Daily Archives: August 9, 2020

AG Barr: US facing new form of ‘urban guerrilla warfare’ driven by left’s ‘lust for power’ | Fox News

The United States is grappling with a new form of “urban guerrilla warfare” driven by the left’s “lust for power,” Attorney General William Barr told “Life, Liberty & Levin” on Sunday. 

The myth that lockdowns stop pandemics | WND

President Donald J. Trump listens as Samaritan’s Purse Pastor and nurse Brittany Akinsola delivers remarks during the White House National Day of Prayer Thursday, May 7, 2020, in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Official White House photo by D. Myles Cullen)

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]

By Stacey Rudin
Real Clear Politics

From the beginning of time, humans have used mythology to make sense of a chaotic natural world. Sir G.L. Gomme dubbed myths “the science of a pre-scientific age.” Folklore provided pre-scientific people a comforting sense of control over nature. To address dry spells, they deployed rain dances. Sunless stretches hindering crops prompted offerings to Helios. Then, our ancestors sat back and waited. The rains always came. The sun always reappeared, validating their “wisdom,” the illusion of control reinforced.

Thanks to science, we know this was pure superstition. Though the same outcomes would have occurred had the tribe taken no action, the tribe leader would still have received credit or blame from his constituents. Similarly, today’s politicians race to take credit — or place blame — for COVID-19 “results.” Do politicians really control these outcomes, or are they simply exploiting our ingrained tendencies?

When China first deployed lockdown in January to “defeat COVID-19,” The Washington Post approvingly quoted a Georgetown University professor as saying, “The truth is those kinds of lockdowns are very rare and never effective…”

In March, Imperial College London’s dire projections influenced the White House, but a careful reading of the advice contained in the Imperial College report reveals that its authors knew lockdown alone could not eliminate any infections, only delay them: “The more successful a strategy is at temporary suppression,” it stated, “the larger the later epidemic is predicted to be in the absence of vaccination, due to lesser build-up of herd immunity.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pandemic planning documents state non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing are ineffective once a disease infects 1% of a region’s population. Literature on this subject is unanimous worldwide. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control:

“There are no historical observations or scientific studies that support the confinement by quarantine of groups of possibly infected people for extended periods in order to slow the spread. It is hard to imagine that measures like those within the category of social distancing would not have some positive impact by reducing transmission of a human respiratory infection . . . However, the evidence base supporting each individual measure is often weak.”

Decades of evidence corroborates this. In 1969, a group of men overwintering in Antarctica experienced a spontaneous respiratory virus outbreak during their 17th week of isolation. Similarly, COVID-19 appeared on an Argentinian naval ship on the 35th day of its voyage, following a 14-day isolation of captain and crew.

Nature always finds a way. No respiratory virus ever needed a “lockdown” to dissipate. What it needs is herd immunity, preferably sooner than later, preferably developed by the young and healthy to minimize mortality. Politicians know the disease will eventually leave, yet they strive to convince a critical mass that their actions — modern-day versions of the rain dance — brought about that result. They count on us behaving like renowned psychologist B.F. Skinner’s superstitious pigeons.

“A pigeon is … put into a cage. A food hopper may be swung into place … so that the pigeon can eat from it … If a clock is [set] to present the hopper at regular intervals with no reference whatsoever to the bird’s behavior, operant conditioning usually takes place. The bird tends to learn whatever response it is making when the hopper appears. The experiment might be said to demonstrate a sort of superstition. The bird behaves as if there were a causal relation between its behavior and the presentation of food, although such a relation is lacking.”

Publicly available data shows no causal relationship between government orders and COVID-19 mortality outcomes. Sweden’s all-cause, per-capita mortality for 2020 is approximately 290 per million above the prior five-year average, while lockdown-loving New Jersey’s is almost 1,900 per million above the prior five-year average, and Michigan’s is over 700 per million. (In case you suspect Sweden “naturally” locked down on its own, mobility data reveals it didn’t.) The mainstream media does not report this. Instead, its energetic smearing of Sweden, coupled with its pseudo-scientific insistence that lockdowns do anything more than delay the inevitable, helps politicians exploit the human tendency to mythologize.

We are faced with a virus with a 997-out-of-1,000 survival rate. We have vanquished fiercer adversaries. We can rid ourselves of this plague less painfully by remembering one simple truth: neither we, nor our politicians, have control over death. 

Stacey Rudin is a litigator active in the grassroots movement to preserve full-time, in-classroom education for children. You can find her work on Medium. 

[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Real Clear Politics.]

— Read on www.wnd.com/2020/08/myth-lockdowns-stop-pandemics/

Big Pharma’s ‘Narrative’ Is Failing | Zero Hedge

…and a group of doctors is helping push it over the edge…

Authored by Bretigne Shaffer via LewRockwell.com,

So now we don’t have to listen to what those doctors said in front of the US Supreme Court, because it turns out that one of them has some whacky beliefs about sex with demons causing reproductive disorders. What a relief.

I’m not going to pretend that the things Dr. Stella Immanuel has said don’t sound just a little  crazy to me. They do.

But I’ve been observing this game long enough to have a pretty good idea of how this works:

Someone says something that contradicts the dominant narrative (in this case, the narrative about medical science), and the machine that supports that narrative goes into overdrive to discredit them, with whatever information they can dig up–as long as it doesn’t involve discussing the actual substance of what the person has said.

I understand that for some people, maybe even for a great many, that is the end of the conversation.

So for everyone who is satisfied with the “fringe doctors promoting hydroxychloroquine also believe demon sex causes fybroids” narrative–please, stop here. Your ride is over, and you may go on believing that this group of doctors and other professionals has been thoroughly discredited by these statements.

For everyone else, if you are at all interested in why such a coordinated effort has been launched to silence and discredit this group, why – even before the sex demon stuff was uncovered – videos of the group’s press conference were quickly yanked from YouTube, and why their own website was taken down without warning by its host, SquareSpace, (their new website can now be found here) then please keep reading.

WHAT THE AMERICA’S FRONTLINE DOCTORS GROUP SAID:

What follows is a brief summary of the key points made by the group America’s Frontline Doctors at their press conference last week. I will not comment on the validity of their claims, however founder Dr. Simone Gold has provided support for much of what the group said, in a white paper that can be found here.

1. They believe that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for Covid-19.

This is the claim made by several of the speakers, including Dr. Immanuel, based on their own clinical experience, as well as on multiple published studies. Many of those studies are listed here, and here.

2. State licensing boards are using their power to forcibly prevent people from having access to this drug.

According to Dr. Gold, many states have empowered their pharmacists to not honor prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine to be used in treating Covid-19. This, she says, is unprecedented:

“It has never happened that a state has threatened a doctor for prescribing a universally accepted safe generic cheap drug off-label.”

Meanwhile, says Gold, the drug is available over the counter in many other countries, including Iran and Indonesia, where it can be found “in the vitamin section”.

3. There is a coordinated campaign to discredit and suppress information about the drug hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for Covid-19:

“If it seems like there is an orchestrated attack going on against hydroxychloroquine,” said Dr. James Todaro, “it’s because there is.”

Dr. Todaro is speaking from experience. He was the co-author of a March 13 white paper arguing for the use of hydroxychloroquine against Covid-19. The paper was made public on Google Docs, received a lot of attention, and was then removed–without warning–by Google. (It has since been put back up.)

4. The World Health Organization  halted its trials of hydroxychloroquine based on a blatantly fraudulent study that relied on data that it appears never even existed.

Bear in mind that this is the authority upon which YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has said she bases her company’s policy on “misinformation”.

The WHO later resumed trials after independent investigators discovered the problems and the study’s authors retracted it.

5. We should be able to have a free and open discussion about this.

Dr. Dr. Joseph Lapado from UCLA, sums it up:

“We’ve been using (hydroxychloroquine) for a long time. But all of a sudden it’s been escalated to this area of looking like some poisonous drug. That just doesn’t make sense… At the very least, we can live in a world where there are differences of opinion about the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, but still allow more data to come, still allow physicians who feel they have expertise with it to use that medication, and still, you know, talk and learn and get better at helping people with Covid-19.”

WHY THE ALL-OUT MEDIA ASSAULT ON THE FRONTLINE DOCTORS?:

The influence that the pharmaceutical industry wields over media outlets is no secret. As of 2018, an estimated 70% of all news advertising in the US came from pharmaceutical companies. I have written elsewhere about how “reporting” on medical issues can be difficult to distinguish from outright marketing for drug companies.

Social-media platforms are not immune to this influence, whether it comes via advertising dollars; “partnerships” such as that between the CDC Foundation and MailChimp (which like many other platforms, has an explicit policy of censoring content about vaccines that does not align with the positions of the CDC and the WHO); direct investment, such as that of Google’s parent company Alphabet; or indeed at the behest of politicians such as Congressman Adam Schiff, who last year wrote to the CEOs of Amazon, Facebook and Google, requesting that those companies censor information and products that did not conform to the officially sanctioned position on vaccines. All three complied.

So it should come as small surprise that both Google and YouTube have now taken to removing content supportive of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that is no longer covered by patent, and can be made and sold by any generic producer, for a fraction of the price that Gilead, for example, might charge for its still-patented Remdesivir.

Twitter and Facebook have likewise removed posts about the drug, most notably–and with no visible sense of irony–removing posts of the video in which the Frontline Doctors speak out about widespread media censorship of the topic. (You can now see those videos on Bitchute.)

One need not have an opinion on the merits of the drug hydroxychloroquine in order to recognize that something very odd is happening here. Something that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with free and open inquiry or honest scientific discourse.

Many argue that the politicization of this drug is founded in a desire to unseat President Trump, that the opposition to it is primarily because it was endorsed by Trump, and if it is deemed to be a failure (or even better, dangerous to patients) it will be a powerful strike against the president. That may well be part of what has motivated this. But there is another motivation, having to do with the desire to push a more expensive medication onto the market, and to push a new vaccine on the world’s population.

More broadly, it has to do with the narrative that those in the business of selling drugs demand we believe: that we are all in desperate need of their products (but only the ones still under patent) if we are to be healthy–or indeed, if we are to survive at all.

If it turns out that this “new” virus is easily treatable, with hydroxychloroquine or anything else, then the industry’s dreams go up in smoke. If hydroxychloroquine turns out to be a safe and effective way of treating Covid-19 (as multiple studies and the experience in many other countries outside of the US indicate it may be) then there is much less reason for anyone to receive a vaccine for it, let alone the entire world’s population. Likewise, there is no pressing need to develop a new, more expensive treatment.

But even more than that: If it turns out that hydroxychloroquine is after all a safe and effective treatment for Covid-19, then this whole episode – the silencing of dissenting voices, the “fact-checking” on social media, the campaigns against “misinformation” – will be revealed in plain sight, for what it has always been: Nothing more than a well-funded marketing campaign and damage-control effort on behalf of the industry that wants you to believe that you need to use its expensive products in order to go on living.

So when a group of doctors took to the steps of the US Supreme Court and told the world how they were having success using a cheap anti-malarial that had been in use for 65 years to treat the most deadly contagion of our generation, it was a massive blow to the narrative upon which the pharmaceutical purveyors’ success depends. And over the next few days, as viewers engaged in a race with the censors, quickly downloading videos before they were removed, to post them on other platforms… it became clear that the censors and the gatekeepers had lost control of the conversation.

This is not only about hydroxychloroquine. Every time media outlets or social-media platforms engage in outright censorship of content, in a way that happens to benefit pharmaceutical companies, both parties lose just a little more credibility. The actions we are witnessing now are not the actions of an industry confident in the value of what it provides to the world. They are the actions of a desperate, threatened creature. They are the actions of an entity that is not strengthened by the truth, but weakened by it. That is what these (increasingly obvious) acts of censorship tell us. What we are witnessing are the pangs of a lumbering, wounded, behemoth.

