Daily Archives: June 27, 2020

June 27 The Next Step


In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
(Proverbs 16:9, NIV)

Have you been asking God for specific direction for your life? You should, for He knows the next step you need to take. When you’re in His will, you can pray with greater faith, because you know you’re doing what He has told you to. John says, “We have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him” (1 John 3:21,22, NIV).

God knows what it will take to turn you around and get you moving in the right direction! For Jonah it took three days at the bottom of the ocean. Listen: “But Jonah ran away from the Lord” (John 1:3, NIV). Imagine, trying to run from God! Where are you going to go? For the prodigal son, it meant losing every penny and every friend he had. Has it occurred to you that nobody is coming to bail you out this time? God won’t let them. The pressure you’re feeling right now is just His way of getting you back in line. The only thing that will truly make you feel good about yourself again will be finding and doing God’s will. Otherwise, your life is pointless! Paul said, “I have finished my course” (2 Timothy 4:7). Try to envision the finish! What will that scene be like? Will you be able to look back with joy and say the same thing?


If you can, then truly nothing else will matter![1]


[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 178). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

June 27 Rader of the Lost Souls


Isaiah 30:21

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it.”

Evangelist Paul Rader had often spoken to a certain banker in New York concerning his soul, but to no avail. One day God seemed to speak to Rader, urging him to go immediately and once again seek out this individual. Obediently he caught a train and went to the banker’s house. As he approached the house, he saw the banker standing in the doorway. “Oh, Rader,” the banker said, “I’m so glad to see you. I wrote a letter begging you to come, but I tore it up.”

“That may be so,” replied the evangelist, “but your message came by way of heaven.” Under deep conviction of sin, the man was impressed by Rader’s special effort to reach him with the gospel. Consequently, that very hour he accepted the Lord. In his newfound joy he exclaimed, “Rader, did you ever see the sky so blue or the grass so green?” Suddenly the banker leaned heavily against Rader, then with a gasp fell into his arms—dead! He had been saved on the very brink of eternity. What if Paul Rader had delayed to come, taking the promptings of the Lord with less urgency? Let us always be keenly sensitive to the Lord’s leadings.[1]


[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 186). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

June 27, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

loving money ignores the true gain

But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. (6:6)

This verse is closely connected with verse 5. De (but) could also be translated “indeed.” In that case, Paul would be saying in response to the false teachers who saw their religious activity as a way to get rich, “Indeed, godliness does provide great gain.” The NASB translation reflects an adversative sense of the word. Paul’s meaning then is “But as over against the false understanding of godliness displayed by the false teachers, true godliness does result in great gain.” The apostle’s point is that true godliness is profitable, but not as some think.

Godliness translates eusebeia, a familiar term in the Pastoral Epistles. It means “piety,” “reverence,” or “likeness to God,” and here even “religion,” in the true sense. As such, it describes true holiness, spirituality, and virtue. When accompanied by contentment, such religion or godliness is a means of great gain. Autarkēia (contentment) means “self-sufficiency,” and was used by the Cynic and Stoic philosophers to describe the person who was unflappable, unmoved by outside circumstances, and who properly reacted to his environment (cf. Geoffrey B. Wilson, The Pastoral Epistles [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1982], 85). To be content means to be satisfied and sufficient, and to seek nothing more than what one has.

For the Christian, unlike the Greek philosophers, contentment derives from God. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:5, “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.” In 2 Corinthians 9:8 he adds, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.” The apostle gave testimony to his own contentment in Philippians 4:11–13:

I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

In verse 19 of the same chapter he adds, “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” For the believer, then, contentment is more than a mere noble human virtue. It is based on the sufficiency provided by God the Father and Jesus Christ. Loving money deprives one of that contentment, thus ignoring the true gain provided by true godliness.

True godliness produces contentment and spiritual riches. People are truly rich when they are content with what they have. The richest person is the one who doesn’t need anything else. When asked the secret of contentment, the Greek philosopher Epicurus replied, “Add not to a man’s possessions but take away from his desires” (cited in William Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975], 129). He is richest who desires the least. Proverbs 30:8–9 puts it this way: “Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, lest I be full and deny Thee and say, “Who is the Lord?” Or lest I be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.”

A godly person is motivated not by the love of money but by the love of God. He seeks the true riches of spiritual contentment that come from complete trust in an all-sufficient God. David said in Psalm 63:1–5,

O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; my soul thirsts for Thee, my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have beheld Thee in the sanctuary, to see Thy power and Thy glory. Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise Thee. So I will bless Thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Thy name. My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips (cf. Ps. 107:9; Isa. 55:2; 58:11).

No amount of money will make up for a lack of contentment. John D. Rockefeller once said, “I have made many millions, but they have brought me no happiness.” Cornelius Vanderbilt added, “The care of millions is too great a load … there is no pleasure in it.” Millionaire John Jacob Astor described himself as “the most miserable man on earth.” Despite his wealth, Henry Ford once remarked, “I was happier doing mechanic’s work.” And John D. Rockefeller commented, “The poorest man I know is the man who has nothing but money.”

Love of money and contentment are mutually exclusive. As a Roman proverb put it, money is like sea water, the more you drink the thirstier you get (Barclay, The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, 132). Ecclesiastes 5:10 sums it up, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money.”[1]

6 In the first saying, Paul asserts that the true sign of “godliness” (eusebeia, GK 2354; see comments at 2:2) is “contentment” (autarkeia, GK 894; see 2 Co 9:8; Php 4:11; cf. Ps 34:10); such contented godliness is truly profitable (NIV, “gain,” porismos). Contentment, defined as “self-sufficiency,” was considered a virtue in Greek (Cynic-Stoic) philosophy. Paul, however, did not advocate that version of contentment. Rather, “putting new wine in old wineskins” (cf. Frederick E. Brenk, “Old Wineskins Recycled: Autarkeia in 1 Timothy 6.5–10,” Filologia neotestamentaria 3 [May 1990]:39–52), he “ ‘turned the tables’on the Stoics by declaring that genuine autarkeia is not self-sufficiency but Christ-sufficiency” (Fee, 143). Such true contentment is set in contrast to the greed of always wanting more,which leads to the exploitation of others.

In essence, “godliness” is not an avenue for material gain; as a spiritual virtue, it is “gain” in and of itself. This message has strong countercultural implications in the increasingly materialistic cultures of Western society. Even Christians are frequently drawn into a pattern of excessive debt, consumer spending, and status-consciousness based on material possessions (see “Consumerism,” “Debt,” and “Economics,” in Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, ed. A. S. Moreau [Grand Rapids: Baker, 2000], 224–25, 262–63, 297–99).[2]

6 As indicated by the repetition of the two key terms, “gain” and “godliness,” and the linking “to be” verb (now moved to emphatic position), Paul turns the negative assessment just made inside out to correct (and further condemn) the heretical distortion of values. While the repetition of thoughts is rhetorically significant, it is the expansions he introduces, and the implicit redefinition of “godliness” that results, that shift the direction of meaning.

First, Paul takes the discussion to a higher level than the heretical understanding is able to reach. The “great gain” he associates with “godliness” exceeds the limited material “gain” sought by the opponents.

Second, his repetition of the term “godliness,” bearing the profound meaning of authentic Christian existence, also seeks a higher, spiritual level of meaning. The further qualification of it as “godliness with contentment [or self-sufficiency]” removes godliness from the material limitations of the false teachers’ motives and substantiates Paul’s spiritual thrust. The qualifying phrase contains a term that was essential to Stoic philosophy (and present also in Cynic and Epicurean teaching), where it expressed the notion of “self-sufficiency,” emphasized detachment from things or outside possessions, and stressed independence. Paul was clearly in touch with this theme (Phil 4:11–12; 2 Cor 9:8), but supplied a Christian basis for it. By introducing the counter-materialistic concept of self-sufficiency as an element of “godliness,” there is no room left for the acquisitiveness and financial implications attached by the false teachers. With a slight shift, the term comes to mean the satisfaction or contentment with what one already has. In the present context, both ideas converge (cf. the adjective in Phil 4:11). Godliness is not about acquiring better and more material things; it is instead an active life of faith, a living out of covenant faithfulness in relation to God, that finds sufficiency and contentment in Christ alone whatever one’s outward circumstances might be.[3]

6:6 / This verse stands in immediate contrast to the last words in verse 5, with a striking play on terms. They think godliness “is a way to become rich.” They are partly right. There is great gain (or profit, now used metaphorically) in eusebeia, provided it is accompanied by contentment, that is, if one is satisfied with what one has and does not seek material gain.

The word autarkeia (contentment) expresses the favorite virtue of Stoic and Cynic philosophers, for whom it meant “self-sufficiency,” or the ability to rely on one’s own inner resources. There are some (D-C, Hanson, Brox, et al.) who see that philosophical tradition as lying behind all of verses 6–8, and they translate “if it is coupled with self-sufficiency” (D-C; cf. neb, “whose resources are within him”). But Paul has already used this word in an analogous context in Philippians 4:11; there he “turned the tables” on the Stoics by declaring that genuine autarkeia is not self-sufficiency but Christ-sufficiency. For Paul, therefore, the word means contentment, the empowering Christ gives to live above both want and plenty (Phil. 4:13). Moreover, there is no hint in 1 Timothy that its author considered anything like self-sufficiency to be a virtue. Life for him is all of grace and dependent on God’s mercies (1:12–17), and his ministry comes from Christ who appointed and empowered him for it (1:12).

