Daily Archives: August 8, 2020

August 8 The Reputation Race

 

It matters very little to me what you think of me … the Master makes that judgment.
(1 Corinthians 4:1, TM)

For years, I was driven by the fear of failing. Every time I stood before an audience, my self-worth was on the line. No matter how well I did, I was terrified by the thought of having to go back and do it again next week. Eventually, all I tried to build collapsed like a house of cards. But out of ashes, God began building something more dependent on His anointing than on my ability. It’s a relief to be out of the reputation race! Paul thought so, too. Listen: “I didn’t try to impress you with polished speeches and the latest philosophy. I deliberately kept it plain and simple: first Jesus and who He is; then Jesus and what He did” (1 Corinthians 2:2, TM).

If you want to get out of the reputation race, first stop taking yourself so seriously. If you’re worried about what others think of you—relax. They’re probably not thinking about you at all! Lighten up! Learn to laugh at yourself. You’ll be amazed at how much more people will enjoy you. Next, start loving people instead of using them. Remember the Golden Rule? “Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them” (Matthew 7:12, NASB). Finally, turn your accomplishments into challenges. Use them as building blocks—not pedestals to rest on.

 

You haven’t “arrived” yet, so keep pressing on![1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 220). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

August 8 God’s Training Process

 

Luke 16:9

He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much.

Joseph was cooperative with God’s process of training. Joseph had to go through thirteen years of schooling so that he could experience eighty years of ministry. Throughout all that training, Joseph focused on the Lord. In slavery, in the pit, and in prison, he worked to become a strong, disciplined man of God. There was no complaining, simply a desire to obey the Lord and do his best.

If we are God’s people, we will be obedient to Him no matter what our situation. Joseph was faithful in every circumstance, and the Lord blessed him. He proved himself faithful in a home, and God put him in charge of a prison. He proved himself faithful in a prison, and God put him in charge of a nation. God used Joseph because he was cooperative with God’s training process, and the Lord is still looking for cooperative men and women today.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 231). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

August 8, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

Affirmation

For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. (1:5)

The final principle of motivation Paul alludes to is that of affirmation. In the two previous verses Paul mentions his remembering Timothy in prayer and recalling his tears. Now again he reflects on their intimate association, this time being mindful of the sincere faith within Timothy.

Anupokritos (sincere) is a compound word, composed of a negative prefix attached to hupokritēs, from which we get the obviously related English word hypocrite. Timothy’s faith was completely genuine, unhypocritical, without pretense or deceit. In his previous letter to Timothy, Paul had written, “The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere [anupokritos] faith” (1 Tim. 1:5). In his second letter to the church at Corinth, Paul used the term to describe his “genuine love” (2 Cor. 6:6, emphasis added). Peter used it in his admonition to all believers scattered throughout the Roman Empire: “Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22, emphasis added). James used it as the final qualification of “the wisdom from above [which] is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy” (James 3:17, emphasis added).

Timothy had a heritage of sincere faith within [him], which first dwelt in [his] grandmother Lois, and [his] mother Eunice. The reference to Lois and Eunice suggests that Paul knew those women personally and perhaps was instrumental, along with Barnabas, in winning them to Christ during his first missionary journey, which had taken him through Timothy’s home area of Galatia (see Acts 13:13–14:21). They probably were Jewish believers under the Old Covenant who immediately received Jesus as their Messiah, Savior, and Lord when they first heard the gospel from the lips of Paul. By the time of Paul’s second journey, the women had led their grandson and son to the Lord, and he already had become “well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium” (Acts 16:2). Timothy was Paul’s indirect son in the faith who had come to belief through the witness of his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice, who had been led to faith directly by the apostle. Through them, he had “from childhood … known the sacred writings which are able to give [him] the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15).

Some years ago I was involved in a discussion regarding the choice of a man to take up the leadership of a well-known Christian organization. In looking over the list of prospects, I commented that it was interesting that every one of those men had a godly pastor for a father. The Lord has, of course, raised up many faithful leaders, including Paul, from ungodly and even godless families. But a high percentage of the great men throughout church history have come from godly homes. Timothy’s father was an unbelieving Gentile (Acts 16:3), but his mother and grandmother were believers of great godliness. Paul commends them for the immense influence for good they had on Timothy and for the sincere faith that the apostle was sure to be in Timothy as well.[1]


5 The reason for Paul’s gratitude is Timothy’s “sincere [anypokritos, GK 537; see 1 Ti 1:5; cf. Ro 12:9; 2 Co 6:6] faith,” which bodes well for the disciple’s carrying on the apostle’s legacy. Just as Jesus built his church on Peter on the basis of his confession (Mt 16:18–19), Paul entrusts to Timothy the welfare of the apostolic church on account of his “sincere faith.” The permanence of this faith is apparent in that Timothy carries on the living faith of both his “grandmother Lois” (the term mammē [GK 3439; cf. 4 Macc 16:9] is an endearing term equivalent to “grandma”) and his “mother Eunice” (a Jewish believer, Ac 16:1; see Quinn and Wacker, 581–83).

Just as Paul has been “serving” (v. 3; the only instance of latreuō [GK 3302] in the PE) God, as his forefathers did (cf. Ac 23:1; 24:14), so does Timothy (latreuō denotes the performance of religious duties; cf. Knight, 366). In previous correspondence, the apostle has already stressed the need for a “clear conscience” (v. 3; cf. 1 Ti 1:5, 19; 3:9; cf. 4:2). Paul does not take Timothy’s transparently real faith for granted; he knows it is possible that external faith can masquerade inner bankruptcy (cf. 2 Ti 3:5).[2]


5 At this point, Paul begins to close the bracket begun with his self-description in v. 3. Timothy’s faith and heritage will now be described in a way that parallels Paul’s description. Grammatically, another participial phrase creates the connection with the initial statement. Thematically, it is the thought of “remembrance” that helps forge the connection. Logically, the phrase announces the main reason for Paul’s offering of thanks. The word indicating the act of remembering or recalling (hypomnēsin) is the third of its type in this section (see mneian, v. 3c; memnēmenos, v. 4b). The noun combined with the aorist participle probably intends the passive sense “I am reminded.”37 Paul does not indicate a specific reason for this recollection; he simply fastens on a distinctive trait as a prelude to parenesis.

That trait is the quality of Timothy’s faith. Two things require discussion—the meaning of “faith” and the force of the qualifier “sincere.” “Faith” is a key concept in these letters to coworkers that carries different nuances of meaning in different contexts: often with the definite article it means the objective content of what is believed (the apostolic gospel), but it may describe the existential condition of believing in God or Christ. In this context, “your faith”40 is probably meant as Timothy’s continual disposition of belief in Christ. The qualifier, “sincere,” is more accurately understood as “authentic,” as in 1 Tim 1:5 (see discussion and note), in contrast to the inauthentic faith of those who have deserted Paul and who have been involved in spreading false doctrine (2:17–18). And the contrast is probably intended (for the wider readership) to distance Timothy from the false teaching (1:8, 12, 14; 2:2). Timothy’s faith is “authentic” in what he believes and in the fruit that belief produces.

Timothy’s spiritual heritage is traced back to his grandmother and mother: “which [faith] first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded now lives in you also.” The effect is to create a parallel with the reference to Paul’s spiritual heritage in v. 3. The verb translated “to live in” (perhaps more familiarly “to indwell”; 1:14) is Pauline and used uniformly to describe inward spiritual elements of the Christian life. “Faith” is thus depicted as an enduring characteristic of these three lives. The aorist tense of the verb suggests that this state had a beginning, and the reader is invited to see God as the initial cause.

We know nothing of the two women, except that they were Jewish (Acts 16:1). The content of their faith and the sequence in which they came to it and came to know Paul, as Paul envisages it, is a matter of speculation among commentators. Paul’s self-description leaves some room for the reference to be to a living Jewish faith that readily accepted the gospel.43 But while this continuity may be necessary for the historical connections in the sequence to make sense, Paul’s main interest is in the quality of the faith that now resides in Timothy, which is to be measured by the pure apostolic faith. In any case, we know only that Timothy’s grandmother and mother apparently came to faith in the Messiah prior to Timothy and provided an environment crucial to his conversion and spiritual development (cf. 3:15). Of the latter, Paul seems, on the surface, convinced: “And I am persuaded [the faith] now lives in you also.” But, given the context that implies some degree of ambivalence towards the mission on the part of the younger coworker, the rhetorical effect of this statement goes beyond simple affirmation and encouragement to exhortation designed to induce Timothy to demonstrate his faith.

With this statement of Paul’s conviction about Timothy, the thanksgiving prayer comes to a close. It functions to remind him of Paul’s true feelings of affection. The thanks to God and prayer offered for Timothy and the fond memories serve this purpose. Equally, the sense of identity created between Paul and Timothy intends to bridge the gap of distance that separates them. But this is not an end in itself. This same paralleling of characters and qualities—apostle and fellow-worker—which the bracketing formed by Paul’s self-description and Timothy’s description emphasizes, becomes the basis upon which Paul will urge Timothy to take up the work again. At this level, the argument proceeds as follows: “Timothy, in terms of our faith and spiritual heritage, we are cut from the same cloth. The obligations and call to duty this implies for me, it also implies for you.”

We would pass too quickly over this very personal introduction if we only considered its literary significance. Paul strikes a chord that finds some degree of resonance in all believers. The OT prophets often tell the story of an enslaved people chosen and blessed by God. These people are given privileges and promises and with them the obligation to serve the Lord in every facet of life. But one of the repeating themes of this story is how the people squander their privileges and fail to carry out the obligations that attend the blessings. In preparing the coworker for the renewal of his calling, Paul draws heavily on Timothy’s sense of loyalty and responsibility to the faith, which he has as a heritage, to live out his faith in service. He was obligated to exercise the faith in him as a gift, and this included taking seriously the people to whom God had committed him. God mediates that claim of loyalty through numerous relationships in which we have experienced his grace and call to service. Loyalty or faith in modern Western culture often operates more on the intellectual than the interpersonal level, and this puts us at a disadvantage when we seek to understand a passage like this. It boils down to this: authentic faith in God requires more from us than simply adherence to doctrinal ideas.[3]


1:5 / With this clause Paul returns to the thanksgiving proper, now expressing the basis for it—God’s work in Timothy’s life. This work is expressed in terms of Timothy’s sincere (or perhaps better in these letters, “genuine”; see disc. on 1 Tim. 1:5) faith, which in this case means at least his genuine trust in God but also perhaps moves toward the idea of “faithfulness,” that is, his continuing steadfast in his faith. Paul regularly considers this quality in God’s people to be thankworthy (cf. 1 Thess. 1:3; 3:6–7; 2 Thess. 1:3; Rom. 1:8; Col. 1:4; Philem. 5).

Because this letter will basically be an appeal to Timothy to maintain his loyalty and steadfastness (to Christ, Paul, and the ministry of the gospel) in the face of suffering, he is therefore prompted to remind Timothy that the same faith he has—and is to be loyal to—was what first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice. That is, “Don’t lose heart, because just as my ministry has continuity with my forebears (v. 3), so does yours. Don’t forget your roots; they go way back, and your own faith is like that of your mother and grandmother.”

The mention of his maternal parentage is in keeping with the evidence of Acts 16:1, where we learn that Eunice was a Jewish Christian, whose husband was a Gentile. Paul’s appeal to her faith, therefore, although almost certainly referring to her faith as a believer in Christ, also reflects his view that such faith is the genuine expression of the Jewish heritage, that is, that faith in Christ is the true continuity with the religion of the ot (cf. v. 3). It should also be noted in passing that, the more personal the letter, the more often Paul mentions personal names (twenty-two in this letter; cf. Philemon, nine).

Finally, to register his concern one more time, he adds, I am persuaded it now lives in you also. This confidence in Timothy’s genuine faith becomes the springboard for the appeal that follows (1:6–2:13). Thus, as in other letters (esp. 1 Thessalonians, Romans, and Colossians), the thanksgiving not only sets out some of the themes of the letter but actually moves directly into the letter itself.[4]


1:5.… being reminded of the sincere faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is also in you.

For the third verse in a row, Paul speaks of remembering Timothy or something about him. In this verse, the Greek construction could mean some sort of external reminder, such as Paul’s receiving a report about Timothy. But that is far from certain.

Paul has remembered Timothy’s tears, but he also remembers his ‘sincere faith’ (see the same expression in 1 Timothy 1:5 and the comments there). He is thankful for the depth of Timothy’s love and emotional bond to him. But more importantly, he is thankful for Timothy’s sincere faith in the Lord. In fact, twice in this verse Paul mentions the faith that is ‘in you’, emphasizing that it is personal and very much a part of Timothy’s being. Personal, sincere faith is cause for rejoicing, not only because it produces a bond with other believers, but also because it means salvation on the Day of Judgement. Paul’s mention of Timothy’s faith here also serves as a lead-in to his later exhortation to Timothy to persevere in that faith.

