Daily Archives: April 23, 2020

April 23d The D. L. Moody Year Book

From darkness unto light.—Acts 26:18.

I REMEMBER one night when the Bible was the driest and darkest book in the universe to me. The next day it was all light. I had the key to it. I had been born of the Spirit. But before I knew anything of the mind of God in His word I had to give up my sin.[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. 78). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

April—23 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.—Eccles. 10:19.

What feast is this which the wise man meant, and the wine which, for true mirth, he would here recommend? He could not mean the laughter of the fool, for that, he tells us elsewhere, (chap. 7:6,) “is as the crackling of thorns under a pot.” The drunkard’s song is but the mirth of the moment, which, like the burning thorn, may blaze and flash amidst the midnight crew, but suddenly goeth out, and leaves a total darkness. But if Solomon had an eye to the feast which Jesus hath made in the mountain of the Lord’s house, “a feast of fat things,” where his body broken, and his blood shed, are the food of the table, this indeed is a feast made for real joy of heart, and “wine which cheereth God and man.” (Judges 9:13.) When the justice of God drank of this blood of the Lamb, it was satisfied; and when the poor sinner hath tasted of it, his soul is satisfied also. And as “money answereth all things,” because all things are procurable by it, so the redemption of Jesus answereth all the wants of a sinner. He is meat to the hungry soul, and drink to the thirsty. He is a garment to the naked, and the medicine of life to the diseased. “I will cause them” (saith Jesus) “that love me to inherit substance, and I will fill their treasures.” Sit down, my soul, this evening, and mark the striking contrast. The pleasures of the carnal are short and unsatisfying; yea, they have nothing more in the enjoyment of them than what is common to the brute that perisheth, and the after-effects are all on the side of sorrow. The word of God hath described it, in a finished form of misery: “though wickedness be sweet in his mouth; though he hide it under his tongue; though he spare it, and forsake it not, but keep it still within his mouth; yet the meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him.” (Job 20:12–14.) What an awful termination to a life of sensuality and carnal pursuits! Sin and folly lead in the front, and misery and sorrow bring up the rear! But in the sweet feast of Jesus, all is joy and peace in the Holy Ghost; and the believer sits down, as under the everlasting smiles of God, hearing and embracing the blessed invitation: “I have gathered my myrrh with my spice, I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk: eat, O friends! drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved!” Blessed Lord! be it my portion, thus, night by night, and day by day, to hear thy voice, to behold thy countenance; and do thou, Lord, come in and sup with me, and cause me to sup with thee, until thou take me home to thine eternal feast above, whence I shall rise no more; where one everlasting banquet will remain, and the redeemed of the Lord will live for ever “in the presence of God and the Lamb!”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 121–122). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

April 23, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

11 This verse plainly alludes to Psalm 72:10–11 and Isaiah 60:6, passages that reinforce the emphasis on the Gentiles (see comments at v. 6). Nolan’s suggestion (Royal Son of God, 206–9) that the closest parallel is Isaiah 39:1–2 is linguistically attractive but contextually weak. The evidence that Hezekiah served as an eschatological figure is poor and fails to explain why he should be opening up his treasure store to his visitors. Some time had elapsed since Jesus’ birth (Mt 2:7, 16), and the family was settled in a house. While the Magi saw both the child and his mother, their worship (see comments at v. 2) was for him alone.

Bringing gifts was particularly important in the ancient East when approaching a superior (cf. Ge 43:11; 1 Sa 9:7–8; 1 Ki 10:2). Usually such gifts were reciprocated (Derrett, Studies in the New Testament, 2:28). That is not mentioned here, but a first-century reader might have assumed it and seen the Great Commission (28:18–20) as leading to its abundant fruition. Frankincense is a glittering, odorous gum obtained by making incisions in the bark of several trees; myrrh exudes from a tree found in Arabia and a few other places and was a much-valued spice and perfume (Ps 45:8; SS 3:6) used in embalming (Jn 19:39). Commentators, ancient (Origen, Cels. 1.60) and modern (Hendriksen), have found symbolic value in the three gifts—gold suggesting royalty, incense divinity, and myrrh the passion and burial. This interpretation demands too much insight from the Magi. The three gifts were simply expensive and not uncommon presents and may have helped finance the trip to Egypt. The word “treasures” probably means “coffers” or “treasure boxes” in this context.[1]


11 The mention of a “house” is often supposed either to contradict Luke’s account of Jesus’ birth in a stable or to indicate a sufficient time-lapse to allow the family to relocate to better quarters in Bethlehem. It is, however, becoming increasingly recognized that the “stable” owes more to Western misunderstanding than to Luke, who speaks only of a “manger.” In a normal Palestinian home of the period the mangers would be found not in a separate building but on the edge of the raised family living area where the animals, who were brought into the lower section of the one-room house at night, could conveniently reach them. The point of Luke’s mention of the manger is not therefore that Jesus’ birth took place outside a normal house, but that in that particular house the “guest-room”61 was already occupied (by other census visitors?) so that the baby was placed in the most comfortable remaining area, a manger on the living-room floor. There is therefore no reason why they should not be in the same “house” when Matthew’s magi arrive.

In view of the prominence of Joseph throughout the rest of Matthew’s infancy stories, it is remarkable that here only Mary is mentioned as being with the child—indeed Joseph is not mentioned in the story of the magi at all. This suggests that this pericope does not come from the same source as 1:18–25 and 2:13–23, all of which is told as Joseph’s story, but from an independent tradition, even though it provides the essential basis for the family’s flight and Herod’s infanticide in the following pericopes. Note that the phrase “the child and his mother” will recur in 2:13, 14, 20, 21, in each case with the child mentioned first, as here, but in all those other cases they are the object of Joseph’s action, not mentioned independently of him as here.

We do not know what social position these magi held, but it was sufficient for them to have felt it appropriate to go to visit a new-born king, and to have been given an audience with the king in Jerusalem. For these foreign dignitaries to prostrate themselves in homage before a child in an ordinary house in Bethlehem is a remarkable illustration of the reversal of the world’s values which will become such a prominent feature of the Messiah’s proclamation of the kingdom of heaven (18:1–5; 20:25–28 etc.). Their gifts are those of the affluent: gold then as now the symbol of ultimate value, and exotic spices which would not normally come within the budget of an ordinary Jewish family. Frankincense (which came from Southern Arabia and Somalia) was an expensive perfume, and was burned not only in worship but at important social occasions; for its non-religious use (with myrrh) see Song 3:6; 4:6, 14; cf. Sir 24:15. Despite the symbolism traditionally discerned in the gifts of the magi since the time of Irenaeus (gold for royalty, frankincense for divinity and myrrh for death and burial—the latter based on John 19:39) myrrh too was primarily used as a luxurious cosmetic fragrance (Esth 2:12; Ps 45:8; Prov 7:17; Song 1:13; 5:1,5). These are luxury gifts, fit for a king. The reader who knows the OT stories cannot fail to be reminded of the visit of the Queen of Sheba with her gifts of “gold and a great quantity of spices” to the son of David in Jerusalem (1 Kgs 10:1–10), and of the imagery which that visit provided for subsequent depictions of the homage of the nations to the Jewish Messiah (Ps 72:10–11, 15; Isa 60:5–6).[2]


The journey of the wise men reaches its climax in verse 11. Having entered the house they saw the little child with Mary his mother, and they cast themselves to the ground and worshiped him. Nativity scenes depict the arrival of the wise men. Often, however, they are shown standing, or kneeling down, in the company of the shepherds, and in a stable. This is obviously incorrect. According to the evangelist Luke, when the shepherds arrive the babe is still “lying in the manger” (Luke 2:16). They come at once, that very night (Luke 2:8, 15). The little family, Joseph, Mary, and the child, continues to live in relative poverty for at least forty days, as is evident from Luke 2:22–24; cf. Lev. 12:2–8. If the wise men from the east, bringing precious gifts, had arrived within this period of forty days, then, on the fortieth day Mary’s purification offering would probably have been something better than “a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.” It is clear that Joseph and his family had left the inn stable, perhaps very soon after the child’s birth, certainly before the arrival of the wise men. They are now no longer staying in an animal shelter but living in a building for human beings (with some relatives?). With well-nigh unanimity translators agree with the rendering, (the wise men) “having entered the house,” or something similar.175

Having entered, the wise men see “the little child with Mary his mother.” Note that whenever mother and infant are mentioned together (verses 11, 13, 14, 20, and 21) the infant is always mentioned first. It is that little child upon whom the main interest is concentrated. This is as it should be, for in this little one God has become incarnate:

Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;

Hail th’Incarnate Deity. (Charles Wesley)

How much of this truth the wise men understood we do not know. We do know, though, that on seeing him they cast themselves to the ground and worshiped him; literally, “and having fallen they prostrated themselves before them.” They revere him as the Messiah, the king of the Jews.