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/political/big-pharmas-narrative-failing

Sunday Talks: Senator Graham Defends The Senate Role in Trying to Remove President Trump… — The Last Refuge

Senator Lindsay Graham appears on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo to profess his public outrage about the senate being lied to by the FBI in 2018. {Go Deep}

In essence what Graham is doing is establishing the defense of the Senate for their role in attempting to remove President Donald Trump. ie. Selective Outrage.

The simple way to identify Graham’s motive is this way:…  The SSCI was aware of this briefing in 2018 right?  So why didn’t any SSCI member step forth after the Horowitz report in 2019 and say they were mislead?… or at any time after the truth of the primary sub-source was evident?   It does not take the public release of briefing material, two years later, to initiate senate outrage if senate outrage was genuine.

Graham wasn’t outraged when the senate knew about it, he becomes outraged when the public knows about it.  See how the application of common sense works?

.

Methinks Graham doth protest too much. The more he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted the spoons.

via Sunday Talks: Senator Graham Defends The Senate Role in Trying to Remove President Trump… — The Last Refuge

Sunday Talks: Steven Schrage Appears to Discuss His Role in “Spygate”… — The Last Refuge

We have a saying in the south: ‘hang around a one-legged man long enough and eventually you’re gonna start limping‘.  This interview is an example of how that cuts through the BS, spin and political chaff and countermeasures.  Steven Schrage should be trusted as far as you can spit into a hurricane – which is to say, not at all.

First, in an article to accompany his media effort, Schrage waxes philosophical and woefully about how his years-long good friend and phd supervisor, Stephan Halper, the one-legged character in the metaphor, turned out to be a politically motivated snake and spy.  Oh, but all the years previous this wasn’t noticed?  Not buying it.

Second, Schrage sat and watched Michael Flynn and Svetlana Lokhova get raked over the coals for three+ years only now, right now, to find his conscience bothered by his participation in assisting the lies pushed by his friendagainst them?  Isn’t that convenient timing?… Yeah, sure. I might have been born at night, but I wasn’t born last night.

Third, Schrage notes he was interviewed by John Durham. Horsepucky. Durham doesn’t interview anyone; someone else does, someone very specific; and the fact that Schrage has no clue who that person is implies an aspect to the side-show he now presents as total nonsense.  In short, this is a distraction story…. Look over there…. shiny things.

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I’ve watched and researched these intelligence characters for so long their M.O. screams like visible strings on marionettes. And yes, once you see the strings it’s impossible to return to a time when you did not see them. This interview is a purposeful ruse.

[His article here]

I also do not fault Matt Taibbi or Maria Bartiromo for falling for it.

Devin Nunes was right about Schrage a YEAR AGO:

[…] What you have there is, you have an American citizen, somebody who’s long been involved in politics, and the guy’s name is Steven Schrage. Now, knows that the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, the FBI, we want to talk to anyone and everyone who was dealing with Carter Page and other Trump associates, especially in early 2016.

Schrage is the one who invited Carter Page to this event. Schrage is the one who organized this event. So — but instead of coming forward, a guy who’s been involved in politics for this long doesn’t come forward? I want to know, did he know about the Steele dossier at that time? When did he find out about the Steele dossier? Did he have control of the Steele dossier at any time? Did he give it to anyone?

Those are the types of things that Steven Schrage needs to come clean on, because, you know, look, maybe he was just a guy working for minimum wage sweeping the floors around Cambridge. I highly doubt it.

And the fact that he hasn’t come forward in two-and-a-half years is highly suspect. Now, when you look at the other Brits that were involved there, Maria, if you — this also ties in with General Flynn, because these Brits were the ones who went public and said — specifically, Christopher Andrew said that General Flynn had a Russian girlfriend.  (more)

Nice try…

via Sunday Talks: Steven Schrage Appears to Discuss His Role in “Spygate”… — The Last Refuge

Bill Barr on Democrat Party Resistance: “They Were Trying to Impeach him from Day One – They’ve Shredded the Norms” (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Attorney General Bill Barr was Mark Levin’s guest on Life, Liberty and Levin on Sunday night.

Barr trashed the Democrats, Antifa terrorists and the media during this outstanding interview.

Barr said the Democrats are now the “Rousseauian Revolutionary Party that believes in tearing down the system. They’re interested in complete political victory. They’re not interested in compromise. They’re not interested in dialectic exchange of views… It’s a secular religion. They view their political opponents as evil because we stand in the way of their utopia that they’re trying to reach. That’s what gives the intensity to the partisan feelings people feel today.”

AG Barr added, “I said during my hearing, can any of you just come out and say it’s not OK to burn down federal courthouses?… Not one of them was able to come out and say it’s not right to burn down federal courthouses…

On the Democrat Party Resistance, Attorney General Bill Barr had this to say, “They were trying to impeach him from day one. They have done everything they can. They’ve shredded the norms from our system to do what they can to drive him from office and to dabilitate his administration. And I think its because of the desire for power.”

Via Life, Liberty and Levin:

via Bill Barr on Democrat Party Resistance: “They Were Trying to Impeach him from Day One – They’ve Shredded the Norms” (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Why Have So Many Enormous Earthquakes Hit The United States In Recent Months? — End Of The American Dream

Unusually large earthquakes have been striking diverse locations all over the United States in recent months, and experts are not exactly sure why this is happening.  On Sunday, a very strange magnitude 5.1 earthquake that hit North Carolina made headlines all over the nation.  In fact, when I checked the Drudge Report on Sunday it was the top headline on the entire site.  Earthquakes of this size very rarely happen in the eastern United States, and it is being reported that this quake was the most powerful to hit the state in more than one hundred years…

A 5.1 magnitude earthquake felt in Charlotte shortly after 8 a.m. Sunday was centered just over a mile south of Sparta, near the Virginia border, the strongest quake to hit North Carolina in more than a century.

In fact, it was the strongest earthquake in the state since 1916, according to the National Weather Service, when a 5.2 magnitude quake occurred near Skyland, just outside of Asheville.

Prior to this quake, western North Carolina would have been one of the areas that I would have said is least vulnerable to earthquakes in the entire country.

I was very surprised that this quake happened, and we are being told that it actually “shook homes and rattled dishes as far away as Atlanta”.  The epicenter was very close to Sparta, and the mayor of Sparta said that it felt like “a big wave coming underneath the bed”

“It felt like a big locomotive going by and a big wave coming underneath the bed,” Sparta Mayor Wes Brinegar told CNN. “A big wave coming to lift you. … I’ve lived here my whole life and have never felt anything like that.”

Of course this earthquake in North Carolina is just the latest in a series of very large earthquakes that have hit our country in recent months.

For example, on July 22nd a magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Alaska

A powerful 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Alaska, south of the Aleutian Islands, Tuesday night (July 21) local time, prompting fear of a tsunami, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The good news is that very little damage was done because that quake struck in a very remote location.  But if an earthquake that powerful had hit Los Angeles, San Francisco or Seattle, the death and destruction would have been off the charts.

Back on May 15th, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake forced the governor of Nevada to declare a state of emergency.  According to a local media report, it was the largest earthquake to hit the state since 1954…

Gov. Steve Sisolak declared a state of emergency Thursday after an earthquake on May 15 damaged three highways in three Western Nevada counties.

The earthquake along the Walker Lane fault system struck near Tonopah last week with a magnitude of 6.5, making it the largest quake reported in Nevada since 1954. Since the quake hit, dozens of aftershocks have rattled the area.

A different earthquake of equal intensity hit the state of Idaho on March 31st.  That particular quake was the most powerful that Idaho had experienced since the Borah Peak earthquake of 1983

On March 31, a 6.5 magnitude earthquake rolled through Idaho’s Sawtooth mountain range, northeast of Boise. It was the second largest earthquake to strike Idaho, according to the Idaho Statesman. (The strongest temblor in Idaho history, 1983’s Borah Peak earthquake, registered as a magnitude 6.9.)

More than 1000 aftershocks followed the initial event, and according to Popular Mechanics that area of the country still “hasn’t stopped shaking”…

But the region hasn’t stopped shaking since. The area has experienced a string of aftershocks in the months following the quake, some registering as high as magnitude 4.8. The shaking has been so strong, in fact, that a popular beach along Stanley Lake in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area has sunk into the water.

Before the Idaho quake came along and upstaged it, everyone was talking about the large earthquake that had just hit Utah.

On March 18th, a magnitude 5.7 earthquake shook Salt Lake City so badly that it actually knocked the trumpet out of the hand of the angel Moroni…

The 5.7-magnitude earthquake that shook Utah Wednesday morning also dislodged a symbolic part of Salt Lake City’s iconic Mormon temple: the trumpet of an angel statue atop its highest spire.

Last, but certainly not least, I want to remind everyone that southern California was shaken by two very large earthquakes just over a year ago, and those initial quakes were followed by more than 80,000 aftershocks

More than 80,000 earthquakes have been recorded in the Ridgecrest area since July 4 — the aftermath from two of the biggest temblors to hit California in nearly a decade.

Experts said the two major quakes — the first measuring magnitude 6.4, the second 7.1 — led to a particularly energetic aftershock sequence before slowing down.

So exactly why have we been witnessing so many unusually large earthquakes in such diverse locations all over the nation?

About four or five years ago there was a tremendous spike in earthquake activity in the central portion of the country, and many blamed that spike on fracking.

But none of the areas that I discussed in this article are known for fracking.  Instead, these quakes appear to be occurring naturally, and the experts seem to be unable to explain why this is happening.

Of course many Christians are pointing out that Jesus warned that there would be an increase in earthquakes in the last days, and many believe that seismic activity will eventually be far, far more severe than what we are currently experiencing.

Our planet is not static.  It has been changing all throughout human history, and it will continue to change in the years ahead.

Despite all of our advanced technology, we are highly vulnerable.  We could literally wake up tomorrow morning and find out that a seismic event has destroyed one of our major cities, and scientists insist that it is just a matter of time before such a disaster becomes a reality.

There are some that have attempted to minimize their risk by living in “low risk areas”, but as we have seen recently even “low risk areas” can be hit.

In the end, the reality of the matter is that we are living on a highly unstable giant rock that is hurtling through space at incredible speed, and we should not take a single day for granted.

via Why Have So Many Enormous Earthquakes Hit The United States In Recent Months? — End Of The American Dream

Hateful Baptist professors attack John MacArthur for holding worship service — Capstone Report

You only thought the Secularists were insulting

John MacArthur and many other faithful Christian pastors gathered with their congregations for worship. They gathered under threat of fines and arrest. Of course, that upset some hateful Baptist seminary professors. One professor claimed MacArthur’s gathering is a “manufactured” persecution.

Luke Stamps, a professor at Anderson University said, “Call me when the stand against ‘persecution’ isn’t manufactured and self-congratulatory…Just think of the icons they would make? Men in suits, arm-to-arm in air-conditioned auditoriums. Right there alongside Ignatius and the lions and Bartholomew with his flayed skin.”

When asked specifically who he was talking about, the professor named MacArthur.

“I’m being coy. It’s MacArthur’s church, boasting, ‘welcome to our peaceful protest’ in a full auditorium,” he said.

And yes, Anderson University is supported by the South Carolina Baptist Convention. That means Cooperative Program dollars help pay this slanderer’s salary.

And of course, one Southern Baptist theology professor joined in mocking of Christians.

“I’ve seen that stained glass somewhere before,” said Rhyne Putman of the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

To put it clearly: These are disgusting people. Yet, they train the next generation of pastors. This is how the SBC Elites use your tithes and offerings—to platform people like this who attack heroes like John MacArthur.

And Jake Meador of Mere Orthodoxy and Davenant Institute was perhaps slimiest of all.

“’And the sermon was a giant boast about how they’ve got it right, and anyone who doesn’t do it that way aren’t true Christians.’ I think you just summarized the entirety of MacArthur’s ministry.”

With “Christians” like these, who needs heathens?

The smugness is overwhelming.