Although Timothy’s faith is personal, Paul does not privatize or individualize faith. He rejoices in Timothy’s spiritual heritage, much as he had spoken of his own heritage in verse 3. Timothy’s faith was passed on to him by his ‘grandmother Lois’ and his ‘mother Eunice’ (cf. 3:14–15). Paul’s mentioning these women probably serves no other purpose than emphasizing for us the importance of a godly heritage, much like many of the genealogies in the Bible. Evangelicals who tend to individualize the faith often miss important corporate aspects of the faith, including the spiritual ancestors who have gone before us and to whom we are indebted. Paul here steers a good course for us. On the one hand, faith is personal; it must be ‘in’ each one of us. On the other hand, we must recognize the important role of our spiritual heritage and the spiritual ancestors who taught us the faith. There is no salvation without personal faith; we do not get to heaven on the coattails of our spiritual ancestors. Yet there would be no Christian faith without godly ancestors who stood firm in it and passed it on to us.[5]


5. Calling to remembrance that unfeigned faith. Not so much for the purpose of applauding as of exhorting Timothy, the Apostle commends both his own faith and that of his grandmother and mother; for, when one has begun well and valiantly, the progress he has made should encourage him to advance, and domestic examples are powerful excitements to urge him forward. Accordingly, he sets before him his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice, by whom he had been educated from his infancy in such a manner that he might have sucked godliness along with his milk. By this godly education, therefore, Timothy is admonished not to degenerate from himself and from his ancestors.

It is uncertain whether, on the one hand, these women were converted to Christ, and what Paul here applauds was the commencement of faith, or whether, on the other hand, faith is attributed to them apart from Christianity. The latter appears to me more probable; for, although at that time everything abounded with many superstitions and corruptions, yet God had always his own people, whom he did not suffer to be corrupted with the multitude, but whom he sanctified and separated to himself, that there might always exist among the Jews a pledge of this grace, which he had promised to the seed of Abraham. There is, therefore, no absurdity in saying that they lived and died in the faith of the Mediator, although Christ had not yet been revealed to them. But I do not assert anything, and could not assert without rashness.

And I am persuaded that in thee also. This clause confirms me in the conjecture which I have just now stated; for, in my opinion, he does not here speak of the present faith of Timothy. It would lessen that sure confidence of the former eulogium, if he only said that he reckoned the faith of Timothy to resemble the faith of his grandmother and mother. But I understand the meaning to be, that Timothy, from his childhood, while he had not yet obtained a knowledge of the gospel, was imbued with the fear of God, and with such faith as proved to be a living seed, which afterwards manifested itself.[6]


5. When Paul says I have been reminded, it may be that he had just had news of Timothy (so Bengel). The expression in the Greek would support this (hypomnēsin labōn literally meaning ‘having received a reminder’). It is striking to note that four different expressions are used in verses 3–6 to denote memory. Remember in verse 3 is paralleled in 1 Thessalonians 3:6; recalling in verse 4 is used in 1 Corinthians 11:2; I have been reminded in verse 5 is not used elsewhere in Paul (but cf. 2 Pet. 1:13); and I remind you in verse 6 is paralleled in 1 Corinthians 4:17. This rich variety of wording emphasizes the apostle’s reminiscent mood, and his desire that Timothy himself should have stores of memory on which to draw.

It is Timothy’s sincere faith which prompts some further reflections. A similar description of faith has already been met in 1 Timothy 1:5, although it is not found elsewhere in Paul. There is no need to imply from the use of the qualifying adjective sincere that faith here means no more than religious feeling. A profession of faith, understood as commitment to the Christian doctrine, could certainly be unreal. In this case the sincerity of faith was transparent and there was good reason, therefore, for its special mention. Paul refers in the Pastorals to some of Timothy’s weaknesses, such as his timidity, but there was no deficiency in his faith.

The indwelling of faith is paralleled by the Pauline ideas of the indwelling God (2 Cor. 6:16), the indwelling Spirit (Rom. 8:11; 2 Tim. 1:14), the indwelling word (Col. 3:16) and indwelling sin (Rom. 7:17). The metaphor of a building and its inhabitants was well suited to express this inner character of Christianity.

The thought of Timothy’s faith stimulates the memory of his grandmother’s and mother’s faith. But there is difference of opinion among commentators whether the Christian or Jewish faith is here meant. The use of the word first (prōton) in this context has been supposed to indicate that Lois was a devout Jewess and was the first to inculcate religious faith in Timothy; in other words from his earliest days he had been surrounded by religious faith. Yet if Christian faith is intended, prōton may mean that Lois was the first to become a Christian, followed by Eunice and her son. The reference to Timothy’s parents in Acts 16:1 is little help in solving this question since the word ‘believer’ used of Eunice could apply equally to both Jewish and Christian believers. Since by her marriage to a Greek Eunice cannot have been a strictly orthodox Jewess, it seems more probable that Christian faith is meant (cf. comment on 3:15). The lack of mention of Timothy’s father, who according to Acts 16:1 was a Greek, was probably because he was not a Christian (cf. Jeremias). Such personal details bear a genuine stamp and some scholars who dispute the authenticity of the Pastorals as a whole list this passage among the genuine fragments (e.g. Falconer). It is difficult to believe that a pseudonymous writer would have thought of mentioning Timothy’s forebears by name if the Epistle was directed to some ‘Timothy’ of a later age.

The apostle was not only deeply conscious of the powerful home influences which had shaped his own career, but was impressed by the saintly atmosphere of Timothy’s home. Lois and Eunice were perhaps well known in the Christian church for their domestic piety. The apostle closes this personal reminiscence by the assertion of a strong conviction (I am persuaded), in thoroughly characteristic style, the verb peithō being used twenty-two times in Paul’s writings. There is no doubt in his mind about Timothy’s faith.[7]


Ver. 5. When I call to remembrance [R.V., having been reminded of] the unfeigned faith that is in thee.

Unfeigned faith:—Some recorded circumstance, some spoken words, some searching test, had convinced St. Paul that Timothy at the present time was shedding no womanish tears, that his faith had revealed its strength and reality. If put to a severe strain there was now no mistake about it. His faith was not a mask of unbelief, not a mere species of personal affection for the apostle, nor was it an unpractical faith, or one dependent on circumstances. St. Paul may once have entertained some transient doubt about Timothy. His fears may have exaggerated to himself the significance of Timothy’s excessive grief. The words of despair wrung from his lips at their parting may have distressed the apostle; but now the ugly suspicion is suppressed and no longer haunts his nightly intercession. (H. R. Reynolds, D.D.)

Unfeigned faith practical:—A lady and gentleman were being shown over the Mint by the Master of the Mint, who took them from the gate where the rough gold came in until they saw it going out in the form of coins to the bank for distribution all over the country. When they were in the melting-room, the Master said, “Do you see that pail of liquid?” “Yes.” “If you dip your hand into it I will pour a ladleful of molten gold into your hand, and it will roll off it without hurting you.” “Oh!” was the remark somewhat sceptically made. “Do you not believe me?” inquired the Master. “Well; yes, I do,” replied the gentleman. “Hold out your hand, then.” When he saw the boiling gold above his hand, ready to be poured out, the gentleman took a step back, and, in terror, put his hand behind his back. The lady, however, stooped down, dipped her hand into the liquid, and holding it out, said, “Pour it into my hand.” She really believed, and could trust, but her friend had not the practical faith to enable him to trust. (J. Campbell White.)

Timothy’s faith:

  1. The peculiar excellence for which Timothy is here commended—“Unfeigned faith.” St. Paul goes to the root of all that was excellent in Timothy—namely, his faith. Not but that he could at other times dwell with pleasure on the fruits of that faith; especially when speaking of him to others. A beautiful specimen we have in Phil. 2:19–22. But in writing to Timothy himself, he thinks it most profitable to insist upon the source of that excellent character—his faith.
  2. The instrumental cause to which the faith of Timothy is here ascribed—namely, the previous faith of his pious mother, Eunice, and of his grandmother, Lois. The only effectual cause to which unfeigned faith can be ascribed, is the grace of Christ and His Spirit. Nevertheless, in conferring this precious gift, the Lord frequently works by instruments or means. The case of these excellent women, then, may lead us to observe the special honour conferred on the weaker sex, in their being often made—1. Foremost in faith and piety. Man fell by the woman’s transgression; but it is by the seed of the woman that he is redeemed. The first convert in Europe was a woman—Lydia. In every period of the history of the Church women have been more open to conviction, more simple believers in Christ, more devoted in their zeal for His cause, than others. 2. Foremost in spiritual usefulness. Such they were in the case before us. Now this remarkable succession of piety, in three generations of the same family, was a blessing from God, in honour of female faith—“unfeigned faith.” “Them that honour Me,” saith God, “I will honour.” (J. Jowett, M.A.)

The worth of faith:—All other graces do still accompany it. Where it is they all be. Faith may be compared to a prince which, wheresoever he pitcheth his tents, hath many rich attendants (1 Cor. 13 ult.), as love, hope, zeal, patience, &c. Faith expelleth infidelity out of the heart, as heat doth cold, wind, smoke, for they he contraries. It cannot, nor will not, admit of so bad a neighbour; it shoulders out all unprofitable guests (Acts 15:9; Heb. 4:2). And besides this, faith makes our actions acceptable to God; for without it it is impossible to please God: this is that true fire which cometh down from heaven and seasons all our sacrifices (Heb. 2:6; Rom. 14 ult.). What, then, are they worthy of, that neither respect it in themselves nor others; many have no care to plant this flower in the garden of their hearts; or, if they have it, to preserve it from perishing. Jonah mourned that his gourd withered, yet we grieve not if faith be destroyed. (J. Barlow, D.D.)

Faith the chief thing:—The world cries, What’s a man without money? but I say, What’s a man without faith? For no faith, no soul quickened; heart purified, sin pardoned; bond cancelled, quittance received; or any person justified, saved. (Ibid.)

Get faith:—I say that to all, which I do to one, get faith, keep faith, and increase your faith. A mite of this grain is worth a million of gold; a stalk of this faith, a standing tree of earthly fruits; a soul freighted and filled with this treasure, all the coffers of silver in the whole world. What can I more say? The least true faith is of more value than large domains, stately buildings, and ten thousand rivers of oil. If the mountains were pearl, the huge rocks precious stones, and the whole globe a shining chrysolite; yet faith, as much as the least drop of water, grain of sand, or smallest mustard-seed, is more worth than all. This will swim with his master; hold up his drooping head, and land him safe at the shore, against all winds and weather, storms and tempests; strive then for this freight; for the time and tide thereof serveth but once, and not for ever. (Ibid.)

Faith works like effects in divers subjects:—The grandmother, the mother, and the mother’s son, had the same faith; and the like fruits proceeded from them, else Paul would never have called it unfeigned, or said that it dwelt in them, or given them all three one and the same testimony. All three had faith, and unfeigned faith. For the likeness of actions were in them, and proceed from them, by the which it was called unfeigned, and equally appropriated to each particular person. And it is an undoubted position that faith produceth the like effects in all God’s children; in truth, it must be understood, not in degree. For as faith increaseth, the effects are bettered. Many lanterns, with several candles, will all give light; but in proportion to their adverse degrees and quantities. Every piece hath his report, but according to the bigness, and each instrument will sound, but variously as they be in proportion, and that for these reasons. Because faith differs not in kind, but in degree, and like causes produce like effects. Every bell hath its sound, each tone its weight, and several plants, their diverse influences; yet not in the same measure, though they may vary in kind. Again, faith is diffused into subjects, though several, yet they are the same in nature and consist of like principles. Fire, put into straw, will either smoke or burn, let the bundles be a thousand; life in the body will have motion, though not in the same degree and measure; and reason in every man acteth, but not so exquisitely. The constitution may not be alike, therefore a difference may be in operation natural, and also from the same ground, in acts spiritual. A dark horn in the lantern dims the light somewhat. (Ibid.)

Unfeigned faith manifested:—From this point we may learn how to judge of the faith in our times which so many boast of; they cry, Have not we faith? do not we believe as well as the best? But where be the fruits of faith unfeigned? hast thou an humble and purging heart? dost thou call upon God at all times, “tarry His leisure, and rely upon His promise? art thou bold and resolute for good causes? canst thou resist Satan? cleave to God, and shun the appearances of evil? will neither poverty oppress thee by despair, or prosperity by presumption? Why, it is well, and we believe, that faith is to be found in thee, but if not, thou hast it not rooted in thee. For the tree is known by the fruit. Will not the flower smell? the candle give light? and the fire heat? and shall true faith be without her effects? Boast not too much, lest thou deceive thyself, taking the shadow for the body; and that which is not for that which should be. (Ibid.) Which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice.

Lois and Eunice:—Origen conjectured that Lois and Eunice were relatives of St. Paul. This is only conjecture. There is far more reason for believing that they were converts made by him on his first visit to Lystra. In the Jewish communities of these Asiatic towns there were elect souls who had begun to cherish larger hopes for humanity. If Lois had permitted her daughter to marry a Greek, and yet had retained her faith in the promises made to Israel, and if Eunice had so far yielded to her husband’s views or habits as to have foregone for her only son the sacramental rite of admission to the Jewish nation, and yet, notwithstanding this, had diligently instructed him in the history and contents of Holy Scriptures (chap. 3:15). We have a glimpse of light thrown upon the synagogues and homes of devout Israelites in Asia Minor. (H. R. Reynolds, D.D.) Lois is the same with the more familiar Lais; Eunice is an equivalent of the Latin Victoria. (H. D. M. Spence, M.A.)

The day of Christian faith:—Christian faith in its morning (Timothy), at noon (Eunice), and at the evening of life (Lois). (Dr. Van Oosterzee.)

Celebrated mothers:—Like the celebrated mothers of Augustine, of Chrysostom, of Basil, and of other illustrious saints of God, the life, sincerity and constancy of Lois and Eunice became vicariously a glorious heritage of the universal Church. (H. R. Reynolds, D.D.)

