Daily Archives: April 6, 2020

White House Coronavirus Task Force Briefing – 5:00pm ET Livestream… — The Last Refuge

Unfortunately, with President Trump effectively communicating the latest information on the federal efforts to mitigate COVID-19, more corporate U.S. resistance media have decided not to carry the live broadcasts from the White House task force briefings.

Today at 7:00pm ET the White House will hold a briefing for the public and media on the latest mitigation efforts against the coronavirus. [Livestream Links Below]

White House Livestream LinkFox News Livestream LinkFox Business Livestream

.

.

via White House Coronavirus Task Force Briefing – 5:00pm ET Livestream… — The Last Refuge

NEW: State Department Tells Court it Should Reject Hillary Clinton’s Desperate Appeal to Avoid Testimony — The Gateway Pundit

Last month a federal court ordered a deposition of Hillary Clinton on her emails and Benghazi attack records.

Hillary Clinton hit back and filed an emergency appeal to stop her court-ordered email testimony.

Crooked Hillary thinks she is too important to be required to comply with a court order to testify.

Apparently the State Department and its DOJ lawyers can’t even defend Hillary Clinton this time around because they told an appeals court to reject Clinton’s effort to avoid testimony.

Via Judicial Watch:

Judicial Watch announced today that it and the State Department, which is represented by Justice Department lawyers, filed responses opposing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her former Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills’ Writ of Mandamus request to overturn a U.S. District Court order requiring their testimony under oath regarding Clinton’s emails and Benghazi attack records. At the same time, the government argued that it did not engage in “bad faith” in failing to disclose the Clinton non-government email system to Judicial Watch and the court. The briefs were filed on April 3 with the U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Judicial Watch argues that Clinton and Mills “must demonstrate that they have no other adequate means of relief,” which they failed to show. Also, Clinton and Mills do not demonstrate “that the District Court’s order was a judicial usurpation of power or a clear abuse of discretion, or that [Clinton and Mills] have a clear and indisputable right to a writ.” In fact, “the District Court reasonably concluded that Clinton’s previous explanations for using a personal email server are cursory, incomplete, and seemingly at odds with what discovery has yielded to date.”

Judicial Watch further argues that Clinton and Mills are trying to avoid their deposition testimony by relying on, “their status as former high-level government officials.” Clinton and Mills, “do not offer a single case from this Court or any other, holding that former high-level government officials should not be required to follow regular appellate channels to challenge a discovery order.” Particularly in Mills’ case, Judicial Watch notes that they, “identify no case in which a court entertained a mandamus petition to stop the deposition of even a sitting cabinet member’s chief of staff.”

In September Judge Royce Lamberth granted Judicial Watch SIGNIFICANT new discovery on the Hillary Clinton email and Benghazi scandals.

Judicial Watch in September released transcript from their hearing on August 22 where Judge Royce Lamberth granted new discovery and witnesses on Hillary Clinton’s email case.

Judge Lamberth, a Reagan appointee blasted State Department lawyers defending Hillary Clinton who were working to cover up her email scandal.

‘There is no FOIA exemption for political expedience, nor is there one for bureaucratic incompetence,’ Judge Lamberth said warning the government lawyers.

Judge Lamberth also lambasted the State Department lawyers when they tried to stop Judicial Watch from gathering more evidence in Hillary’s case.

“Hillary Clinton’s desperate appeal to avoid testimony is even too much for her defenders at the State and Justice Department,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “A federal court rejected Clinton and the Deep State’s attempts to shut our email inquiry down and agreed with Judicial Watch – that is time to hear from Hillary Clinton. The appellate court should quickly reject Mrs. Clinton’s gambit.”

via NEW: State Department Tells Court it Should Reject Hillary Clinton’s Desperate Appeal to Avoid Testimony — The Gateway Pundit

Worse Than 2008: We Are Being Warned That The Coronavirus Shutdown “Could Collapse The Mortgage Market” — The Economic Collapse

The cascading failures that have been set into motion by this “coronavirus shutdown” are going to make the financial crisis of 2008 look like a Sunday picnic.  As you will see below, it is being estimated that unemployment in the U.S. is already higher than it was at any point during the last recession.  That means that millions of American workers no longer have paychecks coming in and won’t be able to pay their mortgages.  On top of that, the CARES Act actually requires all financial institutions to allow borrowers with government-backed mortgages to defer payments for an extended period of time.  Of course this is a recipe for disaster for mortgage lenders, and industry insiders are warning that we are literally on the verge of a “collapse” of the mortgage market.

Never before in our history have we seen a jump in unemployment like we just witnessed.  If you doubt this, just check out this incredible chart.

Millions upon millions of American workers are now facing a future with virtually no job prospects for the foreseeable future, and former Fed Chair Janet Yellen believes that the unemployment rate in the U.S. is already up to about 13 percent

Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told CNBC on Monday the economy is in the throes of an “absolutely shocking” downturn that is not reflected yet in the current data.

If it were, she said, the unemployment rate probably would be as high as 13% while the overall economic contraction would be about 30%.

If Yellen’s estimate is accurate, that means that unemployment in this country is already significantly worse than it was at any point during the last recession.

And young adults are being hit particularly hard during this downturn…

As measures to slow the pandemic decimate jobs and threaten to plunge the economy into a deep recession, young adults such as Romero are disproportionately affected. An Axios-Harris survey conducted through March 30 showed that 31 percent of respondents ages 18 to 34 had either been laid off or put on temporary leave because of the outbreak, compared with 22 percent of those 35 to 49 and 15 percent of those 50 to 64.