Paul’s point, of course, is to combat the greed of the false teachers and, incidentally, of any others who might be tempted to lean in that direction.[4]

6:6. Godliness with contentment is great gain …

Paul repeats the word for ‘gain’ from verse 5, tying this new section to the previous one. Here, however, it is spiritual gain, spiritual riches, that he has in mind, as opposed to financial gain. ‘Godliness with contentment’ is the means to true spiritual riches. To put it in the words of Jesus, the issue is the location of our treasure (Matt. 6:21). Do we pursue the things of earth, or do we pursue the goals of heaven, including that holiness without which no one will see the Lord?

Contentment is an essential part of true godliness. Contentment in any and every situation (Phil. 4:11–12) reveals that we truly trust God’s sovereignty in our lives. Jeremiah Burroughs defines Christian contentment as ‘that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition’. Literally, the Greek word for contentment means ‘self-sufficiency’. The biblical idea is not that we are independent, not needing God or others. Rather, it is that our trust in God and our joy in him are not dependent on our outward circumstances. We quietly, graciously accept whatever comes from the hand of the Father. The world seeks contentment, but through illegitimate means, such as material gain. True spiritual contentment, the greatest form of riches, comes by trusting and resting in God’s provision.[5]

Ver. 6.—Godliness, etc. The apostle takes up the sentiment which he had just condemned, and shows that in another sense it is most true. The godly man is rich indeed. For he wants nothing in this world but what God has given him, and has acquired riches which, unlike the riches of this world, he can take away with him (comp. Luke 12:33). The enumeration of his acquired treasures follows, after a parenthetical depreciation of those of the covetous man, in ver. 11. The thought, as so often in St. Paul, is a little intricate, and its flow checked by parenthetical side-thoughts. But it seems to be as follows: “But godliness is, in one sense, a source of great gain, and moreover brings contentment with it—contentment, I say, for since we brought nothing into the world, and can carry nothing out, we have good reason to be content with the necessaties of life, food and raiment. Indeed, those who strive for more, and pant after wealth, bring nothing but trouble upon themselves. For the love of money is the root of all evil, etc. Thou, therefore, O man of God, instead of reaching after worldly riches, procure the true wealth, and become rich in righteousness, godliness, faith,” etc. (ver. 11). The phrase, Εστι δὲ πορισμὸς μέγας ἡ εὐσεβεία μετὰ αὐταρκείας, should be construed by making the μετὰ couple πορισμὸς with αὐταρκείας, so as to express that “godliness” is both “gain” and “contentment”—not as if αν̓ταρκεία qualified εὐσεβεία—that would have been expressed by the collocation, ἡ μετὰ αὐταρκείας εὐσεβεία. Contentment (αὐταρκεία). The word occurs elsewhere in the New Testament only in 2 Cor. 9:8, where it is rendered, both in the R.V. and the A.V., “sufficiency.” The adjective αὐτάρκης, found in Phil. 4:11 (and common in classical Greek), is rendered “content.” It means “sufficient in or of itself”—needing no external aid—and is applied to persons, countries, cities, moral qualities, etc. The substantive αὐταρκεία is the condition of the person, or thing, which is αὐτάρκης.[6]

6. But godliness with sufficiency is great gain. In an elegant manner, and with an ironical correction, he instantly throws back those very words in an opposite meaning, as if he had said—“They do wrong and wickedly, who make merchandise of the doctrine of Christ, as if ‘godliness were gain;’ though, undoubtedly, if we form a correct estimate of it, godliness is a great and abundant gain.” And he so calls it, because it brings to us full and perfect blessedness. Those men, therefore, are guilty of sacrilege, who, being bent on acquiring money, make godliness contribute to their gain. But for our part, godliness is a very great gain to us, because, by means of it, we obtain the benefit, not only of being heirs of the world, but likewise of enjoying Christ and all his riches.

With sufficiency. This may refer either to the disposition of the heart, or to the thing itself. If it be understood as referring to the heart, the meaning will be, that “godly persons, when they desire nothing, but are satisfied with their humble condition, have obtained very great gain.” If we understand it to be “sufficiency” of wealth, (and, for my own part, I like this view quite as well as the other,) it will be a promise, like that in the book of Psalms, “The lions wander about hungry and famished; but they that seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.” (Ps. 34:10.) The Lord is always present with his people, and, as far as is sufficient for their necessity, out of his fulness he bestows on each his portion. Thus true happiness consists in piety; and this sufficiency may be regarded as an increase of gain.[7]

6. The dictum of the false teachers is first of all admitted, yet with an all-important proviso. The notion of self-mastery inherent in the word translated contentment (autarkeia) is singularly Pauline (the noun occurs elsewhere only in 2 Cor. 9:8 and the adjective in Phil. 4:11). Godliness will only be true gain when independent of circumstances, and the apostle himself provides an admirable pattern of this in Philippians 4:11. To the Stoic notion of self-mastery Christianity brings the essential quality of a contented mind.[8]

But. Though they err, there is a sense in which ‘piety is’ not merely gain, but “great gain:” not the gaining which they pursue, which makes men discontented with present possessions, and using religion as “a cloak of covetousness” (1 Thess. 2:5) and means of earthly gain, but the present and eternal gain which piety, whose accompaniment is contentment, secures. Timothy possibly shrank from the conflict; whence Paul felt (v. 11) that Timothy needed exhortation: cf. also the second epistle. Not merely contentment is great gain (a sentiment of Cicero, ‘Parad.’ 6, ‘the greatest and surest riches’), but ‘piety with contentment;’ for piety not only feels no need of what it has not, but also has that which exalts it above what it has not (Wiesinger). [Autarkeia, contentment, is translated “sufficiency,” 2 Cor. 9:8. But the adjective, Phil. 4:11, “content,” lit., ‘having a sufficiency in one’s self’ independent of others. ‘True Lord supplies his people with what is sufficient. True happiness lies in piety; but this sufficiency is thrown into the scale as a kind of overweight’ (Calvin) (1 Ki. 17:1–16; Ps. 37:19; Isa. 33:6, 16; Jer. 37:21).[9]

6:6. Paul had just shown how the false teachers equated gain, success, and personal well-being with money. They promoted a form of outer godliness and intricate academic systems in order to draw people into their influence and so secure their financial support. Religion brought them prestige and profits.

But … This little qualifier is an important word. Paul negated the premise and goal of the false teachers. Success and personal well-being have nothing to do with rules, crowd adoration, or material prosperity: it is godliness with contentment [that] is great gain.

For Paul, godliness was the entire scope of the faith—correct doctrine combined with new life, truth measured by right living. The spiritual goals and disciplines necessary to progress in Christlikeness are to be the consuming passion of all his followers. This has nothing to do with material wealth or poverty. Material possessions are irrelevant. The human soul was not created to find contentment in the accumulation of stuff. This is a phantom that too many people chase. Personal peace is found in intimate relationship with God—this is great gain.[10]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 1 Timothy (pp. 250–252). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Köstenberger, A. (2006). 1 Timothy. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, pp. 553–554). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Towner, P. H. (2006). The Letters to Timothy and Titus (pp. 398–399). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Fee, G. D. (2011). 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus (p. 143). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Barcley, W. B. (2005). A Study Commentary on 1 and 2 Timothy (pp. 189–190). Darlington, England; Webster, NY: Evangelical Press.

[6] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). 1 Timothy (p. 120). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[7] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (pp. 157–158). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[8] Guthrie, D. (1990). Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 14, p. 127). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[9] Brown, D., Fausset, A. R., & Jamieson, R. (n.d.). A Commentary, Critical, Experimental, and Practical, on the Old and New Testaments: Acts–Revelation (Vol. VI, p. 498). London; Glasgow: William Collins, Sons, & Company, Limited.

[10] Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, p. 243). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

Worldview and Apologetics in the News | Truthbomb Apologetics

Video Discussion: William Lane Craig and Cosmicskeptic Discuss the Kalam Cosmological Argument 

The Truth About White Jesus Statues

Six Steps to Less Toxic, More Productive Online Debates

Movie Review: Uncle Tom

Christian group urges believers to take action, stop release of ‘demonic’ film depicting Jesus as lesbian

Archaeologists discover ancient Christian settlement in Galilee conquered in 7th century

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Our last edition is here.

Source: Worldview and Apologetics in the News

June—27 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion


Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.—Philipp. 3:12.

My soul! take the apostle for an example in thine evening’s meditation. He here freely and fully confesseth himself, after all his attainments in the life of grace, to be far short of what he longed to attain. And observe the aim of the apostle: all his pursuit, and all his desire was, like an arrow shot at a mark, to apprehend Christ, as Christ had first apprehended him: to grasp Jesus, as the Lord Jesus had held, and did hold him. Happy desire! happy pursuit! and blessed mark of grace! For let the Lord have given out to the soul ever so largely, there is more to give out, more to be received, more to be enjoyed. And the Holy Ghost, who is leading a child of God out of himself, more and more, to lead him more and more to the enjoyment of Jesus, is sweetly training that precious soul, and advancing him to the highest lessons in the school of grace. Paul felt this, when he cried out, “Not that I have already attained, either were already perfect.” To be sure not: for if we thought we had enough of Christ, it would be more than half conviction that we had nothing at all. Now, my soul, learn from Paul, in what the life of God in the soul consists: to be always pursuing the person of Jesus, for the farther enjoyment of him; never sitting down satisfied with what is already attained; but pressing (as the apostle did) “towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus;” in short, to make Christ the sum, the substance, the all, of every desire; and ever to keep in remembrance, that the more we receive, the more Jesus hath to impart; the more he gives out, the more he is glorified; and, like some rich spring, the oftener we receive from him the more rich and full he flows. Oh the blessedness of such a state! What a heaven upon earth would it be, if closely followed: to be always living upon Jesus, coming to Jesus, thirsting after Jesus; and the more we receive out of him, and of him, to have the soul’s desires after him the more increased by all we enjoy. Precious Lord! grant me this felicity, that, like Paul, I may say, “Not as though I had already attained:” but all my longings are, so to apprehend and hold fast Christ Jesus, as Christ Jesus hath apprehended and doth hold me fast.[1]


[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 196–197). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

June 27th The D. L. Moody Year Book


They looked unto Him and were lightened.—Psalm 34:5.