It is true that the verb used in the original and here rendered “worshiped” does not always indicate an act of reverence paid to God, the Creator and Redeemer. Sometimes it is the creature—Peter (Acts 10:25); or the church in Philadelphia (Rev. 3:9)—rather than the Creator, to whom homage is rendered. But when this is done these are regarded as standing in close relation to God, so that God speaks and operates through them. However, if, in such cases, the worshipper fails to draw this distinction, and begins to regard a mere man as if he were on a par with God, he may well receive a reprimand. Thus, when Cornelius falls down at Peter’s feet and worships him, he is told, “Get up; I myself am also but a man” (Acts 10:26). When John, the author of the book of Revelation, falls down in order to worship his angel-guide, he receives a similar warning (Rev. 22:8, 9; cf. 19:10). The magi, however, are not told to desist. They may have made more progress in the true faith than we realize. According to Matt. 2:12 God, who had previously spoken to them by means of a star and (indirectly) by means of Micah, also speaks to them in a dream. Besides, as has been pointed out previously, believers who lived on the very threshold of the new dispensation must have told them about the Messiah to come. Equipped with all this knowledge, sanctified to their hearts as is clear from the entire account, we may well think of them as men who rendered to the Christ-child the type of homage that was in a very real sense acceptable to God. In this child they somehow see God, and worship him!

They have rendered the proper homage. They now offer the appropriate gifts (cf. Ps. 72:10; cf. Isa. 60:3; Ps. 87). We read: Next, they opened their treasure-chests and presented him with gifts: gold and frankincense and myrrh. They are pictured here as not only wealthy but also warm-hearted and worshipful. These men offer their treasures to him: they are meant for the child to honor him.

In works of exposition one use is at times assigned to each of these presents. There is probably a good reason for this. Nevertheless, it may not be amiss to begin by showing that in general Scripture assigns more than one use to each of these articles.

For example, gold was used extensively in the construction of the tabernacle and its furniture (Exod. 25–31; 35–40) and of the temple and its contents (1 Kings 5–7; 2 Chron. 2–5). Yet, it was by no means limited to holy uses. It was also worn in the form of bracelets (Gen. 24:22), necklaces (Num. 31:50), and earrings (Exod. 32:2, 3). We read about “gods of gold” (Exod. 20:23), one of them being “the golden calf” which Aaron made (Exod. 32:4), though he denied that he “made” it: he merely cast the gold into the fire, “and there came out this calf!” (Exod. 32:24). James tells the stingy rich that their gold and their silver are rusted (5:3). In a vision which John saw gold serves the very unholy purpose of decorating the great harlot (Rev. 17:4, 5); Frequently the word gold is used in comparisons, to teach men that there are things that are far more precious than gold (Ps. 19:10; 119:72, 127; Prov. 8:10, 19).

As to frankincense (literally meaning pure incense), the Old Testament word is derived from a root meaning white. An incision is made in the bark of a certain tree of the genus Boswellia, growing on the limestone rocks of South Arabia and Somalia (E. Africa). The resulting fresh juice has a white or milky color; hence the name. Now frankincense, too, has various uses. It is mentioned in connection with meal offerings (Lev. 2:1, 2, 15, 16) and wedding processions (Song of Sol. 3:6). It also occurs in a list of articles of commerce (Rev. 18:13).

Myrrh was probably derived from a small tree with odoriferous wood, namely, the Balsamodendron of Arabia. It was used for the purpose of perfuming a bed (Prov. 7:17) or a garment (Ps. 45:8). It was prescribed for certain young ladies, to make them more desirable (Esther 2:12). It was also used lavishly in bridal processions (Song of Sol. 3:6). Mingled with wine it served as an anaesthetic (Mark 15:23). Finally, it was used in preparing a body for burial (John 19:39, 40).

This list of various uses is somewhat incomplete as any Concordance will indicate. However, it establishes the point to be noted, namely, that according to Scripture (both Old and New Testament) each of the three gifts brought by the wise men serves more than one purpose. Now if this is true, what justification did Origen (and many after him) have for saying that the magi brought “gold, as to a king; myrrh, as to one who was mortal; and incense, as to God”? Does not this representation amount to oversimplification? On the surface it would seem that it does. However, another look at the entire list of passages in which these three items are mentioned proves that, to say the least, there is an important element of truth in Origen’s observation. To begin with gold, it is striking how often in Scripture this precious metal is indeed associated with royalty: with the king, the queen, the vice-gerent, and the prince. Joseph, a vice-gerent, wears a gold neck-chain (Gen. 41:42). So does Daniel as third ruler (Dan. 5:7, 29). King Nebuchadnezzar, as the first and greatest in a list of earthly rulers, is represented by a head of gold (Dan. 2:32, 38). Rabbah’s king wears a crown of gold (2 Sam. 12:30). So does the author of Ps. 21, in the superscription identified with David. Princes own gold (Job 3:15). Ps. 45:9 speaks about “the queen, in gold of Ophir.” The one who calls himself “king in Jerusalem” is a collector of gold and silver (Eccl. 2:8). And King Ahasuerus holds out his golden scepter to Queen Esther (Esther 4:11, 5:2; 8:4). As if this were not enough, it can be added that King Solomon not only had drinking vessels of gold and an ivory throne overlaid with gold, but was hemmed in by gold to such an extent that in seven verses descriptive of his wealth (1 Kings 10:14–18, 21, 22) gold is mentioned no less than ten times! We see, therefore, that to anyone acquainted with the books of the Old Testament gold would amost immediately suggest royalty.

As to frankincense, in by far the most of the cases in which this word occurs in the Old Testament it is mentioned in connection with the service of Jehovah. It was stored in a chamber of the sanctuary (1 Chron. 9:29; Neh. 13:5), and is frequently mentioned in connection with meal offerings, as an additive (Lev. 2:1, 2, 15, 16; 6:15). According to Exod. 30:34 it entered as an ingredient into the composition of incense, with respect to which it is specifically stated that it is not for the people but only for Jehovah (Exod. 30:37). In the Old Testament the basic word incense occurs more than one hundred times. In the New Testament it is found in Luke 1:9–11 and Rev. 8:3, 4. Whenever it occurs it has to do with the service of God. In offering incense, burning coals were taken from the altar of burnt offering and placed on the altar of incense, the golden altar that stood in the holy place immediately in front of the holy of holies. On these coals the incense was then sprinkled. The fragrant smoke rising heavenward was symbolical of the prayers and thanksgivings of the people and the priests. The incense was definitely an offering made to God (see Luke 1:9 f.; Rev. 5:8; 8:3). Frankincense, and also incense in general, immediately suggests God, therefore. It belongs to him, to him alone. Even when it is offered to idols, God still calls it “my incense” (Ezek. 16:18). It is clear, therefore, that just as gold and king go together, so do also incense and God.

As to myrrh, in the more than a dozen Old Testament passages where the word occurs it is mentioned in connection with the service of Jehovah in only one instance. It enters into the composition of anointing oil (Exod. 30:22–33). For the rest, as has already been indicated, it was a perfume used by and in the interest of mortal man, to make his life more pleasant, his pain less dreadful, and his burial less repulsive.

It has been established, therefore, that Origen had good reason to say that the magi brought “gold, as to a king; myrrh, as to one who was mortal; and incense, as to God.”

A famous poet said:

Not what we give, but what we share,—

For the gift without the giver is bare. (Lowell)

Here in Matt. 2 we have an illustration of genuine givers. They did not hesitate to make a long and arduous journey (probably more than a thousand miles) to render homage to him who by most people must have been regarded as merely a little child. He was, moreover, a child of humble birth, belonging to a nation that had lost its freedom. Yet, these important men not only prostrated themselves before him but presented him with gifts that were not only lavish but also definitely appropriate; gold, for he was and is indeed a king—yes, “King of kings and Lord of lords”—frankincense, for he is indeed God—the fulness of the godhead dwells in him—and myrrh, for he is also man, destined for death, and this by his own choice.

How much of this the wise men understood we do not know. Let it suffice to say that their coming, the homage they rendered, and the gifts they offered were acceptable in the eyes of God. Matthew’s main lesson for the Jews who were the first to read his Gospel, or to hear it read to them, must have been to remind them of the fact that salvation, though beginning with the Jews, does not end there. The Gentiles, too, must be won for Christ. The coming of the wise men was indeed a lesson for Jews … and for men of every nationality and race, a lesson to be taken to heart: if even the magi, with their limited knowledge, did this for Christ, then why do we, so highly privileged, fall short?[3]


[1] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, pp. 115–116). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] France, R. T. (2007). The Gospel of Matthew (pp. 74–76). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co.

[3] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew (Vol. 9, pp. 169–174). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

April 23 Streams in the Desert

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me.” (Psalm 138:7)

THE Hebrew rendering of the above is “go on in the center of trouble.” What descriptive words! We have called on God in the day of trouble; we have pleaded His promise of deliverance but no deliverance has been given; the enemy has continued oppressing until we were in the very thick of the fight, in the center of trouble. Why then trouble the Master any further?

When Martha said, “Lord, if thou hadst been here my brother had not died,” our Lord met her lack of hope with His further promise, “Thy brother shall rise again.” And when we walk “in the center of trouble” and are tempted to think like Martha that the time of deliverance is past, He meets us too with a promise from His Word. “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me.”

Though His answer has so long delayed, though we may still continue to “go on” in the midst of trouble, “the center of troubleis the place where He revives, not the place where He fails us.

When in the hopeless place, the continued hopeless place, is the very time when He will stretch forth His hand against the wrath of our enemies and perfect that which concerneth us, the very time when He will make the attack to cease and fail and come to an end. What occasion is there then for fainting?

Aphra White.

THE EYE OF THE STROM

“Fear not that the whirlwind shall carry thee hence,

Nor wait for its onslaught in breathless suspense,

Nor shrink from the whips of the terrible hail,

But pass through the edge to the heart of the gale,

For there is a shelter, sunlighted and warm,

And Faith sees her God through the eye of the storm.