As I have documented repeatedly over the past several years, most Americans were living paycheck to paycheck even during “the good times”, and so now that disaster has struck there will be millions upon millions of people that will not be able to pay their mortgages.

It is being projected that up to 30 percent of all mortgages could eventually default, and when you add the fact that millions upon millions of Americans will be deferring payments thanks to the CARES Act, it all adds up to big trouble for the mortgage industry

A broad coalition of mortgage and finance industry leaders on Saturday sent a plea to federal regulators, asking for desperately needed cash to keep the mortgage system running, as requests from borrowers for the federal mortgage forbearance program are pouring in at an alarming rate.

The Cares Act mandates that all borrowers with government-backed mortgages—about 62% of all first lien mortgages according to Urban Institute—be allowed to delay at least 90 days of monthly payments and possibly up to a year’s worth.

Needless to say, many in the mortgage industry are absolutely furious with the federal government for putting them into such a precarious position, and one industry insider is warning that we could soon see the “collapse” of the mortgage market

“Throwing this out there without showing evidence of hardship was an outrageous move, outrageous,” said David Stevens, who headed the Federal Housing Administration during the subprime mortgage crisis and is a former CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association. “The administration made a huge mistake bringing moral hazard in and thrust extraordinary risk into the private sector that could collapse the mortgage market.”

Of course a lot of other industries are heading for immense pain as well.

At this point, even JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is admitting that the U.S. economy as a whole is plunging into a “bad recession”

Jamie Dimon said the U.S. economy is headed for a “bad recession” in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but this time around his company is not going to need a bailout. Instead, JPMorgan Chase is ready to lend a hand to struggling consumers and small businesses.

“At a minimum, we assume that it will include a bad recession combined with some kind of financial stress similar to the global financial crisis of 2008,” Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said Monday in his annual letter to shareholders.

And the longer this coronavirus shutdown persists, the worse things will get for our economy.

In fact, economist Stephen Moore is actually predicting that we will be “facing a potential Great Depression scenario” if normal economic activity does not resume in a few weeks…

Sunday on New York AM 970 radio’s “The Cats Roundtable,” economist Stephen Moore weighed in on the potential impact of the coronavirus to the United States economy.

Moore warned the nation could be “facing a potential Great Depression scenario” if the United States stays on lockdown much past the beginning of May, as well as an additional amount of deaths caused by the raised unemployment rate.

The good news is that the “shelter-in-place” orders all over the globe appear to be “flattening the curve” at least to a certain extent.

The bad news is that we could see another huge explosion of cases and deaths once all of the restrictions are lifted.

And the really bad news is that what we have experienced so far is nothing compared to what is coming.

But in the short-term we should be very thankful that the numbers around the world are starting to level off a bit.

Of course that is only happening because most people are staying home, but having people stay home is absolutely killing the economy.

And if people stay home long enough, a lot of them will no longer be able to pay the mortgages on those homes.

Our leaders are being forced to make choices between saving lives and saving the economy, and those choices are only going to become more painful the longer this crisis persists.

Let us pray that they will have wisdom to make the correct choices, because the stakes are exceedingly high.

via Worse Than 2008: We Are Being Warned That The Coronavirus Shutdown “Could Collapse The Mortgage Market” — The Economic Collapse

Sheep in an Age of Big Brother — CultureWatch

Just as shocking as the rise in Statism is the fact that so many sheeple are readily embracing it:

There is only one thing that worries me more than the reckless and inexcusable abuse of power as Big Brother statism is on the rise with this corona crisis. And that is all those clueless sheeple who fully stand by and acquiesce to everything these power-hungry states are up to.

That is what has frightened me the most. Some of these people have become so subservient to the state and whatever it does and says, that they will actually lash out at anyone who says we need to be able to question our leaders, hold them to account, and not buy everything they are up to.

A very good example of this just took place. I posted something that I was certain I could get 100 percent agreement on. It did not occur to me that anyone would beg to differ. I thought this was an obvious open misere case, and no one would demur.

Yes, hundreds ended up fully agreeing with me, but a few folks actually took real umbrage. I refer to the story I ran with yesterday about a teenager and mother fined $1600 for doing a driving lesson in the People’s Republik of Victoria: billmuehlenberg.com/2020/04/06/police-states-and-the-corona-clampdown/

Even more frightening was the fact that some of these folks claimed to be Christians. Yet they seem to be in full-blown statism mode, assuming that the government is always right, that we should ask no questions, and that we just go along like sheep with whatever they say.

That is always a recipe for disaster. The Bible nowhere tells us to put the state on a pedestal and fully live in subservience to it. Yes, the state is God’s idea, but it is always to be under God’s authority, and never to be a law unto itself. As I had to say to one such person:

Romans 13 is not about blind submission. The state is delegated authority and we obey it as it aligns itself with God and his laws. There is always a place for civil disobedience and conscientious objection. The idea that we never question the state is nowhere found in Scripture. Indeed, your unquestioning support of our leaders and naïve belief that they can do no wrong is a real worry. It was the many German “Christians” with their unbiblical slavish obedience to the state and their ‘my country right or wrong’ approach that of course paved the way for the easy rise of the Nazis. No biblical Christian can be an anarchist. But neither can one blindly be subservient to the state and refuse to call it out when it is needed. If we are not allowed to ask honest questions and hold our leaders to account, then the game is already over.