IF you want to scatter your doubts, look at the blood; and if you want to increase your doubts, look at yourself. You will get doubts enough for years by being occupied with yourself only a few days.[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. 108). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

June 27-28, 2020 Truth2Freedom Briefing Report (US•World•Christian)

Weekend Snapshot – Top Stories This Week

Pelosi’s Chokehold on Police Reform

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After Democrats blocked his bill on police reform, the good senator let them have it.

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Rebutting the drive to rewrite history for the political ends of modern leftist radicals.

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A proposal to replace “The Star-Spangled Banner” with John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

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Kaepernick v. Carney … Dishonor v. Honor

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No Noose Is Good Noose

Another hoax: NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace was not, in fact, the victim of a “hate crime.”

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“They are the root of the virulent anti-Americanism” that is causing mayhem nationwide.

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The ousted former FBI hack took notes in that infamous 2017 White House meeting.


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


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


“Since we’re dismantling anything built by white supremacists I guess it’s time to get rid of Planned Parenthood.” —Allie Beth Stuckey

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

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 06/27/2020

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(ABC News) — A 19-year-old man is dead and another person has been hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after an overnight shooting inside the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone in Seattle, police said. The shooting occurred early Saturday, around 2:30 a.m. local time, inside the zone, which is also referred to as CHOP, according to a statement from…

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Ohio Gov. Signs ‘Student Religious Liberties Act’   Jun 25, 2020 02:13 pm

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Christian Dragged Out of Home, Murdered in Jharkhand State, India   Jun 23, 2020 10:54 am

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Children’s TV Network Nickelodeon: ‘Celebrating Pride … This Month and Every Month’   Jun 23, 2020 06:02 pm

Along with the Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and “Sesame Street,” the children’s television network Nickelodeon took to social media this month to recognize Pride Month, which celebrates those who identify as “gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.” The Bible says that children are to be raised in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord.” “Celebrating…

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China’s Xinjiang Hit By 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake – US Geological Survey
China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region was hit on Friday by a 6.4 magnitude earthquake, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. The tremor was recorded at 5:05 a.m. local time (21:05 GMT on Thursday) 279 kilometers (over 173 miles) southeast of the town of Hotan. There are no reports about any victims or damages caused by the earthquake.

Mexico-California border a hotspot for quakes in 2020
During the first six months of this year, the Mexican state of Baja California, immediately south of California, has registered 282 earthquakes according to a group in Ensenada, Mexico. Most of the quakes have been centered around the border city of Mexicali, and some of these shakers have been felt as far north as Los Angeles.

Kanlaon Volcano update: 25 quakes recorded in last 24 hours
A total of 25 volcano-tectonic earthquakes from the western flanks of the Kanlaon Volcano on Negros Island were recorded in the last 24 hours, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said on Friday.

Signs of Drought in European Groundwater
The 2019-20 winter in Europe was the warmest on record, with little snow. The spring was also drier and warmer than normal, with a historic heat wave in the middle of May. The forecast for summer 2020 is not looking much better. For the third year in a row, Europe is facing potential water woes. According to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), meteorological drought conditions started in eastern Europe in early spring 2020 and migrated across the continent with drier-than-normal weather in April and May.

Quantum entanglement demonstrated on tiny CubeSat in orbit
Researchers have managed to demonstrate quantum entanglement on a small satellite orbiting Earth. The team developed a miniaturized device that can produce pairs of photons that are inextricably linked, which could help launch a fast and secure quantum internet. Quantum entanglement is the eerie phenomenon where two particles can become so entwined that changing the properties of one will affect the other – no matter how far apart they are. In theory, they could be on opposite sides of the universe and still communicate instantaneously.

Huge Explosions Reported at Suspicious Iranian Nuclear Site; Another Explosion Plunges Tehran Into Darkness
A large explosion was reported in the Parchin military base on Thursday night at 11:21 p.m. local time about 20 miles southeast of the capital Tehran. At about the same time on Thursday night, a large explosion at the local power station left half of the city of Tehran without electricity. Some Iranians speculated on social media that the explosions were caused by Israeli cyber attacks.

10 killed in strikes by unidentified aircraft in central Syria – report
Just two days after alleged Israeli airstrikes targeted a number of sites around Syria, 10 pro-Iranian militants were killed in airstrikes by unidentified aircraft in central Syria on Thursday night, according to the local Ayn Al-Furat news source. The airstrikes targeted two sites between Palmyra and As-Sukhna in the Homs Governorate in central Syria.

Russia offered Afghan militants bounties to kill US troops -NY Times
US intelligence has concluded that the Russian military offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants in Afghanistan to kill American troops and other coalition forces, the New York Times reported on Friday. Citing officials briefed on the matter, the Times said the United States determined months ago that a Russian military intelligence unit linked to assassination attempts in Europe had offered rewards for successful attacks last year.

Governments eye new taxes on cigarettes, homes and tech giants to pay for budget shortfalls
Cash-starved cities and states across the country are starting to weigh whether to raise taxes on homes, cigarettes, local businesses and global tech giants, hoping to rake in new revenue that might help them close the massive budget shortfalls created by the coronavirus pandemic. The increases that have been proposed – and in some cases adopted – reflect the growing desperation on the part of government leaders nationwide.

House approves Washington, D.C., statehood in historic vote
Four decades after launching its drive for U.S. statehood, Washington, D.C., was poised to take a step toward becoming the 51st state as the House of Representatives on Friday approved its admission. The initiative passed in the Democratic-controlled House by a vote of 232-180, with no Republicans supporting it.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan to agree Nile dam deal in weeks
Leaders of Sudan, Ethiopia and Egypt said they were hopeful that the African Union could help them broker a deal to end a decade-long dispute over water supplies within two or three weeks. Ethiopia, which is building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which worries its downstream neighbours Egypt and Sudan, said it would fill the reservoir in a few weeks, as planned, providing enough time for talks to be concluded.

Satellite image: Iran blast struck by suspected missile site
An explosion that rattled Iran’s capital came from an area in its eastern mountains that analysts believe hides an underground tunnel system and missile production sites, satellite photographs showed Saturday. What exploded in the incident early Friday that sent a massive fireball into the sky near Tehran remains unclear, as does the cause of the blast.

More than 130 killed as severe thunderstorms hit India, Bihar records one of its highest daily death tolls caused by lightning
Heavy rain and severe thunderstorms since mid-June have resulted in casualties and damage across India. As of early Friday, June 26, 2020, the death toll stands at 133– mostly from the state of Bihar, which recorded one of its highest daily tolls from lightning on Thursday. The death toll is expected to rise as more reports come in.

IDF Pounds Hamas In Gaza Strip After Palestinian Militants Fire Rockets At Israel Days Before Scheduled Annexation Of Judea And Samaria
With annexation of parts of Judea and Samaria just days away, the Palestinians decided that now would be a good time to start firing rockets at Israel in the hopes of provoking a war that will delay annexation proceedings. But if Israel was smart, they would let nothing get in their way, and go full speed ahead with annexation plans while they have the full back of President Trump. the situation in America is so fragile at the moment that a delay could very well me a complete stoppage.

Fraud In NJ Special Election Proves Mail-In Ballots Are Ripe For Abuse
Mail-in ballots are proving to be increasingly susceptible to voter fraud, as was shown in Paterson, New Jersey. In the special election for city council, 19 percent of ballots were discovered to be fraudulent, forcing the board of elections to disqualify more than 3,190 of the 16,747 votes.

As The Fires Of Prophecy Ignite Around The World, The Lukewarm Laodicean Church Remains On Sidelines
Bible prophecy is a funny thing, you can read about it, know it’s coming, and yet when it arrives, who is ready to receive it? At a time like this, the blood bought, born again Church of Jesus Christ should be in massive revival, at the forefront of warning a lost and dying world about what’s coming. Yet it remains lukewarm and indifferent, just as prophecy said it would be. I had a reader write to me just yesterday, telling me that his pastor is preaching from the pulpit that prophecy is not being fulfilled right now. That’s where we are. Welcome to Laodicea.

Senators Move To Make UFO Data Public
Lawmakers in the Senate Intelligence Committee are moving forward with a request that would order the Defense Department and U.S. Intelligence agencies to create a public, unclassified, collection of all information and data on “unidentified aerial phenomenon,” also known as unidentified flying objects, UFOs.

New Trafficking Report: From China to Ireland, Human Slavery Is Still a Big Global Problem
The latest report on human trafficking around the world is out, and it’s not good news.  The State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons or “TIP” report Thursday. Republican Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, who helped form some of the nation’s human trafficking laws roughly 20 years ago, says it’s a tough but fair report.

List of 269 companies supporting Antifa, Black Lives Matter, the lines have been drawn
There are two instances in Scripture—that I’m aware of—when God told someone not to pray, for He would not hear their prayer. Moses is the first example, for though he’d been faithful to God most of his life, he was told by the Lord he’d not enter the land promised to Israel because of his disobedience as a leader when he struck the rock (Num. 20:8-12).

More than a third of millennials polled approve of communism
Somewhere, Bernie Sanders is smiling. A new survey released by the Washington, D.C., nonprofit Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation reflects that, if the younger generation gets out and votes in 2020, those running for office on the far left have reason to be hopeful.

Vaccine Makers Turn to Microchip Tech to Beat Glass Shortages
As the Covid-19 crisis stretches into it’s seventh month, researchers around the world are continuing to work frantic hours to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus which has so far infected 9.5 million people and killed nearly 500,000. More than 140 vaccine candidates are currently in testing, mostly in preliminary stages. A handful have reached early human studies, with three progressing to Phase 3 clinical trials designed to measure whether or not they confer immunity to the virus.

