Daily Archives: June 18, 2020

A Parable for the Self-Righteous — Wretched

Episode 2581-

A Parable for the Self-Righteous

Segment 1 (00:00) Todd redirects our attention to the older son in the parable of the prodigal son, showing how the parable can actually be about him. Todd uses a sermon from Voddie Baucham to further emphasize his point. Voddie points out how the sermon was actually meant for the Pharisees to point out their self-righteousness. Todd then warns us to be careful not to raise an “older brother”.

Segment 2 (09:23) Todd and Voddie show how the older brother in the parable is just as bad as the younger brother. They explain how there are many “older brothers” in the church that have hardened their hearts to the Gospel.

Segment 3 (16:51) Todd shows a snippet from Herman Who explaining how parable can be interpreted differently. He emphasizes how if we want to understand parables or Bible verses properly we have to lose our pre-understandings.

Wretched Surprise! (25:21) Friel Spiel: Pre-understandings of western culture

via A Parable for the Self-Righteous — Wretched

Fifth Redacted Name in Rosenstein’s Scope Memo Identified as Walid Phares… — The Last Refuge

An interesting new discovery amid revelations into the background motives of President Obama to weaponize the intelligence apparatus against his political opposition.

Today former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor Walid Phares identified himself as the fifth target in the August 2, 2017, Rosenstein scope memo.  [The redacted section above] With this admission/discovery a more interesting background makes sense.

(Via John Solomon) […] Phares is speaking out for the first time, suggesting that one of the motives of those who made the allegations and sustained the investigation was to hamper the early Trump presidency’s foreign policy goals, including the 45th president’s long-promised plan to cancel the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal.

“In my view, the push against the Trump campaign, and then the transition, and then the administration was on behalf of those who wanted to defend the Iran deal, to protect the interests of the Iran deal,” Phares told Just the News. (link)


As the story is told, the DOJ team led by Robert Mueller targeted Phares under the same FARA auspices they used against George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn and Carter Page.  The accusation that Phares was an unregistered foreign lobbyist.

Both George Papadopoulos and Whalid Phares were involved in connecting Egyptian leader Fattah Abdel al-Sisi with President Trump in New York for their first meeting.

(2016 meeting between candidate Donald Trump and President al-Sisi)

President al-Sisi was a key political nemisis of President Obama because of al-Sisi’s position against the Muslim Brotherhood, specifically against Mohammed Morsi, the brotherhood installed dictator of Egypt during the Islamist Spring.

President Obama supported the extremist regime of Morsi, and when the Egyptian people rose up behind General al-Sisi to remove Morsi, President Obama was furious.  Both President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry were consistently at odds with al-Sisi while they were in office.  However, there’s a lot of nuance because the Obama administration were very concerned about allowing the visibility of their support for the Brotherhood to surface.

CTH was very deep in the weeds during this entire timeframe in Egypt, long before candidate Donald Trump ever stepped into the picture.  This new admission by Walid Phares, a highly visible critic of the Brotherhood, now makes a ton of background activity make sense.

“The Obama administration obviously was not happy,” Phares said. “Not just because Donald Trump won the election, but they knew that he was about to change things. The most important point that they were concerned about, and that was not a secret, was the fact that Donald Trump said during the campaign that he will be withdrawing, he will be canceling, he used different terminology, the Iran deal. And the Iran deal was a major strategic achievement of the Obama administration. Definitely, they were not happy with that.”

“And Donald Trump, also during his campaign, was talking about changing, shifting alliances in the region,” he added. “He didn’t want the partnership with the Muslim Brotherhood … So it was a massive change in foreign policy.”

Way back in 2009, shortly after taking office, President Obama chose Cairo, Egypt, as the first destination to deliver a very specific foreign policy speech.  Within the speech Obama outlined a new approach, the U.S. would no longer take interventionist action to maintain stability against radical Islam.  As an outcome of that speech the “Arab Spring” began.

When President Obama ignited the “Islamist Spring” with his speech in Egypt, what he really articulated was a shift in U.S. foreign policy to support The Muslim Brotherhood. As an outcome of the shift in policy President Obama helped kill the regional zookeepers (Hosni Mubarek, Egypt; Ben Ali, Tunisia and eventually Khadaffi in Libya) and Obama unleashed the big cats… radical Islamists.

Political Islam, writ large, is represented by The Brotherhood.  Turkish President Recep Erdogan sees himself as the modern leader of political Islam using the Brotherhood to recreate the Ottoman Empire.

Ben Ali (Tunis), Hosni Mubarak (Egypt) and Khadaffi (Libya), were the first zookeepers removed.  Obama’s U.S. foreign policy supported Muslim Brotherhood replacements like Mohamed Morsi in Egypt.  However, Obama failed in the effort to remove Bashir Assad in Syria; as a result all extremist factions of the Brotherhood gathered to form ISIS.

Factions like al-Qaeda, al-Nusra and ISIS all fall under the umbrella of The Muslim Brotherhood.  The exiled Brotherhood leaders initially fled Egypt to Qatar until they were further driven-out by the Gulf Cooperation Council and ultimately given safe-harbor in Turkey, by Recep Erdogan.

As a gatekeeper between radical Islamist elements and Europe, President Erdogan holds the ultimate leverage and blackmail over his NATO allies.

Erdogan essentially holds the position of power because if Europe does not acquiesce to his demands he can open the gates and flood the EU with extremists.

Erdogan loved to play this power game against the EU and ultimately against the U.S.

President Obama embraced President Erdogan because ideologically the Obama administration and Erdogan both supported political Islam, The Muslim Brotherhood.

Erdogan’s regional arch nemesis has always been Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.  As a general al Sisi had to deal with the outcomes of Muslim Brotherhood extremism, and ultimately remove Mohamed Morsi from office.   President Sisi formed the Arab coalition that is now aligned with President Donald Trump against the radical elements of political Islam known as The Muslim Brotherhood.

The Trump-era U.S/Arab coalition includes Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Yemen.  Additionally the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are aligned against the radical elements within political Islam (The Brotherhood), and the U.S. is supporting the GCC coalition with self-defense military purchases.

This is where the Northern Syria border with Turkey comes into the picture.  Most of the neocon U.S. politicians wanted the U.S. military to continue the role of zookeepers to keep political Islam in check.  In essence the Lindsey Graham and John Bolton position was for the U.S. military to remain in Syria to keep the big cat cages closed.

Senator Graham’s policy viewpoint means no exit from the middle-east, ever.  This view is against the policy view of President Donald Trump.

Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan wanted to be the biggest cat in the zoo.  His goal was/is the recreation of the Ottoman Empire and his alignment with The Muslim Brotherhood is purposeful to achieve this goal.

Ultimately the largest stakeholder in this dynamic is Europe, because they stand the greatest risk if Erdogan is successful and then turns his assembly toward Europe.  Remember, Erdogan as President of Turkey is now the gatekeeper; and Erdogan is also a member of NATO.

Unfortunately Europe refused to defend itself; and the NATO alliance was/is too weak to kick Erdogan out. The EU weakness is visible in their position not take their own ISIS fighters back for trial and punishment; and instead, just like Lindsey Graham, the EU position demanded the U.S. to remain as perpetual zookeepers.

Making matters worse the EU refused to pay for the U.S. to remain as zookeepers, and the EU simultaneously fights the U.S. on trade agreements so they can continue their one-way financial benefits.  This hypocritical and one-sided position is part of the reason why President Trump has long held a view the NATO alliance does not benefit the U.S.

In 2019 Turkish President Erdogan was going to enter Syria regardless of what the EU, NATO or the U.S. said about it. Erdogan has the support of political Islam and ultimately that was what was important to his objectives.

With Europe refusing to stand-up to defend their own interests, President Trump trusted his instincts and took the bold approach to remove U.S. forces from the untenable position of guarding the peace between Syrian factions and Turkish elements.

Instead, President Trump openly supported the Arab coalition and the GCC that has been assembling a military coalition to protect itself from the Muslim Brotherhood. That is why President Trump was willing to support Saudi Arabia with more weapons and U.S. training while withdrawing troops from Syria where the U.S. was having to stand alone to protect the interests of Europeans who will not protect themselves.

In one regional area the U.S. supports and defends Israel, Egypt and Jordan. In the Southern region the U.S. supports the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, Bahrain and Qatar).

President Trump then uses economic weapons against Turkey to keep them in check and Trump warned Erdogan about prolonged entry into Syria and what he would do economically against them.  Erdogan made some noise in public about the threat, but he also realized President Trump was serious.  Erdogan realized he could quickly be a target like China; …and Trump doesn’t bluff; …and he’s done it before.

Meanwhile, President Trump continues to use economic weapons against the EU, pulls troops from Germany, and essentially leverages U.S. economic power against the EU for creating this NATO mess and refusing to defend themselves.

When considering a military option, President Trump reserves deployment of military weapons for allies that are: (A) willing to protect themselves, and (B) willing to pay for the support of the U.S. military protection.

[Payment can come directly (cash purchases), indirectly (benefits within trade agreements), or strategically (take action upon demand) the latter is how President Trump gets Saudi Arabia and OPEC to control their oil production valves.]

As a result of this strategic approach; and after President Trump removed U.S. forces from the border and gave Erdogan a taste of what he asked for (war); and after an initial week of severe battles where military casualties were too great to continue; the Turkish government and Kurdish opposition forces in Syria signed a peace agreement.

The border region has been stable ever since, and note U.S. forces are not involved.

We are out of one Syrian quagmire, the area is stable, President Trump’s approach worked; and, perhaps more importantly, Lindsey Graham was taught a lesson.

Quite remarkably Lindsey Graham admitted he was wrong and Trump was right…

However, conversely John Bolton, who relies on a career of blood-brokering, would not admit he was wrong and instead writes a ridiculous dossier.

via Fifth Redacted Name in Rosenstein’s Scope Memo Identified as Walid Phares… — The Last Refuge

The Conservative Effort To Reshape The Supreme Court Has Completely And Utterly Failed — End Of The American Dream

It is time to admit the truth.  Throughout my entire lifetime, Republican presidential candidates have promised us that if we help get them elected they will move the Supreme Court in a more conservative direction.  But it hasn’t happened.  A Republican has been in the White House for 31 of the last 51 years, and yet the left has enjoyed a virtually uninterrupted string of historic Supreme Court victories throughout that entire stretch.  And even though a majority of the justices on the Supreme Court right now have been appointed by Republicans, the left continues to win one major victory after another.

The reason why this has happened is because Republicans have failed over and over again to nominate true conservatives to the Supreme Court.  At this point, only Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito can really be considered “conservatives”, and that means that liberal causes will continue to march forward at the Supreme Court for the foreseeable future.

Have you noticed that the liberal justices always vote the way that the left wants them to vote on key issues?

That is because the left doesn’t make mistakes when it comes to the Supreme Court.  Historically, they have always selected their nominees very, very carefully, and so they always knew exactly what they were getting.

On the other hand, conservatives have been conned into supporting Supreme Court nominees that were either “moderate” or openly liberal for decades.

It all started with Richard Nixon.  He nominated four justices to the Supreme Court, but instead of a more conservative court we ended up with Roe v. Wade.

Reagan and Bush combined to appoint five new justices to the Supreme Court, but Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy and David Souter all turned out to be quite liberal.

George W. Bush gave us John Roberts, and conservatives all over the country cheered when he was confirmed.

But he has also turned out to be very liberal.  He has repeatedly voted with the liberal wing of the Court, and on Thursday he once again voted with them in the DACA case.

President Trump was quite upset that the Supreme Court overturned his decision to repeal DACA, and he immediately sent out a tweet calling for people to vote for him in November so that he can appoint “new justices”

President Trump, in the wake of Thursday’s defeat at the Supreme Court in his efforts to repeal the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, called for new justices as conservatives took aim at Chief Justice John Roberts for what they called a “pattern” of siding with the liberal wing in key decisions.

“The recent Supreme Court decisions, not only on DACA, Sanctuary Cities, Census, and others, tell you only one thing, we need NEW JUSTICES of the Supreme Court. If the Radical Left Democrats assume power, your Second Amendment, Right to Life, Secure Borders, and … Religious Liberty, among many other things, are OVER and GONE!” he tweeted.

If Trump had nominated rock solid conservatives so far, he would have a valid point.

But he did not do that.

Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh have both turned out to be major disasters.  Earlier this week, Gorsuch actually wrote the opinion for the Supreme Court decision that ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to LGBTQ employees.  And even though Kavanaugh dissented for technical reasons, he still had very high praise for the decision…

“Millions of gay and lesbian Americans have worked hard for many decades to achieve equal treatment in fact and law. … They have advanced powerful policy arguments and can take pride in today’s result.”

There were millions upon millions of conservative Americans that strongly supported Gorsuch and Kavanaugh as nominees, and now they realize that they got conned.

Of course this never would have happened if they had been vetted properly in the first place.

With Gorsuch, there was much to be concerned about

Neil Gorsuch’s treacherous deception was predictable, given the fact that Judge Gorsuch attended the ultra-liberal St. John’s Episcopal Church in Boulder, Colorado. His pastor, Rev. Susan Woodward Springer, is pro-LGBT, pro same-sex marriage and anti-Trump. Following the election of Donald J. Trump, she wrote that “her congregation should strive to behave as godly people who spread hope even though ‘the world is clasping its head in its hands and crying out in fear.’” That Sunday, following Trump’s victory, Neil Gorsuch was an usher in the morning service.

And I was strongly warning about Kavanaugh when he was nominated, but voices such as mine were completely drowned out by the flood of conservatives that were vigorously backing him.  They saw how much the left hated Kavanaugh, and so they assumed that he must be good.

But now we know the truth.

In any event, any future efforts to reshape the Supreme Court may come to a crashing halt if Joe Biden wins in November.  A new Fox News poll has Biden up by 12 points, and Biden is doing particular well with certain demographic groups

Biden has a 79-point advantage among black voters, a 37-point advantage among young people, a 22-point lead in the suburbs, and a 19-point lead among women. He also leads among voters over the age of 65 by 10 points.

Trump, meanwhile, leads by 41 points among evangelicals, although he carried Christians by 64 points in 2016. He leads by 9 points among rural voters, a demographic he won by 27 points in the last election.

