Monthly Archives: October 2020

CNN Claims Hunter Biden “Burisma Deal” Stinks; Story On ABC News Confronting Hunter Biden Resurfaces | ZeroHedge News

Update (1030ET): Now that the dam has broken, more MSM “journalists” are jumping on the Hunter Biden story, including CNN’s Jake Tapper, who acknowledged on Saturday that Hunter Biden’s relationship with Burisma – initiated just weeks after his father became the top US diplomat responsible for purging corruption in Ukraine – “stinks”

CNN followed that up with something even more surprising: An opinion piece arguing that Trump does deserve a second term.

‘Wow’, indeed.

* * *

Last night, after a 16-day blackout, Twitter finally relented and released the NY Post’s account from ‘Twitter jail’, punishment for the paper’s work publishing stories about Hunter Biden’s financial dealings in Ukraine and China. Some of the emails clearly contradicted Hunter Biden father’s claims that he had never discussed business with his son.

On the contrary, it was later revealed, Joe Biden was “the big man”, a “Godfather”-like figure overseeing the business dealings of his son, and his brother, Jim Biden, from a relatively safe distance. As former Biden business associate Tony Bobulinski affirmed, the Bidens saw Hunter’s dealings abroad as part and parcel of the family business. “They were putting the Biden name on the line,” Bobulinski said.

For the last two weeks, big tech and their allies in the mainstream media have been dreaming up every excuse imaginable to continue censoring the Hunter Biden stories. Meanwhile, a network of conservative blogs led by a new Chinese news site called G-News have released an unceasing stream of pornographic images purporting to show Hunter Biden using drugs and engaging in sexual acts.

But after Jack Dorsey, Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai were dragged in front of a Senate Committee this week and mercilessly pounded by Ted Cruz, followed by a historic selloff in Twitter shares on Friday, it seems the entire mainstream media ecosystem has finally run out of excuses, and just like that, Hunter Biden and the issue of foreign corruption exposing the former VP to international blackmail is back on the table.

As CNN and other media outlets start to ask more questions about Hunter Biden, conservative and independent journalists are resurfacing this ABC News reporter from 2019 where Tom Llamas confronts Biden in person and lobs several hardball questions about the Hunter Biden scandal. Did Joe Biden allow his son to earn millions in shady deals in foreign countries.

“It’s a question we tried to ask repeatedly…but kept getting blocked.”

The questions were about deals involving Hunter Biden in countries where his father was “working as America’s top diplomat”.

Delving deeper into the backstory than any mainstream media report we’ve seen, ABC explains how Joe Biden was dispatched to Kiev to fight the “cancer of corruption” as civil war broke out.

But then something strange happened: “just three weeks later, a Ukrainian national gas company, Burisma, which had been accused of corruption, promotes Hunter Biden to its board, and paid his firm millions of dollars a year.”

Llamas pointed out that the younger Biden had just been discharged from the Navy reserves for testing positive for cocaine, and that although he had sat on corporate boards before, he had no experience in the natural gas business.

What’s worse, the stab in the back from ABC News comes as the Biden Campaign is sounding a “red alert” over the Black and Latino vote.

Watch the full report below:

It’s difficult to understate what ABC News has done here: With one five-minute segment, they have broken the mainstream media blackout on the Hunter Biden story, with just days to go before the election.

Will ABC News and CNN be the James Comey of 2020? We’ll have to wait and see.

Source: CNN Claims Hunter Biden “Burisma Deal” Stinks; Story On ABC News Confronting Hunter Biden Resurfaces

Here’s What JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Thinks Will Happen in the U.S. Election

Not surprisingly, Dimon has some interesting thoughts about the 2020 presidential election. The long-tenured CEO (who weighed a presidential bid of his own), has recently shared thoughts on whether we’ll have a contested election, how the results will impact the U.S. economy, and more.

Image source: Getty Images.

Continue reading

Source: Here’s What JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon Thinks Will Happen in the U.S. Election

October 31 Intercession

And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land.
(Ezekiel 22:30)

Do you remember Dunkirk? Thousands of allied troops were trapped on the beaches, about to be slaughtered like cattle. But Britain cried out to God, and He heard her. He draped a protective curtain of fog around the troops, and spoke “peace” to the wind and the waves. An armada of vessels—anything that could float—made it through that day; it lifted our boys from the jaws of death and defeat, and brought them home to fight again—and win!

Today, our nation is obsessed with the pursuit of material things, and has grown comfortable without God—but only until the next crisis! The challenge of this hour is for “intercessors,” who will “stand in the gap” before God.

When you become an intercessor, two things automatically happen. Instead of receiving, your concern becomes giving. Instead of your own injuries, your focus is now to bring healing to others. David said, “Pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge” (Psalms 62:8). Is God calling you to intercede?

 

Take some time out today and think about this![1]

 

[1] Gass, B. (1998). A Fresh Word For Today : 365 Insights For Daily Living (p. 304). Alachua, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.

ROGER STONE EXCLUSIVE: How the Democrats Plan to Steal the 2020 Election — The Gateway Pundit

(Guest post by Roger Stone)

It is now just a few days until America finally renders its fateful choice for President on on Election Day 2020.  But  Democrat manipulations to buy time to conduct as much voter fraud as possible have made it more like Election MONTH 2020.

As President Donald Trump tirelessly barnstorms the country, firing up voters from all walks of life at increasingly massive rallies that epitomize political Americana, Democrat Joe Biden is staggering around the political stage, desperately hoping to run out the clock and avoid any of the exploding controversy around his treasonous secret business dealings with the communist Chinese, among other appalling revelations.

Biden’s campaign communications team – also known as the entire corporate “mainstream” media and all major social media and information platforms – are scurrying about crazily in an unprecedented suppression and censorship rampage to ensure that the growing body of authenticated evidence of Joe Biden’s active complicity in his son Hunter’s influence pedaling in Ukraine, China and Kazakhstan receives zero coverage, effectively bamboozling the American electorate.

While his cynical media protectorate shields the doddering Delaware Democrat from long-overdue exposure of his appalling corruption and greed, Biden cowers in the basement bunker of his sprawling multimillion dollar estate in Chateau Country, Delaware. Biden’s “campaign” is now pretty basic: no rallies, no press conferences, no exposure to media questions, no impromptu (or any) interaction with actual voters, and not a peep about any of the sludge now bubbling up out of the Biden Crime Family sewer.

Every once in a while Biden’s handlers (controllers) prop him up and drag him out to a contrived platform appearance somewhere in Pennsylvania just a short drive from the Biden bunker/compound, where the cognitively-impaired 78 year old bumbles his way through jumbotron teleprompted remarks to some small highly-screened group of voters, from a safe distance of course (no handshaking, baby kissing, or even elbow bumping), just so his media army can show the world proof of life.

Before going dark (and into hiding) Biden explicitly promised (threatened) to raise taxes (a bit of bravado that didn’t not work out so well for another former Democrat Vice-President running for the top job four years too late, Walter Mondale). In a bit of uplifting optimism, the mask-pusher from Scranton-Claymont predicted a “dark winter” for America – nothing like gloom and doom to inspire a country suffering under Democrat lockdown mania. In short, Biden is doing the worst thing any political candidate can do – he’s sitting on a lead, trying to run out the clock. Biden’s effort is so lifeless and lackluster that I am reminded of something President Nixon used to say to me: “Stone, in politics the only thing worse than being wrong is being boring.”

Donald Trump, by contrast, has stolen (or brilliantly rewritten) a page from the last landslide Republican president, Ronald Reagan, by bombarding Democrat strongholds with an upbeat message of hope and sunny optimism. The endlessly-energetic Trump  lays out his impressive record and reassures voters that, contrary to Joe Biden’s vision of a Dark Winter for America, ‘the best is yet to come.’