Biden’s Cancer Charity Caught Funneling Millions to Executives
Joe Biden’s cancer charity has been caught funneling millions of dollars into the pockets of its executives while doing very little to fight the deadly disease, according to reports.

Headlines – 6/27/2020

24 hours of war in the Middle East leaves region shaking – The region is undergoing a half-dozen wars at the same time that pit Iran and its proxies against the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia

Senior Hamas member warns threats of war could become a reality

Two rockets fired at Israel from Gaza, IDF hits Hamas targets in response

IDF said readying reinforcements in case of Palestinian violence over annexation

Belgian parliament calls for sanctions against Israel if annexation goes ahead

Top US Think Tank Urges Trump to Back Israeli Sovereignty Extension to Jordan Valley

Report: Israel notifies Palestinians it will not annex Jordan Valley

Gantz on Annexation: Wherever We Apply Israeli Law, Palestinians Will Have Full Rights

Gantz: I’ll go to Ramallah tomorrow if Palestinians open to peace talks

Ex-Trump envoy: ‘Unfair’ of settlers to rap Palestinian state envisioned by plan

Greenblatt Rebukes Ungrateful Settlers, Fails to See Danger of Palestinian State

Trump undecided on support for West Bank annexation as U.S. envoys arrive in Israel for talks

IDF generals urge Trump to stand behind Netanyahu’s sovereignty plan

The Arab states have lost patience with the Palestinians

Finance Minister: ‘Worst economic situation in Israel’s history’

Ethiopia to fill Nile dam in July even if ‘no agreement reached’

Turkey and Iran work together on Iraq and Libya, is Israel next?

Israeli strike in Syria said to hit onion factory used by Iran to store weapons

Iran says Tehran blast was industrial gas tank explosion

Pompeo: US imposes 9 more sanctions on exports Iran uses to fund its Revolutionary Guard

Russia hosts Zarif, promises to stand by Iran on nuclear deal

‘It looks like a gameshow’: Russia’s pseudo-vote on Putin’s term limits

Russia reportedly paid Taliban-linked militants bounty money to kill American troops

End of Tripoli siege raises fears of full-scale proxy war in Libya

Kosovo president rejects war crimes indictment as ‘attempt to rewrite history’

Satellite images show buildup at site of deadly India-China border clash

Pompeo: US imposes restrictions on Chinese Communist Party leaders undermining Hong Kong autonomy

Mexico City police chief shot in assassination attempt, blames CJNG drug cartel

Court rules Trump using $2.5B from Pentagon for border wall ‘unlawful’

Pastors vow to ‘defend’ houses of worship, ‘not allow Christian heritage to be erased’

Minneapolis City Council unanimously votes on plan to dismantle police department in wake of anti-brutality protests

De Blasio says ‘very substantial’ cuts coming to NYPD budget

Portland anti-cop protesters attempt to establish autonomous zone, instead create ‘war zone’: reports

BLM Leader Threatens to ‘Burn Down the System… Literally’, Calls Jesus a ‘Black Radical Revolutionary’

‘I’m leaving and I’m just not coming back’: Fed up with racism, Black Americans head overseas

Facebook looks to contain advertising boycott over hate speech

Facebook, Twitter shares drop as European giant joins ad boycott

Trump Family Makes New Attempt to Kill Niece’s Tell-All

Mary Trump once stood up to her uncle Donald – now her book describes a ‘nightmare’ of family dysfunction

House approves Washington, D.C., statehood in historic vote

‘Trump 2024’ film warns of socialism, End Times in bid to motivate evangelical voters

U.N. Chief Guterres Calls for One Supreme Body of ‘Global Governance’

4th of July eclipse to kick off busy month for astronomy

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits near Claveria, Philippines

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Golmarmara, Turkey

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 29,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Semeru volcano in Indonesia erupts to 13,000ft

Ebeko volcano in the Kuril Islands erupts to 12,000ft

Nishinoshima volcano on Japan erupts to 10,000ft

China denies millions of lives at risk as catastrophic flooding threatens Three Gorges Dam

Lightning strikes blamed for more than 100 deaths in northern India as monsoon advances

World record longest lightning flash of 440 miles confirmed

‘Godzilla’ Saharan dust cloud looms over Florida

‘Horror Show’: Watchdog Reveals FDA Paid for ‘Fresh Human Fetal Parts’ for ‘Humanized Mice’ Experiments

‘No final victory’: Five years after same-sex marriage ruling, advocates focus on trans rights, housing discrimination

‘Unfathomable’: Trump administration’s SCOTUS filing to end Obamacare is ‘crazy’, Pelosi says

As coronavirus sweeps through India’s capital, experts say plans to stop it are “a waste of time”

Bill Gates: Some people are ‘ignoring the epidemic’

Bill Gates: US ‘not even close’ to doing enough to fight pandemic

Coronavirus contact tracing is ‘not going well,’ Dr. Fauci says, U.S. still needs more testing

Fauci Says Trump Considering Coronavirus Strategy Change: Group Testing

Trump now says testing slowdown remarks were ‘sarcastic’

‘How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?’ The government’s disease-fighting agency is conflating viral and antibody tests

Melinda Gates: ‘Black People, Indigenous People’ Should Get Coronavirus Vaccine First

At least 11 states are pausing or rolling back reopening plans to slow Covid-19 spread

Fauci blames young Americans for new coronavirus surge

NYC region introduces quarantine requirement for all arrivals

Cuomo, de Blasio wrong to limit worship services, condone mass protests: federal judge

Turkish churches vandalized, Christians becoming ‘scapegoat’ amid pandemic woes: SAT-7

During COVID Briefing, Mike Pence Touts Constitutional Right to Hold Trump Rallies

Washington county sheriff says Americans have right to dissent in face of government orders: ‘Don’t be a sheep’

Washington Makes Not Wearing a Face Mask a Misdemeanor Crime

Face masks make sex safer in the time of Covid-19, New York City Health Department advises

Joe Biden says there are ‘120 million dead from COVID’ in latest gaffe

Joe Biden blasts President Trump’s handling of COVID-19 pandemic, says he would make masks mandatory

A new GOP bill unveiled by Marco Rubio would give stimulus checks to families with unauthorized immigrants that were left out of the initial wave

Coronavirus mortgage bailouts suddenly swell as homeowners face new struggles

Half of U.S. homeowners struggle with mortgage due to COVID-19, consider selling home

Dow tumbles 730 points as coronavirus spike threatens economic recovery

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

June 27 Thoughts for the quiet hour


Be perfect, be of good comfort

2 Cor. 13:11

A glance at the words is enough to make us feel how contradictory they are. Be perfect—that is a word that strikes us with despair; at once we feel how far away we are from our own poor ideal, and alas! how much further from God’s ideal concerning us. Be of good comfort—ah, that is very different! That seems to say, “Do not fret; do not fear. If you are not what you would be, you must be thankful for what you are.”

Now the question is this—How can these two be reconciled?

It is only the religion of Jesus Christ that reconciles them. He stands in our midst, and with the right hand of His righteousness He pointeth us upward, and saith, “Be perfect.” There is no resting-place short of that. Yet with the left hand of His love He doth encompass us, as He saith, “Soul, be of good comfort; for that is what I came to do for thee.”

Mark Guy Pearse[1]


[1] Hardman, S. G., & Moody, D. L. (1997). Thoughts for the quiet hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing.

June 27 Life-Changing Moments With God

Who is able to stand?

Lord God, who can endure the day of Jesus’ coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap.

The apostle John was permitted to see the future when a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands. These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

There is no condemnation to those of us who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. I stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made me free.

Lord God, enable me to walk according to Your guiding Spirit and to stand fast in the freedom of Your forgiveness.

Revelation 6:17; Malachi 3:2; Revelation 7:9, 14–17; Romans 8:1; Galatians 5:1[1]


[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 194). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

MSM scrambles to smear ‘free speech’ platform Parler as Twitter censorship wave pushes conservatives out — RT USA News

MSM scrambles to smear ‘free speech’ platform Parler as Twitter censorship wave pushes conservatives out

“Free speech driven” social network Parler is being smeared as a “far right” cesspool as a Twitter crackdown drives conservative signups – even as its new users include milquetoast Republican politicians like Ted Cruz.

Like Gab before it, Parler has attracted celebrity Twitter and Facebook rejects, lured by the promise of a censor-free experience, and a flood of users eager to interact with their banned idols – or just to express themselves without fear of deplatforming. And the market for alternative platforms is booming – Parler’s app was the second-most-popular download in the App Store’s News category as of Thursday.

Some 500,000 users reportedly joined the platform after Twitter, following in the footsteps of Facebook and stepping up its ideologically-motivated censorship, banned conservative meme-maker Carpe Donktum and locked National Pulse editor Raheem Kassam’s account on Tuesday.

 Also on rt.com

Twitter needs Trump more than Trump needs Twitter: Why @realDonaldTrump should do a Joe Rogan to punish the social media giant

Twitter has also come under fire from the right for hiding a handful of President Donald Trump’s tweets behind a warning label. Even mainstream conservatives are growing restive, and Parler’s “non-biased free speech” approach is looking awfully attractive in the current political climate.

Accordingly, mainstream media have done their best to rain on Parler’s parade. Newsweek called it a “safe space for the far right,” and the app’s Wikipedia writeup was especially pearl-clutchy, stating that Parler was known for “the presence and proliferation of alt-right, neo-nazi, anti-feminist, and conspiracy theory content.”

Twitter’s blue-checks made withering comments about the platform and the big names it had attracted.