If you are wondering what set off these hateful “Christians” it was MacArthur’s opening joke. MacArthur welcomed the congregation to the Grace Community Church Peaceful Protest.

Here’s the video:

And of course, these guys are offended. It speaks volumes about who they are and what the support. Contrast their views with SBC conservative leaders like Ronnie Floyd.

They are on the side of Leftist Tyrants banning church meetings.

Are you happy that your tithes and offerings support these disgusting, hateful professors?

If you are upset, then you need to let your state Baptist Convention know and you need to tell the Southern Baptist Convention.

Oh, and join the Conservative Baptist Network.

via Hateful Baptist professors attack John MacArthur for holding worship service — Capstone Report

ETERNAL HOPE in EXPONENTIALLY LAWLESS Times! — The Ignorant Fishermen Blog


Dear friends, in such an EXPONENTIAL lawless and godless day – which is heading straight into the Day of the Lord – there is ETERNAL HOPE, GRACE, and LOVE for any who will call upon the Name of the Lord and be delivered from their personal transgressions against their ETERNAL RIGHTEOUS Creator; and from ETERNAL separation from Him in Hell’s ETERNAL prison (Matt. 6:33; 7:13-14; John 1:12; 3:16-17; 36; 11:25-26; Acts 4:12; 16:30-34; Eph. 2:8-9; 1 John 5:13; Rev. 20:10-15; 22:11)!

Jesus is Adam’s fallen race’s ETERNAL RIGHTEOUS PROPITIATION and RIGHTEOUS ATONING SAVIOR and our GREAT DESIRE for you is to KNOW Him in a RIGHTEOUS saving relationship!

 

Jesus is the Last Adam for Adam’s fallen race’s ETERNAL RIGHTEOUS PROPITIATION and RIGHTEOUS ATONING SAVIOR and our GREAT DESIRE for you is to KNOW Him in a RIGHTEOUS saving relationship (John 1:29, Rom. 5:12-21, 2 Cor. 5:21, Heb. 1:2-3; 7:25; 9:12;10:11-15; 1 Peter 1:18-25; 2:24, John 4:10, Rev. 1:5)! That indeed is what this life, our personal existence, and this temporal lawless demonic world is all about! This world will not go on FOREVER, Almighty God’s Kingdom is at hand and then ETERNITY! What will you choose? Be NOT fearful but believing in Almighty God and in His ETERNAL RIGHTEOUS LOVE for you! Indeed my friends, The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

DJP I.F.

What MUST I Do to be Saved?
A Message for Those Left Behind at the Rapture!

via ETERNAL HOPE in EXPONENTIALLY LAWLESS Times! — The Ignorant Fishermen Blog

Disease, Disaster, Evil and Worldviews — CultureWatch

One’s worldview determines how we approach things like the corona crisis:

Two nights ago on television there was a replay of the 1996 film Independence Day. You know the story: a bunch of nasty aliens come to earth levelling cities and nations. It is a global war which all earthlings must engage in. And last night I noticed a replay of an older documentary on 9/11. That story we all know: buildings levelled by malevolent Islamic terrorists.

In both cases there were evil beings doing evil things. We knew who the enemy was. But as we seek to get our heads around the corona crisis things are rather different. One can argue that we have two main sources of our current woes: the coronavirus itself of course, but also what many argue are bungling governments overreacting with draconian lockdown measures that are simply making matters worse.

As but just one indication of this (in addition to the many others I have chronicled on this site over the past half year), is this report out of the UK: “Lockdown ‘killed two people for every three who died of coronavirus’ at peak of outbreak.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/07/lockdown-killed-two-three-died-coronavirus/

So with things like corona, at least some of the enemy is us. Of course one can also ask about how much the CCP and lab workers in China are to blame for the virus. But for those wanting the bigger picture as to how we explain evil and disaster, there are various philosophical and theological traditions to draw upon here.

Needless to say early on during this pandemic I wrote on that very thing. Many Christians for example have asked if this might be the judgment of God. That is always possible. See my piece here: billmuehlenberg.com/2020/03/20/plagues-panic-and-providence/

And one could well make such a case. If it is the judgment of God, diabolical politicians like this would be part of why it is happening: http://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/new-zealand-lawmakers-enact-abortion-on-demand-under-cover-of-coronavirus

But as I have said often now, it is one thing to have a clear prophetic word from God as we find in the Old Testament when disaster strikes. Sadly we do not have the same thing today, so we must proceed with some caution on these matters.

Back then God not only warned ahead of time about various divine judgments, but he offered clear commentary as they were occurring. As to the warnings, there are many. Consider just one, Deuteronomy 31:1: “Then my anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured. And many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?”

And when the judgments did come, there really was little need to keep asking, “Why has all this happened to us?” But the people do keep asking this, so the prophets offer the divine reply. We see this often in the book of Jeremiah, which I happen to be reading again at the moment, so let me offer a few such passages:

-Jeremiah 2:17 Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the Lord your God?
-Jeremiah 5:19 And when your people say, ‘Why has the Lord our God done all these things to us?’ you shall say to them, ‘As you have forsaken me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve foreigners in a land that is not yours.’
-Jeremiah 9:12-14 Who is the man so wise that he can understand this? To whom has the mouth of the Lord spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined and laid waste like a wilderness, so that no one passes through? And the Lord says: “Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it, but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.
-Jeremiah 13:22 And if you say in your heart,
‘Why have these things come upon me?’
it is for the greatness of your iniquity
-Jeremiah 16:10-11 And when you tell this people all these words, and they say to you, ‘Why has the Lord pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is the sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?’ then you shall say to them: ‘It is because your fathers forsook me,’ declares the LORD, ‘and followed other gods and served and worshiped them. They forsook me and did not keep my law’.
-Jeremiah 40:3 All this happened because you people sinned against the LORD and did not obey him.

There was no doubt, in other words, why all these things were happening. But as mentioned, we cannot always be so certain today. So I can only say that something like this MIGHT be the direct work of God, at the very least to get our attention, and to rouse a sin-ravaged world from its stupor. If this is the case, then, as I said in another piece:

We must allow for God’s full and complete work. If we are hoping the crisis ends in a month, we will all just go back to business as usual. So God may allow it to go on for many months, knowing that the spiritual medicine so many of us need will take some time. There can be no quick fixes here when it comes to soul surgery. We are in need of major spiritual operations. billmuehlenberg.com/2020/03/21/no-more-business-as-usual-2/

Since all worldviews must deal with the problem of evil, let me look at how two important Christian thinkers have discussed such matters. The great Christian apologist Francis Schaeffer spoke repeatedly about how the Christian worldview differs markedly from other worldviews.

In in a number of his books and talks he referred to the 1947 volume by French existentialist philosopher and novelist Albert Camus. The book, La Peste (The Plague) told the story of a plague that swept through an Algerian town. In it he has two characters taking a differing approach to the plague.

A Catholic priest says that the plague is God’s punishment for sin, while a doctor seeks to help the people, seeing no divine hand in it at all. Schaeffer says the Christian worldview is different from both of these. As he writes in The God Who Is There:

Image of Unspeakable: Facing Up to the Challenge of Evil
Unspeakable: Facing Up to the Challenge of Evil by Array

Camus intends a deeper understanding. Therefore he confronts the reader with a serious choice: either he must join the doctor and fight the plague, in which case, says Camus, he will then be fighting God; or he can join with the priest and not fight the plague, and thus be anti-humanitarian. This is the choice; and this is the dilemma which Camus faced and which all those face who, like him, do not have the Christian answer.

Schaeffer discusses how Jesus was grieved – even angry – with death, while raising Lazarus from the dead, and goes on to say this:

There is an adequate reason for fighting wrong. The Christian never faces the dilemma posed in Camus’ book La Peste. It simply is not true that he either has to side with the doctor against God by fighting the plague, or join with the priest on God’s side and thus be much less than human by not fighting the plague. . . .  In Camus’ words, Christ hated the plague. The point is that He claimed to be God and He could hate the plague without hating Himself as God. A Christian can fight what is wrong in the world with compassion and know that as he hates these things, God hates them too. God hates them to the high price of the death of Christ.

But if I live in a world of non-absolutes and would fight social injustice on the mood of the moment, how may one establish what social justice is? What criterion do I have to distinguish between right and wrong so that I may know what I should be fighting? May it not be that I could acquiesce in evil and stamp out good? The word ‘love’ cannot tell me how I may discern, for within the humanistic framework love can have no defined meaning. But once we comprehend that the Christ who came to die to end ‘the plague’ both wept and was angry at the plague’s effects, we have a reason for fighting that does not rest merely on my momentary disposition, or the shifting consensus of men.

The second Christian thinker I wish to draw upon here is Os Guinness. A few years after 9/11 he released an important book on these matters called Unspeakable(Harper, 2005). You can see my review of it here: billmuehlenberg.com/2005/08/24/a-review-of-unspeakable-facing-up-to-evil-in-an-age-of-genocide-and-terror-by-os-guinness/

Early on he compares 9/11 with another disaster, the 1755 Great Lisbon Earthquake. Along with a tsunami and devastating fires, some 60,000 people were killed. Guinness notes some parallels with what happened in NYC, and then says this:

But the difference between 1755 and 2001 is crucial too. The outcome of the Lisbon earthquake, as interpreted by Voltaire and others, was to weaken traditional faith in God and providence and strengthen the new confidence in Enlightenment progress – God is dead and the future of mankind is one of our own making. Whereas the outcome of September 11 has been to destroy the last threads of the Enlightenment belief that humans are getting better and better. It has also served to reunite the deepest questions about God with the deepest questions about humanity.

Readers are urged to read his incisive work as he seeks to show that the Judeo-Christin worldview best helps us to understand and cope with evil, suffering and disaster. While we may not have every single answer to questions about why earthquakes, terror attacks, and plagues happen, we do have the rock-solid assurance that the God we worship is not immune from suffering, nor is he aloof from our suffering.

Worldviews matter. In closing, let me offer these words from my review of his book:

In the Christian religion, not only is there a plausible explanation for evil, but there is the conviction that something has been done about it. God has entered human history and confronted sheer evil. And the sheer love of God has defeated this evil. Of course the mystery of evil can never be fathomed, at least in this world. In the Hebrew scriptures a whole book was devoted to the subject. Job asked a lot of questions which were never answered. “In the end, rather than getting an answer from God, Job encounters God himself, which is his answer.”

via Disease, Disaster, Evil and Worldviews — CultureWatch

August 9 The Choice Is Yours

 

Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
(Joshua 24:15, NASB)

Settle the issue of commitment before the challenge arises, or you’ll falter in the hour of decision. The battle is won before the battle is begun. Before Joseph met Potiphar’s wife, he’d already decided his values. Have you? The three Hebrew children of God already knew what they were going to do, fiery furnace or not, before they faced the king. Listen: “We are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us” (Daniel 3:16–17). What do you really believe about God? If you think He might fail you, you’ll never make a strong commitment. But if you believe His Word, you’ll say, like Joshua, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Commitment grows! You can’t make big commitments, until you first make small ones. The three Hebrew children of God couldn’t have said “no” to the king’s idols if they hadn’t first said “no” to his food. You don’t get that kind of courage suddenly. Most of us can look back over the years and identify a point at which our lives changed significantly. Because of a readiness within us at that moment, we made a choice that would affect us for the rest of our lives.

 

Today, make a decision that you want God’s best for your life and that you’ll settle for nothing less.[1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 221). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

August 9 A Hunger for God

 

Psalm 63:1

O God, You are my God; … my soul thirsts for You; my flesh longs for You.

It is amazing that with no knowledge of eternal life, no knowledge of a sacrificial Savior, no knowledge of the resurrection—all the things we know well in the New Testament era—Old Testament saints like David had such a longing for God. They had a sense of His presence with them that few Christians seem to enjoy in our day.

David must have already learned that even the royal trappings of kingship could not provide what his heart needed: that only God could slake his thirst and satisfy his longing. He had lived long enough to know that none of what the world offers, whether in the desert or the palace, could satisfy the longings of his heart.