Touting his extraordinary record of job creation and wage growth, this president dominates the political stage as a happy warrior, but also one who is equally fearless in excoriating the Democrats and their propaganda fluffers in the corporate mainstream (fake news) media. His tireless come-from-behind effort is interesting, entertaining and inspirational.

His Trump Rallies are becoming the stuff of political legend. But even moreso, they are presidential campaign rocket fuel. While the President draws strength and resolve from the enormous crowds of fired-up Americans who flock to see him, they, in turn, are infused with his infectious energy, moved to action by the confidence and enthusiasm he imparts with his every word and his commanding presence.

Democrats know their candidate is weak and that his ‘supporters’ have the intensity of a room full of dental patients waiting for a tooth extraction. Their sum total of their message is “we hate Trump”, higher taxes, more regulation and a re-constituted reign of error by the Democrats’ bellicose, ossified political lifers, only now with a burgeoning splinter of aggressive proto-communist zealots driving their demagogic ideology.

Desperate Democrat power-seekers and their Trump-deranged RINO fellow travelers know Biden’s lead is dwindling (if he ever really had one, given the Trump-hate media and political class’s pathological inability to utter so much as a breath that does not denigrate or diminish the object of their endless scorn and vicious hatred). The leftist Democrat shock troops are already torquing up their (well-organized, well-funded) mob violence on the streets of New York and Philadelphia – a glimmer of the diabolical plans by which they will to go to any lengths and use any means necessary to defeat Donald Trump…or destroy the country in the process.

They are already in the process of resorting to widespread voter fraud to stop the quickly rising Trump and have troweled up a practical army of at least 600 sleazy lawfare specialists from the bottom of the Democrat lawyer cesspool, eagerly scheming to pressure election boards to ratify various Democrat election-stealing fraud schemes like ballot harvesting. While this noxious army of political ambulance chasers swarm over the land seeking to manufacture delay, disarray and uncertainty until or unless they can rig the defeat of Donald Trump, the Biden Democrat-fomented criminal street mobs will augment this chaos-driven pressure with violent “protests” and destructive riots.

From all of the polling I have examined, this presidential race may be as close as the Bush v Gore race in 2000 and the 1960 contest between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Bush v. Gore was, of course, resolved in the U.S. Supreme Court. Kennedy versus Nixon was resolved by the magnanimity and patriotic fidelity of Vice-President Richard Nixon. Attorneys for Nixon had already gathered more than enough evidence of widespread and systematic Democrat voter fraud in Illinois and Texas (which was extremely well-documented at the time in a detailed series of articles in The New York Herald Tribune), but Nixon selflessly decided against putting the country through the agony of a divisive, drawn-out legal process to eliminate the fruits of Democrat fraud and honestly determine who was the rightful President. Interestingly, American war hero and straight arrow, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, joined a number of prominent Americans urging Nixon to wage a no holds-barred legal challenge to the questionable victory of Democrat John Kennedy.

If my premonition of a razor-thin margin of victory by one candidate or the other turns out to be accurate, it is absolutely imperative that the Trump Campaign, the Republican National Committee and the “Stop The Steal” organization of Republican lawyers working to ensure the integrity of this election, ready to sort out the what and the who of the Democrats’ election fraud, immediately mobilize around one effort. They must have voters lined up and ready who have standing to file the appropriate legal petitions, pleadings and motions to challenge questionable results and expose fraudulent activities wherever they have occurred. They must be prepared to collect and submit persuasive hard evidence detailing all voter fraud and expose those who planned, paid for, solicited or perpetrated these crimes.

As I said, Democrats have an illegal ballot harvesting plan in full swing and are coordinating with the foreign-funded domestic terror groups BLM and Antifa to foment violence and political instability in order the steal the 2020 election. Behind all of this organized Democrat corruption is a sleazy legal trickster and Democrat hatchet man  named Norm Eisen, who actually wrote a manual or guidebook outlining how he was behind the same type of violent insurrection in other countries – and how he plans to use the same tactics to hijack our election next Tuesday. Eisen’s international trademark is a scenario in which insurrectionist forces engineer various contrivances to loudly contest a national election, while also mobilizing massive protests in support of seizing the election in their favor. These astro-turfed riots are falsely portrayed as “peaceful protests” or acts of civil disobedience, when they are in fact violent destructive mobs.

Eisen wrote a detailed “how to” book for radical revolution, literally called the “Playbook”. This diabolical manual for mass manipulation lays out scenarios for the overthrow of democratically elected governments overseas, which Eisen sought to topple. It includes plans for engineering election fraud scenarios and then using election fraud as the pretext to engineer mass protests intended to cast doubt on the legitimacy of election result.

This un-American slimeball Eisen has been a chief architect of the underhanded, dishonest and even seditious impeachment efforts waged against President Trump, as well as over 180 frivolous or malicious lawsuits against Trump and his political allies. He had already authored ten articles of impeachment against President Trump before the President’s phone call to the President of Ukraine, which Democrats absurdly distorted, misrepresented and inflated into their laughable grounds for impeachment, had even taken place. Eisen was Special Counsel to the Democrats for the impeachment process he had himself engineered.

This ruthless lawyer thug and Democrat zealot Eisen will employ the usual Democrat  lawfare tricks to try to steal or overturn the 2020 election, with street thugs as his Plan B. Republicans must be prepared to fight this effort both in the courts and through mobilization of legitimate peaceful protests.

The big stash of ballots that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar got caught with trace directly to Eisen’s ballot-harvesting operation. This is but one strand in a sprawling vote fraud web which can be traced, and proved if necessary, to similar criminal operations underway in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia and Arizona.

I firmly believe, and can look to their long history of engaging in it, that Democrat criminals are, and will be, engaging in widespread voter fraud in various forms including mail-in voting abuse, illegal ballot harvesting, multiple votes cast by one individual, votes cast in the name of persons who are deceased or no longer reside in the voting jurisdiction and manipulation of computerized voting machine tabulations. I know that there will be credible evidence of this everywhere it is perpetrated, if for no other reason than, while Democrat masterminds like Eisen may be crafty little manipulators who slither around in the shadows undetected, the average Democrat thug hired, or otherwise willing, to carry out the necessary election fraud tasks is going to reflect the Democrat base in being either sloppy, stupid, or both, and will leave a trail of evidence behind.

The President’s lawyers and a supporting network of diligent attorneys willing to join the fight against this criminal effort to steal the presidency and more, must be prepared and organized to collect and catalog credible evidence showing the Democrats’ systematic vote fraud campaign, while preserving all available legal options to challenge the results, even if (when) the fake news media works overtime to stampede the public into rubber-stamping a fraudulent election, stealing the presidency if not the Congress too.

To pull off their version of a “color revolution”, Democrats and their fake news propaganda machine in mainstream media have set up a cynical diversionary effort. In recent weeks, corporate-owned Democrat shill media has been in overdrive falsely and maliciously smearing and defaming a fraternal organization called the “Proud Boys,” an extraordinarily small group of mostly young men of all races and identities (the national chairman is a black latino of Cuban descent) who are essentially a drinking society. Truly vile Democrat stooges in media have published libelous and slanderous statements falsely labeling these men as “white supremacists.” Having absolutely ZERO evidence to substantiate this defamation, all they do is cite a criminal front group run by leftist zealots called the “Southern Poverty Law Center” or SPLC (an organization whose name is three lies in one).

The radical leftists behind this shady defamation factory disguised as a public interest group are neither neutral nor objective, and are a credible arbiter of absolutely nothing on this planet. They have been a malicious propaganda generator against anyone with views that are anything right of the Chamber of Commerce. This evil organization was essentially setup as a money-making scam for left-wing fundraiser Morris Dees, used to fleece well-intentioned low-dollar liberal donors of their money, thinking they were sending money to fight extremists on the right, like Gerald Ford. Meanwhile, they defame as a Nazi or Klansman anyone who doesn’t actively profess twisted hard left doctrine or bow down before the likes of Elizabeth Warren.