But some of those names might come as a surprise to those who’ve read the media coverage and assumed Parler’s appeal is limited to fans of deliberately outrageous political provocateurs Laura Loomer and Milo Yiannopoulos or Infowars performance artist Alex Jones – all three of whom were banned from Facebook last year as “dangerous individuals”and now boast sizable followings on Parler. Republican politicians, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, California Rep. Devin Nunes, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, also have accounts on the platform, as do a number of conservative British MPs. The president’s son Eric Trump is on it, as are several of his staffers.

Nor do the new arrivals hail solely from the right side of the political spectrum. Brian and Ed Krassenstein – the #Resistance grifters who were finally booted from Twitter last year over maintaining multiple fake accounts – have made their home at Parler, where they apparently debate the merits of mask-wearing with the likes of political hoaxer Jacob Wohl.

“There’s no evidence of a systemic anti-conservative bias on the major social media platforms,” sneered Politico in its writeup of Cruz joining Parler. But no amount of gaslighting from the mainstream media will convince people who’ve experienced the increasingly heavy hand of ideologically-motivated censorship that it does not exist.

Smearing alternative platforms as “far right” is also waning in effectiveness, now that everyone from Zero Hedge to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson has been tarred with that brush. November’s election is just a few months away, and it’s clear the big platforms are itching to redeem themselves after “letting” Trump win in 2016. Should an alternative take off and become something more than a right-wing echo chamber, it could scuttle their dream of finally removing the Bad Orange Man from the White House.

 Also on rt.com

Digital class war: Twitter’s ad preferences show it was never about being equal
— Read on www.rt.com/usa/492970-parler-conservatives-twitter-censorship/

June 27 The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible

June 27.—Morning. [Or December 21.]
“Hate evil.”

OUR present lesson consists of another portion of the prophecies of Amos.

Amos 5:14–27

14 Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the Lord, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.

You boast of his being With you, but if you wish him to be really so, you must seek him and follow his ways. To boast of our religious privileges, as though God was certainly with us because we go to a place of worship is mere vain glory; God dwells only with the contrite in heart.

15 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: (where courts of justice were held:) it may be that the Lord God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph. (If men have only a may be, they ought to be earnest in seeking salvation; how much more should we be eager for eternal life when we have sure promises and divine shalls and wills.)

16 Therefore the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus; Wailing shall be in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing. (The husbandman shall be so disappointed in his harvest that he shall lament as those do who bury the dead. Harvest home shall be mournful as a funeral.)

17 And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the Lord.

In the place where joy was most manifest shall be most sorrow.

18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. (Bitterly will they lament that they said, “Where is the promise of his coming?” They will find the day of which they spoke so jestingly to be overwhelmingly terrible to them.)

19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. (It shall be to the wicked a going from bad to worse, from danger to destruction.)

20 Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it? (No gleams of mercy shall light up the day of visitation; justice shall reign alone, and spread unmingled terror through the ranks of the rebellious.)

21 ¶ I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.

Formal worship where sin is loved is detestable to God; he is insulted by the outward homage of those who love the wages of iniquity.

22 Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.

23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. (Costly offerings and the charms of melody are not the things which God desires: holiness is his music, and a broken heart his chosen sacrifice.)

24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

This he demands, and this he will have; and all short of this is a mockery of him.

25 Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? (Even at the first they were idolaters: at the outset they could not hold on in the right way for a single generation: idolatry was rooted in them, nothing could wean them from it.)

26 But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves. (Even, Moloch, the most bloody of the idols, they adored; no worship was too vile for them.)

27 Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the Lord, whose name is The God of hosts.

Idolatry, injustice, and uncleanness provoke the Lord, and he will not suffer such evils to go unpunished. O Lord God of hosts, wash us in the blood of Jesus; renew us by thy Spirit, and keep us true to thee all our days.

Alone upon the means of grace

Our souls must not depend;

Theirs simply is the handmaid’s place

Of means unto an end.

Nor must we only for a while

Put off the sins we mourn,

To flatter conscience, and beguile

The hours till they return;

But low in penitence must lie,

In deed as well as word;

And then must turn to Calvary,

And trust our bleeding Lord.

June 27.—Evening. [Or December 22.]
“Make full proof of thy ministry.”

AMOS had many visions, and he told them to the people boldly.

Amos 7

1, 2 Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers (or locusts) in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings. And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord God, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.

The Lord repented for this: It shall not be, saith the Lord. (A famine was threatened by means of locusts, but the prophet’s intercession turned aside the evil. We cannot set too much store by the earnest prayers of holy men.)

4, 5 Thus hath the Lord God shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord God called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part. Then said I, O Lord God, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.

The Lord repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord God. (The fire indicated devouring judgments, but the prophet again pleaded, urging the low estate of Israel, and a second time he prevailed. The prayers of the righteous are the shields of the nation.)

Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.

And the Lord said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:

And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword. (He would judge the nation as a builder tests a wall to see if it is upright, and after that he would break down all that was out of line and unfit to stand. The sinful house of Jehu had now ruled for four generations, there would be but one more king, and then like the dynasty of Ahab, it would be swept away. This prophecy was delivered at Bethel, in the very centre of idolatrous worship.)

10, 11 Then Amaziah the priest of Beth-el sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.

This was only in part true: Amos had not said that Jeroboam would be slain. We can never hope to have our case fairly stated; our enemies will exaggerate.

12 Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:

13 But prophesy not again any more at Beth-el: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court. (As much as to say, “You are not wanted here. Judah is the place for those of your way of thinking; and besides, your rough manners are not fit for this courtly shrine.” Little did the false priest dream of the rejoinder he would receive.)

14, 15 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit: And the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel. (He spoke not out of any wilful ambition, but by divine commission, and was not therefore at all likely to be silenced by the threats of men.)

16 Now therefore hear thou the word of the Lord: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac.

17 Therefore thus saith the Lord; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land. (In a few years these words came true. Woe unto those who stand up against the Lord and oppose his servants.)

O Lord, thy chosen servants bless,

That they may faithful be;

Thy truth upon the conscience press,

And sinners win to thee!

In holy watchfulness and prayer,

O keep them near thy side;

May they with loving zeal declare,

A Saviour crucified.

Great God! to thee I’ll make

My griefs and sorrows known;

And with a humble hope

Approach thine awful throne;

Though by my sins deserving hell,

I’ll not despair;—for, “Who can tell?”

Vile unbelief, begone;

Ye doubts, fly swift away;

God hath an ear to hear,

While I’ve a heart to pray;

If he be mine, all will be well—

For ever so; and, “Who can tell?”

Then let us not despond,

Inquiring “Who can tell?”

For in the sacred word

The question’s answer’d well:

That all who come to Christ shall be

Saved now, and through eternity.


Since from our faith thou dost withhold

No blessing of thy grace,

Make us in confidence most bold

Thy promise to embrace.

Full many an arrow may we aim

With faith’s most mighty bow,

Strengthened by thine all-conquering name,

Our sins to overthrow.

At twice or thrice let us not stay,

But the full number dare;

Since thou dost not a limit lay,

Why should our hands forbear?


Is there ambition in my heart?

Search, gracious God, and see:

Or do I act a haughty part?

Lord, I appeal to thee.

I charge my thoughts, be humble still,

And all my carriage mild,

Content, my Father, with thy will,

And quiet as a child.

The patient soul, the lowly mind,

Shall have a large reward:

Let saints be humble and resigned;

And ne’er provoke the Lord.

Jehovah hath spoken!

The nations shall hear;

From the east to the west

Shall his glory appear;

With thunders and tempest

To judgment he’ll come;

And all men before him

Shall wait for their doom.

Woe, woe to the sinners!

To what shall they trust?

In the day of God’s vengeance,

The holy and just!

How meet all the terrors

That flame in his path,

When the mountains shall melt

At the glance of his wrath!

O God, ere the day

Of thy mercy be past,

With trembling our souls

On that mercy we cast:

O guide us in wisdom;

For aid we implore;

Till, saved with thy people,

Thy grace we adore.


Long hath the night of sorrow reign’d;

The dawn shall bring us light:

God shall appear, and we shall rise

With gladness in his sight.

Our hearts, if God we seek to know,

Shall know him, and rejoice;

His coming like the morn shall be,

Like morning songs his voice.

So shall his presence bless our souls,

And shed a joyful light;

That hallow’d morn shall chase away

The sorrows of the night.


With broken heart and contrite sigh,

A trembling sinner, Lord, I cry;

Thy pardoning grace is rich and free;

O God! be merciful to me.

I smite upon my troubled breast,

With deep and conscious guilt oppress’d:

Christ and his cross my only plea;

O God! be merciful to me.[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 378–380). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

What Americans Fear Most In The JFK Assassination, Part 2 | Zero Hedge

How can anyone with a critical mind blindly accept the official narrative surrounding the Kennedy assassination? Doing so only goes to show how a deep fear of being labeled a “conspiracy theorist” can influence people’s behavior.

Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

Read Part 1 here…

Let’s now move to the autopsy that the U.S. military conducted on the President John F. Kennedy’s body on the evening of the assassination, November 22, 1963.

Texas law required the autopsy to be conducted in Texas. Dr. Earl Rose, the Dallas Medical Examiner, insisted on conducting the autopsy immediately upon Kennedy’s death. An armed team of Secret Service agents, brandishing their guns, refused to permit that to happen and forced their way out of Parkland Hospital. Operating on orders, their objective was to get the president’s body to the airport, where Vice President Lyndon Johnson was waiting for it. His objective: to put the autopsy in the hands of the U.S. military.

In the 1970s, the U.S. House of Representatives opened up a new investigation into Kennedy’s assassination. During and after those hearings, a group of Navy enlisted men came forward with a remarkable story. They stated that they had secretly carried Kennedy’s body into the morgue at Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland about an hour-and-a-half before the body was officially brought into the morgue.