Indeed, the real worry about some of these folks is that they seem to have no clue. This is just how tyranny begins, with naïve folks having no clue about history and no concern about freedom. They think that all governments and rulers have only the best of intentions and only want our very best. Tell ‘em they are dreaming.

They are the ones recklessly welcoming in the police state with open arms. We have seen it all before. We had plenty of folks do just the same in Germany in the 1930s. They were so happy to go along with whatever their rulers told them. They questioned nothing and accepted everything.

Some years ago I wrote a piece on how so many Germans could have allowed the Nazi rise to power. I said this in part:

One thing worth mentioning is how gullible and easily deceived we are. We are so prone to believe lies, and our leaders are so prone to tell us lies. One little book has recently appeared making this case, tying it directly in to the Nazi horror. I refer to Andy Andrews’ How Do You Kill 11 Million People?(Thomas Nelson, 2011).

In it he notes how easily the Germans fell for all the lies. Hitler had said, “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think. Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” And he points out that less than 10 per cent of the population actually worked or actively were involved with Hitler. The other 90 per cent basically just sat back and allowed it all to happen. billmuehlenberg.com/2012/11/12/the-church-and-nazi-germany-revisited/

More recently Chuck Baldwin penned an article on this. He begins:

As a small boy, I heard those discussions from my parents and their friends, who were part of “The Greatest Generation.” I heard it from my friends in college. And I heard it all of my adult life in churches, coffee shops and conference rooms all over America: “How could Germany let it happen?” And, “Thank God, it could never happen in America.”

Well, it IS happening in America—and all over the world at the same time. Due to their complete collapse into a state of fear and panic, most Americans seem oblivious to the fact that we are right now—RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE—living in what could easily be the last days of freedom.

It happened in less than 30 days—and it is happening due to mass hyperbole and media manipulation. No, I’m not saying that the coronavirus is not real. Neither am I saying that people have not died from the virus. But I am saying that the fearmongering over the claim that corona has the potential to be a global pandemic akin to the Black Death is pure, unadulterated poppycock. http://www.stridentconservative.com/now-we-know-how-germany-let-it-happen/

Now am I saying that all these clueless wonders who think we should just do everything the state tells us to do are closet Nazi-supporters? No. But they certainly are clueless nonetheless. They seem to know nothing about history and they seem to care little for how precious freedom is.

The norm for most of human history is tyranny, oppression and enslavement. Democracy and freedom are the exceptions to the rule. But we now seem so ready to throw it all away. Yes we must be cautious and the state has a role to play. But real vigilance is needed here.

Another critic told me to stop being “bitchy” about these clampdowns, that all countries are doing it, and that I should just trust that God is in control. I replied:

Having legitimate and proper concerns about runaway statism is not being bitchy. It is being wise and prudent. And no, not all states around the world are doing the same. Many are far, far less restrictive yet still coping well. And of course God is in control, but that does not absolve us of being fully responsible – responsible in our own sensible health protection measures, and responsible in not allowing democracy to fade and tyranny arise.

Let me conclude with a few words from Matt Walsh:

Apologists for our newly established police state will tell me that states and localities have the authority to impose restrictions in an emergency. That is true, but the question of how far their authority actually goes is complicated, and in this case made even more complicated by the fact that these stay-at-home orders, in many cases, are based not on a current medical emergency in the respective state, but on models that forecast the possibility of an emergency in the future. For example, Minnesota is under a stay-at-home order despite having only 29 coronavirus deaths among a population of over 5 million. Perhaps the situation will get worse. Perhaps not. The point is that there is no current emergency in Minnesota or many of the other states currently under lockdown. There is, rather, a model that projects an emergency. And if projected emergencies can justify the effective nullification of the Bill of Rights, where is the limit? Haven’t we now granted the government the power to seize near-total control on the basis of any real or phantom threat?

And there are other problems. We don’t know that these lockdowns will actually have the effect of saving lives. It’s possible, as Dr. Fauci has admitted himself, that the virus could come roaring back to life whenever we emerge from our homes. It’s also possible that the illness came to America in November, December, or January, aboard any of the hundreds of thousands of travelers from China who poured into our country during that span. If that’s the case, then the viral horse has long since left the barn, and the lockdowns are obliterating our national economy and driving millions into ruin for minimal preventative gain. So we have, then, a series of indefinite stay-at-home orders based on dubious models, and dubious projections, with a dubious chance of success, and which often outlaw behavior that could not even plausibly put anyone at risk from the disease that may or may not, or maybe already has, become epidemic in the states where these laws have been enacted. Is that good enough to justify treating Americans like subjects in a communist dictatorship? …

I’m not suggesting that state governments should do nothing in response to the coronavirus. I am suggesting that they shouldn’t have the power to do whatever the hell they want, for whatever reason they want, to whatever extent they want, for however long they want, with whatever penalty they want. Which is what is happening now all across the country. Governments can and should act justly and prudently to respond to threats that endanger their citizens’ lives. But there is little in the way of justice and prudence in these measures. http://www.dailywire.com/news/walsh-we-have-become-a-police-state-and-none-of-us-should-be-okay-with-that 

I must agree. People who care little or nothing about freedom probably don’t deserve it. That sure seems to be one clear lesson we are learning from the corona crisis.

via Sheep in an Age of Big Brother — CultureWatch

Together For the Gospel (T4G) and Money: Are Donors Comfortable With How Their Hard Earned Money Is Used? — The Wartburg Watch

T4G or T$G…

Dollar Wallpaper

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.” –-Charles Dickens


Todd Wilhelm, Thou Art the Man, was the one who found out all of the information found in this post. TWW has often commented that there is lots of money in the conference circuit. Todd has given us the beginning of an insight into a lucrative business that is T4G. While reading, keep the following in mind.

