Daily Archives: August 19, 2020

August 19 Yield to God

 

1 Thessalonians 5:24

He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

Pastors and ministers struggle with the temptation to get “stressed out” as much as any other Christian. Sometimes I can let the expectations of the members of my church become so many separate circles of responsibility that I begin to be stressed about meeting all those expectations. Pastors are expected to visit everyone who goes to the hospital, counsel everyone who has a problem, go to see every new visitor, and preach dynamic messages three or four times each week. Any pastor who tries to do all those things will find himself burned out in a matter of weeks, months, or years—and many have.

The only way I survive as a pastor of a large church is to know that the very best thing I can do for our church is to do the will of God. God loves each person in our church, and I know if I am following His plan and will for me, the congregation’s needs will be met. I constantly have to bring myself back under His authority and learn from Him how to stay focused on His will for my life.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 242). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

“That’s Ridiculous”: Jill Biden – Not Joe, Appears On Live TV To Defend VP’s Cognitive Ability | Zero Hedge

Maybe she should run instead too?

Remember when the New York Times published an anonymous Op-Ed claiming that White House cabinet members were ‘whispering’ about removing President Trump by invoking the 25th amendment to claim that he’s mentally unfit to hold office? Trump immediately hit back, slamming the ‘failing’ Times and their ‘gutless’ anonymous source.

Joe Biden, meanwhile, can barely form sentences and recently snapped at a reporter for asking if he’d taken a cognitive test. It’s gotten so bad that the Trump campaign made the following ad:

And how has Biden responded to claims that he’s unfit to lead the country? By doing what all strong leaders do; sending his wife on national TV to defend him!

On Wednesday, Jill Biden appeared on NBC‘s “Today,” where she said that attacks on Joe’s cognitive ability are “ridiculous,” and that the question doesn’t belong in the public forum. She says Joe is “on the phone every single minute of the day,” and participating in Zoom calls, fundraisers and briefings.

The president’s campaign this week released an ad just really attacking your husband’s cognitive ability, suggesting he’s lost a step or two in the last few years. Is that a fair attack? Is that something that should be debated as part of a campaign?” asked host Savannah Guthrie, to which Jill replied “No.”

He doesn’t stop from 9:00 in the morning until 11:00 at night. So that, you know, that’s ridiculous.

Watch:

— Read on www.zerohedge.com/political/thats-ridiculous-jill-biden-not-joe-appears-live-tv-defend-vps-cognitive-ability

Baptist Press thinks Democrats & SBC have a lot in common | Capstone Report

The Leftward Drift of the Southern Baptist Convention accelerates into Election 2020 with Baptist Press and other key Baptist leaders giving cover to voting for Democrats.

According to painstaking research by Baptist Press, Democrats and Southern Baptists have more in common than you might think! Sure, there are some disagreements but just look at the long list of shared values.

For example, Baptist Press finds the Democratic Platform “aligns with many facets of SBC resolutions on racism, sexual abuse and mental health among other issues.”

Thanks Resolution 9 for approving the analytical tools of Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. Now you see the damage in many of the past resolutions—it allowed someone to claim that with a straight face.

Also, “On yet other topics, the Democratic platform and SBC resolutions share common ground without aligning fully. Perhaps most notably, both groups endorse religious liberty,” BP declares.

But the cynical mention of religious liberty deserves special attention.

According to BP, there is point of partial agreement in the area of religious liberty. The article claims, “Consistent with the SBC’s advocacy of religious liberty, Democrats pledged to ‘protect the rights of each American for the free exercise of his or her own religion.’”

If you laughed out loud just now, know that BP walks back that claim. Within the next few sentences stipulating that the Democrats believe nuns and churches should be forced to pay for abortions and that religion is no reason to “discriminate” against LGBT individuals.

In other words, the Democrats don’t believe in religious liberty and Baptist Press just lied.

They lied and it helps the Democratic Party.

Amazing how similar BP’s error is to how the mainstream press errors always flow in one direction—to help Democrats.

Remember, Baptist Press is the same outfit that lied about the connection of George Soros with the National Immigration Forum and the Evangelical Immigration Table—something everyone from Eric Metaxas to National Review to the Blaze reported. Baptist Press was so blatant in its political spin that it quoted an NIF spokesman denying the link to Soros—only the NIF spokesman previously wrote a blog post for Soros’ Open Societies Foundation promoting the Evangelical Immigration Table.

Why does Ronnie Floyd allow these Baptist Press to damage the Southern Baptist Convention with such transparent Democratic propaganda? Why does Ronnie Floyd allow Baptist Press to subscribe to left-leaning AP to publish AP and Religion News Service copy? Those are not conservative news organizations. 

What is Baptist Pravda, err Baptist Press trying to accomplish? And why is Ronnie Floyd allowing it? 

If you care about the Southern Baptist Convention and defending your freedoms, then you should let Ronnie Floyd know about it. Contact the Southern Baptist Convention and let them know you don’t care for Democratic propaganda paid for by Cooperative Program supported Baptist Pravda, err Baptist Press.

The brazen push to legitimize voting for the Party of Infanticide is truly staggering.

And Baptist Press is not alone in the SBC push to help Democrats. SBC Resolutions Committee Chairman Ed Stetzer retweeted a common pro-abortion talking point.

Notice, Stetzer does not rebuke the view that conservatives only care about abortion. Or, even defend the absolutely necessary primary emphasis on abortion for a Christian voter.

In fact, failure to put the defense of innocent babies at the top of your voting priorities proves one does not have a biblical worldview.

And the one-issue voting of white evangelicals (prioritizing saving babies) was condemned by Mark Dever. Tom Buck’s recent twitter thread exposes this problematic development.