They also stated that they had all been sworn to secrecy immediately after the autopsy and had been threatened with severe punishment, including criminal prosecution, if they ever revealed to anyone the classified secrets about the autopsy that they had acquired.

The Boyajian Report

In the 1990s, the Assassination Records Review Board, which was formed to enforce the JFK Records Act, uncovered an official document that had been kept secret for more than 30 years. It became known as the Boyajian Report. It had been created by Marine Sergeant Roger Boyajian immediately after the autopsy. Boyajian gave a copy of the report to the ARRB. Boyajian and his report confirmed that his team carried the president’s body into the morgue in a cheap military-style shipping casket at 6:35 p.m., about 1 and 1/2 hours before 8 p.m., the time that the body was officially brought into the morgue in the expensive, ornate casket into which it had been placed in Dallas.

On the night of the autopsy, one of the autopsy physicians, Admiral James Humes, telephoned U.S. Army Colonel Pierre Finck asking him to come to the morgue and assist with the autopsy. That phone call was made at 8 p.m. During the conversation, Humes told Finck that they already had some x-rays made of the president’s head. Yet, how could they have x-rays of the president’s head, given that the president’s body was being officially brought into the morgue at 8 p.m.? Humes’s testimony inadvertently confirmed the accuracy of the Boyajian Report and the statements of the enlisted men who had secretly carried the president’s body into the morgue an hour-and-a-half before the official 8 p.m. time that the body was brought into the morgue.

The magic bullet

During the autopsy, Finck began to “dissect” the president’s neck wound, a wound that later became embroiled in what became known as the “magic bullet” controversy. As Finck began the procedure, he was ordered by some unknown figure to cease and desist and to leave the wound alone. Finck complied with the order. The order showed that the three autopsy physicians were not in charge of the autopsy and that there was a higher force within the deep state that was orchestrating and directing the overall operation.

The brain examinations

It’s worth mentioning the brain examinations that took place as part of the autopsy. In an autopsy, there is only one brain examination. In the Kennedy autopsy, there were two, the second of which involved a brain that could not possibly have belonged to the president. Rather than detail the circumstances surrounding that unusual occurrence, I’ll simply link to the following two articles that the mainstream press published about it for those who might be interested in that aspect of the autopsy:

Newly Released JFK Documents Raise Questions About Medical Evidence by Deb Riechmann in the November 9, 1998, issue of the Washington Post.

Archive Photos Not of JFK’s Brain, Concludes Aides to Review Board by George Lardner Jr. in the November 10, 1998, issue of the Washington Post.

It is also worth noting that when Congress enacted the JFK Records Act mandating that federal agencies had to release their long-secret records relating to the assassination, the law that brought the ARRB into existence to enforce the law expressly prohibited the ARRB from investigating any aspect of the assassination. It was a provision that the ARRB board strictly enforced on the ARRB staff, which thereby prevented the staff from investigating the two separate brain examinations once they were discovered or, for that matter, anything else.

Continued secrecy

It’s is also worth noting that there are still thousands of assassination-related records that the National Archives is keeping secret, owing to a request by the CIA to President Trump early in his administration to continue keeping them secret, a request that Trump granted. The CIA’s reason for the continued secrecy? The CIA told Trump that the disclosure of the 56-year-old records to the American people would endanger “national security.”

Fraudulent autopsy photos

The ARRB also took the sworn testimony of a woman named Saundra Spencer, a U.S. Navy petty officer who served the the Navy’s photography lab in Washington, D.C. She worked closely with the White House on both classified and non-classified photographs. The ARRB summoned her to testify, and she gave a remarkable story. She testified that on the weekend of the assassination, she was asked to develop, on a top-secret basis, the official autopsy photographs in the Kennedy autopsy. When the ARRB showed her the autopsy photographs in the official record, she closely examined them and then testified directly and unequivocally that they were not the photographs she developed on the weekend of the assassination.


Given all these facts and circumstances, a question naturally arises: How can anyone with a critical mind blindly accept the official narrative surrounding the Kennedy assassination? Doing so only goes to show how a deep fear of being labeled a “conspiracy theorist” can influence people’s behavior.

*  *  *

For those who wish to delve into the Kennedy regime-change operation more deeply, I recommend starting with the following books and videos:


JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters by James W. Douglass

The Kennedy Autopsy by Jacob Hornberger

The Kennedy Autopsy 2 by Jacob Hornberger

JFK’s War with the National- Security Establishment: Why Kennedy Was Assassinated by Douglas Horne

Regime Change: The JFK Assassination by Jacob Hornberger

CIA & JFK: The Secret Assassination Files by Jefferson Morley

The CIA, Terrorism, and the Cold War: The Evil of the National Security State by Jacob Hornberger

Inside the Assassination Records Review Board: The U.S. Government’s Final Attempt to Reconcile the Conflicting Medical Evidence in the Assassination of JFK, Volumes 1-5 by Douglas P. Horne


Altered History: Exposing Deceit and Deception in the JFK Assassination Medical Evidence by Douglas Horne

The JFK Assassination by Jacob Hornberger

The National Security State and JFK, with Oliver Stone and others.

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/political/what-americans-fear-most-jfk-assassination-part-2

What Americans Fear Most In The JFK Assassination, Part 1 | Zero Hedge

…many of the people who have embraced the lone-nut theory have never spent any time studying the evidence in the case…a deep fear of being labeled a “conspiracy theorist,”

Authored by Jacob Hornberger via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

One of the fascinating phenomena in the JFK assassination is the fear of some Americans to consider the possibility that the assassination was actually a regime-change operation carried out by the U.S. national-security establishment rather than simply a murder carried out by a supposed lone-nut assassin.

The mountain of evidence that has surfaced, especially since the 1990s, when the JFK Records Act mandated the release of top-secret assassination-related records within the national-security establishment, has been in the nature of circumstantial evidence, as compared to direct evidence. Thus, I can understand that someone who places little faith in the power of circumstantial evidence might study and review that evidence and decide to embrace the “lone-nut theory” of the case.

But many of the people who have embraced the lone-nut theory have never spent any time studying the evidence in the case and yet have embraced the lone-nut theory. Why? My hunch is that the reason is that they have a deep fear of being labeled a “conspiracy theorist,” which is the term the CIA many years ago advised its assets in the mainstream press to employ to discredit those who were questioning the official narrative in the case.

Like many others, I have studied the evidence in the case. After doing that, I concluded that the circumstantial evidence pointing toward a regime-change operation has reached critical mass. Based on that evidence, for me the Kennedy assassination is not a conspiracy theory but rather the fact of a national-security state regime-change operation, no different in principle than other regime-change operations, including through assassination, carried out by the U.S. national-security establishment, especially through the CIA.

Interestingly, there are those who have shown no reluctance to study the facts and circumstances surrounding foreign regime-change operations carried out by the CIA and the Pentagon. But when it comes to the Kennedy assassination, they run for the hills, exclaiming that they don’t want to be pulled down the “rabbit hole,” meaning that they don’t want to take any chances of being labeled a “conspiracy theorist.”

For those who have never delved into the Kennedy assassination but have interest in the matter, let me set forth just a few of the reasons that the circumstantial evidence points to a U.S. national-security state regime-change operation. Then, at the end of this article, I’ll point out some books and videos for those who wish to explore the matter more deeply.

I start out with a basic thesis: Lee Harvey Oswald was an intelligence agent for the U.S. deep state. Now, that thesis undoubtedly shocks people who have always believed in the lone-nut theory of the assassination. They just cannot imagine that Oswald could have really been working for the U.S. government at the time of the assassination.

Yet, when one examines the evidence in the case objectively, the lone-theory doesn’t make any sense. The only thesis that is consistent with the evidence and, well, common sense, is that Oswald was an intelligence agent.

Ask yourself: How many communist Marines have you ever encountered or even heard of? My hunch is none. Not one single communist Marine. Why would a communist join the Marines? Communists hate the U.S. Marine Corps. In fact, the U.S. Marine Corps hates communists. It kills communists. It tortures them. It invades communist countries. It bombs them. It destroys them.

What are the chances that the Marine Corps would permit an openly avowed communist to serve in its ranks? None! There is no such chance. And yet, here was Oswald, whose Marine friends were calling “Oswaldovitch,” being assigned to the Atsugi naval base in Japan, where the U.S. Air Force was basing its top-secret U-2 spy plane, one that it was using to secretly fly over the Soviet Union. Why would the Navy and the Air Force permit a self-avowed communist even near the U-2? Does that make any sense?

While Oswald was serving in the Marine Corps, he became fluent in the Russian language. How is that possible? How many people have you known who have become fluent in a foreign langue all on their own, especially when they have a full-time job? Even if they are able to study a foreign language from books, they have to practice conversing with people in that language to become proficient in speaking it. How did Oswald do that? There is but one reasonable possibility: Language lessons provided by U.S. military-suppled tutors.

After leaving the Marine Corps, Oswald traveled to the Soviet Union, walked into the U.S. embassy, renounced his citizenship, and stated that he intended to give any secrets he learned while serving in the military to the Soviet Union. Later, when he stated his desire to return to the United States, with a wife with family connections to Soviet intelligence, Oswald was given the red-carpet treatment on his return. No grand jury summons. No grand-jury indictment. No FBI interrogation. No congressional summons to testify.

Remember: This was at the height of the Cold War, when the U.S. national-security establishment was telling Americans that there was a worldwide communist conspiracy based in Moscow that was hell-bent on taking over the United States and the rest of the world. The U.S. had gone to war in Korea because of the supposed communist threat. They would do the same in Vietnam. They would target Cuba and Fidel Castro with invasion and assassination. They would pull off regime-change operations on both sides of the Kennedy assassination: Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Cuba (1960s), Congo (1963), and Chile (1973).