    • $25,000  salary to Mark Dever for two hours of work per week.
    • $62,000 grant to Thabiti Anyabwile’s Anacostia River Church.
    • $247,000 annual salary and other compensation to Matt Schmucker.

Todd first wrote “T4G – When Will the Evangelical Leaders Cancel Their Gospelly Conference?

“I fully expect the T4G Gospelly boys to announce they are cancelling their conference any day now, but it’s rather shameful that the Governor of Kentucky may have to threaten the leaders with house arrest if they refuse to do so!”  This morning Mark Dever and Matt Schmucker published a statement and a video in which Dever said, “Government officials have informed us that we can no longer gather for the Together for the Gospel Conference.” Schmucker, not quite as forthright in his written explanation as Dever was in the video, stated: “our love for neighbor and submission to authority overrides even our desire to gather, hear good preaching, sing, and collect books.”  Call me skeptical, but if one realizes that above all, these guys are peddlers of the Gospel their actions become much clearer.

Todd then predicted the following:

Two days ago I also stated: “Watch for them to ask those who have paid the $300 conference fee to donate it to T4G.  And watch their “partners in the gospel” do it!” Again, I am a rather simple-minded man, but a child of three could have figured this out. If you have followed T4G over the years you know that the crowd queuing up to plunk their hard-earned cash down for a seat in the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville is comprised of overwhelmingly winsome white men in their 20-30s. They idolize preachers like John MacArthur and C.J. Mahaney (neither were scheduled to speak this year), talks about church discipline, church membership contracts, and all things Calvin.

John MacArthur at the 2016 T4G conference, surrounded by his worshippers.


So what happened when the conference was finally cancelled out of *love for our neighbor?* (Somehow, I have a feeling it had nothing to do with love for neighbor and e everything to do with government guidelines.) The leader dudes applied the pressure and said that T4G would not be able to survive without the conferees letting T4G to keep their money. (They sure as heck wouldn’t be able to pay Schmucker $200,000+)

Todd wrote Wilberforce Weekend Demonstrates it Doesn’t Have to be All About the Money!and explored what happened.

Todd observed that the money sent in for registration was already spent, not invested.

You can go to his post and listen to Dever and Schmucker tap dance in trying to explain why they are broke unless you let them keep your money.

“We’ve taken your money that you have given us since September and have already invested it… So we’ve invested all this money, in one sense we don’t have it anymore, and the expenses still remain and we are completely relying on the registration money and our sponsor money. So the remaining expenses have to be paid, about ninety percent of it, from the registration money.”  -Matt Schmucker

Not exactly Matt. The definition of invest is “to use your money with the goal of making a profit from it, for example by buying property or buying stock in a company,” I’m no business expert, but it appears to me that what you, according to Mark Dever’s quote below, have been engaging in for several years, is a sketchy business practice. As the President and Executive Director of “Gospel Projects” (the umbrella non-profit group for T4G, Cross For the Nations, and The Front Porch), Conference-goers are paying your yearly salary of $250,000, while Mark Dever, a Vice President of “Gospel Projects” receives $25,000 per year for his 2 hours per week he spends working for the non-profit. (That works out to $240 per hour if Dever works 52 weeks in the year. Not bad money if you can get it!)

“And this is the only responsible way to work. It worked in ’06, ’08, ’10, ’12, ’14, ’16, ’18 and we had every reason to think it to work in 2020 unless the Lord allows such unusual providences, which again we trusted for.” -Mark Dever

Maybe Dever is right. Common sense tells me otherwise, but I would like to hear what an individual with a Masters in Business Administration has to say. Dever is a sharp guy, but I believe his specialty is theology, not business. Schmucker’s and Dever’s plans worked in normal times, but in the history of the world, times are not normal indefinitely. Pandemics happen. Natural disasters happen. War happens. Economic collapse happens.

What concerns me is that all of the money was spent prior to the conference. This means that there was not money to continue to support Schmucker’s T4G salary which is rather decent: $250,000 . How many people paying to this conference make that much money? Maybe that’s why some people call if T$G. So, now they are hoping to get the conferees to not ask for their refund back.

Did you know that one of the main reasons for the conference is to give out those 18 books?

That’s one of the main reasons we have this conference, to get out those books! That’s the main thing, honestly, we do with your money.” -Mark Dever

But, sending out those books costs money and once again, they are reduced to begging for money.

Todd has a suggestion:

Really? Then I have a suggestion. Why don’t you stop holding conferences and set up a massive book club? You could work with publishers to feature one book per month at an unbeatable price.