At this point, it would take an enormous political miracle for Trump to win.

Of course we did see such a miracle in 2016, and in this political environment anything is still possible.

But even if Trump wins, would conservatives really be happy with more Supreme Court nominees like Gorsuch and Kavanaugh?

Ever since Richard Nixon first entered the White House, there has been opportunity after opportunity to move the Supreme Court in a more conservative direction, and the ball has been dropped time after time.

Collectively, it has been a colossal failure of epic proportions, and it is one of the big reasons why our nation is such a giant mess today.

via The Conservative Effort To Reshape The Supreme Court Has Completely And Utterly Failed — End Of The American Dream

June 18 Don’t Accept It!


Be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith.
(1 Peter 5:8–9, NASB)

Receiver, be careful what you receive. When Satan brings a mood or an attitude to you, resist him. Tell him, “This is not for me, and I don’t receive it.” It’s his job to offer it, and it’s your job to resist it. Paul says, “Do not give the devil a foothold” (Ephesians 4:27, NIV). You must learn to discern his influence and rebuke him before he enters your life. Any mood that’s not in agreement with God’s Word is Satan trying to “plug in” to you. He wants you to believe that you can’t change. When you say, “That’s just the way I am” or “I’m in a terrible mood today,” you’re accepting what you ought to reject! Don’t do it!

Settle for nothing less than the attitude God wants you to have: “If anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things” (Philippians 4:8, NIV). Don’t let the devil have your day, your family, your moods, or your words. Nurture what you want to grow, and starve what you want to die.


Feed the vision God has put within you and “pull the plug” on any doubt, thought, or attitude that robs you of God’s best.[1]


[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 169). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

June 18 Satan Is Doomed


2 Corinthians 10:4

The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.

The ultimate victory has been won at Calvary, but it will be implemented in the future. The sentence has been passed, now it needs to be enforced. The enforcement is in the hands of the church. The tool that enforces Satan’s defeat is the tool of prayer. the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4–5). One person praying on earth can move angels in heaven.

Christians need to learn the power of prayer against Satan, for he will be defeated in his work. We are not engaged in the warfare if we are not praying against Satan. The judgment that was effected at the cross and is enforced through prayer will be completed. Satan is doomed. Satan is on a leash and he is only free on earth to the length of his chain. He cannot go beyond God’s permission. But if we don’t enforce his judgment in our own lives, we will be victims instead of victors.[1]


[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 177). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

June 18, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

Happy Are the Holy


Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (5:8)

Here is one of those passages of Scripture whose depths are immeasurable and whose breadth is impossible to encompass. This incredible statement of Jesus is among the greatest utterances in all of the Bible.

The subject of holiness, of purity of heart, can be traced from Genesis to Revelation. The theme is infinitely vast and touches on virtually every other biblical truth. It is impossible to exhaust its meaning or significance, and the discussion in this chapter is nothing more than introductory.

The Context

the historical context

As discussed in some detail in earlier chapters, when Jesus began His earthly ministry, Israel was in desperate condition—politically, economically, and spiritually. For hundreds of years, with only brief respites, she had been under the oppression of foreign conquerors. The country had limited freedom to develop its economy, and a large part of income and profit was paid to Rome in taxes. Those were problems that every person saw and felt.

The less obvious problem, however, was by far the worst. For longer than she had suffered political and economic oppression, Israel had suffered spiritual weakness and faithlessness. Yet that problem was not recognized by many Jews. Jewish leaders thought their religion was in fine shape, and believed the Messiah would soon solve the political and economic problems. But when He came, His only concern was for the spiritual problem, the problem of their hearts.

At the time of Christ the most influential religious force in Judaism was the Pharisees. They were the chief managers and promoters of the pervasive legalistic and ritualistic system that dominated Jewish society. Over the centuries various rabbis had interpreted and reinterpreted the Jewish Scriptures, especially the law, until those interpretations—known as the traditions of the elders—became more authoritative than Scripture itself. The essence of the traditions was a system of dos and don’ts that gradually expanded to cover almost every aspect of Jewish life.

To conscientious and honest Jews it had become obvious that total observance of all the religious requirements was impossible. Because they could not keep all of the law, they doubtlessly developed terrible feelings of guilt, frustration, and anxiety. Their religion was their life, but they could not fulfill everything their religion demanded. Consequently, some of the religious leaders devised the idea that, if a person could perfectly keep just a few of the laws, God would understand. When even that proved impossible, some narrowed the requirement to one law perfectly kept.

That idea may have been in the mind of the lawyer who tested Jesus with the question, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” (Matt. 22:36). Perhaps he wanted to see which of the many hundreds of laws Jesus believed was the single most important one to keep—the one that would satisfy God even if a person failed to keep the others.

This oppressive and confusing religious system probably contributed to the initial popularity of John the Baptist. He was radically different from the scribes, Pharisees, Sadducees, and priests, and it was obvious that he did not bother to observe most of the religious traditions. He was a breath of fresh air in a stifling, never-ending system of demands and prohibitions. Perhaps in this prophet’s teaching they would find some relief. They did not want another rabbi with another law, but someone who could show them how to be forgiven for those laws they had already broken. They wanted to know the real way of salvation, the real way to please God, the true way of peace and relief from sin. They knew that the Scriptures taught of One who would come not simply to demand but to redeem, not to add to their burdens but to help carry them, not to increase their guilt but to remove it. No doubt it was such expectations as those that caused many people to think John the Baptist might be the Messiah.

The people knew from Ezekiel that someday God was going to come and sprinkle their souls with water, cleanse them from their sin, and replace their hearts of stone with hearts of flesh (Ezek. 36:25–26). They knew the testimony of David, who cried out, “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit!” (Ps. 32:1–2). They knew of those truths, and they longed to experience the reality of them.

Nicodemus was one such person. He was a Pharisee and “a ruler of the Jews,” that is, a member of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish high court. We are not told specifically what his intentions were in coming to Jesus, because his first words were not a question but a testimony. The fact that he came at night suggests he was ashamed of being seen with Jesus. But there is no reason to doubt the sincerity of his words, which showed unusual spiritual insight: “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (John 3:2). Nicodemus knew that, whatever else Jesus might be, He was a teacher truly sent from God.

Though he does not state it, the question that was on his mind is implied both from his testimony and from Jesus’ reply. The Lord knew Nicodemus’s mind, and He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (v. 3). Nicodemus wanted to know how to please God, to be forgiven. “How can I be made righteous?” he wondered. “How can I be redeemed and become a child of God? How can I become part of God’s kingdom?” Had he not had a deep, compelling desire to know God’s will, he would not have risked coming to Jesus even at night. Nicodemus was honest enough to admit his sinfulness. He was a Pharisee, a teacher of the law, and a ruler in the Sanhedrin; but he knew in his heart that all of that did not make him right with God.

After Jesus had fed the great multitude near the Sea of Galilee, some of the people who had seen the miracle asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” (John 6:28). The same question troubled them that had troubled Nicodemus: “How can a person get right with God? What must we do to truly please Him?” Like Nicodemus, they had been through all the ceremonies and rituals. They had attended the feasts and offered the required sacrifices. They had tried to keep the law and the traditions. But they knew that something was missing—something crucial that they did not know of, much less had experienced.

Luke tells of another lawyer who asked Jesus, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 10:25). He asked the question to test Jesus (v. 25a), and after Jesus gave an answer the man tried “to justify himself” (v. 29). But despite his insincerity, he had asked the right question, the question that was on the minds of many Jews who were sincere.

A rich ruler asked Jesus the same question: “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” (Luke 18:18). This man apparently asked sincerely, but he was unwilling to pay the cost. He wanted to keep the wealth of this life more than he wanted to gain the wealth of eternal life, and he went away “very sad” (v. 23). He knew he needed something more than outward obedience to the law, at which he had been diligent since childhood (v. 21). He knew that, with all his devotion and effort to please God, he had no assurance of possessing eternal life. He was seeking the kingdom, but he was not seeking it first (Matt. 6:33).

Others were asking, “What must I be to belong to the kingdom of God? What is the standard for eternal life?” All of those people, at various levels of understanding and sincerity, knew that they had not found what they sought. Many knew that they had not kept even a single law perfectly. If honest, they became more and more convinced that they could not keep even a single law perfectly, and that they were powerless to please God.

It was to answer that need that Jesus came to earth. It was to answer that need that He gave the Beatitudes. He shows simply and directly how sinful man can be made right with holy God.

the literary context

At first glance this beatitude seems out of place, inserted indiscriminately into an otherwise orderly development of truths. Because of its supreme importance, a more strategic place—either at the beginning as the foundation, or at the end as the culmination—might seem more appropriate.

But the sixth beatitude, like every part of God’s Word, is in the right place. It is part of the beautiful and marvelous sequence of truths that are here laid out according to the mind of God. It is the climax of the Beatitudes, the central truth to which the previous five lead and from which the following two flow.

The Meaning

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (5:8)

The word blessed implies the condition of well-being that results from salvation, the status of one who has a right relation to God. Being accepted by Him is a matter of internal transformation.

Heart translates kardia, from which we get cardiac and similar terms. Throughout Scripture, as well as in many languages and cultures throughout the world, the heart is used metaphorically to represent the inner person, the seat of motives and attitudes, the center of personality. But in Scripture it represents much more than emotion, feelings. It also includes the thinking process and particularly the will. In Proverbs we are told, “As [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7, KJV). Jesus asked a group of scribes, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?” (Matt. 9:4; cf. Mark 2:8; 7:21). The heart is the control center of mind and will as well as emotion.

In total contrast to the outward, superficial, and hypocritical religion of the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus said that it is in the inner man, in the core of his very being, that God requires purity. That was not a new truth, but an old one long forgotten amidst ceremony and tradition. “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life,” the writer of Proverbs had counseled (Prov. 4:23). The problem that caused God to destroy the earth in the Flood was a heart problem. “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Gen. 6:5).

David acknowledged before the Lord, “Behold, Thou dost desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part Thou wilt make me know wisdom”; and then he prayed “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps. 51:6, 10). Asaph wrote, “Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart!” (Ps. 73:1). Jeremiah declared, “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give to each man according to his ways, according to the results of his deeds” (Jer. 17:9–10). Evil ways and deeds begin in the heart and mind, which are here used synonymously. Jesus said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man” (Matt. 15:19).

God has always been concerned above all else with the inside of man, with the condition of his heart. When the Lord called Saul to be Israel’s first king, “God changed his heart” (1 Sam. 10:9). Until then Saul had been handsome, athletic, and not much more. But the new king soon began to revert to his old heart patterns. He chose to disobey God and to trust in himself. Among other things, he presumed to take for himself the priestly role of offering sacrifice (13:9) and refused to destroy all of the Amalekites and their possessions as God had commanded (15:3–19). Consequently, the Lord took the kingdom from Saul and gave it to David (15:23, 28). Saul’s actions were wrong because his heart rebelled, and it is by our hearts that the Lord judges us (16:7). It was said of David’s leadership over Israel, “He shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, and guided them with his skillful hands” (Ps. 78:72).

God took the kingdom from Saul because he refused to live by the new heart God had given him. He gave the kingdom to David because David was “a man after [God’s] own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14). David pleased God’s heart because God pleased David’s heart. “I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart,” he sang (Ps. 9:1). His deepest desire was, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer” (Ps. 19:14). He prayed, “Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart” (Ps. 26:2). When God told David, “Seek My face,” David’s heart replied, “Thy face, O Lord, I shall seek” (Ps. 27:8).

Once when David was fleeing from Saul he went to Gath, a Philistine city, for help. When he realized that his life was also in danger there, he “acted insanely in their hands, and scribbled on the doors of the gate, and let his saliva run down into his beard” (1 Sam. 21:13). Thinking him to be mad, the Philistines let him go, and he went to hide in the cave of Adullum. He came to his senses and realized how foolish and unfaithful he had been to trust the Philistines for help instead of the Lord. It was there that he wrote Psalm 57, in which he declared, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast” (v. 7). He rededicated his heart, his innermost being, single-mindedly to God. David often failed, but his heart was fixed on God. The evidence of his true-hearted commitment to God is found in all the first 175 verses of Psalm 119. The fact that his flesh sometimes overruled his heart is the final admission of verse 176: “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Thy servant.”

Pure translates katharos, a form of the word from which we get catharsis. The basic meaning is to make pure by cleansing from dirt, filth, and contamination. Catharsis is a term used in psychology and counseling for a cleansing of the mind or emotions. The Greek word is related to the Latin castus, from which we get chaste. The related word chasten refers to discipline given in order to cleanse from wrong behavior.

The Greek term was often used of metals that had been refined until all impurities were removed, leaving only the pure metal. In that sense, purity means unmixed, unalloyed, unadulterated. Applied to the heart, the idea is that of pure motive—of single-mindedness, undivided devotion, spiritual integrity, and true righteousness.

Double-mindedness has always been one of the great plagues of the church. We want to serve the Lord and follow the world at the same time. But that, says Jesus, is impossible. “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other” (Matt. 6:24). James puts the same truth in another way: “Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4). He then gives the solution to the problem: “Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (v. 8).

Christians have the right heart motive concerning God. Even though we often fail to be single-minded, it is our deep desire to be so. We confess with Paul, “For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.… I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good.… So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin” (Rom. 7:15, 21, 25). Paul’s deepest spiritual desires were pure, although the sin dwelling in his flesh sometimes overrode those desires.

Those who truly belong to God will be motivated to purity. Psalm 119 is the classic illustration of that longing, and Romans 7:15–25 is the Pauline counterpart. The deepest desire of the redeemed is for holiness, even when sin halts the fulfillment of that desire.

Purity of heart is more than sincerity. A motive can be sincere, yet lead to worthless and sinful things. The pagan priests who opposed Elijah demonstrated great sincerity when they lacerated their bodies in order to induce Baal to send fire down to consume their sacrifices (1 Kings 18:28). But their sincerity did not produce the desired results, and it did not enable them to see the wrongness of their paganism—because their sincere trust was in that very paganism. Sincere devotees walk on nails to prove their spiritual power. Others crawl on their knees for hundreds of yards, bleeding and grimacing in pain, to show their devotion to a saint or a shrine. Yet their sincere devotion is sincerely wrong and is completely worthless before God.