During the 1950s, they were targeting any American who had had any connections to communism. They were subpoenaing people to testify before Congress as to whether they had ever been members of the Communist Party. They were destroying people’s reputations and costing them their jobs. Remember the case of Dalton Trumbo and other Hollywood writers who were criminally prosecuted and incarcerated. Recall the Hollywood blacklist. Recall the Rosenbergs, who they executed for giving national-security state secrets to the Soviets. Think about Jane Fonda.

Indeed, if you want a modern-day version of how the U.S. national-security state treats suspected traitors and betrayers of its secrets, reflect on Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, and Chelsea Manning. That’s how we expect national-security state officials to behave toward those they consider traitors and betrayers of U.S. secrets.

Not so with Oswald. With him, we have what amounts to two separate parallel universes. One universe involves all the Cold War hoopla against communists. Another one is the one in which Oswald is sauntering across the world stage as one of America’s biggest self-proclaimed communists — a U.S. Marine communist — who isn’t touched by some congressional investigative committee, some federal grand jury, or some FBI agent. How is that possible?

Later, when Oswald ended up in Dallas, his friends were right-wingers, not left-wingers. He even got job at a photographic facility that developed top-secret photographs for the U.S. government. How is that possible? Later, when he ended up in New Orleans, he got hired by a private company that was owned by a fierce anti-communist right-winger. Why would he hire a supposed communist who supposedly had betrayed America by supposedly joining up with America’s avowed communist enemy, the Soviet Union, and to whom he had supposedly given U.S. national-security state secrets, just like Julian and Ethel Rosenberg had?

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/political/regime-change-fear-jfk-assassination-part-1

AG Barr is under attack by most of the media and other Democrats because they believe Obama admin criminals are above the law. – American Thinker

Most of the media and other Democrats are out to destroy AG Barr because they claim he has politicized the Justice Department, but that is clearly not true. 

The Justice Department had been politicized throughout the Obama administration and no one in the mainstream media cared. 

Eric Holder committed perjury more than once, was never charged, and called himself as Obama’s “wingman.” and most of the media and other Democrats didn’t care. 

Eric Holder: ‘I’m still the president’s wingman’

Most of the media and other Democrats were not mad that Hillary Clinton and her aides got off for their crimes. They were mad that Comey told the public the crimes she committed. 

James Comey exonerates Hillary Clinton, July 5, 2016 (YouTube screen grab)

There were no hearings by Democrats on the politicization of the Justice Department. 

F.B.I. Director James Comey Recommends No Charges for Hillary Clinton on Email

Most of the media and other Democrats or career prosecutors and former Justice officials did not demand that AG Loretta Lynch resign when she met with Bill Clinton a few days before a pretend interview with Hillary. Of course, Lynch wanted any investigation into Hillary’s crimes termed as “matters” instead of an “investigation.” That shows candidate Clinton was going to get off no matter how many crimes she committed. 

Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch describe their infamous “tarmac meeting”

There was no outrage and there were no resignations when the FBI railroaded General Michael Flynn. In fact, the media and Democrats are angry that this innocent man, who was financially destroyed by the vengeful, corrupt FBI and Justice Department officials, is finally receiving justice. 

Why dismiss the Flynn case? Because the FBI can’t prove it

This should be a big story, but most of the media and other Democrats won’t care that Obama and Biden were deeply involved in the targeted attack on Flynn. It is clear that Obama was deeply involved with the Justice Department during his entire term, as the media pretended that it was independent. There was little concern about the rule of law. 

 Explosive New FBI Notes Confirm Obama Directed Anti-Flynn Operation

The media is too busy campaigning for Biden and seeking to destroy Trump to cover this bombshell of a story. 

After all, Stone only got forty months and Bolton has a book. They are also spending every day trying to keep the country in a depression to help Biden win. 

The reason that Barr is being attacked every day is because he and Durham are seeking the truth and the media and other Democrats have been lying continuously and don’t want the truth to come out. They certainly don’t care about the rule of law and equal treatment under the law. 

If anyone wants to see how massive and extensive corruption at the Justice Department has been for a long time, read the book Licensed to Lie by the great Sidney Powell, who finally got justice for a decorated retired General. I thought the media and other democrats said all generals should be respected. 

Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice

In Licensed to Lie, attorney Sidney Powell takes readers through a series of disturbing events, missteps, and cover‐ups in our federal criminal justice system. According to Powell, the malfeasance stretches across all three branches of our government — from the White House to the U.S. Senate, to members of the judiciary. Even worse, the law itself is becoming pernicious. Americans can now be prosecuted, convicted, and imprisoned for actions that are not crimes. And if acquitted, there is no recourse against prosecutors who hid evidence vital to the defense. Join us for a discussion of these distressing legal trends and what might be done about them.

So, the next time Democrat campaign workers posing as journalists and other Democrats claim they care about the rule of law, equal treatment under the law, the Constitution, separation of powers or the politicization of the Justice Department, everyone should recognize they don’t mean it. All they care about is getting a Democrat elected as president so they can infect the public with radical leftist policies that will enrich powerful politicians and career bureaucrats and absolutely decimate our freedom and prosperity.  

— Read on www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/06/ag_barr_is_under_attack_by_most_of_the_media_and_other_democrats_because_they_believe_obama_admin_criminals_are_above_the_law.html

June 27, 2020 Morning Verse Of The Day

Ver. 18.—Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel; rather, that then the Lord was very angry, etc. We have here the apodosis of the long sentence beginning with ver. 7 and continuing to the end of ver. 17. When all that is enumerated in these verses had taken place, then the Lord was moved to anger against Israel, then matters had reached a crisis, the cup of their iniquity was full, and God’s wrath, long restrained, descended on them. And removed them out of his sight. Removal out of God’s sight is loss of his favour and of his care. “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous” (Ps. 34:15)—he “knoweth their way,” “watcheth over them” (Jer. 31:28), “careth for them” (Ps. 146:8); but “the countenance of the Lord is against them [averted from them] who do evil” (Ps. 34:16). He will not look upon them nor hear them. There was none left but the tribe of Judah only. The “tribe of Judah” stands for the kingdom of the two tribes of Judah and Benjamin (see 1 Kings 11:31–36; 12:23; 2 Chron. 17:14–18), into which the greater part of Dan and Simeon had also been absorbed. This became now, exclusively, God’s “peculiar people,” the object of his love and of his care. The writer, it must be remembered, belongs to the period of the Captivity, and is not speaking of the restored Israel.[1]

17:18 — Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel, and removed them from His sight; there was none left but the tribe of Judah alone.

God is amazingly patient, but as David said, “He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever” (Ps. 103:9). There is a point of no return.[2]

17:18 none remained except the tribe of Judah alone Although the northern kingdom falls to Assyria, the kingdom of Judah continues to exist until it is conquered by Babylon in 586 bc (2 Kgs 25:1–21).[3]

17:18 After all these reports of idolatry and disobedience, the fact that the Lord was very angry seems an understatement. The final penalty for repeated idolatry was the removal of the people from God’s presence by taking them from the land he had given them.[4]

[1] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). 2 Kings (p. 335). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[2] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (2 Ki 17:18). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (2 Ki 17:18). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Bowling, A. C. (2017). 2 Kings. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 582). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Help in Our Weakness (Part 2 of 2) – Programs – Truth For Life

We know we can bring any need before God’s throne. Sometimes, though, our pain is so raw we don’t know how to express it. So what should we do? Join us on Truth For Life as Alistair Begg offers an encouraging answer. 

Forgive—We Can—We Must — BLOG – Beautiful Christian Life

Photo by Sam Rios on Unsplash

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning Beautiful Christian Life LLC may get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through its links, at no cost to you.

I have watched Leaving Neverland. As much as I could stomach anyway. It has shaken me. I heard things that I wish I had never heard. Michael Jackson was a paedophile. He coldly, cunningly, and expertly groomed his victims and their families: in this documentary two boys aged ten and seven. He did the cruelest and foulest things to them. He ravaged their childhood. He was a monster.

Could such a man be forgiven? Could we ever forgive a person who ravaged us in that way? Can we even forgive people of their far lesser crimes against us? The cruel word? The callous betrayal? Repeated offenses?

Corrie Ten Boom forgave the Nazi guard who murdered her sister. Her heavy load of poisonous bitterness was lifted. Relief! Joy! We picture ourselves doing the same and feel exhilarated in advance. But when we come to it, it is excruciatingly difficult.

Forgiving others is far easier imagined than done.

I may think I am a forgiving person. Then someone actually hurts me, and forgiving is like trying to tear down your own house with your bare hands. You don’t want to, and it’s just too hard and painful. Yet, in the fifth petition of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus pointedly demands this agonizing labor from us.

“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” (Matt. 6:12; all Scripture quotations from NIV version)

This prayer is as sweet as a pomegranate and as stern as steel. Strip out the conjunction (“as”), adverb (“also”), and pronouns (“us,” “our,” “we”), and only two words remain. Forgive. Debt. Thoroughly understanding these words is the key to understanding this prayer.

The Greek verb for “forgive” was associated with an archer shooting an arrow.

The Greek verb aphiēmi was used by Homer and the Greeks to describe an archer shooting an arrow. “Releasing” an arrow then became a vivid metaphor for releasing someone from a legal obligation. You could aphiēmi, “release,” someone from their office, their legal contract, their debt, or their marriage. Aphiēmi became the word for divorce.

The Greek-speaking Jewish scholars used aphiēmi in their translation of the Hebrew Old Testament, the Septuagint. Note these examples:

  • Leviticus 16 commanded the scapegoat, symbolically bearing the sins of Israel, to be aphiēmi, released into the desert.