Someone has said that Satan knows nothing of true pleasure and satisfaction, that he is an expert only in amusements. David had learned the difference, and we would do well to imitate him. True pleasure comes from knowing God, being known by God, and being at rest in His presence.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 232). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

August 9, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

The Gospel of Christ

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” (1:16–17)

After having gained the attention of his readers by explaining the purpose of his writing and then introducing himself (1:1–15), Paul now states the thesis of the epistle. These two verses express the theme of the book of Romans, and they contain the most life-transforming truth God has put into men’s hands. To understand and positively respond to this truth is to have one’s time and eternity completely altered. These words summarize the gospel of Jesus Christ, which Paul then proceeds to unfold and explain throughout the remainder of the epistle. For that reason, our comments here will be somewhat brief and a more detailed discussion of these themes will come later in the study.

As noted at the close of the last chapter, the introductory phrase for I am not ashamed of the gospel adds a final mark of spiritual service to those presented in verses 8–15, the mark of unashamed boldness.

Paul was imprisoned in Philippi, chased out of Thessalonica, smuggled out of Damascus and Berea, laughed at in Athens, considered a fool in Corinth, and declared a blasphemer and lawbreaker in Jerusalem. He was stoned and left for dead at Lystra. Some pagans of Paul’s day branded Christianity as atheism because it believed in only one God and as being cannibalistic because of a misunderstanding of the Lord’s Supper.

But the Jewish religious leaders of Jerusalem did not intimidate Paul, nor did the learned and influential pagans at Ephesus, Athens, and Corinth. The apostle was eager now to preach and teach the gospel in Rome, the capital of the pagan empire that ruled virtually all the known world. He was never deterred by opposition, never disheartened by criticism, and never ashamed, for any reason, of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Although that gospel was then, and still is today, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, it is the only way God has provided for the salvation of men, and Paul was both overjoyed and emboldened by the privilege of proclaiming its truth and power wherever he went.

Although every true believer knows it is a serious sin to be ashamed of his Savior and Lord, he also knows the difficulty of avoiding that sin. When we have opportunity to speak for Christ, we often do not. We know the gospel is unattractive, intimidating, and repulsive to the natural, unsaved person and to the ungodly spiritual system that now dominates the world. The gospel exposes man’s sin, wickedness, depravity, and lostness, and it declares pride to be despicable and works righteousness to be worthless in God’s sight. To the sinful heart of unbelievers, the gospel does not appear to be good news but bad (cf. my comments in chapter 1), and when they first hear it they often react with disdain against the one presenting it or throw out arguments and theories against it. For that reason, fear of men and of not being able to handle their arguments is doubtlessly the single greatest snare in witnessing.

It is said that if a circle of white chalk is traced on the floor around a goose that it will not leave the circle for fear of crossing the white mark. In a similar way, the chalk marks of criticism, ridicule, tradition, and rejection prevent many believers from leaving the security of Christian fellowship to witness to the unsaved.

The so-called health and wealth gospel that has swept through much of the church today is not offensive to the world because it offers what the world wants. But that spurious gospel does not offer the gospel of Jesus Christ. Like the false teaching of the Judaizers, it is “a different gospel,” that is, not the gospel at all but an ungodly distortion (Gal. 1:6–7). Jesus strongly condemned the motives of worldly success and comfort, and those who appeal to such motives play right into the hands of Satan.

A scribe once approached Jesus and said, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” Knowing the man was unwilling to give up his comforts in order to be a disciple, the Lord answered, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matt. 8:19–20). Shortly after that, “another of the disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.’ ” The phrase “bury my father” did not refer to a funeral service but was a colloquialism for awaiting the father’s death in order to receive the inheritance. Jesus therefore told the man, “Follow Me; and allow the dead to bury their own dead” (vv. 21–22).

Geoffrey Wilson wrote, “The unpopularity of a crucified Christ has prompted many to present a message which is more palatable to the unbeliever, but the removal of the offense of the cross always renders the message ineffective. An inoffensive gospel is also an inoperative gospel. Thus Christianity is wounded most in the house of its friends” (Romans: A Digest of Reformed Comment [Carlisle, Pa.: Banner of Truth, 1976], p. 24).

Some years ago I spoke at a youth rally, after which the wife of the rally director approached me. Expressing an unbiblical mentality that is common in the church today, she said, “Your message offended me, because you preached as if all of these young people were sinners.” I replied, “I’m glad it came across that way, because that is exactly the message I wanted to communicate.”

Paul’s supreme passion was to see men saved. He cared nothing for personal comfort, popularity, or reputation. He offered no compromise of the gospel, because he knew it is the only power available that can change lives for eternity.

In verses 16–17, Paul uses four key words that are crucial to understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ: power, salvation, faith, and righteousness.

Power

for it is the power of God (1:16b)

First of all, Paul declares, the gospel is the power of God. Dunamis (power) is the Greek term from which our word dynamite is derived. The gospel carries with it the omnipotence of God, whose power alone is sufficient to save men from sin and give them eternal life.

People have an innate desire to be changed. They want to look better, feel better, have more money, more power, more influence. The premise of all advertising is that people want to change in some way or another, and the job of the advertiser is to convince them that his product or service will add a desired dimension to their lives. Many people want to be changed inwardly, in a way that will make them feel less guilty and more content, and a host of programs, philosophies, and religions promise to meet those desires. Many man-made schemes succeed in making people feel better about themselves, but the ideas promoted have no power to remove the sin that brings the feelings of guilt and discontent. Nor can those ideas make men right with God. In fact, the more successful such approaches are from their own standpoint, the more they drive people away from God and insulate them from His salvation.

Through Jeremiah, the Lord said, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to do evil” (Jer. 13:23). It is not within mans power to change his own nature. In rebuking the Sadducees who tried to entrap Him, Jesus said, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures, or the power of God” (Matt. 22:29). Only the power of God is able to overcome man’s sinful nature and impart spiritual life.

The Bible makes it clear that men cannot be spiritually changed or saved by good works, by the church, by ritual, or by any other human means. Men cannot be saved even by keeping God’s own law, which was given to show men their helplessness to meet His standards in their own power. The law was not given to save men but to reveal their sin and thus to drive men to God’s saving grace.

Later in Romans, Paul declares man’s impotence and God’s power, saying, “While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6), and, “What the law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin” (8:3). Affirming the same basic truth in different words, Peter wrote believers in Asia Minor: “You have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and abiding word of God” (1 Pet. 1:23).

Paul reminded the church at Corinth that “the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18), and “we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block, and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (vv. 23–25). What to the world seems to be utter absurdity is in fact the power by which God transforms men from the realm of darkness to the realm of light, and delivers them from the power of death and gives them the right to be called the children of God (John 1:12).

Ancient pagans mocked Christianity not only because the idea of substitutionary atonement seemed ridiculous in itself but also because their mythical gods were apathetic, detached, and remote—totally indifferent to the welfare of men. The idea of a caring, redeeming, self-sacrificing God was beyond their comprehension. While excavating ancient ruins in Rome, archaeologists discovered a derisive painting depicting a slave bowing down before a cross with a jackass hanging on it. The caption reads, “Alexamenos worships his god.”

In the late second century this attitude still existed. A man named Celsus wrote a letter bitterly attacking Christianity. “Let no cultured person draw near, none wise, none sensible,” he said, “for all that kind of thing we count evil; but if any man is ignorant, if any is wanting in sense and culture, if any is a fool, let him come boldly [to Christianity]” (William Barclay, The Letters to the Corinthians [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975], p. 21; cf. Origen’s Against Celsus). “Of the Christians,” he further wrote, “we see them in their own houses, wool dressers, cobblers and fullers, the most uneducated and vulgar persons” (p. 21). He compared Christians to a swarm of bats, to ants crawling out of their nests, to frogs holding a symposium around a swamp, and to worms cowering in the muck!

Not wanting to build on human wisdom or appeal to human understanding, Paul told the Corinthians that “when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:1–2). Later in the letter Paul said, “The kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in power” (4:20), the redeeming power of God.

Every believer, no matter how gifted and mature, has human limitations and weaknesses. Our minds, bodies, and perceptions are imperfect. Yet, incredibly, God uses us as channels of His redeeming and sustaining power when we serve Him obediently.

Scripture certainly testifies to God’s glorious power (Ex. 15:6), His irresistible power (Deut. 32:39), His unsearchable power (Job 5:9), His mighty power (Job 9:4), His great power (Ps. 79:11), His incomparable power (Ps. 89:8), His strong power (Ps. 89:13), His everlasting power (Isa. 26:4), His effectual power (Isa. 43:13), and His sovereign power (Rom. 9:21). Jeremiah declared of God, “It is He who made the earth by His power, who established the world by His wisdom” (Jer. 10:12), and through that prophet the Lord said of Himself, “I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm” (Jer. 27:5). The psalmist admonished, “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (Ps. 33:8–9). His is the power that can save.

Salvation

for salvation (1:16c)

Surely the greatest manifestation of God’s power is that of bringing men to salvation, of transforming their nature and giving them eternal life through His Son. We learn from the psalmist that, despite their rebelliousness, God saved His chosen people “for the sake of His name, that He might make His power known” (Ps. 106:8). As God incarnate, Jesus Christ manifested His divine power in healing diseases, restoring crippled limbs, stilling the storm, and even raising those who were dead.

Paul uses the noun sōtēria (salvation) some nineteen times, five of them in Romans, and he uses the corresponding verb twenty-nine times, eight of them in Romans. The basic idea behind the term is that of deliverance, or rescue, and the point here is that the power of God in salvation rescues people from the ultimate penalty of sin, which is spiritual death extended into tormented eternal separation from Him.

Some people object to terms such as salvation and being saved, claiming that the ideas they convey are out of date and meaningless to contemporary men. But salvation is God’s term, and there is no better one to describe what He offers fallen mankind through the sacrifice of His Son. Through Christ, and Christ alone, men can be saved from sin, from Satan, from judgment, from wrath, and from spiritual death.

Regardless of the words they may use to describe their quest, men are continually looking for salvation of one kind or another. Some look for economic salvation, others for political or social salvation. As already noted, many people look for inner salvation from the guilt, frustrations, and unhappiness that make their lives miserable.

Even before Paul’s day, Greek philosophy had turned inward and begun to focus on changing man’s inner life through moral reform and self-discipline. William Barclay tells us that the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus called his lecture room “the hospital for sick souls.” Another famous Greek philosopher named Epicurus called his teaching “the medicine of salvation.” Seneca, a Roman statesman and philosopher and contemporary of Paul, taught that all men were looking ad salutem (“toward salvation”). He taught that men are overwhelmingly conscious of their weakness and insufficiency in necessary things and that we therefore need “a hand let down to lift us up” (The Letter to the Romans [Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975], p. 19).

Salvation through Christ is God’s powerful hand, as it were, that He has let down to lift men up. His salvation brings deliverance from the spiritual infection of “this perverse generation” (Acts 2:40), from lostness (Matt. 18:11), from sin (Matt. 1:21), and from the wrath of God (Rom. 5:9). It brings deliverance to men from their gross and willful spiritual ignorance (Hos. 4:6; 2 Thess. 1:8), from their evil self-indulgence (Luke 14:26), and from the darkness of false religion (Col. 1:13; 1 Pet. 2:9), but only for those who believe.

Faith

to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (1:16d)

The fourth key word regarding the gospel is that of faith. The sovereign power of God working through the gospel brings salvation to everyone who believes.

Pisteuō (believes) carries the basic idea of trusting in, relying on, having faith in. When used in the New Testament of salvation, it is usually in the present, continuous form, which could be translated “is believing.” Daily living is filled with acts of faith. We turn on the faucet to get a drink of water, trusting it is safe to drink. We drive across a bridge, trusting it will not collapse under us. Despite occasional disasters, we trust airplanes to fly us safely to our destination. People could not survive without having implicit trust in a great many things. Virtually all of life requires a natural faith. But Paul has in mind here a supernatural faith, produced by God—a “faith that is not of yourselves but the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8).