That said, their lies about the Proud Boys have been fodder for a despicable smear campaign by the corporate Democrat media which has progressed to totally-false utterly-fabricated insinuations that the Proud Boys are going to suppress votes by menacing , harassing and assaulting voters at polling places.

I predict here and now that no Trump-supporter anywhere of any kind will in any way intimidate or harass voters at the polls, nor even attempt such conduct. Because the left always accuses their opponents of whatever crimes or treachery in which they are themselves engaged, or planning to engage, I am concerned about the Norm Eisen – Mark Elias – Neal Katyal scheme to steal the 2020 election and the presidency, using Black Lives Matter and Antifa to intimidate and harass Trump voters at the polling places in order to suppress the Trump vote – particularly among older citizens.

The head Democrat election thief Eisen calls his ballot fraud/lawfare/street violence operation (what else?) a “Voter Protection Project”. It is anything but that, but one must acknowledge how clever these liberals can be in their nefarious scheming and scamming.

BLM and Antifa have demonstrated beyond question that they have the numbers, funding, structure and organization to stage such violent suppressive incidents at carefully selected polling locations around the country. The notion that Antifa is, per Joe Biden in the first presidential debate, merely “an idea” or “ideology” and not an actual organization is, aside from being lunacy, disproved by their criminally violent and well-organized actions in recent months. Someone is paying for trucks, buses, U-Hauls and pallets of bricks, as well as the lawyers who show up instantaneously with bail money whenever one of these violent terrorists is arrested.

That America is awash with dark money to fund these terrorist operations and the insurrection they seek to foment is beyond question at this point. These are the thugs who will lead the wave of violence that Mr. Eisen and his cohorts have planned to use the pressure tactic against the vote counters, while Mr. Katyal and his band of manipulative lawyer thugs badger and threaten them with legal maneuvers.

In recent days the Democrat propaganda fake news media juggernaut has taken on the practice of distorting virtually everything I say, ever since the Soviet-style show trial I was put through in Washington D.C. This has only escalated since President’s humanitarian act of justice and mercy, commuting the outlandish sentence slapped on me by the vicious partisan judge who made sure I would never receive a fair trial and sought to incarcerate me immediately in a prison rife with COVID-19 cases, literally putting my life at great risk to sate their partisan malice. The President’s clemency by which I was able to escape certain death in a federal penitentiary has degenerate leftist zealots feeling denied the fruits of their lawless abuses of power and corruption of our courts as their illegitimate tool for political score-settling. Many will surely attack me for revealing the truth in this article.

Since they now twist and distort anything I say publicly, let me state it clearly and unequivocally: I renounce violence of any kind as a solution to any dispute over the outcome of the election taking place just days from now. If there is credible evidence of voter fraud sufficient to distort the election results, and the fake news media and violent shock-troops of the Democrat Party should attempt to stampede the country into accepting the illegitimate election of Joe Biden as president, the dispute must nonetheless be settled in the courts, not in the streets.

ROGER STONE EXCLUSIVE: How the Democrats Plan to Steal the 2020 Election — The Gateway Pundit

David Platt To Church: If You Can’t Live with Other Members Voting and Campaigning for Democrats, You Should Leave — Protestia

David Platt gave an earnestly couched ultimatum to church members who were upset and contemplating breaking fellowship with other congregants who were promoting, working for, or voting for the pro-baby-killing Democratic party: maybe you should leave.

Platt made the comments during his October 25th sermon, where he used 2 Peter 2 to teach his congregation what sort of things ought to be considered when voting. In this, Platt made the same mistake John Piper recently did by contrasting the evil of the Democrat party’s bloodthirsty appetite for abortion and perverted destruction of the family through the promotion and normalization of sodomy and “transgenderism,” with Trump’s vices. First he acknowledges how bad abortion is:

We exalt Jesus by taking seriously the life of a child in a mother’s womb. We abhor abortion. We hate what is happening to children across our country. And it is not an option for followers of Jesus to say that abortion is ok or not a big deal. Abortion is an extremely serious deal of genocidal proportions…we take seriously the evil practice of abortion in an election in our country.

Then he contrasts with the personal character flaws of President Trump, highlighting his name-calling, boasting, sexual immorality, and dishonesty, effectively flattening them out as equally egregious and worthy of rebuke, saying that we likewise must take them seriously.

Platt stresses the importance of the unity of the Church, saying that peoples’ eternity is dependent on seeing unity in the church, which is why, “We exalt Jesus by not letting tension and division from politics creep into the church.” He unironically says that the church must “take evil seriously and avoid it. I see temptations in an election to treat evil lightly, to minimize, overlook, cover-over or even engage in it,” and then explains to members:

David Platt To Church: If You Can’t Live with Other Members Voting and Campaigning for Democrats, You Should Leave — Protestia

Jerry Falwell Jr. Brings Multi-million Dollar Defamation Lawsuit Against Liberty University — Protestia

Jerry Falwell Jr., the former President of Liberty University filed a defamation suit against his former employer, alleging destruction of reputation, improper, malicious, and politically-motivated haranguing against him, as well as breach of contract following his ousting as leader of the largest Christian university in the world

Falwell was caught with pants unbuttoned partying on a yacht cosplaying with his family as the Trailer Park Boys , ‘liking’ and giving ‘thumbs up’ to semi-nude students on social media, and for allegedly participating in sexual perversions and sundry forms of cuckoldry. Consequently, as s result of his actions he was let go as president of the University, leaving officially on good terms, which let him keep a $10,000,000 severance package.

The lawsuit alleges:

Jerry Falwell Jr. Brings Multi-million Dollar Defamation Lawsuit Against Liberty University — Protestia

October 31 Selfless Love

1 Corinthians 13:13

Now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Paul tells us that the secret to all of life is love. A love that cares, that goes out of its own way to find what it can do to minister, makes a difference. Love in a kitchen. Love on the football field. Most of all, love in your heart. Love that is selfless. I have seen people ministering in churches who get no credit for what they do, and yet, behind the scenes, they serve, minister, and work. They have love—love for children, love for the church, and love for the Lord. There are many Christians who give sacrificially. They do it because love in their hearts makes them want to turn away from their own needs and wants and give of themselves and their substance back to God. That is where joy is to be found.

There is one thing I can tell you about selfless love: if you ever get close to it, you will know it because it feels so good. You won’t have to tell anybody about it, and if you do, you might lose it in the process. But if you experience it, you will know the joy of it.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 318). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.

A Happy Halloween | Reformation 21

Death and darkness dominate America’s Halloween celebrations. Children dress as ghosts and ghouls, and October is the season for horror films. Many Americans, both Christian and non-Christian, think that this fascination with the macabre must be anti-Christian. They may be then surprised to learn that Halloween is actually a Christian holiday.[1]

Christians celebrate life and light rather than death and darkness, but we know that life triumphs over death. This means that Christians have historically been comfortable with issues of life and death. Pre-Christian religions, on the other hand, tend to be less comfortable with death, viewing dead bodies as pollutants. Often people burned bodies to symbolize the soul’s freedom from the chains that bound it to earth, and Greeks believed that proper burial rites must be observed or disembodied souls might be trapped on earth. The Romans built their cemeteries outside the city so the dead wouldn’t corrupt the living. Our Halloween observances owe nothing to those classical pagans who lived in fear of restless shades.

But what of the supposed Celtic pagan influences on Halloween? Some proclaim (with approval or condemnation) that our American Halloween traditions are based on the Celtic harvest festival of Samhain. They tell us that at this time of year the ancient peoples of the British Isles celebrated magic rites because the door between our world and the spirit world would open. Celtic occult practices loosed demons on the night of Samhain, which we now observe as Halloween.