I think Schmucker’s plan to mail the books that were going to be given away to all Conference attenders is a generous offer, but perhaps not a wise business decision. If they were to mail out 12,000 boxes of books at $20 per box, total cost, they would spend $240,000. That is nearly equal to Schmucker’s yearly salary!  “Gospel Projects” is desperately attempting to stave off bankruptcy by convincing people not to demand a refund and then they turn around and promise to send books to everyone.  They have stated the postage for this will be $12.50-$17.00, but all those books will need to be packaged and addressed. I can’t imagine what the cost of that will be. At any rate, it will really cut into their profit margin.  I have seen that on the T4G Twitter account they are really encouraging people to donate money to them to cover the shipping expense, and as you can see below, one winsome man encouraged everyone to donate $20.

T$G is functioning under the umbrella of an organization called Gospel Projects.

Todd discovered the following.

As I have already stated, T4G is an entity operating under an umbrella 501(c)3 non-profit organization called “Gospel Projects.” There are two other entities also operating under Gospel Projects – “Cross for the Nations” and “The Front Porch.” I believe Cross for the Nations is spearheaded by David Platt and John Piper. They have an annual conference held around New Years Day. They make emotional pleas to college students to live “Radical” lives by becoming missionaries.

The Front Porch is a group that appeals mainly to African Americans and is headed by Thabiti Anyabwile.

Below is a screenshot from the 2016 tax return of the Gospel Project. Highlighted in yellow are the three entities I mentioned above. It is interesting to read their stats.

via Together For the Gospel (T4G) and Money: Are Donors Comfortable With How Their Hard Earned Money Is Used? —

Why Are So Many People That Have “Recovered” From The Coronavirus Testing Positive Again? — End Of The American Dream

The mysteries surrounding this COVID-19 pandemic just keep getting deeper and deeper.  When you catch a virus, you are not supposed to test positive, fully recover and test negative, and then some time later start testing positive again.  But this is actually happening in an alarming number of cases, and scientists are absolutely baffled by this.  The information that I am about to share with you is quite disturbing, and hopefully scientists will eventually be able to explain to us precisely why this is taking place.

On Monday, headlines all over the globe breathlessly declared that 51 coronavirus patients in the South Korean city of Daegu had “tested positive again” after supposedly fully recovering…

FEARS have been raised that the coronavirus may be able to remain in the body and “reactivate” later after 51 recovered patients tested positive again.

The patients, from the city of Daegu, South Korea, had all spent time in quarantine while recovering from the virus, but were diagnosed again within days of being released.

At this point, nobody knows how to explain this.

Could it be possible that the tests were faulty?

Could it be possible that these patients became infected a second time?

The researchers that studied these patients are rejecting both of those explanations and instead are floating the theory that the virus “reactivated” in these particular victims…

The 51 cases were identified as part of a study conducted in Daegu, the epicentre of the outbreak in South Korea, by a team of epidemiologists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The center said it did not believe the patients had been reinfected, but that the virus had remained at undetectable levels in their cells and later “reactivated”.

But of course the truth is that they don’t really know why this is happening.

And similar cases have been popping up all over China for quite some time.  In fact, “second-time infections” have been documented “in many regions”

As China releases more patients who have recovered from the coronavirus, there are an increasing number who are testing positive for the second time. The State Council ’s Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism said last Saturday that second-time infections have been reported in many regions, including Guangdong, Sichuan, Hunan, and Hubei province, where Wuhan is the capital city.

Needless to say, it is likely to have a tremendous impact on public policy if scientists are able to confirm that “second-time infections” can happen very rapidly following a full recovery, and so it is absolutely imperative that scientists get to the bottom of this mystery as rapidly at possible.

So far, researchers in China are reporting that “between 3 and 10% of cured patients became reinfected” shortly after fully recovering from the virus.  The following comes from Fox News

As many as 10% of recovered coronavirus patients in China tested positive again after being discharged from the hospital, according to a report.

Doctors on the front lines of the outbreak in Wuhan, China — where the virus emerged — reported that between 3 and 10% of cured patients became reinfected with the illness, though it’s unclear whether they were contagious the second time, the South China Morning Post reported.

In the western world, there has been a lot of talk about how it will be “safe” for those that have had the virus to go back to work once they recover because of the immunity that they will have supposedly acquired.

But that may not be a safe assumption to make.

This virus appears to behave very unusually, and making a wrong choice can be the difference between life and death.

In one very alarming case in Wuhan, China, a 36-year-old man that became a confirmed coronavirus case was admitted to the hospital on February 12th.  Two weeks later he was released after he was deemed to have “fully recovered”, but that was not the end of the story

A 36-year-old man has died of respiratory failure in Wuhan, five days after being discharged from one of the makeshift hospitals built to contain the outbreak, according to a report by Shanghai-based news portal The Paper.
The report, which was later removed, said Li Liang had been admitted to the hospital – built to treat patients with mild and moderate symptoms – on February 12, according to his wife, surnamed Mei. He was discharged two weeks later with instructions to stay in a quarantine hotel for 14 days.

On March 2nd, Li Liang died, and the death certificate clearly stated that COVID-19 was the cause.

But that wasn’t supposed to happen.  He was supposed to have made a complete recovery.

Something isn’t adding up.

Hopefully our scientists will be able to unravel this mystery very soon, because the death toll is rapidly rising.

The very first coronavirus death in the United States happened on February 29th, and now here we are just over a month later and more than 10,000 Americans have perished

There were 10,335 deaths as of Monday afternoon, according to the Johns Hopkins dashboard, which tracks the numbers.

