Daily Archives: January 15, 2021

Mighty God — Evangelical Magazine

He is God

The fact that Jesus Christ is called ‘Mighty God’ indicates that he is God. Leo Tolstoy wrote: ‘I believe Christ was a man like ourselves; to look upon him as God would seem to me the greatest of sacrileges.’ And yet Jesus claimed to be God. He dared to say, ‘That all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him’ (John 5:23). At the close of his sermon on the Good Shepherd, Jesus said boldly, ‘I and My Father are one’ (John 10:30). The people present understood this statement to be a clear claim to deity, and they responded by picking up stones to stone him!

Near the close of his public ministry, just before his death on the cross, Jesus cried out, ‘He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And he who sees me sees him who sent me’ (John 12:44–45). He told Philip, ‘He who has seen me has seen the Father’ (John 14:9). In plain, simple language Jesus Christ claimed to be God. Those who knew him affirmed that he was God. Jesus claimed to be God and accepted that claim from the lips of others.

Christ’s power revealed

Not only is Jesus called God, but he is called the ‘Mighty God’. What a paradox that a baby in a manger should be called mighty! Yet even as a baby, Jesus Christ was the centre of power. His birth affected the heavens and caused a dazzling star to appear. The star aroused the interest of the Magi and they left their homes and made a long and perilous journey to Jerusalem. Their announcement about the new-born King unnerved Herod and his court. Jesus’ birth brought angels from heaven and simple shepherds from their flocks on the hillside. Midnight became midday as the glory of the Lord appeared to men.

We also see the mighty power of Jesus Christ in the creation of the universe. ‘All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that was made (John 1:3). Obviously, then, he himself was not created since he made everything that was made. No statement in Scripture puts it more majestically than Hebrews 1:1-3:

God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

Of course, the greatest act of power that he performed on this planet involved his death and resurrection. Paul prayed for the Ephesians (and for us) that they might know ‘what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty power which he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places’ (Eph. 1:19-20). God raised Jesus from the dead ‘having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that he should be held by it’ (Acts 2:24).

Not only did the Father raise Jesus from the dead, but Jesus raised himself from the dead! Speaking about his life, Jesus said, ‘I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again’ (John 10:18). ‘For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself ‘ (John 5:26). The miracle of his resurrection is central to his work of redemption. The gospel message says ‘that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures’ (1 Cor. 15:3-4). His resurrection guarantees our redemption. ‘In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace’ (Eph. 1:7).

Jesus Christ is God, and he is ‘Mighty God’. But what does this mean to us today who believe in him?

God’s power in us

His mighty power is available to us today. Here is the way Paul prays for people like us:

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may have a walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy (Col. 1:9–11).

Note the universals in that prayer: all wisdom, fully pleasing, every good work, all might. If God fills us with ‘all might’, then that makes us almighty! We are strengthened with all might! We have no problem believing that Jesus Christ is almighty, but to assign this attribute to his people – mere creatures of clay – is a great leap of faith. But it’s true: the almighty power of God is available to us through Jesus Christ.

Salvation is not something that God begins and we finish. Salvation is the work of God from start to finish. ‘Being confident of this very thing, that he who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ’ (Phil. 1:6).

On the cross, Jesus cried, ‘It is finished!’ He provides a complete salvation. He didn’t ‘make the down payment’ and expect us to keep up the instalments! No, ‘It is finished!’ This means that God’s believing people can claim from Christ all that they need. ‘And my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 4:19).

But note that Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1 deals with the inner person, the character of the believer, and not the material or physical needs of life: ‘Strengthened with all might … for all patience and longsuffering with joy.’

The almighty power of God is available to us through Jesus Christ so that we might develop Christian character and practise Christian conduct to the glory of God. Patience, longsuffering and joy don’t come to our lives automatically; it takes spiritual power to produce this kind of godly character.

Only the grace of God can bring the power of God to our lives. Paul confessed it openly: ‘But by the grace of God I am what I am’ (1 Cor. 15:10). God’s grace is channelled to our lives through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. ‘And of his fullness we have all received, and grace for grace” (John 1:16). Through grace God does in and through us what we could never do for ourselves. Grace isn’t simply a supplement to our strength, for we have no strength of our own. Grace turns our weakness into power for the glory of God. ‘For when I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Cor. 12:10). The reason many people don’t experience God’s power is because they’re too strong in themselves and won’t confess their weakness. God has to wait until they’re weak; then he can share his power with them.

Whatever may be your burden or battle today, God has the power to meet it, handle it, solve it, and use it for your good and his glory. Jesus Christ is the ‘Mighty God’ and his power is available to you. ‘Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us’ (Eph. 3:20). Admit your own weakness, yield to him by faith, and receive his promised power.

This article is an extract from the book The Names of Jesus by Warren Wiersbe and published by 10Publishing. It is used with permission.

Mighty God — Evangelical Magazine

January 15 Saving Or Losing? — The Power of His Presence

Master Washing the Feet of a Servant

For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.

Mark 8:35

Who is not interested in saving their lives, in making them worthwhile, full and rich, worth the living? Deep down within us, every one of us has a hunger for life and a desire to find it, to the full extent of what it was designed to be. This is what Jesus is talking about. If this is what you want, He says, I’ll tell you how to acquire it. There are two attitudes toward life that are possible, and you can have only one or the other.

One attitude is to save your life now: hoard it, clutch it, cling to it, grasp it, try to get hold of it for yourself, take care of yourself, trust yourself, see that in every situation your first and major concern is, What’s in it for me? That is one way to live, and millions are living that way today.

The other attitude is lose it: fling it away, disregard what advantage there may be for you in a situation, and move out in dependence upon God, careless of what may happen to you. Abraham obeyed God, went out into a land he knew not where, on a march without a map, apparently careless of what would happen to him. His neighbors reproached and rebuked him for not caring about himself. This is to be a way of life, Jesus says. Trust God, obey Him, and put the responsibility for what happens on Him.

There are only two results that can follow. If you save your life, if you cling to it, hoard it, get all you can for yourself, then, Jesus says, you will lose it. This is not a mere platitude; He is stating a fundamental law of life. You will find that you have everything you want, but you will not want anything you have. You will find that all of the life you tried to grasp has slipped through your fingers, and you have ended up with a handful of cobwebs and ashes, dissatisfied, hollow and empty, mocked by what you hoped to get.