If this story of Samhain were true, Christian parents would indeed need to shield their families from Halloween practices—but it’s not. The truth is that historians don’t really know much of anything about Celtic religion. What gets passed around the Internet as history is mostly speculation and nonsense.

The Celts didn’t write stuff down, and the Romans who did write stuff down didn’t give us much reliable information about the Celts or their religion. Hundreds of years after the last pagan Celt died, some medieval Christian monks mention a few names by recording some stories of mythical battles, but there’s not enough to reconstruct the workings of a pre-Christian religion, or even the workings of one single festival. Historians don’t even really know if Samhain was an actual festival or just the term used to mark the end of summer. Probably some of these pre-Christian peoples celebrated the end of summer, but this is just speculation. The whole discussion of “what Celts believed” becomes even more pointless when we take into account that the peoples living in France and the British Isles didn’t think of themselves as “a people.” Their unity as “Celts” was founded on little more than Roman stereotyping.

Our secular Halloween traditions have little to do with paganism—Celtic or Roman—but they have much to do with Christianity. Too often we Americans forget that Halloween, or “All Hallows’ Evening,” is actually only the prelude to another holiday: All Saints’ Day. This Christian holy day, which has its roots in late antiquity, honors all those who have reached heaven, originally with a special emphasis on the martyrs.

Pagan Romans avoided the ashes of their forebears, but Christians looked upon the graves of their dead as having spiritual importance. Christian cemeteries were not final resting places; the grave was only temporary. Christians looked forward to the bodily resurrection of their brothers and sisters, and visiting the grave of those who slept in Christ testified to this belief in the resurrection.

The resurrection of Christ had rent the veil that separated the living and the dead. The early catholic church did not merely boast a universality over space, but it also claimed a temporal universality. Could death really separate the saints whether living or dead now that Christ has risen? Christians gathered at the tombs to celebrate because in this way the members of the church who still lived could include in the celebration the members of the church who had died. Heaven and earth were joined, in a sense, when Christians both living and dead simultaneously worshiped the God who would one day reunite them.

Feast days commemorating the holy dead often began with an evening vigil, which is why we have All Hallows’ Eve. Even in antiquity, the night before the holy day could become quite boisterous with feasting, drinking, singing, and dancing. Augustine of Hippo said that when he was a young man he used the vigil before a martyr’s feast to look for a little romance. I imagine that many young men in America will be looking for a little romance at their Halloween party this weekend too.

I’m not suggesting, however, that American Christians ought to embrace the rowdiness that often accompanies Halloween. I’m merely suggesting that any excesses we see in this secular holiday should be understood as growing out of a uniquely Christian experience. The bishops in antiquity often found themselves trying to convince their people to celebrate the martyrs’ feasts with more reserve and reverence. The tendency to abuse a celebration isn’t unique to our generation, and it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with paganism.

Should Christian children be allowed to trick-or-treat? I don’t see why not. Much like putting up a Christmas tree, we don’t know why or how this particular tradition began. Trick-or-treating and Christmas caroling probably stem from the same Christian motivation. The night before a holy day was a night of fun in which one would visit with neighbors. Perhaps dressing as a ghost or skeleton was a way to honor the dead that would be celebrated the next day. As I said, it wasn’t the pagans who were fascinated with the dead; it was the Christians, because it’s only the Christians that believed that the dead don’t stay dead.

We don’t know why the early church began celebrating All Saints’ Day on November 1st. Maybe it was to co-opt fall festivals for the church.[2] But nonetheless the date makes sense within the overall rhythm of the calendar. Summer is over and the days are getting darker. What better time to acknowledge that we live in a fallen world? What better time to remember the martyrs who died during the dark days of persecution? But even though things are dark, we celebrate with joy. We can laugh, because we know that death no longer has a hold on God’s people. Though things look dark, we mock the darkness and we mock death because we know that we haven’t been abandoned to the darkness. We know that in the darkest days of the year, Christmas will come, and the days will get brighter.

As America moves farther away from its Christian roots, our society starts to resemble the pagans in some ways. We, like the Romans, tend to avoid death. We hide our elderly away in homes to die; we don’t have funerals, rather we have “celebrations of life.” For one night a year, secular America becomes honest about the human condition; death and darkness are all around us. Christians should take advantage of the holiday even in its secularized form by mingling with neighbors and reminding each other why we can laugh at death and joyfully ask, “Death, where is your sting?” Our faith in the resurrection is the reason for the season.

* * *

Some readers of Reformation21 will still be wary of Halloween after this explanation. Some will say, “But isn’t the Roman Catholic cult of the saints an idolatrous syncretism based on Pagan hero cults?” The answer is, no; that’s Enlightenment propaganda. Others will ask whether Catholic superstition about the saints is really any better than pagan superstition. To them I would suggest asking these questions:

Do I believe the martyrs should be remembered?

Do I believe that the dead will rise again?

Do I believe the power of Christ has conquered death?

If you answered yes to these questions, then you believe the fundamental doctrines that motivated the historic celebration of All Saints’ Day and Halloween.


Collin Garbarino is an assistant professor of history at Houston Baptist University, and a correspondent for WORLD magazine. He enjoys discussing church history, mystery novels, and Louisiana culture. His favorite conversation partners are his wife and four children


Related Links

“Article XXII — Of Purgatory” by Henry Jansma

“Contra Cremation” by Peter Van Doodewaard

“Was Jesus Still God in the Tomb?” by David Murray

What Happens When We Worship by Jonathan Landry Cruse

PCRT ’86: Our Blessed Hope: The Doctrine of Last Things
[Audio Disc]  [MP3 Disc]  [Download]


Notes

[1] This is not to day that it’s a holiday that every Christian must enjoy and participate in, but only that it is rooted in Christian tradition.

[2] It’s ironic, to say the least, that many American churches won’t celebrate Halloween, and instead they replace it with the obviously pagan sounding “fall festival.”


Note: This article was originally published on reformation21 in October of 2015.

Source: A Happy Halloween

October 31 Streams in the Desert

Likewise also the Spirit helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what to pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26, 27.)

THIS is the deep mystery of prayer. This is the delicate divine mechanism which words cannot interpret, and which theology cannot explain, but which the humblest believer knows even when he does not understand.

Oh, the burdens that we love to bear and cannot understand! Oh, the inarticulate out-reachings of our hearts for things we cannot comprehend! And yet we know they are an echo from the throne and a whisper from the heart of God. It is often a groan rather than a song, a burden rather than a buoyant wing. But it is a blessed burden, and it is a groan whose undertone is praise and unutterable joy. It is “a groaning which cannot be uttered.” We could not ourselves express it always, and sometimes we do not understand any more than that God is praying in us, for something that needs His touch and that He understands.

And so we can just pour out the fullness of our heart, the burden of our spirit, the sorrow that crushes us, and know that He hears, He loves, He understands, He receives; and He separates from our prayer all that is imperfect, ignorant and wrong, and presents the rest, with the incense of the great High Priest, before the throne on high; and our prayer is heard, accepted and answered in His name.—A. B. Simpson.

It is not necessary to be always speaking to God or always hearing from God, to have communion with Him; there is an inarticulate fellowship more sweet than words. The little child can sit all day long beside its busy mother and, although few words are spoken on either side, and both are busy, the one at his absorbing play, the other at her engrossing work, yet both are in perfect fellowship. He knows that she is there, and she knows that he is all right. So the saint and the Saviour can go on for hours in the silent fellowship of love, and he be busy about the most common things, and yet conscious that every little thing he does is touched with the complexion of His presence, and the sense of His approval and blessing.

And then, when pressed with burdens and troubles too complicated to put into words and too mysterious to tell or understand, how sweet it is to fall back into His blessed arms, and just sob out the sorrow that we cannot speak!—Selected.[1]

 

[1] Cowman, L. B. (1925). Streams in the Desert (pp. 315–316). Los Angeles, CA: The Oriental Missionary Society.