SBC President J.D. Greear famously said it was great if a Christian voted for a Democrat.

This is the point of the Leftward Drift of the Southern Baptist Convention. SBC Elites are working hard to justify Christians voting for Democrats. And they are doing it at a time that religious liberty hangs by the slimmest of threads.

And the best Baptist Press and many SBC leaders can do is churn out Democratic Party talking points. Why do churches give to the CP again?

Baptist Press thinks Democrats & SBC have a lot in common

Tips for Memorizing and Using Psalm 23 to Share the Truth (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast S6E12) | Cold Case Christianity

How can we better memorize scripture? How can we use this important Psalm to help make a case for the existence and love of God? J. Warner offers tips to help you memorize and use scripture to share the Gospel with others in this episode of the NRBtv Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast.

Be sure to watch the Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast on NRBtv every Monday and Saturday! In addition, here is the audio podcast (the Cold-Case Christianity Weekly Podcast is located on iTunes or our RSS Feed):

Tips for Memorizing and Using Psalm 23 to Share the Truth (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast S6E12)

DNC Committee Omits ‘Under God’ From The Pledge Of Allegiance | The Federalist

DNC Committee Omits ‘Under God’ From The Pledge Of Allegiance

A Democratic National Convention moderator omitted sacred words from the Pledge of Allegiance during a panel discussion Tuesday: “under God.”

During the Muslim Delegates Assembly, the video of the livestreamed event shows A.J. Durani led the pledge but left out an important part, saying, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Durani was elected to be a super delegate for the 2016-2020 term of the Democratic National Committee.

The pledge has included the phrase “one nation under God” since Congress passed a law, signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in 1954 to add it to the recitation. So, regardless of this 2020 panel’s objectives, the official pledge includes the religious phrase. “Under God” was added largely in response to the Cold War era’s threats of communism and the ideas of Marxist-Leninist countries. Ironically, many leaders of the Democratic Party are once again advocating Marxism through revisionist history and the Black Lives Matter organization.

Anyone who has watched the trajectory of the Democratic Party, now with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris at the helm, shouldn’t be surprised at the omission. After all, this presidential nominee pledged to go after nuns for refusing to violate their consciences in providing abortifacients. Catholic churches denied Biden Holy Communion for his aggressively pro-abortion policy positions, and he signaled support for using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions, directly contradicting the most basic of biblical principles.

Biden’s running mate is arguably leagues worse with regard to religious bigotry. Harris’s anti-Catholic posture led her to fight the confirmation of Judge Brian Buescher over his membership in the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal service order. As attorney general of California, Harris also launched an intrusive investigation into citizen journalist David Daleiden for taking undercover videos that exposed abortion giant Planned Parenthood for trafficking aborted baby body parts. Congress continues to do nothing about this appalling atrocity.

All this is also to say nothing of the Democratic Party’s increasing disdain for traditional religious teaching on marriage, the family, and church, to name a few.

As the convention progresses, we shouldn’t be surprised when Democratic Party and committee leaders take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance. They’re usually trying to take Him out of everything else.

DNC Committee Omits ‘Under God’ From The Pledge Of Allegiance

President Trump Holds a Press Conference – 5:30pm ET Livestream | Last Refuge

President Donald Trump holds a press briefing from the White House. Anticipated start time 5:30pm ET.  – Livestream Links Below

White House Livestream  Fox News Livestream  Alternate Livestream

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President Trump Holds a Press Conference – 5:30pm ET Livestream

Dennis Prager Explains Importance of Religion in Society: ‘Remove God and Society Will Crumble’ | Faithwire

Answering a listener’s question about atheists and agnostics who claim religion “is unimportant,” conservative writer and radio host Dennis Prager argued belief systems are critical to upholding functioning societies.

So many, he said, claim they “don’t need God to have morals.” If that’s the case, though, “Why do we have laws in general?” Prager asked. “Why are there any moral laws? Why are there laws about theft?”

“If people are gonna be so good without religion, why do we have any laws at all?” he continued. “People could figure out you don’t cheat your fellow person in a business dealing. If you get extra money back or they added your bill up incorrectly, you tell them.”

That perspective, however, is very naive, Prager said.

For people to believe they are good sans any sort of external moral compass requires quite a bit of hubris. Rather, Prager said there “is a need for a judge for all of life.”

“You wanna see the results of the death of God and religion, take a look at Europe when Christianity died,” he explained. “We got fascism, Nazism, and communism. That doesn’t mean every single European became a fascist, Nazi, or communist, but that’s what we got.”

“You wanna see the death of God and religion,” Prager continued, “take a look at Chicago, take a look at Minneapolis, take a look at Seattle. These are not religious people. It’s an amazing thing to me that people don’t realize the consequences of the death of a law giver and a divine judge of behavior.”

Prager, an Orthodox Jew, was, of course, careful to say the presence of religion isn’t a failsafe; it doesn’t guarantee, as we know, that all people will make morally upstanding decisions. It does, though, make it easier “if people believe in a code and a code giver.”

The conservative talker’s comments came not long after theologian Bruce Gore told podcast host Lucas Miles that the progressive left’s revisionist history is sending American culture into an “intellectual collapse.”

Dennis Prager Explains Importance of Religion in Society: ‘Remove God and Society Will Crumble’

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany Press Briefing – Video and Transcript… | The Last Refuge

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany holds a press briefing from the Brady Room. [Video and Transcript Below]

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[Transcript] 

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany Press Briefing – Video and Transcript…

EXCLUSIVE: Democratic Convention Meetings Omit, ‘Under God’ from Pledge of Allegiance | CBN

CBN News has learned that the words, “under God” were left out of the Pledge of Allegiance at least twice at public meetings during the Democratic National Convention. 

