Daily Archives: July 5, 2020

Today’s Cancel Culture | Monergism

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once said, “If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.”

Every day in our cities, we are witnessing social justice advocates toppling statues and cancelling those who have had sin in their past. It is quite a sight to behold and reminds me somewhat of actions taken during the Chinese cultural revolution (1966-1976). Last night some rioters burned the 120-year-old Thompson Elk statue in downtown Portland, where I live. I am still trying to figure out what the elk did to anybody. Others in my city have toppled a Thomas Jefferson statue. Some Hollywood stars have been cancelled because of various racially insensitive things they have done in their past.

Do these people (living and dead) justly deserve to be cancelled? Absolutely…. But so do I. In fact, I deserve it more than most. And if we all think about it, who among us is without any sin worth being cancelled over? Consider when the Pharisees caught a woman in sin and took her to Jesus to ask what might be done to her. Jesus answered, ‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her’…when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”” (John 8:7=10)

The self-righteous are blinded to their own need for mercy and many of today’s critical theorists appear to have fully embraced the worldview of the Pharisees, thinking themselves righteous enough to take justice into their own hands. Such is to erroneously conclude that all the sinners in the world are OUT THERE, and if we just rid the world of them, us righteous people would make a better world. But this is frankly, a misapprehension of human nature. We can’t escape ourselves and the seed of evil exists in every one of us. So we need to understand that the problem with the world begins with me. We all are guilty of sin against a holy God and against one another. Because of this we all desperately are in need of redemption.

That is where the good news comes in. God, far from cancelling sinners like me, has sent his Son, Jesus Christ in time space history to take upon himself the just “cancellation” sinners like me justly deserve. The Apostle declared, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:9). And Paul said of himself, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners–of whom I am the worst.” (1 Ti 1:15) O, He is a merciful God. He can forgive all kinds of sinners: the greedy, the sexually immoral, racists, and even self-righteous people. Come to Jesus, all you who are weary and heavy laden, and he will give rest to your souls. He not only forgives our sins, but unites us to Himself, and begins working in us that which is good. Only the gospel can reconcile the world to God and to one another. Jesus “ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” (Rev. 5:9)

— Read on www.monergism.com/blog/todays-cancel-culture

Important Bill Barr Interview Segment With Maria Bartiromo: “This is the closest we have ever come to an organized effort to push a president out of office”… — The Last Refuge

As Max Ehmann said in 1927 “whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”  From an important reference point, this quote holds additional meaning when cast against the backdrop of this Bill Barr segment. [More on that later.]

This morning Maria Bartiromo released a previous segment of her interview with AG Bill Barr that was not originally broadcast.  It is a very insightful segment.  AG Barr begins by acknowledging a very key and foundational point: President Donald Trump was indeed targeted by various entities in a concerted effort to remove him from office.  Do not let the importance of just that statement alone sit without its appropriate weight.

Second, another key aspect from the attorney general perspective is highlighted at 03:30 to 03:53 where he notes the role and responsibility of media. The importance of a distinction Barr makes is subtle for most, but for CTH it’s important because of THIS.

I would urge everyone to take the time to watch this segment.

via Important Bill Barr Interview Segment With Maria Bartiromo: “This is the closest we have ever come to an organized effort to push a president out of office”… — The Last Refuge

Update on virus outbreak and other news — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Christians wearing face masks to help protect against the spread of the new coronavirus use hand sanitizer before attending a service at the Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, July 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)


— Coronavirus pandemic and Floyd’s death merge in brutal blow to Black well-being

— Fewer children will attend summer camp due to the pandemic; some camps won’t survive

— Debates become highly-emotional as schools across the U.S. decide how and if to open

— Iran mandates masks as public shrugs off resurgent virus

— Gig workers face shifting roles, competition in coronavirus pandemic

— Naked men and drunks: England assesses the reopening of pubs


PHOENIX — Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego is pointing to a “crisis” involving coronavirus testing shortages in her city due to surging cases in Arizona, which leads the U.S. in new coronavirus cases per capita.

Gallego, a Democrat, said some residents over the weekend had to line up for eight hours by car to get tested.

Gallego told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that Arizona went from “zero to 60” by being one of the first states to reopen after it was among the last to implement stay-at-home orders.

Arizona health officials reported 3,536 additional coronavirus cases Sunday and four more known deaths. That brings the state’s documented totals to 98,089 confirmed cases of COVID-19 cases and 1,809 known deaths.


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia has experienced its biggest two-day jump in confirmed coronavirus cases, according to health statistics released Sunday.

The Department of Health and Human Resources website showed an increase of 76 positive cases on Sunday and 118 on Saturday. West Virginia has seen a 16% jump in confirmed cases over the past week and a 30% increase in the past two weeks, the statistics showed.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said Thursday he would decide by early this week whether he will order that face masks be worn inside buildings and when social distancing isn’t possible. The governor had lifted most virus restrictions implemented to prevent the spread of the virus.

At least 95 people in West Virginia have died from the virus and more than 3,300 have tested positive since the outbreak began.


JACKSON, Miss. — Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn says he has tested positive for the coronavirus as state health officials report more than 200 new infections and five deaths linked to the pandemic.

Gunn, a Republican, said in a video posted Sunday to Facebook that he got tested because he had been in close proximity to another member of the House who tested positive.

“I felt like I needed to go get myself tested just because I had been with this person and this morning was informed that I too have tested positive for COVID,” Gunn said. “I feel very fortunate that I don’t really have very many symptoms and feel fine.”

Gunn said he called everyone that he had been in close proximity to recently to let them know of his diagnosis and planned to self-quarantine.

Gunn is the state’s highest-ranking political figure to publicly disclose a positive test for the coronavirus. He did not say who the other House member was. The Mississippi Department of Health posted its latest coronavirus statistics Sunday. The state recorded 226 new cases through Saturday bringing the total number of confirmed and probable infections to 30,900 across the state. Five more people also died from COVID-19.


MADRID — Authorities in northwestern Spain have ordered the lockdown of a county with a population of 71,000 for fears of a coronavirus outbreak.

Regional authorities in Galicia announced Sunday that movement to and from A Mariña county located on Spain’s northern Atlantic coast will be prohibited starting at midnight. It will run through Friday, two days before the region holds elections.

The decision comes one day after regional authorities in northeast Catalonia locked down an area with over 200,000 inhabitants.

Both lockdowns only allow people to leave the areas for work and other extenuating circumstances.