“The passionate tempest with rush and wild roar

And threatenings of evil may beat on the shore,

The waves may be mountains, the fields battle plains,

And the earth be immersed in a deluge of rains,

Yet, the soul, stayed on God, may sing bravely its psalm,

For the heart of the storm is the center of calm.

“Let hope be not quenched in the blackness of night,

Though the cyclone awhile may have blotted the light,

For behind the great darkness the stars ever shine,

And the light of God’s heavens, His love shall make thine,

Let no gloom dim thine eyes, but uplift them on high

To the face of thy God and the blue of His sky.

“The storm is thy shelter from danger and sin,

And God Himself takes thee for safety within;

The tempest with Him passeth into deep calm,

And the roar of the winds is the sound of a psalm.

Be glad and serene when the tempest clouds form;

God smiles on His child in the eye of the storm.”[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 125–126). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

April 23 The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible

April 23.—Morning. [Or August 13.]
“The Lord will not forsake His people.”

1 Samuel 12

SAUL proved his valour by defeating Nahash king of the Ammonites, whereupon the people assembled to establish him more fully in his kingdom. Samuel took advantage of this to end his official life and to warn the people.

And Samuel said unto all Israel, Behold, I have hearkened unto your voice in all that ye said unto me, and have made a king over you.

2, 3 And now I am old and grayheaded; and I have walked before you from my childhood unto this day. Behold, here I am: witness against me before the Lord, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.

4, 5, 6, 7 And they said, Thou hast not defrauded us, nor oppressed us, neither hast thou taken ought of any man’s hand. And he said unto them, The Lord is witness against you, and his anointed is witness this day, that ye have not found ought in my hand. And they answered, He is witness. And Samuel said unto the people, It is the Lord that advanced Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt. Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you before the Lord of all the righteous acts of the Lord, which he did to you and to your fathers.

8–11 When Jacob was come into Egypt, and your fathers cried unto the Lord, then the Lord sent Moses and Aaron, which brought forth your fathers out of Egypt, and made them dwell in this place. And when they forgat the Lord their God, he sold them into the hand of Sisera, captain of the host of Hazor, and into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. And they cried unto the Lord, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the Lord, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee. And the Lord sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan (or, as some read it, Barak), and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe.

12 And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the Lord your God was your king.

13 Now therefore behold the king whom ye have chosen, and whom ye have desired! and, behold, the Lord hath set a king over you.

14 If ye will fear the Lord, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the Lord your God:

15 But if ye will not obey the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you, as it was against your fathers.

16 ¶ Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the Lord will do before your eyes.

17 Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the Lord, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the Lord, in asking you a king.

18 So Samuel called unto the Lord; and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel. (It seldom or never rains at that period in Palestine. Samuel’s prayers were as mighty as those of Elijah.)

19 And all the people said unto Samuel, Pray for thy servants unto the Lord thy God, that we die not: for we have added unto all our sins this evil, to ask us a king.

20, 21, 22 And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart; And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain. For the Lord will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the Lord to make you his people.

A precious passage indeed. Election ensures to its objects immutable love, but where the reason for election lies none can tell.

23, 24 Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for you: Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

25 But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king.

April 23.—Evening. [Or August 14.]
“To obey is better than sacrifice.”

1 Samuel 13:1–14

SAUL reigned one year (during that time no fault was found in him; but he was of that shortwinded race which cannot hold out to the end); and when he had reigned two years over Israel, Saul chose him three thousand men of Israel; whereof two thousand were with Saul in Michmash, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin: and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent.

And Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. (Having subdued the country the Philistines put garrisons in the fortresses to keep the people in subjection. Jonathan commenced the war of liberty by destroying one of these garrisons.) And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, Let the Hebrews hear. (This was the usual Hebrew war summons, the blast of a trumpet was answered by beaconfires from hill to hill, and the country rose at once to cast off the Philistine yoke.)

And all Israel heard say that Saul had smitten a garrison of the Philistines, and that Israel also was had in abomination with the Philistines. And the people were called together after Saul to Gilgal.

And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Beth-aven. (The Philistines called in their allies, and resolved to put down the Israelitish revolt at once. Such was the terror inspired by so vast a host, that Saul soon found his general levy of the people dispersed; and even his small standing army shrunk from three thousand to seven hundred men.)

6, 7 When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed), then the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits. And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. (Those who remained with Saul in person were faint in heart, and despaired of success.)

¶ And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.

And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. (This he had no right to do, for it was an assumption of the priestly office, and a virtual disowning of his position as the viceroy of the Lord. He ought to have waited for directions from the Lord through Samuel; but in his self-will he proceeded to act as if he were quite independent of God’s guidance. His impatience cost him his kingdom.)

10 And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him.

11 ¶ And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;

12 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the Lord: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.

He was a hypocrite, and tried to cover his rebellious act by pretending great zeal for outward religion.

13 And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.

14 But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the Lord hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the Lord commanded thee.

At first sight Saul’s offence appears little, but no sin is little, because there is no little God to sin against. He had virtually cast off Jehovah’s sovereignty, and therefore the Lord would not establish his dynasty.

Keep us, Lord, oh keep us ever,

Vain our hope if left by thee;

We are thine, oh leave us never,

Till thy face in heaven we see;

There to praise thee

Through a bright eternity.[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 236–237). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

De Blasio shuts down social distancing informant line following obscene, vulgar submissions

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s social distance informant line, to which New Yorkers were urged to report if they witnessed fellow city-dwellers standing too close to each other, was forced to close down after it received a wave of obscene, vulgar submissions.

Source: De Blasio shuts down social distancing informant line following obscene, vulgar submissions

Ron Paul Reveals the Dire Consequences of Quarantines and Business Shutdowns

Article Image
https://needtoknow.news, Ron Paul

They are demanding an end to house arrest orders given by government officials over a virus outbreak that even according to the latest US government numbers will claim fewer lives than the seasonal flu outbreak of 2017-2018.

Across the US, millions of businesses have been shut down by “executive order” and the unemployment rate has skyrocketed to levels not seen since the Great Depression. Americans, who have seen their real wages decline thanks to Federal Reserve monetary malpractice, are finding themselves thrust into poverty and standing in breadlines. It is like a horror movie, but it’s real.

Last week the UN Secretary General warned that a global recession resulting from the worldwide coronavirus lockdown could cause “hundreds of thousands of additional child deaths per year.” As of this writing, less than 170,000 have been reported to have died from the coronavirus worldwide.

Looks Like Trump Was Right About The Coronavirus Fatality Rate — The Federalist

Looks Like Trump Was Right About The Coronavirus Fatality Rate

Two new studies suggest that President Trump was right in early March when he guessed the fatality rate for coronavirus is under 1 percent.

In early March, President Donald Trump was lambasted for saying on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show that he had a hunch the coronavirus fatality rate, which the World Health Organization pegged then at 3 to 4 percent, was in fact much lower, under 1 percent. Many commentators, myself included pointed out that the beginning of a pandemic medical crisis was not the time to be floating hunches. But, as we always knew was possible, it looks now like the president might well have been right.

New data from random antibody tests conducted in New York State suggest that as many as 2.7 million people statewide have had the coronavirus. That along with the just over 15,000 deaths that have occurred leads to a fatality rate for the virus of .05 percent according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Here is what Trump said on March 4:

“Well, I think the 3.4 percent is really a false number. Now, and this is just my hunch, and — but based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this. Because a lot people will have this and it’s very mild. They’ll get better very rapidly. They don’t even see a doctor. They don’t even call a doctor.”

He went on to say:

“I think that that number (the WHO number) is very high. I think the number, personally, I would say the number is way under 1 percent.”

Democrats and media pundits blasted Trump for spreading “misinformation.”

Trump’s trusting his “hunch” on coronavirus’ fatality rate over the World Health Organization’s numbers.

There’s really no excuse for the president to be spreading this kind of misinformation to downplay a deadly disease.

WATCH: pic.twitter.com/hoVq8q6rRV

— DNC War Room (@DNCWarRoom) March 5, 2020

Trump has a “hunch” that coronavirus isn’t as bad as every expert says it is. pic.twitter.com/KID3XLYerf

— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) March 6, 2020

Trump blames Obama for coronavirus response, then says he has a “hunch” death rate is “false number” https://t.co/FukAOCkwIe via @slate

— AM Joy w/Joy Reid (@amjoyshow) March 6, 2020

While this data is preliminary, it is backed up by another study in Los Angeles that found 40 times more people had carried the virus then were previously known. This dropped the fatality rate in LA from 4.5 percent to .01-.03 percent.

It is difficult to stress how important these findings are. The 5-week lockdown that has destroyed the American economy was put in place by contemplating what looks to be rather absurd numbers by the WHO.

While the United States has nearly lost a terrible 50,000 lives to the virus, this radical shift in our understanding of just how deadly it really is should make us question not only the logic of the lockdown in the first place, but more importantly how much longer we are going to stay on this destructive course.

The fact of the matter is that back in early March, what Trump was saying made sense. We had conducted very few tests of asymptomatic people and consequently we were flying blind as to just what percentage of covid-19 cases were becoming critical or leading to death. If Trump’s informed “hunch” continues to be confirmed, it will require vast changes in how we are battling the virus.