But lose your life for My sake and the gospel’s, says Jesus, lose your life by means of giving yourself away in the cause of Christ, giving up your right to yourself, taking up your cross and following Me, and you will save it. You will not waste it, but you will save it. You will find contentment and satisfaction, an inner peace, and a sense of worth about your living. You will discover, not just in heaven someday but right now, that even though you may not have all the things others have, your life will be rich and rewarding and satisfying.

This is God’s part in the work of discipleship. Jesus did not come to call us to ultimate barrenness, weakness, darkness, and death. He called us to life, to richness, to enjoyment, to fulfillment. But He has told us that the way there means death. Discipleship ends in life, not in death. It ends in fulfillment and satisfaction. But the only way that we can find it is by means of a cross.

Father, help me to make the choice for life, and not for death, that by Your power You will help me find the grace to say yes to You, Lord Jesus, and to enter into life by means of the cross.

January 15 Evening Quotes of the Day

Delaying the Prize
1 Corinthians 9:24–27

We are like little children strayed from home, and God is now fetching us home; and we are ready to turn into any house, stay and play with everything in our way, and sit down on every green bank, and much ado there is to get us home.

RICHARD BAXTER

Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Prosperity and Adversity in the Old and New Testament
Genesis 13:2; Deuteronomy 28:11; 30:9; Proverbs 10:22; 1 Peter 2:19–20; 3:14

Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New, which carries the greater benediction and the clearer revelation of God’s favor.

FRANCIS BACON

Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

January 15 Put God’s Promises into Circulation | Truth For Life Daily

Do as you have spoken.

2 Samuel 7:25

God’s promises were never meant to be thrown aside as wastepaper; He intended that they should be used. God’s gold is not miser’s money but is minted to be traded with. Nothing pleases our Lord better than to see His promises put in circulation; He loves to see His children bring them up to Him and say, “Lord, do as you have said.”

We glorify God when we plead His promises. Do you think that God will be any poorer for giving you the riches He has promised? Do you dream that He will be any less holy for giving holiness to you? Do you imagine He will be any less pure for washing you from your sins? He has said, “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”1

Faith lays hold upon the promise of pardon, and it does not delay, saying, “This is a precious promise—I wonder if it be true?” but goes straight to the throne with it and pleads, “Lord, here is the promise. Do as you have said.” Our Lord replies, “Be it unto you even as you will.” When a Christian grasps a promise, if he does not take it to God, he dishonors Him; but when he hastens to the throne of grace and cries, “Lord, I have nothing to recommend me but this, You have said it,” then his desire shall be granted. Our heavenly Banker delights to cash His own notes.

Never let the promise rust. Draw the word of promise out of its sheath and use it with holy violence. Think not that God will be troubled by your importunately reminding Him of His promises. He loves to hear the loud outcries of needy souls. It is His delight to bestow favors. He is more ready to hear than you are to ask. The sun is not weary of shining, nor the fountain of flowing. It is God’s nature to keep His promises; therefore go at once to the throne with, “Do as You have said.”

1) Isaiah 1:18

Source: Put God’s Promises into Circulation (truthforlife.org)

January 15 Evening Verse of the Day

3:18 With the phrase in action and in truth, John declared that faith which is only talk is false faith.[1]


3:18 with word or with tongue … in deed and truth. Claiming to love is not enough. Love is not sentiment, but deeds.[2]


3:18 To love in word is to feel love and speak loving words but stop short of doing anything. To love in tongue is to profess what one does not have at all. The opposite of loving “in word” is to love in deed and the opposite of loving “in tongue” is to love in truth. Love from the heart and with actions.[3]


3:18. The readers must not think that they have expressed love if that expression is merely verbal (in word), involving only the tongue. True love requires action (in deed) and conformity to the truth. By the words in truth John means that their love for other Christians should conform to the manifestation of love in Christ (cf. v 16).[4]


3:18 We should not love in word or in tongue, but rather in deed and in truth. In other words, it should not be a matter of affectionate terms only, neither should it be an expression of what is not true. But it should be manifested in actual deeds of kindness and should be genuine instead of false.[5]


3:18 “let us not love with word or with tongue” Actions speak louder than words (cf. Matt. 7:24; James 1:22–25; 2:14–26).

© “but in deed and truth” The term “truth” is surprising. One would expect a synonym of “deed,” like “action.” The term seems to mean genuine (NJB) or true (TEV) like the use of “message” in 1:5 and 3:11 which emphasize both doctrine and lifestyle, so too, “truth.” The deed and motives must both be motivated by self-giving love (God’s love) and not just be showy deeds that feed the ego of the provider or giver.[6]


18. Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

Whereas John places his words in the context of love, James in his epistle discusses the same matter in connection with faith (see James 2:20). Love and faith have this in common: both need deeds to prove their genuineness. Words of love that are never translated into action are worthless.

In order to be genuine, love seeks the welfare of others: “it always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Cor. 13:7). Love is the act of giving of one’s possessions, talents, and self to someone else.

Note that the words we speak must correspond to our actions, and the use of our tongue must agree with the truth of God’s Word. Words and tongue find their counterpart in actions and truth. It is significant that John ends this verse with the word truth to remind us of Jesus, the supreme example of love, who said, “I am the … truth” (John 14:6).[7]


18. John’s final plea in this section, addressed to himself as well as to his readers, whom he again fondly calls dear children, is a reminder that protestations of love are not enough. Actions speak louder than words. Essentially love is neither sentiment nor talk, but deeds. If our love is to be genuine (in truth), it will inevitably be positive and constructive (with actions).