The small-scale lockdowns come two weeks after Spain ended a national state of emergency that enable the national government to lockdown the entire country and prohibit travel between provinces or certain areas since mid-March.

Over 28,000 people are confirmed to have died from the virus in Spain.


MEXICO CITY — Residents of the town of Sonoyta, across from Lukeville, Arizona, briefly blocked the main road leading south from the U.S. border over the weekend over fears of coronavirus outbreaks.

Arizona has seen a major upsurge in infections and there were worries about intensified contagion during the July 4 weekend.

Sonoyta Mayor José Ramos Arzate issued a statement Saturday “inviting U.S. tourists not to visit Mexico.”

Local residents organized to block the road with their cars on the Mexican side Saturday.

Video posted by residents showed several travelers complaining that they had a right to cross because they were Mexican citizens. The road is the quickest route to the seaside resort of Puerto Peñasco, also known as Rocky Point.

Ramos Arzate wrote that people from the United States should only be allowed in “for essential activities, and for that reason, the checkpoint and inspection point a few meters from the Sonoyta-Lukeville AZ crossing will continue operating.”


DALLAS — Leaders in two of Texas’ biggest cities are calling on the governor to empower local governments to order residents to stay home as the state’s continued surge in confirmed cases of the coronavirus tests hospital capacity.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler, a Democrat, told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that he wants Republican Gov. Gregg Abbott to return control to local governments. He says hospitals are facing a crisis and that ICUs could be overrun in 10 days.

In the Houston area, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who is also a Democrat, says a stay-at-home order is needed.

Texas reported its highest daily increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases Saturday with 8,258.


WASHINGTON — Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says if President Donald Trump were to hold a campaign rally in his Trump-friendly state, people will need to wear masks.

Hutchinson says he would expect people to follow his state’s health guidelines by practicing social distancing or wearing masks if unable to do so.

He says he understands the value of having national Fourth of July celebrations such as at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota and that there is some “virus fatigue,” but that people should have been wearing face coverings to “set an example.”

Trump won Arkansas in 2016 with over 60% of the vote.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, says he’d like to see a national strategy on the coronavirus, including a mask requirement. He says his state is seeing “small spikes in reinfection” from residents coming back from Florida, South Carolina and other virus hotspots, and the U.S. is “as strong as our weakest link right now.”

Trump has recently held campaign-style events in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Phoenix and Washington D.C. where he and many rally attendees didn’t wear masks.

Hutchinson and Murphy spoke on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”


LJUBLJANA, Slovenia — Slovenia says 15 people have been infected with the new coronavirus at a nursing home for the first time in weeks as the country faces a spike in cases.

Authorities said Sunday that nine residents and six staff have so far tested positive at the nursing home in the southwestern town of Vipava. The first case was confirmed on Friday.

Slovenia says this is the first resurgence of the virus in the country’s nursing homes since May. Most of the country’s 111 fatalities from the new coronavirus have been recorded among elderly nursing home residents.

Slovenia has confirmed 1,700 cases of the new coronavirus among the country’s 2 million people. The numbers have started to rise in the past days with 21 new cases confirmed on Sunday.


ROME — After five straight days of small increases, the number of day-to-day confirmed COVID-19 cases in Italy has dipped.

According to Health Ministry figures on Sunday, 192 cases were registered in the previous 24 hours, compared to 235 in Saturday’s tally.

Feeding some of those recent increases, concerned authorities have said, were hotspots of contagion blamed on infected people entering Italy.

Among them was a businessman in northeast Italy who took ill after driving back from a trip in Serbia but despite a fever attended a funeral and a birthday party shortly after he returned home. That man is now hospitalized in intensive care.

The majority of Italy’s 20 regions registered a handful or fewer of new cases on Sunday.

Italy’s confirmed coronavirus infections as of Sunday total 241,611. But many with mild symptoms, as well as numerous elderly residents of nursing homes, didn’t get tested.

Including the seven deaths were registered on Sunday nationwide, 34,861 people with confirmed coronavirus have died in Italy during the pandemic.


ATHENS, Greece — Greece has banned Serbian travelers because of a spike in COVID-19 cases in that country.

The ban will take effect at 6 a.m. Monday and will last until July 15, but can be extended, a government spokeswoman announced Sunday.

Greek authorities also announced nine new cases of coronavirus and no fatalities in the past 24 hours Sunday.

Seven of the nine cases involved tourists tested upon arrival.

Greece’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases is now 3,519, with 192 dead.


PRISTINA, Kosovo — The Kosovar government on has reimposed curfew times in the capital and three other cities following a significant spike of the new virus cases.

Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti said Sunday that in Pristina and three other cities with the highest increasing numbers there ill be again a curfew time from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. (1900-0300 GMT). Public transport also will cut in half the allowed number of passengers in the buses, too.

A day earlier Kosovar authorities reported 8 deaths from the coronavirus, the highest daily number in the Western Balkan country since the start of the outbreak in March. New daily cases were 178, also the highest so far.

Increased new cases and daily deaths have worried the authorities in the nation of 1.8 million population after the ease of the lockdown measures a month ago.

Masks are mandatory in all public places.

During the two-month long lockdown the country dealt well in coping with the virus. But following that the daily new cases and deaths have increased significantly, with at least 3,356 confirmed cases and 66 deaths as of Saturday.


MIAMI — Florida health officials say the state has reached a grim milestone: more than 200,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19.

State statistics released Sunday show about 10,000 new people tested positive. Saturday’s numbers — more than 11,400 cases — marked a record new single-day high. More than 3,700 people have died.

About 43% of the cases are in three counties: Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” that the high numbers of positive tests both in his county and the state are “extremely worrisome.”

Suarez, who had the virus in March, says it’s clear the growth is “exponential at this point” and officials are closely monitoring hospitalizations. They’re also closely watching the death rate, which “give us the impression” that “much stricter” measures have to be taken.

Florida’s death count is the ninth highest in the country overall and the 27th highest per capita at 17.4 deaths per 100,000 people.

Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by 5,323.1, an increase of 184.1%.


NEW YORK — Tattoo parlors and other personal care businesses like nail salons will be allowed to welcome customers in New York City starting Monday, as it enters Phase 3 of reopening.

The rest of the state’s regions have already moved into Phase 3. New York City will still be more limited, as officials decided last week to hold off on allowing indoor dining indefinitely out of concerns that it would cause a spike in new coronavirus cases. Outdoor dining is in effect.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there were more than 530 new confirmed cases of the virus reported around the state on Saturday and eight deaths. At the height of New York’s virus outbreak, new infections reached daily totals of more than 10,000 and deaths topped 700.

So far, reopening had been allowed for retail stores and offices.


WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration commissioner is declining to back up President Donald Trump’s claim that 99% of coronavirus cases are “harmless.”

Dr. Stephen Hahn tells CNN and ABC that he’s “not going to get into who is right and who is wrong,” but that government data clearly show “this is a serious problem.”

He adds that “any case is tragic” and that to stem the tide of surging cases people should follow government guidance to practice social distancing and wear a mask.

In Fourth of July remarks, Trump said the U.S. was testing too much and falsely asserted that “by so doing, we show cases, 99% of which are totally harmless.”

The World Health Organization in fact has said about 20% of those diagnosed with COVID-19 progress to severe disease, including pneumonia and respiratory failure. Those with mild or no symptoms, meanwhile, could spread the virus to others.

The mayor of Austin, Texas, where COVID-19 cases are surging, called Trump’s remarks “dangerous” and “wrong.” Mayor Steve Adler urged people to listen to local officials for public safety guidance rather than the “ambiguous message coming out of Washington.”


WASHINGTON — Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego is pointing to a “crisis” involving coronavirus testing shortages in her city due to surging cases in Arizona, which leads the U.S. in new coronavirus cases per capita.

Gallego, a Democrat, said some residents over the weekend had to line up for eight hours by car to get COVID-19 tests and that the federal government has been slow to help.

Gallego tells ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that Arizona went from “zero to 60” by being one of the first states to reopen after it was among the last to implement stay-at-home orders.

She says that led to an explosion of cases, citing crowded nightclubs with free champagne and people unwittingly spreading the virus at large family gatherings.

She faults mixed public messaging after President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Phoenix. Gallego says while she was urging people to stay at home and avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, Trump undercut that by holding large events and not wearing a mask.


VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is praising U.N. Security Council efforts for worldwide cease-fires to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

In remarks Sunday to the public in St. Peter’s Square, Francis hailed the Security Council’s “request for a global and immediate cease-fire, which would permit the peace and security indispensable for supplying so urgently needed humanitarian assistance.”

The pontiff called for the prompt implementation “for the good of the so many persons who are suffering.” He also expressed hope that the Security Council resolution be a “courageous first step for the future of peace.”

The resolution calls on parties to armed conflicts to immediately cease fire for at least 90 days to enable safe, sustained delivery of humanitarian assistance, including medical evacuations.


BALTIMORE — The United States has dipped under 50,000 new coronavirus cases for the first time in four days, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, but experts fear celebrations for the July 4th Independence Day weekend will act like rocket fuel for the nation’s surging outbreak.

Johns Hopkins counted 45,300 new coronavirus infections in the U.S. on Saturday after three days in which the daily count reached as high as 54,500 new cases. The lower figure on Saturday does not necessarily mean the situation in the U.S. is improving, as it could be due to reduced reporting on a national holiday.

The United States has the most infections and virus-related deaths in the world, with 2.8 million cases and nearly 130,000 dead, according to the university. Experts say the true toll of the pandemic is significantly higher, due to people who died before they were tested and missed mild cases.

To show just how steep the current infection curve is in the U.S., the country was reporting under 20,000 new infections a day as recently as June 15.

Despite warnings by health experts to limit gatherings, President Donald Trump went ahead with a speech at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota on Friday and an evening of tribute and fireworks Saturday on the National Mall in Washington.


LONDON — After England’s hospitality sector, including pubs and restaurants, reopened for the first time in more than three months, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said Sunday that the vast majority of people did “the right thing.”

Early indications suggest that the reopening of pubs in England on Saturday did not overwhelm emergency services as many had feared in the run-up to the biggest easing of the lockdown.

For the most part, people appeared to abide by the rules, though in some places, the numbers out and about meant it was very difficult to do so.

John Apter, chair of the Police Federation, was on shift on Saturday night, and said it was “crystal clear” that drunk people struggled, or ignored, social distancing rules.

Though the easing has been warmly welcomed by many, there are concerns the British government is being overly hasty in sanctioning the changes.

The U.K. has experienced one of the world’s worst outbreaks so far, with the official coronavirus death toll of 44,198 is the third-highest behind the United States and Brazil.

Source: Associated Press

via Update on virus outbreak and other news — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

July 5 Don’t Quit!


I’ve got my eye on my goal … I’m not turning back.
(Philippians 3:13, TM)

Get your eyes out of the rear-view mirror and start looking ahead. Celebrate the fact that you’ve survived! The devil tried to destroy you, but the good news is that he failed! In spite of all you’ve been through, you’re a walking, talking, breathing “miracle of grace.” Right? God must have kept you around for some reason, so try to find it! Look at David after his encounter with Bathsheba and Peter after he denied Jesus. They’re the same men, just recycled and restored by grace! That’s what God can do! Your last chapter has not been written yet. Refuse to accept the verdict of those who say you’ll never amount to anything. Get up! Stand on God’s promises, take off your grave clothes, and dare to live again!

Paul says, “Let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us” (Philippians 3:14, TM). You may say, “But it’s so hard.” Sure it is—for all of us. But you’ll never discover your potential for victory until you get into a battle. It’s in your struggles that you discover your strengths and learn to deal with your weaknesses. The biggest sin of all is not failing—it’s quitting!


When you quit, there’s nothing more God can do for you. So, ask Him to give you the strength to get back on track today.[1]


[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 186). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

July 5 Boast about God


Psalm 34:2

My soul shall make its boast in the Lord.

When I feel afraid, I’m prone to pull the blanket over my head and hope it goes away. Or I nurse my fears. The adversary of our souls loves to get our attention focused on ourselves and not on the resources of our God.

What will happen when you praise and worship God? Your praise makes God big in your heart and mind. Soon, your problem falls into perspective. When I worship God, sometimes even with the tears coming down my face, my spirit is renewed as I praise God. My problem doesn’t go away, but all of a sudden I see it in relation to the One who is in charge of everything.

It’s interesting what we boast about, isn’t it? At the last party you went to, what did you boast about? Put the spotlight on the Lord and focus on Him. When we get together with friends, let’s just brag on Jesus. So many good things are happening in our lives as individuals, in our families, and in our churches that we ought to boast on the Lord all the time.[1]


[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 196). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

July 5, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

the good shepherd loves his sheep

“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” (10:14–15)

It is because the Lord loves His own that He gave His life for them. The word know is used here to denote that love relationship. In Genesis 4:1, 17, 25; 19:8; 24:16; and 1 Samuel 1:19 the term know describes the intimate love relationship between husband and wife (the nasb translates the Hebrew verb “to know” in those verses “had relations with”). In Amos 3:2 God said of Israel, “You only have I known of all the families of the earth” (nkjv), speaking not as if He were unaware of any other nations, but of His unique love relationship with His people. Matthew 1:25 literally reads that Joseph “was not knowing [Mary]” until after the birth of Jesus. On the day of judgment, Jesus will send unbelievers away from Him because He does not know them; that is, He has no love relationship with them (Matt. 7:23). In these verses, know has that same connotation of a relationship of love. The simple truth here is that Jesus in love knows His own, they in love know Him, the Father in love knows Jesus, and He in love knows the Father. Believers are caught up in the deep and intimate affection that is shared between God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. 14:21, 23; 15:10; 17:25–26).[1]

14–15 Again Jesus declares that he is “the shepherd,” i.e., “the good one” (the repetition of the article places the adjective in apposition). Consequently, his sheep know him. The verb ginōskō (“to know,” GK 1182) occurs four times in vv. 14–15: Jesus knows his sheep and his sheep know him, the Father knows Jesus and Jesus knows the Father. Of the 222 occurrences of the verb in the NT, 82 are found in the Johannine literature (57 in the fourth gospel alone). While the Greeks held that knowledge of God was attainable by philosophical-theological contemplation of the divine reality, the Hebrews viewed knowledge as the result of entering into a personal relationship with God. The relationship between shepherd and sheep is like that between Father and Son. They know one another in the fullest sense of the word. Three times in a span of eight verses Jesus stresses that, as the good shepherd, he lays down his life for his sheep (vv. 11, 15, 17). It is the willingness of the shepherd to put his own welfare aside and to give himself without reservation for the benefit of his flock that defines what it means to be a good shepherd. This “goodness” is the self-emptying concern for others that was modeled by Jesus in his life and death. It is the expected lifestyle of all who bear his name. Whether or not we are in the family of God is evident by the degree of family likeness we bear.[2]

14–15 Again comes the majestic assertion that Jesus is the Good Shepherd, this time not directly linked with his laying down of his life. Instead there is first put forward the relationship between the Good Shepherd and his sheep and arising from that a reiteration of his determination to lay down his life for them. Being the Good Shepherd, he knows his sheep. And his sheep know him (cf. v. 4). There is a relationship of mutual knowledge, a reciprocal knowledge that is not superficial but intimate. It is likened to the knowledge wherewith Jesus knows the Father and the Father knows him. It may be that the love implied in this relationship elicits the following statement that Jesus lays down his life for the sheep.46 Or it may be a simple addition. Either way it is the culmination of this part of the discourse. Jesus here speaks directly in the first person, “I lay down my life,” whereas in verse 11 he has used the third person, “the good shepherd lays down his life.”[3]

14–15 Again (as in v. 9) Jesus repeats the “I am” expression: “I am the good Shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father” (vv. 14–15a). Here the metaphor of shepherd and sheep begins to give way to the characteristic pairing of Jesus with “the Father.” We have heard nothing of “the Father” since 8:54, but from here to the end of the chapter he will be very much a part of the discussion (see vv. 17, 18, 25, 29, 30, 32, 36, 37, 38). That “I know mine and mine know me” builds (albeit vaguely) on the notion in the introductory parable that “the sheep hear his voice,” and that the shepherd summons them “by name” (v. 3). The neuter pronoun for “mine” probably has as its antecedent “the sheep” or “his own sheep” from that scene (vv. 3, 4) and from the later contrast between the shepherd and the hireling (v. 12; see also v. 27). Yet “the Father” is no necessary part of the imagery of shepherd and sheep, and the analogy between the mutual knowledge of Father and Son and of the Son and his disciples is by no means dependent on the Son being visualized as Shepherd and the disciples as sheep (see, for example, Mt 11:27 and Lk 10:22). It is the Father, in fact, who makes it possible for Jesus to make the role of a “good shepherd” (v. 11) his own: “And I lay down my life for the sheep” (v. 15). But this time Jesus is not simply telling what any “good shepherd” customarily does for his sheep (as in v. 11), but is instead revealing what he himself does as “good Shepherd.” The verb “I lay down” is present (as in v. 11), but points toward the future, when Jesus will give himself over to arresting authorities in order to spare his disciples (18:8), and eventually give himself up to death on the cross (19:30). Still, it is not exactly a futuristic present, for Jesus’ life is already at risk, and has been ever since “the Jews began pursuing” him (5:16), and “kept seeking all the more to kill him” (5:18; see also 7:1, 19, 25; 8:37, 40).[4]

Vers. 14, 15.—The Lord resumes: I am the good Shepherd. He now makes his discourse more explicit. He almost drops the allegory, and merely adopts the sacred metaphor. His self-revelation becomes more full of promise and suggestion for all time. He takes up one of the characteristics of the shepherd which discriminated him from “hireling,” “thief,” or “robber.” And I know mine own, and my own know me, even as the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father. This more accurate text, translation, and punctuation of the Revised Version brings into living comparison the mutual knowledge of Christ and his own sheep, with the mutual knowledge of Christ and the Father. Christ’s personal knowledge of his people is that which comes into their religious consciousness. They know his knowledge of them. They know him to be what he is—to be their Lord God, as they realize his personal recognition and care. The one involves the other (see Gal. 4:9; 1 Cor. 8:3). The particle of transition is more than a mere illustration (καθώς) is more than ὥσπερ̀ κάθώς introduces not infrequently an explanation, sometimes a causal consideration, or an illustration which accounts for the previous statement; see ch. 15:12; 17:21, 23). The knowledge which the sheep have of the Shepherd corresponds with the Son’s knowledge of the Father, and the Shepherd’s knowledge of the sheep answers to the Father’s knowledge of the Son; but more than this, the relation of the Son to the Father, thus expressed, is the real ground of the Divine intimacies between the sheep and the Shepherd (cf. ch. 15:10; 17:8). Then the Lord repeats and renews the solemn statement made at the commencement of the sentence, And I lay down my life for the sheep. Such knowledge of the peril of “his own” involves him in sacrifice. Whereas in ver. 11 this is attributed to the “good Shepherd,” now he drops the first part of the figure, and says, “I am laying down my life.”[5]

14. And I know my sheep, and am known by mine. In the former clause, he again holds out his love towards us; for knowledge proceeds from love, and is accompanied by care. But it means also that he utterly disregards all who do not obey the Gospel, as he repeats in the second clause, and confirms what he had formerly said, that—on the other hand—he is known by the sheep.[6]

14–15. Contrasting himself with Jewish leaders who were like hired hands, Jesus said, I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. Unlike the Jewish leaders who did not ‘know’ the people, Jesus knew his people and they knew him. When Jesus spoke about the Father ‘knowing’ him, he did not mean that he knew about him, or was acquainted with him, but that he enjoyed an intimate personal relationship with him. It is amazing that Jesus said his knowledge of his disciples and their knowledge of him involved a similar intimate personal relationship.

Jesus reiterated what he had said earlier (11) by saying, I lay down my life for the sheep. The imagery is the same: those who shepherd in the open country must be prepared to lay their lives on the line for the sheep. Jesus said he would actually lay down his life for the sake of his sheep (the disciples). It was his love that led him to do this for them (cf. 15:13: ‘Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends’), and his love made him the ‘good shepherd’.

References to Jesus as ‘the good shepherd’ recall Jeremiah 23:2–4, where God himself promises to gather the scattered people Israel, and Ezekiel 34:11–16, where God promises to look after his sheep, providing them with good pasture, caring for the injured and weak, and shepherding the flock with justice. There are also possibly allusions to Psalm 23, in which God is again depicted as the good shepherd. So Jesus’ claim to be ‘the good shepherd’ was more than a claim to do what the national leaders of his day failed to do. It was also a claim to be one with God the Father, who is ‘the good shepherd’ of his people.[7]

14. I am the good shepherd. See on v. 11. and know my [sheep], and am known of mine. As the word “sheep” is a supplement, it is perhaps better to render the words, ‘and know mine, and am known of mine’ [γινώσκω τὰ ἐμὰ, καὶ γινώσκομαι ὑπὸ τῶν ἐμῶν]. Lachmann and Tregelles read, ‘and mine know me’ [γινώσκουσίν με τὰ ἐμὰ], but, as we judge, on insufficient evidence: Tischendorf abides by the received text.[8]

14, 15. I am the good shepherd, and I know my own, and my own know me, just as my Father knows me and I know my Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Here we have an emphatic repetition and amplification of the preceding. Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd.” This is a repetition of 10:11 (see explanation of that verse). Here (in verse 14 and 15), however, the matter is not merely stated but fully set forth. Jesus—and he alone—is the good shepherd, for:

  • in distinction from the Pharisees viewed as strangers (10:5), he knows his sheep. Note: “I know.” See 10:27; 2 Tim. 2:19. He knows the name (10:3) and nature of each sheep, and the sheep have an experiential knowledge of their shepherd (10:3, 4).
  • in distinction from the Pharisees viewed as thieves and robbers (10:1, 8, 10), he owns his sheep. He calls them: “my own.” See 6:37, 39; 17:6, 24.
  • in distinction from the Pharisees viewed as hirelings (10:12, 13), he loves his sheep, even to the point of offering himself as a sacrifice in their behalf and in their stead. He says, “I lay down my life for the sheep.” For explanation of this sublime statement see on verse 11. (Note, however, the difference: in verse 11 the third person is used; here in verse 15 the first person; hence verse 15 explains verse 11).

Note also the chiastic arrangement of the parallelism which we have in these verses:

  1. I know my own
  2. my own know me
  3. (just as) my Father knows me, and
  4. I know the Father.

In a. and d. Jesus, the good shepherd, is the subject: the action proceeds from him. In b. and c. he is the object: the action proceeds from the sheep and from the Father.

What Jesus states in these verses cannot mean that the fellowship which is found on earth (between good shepherd and sheep) is just as close as is that which is found in heaven (between the Father and the Son), but that the former is patterned after (is a reflection of) the latter. For the closeness of the fellowship between the Father and the Son see 10:30, 38; 14:11, 17, 21; also Matt. 11:27.

Four times in these two verses the verb know (γινώσκω) occurs. See on 1:10, 31; 3:11; 8:28. It is here a knowledge of experience and of loving fellowship. Jesus acknowledges his own (as his true disciples); they acknowledge him (as their Lord). Nothing could be more wonderful! Thus also the Father acknowledges the Son; the Son acknowledges the Father.[9]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). John 1–11 (pp. 432–433). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Mounce, R. H. (2007). John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, p. 503). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Morris, L. (1995). The Gospel according to John (p. 455). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Michaels, J. R. (2010). The Gospel of John (pp. 587–588). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[5] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). St. John (Vol. 2, pp. 45–46). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[6] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on the Gospel according to John (Vol. 1, p. 405). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[7] Kruse, C. G. (2003). John: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 4, pp. 233–234). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[8] Brown, D., Fausset, A. R., & Jamieson, R. (n.d.). A Commentary, Critical, Experimental, and Practical, on the Old and New Testaments: Matthew–John (Vol. V, p. 412). London; Glasgow: William Collins, Sons, & Company, Limited.

[9] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to John (Vol. 2, pp. 112–113). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

Sunday’s Hymn: A Shelter in the Time of Storm — Rebecca Writes



The Lord’s our Rock, in him we hide,
A shelter in the time of storm;
Secure whatever ill betide,
A shelter in the time of storm.

Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
A weary land, a weary land,
Oh, Jesus is a Rock in a weary land,
A shelter in the time of storm.

A shade by day, defense by night,
A shelter in the time of storm;
No fears alarm, no foes affright,
A shelter in the time of storm.

The raging storms may round us beat,
A shelter in the time of storm;
We’ll never leave our safe retreat,
A shelter in the time of storm.

O Rock Divine, O Refuge dear,
A shelter in the time of storm;
Be thou our helper ever near,
A shelter in the time of storm.

—Ver­non J. Charles­worth


Other hymns, worship songs, or quotes for this Sunday:

via Sunday’s Hymn: A Shelter in the Time of Storm — Rebecca Writes

July—5 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion


Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience, by the things which he suffered.—Hebrews 5:8.

My soul! behold what a precious verse of scripture is here! How blessedly doth it set forth thy Redeemer! See here what an example Jesus shows to all his people, and how sweetly accommodating is that example to every case and circumstance, into which any of them can be brought! Surely, if any one might have done without going into such a school of suffering, for the purpose of learning, it must have been Jesus; but yet even Jesus would not. And wouldst thou, my soul, after such an illustrious pattern, desire to be excused? Hath not Jesus dignified it, and made it blessed? Oh! the honour of following his steps. There is another beauty in this scripture. The apostle, in a verse or two preceding, took notice of Jesus in his human nature, that he sought not, as such, the High-Priest’s office uncalled. “Christ” (saith he) “glorified not himself, to be made an high-priest, but was called of God, as was Aaron.” And by reading this verse in connection with that, it is as if the apostle had said, “Yea, such was the wonderful condescension of the Son of God, in his divine nature, that, though of the same nature and essence with the Father, yet would he have his human nature trained up in all the exercises of suffering; that, by a fellow-feeling, his people might know how he understood their exercises by his own.” O thou gracious, condescending Lord! surely nothing can soften sorrow like the consciousness that thou hast known it in our nature, for thy people: and nothing can more effectually reconcile all thine afflicted members, humbly and patiently to learn obedience in the school of suffering, since Jesus, though a son, and the son of God, in the eternity of his nature, was pleased, in his human nature, “to learn obedience by the things which he suffered.”[1]


[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, p. 205). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

July 5th The D. L. Moody Year Book


If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.—Ezekiel 33:15, 16.

IF you have ever taken money dishonestly, you need not pray God to forgive you and fill you with the Holy Ghost until you make restitution. If you have not got the money now to pay back, will to do it, and God accepts the willing mind.

Many a man is kept in darkness and unrest because he fails to obey God on this point. If the plough has gone deep, if the repentance is true, it will bring forth fruit. What use is there in my coming to God until I am willing, like Zacchæus, to make it good, if I have done any man wrong or have taken anything from him falsely? Confession and restitution are the steps that lead up to forgiveness.[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. 113). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

This is the Most Exciting Thing I Have Seen Since the Start of the Lockdowns

I am going to be doing more research on her background and views but for right now I have to applaud the vaccine freedom movement she is starting.

It makes a lot of sense from a strategic and tactical perspective. She is doing this right.

Here is the video she just put out. This could be the start of the counter-revolution against the general madness that is going on in the country right now.

GREAT NEWS! Number of Cononavirus Deaths Down to Lowest Levels Since Beginning of Pandemic – Media Silence — The Gateway Pundit

More great news ignored by the media.

The number of coronavirus related deaths in the US on the 4th of July reached the lowest numbers since the beginning of the China coronavirus pandemic back in March. 

The number of deaths attributed to the China cornonavirus (both actually tested and presumed) reached the lowest number of cases since the beginning of the crisis.  On Saturday July 4th the number of cases recorded dropped to 254 deaths.

March 23, 2020, was the last time time the number of deaths for both actual and presumed cases of the China coronavirus were as low as 254, when the total number of deaths reached 181 nationwide.

This is great news for America as the number of deaths is decreasing daily.

However, the story in the liberal and corrupt MSM is that the number of cases is increasing.  What the media won’t tell you is that the CDC and states are now counting those who had the coronavirus and those who have the coronavirus in these daily tests.  But the number of deaths is at all time lows no doubt due to the faulty counting.

It’s more than clear that the MSM will lie to diminish any good news in the Trump years.  They did this mostly by not sharing the good news.  Today is good news.  It’s long past time to open up the US economy for good.

via GREAT NEWS! Number of Cononavirus Deaths Down to Lowest Levels Since Beginning of Pandemic – Media Silence — The Gateway Pundit

July 5 Life-Changing Moments With God


We have known and believed the love that God has for us.

Lord God, You who are rich in mercy, because of Your great love with which You loved me, even when I was dead in trespasses, made me alive with Christ (by grace I have been saved), and raised me up and made me sit in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come You might show the exceeding riches of Your grace in Your kindness toward me in Christ Jesus.

You, Lord God, so loved the world that You gave Your only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. You who did not spare Your own Son, but delivered Him up for me, how shall You not with Him also freely give me all things? You, Lord, are good to all, and Your tender mercies are over all Your works.

I love You because You first loved me.

Blessed am I who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which You told me, Lord God.

Your amazing love and grace truly defy description, Lord God. Thank You for loving me.

1 John 4:16; Ephesians 2:4–7; John 3:16; Romans 8:32; Psalm 145:9; 1 John 4:19; Luke 1:45[1]


[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 204). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

William Lane Craig lectures on the moral argument at Georgia Tech


Making sense of the meaning of atheism Making sense of the meaning of atheism

This video has 3 parts, as well as questions and answers in individual clips.

For those who cannot watch the video, you can read this essay by Dr. Craig which covers exactly the same ground as the video. The essay is for Christians already familiar with basic apologetics.

Part 1 of 3:

Part 2 of 3:

Part 2 of 3:

Here’s a quick couple of quotes from the essay for those who cannot watch:

If there is no God, then any ground for regarding the herd morality evolved by homo sapiens as objectively true seems to have been removed. After all, what is so special about human beings? They are just accidental by-products of nature which have evolved relatively recently on an infinitesimal speck of dust lost somewhere in a hostile and mindless universe and which are doomed to perish individually and collectively…

View original post 491 more words

July 5 Thoughts for the quiet hour


Isaac dwelt by the well Lahai-roi

Gen. 25:11

Isaac dwelt there, and made the well of the living and all-seeing God his constant source of supply. The usual tenor of a man’s life, the dwelling of his soul, is the true test of his state. Let us learn to live in the presence of the living God. Let us pray the Holy Spirit that this day, and every other day, we may feel, “Thou God seest me.” May the Lord Jehovah be as a well to us, delightful, comforting, unfailing, springing up into eternal life. The bottle of the creature cracks and dries up, but the well of the Creator never fails., Happy is he who dwells at the well, and so has abundant and constant supplies near at hand! Glorious Lord, constrain us that we may never leave Thee, but dwell by the well of the living God!



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

July 5 – Why these genealogies? — VCY America


July 5

1 Chronicles 1:1-2:17
Acts 23:11-35
Psalm 3:1-8
Proverbs 18:14-15

1 Chronicles 1:1 – Why the genealogy? And who even wrote this? While we’re not sure exactly, many (including Biblica) think it may have been Ezra:

Just as the author of Kings had organized and interpreted the data of Israel’s history to address the needs of the exiled community, so the Chronicler wrote for the restored community. The burning issue was the question of continuity with the past: Is God still interested in us? Are his covenants still in force? Now that we have no Davidic king and are subject to Persia, do God’s promises to David still have meaning for us? After the great judgment (the dethroning of the house of David, the destruction of the nation, of Jerusalem and of the temple, and the exile to Babylon), what is our relationship to Israel of old?

J. Vernon McGee’s ministry has an infographic on the difference between Kings and Chronicles.

1 Chronicles 2:3-4 – Sin has consequences. We have already read about Judah’s family sins  including Er (Genesis 38:7), Tamar (Genesis 38:26). Now we see as we look back on history, they form part of the chain in the record that takes us to David.

1 Chronicles 2:10 – Who was Nahshon the prince? Well we know he was Boaz’s ancestor. When we look him up in our Bible Search Engine, he was the captain of the children of Judah under Moses (Numbers 2:3).  He was the first prince to offer the sacrifice in the tabernacle (Numbers 2:12). There is an ancient tradition that he was the first to cross the Red Sea.

Acts 23:11 – Just like the post-exilic Israelites wondered if the LORD was still with them and needed to be reassured of His care, Paul was reassured of the LORD’s care for him, even though forty had gathered together to kill him.

Acts 23:16 – God used Paul’s nephew to save his life. Instead of 40 men wanting to kill Paul, the Romans send almost 500 soldiers to protect this one man (Acts 23:23).

Psalm 3:3 – Just like Paul, David knew that the LORD was His shield. We too can rejoice in the Salvation that comes from the LORD (Psalm 3:8).

Proverbs 18:15 – Congratulations to you – you are getting knowledge, and seeking knowledge found in the Word of God! You are prudent and wise!

via July 5 – Why these genealogies? — VCY America

Scripture photo with poetry by Kay Cude — The End Time

By Elizabeth Prata*

Here is a scripture photo containing scripture against a beautiful photo, with original poetry by a friend named Kay Cude. I like her art and she gave me permission to publish some of her poetic scripture art. Please enjoy.

kay cude


*First appeared on The End Time in November 2015

via Scripture photo with poetry by Kay Cude — The End Time

It’s Getting Dark, But We Know Who’s Coming — The Outspoken TULIP

We’ve been through another tough week in the United States of America. I’ve been through a discouraging week in my personal life.

Yesterday’s celebration of Independence Day seemed odd, given the apparent direction of our country. I can’t imagine that even John Adams (who advocated for centralized government) would approve of the things that have happened in the last three months.

I don’t approve of what’s happening in my personal life, for that matter.

Life is getting darker than I’ve ever seen it, and it certainly threatens to get worse. Didn’t Jesus say it would? We have no reason to feel surprised by the encroaching darkness, thoughts it grieves and frightens even the most mature Christian.

How encouraging, then, to remember that Jesus is returning to establish His kingdom! We don’t know when He will come back, and we probably shouldn’t indulge in too much speculation about it.

But what a comfort to know that He will come at just the right time! One day, all madness will end and He will reign in perfect righteousness. The violence will fade away, sickness will end and creation will be restored. Best of all, He will receive the honor and glory that rightfully belongs only to Him! Hallelujah!

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via It’s Getting Dark, But We Know Who’s Coming — The Outspoken TULIP

July 5 Streams in the Desert


I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness … And I will give her her vineyards from thence.”

(Hosea 2:14, 15.)

A STRANGE place to find vineyards—in the wilderness! And can it be that the riches which a soul needs can be obtained in the wilderness, which stands for a lonely place, out of which you can seldom find your way? It would seem so, and not only that, but the “Valley of Achor,” which means bitterness, is called a door of hope. And she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth!

Yes, God knows our need of the wilderness experience. He knows where and how to bring out that which is enduring. The soul has been idolatrous, rebellious; has forgotten God, and with a perfect self-will has said, “I will follow after my lovers.” But she did not overtake them. And, when she was hopeless and forsaken, God said, “I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.” What a loving God is ours!—Crumbs.

We never know where God hides His pools. We see a rock, and we cannot guess it is the home of the spring. We see a flinty place, and we cannot tell it is the hiding place of a fountain. God leads me into the hard places, and then I find I have gone into the dwelling place of eternal springs.—Selected.[1]


[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (p. 200). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

Internet Church Service – July 5, 2020; — God’s Gift of Eternal Life Blog

Please join us as we fellowship in the Word of God, listen to
Christian Music, Pray in Christ’s Name, and Praise the Lord
in our Hearts and Minds.


from – Romans 8:38-39
Hymn #1
Hymn #2

Preparing yourself for the study of God’s Word

Before we begin, if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ (that is— you have trusted in Him for eternal life), it is important to prepare yourself to take-in God’s Word or participating in a Communion Service, so take a moment to name, cite or acknowledge your sins privately directly to God the Father. This will assure that you are in fellowship with God the Father and the Holy Spirit’s convicting ministry, also called the convincing ministry will then be able to teach you as the Holy Spirit is the real teacher and the pastor’s message is the vehicle the Holy Spirit uses to convince you what you are learning is true or not.
1 John 1:9, says—“If we confess [simply name, cite or acknowledge to God the Fatherour sins [known sins], He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins [known sinsand to cleanse us from all unrighteousness [all unknown and forgotten sins];” NKJV (New King James Version); we call this REBOUND, read the full doctrine as to “why” we need to use 1 John 1:9 to grow spiritually. REBOUND
If you have never personally believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior (that is, believed in Him for eternal life), the issue for you is not to name your sins to God; the issue for you is to believe by faith alone in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life and you will be saved the very second you believe in Him:
John 6:47 says: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me [Jesus Christ] has everlasting life.” NKJV
Notice again what John 6:47 says, “he who believes in Me [Jesus Christhas everlasting life.” It doesn’t say, “will have”; it says, “has.” Therefore, the very moment you believe Jesus Christ’s promise of everlasting life, you have it (it’s really just that simple), and it can never be lost or taken away from you (John 10:28-29). Furthermore, the gift of everlasting life (also called eternal life in scripture) is available to every human being; there are absolutely no exceptions.
John 3:14-18 says: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” NKJV
Let us now bow our hearts and take a moment to prepare for learning God’s Word, if there is any known sin in your life, this is the time to just cite it privately to God the Father with your thoughts directed towards Him. With your head bowed and your eyes closed, you have total privacy in your mind and soul:
Our Pastor-Teacher is:
This ministry is non-denominational and is dedicated to
teaching the Word of God from the original languages and
making it available at no charge throughout the world.
Unlike the bible study, these notes are not just for reading without watching the video. These notes are more designed to follow along during the sermon and to bring up the “hover pop-up scripture references” (some websites may require to left click the link, if that doesn’t work then look them up in your Bible) when the Pastor asks everyone to turn to that passage in their bibles.

Sermon: What is the difference between miracles and magic?
Job 3:25 “For what I fear has come upon me, And what I dread befalls me.

I know my Lord and Savior and I would be a fool to reject the Divine Call upon my life.

A fool is someone who makes mistakes and does not learn from his actions whereas a wise man is someone who learns from the mistakes and actions of others.

It was Einstein who said The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Because the fish does not know what it is and what it does and how to do it and function as Royal Family.

We all need to discover who we are and what we are doing here and what should be our goals because of that discovery.

The sooner you find out and discover who you really are and what you are and why you are here, the sooner you are going to discover the real reason God created you.

Some people don’t even want to talk about these things but until we do, we are not really going to discover who we are and why we are here and why have we been created.

This principle that everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Our Lord appointed the Twelve, including Judas Iscariot, who was an unbeliever, who was not only appointed by our Lord to bear fruit and make sure that the fruit remains.

He is also ordered by our Lord to make sure that but he also was given the authority by our Lord to do some very interesting things such as:
Such as preaching the word; Counseling those in the Word. Performing Many Miracles

We will see some of Satan’s power manifested in the simplicity of the signs and the wonders which Satan will use to deceive the world and if possible, deceive the very elect; Matt 24:22; Mark 13:20.

Here’s what the citizens in the world today are going to see and observe which is the deception that Satan uses which is really going to be nothing more than MAGIC.

Question: “What is the difference between miracles and magic?”

Answer: Magic and miracles might mean the same thing to some people, but there is actually a tremendous difference between the two terms.

It is proper to say that Jesus worked miracles, but it would be wrong to attribute His works to magic.

Magic and miracles differ in their source: Magic has either a human or demonic source, but miracles are a supernatural work of God.

The Bible speaks of Satan using magic which is called “lying wonders” in 2Th 2:9.

Magic and miracles differ in their source: Magic has either a human or demonic source, but miracles are a supernatural work of God.

A major difference between magic and miracles is that magic draws upon power that is not directly from God, and miracles are the result of God’s power intervening in the devil’s world.

Miracles and magic sometimes look the same, but their goals are different.
Magic and illusion (which is used by Satan) distract the eye from reality, while miracles draw the eye to reality.

Miracles reveal; magic hides.

Mark 3:14-15 = Judas who was given the power of God; and the authority of God; to preach and teach the “Word of God,” even though he was an unbeliever and not saved or born again.

Judas was a follower of our Lord Jesus Christ and a preacher of the gospel, but there was a doublemindedness about him.

Most of you know and realize, Judas abandoned the faith that he once professed
First of all, there was the Commitment He Made.

Commitment back in those days meant a lot more to them than it does for us since we are really lacking in what it takes to keep commitments which is not being a good person or living in morality.

What does it take to keep commitments?

It takes character.

It takes integrity.

It takes virtue.

It takes honesty.

It wasn’t because they couldn’t!

It was because they wouldn’t.

You major problem is simple, so simple to overcome if you desire to, but the real problem is that: “You are bound in chains to the feminine idol.”

Prov 5:22 His own iniquities will capture the wicked, And he will be held with the cords of his sin.

“he will be held with the cords of his sin” is where we get the translation that the man is bound with chains to the feminine idol.

They will make vows and commitments and then not keep them and the sad thing is they don’t even try to keep them!

Like the rest of the disciples, he left everything to follow our Lord.

Judas was actively involved in ministry, and he was given remarkable spiritual gifts for that time.

Luke tells us that Jesus called “the twelve” together—that included Judas—and “gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.”

Judas Iscariot was a gospel preacher!

Judas Iscariot was given the gift of healing for that dispensation which meant a specialize priesthood where only a few could have the power of the Spirit, and the Spirit was not in them but upon them.

Judas exercised authority over demons and in a few days after that the demons were gone, Judas went back to join the twelve.

Prin: Active involvement in ministry is a good and wonderful thing; but it is not, in itself, a guarantee of spiritual life or health.

Notice the Lord did not say anything about the works that one does but He said that He never knew them although they prophesied in His name, and in His name they cast out demons and performed many miracles?’

The Opportunity He Was Given

Judas walked with our Lord for three years.

Judas saw the greatest life ever lived up close and personal.

You can’t have a better model of faith than the Lord Jesus or a better environment for forming faith than Judas had in walking with the Savior.

Judas directly witnessed the miracles.
When Jesus fed the 5,000, Judas was there. He took the bread and distributed it along with the other disciples.

When our Lord calmed the storm, Judas was there.

And Judas also was there when our Lord Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.

Judas heard all the teaching of Jesus our Lord, too.

Judas heard the Sermon on the Mount, so he knew there is a narrow road that leads to life and a broad road that leads to destruction.

With Judas’s own eyes, he saw the clearest evidence.

With his own ears, he heard the finest teaching.

With his own feet, he followed the greatest example.

The human heart is beyond understanding; Jer 17:9 and there is something incomprehensible about a person who abandons the faith they once professed.

Judas’s story contains an important lesson for parents, leaders, and friends who grieve over someone they love who has abandoned the faith. They worry:

Where did we go wrong?

What more could we have done?

Did we fail in our teaching?

Did we fail in our example?

Even the best example, the most compelling evidence, and the finest teaching—the ultimate environment for unconditional faith—cannot, in and of themselves, change the human heart.

The Choice He Made

Satan made a relentless assault on Judas’s soul, as he makes a relentless assault on everyone who chooses to follow Christ.

The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Joh 13:2.

This evaluation overlooks the fact that Judas opened the door to Satan.

Judas had been stealing from the collective money bag, and when he kept this sinsecret, Satan entered into him.

Unconfessed sin always opens the door to Satan’s power.

Satan doesn’t gain a foothold in the lives of people who are walking in the light with our Lord Jesus, He only gains access when we open the door.

The Outcome He Embraced

When you get close to our Lord, one of two things will happen: either you will become wholly his, or you will end up more alienated from him.

The story of Judas reminds us that nothing good can come from giving up on Jesus Christ.

For those who get close, the only outcomes are full devotion or eventual antagonism; and every day, each of us is heading in one direction or the other.

In an age when many are abandoning the faith they once professed, the story of Judas warns us to guard our hearts, lest we drift away.

The story of Judas also equips us to reach out to those who may be close to walking away from the faith themselves.

Finally, the story of Judas reminds us that nothing good can come from giving up on Jesus Christ.

Hymn #3
The following link is to a good-news message describing how one can receive eternal life:
Ticket to Heaven, it was written for anyone not absolutely certain about of their eternal future.

via Internet Church Service – July 5, 2020; — God’s Gift of Eternal Life Blog