AJ Durrani, the moderator for the DNC’s Muslim Delegates & Allies Assembly, left the words out as their meeting got underway. There was no verbal resistance to the move at the time. Featured speakers at the virtual meeting included DNC Chairman Tom Perez, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. 

Separately, at the LGBT Caucus Meeting, Dr. Marisa Richmond, a DNC delegate who identifies as transgender and teaches women’s studies at Middle Tennessee State University, led the Pledge of Allegiance but paused silently in the place of the words, “under God.” She was holding both the American flag and the gay pride flag, which dropped to the floor in the middle of the pledge. 

CBN News has reached out to the Democratic National Committee for a response, which so far at least, has yet to come. 

This isn’t the first time Democrats have come under criticism on the God and political issue. As CBN first reported back in 2012, God’s name was removed from the Democratic National Committee platform. The words, “God-given” were taken out, despite being in the party platform in 2008. At the time, the DNC said it was much ado about nothing, citing the platform’s section on faith.  

With their, “Believers for Biden” effort, Joe Biden’s campaign is making a more concerted attempt to court faith voters in 2020 than Hillary Clinton’s try, or lack thereof, in 2016.

Exit polls showed she only received 16 percent of the white evangelical vote. The Biden campaign hopes to improve on that number by appealing to evangelical millennials and women in the suburbs. 

EXCLUSIVE: Democratic Convention Meetings Omit, ‘Under God’ from Pledge of Allegiance

How Not to be Annoyed with People | Wretched

-Episode 2635-

Segment 1 (00:18) Everyone has a story. Chick-fil-a creates a video reminding their managers that everyone has a story. As Christians, we are to be tenderhearted toward people, remembering that they have a story just like we do. We should forgive others the same way God forgives us. 

Segment 2 (09:47) Clip of Todd interviewing Blake on campus. Todd asks Blake about his tattoos. One is Psalm 23:4, this is because Blake says he is a Christian, and a good person. Todd leads him through the law. Blake says that he will ask for forgiveness from God. Todd tells him that God is the just judge. 

Segment 3 (17:51) Blake answers correctly that Jesus died for our sins. Todd asks: how do we lay hold of that? Blake says accept him into your heart. Todd leads him through a crashing plane analogy. Blake realizes he must act on his faith. Blake says he has placed his faith in Jesus Christ every single day. Todd clears up the trinity with him because he is confused. Blake says he is very sure he has placed his trust in Jesus and he is going to Heaven. 

Wretched Surprise! (26:09) Todd talks about his off-camera discussion with Blake, hearing the deeper parts of Blake’s story. Todd encourages churches near university campuses to organize visits to the campus to be part of the stories of the students.

How Not to be Annoyed with People

ESCALATION: Los Angeles County wants John MacArthur held in contempt of court

Jenna Ellis: LA County continues ‘unconstitutional attack’ on John MacArthur & Grace Community Church

Leftist Tyrants in California continue their attack on churches with an escalation in the battle against Grace Community Church and Pastor John MacArthur. Los Angeles County requested that John MacArthur and Grace Community Church be held in contempt of court, according to the Thomas More Society attorneys representing the church. 

“The LA County Board of Supervisors has decided to continue their unconstitutional attack against Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church,” said Jenna Ellis, Special Counsel for the Thomas More Society. “They are now asking the court to hold the church in contempt for simply being open for worship last Sunday. Pastor MacArthur is standing firm that church is essential and has no plans to yield to this tyrannical board, which is clearly defying the constitution’s mandate to protect religious liberty.

Los Angeles County lawyers filed the request to hold Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church in contempt of court on August 18. 

The Los Angeles County filing asks the court to impose multiple sanctions including fines per incident and per defendant. 

“Defendants collectively committed eight acts of contempt, and the Court should impose a fine of $1,000 for each act of contempt, for a total of $4,000 for each Defendant. In addition, they should be ordered to pay Plaintiffs’ reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with the contempt proceeding… Defendants’ actions this past Sunday likewise constitute four separate violations of the TRO and Court of Appeal Order by each Defendant. Therefore, the Court should sanction each Defendant $1,500 per violation, for a total of $6,000 per Defendant,” the court filing requested.

Apparently, the county notified church lawyers at 10:56 p.m. of this move.

“On August 18, 2020, at 10:56 p.m., counsel for Plaintiffs provided notice to Defendants’ attorney, Charles LiMandri,” the LA County legal filing details. 

According to the LA County filing with the court, the church held services in violation of a court order and denied Los Angeles County Health officials access to the property. 

The county claims in the court filing, “MacArthur flaunted the violations and openly disregarded the dangers to public health: ‘So the good news is you’re here, you’re not distancing, and you’re not wearing masks.’ (Id. at 1:12.) Defendants’ deliberate decision to violate the Court Orders constitutes contempt of court.”

The county legal filing also details a list of evidence of the violation including video of Sunday’s Grace Community Church service. 

“However, on Sunday, August 16, 2020, Defendants blatantly violated the Court Orders. They held three indoor services…Video from Phil Johnson, a pastor at Grace Church, showed a large group of people gathering indoors, not observing social distancing, and nearly all were not wearing masks…At the beginning of the service, MacArthur stated: ‘the good news is, you’re here, you’re not distancing, and you’re not wearing masks.’ … Grace Church’s indoor service in violation of the Court of Appeal Order was attended by thousands and was widely reported by the media,” according to LA County legal filing. 

According to the Thomas More Society this is the latest round in the battle between California and the church.