Lessons:—1. The infidelity of the father prevents not faith in the children. For if it had, Eunice and Timothy and many more should never have been found faithful (1 Kings 14:13; 1 Cor. 7:14). 2. Succession of faith is the best succession. 3. Where we see signs of goodness, we are to judge the best. 4. When we give others instruction, we are first to possess them with the persuasion of our affection. For then they will take it in good part, and our words will have the deeper impression. (J. Barlow, D.D.)

Memories of a mother:—Among the reminiscences of a great statesman, Daniel Webster, it is related that on one occasion a public reception was given him in Boston. Thousands of his country’s citizens crowded together and paid him homage. Bursts of applause had been sounding all day in his ears. Elegantly dressed ladies had thrown bouquets of the rarest flowers at his feet. But as he ascended the stops leading to his mansion, crowned with the honours of the gala day, a little, timid girl stepped up and placed a bunch of old-fashioned garden pinks in his hand. At sight of these old, familiar flowers, and their well-remembered fragrance filled the air, the old memories were stirred. Just such pinks used to grow in his mother’s garden when he was a child. Instantly that sweet face of the loved mother came to his vision; her tender, gentle voice sounded once more in his ears. So overcome was he with the tide of old memories that crowded into his heart that he excused himself, and went to his apartments alone. “Nothing,” said he, “in all my life affected me like that little incident.” John Newton in his worst days could never forget his mother, at whose knees he had learned to pray, but who was taken to heaven when he was but eight years old. “My mother’s God, the God of mercy, have mercy upon me!” was often his agonising prayer in danger, and we all know how it was answered. (Great Thoughts.)

Mother’s influence:—If we call him great who planned the Cathedral of St. Peter, with all its massiveness and beauty; if they call the old masters great whose paintings hang on monastery and chapel walls, is not she (the mother) great who is building up characters for the service of God, who is painting on the soul canvas the beauty and strength of Jesus the Christ? (A. E. Kittredge.)

Christian mothers:—Give me a generation of Christian mothers and I will undertake to change the whole face of society in twelve months. (Lord Shaftesbury.)

Woman’s influence:—A missionary in Ceylon writes as a “noticeable fact” that where Christian women are married to heathen husbands, generally the influence in the household is Christian; whereas, when a Christian man takes a heathen woman he usually loses his Christian character, and the influences of the household are on the side of heathenism.

Parental example:—We may read in the fable what the mother crab said to the daughter: “Go forward, my daughter, go forward.” The daughter replied, “Good mother, do you show me the way!” Whereupon the mother, crawling backward and sidling, as she was wont, the daughter cried out, “So, mother! I go just as you do.” (Family Churchman.)

Mother and child:—Sir Walter Scott’s mother was a superior woman, and a great lover of poetry and painting. Byron’s mother was proud, ill-tempered, and violent. The mother of Napoleon Buonaparte was noted for her beauty and energy. Lord Bacon’s mother was a woman of superior mind and deep piety. The mother of Nero was a murderess. The mother of Washington was pious, pure, and true. The mother of Matthew Henry was marked by her superior conversational powers. The mother of John Wesley was remarkable for her intelligence, piety, and executive ability, so that she has been called the “Mother of Methodism.” It will be observed that in each of these examples the child inherited the prominent traits of the mother. (J. L. Nye.)

Mother’s influence:—“It was at my mother’s knees,” he says, “that I first learned to pray; that I learned to form a reverence for the Bible as the inspired word of God; that I learned the peculiarities of the Scottish religion; that I learned my regard to the principles of civil and religious liberty, which have made me hate oppression and—whether it be a pope, or a prelate, or an ecclesiastical demagogue—resist the oppressor.” (T. Guthrie, D.D.)

Children to be taught young:—First, for then they will remember it when they are old (Prov. 23:13). Dye cloth in the wool, not in the web, and the colour will be the better, the more durable. Secondly, to defer this duty is dangerous, for thou mayst be took from them. Who then shall teach them after thy departure? (2 Kings 2:24). Thirdly, besides, what if they come to faith? Will it not be with the more difficulty? Fallow ground must have the stronger team, great trees will not easily bend, and a bad habit is not easily left and better come by. If their memories be stuffed with vanity as a table-book, the old must be washed out before new can be written in. Fourthly, what shall I more say? God works strangely in children, and rare things have been found in them; and what a comfort will it be for parents in their life, to hear their children speak of good things, and at the last day, when they can say to Christ, Here am I, and the children Thou hast given me! (J. Barlow, D.D.)

The secret of a good mother’s influence:—Some one asked a mother whose children had turned out very well, what was the secret by which she prepared them for usefulness and for the Christian life, and she said, “This was the secret. When in the morning I washed my children, I prayed that they might be washed in the fountain of a Saviour’s mercy. When I put on their garments, I prayed that they might be arrayed in the robe of a Saviour’s righteousness. When I gave them food, I prayed that they might be fed with manna from heaven. When I started them on the road to school I prayed that their faith might be as the shining light, brighter and brighter to the perfect day. When I put them to sleep, I prayed that they might be enfolded in the Saviour’s arms.” (T. De Witt Talmage.)

Training the young:—Rightly to train a single youth is a greater exploit than the taking of Troy. (Melancthon.)

A good grandmother:—“I owe a great deal to nay grandmother,” said a young man who was courageous and true above many in his Christian life. “Why, what did she do for you? Oh, she just sat by the fire.” “Did she knit?” “A little.” “Did she talk to you?” “A little; but grannie was not much of a talker; she did not go in for all that, you know; but she just sat and looked comfortable, and when we were good she smiled, and when we were wild in our talk she smiled too, but if ever we were mean she sighed. We all loved her, and nobody did as much for us, really, as grannie.” (Marianne Farningham.)

A godly household:—A household that fears God is another joy of my life. I would rather see it than the finest landscape. I can understand why Sir Walter Scott got his seat put down in his garden, within earshot of his bailiff’s cottage, that he might always hear the sound of the psalms at morning and evening worship. There never was incense sweeter from morning or evening sacrifice! A home, where the father and mother walk in the narrow way, is pretty sure to find their children accompanying them. Not that God’s gifts are hereditary, but example goes a great way, and if the parent, who is the highest on earth to the child, live a Christian life, it is very seldom the child will not follow him. It depends on the parent. If the mother, or father, or both, be real Christians, gentle, kind, reverent, pure, the little ones grow accustomed to these graces and catch them almost unconsciously.

Suppressed lives:—A few years ago a gentleman died in Germany whose name was almost unknown both in Great Britain and on the Continent. A physician by profession, and an inheritor of a title, he lived a life of comparative seclusion. He was never in the front at any pageant or ceremonial of any court. He was never known when treaties and alliances were made between reigning sovereigns. In diplomatic circles his name was never prominently mentioned. And yet no man of his time in all Europe had more influence in determining the destiny of nations than he. He was the power behind thrones. He was the intimate confidant of princes. He rendered the most important services to England and to Germany. His was one of those “suppressed lives” which are so often lives of commanding power. It was a suppressed life, expressed in kings, parliaments, and statesmen. Such lives are to be found in literary circles. It is often a matter of infinite surprise that such marvels of erudition and widest compass of reading in the domain of metaphysics, philosophy, theology, and ecclesiastical history, can be produced by a single man in the compass of so short a life as is given the world by many a German writer. But the secret is, that behind the life of the author, who may receive all the praise of the public, are scores of suppressed lives. These are the men of culture and training who are doing the toiling drudgery, wading through volumes, finding and verifying quotations. It is well known that in the business world these suppressed lives play a most important part. Many an employer is dependent upon the labours of faithful men, unknown to the world, who have mastered all the intricacies of a complex business, and upon whom they implicitly depend for advice in its management. St. Paul, after his somewhat depressing visit to Athens, found a home in the humble abode of Aquila and Priscilla, in the busy, sensual city of Corinth. In the house of this lowly artisan he found rest, refreshment, and strength. Working with him side by side, in the plebeian craft of tent-making, the great apostle to the Gentiles derived new zeal and energy for his great work from the life and conversation of this faithful disciple of Jesus Christ. In the same home the eloquent Alexandrian, Apollos, found shelter and instruction. In his life, full of eloquent thought and speech, and still more eloquent deeds, their suppressed lives found a brilliant and glorious expression. These two lives may justly stand for the lives of the great multitude of teachers in the Sunday Schools and other schools of our land. Suppressed lives mostly they are. Comparatively unrecognised is the influence these teachers are exerting upon the destinies of the millions of children intrusted to their care. In St. Paul’s words to Timothy, as quoted in the text, we have the recognition of the power of suppressed lives in the charmed circle of the home. An ampler life has been opened to woman than heretofore in our day. The most thoroughgoing infidel cannot deny that Christianity above all other systems guards and glorifies the home; that it has given to the wife and the mother the unique and the peerless position they hold in the countries where the highest civilisation is enjoyed. This Bible before me loves to honour the home. Who can estimate the influence of the suppressed lives in these homes? In that obscure country rectory at Epworth lived the mother of the Wesleys. The husband was a dreamy, poetical, unpractical man. The household quiver was full and running over with children. She was the teacher of them all. John Wesley was taught by her the alphabet for the twentieth time, that in her own language, “the nineteenth might not be in vain.” She kept up with the classical studies of her boys until they went away from home to school and college. She managed her large family with the economy extolled by “Poor Richard,” with “the discipline of West Point,” and yet in the loving spirit of the home at Bethany. She was the constant counsellor of her once seemingly stupid but now most gifted son John, and the earnest defender if not initiator of the greatest ecclesiastical movement of our day—the coming to the front in every Christian enterprise of the laymen of the Church. She stood in her old age by the side of that son when, as the foremost religious leader of the centuries, he preached on Kensington common the memorable sermon to twenty thousand persons, and “the slain of the Lord” lay in windrows before him. The grey-haired, bent, and silent mother was speaking in the burning words and ringing tones of the great reformer. The mother of Washington lived and triumphed in the matchless deeds of the father of his country. (S. Fallows.)[8]


1:5. Paul returned to the subject of spiritual heritage as he thought about Timothy: I have been reminded of your sincere faith. He had watched Timothy and worked beside him for years. In Timothy, Paul recognized a genuine faith, one adhering to the teachings of Christ and the apostles, which in turn produced righteous behavior. Proper belief and proper actions are components of sincere faith.

Paul realized that genuine faith had been modeled for Timothy through his family. It was evident in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice. Though true faith cannot be inherited, it can be demonstrated in convincing ways within the context of a family. Even so, each person must entrust himself personally to Jesus Christ. True faith is individually claimed.

Timothy’s father was Greek. His mother and grandmother, however, were Jewish (Acts 16:1). Apparently they had trained Timothy in reading and memorizing Old Testament texts because Paul later remarked how Timothy had from childhood known the holy Scriptures (2 Tim. 3:15). This had proved a good foundation as he developed into faith in Christ. The genuine faith Paul had noted in Timothy’s mother and grandmother, he was convinced now lives in you [Timothy].[9]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995). 2 Timothy (pp. 7–8). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Köstenberger, A. (2006). 2 Timothy. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 568). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Towner, P. H. (2006). The Letters to Timothy and Titus (pp. 453–455). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Fee, G. D. (2011). 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus (p. 223). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[5] Barcley, W. B. (2005). A Study Commentary on 1 and 2 Timothy (pp. 219–220). Darlington, England; Webster, NY: Evangelical Press.

[6] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (pp. 187–188). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[7] Guthrie, D. (1990). Pastoral Epistles: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 14, pp. 141–142). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[8] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: Second Timothy–Titus, Philemon (Vol. 1, pp. 6–11). New York; Chicago; Toronto; London; Edinburgh: Fleming H. Revell Company.

[9] Larson, K. (2000). I & II Thessalonians, I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon (Vol. 9, pp. 265–266). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

The Coming Tribulation — The End Time

 

By Elizabeth Prata

Below is a Youtube video figuratively showing the Rapture and Tribulation. The end is nigh. Get right with Jesus if you have not already. Ask Him to forgive your sins. What you see in the video WILL occur, and soon. Why “soon”? The rapture has always been imminent. Also, we are one day closer to the Tribulation than we were yesterday, and 2000 years ago.

These events aren’t solely predicted in the ‘weird’ book of Revelation. The word of God relates the fact of these predicted events in many different books of the Bible. Daniel, Zechariah, Isaiah, Matthew, 2 Peter, and more. They occur because Jesus will close the Age of Grace and finally punish the world in His wrath for its sin. (The rapture removes believers first, because we are not appointed to wrath- 1 Thessalonians 5:9, Revelation 3:10.)

There are two destinies. Grace and bliss for believers in heaven upon death or just prior to the coming Tribulation, or for those remaining on earth when these things happen, punishment in wrath; and eternal punishment afterward in death. A person can be one of the traveling lights streaming off-earth seen at the beginning of the video, or a person can be among the people seen in the rest of the video…enduring horror after horror in God’s wrath.

Confession, repentance for sin, and belief in the resurrected Jesus makes the difference. Do the former and you will be lifted to heaven if you’re alive or resurrected and lifted if you are dead. (1 Thessalonians 4:15). Fail to deal with your sin prior to these things coming upon the earth, means you will be punished for your sin during the Tribulation.

Special note: people WILL come to faith after the rapture, many of them. Revelation 6:9 and 20:4 speaks to their existence in heaven. But since they had not repented during the Age of Grace, they were not taken up in the rapture (removal of the believing faithful) and thus are on earth when God’s wrath for sin is poured out.