Eternal life is both gained and lived by faith from God in Jesus Christ. “For by grace you have been saved through faith,” Paul tells us (Eph. 2:8). God does not first ask men to behave but to believe. Man’s efforts at right behavior always fall short of God’s perfect standard, and therefore no man can save himself by his own good works. Good works are the product of salvation (Eph. 2:10), but they are not the means of it.

Salvation is not merely professing to be a Christian, nor is it baptism, moral reform, going to church, receiving sacraments, or living a life of self-discipline and sacrifice. Salvation is believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Salvation comes through giving up on one’s own goodness, works, knowledge, and wisdom and trusting in the finished, perfect work of Christ.

Salvation has no national, racial, or ethnic barrier but is given to every person who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. It was to the Jew first chronologically because Jews are God’s specially chosen people, through whom He ordained salvation to come (John 4:22). The Messiah came first to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt. 15:24).

The great Scottish evangelist Robert Haldane wrote,

From the days of Abraham, their great progenitor, the Jews had been highly distinguished from all the rest of the world by their many and great privileges. It was their high distinction that of them Christ came, “who is over all, God blessed for ever.” They were thus, as His kinsmen, the royal family of the human race, in this respect higher than all others, and they inherited Emmanuel’s land. While, therefore, the evangelical covenant, and consequently justification and salvation, equally regarded all believers, the Jews held the first rank as the ancient people of God, while the other nations were strangers from the covenants of promise. The preaching of the Gospel was to be addressed to them first, and, at the beginning, to them alone, Matt. 10:6; for, during the abode of Jesus Christ upon earth, He was the minister only of the circumcision, Rom. 15:8. “l am not sent,” He says, “but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel”; and He commanded that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, “beginning at Jerusalem.” … Thus, while Jews and Gentiles were united in the participation of the Gospel, the Jews were not deprived of their rank, since they were the first called.

The preaching of the Gospel to the Jews first served various important ends. It fulfilled Old Testament prophecies, as Isa. 2:3. It manifested the compassion of the Lord Jesus for those who shed His blood, to whom, after His resurrection, He commanded His Gospel to be first proclaimed. It showed that it was to be preached to the chief of sinners, and proved the sovereign efficacy of His Atonement in expatiating [sic] the guilt even of His murderers. It was fit, too, that the Gospel should be begun to be preached where the great transactions took place on which it was founded and established; and this furnished an example of the way in which it is the will of the Lord that His Gospel should be propagated by His disciples, beginning in their own houses and their own country. (An Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans [MacDill AFB, Fla.: MacDonald Publishing Co., 1958], p. 48)

All who believe may be saved. Only those who truly believe will be.

Righteousness

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” (1:17)

The fourth key word Paul uses here regarding the gospel is righteousness, a term he uses over thirty-five times in the book of Romans alone. Faith activates the divine power that brings salvation, and in that sovereign act the righteousness of God is revealed. A better rendering is from God, indicating that He imparts His own righteousness to those who believe. It is thereby not only revealed but reckoned to those who believe in Christ (Rom. 4:5).

Paul confessed to the Philippians, “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith” (Phil. 3:8–9). “But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:21–24).

The German pietist Count Zinzendorf wrote, in a profound hymn,

Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness

My beauty are, my glorious dress;

’Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,

With joy shall I lift up my head.

Bold shall I stand in Thy great day,

For who aught to my charge shall lay?

Fully absolved through these I am,

From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

From faith to faith seems to parallel “everyone who believes” in the previous verse. If so, the idea is “from faith to faith to faith to faith,” as if Paul were singling out the faith of each individual believer.

Salvation by His grace working through man’s faith was always God’s plan, as Paul here implies in quoting from Habakkuk 2:4, as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.” Abraham, the father of the faithful, believed, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness (Rom. 4:3), just as every person’s genuine faith, before and after Abraham, has been reckoned to him as righteousness (see Heb. 11:4–40).

There is emphasis here on the continuity of faith. It is not a one-time act, but a way of life. The true believer made righteous will live in faith all his life. Theologians have called this “the perseverance of the saints” (cf. Col. 1:22–23; Heb. 3:12–14).[1]


The Theme of the Epistle

Romans 1:16–17

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

In the sixteenth and seventeenth verses of Romans 1, we come to sentences that are the most important in the letter and perhaps in all literature. They are the theme of this epistle and the essence of Christianity. They are the heart of biblical religion.

The reason this is so is that they tell how a man or woman may become right with God. We are not right with God in ourselves. This is what the doctrine of original sin is all about. We are in rebellion against God; and if we are in rebellion against God, we cannot be right with him. On the contrary, we are to be judged by him. What is more, we are polluted by our sin. We are as filthy in God’s sight as the most disease infected, loathsome individual could be in ours, and in that state we must be banished from his presence forever when we die.

What is to be done? On our side, nothing can be done. Yet in these sentences Paul tells us that God has done something. In fact, he has done precisely what needs to be done. He has provided a righteousness that is exactly what we need. It is a divine righteousness, a perfect righteousness. And it is received, not by doing righteous things (which we can never do in sufficient quantity anyway), but by simple faith. It is received merely by believing what God tells us.

No One Righteous

In the next chapter, continuing our study of this very important section of the letter to the Roman church, I will show why Paul was not ashamed of this gospel. Here, however, I want to concentrate on the chief idea in these two verses, namely, that in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed and that this righteousness is received (and has always been received) by faith. The place to begin is with the fact that in ourselves we do not possess this righteousness.

There can be little objection to the statement that we do not possess true righteousness, because this is the point with which Paul begins his formal argument. That is, immediately after having stated his thesis in verses 16 and 17, Paul launches into a section extending from 1:18 to 3:20, in which he shows that far from being righteous before God, men and women are actually very corrupt and are all therefore naturally objects of God’s just wrath and condemnation.

I make the point in this way. Notice that in verse 17 (our text here), Paul says that “a righteousness from God is revealed.” Then notice that in 3:21, he says virtually the same thing once again: “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known to which the Law and the Prophets testify.” The words “is made known” mean “is revealed,” and the reference to “the Law and the Prophets” corresponds to Paul’s citation of a specific statement of the prophet Habakkuk in the earlier verse: “just as it is written: ‘the righteous will live by faith.’ ” So the full exposition of what Paul introduces in 1:17 begins only at 3:21.

So what occupies the intervening verses? They are a statement of the need for this righteousness, introduced by a parallel but deliberate contrast with these two statements. At the start of this section, instead of speaking of any revelation of righteousness, Paul declares: “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (v. 18, italics mine).

What Paul says in Romans 1:18 through 3:20 embraces all persons. But he develops his thoughts progressively, moving from a description of those who are openly hostile to God and wicked to those who consider themselves to be either moral, and therefore acceptable to God on the basis of their own good works, or else religious, and therefore acceptable on the basis of their religious practices.

One thing is true of everyone. Left to ourselves, we use either our heathen lifestyle, our claims to moral superiority, or our religion to resist the true God. Paul says that certain facts about God have been revealed to all people in nature. But instead of allowing that revelation to point us to God and then attempting to seek him out as a result of it, we actually suppress the revelation God has given in order to continue in our own wicked ways. This is the real grounds of God’s just wrath against us—not that we have failed to do something that we could not do or refused to believe something that we did not even know about, but that we have rejected the knowledge we have in order to pursue wickedness. When he gets to the end of this section Paul is therefore quite right in concluding, quoting from many Old Testament texts:

As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;

there is no one who understands,

no one who seeks God.

All have turned away,

they have together become worthless;

there is no one who does good,

not even one.”

“Their throats are open graves;

their tongues practice deceit.”

“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”

“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”

“Their feet are swift to shed blood;

ruin and misery mark their ways,

and the way of peace they do not know.”

“There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Romans 3:10–18

We may not like this description of ourselves (who would?), but it is God’s accurate assessment of our depraved lives and civilization.

A Righteousness from God

In all literature there is no portrait of the human race so realistic, grim, or hopeless as this summation of Paul’s. Yet it makes the wonder of the gospel all the more glorious, for it is against this background that “a righteousness from God” is made known.

We need to see several important things about it.

  1. This righteousness from God is the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. In 1:17 and 3:21, Paul says that righteousness “comes through faith in Jesus Christ.” But it is surely right to add, in view of what Paul said in the opening section of this letter (and says elsewhere), that this is the very righteousness of Christ, which God gives to us. Righteousness is revealed in the gospel—Paul says so—but the gospel concerns Jesus Christ (1:2–3). So it is Christ who has this righteousness, and it is from him that we both learn about it and receive it.

Jesus possesses righteousness in two senses, both important. First, Jesus is intrinsically righteous. That is, being God, he is utterly holy and without sin. That is why he could say during the days of his flesh, “I always do what pleases him [that is, God]” (John 8:29b) or, as he said to his enemies on another occasion, “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” (John 8:46a). His words left them speechless.

Jesus is also righteous in that he achieved a perfect righteousness by his obedience to the law of God while on earth. When John the Baptist resisted Jesus’ call for baptism, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:14–15). By saying that it was proper for him to be baptized in order “to fulfill all righteousness,” Jesus showed that he intended to fulfill the demands of the law while he lived among us. And he did. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones has written:

He rendered a perfect obedience to the law; he kept it in every jot and tittle. He failed in no respect. He fulfilled God’s law completely, perfectly, and absolutely. Not only that! He has dealt with the penalty meted out by the law upon all sin and upon all sins. He took your guilt and mine upon himself, and he bore its punishment. The penalty of the law was meted out upon him, and so he has honored the law completely, positively and negatively, actively and passively. There is nothing further the law can demand; he has satisfied it all.

When Paul says that righteousness from God is revealed in the gospel, he means that the gospel shows how we can acquire the righteousness we need. But this does not exclude the truth that the existence and nature of this righteousness are also revealed to us in Christ’s person. In Christ we can see that righteousness truly exists and can be offered to us by God.

  1. God offers this righteousness of Jesus Christ freely, apart from any need to work for it on our part. This is the heart of the Good News, of course. For unless God were willing to give this righteousness to us and actually does give it, the mere existence of a perfect righteousness would not be good news at all. On the contrary, it would be very bad news, for it would increase our sense of condemnation.

It was the discovery of this truth that transformed Martin Luther and through him launched the Reformation. Luther was aware that Jesus exhibited a perfect righteousness and that this was a standard of character rightly demanded from all human beings by God. But Luther did not have this righteousness. In fact, the more he tried to achieve this righteousness, the more elusive it became. It was Luther’s very piety that created the problem. He wanted to be righteous. He wanted to please God. But the more he worked at pleasing God, the more he knew that pleasing God involved more than merely doing certain things and refusing to do others. He knew that pleasing God involved even the very attitudes in which he did or did not do these things. Basically he needed to love God, and he knew he did not love God. He actually hated God for making the standard of righteousness so impossible.

As I pointed out in the introductory chapter of this book, Luther wrote, “I had no love for that holy and just God who punishes sinners. I was filled with secret anger against him.”

But then Luther discovered that he had misunderstood God’s intention in revealing the nature and existence of this righteousness. It was not revealed so that men and women like Luther might strive toward it and inevitably fail desperately, as Luther did. It was revealed as God’s free gift in Christ, so that those who came to know Christ might stop their fruitless striving and instead rest in him. They could rest in his atoning death on their behalf, since he took the punishment of their sins upon himself and paid for them fully so that their sins might never rise up to haunt them again. They could rest in righteousness, knowing that God had given it to them and that they could thereafter stand before God, not in their own self-righteousness, which is no righteousness at all, but in the very righteousness of Christ.

The term for the application of the righteousness of Christ to the sinner is “imputation.” It is like putting the infinite moral capital of the Lord Jesus Christ in our empty bank account. It is having the riches of heaven at our disposal. When Luther saw this, it was as if the doors of heaven had been opened and he was able to pass through “the true gate of Paradise.”