The scribes and Pharisees believed they could please God by such superficial practices as tithing “mint and dill and cummin”; but they “neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness” (Matt. 23:23). They were meticulously careful about what they did outwardly but paid no attention to what they were inwardly. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” Jesus told them, “For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also” (vv. 25–26).

Even genuinely good deeds that do not come from a genuinely good heart are of no spiritual value. Thomas Watson said, “Morality can drown a man as fast as vice,” and, “A vessel may sink with gold or with dung.” Though we may be extremely religious and constantly engaged in doing good things, we cannot please God unless our hearts are right with Him.

The ultimate standard for purity of heart is perfection of heart. In the same sermon in which He gave the Beatitudes Jesus said, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). One hundred percent purity is God’s standard for the heart.

Man’s tendency is to set the opposite standard. We are inclined to judge ourselves by the worst instead of the best. The Pharisee who prayed in the Temple, thanking God that he was not like other men, considered himself to be righteous simply because he was not a swindler, an adulterer, or a tax-gatherer (Luke 18:11). We are all tempted to feel better about ourselves when we see someone doing a terrible thing that we have never done. The “good” person looks down on the one who seems to be less good than himself, and that person looks down on those worse than he is. Carried to its extreme, that spiral of judgment would go down and down until it reached the most rotten person on earth—and that last person, the worst on earth, would be the standard by which the rest of the world judged itself!

God’s standard for men, however, is Himself. They cannot be fully pleasing to God until they are pure as He is pure, until they are holy as He is holy and perfect as He is perfect. Only those who are pure in heart may enter the kingdom. “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?” David asks, “and who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Ps. 24:3–4).

It is impurity of heart that separates man from God. “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; neither is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear” (Isa. 59:1–2). And just as impurity of heart separates men from God, only purity of heart through Jesus Christ will reconcile men to God.

Basically there are but two kinds of religion—the religion of human achievement and the religion of divine accomplishment. There are many variations of the first kind, which includes every religion but biblical Christianity. Within the religions of human accomplishment are two basic approaches: head religion, which trusts in creeds and religious knowledge, and hand religion, which trusts in good deeds.

The only true religion, however, is heart religion, which is based on God’s implanted purity. By faith in what God has done through His Son, Jesus Christ, “we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7). When God imputes His righteousness to us He imputes His purity to us.

As we look at Scripture we discover six kinds of purity. One may be called primal purity, the kind that exists only in God. That purity is as essential to God as light is to the sun or wetness is to water.

Another form of purity is created purity, the purity that existed in God’s creation before it was corrupted by the Fall. God created the angels in purity and He created man in purity. Tragically, some of the angels and all of mankind fell from that purity.

A third kind of purity is positional purity, the purity we are given the moment we trust in Jesus Christ as Savior. When we trust in Him, God imputes to us Christ’s own purity, Christ’s own righteousness. “To the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness” (Rom. 4:5; cf. Gal. 2:16). From that day the Father sees us just as He sees the Son, perfectly righteous and without blemish (2 Cor. 5:21; Heb. 9:14).

Fourth, imputed purity is not just a statement without substance; with imputed purity God grants actual purity in the new nature of the believer (Rom. 6:4–5; 8:5–11; Col. 3:9–10; 2 Pet. 1:3). In other words, there is no justification without sanctification. Every believer is a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). Paul affirms that when a believer sins, it is not caused by the pure new self, but by sin in the flesh (Rom. 7:17, 19–22, 25).

Fifth, there is practical purity. This, of course, is the hard part, the part that does require our supreme effort. Only God possesses or can possess primal purity. Only God can bestow created purity, ultimate purity, positional purity, and actual purity. But practical purity, though it too comes from God, demands our participation in a way that the other kinds of purity do not. That is why Paul implores, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1). It is why Peter pleads, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy’ ” (1 Pet. 1:14–16).

We are not saved just for future heavenly purity but also for present earthly purity. At best it will be gold mixed with iron and clay, a white garment with some black threads. But God wants us now to be as pure as we can be. If purity does not characterize our living, we either do not belong to Christ, or we are disobedient to Him. We will have temptations, but God will always provide a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13). We will fall into sin, but “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Finally, for believers there will also one day be ultimate purity, the perfected purity that God’s redeemed people will experience when they are glorified in His presence. All sins will be totally and permanently washed away, and “we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is” (1 John 3:2).

The Way to Holiness

Throughout the history of the church people have suggested various ways to achieve spiritual purity and holiness. Some have suggested monasticism, getting away from the normal cares and distractions of the world and devoting oneself entirely to meditation and prayer. Others claim that holiness is a second work of grace, by which God miraculously eradicates not only sins but the sin nature, allowing a sinless earthly life from that point onward. But neither Scripture nor experience supports either of those views. The problem of sin is not primarily the world around us but the worldliness within us, which we cannot escape by living in isolation from other people.

But God always provides for what He demands, and He has provided ways for us to live purely. First, we must realize that we are unable to live a single holy moment without the Lord’s guidance and power. “Who can say, ‘I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin’?” (Prov. 20:9), the obvious answer to which is “No one.” The Ethiopian cannot change his skin or the leopard its spots (Jer. 13:23). Cleansing begins with a recognition of weakness. Weakness then reaches out for the strength of God.

Second, we must stay in God’s Word. It is impossible to stay in God’s will apart from His Word. Jesus said, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you” (John 15:3).

Third, it is essential to be controlled by and walking in the will and way of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:16 says it clearly: “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”

Fourth, we must pray. We cannot stay in God’s will or understand and obey His Word unless we stay near Him. “With all prayer and petition” we are to “pray at all times in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:18; cf. Luke 18:1; 1 Thess. 5:17). With David we cry, “Create in me a clean heart, O God” (Ps. 51:10).

The Result of Holiness

The great blessing of those who are pure in heart is that they shall see God. The Greek is in the future indicative tense and the middle voice, and a more literal translation is, “They shall be continuously seeing God for themselves.” It is only they (the emphatic autos), the pure in heart, who shall see God. Intimate knowledge of and fellowship with God is reserved for the pure.

When our hearts are purified at salvation we begin to live in the presence of God. We begin to see and to comprehend Him with our new spiritual eyes. Like Moses, who saw God’s glory and asked to see more (Ex. 33:18), the one who is purified by Jesus Christ sees again and again the glory of God.

To see God was the greatest hope of Old Testament saints. Like Moses, David wanted to see more of God. “As the deer pants for the water brooks,” he said, “so my soul pants for Thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?” (Ps. 42:1). Job rejoiced when he was able to say, “I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees Thee” (Job 42:5).

Purity of heart cleanses the eyes of the soul so that God becomes visible. One sign of an impure heart is ignorance, because sin obscures the truth (John 3:19–20). Evil and ignorance come in a package. Other signs of an impure heart are self-centeredness (Rev. 3:17), pleasure in sin (2 Tim. 3:4), unbelief (Heb. 3:12), and hatred of purity (Mic. 3:2). Those who belong to God exchange all of those things for integrity and purity.

F. F. Bullard wrote,

When I in righteousness at last

Thy glorious face shall see;

When all the weary night has passed,

And I awake with Thee,

To view the glories that abide,

Then and only then will I be satisfied.

(Cited in William Hendriksen, The Gospel of Matthew [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1973], p. 278)[1]

8 Commentators are divided on “pure in heart.”

  1. Some take it to mean inner moral purity as opposed to merely external piety or ceremonial cleanness. This is an important theme in Matthew and elsewhere in the Scriptures (e.g., Dt 10:16; 30:6; 1 Sa 15:22; Pss 24:3–4 [to which there is direct allusion here]; 51:6, 10; Isa 1:10–17; Jer 4:4; 7:3–7; 9:25–26; Ro 2:9; 1 Ti 1:5; 2 Ti 2:22, cf. Mt 23:25–28).
  2. Others take it to mean single-mindedness, a heart “free from the tyranny of a divided self” (Tasker; cf. Bonnard). Several of the passages just cited focus on freedom from deceit (Pss 24:4; 51:4–17; cf. Ge 50:5–6; Pr 22:11). This interpretation also prepares the way for Matthew 6:22. The “pure in heart” are thus “the utterly sincere.”

The dichotomy between these two options is a false one; it is impossible to have one without the other. The one who is single-minded in commitment to the kingdom and its righteousness (6:33) will also be inwardly pure. Inward sham, deceit, and moral filth cannot coexist with sincere devotion to Christ. Either way, this beatitude excoriates hypocrisy (see comments at 6:1–18). The pure in heart will see God—now with the eyes of faith and finally in the dazzling brilliance of the beatific vision in whose light no deceit can exist (cf. Heb 12:14; 1 Jn 3:1–3; Rev 21:22–27).[2]

8 Again the OT passage which this beatitude echoes fills out its meaning. Those who are qualified to “ascend the hill of the Lord” and “stand in his holy place” are characterized by “clean hands and a pure heart,” which is then defined in terms of truthfulness and of an active “seeking” for God (Ps 24:3–6). The meaning is thus not far from that of v. 6, with its emphasis on a longing to live the life God requires. In the context of first-century Judaism, with its strong emphasis on ritual “purity,” the phrase “pure in heart” might also be understood to imply a contrast with the meticulous preservation of outward purity which will be condemned in 23:25–28 as having missed the point of godliness; but no such connotation is likely in Psalm 24, on which this beatitude is based. The vision of God which is the goal of the pure in heart (Ps 24:6; cf. Pss 11:7; 17:15; 27:5; 42:2 for this aspiration), and which is here promised to them, is sometimes in the OT expressed in terms of an actual “seeing” (Exod 24:10; Isa 6:1) though these are clearly marked out as exceptional. More often it is the invisibility of God which is stressed (Exod 33:18–23) and this is strongly reinforced in the NT (John 1:18; 1 Tim 1:17; 6:16). There may be visionary experiences in this world which include a “seeing” of God, as for John on Patmos, but “seeing God’s face” is a privilege reserved for the new Jerusalem (Rev 22:4; cf. 1 Cor 13:12; 1 John 3:2). Meanwhile, it is the “angels” of God’s people, not those people themselves, who see his face in heaven (18:10; see further discussion there). Here on earth the people of God may find strength “as if seeing him who is invisible,” (Heb 11:27) but such “seeing” remains only a foretaste of the true vision of God in heaven.[3]

The Bliss of the Clean Heart

Matthew 5:8

‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.’

Here is the beatitude which demands that all who read it should stop and think, and examine themselves.

The Greek word for pure is katharos, and it has a variety of usages, all of which have something to add to the meaning of this beatitude for the Christian life.

(1) Originally it simply meant clean, and could, for instance, be used of soiled clothes which have been washed clean.

(2) It is regularly used for corn which has been winnowed or sifted and cleansed of all chaff. In the same way, it is used of an army which has been purged of all discontented, cowardly, unwilling and inefficient soldiers, and which is a force composed solely of first-class fighting men.

(3) It very commonly appears in company with another Greek adjective—akēratos. Akēratos can be used of milk or wine which is unadulterated with water, or of metal which has in it no tinge of alloy.

So, the basic meaning of katharos is unmixed, unadulterated, unalloyed. That is why this beatitude is so demanding a beatitude. It could be translated:

Blessed are those whose motives are always entirely unmixed, for they shall see God.

It is very seldom indeed that we do even our finest actions from absolutely unmixed motives. If we give generously and liberally to some good cause, it may well be that there lingers in the depths of our hearts some contentment in basking in the sunshine of our own self-approval, some pleasure in the praise and thanks and credit which we will receive. If we do some fine thing, which demands some sacrifice from us, it may well be that we are not altogether free from the feeling that others will see something heroic in us and that we may regard ourselves as martyrs. Even the most sincere preacher is not altogether free from the danger of self-satisfaction in having preached a good sermon. Was it not John Bunyan who was once told by someone that he had preached well that day, and who answered sadly: ‘The devil already told me that as I was coming down the pulpit steps’?

This beatitude demands from us the most exacting self-examination. Is our work done from motives of service or from motives of pay? Is our service given from selfless motives or from motives of self-display? Is the work we do in church done for Christ or for our own prestige? Is our church-going an attempt to meet God or a fulfilling of a habitual and conventional respectability? Are even our prayer and our Bible-reading engaged upon with the sincere desire to keep company with God or because it gives us a pleasant feeling of superiority to do these things? Is our religion a thing in which we are conscious of nothing so much as the need of God within our hearts, or a thing in which we have comfortable thoughts of our own piety? To examine one’s own motives is a daunting and a shaming thing, for there are few things in this world that even the best of us do with completely unmixed motives.

Jesus went on to say that only the pure in heart will see God. It is one of the simple facts of life that we see only what we are able to see; and that is true not only in the physical sense; it is also true in every other possible sense.

If we go out on a night of stars, our untrained eyes see only a host of pinpoints of light in the sky; we see what we are fit to see. But in that same sky the astronomer will call the stars and the planets by their names, and will move among them as among friends; and from that same sky the navigator could find the means to bring a ship across the trackless seas to the desired haven.

The ordinary person can walk along a country road and see by the hedgerows nothing but a tangle of weeds and wild flowers and grasses. The trained botanist would see this and that, and call it by name and know its use, and might even see something of infinite value and rarity through having eyes to see.

Put two people into a room filled with ancient pictures. A person with no knowledge and no skill could not tell an old master from a worthless daub, whereas a trained art critic might well discern a picture of immense value in a collection which someone else might dismiss as junk.

There are people with filthy minds who can see in any situation material for sniggering innuendo and a dirty joke. In every sphere of life, we see what we are able to see.

So, says Jesus, it is only the pure in heart who shall see God. It is a warning thing to remember that, as by God’s grace we keep our hearts clean, or as by human lust we soil them, we are either fitting or unfitting ourselves some day to see God.