For one thing, the idea of contact tracing, which Cuomo said yesterday would be led up by Mike Bloomberg in New York, comes under serious doubt with these new findings. For example, in New York City the sample suggests that about 20 percent or some 1.6 million people have already had the virus. At that rate of spread, tracing becomes a very dubious proposition.

It would be nice if Trump’s perspicacity on this issue led to the media giving him a little more respect on the Chinese Virus response, but that’s unlikely. Either way, the results are fantastic news. At a .05 percent fatality rate or lower, the coronavirus is not the killer we feared it was, and that should make everyone happy.

via Looks Like Trump Was Right About The Coronavirus Fatality Rate — The Federalist

New Research Reveals Between 12 Million and 33 Million Americans Were Infected by Coronavirus – Mortality Rate Similar to Seasonal Flu — The Gateway Pundit

Two new studies were released this week that show millions of Americans were infected with the coronavirus between March and April 21.

The studies also revel the mortality rate is much less that was reported and similar to seasonal flu.

A study by Dr. Justin Silverman estimates that there were 8.7 million coronavirus infections between March 8 and March 28.

And as of April 17, 2020, 10% of the US population has been infected or around 33 million Americans.

Via Andrew Bostom.

Dr. Silverman says 10% of the US population is already infected with the virus.

A second study by Fivetran estimates that from March 1 and April 4th 12 million Americans were infected with the coronavirus.

A third study finds that 25% of residents at homeless shelters tested positive for the virus.
And 66% of those residents tested at San Francisco homeless facilities tested positive for the coronavirus!

If 33 million Americans are already infected with the coronavirus that means the US mortality rated (45,000/44,000,000) is 0.14%.
This is the same number you would expect from a seasonal flu.

It makes no sense to destroy an entire economy based on these numbers.
Fire Fauci.

via New Research Reveals Between 12 Million and 33 Million Americans Were Infected by Coronavirus – Mortality Rate Similar to Seasonal Flu — The Gateway Pundit

Nation Totally In Favor Of Ocasio-Cortez Permanently Boycotting Her Job — The Babylon Bee

U.S.—The majority of the nation is “totally in favor” of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez boycotting her job permanently.

After the congresswoman called for a job boycott once the economy opens back up, everyone said they were totally OK with it, as long as it’s just her and maybe some of her associates who are boycotting their jobs forever. Approval of her job boycott was directly connected to her being the one who is doing the boycotting.

“Please, never go back to work, AOC, for the good of the nation,” said laid-off oil worker Pete Vik. “Heck, we’re even fine if you keep collecting your paycheck — we taxpayers would totally pony up a couple hundred grand a year to pay you to stay home.”

“AOC not working? We’d love to see it,” he added.

Ocasio-Cortez later clarified that it was poor people who don’t make $174,000 a year plus perks and benefits who she wants to stay home and not make any money.

via Nation Totally In Favor Of Ocasio-Cortez Permanently Boycotting Her Job — The Babylon Bee

Coronavirus Crisis and the Loss of Personal Freedom — Juicy Ecumenism

Spiritual nourishment is as vital as physical in the current crisis, as people deal with the trauma possible infection or (much more likely) economic disaster the response to the crisis has caused. An earlier article reviewed threats to religious liberty resulting from the draconian restrictions imposed by some governors to the coronavirus crisis. While it noted that there is an argument for keeping worship services legal, the more common position of advocates of religious liberty is that bans must be temporary and part of a larger ban on public gatherings.

A closely related matter is that of personal liberty, which has been drastically curtailed. People in much of the country cannot leave their homes, except for outdoor strolls or “essential business” (with the state determining what that is), are required to remain six feet away from one another, have been harassed by law enforcement for violating lockdown orders (which prohibit activities of dubious danger), and reminiscent of a police state, are encouraged to inform on suspected violators. New Jersey’s governor went a step further, even proposing social distancing between family members at home, even though presidential medical advisor Dr. Deborah Birx specifically excluded this from lockdown advice.

The “social distancing” which is held to be necessary to stop the epidemic achieves exactly what conservative social commentators in the recent years of the culture war have said the Left is intent on, namely, a society of isolated individuals naked before the state, with no independent intermediate groups in between. Our only contact with one another, except within the same household, is virtual contact, disembodied – and vulnerable in a sufficiently powerful state to shut down.

What we’ve come to know as the “progressive” Left has left us in no doubt that they intend to control all of life, starting with the family, to which it is fundamentally opposed. Every problem that results from confining people to their homes is liable to be seized upon to intervene in family situations with the authority of the state. As the linked article notes, some of those problems may be child abuse, sexual assault, or other family violence. But as the article also points out, abuse and violence are features of our fallen world generally. How much more can they be expected in state designed situations where there are no family ties – indeed where the state may well be influenced by people like the radical feminist Sophie Lewis the article cites, who is intent on destroying the family. But for the great mass of mankind, the family is “is a refuge, a source of strength and support, of identity and history, of love and forgiveness.” It is a source of strength in crises such as the present one.

This will surely be sensed by many in the present lockdown, and detracts from the objective of social isolates under an all sufficient state. In particular, the Left has become quite concerned that a much wider public than in the past will have the experience of homeschooling. And it has now, as Albert Mohler reviews in an article earlier this week, mounted an attack on homeschooling, essentially proposing the state as a substitute parent for education and moral instruction.

The coronavirus pandemic gives those who want much greater control of personal life in the interest of “justice” or “quality of life” an excellent excuse to move in to control spread of the disease now, and justify continued or expanded control for other reasons later. The World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme director, Dr. Michael Ryan, proposed inspecting families and removing members who may be spreading the coronavirus. Entering families with the coercive power of the state is also a feature of China’s effort against the Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province. There Chinese authorities reside in homes from two to five days a month, and remove members thought to be a bad influence to re-education camps.

But outside their now domiciled existence, it appears that Americans in many states are subject to unprecedented surveillance, with restrictions and enforcement against personal freedom which are highly dubious even by the standards of the recommended “social distancing.” Arrest of church goers in separate cars was noted in the previous article on religious freedom. Another such case was the citation of a woman driving in York, Pennsylvania, for not remaining home. Somewhat similarly, fishing has been outlawed in the state of Washington. Even if congregations of fishermen were prohibited, one has to wonder how an isolated fisherman is a threat to anyone.

The ability of the state to monitor the movement and activities of individuals has, of course, been greatly expanded by rapidly developing electronic technology. One possibility, is digital certificates of vaccination, implanted in the skin which could then be used by technology to verify compliance with health standards. Attorney General Barr has worried that this might represent a threat to civil liberties. Along this line, smartphones are to be used to monitor compliance with quarantine measures in Alberta, with the evidence gathered used to enforce quarantine regulation against offenders. This is very modest surveillance compared to China’s social credit system, which was to be implemented this year. That sweeping project, as reviewed by this writer at the end of 2018, essentially makes it possible to monitor all of an individual’s life electronically, and score him or her according to their compliance with state regulations, modifying one’s individual score with the electronically recorded behavior of relatives. In the current coronavirus epidemic in China, smartphones have been used to rate the danger a person poses to the general public, and thus their freedom to move about in society.

One of the most disturbing news items so far is the attempt in St. Louis to have citizens inform on businesses that are violating the shutdown regulations. This, or course, is characteristic of a police state. Over 50 businesses were notified that they must close, having been informed on by their fellow citizens. Unhappily for the informants, their names and addresses were published. This is the way in which pervasive state power over country of isolated individuals breeds social distrust and animosity.

The question of how far the government can legally go in restraining citizens’ lives during the coronavirus was addressed by John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation, Director of the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. In a recent interview, he agreed that the nation’s governors are within their constitutionally given “police power” to issue shutdown orders of differing severity, while leaving aside the wisdom of such orders. He also agreed that the President has no authority to countermand these orders, except to re-open the federal government. But he conceded that “our freedom of movement, our freedom of association [literally freedom of assembly in the text of the First Amendment], our freedom of religion” are all being drastically restricted by the governors. “A lot of our civil liberties are being curtailed on a very broad basis to deal with this very real problem,” Malcolm said.

There is, indeed, a real problem, but this writer would contend that it is not being dealt with rationally. The coronavirus cases counted and deaths registered (45,000 as of the evening of April 22) out of a nation of more than 326 million is a real problem, but by far not the worst. It must be balanced against other problems that the solution of national shutdown is causing. Not even in the 1918 pandemic was most of the nation shutdown. The worst problem is the economic depression the governors are causing, killing small businesses, endangering the lives of corporations, and throwing millions out of work. Then there are the trillions of dollars that the federal government must spend to limit the catastrophe. Beyond this is the precedent of limiting personal liberty on the advice of experts in the interest of “health” and “science.” Economic catastrophe will be used by the Left in its crusade against majority rule and common sense to favor a command society that enforces its ideologies, all certified as rational by experts. But that must be dealt with in another article.

via Coronavirus Crisis and the Loss of Personal Freedom — Juicy Ecumenism

Prepare Yourself For The ID2020 COVID-19 ‘Immunity Passport’ That Combines Digital Identity With Vaccinations, Blockchain And Nanotechnology — Now The End Begins

 

What if the government said that if you agreed to take the vaccine and received the ID2020 digital immunity passport, all your debt of any kind would be forgiven? Yep, that’s how it’ll go. Welcome to the COVID-19 Immunity Passport.