  1. Faith is the channel by which sinners receive Christ’s righteousness. Paul lived many centuries before the Reformation, but he seems to have anticipated the sixteenth-century battles over the role of faith in salvation by the way he emphasizes faith both in this initial statement of his thesis and in his fuller development of the role of faith in receiving the gospel in 3:21–31. In Romans 1:17, he speaks of “a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith,’ ” quoting Habakkuk 2:4 (italics mine). In 3:21–31 he refers to “faith” eight times.

What is faith? Initially Luther thought of faith as a work and therefore grimly regarded it as something else to be attained. But faith is not a work. It is believing God. It is opening a hand to receive the righteousness of Christ that God offers.

Faith consists of three elements. First, it consists of knowledge. It is no mere attitude of mind; it involves content. We must have faith in “something.” In the case of salvation that content (and the object of our knowledge) is the revelation of what God has done for us in Jesus Christ.

Second, faith consists of a heart response to the gospel. This is because faith is not assent to some principle that is true but nevertheless has little relationship to us. It involves the love of God for us in saving us through the death of Jesus Christ, his Son. Unless this touches our hearts and moves them, we do not really understand the gospel.

Finally, faith consists of commitment, commitment to Christ. At this point, Jesus becomes not merely a Savior in some abstract sense or even someone else’s Savior, but my Savior. Like Thomas, I now gladly confess him to be “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28, italics mine).

In an excellent little book entitled All of Grace, the great Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote, “Faith is not a blind thing; for faith begins with knowledge. It is not a speculative thing; for faith believes facts of which it is sure. It is not an unpractical, dreamy thing; for faith trusts, and stakes its destiny upon the truth of revelation.… Faith … is the eye which looks.… Faith is the hand which grasps … Faith is the mouth which feeds upon Christ.”

One person who read Romans 10:8 (“ ‘The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart’ ”) exclaimed, “Give me a knife and a fork and a chance.” He had the idea. He was prepared to receive the gospel personally.

Another who had the idea was Count Zinzendorf. His great hymn about justification through the righteousness of Christ received by faith comes to us through the translation of John Wesley:

Jesus, thy blood and righteousness

My beauty are, my glorious dress;

‘Midst flaming worlds, in these arrayed,

With joy shall I lift up my head.

Bold shall I stand in thy great day,

For who aught to my charge shall lay?

Fully absolved through these I am,

From sin and fear, from guilt and shame.

O let the dead now hear thy voice;

Now bid thy banished ones rejoice;

Their beauty this, their glorious dress,

Jesus, thy blood and righteousness.

It was by faith in the completed work of Christ and God’s gift of Christ’s righteousness to believing men and women that Zinzendorf expected to stand before God in the day of judgment and be accepted by him.

“Nothing in My Hands”

This was Paul’s expectation and experience, too. He tells of his experience of God’s grace in Philippians.

Paul had been an exceedingly moral man: “.… If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless” (Phil. 3:4–6). But Paul learned to count his attainments as nothing in order to have Christ “and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith” (v. 9). This is a vivid, personal statement of what he also declares at the beginning of Romans.

In Philippians, Paul uses a helpful metaphor, saying that before he met Christ his thoughts about religion involved something like a lifelong balance sheet showing assets and liabilities. He had thought that being saved meant having more in the column of assets than in the column of liabilities. And since he had considerable assets, he felt that he was very well off indeed.

Some assets he had inherited. Among them were the facts that he had been born into a Jewish family and had been circumcised according to Jewish law on the eighth day of life. He was neither a proselyte who had been circumcised later in life, nor an Ishmaelite who was circumcised when he was thirteen years of age. He was a pure-blooded Jew, having been born of two Jewish parents (“a Hebrew of Hebrews”). As an Israelite he was a member of God’s covenant people. He was of the tribe of Benjamin. Moreover, Paul had assets he had earned for himself. He was a Pharisee, the strictest and most faithful of the Jewish religious orders. He was a zealous Pharisee, proved by his persecution of the church. And, as far as the law was concerned, Paul reckoned himself to be blameless, for he had kept the law in all its particulars so far as he had understood it.

These were great assets from a human point of view. But the day came when God revealed his own righteousness to Paul in the person of Jesus Christ. When Paul saw Jesus he understood for the first time what real righteousness was. Moreover, he saw that what he had been calling righteousness, his own righteousness, was not righteousness at all but only filthy rags. It was no asset. It was actually a liability, because it had been keeping him from Jesus, where alone true righteousness could be found.

Mentally Paul moved his long list of cherished assets to the column of liabilities—for that is what they really were—and under assets he wrote “Jesus Christ alone.”

Augustus M. Toplady had it right in the hymn “Rock of Ages”:

Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to thy cross I cling;

Naked, come to thee for dress;

Helpless, look to thee for grace;

Foul, I to the fountain fly;

Wash me, Saviour, or I die.

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in thee.

When those who have been made alive by God turn from their own attempts at righteousness, which can only condemn them, and instead embrace the Lord Jesus Christ by saving faith, God declares their sins to have been punished in Christ and imputes his own perfect righteousness to their account.


Not Ashamed

Romans 1:16–17

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

At first glance it is an extraordinary thing that Paul should say that he is “not ashamed” of the gospel. For when we read that statement we ask, “But why should anybody be ashamed of the gospel? Why should the apostle even think that something so grand might be shameful?” Questions like that are not very deep or honest, since we have all been ashamed of the gospel at one time or another.

The reason is that the world is opposed to God’s gospel and ridicules it, and we are all far more attuned to the world than we imagine. The gospel was despised in Paul’s day. Robert Haldane has written accurately:

By the pagans it was branded as atheism, and by the Jews it was abhorred as subverting the law and tending to licentiousness, while both Jews and Gentiles united in denouncing the Christians as disturbers of the public peace, who, in their pride and presumption, separated themselves from the rest of mankind. Besides, a crucified Savior was to the one a stumbling-block, and to the other foolishness. This doctrine was everywhere spoken against, and the Christian fortitude of the apostle in acting on the avowal he here makes was as truly manifested in the calmness with which, for the name of the Lord Jesus, he confronted personal danger and even death itself. His courage was not more conspicuous when he was ready “not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem,” than when he was enabled to enter Athens or Rome without being moved by the prospect of all that scorn and derision which in these great cities awaited him.

Is the situation different in our day? It is true that today’s culture exhibits a certain veneer of religious tolerance, so that well-bred people are careful not to scorn Christians openly. But the world is still the world, and hostility to God is always present. If you have never been ashamed of the gospel, the probable reason, as D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones suggests, is not that you are “an exceptionally good Christian,” but rather that “your understanding of the Christian message has never been clear.”

Was Paul tempted to shame, as we are? Probably. We know that Timothy was, since Paul wrote him to tell him not to be (2 Tim. 1:8). However, in our text Paul writes that basically he was “not ashamed of the gospel,” and the reason is that “it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’ ”

In this study, following the treatment of D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, I want to suggest eight reasons why we should not be ashamed of this gospel.

The Gospel Is “Good News”

The first reason why we should not be ashamed of the gospel is the meaning of the word gospel itself. It means “good news,” and no rational person should be ashamed of a desirable proclamation.

We can understand why one might hesitate to convey bad news, of course. We can imagine a policeman who must tell a father that his son has been arrested for breaking into a neighbor’s house and stealing her possessions. We can understand how he might be distressed at having to communicate this sad message. Or again, we can imagine how a doctor might be dismayed at having to tell a patient that tests have come out badly and that he or she does not have long to live, or how a person involved in some great moral lapse might be ashamed to confess it. But the gospel is not like this. It is the opposite. Instead of being bad news, it is good news about what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. It is the best news imaginable.

The Way of Salvation

The second reason why we should not be ashamed of the gospel is that it is about “salvation.” And not just any salvation. It is about the saving of ourselves.

The background for this side of the Good News is that, left to ourselves, we are in desperate trouble. We are in trouble now because we are at odds with God, other people, and ourselves. We are also in trouble in regard to the future; for we are on a path of increasing frustration and despair, and at the end we must face God’s just wrath and condemnation. We are like swimmers drowning in a vast ocean of cold water or explorers sinking in a deep bog of quicksand. We are like astronauts lost in the black hostile void of outer space. We are like prisoners awaiting execution.

But there is good news! God has intervened to rescue us through the work of his divine Son, Jesus Christ. First, he has reconciled us to himself; Christ has died for us, bearing our sins in his own body on the cross. Second, he has reconciled us to others; we are now set free to love them as Jesus loved us. Third, he has reconciled us to ourselves; in Jesus Christ (and by the power of the Holy Spirit) we are now able to become what God has always meant for us to be.

We can say this in yet other ways. Salvation delivers us from the guilt, power, and pollution of sin. We are brought back into communication with God, from whom our sins had separated us. And we are given a marvelous destiny, which Paul elsewhere describes as “the hope of the glory of God” (Rom. 5:2). In 1 Corinthians 1:30 Paul expresses these truths somewhat comprehensively when he writes that “Christ Jesus … has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” Paul was not ashamed of the gospel, because it was about a real deliverance—from sin and its power—and about reconciliation to God.

God’s Way of Salvation

The third reason why Paul was not ashamed of the gospel is that it is God’s way of salvation and not man’s way. How could Paul be proud of something that has its roots in the abilities of sinful men and women or is bounded by mere human ideas? The world does not lack such ideas. There are countless schemes for salvation, countless self-help programs. But these are all foolish and inadequate. What is needed is a way of salvation that comes not from man, but from God! That is what we have in Christianity! Christianity is God’s reaching out to save perishing men and women, not sinners reaching out to seize God.

Paul speaks about this in two major ways, contrasting God’s way of salvation with our own attempts to keep the law, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, with our attempts to know God by mere human wisdom.

As to the law, he says, “For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:3–4). This means that, although we could not please God by keeping the law’s demands, God enables us to please him, first, by condemning sin in us through the work of Jesus Christ and, then, by enabling us to live upright lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.

As to wisdom, Paul writes, “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe” (1 Cor. 1:21).

The Power of God

This leads to the fourth reason why Paul was not ashamed of the gospel, the matter he chiefly emphasizes in our text: The gospel is powerful. That is, it is not only good news, not only a matter of salvation, not only a way of salvation from God; it is also powerful enough to accomplish God’s purpose, which is to save us from sin’s pollution.

It is important to understand what is involved here, for it is easy to misconstrue Paul’s teaching. When Paul says that “the gospel … is the power of God for salvation,” he is not saying that the gospel is about God’s power, as if it were merely pointing us to a power beyond our own. Nor is Paul saying that the gospel is the source of a power we can get and use to save ourselves. Paul’s statement is not that the gospel is about God’s power or even a channel through which that power operates, but rather that the gospel is itself that power. That is, the gospel is powerful; it is the means by which God accomplishes salvation in those who are being saved.

Since Paul puts it this way, we are right to agree with John Calvin when he emphasizes that the gospel mentioned here is not merely the work done by God in Jesus Christ or the revelation to us of that work, but the actual “preaching” of the gospel “by word of mouth.” He means that it is in the actual preaching of the gospel that the power of God is demonstrated in the saving of men and women.

In the previous section I quoted what the King James Version calls “the foolishness of preaching” (1 Cor. 1:21), and since that is Paul’s own phrase, we can see it as proof that Paul was himself aware of how foolish the proclamation of the Christian message is if considered only from a human point of view. Some years ago I had the task of talking about “The Foolishness of Preaching” as one message of seven in a weekend conference on reformed theology. My address came after a break for lunch in the middle of what was a very long Saturday, and I began by saying that if there was anything more foolish than the foolishness of preaching, it was preaching about the foolishness of preaching after lunch on a day during which the listeners had already heard a number of other very distinguished preachers. It was a way of capturing what every preacher feels at one time or another as he rises to proclaim a message that to the natural mind is utter folly and that is as incapable of doing good in the hearers as preaching a message of moral reformation to the corpses in a cemetery—unless God works.