The Greatest Issue We Face | Ligonier Ministries

The doctrine of justification is the most controversial issue in the history of Christendom. It was the material cause of the Protestant Reformation, the issue that led to the most serious fragmentation of the Christian church in its history. The debates it raised in the sixteenth century were not over minor details of theology. Both the Roman Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformers understood that what was at stake in the controversy was nothing less than the gospel itself. When, at the Council of Trent in the middle of the sixteenth century, the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church condemned the Reformed doctrine of justification by faith alone and placed their anathema upon it, it was not their intention to place an anathema on the gospel. But if the Reformers were right, then that is exactly what they did, and they thereby anathematized themselves.

Luther declared in the sixteenth century that the doctrine of justification by faith alone is the article upon which the church stands or falls. Calvin used a different metaphor; he said it is the hinge upon which everything turns. At one point, when Luther was engaged in debate with Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam, Erasmus turned on Luther and attacked his position. Luther thanked Erasmus for not attacking him on trivial matters and expressed his appreciation that the debate in which they were engaged touched the very heart of the church itself. If Luther’s assessment is true, and justification is the article upon which the church stands or falls, then it follows that justification is the article upon which we stand or fall as individuals. Justification has to do with the justice and righteousness of God. God is just. Biblically, justice is always defined in connection with righteousness. To say that one is just is at the same time to say that one is righteous.

God is the absolute standard of all righteousness. As our Creator, He is also the supreme, sovereign judge of heaven and earth. The Bible clearly indicates that the One who is the judge of all is Himself perfectly just and righteous.

In one sense, that is very good news for us. To live in a world governed by an unjust being would be a dreadful thing to contemplate. We would have no hope for the ultimate triumph of justice in such a world. So it is good news for us that the ruler and judge of all things is Himself good and righteous.

In another sense, that is very bad news for us, because we are not just. The Scriptures make it clear that this just and righteous God has appointed a day in which He will judge the world, including all of us who are not just and righteous.

People today hardly get exercised about the doctrine of justification, which was a matter for which our forefathers were willing to die, and many did die. In Oxford, England, in the sixteenth century, Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer were burned at the stake for their confessed faith in the Reformation doctrines, including the doctrine of justification by faith alone. On a particular street in Oxford, a tiny sign marks the spot where they were executed. I watched people cross the street paying no attention to the mark or to the commemorative plaque. Although people today do not get exercised about a doctrine like justification, it was the issue that changed the whole Western world in the sixteenth century.

Part of the reason for this modern disinterest may be our concept of the last judgment. The idea of a final judgment to which all people will be subjected has all but disappeared from our thinking, and even from the preaching in most of today’s pulpits—despite Jesus’ repeated warning that we all will stand before God, and that every idle word that we speak will be judged.

Here is the dilemma. If God judges people according to His perfect standard of righteousness, then those who are unjust will be in serious trouble. The psalmist asks, “If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?” (Ps.130:3).The obvious answer is that no one could stand. We are all guilty of violating the commandments of our Creator, and at some point, we will be called on to stand before His judgment seat.

Even people who believe that there will be a judgment often believe that God is so kind and merciful that He will overlook our sins and grant unilateral pardon and forgiveness, so there is nothing to fear. That idea is foreign to the New Testament. The sober warning of Christ and of the Apostles is that God, in His perfect judgment of us, will judge all men according to their works and will reward the righteous and punish the unrighteous. We can look forward to receiving a reward that corresponds to our merit or punishment for our demerit. That may seem fine until we realize that we have no merit of our own, and that all we will have to offer God on the day of judgment will be our demerits.

The psalmist declares, “Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!” (Ps.139:7–8).“You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar….Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether” (vv.2, 4). The Scriptures reveal a God who is omniscient, so He does not need someone to give Him a list of what we have done. He knows everything about our lives.

We must not flee to the popular understanding that when God forgives our sins, He also forgets our sins. When the Scriptures tell us that He remembers our sins no more when He forgives them, the point is not that He has a sudden lapse in His divine memory. Rather, the point is that He does not hold what we have done against us ever again.

God’s forgiveness is not automatic and universal, but it is part of justification. When a person is guilty before a righteous God, there is nothing more important than to understand how that guilt can be removed and how God’s forgiveness can be attained. How can an unforgiven person become forgiven? How can an unjust person be justified or be considered just in the sight of God? There are not many issues in theology more serious than that. The controversy of the sixteenth century boiled down to this: How can we be saved? How can we, as unjust people, possibly be reconciled to a holy and righteous God? This is the greatest issue we face in our entire lives—the question of our personal redemption.

This excerpt is adapted from Truths We Confess by R.C. Sproul. In Truths We Confess, now thoroughly revised and available in a single, accessible volume, Dr. Sproul introduces readers to this remarkable confession, explaining its insights and applying them to modern life. Order the hardcover book today.

Source: The Greatest Issue We Face

October 31, 2020 Morning Verse Of The Day

3 Verse 3 is identical to v. 5 and reflects the result of knowing the ways of God: all the people will lift praise to God. Just as God’s promise to Abram in Gen. 12:3 (“and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed”), here the people are to praise God because of God’s blessing shining on the us of v. 1. These verses form a frame around the center of the psalm, a frame of praise spoken in hundreds of languages of all the peoples. This same praise is reflected in the narrative of the Pentecost in Acts 2:1–13.

4 Verse 4 forms the center of the chiastic structure. It is also highlighted by virtue of its three lines. The heart of the matter is that God will judge all with equity, and all the nations will be guided by God. God will treat all the people just as God treats Abraham’s family. God’s justice is not contained by national borders or by religion or by race. God’s justice and guidance are intended for all. God’s judgment is the reason for praise, for God comes, not to destroy but to set the world right and bring all into God’s kingdom.[1]


3. Gospel mercies demand gospel praise; and whenever the name and power of Christ are known and felt, praise will burst forth from every heart and every tongue.

4. The prophet had foretold that the nation and kingdom, which would not serve Christ, should perish; Isa. 60:12. But the same prophet had it in commission to tell the church, that so blessed should be the advent of Christ’s kingdom, and such the prosperity of the church, that strangers should stand and feed their flocks, and the sons of the alien should be their plowmen and their vine-dressers. So that in the contemplation of those auspicious events, the nations should be glad, and sing for joy, the Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice. Isaiah, 61:5.[2]


Ver. 3.—Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee; rather, the peoples, in both clauses. In the second clause the prayer is intensified by the addition of the word cullam, “all of them.”

Ver. 4.—O let the nations be glad and sing for joy. There could be no greater blessing to the nations than their attraction into God’s kingdom; nor, consequently, any event more worthy to be hailed with joyful acclaim, with songs of joy and thanksgiving. For thou shalt judge the people (rather, the peoples) righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. The main advantage of the change would be the bringing of the heathen into that kingdom of perfect righteousness, wherein God (in the Person of Christ) would dispense justice unerringly, and rule all men with perfect and absolute equity.[3]


3. The point of this refrain, repeated at verse 5, is sadly obscured in av, pbv, which have ‘the people’ instead of the peoples—as though this were no more than an appeal for hearty singing. It is in fact a prayer of great vision and daring, in which the second line, adding its all, clinches its emphasis on God as the Lord whom every tongue must confess.

4. But his reign is joyful, as the repeated calls to praise, surrounding this verse, imply. It is fundamentally the joy of perfect fairness, or equity, in which the impartiality implied in the word judge is partnered by the shepherd-like concern of guide (cf. e.g. 23:3; 78:72). The capricious kindliness which makes no moral judgments is as alien to biblical thought as the tyranny that rules without love. See, e.g., Exodus 34:6f.; Isaiah 11:1–9; 42:1–4, for the same marriage of strength and tenderness as here.[4]


3. “Let the people praise thee, O God.” Cause them to own thy goodness and thank thee with all their hearts; let nations do this, and do it continually, being instructed in thy gracious way. “Let all the people praise thee.” May every man bring his music, every citizen his canticle, every peasant his praise, every prince his Psalm. All are under obligations to thee, to thank thee will benefit all, and praise from all will greatly glorify thee; therefore, O Lord, give all men the grace to adore thy grace, the goodness to see thy goodness. What is here expressed as a prayer in our translation, may be read as a prophecy, if we follow the original Hebrew.