As you read this article today, I want you to begin to prepare yourself now, and resolve in your own mind what  your answer will be when they come for you. Let me explain what I mean by that. In whatever form it finally takes, I can 99.9999% guarantee you that there will be a movement by world governments to vaccinate everyone on the planet, but that’s only the beginning, not the end. The kicker comes when, after being vaccinated, you now must also receive a COVID-19 immunity passport. Just so happens that ID2020 is on the team working on that right now. For real, so you need to decide what you are going to do when your moment comes.

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?” 2 Thessalonians 2:3-5 (KJB)

Take a moment and run the phrase ‘covid-19 immunity passport ID2020‘ through the Google mill and see what comes up. You will see not speculative theoretical surmisings, but a very rapidly-evolving global effort to bring the COVID-19 immunity passport to life. It will likely start out voluntary, so people falsely feel like they have control, and then will quickly become mandatory. I can see it being attached to the lifting of lockdowns, “you want lockdown lifted? Then take the shot and get the immunity passport”, or perhaps tied to financial incentives.

The ID2020 Alliance has launched a new digital identity program at its annual summit in New York, in collaboration with the Government of Bangladesh, vaccine alliance Gavi, and new partners in government, academia, and humanitarian relief.

What if the government said that if you agreed to take the vaccine and received the digital immunity passport, all your debt of any kind would be forgiven? Why, there would be an actual stampede for people to get the vaccination and take the digital immunity passport, and you know it. Look at how greedy people got for the $1,200 stimulus checks, and are even now 84% percent of Americans are demanding more.

Imagine what people would do to have all their debt forgiven. And that leads me to my next point.

“Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” John 12:4-6 (KJB)

On Tuesday we showed you how French president Emmanuel Macron, having secured the backing of the UN Security Council to become the leader of the New World Order, has also gained the fervent backing of Pope Francis in a private phone call from the Vatican. What is one of the main planks of the platforms of both these men? They are both advocating for global debt forgiveness, and you can bet your bottom Aureus that getting vaccinated and receiving a COVID-19 immunity passport will be the price of admission.

When it comes to the lust for money, people are quickly and easily led by the entities holding the purse strings. Who was the apostle that was in charge of the money? Judas. That should tell you how God feels about money.

false-prophet-pope-francis-anoints-emmanuel-macron-france-as-new-world-order-leader-antichrist

It is called the COVID-19 Credentials Initiative, or CCI, and it is a global coven of tech entities like ID2020, Microsoft, Bill Gates, the National Health Service in the UK, and of course Silicon Valley here in America. Listen to what the home page of their site wants you to know about what they’re building:

The COVID-19 Credentials Initiative (CCI) is a collaboration of 60+ organizations to deploy verifiable credential solutions to enable society’s return to ‘normal’ in a controlled, measurable, and privacy-preserving way.

FROM COVIDCREDS: The COVID-19 Credentials Initiative (CCI) is a collaboration of more than 60 organizations working to deploy verifiable credential solutions to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Our goal is simple, we want to enable society to return to ‘normal’ in a controlled, measurable, and privacy-preserving way.The initiative is a direct response to the many calls for an ‘immunity passport,’ a digital certificate that lets individuals prove (and request proof from others) that they’ve recovered after testing negative, have tested positive for antibodies, or have received a vaccination, once one is available. By proving some level of immunity, individuals will be able to begin participating in everyday life again.

Using the W3C industry standard called Verifiable Credentials, we have a blueprint to move forward. Yet while the underlying tech and standards are established, the vision for immunity certificates and other related credentials is far bigger than any one organization. To move at the speed and scale required, we need true collaboration across all fronts, and we are extending an open invitation for any organization or individual looking to join this endeavor. READ MOREJohn MacArthur from Grace To You ministries is wrong, do not take the Mark of the Beast, or have anything to do with the image, name or number of the Antichrist.. God will not forgive you for doing it.

And if all that wasn’t bad enough, now read this:

US firm Combines Nanotechnology, Blockchain For COVID-19 Immunity Passports

U.S.-based quantum dot producer Quantum Materials Corp (QMC) announced its blockchain-based QDX HealthID for transparency in disease testing and immunization for infectious diseases. The goal is to ensure the authenticity of health data and support individuals to re-join the workforce quickly.

With the health data backed by blockchain, governments and health agencies can formulate new plans and safety measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 and other diseases. Additionally, individual users can assess their immunization passport using a mobile application. The app features color-coded indicators — green, yellow, and red. If the app shows the green indicator, the individual has clearance to interact in social and work environments. This indicator can be shared and authenticated by others using a QR code.

“The world must have a system that eliminates the fears and anxiety of not knowing who is able to return to work,” said Les Paull, CEO of QMVT, the unit responsible for sales and marketing of QMC’s innovations.

The solution is hosted on the Microsoft Azure cloud and can integrate with existing EMR systems. It is based on the Hyperledger Sawtooth enterprise blockchain and for smart contracts, it’s using the Digital Asset Modeling Language (DAML). Yesterday, Ledger Insights reported on the COVID Credentials initiative (CCI), which uses digital identity to develop “immunity passports”. Members of the initiative include Evernym, ID2020, uPort, Dutch research organization TNO, Microsoft, ConsenSys Health and consultants Luxoft and many others.  READ MORE

Can you wrap your head around what I am showing you? This includes all of the evil work done by Bill Gates and ID2020, and then takes it to a new level by including 60 other tech companies, and on a global scale to boot. It will be in every nation on the face of the earth, there will be no getting away from it. You cannot have an immunity passport without first being immunized, right? Think, people! I have always told you that the Mark of the Beast is an actual Mark implanted inside your body, and it is also a world system, the foundation of which is the Internet.

We are absolutely watching it come to life, there is no question about it. This will be our main topic on our Friday Prophecy News Podcast, hope you will all tune in.

Fact Checking the Fact Checkers: Bill Gates, ID2020 & Vaccine Microchips

Today we are going to fact check the fact checkers regarding many online reports that bill gates wants to implant microchips in people using vaccines to fight the coronavirus. In this report we are going to focus on two articles that were published which claim to be the arbiters of truth, in these confusing times. So, Is the claim that Bill Gates wants to inject you with a vaccine that contains a microchip to track who has and has not been vaccinated true? Watch the report below and decide for yourself!

via Prepare Yourself For The ID2020 COVID-19 ‘Immunity Passport’ That Combines Digital Identity With Vaccinations, Blockchain And Nanotechnology — Now The End Begins

April 23, 2020 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

The Virgin Birth Clarified

“And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins” (1:21)

As if to reinforce the truth of Jesus’ divine conception, the angel tells Joseph that she will bear a Son. Joseph would act as Jesus’ earthly father, but he would only be a foster father. Luke’s genealogy of Jesus through Mary’s line accurately says He was “supposedly the son of Joseph” (3:23, emphasis added).

Joseph was told to name the Son … Jesus, just as Zacharias was told to name his son John (Luke 1:13). We are not told the purpose or significance of John’s name, but that of Jesus was made clear even before His birth. Jesus is a form of the Hebrew Joshua, Jeshua, or Jehoshua, the basic meaning of which is “Jehovah (Yahweh) will save.” All other men who had those names testified by their names to the Lord’s salvation. But this One who would be born to Mary not only would testify of God’s salvation, but would Himself be that salvation. By His own work He would save His people from their sins.[1]


21 It was no doubt divine grace that solicited Mary’s cooperation before the conception and Joseph’s cooperation only after it. Here Joseph is drawn into the mystery of the incarnation. In patriarchal times, either a mother (Ge 4:25) or a father (Ge 4:26; 5:3; cf. Brown, Birth of the Messiah, 130) could name a child. According to Luke 1:31, Mary was told Jesus’ name, but Joseph was told both the name and the reason for it. The Greek is literally “you will call his name Jesus,” strange in both English and Greek. Not only is this a Semitism (BDF, para. 157 [2]—the expression recurs in Mt 1:23, 25; Lk 1:13, 31); it uses the future indicative (kaleseis, lit., “you will call,” GK 2813) with imperatival force—hence the NIV, “You are to give him the name Jesus.” This construction is very rare in the NT, except where the LXX is being cited, and the effect is to give the verse a strong OT nuance.

“Jesus” (Iēsous, GK 2652) is the Greek form of “Joshua” (cf. Gk. of Ac 7:45; Heb 4:8), which, whether in the long form yehōšûaʿ (GK 3397, “Yahweh is salvation,” Ex 24:13) or in one of the short forms, e.g., yēs̆ûaʿ (“Yahweh saves,” Ne 7:7), identifies Mary’s son as the one who brings Yahweh’s promised eschatological salvation. There are several Joshuas in the OT, at least two of them not very significant (1 Sa 6:14; 2 Ki 23:8). Two others, however, are used in the NT as types of Christ: Joshua, successor to Moses and the one who led the people into the promised land (and a type of Christ in Heb 4), and Joshua the high priest, contemporary of Zerubbabel (Ezr 2:2; 3:2–9; Ne 7:7), “the Branch” who builds the temple of the Lord (Zec 6:11–13). But instead of referring to either of these, the angel explains the significance of the name by referring to Psalm 130:8: “He [Yahweh] himself will redeem Israel from all their sins” (cf. Gundry, Use of the Old Testament, 127–28).