That total surpasses the number of battle deaths from six U.S. wars combined, according to data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

VA data says a total of 9,961 soldiers died on the battlefield during these six wars: The American Revolution, War of 1812, Mexican War, Indian Wars, Spanish-American War and Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

This pandemic has escalated so dramatically in the U.S. that nearly the entire nation is currently shut down and creepy drones that are barking orders to “maintain social distancing” are hovering over parks in New York City

Our society has been fundamentally transformed in just a matter of weeks by this pandemic, and many believe that our problems have just begun.

But at this moment there is a lot of optimism in America because the numbers are not growing quite as rapidly as they were last month.

That is definitely a promising sign, but it is only happening because most people are confined to their homes right now.

Once people start resuming their normal activities, that will give the virus a lot more opportunities to spread, and we shall see what happens at that point.

Hopefully these mysteries surrounding COVID-19 can quickly be resolved, because it looks like we will be fighting this virus for a long time to come, and we need the best information that we can possibly get.

via Why Are So Many People That Have “Recovered” From The Coronavirus Testing Positive Again? — End Of The American Dream

April 6th The D. L. Moody Year Book

Having made peace through the blood of His cross.…—Colossians 1:20.

A GREAT many people are trying to make their peace with God, but that has already been done. God has not left it for us to do; all that we have to do is to enter into it, to accept it. It is a condition, and instead of our trying to make peace and to work for peace, we want to cease all that, and simply enter into peace that has been purchased for us.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (p. 70). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

April—6 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

A place called Golgotha.—Matthew 27:33.

And wherefore called Golgotha? It was a “place of skulls;” not a charnel house; not a sepulchre for the great; but probably where a number of unburied skulls of poor criminals lay together, or scattered here and there, as the feet of those who visited this place of sorrow might kick them. Luke calls it Calvary, (Luke 23:33;) but both mean one and the same place. And was this a place suited for thee, O thou Lord of life and glory? Yes, blessed Jesus! if thou wilt become sin and a curse for thy redeemed, then surely this of all places becomes thee, where thy people must have lain for ever, hadst thou not interposed, and undertaken all that behoved them to suffer, that they might be made “the righteousness of God in thee!” My soul! did Jesus suffer at Golgotha? Go thou forth to him, “without the camp, bearing his reproach.” And is this Golgotha? And was it here that Jesus “then restored that which he took not away?” Oh, how blessed the review! how memorable, how sacred the spot! Who would have thought that a place so wretched should have produced so much good! Confusion had been introduced into all the works of God by reason of sin; here Jesus restored perfect order to all. God’s glory had been tarnished; God’s law had been broken; God’s justice despised. At Golgotha, Jesus restored all. And as man had lost the image of God, the favour of God, the acquaintance with God, at this memorable spot Jesus restored to God his glory, and to man God’s favour. My soul! do thou often visit the place called Golgotha; and to endear the sacred haunt still more, look at thy Lord as thou goest thither, and figure to thyself thy Jesus going with thee. Here it was that his person and all his sacred offices were blasphemed. Is Jesus the Lord God of the prophets? Then will the rabble vilify his prophetical office: “Prophecy,” say they, “thou Christ, who is he that smote thee?” Is Jesus the great “High-Priest” of Jehovah, after the order of Melchisedek? This also shall be despised. “Save thyself and us!” said the scoffing multitude. And is Jesus a King? “Come down, then,” say they, “from the cross, and we will believe.” Yea, and as the most aggravating circumstance of cruelty, and which, as far as I have ever heard, or read, was never practised upon the most abject criminal, his very prayers were turned into ridicule. “My God, my God,” said the holy Sufferer, “why hast thou forsaken me?” “This man calleth for Elias,” said they; “let be, let us see whether Elias will come to take him down!” Pause, my soul, over the solemn view! And as thou takest thy evening stand at Golgotha, ask thine heart, is this Jesus, who is “the brightness of his Father’s glory, and the express image of his person?” Is this he whom angels worship, and at whose name “every knee shall bow, of things in heaven and things in earth, and things under the earth?” O thou bleeding Lamb, that art now in the midst of the throne! often let my soul ruminate over the affecting scenes of Golgotha. Solemn is the place, but blessed also. Here would I sit down, and as I contemplate Jesus, in this endearing part of his character, I would hear his voice speaking in the tenderest manner: “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see, if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 101–102). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

April 6, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

One With Other Christians

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (3:28)

Paul focused on the existing, well-defined distinctions of his society that drew sharp lines and set up high walls of separation between people. The essence of those distinctions was the idea that some people—namely Jews, free men, and males in general—were better than, more valuable than, more significant than others. The gospel destroys all such proud thinking. The person who becomes one with Christ also becomes one with every other believer. There are no distinctions among those who belong to Christ. In spiritual matters, there is to be made no racial, social, or sexual discrimination—neither Jew nor Greek, … slave nor free man, … male nor female.

It is not, of course, that among Christians there is no such thing as a Jew, Gentile, slave, free person, man, or woman. There are obvious racial, social, and sexual differences among people. Paul, however, was speaking of spiritual differences—differences in standing before the Lord, spiritual value, privilege, and worthiness. Consequently, prejudice based on race, social status, sex, or any other such superficial and temporary differences has no place in the fellowship of Christ’s church. All believers, without exception, are all one in Christ Jesus. All spiritual blessings, resources, and promises are equally given to all who believe unto salvation (cf. Rom. 10:12).

