Daily Archives: October 13, 2020

The Absurdity of Pride | Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation

Pride might help us feel strong and attractive in our own eyes, at least for a moment. But in reality, it is a gross violation of our created design. When seen accurately it is ugly, destructive, and utterly absurd. It is the absurdity and ridiculousness of pride that I want to consider.

A child hits his younger brother. His wrongdoing is obvious and his mother tells him that he must ask for forgiveness. Asking forgiveness—what could be more natural? But the words simply will not come out of his mouth. His pride will accept any other discipline than saying, “Will you forgive me?” Four words—why won’t he just say them? Because his pride hates the idea. It has an irrational loathing of humility. And you can see all humanity in this child. How many adults have done something blatantly wrong and simply cannot apologize? How many adults have never even said, “I’m sorry”—a very small step—let alone “Will you forgive me?” It is truly odd given the truth about us.

A teenager wants independence because he or she knows what is best. Of course, that teenager is also quite dependent on his or her family to survive. The bemused parent cannot even think of words that would bring sense to the teen.

A husband and wife quarrel about who is right, or at least right-er. You can tell they are getting tired of the battle, but each wants the last word. Gradually, they regress to schoolyard talk. “You don’t even know what clothes to wear.” “Oh yeah? Well, you’re so dumb….” Then they regress to the barely verbal. “Hrmmph.” “Argh.” “Grrr…”

And how often am I critical of other people because they drove their car too close to me, or didn’t do something as I would do it? “How dare they,” I say from my throne. Meanwhile, my wife sees how I do the very same things, yet I act as though I have diplomatic immunity. At that moment, I certainly do not look attractive to her, or even human.

Pride is one of the foremost ways of describing sin. It is wrong. It is against God and other people. And it is bizarre and incongruous because human beings are, by nature, dependent and have accomplished nothing in themselves that justifies enthronement. We live only by the “immeasurable riches of his grace” (Ephes 2:7). Our resumes are essentially empty, yet we believe we have earned the right to look down on others. It can feel right, but when you look in the mirror of Scripture you see something that looks more like Dr. Seuss’s Yertle the Turtle.[1] It is strange, given that we are created and not the creator. If we are not appalled by our pride, we will be less compelled to cast it aside.

“Heaven rules” is fundamental to our humanity (Dan 4:26). Human beings are royalty but we live under the King and are stewards of his kingdom. What should be natural to a human king are the humble words of Solomon. When authorized to build the Lord’s temple, he said, “Who am I to build a house for him, except as a place to make offerings before him?” (2 Chron 2:6). Indeed, who would be worthy to oversee the building of God’s house on earth? Then Solomon confessed his childlike inability to discern well, so he asked for wisdom. There it is again—humility. It is the natural and most becoming garb for us. Later, Solomon, too, became less than human in his pride, but he gave a brief glimpse of true humanity.

So we look to the only truly human being: Jesus. Though he was the victim of arrogant condescension by many people he met, he was never angry because of this mistreatment. (Anger is usually a sure sign of pride.) Instead, he seemed to keep going lower rather than higher. Before his final descent into death on a cross, he etched the image of a servant into the hearts of the disciples (John 13). Paul described it this way:

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Phil 2:3-8)

A few verses later. Paul used this template to tell of his own biography and renewed aspirations (Phil 3:4-11).

As followers of Jesus, we have insight into how our pride is out of place and odd. Human beings are the crown of creation but it is because God made it so. From that high place, we take our cues from our King who gave up his rights, knowing that his place with the Father was secure. So we put on humility which, in contrast to pride, turns out to be wonderfully human—quite attractive and surprisingly powerful.

[1]  Yertle is king of the pond but wants a taller throne so he makes the other turtles stand on top of each other with him at the top. From there, he can see farther and increase his stature and power.

— Read on www.ccef.org/the-absurdity-of-pride/

Countries With Concentration Camps Elected To UN Human Rights Posts

China, Russia, and Cuba were each awarded seats on the United Nations Human Rights Council despite gross abuses of the very rights the council pledges to protect.

Biden says those who think they’re better off under Trump ‘PROBABLY SHOULDN’T’ vote Democrat… but that’s the majority of Americans — RT USA News

Biden says those who think they're better off under Trump 'PROBABLY SHOULDN'T' vote Democrat… but that’s the majority of Americans

Joe Biden has seemingly surrendered 56 percent of the American electorate to President Donald Trump, saying that those who perceive that they’re better off under the current administration probably shouldn’t vote Democrat.

The comment came during an interview on Monday with Kyle Inskeep, a reporter for Cincinnati television station WKRC, who confronted the Democrat presidential candidate with a Gallup poll from last week which showed that 56 percent of Americans considered their families better off than four years ago. That was by far the highest reading since Gallup began polling on the question in 1984. Only 32 percent said they were worse off under Trump, and the 56 percent was considerably higher than the 45 percent of respondents who thought they were in a better financial position after the Obama-Biden administration’s first term in 2012.

 Also on rt.com

‘I want to see them dancing when they’re four years older’: Biden’s latest gaffe with young girls elicits cringe-fest on Twitter

Asked why those 56 percent of Americans who benefited from Trump’s economic policies should vote Democrat, Biden said, “Well, if they think that, they probably shouldn’t. They think 54 percent (sic) of the American people are better off economically today than they were under our administration? Well, their memory is not very good, quite frankly.”

The Obama-Biden administration is reported to have presided over the slowest US economic recovery from a recession since the Great Depression. Trump has been able to claim the lowest US jobless rate in five decades, including record-low unemployment for black and Hispanic Americans. He also saw 500,000 manufacturing jobs added during his first three years in office, after President Barack Obama said many of the blue-collar jobs lost during his two terms “are just not gonna come back.” However, those gains came crashing down when the Covid-19 pandemic devastated the US economy this year.

 Read more

‘You ain’t black’ if you support Trump over me – Joe Biden to BLACK radio host

Biden, who said on Friday that voters “don’t deserve” to know whether he will expand the Supreme Court, has shown a knack for dismissing those who find fault with him or his politics. For instance, the 77-year-old former vice president told reporters in August 2019 that voters who are concerned about his age shouldn’t vote for him. When an immigration activist pressed him last November in South Carolina about the Obama-Biden administration’s deportations of illegal aliens, he said, “You should vote for Trump.”

In December, when an Iowa farmer accused Biden of getting his son Hunter a job at Ukrainian gas company Burisma, he called the man a “damn liar,” “fat,” and said, “You’re too old to vote for me.” A month later, he told an Iowa voter who was critical of his climate policies, “You have to go vote for someone else,” at one point poking the man in the chest and grabbing his jacket with two hands. He then said in an MSNBC interview in May that those who believe the allegations of Tara Reade, a former staffer who accused him of sexual assault, “probably shouldn’t vote for me.”

Also in May, Biden dismissed undecided black voters by telling a radio host, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”

WKRC’s Inskeep used his five minutes with Biden fruitfully, even getting the former vice president to give his most forthcoming answer yet on expanding the Supreme Court. When pressed on the issue on Monday, Biden told Inskeep, “I’m not a fan of court packing, but I don’t want to get off on that whole issue,” saying he wants to keep the focus on Trump’s effort to fill a court vacancy before the November 3 election.

— Read on www.rt.com/usa/503409-biden-dismisses-voters/

October 13th The D. L. Moody Year Book

 

Honor thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.—Ephesians 6:23.

DISOBEDIENCE and disrespect for parents are often the first steps in the downward track. Many a criminal has testified that these are the points where he first went astray. I have lived over sixty years, and I have learned one thing if I have learned nothing else—that no man or woman who dishonors father or mother ever prospers, in the long run.[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. 181). East Northfield, MA: The Bookstore.

Here’s THE video about 2020 election that Rush Limbaugh urges you to see | WND

Rush Limbaugh (Video screenshot courtesy RushLimbaugh.com)

If there’s one video Americans need to watch before voting in the 2020 presidential race, this is it, says talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh.

It features Thomas Klingenstein, the chairman of the board of the Claremont Institute, Limbaugh said Tuesday of the 17-minute video.

“It’s not flashy. It doesn’t have massive production values. It’s nothing like that. It’s just one man and his legitimate reasons for Trump and his deadly, deathful fear of what this country faces if Trump loses,” he said.

“He goes through his explanation of what this election is really all about, what America faces. One of the most fascinating things that Mr. Klingenstein points out, is he actually says that in normal times he wouldn’t even think of voting for this man. Now, don’t take that as a negative,” Limbaugh said. “Do not think you’ve got a Never Trumper here who’s changed his mind. It’s not that at all. He’s just being honest with you. In normal times, he wouldn’t think of voting for Trump. But he believes these are not normal times. He, in fact, says that in these times, Donald Trump is the only man who can save this country, is the only man who can do what is necessary to preserve the American way of life,” said Limbaugh.

“It’s just one man and his impassioned. … It’s not all that impassioned. It’s pretty cut and dry, straightforward,” he continued. “He’s an intellectual, obviously, but he’s scared to death, folks. He’s literally scared to death like we all are, and he explains why Trump is the only person that has a prayer of saving America.”

In the video, Klingenstein said the 2020 election is the most important since 1860.

The choice, he says, is between “two competing regimes, two ways of life, that cannot exist equally together.”

He calls one “traditional America,” in which people believe in individual rights, the rule of law and a shared understanding of the common good. Valued are hard work, self-reliance and patriotism.