So, this sixth beatitude might read:

o the bliss of those whose motives are absolutely pure, for they will some day be able to see god![4]

Ver. 8.—The pure in heart. Our Lord naturally passes in thought from the sixth to the seventh commandment (cf. vers. 21, 27), finding the basis of his phraseology in Ps. 24:3, 4, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?… He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart (LXX ἀθῷος χερσὶν καὶ καθαρὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ)” (cf. also Ps. 72:1). Καθαρός (besides speaking of mere physical cleanness, ch. 27:59) specially refers to freedom from pollution, judged by God’s standard of what pollution is, whether it be a matter of ceremonial enactment (meats, Rom. 14:20; cf. Mark 7:19; cf. leprosy, 8:2, 3; 10:8, et al.) or of ethical relation (John 13:10, 11; 15:3); cf. Origen. ‘Hom. in Joh.,’ lxxiii. 2 (Meyer), “Every sin soils the soul (Πᾶσα ἁμαρτία ῥύπον ἑντίθησι τῇ, ψυχῇ)” (cf. also Bishop Westcott, ‘Hebrews,’ p. 346). In heart. The seat of the affections (ch. 6:21; 22:37) and the understanding (ch. 13:15), also the central spring of all human words and actions (ch. 15:19); cf. καθαρὰ καρδία (1 Tim. 1:5; 2 Tim. 2:22), which implies something deeper than καθαρὰ συνείδησις (1 Tim. 3:9; 2 Tim. 1:3). Shall see God. Not in his courts (Ps. 24) on Mount Moriah, but above; and in one complete vision fully grasped (ὄψονται). The thought of present spiritual sight of God, though, perhaps, hardly to be excluded (contrast Weiss, ‘Matthäusev.’), is at least swallowed up in the thought of the full and final revelation. Those who are pure in heart, and care not for such sights as lead men into sin, are unconsciously preparing themselves for the great spiritual sight—the beatific vision (Rev. 22:4; cf. 1 John 3:2). In Heb. 12:14 holiness (ἁγιασμός) is an indispensable quality for such a vision of “the Lord.”[5]

8. Happy are they who are of a pure heart. We might be apt to think, that what is here stated by Christ is in accordance with the judgment of all. Purity of heart is universally acknowledged to be the mother of all virtues. And yet there is hardly one person in a hundred, who does not put craftiness in the place of the greatest virtue. Hence those persons are commonly accounted happy, whose ingenuity is exercised in the successful practice of deceit, who gain dexterous advantages, by indirect means, over those with whom they have intercourse. Christ does not at all agree with carnal reason, when he pronounces those to be happy, who take no delight in cunning, but converse sincerely with men, and express nothing, by word or look, which they do not feel in their heart. Simple people are ridiculed for want of caution, and for not looking sharply enough to themselves. But Christ directs them to higher views, and bids them consider that, if they have not sagacity to deceive in this world, they will enjoy the sight of God in heaven.[6]

8. Cf. Psalm 24:3–4. Pure in heart should not be restricted to moral, still less sexual, purity; it denotes one who loves God with all his heart (Deut. 6:5), with an undivided loyalty, and whose inward nature corresponds with his outward profession (cf. Isa. 29:13). ‘Such is the generation of those who seek him’ (Ps. 24:6), and they receive the promise that they shall see God. This can only fully be realized in heaven, when ‘we shall see him as he is’ (1 John 3:2); then ‘we shall be like him’, and the longings of v. 6 will be finally satisfied. But in a lesser sense the vision of God is already the experience of his true lovers on earth, who persevere in his service ‘as seeing him who is invisible’ (Heb. 11:27).[7]

The pure in heart (8)

It is immediately obvious that the words ‘in heart’ indicate the kind of purity to which Jesus is alluding, as the words ‘in spirit’ indicated the kind of poverty he meant. The ‘poor in spirit’ are the spiritually poor as distinct from those whose poverty is only material. From whom, then, are ‘the pure in heart’ being distinguished?

The popular interpretation is to regard purity of heart as an expression for inward purity, for the quality of those who have been cleansed from moral—as opposed to ceremonial—defilement. And there is good biblical precedent for this, especially in the Psalms. It was recognized that no-one could ascend the Lord’s hill or stand in his holy place unless he had ‘clean hands and a pure heart’. So David, conscious that his Lord desired ‘truth in the inward being’, could pray, ‘Teach me wisdom in my secret heart,’ and, ‘Create in me a clean heart, O God.’ Jesus took up this theme in his controversy with the Pharisees and complained about their obsession with external, ceremonial purity. ‘You Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness.’ They were ‘like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness’.3

Luther gave this distinction between inward and outward purity a characteristically earthy turn. For he contrasted purity of heart not only with ceremonial defilement, but also with actual physical dirt. ‘Christ … wants to have the heart pure, though outwardly the person may be a drudge in the kitchen, black, sooty, and grimy, doing all sorts of dirty work.’ Again, ‘Though a common labourer, a shoemaker or a blacksmith may be dirty and sooty or may smell because he is covered with dirt and pitch, … and though he stinks outwardly, inwardly he is pure incense before God’ because he ponders the word of God in his heart and obeys it.2

This emphasis on the inward and moral, whether contrasted with the outward and ceremonial or the outward and physical, is certainly consistent with the whole Sermon on the Mount which requires heart-righteousness rather than mere rule-righteousness. Nevertheless, in the context of the other beatitudes, ‘purity of heart’ seems to refer in some sense to our relationships. Professor Tasker defines the pure in heart as ‘the single-minded, who are free from the tyranny of a divided self’.3 In this case the pure heart is the single heart and prepares the way for the ‘single eye’ which Jesus mentions in the next chapter.

More precisely, the primary reference is to sincerity. Already in the verses of Psalm 24 quoted above, the person with ‘clean hands and a pure heart’ is one ‘who does not lift up his soul to what is false (sc. an idol), and does not swear deceitfully’ (4). That is, in his relations with both God and man he is free from falsehood. So the pure in heart are ‘the utterly sincere’ (jbp). Their whole life, public and private, is transparent before God and men. Their very heart—including their thoughts and motives—is pure, unmixed with anything devious, ulterior or base. Hypocrisy and deceit are abhorrent to them; they are without guile.

Yet how few of us live one life and live it in the open! We are tempted to wear a different mask and play a different role according to each occasion. This is not reality but play-acting, which is the essence of hypocrisy. Some people weave round themselves such a tissue of lies that they can no longer tell which part of them is real and which is make-believe. Alone among men Jesus Christ was absolutely pure in heart, being entirely guileless.

Only the pure in heart will see God, see him now with the eye of faith and see his glory in the hereafter, for only the utterly sincere can bear the dazzling vision in whose light the darkness of deceit must vanish and by whose fire all shams are burned up.[8]

5:8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. The promise that the pure in heart will see God is perhaps an echo of Ps 24:3–4 (cf. Ps 51:10; 73:1). Purity of heart amounts to internal integrity that transparently manifests itself in outward behavior. Matthew presents certain Pharisees as models of an external, rule-oriented purity that Jesus rejected and condemned because it masked inner corruption (cf. 15:1–20; 23:25–28). His disciples must possess an inner piety and purity that surpasses mere externally acceptable behavior (5:20–22, 27–28). They have experienced the power of the Kingdom, which purifies from the inside out. Thus, they must cultivate integrity in their private intellectual, emotional, and volitional lives (cf. 5:28; 6:21; 9:4; 12:34; 15:8, 18, 19; 18:35; 22:37). Seeing God is impossible in this life (Exod 33:20), but prophetic visions describe seeing God as a part of the blessings of the world to come (1 John 3:2; Rev 22:4).[9]

Ver. 8. The pure in heart.

Purity of heart:

  1. Purity of heart demands our attention. 1. It implies a change of heart. 2. It implies that the faculties of the soul are purified. 3. It implies the purity of the affections. 4. It implies the purity of the thoughts and desires. 5. It leads to purity of worship. 6. It leads to purity of life.
  2. The blessedness promised to the pure in heart. 1. What is denoted by seeing God. 2. This vision will constitute the blessedness of the pure in heart. (J. Jordan.)

The blessedness of the pure in heart:—

  1. Inquire into the meaning of purity of heart. 1. The words carry us into the inner regions of man’s being. At first sight they only suggest the absence of the impure. But there is no purity apart from the absolute authority of God in the affections. Man is not made by negatives.
  2. Purity of heart gives the vision of God. The phrase “see God” does not refer to any manifestation of His glory visible to the eye of sense. It is to the far deeper sight of the soul that Christ refers. Your best friend is not seen by the eye of the body; you see him spiritually, his qualities of mind and heart. 1. None but the pure in heart can see Him. It is useless to tell the selfish about the beauty of unselfishness; you might as well tell the blind about the glory of colour. 2. That to the pure in heart the full glory of the Divine nature reveals itself. God is light and love. These are seen by the pure soul.

III. The vision is its own exceeding blessedness. 1. It is blessed because to see God satisfies the longings of the heart. 2. Because it clothes life in glory. 3. Because it is the dawning of immortal hope. (E. L. Hull, B.A.)

  1. Let us try to ascertain what this purity is which is here so extolled. It was in Adam by nature—it is in us by grace, &c. In us it is as seed cast into the soil, &c. It is a living principle, ever powerful, ever resisted, yet never beaten, growing daily in aspirations and likeness, until it is made perfect by seeing Christ as He is, when we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. Constantly enjoined. Is true beauty. The qualification for heaven. The Holy Spirit its author. The heart its seat. Manifest in the outer life. Will ever be ready to disclose itself to God in prayer.
  2. Such persons are blessed. In having this characteristic. Evidence of being amongst the people of God. To them all things are pure. “Shall see God”—in life’s trials, life’s prosperity, providential dealings, in all creation, in the sacred page, in ordinances, and, above all, in glory—transforming, satisfying, joyful. “Create in me,” &c. (Dr. J. Cumming.) By the “heart” we are to understand the inward part of man, comprehending the mind and soul with all their faculties and affections, purposes and inclinations, the secret recesses into which mortal eye cannot penetrate. I. The foliage and branches are of the same kind with the stock that bears them. 1. Before we can bring forth good fruit we must be renovated. 2. There may be the semblance of purity in the life when there is no real principle of holiness in the heart. II. Purity is (1) the mind renewed, the (2) disordered spirit restored, and (3) conformed to the “image of God,” in righteousness and true holiness. III. From the definition of the principle there are three things which it includes. 1. Frank and genuine sincerity in opposition to dissimulation and deceit. 2. Spiritual worship in opposition to that which is formal. 3. A holy and heavenly mind, in opposition to one that is polluted and sensual. (J. E. Good.) I. A great privilege proposed by our Saviour to His followers. “They shall see God”—in this life and in heaven. II. The qualification required for this enjoyment—purity of heart. Nature and necessity of heart-purity. 1. Try your hopes of heaven by this rule. 2. Follow after purity—heart and life. (Henry Grove.) See here what is the beauty that sets off a soul in God’s eye: purity of heart. I. Thou who art never so beautiful, art but a spiritual leper, till thou art pure in heart. 1. Therein God sees His own picture drawn. 2. Holiness is a beam of God. II. Thou who art pure in heart hast the angel’s glory in thee, and the embroidery and workmanship of the Holy Ghost upon thee. III. The pure heart is God’s paradise, where He delights to walk; it is His lesser heaven. The dove delights in the purest air; the Holy Ghost, who descended in the likeness of a dove, delights in the purest soul. How may this raise the esteem of purity! This is a beauty that never fades! (Thomas Watson.) I. Purity of heart stands in direct opposition to that external affectation of purity which is the offspring of hypocrisy. 1. Actions are the outward symbols or expressions of virtue and vice, not virtue and vice themselves. 2. Actions when separated from their motives are indifferent, but it is the disposition of benevolence by which the mind is actuated in which the virtue lies. 3. Words, like actions, when separated from their motives, are indifferent; but it is the inward malignity of soul from which the words proceed, in which the vice consists. 4. The form of purity, like that of godliness without its power, is only a delusive counterfeit. 5. All external services and sacrifices are of no value without this internal purity. II. Purity implies the absence of moral grossness. Whatever is defiled is essentially repugnant to the spirit of purity. (1) By the law of nature clouds darken the face of the sky, fogs and vapours stagnate and corrupt the air. (2) By the law of conscience and religion, moral blots and corruptions stain the beauty of the soul, and cast a shade upon its brightness. III. Purity is an active and vigorous disposition, which incessantly prompts the soul in which it resides, to (1) admire what is amiable; (2) To approve what is excellent; (3) To relish what is delicate; (4) To pursue what is refined. Purity is the only way to blessedness—purity is blessedness itself. (David Lamont, D.D.)

The man of heart blessed.—So came these peaceful words of Jesus: Blessed, not the man of force, but the man of heart. (E. J. Haynes.) A pure heart uses God’s creatures without injury.—We stood, the day we left home to begin life for ourselves, amid all the “creatures” of God, as stands the druggist’s clerk on the first morning of his apprenticing, not knowing which is sweet, or sour, or would kill, or would make alive; aye, and with a perverted impulse for the wrong use of all. Behold that tree which nods at the church window. Sometimes there is too much moisture in the air; sometimes too much heat; poisons are at its root, its leaf, its stock. Yet so “pure” is the tree, so does it follow just God’s law, that it chooses and uses, not abuses, but fructifies by all. So amid all nature will be the really pure in heart; not that pure heart is all-wise, but it is so in harmony with God’s law, so far as it is instructed, that it uses all things according to the Creator’s intention. How? For beauty, purity, peace, and joy. (Ibid.) A pure heart is blessed in the feeling of security.—He says, “I am not conscious of any desire within which shall go half-way to meet the allurements of sin; no little rivulets of half-indulgence which have eaten the sand from under my walls.” Oh, how weak is guilt, how strong is purity! I have seen the hawk flap out of the top of tall hemlocks at my coming in the pasture. “Why, hawk, I’ll not shoot you; it is but a walking-stick I carry in my hand.” “Ah! yes, but I think it may have a ball in it.” And he sails high above the village steeple. “Nay, hawk,” says the steeple, “I’ll not hurt. I’m but the finger pointing to your Maker.” “Ah! but I think you are a trap.” He even parts company with the harmless sparrow, for the sparrow “may be a snare.” Not so the dove. It lives in the cornice of men’s dwellings, and nods good morning to the children in the chamber crib; it touches the foot of the housemaid as she shakes her cloth of crumbs; it rests up in the steeples of old churches, and the Sabbath bell, far from being a fright, is but the signal for the cooing chorus to begin. The man of pure heart is blessed with peaceful self-respect. He is not happy who cannot respect himself. And no man can respect himself who is living in more or less constant communion with bad thoughts and evil pictures of imaginatian. Suppose we grant that we are not altogether responsible for our thoughts, but, by the complications of daily life, before we know it we have planned a sin; or, by Satan’s foes beleaguered, we are thrust upon by pictures of iniquity. Still my proposition is true, that no such life could be a happy one. Could the master of a strong house be at peace, even if bolts and bars and granite strength kept all his foes at bay; if, ever and anon, the mob thrust the death’s head at his windows? Aye, more, could he respect himself if, now and then, as impure hearts do, he showed a face for parley, or cautiously, yet surely, invited one of the red-shirted horde within, to see how he looked near by? The sunflower might say of wasps, and hornets, and bees: “Why do they pester me, and so hang about?” and the wasps would reply: “You entertain us, sir; you have what we love.” And so the judge within man, true to his heaven-given instinct, makes reply to him pestered by bad thoughts: “There’s something, sir, about you that these buzzards love!” I saw by Lake Leman the old castle of Chillon. Up above, the royal, tapestry-hung apartments of the Duke of Savoy and his gay bride; down below, the dungeon where Bonnivard was chained; where creeping things crawl forth to ogle at the visitors, and instruments of torture are; and I wondered if never, in some scene of revelry above, the groans of martyrs rose to stir the arras on gorgeous walls. There are those we meet in social life, the rooms of whose souls which are open to friends are fair as a palace. But alas! who shall tell us of the secret kept unseen? Not so pure heart. I do not pretend to say that ever on this earth we are freed from all solicitations of evil; but there is many a soul so “blessed” that, when winged thoughts of sin come flying to the windows, God’s angel rises up, and draws the shutters to; when disturbing thoughts of hate, revenge, avarice, and pride draw near, God’s angel meets them at the outer gate, and bids them all begone. (Ibid.) Pure heart is “blest” in his relations with his fellow-man. Pure Heart is blest because he knows no envy of another’s success, jealousy at another’s praise. Dear, simple old heart. It never occurs to him that there is any less of summer’s sun for him because a million others bask in its beams. O King Great Heart! thyself no man’s enemy, thou thinkest no man thine, but dost beam upon the world like the October sunset upon the harvest fields. “He shall see God.” How? Thus. Mozart and his friend, the royal huntsman, went forth arm-in-arm to the fields. The wind came up heavily through the copse of trees. “Look!” says the hunter, “it will startle a hare!” “Listen!” says Mozart, “what a diapason from God’s great organ!” A lark rose on soaring wing, with its own sweet song. “Look!” says the gamester. “what a shot!” “Ah!” says Mozart, “what would I give could I catch that thrill!” There be dull souls who cannot see nor hear. Are they sick? “Oh! what misfortune!” Are they bereaved? “Some enemy hath done this!” Are they well and prosperous? “Good luck!” Not so Pure Heart. He can see God’s hand in every sorrow chastening for good; God’s face in every blessing; God’s smile in the morning light, the blossoming harvest, and the evening shade. His heart is attuned. (E. J. Haynes.)

Vision of God in heaven:—I. God is a pure Spirit, and invisible. It cannot be with our bodily eyes that we shall see Him. II. They shall see Him. This word expresses immediate intuition of what is plainly offered to view. Now we see through a glass, darkly. Wilt thou see God’s wisdom, power, love, holiness, glory? 1. This is an appropriating vision. 2. It is an assimilating vision. 3. It is a satisfying vision. III. How excellent the soul of man which is capable of such felicity! IV. If such be the nature of the future blessedness, then a change of heart is requisite to enable us to enjoy it. V. What gratitude do we owe to that God who has provided such a felicity for His children. VI. What a source of consolation under the afflictions of life. VII. This subject calls us to mourn for the folly of the children of men, who for toys barter away glory and immortality. (H. Kollock, D.D.)

They shall see God:—1. In the work of creation. 2. In the ordinances of the gospel. 3. In the dispensation of Providence. 4. In the day of judgment. 5. In heaven for ever. (J. C. Edwards, M.A.)

Purity an unmixed motive.—A thing is pure when there is nothing in it out of harmony with its nature. Water is pure, air is pure, when they contain only their constituent elements, and in the right proportion. Gold is pure when it has been separated by fire from all foreign matter. The diamond is pure, the crystal is pure, when there is nothing in them which hinders the refraction and reflection of light. It is thus with the heart, which is the emotional part of the soul. It is pure, when it loves only that which it ought to love. (The Abbé Bautain.)

Spiritual sight conditioned by purity:—1. It may be easily understood that impurity of heart hinders the soul from seeing God. Under the power of perverse affections the mind sees nothing aright—nothing in its just relations and proportions. Least of all can the mind thus blinded in its highest faculties see God aright; it gets no inspiring and attractive perception of His glory. As earthly vapours, condensed into clouds and darkening the world with storms, hide from the outward sense the beauty and glory of the visible heaven, so sensual passions, grovelling affections, and the dominion of sin in the soul, all the habits of an impure and unbelieving mind, intervene as with impenetrable clouds, to shut off from the view and reach of the spiritual faculties the grand realities of that upper sphere, where the eternal relations of duty are and where God is. 2. This is further illustrated by remembering distinctly that the normal or right state of the mind—the state in which its faculties and susceptibilities are properly adjusted in relation to each other and in relation to their objects—is just what our Saviour means by purity in heart. As the normal condition of the eye is not when the optic nerve is paralysed or otherwise diseased, nor when the surface is covered by a film, nor when inflammation or a mote under the eyelids makes the light painful, but only when all obstruction or disease is absent, so the normal condition of the mind, as made for the knowledge of things invisible and eternal, is not when its sensibilities are perverted by selfishness, not when sin reigns within, but only when the heart is pure. We may now inquire, What is the blessedness of thus seeing God? 1. To see God is to see the central light which reveals the order and beauty of the universe. The unity of all created things is found only in their relation to God’s power, to His love and wisdom, to His plan and government. 2. To see God is to see the fountain of all blessedness. Such intuition of God’s glory is identical with the peace of God that passeth all understanding. 3. Such an intuition of God as this promise assures to the pure in heart is that for which the soul was created. It is the soul’s chief end, and therefore it is the highest blessedness of which the soul is capable. (L. Bacon.)[10]

8. Blessed the pure in heart, for they shall see God. It is often said that the pure in heart are the sincere and honest people, the men of integrity. A reference to Ps. 24:3, 4 would seem to confirm this:

Who shall ascend the hill of Jehovah?

And who shall stand in his holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart;

Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood

And has not sworn deceitfully.

Purity in heart is also commended in Ps. 73:1. Similarly, in 1 Tim. 1:5 pure is a synonym for unfeigned. And see also 2 Tim. 2:22 and 1 Peter 1:22. All this could easily lead to the conclusion that the people who in the sixth beatitude are pronounced blessed are without any further qualification the sincere individuals, the men who think, speak, and act without hypocrisy.

Now there can be no doubt about the fact that sincerity, honesty, the condition of being without guile, is indeed the emphasis here. Over against all human duplicity, be it Pharisaic or otherwise, Jesus pronounces his blessing upon the persons whose outer manifestation is in harmony with their inner disposition.

Nevertheless, a study of the context in each of the aforegoing references makes clear that something must be added. Sincerity or integrity is not sufficient in and by itself. A man may be sincerely right but he may also be sincerely wrong. No doubt, the prophets of Baal were very sincere when from morning until noon they were leaping about the altar, cutting themselves with knives, and constantly crying out, “Hear us Baal” (1 Kings 18:26–28). But they were sincere in the wrong direction. So also, in a passage to which reference is often made in the explanation of the sixth beatitude (Gen. 20:6) Jehovah himself testifies that Abimelech, in the integrity of his heart, had taken Sarah away from Abraham. Nevertheless, the Lord did not approve what the king had done but threatened him with death unless he would restore Sarah to her rightful husband (verse 7). Similarly, the “pure in heart” of Ps. 73:1 are those who in all sincerity are guided by “God’s counsel” (verse 24). The faith unfeigned of 1 Tim. 1:5 adheres to “sound doctrine” (verse 10). And the people to whom Peter refers (1 Peter 1:22) are those who have purified their souls “in obedience to the truth.”

It is clear, therefore, that the blessing of the sixth beatitude is not pronounced without qualification upon all people who are sincere, but rather upon those who, in the worship of the true God in accordance with the truth revealed in his Word, strive without hypocrisy to please and glorify him. These, these alone, are “the pure in heart.” They worship God “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24) and love to dwell on and practice the virtues mentioned in 1 Cor. 13; Gal. 5:22, 23; Eph. 4:32; 5:1; Phil. 2:1–4; 4:8, 9; Col. 3:1–17; etc. Their heart, the very mainspring of dispositions as well as of feelings and thoughts (Matt. 15:19; 22:37; Eph. 1:18; 3:17; Phil 1:7; 1 Tim. 1:5), is in tune with the heart of God.

Hence, it is not really surprising to read that the pure in heart “shall see God,” and that this is the essence of their blessedness. The man whose delight is not truly in the things pertaining to God is unable to appreciate the love of God in Christ toward sinners. Resemblance is the indispensable prerequisite of personal fellowship and understanding. To know God one must be like him. Just as to the hunter devoid of musical knowledge and appreciation the voice of the wind roaring through the forest meant no more than that a hare might be startled from his hiding place and become an easy victim, while to his companion Mozart this same loud deep sound signified instead a majestic diapason from God’s great organ, so also to the impure, God remains unknown but to those who “imitate God as beloved children and walk in love” he reveals himself.

Now the beauty of this vision of God, this spiritual perception of and delight in his being and attributes, is that it is transforming (2 Cor. 3:18). Here on earth, however, it is still a “seeing in a mirror darkly,” but in heaven and in the renewed universe, in which the conditions of heaven will also be found on earth (Rev. 21:10), so that “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:9), this beatific vision will amount to the sinless and uninterrupted fellowship of the souls of all the redeemed with God in Christ, a seeing “face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12).

When I in righteousness at last

Thy glorious face shall see,

When all the weary night is past

And I awake with thee,

To view the glories that abide,

Then, then shall I be satisfied.

(F. F. Bullard, based on Ps. 17:15)

Thus will be fulfilled the prayer of Jesus, “Father, I desire that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, in order that they may gaze on my glory which thou hast given me, for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the earth.”[11]

5:8. The term Matthew used here means pure or “clean.” It can be used literally of physical cleanness, but Scripture often uses it for moral cleanness and purity. A simple but helpful way of looking at the word is to realize that it implies the absence of impurity or filth. It implies a singleness of purpose, without distraction (akin to the concept of “holiness,” being set apart for a special purpose; see Jas. 4:8). Any distracting or corrupting influence a kingdom servant allows into his or her heart makes that person less effective as a servant. The kingdom servant has a heart that is undivided and unalloyed.

This quality is a natural by-product of the preceding blessings and character qualities. Purity of heart is not manufactured by the believer, but is granted by the God of mercy (5:7) to those who mourn their spiritual bankruptcy (5:3–4) and who seek his righteousness (5:6). When the king grants purity of heart, he gives not only judicial purity (forgiveness, absolution from guilt), but also the actual removal of corrupting impurities from the heart. This comes about through the empowerment of the believer to grow into holiness and out of these impurities.

Jesus may have had a dual meaning behind the phrase see God. First, the pure heart is unhindered in its ability to understand the heart and person of God in this life on earth and, in this sense, is better able to see God. Moreover, only the pure (forgiven) heart is able to enter heaven to enjoy the presence of God for eternity.[12]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 1, pp. 199–208). 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, pp. 164–165). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] France, R. T. (2007). The Gospel of Matthew (pp. 168–169). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co.

[4] Barclay, W. (2001). The Gospel of Matthew (Third Ed., pp. 122–124). Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press.

[5] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). St. Matthew (Vol. 1, pp. 149–150). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[6] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 1, p. 264). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[7] France, R. T. (1985). Matthew: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 1, p. 116). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[8] Stott, J. R. W., & Stott, J. R. W. (1985). The message of the Sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7): Christian counter-culture (pp. 48–49). Leicester; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[9] Turner, D., & Bock, D. L. (2005). Cornerstone biblical commentary, Vol 11: Matthew and Mark (p. 77). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

[10] Exell, J. S. (1952). The Biblical Illustrator: Matthew (pp. 54–56). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

[11] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to Matthew (Vol. 9, pp. 276–278). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[12] Weber, S. K. (2000). Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 60). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Why Prayer Is Hard for Me — Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation

I’ve never been very good at long-distance relationships. I often cringe when my phone rings, no matter who is calling. I can take days, weeks, or even months to return a call or even a text from a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while. And often, when I finally bring myself to reach out, I feel angst throughout the conversation, even if it is a pleasant one.

Based on these reactions, you might think, “She must not enjoy interacting with people or think relational engagement is that important.” Nothing could be further from the truth! The fact that I am a vocational counselor should tell you that I think it is of the highest importance. Talking with people is actually one of the most fulfilling and energizing things I do! But ironically, when it comes to long-distance communication, I am often tempted to avoid people, even those who are important to me. In fact, it is the people I cherish most that I have the hardest time connecting with when they are not physically present with me.

I have analyzed these perplexing patterns for years and pondered why long-distance engagement is so hard for me. Here are some of the observations I’ve made.

For one thing, long-distance communication takes more work for me than in-person communication. It requires intentionality to plan a time to talk or persistence in playing phone tag until we both happen to be available. And it requires more attentiveness. Miscommunication is much more likely when I can’t pick up on someone’s body language or miss something because of poor cell phone reception or internet connection. Knowing this makes it harder for me to put my anxieties to rest.

But I’ve found that there is an even more significant reason why this is hard for me: it reminds me that we are apart. I deeply long to do life side by side and these conversations make others feel so far away. Paul captures it well in Romans 1:11 when he says, “I long to see you…that we may be mutually encouraged.” John expresses a similar sentiment in one of his letters: “Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete” (2 John 1:12). Likewise, when I connect with someone who is far away, my joy is incomplete. It is mingled with grief because we are still apart and cannot speak face to face.

But why am I telling you this? I am telling you this because I have similar struggles communicating with God, and maybe you do, too. Prayer is hard for me. I know that Jesus’ spirit is in me, yet my inability to see and touch him makes him feel far away. I have a hard time prioritizing conversation with God, and an equally hard time staying focused when I do speak to him. My guilt from avoiding him tempts me to stay away longer, and when I do approach him, it can take me a while to envision his surprisingly warm and gracious countenance. Above all else, prayer reminds me that there is some measure of distance between us, and again, I grieve that we are not yet face to face.

Nonetheless, I still strive to pray. What is my comfort despite these things?

  • I know that prayer is a spiritual discipline and, as with any discipline, it may not feel gratifying but it does bless me and often becomes more enjoyable and easier as I stick with it.
  • Jesus empathizes with my grief because he shared my experience. He left behind his intimate, face-to-face fellowship with his Father to enter into our human existence, meaning he experienced him as distant (Ps 22:19; 71:12) and hidden (Ps 27:9; 102:2). He knew what was it was like to have his heart in two places—his heavenly home and his earthly one.
  • God is patient as I struggle with speaking to him. He has compassion on me and even invites me to start the conversation with sharing why I find it difficult. He is delighted to hear me ask for help with prayer.
  • I know the day is coming when I won’t struggle anymore. I will see God face to face (1 John 3:2) and I will no longer resist speaking with him.

I don’t imagine I will ever be a prayer warrior. But God is still at work in me. I can now share honestly with him about my conflicted feelings, and I am comforted that weakness and vulnerability are more precious to him than strength. And though my preference to speak face to face does not naturally draw me to the activity of prayer, I am increasingly drawn to the Person who hears my prayers.

via Why Prayer Is Hard for Me — Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation

June—18 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

Elect, according to the fore-knowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.—1 Peter 1:2.

Of all blessings, surely this is the highest, and the best, which holds forth to a poor sinner the assurance of redemption, as the united result of the love, grace, and mercy of all the persons in the Godhead. My soul! pause over the glorious truth, and sweetly mark the testimony of each co-operating and acting together in the great work of salvation. Behold thy God and Father setting apart, from all eternity, the chosen vessels of mercy, foreknowing, and fore-appointing every event, in his own counsel, purpose, and will. What a blessed thought in the mind of the redeemed, is this to live upon, to cherish, and keep alive in the soul, from day to day, to call up the unceasing fruits of adoration, love, duty, and praise, in grace here, and in glory to all eternity. Go on, my soul, to the contemplation of the second chapter in his holy volume of grace and mercy: and mark what the apostle hath here said of “the sanctification of the Spirit.” So that the blessed hand of the Holy Ghost is as much engaged in this beneficent act of redemption, in the existence of every individual, as the fore-knowledge and appointment of God the Father, or of the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Yea, all the glory of redemption in the grace provided by the Father, and the merits of the Son’s blood and righteousness, depend, for the personal enjoyment of it, in the case of each believer, upon the Holy Ghost’s revelation of it in the soul. Oh! it is blessed to see, to feel, to know, and to enjoy those gracious communications of God’s Christ in the soul, which God the Holy Ghost awakens, and excites, and brings home to the mind. And no less, as the meritorious cause of all (the third chapter in this wonderful volume) do thou contemplate, my soul, the two united branches of thy redemption; the obedience and atonement in the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. How comprehensive, yet how full and satisfactory! It is Jesus, as God’s righteous servant, that by his perfect obedience hath justified his people. And it is the death of the cross which fully atoned for their transgression: “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.” Behold then, my soul! in these three glorious chapters of redemption, how all the great charter of grace is summed up and contained. Take it with thee as thine evening portion: let it lie down with thee, and arise with thee; and carry it about with thee, for thine unceasing meditation during the whole of thy day of grace, until grace be swallowed up in eternal glory![1]


[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 186–187). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

June 18th The D. L. Moody Year Book


I am the light of the world.—John 7:12.

I HEARD of an infidel once who said, “Look at your convert; it is all moonshine.” The young convert replied to him, “I thank you for the compliment. We are perfectly willing to be called that. The moon borrows the light from the sun, and so we borrow ours from Christ.”[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. 104). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Uncle Ben’s Rice To Take Black Man Off Box; Cream Of Wheat Mulls Removing Black Chef

After Quaker Oats announced it would be removing Aunt Jemima from its 133-year-old brand of syrup and pancake mix, the company that makes Cream of Wheat says it is beginning a review of its brand and packaging, which features a black chef holding up a piping hot bowl of cereal. “B&G Foods, Inc. today announced that we are initiating an immediate review of the Cream of Wheat brand packaging,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “We understand there are concerns regarding the Chef image, and we are committed to evaluating our packaging and will proactively take steps to ensure that we and our brands do not inadvertently contribute to systemic racism.” Meanwhile, the company that makes Uncle Ben’s rice said Wednesday that “now was the right time to evolve” the brand.

Source: Uncle Ben’s Rice To Take Black Man Off Box; Cream Of Wheat Mulls Removing Black Chef

Tucker Carlson shoots to top of cable news amid George Floyd protests | WND

Fox News host Tucker Carlson topped all comers in cable news ratings on Monday after a week in which the conservative pundit lost advertisers over comments he made about protests following the death of George Floyd.

Carlson drew nearly 4.2 million viewers during Monday’s 8 p.m. Eastern prime-time slot, coming in ahead of fellow Fox News personality Sean Hannity, who normally enjoys the largest news audience on cable, TVNewser reported.

Hannity drew approximately 3.7 million viewers at 9 p.m. Eastern and FNC’s “The Five” came in third, with about 3.3 million.

MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” was the top drawer among non-Fox programming, with an audience of 2.7 million at 9 p.m. Eastern.

Carlson lost some high-profile advertisers last week after he said the protests following the death of George Floyd are “definitely not about black lives.”

Among those pulling ads were ABC, whose parent company is Disney, T-Mobile and Papa John’s Pizza.

In a segment that aired on June 8, Carlson said regarding the protests, “No matter what they tell you, it has very little to do with black lives. If only it did.”

“If Democratic leaders cared about saving the lives of black people — and they should — they wouldn’t ignore the murder of thousands of black men in their cities every year.”

“They wouldn’t put abortion clinics in black neighborhoods,” Carlson said.

“They would instead do their very best to improve the public schools and to encourage intact families.”

He concluded, “This may be a lot of things, this moment we are living through, but it is definitely not about black lives and remember that when they come for you, and at this rate, they will.”

The hashtag “IStandWithTuckerCarlson” was trending on Twitter on Friday.

BlazeTV host Elijah Schaffer was among those voicing his support.

“The mob will stop at nothing to destroy the lives of anyone who criticizes them,” he wrote.

“Advertiser exodus is the new book burning, canceling anyone you disagree with,” Schaffer added.



On the streets & online

The mob will stop at nothing to destroy the lives of anyone who criticizes them

Be prepared when they come after you

It will happen eventually

Advertiser exodus is the new book burning, canceling anyone you disagree with https://twitter.com/stillgray/status/1270248152851820550 

Ian Miles Cheong


The viral Tweet that’s making the rounds of Tucker Carlson’s monologue tonight is about a minute long, and cuts out the majority of his speech. Here’s the full clip.

They don’t want you to see this.

Embedded video

693 people are talking about this

Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe tweeted on Wednesday that she believes Carlson is drawing such a large audience because people are looking for independent thinking.

“I think there is a reason Tucker Carlson and Joe Rogan are thriving right now in the current media landscape,” Boothe wrote.

Lisa Boothe


I think there is a reason Tucker Carlson and Joe Rogan are thriving right now in the current media landscape. People are hungry for fearlessness and independent thinking when so many engage in groupthink.

16.8K people are talking about this

“People are hungry for fearlessness and independent thinking when so many engage in groupthink.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Source: Tucker Carlson shoots to top of cable news amid George Floyd protests

New Poll Shows Americans Deeply Unhappy, Which Is What Happens When You Lock Them Up And Call Them Racist — The Federalist

American happiness has reached a 50-year low as Americans remain locked up and condemned for past generations’ sins.

New Poll Shows Americans Deeply Unhappy, Which Is What Happens When You Lock Them Up And Call Them Racist


The survey by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago was conducted at the end of May with a majority of the interviews done before the George Floyd riots began, but the data offers a further glimpse into the impact recent events have had on the American psyche.

According to the May 21-29 poll, just 14 percent of American adults said they were “very happy,” down from 31 percent in 2018. As far as social distancing goes, 23 percent said they felt isolated in 2019, compared to 50 percent who say so now.

As polarization over the country’s deepest divides on race reach new heights amid the 21st century woke revolution under tight pandemic lockdowns, these metrics of social isolation have likely only increased while Americans remain deeply dissatisfied with the state of the nation. Eighteen percent said they lacked companionship, which is up from 10 percent in 2018, and 30 percent reported losing their temper more often during the pandemic, compared to just 20 percent who said the same after 9/11.

The psychological stress of pandemic lockdowns had already been well-documented, with 1 in 3 Americans showing signs of clinical anxiety and depression linked to the public health emergency raising fears among experts about the exacerbation of an already existing mental health crisis.

In the nearly three weeks since the newest survey from the University of Chicago had been taken however, a nation in peril has continued to deteriorate under the rising tide of woke progressives launching an American version of the French Revolution, suppressing any dissent to the creed of “Black Lives Matter” with radical demands.

Floyd’s death in the custody of Minneapolis police sparked outrage across the country with protests that began out of earnest to demand justice for Floyd which quickly morphed into an all out cultural civil war featuring left-wing riots terrorizing cities and burning minority communities in the name of social justice.

The contemporary civil rights movement has now embraced fringe measures gone mainstream where even the slightest opposition can provoke the Jacobian mob to exile those not enthusiastically on board with the new world order in a new age of cancel culture.

While Americans remain banned from church as the mob burns down the church, it’s no wonder Americans are so unhappy. Now they’re being called racist at every turn, from their Kellogg’s box being discriminatory to their favorite classics being vilified, even if they feature prominent success stories of black actors. Americans can’t even watch television shows on cops and risk being condemned as racist from their neighbors for not posting black boxes on their social media profiles to declare their support with the latest Marxist movement. And no one would ever dare say “all lives matter,” (which includes black lives by the way), because that can get them fired.

[Get a rundown of all the woke insanity here]

The new racial binary is tearing the nation apart, and worse, it’s making Americans hate their own country.

According to a new Gallup poll on Monday, patriotic pride has reached a record low, with only 63 percent of U.S. adults reported being either “very proud” or “extremely proud” to be American.

It seems the progressive left’s mission to rebrand the nation as an irredeemably racist empire built for the sole purpose to oppress minorities appears to be working.

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll out earlier this month shows 80 percent of American voters believe the United States has spun out of control. The other 20 percent must not be paying attention.

via New Poll Shows Americans Deeply Unhappy, Which Is What Happens When You Lock Them Up And Call Them Racist — The Federalist

The Rotten Fruit of Anti-American “Education” — David Fiorazo

What did we expect? After decades of teaching kids in America to hate their country, take a good look around because we’re now seeing some rotten fruit of the education system. This generation of young adults generally has more disdain for America, but knows far less about actual U.S. history.

But they do know all about LGBT causes, climate change, Planned Parenthood, and Black Lives Matter. Education has become a weapon in the hands of progressives, atheists, and socialists who hijacked public schools and universities – and it’s all coming to a boiling point.

Now would be a good time to pray for God to intervene. During the recent protests, riots, and mob violence, communities have been destroyed, thousands have been injured, and many more lives have been lost forever. But these countless stories don’t fit the media narrative.

Historic statues are being defaced or torn down. Instructions were even sent out on how to topple monuments. The occupation of some of those facing felony charges across the country? School teachers. No, the current chaos and division are not all the fault of government-run education, but decades of groundwork has been laid poisoning a generation.

The United States is in the process of being fundamentally and radically transformed as socialism has made much progress. Our great grandparents once said “It could never happen in America.” But it did – and we’re now living with the consequences of surrendering the education of our children.

The left says we’re an evil nation of systemic or “institutional racism.” Joe Biden is campaigning for change! But he’s been in elected office since 1972. If it’s true we’re racist, think about this: Democrats control every major institution in America including the mainstream media, administrative government, Hollywood, and big tech.

Surveys indicate students have been told what to think, especially when it comes to politics, religion, history, and morality. In a recent Monmouth University poll, 58 percent of respondents with a four-year degree said rioting and vandalism are either “fully or partially justified” because of racism. Another poll showed 62 percent of young people are okay with looting, which is theft of someone else’s property! Hard working people’s lives are being destroyed wherever there’s a major protest.

Then there’s the utter destruction and rebellion. I wouldn’t expect most people under 35 to know this, but Matthias Baldwin was a Christian and abolitionist that lobbied against slavery for three decades. Ironically, Black Lives Matter protesters tore down a statue of Baldwin in Philadelphia.

A college professor at the University of Alabama actually provided on-line instructions on how to tear down monuments that allegedly promote nationalism and racism. Sarah Parcak tweeted a detailed description of how to pull down a monument, complete with a Black Lives Matter hashtag and advice to “let gravity work for you,” watch it topple, and get out of the way.

Next, a junior-high teacher is facing felony charges after being arrested for the destruction of a confederate monument at the University of Mississippi. The suspect has been identified as former UM graduate, Zachary Borenstein. A fundraiser was launched to bail him out. Arielle Hudson, a 2016 UM graduate said Borenstein was arrested “after making a strong stance against oppression and racism.” More than 600 donors contributed to raise $20,000 for the felon.

And what solution did the school chancellor come up with? Move the monument somewhere else.

To spark discussion last year, a public school teacher in Detroit wore a sweatshirt that boldly declared “Columbus was a murderer.” Don’t think she’s a lone ranger. In Rhode Island last week, Middle School teacher, Derrick Garforth, was arrested for vandalizing a statue of Christopher Columbus. He teaches social studies.

In the southwest, the University of Arizona offers students academic credit for internship with anti-capitalist, far-left extremist groups. An arm of Black Lives Matter, The Alliance for Global Justice is one option listed under the university’s Public Management and Policy Internship’s site. Part of its campaign is to Defund the Police.  Another project co-funded by the alliance, Refuse Fascism, actively works to overthrow President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

This is part of the modern university system.

It’s clear, the roots of anti-American indoctrination began over 75 years ago at our universities with the help of Fabian socialists coming over from Europe and in public schools with the help of atheists such as John Dewey, the Father of Modern Education. This virus has now spread into all levels of learning. Radical professors attack the ideals of western civilization and especially the Judeo-Christian values America was founded upon.

It’s easy to see the rotten fruit of the National Education Association. Remove God’s Law, Family values, Christianity, respect for authority, truth, and fixed moral absolutes? Anything goes.

Please understand, I was raised in a family of teachers; from both parents to my sisters to an uncle and cousin, so I understand most had good intentions and truly cared about children. But today, it’s obvious the system has been hijacked by the left and is practically an arm of the Democrat Party.

Since God, voluntary prayer, the Bible, and the 10 Commandments were expelled decades ago, truth has been redefined, emotion and experience are supreme, social justice activism is expected, text books have been rewritten, and history will never be the same.

Education has been weaponized by radicals and used to chip away at what this country used to be. Under code words such as diversity, inclusion, health, equality, sex education, tolerance, white privilege and wokeness, most schools proudly promote anti-Christian and anti-American ideas.

So who has this very influential weapon been used against? Jesus, the truth, biblical morality, conservatives, the church, America’s founders, Republicans, and the Judeo-Christian principles this country was established upon. I’m not saying there aren’t some good teachers out there, but their hands are tied and their frustrations are at a tipping point – just like our culture.

As government schools help stoke anti-American cultural fires, the homeschooling movement is rapidly growing for obvious reasons. Public schools have become toxic. Yes, some students do escape with their worldview intact, but after years of secular instruction, the majority are thoroughly programmed to conform to the world.

The only solution is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Individuals can still be saved, but education and major institutions as a whole are past the point of redemption or reform. They are anti-Christ. The battle lines have been clearly drawn and we better stay strong in the Lord and understand the times.


Video courtesy of Freedom Project Media

via The Rotten Fruit of Anti-American “Education” — David Fiorazo

The Sexual Roots of Civil Rebellion and Its Youth Victims — Christian Research Network

Along with racial reconciliation messages, social justice lessons neatly incorporate “LGBTQ” propaganda and it’s almost impossible to object (you are automatically a “racist”). Never forget, Black Lives Matter fully embraces the whole sexual deviance agenda, even calling for the end of the traditional family, which they call the “western nuclear family.”

(Linda Harvey – Mission: America)  The USA Today headline was intended to pull heart strings: “Internet has proven to be an LGBTQ ‘lifeline.’” But for those who have been standing against the full surrender of America to depravity, it was gag-worthy.

Because you know who they focused on: kids.

The article features a 14- year- old New York girl who was looking forward to her first ‘Pride’ march this summer. “Pride is a pledge that you are valid and you are loved.” Also highlighted is a 12-year old “girl” (possibly a gender-confused boy) named Eevee. But since many homosexual parades are cancelled for 2020, online “pride” is where these children should turn.

Or not, if somehow a sane adult could intervene.

We need to take a hard look at the  “LGBTQ” agenda targeting youth, now online, which is dangerous enough. But that movement is sometimes the prelude to the next step: becoming revolutionaries. View article →


LGBTQ Agenda


via The Sexual Roots of Civil Rebellion and Its Youth Victims — Christian Research Network

June 18, 2020 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

Mid-Day Snapshot · June 18, 2020


“Let justice be done though the heavens should fall.” —John Adams (1777)

Atlanta DA’s Politically Motivated Injustice

Fulton County DA charges cop in a transparent move to save his political career.

Mass Police Resignations Ensure Societal Chaos

Given the Left’s amped up war on cops, it’s no wonder officers are leaving the job.

Reform, Tokenism, and Kente Cloths

When real reform is needed, Democrats waste time with political charades.

Facebook’s ‘Fact-Checkers’ Wrongly Target Us … Again

Yet another instance of (wrong) opinion masquerading as “fact” on social media.

Why We Ask

For nearly 24 years, your Patriot Post team has battled the mainstream media’s grip on public opinion. With current news coverage so focused on sensationalism over facts, our commitment to wade through it all to find you the actual news is more important than ever. Our hope is that you’ve found our editions during this time to be a source of solace and reason amidst all the insanity.

Because we don’t accept advertising — keeping us free from advertiser influence — we are 100% funded by supporters like you! This is a trying moment in our nation’s history — but if you’re able to help, please make your secure online donation today. Thank you for your steadfast devotion to Liberty. —Christy Chesterton, Director of Advancement



Trump and Bolton: Id vs. Id

The president and his former national security advisor are still butting heads.

Introducing the BSA’s ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ Badge

Yet another move pandering to the cultural sensibilities of leftist board members.

Biden’s Contemptuous Arrogance

The former VP and senator may be politically savvy, but he’s not principled.

Why Keep the Death Penalty?

Some folks are learning the wrong lessons from a string of government abuses.

The Cultural Consequences When Fathers Abandoned Children

Rarely is the lack of fatherhood more evident than when observing the social entropy of urban civil unrest.

Anonymous Person Returns Historic American Flag Taken During Riots

“A woman in Reno, Nevada, got an unexpected delivery … after a piece of American history went missing.”

Video: Rage of Icons: Words Fail, Flags and Statues Fall

Can conservatives connect with a generation nursed on pictures, not words?

Video: Walter Williams on Whether the U.S. Is Systemically Racist

“For black Americans, the civil-rights struggle is over and it’s won.”


How Cultural Revolutions Die — Or Not
An Opportunity for Trump in Tulsa
Gorsuch Takes the Road Less Gaveled
10 Takeaways From the Anti-Police Brutality Protests
It’s Time to Talk About Recession
For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

Thursday News Executive Summary

Trump rejects Shutdown 2.0, DOJ eyes Big Tech, cops vote with their feet, and more.

Thursday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Ben Shapiro, Walter Williams, Herschel Walker, and more.


For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.


For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

“The Patriot Post” (https://patriotpost.us)

Siberia’s persistent, freakishly mild weather is reverberating around the world
On a temperature map these days, Siberia shows up as a bright red splotch, like a widespread rash on the Earth’s surface. This region has seen persistently extreme temperatures since the winter, which has led to a damaging Arctic oil spill, sparked early outbreaks of large wildfires and helped vault global temperatures to new milestones.

China volcano region ‘in active stage’ as scientists warn of looming eruption
Researchers believe that the Wei Mountain volcano in China’s northeast region of Heilongjiang is sitting on top of a large amount of magma, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) has said. Modelling suggests that there are two enormous magma chambers underneath the volcano that are bigger than the volcano itself.

US fighter jets intercept 8 Russian warplanes near Alaska for 4th time in a week
U.S. Air Force F-22 fighter jets were scrambled to intercept Russian bombers flying near Alaska two separate times late Tuesday night, marking the third and fourth intercepts in a single week.

Nano-motor of just 16 atoms runs at the boundary of quantum physics
Researchers … have created one of the smallest motors ever made. It’s composed of just 16 atoms, and at that tiny size it seems to function right on the boundary between classical physics and the spooky quantum realm. Like its macroscopic counterparts, this mini motor is made up of a moving part (the rotor) and a fixed part (the stator). The stator in this case is a cluster of six palladium atoms and six gallium atoms arranged in a rough triangular shape. Meanwhile, the rotor is a four-atom acetylene molecule, which rotates on the surface of the stator. The whole machine measures less than a nanometer wide.

Report: Over 60 Soldiers Killed in Battle Waged Between China and India
For several weeks, tensions along the border between China and India have heated up. But the tensions seemed to have taken a turn for the worst on Tuesday. That’s because although initial reports came out claiming that three Indian soldiers have been killed in the eastern Ladakh region of the Himalayas, current updates are showing that 20 Indian soldiers were killed during hand-to-hand combat in the skirmishes and over 40 Chinese soldiers were killed.

Drought may leave Central Oregon irrigation districts out of water this year
One or more irrigation districts could be limited this year, said Jeremy Giffin, the Deschutes Basin watermaster, due to drought conditions that have afflicted Central Oregon for several years. Limitations could result in having to curtail or shut down a district’s diversion until more natural flow becomes available, he said. Drought has kept reservoir levels in the area at or near historic lows.

No relief in sight for drought gripping northern New Mexico
I really didn’t want to see this,” he said, swirling his mouse over a patch of brown in the Four Corners area. “Not a lot of good news there. This is showing some probability for below-average precipitation for northwest New Mexico.” Experts agree 2020 is shaping up to be a challenging year for water in New Mexico.

Drought hitting western areas hard
Drought. North Dakota is a state divided right now. By water. A look at the Drought Monitor since early April shows drought conditions spreading across the western portion of the state, with a large section now experiencing moderate drought conditions.

Dust from the Sahara Desert is heading for the Gulf of Mexico and Alabama
It’s that time of year again, folks! Dust from the Sahara Desert is becoming highly concentrated in the atmosphere across North Africa and the eastern Atlantic Ocean. The huge plume of dust is beginning its yearly westward trek across the Atlantic Ocean. While the exact dates of the annual “Saharan dust migration” vary from year to year, mid-June is a very common time for it to occur.

5.4-magnitude earthquake hits Red Sea, rattling Eilat
A 5.4-magnitude earthquake struck Tuesday in the middle of the Red Sea, some 245 kilometers (150 miles) south of the resort town Eilat. Shaking was felt as far north as the Sinai Peninsula. No damage or injuries were reported in Israel.

World-Leading Infectious Disease Expert Explains Why Government Lockdowns Should End
Ioannidis has become perhaps the leading medical voice against COVID-19 alarmism and government lockdowns. a May 5 white paper he authored which suggested COVID-19 was not nearly as deadly as initially feared, a claim later supported by an NPR report that cited research from Johns Hopkins University showing a fatality risk as low as 0.5 percent. Ioannidis’s latest research on the COVID fatality rate pegs the median COVID-19 fatality risk at 0.25 percent, much lower than previous estimates … the lockdown-to-flatten-the-curve rationale ignores seasonality and espouses 100 year old observational data from a 1918 pandemic with an infection fatality rate 100 times higher than covid-19.

EU votes to formalize ‘Open Skies’ agreement with Israel
The European Parliament voted to formalize its “Open Skies” agreement with Israel late Wednesday, granting final approval to a temporary aviation agreement reached between the European Union and the State of Israel in 2013…the Euro-Mediterranean Aviation Agreement…contains …regulations…including fair competition, respect of labor standards, protection of passenger rights, and environmental safeguard measures.

Rockets targeted US embassy in Baghdad in sixth recent incident
Two rockets were fired at Baghdad’s Green Zone on Wednesday night. This is the latest in a series of attacks that have included rockets aimed and fired at US forces at Camp Taji, as well as rocket attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad and near the international airport. Other attacks took place on June 8, June 10, June 13, June 14 and June 16.

Syria war: New US sanctions target Assad government’s foreign backers
The US has imposed tough new economic sanctions aimed at deterring foreign business activity with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. The measures in the Caesar Act seek to compel the government to “halt its murderous attacks” on civilians and accept a peaceful political transition. For the first time, Mr Assad’s wife Asma has been targeted personally.

Europe threatens digital taxes without global deal, after U.S. quits talks
France said a U.S. decision to quit global talks on how to tax big digital firms such as Google, Amazon and Facebook was a “provocation” and the European Union said it could impose taxes even if no deal was reached by year-end. The latest transatlantic trade row was ignited after the Washington said…it was withdrawing from negotiations…saying talks had made no progress.

EU cuts grant to Palestinian group refusing to sign anti-terror clause
The European Union has canceled a grant to a Palestinian non-profit organization after it refused to sign an anti-terrorism clause…to guarantee that…the funds would be transferred to…terrorist organizations. The Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residence and Refugee Rights has obtained more than $1.9 million…to expose…Israeli human rights violations and “international crimes” in the holy city.

Turkey says it hit more than 500 Kurdish targets in northern Iraq
Turkish forces have hit more than 500 Kurdish targets in northern Iraq as part of an operation in the region against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Turkey’s Defence Ministry said. A Defence Ministry statement on Thursday said Turkish F-16 jets, drones and howitzers hit and destroyed more than 500 PKK targets in 36 hours.

Rockets hit Baghdad’s Green Zone
Rockets hit Baghdad’s Green Zone, home to the US embassy, on Thursday, the fifth such attack in 10 days, security sources inside the high-security district told AFP. AFP journalists heard at least three explosions, followed by the sound of sirens in the Green Zone.
There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

Iran successfully tests new naval cruise missile
Iran said on Thursday its navy had successfully fired a new locally made cruise missile during war games in the northern Indian Ocean and near the entrance to the Gulf. The test-firing comes as the United States is seeking an extension of a UN-imposed arms embargo against Iran, which is due to expire in October under Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. Washington withdrew from that pact.

France accuses Turkey of violating UN arms embargo on Libya
France has accused Turkey of repeated violations of the U.N. arms embargo on conflict-torn Libya and says Ankara is an obstacle to securing a ceasefire there. The European Union has a naval operation in the Mediterranean aimed helping to enforce the arms embargo, but Turkey…suspects that it is too one-sided, focusing on the internationally recognized Libyan administration in Tripoli, which Turkey supports.

It All Comes Back To The Fed: The NWO Is Being Shoved Down Our Throats
The coronavirus was a heck of a cover for the Federal Reserve’s failings, and the riots laid even more cover for what’s to come. While the masses focus on what’s happening on the surface, the real criminals laugh at our ignorance from their metaphorical ivory towers.