It was only with great difficulty that Peter finally learned that there are no racial distinctions in Christ, “that God is not one to show partiality” among Jew or Greek, “but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to Him” (Acts 10:35). Among the five prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch was “Simeon, who was called Niger,” which means black (Acts 13:1). Paul’s beloved son in the faith was Timothy, whose father was Gentile and whose mother and grandmother were Jewish (Acts 16:1; 2 Tim. 1:5).

Likewise there are no distinctions according to social or economic status. Paul told the Christian slave to be obedient to his master, “as to Christ,” and he told the Christian master, a free man, to “give up threatening, knowing that” the Master of both “is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him” (Eph. 6:5, 9).

James warned, “My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, ‘You sit here in a good place,’ and you say to the poor man, ‘You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,’ have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?… If you show partiality, you are committing sin” (James 2:1–4, 9). The oneness of the Body of Christ focuses on common spiritual life and privilege, as Paul wrote to the Ephesians: “Being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Eph. 4:3–7).

Nor are there spiritual distinctions according to sex. There is neither male nor female. In recognizing believing women as the full spiritual equals of believing men, Christianity elevated women to a status they had never known before in the ancient world. In matters of rule in the home and in the church God has established the headship of men. But in the dimension of spiritual possessions and privilege there is absolutely no difference.[1]


28 This verse has often been made to carry the weight of questions regarding economic injustice or the role of women in the church. As valid as such questions are, Paul’s point here has to do with redemptive identity in Christ as a result of faith in contrast to the observance of law. It is doubtful that Paul’s words here can therefore be made specifically to address such questions.[2]


28  On the basis of a comparison with the parallel structures in 1 Cor. 12:12f. and Col. 3:9–11, this verse has been judged, probably rightly, to be “a fragment of an early Christian baptismal liturgy.” Those who through baptism have entered into union with Christ “are all one in Christ Jesus” (AV, NASB, NIV), in whom the racial, social and sexual distinctions which obtained before are covered up, as it were, by the same garment—Christ.

The three antitheses, which represent the most far-reaching distinctions of ancient society, seem to have been deliberately chosen with an eye to the threefold privilege for which a pious male Jew daily thanked God: that he was not made a Gentile, a slave or a woman—categories of people debarred from certain religious privileges. It is noteworthy that in the third antithesis the words used are not the customary terms for man and woman but the more technical terms denoting male and female,40 thus indicating that what is in view is the general relationship between the sexes and not the specific relationship between husband and wife. The statement that there is no “male and female” in Christ does not mean, as was believed in later Gnosticism, that in the new era mankind is restored to the pristine androgynous state; nor does it mean that all male-female distinctions have been obliterated in Christ, any more than that there is no racial difference between the Christian Jew and the Christian Gentile.

“In Christ Jesus” emphasizes that Paul views the elimination of these antitheses from the standpoint of redemption in Christ, while the context clearly shows that the primary emphasis of the verse is on unity in Christ rather than on equality. The masculine gender of “one” suggests that the meaning here is that all who are in Christ form a corporate unity (NEB “one person”; cf. RV “one man”); it is this sense which provides the necessary transition from the thought of Christ as the “issue” (v. 16) to that of believers as the “issue” (v. 29) of Abraham. If the notion of equality in Christ is also involved, it is only secondary and has regard to incorporation into this “one person” and membership in the community.44[3]


3:28 / Being clothed with Christ results in a new self-perception. The implication of this statement is that to regard oneself or others primarily in ethnic (Jew or Greek), social (slave or free), or gender (male and female) terms is to use categories inappropriate to the present, for after the coming of faith, those who believe are “sons of God,” “clothed with Christ,” and “in Christ.” For those Galatians “in Christ,” the law, which maintains ethnic boundary lines and delineates social and gender distinctions, has no relevance. Paul makes statements similar to Galatians 3:28 in 1 Corinthians 12:13 and Colossians 3:11. These two other letters were written from and to circumstances different from those in Galatia, which suggests that this statement was an early and widely used description of the faith.

Only Galatians 3:28 contains the phrase neither male nor female. In the Greek the phrase stands out because it reads literally “male and female” in distinction from “Jew nor Greek,” “slave nor free.” The phrase exactly echoes the Septuagint of Genesis 1:27: God created man “male and female.” Perhaps early Christians chose this phrase deliberately so as to signify that in baptism a new creation occurs (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17), one that redefines even the most basic features of the original creation.

The inclusion of the phrase “male nor female” in Galatians may be because of the issue of circumcision. In this regard it is interesting to read Justin Martyr, whose comments indicate the positive way that the church’s rejection of circumcision could redound to women. Justin comments that

the inability of the female sex to receive fleshly circumcision, proves that this circumcision has been given for a sign and not for a work of righteousness. For God has given likewise to women the ability to observe all things which are righteous and virtuous; but we see that the bodily form of the male has been made different from the bodily form of the female; yet we know that neither of them is righteous or unrighteous merely for this cause, but [is considered righteous] by reason of piety and righteousness. (Dialogue with Trypho 23 [ANF 1.206])

The center of gravity in the confession of 3:26–28 is Christ. Christ is the transformative locus of the faith the Galatians know. Through reference to what may have been a widely used baptismal confession, Paul reminds the Galatians of their initial understanding of the faith. Their original commitment was to a worldview in which they understood themselves to have gained a new identity, one rooted in and defined by Christ. This identity transcended all typical social distinctions and the moral distinctions that resulted from such social differentiating, and upon this shared understanding the affirmation in verse 29b is based. Paul expects the Galatians to fully embrace the self-understanding articulated in 3:27–29a, and so he uses it as another way to support his point that Gentiles are inheritors of the promise to Abraham without following the law.[4]