It may be helpful to summarize the teaching in this passage about hatred and love. Hatred characterizes the world, whose prototype is Cain. It originates in the devil, issues in murder and is evidence of spiritual death. Love characterizes the church, whose prototype is Christ. It originates in God, issues in self-sacrifice, and is evidence of eternal life.[8]


18. Let us not love in word. There is a concession in this first clause; for we cannot love in tongue only; but as many falsely pretend this, the Apostle concedes, according to what is often done, the name of the thing to their dissimulation, though, in the second clause, he reproves their vanity, when he denies that there is reality except in the deed. For thus ought the words to be explained,—Let us not profess by the tongue that we love, but prove it by the deed; for this is the only true way of shewing love.[9]


3:18 / Verse 18 is a fitting conclusion to the teaching on love for one another in vv. 11–18. Influenced by the negative example in v. 17, the present tense command in this verse is also negative: “let us not be loving.” The command is followed by four nouns in two pairs: with words (the Greek is singular, “word,” logō) or tongue (tē glōssē), but with actions (again the Greek is singular, “action,” or “deed,” ergos) and in truth (alētheia). Genuine love must be practical, visible, and active. Just as God’s/Jesus’ love is made manifest in the giving of his life for us (3:16), and just as the secessionists’ lack of love is seen concretely in their failure to help their brothers and sisters in need (3:17), so authentic love is a matter not of words (“I/we love you”) but of practical actions.

The most difficult aspect of interpreting v. 18 concerns the relation of the second word in each pair to its partner. At first glance, they do not appear to be parallel. While word and tongue are roughly similar, actions and truth are not. In truth can mean “in reality,” as opposed to mere intention or even deceptive lies. But in the letters of John, in truth usually means “within the sphere of God’s truth,” i.e., God’s revelation of the way things really are in Christ, who is the truth (John 14:6); much as in Paul’s writings “in Christ” can represent “in the sphere of Christ,” where he is the all-determining reality. The writer means, then, something like “deeds of truth,” or “actions which come from the truth.” The words and tongue phrase could also be parallel, since words come from the tongue. The Elder means that his readers should love, not with mere spoken words, but with the kind of actions which knowing Christ (3:16) and having God’s love within them (3:17) produce.[10]


18 So John rounds off this section of his letter (and prepares the way for the next) by a call to his readers to love not merely by saying kind things but above all by action. Their love is to be demonstrated “in truth,” which is a call not just for actions to prove the reality of their inward feelings but also for a love which is in accord with the divine revelation of reality in the love shown by Jesus.[11]


18 After blasting the Antichrists John suddenly shifts to a more pastoral tone to encourage his “children” (teknion), those who pass the test of love. Verse 18 summarizes vv. 11–17 and also John’s general view of Christian duty. Love does not express itself “with words or tongue” but rather “in deeds and truth” (NIV, “with actions and in truth”). This statement parallels John 4:24, where Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that true worshipers must approach the Father “in spirit and in truth.” “In truth” has a doctrinal orientation, referring to a correct view of Jesus. Just as real worship depends on a proper recognition of Jesus’ identity, genuine Christian ethics must also be based on John’s orthodox witness. This verse epitomizes John’s belief that all aspects of Christian life are grounded in Christology.[12]


[1] Yarbrough, R. W. (2017). 1 John. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1997). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (1 Jn 3:18). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[3] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1712). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[4] Hodges, Z. C. (2010). The First Epistle of John. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 1213). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.

[5] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 2318). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Utley, R. J. (1999). The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John (Vol. Volume 4, p. 223). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[7] Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of James and the Epistles of John (Vol. 14, p. 312). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[8] Stott, J. R. W. (1988). The Letters of John: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 19, p. 146). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[9] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles (p. 221). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[10] Johnson, T. F. (2011). 1, 2, and 3 John (p. 85). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[11] Marshall, I. H. (1978). The Epistles of John (p. 196). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[12] Thatcher, T. (2006). 1 John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Hebrews–Revelation (Revised Edition) (Vol. 13, p. 466). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

What Does It Mean to Be “in Christ”? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

When we are “in Christ,” we are brought into union with Him and all the riches of His grace. From one of our live events, Steven Lawson and Derek Thomas examine this phrase that identifies what it means to be a Christian. Ask your biblical and theological questions live online at ask.Ligonier.org.

Read the Transcript

What Does It Mean to Be “in Christ”? — Ligonier Ministries Blog

Are There Any Good Reasons to Believe in God? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

Is it reasonable to believe in Jesus as the Messiah? Is it reasonable to believe in God in general? In this Q and A session, J. Warner begins to answer a question about Jewish believers and turns to a more significant issue related to Jesus and the existence of God.

To see more training videos with J. Warner Wallace, visit the YouTube playlist.

Are There Any Good Reasons to Believe in God? (Video) — Cold Case Christianity

Graham releases Russia probe docs, slams probe as ‘one of the most incompetent, corrupt’ in FBI, DOJ history | FOX news

EXCLUSIVE: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham on Friday released a slew of additional documents and transcripts related to his panel’s investigation into the origins and aftermath of the Trump-Russia probe, calling the original probe into whether members of President Trump’s first campaign colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 “one of the most incompetent and corrupt investigations in the history of the FBI and DOJ.”

Graham, R-S.C., on Friday, released transcripts of interviews with FBI and Justice Department officials conducted by the committee, between March 3, 2020 and October 29, 2020.

“I consider the Crossfire Hurricane investigation a massive system failure by senior leadership, but not representative of the dedicated, hardworking patriots who protect our nation every day at Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice,” Graham said in a statement Friday, saying his committee has released “as much material as possible,” but noted that “some classified material has still been withheld.”

“I believe that Crossfire Hurricane was one of the most incompetent and corrupt investigations in the history of the FBI and DOJ,” Graham said, while noting that he “appreciates all those who participated in the depositions and their candor. “They have charted a path to allow us to reform the system.”

“The FISA court was lied to. Exculpatory information was withheld on those being investigated. The investigators, with some notable exceptions, were incredibly biased and used the powers of law enforcement for political purposes,” Graham said. “The subjects of the investigation had their lives turned upside down. It is my hope that counterintelligence investigations will be reined in and this never happens again in America.”

Graham slammed the leadership of the FBI under former Director James Comey and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, saying it was “either grossly incompetent” or said  “they knowingly allowed tremendous misdeeds.”

“There was a blind eye turned toward any explanation other than the Trump campaign was colluding with foreign powers,” he continued. “At every turn the FBI and DOJ ran stop signs that were in abundance regarding exculpatory information.”