But do not wait. The LORD will send a great delusion upon the earth so that many will NOT believe. )2 Thessalonians 2:11). You could be one of these who waited too long. And, of course, death occurs every day. No one is promised a tomorrow.

via The Coming Tribulation — The End Time

August—8 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

And the Lord said unto Moses, Is the Lord’s hand waxed short? Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee, or not.—Num. 11:23.

Is it not an extraordinary thing in the history of Moses, that he, who had seen the miracles in Egypt, should stagger at God’s promises to feed his people with a new supply in the wilderness? Had Moses forgotten the rock which gave water, or the daily supply of manna? But pause, my soul! look not at Moses; look at home. What wonders hath thy God wrought for thee! and yet what doubts, and fears, and questionings, are continually arising in thy mind. Is there a child of God on earth more apt to reason with flesh and blood than thou art? And is there a child of God, that hath less reason so to do? Dearest Lord! I blush to think how slender, at times, my faith is! When I read of the acts of those heroes in the gospel, who, “through faith, subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, stopped the mouths of the lions, and the like, I take shame and confusion of face, in the review of my unbelieving heart. Did Joshua bid the sun and moon to stand still; did Peter smite Ananias and Sapphira dead; yea, did he even call Tabitha from the dead, by virtue of faith in Jesus; and am I so much at a loss, at times, as to fear that I shall one day perish by the hand of the enemy? O Lord! I beseech thee, strengthen my soul in this grace, that I may never more question the divine faithfulness. And do thou, blessed Jesus, pour in thy resources upon my poor forgetful and unbelieving heart, when doubts, and fears, and misgivings arise. Give me to see, that in all my journey past, thou hast brought me through difficulties and dangers, and that “thy strength is made perfect in my weakness.” What are all intervening difficulties when Jesus undertakes for his people? Nay, the very obstruction, be what it may, is but the more for the display of thy glory, and the exercise of my faith. Help me, then, O Lord! to look to thee, and not to the difficulty, with which I have nothing to do. It is enough for me, that my God hath promised, and my God can and will perform. How Jesus will accomplish it, is his concern and not mine. He is faithful; he hath promised; and that is sufficient; the issue is not doubtful. Yea, Lord! I know thine hand is not shortened, and all that thou hast said must come to pass. “Faithful is he that hath promised, who also will do it!”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 236–237). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

“We shall not grow weary of waiting upon God if we remember how long and how graciously He once waited for us.” — C.H. Spurgeon

“We shall not grow weary of waiting upon God if we remember how long and how graciously He once waited for us.” — C.H. Spurgeon What is my screen resolution? Click Below to Download your Image: Apple Devices: iPhones and iPod Touch iPads iPhone 11 Android Phones: Galaxy S Series, Edge, Nexus 5X, 6P, Google…

via Waiting: Wallpaper — Truth For Life Blog

August 8th The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.—John 3:8.

YOU might just as well tell me that there is no such thing as wind, as tell me there is no such thing as a man being born of the Spirit. I have felt the Spirit of God working in my heart just as really and as truly as I have felt the wind blowing in my face. I cannot reason it out. There are a great many things I cannot reason out, but which I believe. I never could reason out the creation. I can see the world, but I cannot tell how God made it out of nothing. But every man will admit there was a creative power.[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.) (pp. 135–136). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

The Truth Doesn’t Care About Your Feelings – The Big Ugly… — The Last Refuge

Do not misinterpret anger for defeatism.  Truth is the fuel for cold anger, and it’s time everyone begins accepting some painful truths.

What some have called “Spygate” is not a frozen moment in time or a set of dates on a calendar with a beginning and an end.  Spygate was the originating process to ensure the DC system did not experience the disruption carried by Donald John Trump; but it was only the originating process….

….The process of opposition against Donald Trump is a continuum.

Those who use DC for influence and affluence control the mechanisms within the self-actuating system. This includes both Democrats and Republicans as they both feed from the same trough.  In the effort to remove Donald Trump, both wings of the uniparty bird were aligned with an identical purpose; democrats carrying out their effort openly, and the republican elements operating covertly as to retain the DC premise.

Specifically, one of the common flaws that many make is thinking the Mueller special counsel was an outcome of an action by President Trump when he fired former FBI Director James Comey.  This is false.  The special counsel process was a continuum in the effort to remove of the threat that Donald Trump represented back in the early primary days of 2016.  The system, writ large, was aligned with this purpose.

In October 2016 Deputy Attorney General John Carlin, in charge of the National Security Division of the DOJ bailed out of the effort after misleading the FISA court on their surveillance activity and setting up the introduction of the FISA warrant against Carter Page.  Carlin was replaced by a more committed traveler/ideologue named Mary McCord.

With Mary McCord in place to continue the DOJ-NSD aspects to the resistance and removal effort, the DOJ and FBI simply continued the process after the November 2016 election.  Internally all of the officials, essentially lawyers, within the DOJ-NSD were carrying out the removal objective and cleverly attempting to cover their tracks.

We see the creation in plausible deniability with the use of Bruce Ohr as a bridge between the politically corrupt DOJ-NSD and the politically corrupt FBI.  Ohr was carrying the messages from outside the system (Chris Steele) into the system. This was his function.

Everyone knew was Ohr’s mission was.  Anyone today, like Sally Yates, who claims they had no idea what the #4 official was doing is simply lying.  That is part of the plausible deniability part. It was set up that way.  Everyone knew what to expect, everyone knew the goals and objectives and every part of the process was compartmentalized to create this functional denials in case anything went sideways; or if the objective failed.

Andrew Weissmann was inside this DOJ-NSD system and he was a primary participant in transferring the spygate operation into the special counsel.  Again, it’s one long continuum.  Tashina Guahar was the internal tool who had the objective to facilitate the effort and block any DOJ leadership effort that might disrupt the goal.  She too did her job very well.

This is where it must be accepted the DOJ-NSD was the legal side of the usurpation effort.  Everyone at the top three levels inside the system was participating.  Some of them are still there despite the primary agents leaving.

The special counsel then became the continuation of the process.  Once in place it was the special counsel who ran the show from Main Justice.  Additional operatives were brought in to coordinate the plan.  Pictured group below:

No action took place inside Main Justice that was not controlled by this group. Nothing.

When congress was battling for information, it was the special counsel who held control. Nothing was ever released without the special counsel releasing it.  Nothing was ever redacted, removed, or hidden without this group doing the functional work to control it.

This is critical because too many people have failed to accept that any information released from Main Justice was purposefully released as part of a strategy.  An example of that control is the release of the Carter Page FISA application in July 2018.  This is the group who released it.

When ever anyone was asking who was redacting the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages, it was this group.  They also removed some.

This group also controlled what Inspector General Michael Horowitz was allowed to review as part of any of his investigative inquiries.  Everything was labeled as part of the special counsel investigation…. that’s how they justified and got away with it.

Simultaneously this group was leaking to their friends and allies in the media to frame narratives beneficial to their effort.  The media were willing to assist their friends; and indeed, they are friends.  They run in the same circles, attend the same parties, go to the same functions and meet both personally and professionally.  This is the network.

To understand or expose the largest part of the corruption that exists within DC you need a thread, a fulcrum example to share that exposes how this allied network operates. That example is best evidenced, irrefutably, within the story of how Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Security Director James Wolfe was caught facilitating the objectives.

Wolfe was caught by an external investigator from the FBI Washington Field Office named Brian Dugan.  While the special counsel likely knew the periphery of what the Supervisory Special Agent (SSA) was doing (a leak investigation), it was not until the complete investigative file was turned over to the special counsel in January 2018 when the special counsel group grasped the totality of the issues involved.

Immediately the special counsel group formed an attack plan because the outcome of Dugan’s investigation was toxic to their interests in the early part of 2018.   The special counsel stripped the investigative file of the details damaging to their ongoing corrupt effort.  They could not allow the public to know the FISA application was in the hands of their media allies since March of 2017.  This story cuts to the heart of corrupt activity.

What the special counsel team did in order to protect their activity is incredible.  Only someone as arrogant and Machiavellian as Andrew Weissmann could have planned to carry out this scheme.   That’s why he is currently attacking – it’s fear.

The background of the Wolfe story is the thread that lays the corrupt special counsel activity naked to sunlight; and the Wolfe story exposes just how the process from early 2016 all the way through the impeachment effort of August 2019 was put together.  The ramifications are so significant that when you become aware of the Wolfe story everything reconciles.

Nothing is circumstantial, everything is exposed with direct evidence sworn under oath and subject to perjury.   Dig this story hard and everything reconciles.

Yes, FISA abuse is a big deal; yes, crossfire hurricane is a big deal; yes, the Carter Page FISA application is a big deal; yes, the Chris Steele aspect is a big deal; but in the final analysis that’s only the beginning of the effort.  Look at what the special counsel was doing from May 2017 to April 2020 and the scale of the effort is stunning.

Corrupt republicans and democrats worked together; the legislative branch worked in coordination with usurping elements inside the executive branch; the intelligence apparatus and the State Dept worked to assist both the legislative branch and the usurping agents inside the DOJ-NSD.

….And, worst of all, none of it could have been carried out if there was not someone very close to President Trump, someone very much participating with the effort, who was whispering in his ear about making appointments that were specifically designed to allow the effort to continue.

That’s ugly.

That’s the truth.

That’s where cold anger gives way to righteous fury.

…and believe me DC is petrified of that story.

 

 

via The Truth Doesn’t Care About Your Feelings – The Big Ugly… — The Last Refuge

Fed Wants Inflation But Their Actions Are Deflationary | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Lance Roberts via RealInvestmentAdvice.com,

A recent CNBC article states the Fed will make a major commitment to ramping up inflation. How is this different than the past decade of promises for higher inflation? More importantly, while the Fed may want inflation, their very actions continue to be deflationary.

The Fed Has A Plan

“In the next few months, the Federal Reserve will be solidifying a policy outline that would commit it to low rates for years as it pursues an agenda of higher inflation and a return to the full employment picture that vanished as the coronavirus pandemic hit. 

Recent statements from Fed officials and analysis from market veterans and economists point to a move to “average inflation” targeting in which inflation above the central bank’s usual 2% target would be tolerated and even desired. 

To achieve that goal, officials would pledge not to raise interest rates until both the inflation and employment targets are hit.” – CNBC

Such certainly sounds familiar.

“The Federal Reserve took the historic step on Wednesday of setting an inflation target that brings the Fed in line with many of the world’s other major central banks.

In its first-ever ‘longer-run goals and policy strategy’ statement, the U.S. central bank said an inflation rate of 2 percent best aligned with its congressionally mandated goals of price stability and full employment.”– Reuters Reporting On Ben Bernanke’s Fed Policy Statement January 26, 2012

The Unseen

Over the last decade, the Federal Reserve has engaged in never-ending “emergency measures” to support asset markets and the economy. The stated goal was, and remains, such actions would foster full employment and price stability. There has been little evidence of success.

The table and charts below show the Fed’s balance sheet’s expansion and its effective “return on investment” on various aspects of the economy. For example, since 2009, the Fed has expanded its balance sheet by 612%. During that time, the cumulative total growth in GDP (through Q2-2020) was just 34.83%. In effect, it required $17.58 for every $1 of economic growth. We have applied that same measure across various economic metrics.

No matter how you analyze it, the “effective ROI” has been lousy.

These are the unseen consequences of the Fed’s monetary policies.

The Seen

The only reason Central Bank liquidity “seems” to be a success is when viewed through the lens of the stock market. Through the end of the Q2-2020, using quarterly data, the stock market has returned almost 135% from the 2007 peak. Such is more than 12x the growth in GDP and 3.6x the increase in corporate revenue. (I have used SALES growth in the chart below as it is what happens at the top line of income statements and is not AS subject to manipulation.)

Unfortunately, the “wealth effect” impact has only benefited a relatively small percentage of the overall economy. Currently, the Top 10% of income earners own nearly 87% of the stock market. The rest are just struggling to make ends meet.

While in the short-term ongoing monetary interventions may appear to be “risk-free,” in the longer-term, the Fed has now reached the “end game” of monetary policy.

Fed’s Actions Are Deflationary

What the Federal Reserve has failed to grasp is that monetary policy is “deflationary” when “debt” is required to fund it.

How do we know this? Monetary velocity tells the story.

What is “monetary velocity?” 

“The velocity of money is important for measuring the rate at which money in circulation is used for purchasing goods and services. Velocity is useful in gauging the health and vitality of the economy. High money velocity is usually associated with a healthy, expanding economy. Low money velocity is usually associated with recessions and contractions.” – Investopedia

With each monetary policy intervention, the velocity of money has slowed along with the breadth and strength of economic activity.

However, it isn’t just the expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet which is undermining the strength of the economy. It is also the ongoing suppression of interest rates to try and stimulate economic activity.

In 2000, the Fed “crossed the Rubicon,” where lowering interest rates did not stimulate economic activity. Instead, the “debt burden” detracted from it.

To illustrate the last point, we can compare monetary velocity to the deficit.

To no surprise, monetary velocity increases when the deficit reverses to a surplus. Such allows revenues to move into productive investments rather than debt service.

The problem for the Fed is the misunderstanding of the derivation of organic economic inflation

It’s The Debt

It isn’t just the Federal debt burden that is detracting from economic growth. It is all debt. As stated, the belief that lower interest rates would spur more economic activity was correct, to a point. However, as shown, once the debt burden because to consume more than it produced, the lure of debt turned sour.

You will notice that in 1998, monetary velocity peaked and began to turn lower. Such coincides with the point that consumers were forced into debt to sustain their standard of living. For decades, WallStreet, advertisers, and corporate powerhouses flooded consumers with advertising to induce them into buying bigger houses, televisions, and cars. The age of “consumerism” took hold.

However, while corporations grew richer, households got poorer, as growth in the economy and wages remained nascent.

The problem for the Federal Reserve, is that due to the massive levels of debt underlying the meager economic activity it generates, interest rates MUST remain low. Any uptick in rates quickly slows economic activity, forcing the Fed to lower rates and support it.

Economic Inflation

For the last several years, the Fed’s belief has been inflating asset prices would lead to a rise in economic prosperity and inflation. As noted, the Fed did achieve “asset inflation,” which led to a burgeoning “wealth gap.”

What monetary policy did not do was lead to “general fluctuations in price levels.” 

Despite the Fed’s annual call of higher rates of inflation and economic growth, the realization of those goals remains elusive.

The problem for the Fed is that monetary policy creates “bad” inflation, without supporting the things that lead to “good” inflation.

Good Inflation

The Fed believes the rise in inflationary pressures is directly related to an increase in economic strength. However, as I will explain: Inflation can be both good and bad.

Inflationary pressures can be representative of expanding economic strength if reflected in the more robust pricing of imports and exports. Such increases in prices would suggest stronger consumptive demand, which is 2/3rds of economic growth and increases in wages allowing for the absorption of higher prices.

That would be “the good.”

Bad Inflation

The bad would be inflationary pressures in areas which are direct expenses to the household. Such increases curtail consumptive demand, negatively impacting pricing pressure, by diverting consumer cash flows into non-productive goods or services.

If we look at import and export prices, there is little indication that inflationary pressures are present. 

This lack of economic acceleration is seen in the breakdown of the Consumer Price Index below, which shows where inflationary pressures have risen over the last 5-months.

(Thank you to Doug Short for help with the design)

As is clearly evident, the surge in “healthcare” related costs, due to the surging premiums of insurance, pushed both consumer-related spending measures and inflationary pressures higher. Unfortunately, higher health care premiums do not provide a boost to production but drain consumptive spending capabilities.

[Housing costs, a very large portion of overall CPI, is also boosting inflationary pressures. But like “health care” costs, rising housing costs and rental rates also suppress consumptive spending ability. It is the same for Other Goods and the cost of “food,” which is stripped out of the core calculation, but eat away at disposable incomes.]

For the middle-class and working poor, which is roughly 80% of households, rent, energy, medical and food comprise 80-90% of the aggregate consumption basket.” – Research Affiliates

The Fed’s problem is that by trying to push inflation higher, which will also drive interest rates higher to compensate, will immediately curtail increases in economic activity.

Such is why the Fed remains caught in a liquidity trap.

The Liquidity Trap

Here is the definition:

“When injections of cash into the private banking system by a central bank fail to lower interest rates or stimulate economic growth. A liquidity trap occurs when people hoard cash because they expect an adverse event such as deflation, insufficient aggregate demand, or war.

Signature characteristics of a liquidity trap are short-term interest rates remain near zero. Furthermore, fluctuations in the monetary base fail to translate into fluctuations in general price levels.

Pay particular attention to the last sentence.

As discussed through the entirety of this article, every aspect of a liquidity-trap has been checked:

  • Lower interest rates fail to stimulate economic growth
  • People hoard cash because they expect an adverse event (economic crisis).
  • Short-term interest rates near zero.
  • Fluctuations in monetary base fail to translate into general price levels.

Importantly, the issue of monetary velocity and saving rates is critical to defining a “liquidity trap.”

Confirmation

As noted by Treasury&Risk:

“It is hard to overstate the degree to which psychology drives an economy’s shift to deflation. When the prevailing economic mood in a nation changes from optimism to pessimism, participants change. Creditors, debtors, investors, producers, and consumers all change their primary orientation from expansion to conservation. Creditors become more conservative, and slow their lending. Potential debtors become more conservative, and borrow less or not at all.

As investors become more conservative, they commit less money to debt investments. Producers become more conservative and reduce expansion plans. Likewise, consumers become more conservative, and save more and spend less.

These behaviors reduce the velocity of money, which puts downward pressure on prices. Money velocity has already been slowing for years, a classic warning sign that deflation is impending. Now, thanks to the virus-related lockdowns, money velocity has begun to collapse. As widespread pessimism takes hold, expect it to fall even further.”

Deflationary Spiral

Such is the biggest problem for the Fed and one that monetary policy cannot fix.

Deflationary “psychology” is a very hard cycle to break.

“In addition to the psychological drivers, there are structural underpinnings of deflation as well. A financial system’s ability to sustain increasing levels of credit rests upon a vibrant economy. A high-debt situation becomes unsustainable when the rate of economic growth falls beneath the prevailing rate of interest owed.

As the slowing economy reduces borrowers’ ability to pay what they owe. In turn, creditors may refuse to underwrite interest payments on the existing debt by extending even more credit. When the burden becomes too great for the economy to support, defaults rise. Moreover, fear of defaults prompts creditors to reduce lending even further.”

For the last four decades, every time the Fed has taken action trying to achieve their goals of “full employment and stable prices,” it has led to an economic slowdown, or worse.

The relevance of debt growth versus economic growth is all too evident. Over the last decade, it has taken an ever-increasing amount of debt to generate $1 of economic growth.

In other words, without debt, there has been no organic economic growth.

While the Fed has been diligently working on its next program to achieve the long-elusive 2% inflation target, it will result in the same outcome as the last decade.

The problem is the debt, and you can’t solve a debt problem with more debt.

At some point, you have to stop digging.

Source: Fed Wants Inflation But Their Actions Are Deflationary

World’s Top Epidemiologists – Masks Don’t Work! | Zero Hedge

“Face masks in public places are not necessary, based on all the current evidence… There is no benefit and there may even be negative impact.”

Authored by John Miltimore via The Foundation for Economic Education,

Denmark boasts one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the world. As of August 4, the Danes have suffered 616 COVID-19 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

That’s less than one-third of the number of Danes who die from pneumonia or influenza in a given year.

Despite this success, Danish leaders recently found themselves on the defensive. The reason is that Danes aren’t wearing face masks, and local authorities for the most part aren’t even recommending them.

This prompted Berlingske, the country’s oldest newspaper, to complain that Danes had positioned themselves “to the right of Trump.”

“The whole world is wearing face masks, even Donald Trump,” Berlingske pointed out.

This apparently did not sit well with Danish health officials.

From left to right: Professor Henning Bundgaard, Tamara van Ark, Anders Tegnell | Composite image by FEE (Rigshospitalet, Wikimedia Commons)

They responded by noting there is little conclusive evidence that face masks are an effective way to limit the spread of respiratory viruses.

All these countries recommending face masks haven’t made their decisions based on new studies,” said Henning Bundgaard, chief physician at Denmark’s Rigshospitale, according to Bloomberg News.

Denmark is not alone.

Despite a global stampede of mask-wearing, data show that 80-90 percent of people in Finland and Holland say they “never” wear masks when they go out, a sharp contrast to the 80-90 percent of people in Spain and Italy who say they “always” wear masks when they go out.

Dutch public health officials recently explained why they’re not recommending masks.

“From a medical point of view, there is no evidence of a medical effect of wearing face masks, so we decided not to impose a national obligation,” said Medical Care Minister Tamara van Ark.

Others, echoing statements similar to the US Surgeon General from early March, said masks could make individuals sicker and exacerbate the spread of the virus.

“Face masks in public places are not necessary, based on all the current evidence,” said Coen Berends, spokesman for the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment.

“There is no benefit and there may even be negative impact.”

In Sweden, where COVID-19 deaths have slowed to a crawl, public health officials say they see “no point” in requiring individuals to wear masks.

“With numbers diminishing very quickly in Sweden, we see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport,” said Anders Tegnell, Sweden’s top infectious disease expert.

What’s Going on With Masks?

The top immunologists and epidemiologists in the world can’t decide if masks are helpful in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Indeed, we’ve seen organizations like the World Health Organization…

…and the CDC go back and forth in their recommendations…

For the average person, it’s confusing and frustrating. It’s also a bit frightening, considering that we’ve seen people denounced in public for not wearing a mask while picking up a bag of groceries.

The truth is masks have become the new wedge issue, the latest phase of the culture war. Mask opponents tend to see mask wearers as “fraidy cats” or virtue-signalling “sheeple” who willfully ignore basic science. Mask supporters, on the other hand, often see people who refuse to wear masks as selfish Trumpkins … who willfully ignore basic science.

There’s not a lot of middle ground to be found and there’s no easy way to sit this one out. We all have to go outside, so at some we all are required to don the mask or not.

It’s clear from the data that despite the impression of Americans as selfish rebel cowboys who won’t wear a mask to protect others, Americans are wearing masks far more than many people in European countries.

Polls show Americans are wearing masks at record levels, though a political divide remains: 98 percent of Democrats report wearing masks in public compared to 66 percent of Republicans and 85 percent of Independents. (These numbers, no doubt, are to some extent the product of mask requirements in cities and states.)

Whether one is pro-mask or anti-mask, the fact of the matter is that face coverings have become politicized to an unhealthy degree, which stands to only further pollute the science.

Last month, for example, researchers at Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy responded to demands they remove an article that found mask requirements were “not based on sound data.”

The school, to its credit, did not remove the article, but instead opted to address the objections critics of their research had raised.

First, Do No Harm

The ethics of medicine go back millennia. 

The Hippocratic Oath famously calls on medical practitioners to “first, do no harm.” (Those words didn’t actually appear in the original oath; they developed as a form of shorthand.)

There is a similar principle in the realm of public health: the Principle of Effectiveness.

Public health officials say the idea makes it clear that public health organizations have a responsibility to not harm the people they are assigned to protect.

“If a community is at risk, the government may have a duty to recommend interventions, as long as those interventions will cause no harm, or are the least harmful option,” wrote Claire J. Horwell Professor of Geohealth at Durham University and Fiona McDonald, Co-Director of the Australian Centre for Health Law Research at Queensland University of Technology.

“If an agency follows the principle of effectiveness, it will only recommend an intervention that they know to be effective.”

The problem with mask mandates is that public health officials are not merely recommending a precaution that may or may not be effective.

They are using force to make people submit to a state order that could ultimately make individuals or entire populations sicker, according to world-leading public health officials.

That is not just a violation of the Effectiveness Principle. It’s a violation of a basic personal freedom.

Mask advocates might mean well, but they overlook a basic reality: humans spontaneously alter behavior during pandemics. Scientific evidence shows that American workplaces and consumers changed the patterns of their travel before lockdown orders were issued.

As I’ve previously noted, this should come as no surprise: Humans are intelligent, instinctive, and self-preserving mammals who generally seek to avoid high-risk behavior. The natural law of spontaneous order shows that people naturally take actions of self-protection by constantly analyzing risk.

Instead of ordering people to “mask-up” under penalty of fines or jail time, scientists and public health officials should get back to playing their most important role: developing sound research on which people can freely make informed decisions.

See the World Health Organization’s Latest Guidelines on Masks and COVID-19…

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/political/worlds-top-epidemiologists-masks-dont-work

OBAMAGATE Will Eclipse the Democratic National Convention

Absolute Truth from the Word of God

From canadafreepress.com

Forget the popcorn but remember the antacid and keep a copy of Trump’s latest campaign ad,  the ‘ObamaGate’ video on hand, because the Democrat National Convention gets underway a week from this Monday.

“This new ad from the Trump campaign sets up a narrative they will use against Democratic presumptive nominee Joe Biden, accusing him and former President Barack Obama of having conspired to undermine the Trump administration from the start. (RealClearPolitics, Aug. 6, 2020

Democrats have gotten away with so many acts of treason and lawlessness. I am praying that this new video put out by Trump will place the final nail in the coffin of any hopes the Dems have for a victory in November 2020.

From canadafreepress.com

Latest Campaign Ad By Trump Campaign Points to #OBAMAGATE

Continued fromCanadafreepress.com……..“

“It’s a real conspiracy and no one is talking about it,” the ad states.”

View original post 733 more words

Does Jerome Powell Have a Clue?…What De-Dollarization Means For The U.S. Economy

 • Ron Paul Liberty Report

Politicians and Central Bankers attempt to do the impossible. They believe that with dictates and counterfeit money they can control the economy. The reality is the exact opposite. They only destroy the economy. Is it any wonder that the ultimate international money – Gold – has hit all-time highs in terms of The Fed’s debased dollars? Gold has no ties to any politician or central banker. It is a source of independence. More and more people are wanting that kind of independence.

Hunter Biden Hit With $450K Tax Lien, Is Resolved Despite ‘No Discernible Income,’ Biden Campaign Silent: Report | The Daily Wire

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, was reportedly hit with a $450,000 tax lien last month and paid it off within just a few days despite having “no discernible income.”

The report from The Washington Free Beacon notes that Hunter Biden told a judge in a paternity case that he was broke and unemployed.

Hunter “Biden owed $238,562.76 in state income taxes from 2017 and $215,328.16 in state income taxes from 2018, according to records from the District of Columbia’s Office of Tax and Revenue. The District of Columbia filed a $453,890 lien against him on July 9,” Free Beacon Investigative Reporter Alana Goodman reported Saturday. “The lien is the latest in a series of substantial tax problems members of the Biden family have faced over the years, from Joe’s brother James’s six-figure tax debt in 2015 to multiple liens filed against Joe’s sister Valerie and her husband.”

Goodman notes that the revelation raises questions about Hunter Biden’s finances which have been under the microscope throughout this current election cycle as his father is now the Democratic nominee for president.

“Harvey Bezozi, a tax expert who specializes in large-scale tax debt negotiations, said the only way to get a lien released is to pay the settlement in full—often through a payment plan, penalty abatement, or other compromise with the government—or to prove the lien was filed in error,” the report added. “He said liens can take months or years to resolve.”

Bezozi said that for the issue to be resolved in just six days indicates that there “had to be some kind of expeditious kind of process for this.” Bezozi also told the Free Beacon that the government rarely files a lien in error.

“The Biden campaign did not respond to questions about how Hunter Biden settled the debt in less than a week and whether he has found gainful employment,” the report added. “The Biden family has been hit with several tax liens over the past few decades.”

This latest story involving Hunter Biden is likely to frustrate the Biden campaign as Joe Biden is seeing his lead in the polls over President Donald Trump rapidly diminish in recent weeks.

In a paternity case last year, Hunter Biden wrote in an affidavit on November 27, “I attest that I am unemployed and have had no monthly income since May 2019. I currently have significant debts (in part as a result of obligations arising from my divorce which was final in April 2017).”

The case stems from a stripper that Hunter Biden got pregnant while he was living with his deceased brother’s widow, who he was reportedly dating.

Hunter Biden took a DNA test in an apparent attempt to prove that he was not the father of the child, but the test proved the opposite.

“DNA testing has established, ‘with scientific certainty,’ that Hunter Biden is the father of an Arkansas baby, according to a motion filed Wednesday in Independence County on behalf of the child’s mother, Lunden Alexis Roberts,” The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported. “Hunter Biden, who initially denied having sexual relations with Roberts, eventually agreed to take a DNA test, according to documents filed by Roberts’ attorney, Clint Lancaster.”

Source: Hunter Biden Hit With $450K Tax Lien, Is Resolved Despite ‘No Discernible Income,’ Biden Campaign Silent: Report

Covid-19 pandemic will ‘bring socialism to US’ and transform the world – Nassim Taleb to RT | RT World News

Covid-19 pandemic will ‘bring socialism to US’ and transform the world – Nassim Taleb to RT

In a remarkable twist, the raging coronavirus pandemic has forced even countries like the US to adopt “socialist” welfare programs, acclaimed author and risk analyst Nassim Taleb has told RT.

While people spend days worrying about global wars, our biggest threats have always been the pandemics, the author of ‘The Black Swan’ and ‘Skin in the Game’ told RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze on her show SophieCo. Visionaries.

The advent of the novel coronavirus will tremendously change societies in many ways, making them better ready for future crises, he said.

“So the world will be different, wiser. But, hopefully, it will be good for peace, because people will understand tomorrow that the enemy is not some person with weapons. The enemy is that thing you don’t see: a tiny little germ you can have on top of a pencil,” the writer added.

What I think is going to happen is a transformation of economic structures to accommodate potential pandemics. Even if they never happen again, people will be prepared for them.

He cited the boom of teleworking, Zoom conference calls, and online shopping as examples of people adapting to the new reality.

Also on rt.com

Trump vows executive action if Democrats ‘continue to hold Covid-19 relief hostage’

According to Taleb, globalization would become more “guarded,” rather than disappear entirely. “The physical movement of population… would be reduced, and business travel will not be as active as we saw in the past,” he said.

One of the most remarkable changes the pandemic has brought, the writer noted, was how some governments have been “extremely helpful” to citizens trapped in quarantines and lockdowns. This touched the US as well, where a $2 trillion stimulus package was adopted in May, the largest in the nation’s history.

Who would have thought that the first socialist president of the United States would be Donald Trump? He gave people universal basic income for a few months, and they took possession of companies. If that’s not socialism, I don’t know what is. So, the individuals got a protective net that they didn’t have before.

“Mark my words, if you want a headline done – ‘Who would have expected the Covid to run both domestic and foreign policy?’, ‘Covid to bring socialism to countries like the United States,’” Taleb said.

You can watch the full episode here:

Source: Covid-19 pandemic will ‘bring socialism to US’ and transform the world – Nassim Taleb to RT

Fauci Warns COVID-19 Vaccine May Only Be “50% Or 60%” Effective | ZeroHedge News

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious diseases expert (and untouchable purveyor of all that is true and holy in ‘science’ today), told a Brown University panel on Friday that probabilities of a highly effective COVID-19 vaccine “are not great.”

“We don’t know yet what the efficacy might be. We don’t know if it will be 50% or 60%. I’d like it to be 75% or more,” Fauci said (quoted by Reuters).

“But the chances of it being 98% effective is not great, which means you must never abandon the public health approach.”

Fauci reiterated that the public must abide by these six fundamental principles to flatten the pandemic curve:

  • Universal wearing of a mask
  • Physical distancing
  • Avoiding crowds
  • Outdoors is “better” than indoors
  • Washing your hands 
  • Staying away from bars

Interestingly, Fauci inched towards the idea of herd immunity and humans’ own natural defense mechanisms (which of course, in political circles is frowned upon since one more death from COVID is too many).

“We know the body is capable of making a good response and the reason we know is because we have so many people who clear the virus and do well,” he said.

“So the goal of a vaccine is to do as well or hopefully better than natural infection when inducing a good response.”

Once a vaccine is proven and mass-produced, he said it would be prioritized to healthcare workers, elderly, and those with underlying health conditions.

“The thing you can do now is to make sure that resources are concentrated geographically to those demographic groups that are clearly at higher risk of infection so they can get immediate testing, immediate results, immediate access to healthcare,” Fauci said.

He said Moderna Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine, currently in clinical trials, could produce definitive data sometime in 4Q20. 

Fauci told Reuters that millions of doses could be available by early 2021, and hundreds of millions by the end of the year.

His latest comments come after he also recently questioned the “durability” of the vaccine, adding that it may not shield someone from the infection on a long-term basis.

Readers may recall pharmaceutical companies developing COVID-19 vaccines will be exempt from liability claims if adverse effects are seen. In other words, if an experimental vaccine, mass-produced for the public accidentally kills folks, big pharma will not be held accountable.

Meanwhile, the world’s asset-gatherers and commission-rakers (and the Trump administration) is hyping vaccines with the most optimistic forecast ever, indicating Thursday the country could have vaccines before the election.

Fauci’s comments are certainly at odds with the optimism that seems widespread among many talking heads that “everything can return to normal once we have a vaccine.”

Additionally, as we noted previously, a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll has found that just 42 percent of Americans say they plan to get a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available.

The figure represents an all time low, having fallen from 55 percent in early May, 50 percent in late May, and 46 percent in July.

When asked “If and when a coronavirus vaccine becomes available, will you get vaccinated?” many fewer Americans across the political spectrum answered in the affirmative.

Only a majority of Democrats now plan to get vaccinated, with 55% saying they will still take the jab.

Among Republicans, only 37% say they are willing to get vaccinated, with even fewer independents, 34%, willing to take the vaccine.

Here’s the full conversation: 

Source: Fauci Warns COVID-19 Vaccine May Only Be “50% Or 60%” Effective

Top Weekly Stories from ChristianNews.net for 08/08/2020

Black Lives Matter Protesters Burn Bibles in Bonfire Outside Portland Courthouse: Video   Aug 03, 2020 03:25 pm

PORTLAND, Ore. — Chanting profane statements containing four-letter words, Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters burned Bibles and other items on Friday night during a public protest in front of the Mark O. Hatfield federal courthouse in Portland. The hours-long protest was streamed live on YouTube by Ruptly as it went into the night. At approximately…

Continue reading the story 


Liberty Pres. Jerry Falwell Posts Photo of Himself With Pants Unzipped Next to Scantily-Clad Woman   Aug 05, 2020 01:36 pm

Jerry Falwell, Jr., the president of what hails itself as the world’s largest Christian university, bearing the mission motto “training champions for Christ,” posted — and then deleted — a photo on social media in which he posed with his pants completely unzipped, standing next to a woman in very short ripped shorts with her shirt pushed up to reveal her midriff….

Continue reading the story 


Sex-Trafficking Ring Uncovered After 14-Year-Old Victim Messages Mom: ‘I Don’t Want to Be Here Anymore’   Aug 06, 2020 03:08 pm

Photo Credit: Ibon San Martin (Philadelphia Inquirer) — By the time she was able to ask her mother for help, authorities say, the 14-year-old girl had been raped by as many as four to five people per day for weeks. “I don’t want to be here anymore,” the girl said over Facebook Messenger. Two days later, on May 30, law enforcement rescued her at a Wawa…

Continue reading the story 


John MacArthur Threatened With Arrest, Fines for Refusing to Cease Holding Indoor Church Services   Aug 05, 2020 08:08 pm

LOS ANGELES — Renowned pastor John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in California has reportedly received a letter from the City of Los Angeles threatening him with fines or arrest if he does not comply with a state order to stop holding indoor church services due to the COVID outbreak. “He (Jesus) is the head of our Church,” MacArthur told Shannon Bream…

Continue reading the story 


Parents, Teacher, Churches Sue Chicago School District to Stop Hindu Meditation From Being Taught to Students   Aug 04, 2020 07:26 pm

Photo Credit: Pezibear/Pixabay CHICAGO — A coalition of parents, a teacher and a group of churches have filed suit against Chicago Public Schools in an effort to stop the district from allowing Hindu transcendental meditation, and its initiation Puja, from being taught to students. “Although all named defendants have made statements to the contrary, the…

Continue reading the story 


Liberty University Board of Trustees Places Jerry Falwell, Jr. on ‘Indefinite Leave’ Following Unzipped Pants Photo   Aug 07, 2020 08:09 pm

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Liberty University, which hails itself as the world’s largest Christian university and holds to the mission motto “Training Champions for Christ,” announced on Friday that its board of trustees has requested that President Jerry Falwell Jr. take an “indefinite leave of absence” from his roles at the school, to which he has agreed. The announcement…

Continue reading the story 


Falwell Says He Was Imitating Wife’s Pregnant Assistant in Controversial Photo, Couldn’t Zip His Pants Either   Aug 07, 2020 03:03 pm

LYNCHBURG, Va. — Jerry Falwell, Jr., the president of Liberty University, which hails itself as the world’s largest Christian university, has explained, and expressed regret over, a controversial vacation photograph in which he had his pants unzipped while standing next to his wife’s assistant, who likewise had her fly unbuttoned. A federal congressman, who is a…

Continue reading the story 


Muslim Fulani Herdsmen Kill 14 Baptist Christians in Kogi State, Nigeria   Aug 04, 2020 02:43 pm

JOS, Nigeria (Morning Star News) – A Muslim Fulani herdsmen raid on a village in central Nigeria’s Kogi state on Wednesday (July 29) killed 14 Baptist Christians, including 13 members of an extended family, sources said. Police said the wife, mother, all the children and other relatives of one man – 13 in all – were killed in the 2 a.m. attack on…

Continue reading the story 


Special Ed. Teacher Resigns After Posting Comment Supporting Photo of Black Man Kneeling on White Child’s Neck   Aug 04, 2020 01:05 pm

ELLENWOOD, Ga. — A special education teacher in the Atlanta area has resigned after being placed under investigation for a comment he wrote on social media supporting a photo showing a black man kneeling on the neck of a white child. According to reports, Isaiah Jackson, 20, of Ohio knelt on the neck of his girlfriend’s crying two-year-old son to mimic the death…

Continue reading the story 


Pakistani Court Sparks Outrage by Ruling 14-Year-Old Christian Girl Must Stay Married to Alleged Abductor   Aug 05, 2020 05:43 pm

Photo Credit: Jamal Panhwar/Pixabay (The Telegraph) — A Pakistani court has sparked outrage by ruling a 14-year-old Christian girl was legally married to a Muslim man who allegedly abducted her at gunpoint. In a case that has renewed focus on the persecution of Pakistan’s Christian minority, the Lahore High Court ruled on Tuesday that Maira Shahbaz had…

Continue reading the story 

August 8 Life-Changing Moments With God

 

The path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.

Father, not having already attained, or being already perfected, I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Let me know, and pursue knowledge of You, Lord God.

I, made righteous in Christ, will shine forth as the sun in Your kingdom, Father God. I, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror Your glory, Lord God, am being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, by Your Spirit. When that which is perfect has come, that which is in part will be done away. Now I see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. Now I am a child of God; and it has not yet been revealed what I shall be, but I know that when Jesus is revealed, I shall be like Him, for I shall see Him as He is. With this hope in Him I purify myself, just as He is pure.

Freed from sin, knowing You fully, shining forth in Your righteousness—Lord, I thank You for this solid hope!

Proverbs 4:18; Philippians 3:12; Hosea 6:3; Matthew 13:43; 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Corinthians 13:10, 12; 1 John 3:2–3[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 239). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

August 8 Thoughts for the quiet hour

 

They took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus

Acts 4:13

If I think of the world, I get the impress of the world; if I think of my trials and sorrows, I get the impress of my trials and sorrows; if I think of my failures, I get the impress of my failures; if I think of Christ, I get the impress of Christ.

Selected[1]

 

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

August 8 Streams in the Desert

 

Thou art my king, O God: Command deliverance (victories, margin) for Jacob.” (Psalm 44:4, R. V.)

THERE is no foe to your growth in grace, no enemy in your Christian work, which was not included in your Savior’s conquests.

You need not be afraid of them. When you touch them, they will flee before you. God has promised to deliver them up before you. Only be strong and very courageous! Fear not, nor be dismayed! The Lord is with you, O mighty men of valor—mighty because one with the Mightiest. Claim victory!

Whenever your enemies close in upon you, claim victory! Whenever heart and flesh fail, look up and claim VICTORY!

Be sure that you have a share in that triumph which Jesus won, not for Himself alone, but for us all; remember that you were in Him when He won it, and claim victory!

Reckon that it is yours, and gather spoil. Neither the Anakim nor fenced cities need daunt or abash you. You are one of the conquering legion. Claim your share in the Savior’s victory.—Joshua, by Meyer.

We are children of the King. In which way do we most honor our Divine Sovereign, by failing to claim our rights and even doubting whether they belong to us, or by asserting our privilege as children of the Royal Family and demanding the rights which belong to our heirship?[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 232–233). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

August 8, 2020 Morning Verse Of The Day

live in peace with everyone (12:18)

Fulfillment of the next characteristic is conditional, in that it partly depends on the attitudes and responses of our enemies. If possible, Paul therefore says, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Whether between nations or individuals, peace is two-way. By definition, a peaceful relationship cannot be one-sided. Our responsibility is to make sure that our side of the relationship is right, that our inner desire is genuinely to be at peace with all men, even the meanest and most undeserving. Short of compromising God’s truth and standards, we should be willing to go to great lengths to build peaceful bridges to those who hate us and harm us. We must forsake any grudge or settled bitterness and fully forgive from the heart all who harm us. Having done that, we can seek reconciliation honestly.[1]


18 The charge to “live at peace with everyone” is hedged about with two qualifying statements. “If it is possible” suggests that there may be instances in human relations when the strongest desire for concord will not avail. The second condition is “as far as it depends on you.” In other words, if disharmony and conflict should come, let not the responsibility be laid at your feet. One may not be able to persuade the other party, but one can at least refuse to be the instigator of trouble. Christians can be peacemakers, as Jesus taught (Mt 5:9), only if they are recognized as those who aim to live at peace with others.[2]


18  The close relation between this exhortation—“If possible, to the extent that it depends on you, be at peace with all people”—and the last one in v. 17 is obvious: both urge Christians to pursue behavior that will have a positive impact on “all people.” Jesus himself commended “peacemakers” (Matt. 5:9) and urged his followers to “be at peace with one another” (Mark 9:50, where “one another” probably refers to people generally rather than to the disciples only). Although much less clear than the allusions in vv. 14, 17, and 21, this may, then, be another allusion to the teaching of Jesus. We do not know whether there was any special need to exhort the Roman Christians to live at peace with their fellow-citizens. Paul’s reasons for including this admonition here, along with the similar one at the end of v. 17, may be more related to the logic of what he has been saying. For his encouragement to Christians to bless persecutors (v. 14) and not repay evil for evil (v. 17a) assumes that Christians are in conflict with the world around them. To a considerable extent, Paul recognizes, such conflict is inevitable: as the world hated Jesus, so it hates his followers (John 16:33). Paul acknowledges that much such conflict is unavoidable by adding to his exhortation to “be at peace” the double qualification “if possible, to the extent that it depends on you.” But Paul does not want Christians to use the inevitability of tension with the world as an excuse for behavior that needlessly exacerbates that conflict or for a resignation that leads us not even to bother to seek to maintain a positive witness.[3]


18. If it be possible, &c. Peaceableness and a life so ordered as to render us beloved by all, is no common gift in a Christian. If we desire to attain this, we must not only be endued with perfect uprightness, but also with very courteous and kind manners, which may not only conciliate the just and the good, but produce also a favourable impression on the hearts of the ungodly.

But here two cautions must be stated: We are not to seek to be in such esteem as to refuse to undergo the hatred of any for Christ, whenever it may be necessary. And indeed we see that there are some who, though they render themselves amicable to all by the sweetness of their manners and peaceableness of their minds, are yet hated even by their nearest connections on account of the gospel. The second caution is,—that courteousness should not degenerate into compliance, so as to lead us to flatter the vices of men for the sake of preserving peace. Since then it cannot always be, that we can have peace with all men, he has annexed two particulars by way of exception, If it be possible, and, as far as you can. But we are to conclude from what piety and love require, that we are not to violate peace, except when constrained by either of these two things. For we ought, for the sake of cherishing peace, to bear many things, to pardon offences, and kindly to remit the full rigour of the law; and yet in such a way, that we may be prepared, whenever necessity requires, to fight courageously: for it is impossible that the soldiers of Christ should have perpetual peace with the world, whose prince is Satan.[4]


Vers. 18. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

Live peaceably with all men:

  1. If possible. By maintaining a spirit—1. Upright. 2. Meek. 3. Peaceable.
  2. If not possible. 1. Leave your cause in God’s hands. 2. Show kindness to your enemies. 3. So shall you secure a noble conquest. (J. Lyth, D.D.)

How to live at peace with all men:

  1. Watch over yourself. 1. Do not retaliate. 2. Be honest. 3. Cultivate a peaceable spirit.
  2. Commit yourself to God. 1. Instead of avenging yourself let Him undertake your cause. 2. Retribution is His prerogative. 3. He will certainly defend the right.

III. Conciliate your enemies. By kindness. You will thus achieve a noble conquest over evil in yourself, and subdue enmity by love. (Ibid.)

Peace with all men:

  1. Is not always possible. 1. Some are unreasonable. 2. Others contentious. 3. With many it is impossible to be at peace without sacrificing conscience.
  2. Should be maintained as far as possible—by 1. Patience. 2. Prudence. 3. Conciliation.

III. If impossible, cannot be sought without advantage. The attempt secures—1. Peace of conscience. 2. The approbation of God. 3. And consequently Divine interposition in our favour. (Ibid.)

Peaceableness:

  1. The general import of the exhortation. 1. That we should have a hearty love and value for peace as far as it may be obtained. 2. That we studiously direct our conduct so as may be most likely to reach this end.
  2. What is implied in the qualifications added. 1. It is evidently intimated that it is not always possible or in our power to reach the desirable end of peace. Those who “seek peace and pursue it,” according to the exhortation (Psa. 34:14) yet sometimes find that it flies from them. (1) Sometimes this falls out in common life, through the perverse humours and unreasonable obstinacy of those with whom we have to do. There are people in this world so captious as to take offence without any foundation. (2) Sometimes it is not morally possible to be at peace with men, because they will not be at peace with us, unless we will violate a good conscience. Peace, though so desirable a blessing, is not to be purchased at any rate. For instance—(a) Neither truth nor holiness are to be sacrificed to peace. That would be to sacrifice our peace with God and with our own consciences for the sake of peace with men, which for certain would be much too dear a bargain. (b) Nor should we decline any service we are capable of, to the interest of Christ or of our country, for fear of some people’s offence. Christian courage should extinguish such fears. 2. This addition greatly enforces the precept, when it may consist with higher obligations. We must not venture everything for peace, but we should esteem it worth a great deal of pains and self-denial. If we can compass it by any means that are fit for us to use, we should endeavour it. 3. It is implied, farther, that we shall have reason to be content, though we should miss our aim, if we have performed our part. Then the breach of peace may be your affliction, but it will not be your sin.

III. The extent prescribed for our aim in this matter: “Live peaceably with all men.” 1. We should endeavour to live peaceably with all men at large, as far as we have any concern with them. Setting aside the consideration of their religion or their virtuous character, we are obliged by the dictates of nature, and of Christianity too, to study peace with them as our fellow-creatures; and to this end—(1) We should be careful to behave inoffensively to all—to “give no offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God” (1 Cor. 10:32), that, if possible, we may prevent any difference from arising. (2) We are equally concerned, in order to peace, not to be quick in taking offence. Many people might soon have received proper satisfaction for an injury done them if they had not themselves overrated it and carried their resentment beyond all regular bounds, till they made a small breach wide and most difficult to be healed. (3) We should be desirous to regain peace as soon as possible whenever a difference actually arises. The implacable are reckoned among the greatest sinners (Rom. 1:31). 2. We should endeavour to cultivate a more peculiar peace and harmony with all our fellow Christians as such.

  1. The importance of a peaceable spirit in Christianity. It is many ways recommended in the gospel; as—1. By showing us the great evil of an unpeaceable spirit. It is the fruit of carnality, or of an undue ascendant which some fleshly motive or other hath over us (1 Cor. 3:3). 2. By representing a peaceable disposition in a very advantageous light. It is one of “the fruits of the blessed Spirit” (Gal. 5:22). It is mentioned as one principal thing wherein the spiritual kingdom of God, or true religion in the hearts of men, consists (Rom. 14:17). Christ saw fit to make it the subject of one of His beatitudes (Matt. 5:9). 3. By the lively expressions of such a temper in the example of Christ. He was, on the one hand, a pattern for observing the proper limitations to be attended to in all pursuits after peace; He ever preferred truth and duty to it, an obedience to His Father to the pleasing of men; and so must we. But, on the other hand, as far as was consistent with His higher engagements He ever showed a strong disposition to peace. 4. By the account it gives us of the heavenly world, as a state of perfect love and harmony, where there are no jarring notes and affections. When a good man dies he “enters into peace” (Isa. 57:2). By way of reflection, then—1. This may be sufficient to vindicate Christianity from the reproaches which have been cast upon it for the animosities that have abounded among Christians. The precepts, the patterns, the principles of Christianity, all lead another way; they directly lead to peaceableness. 2. This may be a proper subject of trial and self-examination. If we make no conscience of this duty of peaceableness, we have not yet entered into the spirit of true Christianity. 3. Let us all, as we are exhorted in the text, cultivate and exercise a peaceable and healing disposition. This is the likeliest way to dispose others to be at peace with us. (J. Evans, D.D.)

The duty of living peaceably:

  1. Live peaceably when possible. All that disturbance of man’s peace which springs from our lower nature we are bound everywhere to restrain. Let me mention some provocatives from which we may and should abstain. 1. Offensive language. Many that have great power of speech do not feel that God’s law is to regulate the use of their tongues. There are Christian heads of families who shoot across the table from day to day words which stir up the worst feelings which men can have. Many and many a household has no chimney which carries away the smoke of these conflicts, and the smoke falls down, leaving harm where it rests. As much as lieth in your tongue, then, live peaceably with your wife, your children, your servants, and your fellow-men. 2. Provoking carriage. A man can look as well as speak speech. A nod of the head, a lifting up of the eyes, a shrug of the shoulder, the whole manner, is as powerful as speech. We have no right to be provoking in our attitudes. 3. An unconscious, and still more, an intended, insolent conduct of pride toward men. Frequently the very presence of a man who is filled with a spirit of self-importance is an insult. The duty of humility is not simply a duty of the closet. 4. Selfishness. The ten thousand jealousies and envies which are current in business circles arise from inconsiderate selfishness. 5. The untrained disposition of jocosity. I mean all forms of teasing, jesting, irony, sarcasm, wit, which are indulged in at another’s expense, and which are not “convenient.” Ordinarily, this is practised where the victim has no power of resistance. You often see persons pulling little children’s hair, saying things that stir up little children’s feelings; exposing things that they do not want to have known, in order to see the flush on their cheeks; or creating a laugh at their expense. Saying disagreeable things in a calm and ironical way is inexcusable There is a teasing which is pleasant, and causes nobody suffering; but teasing for the sake of making other people uncomfortable is fiendish. 6. The habit of contradiction and argument. We know what it is to be a “bully.” We see men boasting of their strength, and saying provoking things in the hope of getting into a quarrel with their fellow-men. There are men who may be called logical bullies. If you say anything, they dispute it. Argument leads to disputation speedily, and disputation to quarrelling, and quarrelling to ill-will. 7. Scandalmongering. There are men who have an intuition for discovering faults in others. They see them as quick as lightning; and they tell of them wherever they go. There are men who are vampires, feeding on their fellow-men in this way. And the amount of ill-will that is created in a neighbourhood by tale-bearers is astounding. The only excuse which men give for thus reporting things that are evil in regard to others is that they are true. But you have no right to report anything evil of a man, even if it is true, unless you have a benevolent purpose. Every man has his train of infelicities. But as they sprung from him they ought not to be carried far away from him. A scandal-monger is like one who carries contraband goods; and the partaker is as bad as the thief. 8. Indiscreet frankness. Telling men unpleasant truths about themselves, telling them what other people have said about them—this is generally unwise. Blurting out the truth about people into their faces is impolite. There is an impression that if a man has a truth he should let it fly, hit where it may. A doctor might as well scatter his drugs through the community, as a man tell all he knows about people indiscriminately. Truth, being a medicine, instead of being thrown about heedlessly, and with brutal barbarity, is to be administered with care and discretion. 9. Indiscreet urgency in religious teaching. There are many religious persons who go about with an incisiveness and pertinacity which annoy and vex people, and introduce an element of disquiet by which more harm than good is done.
  2. There are times in which you cannot live peaceably. 1. There are cases in which, when you are commanded by the law to do evil, you will be obliged to resist, and make great disturbance. And there are a great many other cases where, in your business relations and social connections, you will be placed in circumstances in which the interest of others pushes you toward the commission of evil, but in which you must not do it. A river complains to the rock on its bank of the noise which it is making. Why does the rock make the noise? Because it will not budge, and the water will. So that it is the water, and not the rock, that makes the noise. The rock stood there, and had a right to stand there; and if the water would beat against it and make a noise, it was not the rock’s fault. The man who is free from wickedness is accused by wicked men of making all the turmoil and excitement, but he does not. You recollect that when the tyrant had vexed and annoyed Israel through years of misrule, and the prophet had attempted to see that the laws were obeyed, and that the welfare of the people was maintained, the king said to him, “Art thou he that troubleth Israel?” 2. Christian virtue sometimes stands in the way of men’s pleasure. Sometimes it happens that an individual is solicited to taste wine which conscientiously he cannot touch, and he stirs up great resistance by refusing. 3. Those who are called to teach unwelcome truths must make up their minds not to live peaceably. No man can preach the truth faithfully without offending men. Our Master could not do it. The apostles could not. 4. You cannot attempt to oppose men’s worldly interests for the sake of public morality, for the reformation of the community, for the purification of the ballot, without rousing up an immense amount of anger. But somebody must do these things. No Christian man has a right to see the city in which he lives go down like Sodom and Gomorrah and put out no hand or voice to save it. Christian men are bound to be “lights” and “salt.” (H. W. Beecher.)