There was much Jewish expectation of a Messiah who would “redeem” Israel from Roman tyranny and even purify his people, whether by fiat or appeal to law (e.g., Ps. Sol. 17). But there was no expectation that the Davidic Messiah would give his own life as a ransom (Mt 20:28) to save his people from their sins. The verb “save” (sōzō, GK 5392) can refer to deliverance from physical danger (8:25), disease (9:21–22), or even death (24:22); in the NT it commonly refers to the comprehensive salvation inaugurated by Jesus that will be consummated at his return. Here it focuses on what is central, namely, salvation from sins; for in the biblical perspective, sin is the basic (if not always the immediate) cause of all other calamities. This verse therefore orients the reader to the fundamental purpose of Jesus’ coming and the essential nature of the reign he inaugurates as King Messiah, heir of David’s throne (cf. Ridderbos, Coming of the Kingdom, 193, 201).

Though to Joseph “his people” would be the Jews, even Joseph would understand from the OT that some Jews fell under God’s judgment, while others became a godly remnant. In any event, it is not long until Matthew says that both John the Baptist (3:9) and Jesus (8:11) picture Gentiles joining with the godly remnant to become disciples of the Messiah and members of “his people” (see comments at 16:18; cf. Ge 49:10; Tit 2:13–14; Rev 14:4). The words “his people” are therefore full of meaning that is progressively unpacked as Matthew’s gospel unfolds. They refer to “Messiah’s people.”[2]


The message of the angel continues as follows: 21. She will give birth to a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All have an interest in the birth of this child: a. the Holy Spirit, by the exercise of whose power the child is conceived; b. Mary, who, being the willing instrument of the Spirit in conceiving and giving birth to the infant, becomes “blessed among women” (cf. Matt. 1:21 with Luke 1:42); and c. Joseph, who, along with Mary (Luke 1:31), is told to give the child a name; not just any name, however, but the name Jesus. That name has already been explained (see on 1:1), but even if it had not, no more adequate explanation is possible than the one offered by the angel, namely, “he will save.” Whom will he save? Not everybody but “his people” (cf. John 3:16), “his sheep” (John 10:11).

It is ever God, God alone, who in and through his Son, saves his people. While some trust in chariots and some in horses (Ps. 20:7), in physical strength, knowledge, reputation, prestige, position, magnificent and impressive machinery, influential friends, and intrepid generals, none of these, whether operating singly or in conjunction with all the others, is able to deliver man from his chief enemy, the foe that is little by little destroying his very heart, namely, sin; or, as here, sins, those of thought, word, and deed; of omission, commission, and inner disposition: all those various ways in which man “misses the mark,” God’s glory. It takes no less than the atoning death of Jesus and the sanctifying power of his Spirit to cleanse hearts and lives.

The marked and prevailing emphasis which, already in the Old Testament, is placed upon the fact that God is sovereign and that he alone can save is evident from such passages as Gen. 49:18; 2 Kings 19:15–19; 2 Chron. 14:11; 20:5–12; Ps. 3:8; 25:5; 37:39; 62:1; 81:1; Isa. 12:2; Jer. 3:23; Lam. 3:26; Dan. 4:35; Mic. 7:7; Hab. 3:18; Zech. 4:6; and a host of other passages equally clear and precious. In the New Testament the emphasis is just as strong, as appears from Matt. 19:28; 28:18; Luke 12:32; 18:13, 27; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Eph. 2:8; Phil. 2:12, 13; Rev. 1:18; 3:7; 5:9; 19:1, 6, 16; etc.

To be saved means a. to be emancipated from the greatest evil: the guilt, pollution, power, and punishment of sin; and b. to be placed in possession of the greatest good. Although in the present passage the negative alone is expressed, namely, to save—from sin, the positive is immediately implied. One cannot be saved from something without also being saved for something: true happiness, the peace of God that transcends all understanding, freedom, joy unspeakable and full of glory, answered prayers, effective witness bearing, assurance of salvation, etc. On the concept salvation see also N.T.C. on 1 Tim. 1:15. The promise of the angel to Joseph, then, is this, that this child must be called Jesus—meaning, in brief, Savior—because in the fullest and most glorious sense he will save his people from their sins.[3]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 18). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, p. 101). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew (Vol. 9, pp. 132–133). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

April 23, 2020 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

REUTERS

The Trump administration’s plans to reopen the country’s national parks and
other public lands in line with coronavirus guidelines, U.S. President
Donald Trump said on Wednesday, with more details to be announced on
specific parks in coming days.

Hundreds of members of the U.S. House of Representatives will gather in
Washington on Thursday to pass a $484 billion coronavirus relief bill,
bringing the unprecedented total of funds approved for the crisis to nearly
$3 trillion.

Two suspected members of President Bashar al-Assad’s security services had
charges of torture and sexual assault read out against them on Thursday in
a German court, in what lawyers say is the first trial for war crimes by
Syrian government agents.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday blasted U.S. Senate
Republican leader Mitch McConnell for his comments suggesting bankruptcy
would be a better route for some states rather than federal aid, as money
is doled out to help buffer an economy ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hit out at Beijing again on Wednesday
over the coronavirus outbreak and accused it of taking advantage of the
pandemic to bully neighbors, even as he welcomed China’s provision of
essential medical supplies.

Mexico and the United States are co-dependent when it comes to migration,
Mexico’s president said on Thursday when asked to comment on his U.S.
counterpart Donald Trump’s decision to temporarily suspend some immigration
to the United States.

A stunning 26.5 million Americans have sought unemployment benefits over
the last five weeks, confirming that all the jobs gained during the longest
employment boom in U.S. history have been wiped out as the novel
coronavirus savages the economy.

U.S. workers who refuse to return to their jobs because they are worried
about catching the coronavirus should not count on getting unemployment
benefits, state officials and labor law experts say.

China is preparing to buy more than 30 million tons of crops for state
stockpiles to help protect itself from supply chain disruptions caused by
the coronavirus pandemic and make good on pledges to buy more U.S. crops,
three sources told Reuters.

Malaysia will extend travel and other curbs aimed at fighting the spread of
COVID-19 by two weeks to May 12, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on
Thursday, but more sectors may be allowed to resume operations.

Indonesia will temporarily ban domestic and international air and sea
travel, with some exceptions, starting Friday to prevent a further spread
of the coronavirus, Transport Ministry officials said on Thursday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Wednesday
reported 802,583 cases of the novel coronavirus, an increase of
26,490 from its previous count, and said the number of deaths had risen by
2,817 to 44,575.

AP Top Stories

China announced Thursday it will give another $30 million to the World
Health Organization to help in the global fight against the coronavirus
pandemic, days after Washington said it would freeze funding.

Argentina said it didn’t make $500 million in debt payments due Wednesday,
starting a 30-day countdown to a possible default unless the government and
bondholders can reach a deal on restructuring its massive foreign debt.

Missouri attorney general Eric Schmitt on Wednesday told National Review
that he believes the state’s first-of-its-kind lawsuit against China could
potentially bring massive compensation to Missourians who have suffered as
a result of Beijing’s mishandling of the coronavirus.

The CEO of Ryanair, one of the world’s largest airlines, said his planes
wouldn’t fly if the airline had to keep the middle seat empty to comply
with what he described as an “idiotic” social-distancing proposal during
the coronavirus pandemic.

India’s plan to screen foreign direct investments from neighboring
countries has Chinese firms concerned that such scrutiny will affect their
projects and delay deals in one of Asia’s most lucrative investment
markets.

Just 14 percent of Americans believe the country “should stop social
distancing to stimulate the economy even if it means increasing the spread
of coronavirus,” a Morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday found.
A massive 76 percent meanwhile say social distancing should continue “even
if it means continued damage to the economy,” the poll taken just days ago
found.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced on Monday that gyms, hair salons, nail
salons, barbershops, and bowling alleys will be allowed to reopen in the
Peach State on Friday-even as the number of coronavirus cases continues to
rise.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards chief on Thursday warned the US of a “decisive
response” after President Donald Trump said he ordered the US Navy to
destroy Iranian boats that harass American ships in the Gulf. Iran and the
United States have appeared to be on the brink of an all-out confrontation
twice in the past year.

With North Korea saying nothing so far about outside media reports that
leader Kim Jong Un may be unwell, there’s renewed worry about who’s next in
line to run a nuclear-armed country that’s been ruled by the same family
for seven decades. That makes Kim’s younger sister, senior ruling party
official Kim Yo Jong, and the most likely candidate to step in if her
brother is gravely ill, incapacitated or dies. But some experts say a
collective leadership, which could end the family’s dynastic rule, could
also be possible.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday warned that the battle against
the coronavirus was in its early stages and that the pandemic looked set to
be part of life for the long term.

BBC

At least six people have been killed and dozens injured due to severe
weather in southern Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana.

Virgin Australia has confirmed it has entered voluntary administration –
making it Australia’s first big corporate casualty of the coronavirus
pandemic.

The governors of Nigeria’s 36 states have banned inter-state travel for two
weeks to curtail the spread of coronavirus. Their statement says that only
essential services will be permitted to move between the states – more than
25 of which have Covid-19 cases.

More than 70,000 extra troops will be deployed in South Africa to help
enforce a lockdown intended to stop the spread of coronavirus, President
Cyril Ramaphosa has announced.

As China reopens restaurants and cafes, more plant-based “fake” meat
products are popping up on menus.

WND

If you no longer The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the
first at-home diagnostic COVID-19 test, according to a Tuesday media
release.

Roughly 66% of Americans hold an unfavorable view of China amid a pandemic
that began in the communist nation before it flew around the world, killing
more than 100,000 people in the process, a Pew Research Center poll found.