Graham slammed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page as “a travesty,” noting that former DOJ officials who signed those warrants, like former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, “have acknowledged that if they knew then what they know now, they would not have signed it.”

“There was no ‘there’ there,” Graham said. “The investigation was pushed when it should have been stopped and the only logical explanation is that the investigators wanted an outcome because of their bias.”

Graham said he would continue to pursue reforms of counterintelligence investigations and warrant applications, and said he hopes his “Democratic and Republican colleagues can find common ground on these matters,” while also urging FBI Director Wray to “continue the reforms he has started.”

“It is hard to believe that something like Crossfire Hurricane could have happened in America,” Graham said. “The bottom line is that going forward we must have more checks and balances when it comes to political investigations. We must have more meaningful sign-offs on warrant applications, and we need to restore the trust to the American people in this system.”

Meanwhile, former Attorney General Bill Barr tapped U.S. Attorney from Connecticut John Durham as special counsel to ensure he could continue his investigation into the origins of the Russia probe through the Biden administration.

Durham was appointed by Barr last year to investigate the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe, shortly after special counsel Robert Mueller completed his yearlong investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller’s investigation yielded no evidence of criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election.

Source: Graham releases Russia probe docs, slams probe as ‘one of the most incompetent, corrupt’ in FBI, DOJ history

January 15 Afternoon Quotes of the Day

Jesus Satisfied the Debt by His Death
1 Corinthians 5:7; 15:50–54; Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 7:27; 9:26; 10:10

By offering unto death the body He Himself had taken, as an offering and sacrifice free from any stain, immediately He put away death from all His peers by the offering of an equivalent. For being over all, the Word of God naturally by offering His own temple and bodily instrument for the life of all satisfied the debt by His death. And thus He, the incorruptible Son of God, being conjoined with all by a like nature, naturally clothed all with incorruption, by the promise of the resurrection.

ATHANASIUS OF ALEXANDRIA

Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Early Church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Why Jesus Bowed His Head on the Cross
Song of Songs 1:2; John 19:30

Why did Christ bow His Head on the Cross? To teach us that by humility we must enter into heaven. Also, to show that we must rest from our own work. Also, that He might comply with the petition: Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth. Also, that He might ask permission of His Bride to leave her. Of great virtue is the memory of the Lord’s Passion, which, if it be firmly held in the mind, every cloud of error and sin is dispersed.

ALBERTUS MAGNUS

Ritzema, E., & Brant, R. (Eds.). (2013). 300 quotations for preachers from the Medieval church. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

January 15 Acknowledge God’s Unchanging Truth and Greatness | Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer

Pray The Bible: Promoting, Encouraging, and Assisting God's People in Biblical Prayer

That his truth is invariable, and the treasures of his goodness inexhaustible.

You are good, and your steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 136:1(ESV)

Your steadfast love is great toward us, Psalm 117:2(ESV) and your faithfulness endures to all generations. Psalm 100:5(ESV)

You have proclaimed your name: The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. Exodus 34:6-7(ESV) And this, your name, is our strong tower. Proverbs 18:10(ESV)

You are good and do good, Psalm 119:68(ESV) good to all; and your mercy is over all that you have made. Psalm 145:9(ESV) But truly God is in a special manner good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. Psalm 73:1(ESV)

O that you would make all your goodness pass before us, Exodus 33:19(ESV) that we may taste and see that the Lord is good, Psalm 34:8(ESV) and your steadfast love may be always before our eyes. Psalm 26:3(ESV)

Lastly, that when we have said all we can of the glorious perfections of the Divine nature, we fall infinitely short of the merit of the subject.

Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of God! But the thunder of his power who can understand? Job 26:14(ESV)

The Almighty – we cannot find him; he is great in power, in justice and abundant righteousness; Job 37:23(ESV) he is exalted far above all blessing and praise. Nehemiah 9:5(ESV)

Source: Acknowledge God’s Unchanging Truth and Greatness (campaign-archive.com)

Friday: Grace to the Chief of Sinners | Think And Act Biblically by Dr. James Boice

Theme: Holding Fast

In this week’s lessons, we look at how Paul viewed himself apart from Christ, and the great change that took place because of God’s mercy.

Scripture: 1 Timothy 1:12-20

After this benediction, Paul then addresses Timothy by name in verses 18-20. I think that’s Paul’s way of telling Timothy that this is what he learned. This is the experience of Paul’s life. Paul knows that Timothy already knows this because the two of them have traveled and served together. But knowing what Timothy does, Paul wants him to, as he says, “…fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience.” Paul tells him to hold onto both faith and a good conscience. You would think that if you hold onto faith you will at the same time hold your good conscience. Likewise, if you give up faith, at the same time you will also give up a good conscience. Why does he tell Timothy to hold onto both of them?

I think Paul might have something like this is mind. You can hold onto the faith in the sense that you believe it, but you can still compromise it. You can give it away inch by inch, and then inch by inch lose your good conscience before God in the process and become worthless. I think that’s the great danger of the evangelical church in America today—of giving up their ground inch by inch. It is not that they sell out their faith and then lose their good conscience all at once. It is more that they make subtle compromises in their commitment to certain ideas, and as a result lose their good conscience in small increments as time goes on.

When you were young, did you ever get into a fight with one of your schoolmates who was pushing you around? Eventually you told him to stop doing it, or else you were going to punch him. He then practically dared you to hit him by continuing to push you to see if you had enough courage to carry out what you threatened. In reply, rather than doing what you said you were going to do, instead you drew a line on the ground and told him, “If you come across that line, I’m going to punch you in the nose.” He then challenged you and stepped across the line. What did you do? You drew another line and said the same thing: “If you step across that line, you’re going to get punched.” Of course, he again steps across the second line. So you drew another line, and after crossing it the third time you finally hit him.

In a similar way, isn’t that what we as Christians do sometimes? The world takes a position on something that goes against our Christian conviction, but we’re afraid to speak out, whether because we are embarrassed or perhaps because we do not want to risk paying a price for not going along. So we instead give up an inch of what our conscience is telling us the Bible teaches. We tell ourselves that we will not say anything publically this time, but if something worse gets promoted or suggested, then we will stand up for what we know is right.

But then the same thing happens again. A worse position gets taken, and we again cower in silence because we are afraid of what might happen to us. We say nothing and figuratively draw another line in the sand. We say to ourselves again, “I’ll let this viewpoint or behavior slide this time, but if it reaches this further point, then I will do something about it.” But if we are not careful, the time for standing up for righteousness never comes, giving up our faith inch by inch, and seeing our good conscience decline little by little. I think that’s what Paul means. Fight the good fight of faith. Hold fast to the faith and a good conscience. Don’t give it up at all.

I think Paul would say the same thing to us today. This is the gospel that’s been preached to you. This is the doctrine you have received. You understand it and believe it. You’re growing in your faith. Hold fast to it, because the enemies of the gospel are strong and there is great temptation to compromise. Don’t do that, but hold onto it for Jesus’ sake.

Study Questions:

  1. Why does Paul tell Timothy to hold on both to faith and a good conscience?
  2. Are there any areas today where the evangelical church may be compromising its faith and good conscience?

Application: Are there times when you fail to stand up for righteousness? Pray for grace to hold on and not give in to compromise.

source: Friday: Grace to the Chief of Sinners | Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals (thinkandactbiblically.org)

January 15 Afternoon Verse of the Day

15:16 In first-century Palestine, disciples typically took the initiative in attaching themselves to a particular rabbi, not vice versa. As a well-known dictum declared, “Provide yourself with a teacher.” Jesus broke with this custom and called his own disciples. Appointed recalls the OT description of God’s appointment of Abraham (Gn 17:5; cp. Rm 4:17), the ordination of Levites (Nm 8:10), and Moses’s commissioning of Joshua (Nm 27:18).[1]


15:16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. Jesus does not mean that His disciples exercised no will of their own; they did choose to follow Him. Rather, He is indicating that the first initiative, the original and saving choice, was His. Had He not chosen them, they would not have chosen Him. The immediate reference is to service as apostles, but the principle applies to many other matters including election to salvation (Eph. 1:4, 11).

appointed you. This too emphasizes the sovereign activity of God exercised without violation of the human act of decision.

  • This verb marks the direction of Christian service, like Matt. 28:19 and Acts 1:8.

fruit. The figure refers to individual sanctification (Gal. 5:22, 23) and to effectiveness in evangelism (Matt. 13:3–8; Rom. 1:13).

fruit should abide. A distinguishing characteristic of Christian service is that the results have eternal significance.

whatever you ask … give it to you. Effective prayer is accompanied by obedience and identification with the will of God (14:13 note; Ps. 66:18).[2]


15:16 I chose you Jesus means His disciples, whom He selected (e.g., 1:43–51).

appointed you They have been called to the vocation of doing God’s will by loving other people and telling them about Christ’s ability to save them from their sins. They are commissioned for this task.

bear fruit Involves keeping Jesus’ commands (vv. 8, 10) and being guided by His Spirit in the process of doing so (14:26).

remain Not only must the disciples follow Jesus, but their works should align with His purposes (14:11).[3]


15:16 You did not choose me does not negate the disciples’ willing decision to follow Jesus when he called them. Jesus is emphasizing that the ultimate factor in determining who would follow him was Jesus’ own choice. The Greek eklegomai has the sense of “to choose or pick out from a group,” and it clearly has that sense also in v. 19. That you should go and bear fruit implies that the purpose of Christ’s choosing people is not merely that their sins be forgiven and they have eternal life but also that their lives be fruitful and productive in fulfilling God’s purposes. For key passages on the doctrine of election, see Romans 9 and Ephesians 1.[4]


15:16 I chose you. Cf. v. 19. In case any pretense might exist among the disciples in terms of spiritual pride because of the privileges they enjoyed, Jesus made it clear that such privilege rested not in their own merit, but on His sovereign choice of them. God chose Israel (Is 45:4; Am 3:2), but not for any merit (Dt 7:7; 9:4–6). God elected angels to be forever holy (1Ti 5:21). He elected believers to salvation apart from any merit (Mt 24:24, 31; see notes on Ro 8:29–33; Eph 1:3–6; Col 3:12; Tit 1:1; 1Pe 1:2). bear fruit. One purpose of God’s sovereign election is that the disciples who have been blessed with such revelation and understanding should produce spiritual fruit. The NT describes fruit as godly attitudes (Gal 5:22, 23), righteous behavior (Php 1:11), praise (Heb 13:15), and especially leading others to faith in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God (Ro 1:13–16).[5]


15:16 — “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain .… ”

Jesus does not want any of us to lead unproductive or unfocused lives. He chose us not only for salvation, but also to play a significant role in His kingdom. He wants each of us to fulfill a particular purpose.[6]


15:16 I chose you: Jesus had initiated the relationship with His disciples (1 John 4:10). It started with selection, moved to servanthood, and grew to friendship. that you should go and bear fruit: Having chosen the disciples, Jesus commissioned them to bring forth permanent fruit through prayer.[7]


15:16. The Lord Jesus chose the Eleven to be His apostles and friends with the result that they “should go and bear fruit.” The work they would do would have enduring value: “your fruit [shall] remain.” This refers to their missionary endeavors as they evangelize and disciple people (cf. Matt 28:18–20; Acts 1:8). All believers are all ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor 5:20) and can and should bear fruit for Him as they share their faith.

Prayer is a key component in outreach and fruit-bearing: “that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” See also the comments on 14:13–14 and 15:7–8.[8]


15:16 Lest there be any tendency for them to become discouraged and give up, Jesus reminded them that He was the One who chose them. This may mean that He chose them to eternal salvation, to discipleship, or to fruitfulness. He had appointed the disciples to the work which lay before them. We should go and bear fruit. Fruit may mean the graces of the Christian life, such as love, joy, peace, etc. Or it may mean souls won for the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a close link between the two. It is only as we are manifesting the first kind of fruit that we will ever be able to bring forth the second.

The expression “that your fruit should remain” leads us to think that fruit here means the salvation of souls. The Lord chose the disciples to go and bring forth lasting fruit. He was not interested in mere professions of faith in Himself, but in genuine cases of salvation. L. S. Chafer notes that in this chapter we have prayer effectual (v. 7), joy celestial (v. 11), and fruit perpetual (v. 16). “That whatever you ask.…” The secret of effective service is prayer. The disciples were sent forth with the guarantee that the Father would grant them whatever they asked in Christ’s name.[9]


15:16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” There are several key grammatical items: (1) an AORIST MIDDLE INDICATIVE—Jesus, Himself, once and for all chose them; (2) the strong “alla” (but) adversative; and (3) the emphatic “ego” or “I” statement! Here is the balance between human response and election. Both are Biblical teachings. God always initiates (cf. 6:44, 65; 15:16, 19), but humans must respond (cf. 1:12; 3:16; 15:4, 7, 9). God’s dealings with mankind are always in a covenant relationship (“if … then”).

© “appointed you that you would go and bear fruit” These are three PRESENT ACTIVE SUBJUNCTIVES: (1) go; (2) bear fruit; and (3) fruit remains (abides). Believers are on a mission (cf. Matt. 28:19–20). The theological aspect of the term “appointed” can be seen in Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 12:28; 2 Tim. 1:11. It was also used of Christ’s death on believers’ behalf (cf. 10:11, 15, 17–18; 15:13).

© “in My name” Believers are to reproduce Jesus’ character. This phrase is synonymous in with “the will of God” in 1 John 5:14. Love and answered prayer are linked here as in 14:13–15.[10]


16. you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Though the disciples are Christ’s friends, this does not mean that they are on an equal footing with him. On earth friends generally choose each other, but the friendship of which Jesus speaks is different. It is one-sided in its origin. It was not brought about by gradual approach from both sides, as is often the case among men, but by Jesus alone! The words, “You did not choose me, but I chose you,” emphasize the free, independent, and spontaneous character of Christ’s love. The ground of God’s love for us never lies in us, always in himself, for even apart from his love for us God is love. In his very essence he is love.

The unconditional and sovereign nature of this divine love is shown also by such passages as the following:

“Jehovah did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because you were more in number than any people; for you were the fewest of all peoples, but because Jehovah loves you … he has brought you out with a mighty hand” (Deut. 7:7, 8).

“For mine own sake, for mine own sake will I do it” (Is. 48:11).

“O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God, because thy city and thy people are called by thy name” (Dan. 9:19).

“I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely” (Hos. 14:4).

“But God commends his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).

“He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, in order that we should be holy” (not: “because he foresaw that we were going to be holy,” Eph. 1:4).

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

“We love, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

It was Christ who had elected these men for himself out of a world of darkness (see on verse 19), in order that they might be his followers and as such might bear fruit, and this not merely for a time or by spurts but abidingly. Unto that purpose he had also appointed them; that is, he had set them apart from the world and had promised to give them the required qualification. As has been indicated before, fruit-bearing refers to the bringing forth of such products of divine grace as those mentioned in Gal. 5:22—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control—; Eph. 5:9; Col. 1:6; Heb. 12:11; and James 3:18. But in view of 4:36 and 12:24, passages in which the term “fruits” indicates souls saved for eternity, it is certainly not amiss to point out that the good works of which Jesus is thinking are mentioned not as an end in themselves but as a means unto the conversion of others, and thus unto the glory of God, via the avenue indicated in Matt. 5:16 (“that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven”).

We agree entirely with Dr. F. W. Grosheide that the election of which the present passage speaks is not that unto office but that which pertains to every Christian. All believers are chosen out of the world (verse 19) to bear fruit (verses 2, 4, 5, 8). Though this is an act which takes place in time, it has its basis in election “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4; cf. John 17:24).

Abiding in Christ is rewarded by fruitbearing, and via fruitbearing, also by answered prayer. A true disciple prays for fruits, for these fruits are pleasing to God. He asks God to give whatever is in accordance with his will. He asks this, not as if he (the disciple) himself had any merit, but solely on the basis of Christ’s merits and in complete harmony with his revelation (hence, in Christ’s name). Accordingly, verse 16 concludes with the words: so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. Here the thought of 15:7 recurs; see on that verse. In verse 16, however, we do not find the impersonal “it shall be done for you,” but the very personal, “He … gives it.” The Father loves the Son; hence, he loves those who do the Son’s bidding.[11]


Ver. 16. Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you.—

Christian discipleship:

  1. Its origin. 1. Negatively. “Ye have not chosen Me.” This is true, both in regard to election unto salvation and election unto office. Christ no more chooses us because we have first chosen Him, than He loves us because we have first loved Him. He makes His universal offer of mercy; we close with it, and are elected. He says, “Whom shall I send?” We have to say, “Here am I; send me.” “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve” was addressed to the chosen people. 2. Positively. The Divine choice which originates our discipleship—(1) Is not arbitrary. Those are chosen for salvation who evince the qualifications for receiving salvation. “Chosen … through belief of the truth.” In regard to office, the apostles were the choice men of their race, as is seen in their after careers. Christ chose for His work Peter and Paul, rather than Caiaphas or Gamaliel, because they were immeasurably better men. Appearances and circumstances go for nothing, as is seen in God’s choice of David. So to-day Christ chooses with reference to fitness. There were more brilliant men at Oxford; but when God wanted a man for Africa He went to a factory and chose Livingstone. 2. May be frustrated. Judas was chosen, and the traitor had elements about him which would have made him a prince amongst the apostles. Election is not indelible in regard either to nations or individuals. Israel was chosen because of unique racial qualities, but was rejected because those qualities were abused. England has been chosen; may she be faithful. As for us, however distinguished the office we hold, let us not be high-minded, but fear. “Let him that thinketh he standeth,” &c.
  2. Its validation. “Ordained you.” 1. Designation for the work. This is a Divine prerogative. Sometimes it is voiced by the appointment of the Church. Sometimes, alas! not. No human authority, however august, can validate an appointment that has not been ratified in heaven. Let all Church officers note this. Often the clearest Divine designation is apparent where there has been no human sanction. 2. Qualification. Whom Christ ordains He qualifies. This may be independent of human qualifications, or it may include them. There are posts for which Christ ordains a man where they would be in the way. There are others where they are imperative. In the latter case He works in us the desire to amass learning, eloquence, &c., and sanctifies these and other gifts to the accomplishment of His purposes.

III. Its works. 1. “That ye should go and bring forth fruit” in two senses. (1) In the graces of personal character; because these are often the means of successful evangelism, and without them a man in the highest office is but a “sounding brass,” &c. (2) In conversions to God. This is the grand outcome of all spiritual ministries. 2. “That your fruit should remain.” (1) Of what value are the “fruits of the Spirit” unless permanent? Of what value is faith if to-morrow we are unbelieving? Of love if it alternates with hatred? Of joy if it is drowned in despondency? &c. (2) Of what value to a Church are converts unless they “remain”? The curse of modern times is great ingatherings, followed by great fallings away.

  1. Its privilege. Prayer—1. Keeps alive our sense of the Divine choice, and maintains our position as chosen ones. 2. Augments our personal and official qualifications. “Without Me ye can do nothing.” “I can do all things through Christ,” &c. 3. Ensures abiding success in our work. (J. W. Burn.) That ye should go and bring forth fruit.—

The fruit:—1. Fruitfulness is the great end of God’s ordinances in the vegetable kingdom. It is the focus into which all the various secondary purposes of nature are concentrated. And is it not so in the kingdom of grace? For the fruitfulness of those who love God the whole material system of the earth is upheld; and the whole spiritual world exists and revolves on its axis, that the harvest of spiritual life may be produced in the Church and in the believer. 2. But while fruitfulness is the great end of vegetable life, there are some plants in which this quality is of more importance than in others. It is necessary that every plant should bring forth fruit in order to propagate itself; but, besides this, some plants confer benefits upon the rest of creation by means of their fruit. Like the cow, which produces more milk than its progeny needs; and the bee, which stores a larger quantity of honey than it requires; the vine produces a fruit whose exceptional excess of nourishness is intended for the use of man. Fruit is not so important to the vine itself as it is to man. We grow some plants in order to produce seed; but we can perpetuate the vine by slips, and, therefore, we grow it solely to supply man’s wants. 3. Apart from its fruit, the vine is, indeed, a beautiful plant; but this is subordinate to the one great purpose of producing grapes: and did it cease to produce fruit it would be condemned as a failure. It was for the sake of the fruit of salvation—the redemption of a fallen world—that God cultivated His own Son by the sufferings which He endured. And as with the Vine Himself, so with the branches. The Husbandman of souls grafts these branches in the Vine for the special purpose of producing spiritual fruit; and if this result does not follow, no mere natural beauty or grace will compensate. And so Christ speaks as if in the bringing forth of fruit was summed up all duty and privilege. God’s glory is the chief end of man; but “Herein is My Father glorified that ye bear much fruit.” God requires of us to believe in Christ; but faith is the root of fruitfulness. Faith and fruit are not distinct; but, on the contrary, the same thing at different periods of existence; just as the fruit of autumn is the seed of spring, and vice versâ. God desires our highest happiness; but our highest happiness is indissolubly linked together with our fruitfulness. No man can have a continual feast of gladness who is barren and unfruitful. And here we come to the great outstanding question—

  1. What is the real significance of fruit? 1. The fruit of a plant is simply an arrested and metamorphosed branch. The bud of a plant which, under the ordinary laws of vegetation, would have elongated into a leafy branch, remains, in a special case, shortened, and develops finally, according to some regular law, blossom and fruit instead. Its further growth is thus stayed; it has attained the end of its existence; its life terminates with the ripe fruit that drops off to the ground. In producing blossom and fruit, therefore, a branch sacrifices itself, yields up its own individual vegetative life for the sake of another life that is to spring from it, and to perpetuate the species. Every annual plant dies when it has produced blossom and fruit; every individual branch in a tree which corresponds with an annual plant also dies when it has blossomed and fruited. Fruit-trees are the most short-lived of all trees; and cultivated fruit-trees are less vigorous in growth, and do not last so long as the wild varieties. Producing larger and more abundant fruit than is natural, they necessarily so much the more exhaust their vital energies. Every blossom is a Passion-flower. The sign of the cross, which superstitious eyes saw in one mystical flower, the enlightened eye sees in every blossom that opens to the summer sun. The great spiritual principle which every blossom shadows forth is—self-sacrifice. And is it not most instructive to notice that it is in this self-sacrifice of the plant that all its beauty comes out and culminates? 2. And is it not so in the kingdom of grace? Christian fruit is an arrestment and transformation of the branch in the True Vine. Instead of growing for its own ends, it produces the blossoms of holiness and the fruits of righteousness for the glory of God and the good of men. The Christian life begins in self-sacrifice. We can bring forth no fruit that is pleasing to God until, besought by His mercies, we yield ourselves a living sacrifice to Him. And in this self-sacrifice all the beauty of the Christian life comes out and culminates. The life that lives for another, in so doing bursts into flower, and shows its brightest hues, and yields its sweetest fragrance. All given to Christ is received back a hundredfold. Have we not seen the glory of self-sacrifice ennobling even the aspect of the countenance, the expression of the eye, the carriage of the form, making the plainest and homliest face beautiful and heroic?
  2. It is fruit and not works that the believer produces. 1. Work and fruit are contrasted in a very striking manner at the close of Gal. 5;—“the works of the flesh”—“the fruit of the Spirit.” This contrast is very instructive. Works bear upon them the curse of Adam. They are wrought in the sweat of the brow and in the sweat of the soul. All that a natural man does comes under the category of works. And even in the case of believers, some things which they do are works, because they are the result of a legal and servile spirit. Such works are only like those of a manufacturer, which display his skill and power, but do not reveal character. You cannot tell what kind of a man he is who makes your furniture from his productions. You may be able to say that he is a clever workman, but not that he is a wise, a good, or an upright man. But fruit, on the other hand, is the spontaneous natural manifestation of the life within. The soul that has the life and the love of Christ in it cannot help producing fruit. Fruit is the free, unrestrained outpouring of a heart at peace with God, filled with the love of Christ, and stimulated by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. The curse is removed from it. It brings back the pure and innocent conditions of Eden. The whole man is displayed in it, as the whole life of the tree is gathered into and manifested in its fruit. By their fruit we know believers as well as trees. 2. It is fruit that Christ wants, not works; because it is the free-will offering of a heart of love, not the constrained service of fear or of law, and because He studies the individual character and regulates His discipline according to individual requirements. If works were what He desired, He could order Christians in the mass to do them, caring nothing for any one of them in particular. But, in order to produce fruit, His sap must flow to, His personal influence must reach, the smallest twig, the humblest individual that yields it. 3. How significant in the light of this idea is the reward promised—“a crown of life.” It is not an arbitrary reward from without, but the fruit of their own efforts—a living crown, the crown of their own life. It is with us as it is with some mountains whose deepest or primary formations appear on the summit, which are not mere masses laid in dead weight upon the surface of the earth, but the protrusion of their own energies. So we are crowned with the deepest and most essential part of our own life. Our highest summit is our deepest foundation. Our crown of life is that which we ourselves have formed, and which passes through our own being. Heaven is the fruit of what we have sown, the living crown of the life that we have lived.

III. It is fruit, and not fruits, which the branch in the True Vine produces. The “fruit” of the Spirit is not so many apples growing on separate twigs and having no organic connection except as produced by the same tree. It is a bunch of grapes, all growing from one stalk and united to each other in the closest manner. Each grace is, as it were, a separate berry, connected with the others by organic ties, and forming a complete cluster. It should be the Christian’s endeavour, therefore, that the whole cluster should appear—each grape full formed and in due proportion to the rest.

  1. It is heavenly, and not earthly, fruit that the Husbandman demands. 1. The fruits of Egypt were melons and cucumbers, grown close to the earth; while its vegetables were leeks, onions, and garlic, which are not fruits at all, but roots. It is such low earth-born fruits that the natural man produces, and for which alone he has a relish. All his tendencies and labours are earthward. The cucumber and the melon are climbing plants by nature; they have tendrils to raise them up among the trees, but they are cultivated on the ground, and therefore their tendrils are useless. So every man has tendrils of hopes and aspirations that were meant to raise him above the world, but he perverts them from their proper purpose, and they run among earthly things utterly wasted. In marked contrast with the earth-borne fruits of Egypt were the fruits of the Holy Land. It is a mountainous country, on which everything is lifted above the world. The people went literally, as well as spiritually, up from Egypt to Palestine, up to God’s house. Its fruits were grown on trees, raised up from the ground and ripening in the pure air and bright sunshine of heaven. Believers are risen with Christ. They are not merely elevated a little, but are raised to being fruits in the sky.
  2. The fruit of the Christian life is permanent. “That your fruit should remain.” 1. In spring, when the blossoms have withered and fallen off, a large proportion of these blossoms leave behind young fruits that have actually set. These fruits grow fur a few weeks, acquire shape, become tinted with colour, cheat the eye with the hope of a rich harvest of ripe and full-formed fruit in autumn. But, alas! ere long, they wither and fall. And is it not so with the fruits which unsanctified man produces? They are beautiful in blossom; they minister to his self-glorification and enjoyment; they delude him with fair promises; but they never come to maturity and abide. They are fruits that set, but do not ripen. On every brow we see care planting his wrinkles—bare, wintry branches, whose stem is rooted in the heart, from which have fallen, one after another, the fairest fruits of life, and which, through future springs and summers, will bear no more leaves or fruit. 2. But in contrast with all the passing and perishing fruits of earth, we have the abiding fruits of righteousness. It is the glorious distinction of the fruit which Christ enables us to produce that it endures. How literally were these words fulfilled in the case of the disciples themselves! Of all the works of all the men who were living eighteen hundred years ago, what is remaining now? But twelve poor uneducated peasants went forth, and where is the fruit of their labours? Look around! And what is thus true of the glorious fruit of the disciples, is also true of the humblest fruit of the humblest Christian. What has been done for God cannot be lost or forgotten. As the Tree upon which the Christian is grafted as a branch is the Tree of Life, so the fruit that he brings forth when nourished by its sap is “fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”
  3. In the grape there are two parts, that serve two purposes—there is a fleshy, or succulent part, and there are the seeds embedded in the core, or interior. 1. The fleshy part is for nourishment; the seeds are intended to perpetuate the plant. And so every fruit of the Spirit contains these two parts—holiness and usefulness. Personal holiness is the succulent nourishing portion, delighting God and man; and embedded in it is the seed of usefulness. An earnest desire to extend the blessings of the gospel is an invariable result of their true enjoyment. What the soul has received it would communicate. 2. There are cases in nature in which the fruit swells and becomes, to all appearance, perfect, while no seeds are produced. Seedless oranges and grapes are often met with. And is there not good cause to fear that too much of what is called Christian fruit contains no seed with the embryo spark of life in it, although it may seem fair and perfectly formed? What should go to develop the seed of righteousness for others is diverted to the production of greater self-righteousness and self-indulgence. Many Christians are satisfied with enjoying themselves spiritual blessings which they ought to communicate to others. They are pampered in the selfish use of privileges and means of grace. Moreover, it is necessary that the fruit should have pulp as well as seed; that the perpetuating principle of righteousness should be imbedded in all that is lovely, and amiable, and of good report. The fruits of some Christians are harsh and hard as the wild hips on the hedges—all seed and no luscious pulp. They are zealous in recommending religion to others, while they do not exhibit the amenities of it themselves. (H. Macmillan, D.D.)

Fruit bearing:—The wonder of fruit growing. What nature does, men and women and children are to do. Lives are to be fruitful lives. This what those of the apostles were. Results of their labours. The fruit remains. Different kinds of moral and spiritual fruit.

  1. Those harmful or useless. 1. Crab-apples and sour cherries, emblems of crabbed tempers, sour looks, and general disagreeableness. Cross temper. Sour temper. Sharp temper. Spiteful temper. Surly temper. Fretful temper. 2. Poison berries. Fair seeming, but death within. Selfishness. Hatred. Falsehood. Revenge. Hypocrisy. False friendship. 3. Hips and haws. Disorder. Idleness. Procrastination.
  2. Good fruits. Don’t grow by accident. Faith the root. Cultivated. 1. Loving obedience and goodness at home. 2. Kindness, brightness, cheerfulness. 3. