Daily Archives: April 25, 2020

Dr. Deborah Birx: Dramatic Decrease in “Hospital Use, ICU Needs and Deaths by End of May”… — The Last Refuge

While most hospitals and emergency rooms across the nation are empty; and while doctors and nurses have switched skillsets to become Tic-Tok entertainers with all their free time; Dr. Deborah Birx notes the empty hospitals and unused intensive care units will likely be devoid of COVID-19 patients by the end of May…

Put another way, the Wuhan Virus will dissipate on the exact same timeline as the traditional flu.  A remarkable coincidence.  The COVID models now show 51,000 U.S. deaths with a projected total forecast from the Wuhan Virus at 67,000.

via Dr. Deborah Birx: Dramatic Decrease in “Hospital Use, ICU Needs and Deaths by End of May”… — The Last Refuge

Sola Gratia

Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB) 

“Sir, I understand that you are called an Arminian; and I have been sometimes called a Calvinist; and therefore I suppose we are to draw daggers. But before I consent to begin the combat, with your permission I will ask you a few questions…. Pray, Sir, do you feel yourself a depraved creature, so depraved that you would never have thought of turning to God, if God had not first put into your heart?”

“Yes,” says [Wesley], “I do indeed.”

“And do you utterly despair of recommending yourself to God by anything you can do; and look for salvation solely through the blood and righteousness of Christ?”

“Yes, solely through…

View original post 1,659 more words

April 25th The D. L. Moody Year Book

And in every work that He began, He did it with His heart.—2 Chronicles 31:21.

IN all ages God has used those who were in earnest. Satan always calls idle men into his service. God calls active and earnest—not indolent men. You remember where Elijah found Elisha ploughing in the field. Gideon was at the threshing floor. Moses was away in Horeb looking after the sheep. None of these were indolent men; what they did, they did with all their might. We want such men and women nowadays. If we cannot do God’s work with all the knowledge we would like, let us at any rate do it with all the zeal that God has given us.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (p. 79). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

April—25 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore; but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus. Then Jesus said unto them, Children, have ye any meat?—John 21:4, 5.

Every incident in relation to Jesus, and his love to his people, becomes interesting; and here is a very sweet one. Jesus was now risen from the dead; but his disciples had only faint and indistinct notions of the immense importance of this glorious event. They therefore were returned to their employment of fishing, as unconscious of what the resurrection from the dead should mean. All night they had been employed in a fruitless pursuit, and when the morning began to dawn, Jesus stood on the shore; but their eyes were holden that they did not know him. My soul! learn from hence, that Jesus is often with thee, often looking on thee, and often providing and preparing for thee, while thou art ignorant of his presence and his love. He speaks to them, before they speak to him. Yes; “if we love him, it is because he first loved us.” And what doth Jesus say? “Children, have ye any meat?” Precious account of Jesus! My soul, turn over the several blessed particulars shown in it. He calls them children. Yes; his people are his children, for he is the everlasting Father, as well as their Husband and Brother; indeed, he stands in the place of all relations, and fills all. My soul! if thou didst but consider this, and keep the remembrance of it always uppermost in thine heart, how wouldst thou delight to go to Jesus, as to “a Brother born for adversity; a Friend that loveth at all times, and one that sticketh closer than a brother!” Observe how earnest the Lord is concerning their present state and safety. Oh! that every child of God in Christ would learn from hence how Jesus takes part in all that concerns them. Surely this solicitude of Jesus takes in the whole of a believer’s warfare. Are they poor in this world? Do they seek their bread out of desolate places? Like the disciples, do they toil all night, and gain nothing? And shall not he, who providentially caters for the sparrow, know it and provide for them, amidst all their manifold necessities? Look up, my poor afflicted brother, (if perchance such a one should read these lines of my Evening Portion;) look up, I say, and behold Jesus in this endearing instance of tenderness to the wants of his few faithful disciples. He that caused a miraculous draught of fishes to supply the pressing necessities of his disciples, can and will equally now regard the state of all his redeemed, under their various temporal straits and difficulties. The promise is absolute, and hath never failed: “Thy bread shall be given, and thy waters shall be sure, and thy defence shall be the munitions of rocks.” (Isaiah 33:16.) And as for spiritual famine, when at any time the waters of the sanctuary run low, Jesus is the almighty Governor, our spiritual Joseph, through all the Egyptian state of his people here below; and he speaks to every one, yea, to thee, my soul, in the number. “Children, have ye any meat?” Lamb of God! though thou art now in thine exalted state, yet not all the Church in glory above, nor all the hallelujahs of heaven, can detain thee one moment from knowing, and visiting, and supplying all the manifold wants of thy Church in grace here below! Doth Jesus say to me, “Hast thou any meat?” Lord, I would answer, Thou art “the bread of life, and the bread of God; yea, the living bread, which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world!” Precious Jesus! be thou my bread, my life, my hope, my fulness, my joy, and my portion for ever![1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 124–125). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

April 25, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

Response to the Sermon

The result was that when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. (7:28–29)

The response to this most magnificent discourse ever given was as astounding in a negative way as the sermon itself was in a positive way. It seems certain that some of those in the multitudes who were there that day believed in Jesus. But the number who then entered the narrow gate proved what He had said: “few are those who find it” (7:14).

But any conversions that may have taken place are not reported. We are only told that the multitudes were amazed at His teaching (cf. John 7:46). Ekplēssō (were amazed) literally means to be struck out of oneself, and was used figuratively of being struck in the mind, that is, of being astounded or beside oneself. The crowd was totally dumbfounded by the power of what Jesus said. They had never heard such comprehensive, insightful words of wisdom, depth, insight, and profundity. They had never heard such straightforward and fearless denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees or such a black and white presentation of the way of salvation. They had never heard such a fearful warning about the consequences of turning away from God. They had never heard such a powerful and demanding description of true righteousness or such a relentless description and condemnation of self-righteousness.

But the most remarkable thing that struck the audience that day was that Jesus was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes. Authority (exousia) has to do with power and privilege, and is a key word in Matthew’s presentation of Jesus’ kingship (9:1–8; 21:23–27; 28:18). In the New Testament it is used for the power that proves and reflects the sovereignty of Jesus. The scribes quoted others to lend authority to their teachings, but Jesus quoted only God’s Word and spoke as the final authority on truth. He spoke eternal truth simply, directly, with love (in contrast to the bitter hatred of the Pharisees), and without hesitation or consultation. That astounded the crowd.

All of those things were important for them to hear, and it was entirely appropriate, in fact unavoidable, that they should be amazed, because His teaching was indeed amazing. But what they needed was not amazement but belief, not astonishment but obedience. Jesus did not tell them all of those things for their amazement, or even simply for their information, but for their salvation. He did not intend merely to show them the narrow gate and the narrow way, but pleaded with them to enter that gate and to follow that way, which He would make accessible by paying the penalty for their sins.

But most of the people only watched and listened, only heard and considered—but did not decide. Even by not deciding, however, they decided. For whatever reasons—possibly for no conscious reason at all—they decided to stay on the broad road.

C. S. Lewis gives a remarkable illustration from his own life of what the attitude is of many who hear the gospel:

When I was a child I often had toothache, and I knew that if I went to my mother she would give me something which would deaden the pain for that night and let me get to sleep. But I did not go to my mother—at least, not till the pain became very bad. And the reason I did not go was this. I did not doubt she would give me the aspirin: but I knew she would also do something else. I knew she would take me to the dentist next morning. I could not get what I wanted out of her without getting something more, which I did not want. I wanted immediate relief from pain: but I could not get it without having my teeth set permanently right. And I knew those dentists; I knew they started fiddling about with all sorts of other teeth which had not yet begun to ache. They would not let sleeping dogs lie. (Mere Christianity [New York: Macmillan, 1977], p. 177)

It is that very sort of thinking that keeps many people out of the kingdom: the price is more than they want to pay. Lewis goes on to say, in the imagined words of Christ, “You have free will, and if you choose, You can push Me away. But if you do not push Me away, understand that I am going to see this job through.… I will never rest, nor let you rest, until you are literally perfect—until My Father can say without reservation that He is well pleased with you, as He said He was well pleased with Me” (p. 158).

That is the decision the Lord demands before He can turn empty hearts, with their empty words and empty works, into full hearts that produce the good works for which they are recreated. It is God’s great desire that no person perish and that every person “come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9), that he might “be filled up to all the fulness of God” (Eph. 3:16–19). That only became possible through the Savior’s death and resurrection, which climaxed His work for sinful man and will be the great conclusion to Matthew’s good news.[1]


He Spoke with Authority

Matthew 7:28–29

Everyone knows the difference between a person who speaks out of vast and accurate knowledge and a person who merely repeats what he has heard from others. The one is the voice of authority; the other is the voice of a parrot. The first is the sound of the fountain bubbling forth freshly from the ground; the second is the sound of an empty cistern.

There are times in history when there are none to speak with authority, and when that happens, there will always be some who, although they have no authority, nevertheless assume it. That was true in Christ’s day. For five hundred years the Jews had been without a prophet, and, as a result, the scribes had emerged as apparent authorities because they had learned the Scriptures by rote. They were the recognized expositors of the law, and it was their duty to memorize the law, together with all the various opinions about it given by the most learned rabbis of the past. They were then to pass this knowledge on for the benefit of their contemporaries.

The Jews who heard Jesus of Nazareth preach the Sermon on the Mount had long been familiar with these authorities. But when they heard Jesus for the first time, they were at once impressed with the infinite distance that lay between his preaching and the teaching of the scribes. Jesus spoke with authority, while they spoke from the authorities. Or, as Alexander B. Bruce, in The Expositor’s Greek Testament, says, “The scribes spake by authority, resting all they said on traditions of what had been said before. Jesus spake with authority, out of his own soul, with direct intuition of truth; and, therefore, to the answering soul of his hearers.”

No doubt, this fact made a strong and lasting impression. Matthew, who records the Sermon, ends his account by drawing attention to it. He writes, “When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law” (Matt. 7:28–29).

Christ’s Person

It is significant that when Jesus had finished speaking, his audience was apparently more impressed with his authority than with the content of the Sermon itself. There have been times in the past in my own studies of the Scriptures when I would have thought that this was not good. I am not sure that I feel that way anymore. To be sure, to have come to the fullness of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord would have been a far better reaction on the part of his hearers than the type of amazement that is recorded here. But certainly no one then was at the point where such a profession of faith was possible, not even the disciples. It was therefore far more important at this stage of Christ’s ministry that their attention should be riveted to the preacher of the Sermon himself. He is the narrow gate at the end of the narrow way they were to follow. He is the rock upon which they were now to begin to build.

Thus, to be impressed with the authority of Jesus was not bad because it meant they were impressed with him. And the Sermon on the Mount was not ineffective, even if it was not perfectly understood, as long as it fulfilled this function.

It is the same today. At the beginning of these studies, I pointed out that one important reason for studying the Sermon on the Mount was that, like all Scripture, it points us to the Lord Jesus Christ. The preacher of the Sermon on the Mount is the Sermon on the Mount, and so by studying it we are brought into the most intimate contact with him. There is much we may not understand. But this at least should happen: we should see him. And thus, it is proper to glance upward to the Lord Jesus Christ once more and to reflect on the authority which was his then and is his now, the authority with which these words were spoken.

The Words of Jesus

We need to do this piecemeal. And we need to begin with the authority of Christ’s words themselves, for it was these which first made an impression on Christ’s hearers. Did his words have intrinsic authority? Certainly, they did, and anyone can see it. If a person will study the teachings of Jesus Christ, in this Sermon and throughout the gospels, he will soon see that they have an intuitive assurance and character that distinguish them from the words of all other men.

Christ’s most startling revelation was himself. As early as the Beatitudes, in his words about persecution, Jesus assumed that the persecution his hearers would experience would be persecution “for his sake,” not for his teaching’s sake but because of their relationship to him. In the next section of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus set himself up as the authoritative expounder of the law. He repeatedly said, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old, Thou shalt do so and so … but I say unto you,” thereby placing himself above the rabbis and scribes and doing so without the slightest apology, reserve, or qualification.

He said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” In other words, “I am the Messiah.” In chapter six he instructs men how to give alms, how to pray, how to fast, how to avoid materialism and anxiety. In the final chapter he warns against anything that might turn attention from himself and thus lead the wanderer into judgment. He ends by saying, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.… But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand” (Matt. 7:24, 26).

These statements immediately distinguish Jesus from all other religious teachers. For, as John R. W. Stott observes, “They are self-effacing; He is self-advancing. They point away from themselves and say, ‘That is the truth as far as I perceive it; follow that.’ Jesus says, ‘I am the truth; follow me.’ ” Certainly, if any man ever spoke with authority, it was Jesus.

The Works of Jesus

But Jesus did not only speak with authority. He also acted with authority. And thus, his works serve to substantiate his claims. What were his works? By the time of the preaching of this Sermon, according to Matthew 4:23–25, Jesus had already healed various types of sickness among the people and had cast out demons. They were yet to see lepers cured, the eyes of the blind opened, the dead raised to life, a storm stilled, water turned to wine, thousands fed from just a few shreds of lunch, and heaven opened. These works were meant to accredit him by revealing the source of his teaching. We cannot study them candidly without coming to the conclusion reached by Nicodemus: “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him” (John 3:2).

As I say this, I am aware that there have been gigantic attempts in the world of scholarship to remove the supernatural element from the Gospels. But I am also aware that all attempts have ended in total failure.

In the year 1768, in Germany, a historian named Hermann Samuel Reimarus died, leaving behind a manuscript that was to have far-reaching implications. The manuscript argued that, in dealing with the New Testament, historians must distinguish between the “aim” of Jesus and the “aim” of his disciples, by which he meant that there was a difference between the Jesus who actually lived and died and the Christ about whom the apostles were preaching. Faced with the choice between what he had come to consider two mutually exclusive positions, Reimarus chose the historical Jesus (stripped of all supernatural elements) and thereby launched a whole century of similar research. In this period in Germany Christianity was viewed by many scholars as the product of the early disciples who stole the corpse, proclaimed a bodily resurrection, and gathered followers.

Unfortunately, in seeking to find the historical Jesus, each of the scholars only succeeded in producing a Jesus in his own image, and it became increasingly apparent that in each case the supernatural had been eliminated at the whim of the historian and not at all on the basis of objective evidence. Thus, idealists found Christ to be the ideal man, rationalists saw him as the great teacher of morality, socialists viewed him as a friend of the poor and a revolutionary. The most popular theories of Jesus, those of David Friedrich Strauss and Ernest Renan, rejected most of the Gospel material as mythology. And Bruno Bauer, who followed them, ended by denying that there had been a historical Jesus at all.

A person can hardly fail to be impressed even today at the immense amount of energy and talent that these German and French scholars have poured into the old quest for the historical Jesus. But in spite of their subtle imagination, genius, historical knowledge and literary skill, all their work came to nothing. They had attempted to eliminate Christ’s miracles. But when their work was examined under the most careful critical analysis, it collapsed. By the beginning of this century, when Albert Schweitzer declared his moratorium on the liberal quest, the entire scholarly world recognized that the previous attempts had been failures.

Look at the miracles any way you will. The miracles in the Gospels will stand the test of your scrutiny. Let any candid man read the life of Jesus with genuine attention and care, and he will soon acknowledge that the life presented there cannot have been imagined but must really have happened, that the teachings are real teachings, that the miracles are real miracles, that the teachings set forth in the Gospels and the miracles that accompany them are inextricably interwoven. What is more, both of these reinforce Christ’s authority. Reuben A. Torrey once wrote, “If Jesus lived and wrought substantially as the Gospels record, cleansing the lepers, opening the eyes of the blind, raising the dead, stilling the tempest with His word, feeding the 5,000 with the five small loaves and the two small fishes, then He bears unmistakable credentials as a teacher sent and endorsed by God.”

These two things, the words of Christ and the works of Christ, are joined by Jesus himself in a comment in John’s Gospel upon those who had both seen and heard him and who yet had not believed; “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.… If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father” (John 15:22, 24).

The Resurrection

The final and, in many ways, the conclusive bulwark of the authority of Jesus Christ is his resurrection from the dead, At the time of the preaching of this Sermon, of course, Jesus had not died, let alone been raised from the dead. But we must remember that he was ending his sermon with an encouragement for his hearers to keep on as his disciples until they came to that point. And whatever the cause may have been for them, for us the Resurrection is paramount. Did Jesus rise from the dead? If he did, then his authority is established. His teaching is established. His deity is established. And Christianity rests upon an impregnable foundation.

Did Jesus rise from the dead? It is an assertion demanding a Yes from every true believer and every honest historian. There are literally volumes of evidence for it. In the first place, there is the evidence of the sepulchre. It was found empty. The fact that it was empty is best proved by all lack of evidence that it was not. If it had not been empty, the Pharisees would have been quick to have shown the body in order to have refuted the early preaching of the apostles. The same is true also for the Roman authorities, for had they been in a position to have produced the body they, too, would have done so. If the disciples had stolen it—which was the first explanation of the Jewish authorities—they would have hardly been willing to die (as they later did) for what they knew to be a fraud. In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, it is only a sober act of small faith to accept the biblical explanation.

Second, there is the evidence of the graveclothes. When Peter and the beloved disciple (who was probably John) arrived at the tomb on that first Easter morning, the body of Jesus was gone, but—and this was the remarkable thing—the graveclothes had remained behind. They were wrapped as they had been when they were wound around the body. They were not unwound. The napkin which had been around the head was there also, in a place by itself. Yet, the body was gone. The only thing that could possibly account for this state of things was the passing of Jesus’ body through the graveclothes just as it was later to pass through closed doors. In other words, there must have been not a resuscitation but a resurrection.

The third line of evidence is found in Christ’s appearances, strengthened by the fact that he appeared to many different types of people, to different-sized groups of people, and under a wide variety of circumstances. This argument was so commanding that Paul appealed to it when writing to the Corinthians, showing that Jesus “appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born” (1 Cor. 15:5–8).

Finally, the truth of the Resurrection is shown by the transformation of the disciples. Men who once had been cowardly and after the death of Jesus were abjectly despondent were then suddenly filled with joy, love, faith, power, and new confidence and were ready to lay down their lives for their Master. What can account for such an extreme transformation? Certainly there is no explanation short of the fact of the Resurrection and of their having seen the resurrected Lord.

The Commitment

What does all this mean to you personally? The people who heard the Lord Jesus Christ in Galilee on the occasion of his preaching of the Sermon on the Mount were “amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” And yet, it is not said that any who heard him that day believed in his doctrine or committed themselves to him. Unfortunately, it is possible to do the same thing in our far more hectic and perhaps more sophisticated century.

What is the most important message of this Sermon? Certainly, it is the Person of Jesus of Nazareth himself, the Son of God, who spoke as no man has ever spoken before or since, who lived as he preached, and who then died and rose again that he might offer us a full and perfect salvation. Do you believe that? Have you committed your life to his care? If you will make that commitment, he will then do for you all that he has promised. He will make you blessed in the sense given to the word in the Beatitudes. He will make you the salt of the earth, a light in this dark world. He will interpret the Scriptures to you through the Holy Spirit. He will teach you to pray. He will carry you through all the cares and tumults of this life to an eternity of unbroken fellowship with him.

Do you believe that? Today he is speaking to you. He is saying, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). “Believe on me.” Let your own heart answer, “No one ever spoke the way this man does” (John 7:46). “Yes, Lord, I want you to be my Savior.”[2]


Transitional conclusion: Jesus’ authority (7:28–29)

28–29 This is the first of the five formulaic conclusions that terminate the discourses in this gospel. All five begin with kai egeneto (lit., “and it happened”) plus a finite verb (v. 28; 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1), a construction common in the LXX (classical Greek preferred egeneto plus the infinitive; cf. Zerwick, Biblical Greek, para. 388; Beyer, Semitische Syntax, 41–60). The only other occurrence in Matthew is of the rather different “Hebrew” construction kai egeneto … kai (lit., “and it happened … and”) plus a finite verb, which appears once (9:10). Matthew’s formula is therefore a self-conscious stylistic device that establishes a structural turning point. (It is not necessary to adopt Benjamin Bacon’s theory of parallelism to the Five Books of Moses; see Introduction, section 14.) Moreover, in each case the conclusion is transitional and prepares for the next section. Here (as we shall see below) mention of Jesus’ authority leads into his authority in other spheres (8:1–17). In 11:1, Jesus’ activity sets the scene for John the Baptist’s question (11:2–3). And 13:53 anticipates rejection of Jesus in his hometown, while 19:1–2 points forward to his Judean ministry with new crowds and renewed controversies. Finally, 26:1–5 looks to the cross, now looming very near.

The crowds—probably a larger group than his disciples—again pressing in on him (see comments at 5:1–2) are amazed. Because this is the only conclusion to a discourse that mentions the crowds’ amazement, Hill suggests that Matthew is returning to Mark 1:22 (Lk 4:32) as his source. This is very tenuous: (1) a closer Matthean parallel is 13:54, and (2) the next pericope in Matthew (8:1–4) is paralleled in Mark by Mark 1:40–45, too far on for us to believe Matthew has “returned to his source” at 1:22.

The word didachē (“teaching,” GK 1439) can refer to both content and manner, and no doubt the crowds were astonished at both. Their astonishment says nothing about their own heart commitment. The cause of their astonishment was Jesus’ exousia (“authority,” GK 2026). The term embraces power as well as authority, and the theme becomes central (cf. 8:9; 9:6, 8; 10:1; 21:23–24, 27; 28:18). In his authority, Jesus differs from the “teachers of the law” (see comments at 2:4). Many of them limited their teaching to the authorities they cited, and a great part of their training centered on memorizing the received traditions. They spoke by the authority of others; Jesus spoke with his own authority. Yet many teachers of the law did indeed offer new rulings and interpretations, so some have tried to interpret vv. 28–29 along other lines.

Daube (New Testament and Rabbinic Judaism, 205–16), in arguing that Jesus’ lack of official rabbinic authority was an early issue in his ministry, says that some of the crowds’ response in Galilee was because they did not often hear ordained rabbis so far north. Sigal (Halakhah of Jesus), dating the sources a little differently, insists (probably rightly) that there was no official ordination of rabbis until after Jesus’ death. He argues that Jesus himself was not essentially different in his authority from other proto-rabbis. Both these instructions miss the central point, which transcends halakic applications of the law, the formulas used, and the latitude of interpretation permitted.

The central point is this: Jesus’ entire approach in the Sermon on the Mount is not only ethical but messianic—i.e., christological and eschatological. Jesus is not an ordinary prophet who says, “Thus says the Lord!” Rather, he speaks in the first person and claims that his teaching fulfills the OT, that he determines who enters the messianic kingdom, that as the Divine Judge he pronounces banishment, that the true heirs of the kingdom will be persecuted for their allegiance to him, and that he alone fully knows the will of his Father. It is methodologically indefensible for Sigal to complain that all such themes are later Christian additions and therefore to focus exclusively on points of halakic interpretation. Jesus’ authority is unique (see comments at 5:21–48), and the crowds recognized it, even if they did not always understand it. This same authority is now to be revealed in powerful, liberating miracles, signs of the kingdom’s advance (chs. 8–9; cf. 11:2–5).[3]


The Authority of the Teacher Recognized (7:28–29)

28 And then, when Jesus had come to the end of these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, 29 because he was teaching them as someone who had authority and not as their scribes taught.

This brief conclusion forms with 5:1–2 a framework round the discourse on discipleship. Again we see Jesus as the teacher, but this time it is not the disciples, the primary audience of the discourse, who are in focus, but the crowds, away from whom Jesus had deliberately taken his disciples in 5:1, but who are now found to have been a secondary audience in the background. They have heard enough of this teaching, even if it was not directed toward them, to be mightily impressed. This response to Jesus’ teaching, added to the general enthusiasm for his healing ministry already outlined in 4:24–25, will form the essential background for the narrative which now takes over from the discourse and will be a continuing feature throughout the Galilean phase of Jesus’ activity.

The transition from discourse to narrative is marked by the formula which will conclude each of the five main discourses (cf. 11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1); the first six Greek words are identical in each case, while the teaching which is the object of the verb “come to the end of” is expressed in slightly different phrases to correspond to the content of the discourse just concluded. The distinctiveness of this formula derives from its rather formal wording. The opening kai egeneto, “and it happened,” has an archaic ring (like the KJV phrase “and it came to pass”), representing the familiar OT Hebrew introductory phrase wayyehî; it is not a natural Greek idiom and occurs elsewhere in Matthew only at 9:10. Nor is the verb teleō in the sense of “to complete, come to the end of,” part of Matthew’s normal vocabulary: it occurs outside this formula only in 10:23. The whole clause thus looks like a set formula deliberately designed to mark the end of each main block of teaching and to lead back into narrative.6 In three of its five occurrences it is immediately followed by a main clause describing Jesus’ movement to another location; here that relocation (8:1) is separated from the formula only by the need to comment first on the crowd reaction.

The periphrastic tense “he was teaching them” (rather than “he had taught them”) suggests that Matthew intends us to think of the crowd’s astonishment as applying not only to this discourse but to Jesus’ continuing teaching in Galilee. The astonishment of both crowds and disciples at Jesus, already implied in 4:24–25, will be frequently noted as the story progresses. Often it will be Jesus’ miracles rather than his teaching which evoke it; the particular verb used here, ekplēssomai, is used especially of the effect of his teaching (cf. 13:54; 19:25; 22:33), but that teaching is linked with miracles in 13:54. In both the feature which will impress them is his authority (cf. 8:9; 9:6, 8; 21:23–27; 28:18). To set the authority of his teaching in contrast with that of the scribes is a bold claim, since the scribes were the authorized teachers of the law who in virtue of their training and office had a right to expect the people to accept their legal rulings. When Jesus comes to Jerusalem it will be with the scribes that he must debate, and against them that his tirade in ch. 23 will be delivered. It will be a contest of authority, that of the established guardians of legal tradition against that of the upstart Galilean preacher. But here already the people, perhaps remembering how in 5:20 Jesus has declared the “righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees” inadequate, sense a new dimension in Jesus’ teaching. Whereas scribal rulings were based on the tradition of earlier interpreters of the law, Jesus has in 5:17–48 set himself up as an authority over against that interpretive tradition, on the basis not of a formal training or authorization but of his own confident, “I tell you.” It was that sort of inherent “authority” that the people missed in their scribes, even though their office commanded respect. When to that remarkable claim is added Jesus’ assumption that he himself is the proper object of people’s allegiance and the arbiter of their destiny (5:11–12; 7:21–23, 24, 26), the crowd’s astonishment is hardly out of place. W. D. Davies’ comment on the modern reader’s response to the Sermon on the Mount must apply at least as strongly to those who first heard this teaching: “The Sermon on the Mount compels us, in the first place, to ask who he is who utters these words.”[4]


Two Kinds of Teachers (7:28–29)

‘And it happened when Jesus had finished [etelesen] these words [tous logous toutous], that the crowds [hoi ochloi] were astounded [exeplēssonto] at his teaching [epi tē didachē autou]; for [gar] he was teaching [ēn … didaskōn] them [autous] as one having authority [exousian], and not as their scribes [hoi grammateis autōn].’ As we noted when considering the gospel’s design, Matthew marks the end of all five discourses with such a formula as 7:28a (see p. 27). The whole sermon is in view, as the verb teleō (‘finish’) makes plain; yet the evangelist’s reference to ‘these words’ underscores Jesus’ closing appeal, where tous logous toutous occurs twice (Matt. 7:24 and 26), the only instances of this expression in the sermon itself.

The preface to the sermon reported that Jesus’ disciples (mathētai) came to him and that he began to teach them (edidasken autous; Matt. 5:1–2); nothing was said there of the crowds, though 4:25 reported that ‘many crowds’ (ochloi polloi) followed Jesus. This closing summary focuses on the crowds as recipients of Jesus’ teaching (see the Greek above); the disciples are not mentioned. This suggests that the appeals and warnings of 7:13–27, while addressed to both disciples and crowds, are chiefly intended for the latter; the former have shown at least an initial willingness to obey Jesus’ words by becoming disciples.

The crowds’ present response offers hope that they too will become disciples. They are astounded at Jesus’ teaching: the verb is ekplēssomai. The explanation for their astonishment (note the gar, 29a) is Jesus’ authority—exousia, which here appears for the first time in Matthew. There are at least five reasons for this authority: (i) Jesus teaches this way by virtue of who he is—God incarnate (exousia means literally ‘out of being’; ‘authority’ contains the word ‘author’)—so that all he says and does discloses God; (ii) as the Son of God, he has been anointed by the Spirit of truth and power: see, e.g., 3:16; Luke 4:18–19 (and the instance of exousia in 4:32); (iii) his teaching accords with reality: e.g., the kingdom he says is coming, is coming; there will surely be a final judgment, and a heavenly reward; (iv) it is the Word of God revealed in the scriptures that he expounds, rather than merely human traditions: see, e.g., Matthew 5:17–48; 15:1–9; and (v) what he teaches others, he himself does: e.g., the gentleness of which he speaks (5:5; praeis) marks his own behavior (11:29; 21:5; praus); he himself loves the God he commands his followers to love (11:27, epiginōskō, 22:37, agapaō); and he commands his followers to love one another in light of his love for them (John 13:34, agapaō).

As scholars of the law, the Jewish scribes were also supposed to teach with authority. One reason they lacked the authority Jesus possessed (as the crowds perceived), is that they were mere men; but in this respect no scribe—Matthew included—could compare with Jesus. There are additional reasons, as Jesus reveals: (i) some of their teachings were based on human tradition rather than divine revelation (15:1–9); (ii) those teachings that were based on Scripture, they failed to obey (23:2–4, 25–28); and (iii) their practices, including their teaching, were motivated by love for self rather than love for God, by a desire that self be magnified rather than God (6:1–18; 23:5–7, 23; cf. Luke 11:42). If they knew and loved God, and therefore his torah (as did the writer of Psalm 119), would they not recognize and love Jesus the Son of God, and desire to keep the torah he expounded?

Both before and after the sermon, Matthew reports that ‘huge crowds’ followed Jesus (Matt. 4:25; 8:1), their predictable response to his authoritative teaching, as well as to his mighty works (of which we are about to learn more). But while the crowds’ amazement (7:28) is encouraging, it is not enough. What does it matter that they recognize the teacher’s exousia, unless they obey his teachings? Indeed, those who hear Jesus’ words and perceive his authority, yet fail to obey him, are in a more perilous position than those who never hear. Matthew may want those enclosing references to ‘huge crowds’ (ochloi polloi), to remind readers of Jesus’ warnings that many (polloi) will take the path to destruction (7:13) and that many (polloi) will in the end be rejected as workers of lawlessness (7:22). In any case, the evangelist sounds warnings from his Master: ‘Beware lest you embrace scribal teachings which lack divine authority and are therefore like a foundation of sand. Instead, build your life on solid rock, on God’s own torah as now expounded by God incarnate and safeguarded and imparted by his appointed scribes, including the author of this book.’[5]


7:28 When Jesus had finished saying these things. This temporal clause is repeated five times by Matthew; each time it marks the conclusion for a teaching discourse of Jesus (11:1; 13:53; 19:1; 26:1). By using this formula, Matthew highlights his arrangement of Jesus’ teachings into these five major discourses, with each discourse having a distinct topic and some common features that connect them.

7:29 he taught as one who had authority. The notion of Jesus’ authority is important in chapters 5–10. In the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew has shown Jesus to be authoritative in his teaching through repeated variations on the refrain “You have heard that it was said … but I tell you …” (5:21–22, 27–28, 31–32, 33–34, 38–39, 43–44). Jesus’ authoritative pronouncements, culminating in his implicit claim to be “Lord” (7:21), provide a contrast to typical Jewish teaching style. Rabbis most often cited past rulings and wisdom of former teachers and traditions to carry on their own teaching. Jesus, however, teaches with an authority that derives from his God-given wisdom and interpretation of the Torah.[6]


Matthew appends the following words in order to show the sermon’s effect upon the audience: 28, 29. Now when Jesus had finished these sayings the crowds were astounded at his teaching, for he was teaching them as having authority, and not as their scribes. When Jesus stopped speaking, the large crowd that had been listening spell-bound was left in a state of amazement. In English it is very difficult, perhaps impossible, to reproduce the exact flavor of the picturesque verb used in the original to describe the people’s state of heart and mind. In addition to “were astounded” the following have been offered: “were awed,” “amazed,” “filled with amazement,” “dumbfounded,” “astonished.” The Amplified New Testament has “were astonished and overwhelmed with bewildered wonder.” These renderings are all very helpful. The literal meaning of the original is “were struck out of themselves.” “Struck out of their senses” has been suggested. Compare also the German “ausser sich gebracht sein” (Lenski, op. cit., p. 305) and the Dutch idiom “uit het veld geslagen.” The tense of the verb shows that this state of astonishment was not just a momentary experience but lasted for a while.

The question may well be asked, What were some of the reasons for this feeling of wonder and astonishment? Matt. 13:54, 55 may supply part of the answer. Nevertheless, on the basis of the sermon itself and of 7:28 (“not as their scribes”) the following items are worthy of consideration:

  1. He spoke the truth (John 14:6; 18:37). Corrupt and evasive reasoning marked the sermons of many of the scribes (Matt. 5:21 ff.).
  2. He presented matters of great significance, matters of life, death, and eternity (see the entire sermon). They often wasted their time on trivialities (Matt. 23:23; Luke 11:42).
  3. There was system in his preaching. As their Talmud proves, they often rambled on and on.
  4. He excited curiosity by making generous use of illustrations (5:13–16; 6:26–30; 7:24–27; etc.) and concrete examples (5:21–6:24; etc.), as the sermon shows from beginning to end. Their speeches were often dry as dust.
  5. He spoke as the Lover of men, as One concerned with the everlasting welfare of his listeners, and pointed to the Father and his love (5:44–48). Their lack of love is clear from such passages as 23:4, 13–15; Mark 12:40; etc.
  6. Finally, and this is the most important, for it is specifically stated here (verse 28), he spoke “with authority” (Matt. 5:18, 26; etc.), for his message came straight from the very heart and mind of the Father (John 8:26), hence also from his own inner being, and from Scripture (5:17; 7:12; cf. 4:4, 7, 10). They were constantly borrowing from fallible sources, one scribe quoting another scribe. They were trying to draw water from broken cisterns. He drew from himself, being “the Fountain of living waters” (Jer. 2:13).[7]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 1, pp. 487–489). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (2002). The Sermon on the Mount: an expositional commentary (pp. 269–274). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[3] 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. 231–232). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] France, R. T. (2007). The Gospel of Matthew (pp. 297–299). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co.

[5] Chamblin, J. K. (2010). Matthew: A Mentor Commentary (pp. 488–490). Ross-shire, Great Britain: Mentor.

[6] Brown, J. K. (2015). Matthew. (M. L. Strauss & J. H. Walton, Eds.) (pp. 85–86). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[7] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew (Vol. 9, pp. 382–383). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

April 25 Streams in the Desert

And there was Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.” (Matt. 27:61)

HOW strangely stupid is grief. It neither learns nor knows nor wishes to learn or know. When the sorrowing sisters sat over against the door of God’s sepulchre, did they see the two thousand years that have passed triumphing away? Did they see anything but this: “Our Christ is gone!”

Your Christ and my Christ came from their loss; Myriad mourning hearts have had resurrection in the midst of their grief; and yet the sorrowing watchers looked at the seed-form of this result, and saw nothing. What they regarded as the end of life was the very preparation for coronation; for Christ was silent that He might live again in tenfold power.

They saw it not. They mourned, they wept, and went away, and came again, driven by their hearts to the sepulchre. Still it was a sepulchre, unprophetic, voiceless, lusterless.

So with us. Every man sits over against the sepulchre in his garden, in the first instance, and says, “This woe is irremediable. I see no benefit in it. I will take no comfort in it.” And yet, right in our deepest and worst mishaps, often, our Christ is lying, waiting for resurrection.

Where our death seems to be, there our Saviour is. Where the end of hope is, there is the brightest beginning of fruition. Where the darkness is thickest, there the bright beaming light that never is set is about to emerge. When the whole experience is consummated, then we find that a garden is not disfigured by a sepulchre. Our joys are made better if there be sorrow in the midst of them. And our sorrows are made bright by the joys that God has planted around about them. The flowers may not be pleasing to us, they may not be such as we are fond of plucking, but they are heart-flowers, love, hope, faith, joy, peace—these are flowers which are planted around about every grave that is sunk in the Christian heart.

“ ’Twas by a path of sorrows drear

Christ entered into rest;

And shall I look for roses here,

Or think that earth is blessed?

Heaven’s whitest lilies blow

From earth’s sharp crown of woe:

Who here his cross can meekly bear,

Shall wear the kingly purple there.”[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 127–128). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

April 25 The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible

April 25.—Morning. [Or August 17.]
“The Lord looketh on the heart.”

1 Sam. 16:1; 4–14; 22, 23

AND the Lord said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Beth-lehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons. (It was both natural and right that the prophet should lament Saul’s sin, but he must not repine at the Lord’s punishment of him, but rather bestir himself to be God’s messenger to the better king who would one day prove a great blessing to Israel. We must lament that any should so sin as to incur God’s anger, but at his judgments upon them we must not rebel, for the Judge of all the earth must do right. When the wicked are cast into hell, the saints in heaven do not murmur out of pity to the offenders; but, in obedient sympathy with the most Holy God, they adore with reverential awe.)

4, 5, 6 And Samuel did that which the Lord spake, and came to Beth-lehem. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice. And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the Lord’s anointed is before him. (Even prophets err when they judge by appearances. Men are not to be valued by their looks but by their hearts.)

7, 8, 9, 10 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this. Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. And he said, Neither hath the Lord chosen this. Again, Jesse made seven of his sons to pass before Samuel. And Samuel said unto Jesse, The Lord hath not chosen these.

11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. (He who was retiring and pious was but little esteemed at home. Parents make great mistakes when they undervalue good children because they do not happen to be brilliant and pushing. Despised ones should be comforted when they remember that the Lord knows all about them, and will bring them forward in due time. Verily, there are last who shall be first.)

12 And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.

13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. (The horn of oil indicated plenteous grace. We all need the power of the Holy Spirit; may he dwell in us richly, then shall we be kings and priests unto God.) So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.

14 ¶ But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him. (We have seen what divine love did for David, and we now learn what divine anger did for Saul. The one thing most needful above all others, is the favour of the Lord. Have that, and we are blessed; be without it, and we are miserable.)

22 And Saul sent to Jesse, saying, Let David, I pray thee, stand before me; for he hath found favour in my sight.

23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him. (Saul was probably a monomaniac through remorse of conscience, and needed music to relieve his mind. How much happier was the shepherd youth who had music in his heart and was filled with the good Spirit. God grant that we may live in the fear of God, and so enjoy abiding peace, for even in this life sinful conduct is the root of countless ills.)

But few among the carnal wise,

But few of nobler race,

Obtain the favour of thine eyes,

Almighty King of Grace.

Nature has all her glories lost,

When brought before thy throne;

No flesh shall in thy presence boast,

But in the Lord alone.

April 25.—Evening. [Or August 18.]
“He must reign.”

THE Holy Spirit has spoken of the election of David in the Psalms more than once, let us read a passage from

Psalm 78:67–72

67 He refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim. (The ark had been for a long time at Shiloh, in the territory of Ephraim, but the tribe was found unfit for leadership, and the divine residence was therefore removed.)

68, 69 But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved. And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.

70, 71 He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds: From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.

He exercised the care and art of those who watch for the young lambs, following the ewes in their wanderings; the tenderness and patience thus acquired, would tend to the development of characteristics most becoming in a king. To the man thus prepared, the office which God had appointed for him came in due season, and he was enabled worthily to fulfil it. It is wonderful how often divine wisdom so arranges the early and obscure portion of a choice life, as to make it a preparatory school for a more active and noble future.

72 So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands. (In his reign the people were peaceful and prosperous, and no better king ever sat upon the throne of Israel.)

WE will now read a passage in which our Lord Jesus is spoken of as Israel’s king, and his reign described.—

Isaiah 11:1–10

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;

3, 4 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: (Our Lord is very quick to understand the desires and groanings of those in whom is the genuine principle of holy fear, even though they be but feebly seeking after God.) and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. (His gospel is the destroyer of evil, and his last sentence will slay the wicked in eternal death.)

And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.

Jesus will in his own good time, deliver this earth from the curse, and restore the purity and peace of Eden. Even the animal creation shall in the latter days feel his elevating power. “The creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

10 ¶ And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. (Christ is the rallying point for manhood, he draws all men unto him. To him shall all people offer their allegiance, and the place where he deigns to dwell shall be glorious indeed. What is this but his church, of which he has said, “This is my rest”?)

Crown him, the Lord of Peace,

Whose power a sceptre sways

From pole to pole, that wars may cease;

Absorb’d in prayer and praise:

His reign shall know no end,

And round his piercèd feet

Fair flowers of paradise extend

Their fragrance ever sweet.

We love thy church, O God;

Her walls before thee stand

Dear as the apple of thine eye,

And graven on thy hand.

For her our tears shall fall,

For her our prayers ascend,

To her our cares and toils be given,

Till toils and cares shall end.

Jesus, thou Friend divine,

Our Saviour and our King,

Thy hand from every snare and foe,

Shall great deliverance bring.

 

Lord, through the desert drear and wide,

Our erring footsteps need a guide;

Keep us, oh keep us near thy side.

Let us not fall. Let us not fall.

We have no fear that Thou shouldst lose

One whom eternal love could choose;

But we would ne’er this grace abuse,

Let us not fall. Let us not fall.

Lord, we are blind, and halt, and lame,

We have no strong-hold but thy name:

Great is our fear to bring it shame.

Let us not fall. Let us not fall.

 

Who this mighty champion is,

Nature answers from within;

He is my own wickedness,

He my close besetting sin.

In the strength of Jesus’ name

With the monster I will fight;

Feeble and unarm’d I am

Save with God’s eternal might.

Mindful of his mercies past

Still I trust the same to prove,

Still my helpless soul I cast

On my Lord’s redeeming love.

Rise, ye men of Israel, rise,

Now your routed foe pursue;

Shout his praises to the skies,

Who has conquer’d sin for you.

Jesus doth for you appear,

He his conquering grace affords;

Saves you, not with sword and spear,

For the battle is the Lord’s.

Earth and hell shall yet submit,

All his foes before him fall,

Death shall die beneath his feet,

And our God be all in all.

 

To the upright light arises,

Darkness soon gives place to day;

While the man who truth despises,

And refuses to obey,

In a moment,

Cursed of God, shall melt away.

Therefore let us praise Jehovah,

Sound his glorious name on high,

Sing his praises, and moreover!

By our actions magnify

Our Redeemer,

Who by blood has brought us nigh.

 

Full oft the clouds of deepest woe,

So sweet a message bear,

Dark though they seem, ’twere hard to find

A frown of anger there.

It needs our hearts be wean’d from earth,

It needs that we be driven,

By loss of every earthly stay,

To seek our joys in heaven.

For we must follow in the path

Our Lord and Saviour run;

We must not find a resting-place

Where he we love had none.[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 240–242). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

Pompeo says Obama admin. was “wildly soft” on China, allowed them “to walk all over us”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday sharply criticized the Obama White House’s handling of international relations with China, claiming that the previous administration allowed Chinese interests to run roughshod over U.S. concerns.

Source: Pompeo says Obama admin. was “wildly soft” on China, allowed them “to walk all over us”

The Greatest Criminal Fraud in Medical History: Where’s the Virus?

Article Image
https://needtoknow.news by F. William Engdahl

The doctors wrote, “None of these tests detect the HIV virus itself, nor do they detect HIV particles. The fact that after 25 years of intense research HIV has been neither isolated nor purified in terms of classical virology indicates to us that the infectious view of AIDS as a contagious viral disease is based on an apparently non-existent microbe!”

This scenario is playing out again as COVID-19 has yet to be isolated and proven. Suspiciously, the 2006 article by Giraldo and de Harven was suddenly retracted by the journal in 2019 just before the coronavirus Wuhan outbreak.

Fauci and his cohorts, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House COVID-19 Task Force coordinator, and CDC Director Robert Redfield, are complicit in the HIV/AIDS frauds and malpractice, and today they hold the future of not only American public health, but also of the entire world economy in their hands.

Dr Mikovits: Fauci Is Greatest Fraud of the Past 40 Years.

Article Image
https://vidrebel.wordpress.com

She isolated HIV from blood and saliva confirming Dr. Luc Montagnier’s earlier isolation and description of HIV as a possible causative agent of AIDS. Dr Fauci called and demanded a copy of Dr Rauscetti’s unpublished paper. She refused because it is unethical for anyone but the author to distribute an unpublished scientific paper. Fauci got a copy from Rauscetti and had his protege Bob Gallo write a paper claiming discovery of the HIV virus.

Appropriating her work wasn’t the worst of it. This delayed the development of testing and spread the HIV epidemic through the world, killing millions.

Driven by greed and cronyism, Anthony Fauci—”America’s Doctor”—is directly responsible for the further spread of HIV throughout the world.

Fast forward to 2006. Dr. Mikovits discovered that 67% of women affected with CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) carried a mouse virus–called XMRV– Xenotropic Murine Leukemia related Virus–that appeared in healthy women only 4% of the time. XMRV is also associated with cancers like prostate, breast, ovarian, leukemia, and multiple myeloma. Many women with XMRV go on to have children with autism.

U.S. Panic Shutdown Could Wipe Out 40% Of The Economy, Unemployment Will Hit 27 Million: CBO — The Gateway Pundit

The U.S. economy will plunge by 40% this financial quarter and the unemployment rate will soar to 14%, the Congressional Budget Office said Friday.

The unemployment rate will eventually rise to 27% — a number not seen since the Great Depression — and the recession caused by shutting down the economy during the coronavirus panic will nearly quadruple the federal budget deficit to $3.7 trillion, the CBO said.

There’s more bad news. The 2020 budget deficit will explode after four coronavirus response bills — with a price tag of $2.7 trillion and rising — will balloon the national debt to nearly $25 trillion in just the remaining six months of the current fiscal year, the report says.

The rate of debt and deficit haven’t happened since World War II.

But the report did offer a glimmer of hope.

“The labor market is expected to improve after the third quarter, with a rebound in hiring and a significant reduction in furloughs as the degree of social distancing diminishes—leading to an increase in business activity and an increase in the demand for workers. In particular, the unemployment rate is projected to decline to 9.5 percent by the end of 2021. Under that projection, the unemployment rate at the end of 2021 would be about 6 percentage points higher than the rate in CBO’s economic projection produced in January 2020, and the labor force would have about 6 million fewer people.”

More than 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the last five weeks.

Nearly every state has shut down businesses deemed nonessential, which includes bars, restaurants and most retail stores, but The Associated Press reported last week that “white collar professional occupations, including software programmers, construction workers and sales people” are beginning to see mass layoffs.

“Collectively, the job cuts could produce unemployment on an epic scale. Up to 50 million jobs are vulnerable to coronavirus-related layoffs, economists say — about one-third of all positions in the United States. That figure is based on a calculation of jobs that are deemed non-essential by state and federal governments and that cannot be done from home,” the AP reported.

The coronavirus sweeping across the world will likely aLso lead to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said last week.

The IMF predicted the global economy will shrink by 3% in 2020, a dramatic change from its prediction in January, when the IMF projected global gross domestic product (GDP) would rise 3.4% this year.

“It is very likely that this year the global economy will experience its worst recession since the Great Depression, surpassing that seen during the global financial crisis a decade ago,” Gita Gopinath, the IMF’s chief economist, said in the latest “World Economic Outlook” report.

The latest IMF forecasts projects the U.S. economy will shrink by 5.9% this year, with the Euro Zone contracting by 7.5%. Italy and Spain, where the virus is widespread, are expected to be particularly hard hit, with their economies contracting by by 9.1% and 8%, respectively.

via U.S. Panic Shutdown Could Wipe Out 40% Of The Economy, Unemployment Will Hit 27 Million: CBO — The Gateway Pundit

Americans losing grip on most basic tenets of Christian faith: survey

As part of an ongoing release of research about the worldviews of Americans, new data show that just over half hold a biblically-informed view of God, a 22% drop from 30 years ago.

Source: Americans losing grip on most basic tenets of Christian faith: survey

Republicans hit Democrats, media after development in Biden sexual assault claim

Republicans are ripping into Democrats and media outlets for what they allege is silence over the latest bombshell development in the sexual assault allegation against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden — after video emerged that appears to show accuser Tara Reade’s mother referring to the alleged assault on TV in 1993.

Source: Republicans hit Democrats, media after development in Biden sexual assault claim

Protest Against Stay-At-Home Rules Breaks Out In … California? — The Gateway Pundit

Liberals have been pushing draconian measures ever since the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 began sweeping across the U.S.

Backed by the mainstream media, liberals pushed for states to shut down all businesses deemed “non-essential,” and even backed orders for all Americans to hunker down in their homes for months, if need be.

But that mood is changing swiftly, even in liberal states.

On Friday, more than 200 demonstrators gathered for a protest in Southern California, railing against the state’s stay-at-home-orders in reaction to the virus, according to reports.

via Protest Against Stay-At-Home Rules Breaks Out In … California? — The Gateway Pundit

“What Else Has The FBI Buried?” – Stunning Newly-Disclosed Docs Exonerate Gen. Mike Flynn | ZeroHedge News

Via SaraACarter.com,

Stunning documents withheld for years from former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s defense reveal that the retired three-star general did not commit any crimes, as suggested by Department of Justice prosecutors in former Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, his attorney said.

Embattled Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has hired well known defense attorney Sidney Powell to represent him before his sentencing hearing in Washington D.C.’s federal court.

Flynn, who fired his attorney’s last week, will still fully cooperate with the government in all cases pending, Powell told SaraACarter.com.

The new evidence was turned over to Sidney Powell, Flynn’s defense lawyer, by U.S. Attorney Timothy Shea, who obtained the information after an extensive review by attorneys appointed by U.S. Attorney General William Barr to review Flynn’s case. Barr’s team included United States attorney in St. Louis, Jeff Jensen, who is handling the Flynn matter, along with prosecutors from the office of the deputy attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen.

The documented evidence was sent to Powell by Shea but is under court seal.

“The enclosed documents were obtained and analyzed by USA EDMO in March and April 2020 and are provided to you as a result of this ongoing review; additional documents may be forthcoming. These materials are covered by the Protective Order entered by the Court on February 21, 2018,” Shea’s letter to Powell states.

Powell, who could not discuss the exact contents of the Brady material she has now obtained but has been fighting for since taking Flynn’s case, told SaraACarter.com the material exonerates her client.

“What else has the FBI buried,” said Powell to this reporter Friday.

“Where’s the original 302? And obviously some of the good agents are finally stepping up.”

In the supplement to Flynn’s motion to dismiss his case for egregious government misconduct Powell stated Friday that “this afternoon, the government produced to Mr. Flynn stunning Brady evidence that proves Mr. Flynn’s allegations of having been deliberately set up and framed by corrupt agents at the top of the FBI.”

“It also defeats any argument that the interview of Mr. Flynn on January 24 was material to any ‘investigation.’ The government has deliberately suppressed this evidence from the inception of this prosecution—knowing there was no crime by Mr. Flynn,” she added.

According to the documents produced by the government Powell “has found further evidence of misconduct by Mr. Van Grack specifically,” referring to the DOJ prosecutor in Flynn’s case, Brandon Van Grack.

“Not only did he make baseless threats to indict Michael G. Flynn, he made a side deal not to prosecute Michael G. Flynn as a material term of the plea agreement, but he required that it be kept secret between himself and the Covington attorneys expressly to avoid the requirement of Giglio v. United States, 405 U.S. 150 (1972). Exs. 1, 2,” she states in the motion.

“Since August 2016 at the latest, partisan FBI and DOJ leaders conspired to destroy Mr. Flynn,” Powell argued to the court in the motion.

“These documents show in their own handwriting and emails that they intended either to create an offense they could prosecute or at least get him fired. Then came the incredible malfeasance of Mr. Van Grack’s and the SCO’s prosecution despite their knowledge there was no crime by Mr. Flynn.”

“All this new evidence, and the government has advised there is more to come, proves that the crimes were committed by the FBI officials and then the prosecutors,” Powell’s motion to dismiss Flynn’s case states.

“The government’s misconduct in this case is beyond shocking and reprehensible.  It mandates dismissal.”

“Furthermore, this Court should order the government immediately to provide the defense with unredacted copies of the documents we have filed under seal solely in an abundance of caution because the government produced them under the protective order, and we request that they be unsealed as provided herein as Exhibit 3,” the motion states.

Powell, who has had a long battle to obtain the evidence and is still fighting to obtain information from FBI Director Christopher Wray, who replaced fired FBI Director James Comey said, “this Court must dismiss this concocted prosecution of General Flynn in full recognition of the travesty of justice that it is.”

This story is developing…

Source: “What Else Has The FBI Buried?” – Stunning Newly-Disclosed Docs Exonerate Gen. Mike Flynn

HUGE! W.H.O. Pushed Draconian Lockdown Rules that were Followed by Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx to Ruin US Economy — The Gateway Pundit

It is clear now that the so-called experts at the IHME and CDC utterly failed in their ever-changing models and predictions on the coronavirus.
In fact, they were off by a month on the first COVID-19 deaths in the US and OFF BY MILLIONS in their models that explain the breadth of the disease in the US.
This impacted their decisions on how to confront the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

The current draconian measures to battle this flu-like virus were pushed by Dr. Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx when they marched into the Oval Office and warned President Trump that he must lockdown the economy for weeks to confront this invisible monster… And they did this based on wildly inaccurate models and predictions!

Fauci and Birx told President Trump 1.5 to 2.2 million Americans would die if he did not shut down the economy.
They were off by MILLIONS!

And now we know where Fauci and Birx got their plans to lockdown and destroy the US economy.
From the WHO.

Dr. Ned Nikolov discovered it was the World Health Organization (WHO) that  proposed the lockdown rules for pandemics.

Via the WHO:

This is the same organization that misled the global community for weeks while the coronavirus spread throughout China and beyond.

Dr. Nikolov asks:  Why did WHO recommend/push Governments to lock down their countries, when there was NO convincing evidence that such a draconian social-distancing measure would work and while they KNEW that the economic consequences of a shutdown would be severe?

The WHO updated their pandemic rules in 2019 — before the coronavirus.

Today the global community is facing a certain economic depression thanks to these lock-down rules.
And Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx pushed this plan on President Trump and the US, based on faulty models and corrupt WHO regulations!

via HUGE! W.H.O. Pushed Draconian Lockdown Rules that were Followed by Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx to Ruin US Economy — The Gateway Pundit

Pope Issues Disturbing New Age Pronouncements During Earth Day Address — Christian Research Network

“And how does the earth react? There is a Spanish saying that is very clear. It says: ‘God forgives always; we men forgive sometimes; the earth never forgives.’ The earth never forgives: If we have despoiled the earth, the response will be very bad.”

(Carmine Sabia – Western Journal)  The world has becoming a frightening place in the past few months and many people have even speculated that the end of the world is nigh.

And Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, did not help to assuage those fears when, on Earth Day, he advised the billions of Catholics around the world to ask forgiveness from the earth in a screed that sounded more akin to a New Age movement speech than a Christian one.

“In today’s celebration of Earth Day,” he said on Wednesday, “we are called to renew our sense of sacred respect for the earth, for it is not just our home but also God’s home,” Zenit reported.  View article →

Research

Roman Catholicism

New Age Movement

via Pope Issues Disturbing New Age Pronouncements During Earth Day Address — Christian Research Network

THE LIST: Dr. Fauci’s 11 Deadly Mistakes and Contradictions — Including His Worst Mistake of Delaying Herd Immunity While Destroying US Economy — The Gateway Pundit

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been wrong on the coronavirus pandemic — Every step of the way!

Here is a list of several errors, contradictory statements and dangerous gaffes by NIAID Director Dr. Tony Fauci.

1.)  Dr. Fauci says he warned Trump in January that the US was in real trouble but that is not what he said publicly.

In January Dr. Anthony Fauci told Newsmax TV that the United States “did not have to worry” about the coronavirus and that it was “not a major threat.”

2.)  Dr. Fauci warned of an apocalyptic coronavirus pandemic — then just weeks later he later compared the coronavirus to a bad flu.

3.) Dr. Fauci based all of his predictions on garbage IHME models that were OFF BY MILLIONS and then later told reporters, “You can’t really rely on models.”

4.) On March 20th Dr. Fauci jumped in and “corrected” the president during a press briefing on hydroxychloroquine treatment for coronavirus saying, “You got to be careful when you say ‘fairly effective.’ It was never done in a clinical trial… It was given to individuals and felt that maybe it worked.”

Exactly two weeks later hydroxychloroquine was deemed the most highly rated treatment for the novel coronavirus in an international poll of more than 6,000 doctors.

5.)  Dr. Fauci pushed these garbage models every step of the way.

A month ago Dr. Fauci claimed 1 million to 2 million Americans would die from coronavirus. Then he said 100,000 to 200,000 Americans will die from the virus. Three weeks ago he agreed 81,766 Americans would die from the coronavirus. Then by that Wednesday the experts cut the number of deaths to 60,415 projected deaths.

6.)  On Easter Dr. Fauci suggested President Trump should have shut down the economy in February…  When the number of known cases in the US was around 100.  Fauci later walked back his attacks.

7.) Dr. Fauci said cruises were OK on March 9th.  That was a huge error.

8.) Dr. Fauci said malls, movies and gyms were OK on February 29th.  That was another huge mistake.

9.) Dr. Fauci was wrong about the first coronavirus deaths in the country. Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx and the CDC were off by nearly a month. California officials revealed Tuesday that a patient in Santa Clara died from coronavirus on February 6th not February 29th.

10.) Dr. Fauci and the CDC missed the millions and millions of US citizens who had already contracted the coronavirus before the draconian lockdowns took place.  Knowing this could have prevented the economic calamity.

11.) And in his worst mistake Dr. Fauci relied on corrupt W.H.O rules to lock down the United States and destroy the US economy. Meanwhile, this delays the herd immunity that is needed to prevent a future outbreak of this deadly virus.

These mistakes will take years to correct.

Only in government can someone with this record still keep a job.

via THE LIST: Dr. Fauci’s 11 Deadly Mistakes and Contradictions — Including His Worst Mistake of Delaying Herd Immunity While Destroying US Economy — The Gateway Pundit