4. “O let the nations be glad and sing for joy,” or, they shall joy and triumph. When men know God’s way and see his salvation, it brings to their hearts much happiness. Nothing creates gladness so speedily, surely, and abidingly as the salvation of God. Nations never will be glad till they follow the leadership of the great Shepherd; they may shift their modes of government from monarchies to republics, and from republics to communes, but they will retain their wretchedness till they bow before the Lord of all. What a sweet word is that “to sing for joy!” Some sing for form, others for show, some as a duty, others as an amusement, but to sing from the heart, because overflowing joy must find a vent, this is to sing indeed. Whole nations will do this when Jesus reigns over them in the power of his grace. We have heard hundreds and even thousands sing in chorus, but what will it be to hear whole nations lifting up their voices, as the noise of many waters and like great thunders. When shall the age of song begin? When shall groans and murmurs be exchanged for holy hymns and joyful melodies? “For thou shalt judge the people righteously.” Wrong on the part of governors is a fruitful source of national woe, but where the Lord rules, rectitude is supreme. He doeth ill to none. His laws are righteousness itself. He rights all wrongs and releases all who are oppressed. Justice on the throne is a fit cause for national exultation. “And govern the nations upon earth.” He will lead them as a shepherd his flock, and through his grace they shall willingly follow, then will there be peace, plenty, and prosperity. It is great condescension on God’s part to become the Shepherd, of nations, and to govern them for their good: it is a fearful crime when a people who know the salvation of God, apostatize and say to the Lord “depart from us.” There is some cause for trembling lest our nation should fall into this condemnation; may God forbid.

Selah.” Before repeating the chorus, the note is again elevated, that full force may be given to the burst of song and the accompaniment of harps.

“Strings and voices, hands and hearts,

In the concert bear your parts;

All that breathe, your Lord adore,

Praise him, Praise him, evermore!”[5]


[1] deClaissé-Walford, N., & Tanner, B. (2014). Book Two of the Psalter: Psalms 42–72. In E. J. Young, R. K. Harrison, & R. L. Hubbard Jr. (Eds.), The Book of Psalms (pp. 539–540). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[2] Hawker, R. (2013). Poor Man’s Old Testament Commentary: Job–Psalms (Vol. 4, p. 370). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). Psalms (Vol. 2, p. 40). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[4] Kidner, D. (1973). Psalms 1–72: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 15, p. 255). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[5] Spurgeon, C. H. (n.d.). The treasury of David: Psalms 56-87 (Vol. 3, p. 129). London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers.

October 31 – Faith without works is dead — Reformed Perspective

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? – James 2:14

Scripture reading: James 2:1-17

This month we have thought about the work of Christ in uniting His people in His church for holy worship and service. We are called to live in fellowship with God and each other, showing the love of God to all. Ongoing Reformation requires that we examine all areas of our living, including how we treat others. We must not only get the gospel right, but gospel living right.

All too often, believers are guilty of favoritism. We can easily ignore those we disagree with, those of another color or race, those of a different cultural standing or lifestyle. We judge by sight even though we know we cannot see the heart. Thus as Christ loved us and sacrificed Himself for us while we were yet sinners, so we must love and give ourselves for others, even obvious sinners and people who are different. Later in the chapter, James speaks of wishing others well, but never taking any action to resolve their needs. Faith without deeds is useless.

Martin Luther, over 500 years ago today, acted for the common man in a way that transformed the church. He taught that salvation was not by works, but faith. He did so knowing that this faith must be proved true by works of love and mercy toward all people. The reformation begun is not yet complete.

Today we must devote ourselves to the love of Christ, seeking the ongoing reformation of the church until we reach the full stature of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray for a blessed day of worship and praise. Give thanks for the return of the church to the Scriptures and pray that today also the church might be reformed by Scripture to be the perfect body of Christ on earth.

Rev. Calvin Tuininga is the Pastor Emeritus of the Covenant United Reformed Church in Pantego, North Carolina. This daily devotional is also available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional.

October 31 – Faith without works is dead — Reformed Perspective

Long Before Luther — The Master’s Seminary Blog

Long Before Luther — The Master’s Seminary Blog

Nothing is more important than a right understanding of the gospel. It is the difference between truth and error, life and death, heaven and hell. The issue is so critical, in fact, that the Bible pronounces a curse on anyone who would preach a false version of it. The apostle Paul told his readers, “If any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed” (Gal 1:9). 

That is severe language. It is as harsh as the Word of God ever gets, pronouncing eternal condemnation on anyone who distorts the gospel. In a day of postmodern tolerance, those words may sound disturbing or divisive. But they are critically necessary because salvation is at stake. If sinners are to be forgiven and reconciled to God, they must have the true gospel preached to them. The good news of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is the only way anyone can escape hell and enter heaven.

In the sixteenth century, Martin Luther and his fellow Reformers rallied against the corruption that dominated Roman Catholicism. Chief among their concerns was Rome’s distortion of the gospel. Roman Catholicism had subverted the gospel of grace by setting up a sacramental system of works-righteousness in its place. Luther’s study of the New Testament, and especially the phrase “the just shall live by faith” (Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38; see Hab. 2:4) NKJV, launched his understanding of the gospel and emboldened his stand against the false system of his day. And God used Luther as a key part of the great recovery of the gospel known as the Reformation. 


Free Resource: A Little Book on the Reformation by Nathan Busenitz


But before Luther was a clear-headed theologian, he was a confused monk. Before he was a powerful force or gospel advancement, he was a tormented failure who lived in constant spiritual pain. Even after joining a monastery, he was profoundly depressed and overwrought with so much guilt that he lived in constant anxiety and fear. 

Like many in the sixteenth century, Luther believed the road to salvation depended on his own self-effort. He found that road to be impossibly difficult. No matter what he did, he could not overcome the reality of his own sinfulness. Convinced that he had to reach a certain point of worthiness to receive God’s grace, Luther went to extremes—starvation, asceticism, sleeplessness. He punished himself in an effort to pay for his sins and appease God’s wrath. Even so, he had no peace—and no salvation. 

Because he understood the reality of divine judgment, he desperately wanted to be right with God. The fear of God drove him to seek reconciliation and forgiveness. He longed for a way to escape hell and enter heaven. Yet even as a monk doing everything he could possibly do, he could not find relief for his fear and guilt. “How can I be right before God?” That was the question that tormented Luther. It is a question that every sinner must ask. But it is a question to which only the gospel provides the true answer. 

False religion invariably gives the wrong answer: “Be good. Work harder. Go about to establish your own righteousness.” The apostle Paul critiqued that perspective in Romans 10:3–4: “For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” False religion emphasizes human effort and establishes its own superficial standard of righteousness. 

By contrast, the true gospel emphasizes the bankruptcy of human effort. Salvation comes only by believing in the Lord Jesus, who puts an end to the tyranny of the law. Sinners, therefore, are saved by grace through faith, apart from their own works. They are forgiven, not because of what they have achieved, but only because of what God accomplished through Christ—once for all. 

That is Paul’s gospel, and that is what Luther found when he began teaching through Romans and Galatians. When the gospel of grace broke on Luther’s soul, the Holy Spirit gave him life, and peace and joy flooded his heart. He was forgiven, accepted, reconciled, converted, adopted, and justified—solely by grace through faith. The truth of God’s Word illuminated his mind, and the chains of guilt and fear fell off him. 