He says President Trump represents that perspective.

Klingenstein calls the other multiculturalism, which he says has taken over the Democratic Party.

“It is not like a revolution; it is a revolution, an attempt to overthrow” America as it was founded, he says.

That view holds that society is comprised of identity groups based on race and gender oppressed by white males.

The cost is “never-ending redistribution of wealth and power,” which could be accomplished, he says, only by a “tyrannical government.”

“One where dissenters are silenced,” he warns.

That system teaches Americans are “irredeemably sinful.”

“This is just one way to frame the coming election,” he says. “It’s a contest between a man, Trump, who believes America is good, and a man, Biden, who is controlled by a movement that believes America is bad.

“I do not think it is any more complicated than that.”

See the video:

Limbaugh cited Klingenstein’s comments last week.

“We are living in a revolution — an actual revolution, not just the word. There is an actual revolution taking place,” Klingenstein said. “The American left is revolting against America as founded! They are not the Democrat Party of old. This is not the Democrats versus the Republicans. This is American Marxists and communists conducting a revolution against America, as founded.”

Limbaugh said: “I don’t think you can make it any more simple — and I don’t mean simplistic. I mean simple. That is squarely what this is about. Trump ‘believes America is good.’ You believe America’s good. I believe America’s good.”

That would be “good” as “in the sense that American is a decent place,” Limbaugh said.

“America is a great place for decent people. It is the home for decent, hardworking, self-reliant people who love family, who love God, who love their country, who revere the Constitution — and, above all, who revere the importance of freedom and liberty.”

The Biden campaign, however, Klingenstein said, casts America in a bad light.

— Read on www.wnd.com/2020/10/video-2020-election-rush-limbaugh-urges-see/

CDC: 85% of COVID patients ‘always’ or ‘often’ wore a mask | WND

Sailors prepare to man the rails on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson as the ship departs Naval Base Kitsap-Bremerton, Washington, Aug. 23, 2020. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonteil Johnson)

A study by the Centers for Disease Control indicates that Americans are adhering to mask mandates, but they don’t appear to have slowed or stopped the spread of the coronavirus.

And further, mask-wearing has negative effects.

In its survey of symptomatic COVID-19 patients, the CDC found that 70.6% reported “always” wearing a mask. An additional 14.4% say they “often” wear one, investigative journalist Jordan Schachtel reported.

That means 85% of infected COVID-19 patients reported they regularly wear a mask.

Only 3.9% said they “never” wear a face covering.

“The study offers insight into the reality that tens of thousands of Americans are acquiring COVID-19 on a daily basis despite overwhelming adherence to mask wearing,” Schachtel said.

And it counters the claim of White House coronavirus member Dr. Anthony Fauci and others that Americans are not following the CDC guidance on wearing masks.

The spreadsheet below shows the results of the study’s symptomatic group on the left and the control group on the right are similar:

Schachtel noted that the survey also contradicts the claim of CDC Director Robert Redfield in a recent hearing that a cloth mask is “more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.”

Mark Changizi, a theoretical cognitive scientist researcher,  noted on Twitter the study showed that usage of a face mask leads to:

  • Increased rebreathing of expelled carbon dioxide
  • Significant increase in respiration, increased respiratory rate, and hyperventilation
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increase in Co2 in the blood
  • Hypoxemia, which is an abnormal decrease in the partial pressure of oxygen in the arterial blood
  • A hypercapnia, which is an increase in the pressure of Co2 in the blood
  • General cognitive decline
  • Greater difficulty in psychomotor tasks

Changizi also noted masks increase the risk of injury by impairing sight downward.

Confirmed by other studies

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has compiled a page of “Mask Facts” that explains the basic science behind mask wearing and summarizes a variety of studies.

It shows that the consensus prior to the coronavirus pandemic was that the effectiveness of mask-wearing by the general public in slowing the spread of a virus is unproven, and there’s evidence it does more harm than good.

On April 6, the World Health Organization said the “wide use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not supported by current evidence and carries uncertainties and critical risks.”

Just two months, later, however, as the pandemic surged, the WHO changed its stance without providing any evidence with radomized controlled trials.

On March 5, the Centers for Disease Control said masks “are usually not recommended in “non-health care settings.”

But on Aug. 7, the CDC said it “recommends that people wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”

— Read on www.wnd.com/2020/10/4861690/

4 memorable moments from day 2 of Barrett’s confirmation hearings – The Christian Post

President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett was back on Capitol Hill Tuesday for the second day of her confirmation hearings where she answered questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Scandal of the Cross — CultureWatch

Just what is the scandal of the cross, and why is it so offensive?

The cross of Christ is scandalous. The Apostle Paul made that clear in 1 Corinthians 1:22-25 where we read: “For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

Or as he says in Galatians 5:11: “But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.” Paul was not alone in teaching such hard-hitting truths. Jesus had earlier made this teaching clear as well. In John 6:60-66 we find these words:

When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 

Different forms of the same Greek word from which we get the English words “scandal,” “scandalise,” etc., are used by John and Paul when we read about “offence” and “a stumbling block”. These passages make it clear that the message of the cross causes people to take offense because it is so scandalous.

This is a strong word, in both languages. One online dictionary says this about the English verb scandalise: “shock, outrage, appal, disgust, offend, horrify, affront.” So just what is it about the cross that causes people to get so upset, so scandalised?

Just yesterday I looked at John 6:60-65, and spoke about how it is all due to God’s grace alone that people come to Christ. As Jesus says, ‘the flesh is of no help at all.’ See that piece here: billmuehlenberg.com/2020/10/13/on-getting-what-we-deserve/

But today I include the very next verse: “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.” As I was reflecting on these words last night, I thought of various people I have known who used to be fellow believers, fellow soldiers for Christ, but they are no longer walking with him. For various reasons these people have turned their backs of Christ.

Again, we get back to the scandal of the cross. What keeps people from coming to Christ in the first place, or leads them to walk away later on? One thing that is clear from these passages is that it cuts against all human pride. It cuts against any notions that we have it all together and that we are in control.

Consider the atheist. He claims he does not believe in God, but the opposite is certainly the case. Deep down he knows that God exists, and he thinks about God, talks about God, and rails against God all the time. Why? Because the existence of God is a direct challenge to everything about him.

If God does indeed exist, then the atheist is NOT the centre of the universe. Then the atheist cannot call the shots. Then the atheist is accountable to someone. Then the atheist must one day fully bow before the one true and living God. So the atheist hates this God.

But plenty of non-atheists think and live in much the same way. Plenty of people who think they are Christians but are not are equally scandalised by God, and by his chosen means of getting right with God. Again, it cuts against human pride.

All other religions in the world have some form of works righteousness at play. They tell folks that if they are good enough, or do enough, or refrain from doing certain things, they can please God, get right with God, and eventually enter into his presence.

Biblical Christianity knows nothing of such thinking. It proclaims utterly forcefully and clearly that sinners are spiritually dead. Dead people cannot do anything, let alone save themselves. That is why the words of Jesus were so shocking, so appalling, and so scandalous.

Image of John: 2 Volume Set (Reformed Expository Commentary)
John: 2 Volume Set (Reformed Expository Commentary) by Array

No wonder the disciples were offended and no wonder so many no longer walked with Jesus. They were as offended back then as countless millions of people are offended today. This is the scandal of the cross. Many commentators could be appealed to here, but let me offer just one. In his two-volume expository commentary on John (P&R, 2014), Richard Phillips has this to say:

Here we confront the Bible’s teaching about the scandal of Jesus Christ. This is what makes Christianity offensive to the human mind and heart. The Ten Commandments might not be appreciated, but they are not hated. The story of Jesus’ birth is not offensive, and most people like the idea of a resurrection. But Christ’s substitutionary atonement? Here is a true offense to the natural man!

There are two reasons for the offense of the cross. The first is that it allows no place for men and women to save themselves. The cross condemns every kind of works-salvation, since it proclaims that man in sin is so lost that only the death of the Son of God in his place can suffice for his deliverance. People are happy to believe in Jesus as a model to follow or as a lofty ethical teacher. But the cross proclaims us all as failures when it comes to following his example or fulfilling his ethics. J. Gresham Machen stated, “He is our Saviour, not because he has inspired us to live the same kind of life that He lived, but because He took upon Himself the dreadful guilt of our sins and bore it instead of us on the cross.” This is a scandalous offence to the natural man, whose pride always wants to do something to commend himself to God….

The second way in which the cross offends is by its demand for an exclusive faith in Jesus Christ alone. This is perhaps the greatest scandal of Christianity in our relativistic age. As long as we say, “Jesus is away to salvation,” people are not offended. But when Jesus directs that we look to his cross in faith or else perish in our sins, that is a great offense. The same offense was a major issue in the ancient world of the apostles. Machen tells us:

“What struck the early observers of Christianity most forcibly was not merely that salvation was offered by means of the Christian gospel, but that all other means were resolutely rejected. The early Christian missionaries demanded an absolutely exclusive devotion to Christ. . . . Salvation was not merely through Christ, but it was only through Christ. In that little word ‘only’ lay all the offence. Without that word there would have been no persecutions. . . . Without its exclusiveness, the Christian message would have seemed perfectly inoffensive to the men of that day. The offense of the Cross is done away, but so it the glory and the power.”

Yes exactly. The only really important questions that remain are these: Will you too be offended by Christ and the cross” Will you too walk away? Or will you agree with the words of Peter that we find in the very next verses (vv. 67-69)? There we read about this exchange between Jesus and the disciples:

So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 

The Scandal of the Cross — CultureWatch

REPORT: Bill Barr’s ‘Unmasking’ Probe Into Obama Officials Concludes without Charges — The Gateway Pundit

Bill Barr

The US Attorney tapped by Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate “unmasking” done by Obama’s criminal officials around the 2016 has concluded the probe without bringing any charges, according to the Washington Post.

US Attorney John Bash reportedly found no evidence of wrongdoing and concluded the probe without charges and without a public report.

The probe into unmasking was launched in May of this year after then-acting DNI Richard Grenell declassified the list of Obama officials involved in the unmasking of General Mike Flynn in his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Names included former CIA Director John Brennan, Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power and former DNI chief James Clapper.

Joe Biden was also on the list!

US Attorney John Bash was also investigating whether Obama officials leaked information to reporters, but found no wrongdoing.

The Washington Post reported:

The federal prosecutor appointed by Attorney General William P. Barr to review whether Obama-era officials improperly requested the identities of individuals whose names were redacted in intelligence documents has completed his work without finding any substantive wrongdoing, according to people familiar with the matter.

The revelation that U.S. Attorney John Bash, who left the department last week, had concluded his review without criminal charges or any public report will rankle President Trump at a moment when he is particularly upset at the Justice Department. The department has so far declined to release the results of Bash’s work, though people familiar with his findings say they would likely disappoint conservatives who have tried to paint the “unmasking” of names — a common practice in government to help understand classified documents — as a political conspiracy.

Bash’s team was focused not just on unmasking, but also on whether Obama-era officials provided information to reporters, according to people familiar with the probe, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive investigation. But the findings ultimately turned over to Barr fell short of what Trump and others might have hoped, and the attorney general’s office elected not to release them publicly, the people familiar with the matter said.

US Attorney from Connecticut John Durham is currently investigating the origins of Spygate and according to Barr, there won’t be any indictments and or report until after the election.

REPORT: Bill Barr’s ‘Unmasking’ Probe Into Obama Officials Concludes without Charges — The Gateway Pundit

It’s Time For The Church To Slam The Door — Wretched

Episode #2734

Is Critical Race Theory compatible with the church? The Bible says “NO!” Sadly, this divisive ideology is infiltrating the church and causing quite a bit of division. In today’s episode, Todd, with the help of Neil Shenvi, seeks to show from a Biblical perspective how Critical Race Theory and Christianity will never be compatible with each other.

It’s Time For The Church To Slam The Door — Wretched

President Trump Great American Comeback Rally and Peaceful Protest – Johnstown, PA – 7:00pm ET Livestream… — The Last Refuge

Tonight President Donald Trump heads to Johnstown, Pennsylvania for a Great American Comeback Rally and peaceful protest at John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport. The anticipated start time is 7:00pm EDT.  [Livestream Links Below]

Trump Campaign Livestream – RSBN Livestream Link – Fox News Livestream




President Trump Great American Comeback Rally and Peaceful Protest – Johnstown, PA – 7:00pm ET Livestream… — The Last Refuge

The Elements of Revolution Are All in Place — VCY America

Date:  October 13, 2020  
Host:  Jim Schneider  
​Guest:  Don Feder
MP3  ​​​| Orderhttps://embed.sermonaudio.com/player/a/1013202056507180/

We have seen many things unfold in 2020 that many never dreamed possible in our nation.  Consider the dictatorial powers launched by many governors and mayors across the nation.  There’s been the shuttering of churches, the closing of businesses, the declaration of what businesses can survive and which ones are doomed to fold.  In addition, look at the uprisings taking place in cities across the nation.  While destruction, burnings, lootings, murders and physical assaults have significantly escalated this year, many in the major media continue to refer to them as peaceful protests.  Meanwhile the tensions between people are heightening.  People have been assaulted for an article of clothing they are wearing or a flag they are waving.  Attacks against patriotism are escalating.  The professional sports world has joined in the attack having caved to a political agenda that glorifies anarchy.  There’s a war on police with many calling for their defunding and to re-imaging policing.  

Where is all this headed?  Joining Jim to answer that question was Don Feder.  Don is a writer, researcher and columnist.  He was a Boston Herald editorial writer and syndicated columnist for 19 years.  More than 40 newspapers and e-magazines picked up his columns.  His writings have appeared in The Washington Times, The Weekly Standard, Front Page Magazine, Human Events and many others. Since 2002 he has served as a communications consultant, writer and conference organizer for various pro-life and pro-family NGO’s.  He helped organize the World Congress of Families from 2006-2018.  He’s currently the Coalitions Director and Director of Communications for the Ruth Institute and is the recipient of numerous awards.

Jim began by noting Don reported on a recent poll indicating that 61% of Americans  believe we’re on the verge of civil war.  He believes instead that a revolution is afoot.

So what’s the difference?  Don noted that in a civil war there are two sides fighting.  In a revolution there’s basically one side trying to usurp the government.  So what he believes is taking place right now is a power-grab as opposed to two sides contesting for power.

What were the ‘seeds’ that took root to get us where we are today?  Don pointed to the French Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, Antonio Gramsci (the father of cultural Marxism) and on to the communist revolutions on the 20th and 21st centuries.

Discussion moved to how the Nazis came to power with Don noting how you had a situation that is similar to what we see today.  You had riots and anarchy with people being beaten and killed for having the wrong point of view.  Soon Hitler came along who was viewed by many as a savior in spite of the fact his nationalist/socialist party didn’t get a majority in the 1932 election.  Germany gave Hitler a chance to relieve the nation of the anarchy with history recording what he did.

Don then mentioned Antifa, a group that is supposed to be anti-fascist.  He believes, ‘…they’re the most fascist political movement we have ever seen in this country.’

From there this broadcast looks at additional historical parallels to today where there’s more than just violence, but legitimizing violence.  There’s discussion about George Soros, law enforcement, the Second Amendment and much more.

If you believe, as Don has written about, that the elements of revolution are all in place, including an election from which there could be no turning back, then you’ll want to review this edition of Crosstalk. 

More Information

http://www.frontpagemag.com

The Elements of Revolution Are All in Place — VCY America

How to Battle Spiritual Lethargy — The Master’s Seminary Blog

How to Battle Spiritual Lethargy — The Master’s Seminary Blog

There he is, the man known as Sluggard. He chooses rest over plowing and planting (Prov 20:4), a nap when his shift is about to begin. He fakes fear of lions to excuse himself from responsibility (22:13; 26:13). His laziness dominates him so much that he fails even to take care of himself. His house lays in disarray, the yard in chaos. In the task of nourishing his own body, he collapses lifting the food back to his mouth (19:24). What a pitiful man!

The sluggard lacks motivation. He needs incentive and drive to put in God-honoring effort. Otherwise, he will be left without sustenance (21:25). For the saying is trustworthy, “If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either” (2 Thess 3:10). He would be wiser if he would simply look down at the ant every now and again (Prov 6:6), to see how he marches in rank, gathering food in the summer for the coming season of need. How they—the tiny among God’s creatures—employ great concentration to carry up to fifty times their own body weight.

It is true, God provides the seasons, the rain, the sunshine, and even the growth of crops. Still, man does not reap provisions for life apart from putting in time and sweat. We must cultivate, sow, and tend.

All of us can attest the difficulty of manual labor in this fallen world. At the fall, God cursed the efforts of man with toil, thorns, thistles, and sweat (Gen 3:17–19). Life outside of Eden is hard. And we are now inclined to laziness. But do we recognize the similar effects on our spiritual vitality? The strain of the fall wears on our spiritual discipline just as it does our physical work.

Paul exhorted the Philippians to “work out their salvation with fear and trembling” (Phil 2:12). Salvation is a gift of God’s grace. There is nothing we can do to work for our salvation. Yet, as Paul explained, there is much we must do to work out our salvation.1 God produces the new life, then we develop, nourish, and mature. Energy must be spent. We must resist and strive and labor. Growing believers exert spiritual sweat for their sanctification. The Bible speaks of the soldier, athlete, and farmer to describe the requirements and commitments necessary for the Christian life.

And, just like the fall wears on every member of our material bodies (muscles, bones, joints, tissues, organs, etc.), so too it pounds on the faculties of our immaterial personhood (mind, heart, and will).2 Therefore, we must strive to put forth God-honoring effort in each of these three facets of our being.

Battling with Your Mind, Heart, and Will

The Bible is filled with exhortations to exercise our mental capacities. In 1 Corinthians 14:20, Paul urged the church to mature in their thinking: “Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; yet in evil be infants, but in your thinking be mature.” We all must develop in our thought life, by constantly setting our mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth (Col 3:2). Sanctification demands growth in the knowledge and understanding of our minds.

Elsewhere, the people of God are called to have an “ambition” to be pleasing to the Lord (2 Cor 5:9). Literally, they are to “love the honor” of pleasing Him.3 This is emotional fortitude for the glory of God. We all know what it is to be ambitious in life. We set our aim on all kinds of accomplishments: sports, education, career. Here, we are called to have that same affectionate ambition to bring honor to Jesus Christ. Sanctification demands emotional fervency directed towards Him.

Finally, Romans 7 paints the portrait of a great battle in a person’s will—the fight of what one wants to do and what the flesh produces. One almost gets exhausted just reading Paul’s description of this epic battle. “For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want” (v. 19). Sanctification demands ceaseless progression of our will in overcoming the desires of the flesh.

Sanctification is a grind. It is a long, wearying struggle against sin. A similar fatigue to that which hits us physically also hits us spiritually. One of the difficulties in overcoming spiritual lethargy is that the toil, thorns, thistles, and sweat impeding our sanctification are often not as easily recognized as the physical ones.

The following are 11 inhibitions that instigate spiritual lethargy:

Pride and Self-Centeredness

As is the case with all sin, spiritual laziness finds a root in our pride. Failing to exert the effort demanded for godliness often stems from “thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought to think” (Rom 12:3; cf. Phil 2:3). When our minds are captured by exaltations of self, there is little room left for devotion. Raising our own self-importance inevitably lowers the priority of pursuing Christ.

Toleration of Pet Sins

In Hebrews 12, the author exhorts his readers to run the race set before them, with endurance, fixing their eyes on Jesus. The race is grueling. It demands stamina. If there is any hope of finishing, we must “lay aside” those sins that so easily entangle us. Having died to sin and raised to newness of life, Christians have a new orientation, away from sin and toward holiness. Still, “acceptable” sins linger in our flesh—not acceptable in the eyes of the Almighty, but in our own estimations. These are sins that we more easily fall into than others.


Such sins, if left alone, will pry us from Jesus


Lesser Distractions

Sin is not the only weight that hinders our run. The author also identifies “encumbrances.” He broadens his warning with the universal qualifier “every.” This is a category of hurdles that are not sinful, but still deterrent. Spiritual laziness is often a matter of distracted attention. It’s the exertion of energy toward what is good, but not best. This is an important word for men going into ministry. Your sermon preparation, preaching, and counseling must not replace time alone with God. Work hard to preserve the latter, without neglecting the others. Do not allow busy service to distract you from sitting at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38–42).

Human Finitude

Leading up to Paul’s exhortation to be ambitious for God’s honor, he acknowledged the difficulty of our earthliness. It is important to admit our limitation, “for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor 5:7). One of the difficulties in striving for eternity is that we are not eternal. Being finite, we must cast our minds towards the infinite. This is difficult. A lack of eternal perception could be a cause for sluggishness. When we realize God is incomprehensible, we often simply give up.

Mental Frustration

Gaining knowledge and understanding of God is a spiritual endeavor (1 Cor 2:14–16). Not every person is born with the same abilities and mental fluidity. Many fight with the frustration of reading their Bibles with little perceived benefit. In defeat, many Christians push aside this “duty.” If this is you, take heart. Though the climb may be steeper for some than others, the Spirit of God comes alongside of you.


Often, for those who have had to work the hardest, the Word means the most 


Bad Influences

You do not need to be Sherlock Holmes to detect the correlation between bad company and the corruption of good morals. The ambitions of the wicked are for ill-gotten gain, perversions, and folly. Solomon warned his son, “If sinners entice you, do not consent” (Prov 1:10). They will lead you astray. Spiritual fidelity to the Word is put in direct contrast to walking, standing, and sitting in the presence of sinners (Ps 1).4 In the heat of the battle, you need fellow soldiers around you (Heb 10:23–25). Ask yourself: who am I being influenced by?

Fear of Man

Imagine the man trying to till the field with one foot caught in a trap. He limps around, encumbered by pain and bondage. Thus it is with the person who is captive to the evaluations of others. “The fear of man brings a snare” (Prov 29:25).


Always trying to please others leads to little work in the heart


You cannot give your attention to internal transformation when you are consumed with external perceptions.

Improper Expectations

In this success-driven culture, disappointment looms behind every challenge. Believe it or not, even the apostle Paul was akin to failure. He knew his infirmities. He called out his own imperfections. But rather than allowing unmet aspirations to overcome him, he pressed on. He looked forward (Phil 3:12–16). Whether it is a sincere aching to rid yourself of that besetting sin or wanting to see more fruit from your labors, you must handle setbacks with perseverance. Physical Exhaustion

The person who runs himself into the ground with busyness can hardly expect to find the energy necessary for spiritual vibrancy. While we are dealing with the difficulties that wear on us spiritually, we must recognize the connection to our bodies. A physically tired person is unlikely to be mentally alert, emotionally stable, or volitionally elevated. Do not work yourself to death at the cost of becoming slothful in devotion.


God is sovereign, not you.
He can give what is needed, even while you sleep (Ps 127:2)


Life’s Sorrows

Much like physical fatigue, emotional affliction attacks our souls. Elijah, immediately following his victory on Mount Carmel, fell into depression under the threats of Jezebel and Ahab. He cried out, “It is enough now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers” (1 Kings 19:4). It is difficult to even move when your spirit has been beaten down. If this is you, cast yourself upon Jesus. Be not ashamed of your burdens. He calls all who are weary and heavy laden to come to Him. He is gentle and lowly in heart, offering you rest (Matt 11:25–30). You will not endure in your own strength.

Self-Dependence

In conclusion, we are brought full circle to our effortless reception of salvation. This article would be incomplete as an imperative for you, the reader, to reject spiritual lethargy and to dig in with intense effort. In Paul’s urgent plea for the Philippians to work out their salvation with fear and trembling, he also came full-circle: “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13). Sanctification demands spiritual effort and sweat. But, any progress in godliness is produced completely by the grace of God at work in us. If you are trying simply to pick yourself up by the bootstraps, it isn’t going to work. Self-dependence is vain. You will collapse. You must continually turn to the Lord for mercy. Plead with Him to provide the strength you need to grow in holiness. Ask Him for spiritual wisdom, right desires, and the ability to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel. Work out what Christ has already worked for.

[1] The same root of εjργέω is used for Paul’s rejection of justification by “works of the Law” (Rom 3:20; Gal 2:16). Here, the compound κατεργάζομαι is used, which focuses on bringing the work to completion.

[2] There are three essential components of personhood: 1. thoughts/cognition/intellect, the ability to think; 2. emotions/affections/feelings, the ability to respond; and 3. volition/desires, the ability to choose. See, John MacArthur and Richard Mayhue, Biblical Doctrine: A Systematic Summary of Bible Truth (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), 334–35; cf. 418.

[3] “Φιλοτιμέομαι,” in William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 1059.

[4] Of course, this is not a condemnation of having non-Christian friends. We are to be in the world but not of the world (John 17:15-16). We are to love even our enemies (Matthew 5:43-48). How can we be salt and light in the world if we segregate ourselves and hide from them? Still, we must be surrounded by godly examples, imitating them as they imitate Christ.

October 13 Life-Changing Moments With God

 

From the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard.

You, Lord God, are the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy. You dwell in the high and holy place, with those who have a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. The sacrifices You welcome are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart—these, O God, You will not despise. Though You, Lord God, are on high, yet You regard the lowly; but the proud You know from afar. So I humble myself under Your mighty hand, Lord God, that You may exalt me in due time. You resist the proud, but give grace to the humble. Therefore I submit to You.

You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all who call upon You. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, for You will answer me.

May my knowing You,

Almighty God, keep me humble before You

and a humble servant to Your people.

Daniel 10:12; Isaiah 57:15; Psalm 51:17; Psalm 138:6; 1 Peter 5:6; James 4:6–7; Psalm 86:5–7[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 308). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Is the text of the Bible we have today different from the originals? — WINTERY KNIGHT

Sherlock Holmes and John Watson: let’s take a look at the facts

I thought it might be a good idea to write something about whether the Bible is generally reliable as a historical document. Lots of people like to nitpick about things that are difficult to verify, but the strange thing is that even skeptical historians accept many of the core narratives found in the Bible. Let’s start with a Christian historian, then go to a non-Christian one.

First, let’s introduce New Testament scholar Daniel B. Wallace:

Daniel B. Wallace
Senior Research Professor of New Testament Studies

BA, Biola University, 1975; ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1979; PhD, 1995.

Dr. Wallace… is a member of the Society of New Testament Studies, the Institute for Biblical Research, the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Society of Papyrologists, and the Evangelical Theological Society (of which he was president in 2016). He has been a consultant for several Bible translations. He has written, edited, or contributed to more than three dozen books, and has published articles in New Testament Studies, Novum Testamentum, Biblica, Westminster Theological Journal, Bulletin of Biblical Review, the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, and several other peer-reviewed journals. His Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament is the standard intermediate Greek grammar and has been translated into more than a half-dozen languages.

Here is an article by Dr. Wallace that corrects misconceptions about the transmission and translation of the Testament.

He lists five in particular:

  • Myth 1: The Bible has been translated so many times we can’t possibly get back to the original.
  • Myth 2: Words in red indicate the exact words spoken by Jesus of Nazareth.
  • Myth 3: Heretics have severely corrupted the text.
  • Myth 4: Orthodox scribes have severely corrupted the text.
  • Myth 5: The deity of Christ was invented by emperor Constantine.

Let’s look at #4 in particular, where the argument is that the text of the New Testament is so riddled with errors that we can’t get back to the original text.

It says:

Myth 4: Orthodox scribes have severely corrupted the text.

This is the opposite of myth #3. It finds its most scholarly affirmation in the writings of Dr. Bart Ehrman, chiefly The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture and Misquoting Jesus. Others have followed in his train, but they have gone far beyond what even he claims. For example, a very popular book among British Muslims (The History of the Qur’anic Text from Revelation to Compilation: a Comparative Study with the Old and New Testaments by M. M. Al-Azami) makes this claim:

The Orthodox Church, being the sect which eventually established supremacy over all the others, stood in fervent opposition to various ideas ([a.k.a.] ‘heresies’) which were in circulation. These included Adoptionism (the notion that Jesus was not God, but a man); Docetism (the opposite view, that he was God and not man); and Separationism (that the divine and human elements of Jesus Christ were two separate beings). In each case this sect, the one that would rise to become the Orthodox Church, deliberately corrupted the Scriptures so as to reflect its own theological visions of Christ, while demolishing that of all rival sects.”

This is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. Even Ehrman admitted in the appendix to Misquoting Jesus, “Essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in the manuscript tradition of the New Testament.” The extent to which, the reasons for which, and the nature of which the orthodox scribes corrupted the New Testament has been overblown. And the fact that such readings can be detected by comparison with the readings of other ancient manuscripts indicates that the fingerprints of the original text are still to be seen in the extant manuscripts.

Here is the full quote from the appendix of Misquoting Jesus:

“Bruce Metzger is one of the great scholars of modern times, and I dedicated the book to him because he was both my inspiration for going into textual criticism and the person who trained me in the field. I have nothing but respect and admiration for him. And even though we may disagree on important religious questions – he is a firmly committed Christian and I am not – we are in complete agreement on a number of very important historical and textual questions. If he and I were put in a room and asked to hammer out a consensus statement on what we think the original text of the New Testament probably looked like, there would be very few points of disagreement – maybe one or two dozen places out of many thousands. The position I argue for in ‘Misquoting Jesus’ does not actually stand at odds with Prof. Metzger’s position that the essential Christian beliefs are not affected by textual variants in the manuscript tradition of the New Testament.”

Finally, I think that the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls shows us that religious texts don’t change as much as we think they do over time.

Look:

The Dead Sea Scrolls play a crucial role in assessing the accurate preservation of the Old Testament. With its hundreds of manuscripts from every book except Esther, detailed comparisons can be made with more recent texts.

The Old Testament that we use today is translated from what is called the Masoretic Text. The Masoretes were Jewish scholars who between A.D. 500 and 950 gave the Old Testament the form that we use today. Until the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in 1947, the oldest Hebrew text of the Old Testament was the Masoretic Aleppo Codex which dates to A.D. 935.{5}

With the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, we now had manuscripts that predated the Masoretic Text by about one thousand years. Scholars were anxious to see how the Dead Sea documents would match up with the Masoretic Text. If a significant amount of differences were found, we could conclude that our Old Testament Text had not been well preserved. Critics, along with religious groups such as Muslims and Mormons, often make the claim that the present day Old Testament has been corrupted and is not well preserved. According to these religious groups, this would explain the contradictions between the Old Testament and their religious teachings.

After years of careful study, it has been concluded that the Dead Sea Scrolls give substantial confirmation that our Old Testament has been accurately preserved. The scrolls were found to be almost identical with the Masoretic text. Hebrew Scholar Millar Burrows writes, “It is a matter of wonder that through something like one thousand years the text underwent so little alteration. As I said in my first article on the scroll, ‘Herein lies its chief importance, supporting the fidelity of the Masoretic tradition.’”{6}

A significant comparison study was conducted with the Isaiah Scroll written around 100 B.C. that was found among the Dead Sea documents and the book of Isaiah found in the Masoretic text. After much research, scholars found that the two texts were practically identical. Most variants were minor spelling differences, and none affected the meaning of the text.

One of the most respected Old Testament scholars, the late Gleason Archer, examined the two Isaiah scrolls found in Cave 1 and wrote, “Even though the two copies of Isaiah discovered in Qumran Cave 1 near the Dead Sea in 1947 were a thousand years earlier than the oldest dated manuscript previously known (A.D. 980), they proved to be word for word identical with our standard Hebrew Bible in more than 95 percent of the text. The five percent of variation consisted chiefly of obvious slips of the pen and variations in spelling.”{7}

Despite the thousand year gap, scholars found the Masoretic Text and Dead Sea Scrolls to be nearly identical. The Dead Sea Scrolls provide valuable evidence that the Old Testament had been accurately and carefully preserved.

I hope that this post will help those who think that we can’t get back to the text of the original New Testament documents.

Is the text of the Bible we have today different from the originals? — WINTERY KNIGHT

October 13, 2020 Evening Verse Of The Day

God Uses Suffering to Perfect His Power

“for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. (12:9b–10)

God not only wanted to display His grace in Paul’s life, but also His power; He not only wanted the apostle to be humble, but also strong. Because “power is perfected in weakness,” it was necessary for the fires of affliction to burn away the dross of pride and self-confidence. Paul had lost all ability, humanly speaking, to deal with the situation at Corinth. He had visited there, sent others there, and written the Corinthians letters. But he could not completely fix the situation. He was at the point when he had to trust totally in God’s will and power.

It is when believers are out of answers, confidence, and strength, with nowhere else to turn but to God that they are in a position to be most effective. No one in the kingdom of God is too weak to experience God’s power, but many are too confident in their own strength. Physical suffering, mental anguish, disappointment, unfulfillment, and failure squeeze the impurities out of believers’ lives, making them pure channels through which God’s power can flow.

Though his circumstances had not changed, Paul could still exclaim, Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. In 1 Corinthians 1:27 he reminded the Corinthians that “God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.” The apostle himself had ministered among the Corinthians “in weakness and in fear and in much trembling” (1 Cor. 2:3). Paul’s weakness was not self-induced or artificial; it was not a superficial psychological self-esteem game he played with himself. It was real and God-given. He did not love the pain caused by the false apostles, knowing it was satanic in origin. Yet he embraced it as the means by which God released His power through him.

Verse 10 summarizes the truth of this passage. Eudokeō (well content) could be translated, “pleased,” or “delighted.” He was thrilled with the weaknesses, insults, distresses, persecutions, and difficulties he endured for Christ’s sake, not because he was a masochist, but because when he was weak, then he was strong.

Having a proper perspective on trouble, trials, and suffering is the cornerstone of Christian living. Focusing all one’s efforts on removing difficulties is not the answer. Believers need to embrace the trials God allows them to undergo, knowing that those trials reveal their character, humble them, draw them closer to God, and allow Him to display His grace and power in their lives. They should heed the counsel of apostle James to “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2–4).[1]


9b-10 The conjunctions “Therefore … wherefore” at the beginning of v. 9b and v. 10 respectively signal Paul’s own responses to the Lord’s reply to him (v. 9a). Because Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness, (1) therefore he will all the more gladly boast in weaknesses. (2) Wherefore he takes pleasure in weaknesses.

It should be noted that Paul does not boast in “weakness,” that is, in feebleness. The plural “in my weaknesses” (v. 9b) points to the sufferings “for Christ” listed in 11:23–33, whereas the “weakness,” singular, of v. 9a, the stake/thorn “given” to him by God (v. 7), was the climactic example.

The words “I will boast rather” of weaknesses sound a comparative note. To what is he preferring this “boasting”? In all probability he is recalling once more his flight to Paradise (vv. 4–5). This experience truly occurred; Paul would be a “fool” to deny it. But that experience did not make Paul “more” (hyper) than he is in reality, either as to the “weaknesses” people “see” in him or the word of God they “hear” from him (v. 6). Such an experience, astonishing though it doubtless was, does not accredit his apostleship. He will make nothing of it, that is, “boast of it.” “Rather” than boast of his ecstatic, (non)-revelatory experience, he “will most gladly boast” of his “weaknesses.”

He then gives the purpose for his preferred boast, namely, that Christ’s power “may rest on”39 him. Remarkably, this is the vocabulary of the tabernacle of the old covenant as applied to God “pitching his tent” with his people (Exod 40:34). In turn, this imagery is employed within the NT to describe (1) the incarnate life of the Word of God (“The Word became flesh and dwelt [i.e., ‘pitched his tent’] among us”—John 1:14), and (2) God’s future dwelling with his people (Rev 7:14; 12:12; 13:6; 21:3). In what has been described as a “bold metaphor,” Paul teaches that Christ in his power “pitches his tent” with his saints in their weaknesses.41 Ecstasy has all the appearances of divine power; but the reality is otherwise. Christ draws near to us, and gives his grace and power to us, in weakness.

In v. 10 Paul expresses his “acceptance of” various difficulties, beginning with “in weaknesses,” which is repeated from v. 9b and refers specifically to the stake/thorn. Following “weaknesses” are: (1) “in insults”—found only here in Paul’s writings (possibly they refer to the scandalous treatment of him as a Roman citizen by Romans and as an Israelite by Jews—see 11:24–25), (2) “in hardships” (lit. “necessities”—see on 6:4), (3) “in persecutions” (as described in 11:24–25; cf. Rom 8:35), and (4) “[in] difficulties” (lit. “tight corners”; cf. 6:4; the verb occurs in 4:8; 6:12).

Critical to v. 10 is the inferential “wherefore,” which picks up from the immediately preceding48 “I will boast … of my weaknesses,” which, “on behalf of Christ,” he accepts. The expression “on behalf of Christ I accept weaknesses, etc.” must be read alongside “we beseech you on behalf of Christ, ‘be reconciled to God’ ” (5:20). Because Christ is not physically present, in his place God “has given” the ministry and “entrusted” the word of reconciliation to the apostles (5:18–19). As Christ’s ambassador and apostle, Paul “beseeches” in Christ’s place and suffers in Christ’s place, as this list of sufferings shows (cf. 4:8–9; 6:4–5; cf. 2:16). Christ’s sufferings are replicated and historically extended in the sufferings or weaknesses of his apostle as he bids humankind “Be reconciled to God,” and it is of these—as opposed to triumphalist “visions and revelations”—that Paul “boasts” (v. 9b) and these that he “accepts.”

A connection should also be made between “weaknesses … on behalf of Christ” and his words “be spent on behalf of your souls,” a few verses later (see on v. 15). In both cases the preposition hyper is used. As apostle of divine reconciliation Paul suffers on behalf of the One he represents—though in a qualitatively different way (see on 5:21)—and he does so for the sake of those to whom he ministers. The keyword of the triumphalist “superlative” apostles (11:5; 12:11) is hyper (“more than,” “above”) Paul. It is Paul’s keyword, too. Madman that he is, his “weaknesses” are “more than” theirs (11:23), and those “weaknesses” replicate Christ’s sufferings, and do so on behalf of the churches. His nontriumphalist, servant ministry is again undergirded. He is their “slave” on account of (dia) Jesus (4:5).

Paul concludes the two parts of vv. 9b-10 with an aphorism: “When I am weak, then I am strong.” Such strength is not automatic to weakness. Rather, weakness (as of the unremoved stake/thorn—v. 7) creates the human context of helplessness and utter vulnerability in which Paul the minister of Christ pleaded with the risen, powerful Lord—who himself was once utterly “weak,” “sin-laden,” and “poor” (13:4; 5:21; 8:9) in achieving our reconciliation with God—who is now strong in resurrected power to give his grace and power to the one who calls out to him.[2]


12:9b–10 / If Christ’s power is made perfect in Paul’s weakness (and thus indirectly attests to Paul’s revelatory experience and his apostolic authority), then the apostle’s positive response to the revelation of the Lord seems quite logical: he will boast in his weaknesses. This idea of strength in weakness must seem counterintuitive, especially to the opponents, who “take pride in what is seen” (2 Cor. 5:12). However, Paul now realizes that everything that he once regarded as a cause for boasting is nothing in comparison with knowing Christ and sharing in his sufferings, so that he may participate in Christ’s resurrection (cf. Phil. 3:5–11).

Paul boasts in his weakness so that (hina) Christ’s power might rest on him. The verb actually denotes “take up one’s abode, dwell” and may well recall that the presence of God dwelled in the tabernacle and the temple (cf. Exod. 25:8; Ezek. 37:27; 2 Cor. 6:16). If so, the verb ties our passage back to 2 Corinthians 5:1, where Paul refers to his mortal body as “our earthly house of the tent,” alluding to the tabernacle in 1 Chronicles 9:23 lxx. Even during his earthly pilgrimage in the body, the apostle is conscious of the presence of God in his life through the Spirit. He was also conscious that the same power of the resurrected Christ would one day transform his mortal body.

Because Paul is the dwelling-place of the power of Christ, he takes delight in his weaknesses (v. 10a). Rather than continue his prayer for relief from the thorn in the flesh (cf. v. 8), Paul has now come to accept his infirmity and even to delight in it for Christ’s sake. This sounds almost masochistic, as if Paul likes to be abused. Certainly it opens the door to later Christian ideas of asceticism and martyrdom. Yet the apostle has come to his understanding of suffering after realizing that the power of Christ manifests itself most fully and obviously when he is at his weakest. Paradoxically, when I am weak, then am I strong. His light and momentary troubles are achieving for him an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (4:17).

Paul’s weaknesses are explicated in verse 10b by a short tribulation catalogue that resembles similar catalogues in 4:8–12; 6:4–10; and especially 11:23–29. This shows that, in discussing his revelatory experience in 12:1–10, Paul has not really left his theme in 11:23, namely, that he is more a servant of Christ than his opponents because of his greater sufferings. Yet it has become apparent that boasting in weakness and suffering is not so foolish as it might seem at first, for the extremity of his weaknesses only reflects the magnitude of his extraordinary revelatory experience, which is the very foundation of his apostolic authority. Furthermore, his boasting in his weakness is ultimately consonant with his principle of boasting only in the Lord, who gave him both his apostolic prerogative and his weakness (cf. 10:17).[3]


10. I take pleasure in infirmities. There can be no doubt, that he employs the term weakness in different senses; for he formerly applied this name to the punctures that he experienced in the flesh. He now employs it to denote those external qualities, which occasion contempt in the view of the world. Having spoken, however, in a general way, of infirmities of every kind, he now returns to that particular description of them, that had given occasion for his turning aside into this general discourse. Let us take notice, then, that infirmity is a general term, and that under it is comprehended the weakness of our nature, as well as all tokens of abasement. Now the point in question was Paul’s outward abasement. He proceeded farther, for the purpose of showing, that the Lord humbled him in every way, that, in his defects, the glory of God might shine forth the more resplendently, which is, in a manner, concealed and buried, when a man is in an elevated position. He now again returns to speak of his excellences, which, at the same time, made him contemptible in public view, instead of procuring for him esteem and commendation.

For when I am weak, that is—“The more deficiency there is in me, so much the more liberally does the Lord, from his strength, supply me with whatever he sees to be needful for me.” For the fortitude of philosophers is nothing else than contumacy, or rather a mad enthusiasm, such as fanatics are accustomed to have. “If a man is desirous to be truly strong, let him not refuse to be at the same time weak. Let him,” I say, “be weak in himself, that he may be strong in the Lord.” (Eph. 6:10.) Should any one object, that Paul speaks here, not of a failure of strength, but of poverty, and other afflictions, I answer, that all these things are exercises for discovering to us our own weakness; for if God had not exercised Paul with such trials, he would never have perceived so clearly his weakness. Hence, he has in view not merely poverty, and hardships of every kind, but also those effects that arise from them, as, for example, a feeling of our own weakness, self-distrust, and humility.[4]


10. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. Paul applies the lesson he learnt from the Lord’s response to his prayers for the removal of the ‘thorn’ to all the difficulties he experienced in his apostolic ministry, whether personal weakness and hardships, or pain inflicted upon him by others. When he says, I delight in weakness …, the verb translated delight in (eudokeō) may also be translated ‘be content with’ (so nrsv), but in neither case should it be construed in such a way as to indicate that Paul was a masochist, enjoying the sufferings he experienced. The reason he delighted in his sufferings was because he knew that Christ’s power would rest upon him in the midst of them.

While Paul’s audience could have gained much by learning of the simultaneity of weakness and power of which Paul speaks in verses 7–10, his motive in setting it out was not limited to that. His opponents had criticized his apostleship on the grounds of his weakness (cf. 10:10), and very likely they regarded the many persecutions and insults that Paul experienced as inconsistent with his claim to be an apostle of the exalted Christ. By setting out the principle of divine power manifested through human weakness, Paul both defended his own claim to apostleship and cut the ground from under the claims of his opponents.[5]


Ver. 10. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities … for Christ’s sake.

The use of infirmities:—“Some of the arable land along the shore on the south-east coast of Sutherland is almost covered with shore stones, from the size of a turkey’s egg to eight pounds weight. Several experiments have been made to collect these off the land, expecting a better crop; but in every case the land proved less productive by removing them; and on some small spots of land it was found so evident, that they were spread on the land again, to ensure their usual crop of oats or pease.” We would fain be rid of all our infirmities which, to our superficial conceptions, appear to be great hindrances to our usefulness, and yet it is most questionable if we should bring forth any fruit unto God without them. Much rather, therefore, will I glory in infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

The sanctifying power of sorrow:—“For Christ’s sake,” that is the main point: the apostle took pleasure in pain, not as pain, but for Christ’s sake. In itself sorrow is not sanctifying. It is like fire, whose effect depends upon the substance with which it comes in contact. Fire melts wax, inflames straw, and hardens clay. So it is only in afflictions borne for Christ’s sake, that is, in Christ’s name, and with Christ’s spirit, that we can rejoice. Forasmuch as Christ hath suffered in the flesh, arm yourself likewise with the same mind. The Cross alone extracts life out of pain; without this it is death-giving. (F. W. Robertson, M.A.) For when I am weak, then am I strong.

Weakness a source of strength:

  1. Paul’s weakness. That is a quality which we are not accustomed to associate with the apostle, knowing what we do of his labours; but when we go deeper we discover that one of the most distinctive preparations for the work which he accomplished was his feebleness. Wherein, then, did it consist? 1. It was not intellectual. Even his vilest detractors could not deny his mental superiority. 2. It was not moral. There was no vacillation about him. 3. It was physical. Paul had to contend with some distressing bodily infirmity.
  2. The connection of Paul’s weakness with his strength. 1. There was a strength in his weakness. In the Divine administration there is a wonderful law of compensation. 2. There was strength as the result of his weakness. (1) The consciousness of his own weakness led him to cast himself unreservedly upon the Divine help. (2) But looking toward man, the result of this weakness was in Paul a great outflow of tenderness. One cannot read his letters without feeling the heart-beat of his sympathy. 3. But there was, also, strength surmounting his weakness. In spite of his infirmity, he laboured on just as though he had nothing of the kind about him. He was impelled to do this. (1) By his faith. Men as they looked on Dante when he walked the streets after he had written his “Inferno,” and marked the intensity of his earnest face, said one to another, “See the man who has been in hell.” The apostle moved in the midst of unseen realities. (2) By gratitude. Never was consecration more thorough than his. He felt that he owed everything to Jesus, and to Jesus he yielded all. Conclusion: 1. Here is a use of explanation. You wonder, perhaps, why you have such feebleness. When you see others with robust frames and unbroken health, you are apt to say, “Ah, if I had but their strength how much more might I do for my Saviour!” But you are mistaken. If you had their strength you might not really be so strong as you are now. 2. A use of consolation. You wish to work for the Lord, and think you can do nothing because of your feebleness. Then see in Paul’s life how much can be accomplished, weakness notwithstanding. Nor is he a solitary instance. Think of Calvin and his irritable temper and a fragile and diseased body. 3. A use of direction. We can overcome our weakness only through a faith and a consecration like Paul’s. The one answer that will avail to the cry “Who is sufficient for these things”? is this: “My sufficiency is of God.” “Out of Saul, what has made Paul?” Faith. (W. M. Taylor, D.D.)

Strength in weakness:—Note—

  1. This general law apart from its religious bearings. 1. Weakness is sometimes perfected in strength. Its greatest manifestations are constantly seen in those whom the world deems the strongest. A strong man is likely to be a self-reliant man, and such a man is morally certain to display some weakness. A man, again, who is consciously strong at some point, is likely to think that his strength at that point will make up for his carelessness at other points. For instance, you often see men of great intellect who are morally weak and loose, and who count on their intellectual strength to cover their moral deficiency. The man who is financially strong is now and then tempted to believe that money can carry him over the lack of courtesy or consideration for others. The strong men of the Bible are also its weak men. Abraham’s falsehood, Noah’s excess, Jacob’s worldliness, Moses’ unhallowed zeal, Elijah’s faithless despair, David’s lust and murder, Solomon’s luxuriousness and sensuality—all tell the same story which we read in the biographies of the scholars, statesmen, monarchs, and generals of later times. 2. On the other hand, strength is perfected in weakness. Let an ignorant but conceited man go to a foreign city. He says, “A guide is a nuisance, and I will have none of them. I will find out the objects of interest for myself.” And so he goes blundering along, exposing himself to insult and even to danger, wasting hours in his search for a palace or an art-gallery—a sorry exhibition of weakness. Another man goes into the same city, quite as ignorant, but follows a trustworthy and intelligent guide. He gains new ideas, while the strong man, so independent of help, is standing at street corners and painfully studying his guide-book. When they return home, the man who was weak enough to accept guidance is the stronger man in knowledge. Can you imagine any object more weak and helpless than a blind child, and yet what a strength it wins from that very weakness! Out of weakness the child is made strong. And then there is the familiar fact of the increased power imparted to touch and ear by the very infirmity. Then, again, the consciousness of infirmity often makes its subject so cautious that he really accomplishes more than another who is free from infirmity. The man whose health and strength are exuberant, is likely to be careless of them; while he who rarely knows what it is to be without an aching head or a feverish pulse, therefore works by rule and economises minutes and brings discipline to bear on rebellious nerves and muscles. It is this power of self-mastery wrought out through weakness, which gives such power over other minds and hearts.
  2. The truth on its religious side. 1. Real strength comes only out of that weakness which, distrustful of itself, gives itself up to God. (1) Take the case of Paul. Here is a man beset with various infirmities. And yet at this distance we can see that that very weakness of Paul was his strength. For it gave God’s power its full opportunity. It is a strange gift that we have of preventing God from doing for us all that He would. God often sees fit to use the very elements you and I would throw away. We do not count weakness among the factors of success. The world is at a loss what to do with it; but when God takes hold of weakness it becomes another thing and works under another law. So then Paul, having abandoned the idea of doing anything by himself, God took this weakness and wrought out victory for Christ’s cause and for Paul by means of it. (a) Take the impression which the character and history of Paul make on your own minds. You know something of the power which Luke’s record of his life and labours exerts in stimulating Christian zeal and in educating character. Do not all these things get a stronger hold on you through the very sympathy which the apostle’s sufferings call out? Did not his very infirmities endear him to the churches in his own day? Had not these somewhat to do with the liberal supplies from Philippi, and with the heart-breaking sorrow of the Ephesian elders at Miletus? (b) After all that we read of Paul, we rise from his story and from his writings with a stronger impression of Christ than of him. The radiance of the light eclipses the wonder of the lamp. That is as Paul would have had it. (2) Or go farther back. Christ called Peter a rock; and yet at that stage Peter reminds us rather of those rocks which one meets with in clay-soil regions, which crumble at the touch, and are, least of all stones, fit for foundations. Peter, blustering, forward, boastful, with a great deal of strength of his own, which crumbled into weakness at the first touch of danger—and yet—“On this rock will I build My Church,” &c. The Church which began under the ministry of weak Peter is surely no feeble factor in to-day’s society: but the Peter of Pentecost was not the Peter of Gethsemane. Between these two he had learned a great deal about the weakness of human strength and the strength which God makes perfect in human weakness. The consequence is that whereas in Gethsemane Peter asserts himself, at Pentecost he asserts Jesus. Where he asserts himself the issue is a coward and a traitor. Where he passes out of sight behind Jesus, he is the hero of the infant Church, whom we love and honour. 2. The text is no encouragement to cherish weakness. The object of Christian training is to make men strong: and Paul can do all things, but only through Christ that strengtheneth him. How beautifully the context brings out this thought! What was the ark of the covenant? Nothing but a simple box overlaid with gold, such a thing as any skilful workman could make. And yet, when it fell into the hands of Israel’s enemies, the priest declared “the glory is departed from Israel.” What gave it this importance and meaning? It was that which rested upon it—the glory which made its resting-place the holiest spot in the world. And so, when the power of Christ rests upon a life, all its commonplace, its weakness, are transfigured, and the weak things of the world confound the things which are mighty. Thus it comes to pass that out of the mouth of babes and sucklings God ordains strength. 3. The truth of the text is wider than some of us have been wont to think. It asserts not only that God will assist our weakness, but that He will make our weakness itself an element of strength. We are, naturally, like one who carries round with him a rough precious-stone, ignorant of its value, and ready to throw it away or to part with it for a trifle. This thing, weakness, we should be glad to throw away. Christ comes like a skilful lapidary and shows us its value. I remember a little church among the mountains, which sprang up through the labours of a man the best of whose life was spent in trouble—a church founded among a population little better than heathen; and in the church building there was framed and hung up a magnificent rough agate which he had picked up somewhere among the hills, with the inscription, “And such were some of you.” And that stone tells the story of our text—the story of the Church on earth; a weak, erring church, its leaders stained and scarred with human infirmity, yet with a line of victory and spiritual power running through it like a track of fire: rough stones hewn out of the mountains, carved into polished pillars in the temple of the Lord. (M. R. Vincent, D.D.)[6]

3. Hence, I take delight in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for the sake of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul began his discussion about boasting in 11:1 and continued it through his lengthy catalog of hardships in that same chapter. After his revelation of his celestial experience, he returned to his emphasis on weaknesses (vv. 1–6), and now brings his discourse to an appropriate ending.

The repetition of the preceding passage (v. 9b) is evident:

verse 9b

 

verse 10

 

Therefore, all the more gladly

 

Hence,

 

I will boast of my weaknesses,

 

I take delight in weaknesses …

 

so that Christ’s power

 

for the sake of Christ.

 

may dwell in me.

 

For when I am weak,

 

 

 

then I am strong.

 

The apostle gladly accepts the weaknesses that he has to endure: “insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties.” This is a shorter list of adversities than the one in the preceding chapter (11:23–29). For the sake of Jesus Christ, Paul joyfully accepts all these sufferings to further the gospel. He knows that he has to suffer much for the name of Jesus (Acts 9:16). But he also knows that he “can do everything through Christ who strengthens [him]” (Phil. 4:13; compare 2 Tim. 4:17).

The conclusion ends on a note of triumph: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” He reiterates what he wrote at the beginning of this verse, namely, that he delights in weaknesses for the sake of Christ. All things are performed through and for Christ, so that he may receive glory and honor.[7]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2003). 2 Corinthians (pp. 405–406). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

[2] Barnett, P. (1997). The Second Epistle to the Corinthians (pp. 574–577). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[3] Scott, J. M. (2011). 2 Corinthians (pp. 230–231). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[4] Calvin, J., & Pringle, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians (Vol. 2, pp. 379–380). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[5] Kruse, C. G. (2015). 2 Corinthians: An Introduction and Commentary. (E. J. Schnabel, Ed.) (Second edition, Vol. 8, p. 267). Nottingham, England: Inter-Varsity Press.

[6] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: Second Corinthians (pp. 493–496). New York; Chicago; Toronto: Fleming H. Revell Company.

[7] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Second Epistle to the Corinthians (Vol. 19, p. 421). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

The Evidentially Diverse Resurrection Appearances of Jesus (Free Bible Insert) — Cold Case Christianity

The Evidentially Diverse Resurrection Appearances of Jesus (Free Bible Insert)

As a detective, I am impressed with cases when they are evidentially diverse. Two witnesses to the same event are better than one. In a similar way, three witnesses are better than two, especially if they agree on their observations in spite of their individual peculiarities or differences. When I have multiple witnesses from diverse ethnic, social, economic or demographic backgrounds and these witnesses generally agree on what they say occurred, I reasonably adopt a higher level of confidence in their testimony.

That’s why the diverse accounts related to the Resurrection of Jesus are particularly important in assessing the validity of these claims. Take a look at a brief list of the Resurrection sightings:

1. Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene in the garden shortly after His Resurrection. (Mark 16:9; John 20:11-18)
2. Jesus appeared to the women returning from the empty tomb. (Matthew 28:8-10)
3. Jesus appeared to two disciples (Cleopas and another) on the road to Emmaus. (Mark 16:12,13; Luke 24:13-35)
4. Jesus appeared to Peter. (Luke 24:34, 1 Corinthians 15:5)
5. Jesus appeared to his disciples, in Jerusalem, while Thomas was absent. (Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:36-49; John 20:19-23)
6. Jesus again appeared to his disciples, in Jerusalem. This time Thomas was present. (John 20:24-29)
7. Jesus appeared to his disciples (Simon Peter, Thomas called Didymus, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, Zebedee’s sons and two other of his disciples), on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. (John 21:1,2)
8. Jesus was seen by 500 believers at one time. (1 Corinthians 15:6)
9. Jesus appeared to James. (1 Corinthians 15:7)
10. Jesus appeared to his disciples on a mountain in Galilee. (Matthew 28:16-20)
11. Jesus appeared to the believers in Jerusalem for forty days after the Resurrection. (Acts 1:1-11)
12. Jesus appeared to His disciples, blessed them, and ascended into heaven. (Luke 24:50-53)
13. Jesus also appeared to Paul, on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9:3-6; 1 Corinthians 15:8)


The diverse accounts related to the Resurrection of Jesus are particularly important in assessing the validity of these claims.
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If you examine these accounts closely, you’ll be impressed by the diversity of the claims:

Jesus Appeared to Groups of Diverse Size
Jesus appeared after the Resurrection to single eyewitnesses, to small groups and to huge crowds.

Jesus Appeared at Diverse Locations and Times
Jesus appeared in enclosed rooms and open areas; in the region of Jerusalem, Galilee and well beyond. He appeared at night and at various times of the day.

Jesus Appeared to People of Diverse Status
Jesus appeared to people he knew well and to people he didn’t know well at all. He appeared to those in His inner circle, to those less connected and to complete strangers (Paul). Some were devout followers, some were more skeptical (James) and some were in complete denial (Paul). These witnesses were from nearly every social / economic group.

Jesus Appeared for Diverse Purposes
Jesus appeared for a variety of purposes. To many He simply wanted to demonstrate His Deity and Resurrection power. With others He ate a meal or had an important conversation. He appeared to Peter to comfort and challenge him and to Paul to call him away from his murderous mission.

Jesus Appeared for Diverse Periods of Time
Jesus appeared and stayed with the eyewitnesses for different lengths of time. Some of his appearances were little more than a few minutes, others for hours. He stayed with the believers in Jerusalem for forty days.

Jesus’ Appearances Were Recorded By Diverse Authors
Jesus’ Resurrection appearances were recorded by people from a variety of backgrounds. Two were direct eyewitnesses, two were close associates of the eyewitnesses. Some were better educated than others. One was a doctor, one a tax collector, one a fisherman.


The diversity of the Resurrection appearances ought to give us confidence in their reliability.
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The diversity of the Resurrection appearances ought to give us confidence in their reliability. The Resurrection is not a work of fiction written by a single author or observed by a single witness in a single location at a single time of day or night. Instead, the appearances were recorded by a variety of authors and occurred in front of a diverse set of eyewitnesses in assorted locations and times. The expansive and differing aspects of these sightings ought to give us increased confidence in the authenticity and reliability of the accounts. This list of appearances and evidential properties is available as a free downloadable Bible Insert. You can download it, along with all our free Bible Inserts, from the link in the right toolbar on the homepage at ColdCaseChrstiainity.com.

For more information about the reliability of the New Testament gospels and the case for Christianity, please read Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels. This book teaches readers ten principles of cold-case investigations and applies these strategies to investigate the claims of the gospel authors. The book is accompanied by an eight-session Cold-Case Christianity DVD Set (and Participant’s Guide) to help individuals or small groups examine the evidence and make the case.

J. Warner Wallace is a Dateline featured Cold-Case Detective, Senior Fellow at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Adj. Professor of Christian Apologetics at Talbot School of Theology, Biola University, author of Cold-Case ChristianityGod’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith, and creator of the Case Makers Academy for kids.

The Evidentially Diverse Resurrection Appearances of Jesus (Free Bible Insert) — Cold Case Christianity

October—13 The Poor Man’s Evening Portion

 

I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it and come down to you?—Nehem. 6:3.

My soul! a very blessed instruction is held forth to thee, in these words. Nehemiah met with sad interruptions in his service, while building the Lord’s house. Various were the attempts made by the enemies of God and his cause, to call him off from his labours. But this was his answer to all. Now, my soul, thou hast many enemies also, both from within and without; the world, and the powers of darkness, and thine own corruptions, are all in league to interrupt thy pursuit of divine things. When, therefore, the Sanballats and the Geshems of the day invite thee to the villages, in the plain of Ono, here is thine answer: “Why should the work of the Lord cease, when the King’s business requires despatch?” Wherefore should the body, with all its corrupt affections, drag down the soul? Is it reasonable, is it proper to be concerned for the things of a day, while regardless of eternity? Wilt thou for ever be as little children amused with toys, and taken up with playthings, when Jesus is calling thee, and proposing himself to thee, for thy constant, unceasing, present, and everlasting delight? Oh! for grace and strength from the Lord, to be able, like Abraham, to fray away those fowls which come down upon the sacrifice! O do thou, Lord, drive both the buyers and the sellers from thy temple! Take my whole heart and soul, and all my affections, and fix and centre them all on thyself! Every vanity, every robber, like Barabbas of old, will be preferred to thee, thou dear Emmanuel, unless thy grace restrain and keep under what thy grace hath taught me to know and feel, that I carry about with me a body of sin and death, which is for ever calling me aside from thee. Oh! let thy grace make its way through all the swarms of vain thoughts and interruptions which surround me, and make my soul “as the chariots of Amminadib!” Let no longer these “dead flies spoil the excellent ointment,” made fragrant by the rich spices of thy blessed Spirit: but when even by the most innocent calls, like that made to Jesus himself, of his mother and his brethren being without, desiring to speak to him, oh! for grace, that, like my Lord, even then, I may not suffer the higher claims of my God and Saviour to pass by, nor the work of the Lord and the concern of my soul to cease, to come down to them.[1]

 

[1] Hawker, R. (1845). The Poor Man’s Evening Portion (A New Edition, p. 295). Philadelphia: Thomas Wardle.

October 13 – The prophetic voice of the church — VCY America

October 13

  • Jeremiah 22:1-23:20
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
  • Psalm 83:1-18
  • Proverbs 25:11-14

Jeremiah 22:1 – As I write this we are less than a month from the next election. We’ll be electing leaders, who will be passing laws. How will they decide which laws are worth passing? That comes from their personal morality. Is it more important to do X or to do Y. The job of the church in relation to the government is to teach the values to inform the policies made. As we’ve all heard, all legislation is morality, it’s just a question of whose morality we’re going to legislate.

Jeremiah 22:13 – Morality begins in the home. It is not until we repair our relationships that we can be blessed by God.

Jeremiah 22:30 – From Ellicott’s:

(30) Write ye this man childless.–The meaning of the prediction, as explained by the latter clause of the verse, was fulfilled in Jeconiah’s being the last kingly representative of the house of David, his uncle Zedekiah, who succeeded him, perishing before him (Jeremiah 52:31). In him the sceptre departed, and not even Zerubbabel sat upon the throne of Judah. Whether he died actually childless is less certain. In 1Chronicles 3:17 Assir (possibly, however, the name should be translated “Jeconiah the prisoner”) appears as his son, and as the father of Salathiel, or Shealtiel; and in Matthew 1:12 we find “Jechonias begat Salathiel.” In these genealogies, however, adoption or succession, or a Levirate marriage so constantly takes the place of parentage, that nothing certain can be inferred from these data, and St. Luke (Luke 3:27) places Salathiel among the descendants of Nathan, as though the line of Solomon became extinct in Jeconiah, and was replaced by the collateral branch of the house of David (see Note on Luke 3:23). The command, “write ye this man childless,” is apparently addressed to the “scribes who kept the register of the royal genealogies (Ezekiel 13:9Psalm 69:28-29). They were told how, without waiting for his death, they were to enter Coniah’s name in that register.

Jeremiah 23:4  This month is Pastor Appreciation Month – thank God for good pastors!

Jeremiah 23:16 – 1 John 4:1 commands us to “try the spirits” and not secretly adopt them. There are many people today who are similar to the false prophets, walking after the imaginations of their hearts.

2 Thessalonians 1:5 – Worthiness for the kingdom comes from suffering in this life? No wonder Paul had to write to clarify his instructions from previously!

Psalm 83:6 – The tabernacles of Edom? Jimmy DeYoung explores Edom in his documentary: “Rome Rising.”

Psalm 83:18 – Praise the LORD – there is no other, there is no other by His name!

Proverbs 25:11 – Discernment and application are great life-long skills to have.

Share how reading thru the Bible has been a blessing to you! E-mail us at 2018bible@vcyamerica.org or call and leave a message at 414-885-5370.

October 13 – The prophetic voice of the church — VCY America