  • Leviticus 25 mandated that every fifty years, debt-slaves were to be freed and property that had been sold to repay debts was to be freed and returned to the original owner. A ram’s horn was blown to announce the year of freedom and release from debt bondage. This was the Jubilee Year, and in fact the Septuagint translates Jubilee with the related noun, aphēsis, the year of “release.”

  • Deuteronomy 15 commanded all debts to be cancelled every seven years. The cancellation was aphiēmi, release from obligation.

When Jacob died, Joseph’s brothers were terrified: “What if Joseph holds a grudge and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?” They concocted a story to save their hides, “Dad said that you have to forgive us.” “So please forgive (aphiēmi) the sins of the servants of the God of your father” (see Gen. 50:15-21).

Joseph didn’t buy it, but neither did he get angry. He wept. The brothers groveled, “We are your slaves!” But Joseph reassured them with kind words, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?” “I will provide for you and your children.”

The Bible emphasizes action above words. Joseph didn’t use the word “forgive,” but he did exactly that. He gave up his right to anger and harm. He was kind and loving and worked for his brothers’ good.

In the New Testament, the Greek word Jesus used for “forgive” has three basic meanings. 

First, aphiēmi means to dismiss or release someone or something from a person or place. Jesus sent (aphiēmi) the crowd away in Matthew 15:39. Jesus dismissed (aphiēmi) his spirit in Matthew 27:50.

Second, it means to leave something or someone. James and John left their boat, nets, and father in Matthew 4:22. The fever left (aphiēmi) Peter’s mother-in-law in Matthew 8:14. Jesus promised not to leave (aphiēmi) his disciples as orphans.

Third, it means to release from legal or moral obligation or consequence. So aphiēmi is a word for divorce in the New Testament. It refers to cancelling a financial debt in Matthew 18:27.

Put all this together and you have a high-definition image of the word that Jesus chose to use in the fifth petition, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” We pray for God to release us from something—and affirm that we have released others from that same thing.

From what exactly do we ask to be released?

This is the second word, opheilēma. The Anglican Book of Common Prayer translated opheilēma as “trespasses,” and this is the source of the cherished traditional form of the Lord’s Prayer. Opheilēma is however translated “debts” in all our major English translations: KJV, RSV, NASB, NRSV, ESV, Holman’s, NIV, etc.

Opheilēma refers to something owed. In Romans 4:4 it is wages owed for work done. In Matthew 18:30 it is a financial debt. In Romans 13:8 it is the love that Christians owe to one another. In 1 Corinthians 7:3 it is the sexual relationship that husbands and wives “owe” to one another.

What debt do we owe?

In the fifth petition we pray that our heavenly Father will release us from what we owe to him: “Forgive us our debts.” What debt do we owe? Because God is a just God, and we have broken his laws, we owe him punishment. Punishment is a debt that we must pay for our rebellion. “The wages of sin is death.” We pray, “Forgive us our debt of punishment. Release us from our obligation to be punished. Do not treat us as those who owe you punishment.”

Stop and take this in. The holy Lord whose fury breaks out against lawbreakers, the sovereign Judge of the world whose very being thirsts for perfect justice, can forgive us our debts. He can treat us as though we no longer needed to be punished. A real-life example may help where words fail.

David owed a tremendous debt of punishment to the holy and just Lord. 

God gave David everything. Yet he lusted for Bathsheba, the wife of one of his mighty men, one of his close and trusted companions in war, a man with whom he had stood side-by-side through the blood and fire of the battlefield, armor to armor, shield to shield, life to life. David took Bathsheba and defiled her and murdered her chastity. He did this while his friend, her husband, fought on the frontline defending his nation.

Discovering that he had made her pregnant, David cooked up a cowardly cover-up. He called his “friend” Uriah home and plied him with drink in the hope that he would go home to the bed of his wife, something that soldiers on active duty were loath to do while their companions suffered in the field. Having botched the cover-up, David plotted to murder his friend by having him abandoned in the midst of battle. He made his friend carry the written plan for his own murder. Uriah the Hittite was slaughtered to plan.

David stood before the Lord guilty of adultery, deceit, betrayal, cowardice, and murder. David owed a tremendous debt of punishment to the holy and just Lord. But David confessed his sin and pleaded for forgiveness, and the Lord forgave him. David later sang about this in Psalm 32,

Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit. (Ps. 32:1-2)

God longs to forgive us our sins.

This is what the Lord wills to do! Jesus commands us to pray for this. God longs to forgive us our sins:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Yet Jesus welds something to this prayer for forgiveness: “Forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.” This is the only one of the six petitions attached to a qualifying clause. This prayer is like the baby brought to Solomon. You can’t take a sword and cut one half from the other without destroying it.

And notice that this is the only one of the six petitions, after the Lord’s Prayer, that Jesus refers back to with an explanation:

“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” (Matt. 6:14-15)

This is very direct and clear, and it is stated twice over. First positively, “If you forgive then God will forgive you.” Then negatively, “If you don’t forgive, then God won’t forgive you.”

There is no loophole, exception clause, or fine print. There is no soft spot that a clever lawyer could exploit to find a situation where we will not have to forgive. Jesus is absolute. Forgive, or else.

There is no situation where we don’t have to forgive.

Jesus spells out the reason for this in a powerful parable in Matthew 18:23-25. Imagine a king who demands that his underlings repay their loans. One of them owes ten thousand talents of gold. Back in the day a talent of gold was worth about twenty-five years of work, say $1.5 million in today’s terms. So this man owed the equivalent of 250,000 years of work, about $15 billion, more than all the money in the world of Jesus’ listeners. Jesus made them laugh to think of such a gargantuan sum.

The servant begs for time to repay, an impossible task. Yet, “The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt (aphiēmi) and let him go” (Matt. 18:27). Fresh from the relief of forgiveness, the servant now hunts down someone who owed him 100 denarii, about $25,000. A fair bit of money, but only a fraction of a fraction of what he’d just been forgiven. So what does the servant do? He seizes his debtor and starts strangling him!

The strangled debtor does exactly what the servant did. He fell on his knees with exactly the same plea and promise: “Be patient!  I’ll repay!” However, his promise was doable. He could have repaid his creditor in installments over a few years. The wretched servant refuses and has the man thrown into prison.

The master is livid: “You wicked servant, I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to do so. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?” (see Matt. 18:32-33).

The servant had no appreciation for what had been done for him.

The servant’s refusal to forgive showed that he had zero grasp of and appreciation for what had been done for him. His heart had not been affected, and so his behavior did not change. “In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.” Which would have been never.

The punch-line? “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Want the best for those who have hurt you.

Who has hurt you? Your reputation? Your business? Your feelings? Your future? Whether out of cruelty, thoughtlessness, spite, or pride? Forgive them. Let the crime go. Want the best for them. Want them to have a good future. Want them to find peace and happiness. Treat them, as far as you are able, with kindness. Want them to be saved.

This does not mean that hard conversations must not be had, “If your brother or sister sins against you, go and show them their fault.” This does not necessarily mean that you bring the thief back into your business, or the abuser back into the home, or the unrepentant back into fellowship:

But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. (1 Cor. 5:11)

Forgiveness yearns for and takes steps towards reconciliation, knowing that it may not be possible. But an inability to reconcile does not in the slightest preclude our forgiving others, loving them, praying for their best, wanting them to find salvation and heaven.

Could we forgive a monster like Michael Jackson? Can we forgive like Corrie Ten Boom? Can we forgive those around us for their cruel and thoughtless offenses?

We can. We must.

The Lord’s Prayer draws us together around the hearth of forgiveness. We pray for our Father’s forgiveness. He forgives us, and knowing the abysmal depth and extent of all that he is forgiven in us—things done in secret or in the secret places of our mind that would appall others if only they knew—then we cannot help but forgive others. And so the Christian home and church become beautiful places of patience, forgiveness, and love.

Forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors.

Related Articles:

Campbell Markham is a Presbyterian pastor in Hobart, Tasmania. He blogs at Campbell Markham: Thoughts and Letters.

via Forgive—We Can—We Must — BLOG – Beautiful Christian Life

June 27 – The God who drives away all fear — Reformed Perspective

“The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.” – Proverbs 29:25

Scripture reading: 1 Kings 19:1-18

As Christians, “fear” can fill our hearts as we look at the fallen world around us! We live in a world where Christian persecution is on the rise, not only in foreign lands, but also in our own cities, schools and workplaces. Thus, “fear,” especially, the “fear of man” is a real and present danger for God’s people!

When we look at Elijah, we can see just how greatly the “fear of man” can affect one’s life and work! (v.3). Elijah was so overwhelmed at Jezebel’s threats that he wanted to die (v.4). Yes, such “fear” is a “snare”; it’s a trap! Something that constricts around you like a python with its prey! But for the Christian, the “fear of God” is to abide in his heart and not the “fear of man.” When we see God for Who He is, it drives out fear and instills in us new courage. This happened for Elijah when God spoke to him in the still small voice! (v.12). God humbled him and charged him to take up his work boldly and without fear!

Do you live with such fear? Well, as one who “trusts” in God, you are “safe”, that is, lifted above the swirl of enemies about you! You’re set on the Rock, Who is Christ and in Him you’ll never be shaken! Therefore, go forth boldly in the fear of the Lord for that will drive out the “fear of man” from your heart!

Suggestions for prayer

Confess your fears to God and ask Him to fill you with courage and boldness. Read God’s Word daily, focusing on His power, attributes and promises for that will feed your fear for God and help to fight against your fear of man.

Rev. Ancel Merwin is the minister of Immanuel United Reformed Church in Listowel, Ontario. This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

via June 27 – The God who drives away all fear — Reformed Perspective