Luther was saved the same way any sinner is saved. Like the tax collector in Luke 18, he recognized his utter unworthiness and cried out to God for mercy. Like the thief on the cross, his sins were forgiven apart from any works he had done. Like the former Pharisee named Paul, he abandoned his reliance on self-righteous efforts, resting instead on the perfect righteousness of Christ. Like every true believer, he embraced the person and work of the Lord Jesus in saving faith. And having been justified by faith, for the first time in his life, he enjoyed peace with God. 

Importantly, the issue of the gospel was not settled 500 years ago in church history. It was settled long before Luther. The Reformers were responding to the clarion truth of Scripture, submitting to the gospel message articulated on the pages of the New Testament. Following in the footsteps of Christ and the apostles, they proclaimed the biblical gospel with courage and conviction. 


This excerpt is adapted from Long Before Luther by Nathan Busenitz, copyright (C) 2017.
Used by permission of Moody Publishers.

Crossing Turbulent Waters — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

In 1969, Reggae singer Jimmy Cliff recorded a song titled, ‘Many Rivers to Cross’. Jimmy Cliff mentioned that the song was birthed out of the frustration and helplessness he felt after moving from Jamaica to the UK. The feelings came about because unlike what he had expected, nothing significant seemed to be happening in his career at that time.

The lyrics go like this:

Many rivers to cross
But I can’t seem to find my way over
Wandering I am lost
As I travel along the white cliffs of Dover

Are you feeling like that today? Surrounded by turbulent waters that you can’t seem to cross? It is a fact that many people are facing turbulent waters today, especially with the ripple effects of COVID-19. In the midst of such challenges, the Word of God gives us great hope and assurance.

Here is a thought from the Bible that encourage us to have hope when surrounded by turbulent waters.

Turbulent waters cannot drown us

In Isaiah 43:2, the Lord gives great assurance about His protection on His children as they face deep, turbulent waters. He says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you” (Isaiah 43:2). What a great encouragement it is to know that He will not let us drown or be swept away when confronted by what the scripture calls ‘rivers of difficulty’ (Refer Isaiah 43:2 NLT).

Closing:

So friend if you are facing turbulent waters right now hold on to the promises of God and stand firm in your faith. As you do so, Jesus will speak to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”   Mark 4:39.

By Palitha Jayasooriya
Used by Permission


FURTHER READING

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/

Crossing Turbulent Waters — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

October 31: Seeking God’s presence — VCY America

Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?

Psalm 139:7

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Genesis 33:8

And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

Exodus 33:14

What’s fascinating is that God’s presence is everywhere. Yet He allows man to hide from Him, and He also promises to go with man.

At first glance all three statements are impossible to reconcile. The problem occurs when attempting to relate God to man. The English scholars call this “personification” – attempting to explain God in human language.

In Genesis – Did Adam really hide from God’s presence? Or did he just attempt to? Obviously he just attempted to. We can’t hide from God.

In Exodus – Was God promising something special or was he just acknowledging the obvious omnipresence? Notice God was tying His presence to His rest. When we accept His presence as more than just an academic fact, or someone looking over our shoulder, but as someone who wants to be our Friend, we have extra blessings from Him.

So – there are three ways to respond to God’s presence:

  • Pretend to hide like Adam and think God will leave you alone.
  • Admit to an intellectual knowledge of God and live merely in fear.
  • Accept His presence and the blessings He provides in a personal relationship with Him.

If we have a personal relationship – let’s spend time with our Friend!

October 31: Seeking God’s presence — VCY America

Steadfast in a Fearful World — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

There are a lot of angry people out there these days. I see it all over the media. People are upset over perceived betrayal, injustice, and prejudice.

I think some of the anger is justified. We are, after all, a world made up of imperfect people. But I have learned that anger is a masking emotion. Anger covers over other issues brewing deeper within us. Probably the most common feeling that anger attempts to disguise is fear. When our confidence in the things we trust is shaken, we get scared, and we get angry.

When we trust the doctor to make a correct diagnosis, but our loved one doesn’t get better, fear sets in. When the job we were counting on falls through, we panic. When the spouse on whom we put our trust walks out, it shakes us to our core. Where there is fear, there can be no peace. It is difficult to look past the things we see around us and trust that everything is going to be okay.

God, however, never defaults on His promises. He never walks away. He never gets it wrong. God’s Word tells us that He is a rock when everything else we may put our trust in is sand. He is able to move the mountains and part the waters ? for our protection and safety. When we make up our minds to depend on God and His provision for our lives, despite our circumstances, He sets our minds at perfect peace.

Lord, if I am depending too much on my ability and circumstances to bring me peace, help me train my mind to put my trust and dependence on you. Amen.

By Debbie West
Used by permission


FURTHER READING

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/

Steadfast in a Fearful World — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

How Can We Know That We’ll Go to Heaven? | Living Waters

A recent poll indicated that for every American who believes he or she is going to Hell, there are 120 who believe they’re going to Heaven.

This optimism stands in stark contrast to Jesus Christ’s words written in the Bible: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14).

The truth is that according to the Bible we don’t automatically go to Heaven. In fact, Hell—not Heaven—is our default destination. Unless our sin problem is solved once and for all, we can’t enter Heaven. That’s the bad news.

But once that’s straight in our minds we’re ready to hear the good news of Jesus Christ—Jesus took upon himself, on the cross, the Hell we deserve so that we could experience for eternity the Heaven we don’t deserve!

The Only Two Options

There are two possible destinations when we die—Heaven or Hell. Can we really know in advance where we’ll go? John, one of the writers of the Bible, said this: “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).

We can know for sure that we’ll go to Heaven when we die. Do you?

To sin means to fall short of God’s holy standards. Sin is what ended Eden’s paradise. And all of us, like Adam and Eve, are sinners. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Sin separates us from a relationship with God (Isaiah 59:2). Sin deceives us and makes us think that wrong is right and right is wrong (Proverbs 14:12). Sin has terrible consequences, but God has provided a solution: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, loved us so much that he became a man to deliver us from our sin. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). He came to identify with us in our humanity and our weakness, but he did so without being tainted by our sin, self-deception, and moral failings (Hebrews 4:15-16). Jesus died on the cross as the only one worthy to pay the penalty for our sins demanded by the holiness of God: “For our sake he [God] made him [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). But God raised Jesus from the grave, defeating sin’s consequences and conquering death (1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 54-57).

When Christ died on the cross for us, he said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). In those times “It is finished” was commonly written across certificates of debt when they were canceled. It meant “Paid in full.” Christ died so that the certificate of debt, consisting of all our sins, could once and for all be marked “Paid in full.”

The Critical Decision

Only when our sins are dealt with in Christ can we enter Heaven.

We cannot pay our own way. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Because of Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross on our behalf, God freely offers us forgiveness.

To be forgiven, we must recognize and repent of our sins. Forgiveness is not automatic. It’s conditioned upon confession: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Christ offers to everyone the gifts of forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life. “Let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Revelation 22:17).

There’s no righteous deed we can do that will earn us a place in Heaven (Titus 3:5). We come to Christ empty-handed. We can take no credit for salvation. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). This gift cannot be worked for, earned, or achieved. It’s dependent solely on Christ’s generous sacrifice on our behalf.

Now is the time to make things right with God. Confess your sinfulness and accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on your behalf.

You are made for a person and a place. Jesus is the person, and Heaven is the place. They are a package—they come together. You cannot get Heaven without Jesus or Jesus without Heaven. “Seek the Lord while he may be found” (Isaiah 55:6). For all eternity you’ll be glad you did.

If you understand what God has done to make forgiveness and eternal life possible for you, you may want to express it in words like these: “Dear Lord, I confess that I do not measure up to your perfect standard. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for my sins. I now place my trust in Him as my Savior. Thank you for your forgiveness and the gift of eternal life.”