“MacArthur and Grace Community Church are suing the county – and the state of California – for attempting to shut down their worship under COVID-related orders that violate the state’s constitution. The lawsuit was filed after MacArthur received a cease and desist letter prohibiting indoor worship and threatening him with fines and imprisonment should Grace Community continue to worship in their church building.  After a California Superior Court Judge denied the county’s request for a temporary restraining order against MacArthur and his congregation, the church held weekend worship services. Following that the County of Los Angeles asked the court to hold the pastor and church in contempt,” the Thomas More Society said in a statement released to the press.

A hearing is scheduled for August 20 on the LA County filing to hold Pastor MacArthur and Grace Community Church in contempt.

ESCALATION: Los Angeles County wants John MacArthur held in contempt of court

August 19th The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.—John 3:3.

YOU may see many countries; but there is one country—the land of Beulah, which John Bunyan saw in vision—you shall never behold, unless you are born again, regenerated by Christ. You can look abroad and see many beautiful trees; but the tree of life you shall never behold, unless your eyes are made clear by faith in the Saviour. You may see the beautiful rivers of the earth, you may ride upon their bosoms; but bear in mind that your eye will never rest upon the river which bursts out from the Throne of God and flows through the upper Kingdom, unless you are born again. You may see the kings and lords of the earth; but the King of kings and Lord of lords you will never see except you are born again. When you are in London you may go to the Tower and see the crown of England, which is worth thousands of dollars, and is guarded by soldiers; but bear in mind that your eye will never rest upon the crown of life, except you are born again.

You may hear the songs of Zion which are sung here; but one song—that of Moses and the Lamb—the uncircumcised ear shall never hear: its melody will only gladden the ear of those who have been born again. You may look upon the beautiful mansions of earth; but bear in mind the mansions which Christ has gone to prepare you shall never see unless you are born again. It is God who says it. You may see ten thousand beautiful things in this world; but the city that Abraham caught a glimpse of—and from that time became a pilgrim and sojourner—you shall never see unless you are born again. (Heb. 11:8, 10–16.) You may often be invited to marriage feasts here; but you will never attend the marriage supper of the Lamb except you are born again. It is God who says it.[1]

 

[1] Moody, D. L. (1900). The D. L. Moody Year Book: A Living Daily Message from the Words of D. L. Moody. (E. M. Fitt, Ed.) (pp. 143–144). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Karl Marx, Black Lives Matter and the Devil — Christian Research Network

Citing numerous biographies and Marx’s own writings, Prof. Kengor reveals a man whose own family and friends were frightened by his demonic fits of rage and dark babblings about violence.  His own father said he was “governed by a demon.” 

(Robert Knight – Townhall) An important new book by historian Paul Kengor sheds considerable light on Karl Marx and by implication the madness and mob violence that has descended on the country.

The throngs setting fire to police stations, looting stores and tearing down America’s cultural history are acting in the name of Black Lives Matter, a Marxist group that our ruling elites have airbrushed and turned into a totem of worship.

The current conflict is not merely a political disagreement over rectifying racial disparities; it’s a clash of religions: atheistic Marxism versus Christianity and Judaism.  View article →

Karl Marx, Black Lives Matter and the Devil — Christian Research Network

August 19, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

The Counsel

Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death. (2:10b–11)

As previously noted, Christ has no reprimand for the faithful church at Smyrna. He closes the letter with some final words of encouraging counsel. Those who prove the genuineness of their faith by remaining faithful to the Lord until death will receive as their reward the crown (stephanos; the victor’s crown) of life (cf. James 1:12). The crown (reward, culmination, outcome) of genuine saving faith is eternal life, and perseverance proves the genuineness of their faith as they endure suffering. The Scriptures teach that true Christians will persevere. That biblical truth was understood by the authors of the Westminster Confession of Faith, who wrote “They, whom God has accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.” That is the unmistakable teaching of Scripture (e.g., Matt. 10:22; 24:13; Mark 4:13–20; John 8:31; Col. 1:21–23; 1 John 2:19).

As noted in chapter 4 of this volume, the phrase He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches closes each of the seven letters. It stresses the vital significance of what God says in Scripture, and emphasizes believers’ responsibility to heed it. The promise to he who overcomes (all Christians; cf. the discussion in chapter 4 of this volume) is that he will not be hurt by the second death. Though persecuted believers may suffer the first (physical) death, they will never experience the second death (which is not annihilation but conscious, eternal damnation in hell; Rev. 20:14; 21:8). Not is the strongest negative the Greek language can express.

The persecuted, suffering, yet faithful church at Smyrna stands for all time as an example of those who “have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance” (Luke 8:15). Because they loyally confessed Him before men, Jesus will confess them before the Father (Matt. 10:32).[1]


10 The speaker’s command immediately follows, since no word of verdict or fault is spoken of. The prospect of further and imminent suffering may have made the believers at Smyrna fearful: “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer” (lit., “Stop being afraid …”). The risen Christ reveals that some of them will be imprisoned by the devil in order to test them, and they will have ten days of persecution. Who will do this—whether Jew or pagan—is not stated. The testing will show where their true loyalty lies. For a faithful and suffering church, Christ offers further trial and suffering, even “to the point of death.” “Ten days” may denote ten actual days or constitute a Semitism for an indeterminate but comparatively short period of time (cf. Ne 4:12; Da 1:12). In the first-century Roman world, prison was usually not punitive but the prelude to trial and execution; hence the words “be faithful, even to the point of death.”

For those who would face martyrdom out of loyalty to Christ, there was to be a “crown of life” given by Christ himself. Those at Smyrna would be familiar with the term “the crown of Smyrna,” which no doubt alluded to the beautiful skyline formed around the city by the “hill Pagos, with the stately public buildings on its rounded sloping sides” (Ramsay, Seven Churches, 256). The “crown” usually referred to a garland of flowers worn chiefly in the worship of pagan gods such as Cybele or Bacchus, who was pictured on coins with a crown of battlements. Faithful servants of the city appeared on coins with laurel wreaths on their heads (Barclay, Seven Churches, 39). As the patriots of Smyrna were faithful to Rome and to their crown city, so Christ’s people are to be faithful unto death to him who will give them the imperishable crown of life (Jas 1:12; 1 Pe 5:4).[2]


10 The church is told not to be afraid of what they are about to suffer. Jesus had counseled his disciples not to fear those who could kill the body but not the soul (Matt 10:28), and Paul had warned that the godly would be persecuted (2 Tim 3:12). Yet as the time approached, believers needed to be admonished lest the threat of martyrdom would cause the fainthearted to relinquish their hold on Christ. They must recognize that while the persecution would be carried out by Roman authorities, it was in reality the devil himself who was responsible for their plight. He is the one who would try their faith through imprisonment and tribulation. Most commentators note that in the ancient world prison was a place where the accused awaited execution. Acts 16:23 and 2 Cor 11:23 would suggest that it also served as a place of temporary confinement and punishment.

Believers at Smyrna (or at least some of them) are to suffer persecution for ten days (or “within ten days”). Opinions vary about the time intended. Most view the ten days as a round number indicating a short period of time, but others hold it to be a prolonged but definitely limited period.19 The latter interpretation is more in keeping with the seriousness of the impending crisis. The church is to continue faithful even though it may lead to death (cf. Rev 12:11; Heb 12:4). The reward for faithfulness is the crown of life, that is, the crown that is life itself. It is not the royal crown (the diadēma) that is promised, but the wreath or garland (the stephanos) that was awarded to the victor at the games. Its value lay not in itself but in what it symbolized. According to Pausanias, Smyrna was famous for its games (6.14.3). With others, Bruce thinks that the imagery is suggested by the circle of colonnaded buildings on the crest of Mt. Pagos called the crown of Smyrna.[3]


10. The Smyrneans are not to be afraid, though suffering is certain. Some will be imprisoned, and this is ascribed to the devil. But God is supreme. Even through the devil and evil men he works out his purposes. The imprisonment will be to test you. The clear implication is that God will see them through the test. This is so even if, as a number of commentators think, prison was simply a place of confinement while awaiting execution (against this view are passages like Acts 16:23; 2 Cor. 11:23).

Ten days (the time of Daniel’s testing, Dan. 1:12–15) may well point to the completion of their suffering: ‘It is only for a limited time that you will have to endure, even though endurance will be tested to the limit’ (Niles). It certainly points to something more than three and a half days, which is John’s usual expression for a trial of limited duration. Yet even ten has its limit. Not Satan but God has the last word. In a memorable expression the church is exhorted, Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life (cf. Jas 1:12). Death, which people fear so much, is set in sharp antithesis to life, which alone matters. There is an article with life (though not with death). It is ‘the’ life, eternal life, that is in mind. Crown (stephanos) means a wreath or chaplet, and is to be distinguished from the royal crown (diadēma). The stephanos was the trophy awarded to the victor at the games, and the same word was used of the festive garland worn at banquets by all the guests. Here it is plainly the victory wreath, which would be specially appropriate in Smyrna, a city famous for its Games. The believer who remains faithful even when it means death will receive the trophy of victory. His crown is life.[4]


2:10 “Do not fear” This is a PRESENT MIDDLE or PASSIVE (deponent) IMPERATIVE with the NEGATIVE PARTICLE which meant to stop an act already in process. These churches were afraid. Persecutions were a sign of their salvation and God’s blessings (cf. Matt. 5:10–12).

© “the devil is about to cast some of you into prison” Behind evil human leaders lurks a supernatural personal force of evil.

The term Satan is an OT title and description of a covering cherub (cf. Ezek. 28:12–16). His God-given task was to provide a rebellious, self-centered alternative to mankind and thereby accuse them when they yielded to temptation (cf. Gen. 3; Job 1–2; Zech. 3). There is a development of evil in the OT. Satan was created as a servant and progressed into an enemy (cf. An Old Testament Theology by A. B. Davidson p. 300–306).

It is surely an assumption that the highly figurative language of Isa. 14, which directly refers to the arrogant King of Babylon and Ezek. 28, which directly refers to the prideful King of Tyre, ultimately identifies the spiritual pride and fall of Satan. The language of Ezek. 28 is taken from a description of the Garden of Eden. It is difficult to accept a description of a human, historical, pagan king in angelic terms taken from Eden (cf. Gen. 3). However, Ezekiel does the very same thing with the King of Egypt in chapter 31. He is described as a huge tree in the garden of Eden.

All believers long for more information, especially about the origins of God, angels, evil, etc. We must be cautious of turning metaphorical, prophetic description into dogmatic theology. Much modern theology comes from isolated, figurative texts mixed with modern writing, both theological and literary (Dante and Milton).

In the NT he is called the devil (cf. 12:9, 12; 20:2, 10), which is a composite Greek term meaning “to throw across,” “to slander,” or “bring accusations against.” This again reflects his task of accusing and tempting. These terms are synonymous in the Revelation (cf. 12:9; 20:2). See Special Topic: Personal Evil at 12:9.

© “that you may be tested” This term is used in two senses: (1) believers are tested so as to show their true faith and grow stronger (cf. 2:10; Acts 14:27; Rom. 5:3–4; 8:17–19; Heb. 5:8; Jas. 1:2–4; 1 Pet. 4:12–19) and (2) unbelievers are tested to show their unbelief and deserved judgment (cf. 3:10). In Revelation the Christian’s trials are called “tribulations,” while the unbelievers are subjected to “the wrath of God.”

There were two Greek terms translated “test,” “try,” or “tempt.” One had the connotation of “to test with a view toward destruction” (peirasmos, peirasmo). The other terms (dokimos, dokimazo) were used with the connotation of “to test with a view toward approval.” Satan tempts to destroy; God tests to strengthen (cf. 1 Thess. 2:4; 1 Pet. 1:7; Gen. 22:1; Exod. 16:4; 20:20; Deut. 8:2, 16; 13:3; Judg. 2:22; 2 Chron. 32:31).

© “ten days” There has been much speculation about the phrase “ten days”: (1) some say that it referred to a literal ten day period of persecution in the city of Smyrna in John’s day; (2) others say that because ten is the number of completion, it simply meant a complete number of days of persecution; or (3) some say that it referred to an unspecified period of persecution. The good news is that it has a limit. The persecution will end!

However, in an apocalyptic book one is never sure if the numbers are used figuratively or literally. If the number was often used in the OT and inter-biblical apocalyptic literature with a symbolic meaning then probably it is figurative. The most often used symbolic numbers are 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 12 and their multiples.

© “be faithful unto death” This is a PRESENT MIDDLE or PASSIVE (deponent) IMPERATIVE which emphasizes the believer’s need to continue in faith even if it means physical death (cf. Matt. 2:13; 12:11; 10:22; 24:13; Luke 12:4; Gal. 6:9). Some believers were and are killed. This is the paradox of the sovereignty of God and our experience in a fallen world.

© “and I will give you the crown of life” This was the victor’s crown called the “stephanos” (cf. 1 Cor. 9:25). It was the reward of Christian martyrs. We learn from Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History, 4:15, that there were many martyrs, including Bishop Polycarp of Smyrna. There are also other crowns (rewards) mentioned in the New Testament (cf. 2 Tim. 4:8; Jas. 1:12; 1 Pet. 5:4; Rev. 3:11).

John uses the term for life, zoē, to refer to eternal life, resurrection life (cf. John 1:4; 3:15, 36; 4:14, 36; 5:24, 26, 29, 39, 40; 6:27, 33, 35, 40, 47, 48, 51, 53, 54, 63, 68; 8:12; 10:10, 28; 11:25; 12:25, 50; 14:6; 17:2, 3; 20:31; Rev. 2:7, 10; 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12, 15; 21:6, 27; 22:1, 2, 14, 17, 19). True life is far more than physical existence![5]

10. “And do not be afraid of anything you are about to suffer. Look, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

  • “And do not be afraid of anything you are about to suffer,” Once again Jesus utters the words “do not fear” (1:17). Now addressing each individual believer, he expands the saying to “don’t be afraid of anything.” He who is in full control of every situation knows what lies ahead of his people; he reveals that they are about to enter a period of suffering.
  • “Look, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison that you may be tested.” The Christians in Smyrna must be fully aware that they are fighting a spiritual war in which they confront the devil. Hence, they are told to be alert, for the devil will incite the authorities so that some people of the congregation will be imprisoned with the distinct possibility of being put to death. This will strike fear into the hearts of the believers, who can expect to endure confiscation of property and goods, extreme poverty, and slander. But incarceration, at times without trial, may result in death. Jesus says that this threat to their lives is to test their faith in him.

Imprisonment may be a measure to subdue a rebellious person, an arrest while the guilty person is awaiting trial, or a prelude to his execution. The context of verse 10, “be faithful unto death,” implies that incarceration of the Christian will be an “interim period of suffering in anticipation of martyrdom.”

  1. “And you will have tribulation for ten days.” This is the second time that the term tribulation occurs (v. 9). But here its duration is specified: for a ten-day period. In Revelation, the number ten conveys the meaning of fullness in the decimal system. It is a symbolical number to express the completeness of the period of suffering, which is neither long nor short but full, for its termination is sure.
  2. “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Throughout the history of Smyrna her citizens had been faithful first to the Greeks and then to the Romans. Faithfulness to Rome was a well-known characteristic of the people in Smyrna, but now Jesus calls these followers to be faithful to him. Jesus is called “the faithful one” (1:5; 3:14; 19:11) and so is Antipas, the martyr in Pergamum (2:13). Now the saints in Smyrna are asked to pay the sacrifice to be faithful to death.

In view of Smyrna’s city layout, commentators have no problem seeing a connection between the crown of the city and the crown promised to the faithful followers of Christ. But the words of Jesus are “the crown of life,” which make them different and meaningful. The phrase probably was idiomatic—it occurs also in James 1:12—and can be translated “the crown, that is, fullness of life.” It is emblematic of the “highest joy and gladness and of glory and immortality.” If the saints in Smyrna pay with their life for the testimony of Jesus, they will receive imperishable life in eternal glory.[6]


2:10 (Command). Of all the churches, only Smyrna and Philadelphia escape criticism. This struggling church, however, now hears a message it may have dreaded. Therefore, the Lord’s command begins with do not be afraid. The suffering in Smyrna is about to get worse. The tribulation will expand to the point that some church members will be thrown in prison. The intense persecution will be restricted to ten days, probably a symbolic number standing for “a limited period of time.” This persecution will extend to the point of death. Behind it stands the devil, that is the same Satan who had inspired Jews to harass the Christians.

This suffering from Satan does not prove the Lord is powerless—he is the First and the Last. This particular suffering comes because God has determined to test you. While the Lord’s tests are not pleasant as we undergo them, they have a good goal. The suffering of the Smyrnan Christians will show that the crown of life was not idly given them. This “crown of life” is the victor’s crown rather than the king’s crown; here it symbolizes “eternal life,” identical in significance to “eating from the tree of life” in Revelation 2:7. The only other biblical instance of “crown of life” uses the same symbolism James 1:12—“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”[7]


2:10 prison. In the Roman system of justice, prison was a place where persons were held until their case was adjudicated. During this time they would be tested (i.e., tortured; cf. Acts 22:24) on the premise that if enough pain was inflicted, the truth would come out.

ten days. Like seven, the number ten is another image for completeness, fullness, totality. The Torah was built around ten commandments; it took ten men to form a legitimate community for worship; ten righteous people would have spared Sodom (Gen 18:32); the Tabernacle had ten curtains enclosing it (Exod 26:1). Here it may mean that the tribulation will run its full course.

remain faithful even when facing death. Part of the full course of tribulation might lead to death, either through the “testing” or as the outcome of the case. Here Jesus’ identification of himself as the one “who was dead but is now alive” (2:8) becomes crucial when he calls them to be faithful even when facing death.

crown of life. The outcome of such death will be a consummated life: “the crown of life.” (For this image, see 2 Tim 4:8; Jas 1:12; 1 Pet 5:4; all of which refer to the outcome of faithfulness.)[8]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). Revelation 1–11 (pp. 78–79). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Johnson, A. F. (2006). Revelation. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 618). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Mounce, R. H. (1997). The Book of Revelation (pp. 76–77). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[4] Morris, L. (1987). Revelation: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 20, pp. 68–69). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[5] Utley, R. J. (2001). Hope in Hard Times – The Final Curtain: Revelation (Vol. Volume 12, pp. 37–38). Marshall, TX: Bible Lessons International.

[6] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Vol. 20, pp. 124–125). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[7] Easley, K. H. (1998). Revelation (Vol. 12, p. 37). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[8] Mulholland, M. R., Jr. (2011). Revelation. In P. W. Comfort (Ed.), Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: James, 1–2 Peter, Jude, Revelation (pp. 436–437). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: The CIA Killed My Father & Uncle – Do Not Trust The Medical Or The National Security Establishment! | DC Dirty Laundry

Agency had his father and uncle assassinated, and in that light, he has been speaking out against the medical community with regard to vaccines.  Kennedy warns Americans not to trust the same people, the national security establishment, who murdered his father and uncle and added not to trust the medical establishment as well.

Nephew of President John F. Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy, and tireless crusader against the tyranny of the mainstream medical establishment, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. joins today’s Liberty Report to discuss his startling discoveries about who really killed his father and uncle…and why.

Plus, Mr. Kennedy, an environmental lawyer, has been among the most vocal and most successful opponents of the mainstream medical establishment, driven by big Pharma to inoculate and medicate everything that moves.

He tells the Liberty Report how he very reluctantly decided to dedicate his career to fighting the mandatory vaccines that have resulted in so many documented injuries to the recipients.

Biran Shilhavy has the story.

Mr. Kennedy begins by mentioning a book he has written, American Values, which he says documents his family’s almost 75-year battle with the CIA.

He says the fight with the CIA started in the mid 1950s when President Truman asked his grandfather, Joseph Kennedy, to serve on a commission called “The Hoover Commission.”

Their task was to look at the CIA, because the CIA was not originally chartered to engage in paramilitary activities, fixing elections, murdering world leaders, and interfering with the democracies of other countries.

Mr. Kennedy mentioned that the CIA was created with great reluctance by both Democrats and Republicans, because the precursor to the CIA, the “Office of Strategic Services,” a military secret intelligence agency, was liquidated after WWII, because the belief at the time was that secret police organizations were inconsistent with a democracy ruled by a Constitution.

In those days, when Americans thought of secret police, they thought of the “Stasi” (German secret police), or they thought of the “KGB” (Russian secret police), or they thought of the “Gestapo” (Nazi Germany secret police).

So there were debates in Congress when the CIA was being launched, and both Republicans and Democrats did not believe this was something America should be doing.

When the CIA was started, it was supposed to be exclusively an “espionage” program for gathering intelligence. It was not meant to interfere.

But Alan Dulles, the first director of the CIA, apparently had other plans, and soon they were overthrowing democracies in Guatemala, Iran, and all over the world. So when Joseph Kennedy was on the Hoover Commission, he recommended dismantling the CIA.

Mr. Kennedy continues:

Alan Dulles manipulated the law, and did a lot of backroom deals to get these huge secret budgets and began really engaging in all of the mischief. And my grandfather was on a commission that looked at this and saw what they had done.

And when they were overthrowing democracies in Guatemala and Iran and all over the world, he said “we should dismantle it. We should remove the Plans Division,” which was the “dirty tricks” division.

Alan Dulles never forgave him, or my family for that. And when my Uncle came in, and did the Bay of Pigs, he then fired Dulles.

When President Johnson came into the room, in the East Room of the White House, I was standing beside my father when he said to my father that Lee Harvey Oswald had just been killed by Jack Ruby, he told my father and Jackie that, and I said to my father, “Did Jack Ruby love our family?”

And nobody answered that question.

Mr. Kennedy’s father later discovered that Jack Ruby was connected to the Mob and to the CIA. He believed that the CIA killed his brother, President John F. Kennedy.

While this is important.  This is not all.  Shilhavy points out that the conversation turns towards medical tyranny.

You are watching two men, Dr. Ron Paul, who himself was a career Republican Congressman, and Mr. Kennedy from a famous career Democratic family, who both agree on the issues of medical tyranny facing us today, because they both understand that the threat to America today over the fear of COVID, is a non-partisan issue.

Mr. Kennedy actually quotes the words spoken by Franklin Delano Roosevelt at his inaugural as president in 1933, in the midst of the Great Depression, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” because “fear” is the tool of tyrants. Tyrants rule by fear, and by claiming they are the only ones to rescue people from the perceived threat that causes fear.

That is happening today, in an unprecedented way, with COVID fear.

While neither man waxes eloquently as some who use those teleprompters.  What you will find are men who, though coming from politically ideological different viewpoints, agree about medical tyranny.  It needs to be stomped out.

Mr. Kennedy’s Children’s Health Defense can be found at http://www.childrenshealthdefense.org.  Ron Paul’s Liberty Report can be found at http://www.ronpaullibertyreport.com/

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Article posted with permission from Sons of Liberty Media

Source: Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: The CIA Killed My Father & Uncle – Do Not Trust The Medical Or The National Security Establishment!

August—19 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Lord, wherefore hast thou so evil intreated this people? why is it that thou hast sent me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all.—Exodus 5:22, 23.

My soul, ponder over this scripture, and the history connected with it, and behold what a blessed volume of instruction it affords. The Lord sent Moses to deliver his people out of Egypt. He had heard their groanings, and graciously promised to redress them. The people believed the Lord, and bowed their heads, in token of their view of his love, and their own happiness, which was now to follow. But behold, the oppression under which they had groaned, instead of lessening, began to increase. In this state they grow desperate, and charge God foolishly. Yea, Moses himself, who had talked with God at the bush, and seen the miracles in confirmation of his commission there shown, becomes tainted with the same spirit of unbelief, and returned to expostulate with Jehovah on the occasion. Pause over this view of the human heart, even in God’s own people. The sequel of Israel’s history showeth that the Lord was pursuing one invariable plan for the deliverance of his people, as he had promised; and that there was no alteration in him. He was only laying his glorious scheme the deeper by seeming opposition, to make his people’s emancipation more blessed, and his love of them more striking. But yet, while things appear thus dark and unpromising, Israel forgot all that the Lord had promised. And how is it, my soul, with thyself? When the promises of God seem to clash with his providences, and according to thy narrow views, seem impossible to be brought into agreement with each other, how dost thou act? Art thou not like Israel much disposed to reason with flesh and blood? When the enemies of thy soul triumph, and carry things, as Pharaoh did, in this instance with Israel, with a high hand, saying, “Aha! so would we have it;” when unbelief creeps in; a lust, which thou hadst hoped was subdued, breaks out afresh like some peccant humour of the body; when no answers are heard to thy prayers; and though thou art falling under some renewed temptation, yet there appears no hand of Jesus stretched forth to bring thee off, and raise thee up; say, my soul! under such dark providences how dost thou conduct thyself towards the Lord? Oh! for grace to trace Jesus, more especially in trying seasons than even in prosperous moments; and to hear his voice in the whirlwind and the storm! It is blessed to wait, blessed to depend upon Jesus; blessed to believe in his promise, when all the ways to the fulfilment of that promise seem to be wholly shut. This is the crowning grace of faith, “against hope to believe in hope:” and, amidst the most desperate circumstances, to cleave to Jesus as a sure friend, when, in his providences, he appears coming forth as a determined enemy, and to say, with the same well-grounded confidence as Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, pp. 246–247). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

Tips for Memorizing and Using Psalm 23 to Share the Truth (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast S6E12) — Cold Case Christianity

How can we better memorize scripture? How can we use this important Psalm to help make a case for the existence and love of God? J. Warner offers tips to help you memorize and use scripture to share the Gospel with others in this episode of the NRBtv Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast. Be sure to watch…

Tips for Memorizing and Using Psalm 23 to Share the Truth (Cold-Case Christianity Broadcast S6E12) — Cold Case Christianity

August 19 Life-Changing Moments With God

 

As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.

Lord God, in Your Word I am exhorted and charged to walk worthy of You who calls me into Your own kingdom and glory. May I proclaim Your praises, Lord God, for You called me out of darkness into Your marvelous light.

I was once darkness, but now I am light in You, Lord. Enable me to walk as a child of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to You, Lord God. I will have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. I will be filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to Your glory and praise.

May my light so shine before men, that they may see my good works and glorify You, my Father in heaven. Therefore, whether I eat or drink, or whatever I do, may I do all to Your glory, Lord God.

Only with Your help, Lord, will I be able to live a life of holiness and glorify You in all I say, do, and think. Help me!

1 Peter 1:15; 1 Thessalonians 2:11–12; 1 Peter 2:9; Ephesians 5:8–11; Philippians 1:11; Matthew 5:16; 1 Corinthians 10:31[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 250). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

How Libraries Are Indoctrinating Kids To Think All White People Are Racists

The ‘anti-racist’ books being pushed by the American Library Association range replace history with the politics of resentment and fuel the flames of anger.

Source: How Libraries Are Indoctrinating Kids To Think All White People Are Racists

GOP Mocks Bill Clinton For Lecturing Trump on Oval Office Conduct: Irony ‘Should Not Be Lost on Anyone’

Former President Bill Clinton, whose presidency was engulfed by an extramarital affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, lectured President Trump for bringing “chaos” into the Oval Office during his Tuesday evening address at the Democratic National Convention, drawing a swift reaction from members of the GOP, who could not help but note the irony.

Source: GOP Mocks Bill Clinton For Lecturing Trump on Oval Office Conduct: Irony ‘Should Not Be Lost on Anyone’

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