After an address by Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, the sheriff of
one of the Seattle-Tacoma metro area’s three counties announced he will
refuse to enforce the governor’s stay-at-home order. Snohomish County
Sheriff Adam Fortney wrote on Facebook Tuesday night he believes the order
violates people’s constitutional rights.


Mid-Day Snapshot · Apr. 23, 2020

The Foundation

“Excessive taxation … will carry reason and reflection to every man’s door, and particularly in the hour of election.” —Thomas Jefferson (1798)

U.S. Job Losses Hit Great Depression-Era Mark

Over 26 million Americans have registered for unemployment since the China Virus hit the nation.


Economic Devastation Demands Government Downsizing

Some states propose cuts. Others want back at the federal trough for another bailout.


Congress to Blame for Ivy League Bailout Kerfuffle

Public ire has been understandably directed at well-endowed schools, but there’s a catch.


Trump Suspends Immigration During China Virus Crisis

Predictably the president’s entirely reasonable decision has been blasted as ‘xenophobic’ by the Left.


Fight Over Economic Shutdown Reveals a Lot

That’s especially true of out-of-touch elites in the Beltway and in Hollywood.


Barr: Some Orders ‘Disturbingly Close to House Arrest’

The attorney general promises the DOJ will look into supporting lawsuits over infringed rights.


Exposing the Leftmedia’s False CV19 Narrative

We owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Li Wenliang and Sen. Tom Cotton for their commitment to reveal the truth.


Regulars Tip Steakhouse Entire Stimulus Check

It was a much-needed boost for the 50-year-old family-owned restaurant.


Video: Chinese Communists Crack Down on Hong Kong

The ChiComs exploit social isolation to arrest pro-democracy leaders and dissidents.


Video: Leftmedia Backs Communist Wuhan Myths to Slap Trump

“We need to talk about the Chinese news media — the one right here in America.”



Today’s Opinion

Armstrong Williams
The Virus Before the Virus
Larry Elder
The Origin of the Coronavirus: From Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory to Plausible
Jackie Gingrich Cushman
Good Stewards of the Earth
Laura Hollis
Attack on Home Schooling Is the Left’s Latest Way of Silencing Conservatives
Victor Davis Hanson
Pandemic Is but One of America’s Security Concerns
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Thursday News Executive Summary

Millions more jobless claims, economic perspective, AOC’s obtuse advice, and more.


Thursday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Dan Bongino, Erick Erickson, AOC, 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 – 4/23/2020

Pompeo: ‘Annexation is an Israeli decision – we will work closely with them to share with them our views of this in a private setting’

Abbas threatens to rip up accords with Israel, US if annexation plans proceed

Abbas: If Israel annexes any land – all agreements will be cancelled

Netanyahu Trial to Start on May 24 as Courts Resume Activity Curtailed Amid COVID-19

Cabinet approves closures for Memorial Day, Independence Day and Ramadan

Bennett says opening cemeteries on Memorial Day would have been a ‘virus bomb’

Up to 50% More Israeli Businesses Are Expected to Fail in 2020 Due to Coronavirus

Test every single Israeli to avoid a second COVID-19 wave, top economist says

Knesset panel freezes police tracking of phones to enforce quarantine

Digital Tracking of Israelis Thrives Amid Coronavirus. It’s a Slippery Slope

‘It’ll cause a water war’: divisions run deep as filling of Nile dam nears

Iran Guards reveal secret space program in satellite launch

After 2 failures, Iran claims successful satellite launch

US assesses Iran successfully launched a military satellite for the first time

Pompeo Says Iran’s Military Satellite Launch Might Defy U.N. Resolution

Trump says he’s instructed Navy to ‘destroy’ any Iranian gunboats harassing US ships

Oil price rebound gathers pace as Trump stokes Iran tensions

Putin’s problems mount as coronavirus hits Russian economy

China ramps up tensions with Hong Kong in new statements

A fresh crackdown in Hong Kong ‘will result in deaths’, says democracy leader

Death of Kim Jong Un could create refugee crisis, require military response

If Kim Jong Un Dies, His Younger Sister Is Primed to Take Over

Coronavirus: South Africa deploys 70,000 troops to enforce lockdown

Mexico coronavirus cases top 10,000 as sickly economy contracts

Sweden resisted a lockdown, and its capital Stockholm is expected to reach ‘herd immunity’ in weeks

European Union struggles to unite on economic reboot

Trump orders Chevron to halt oil production in Venezuela

Oil slump could cost Texas 1 million jobs this year alone

Wall St surges as Congress preps more stimulus and oil bounces back

McConnell says he favors allowing states to declare bankruptcy

US states start to reopen as world set for ‘unprecedented’ recession

Record U.S. jobless claims wipe out post-Great Recession employment gains

Cuomo tells protesters to get essential jobs, says economic hardship doesn’t equal death

AOC suggests low-income Americans should boycott work after coronavirus shutdown ends

Trump reverses course, says it’s ‘too soon’ for Georgia Gov. Kemp to reopen state

Hard-hit restaurants, gyms and other businesses are battling insurers over coronavirus, sparking a new Washington lobbying war

Five threats to US food supply chains

UN chief warns pandemic fast becoming a human rights crisis

CDC Director Warns Second Coronavirus Wave Could Be Worse Than the Current Outbreak – recommends an increased push for Americans to get the flu vaccine to control the more controllable of the two viruses

Top US vaccine expert says ousted over opposition to Trump pushed virus drugs

Pro-life Lawmakers Urge Trump Admin. to Reject Potential Fetal Tissue Coronavirus Research

Head of FDA urged to ensure any COVID vaccine be free of abortion connection

Air-conditioning spread the coronavirus to 9 people sitting near an infected person in a restaurant, researchers say. It has huge implications for the service industry.

‘Where are the strokes and the heart attacks?’ Doctors worry as patients avoid ERs

Barr calls stay-at-home orders ‘disturbingly close to house arrest’

Connecticut police to test ‘pandemic drone’ that monitors health of residents

U.S. Police Departments Deploy Drones Donated by Chinese Manufacturer

India plans wristband patient surveillance as lockdown eases

Flaw in iPhone, iPads may have allowed hackers to steal data for years

Trump administration considers cutting intel ties with countries that criminalize homosexuality

5.5 magnitude earthquake hits near Ohonua, Tonga

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Kuril Islands

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Toyoshina, Japan

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Neiafu, Tonga

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Sayhut, Yemen

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Isangel, Vanuatu

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 23,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 22,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 21,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 16,000ft

Semeru volcano in Indonesia erupts to 13,000ft

Sakurajima volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 12,000ft

Record rain triggered 2018 Kilauea volcano eruptions, says study

Texas Governor Abbott Vows State Help as ‘Extremely Dangerous’ Tornadoes Leave at Least 2 Dead, 10 Injured

Deadly flooding overwhelms streets in Yemen

Aden declared a disaster area after catastrophic flooding kills 10, Yemen

Historic drought in Chile enters 10th year – the country’s longest dry spell on record

Mystery bird illness investigated after German blue tit deaths

On Earth Day, pope says nature will not forgive our trespasses


Apostasy Watch

Al Mohler Fires Conservative Wing at Southern Seminary

Todd Bentley Is Gearing Up To Re-enter The Ministry

Wife of pastor arrested for nearly hitting protester with church bus flashes wads of cash as she bails him out

How Did CBS Celebrate Earth Day? Declaring Humans Aren’t Needed

CDC’s failed coronavirus tests were tainted with coronavirus, feds confirm

Pastor Jamal Bryant calls reopening of Georgia’s economy ‘assault’ on minorities, ‘contrary to God’s will’

5 Most Idolatrous Lines From Pope’s New COVID-19 Prayer Book

US Army Brigade Removes COVID-19 Prayer Videos From Facebook After Complaints

New Orleans Abortion Business Injures Woman While Open In Defiance of COVID19 Shutdown

Meet The ‘Nice Jewish Couple’ Who Happen To Be The Largest Distributors Of Gay Pornography In America

Prominent Iranian Christian Human Rights Advocate Sentenced to Flogging


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

Nikki Haley launches petition urging Congress to investigate China over coronavirus crisis

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley on Thursday launched a petition urging Congress to investigate China for its role in the coronavirus crisis, and to crack down on the communist government’s actions across the globe — amid increasing pressure on the government to say what it knew about the virus and what it allegedly covered up.

Source: Nikki Haley launches petition urging Congress to investigate China over coronavirus crisis

Coronavirus the Good, Bad, Ugly, and Awesome

Article Image
https://www.lewrockwell.com, By Jason Butler

Good

Mortality rates continue to be revised down. This is wonderful news on its own as the virus is much less deadly than many feared early on. This is also good news because it has laid the reliability of computer models bare. More people than ever are realizing computer models are crude tools and only as good as the data and assumptions they are created with.

People are seeing the government as it is, both power hungry and ineffective at the same time. Their cult of experts (technocrats) are proven wrong more often than not. The mainstream media tries to hide these inconvenient facts and rewrite or ignore recent history, but the media is only hurting their limited credibility with their audiences.

Bad

Police states were instantly enacted with ease around the world. House arrest became the norm along with papers required for travel and fines for not wearing a mask. The right of religion and the right to assembly are completely superseded.