Al Qaeda leader taken out by ‘secret’ US missile filled with knives dubbed the ‘ninja bomb’
The journey of two senior Al Qaeda-aligned commanders in northwestern Syria on Sunday was suddenly cut short by a targeted U.S.-led strike — only it doesn’t appear that they were killed by explosives, but a missile packed with knives.

Americans Are The Saddest In 50 Years As 2020 Turmoil Crushes Hope For Kids’ Futures
Americans are more miserable in 2020 than they’ve been in nearly five decades, according to the COVID Response Tracking Study, conducted by the National Science Foundation (NORC) at the University of Chicago, reported AP News. The survey of 2,000 Americans reveals that just 14% of adults say they’re very happy, down from 31% in 2018. That year, 23% said they felt isolated, it has since doubled, now 50%.

PG&E pleads guilty to 84 counts of manslaughter in 2018 Camp Fire
The country’s largest utility pleaded guilty Tuesday to 84 felony counts of involuntary manslaughter stemming from the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history.

Massive hailstorm hits northeastern Spain, expected to drastically affect European stone fruit season
A massive hailstorm hit the stone fruit growing areas in northeastern Spain on Tuesday evening, June 16. 2020, causing extensive damage right before the harvest. According to growers, this is a big disaster that will drastically affect not only the Spanish but also the European stone fruit season.

Ready For Round 2 Of Lockdowns? CDC Liar-In-Chief Anthony Fauci Just Told Major League Baseball Not To Schedule Any Games After September
They put the whole country on lockdown because it was not safe to go outside and meet in large numbers, unless you were rioting and looting, then it was encouraged. They said liquor stores and abortion centers were essential, and banned church and gun shops. Now those same people are mentally preparing us to be locked down again, even while denying it. Which chapter of Revelation will we be in tomorrow, what section of ‘1984’ will they appropriate next? The options are endless, let’s start here.

ANTIFA Is Not ‘Fighting For Freedom’, They Are A Highly-Funded, Organized Militia Force Created To Bring In Communist Revolution To America
The very name of Planned Parenthood would lead to you believe that they seek to help people plan to become parents, when the exact opposite is true, they exist to prevent people from becoming parents by murdering their children. So it is with ANTIFA, a name that implies they are anti-fascist, when in fact they are the most resolutely virulent fascist organization in America, and around the globe.

AG Barr Orders Execution of 4 Federal Prisoners Convicted of Murdering Children
Attorney General William P. Barr ordered the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to schedule the executions by lethal injection of four federal prisoners who were convicted of murdering children and, “in two cases, raped the children they murdered,” said the Department of Justice on Monday, June 15.

Palestinians Living In The West Bank, What The Bible Calls Judea, Say With ‘100% Certainty’ That Implementation Of Annexation Has Already Begun
When Israel was regathered on May 14th, 1948, in accordance with millenia-old bible prophecies, it sent shock waves around the world. A similar milestone event happened again with the 6-Day War in 1967, a war so incredible that soldiers who fought in it said they witnessed the miracle power of Almighty God in giving Israel the very improbable victory.

Judd: 17 arrested for child pornography include Disney employees, nurse, underwear ‘ingester’
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd detailed the arrests and charges of 17 suspects, including Disney and hospital employees, accused of downloading or distributing child pornography featuring children as young as a few months old.

Anthony Fauci Admits Feds Initially Misled About Face Masks
The federal government initially told Americans not to wear face masks in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic at least partially to ensure health care workers had an adequate supply, Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted, despite telling the public that masks wouldn’t be effective in stopping the spread of the virus.

Headlines – 6/18/2020

UAE official: Israeli annexation may increase calls for single binational state

Netanyahu Aides Fear U.S. May Drop Annexation if PM Can’t Reach Deal With Gantz

Abbas’ adviser: Annexation will lead to intifada

In first, EU nixes grant to Palestinian NGO refusing to sign anti-terror clause

Finance minister denies Netanyahu seeking new elections with budget U-turn push

Blue and White helps sink bill barring PM under indictment, which it initiated

US hits Syria with toughest sanctions yet to push Assad to end war

US imposes sanctions on Syrian president’s wife under Caesar Act

Syria says new tougher US sanctions breach international law

Syria war: New US sanctions target Assad government’s foreign backers

Greek PM in Israel says Turkey a ‘threat to regional peace’

Turkey launches major attack on Kurdish militants in Iraq

Danger: Iran’s Arms Embargo About to Expire

German intelligence said to warn Iran still seeking nuclear weapons

US fighter jets intercept 8 Russian warplanes near Alaska for 4th time in a week

Conviction of Philippine journalist points to ‘orchestrated attempt’ to silence Duterte critics

Rocks, Clubs Used in Deadly Border Clash Between Chinese and Indian Troops

Taiwan warns off intruding Chinese aircraft for fourth time in nine days

Pompeo meets Chinese counterpart in Hawaii to talk trade, Hong Kong, human rights

Republicans prepare for energy ‘cold war’ with China

Boris Johnson’s car crashes with security vehicle after protester jumps out

How Has Winston Churchill Become a Central Figure in the British Black Lives Matter Debate?

UN human rights chief calls for reparations to make amends for slavery

In Tulsa, fears that Trump rally may worsen racial unrest, spread of coronavirus

Fired Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe charged with felony murder in shooting death of Rayshard Brooks

Jesse Watters accuses Atlanta DA of ‘political overcharge’ of ex-officer in Rayshard Brooks case

Washington DC faces House vote to become the 51st state in the aftermath of protests

Nothing Is Safe From the Cancel Culture Mob

Popular Mechanics publishes how-to guide to take down statues ‘without anyone getting hurt’

Aunt Jemima brand to change name, remove image that Quaker says is ‘based on a racial stereotype’

Uncle Ben’s ‘Evolving’ Its Brand Identity After Aunt Jemima Name Change

Conagra Brands reviewing Mrs. Butterworth’s brand after Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s announcements

Racist Rice Krispies? Disgraced Ex Labour MP Targets Kellogg’s over ‘White Boys’ Snap, Crackle, and Pop

Atlanta megachurch pastor faces criticism for suggesting ‘white blessing’ replace term ‘white privilege’

Facebook removes 900 more accounts linked to white supremacist groups

YouTube Alleged to Racially Profile Via Artificial Intelligence, Algorithms

Civil Rights Groups Push for Facebook Ad Boycott

DOJ takes aim at law that shields tech companies from lawsuits over material their users post

Google faces $5 billion lawsuit for tracking people in incognito mode

Facebook aims to help voters, but won’t block Trump misinformation

Bolton Says House Should Have Investigated Trump for Impeachable Actions Beyond Ukraine

Bolton: Trump asked China for reelection help, encouraged camps for Uighurs

Lighthizer denies Bolton claim that Trump asked China’s Xi for 2020 help: ‘Never happened. I was there’

President Trump: Replace The Dollar With Gold As The Global Currency To Make America Great Again

NASA rushing to complete Mars launch before planet moves out of range. Mission to include first-ever helicopter exploration.

SpaceX to build floating spaceports for hypersonic flights around Earth

5.6 magnitude earthquake hits near Hihifo, Tonga

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 24,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 21,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 14,000ft

Semeru volcano in Indonesia erupts to 12,000ft

Saharan Dust from Africa will stretch toward the US, putting the hurricane season on pause

Violent tornado injures 12 people, damages 70 houses in Odisha, India

Massive hailstorm hits northeastern Spain, expected to drastically affect European stone fruit season

Arizona wildfire now the largest in US after doubling in size, burn scar seen from space

Scientists worry ‘Operation Warp Speed’ is missing tried and true vaccines

Sweden’s top epidemiologist at a loss to explain why herd immunity is going ‘surprisingly slow’

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

Americans Should Never Again Comply With Pandemic Lockdown Orders — The Federalist

By treating Black Lives Matters protests differently than other large gatherings, public officials and health experts have exposed themselves as hypocrites.

Americans Should Never Again Comply With Pandemic Lockdown Orders

We’re told a second wave of coronavirus infections is coming. As businesses open back up and states relax lockdown orders, the number of new cases is ticking up in a handful of states. We’ve heard warnings in recent days from the Centers for Disease Control and various public health experts and elected officials that a new series of lockdowns might be necessary.

What these experts and officials don’t seem to realize is that Americans will never comply with their lockdown orders again. They have burned their credibility to the ground, and they no longer have the moral authority to tell us what to do.

Simply put, the people in charge have shown themselves to be rank hypocrites who care more about politics than science. For months, we were told that large gatherings were deadly because of the coronavirus, but when protests broke out in late May, large gatherings were suddenly okay.

The exact day the experts lost their credibility was June 4, when more than 1,000 public health workers signed a letter claiming the protests were “vital to the national public health and to the threatened health specifically of black people in the United States.” The woke corporate press scrambled to assure us this wasn’t hypocritical at all, and that “health is about more than simply remaining free of coronavirus infection,” as a pair of epidemiologists put it in The Atlantic.

That’s a curious argument to make after forced business closures and lockdown orders destroyed tens of millions of American jobs, ruined countless businesses and livelihoods, and caused a sharp uptick in suicides, drug overdoses, and domestic abuse. Never mind the compelling research showing that lockdowns are overall much worse for public health than the coronavirus.

But if public health experts cared about more than just steering clear of the coronavirus at any cost, you wouldn’t have known it based on their pandemic policies—that is, until the George Floyd protests and Black Lives Matter (BLM) rallies came along. Here at last was something more important than stopping the virus.

And it wasn’t just public health experts. Elected officials were all too willing to use their power to promote ideology at the expense of public health—and then turn around and punish disfavored groups in the name of public health.

Witness the appalling double standard of men like New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio. On Monday, city workers welded shut the gates of a Brooklyn playground frequented by members of the Hasidic Jewish community in Williamsburg. They claimed it was necessary to stop the spread of the coronavirus. But this happened one day after the city allowed a massive “Black Trans Lives Matter” rally in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza that attracted thousands of protesters packed together in close quarters.

Officially, large gatherings are still banned in New York as part of the city’s pandemic response. So are playgrounds, including the one whose gates were welded shut Monday, because the city “found a lack of regard for social distancing” at the parks, according to a de Blasio spokeswoman.

There are two only possible conclusions here. Either de Blasio somehow believes that catching COVID-19 isn’t a risk if you’re at a BLM rally, or he doesn’t actually care about preventing the spread of the virus and wants to use the pandemic to exercise arbitrary power over New Yorkers, punishing those who defy him and indulging those who share his political views.

Either way, no one should take anything de Blasio says about the pandemic seriously, and no New Yorker should ever again obey a lockdown order issued from his office.

Their Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds

The same story is playing out all over the country. Mayors who did nothing to prevent mass protests in recent weeks—and in some cases joined protesters, in violation of their own lockdown orders—have maintained draconian restrictions on other types of gatherings, stricktly limiting the number of people who can congregate in restaurants, shops, gyms, and houses of worship.

In Washington, D.C., which has seen days on end of massive BLM protests, some numbering in the hundreds of thousands, Mayor Muriel Bowser on Wednesday announced the city would begin “phase 2” of its reopening next week. For restaurants, that means no more than 50 percent capacity, tables six feet apart, and all diners must be seated at the tables.

Same thing in Los Angeles, where thousands converged on Hollywood Boulevard Sunday for a Black Trans Lives Matter rally. Video footage of the event showed attendees packed tightly together on the street, with no possibility of social distancing. According to news reports, there were no police present at the rally, and the city made no effort to stop it or limit attendance.

But like D.C. and other cities, Los Angeles still has strict pandemic policies for businesses, churches, and just about everything else. For houses of worship, the city has issued elaborate guidelines for reopening, including a limit to the total number of people, clergy, and parishioners combined, who can attend a service: 25 percent of building capacity or 100 people, whichever is lower.

Why these restrictions should apply to churches but not to massive political protests, the city does not say. It’s all very confusing.

BLM Rallies Are Safe, Trump Rallies Are Not?

The starkest contradiction of all might be the reactions to President Trump’s rally planned for Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Local health officials are warning it could become a disastrous “super spreader” event—a term media outlets like The New York Times have been eager to repeat under headlines warning, “Trump’s rally in Tulsa Could Spread Virus,” using language they would never use to describe any of the large-scale protests, rallies, and riots nationwide.

Some media pundits make no apologies for this obvious double standard. Tuesday on ABC’s “The View,” Joy Behar claimed Trump doesn’t care about his supporters’ health and safety because he’s willing to hold a rally amid the pandemic, and that his rally is more risky than the protests because it’ll be indoors, whereas the protests are mostly outdoors. Okay, Joy.

Public officials in Tulsa have also adopted this double standard. The mayor and a cadre of other officials have publicly implored Trump not to go ahead with the rally, citing concerns about COVID-19. But these same officials dared not say a word against recent BLM rallies held in the city and suburbs, including a large one that got out of control and spilled onto a busy highway, where several protesters were injured.

The double standard is everywhere and undeniable, and the message is clear: the experts and the people in charge only care about the pandemic when it’s politically convenient. They’re guided by the science, they tell us, but only if the science doesn’t get in the way of their virtue-signaling about Black Lives Matter.

They care about public health, but only up to a point. They care much more about being woke. And if you want to go to a big rally, it’s only safe if it’s the right kind of rally.

Enough of this. Americans should never listen to these people again.

via Americans Should Never Again Comply With Pandemic Lockdown Orders — The Federalist

Banks About To Get Fried? Possible If This Gives Way! — Kimble Charting Solutions

Are banks about to get fried? Sure could if current support fails to hold!

This chart looks at Financial ETF (XLF) from Marketsmith.com on a weekly basis over the past 7-years.

XLF has remained inside of bullish rising channel (1) for the past 5-years. Weakness took it below the bottom of the channel during the February/March declines.

The rally over the past 90-days saw XLF kiss the underside of the rising channel at (2), where it created a bearish reversal pattern.

Since the March lows, XLF could be forming a bearish rising wedge, with the bottom of the wedge being tested as support this week at (3).

Could Banks get fried again? If support breaks at (3), look for underperforming banks, to outperform the broad markets on the downside.

via Banks About To Get Fried? Possible If This Gives Way! — Kimble Charting Solutions