Source: How Can We Know That We’ll Go to Heaven?

‘Blackmail’ fails? Twitter makes about-face & unfreezes New York Post account suspended over Hunter Biden story | RT – Daily news

‘Blackmail’ fails? Twitter makes about-face & unfreezes New York Post account suspended over Hunter Biden story

Twitter has again altered its “hacked materials” policy, reversing a decision to lock the New York Post out of its account over tweets promoting a controversial report about the business dealings of the Biden family.

The company said on Friday that it would overturn a prior move to lock the Post out of its handle, dropping its demand that the newspaper remove the offending tweet while calling the decision “fair and appropriate.”

“Our policies are living documents. We’re willing to update and adjust them when we encounter new scenarios or receive important feedback from the public,” the company said in a series of tweets. “One such example is the recent change to our Hacked Materials Policy and its impact on accounts like the New York Post.”

This means that because a specific [New York Post] enforcement led us to update the Hacked Materials Policy, we will no longer restrict their account under the terms of the previous policy and they can now Tweet again.

While Twitter had already updated its policies on “hacked materials” and scrapped an outright ban on the Post story – allegedly sourced from Hunter Biden’s laptop – the newspaper remained locked out of its account for some two weeks.

Also on rt.com

‘It will take 15 seconds’: CNN’s Jake Tapper tells New York Post to bend the knee over Twitter lockout

In testimony to the Senate earlier this week, company CEO Jack Dorsey said the Post could have its handle back only after it removed the tweet, even noting it could immediately repost the same article without facing another ban, what the paper condemned as an attempt at “blackmail.”

“Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sounded like every mob enforcer and shakedown artist in history: Nice paper you got there, New York Post. Shame, should something happen to it,” the Post editorial board wrote in an article this week. “He knows full well media outlets depend on social media, and Google search algorithms, to help readers access our reporting.”

The Post’s op-ed editor Sohrab Ahmari said the paper refused to take down the tweet as a matter of “honor and principle,” arguing that Twitter “had – and still has – zero evidence we used hacked material,” responding to CNN’s Jake Tapper after he suggested it delete the missive as “a way to end this.”

“[Jake Tapper], as a reporter, why don’t you show an iota of solidarity with America’s oldest daily?” Ahmari shot back.

The story that landed the Post in hot water relied on a trove of emails reportedly obtained from a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden, detailing his overseas business ventures in Ukraine and China, among other things. The documents indicate that the elder Biden was more involved in his son’s dealings than he’s let on, previously insisting he “never discussed” business with Hunter.

Also on rt.com

Facebook’s ban of New York Post’s Hunter Biden story had NOTHING to do with fact-checkers, report suggests

Hours after the article ran, however, social media platforms leapt into overdrive to blacklist the story, with Twitter barring users from posting it altogether, or even sending it in direct messages, while a Facebook rep freely admitted the platform would work to limit the article’s distribution in news feeds. While former business associates of the Bidens have since corroborated some of the email exchanges as genuine, major news organizations continue to label the report as “disinformation,” some going as far as to declare it a Russian psy-op to discredit the Democratic nominee.

Despite efforts to ignore the story in the corporate press, the report has sent a wave of controversy through the media world, with the Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald announcing his resignation from the outlet he helped create on Thursday, saying editors tried to quash a column about the Biden emails.

“The same trends of repression, censorship and ideological homogeneity plaguing the national press generally have engulfed the media outlet I co-founded, culminating in censorship of my own articles,” he said, adding that editors declined to publish his op-ed “unless I [removed] all sections critical of Joe Biden.”

Also on rt.com

‘Journalists desperate to not know’: Glenn Greenwald blasts media coverage of Hunter Biden scandal in piece the Intercept censored

Source: ‘Blackmail’ fails? Twitter makes about-face & unfreezes New York Post account suspended over Hunter Biden story

October 31 The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible

October 31.—Morning. [Or August 29.]
“What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.”

WE have now to read a chapter peculiarly interesting to us Gentiles, because it shows how the middle wall of partition between Jews and Gentiles, which our Lord broke down by his death, was in due time practically removed by the calling of a Gentile household to the faith of Jesus. Before this time only Jews, proselytes, and Samaritans, all branches of the older family, had been converted, but now a Roman captain and his house were to be saved.

Acts 10:1–23

1, 2 There was a certain man in Cæsarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.

He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius.

And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. (Yet something more was wanted, and he must send for one who would tell him of Jesus, the Saviour.)

5, 6 And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: he lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.

7, 8 And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; And when he had declared all these things unto them, he sent them to Joppa. (The tanner’s trade was greatly despised, but this did not prejudice the centurion. Better to learn the way of God from one who lodged with a poor tanner than remain in ignorance. Meanwhile God was preparing Peter to comply with the centurion’s request.)

9–13 On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.

The same Peter who formerly would not permit his Lord to wash the feet of his sinful servant now doubts whether that can be cleansed which, by the Jewish law, was unclean. How the old self comes up, even in the regenerated.

15, 16 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. This was done thrice: and the vessel was received up again into heaven.

Do not wonder if you have to teach children many times the same thing, for even an apostle needed to have his lesson repeated three times.

17, 18 Now while Peter doubted in himself what this vision which he had seen should mean, behold, the men which were sent from Cornelius had made enquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate, And called, and asked whether Simon, which was surnamed Peter, were lodged there. (See the hand of Providence. How well-timed were the vision and the arrival of the messengers!)

19, 20 While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them.

21 Then Peter went down to the men which were sent unto him from Cornelius; and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come?

22 And they said, Cornelius the centurion, a just man, and one that feareth God, and of good report among all the nation of the Jews, was warned from God by an holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words of thee.

These servants spoke well of their master, and that fact speaks well for them. God will surely bless those families in which the heads of the house and the servants love one another because they all love the Lord.

23 Then called he them in, and lodged them.

Humble as the lodging was, he offered it to them, and they accepted it. Christians should be hospitable even if they are poor.

October 31.—Evening. [Or August 30.]
“That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body.”

Acts 10:23–29; 33–48

THE messengers of Cornelius were not long detained by the apostle, for On the morrow Peter went away with them, and certain brethren from Joppa accompanied him.

24 And the morrow after they entered into Cæsarea. (It was a journey of thirty miles, but no doubt the apostle and his six brethren had sweet fellowship on the road, and found kind companions in the three attendants.) And Cornelius waited for them, and had called together his kinsmen and near friends.

25, 26 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

Had he been like his pretended successor, he would have bidden him kiss his toe.

27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.

28, 29 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me? (Note how he longs to be at work, he wastes no time in idle compliments. Soul matters are weighty and should be at once attended to. Cornelius was ready at once to tell Peter how the Lord had appeared to him, and directed him to send to Joppa, and he added:)

33 Immediately therefore I sent to thee; and thou hast well done that thou art come. Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.

The best kind of congregation a preacher can have. Bogatzky says, “These words should be inscribed on all our church-doors and pulpits, that men may consider well wherefore they ought to be in the house of God.” Peter’s congregation was unbroken—“we are all here;” it was devout—“present before God;” it was attentive—“to hear all things;” it was teachable, for they desired to know “all things that are commanded thee of God.” We should always go to divine service in this spirit.

34, 35 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. (Not in such a way as to supersede the gospel, but to secure them the privilege of hearing it. If there are among the heathen any like Cornelius, the Lord will be sure to send a Peter to them, for he has accepted them.)

36–41 The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) That word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judæa, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; Not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.

42, 43 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

44, 45 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out of the gift of the Holy Ghost.

46, 47 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?

48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. (The fact that they had already received the Holy Spirit so abundantly did not set aside the divine ordinance, it was rather the ground of their right to it. This passage is instructive to those who wish to learn.) Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.[1]

 

[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1964). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 647–648). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.