Christians exhorted to live peaceably:

  1. The duty here enjoined. The expression may be taken—1. For the actual enjoyment of peace with all men: in which sense he only lives peaceably, whom no man molests. This cannot be here intended, because—(1) So to live peaceably is impossible in consequence of—(a) The contentious, unreasonable humour of many men. There are some that, like so many salamanders, cannot live but in the fire, and so long as there be such, how can there be undisturbed quietness? God must first weed the world of all ill dispositions before a universal peace can grow in it. (b) The contrary and inconsistent interests of many men. There is nothing which men prosecute with so much vigour as their interest, and the prosecution of contrary interests must needs be carried on by contrary ways, which will be sure to thwart one another. (2) What is the matter of duty ought to be in the power of him to whom it is enjoined. But it is not in my power to enjoy peace with all men, since this depends upon their behaviour towards me. If a man will be my enemy, I cannot prevent him. 2. Wherefore it is clear that the text is to be understood for a peaceable behaviour towards all men; in which case he lives peaceably by whom no man is molested. It consists therefore in—(1) A forbearance of hostile actions. In a way of—(a) Prevention, i.e., abstinence from an injurious invasion upon the rights of another, whether as to his person or estate. (b) Non-retaliation (1 Cor. 13:7). Fire sometimes goes out as much for want of being stirred up as for want of fuel. He who affronts his brother breaks the peace; but he who repays the ill turn perpetuates the breach. And perhaps the greatest unquietness is not so much chargeable upon the injurious as the revengeful. A storm ruins nowhere but where it is withstood and repelled. (2) A forbearance of injurious, provoking words. Rabshakeh broke the peace with Hezekiah as much by his railing as by his army. Men resent ugly words with more acrimony than they would stabs. And the reason is, because a wound directs an evil only to a man’s person, but an ill word renders him miserable as far as he is known. Besides, it hurts him so as to put the reparation absolutely out of his power; for it lodges his infamy in other men’s thoughts, which he cannot come at so as to rectify them.
  2. What are the measures and proportions by which it is to be determined. “If it be possible,” i.e., morally, lawfully possible (Gen. 39:9; 2 Cor. 13:8). Where, then, the breaking of the peace is not unlawful, there the maintaining of it ceases to be a necessary duty. Apply this to—1. War. (1) Is it lawful? Yes, if in a good cause, viz.—(a) Defensive; in order to repel an evil designed to the public; and therefore is an act of self-preservation. (b) Offensive; for revenging a public injury done to a community, and so is an act of justice. And further, the Baptist, Christ, and the apostles judged the employment of a soldier lawful. (2) When and where ought it to be judged so? When those with whom we are at peace—(a) Declare that they will annoy us unless we mangle our bodies (1 Sam. 11:2). (b) Declare war with us, unless we renounce our religion, as in the case of the Armada. (c) Injure us as a nation so as to blast our honour, which honour is as necessary to the welfare and support of a nation as its commerce. (d) Declare war with us unless we will quit our civil rights. 2. Self-defence. (1) If a man has no other means of escape it is lawful from—(a) The great natural right of self-preservation, which is as full in individuals as in public bodies. (b) That place where Christ commands His disciples to provide themselves swords. To have allowed them the instruments of defence, and at the same time to have forbid the use of them as unlawful, had been irrational. (c) The suffrage of the civil law. (2) What are those things which may be thus defended. (a) Life. For where it is lawful to live, it is lawful to do all those things without which life cannot be preserved. (b) Limbs. For who knows but the loss of a part may bring the destruction of the whole? (c) Chastity. For this is as irreparable as life itself; and to lose one’s life is indeed a misery, but it is no dishonour. (d) Estate or goods. Before I pass on I shall add that whatsoever is lawful for a man to do for himself, is lawful for him to do for his neighbour; for we are commanded to “love our neighbour as ourselves.” (3) The conditions required to legalise such a defence of ourselves and fortunes. (a) That the violence offered be so apparent, so great and pressing, that there can be no other means of escape. (b) That all possibility of recourse to the magistrate for a legal protection be taken away. In which case the law leaves every man to his own natural defence. (c) That a man designs merely his own defence, without any revenge towards the person who thus invades him. 3. Litigation. This is allowable when it is to secure the execution of justice in the proper acts of it between man and man. If Christianity prohibits all pursuit of a man’s right at law, then its observance unavoidably draws after it the utter dissolution of all government and society. He that has the strongest arm, the sharpest sword, the boldest front, and the falsest heart, must possess the world. Yet since men are too prone to stretch their just allowances beyond their bounds, note those conditions that are required to warrant men in their law contentions. (a) That a man takes not this course but upon a very great and urgent cause. Every little wrong and trespass is not a sufficient warrant for me to disturb my neighbour’s peace. (b) That a man be willing, upon any tolerable and just terms, to agree with his adversary, rather than to proceed to a suit. (c) Supposing great cause and no satisfaction, that the injured person manage his suit by the rule of charity, and not with any purpose to revenge himself upon his adversary.

III. The means conducible to our performance of this excellent duty. 1. A careful suppression of all distasteful, aggravating apprehensions of any ill turn or unkind behaviour from men. It is the morose dwelling of the thoughts upon an injury that incorporates and rivets it into the mind. 2. The forbearing of all pragmatical or malicious informations. “He that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” The reporting what such a one said or did is the way to kindle such heart-burnings between persons, as oftentimes break forth and flame to the consumption of families, courts, and perhaps at length of cities and kingdoms. 3. That men would be willing in some cases to waive the prosecution of their rights. As—(1) When the recovery of a right seems impossible: prudence and duty then call upon a man to surcease the prosecution of that, and rather to follow peace. (2) When that right is but trivial, but the recovery of it troublesome and contentions. That which being lost makes a man not much the poorer, nor recovered, much the richer, cannot authorise him to enter into the din of a long contest. (3) When a recompense is offered. (4) To reflect upon the great example of Christ, and the strict injunction lying upon us to follow it. We shall find that his whole life went in constant recession from his own rights, in order to the peace of the public. 5. Not to adhere too pertinaciously to our own judgments of things doubtful in themselves in opposition to the judgment of those who are more skilful in those things.

  1. The motives and arguments by which this duty may be enforced. 1. The excellency of the thing itself. “Peace” is a Divine title (chap. 15:33; Isa. 9:6). The first message that was sent from heaven upon Christ’s nativity was a message of peace (Luke 2:14). His whole doctrine is called “the gospel of peace,” and “the word of peace” (chap. 10:15). The last legacy that He bequeathed to His disciples was peace (John 14:27). Peace is the work of the Holy Ghost in the hearts of believers (Gal. 5:22), and both the effect and reward of piety is peace (chap. 15:13). 2. The excellency of the principle from which it proceeds. It is from a pious, generous, and great mind. Little things are querulous; and the wasp much more angry and troublesome than the eagle. 3. The blessing entailed upon it by a peculiar promise (Matt. 5:9). Note two instances of this blessing that attend the peaceable in this world. (1) An easy, undisturbed, and quiet enjoyment of themselves. (2) Honour and reputation. Their report survives them, and their memory is blessed. (R. South, D.D.)

Peaceable living not always possible:—The wisest men, the best men, the most thoughtful men, the men who are most studious of peace, may have contention forced upon them. Lot could not live peaceably with the inhabitants of Sodom—to his great credit. Moses could not live at peace with Egypt, when he saw his people oppressed. It would have been a shame if he could. Samuel could not live at peace when the king, despotic, arrogant, fractious, was misleading the people. David could not live at peace with Saul—Saul would not let him. The prophets could not live at peace with the idolatrous people whom they were sent to instruct and rebuke, and who would not be corrected nor reformed. Jesus could not live at peace. The most genial, and gentle, and meek, and merciful, and loving of all beings was He; and yet it was impossible that He should live at peace with His own countrymen, in His own time. Therefore you find it said, “If it be possible.” In this great quarrelsome world it is not made obligatory on a man to be at peace with his fellow-men anyhow. The command begins with the implication that it is not always possible. The qualification is, “as much as lieth in you.” You may be at discords; but see to it that you do not produce them. Let them be the result of other men’s misconduct, and not of yours. (H. W. Beecher.)

Peaceableness:—Here is—

  1. The preface—“If it be possible.” Which words may be looked on—1. As limiting the command. (1) “If it be possible”; for it may be impossible (Matt. 18:7). Because of—(a) other’s malice (James 4:1). (b) Our own conscience (Acts 24:16) in reproving others; in standing for the truth. (2) “As much as in you lies.” (a) That we do not disturb the peace ourselves. (b) Nor give occasion to others to do it. 2. As strengthening the command, so that we are to perform it to the utmost of our power.
  2. The command. “Live peaceably with all men.” Here is—1. The command. What is it to live peaceably? (1) Give offence to none (Matt. 18:7). (2) Pass by others’ offences to you (1 Cor. 13:7). (3) Construe things in their best sense (1 Cot. 13:6). (4) Part with something of your own right (Gen. 13:8, 9). (5) Have a care of those passions that cause strife (James 4:1). (a) Anger (Eph. 4:26, 31). (b) Envy (James 3:14). (c) Pride (Prov. 13:10). (d) Hatred and malice (1 John 3:15). (e) Implacableness (Rom. 1:31; Psa. 130:5, 7). 2. The extent—“To all men” (Heb. 12:14). 1. To superiors (Rom. 13:1; Matt. 17:27). 2. Inferiors. 3. Equals. Conclusion: Consider—1. Ye know not where the least strife may end. 2. It disturbs you as much as others (Luke 21:19). 3. If you live in peace, God will be with you (1 Kings 11–13; 2 Cor. 13:11). (Bp. Beveridge.)

Irascible persons not to be provoked:—In the Jardin des Plantes we saw a hooded snake in a most unamiable condition of temper. There was a thick glass and a stout wire between us, and we did nothing but look at him, yet he persisted in darting at us with the utmost vehemence of malice, until the keeper requested us to move away, with the advice that it was not well to irritate such creatures. When one meets with an irascible person, on the look out to pick a quarrel, ill-conditioned, and out of elbows with the whole world, it is best to move on, and let him alone. Even if he can do you no harm, and if his irritation be utterly unreasonable, it is best to remove all exciting causes of provocation, for it is never wise to irritate vipers. You do not on purpose walk heavily across the floor to teach a gouty man, that you have no respect for his tender feelings since he ought not to be so susceptible; neither should you vex those afflicted with a bad temper, and then plead that they have no right to be so excitable. If our neighbours’ tempers are gunpowder, let us not play with fire. (C. H. Spurgeon.)[5]


18. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

This exhortation to live at peace with everyone is in line with such other passages as, “Let there be no quarreling between you and me, or between your herdsmen and mine, for we are brothers” (Gen. 13:8); “Make every effort to live in peace with everybody” (Heb. 12:14); and “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peace-loving” (James 3:17). Jesus said, “Blessed (are) the peace-makers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9).

In a world of peace-breaking this beatitude shows what a thoroughly relevant, vital, and dynamic force Christianity is. True peace-makers are all those whose Leader is the God of peace (1 Cor. 14:33; Eph. 6:15; 1 Thess. 5:23), who aspire after peace with everyone (as here in Rom. 12:18), who proclaim the gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15), and pattern their lives after the Prince of Peace (Luke 19:10; John 3:12–15; cf. Matt. 10:8).

Nevertheless, the charge to live at peace with everyone is not presented in an unqualified form. There are two qualifications:

  1. “If it is possible.” There are circumstances under which the establishment or maintenance of peace is impossible. Heb. 12:14 not only advocates peace but also sanctification. The latter must not be sacrificed in order to maintain the former, for a peace without sanctification (or holiness) is not worthy of the name. If the maintenance of peace means the sacrifice of truth and/or honor, then peace must be abandoned. Cf. Matt. 10:34–36; Luke 12:51–53.
  2. “… as far as it depends on you.” There are situations that require the sacrifice of peace. But we must be sure that it is not we who are to blame for such exigencies. We have done everything in our power to establish and maintain peace. The other person (or persons) was (were) not willing to have peace except on conditions we, as Christians, were unable to accept. In such cases God does not hold us accountable for the lack of peace.[6]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (Vol. 2, p. 202). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Harrison, E. F., & Hagner, D. A. (2008). Romans. In T. Longman III &. Garland, David E. (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Romans–Galatians (Revised Edition) (Vol. 11, p. 192). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Moo, D. J. (1996). The Epistle to the Romans (pp. 785–786). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentary on the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (pp. 472–473). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[5] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: Romans (Vol. 2, pp. 538–542). New York; Chicago; Toronto; London; Edinburgh: Fleming H. Revell Company.

[6] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (Vol. 12–13, pp. 420–421). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.