Coronavirus… What If? | Global Research

What if…? What if the number of Coronavirus cases is not accurate and is actually exaggerated by many times? What if the estimates are based on a flawed computer model? What if the developer of the model has so admitted? What if the death certificates are being modified to show more Coronavirus related deaths than actually exist? What if people who were already dying of serious conditions like heart disease or diabetes or COPD are now being counted as Coronavirus deaths because of the supposed presence of Coronavirus at the time of death? What if hospitals are assuming people have Coronavirus just because they exhibit one or more symptoms, like a cough or fever, even though no actual lab testing is performed (presumptive diagnosis)? 

What if the CDC is as wrong about this virus as they were about Swine flu in 1976, or since then the Bird flu, or HIV or SARS or MERS? What if the Swine Flu Vaccine injured more people than the Swine Flu itself and the program had to be stopped? What if you found out that Fauci had very large financial ties to the Pharma agenda to provide vaccines, and that is why he is not mentioning any possible way to treat the flu except vaccines? What if Fauci has close financial connections to Bill (the computer and vaccine salesman) Gates? What if natural immunity from a virus entering your system through the throat is far superior to a synthetic chemical cocktail called a vaccine shot into your body with a needle? What if the alleged COVID-19 deaths were mostly people who were already dying? What if your best defense against all viruses was a healthy immune system? What if inexpensive things like vitamins A, C and D3 could boost your immune system? What if Zinc and Selenium were important to immune health? What if the people who play doctors on TV never mention the importance of vitamins and minerals?

What if “social distancing” really does not stop you from getting the virus, but only slows down the transfer of the virus through the population? What if slowing down the transfer of the virus, is just another way of prolonging the life of the virus and the ‘crisis’ and the ‘panic’ and the control of our lives?  What if wearing masks does not really stop the virus? What if the virus can enter through your eyes and ears, which are connected to your mouth and throat? What if the virus is simply a seasonal flu, just like every other year, and the crisis is a drastic exaggeration, to intentionally create a panic? What if there really is nothing to fear but fear itself?

What if the FED and the Treasury are bailing out major corporations and banks to the tune of trillions of taxpayer backed fiat dollars, but it’s being called a Corona Virus Remediation package? What if you get a $1,200 check, but then your share of the total bailout debt is 10 or 100 times higher? What if the FED is destroying the value and purchasing power of your dollars and savings and retirement plans, by printing trillions of more money that only benefit the rich and well connected? What if all of our financial markets are rigged? What if the stock market was about to crash on its own, but the crash is being falsely blamed on the virus?

What if you stopped watching television, and actually started questioning the mainstream reports and did some research for yourself on the internet? What if you found out that there are many credible people and organizations that are questioning the mainstream reports? What if we are being lied to? What if the lies are intentional? What if certain people are going to gain financially from this crisis? What if there are people who will gain power over us from the crisis? What if you went to Youtube and looked up the following people and listened to the information they have about the ‘alleged crisis’ we are now enduring?

What if their names were DR Ron Paul, and he was calling for Fauci to be fired? Dr John Bergman? Dr Sherry Tenpenny? Dr Joseph Mercola? Dr Bruce Lipton? Dr David Brownstein? Albert E. Carter? Investigative journalists Robert Scott Bell or Del Bigtree or Bill Sardi or Daisy Luther or Lew Rockwell or Jack Kerwick or Jon Rappoport? Or economists and philosophers Doug Casey or Peter Schiff or Catherine Austin Fitz or Dr Greg Mannarino or Max Keiser or Lynette Zang or Larken Rose? What if these people and many others had important information about what’s really happening in America and the world that you are not hearing on television or radio programs? What if these people could help you be healthier? Or less fearful? Or happier? Or more Free?

What if we are being bamboozled? What if our nation is being looted while we are staying home and watching the daily fear porn on TV? What if it’s all a clever distraction? What if the remaining freedoms and rights we didn’t lose after 911 are being stolen from us today in broad daylight? What if our natural rights are being attacked and we are doing nothing to defend them? What if the virus is not our real enemy? What if we are so busy being obedient little sheep that we will wake up too late? What if when we wake up, the America we love is nowhere to be found? What if in the future, when you are old, and the children ask you what you were doing when the Greatest Depression began in 2019 and the Constitution died an ugly death, and all you can tell them is that you were hiding at home from a flu virus and watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island?

What if?

Kimberly Brady, MD, Douglas County

*

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Featured image is from Massoud Nayeri

Source: Coronavirus… What If?

April 23 The Man with a Plan

Philippians 1:6

He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

When a young teenage girl named Joni Eareckson broke her neck in a diving accident, she thought it was the last step on her road to life. In reality, her mishap was actually the first step on a path of fruitfulness that she could not have imagined at the time. From her wheelchair, the quadriplegic Joni Eareckson Tada has touched millions of lives through her books, art, music, and advocacy for the disabled.

Joni’s story is more dramatic than anything most of us will ever experience. But the depth of her suffering serves all the more effectively to illustrate the point: The day we think life has come to an end is the day God’s plans and purposes are brought into even sharper focus. What we call “accidents” in life are nothing of the sort if we mean that accidents are random occurrences outside of everyone’s control—unpredictable events with no more meaning than a ricocheting steel ball in a pinball machine. The same God who has every hair on your head numbered has the days of your life numbered as well.

The child of God should rest in the knowledge that our Father in heaven has a plan—and He is never late.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 118). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

What Is The Sinner’s Prayer? Is It Biblical? | What Christians Want To Know

What is the sinner’s prayer? Is it biblical and can it save anyone?

All Have Sinned

The Bible makes it perfectly clear that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23), and that “All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one” (Rom 3:12), so we can say with biblical authority that “None is righteous, no, not one” (Rom 3:10b-11). The fact that the Apostle Paul adds, “no, not one” may be for the one who thinks they’re the exception, but sorry, there are no exceptions. Every one of us has fallen infinitely or impossibly short of God’s glory. The only true wages in this life we’ve earned is death (Rom 6:23). His standard to enter the kingdom is complete or perfect righteousness, and we just don’t have that in us. We need something outside of ourselves, and God demands perfection, but God supplies Perfection in Jesus Christ. It is for His sake that He Who knew no sin might become sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God (2 Cor 5:21). Yes, we need prayer. It is a sinner’s prayer for sure because we are all sinners. We need to confess our sins to God, ask for His mercy, and repent of our sins and place our trust in the Savior. That is how we are saved; by repentance and faith (Mark 1:15). But what if we repeat the sinner’s prayer? What good is it?

The Decision Card

I’ve actually heard people use decision cards as evidence of their salvation, but the fact is, most people who fill out decision cards never come back to church. They may have left the church because they were not of the church (1 John 2:19). Filling out their decision card may have given them false assurance. They might still believe they’re saved but live like the world, but no decision card ever saved anyone. That’s a sovereign act of God (Eph 2:8-9) and it creates a new creation that is not of the world (2 Cor 5:17).

Baptism

To try and cite the 2 or 3 Bible verses that say that we’re to be baptized and be saved, there are dozens more that say we must repent and believe. Jesus Himself never mentioned baptism in regards to salvation. Of course, He commanded it, but not in order to save anyone. When Jesus began His earthly ministry, He said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). That would have been a good time for Jesus to mention baptism but He didn’t. The fact is, we’re not saved by baptism, but the saved should be baptized. Pharaoh’s army was baptized in the Red Sea but baptism didn’t save them! Baptism is symbolic of an inward conversion. Better said, it’s an outward expression of an inward conversion. It represents the old man dying and being buried and then being raised to new life in Christ (2 Cor 5:17). With our baptism, we are identified with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matt 28:19), but we’re not identified with the water.

Walking the Aisle

Whenever I hear someone refer to their walking down the aisle at their church and “coming forward” and being saved, I ask them what the pastor or deacon talked about. What was it that you told them? Did repentance and faith come up? Was there brokenness before the church and before God? Was the person there seeking forgiveness from God? The point I’m making is, just walking down the aisle is not enough to save you; there must be a change of heart and a new creation born by God’s Spirit (Eph 2:1-2; 2 Cor 5:17).  If walking down the aisle could save someone, thousands and thousands of people would have been saved, but those thousands dissapeared from the churches they formerly walked in because walking down a church aisle cannot save anyone.  It’s what happens at the end of the aisle that can matter.

The Sinner’s Prayer

A short example of a sinner’s prayer you might read is:

“Heavenly Father, I know that I am a sinner and that I deserve to go to hell. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins. I do now receive him as my Lord and personal Savior. I promise to serve you to the best of my ability. Please save me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

There’s certainly nothing wrong with that prayer, but a simple reading of it is not enough to save anyone. It must come from the heart, and often with tears. There’s a difference between a sinner’s prayer to God and reading “the” sinner’s prayer. One is a “repeat after me” and may not come from the heart but from our emotions. A true sinner’s prayer often comes with weeping and confession of sin. What follows is repentance of what they confessed and trust in the only One Who can save them (Acts 4:12). Instead of it being from the heart, it may be more like, “Repeat after me…”

Conclusion

Although the sinner’s prayer is fine, it cannot save. We can certainly pray to God and ask for forgiveness after repenting of our sins, but the biblical truth is, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:44). We might think we choose Christ but He says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you” (John 15:16). The prayer we prayed when we were saved, no matter how bad or good it might have been, was good enough to save us, but it was only because we’ve trusted in Christ. We didn’t trust in our prayers…but in Christ Who alone saves.

Here is some related reading for you: Are Christians No Longer Sinners?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Source: What Is The Sinner’s Prayer? Is It Biblical?