But that is just the point! God does work through the preaching of this gospel—not preaching for its own sake, but the faithful proclamation of God’s work of salvation for sinful men and women in Jesus Christ.

Let me say this another way since it is so important. We read in the first chapter of Acts that when the Lord Jesus Christ dispatched his disciples to the world with his gospel, he told them: “… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (v. 8). Earlier they had been asking about the kingdom of God, no doubt thinking of an earthly, political kingdom, which they highly valued and hoped for. But Jesus’ reply pointed them to something far greater. His was a spiritual kingdom—not spiritual in the sense of being less than real, but a kingdom to be established in power by the very Spirit of God—and they were to be witnesses for him. Moreover, as they witnessed, the Holy Spirit, which was to come upon them, would bless their proclamation and lead many to faith.

And so it happened. Three thousand believed at Pentecost. Thousands more believed on other occasions.

So also today. The world does not understand this divine working, but it is nevertheless true that the most important thing happening in the world at any given time is the preaching of the gospel. For there the Spirit of God is at work. There men and women are delivered from the bondage of sin and set free spiritually. Lives are transformed—and it is all by God’s power. As D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says, “The thing to grasp is that the apostle is saying that he is not ashamed of the gospel, because it is of God’s mighty working. It is God himself doing this thing—not simply telling us about it: doing it, and doing it in this way, through the gospel.”

A Gospel for Everyone

The fifth reason why Paul was not ashamed of this gospel is that it is a gospel for everyone—“everyone who believes.” It is “first for the Jew” and then also “for the Gentile.”

Paul’s phrase “first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” has led readers to think that he was saying something like “to the Jew above the Gentile” or “to the Jew simply because he is a Jew and therefore of greater importance than other people.” But, of course, this is not what Paul intends. In this text Paul means exactly the same thing Jesus meant when he told the woman of Samaria that “salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22). Both were speaking chronologically. Both meant that in the systematic disclosure of the gospel the Jews had occupied a first and important place. This was because, as Paul says later in Romans, theirs was “the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Jesus Christ …” (Rom. 9:3–5). No one can fully understand the gospel if he or she neglects this historical preparation for it.

But this does not mean that Paul is setting the Jew above the Gentile in this text or, as some would desire by contrast, that he is setting the Gentile above the Jew. On the contrary, Paul’s point is that the gospel is for Gentile and Jew alike. It is for everybody.

Why? Because it is the power of God, and God is no respecter of persons. If the gospel were of human power only, it would be limited by human interests and abilities. It would be for some and not others. It would be for the strong but not for the weak, or the weak but not for the strong. It would be for the intelligent but not the foolish, or the foolish but not the wise. It would be for the noble or the well-bred or the sensitive or the poor or the rich or whatever, to the exclusion of those who do not fit the categories. But this is not the way it is. The gospel is for everyone. John wrote, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, italics mine). At Pentecost Peter declared, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Acts 2:21; cf. Joel 2:32). Indeed, the Bible ends on this note: “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take of the free gift of the water of life” (Rev. 22:17). (I have added italics to these passages to emphasize this important point.)

How can one be ashamed of a gospel which offers hope to the vilest, most desperate of men, as well as to the most respectable person? How can we be ashamed of anything so gloriously universal.

Salvation Revealed to Sinners

The sixth reason why Paul was not ashamed of the gospel is that God has revealed this way of salvation to us. The gospel would be wonderful even if God had not revealed it. But, of course, if he had not revealed it, we would not know of it and would be living with the same dreary outlook on life as the unsaved. But the gospel is revealed. Now we not only know about the Good News but are also enabled to proclaim God’s revelation.

And there is this, too: When Paul says that the gospel of God “is revealed,” he is saying that it is only by revelation that we can know it. It is not something we could ever have figured out for ourselves. How could we have invented such a thing? When human beings invent religion they either invent something that makes them self-righteous, imagining that they can save themselves by their own good works or wisdom—or they invent something that excuses their behavior so they can commit the evil they desire. In other words, they become either legalists or antinomians. The gospel produces neither. It does not produce legalists, because salvation is by the accomplishment of Christ, not the accomplishments of human beings.

Christians must always sing: “Nothing in my hand I bring, / Simply to thy cross I cling.” But at the same time, simply because they have been saved by the Lord Jesus Christ and have his Spirit within them, Christians inevitably strive for and actually achieve a level of practical righteousness of which the world cannot even dream.

A Righteousness from God

The seventh reason why Paul was not ashamed of the gospel is the one we considered most fully in the previous chapter, namely, that it concerns a righteousness from God, which is what we need. In ourselves we are not the least bit righteous. On the contrary, we are corrupted by sin and are in rebellion against God. To be saved from wrath we need a righteousness that is of God’s own nature, a righteousness that comes from God and fully satisfies God’s demands. This is what we have! It is why Paul can begin his exposition of the Good News in chapter 3 by declaring, “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify” (v. 21). (As previously mentioned, this verse is a repetition of the thesis presented first in Romans 1:17.)

By Faith from First to Last

The eighth and final reason why the apostle Paul was not ashamed of the gospel is that the means by which this glorious gift becomes ours is faith, which means that salvation is accessible to “everyone who believes.”

What does Paul mean when he writes, ek pisteōs eis pistin (literally, “from faith to faith”)? Does he mean, as the New International Version seems to imply, “by faith entirely” (that is, “by faith from first to last”)? Does he mean “from the faith of the Old Testament to the faith of the New Testament” or, which may be almost the same thing, “from the faith of the Jew to the faith of the Gentile”? Does he mean “from weak faith to stronger faith,” the view apparently of John Calvin? In my opinion, the quotation from Habakkuk throws light on how the words ek pistẽs are to be taken. They mean “by faith”; that is, they concern “a righteousness that is by faith.” If this is so, if this is how the first “faith” should be taken, then, the meaning of the phrase is that the righteousness that is by faith (the first “faith”) is revealed to the perceiving faith of the believer (the second “faith”). This means that the gospel is revealed to you and is for you—if you will have it.[2]


16 Having confessed his fervent desire to preach the gospel at Rome, Paul goes on to give the reason for his zeal to preach the gospel. He has no sense of reserve about his mission. “I am not ashamed” is rhetorical understatement (litotes) pointing to Paul’s confidence in the gospel. He does not in any way consider his task unworthy or one that will prove to be illusory. He is ready to challenge the philosophies and religions in Rome that vie for attention, because he knows, on the basis of his experience in the East, that God’s power is at work in the proclamation of the good news and that it is able to transform lives. The gospel is nothing less that “the power of God” (cf. 1:1), foretold in the prophets (v. 2), concerning the Son of God, Jesus Christ (v. 3). “Power” here refers to the intrinsic efficacy of the gospel. It offers something desperately needed by humanity and not to be found anywhere else—a “righteousness from God” (v. 17).

The linkage between power and salvation is striking. Judaism was prone to think of the law as power, but this is not affirmed in Scripture. As for salvation, the OT is clear in its teaching that, whether it is conceived of physically as deliverance (Ex 14:13) or spiritually (Ps 51:12), it comes from the Lord. This is maintained in the NT as well and is affirmed in Paul’s statement that the gospel is “the power of God” for salvation. So when the apostle permits himself to say that he himself saves some (1 Co 9:22), it is only in the sense that he is Christ’s representative who is able to proclaim the way of salvation to others.

“Salvation” (sōtēria, GK 5401) is a broad concept. It includes the forgiveness of sins but involves much more, because its basic meaning is “soundness” or “wholeness.” It promises the restoration of all that sin has marred or destroyed. It is the general term that unites in itself the particular aspects of truth suggested by “justification,” “reconciliation,” “sanctification,” and “redemption.” But its efficacy depends on a person’s willingness to receive the message. Salvation is available to “everyone who believes.” That is, salvation is by “faith.” (In Greek, “believe” [pisteuō, GK 4409] and “faith” [pistis, GK 4411] are from the same root.) This sweeping declaration concerning “everyone who believes” ties in with the previous statement (concerning Greeks and non-Greeks) and now includes both the Jew and the Gentile. The Jew receives “first” mention. This does not mean that every Jew must be evangelized before the gospel can be presented to Gentiles; it does mean that the gospel is in the first instance the fulfillment of the hope of Israel (cf. Ac 28:20) and must therefore be proclaimed first to the Jews. In this era of fulfillment, just as Jesus came first to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Mt 15:24; 10:6), so now the gospel concerning Jesus must first go to the Jews. Thus to them was given the first opportunity to receive him, both during his ministry (Jn 1:11) and in the Christian era (Ac 1:8; 3:26). Paul himself followed this pattern (13:45–46). The theological priority of Israel rests on the reality of God’s covenantal faithfulness. The Gentiles are latecomers (Eph 2:11–13) and, as Paul will declare later on, foreign branches grafted into the olive tree (Ro 11:17).[3]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1991). Romans (Vol. 1, pp. 49–57). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Boice, J. M. (1991–). Romans: Justification by Faith (Vol. 1, pp. 103–118). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.

[3] 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, pp. 41–42). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

August—9 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.—John 12:32.

My soul! it is blessed and refreshing to the faith of God’s children, to behold in their almighty Redeemer, the same properties as are ascribed to the Father and the Spirit; and more especially in the points which concern their personal salvation! Jesus told the Jews, that none could come to him, “except the Father, who had sent him, should draw them;” (John 6:44.) And in the same chapter, he ascribes “the quickening power,” which draws to Christ, unto “the Holy Spirit,” (verse 63.) But that his own sovereign power and Godhead is also included in this act of grace, he here teacheth us, from whose love and grace it is that sinners are drawn! Precious Lord Jesus! let mine eyes be ever unto thee for the quickening, reviving, restoring, comforting, and all-healing graces, which thou now art exalted, as a Prince and a Saviour, to give unto thy people. And, dearest Lord! I beseech thee, let my views of thee, and my meditation of thee, in this most endearing character, be sweet in the consideration also, that thou, as the head of thy Church and people, must be the head of all spiritual, life-giving influence. Surely, blessed Jesus, the head cannot be happy, if the members be not made blessed; the source and fountain of all goodness must needs send forth streams to impart of its overflowing fulness. And is it not for this very purpose, that as God-man Mediator, “the Father hath given thee power over all flesh, that thou shouldst give eternal life to as many as the Father hath given thee?” (John 17:2.) And will not Jesus delight to dispense all blessings to his people, to his chosen, that are the purchase of his blood, and the gift of his Father, and the conquests of his grace? I feel my soul warmed with the very thought! I say to myself, “Did my Lord and Saviour say, when upon earth, that he was “anointed to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the broken in heart, and to give out of his fulness grace for grace?” And did my Lord say, moreover, that “when he was lifted up, he would draw all men unto him?” And shall I not feel the drawing, the constraining graces of his Spirit, bringing my whole heart, and soul, and spirit, into an unceasing desire after him, an unceasing longing for him, and an everlasting enjoyment of him? Precious, blessed Lord Jesus! let the morning, noon-day, and evening cry of my heart be in the language of the Church of old, and let the cry be awakened by thy grace, and answered in thy mercy: “Draw me, we will run after thee;” the King hath brought me into his chambers: “we will be glad and rejoice in thee; we will remember thy love more than wine.” (Song 1:4.)[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 237–238). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

August 9th The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.—Ephesians 5:14.