28. There can be neither Jew nor Greek; there can be neither slave nor freeman; there can be no male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. In Paul’s day fraticidal class-distinctions were the order of the day, just as they are still in many quarters. See N.T.C. on Colossians and Philemon, pp. 151–154, where this same subject is discussed in some detail in connection with Col. 3:11. For the present purpose it is necessary only to note that the Jews drew a sharp line of separation between themselves and the “swarms” or “hordes” (“goyim”) of outsiders, heathen nations in contrast with Israel. Often such heathen were simply called “dogs.” Even proselytes to the Jewish religion were never fully “accepted.” After all, they were not “children of Abraham.” It seems that the Judaizers of Paul’s day had not broken away from this feeling of disdain for non-Jews. Gentiles, too, were often guilty of similar snobbery. They looked down upon the Jews as much as the latter looked down upon them. And as to their attitude toward slaves, it cannot have been far removed from that of Aristotle, who called a slave “an animated implement,” a mere breathing tool. And as to the distinction between male and female, even such a man of culture as Josephus, if the passage in his work Against Apion (II.xxiv) be genuine, declared, “The woman, so says the law, is inferior in all things to man.” What Paul is saying, then, is that all such distinctions—be they racial-religious (“neither Jew nor Greek”), social (“neither slave nor freeman”), or sexual (“no male and female”)—must be thoroughly and forever abandoned, since in Christ all are equal.

This does not mean that common sense must now be cast overboard. Because of different historical backgrounds, different vocational interests, different skills, different degrees of educational advancement, and different geographic locations, it may be in the interest of all concerned that at times “birds of a feather flock together.” The Bible recognizes this right. It was not wrong for Bezalel and Oholiab to work in conjunction with other artisans of similar ability in the construction of the tabernacle (Exod. 36:1, 2, 8). Neither was it wrong, as such, for Demetrius, “the silversmith,” to meet with other men of his trade (Acts 19:25). Scripture clearly justifies distinctions of this nature. It teaches not only the unity but also the diversity of all believers and, in a sense, of all men (Acts 17:26; 1 Cor. 7:20; 12; 16:2; Eph. 4:7). Are there not some people today who, in their mania for unity and equality, have left common sense and genuinely scriptural teaching far behind? Is it not absurd, for example, in the interest of “integration” to force into the fourth grade children, of whatever race, who cannot do fourth grade work? Would it not be foolish for ministers, with little knowledge of electricity, to try to crash a Convention of Electrical Engineers? Or for men to barge into a meeting of the Sewing Circle?

On the other hand, it certainly remains true that in God’s holy sight all men are, indeed, equal, for “all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23; cf. 2:11; 3:9–18; 5:12, 18). Also, “the same Lord is Lord of all, and is rich to all that call on him” (Rom. 10:12). For a Jew to confess himself to be a Christian, and then to refuse to eat with Christians from the Gentiles, or to regard himself as being in any way superior to them in moral worth, is an abomination to the Lord. Similarly today the church cannot tolerate hurtful distinctions. All believers are in a sense one person, one body “in Christ” (1 Cor. 10:17; 12:12; Col. 3:15), for he who is the Son of David is also the Son of man; he who is “the seed of Abraham” is also “the seed of the woman.” From God’s side the Holy Spirit, and from man’s side Spirit-imparted faith, link believers with Christ, and thereby also with one another.[5]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1983). Galatians (pp. 99–100). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Rapa, R. K. (2008). Galatians. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 603). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Fung, R. Y. K. (1988). The Epistle to the Galatians (pp. 175–176). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Jervis, L. A. (2011). Galatians (pp. 106–108). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book.

[5] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Galatians (Vol. 8, pp. 149–151). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

April 6 Streams in the Desert

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me.” (Hab. 2:1)

THERE is no waiting on God for help, and there is no help from God, without watchful expectation on our part. If we ever fail to receive strength and defense from Him, it is because we are not on the outlook for it. Many a proffered succour from heaven goes past us, because we are not standing on our watch-tower to catch the far-off indications of its approach, and to fling open the gates of our heart for its entrance. He whose expectation does not lead him to be on the alert for its coming will get but little. Watch for God in the events of your life.

The old homely proverb says: “They that watch for Providence will never want a providence to watch for,” and you may turn it the other way and say, “They that do not watch for providences will never have a providence to watch for.” Unless you put out your water-jars when it rains you will catch no water.

We want to be more business-like and use common sense with God in pleading promises. If you were to go to one of the banks, and see a man go in and out and lay a piece of paper on the table, and take it up again and nothing more—if he did that several times a day, I think there would soon be orders to keep the man out.

Those men who come to the bank in earnest present their checks, they wait until they receive their gold, and then they go; but not without having transacted real business.

They do not put the paper down, speak about the excellent signature, and discuss the excellent document; but they want their money for it, and they are not content without it. These are the people who are always welcome at the bank, and not triflers. Alas, a great many people play at praying They do not expect God to give them an answer, and thus they are mere triflers. Our Heavenly Father would have us do real business with Him in our praying.—C. H. Spurgeon.

Thine expectation shall not be cut off.”[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 107–108). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.