says risk to Americans ‘very low’

‘Pelosi is incompetent’: Trump says speaker ‘trying to create a panic’ by attacking his coronavirus knowledge

Coronavirus infects US soldier for first time, military says

Coronavirus Sparks Talk of Global Recession and ‘Economic Pandemic’ as Stock Markets Dive

Facebook bans coronavirus ads that promote ‘cures’ and fan hysteria

ACLU sues 7 ‘sanctuary cities for the unborn’ for violating abortion rights groups’ free speech

Transgender woman murdered after using women’s restroom in Puerto Rico

Missouri lawmakers consider restricting transgender high school athletes to teams of their birth gender

Pete Buttigieg: Religious Freedom ‘Ends’ When Religious Groups Refuse to Hire LGBTQ Employees


Apostasy Watch

Mike Ratliff – God’s Wrath of Abandonment

LECTIO DIVINA – What it is, What it is not, and Should Christians Practice it?

Why Aren’t “Faith Healers” Like Francis Chan, Todd White, and Todd Bentley in China Fighting the Coronavirus?

Cleveland pastor indicted in human trafficking bust

Pastor presses legislators to be servants of God, quotes Bible, next pastor says she disagrees with pretty much everything that was said

The world didn’t end, and this once thriving doomsday cult has faded. But some of its loyal leaders still operate near Yellowstone National Park

Former members say Franklin cult is back open in Dickson County

Gay “Churches” Give Out Glitter Ashes For Ash Wednesday


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