Daily Archives: July 25, 2020

July 25 Get Rid of Excuses

 

The steps of a good man are directed by the Lord. He delights in each step they take. If they fall it isn’t fatal, for the Lord holds them with His hand.
(Psalms 37:23–24, TLB)

It’s not what you do that makes you a failure, it’s what you say to yourself about it afterwards. Some of the world’s greatest successes were once labeled failures. For example: A banker in Iowa laughed and told Alexander Graham Bell to remove that “toy” (the Bell telephone) from his office. A supposedly great movie producer scrawled “Reject” on the screenplay of Gone With The Wind. In 1906, the man who was Henry Ford’s greatest investor asked that his stock be sold because he didn’t believe the company would go anywhere. Can you imagine how he felt later?

Mr. Roebuck sold his part of the Sears Roebuck company for $25,000 because he thought it would “never fly.” The last I read, Sears is now selling $40,000 worth of goods every ten seconds. Think about it. You have everything every winner in history had—plus God! What a position to be in! The God of the Red Sea, the lions’ den, and the walls of Jericho is your God. He’s on your side today! (See Romans 8:37.) The only “up and down” that you should know is getting down to pray, then getting up in the strength of the Lord to go out and win.

 

That’s His plan for you today.[1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 206). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

July 25 Suffering to Bless Others

 

Ephesians 3:13

Do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Sometimes we discover that a major reason for our suffering has been what God intended to do in someone else’s life. That may not be obvious to us. But Paul says that his sufferings were for the glory (or means of blessing) of others (Ephesians 3:13).

“But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear” (Philippians 1:12–14).

We do not always see the realization of God’s purposes. None of us has the ability to interpret God’s perfectly wise purpose in the sufferings of our fellow believers (or of ourselves for that matter). But in order to encourage them, we need to have some awareness of what God may be doing. By sharing the biblical teaching on what God does in our lives through suffering, we may encourage others to serve God in it.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 216). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

July 25, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

23 By means of a rhetorical question, which anticipates an unequivocal negative response, Ezekiel spells out the basis for the exiles’ hope: Yahweh’s fundamental commitment is to human life, not to death. He finds no joy in anyone’s death, not even that of a wicked person. His desire is that all repent and find life in him. This is what Ezekiel’s audience needs to deliver them from their bondage of depression and despair—a new vision of God, a God who is on the side of blessing and life, not on the side of the curse and death (cf. Deut. 30:15–20). What a remarkable declaration of divine patience and mercy this is! At the national level, even though Israel had been in a state of rebellion for generations, the door to the future remains wide open. The prophet promises those in his audience that if they repent of their sins, they will find life.[1]


Ver. 23.—Have I any pleasure, etc.? Ezekiel’s anticipations of the gospel of Christ take a yet wider range, and we come at last to what had been throughout the suppressed premise of the argument. To him, as afterwards to St. Paul (1 Tim. 2:4) and St. Peter (2 Pet. 3:9), the mind of God was presented as being at once absolutely righteous and absolutely loving. The death of the wicked, the loss, i.e., of true life, for a time, or even for ever, might be the necessary consequence of laws that were righteous in themselves, and were working out the wellbeing of the universe; but that death was not to be thought of as the result of a Divine decree, or contemplated by the Divine mind with any satisfaction. If it were not given to Ezekiel to see, as clearly as Isaiah seems to have seen it, how the Divine philanthropy was to manifest itself, he at least gauged that philanthropy itself, and found it fathomless.[2]


23. He confirms the same sentiment in other words, that God desires nothing more earnestly than that those who were perishing and rushing to destruction should return into the way of safety. And for this reason not only is the Gospel spread abroad in the world, but God wished to bear witness through all ages how inclined he is to pity. For although the heathen were destitute of the law and the prophets, yet they were always endued with some taste of this doctrine. Truly enough they were suffocated by many errors: but we shall always find that they were induced by a secret impulse to seek for pardon, because this sense was in some way born with them, that God is to he appeased by all who seek him. Besides, God bore witness to it more clearly in the law and the prophets. In the Gospel we hear how familiarly he addresses us when he promises us pardon. (Luke 1:78.) And this is the knowledge of salvation, to embrace his mercy which he offers us in Christ. It follows, then, that what the Prophet now says is very true, that God wills not the death of a sinner, because he meets him of his own accord, and is not only prepared to receive all who fly to his pity, but he calls them towards him with a loud voice, when he sees how they are alienated from all hope of safety. But the manner must be noticed in which God wishes all to be saved, namely, when they turn themselves from their ways. God thus does not so wish all men to be saved as to renounce the difference between good and evil; but repentance, as we have said, must precede pardon. How, then, does God wish all men to he saved? By the Spirit’s condemning the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, at this day, by the Gospel, as he did formerly by the law and the prophets. (John 16:8.) God makes manifest to mankind their great misery, that they may betake themselves to him: he wounds that he may cure, and slays that he may give life. We hold, then, that God wills not the death of a sinner, since he calls all equally to repentance, and promises himself prepared to receive them if they only seriously repent. If any one should object—then there is no election of God, by which he has predestinated a fixed number to salvation, the answer is at hand: the Prophet does not here speak of God’s secret counsel, but only recalls miserable men from despair, that they may apprehend the hope of pardon, and repent and embrace the offered salvation. If any one again objects—this is making God act with duplicity, the answer is ready, that God always wishes the same thing, though by different ways, and in a manner inscrutable to us. Although, therefore, God’s will is simple, yet great variety is involved in it, as far as our senses are concerned. Besides, it is not surprising that our eyes should be blinded by intense light, so that we cannot certainly judge how God wishes all to be saved, and yet has devoted all the reprobate to eternal destruction, and wishes them to perish. While we look now through a glass darkly, we should be content with the measure of our own intelligence. (1 Cor. 13:12.) When we shall be like God, and see him face to face, then what is now obscure will then become plain. But since captious men torture this and similar passages, it will be needful to refute them shortly, since it can be done without trouble.

God is said not to wish the death of a sinner. How so? since he wishes all to be converted. Now we must see how God wishes all to be converted; for repentance is surely his peculiar gift: as it is his office to create men, so it is his province to renew them, and restore his image within them. For this reason we are said to be his workmanship, that is, his fashioning. (Eph. 2:10.) Since, therefore, repentance is a kind of second creation, it follows that it is not in man’s power; and if it is equally in God’s power to convert men as well as to create them, it follows that the reprobate are not converted, because God does not wish their conversion; for if he wished it he could do it: and hence it appears that he does not wish it. But again they argue foolishly, since God does not wish all to be converted, he is himself deceptive, and nothing can be certainly stated concerning his paternal benevolence. But this knot is easily untied; for he does not leave us in suspense when he says, that he wishes all to be saved. Why so? for if no one repents without finding God propitious, then this sentence is filled up. But we must remark that God puts on a twofold character: for he here wishes to be taken at his word. As I have already said, the Prophet does not here dispute with subtlety about his incomprehensible plans, but wishes to keep our attention close to God’s word. Now, what are the contents of this word? The law, the prophets, and the gospel. Now all are called to repentance, and the hope of salvation is promised them when they repent: this is true, since God rejects no returning sinner: he pardons all without exception; meanwhile, this will of God which he sets forth in his word does not prevent him from decreeing before the world was created what he would do with every individual: and as I have now said, the Prophet only shows here, that when we have been converted we need not doubt that God immediately meets us and shows himself propitious. The remainder to-morrow.[3]


Ver. 23. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?A summons to repentance:

If we spare not our sins, but slay them with the sword of the Spirit, God will spare us. The words are uttered by a figurative interrogation, in which there is more evidence and efficacy, more life and convincing force. For it is as if He had said, Know ye not that I have no such desire? or think ye that I have any desire? or dare it enter into your thoughts that I take any pleasure at all in the death of a sinner? When the interrogation is figurative the rule is, that if the question be affirmative, the answer to it must be negative; but if the question be negative, the answer must be affirmative. For example: Who is like unto the Lord? the meaning is, none is like unto the Lord. Whom have I in heaven but Thee? that is, I have none in heaven but Thee. On the other side, when the question is negative, the answer must be affirmative; as: Are not the angels ministering spirits? that is, the angels are ministering spirits; and, Shall the Son of man find faith? that is, the Son of man shall not find faith. Here, then, apply the rule, and shape a negative answer to the first member being affirmative, thus: I have no desire that a sinner should die; and an affirmative answer to the negative member, thus: I have a desire that the wicked should return and live; and ye have the true meaning and natural exposition of this verse. But here some cast a dark mist, which hath caused many to lose their way. How (say they) do we maintain that God desireth not the death of a sinner, who before all time decreed death for sin, and sin for death? This mist in part is dispelled by distinguishing of three sorts of God’s decrees—

  1. There is an absolute decree and resolute purpose of God, for those things which He determineth shall be.
  2. There is a decree of mandate, or at least a warrant for those things which He desireth should be.
  3. There is a decree of permission for such things, as if He powerfully stop them not, will be. Of the first kind of decree or will of God, we are to understand those words of the Psalmist (Psa. 135:6), and of our Saviour (John 17:24). To the second we are to refer those words of the apostle (Rom. 9:19; Ephes. 1:5; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9; 1 Thess. 4:3; Rom. 12:2). If ye rightly apply these distinctions, ye may without great difficulty loosen the knots above tied: the first whereof was, whether God decreed sin original or actual. Ye may answer according to the former distinctions, that He decreed effectually all the good that is joined with it, or may come by it, or it may occasion; but He decreed permissively only the obliquity or malignity thereof: He neither doth it, nor approveth of it when it is done, but only permitteth it, and taketh advantage of it for the manifestation of His justice. To the second question, which toucheth the apple of the eye of this text, whether God decreeth the death of any? ye may answer briefly, that He doth not decree it any way for itself, as it is the destruction of His creature, or a temporal or eternal torment thereof; but as it is a manifestation of His justice.
  4. Doth God take no pleasure in the death of the wicked that daily transgresseth His law, ungraciously abuse His mercy, and slightly regard His judgments? Doth He use all good means to reclaim them, and save them from wrath to come? Is the life of every man so precious in His eyes? Doth He esteem of it as a rich jewel engraven with His own image? How careful, then, and chary ought we to be, who are put in trust with it (locked up in the casket of our body), that we lose it not.
  5. If judges, and all those who sit upon life and death, did enter into a serious consideration thereof, they would not so easily (as sometimes they do) cast away a thing that is so precious, much less receive the price of blood.
  6. If a malefactor arraigned at the bar of justice should perceive by any speech, gesture, sign, or token, an inclination in the judge to mercy, how would he work upon this advantage?—what suit? what means would he make for his life? how would he importune all his friends to entreat for him? how would he fall down upon his knees and beseech the judge for the mercies of God to be good unto him? Ho, all ye that have guilty consciences, and are privy to yourselves of many capital crimes, though peradventure no other can appeach you! behold, the Judge of all flesh makes an overture of mercy, He bewrayeth more than a propension or inclination, He discovereth a desire to save you! Why do ye not make means unto Him? Why do ye not appeal from the bar of His justice to His throne of grace? Why do ye not fly from Him, as He is a terrible Judge? to Him, as He is a merciful Father? (D. Featly, D.D.)

God and the soul:

One of the masters of Old Testament theology, a student of singular nobility of mind and penetration of judgment, Dr. A. B. Davidson, has said of this and of the kindred 33rd chapter: “Perhaps there are hardly any more important passages in the Old Testament than those two chapters of Ezekiel.” And why? Because, as he says, “there we may say that we see the birth of the individual mind taking place before our eyes.” It was the first, or one of the first, assertions of the truth that man is more than the circumstances of which he is a part; that in God’s sight he stands single and free. We can best understand the force of this particular chapter if we remember the historical circumstances out of which it came. Nebuchadnezzar, the ruthless conqueror, had laid waste Jerusalem. “He carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, and all the craftsmen, and none remained save the poorest of the people of the land.” That band of exiles, among whom was the young Ezekiel, was carried to Babylon, and there the best of them lay astonished at the crushing blow which God had dealt to them. Jerusalem, the inviolable hill of Jehovah, spoiled and degraded, within eleven years laid waste and desolate, abandoned of God. It seemed to them that they were involved in the punishment of the sins of their fathers. There could be no escape, no penitence in the land of their exile could disentangle their souls from the ruin in which the sins of their forefathers had engulfed them. It was natural that their thoughts should run in such a channel. Hebrew religion tended to merge the individual in the state or family. The covenant of God was made not with the individual so much as with the State. The dealings and punishments of God with His people embraced not only the person, but his whole family, to the third and fourth generation; and so it seemed to them that they could not, for all their anguish, escape the consequences of their fathers’ sins. It was the object of Ezekiel to lift the burden of despair from his fellow exiles. He discerned in the very breaking up of the national life a call to the individual to become deeper and more personal in his obedience and faith. He sought to disentangle the person from the nation and the family, to make him realise his own freedom and separate responsibility in the sight of God. God is sovereign over the dispensations of His own laws. He treats every man, at every moment, precisely as that man is by virtue of his own separate and solitary responsibility. Man is free morally, whatever the chain that may bind him to his ancestors. God is free morally, and judges every man by virtue of that freedom. But the prophet carried the truth a stage further. Among these exiles there were doubtless individual men and women who felt that the chain that bound them, bound them to an irreversible destiny, was not the chain of their fathers’ sins, but of the sins they themselves had committed. They remembered the law of Jehovah which they had despised, the worship of their fathers in the temple, which they had ignored or polluted by their idolatry. It seemed to them that their cup was full; they could not escape the punishment of the sins of the past. They were shut up to the impotence of unavailing remorse. To them the prophet’s message was like that which he gave to his community. He reminded each of them that still, in spite of their sins and shortcomings, there was within a separate life, a freedom which could arise from the past impenitence and return, and that matching that freedom there was also the sovereign grace of Almighty God. That was the prophet’s message to his own day. I wonder if any of you have discerned with what singular force it applies to our own? The place which was taken when Ezekiel wrote, by the customary habits and traditions and principles of Hebrew religion, is taken to-day by the characteristic teaching of modern science. The old words of the covenant of God’s punishment of men to the third and fourth generation have given place to the new words of “heredity” and “environment.” But the principle is the same. Science has been teaching us wonderfully, beautifully, terribly, with what a subtlety and closeness of tie we are bound through our brains and bodies to the ancestors from whom we sprang, the circumstances under which we live, the progeny which we leave behind us; we know that our character is the product of a thousand influences of climate, of scenery, of sights and sounds, of food, of tendencies in the blood, of faculties and perversions of the brain, and we accept the truth. It gives a very wonderful and real, as well as a very solemn, aspect to this universe of which we are part. We build upon it. It is the truth that is the main-spring of all our zeal for education, of all our efforts for social reform; to that truth we turn when we wish to measure the fulness of our social responsibility. But is it the last and only word? Is man nothing but the product of these circumstances, the creature of invisible laws? If it be so, then before long we may come to that feeling of despair which lay upon the breast of these exiles of Jerusalem. We must balance that truth with the other which Ezekiel recovered for his contemporaries—the truth that man’s nature, though it is inwoven by the influences of blood and surroundings, yet has within it a personal life higher than, and apart from, that nature. It is free—it is capable, when aroused, of moulding that nature to its own will. God Himself is something more than an union of irreversible and irresistible laws. He is, He remains, a sovereign moral Personality, caring as a Father for the children that He has made, knowing them as individuals, dealing with them man by man in the separateness of their own single freedom and responsibility. I ask you to consider the basis which Ezekiel is teaching us in its reference to our lives as members of a community and as personal beings.

  1. First of all, there is a message to us as members of a community. Sometimes the Hebrew took joy from the thought that he was bound with his fathers and children in the bonds of the covenant of the will of God. And sometimes we take joy in the thought that we are bound together by those subtle and intricate ties to the nature which surrounds us, and to our fellow beings in long distances of the past and future. But when the Hebrew realised God’s punishment in the waste of Jerusalem, he was filled with the chill of despair. No doubt, for a time, the thought that man is the product of his circumstances fills us with the energy of reform. It makes us, perhaps, with even greater zest, turn to every effort to improve the condition of the environment of the people. But when we try, how long the task seems, how thick and obstinate the difficulties, how impossible it seems to compass it within the short generation in which the necessities of life permit us to labour. And meanwhile, what have we to say to the individual men, women, and children who are living under these conditions? Think for a moment of those atoms of social waste whom we call the unemployable. You see them as they pass before your eyes, the product, indeed, of circumstances—the sins of their fathers written in the marks of disease, the sins of their own youth written in the furtive glance of the eyes and the shambling gait, the sins, it may be, of the community which has failed to find a place for them, in the hopelessness and futility of every effect that they may make. And yet, what are we to say to them? Are we to say to them with the mere teaching of determinist science: “Your transgressions and your sins are upon you, and you pine away in them, why should you live?” Yet apart from some vast, at present as it seems, inconceivable change of our industrial conditions, are they not hopeless? If science says the last word, surely they are. Yet when you find yourself placed face to face with an individual man of these multitudes, can you use that language? Can you turn to them and say: “You are the doomed product of a bad environment; there is no hope for you. You must stay as you are”? Nay! rather you make it your one object to disentangle the man from the mesh in which he is placed. You seek to find out somewhere the springs of the real man within him. You desire to create some emotion, some motive, some interest, by which that self of his, that manhood of his, may be aroused, re-created, and go forth and be strong. And you can venture upon that effort because you believe, with an instinct that is stronger than a one-sided theory, that somewhere or other in that poor, broken life there remains dormant and hidden the germ of a freedom of his own that he can arouse and use, if only there is sufficient strength and motive power given to him. You try to reach and touch and find the man within him; and that instinct of yours restores the balance of the truth. Science is true. There is this product of the environment. We must work and labour with unremitting toil to change and improve it. But the one inevitable, indispensable factor of social reform is the individual freedom and responsibility of the man. Even when you change his circumstances, this alone will be powerless unless you have changed the whole man’s will so that he co-operates with the change in his circumstances; and therefore every scheme of charity which neglects this truth, which belittles this factor of the man’s own individual freedom and power and responsibility, is a real danger.
  2. Secondly, the prophet’s message is to the personal life. There were men to whom Ezekiel spoke who felt the burthen upon them, not of the load of their fathers’ sins, but of their own. It may be that among the men to whom I speak there are some who are conscious of the same impotence of remorse. The sins of your body have immeshed your body and mind in the bondage of evil habit. You can think of some mistake that you made, irreversible now, which has spoilt your life. You are tied up in the doom of your destiny. Or, perhaps, there are others, who have not gone so far, but when there comes to them the prompting of some better impulse they meet it with such replies, expressed or unexpressed, as this: “It is no good, it is too late; my nature is made, I cannot change. These heights are for others, I cannot attain unto them. Like Sir Lancelot, the quest is not for me. I am what my life has made me, and it is too late to change.” And so when these better impulses come they are avoided, they are refused. Possibly they gradually die out, and the prison gates begin to close. Now, in this there is a truth which cannot be gainsaid. We cannot escape, not even God Himself can enable us to escape, from the actual consequences of our sins. That is true; we cannot quarrel with the teaching both of science and conscience. But it is not the whole truth. There remains that hidden self, that inner man, and it is free. It has always the power of rising from its past and going forth to a new future. You say it is impossible. With man perhaps it is impossible. But with God all things are possible. For that freedom of mine, however feeble and broken, is not alone; there is another free and sovereign power waiting for it, acknowledging it as His own image, welcoming it, coming down upon it, with His own strength and power. When I use my freedom I meet and touch the freedom of the sovereign grace of God Himself. If only we act upon that impulse which is the sign of the persistence of our better self, we find somehow that that strength comes down upon us. It may be a miracle. Our Lord asks the unanswerable question whether it is easier to say to the sick of the palsy, “Arise and walk,” or to say, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” I know not what mystery may be behind that truth, but truth it is if only we will act upon it; if only that will, broken and feeble as it may be, will emerge from the ruins of its past, and act for itself in the spirit of return. Then it will find that the freedom of God’s grace is at its hand, and will come to it and strengthen it. We must, it is true, continue to bear our sins, but there is all the difference in the world between that and being borne by them. When we bear them, our recovered spirit is master of them. Even remorse can be a continual reminder of the long-suffering of God. The weakness, baffling and humiliating to the end, can be the occasion for the triumph of the strength of God. You have seen sometimes the coast when the tide is far out. It looks a mere barren tract of sand and stone, but somewhere far out in the deep a movement takes place. The tide turns, and soon the water covers the waste land. So my life, when I look back upon it, may be the barren tract of sand, the grave of lost opportunities, strewn with stones of stumbling and rocks of offence. But if only in the great deep, where the Spirit of God touches the spirit of man, my free self can go out to Him, then there is the turning of the tide, and sooner or later that full tide of God’s refreshing and restoring grace will cover the waste places. I am—in my own personal self; God is—in His own sovereign Personality; and on these two truths we can all base the perpetual hope of a new beginning. (Bishop Lang.)

Sin slays the sinner:

Manton says: “The life of sin and the life of a sinner are like two buckets in a well—if the one goeth up, the other must come down. If sin liveth, the sinner must die.” It is only when sin dies that a man begins truly to live. Yet we cannot persuade our neighbours that it is so, for their hearts are bound up in their sins, and they think themselves most alive when they can give fullest liberty to their desires. They raise up their sins, and so sink themselves. If they could be persuaded of the truth, they would send the bucket of sin to the very bottom that their better selves might rise into eternal salvation. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

God’s solemn inquiry of Gospel hearers:

  1. The evidence in every Christian country of God’s having no pleasure at all in the death of sinners.
  2. A true penitent is readily forgiven. Two striking illustrations suggested here: a rebellious father’s repentant son (ver. 14, &c.), and a man once rebellious who amends (vers. 21, 22). In each instance his soul is saved. None can fairly meditate on the promptness of such pardons without perceiving God’s delight in mercy (Mic. 7:18).
  3. The reason why the righteous God can so promptly pardon (Titus 3:4–7; John 3:16; Rom. 8:32).
  4. God has appointed a class of men to urge on the unworthy His unspeakable gift (2 Cor. 5:20). Did He wish the destruction of the Ninevites when He sent Jonah to them? He has as little pleasure in the death of the wicked now (Rev. 22:17).
  5. The one simple duty of hearers is to return (ver. 32).
  6. With the turning of true repentance, which involves a thorough change of service. Note details of practical love in this chapter (ver. 17), and see conduct of Thess. (1 Thessalonians 1:9).
  7. With the turning of trust (in the appointed Mediator) for all the needed mercy and grace. (See the description in 1 Pet. 2:24, 25)
  8. With the turning quickened by the Holy Spirit (John 16:8), which should be fostered by prayer (Psa. 80:18, 19).
  9. With the turning which issues in life; the life of the acquitted and holy (Rom. 5:1, 2), which is a sure earnest of life everlasting (John 6:40). (D. D. Stewart, M.A.)

And not that he should return from his ways, and live?The best return:

St. Austin, lying on his death-bed, caused divers verses of the penitential psalms to be written on the walls of his chamber, on which he still cast his eyes, and commented upon them with the fluent rhetoric of his tears. But I could wish of all texts of Scripture that this of the prophet Ezekiel were still before all their eyes who mourn for their sins in private. For nothing can raise the dejected soul but the lifting-up of God’s countenance upon her; nothing can bring peace to an affrighted and troubled conscience but a free pardon of all sins, whereby she hath incurred the sentence of death, which the prophet tendereth in the words of the text. I will endeavour to open two springs in my text—the one a higher, the other a lower; the one ariseth from God and His joy, the other from ourselves and our salvation. That the conversion of a sinner is a joy and delight to God, I need not to produce arguments to prove, or similes to illustrate; He that spake as never man spake, hath represented it unto us by many exquisite emblems (Luke 15:4; Luke 15:8; Luke 15:10; Luke 15:32). Scipio (as Livy writeth) never looked so fresh, nor seemed so beautiful in the eyes of his soldiers, as after his recovery from a dangerous sickness which he took in the camp; neither doth the soul ever seem more beautiful than when she is restored to health after some dangerous malady. The Palladium was in highest esteem both with the Trojans and Romans, not so much for the matter or workmanship, as because it was catched out of the fire when Troy was burnt. And certainly no soul is more precious in the eyes of God and His angels than that which is snatched out of the fire of hell and jaws of death. I have opened the first spring, and we have tasted the waters thereof; I am now to open the second, which is this, That as our repentance is joy unto God and His angels, so it is grace and salvation to ourselves. As repentance is called repentance from dead works, so also repentance unto life. For God pawns His life for the life of the penitent: “As I live, saith the Lord, I desire not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should return and live.” Pliny writeth of a fountain in Africa, in which torches that are blown out being dipped are kindled again: such is the fountain of tears in the eyes of a penitent sinner; if the light of his faith be extinguished to his sense and all outward appearance, yet dipped in this fountain it is kindled again, and burns more brightly than ever before. The Scripture furnisheth us not with many examples in this kind, lest any should presume; yet some we find that none might despair. To comfort those that are wounded in conscience, the good Samaritan cured him that was wounded between Jerusalem and Jericho, and left half-dead; to comfort them that are sick in soul, He recovered Peter’s wife’s mother lying sick in her bed; to comfort them that have newly, as it were, given up the ghost, He raised Jairus’s daughter; to comfort them that have been sometimes dead in sins and transgressions, He raised the widow’s son; to comfort them that have been so long dead in sins that they begin to putrify, He raised up Lazarus stinking in His grave. Therefore, if we have grievously provoked God’s justice by presumption, let us not more wrong His mercy by despair; but hope even above hope in Him whose mercy is over all His works. Against the number and weight of all our sins, let us lay the infiniteness of God’s mercy, and Christ’s merits, and the certainty of His promise confirmed by oath: “As I live, I desire not the death of a sinner; if he return, he shall live.” It is a most sovereign water which will fetch a sinner again to the life of grace, though never so far gone. It is not well water springing out of the bowels of the earth, nor rain poured out of the clouds of passion, but rather like a dew falling from heaven, which softeneth and moisteneth the heart, and is dried up by the beams of the Sun of Righteousness. “Turn and live.” Should a prisoner led to execution hear the judge or sheriff call to him, and say, Turn back, put in sureties for thy good behaviour hereafter, and live—would he not suddenly leap out of his fetters, embrace the condition, and thank the judge or sheriff upon his knees? And what think ye if God should send a prophet to preach a sermon of repentance to the devils and damned ghosts in hell, and say, Knock off your bolts, shake off your fetters, and turn to the Lord and live? Would not hell be emptied and rid before the prophet should have made an end of his exhortation? This sermon the prophet Ezekiel now maketh unto us all. (D. Featly, D.D.)[4]


[1] Block, D. I. (1997). The Book of Ezekiel, Chapters 1–24 (p. 583). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[2] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Ezekiel (Vol. 1, p. 324). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[3] Calvin, J., & Myers, T. (2010). Commentary on the First Twenty Chapters of the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (Vol. 2, pp. 246–249). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[4] Exell, J. S. (1906). The Biblical Illustrator: Ezekiel (pp. 238–243). London: Francis Griffiths.

July—25 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent I his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.—Matthew 21:34.

The very lovely season of the year, and the fulness of fruits which appear on all the productions of God’s providence around, open to the mind some of the most delightful meditations. My soul! sit down this evening, and give scope to the subject; and see, while contemplating thy Lord’s bounties in nature, whether thy Lord himself will not lead thee by the hand into the inner department of contemplating his yet greater bounties in grace. Methinks every thing seems to have a voice, and speaks of Jesus. By the fall, our poor ruined nature is entitled to nothing from the earth but thorns and briers; therefore the numberless sweets of the divine mercy preach Jesus, and his cross. It is as if they all said, “Are we lovely to the eye, pleasant to the taste, and healthful in the enjoyment? then are we so by Jesus’s appointment, and by Jesus’s blessing.” My soul! there is more of him than thy unthinking heart is conscious of, in every blessing and favour around thee. Oh! for grace to keep this always in remembrance, that from henceforth thou mayest find a double enjoyment in all; first, in beholding him, and then his gift, be it what it may, as his, and which he giveth thee liberally to enjoy. And there is still another blessedness in thus sitting down to the contemplation and enjoyment of divine bounties: I mean, that the soul not only beholds Jesus in all, and enjoys Jesus in all, but it beholds Jesus as looking on, and rejoicing over his people, in their sanctified use of his bounties. How truly blessed is that scripture in point: “Yea, I will rejoice over them, saith the Lord, to do them good, and I will plant them in this land, assuredly with my whole heart, and with my whole soul!” (Jerem. 32:41.) My soul! sweetly meditate on these things; and when thou beholdest, as in the present time of the year, every thing around furnishing the witness of God’s love and faithfulness, “in giving rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness,” let all lead to him. Jesus himself is in all. It is he who gives all, crowns all, sanctifies and sweetens all. And never did any husbandman among men wait for the precious fruits of the earth with equal diligence and delight, as Jesus, in beholding the fruits of his own grace, which by his Holy Spirit he first plants, and then calls forth into exercise upon his own person and righteousness. Say, my soul, as the Church did, and let this be thine evening song to the same lovely and all-loving Saviour: “My beloved is come down into his garden,” the Church, “to the beds of spices; to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.” (Song 6:2.)[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, p. 224). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

July 25th The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.—John 3:16.

I HAVE never been able to preach from that text. I have often thought I would, but it is so high that I can never climb to its height, I have just quoted it and passed on. Who can fathom the depth of those words: “God so loved the world”? We can never scale the heights of His love or fathom its depths. Paul prayed that he might know the height, the depth, the length, and the breadth, of the love of God; but it was past his finding out.[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. 126). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Christ, not Caesar, Is Head of the Church — Grace to You Blog

A Biblical Case for the Church’s Duty to Remain Open

Christ is Lord of all. He is the one true head of the church (Ephesians 1:225:23Colossians 1:18). He is also King of kings—sovereign over every earthly authority (1 Timothy 6:15Revelation 17:1419:16). Grace Community Church has always stood immovably on those biblical principles. As His people, we are subject to His will and commands as revealed in Scripture. Therefore we cannot and will not acquiesce to a government-imposed moratorium on our weekly congregational worship or other regular corporate gatherings. Compliance would be disobedience to our Lord’s clear commands.

Some will think such a firm statement is inexorably in conflict with the command to be subject to governing authorities laid out in Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2. Scripture does mandate careful, conscientious obedience to all governing authority, including kings, governors, employers, and their agents (in Peter’s words, “not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable” [1 Peter 2:18]). Insofar as government authorities do not attempt to assert ecclesiastical authority or issue orders that forbid our obedience to God’s law, their authority is to be obeyed whether we agree with their rulings or not. In other words, Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 still bind the consciences of individual Christians. We are to obey our civil authorities as powers that God Himself has ordained.

However, while civil government is invested with divine authority to rule the state, neither of those texts (nor any other) grants civic rulers jurisdiction over the church. God has established three institutions within human society: the family, the state, and the church. Each institution has a sphere of authority with jurisdictional limits that must be respected. A father’s authority is limited to his own family. Church leaders’ authority (which is delegated to them by Christ) is limited to church matters. And government is specifically tasked with the oversight and protection of civic peace and well-being within the boundaries of a nation or community. God has not granted civic rulers authority over the doctrine, practice, or polity of the church. The biblical framework limits the authority of each institution to its specific jurisdiction. The church does not have the right to meddle in the affairs of individual families and ignore parental authority. Parents do not have authority to manage civil matters while circumventing government officials. And similarly, government officials have no right to interfere in ecclesiastical matters in a way that undermines or disregards the God-given authority of pastors and elders.

When any one of the three institutions exceeds the bounds of its jurisdiction it is the duty of the other institutions to curtail that overreach. Therefore, when any government official issues orders regulating worship (such as bans on singing, caps on attendance, or prohibitions against gatherings and services), he steps outside the legitimate bounds of his God-ordained authority as a civic official and arrogates to himself authority that God expressly grants only to the Lord Jesus Christ as sovereign over His Kingdom, which is the church. His rule is mediated to local churches through those pastors and elders who teach His Word (Matthew 16:18–192 Timothy 3:16–4:2).

Therefore, in response to the recent state order requiring churches in California to limit or suspend all meetings indefinitely, we, the pastors and elders of Grace Community Church, respectfully inform our civic leaders that they have exceeded their legitimate jurisdiction, and faithfulness to Christ prohibits us from observing the restrictions they want to impose on our corporate worship services.

Said another way, it has never been the prerogative of civil government to order, modify, forbid, or mandate worship. When, how, and how often the church worships is not subject to Caesar. Caesar himself is subject to God. Jesus affirmed that principle when He told Pilate, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above” (John 19:11). And because Christ is head of the church, ecclesiastical matters pertain to His Kingdom, not Caesar’s. Jesus drew a stark distinction between those two kingdoms when He said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:17). Our Lord Himself always rendered to Caesar what was Caesar’s, but He never offered to Caesar what belongs solely to God.

As pastors and elders, we cannot hand over to earthly authorities any privilege or power that belongs solely to Christ as head of His church. Pastors and elders are the ones to whom Christ has given the duty and the right to exercise His spiritual authority in the church (1 Peter 5:1–4Hebrews 13:717)—and Scripture alone defines how and whom they are to serve (1 Corinthians 4:1–4). They have no duty to follow orders from a civil government attempting to regulate the worship or governance of the church. In fact, pastors who cede their Christ-delegated authority in the church to a civil ruler have abdicated their responsibility before their Lord and violated the God-ordained spheres of authority as much as the secular official who illegitimately imposes his authority upon the church. Our church’s doctrinal statement has included this paragraph for more than 40 years:

We teach the autonomy of the local church, free from any external authority or control, with the right of self-government and freedom from the interference of any hierarchy of individuals or organizations (Titus 1:5). We teach that it is scriptural for true churches to cooperate with each other for the presentation and propagation of the faith. Each local church, however, through its elders and their interpretation and application of Scripture, should be the sole judge of the measure and method of its cooperation. The elders should determine all other matters of membership, policy, discipline, benevolence, and government as well (Acts 15:19–3120:281 Corinthians 5:4–7131 Peter 5:1–4).

In short, as the church, we do not need the state’s permission to serve and worship our Lord as He has commanded. The church is Christ’s precious bride (2 Corinthians 11:2Ephesians 5:23–27). She belongs to Him alone. She exists by His will and serves under His authority. He will tolerate no assault on her purity and no infringement of His headship over her. All of that was established when Jesus said, “I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18).

Christ’s own authority is “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And [God the Father has] put all things in subjection under [Christ’s] feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all” (Ephesians 1:21–23).

Accordingly, the honor that we rightly owe our earthly governors and magistrates (Romans 13:7) does not include compliance when such officials attempt to subvert sound doctrine, corrupt biblical morality, exercise ecclesiastical authority, or supplant Christ as head of the church in any other way.

The biblical order is clear: Christ is Lord over Caesar, not vice versa. Christ, not Caesar, is head of the church. Conversely, the church does not in any sense rule the state. Again, these are distinct kingdoms, and Christ is sovereign over both. Neither church nor state has any higher authority than that of Christ Himself, who declared, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).

Notice that we are not making a constitutional argument, even though the First Amendment of the United States Constitution expressly affirms this principle in its opening words: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The right we are appealing to was not created by the Constitution. It is one of those unalienable rights granted solely by God, who ordained human government and establishes both the extent and the limitations of the state’s authority (Romans 13:1–7). Our argument therefore is purposely not grounded in the First Amendment; it is based on the same biblical principles that the Amendment itself is founded upon. The exercise of true religion is a divine duty given to men and women created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26–27Acts 4:18–205:29; cf. Matthew 22:16–22). In other words, freedom of worship is a command of God, not a privilege granted by the state.

An additional point needs to be made in this context. Christ is always faithful and true (Revelation 19:11). Human governments are not so trustworthy. Scripture says, “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). That refers, of course, to Satan. John 12:31 and 16:11 call him “the ruler of this world,” meaning he wields power and influence through this world’s political systems (cf. Luke 4:6Ephesians 2:26:12). Jesus said of him, “he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44). History is full of painful reminders that government power is easily and frequently abused for evil purposes. Politicians may manipulate statistics and the media can cover up or camouflage inconvenient truths. So a discerning church cannot passively or automatically comply if the government orders a shutdown of congregational meetings—even if the reason given is a concern for public health and safety.

The church by definition is an assembly. That is the literal meaning of the Greek word for “church”—ekklesia—the assembly of the called-out ones. A non-assembling assembly is a contradiction in terms. Christians are therefore commanded not to forsake the practice of meeting together (Hebrews 10:25)—and no earthly state has a right to restrict, delimit, or forbid the assembling of believers. We have always supported the underground church in nations where Christian congregational worship is deemed illegal by the state.

When officials restrict church attendance to a certain number, they attempt to impose a restriction that in principle makes it impossible for the saints to gather as the church. When officials prohibit singing in worship services, they attempt to impose a restriction that in principle makes it impossible for the people of God to obey the commands of Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16. When officials mandate distancing, they attempt to impose a restriction that in principle makes it impossible to experience the close communion between believers that is commanded in Romans 16:161 Corinthians 16:202 Corinthians 13:12, and 1 Thessalonians 5:26. In all those spheres, we must submit to our Lord.

Although we in America may be unaccustomed to government intrusion into the church of our Lord Jesus Christ, this is by no means the first time in church history that Christians have had to deal with government overreach or hostile rulers. As a matter of fact, persecution of the church by government authorities has been the norm, not the exception, throughout church history. “Indeed,” Scripture says, “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Historically, the two main persecutors have always been secular government and false religion. Most of Christianity’s martyrs have died because they refused to obey such authorities. This is, after all, what Christ promised: “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). In the last of the beatitudes, He said, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11–12).

As government policy moves further away from biblical principles, and as legal and political pressures against the church intensify, we must recognize that the Lord may be using these pressures as means of purging to reveal the true church. Succumbing to governmental overreach may cause churches to remain closed indefinitely. How can the true church of Jesus Christ distinguish herself in such a hostile climate? There is only one way: bold allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even where governments seem sympathetic to the church, Christian leaders have often needed to push back against aggressive state officials. In Calvin’s Geneva, for example, church officials at times needed to fend off attempts by the city council to govern aspects of worship, church polity, and church discipline. The Church of England has never fully reformed, precisely because the British Crown and Parliament have always meddled in church affairs. In 1662, the Puritans were ejected from their pulpits because they refused to bow to government mandates regarding use of the Book of Common Prayer, the wearing of vestments, and other ceremonial aspects of state-regulated worship. The British Monarch still claims to be the supreme governor and titular head of the Anglican Church.

But again: Christ is the one true head of His church, and we intend to honor that vital truth in all our gatherings. For that preeminent reason, we cannot accept and will not bow to the intrusive restrictions government officials now want to impose on our congregation. We offer this response without rancor, and not out of hearts that are combative or rebellious (1 Timothy 2:1–81 Peter 2:13–17), but with a sobering awareness that we must answer to the Lord Jesus for the stewardship He has given to us as shepherds of His precious flock.

To government officials, we respectfully say with the apostles, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge” (Acts 4:19). And our unhesitating reply to that question is the same as the apostles’: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

Our prayer is that every faithful congregation will stand with us in obedience to our Lord as Christians have done through the centuries.

via Christ, not Caesar, Is Head of the Church — Grace to You Blog

Justices Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, And Cavanaugh On The Erosion Of Religious Liberty Under The Covid Regime — The Heidelblog

The Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. It says nothing about the freedom to play craps or blackjack, to feed tokens into a slot machine, or to engage in any other game of chance. But the Governor of Nevada apparently has different priorities. Claiming virtually unbounded power to restrict constitutional rights during the COVID–19 pandemic, he has issued a directive that severely limits attendance at religious services. A church, synagogue, or mosque, regardless of its size, may not admit more than 50 persons, but casinos and certain other favored facilities may admit 50% of their maximum occupancy—and in the case of gigantic Las Vegas casinos, this means that thousands of patrons are allowed.

That Nevada would discriminate in favor of the powerful gaming industry and its employees may not come as a surprise, but this Court’s willingness to allow such discrimination is disappointing. We have a duty to defend the Constitution, and even a public health emergency does not absolve us of that responsibility.

…I would grant an injunction pending appeal. Calvary Chapel is very likely to succeed on its claim that the directive’s discriminatory treatment of houses of worship violates the First Amendment. In addition, unconstitutionally preventing attendance at worship services inflicts irreparable harm on Calvary Chapel and its congregants, and the State has made no effort to show that conducting services in accordance with Calvary Chapel’s plan would pose any greater risk to public health than many other activities that the directive allows, such as going to the gym. The State
certainly has not shown that church attendance under Calvary Chapel’s plan is riskier than what goes on in casinos.

For months now, States and their subdivisions have responded to the pandemic by imposing unprecedented restrictions on personal liberty, including the free exercise of religion. This initial response was understandable. In times of crisis, public officials must respond quickly and decisively to evolving and uncertain situations. At the dawn of an emergency—and the opening days of the COVID–19 outbreak plainly qualify—public officials may not be able to craft precisely tailored rules. Time, information, and expertise may be in short supply, and those responsible for enforcement may lack the resources needed to administer rules that draw fine distinctions. Thus, at the outset of an emergency, it may be appropriate for courts to tolerate very blunt rules. In general, that is what has happened thus far during the COVID–19 pandemic.

But a public health emergency does not give Governors and other public officials carte blanche to disregard the Constitution for as long as the medical problem persists. As more medical and scientific evidence becomes available, and as States have time to craft policies in light of that evidence, courts should expect policies that more carefully account for constitutional rights. Governor Sisolak issued the directive in question on May 28, more than two months after declaring a state of emergency on March 12. Now four months have passed since the original declaration. The
problem is no longer one of exigency, but one of considered yet discriminatory treatment of places of worship.

…For Las Vegas casinos, 50% capacity often means thousands of patrons, and the activities that occur in casinos frequently involve far less physical distancing and other safety measures than the worship services that Calvary Chapel proposes to conduct. Patrons at a craps or blackjack table do not customarily stay six feet apart. Casinos are permitted to serve alcohol, which is well known to induce risk taking, and drinking generally requires at least the temporary removal of masks. Casinos attract patrons from all over the country. In anticipation of reopening, one casino owner gave away 2,000 one-way airline tickets to Las Vegas. ECF Doc. 38–9, p. 4. And when the Governor announced that casinos would be permitted to reopen, he invited visitors to come to the State. The average visitor to Las Vegas visits more than six different casinos, potentially gathering with far more than 50 persons in each one. ECF Doc. 38–6, p. 44. Visitors to Las Vegas who gamble do so for more than two hours per day on average, id., at 43, and gamblers in a casino often move from one spot to another, trying their luck at different games or at least at different
slot machines.

Houses of worship can—and have—adopted rules that provide far more protection. Family groups can be given places in the pews that are more than six feet away from others. Worshippers can be required to wear masks throughout the service or for all but a very brief time. Worshippers do not customarily travel from distant spots to attend a particular church; nor do they generally hop from church to church to sample different services on any given Sunday. Few worship services last two hours. (Calvary Chapel now limits its services to 45 minutes.) And worshippers do not generally mill around the church while a service is in progress.

The idea that allowing Calvary Chapel to admit 90 worshippers presents a greater public health risk than allowing casinos to operate at 50% capacity is hard to swallow, and the State’s efforts to justify the discrimination are feeble. It notes that patrons at gaming tables are supposed to wear masks and that the service of food at casinos is now limited, but congregants in houses of worship are also required to wear masks, and they do not consume meals during services.

…In sum, the directive blatantly discriminates against houses of worship and thus warrants strict scrutiny under
the Free Exercise Clause. [Justice Alito]

§

This is a simple case. Under the Governor’s edict, a 10-screen “multiplex” may host 500 moviegoers at any time. A casino, too, may cater to hundreds at once, with perhaps six people huddled at each craps table here and a similar number gathered around every roulette wheel there. Large numbers and close quarters are fine in such places. But churches, synagogues, and mosques are banned from admitting more than 50 worshippers—no matter how large the building, how distant the individuals, how many wear face masks, no matter the precautions at all. In Nevada, it seems, it is better to be in entertainment than religion. Maybe that is nothing new. But the First Amendment prohibits such obvious discrimination against the exercise of religion. The world we inhabit today, with a pandemic upon us, poses unusual challenges. But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel. [Justice Gorsuch]

§

With respect to those tradeoffs, however, no precedent suggests that a State may discriminate against religion simply because a religious organization does not generate the economic benefits that a restaurant, bar, casino, or gym might provide. Nevada’s rules reflect an implicit judgment that for-profit assemblies are important and religious gatherings are less so; that moneymaking is more important than faith during the pandemic. But that rationale “devalues religious reasons” for congregating “by judging them to be of lesser import than nonreligious reasons,” in violation of the Constitution. Lukumi, 508 U. S., at 537–538. The Constitution does not tolerate discrimination against religion merely because religious services do not yield a profit.

…The Constitution “protects religious observers against unequal treatment.” Trinity Lutheran, 582 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 6) (internal quotation marks and alterations omitted). Nevada’s 50-person attendance cap on religious worship services puts praying at churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques on worse footing than eating at restaurants, drinking at bars, gambling at casinos, or biking at gyms. In other words, Nevada is discriminating against religion. And because the State has not offered a sufficient justification for doing so, that discrimination violates the First Amendment. I would grant the Church’s application for a temporary injunction. I respectfully dissent. [Justice Cavanaugh]

Justices Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, and Cavanaugh, CALVARY CHAPEL DAYTON VALLEY v. STEVE SISOLAK, GOVERNOR OF NEVADA, ET AL. July 24, 2020

via Justices Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, And Cavanaugh On The Erosion Of Religious Liberty Under The Covid Regime — The Heidelblog

Global Destruction, The COVID-19 Lockdown: Economic and Social Impacts | Global Research

Planned Destruction of World-wide Economy

What we have to realize is that the global, country-by-country destruction – happening simultaneously – is not a coincidence.

It has been planned for decades. Thousands of pages were written alone for the preparation of such documents, like the 2010 Rockefeller Report and the preparation of Event 201 in NYC on October 18, 2019, as well as “studies” for WHO to justify calling the new corona virus (SARS-2-2019 / COVID-19) a pandemic that eventually prompted a worldwide lockdown around mid-March 2020. 

To come up with these and more decision-making tools, leaders of the “deep state” and their henchmen had to sieve through volumes of countless pages and sit through dozens of secret meetings. Now, the unnamed people of the financial establishment and the Deep State have the world living – or dying? – in lockstep, precisely as predicted in the 2010 Rockefeller report (p.18, The Lockstep Scenario) (see below) and confirmed by Event 201. 

References to the 2010 Rockefeller Report and precursor drafts, as well as those that led to the “pandemic” and “lockdown” decisions were easily available only a few weeks ago. Today, the internet has been largely “cleaned” by Google, or debunked, declaring everything that points to the diabolical intentions of this “evil plan” as “fake news”.

Event 201, organized by John Hopkins with Gates and WEF consisted in a simulation exercise of the pandemic which we are living now:

“The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation hosted Event 201, a high-level pandemic exercise on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY. The exercise illustrated areas where public/private partnerships will be necessary during the response to a severe pandemic in order to diminish large-scale economic and societal consequences.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoLw-Q8X174,

Emerging from all this were documents over documents of instructions and scenarios, on how to control humanity – reduce the population – eugenics at their best – and how the small “Deep Dark Elite” will eventually have all of us under a mask, social distancing, avoiding that we talk to each other and unite.

Non-compliance may be punished. Refusal to go into quarantine – meaning into isolation – will put you in certain US States under surveillance by ankle monitors

It’s fear from an invisible enemy –  a virus – that threatens our lives, so they make us believe – and divide the believers from the non-believers, and propaganda demonizes the non-believers into hate objects – getting a disparaging hate-look by masked passers-by… yes, the old divide to conquer and rule. That’s what’s happening.

Destruction of the World Economy

In the meantime, the world economy is crumbling, bankruptcies abound – and related unemployment soars into unknown dimensions – unknown in mankind’s history – by far surpassing the so far worst crisis of 1929-33. And we haven’t even seen the tip of the iceberg yet.

After six months-plus into covid, ILO (International Labor Office) reports worldwide about half a billion people unemployed or under-employed. Of that, a staggering 267 million young people (aged 15-24) are not in employment, education or training, and many more endure substandard working conditions.

In the Global South – or the so-called developing countries, 60% to 70% of the labor force is informal, no social safety net, no social benefits – no contractual obligations by employers. The people are on their own. Locked away in quarantine? – How could they, they have to look for work, earning a daily meal for themselves, and often also for their families. Famine is already rampant. And death by famine is not reported, or simply ascribed to Covid-19, ”improving” the statistics for the diabolical masters.

At the height of the 2020 and-onwards-crisis – ILO predicts up to 2 billion people – 58% of the world’s total labor force might be unemployed or underemployed (world total labor force 2019: 3.46 billion). What does that say about poverty, about famine, about misery and despair – about death by a myriad of diseases, other than Covid, but rather related to lack of nutrition and health services, despair and ultimately suicide?

Peter Koenig and Michel Chossudovsky. Dialogue on the Economic Impacts

According to the World Food Program about 9 million people die annually from famine and hunger-related causes. This figure may – and likely will – skyrocket to 1.5 to 2.0 billion famine-vulnerable people, many of whom may die. Can you imagine – up to a quarter of the world population that may perish from lack of nutrition – due to the covid hoax, or rather due to the propaganda-driven Covid fear – followed scrupulously by all the governments of the globe – which is truly no coincidence. A wanton mismanagement of a fabricated crisis – that may bring about a quantum change in our civilization.

A team of ten renowned German medical doctors and professors, virologists and immunologists, were commissioned by the German Interior Ministry last May to analyze all facets (medical, economic, social) of the Covid crisis. They concluded that the German Government grossly mismanaged the corona-virus. The medical team called it benignly a “False Alarm” (document in German). Some of the report key passages are:

  • The dangerousness of Covid-19 was overestimated: probably at no point did the danger posed by the new virus go beyond the normal level.
  • The people who die from Corona are essentially those who would statistically die this year, because they have reached the end of their lives and their weakened bodies can no longer cope with any random everyday stress (including the approximately 150 viruses currently in circulation).
  • Worldwide, within a quarter of a year, there has been no more than 250,000 deaths from Covid-19, compared to 1.5 million deaths [25,100 in Germany] during the influenza wave 2017/18.
  • The danger is obviously no greater than that of many other viruses. There is no evidence that this was more than a false alarm.
  • A reproach could go along these lines: During the Corona crisis the State has proved itself as one of the biggest producers of Fake News.

They proposed an emergency session with the German Government to take immediate correcting actions, to revamp the economy, employment and re-establish social normalcy. From what it looks like, the German Government did not respond to this sensible proposal. 

Germany is symptomatic for most governments in the Global North as well as in the Global South. They follow strict orders, from which they are not allowed to deviate, and few countries did. One of them is Sweden. The Swedes didn’t close down the country and the economy, but were especially careful with the elderly and other vulnerable groups. They didn’t do worse than other European countries. To the contrary. The Swedes feel less depressed, less despair, thus, they are healthier and their economy has not been dismantled. 

Will Sweden be able to maintain their “exceptional” concept of dealing with Covid? – Or will orders from above insist on changing their approach? – Now, what would happen if a government wants to save its economy and people and dared to not obey these orders? – What’s the extent of the pressure or threats? Or what’s the “carrot” for obeying?

The plan as it unfolds, will continue to use the media for heavy propaganda, day-in-day out, Covid is number one. There is not one newscast that does not have Covid in the headline. And that always in a scary way – so-and-so many new infections since the day before- a new record for this month. Death rates are propagated. They never talk about how many people had recovered, let alone how these statistics are made, and on what criteria a person is considered covid-infected or not. 

Every country, or even every “sub-country’ – every State in the US – has its methods, and no independent authority checks upon these methods and figures. Every so often, some medical doctors or virology scientists step out from their lockstep frame and divulge their doubts and experiences. Mostly those who don’t depend on holding on to their jobs, but to be fair, also some whose conscientiousness is inclined towards humanity rather than a corrupt system. 

After loosening of restrictions, government decisions are reversed (based on an increase of new cases which nobody checks!), reintroducing a mask obligation – threatening with stricter means, if people don’t adhere. In Spain, where after a long quarantine, restrictions were eased. People were rejoicing, dancing in the streets. Now the already foreseen punch-back comes. people have to wear masks again, in public places, in the street and even at the beach. Those who disobey risk a fine of 100 euros. A mental setback. Back into despair. 

There will be waves of loosening and tightening the covid restrictions, with always more severe controls and lesser freedoms – and all under heavy fear propaganda – it’s for the good health of civilization. Imagine, a pandemic of which more than 97% of the infected recover and were the death to infection rate is on average about 0.7%, very similar to the common flu!

The Vaccine

This will go on until a vaccine is ready – and people will be so sick and tired of this “game” -that they will voluntarily submit to the vaccine, no matter how untested and dangerous these vaccines may be. No matter that these vaccines will most likely introduce a DNA-altering protein, and come possibly laced with some kind of nano-chips that can be remote controlled and remote-manipulated. That’s the main reason for 5G electromagnetic waves, the dangers of which may be much worse than of Covid. 

DNA-altering vaccines – that’s genetically modifying the human genome. It has never been tested on humans. It is what Monsanto does to plants and food crops, makes them Genetically Modified Organisms – GMOs. GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, created and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Glaxo-Smith-Klein – one of the foremost vaccine producing pharmaceuticals, supported by WHO, are planning to GMO – “Monsanto-nize” – our genome, for the sake of better controlling humanity – not for better health, to be sure. Can you imagine what Bill Gates’ Big Money is up to? – Will you allow being monsanto-nized? 

Remember Bill Gates TED Talk in Southern California in February 2010, where he said, “when we are doing a real good job (referring to vaccination), we may be able to reduce the world population by 10% to 15%”

Digitalize our Lives

From that follows full digitization of our lives – a cashless society, digital money only – controlled by the banks, your health records available to whomever authority likes to know – your bank accounts vulnerable for any outside interference – digital of course. Many people, especially young people, think digital money, “so cool” – just swiping a card and the purchase is made. They have no clue of the ulterior implications of digital-only money. No cash. Your sovereign control of your money, your income, your savings – is gone.

Most people hope with the vaccine “normalcy” as they know it, or knew it, will return. It will not return. Only if people step out of the realm of fear, turn off their radios, TVs and mainstream media fear propaganda – there is a chance that people will regain control of their lives and be able to rebuild our universe as a sovereign effort of humanity – and abolish the psychotic dream of a Dark Deep State elite that is nominating itself as the rulers of a New World Order.

This is the actual plan. We can stop it. Don’t fall for the lies, don’t fall for the propaganda – especially don’t fall for the FEAR that they want to indoctrinate you with. There is NO REASON FOR FEAR. RESIST!

Rebuilding Society

Our thoughts should now concentrate not on the disease, covid, corona – or whatever you want to call this Virus of Fear, but on rebuilding our society, our community, our economy, our social fabrics – our social systems of cohesion. We are healthy. Isolation makes us sick. Living behind a mask makes us sick. Fear makes us sick. It brings desolation – and desolation makes us sick. We, mankind, have to take care of our common future. Don’t let the invisible Deep Dark State pretending taking care of you, manipulate you into their New World Order.

The strength of our health – which is at least as strong as before the onset of covid – can power our ingenuity to build a new society, one that corrects the aberration that our old civilization has slithered into over the past decades, especially since the ascent of neoliberalism. We can build a civilization of more equilibrium, of more justice, do away with unfettered capitalism, with the boundless profit-thinking, with endless consumerism, wasting resources, many of which are never renewable and gone forever. 

The Foreign Debt Machine

To restart and rebuild Covid-destroyed economies, governments have to rescue productive sectors and subsidize citizens for survival. To do so, local money, debt, is mostly used, in all countries, south or north, where rescue government interventions occur.

In the rich and industrialized north it is normal that local debt is managed locally by a nation’s sovereign monetary and economic development policies, as well as by policies guiding social safety nets- unemployment, health, pension benefits -and more. There is hardly a country in the Global North asking for an IMF “rescue package”.

In the Global South, it’s also governments that are supposed to step in with local money to rescue citizens and the national economy. It’s a sovereign internal affair, it’s a local debt, like in the north. However, in the south for some “strange reasons” the IMF and the World Bank come in with foreign money to “rescue” the countries. In other words, these governments give up their sovereign rights to manage their local debt locally. Instead they apply willingly – perhaps under pressure, to the IMF / WB for foreign loans. 

They monetize local debt into foreign debt, thereby increasing their foreign debt and creating not only a foreign exchange and foreign debt service dependence, but also accepting a number of conditions they would not be subject to, if they managed their local debt internally. The same as the rich sovereign industrialized Global North does – except for those European countries which got themselves enslaved by the Eurozone (mostly Greece and other Southern European countries), having given away their financial and economic sovereignty to the European Central Bank (ECB) and their political sovereignty to the European Commission in Brussels.   

A few months ago, the IMF set up a special Covid rescue fund of about a trillion dollars – probably higher by now, and at least 60 countries from the Global South had already applied for such “rescue packages”. These rescue operations all come with the usual strings attached – massive privatization of public assets and services, as well as concessions for exploitation of natural resources, like hydrocarbons, minerals. Most importantly, the latest semi-clandestine corporate takeover and conversion from a public good into a privately owned commodity – is WATER. Water to be privatized by western corporations, water on which all life depends. Privatization of water is the final blow to a population, especially the poor segments of a country. 

Alternatives to Foreign Debt – Use of Local / National Debt instead of Foreign Debt

Most debt resulting from the corona crisis is local debt that is created locally (the FED calls it QE – Quantitative Easing, a complex term for a simple concept, “printing new money”), by sovereign nationally owned central banks and national public banks. They are in charge of bailing out local industries, the local work force – building or rebuilding social safety nets, public health plans and more. The autonomous national government sets the lending conditions, not the IMF or the WB, nor a Wall Street-connected private bank that works for profit for its shareholders – rather than for the government it is supposedly “rescuing”.

Foreign debt is most often linked to foreign trade. Some of it may be necessary for imports of crucial goods – food, medication, spare parts and more. However, before increasing foreign debt, a country may want to use to the extent possible her foreign currency reserves.

To better control the use of foreign currencies, a sovereign central bank may introduce a temporary dual monetary system – a local currency for the local economy, and a higher-valued international currency to be used for foreign trade (and to promote import substitution) – thus, controlling the use of foreign exchange – i.e. potentially foreign debt. A good example for applying this concept is China, using the dual system until 1984. 

A simple concept to rebuild and boost the local economy is local production for local consumption, through a local public banking system with local / national money, monitored by a national autonomous central bank that works for the national economy and the wellbeing of the people – to achieve self-sufficiency. The three key pillars for national autonomy are – food, health and education. – Foreign trade to be concluded with friendly nations that share the same ideology, ALBA-style.

All of this may not be easy, and may not happen overnight. However, the only way of rebuilding an autonomous national economy – is deglobalization and de-dollarization, moving out of the reach of the dollar dominion. There is life after Covid – and especially after the fall of the dollar hegemony. 

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research; ICH; New Eastern Outlook (NEO); RT; Countercurrents, Sputnik; PressTV; The 21st Century; Greanville Post; Defend Democracy Press; The Saker Blog, the and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Source: Global Destruction, The COVID-19 Lockdown: Economic and Social Impacts

Weekend Snapshot · July 25, 2020- Top Stories This Week

Cancel Culture Alert: Target These Racist Organizations

Here are a few additional organizations that require immediate cancellation!


Democrat-Sanctioned Anarchy in Portland

Marxist rioters are set on destroying Rule of Law. Democrats are standing with them.


Biden Claims Trump Is Racist?

Democrats were, are, and will continue to be the party of black oppression.


What Would Biden and the Democrats Do if They Win?

A needed reminder of the policies and plans that are at stake in November.


Beware of Biden’s Budget Blowout

The immediate and long-term fiscal damage of a Biden presidency is hard to fathom.


The ‘Anti-Racism’ Profiteers

Radical white leftists are finding the alleged oppression of blacks to be very lucrative.


John Lewis’s Mixed Legacy

He will be remembered more for civil rights advocacy than congressional record.


The Leftmedia’s Very Effective ‘Systemic Racism’ Narrative

The Left has made significant gains convincing too many Americans to hate America.


Conservatives Self-Cancel

Thanks to the vicious cancel culture, fewer are willing to share their political opinions.


Black Privilege in the Media

Several Leftmedia outlets have announced they’ll capitalize the “B” in black.


A ‘Woke’ U.S. Army?

“Illegally using federal government resources to distribute racist and partisan political propaganda.”


A Shameful Prosecution in St. Louis

The McCloskey case should serve as a warning for law-abiding Patriots everywhere.


Illegal Aliens and the 2020 Census

Trump refuses to reward “sanctuary” states with greater congressional representation.


Pompeo Pummels China

Donald Trump and his secretary of state are calling out the lawless communist regime.



TODAY’S MEME

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

TODAY’S CARTOON

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

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“I don’t know how in the WORLD anyone can look at what’s going on in Democratic cities and ever vote blue again.” —Allie Beth Stuckey

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

Read Online

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 07/25/2020

Kanye West Unleashes Profanity-Laced Speech, Quotes God Speaking in Expletives to Stop Him From Aborting Daughter   Jul 21, 2020 02:12 pm

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Rapper-turned-gospel artist Kanye West, who is running for president under the “Birthday Party,” held a campaign rally in South Carolina on Sunday, delivering a profanity-laced speech as he spoke about issues such as abortion, slavery, business dealings and opioid use. He said that God stopped him from aborting his own daughter years ago, using…

Continue reading the story 


Va. Pastor Stabbed While Leading Class for Those Seeking to Be Members or Baptized   Jul 21, 2020 06:27 pm

CHANTILLY, Va. — A pastor in Virginia was stabbed on Saturday by an attendee of his church who began making “incoherent statements” before attacking the minister as he led a class for those seeking to be members, baptized, or just to strengthen their faith. The Fairfax County police chief was attending the class and helped to restrain the assailant. At…

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Mother of Baby Found in Trash Can Outside NC Church Arrested, Charged With Attempted Murder   Jul 20, 2020 01:23 pm

WILMINGTON, N.C. — The mother of a newborn baby that was found in a trash can behind a North Carolina church last Thursday evening has been arrested. Maryuri Estefany Calix-Macedo, 21, has been charged with first-degree attempted murder after her infant son was discovered in a black garbage bag inside of a trash can at Christ Community Church in…

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Global Survey Finds 51% Think One Can Be Good Without God, Especially Those in Wealthier Nations   Jul 20, 2020 07:08 pm

Photo Credit: Pexels/Pixabay WASHINGTON — A global survey conducted by the Washington-based Pew Research Center finds that 51% of participants believe that one can be good without God. The research also suggests that those in wealthier and more “educated” nations are more apt to think people are fine without the Divine. “What is the connection between belief…

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NYPD to No Longer Partner With Dept. Of Homeless Services After Mayor de Blasio Cuts Funding by $1 Billion   Jul 23, 2020 06:30 pm

NEW YORK — After Mayor Bill de Blasio cut $1 billion in funding to the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and redirected it to “youth initiatives and social services,” police officers in the city will no longer partner with the Department of Homeless Services to help get the homeless off the street. The department has nixed its crossing guard and homeless…

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The Christian Institute: Scottish Hate Crime Bill Threatens Gospel Freedom   Jul 21, 2020 05:24 pm

(The Christian Institute) — The Scottish government is currently considering introducing new hate crime laws, with Holyrood’s Justice Committee asking for views on the proposed Hate Crime and Public Order bill. The closing date for submissions is this Friday. The existing law covers race, but Scottish ministers want to extend it to cover all the other…

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Theologian J.I. Packer Dies at Age 93   Jul 18, 2020 04:04 pm

(WORLD) — J.I. Packer, one of the most influential theologians of the 20th century, died on Friday. He was 93. Packer authored hundreds of Christian books and articles over more than half a century, but he’s perhaps best known for his 1973 work ‘Knowing God’. Publishers have sold more than 1.5 million copies since the book’s release and have translated…

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Christians in China Detained for Distributing Gospel Tracts   Jul 20, 2020 03:11 pm

Photo Credit: Tumisu/Pixabay China (International Christian Concern) – Across China, the act of passing gospel tracts on the streets has increasingly been targeted by the authorities, with Christians being taken away for administrative detention. A Christian in Jiangxi province recently told China Aid that while they used to be able to spread the gospel…

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‘Baby-Sitters Club’ Episode on Netflix Promotes Transgenderism   Jul 22, 2020 07:46 pm

The Netflix series “The Baby-Sitters Club,” based on the 1980’s and 90’s preteen books written by author Ann M. Martin, has included transgenderism in one of its storylines, depicting the main character, Mary Anne Spier, coming to accept — and eventually defend — a young boy who believes he is a girl. According to reports, “The Baby Sitters Club” dramatization…

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Iranian Christians Charged With Acting Against National Security by Promoting ‘Zionist Christianity’   Jul 18, 2020 01:56 pm

Photo Credit: Mostafa Meraji (Article18) — At least 10 of the more than a dozen Christian converts arrested two weeks ago in raids on their homes and house-churches have been charged with “acting against national security by promoting Zionist Christianity.” Article18 reported earlier this month that at least 13 Christians were arrested in a coordinated…

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US Supreme Court Rules Against Nevada Church on Attendance Cap During COVID-19 | CBNNews.com

Supreme Court of the United States at Sunset

The Supreme Court has rejected a Nevada church’s request to strike down a state restriction limiting attendance at religious services as unconstitutional.

In a 5 to 4 ruling Friday against the request filed by Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley, the high court upheld the limit of 50 people in houses of worship due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The church, which is located east of Reno, argues that the state is treating churches unfairly compared to casinos, restaurants, and entertainment parks.

Those businesses can be open at up to 50 percent capacity with social distancing, which can easily mean far more people than the 50 people allowed in religious services. The church’s lawyers pointed out the discrepancy in their latest filing to the Supreme Court last week.

“The governor allows hundreds to thousands to assemble in pursuit of financial fortunes but only 50 to gather in pursuit of spiritual ones. That is unconstitutional,” they wrote to the high court.

Chief Justice John Roberts supported the liberal majority in opposing the request without comment. But three of the four opposing justices, Neil Gorsuch, Bret Kavanaugh, and Samuel Alito, wrote strong dissents.

“We have a duty to defend the Constitution, and even a public health emergency does not absolve us of that responsibility,” wrote Alito, joined by Clarence Thomas and Kavanaugh. “The Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. It says nothing about freedom to play craps or blackjack, to feed tokens into a slot machine, or to engage in any other game of chance.”

Kavanaugh said in his dissent he agrees “courts should be very deferential to the States’ line-drawing in opening businesses and allowing certain activities during the pandemic.”

“But COVID-19 is not a blank check for a state to discriminate against religious people, religious organizations, and religious services,” he wrote. “Nevada is discriminating against religion.”

And Gorsuch wrote “the world we inhabit today, with a pandemic upon us, poses unusual challenges.

“But there is no world in which the Constitution permits Nevada to favor Caesars Palace over Calvary Chapel.”

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows agreed with Gorsuch, tweeting: “In the SCOTUS ruling against Nevada’s Calvary Chapel today, Justice Gorsuch nails it — it’s a sad day for our country when the high court supports casinos and not churches.

“This Supreme Court ruling would be a supreme disappointment to our founding fathers.”

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a non-profit religious freedom law firm representing the church, said they were disappointed by the ruling but will continue to pursue protection for houses of worship that face “discriminatory policies that put religious groups at the back of the line for reopening.”

“When the government treats churches worse than casinos, gyms, and indoor amusement parks in its COVID-19 response, it clearly violates the Constitution,” said Senior Counsel David Cortman.

The church, which has a capacity of 200, is asking for attendance of up to 90 people while following the safety guidelines of mask-wearing and social distancing.

ADF Attorney Jeremiah Galus explained, “There’s nowhere else where thousands and hundreds of people can gather in close proximity for extended periods of time like in a casino, in bars, in amusement parks, water parks. All these places that are being treated better than place of worship.”

Source: US Supreme Court Rules Against Nevada Church on Attendance Cap During COVID-19

White House Slams SCOTUS Decision Putting Nevada Entertainment Ahead Of Churches | ZeroHedge News

A divided Supreme Court on Friday evening rejected a request by a rural Nevada church to lift a 50-person cap on religious services.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices denied the request from the Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley, a Christian church located outside the state’s capital, Carson City, to be held to the same COVID-19 restrictions that allow bars, casinos, gyms, and restaurants to operate at 50% of capacity.

Calvary Chapel Dayton Valley said the attendance cap on religious services was an unconstitutional violation of its First Amendment right to express region freely. It emphasized the willingness to comply with social distancing rules and also asked to be treated like everyone else.

Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative, joined the court’s four liberal justices in refusing the church’s request without explanation. The majority did not elaborate on their decision.

In a strongly worded dissent accompanied by Justices Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh, Justice Samuel Alito wrote it was no surprise that “Nevada would discriminate in favor of the powerful gaming industry and its employees, …but this Court’s willingness to allow such discrimination is disappointing.”

“We have a duty to defend the Constitution, and even a public health emergency does not absolve us of that responsibility, Alito wrote.

He continued, “For months now, States and their subdivisions have responded to the pandemic by imposing unprecedented restrictions on personal liberty, including the free exercise of religion.”

Alito added Washington does not have the ability “to disregard the Constitution for as long as the medical problem persists.”

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote,

“In Nevada, it seems, it is better to be in entertainment than religion. Maybe that is nothing new. But the First Amendment prohibits such obvious discrimination against the exercise of religion.”

David Cortman, senior counsel for Georgia-based Alliance Defending Freedom representing the church, told AP News that “the government treats churches worse than casinos, gyms, and indoor amusement parks in its COVID-19 response, it clearly violates the Constitution,” adding that he was very disappointed in the ruling.

Some on social media weren’t happy about the ruling:

The White House slammed the high court for putting casinos ahead of churches.

 

VISIT WE

Source: White House Slams SCOTUS Decision Putting Nevada Entertainment Ahead Of Churches

Democrats sink to rock bottom with Biden – American Thinker

It would be difficult to nominate a worse candidate than Hillary Clinton, but the Democrats will with the nomination of Joe Biden.

Biden called President Trump the first “racist” president.  This is plain historical ignorance, stupidity, and lying.

About ten presidents, most of them Democrats such as Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, Jackson, and Van Buren, owned slaves.  Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, segregated federal employees.  But the truth does not matter to Biden.

Given today’s divisive political and cultural climate, to accuse the president of racism, without any evidence, is defamatory and corrosive to our country, especially after the Russia Hoax.

Contrast Biden’s unfounded accusation against President Trump with his fond remembrances of working with fellow segregationist Democratic senators.  Biden said he worked “civilly” with Democratic segregationist senators such as Senator James Eastland.  Biden said:

Even in the days when I got there, the Democratic Party still had seven or eight old-fashioned Democratic segregationists.  You’d get up and you’d argue like the devil with them.  Then you’d go down and have lunch or dinner together.  The political system worked.  We were divided on issues, but the political system worked.

As late as June 2019, Biden described “segregation” as a difference on “issues,” as if segregation is an accepted view on the political issue of race relations.  How does Black Lives Matter accept Biden as the nominee?

Biden made a litany of racially insensitive remarks.  Most well known is when Biden said Obama was the “first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright, clean, well spoken.  That’s a storybook man”  (emphasis added).

Biden said first, as if there were no articulate, bright, clean, well spoken black Americans before Obama. How about Martin Luther King, Jr.? Professor Thomas Sowell? Condoleezza Rice? Justice Thurgood Marshall? Justice Clarence Thomas?

Despite this, Obama selected Biden as his V.P., which is strong evidence to rebut Biden’s statement that Obama is “bright.”

A comprehensive analysis of Biden’s career that shows how unqualified he is for the presidency was written by a union progressive activist, Ronald Dixon, who recounts Biden’s history of racist assumptions, corruption, lying, plagiarism, and mental decline, titled “The Long List of Reasons Why I Will Never Vote for Joe Biden.”

But CBS, ABC, NBC, MSN, CNN, the Washington Post, the N.Y. Times, and other members of the media wing of the Democratic Party have ignored and will ignore all past comments and conduct by Biden and will ignore current statements by Biden that evidence his incompetency due to his declining mental state.

The Democrats and the media know that Biden is mentally incompetent.  But they do not care.  They care only to beat President Trump. The Democratic media will protect Biden and contribute to further dividing the country on race.

Biden was always a lying, corrupt politician.  Now he is a mentally incompetent, lying, corrupt politician.  A perfect fit for the modern Democratic Party and the media.

Image: Marc Nozell via Flickr.

— Read on www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/07/democrats_sink_to_rock_bottom_with_biden.html

Sean Davis: Still No One Has Been Charged For Illegal Spying On Trump | The Federalist

Federalist co-founder Sean Davis said the “most disconcerting” thing about the Obama administration’s illegal spying and the fabrication of evidence in order to conduct deep-state surveillance on the Trump campaign is that not a single person has been charged now years later.

“Nobody’s been charged,” Davis said on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday. “If they’re not even going to come in and charge people who obviously violated our laws in order to spy on and then overthrow a presidential administration, why on earth would we expect them to go and reform the agency?”

The U.S. intelligence community declassified new documents Thursday offering more proof to pile onto the growing mountain of evidence exposing how corrupted bureaucrats abused their government powers to oust the democratically elected President Donald Trump.

“Thanks to Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, we had declassified some FBI documents about a lot of their shenanigans and antics in 2016, and one thing we learned from the hand of one of the FBI agents involved in the spy campaign against the Trump campaign was that they used a defensive briefing on foreign intelligence threats like Russians trying to interfere in our election,” Davis explained. “They used that briefing, not to tell the Trump administration of the Trump campaign what was happening, they used it instead to spy on the Trump campaign. And the agent they sent in said he was there to actively listen to and look at mannerisms from the people involved in case he needed to use it against them later during their spy campaign.”

Josh McDowell’s Big Warning About COVID19, Pornography and Depression — CBN News feeds

Famed evangelist Josh McDowell is worried about the impact COVID19 is having on an already beleaguered population, warning that the pandemic will likely worsen a variety of social issues, including pornography addiction, loneliness and depression.

“The lockdown … it feeds into pornography, loneliness, depression and mental health,” McDowell recently told “The Pure Flix Podcast,” noting that stress, isolation, and fear of the unknown are all issues that are increasingly intensifying amid the COVID19 crisis.

And the evangelist, who has spent decades exploring cultural issues and ministering to the masses, added that he believes these issues will be more pronounced once the lockdowns end.

Listen to McDowell’s warnings and solutions on “The Pure Flix Podcast” — the best Christian podcast for faith and entertainment:

“These things are not under the radar. It’s just that [the] church is not looking at the radar,” McDowell said. “When we come out of this COVID — and we will — you’re going to see a greater in-depth problem with loneliness, depression, anxiety, and pornography.”

McDowell also discussed young people in Generation Z and the already increasing mental health and loneliness concerns that were observed among this population prior to the COVID19 outbreak.

Among his concerns are the ways in which young people are choosing to communicate with one another. While McDowell said people were designed to relate to one another in interpersonal relationships, technology has transformed the realities of how we interact.

“This generation has learned to communicate with their thumbs, not their tongues,” McDowell said. “They might be connecting with people on the internet, but they’re not relating to people on the internet.”

The evangelist is on a mission to help pastors, Christians, and churches meet these needs, though, with his ministry rolling out free resources to help combat loneliness, depression and other pervasive cultural issues.

“We need to figure out how do we minister to people like that and it doesn’t come easy,” he said. “The church had better address these things or the church will be marginalized — period. If we don’t address loneliness, depression, anxiety, mental health and relationships we will be obsolete.”

McDowell knows how hard pastors work and how much is on the plates of various church staffers, but he’s hoping these resources will help ease some of these burdens while also providing healing. Visit Josh McDowell Ministry for resources and more information on how you can help.

 

via Josh McDowell’s Big Warning About COVID19, Pornography and Depression — CBN News feeds

William Lane Craig debates Alex Rosenberg: Does God Exist? Video, audio and summary

WINTERY KNIGHT

British Spitfire and German Messerschmitt Me 109 locked in a dogfight British Spitfire (Craig) and German Me 109 (Rosenberg) in a dogfight

Here is the video of the debate:

Here is my summary of the Craig-Rosenberg debate, which occurred on February 1st, 2013 at Purdue University.

The debaters

Below is the summary.

Dr. Craig’s opening speech:

The topic: What are the arguments that make belief in God reasonable or unreasonable?
First speech: arguments for reasonableness of belief in God
Second speech: respond to arguments against reasonableness of belief in God

Eight arguments:

  1. Contingency argument: God – a transcendent, personal being – is the explanation of why a contingent universe exists.
  2. Cosmological argument: God is the cause of the beginning of the universe, which is attested by physics and cosmology.
  3. Applicability of mathematics to nature: God is the best explanation for the applicability of mathematics to nature.
  4. Fine-tuning argument: God is the best explanation of the fine-tuning of…

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Churches & press freedom under attack – YouTube

The mostly peaceful protests for racial justice sparked by the death of George Floyd have given way to a wave of vandalism and looting directed at churches and Christian statues across the US. RT America’s Natasha Sweatte and John Huddy report the details while Laurie Cardoza-Moore of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations and author Vince Everett Ellison join Scottie Nell Hughes to discuss the rising tide of anti-Christian sentiment across the US. Then Afshin Rattansi, host of “Going Underground,” joins Scottie Nell Hughes to discuss attempts in the UK to silence RT by revoking its broadcasting license.

— Read on m.youtube.com/watch

July 25 Life-Changing Moments With God

 

We know that we have passed from death to life.

Loving God, My Savior said, “He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.” I who have Your Son, Lord God, have life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

God, You establish me in Christ and anoint me; You also have sealed me and given me Your Spirit in my heart as a guarantee. By this I know that I am of the truth, and shall assure my heart before You, God. If my heart does not condemn me, I have confidence toward You. I know that I am of You, Lord God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

I am one Jesus made alive, who was dead in trespasses and sins. Lord God, You made me alive together with Christ. You have delivered me from the power of darkness and conveyed me into the kingdom of the Son of Your love.

I praise You, merciful God, for You have enabled me to pass from death to life, from separation from You to relationship with You.

1 John 3:14; John 5:24; 1 John 5:12; 2 Corinthians 1:21–22; 1 John 3:19, 21; 1 John 5:19; Ephesians 2:1, 5; Colossians 1:13[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 224). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

‘Nasty days’ ahead for US stock markets no matter what government does, chief strategist tells Boom Bust — RT Business News

‘Nasty days’ ahead for US stock markets no matter what government does, chief strategist tells Boom Bust

Jobless claims in the US are up for the first time in months as the pandemic continues to surge in some parts of the country. Meanwhile, the government is set to release the next round of stimulus funding to support the economy.

RT’s Boom Bust talks to Todd Horwitz of Bubba Trading about the new stimulus and the stock market’s reaction to that.

“We know that at some point markets are going to crack again, and probably hit the lows that we saw in March,” says Horwitz.

According to him, when you look at markets, “this is a typical type of action and a possible direction change. We can’t time it, but we can watch the action and be prepared for it.”

“What’s very important, we are going to get some nasty days no matter what happens or where we’re going, the market will get some nasty sell-offs,” Horwitz added.

— Read on www.rt.com/business/495738-us-stock-market-nasty-days/