IF the lost are to be reached by the gospel of the Son of God, Christianity must be more aggressive than it has been in the past. We have been on the defensive long enough; the time has come for us to enter on a war of aggression. When we as children of God wake up and go to work in the vineyard, then those who are living in wickedness all about us will be reached; but not in any other way. You may go to mass meetings and discuss the question: “How to reach the masses,” but when you have done with discussion you have to go back to personal effort. Every man and woman who loves the Lord Jesus Christ must wake up to the fact that he or she has a mission in the world, in this work of reaching the lost.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (p. 136). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Senator Lindsay Graham Releases FBI Talking Points for SSCI Briefing February 14, 2018 – Graham Positioned to Defend SSCI… — The Last Refuge

Today Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsay Graham released a set of talking points [full pdf below – AND here] from the FBI during a briefing on February 14, 2018 to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

The unknown FBI briefer is informing the SSCI about the reliability of Chris Steele’s primary sub-source, and whether he agrees with the Dossier content & conclusions:

At first blush the impression from the release; and indeed the expressed position as outlined by Graham in the release; is that some unknown entity from the FBI was misleading the SSCI in February of 2018 about Christopher Steele and the perspective of his primary sub-source. However, there’s a deeper story.

Within the release it must be noted the date of the briefing material is February 14, 2018. The unknown FBI briefer is saying, in essence, the primary sub-source doesn’t dispute the Dossier material. Obviously this position is demonstrably false given how the PSS said the Dossier was full of “rumor”, “gossip”, “innuendo” and “bar talk”.

The FBI briefer is misleading the Senate and so today we see the angry position expressed by Graham as he reveals this misleading briefing. However, five days prior to this briefing, on February 9, 2018, the text messages between SSCI Vice-Chairman Mark Warner and Chris Steele’s lawyer, Adam Waldman, were released. This frames the accurate context to consider the position of the SSCI and FBI briefer on Feb 14, 2018.

Yes, the FBI briefer was misleading the SSCI… However, the SSCI wanted to be mislead. This is how plausible deniability is built into the process. The SSCI was conducting an investigation of Trump-Russia; if we are honest the SSCI was participating in a process to weaponize the committee to advance a narrative against the interests of the Trump administration; therefore the SSCI and FBI briefer were aligned in common interest.

Lindsay Graham’s outrage over the misleading briefing is nothing more than an attempt to retroactively cover for the SSCI as they continued their role in the plot to remove President Trump throughout 2018 and 2019.  Graham is taking the purposefully built plausible deniability, assembled in 2018, and using it as a distraction today in 2020.

Graham knows the FBI lied, this is not a revelation. The FBI supported the DOJ letter July 12, 2018, that mislead the FISA Court five months after this misleading SSCI briefing. The current level of Graham outrage is ridiculous when considering he could have asked these same questions in April when the DOJ-NSD letter was released.

Who was the FBI official who reviewed the July 12th letter and supported its conclusions? The most likely answer is the same FBI official who did the SSCI briefing on Feb 14th. This is not rocket science dot-connecting.

The FBI Washington Field Office (WFO) conducted the interviews with Steele’s primary sub-source in Jan, March and May 2017. Yet I’ll bet you a donut it was not the FBI-WFO who was briefing congress…. there’s another layer of plausible deniability. This is how the system is set-up. Today, Lindsay Graham is playing an outrage game. Where was this outrage in April?

Here’s the full briefing material [Original pdf Here]

.

This is all connected back to FBI SSA Brian Dugan’s work.  The briefing was a way for the SSCI to establish plausible deniability five days after Vice-Chairman Mark Warner’s covert text messages were made public.

This is why the focus on the story behind SSCI Security Director James Wolfe is critical.  All of these granular machinations are connected to the objective to remove President Donald Trump.  The SSCI was supporting and coordinating with the special counsel.

It is all one team effort.

Let’s look at how the IG report frames the primary sub-source, and specifically notice the FBI contact and questioning took place in January 2017 (we now know that date to be January 12, 2017):

Those interviews with Steele’s primary sub-source took place in January, March and May of 2017; and clearly the sub-source debunked the content of the dossier itself.

Those interviews were a year before the Feb 14, 2018, FBI briefing outlined by Lindsay Graham today.

Those interviews were also 18-months, 16-months and 14-months ahead of the July 2018 DOJ letter to the FISC.   The DOJ-NSD says the sub-source was “truthful and cooperative” but the DOJ doesn’t tell the court the content of the truthfulness and cooperation.  Why?

Keep in mind this activity to support the Dossier and by extension the FISA application to the SSCI and FISC was written by AAG John Demers in July 2018 and briefed to congress in February 2018.  Jeff Sessions was Attorney General (firewalled), Rod Rosenstein was Deputy AG (providing no special counsel oversight); Christopher Wray was FBI Director, David Bowditch is Deputy, and Dana Boente is FBI chief-legal-counsel.

Why would the FBI mislead the senate intelligence committee?  Why would the DOJ-NSD not be forthcoming with the FISA court about the primary sub-source?

This level of disingenuous withholding of information speaks to an institutional motive.

In February and July 2018 the DOJ clearly knew the dossier was full of fabrications, yet they withheld that information from the SSCI and FISC and even went to far as to say the predicate was still valid.  Why?

It doesn’t take a deep-weeds-walker to identify the DOJ motive.

In Feb-July 2018 Robert Mueller’s investigation was at its apex.

This SSCI briefing and FISC letter, justifying the application and claiming the current information would still be a valid predicate therein, speaks to the 2018 DOJ needing to retain the validity of the FISA warrant.

My research shows it was the full control by the special counsel at play.  They needed to protect evidence the Mueller team had already extracted from their fraudulent FISA authority.  That’s the motive.

In February of July 2018 if the FBI, DOJ-NSD or special counsel had admitted the FISA application and all renewals were fatally flawed Robert Mueller would have needed to withdraw any evidence gathered as a result of its exploitation.

The FBI and DOJ in 2018 was protecting Mueller’s poisoned fruit.

If the DOJ had been honest with the court, there’s a strong possibility some, perhaps much, of Mueller evidence gathering would have been invalidated… and cases were pending.  The solution: mislead the court and claim the predication was still valid.

This is not simply a hunch, because that motive also speaks to why the FISC would order the current DOJ to release the July 12, 2018, letter.

Remember, in December 2019 the FISC received the IG Horowitz report; and they immediately noted the disparity between what IG Horowitz outlined about the FBI investigating Steele’s sub-source, as contrast against what the DOJ told them in July 2018.

Both the February FBI briefing and the July DOJ letter are transparent misrepresentation when compared to the information in the Horowitz report.  Hence, the FISA court ordered  the DOJ to release the July letter so that everyone, including congressional oversight and the public can see the misrepresentation.  Unfortunately the “congressional oversight” aspect was/is aligned with the scheme.

The FISA court was misled; the SSCI was willfully mislead; now everyone can see it.

The content of that FBI briefing and DOJ-NSD letter, and the subsequent disparity, points to an institutional cover-up; and as a consequence the FISC also ordered the DOJ to begin an immediate sequestration effort to find all the evidence from the fraudulent FISA application.  The proverbial fruit from the poisonous tree…. And yes, that is ongoing.

Lindsay Graham is still playing cover-up to protect the Senate.  Nothing more.

Graham could have demanded these same answers in April of this year.  He didn’t.

 

via Senator Lindsay Graham Releases FBI Talking Points for SSCI Briefing February 14, 2018 – Graham Positioned to Defend SSCI… — The Last Refuge

Lindsey Graham: ‘Somebody needs to go to jail for this’ | WND

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. (Video screenshot)

By Chuck Ross
Daily Caller News Foundation

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday released an FBI memo from 2018 that he says shows investigators lied to the Senate about statements that the primary source for the Steele dossier told the FBI regarding the salacious document.

“This document clearly shows that the FBI was continuing to mislead regarding the reliability of the Steele dossier,” Graham said in a statement announcing the release of an eight-page briefing document that the FBI provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee in February 2018.

The memo summarizes what Igor Danchenko, the primary source for dossier author Christopher Steele, told the FBI during interviews in early 2017. Steele relied primarily on Danchenko, a Russia analyst, to collect information for an investigation into Donald Trump’s possible ties to Russia.

Steele, a former MI6 officer, provided parts of the dossier to the FBI, which used the information in applications to conduct surveillance against Trump campaign aide Carter Page. A Justice Department inspector general’s report found that the FBI withheld information that undercut the reliability of Steele and the dossier.

The IG report said Danchenko’s statements to the FBI “raised significant questions about the reliability” of Steele’s reports.

According to Graham, the newly declassified FBI memo shows that the bureau did not disclose any of the dossier’s red flags in the Senate Intelligence briefing document.

“Somebody needs to go to jail for this,” Graham said Sunday.

“They lied to the FISA court. They got rebuked, the FBI did in 2019, by the FISA court putting in doubt all FISA applications, the FISA court just ripped a new one for the FBI, a year before they’re lying to the Senate Intel committee. It’s just amazing, the compounding of the lies.”

Graham took issue with two lines from the FBI memo, which he said was written in February or March 2018.

“At minimum, our discussions with [redacted] confirm that the dossier was not fabricated by Steele,” the memo says.

It also said that Danchenko “did not cite any significant concerns with the way his reporting was characterized in the dossier to the extent he could identify it.”

Graham says both statements are inaccurate. He pointed to Danchenko’s remarks to the FBI that he did not recognize some of the information that Steele attributed to him and his sub-sources in the dossier.

Several of the dossier’s most explosive allegations have been debunked.

One of those was Steele’s claim that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen visited Prague in August 2018 to meet with Kremlin insiders to arrange payments to Russian hackers. The IG report said the FBI determined by February 2017 that the allegation was inaccurate and that Cohen did not visit Prague.

The time period for the FBI briefing to the Senate Intelligence Committee was a chaotic one in the investigation of the dossier. In February 2018, both Republicans and Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released dueling memos regarding the dossier.

Republicans asserted that the FBI relied heavily on Steele’s information to surveil Page, but that investigators had failed to verify any of the dossier’s allegations.

This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Source: Lindsey Graham: ‘Somebody needs to go to jail for this’

‘SOMEBODY NEEDS TO GO TO JAIL FOR THIS’: Graham Says New Document Shows FBI Deceived Senate During 2018 Briefing On Steele Dossier — The Gateway Pundit

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham on Sunday said a new document he has obtained shows the FBI deceived his colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee during a 2018 interview about the investigation into alleged Russian election interference.

Graham said the document, which he obtained from the Department of Justice, shows the FBI misled senators about the “Steele Dossier,” which the bureau used to secure Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants to surveil former Trump aide Carter Page as part of its “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation.

“The senator said that the FBI told the committee there was no reason to doubt the dossier and the primary subsource that ex-British spy Christopher Steele used to put together the dossier, despite the fact the source had previously said that the dossier mischaracterizes the information he gave Steele,” Fox News reported.

“It was [Justice Department’s inspector general Michael] Horowitz, during his investigation of the warrant application, [who] found information in 2018 where the FBI was called on the Senate Intel Committee because people were getting suspicious about the subsource … at the Senate Intel Committee level and the FBI was sent over to brief them,” Graham said. “And they did to the Senate Intel Committee what they did to the FISA court. They misled the hell out of them. They said there’s no evidence from the subsource to suggest that Steele fabricated anything in the dossier.”

Graham said one line of the document says the FBI said that “[a]t minimum, our discussions with [the primary subsource] confirm that the dossier was not fabricated by Steele.”

“Actually, the subsource said it was all bar talk, hearsay, speculation and conjecture, and the whole sexual activity of the president was made in jest. So they completely misrepresented to the Senate Intel Committee in 2018 what the subsource had told the FBI in 2017,” Graham said.

“Somebody needs to go to jail for this,” Graham said. “This is a second lie. This is a second crime. They lied to the FISA court. They got rebuked, the FBI did, in 2019 by the FISA court, putting in doubt all FISA applications … a year before, they’re lying to the Senate Intel Committee. It’s just amazing the compounding of the lies.”

“I’m gonna’ find out who did that briefing, and whoever it is, they’re in trouble,” Graham vowed.

via ‘SOMEBODY NEEDS TO GO TO JAIL FOR THIS’: Graham Says New Document Shows FBI Deceived Senate During 2018 Briefing On Steele Dossier — The Gateway Pundit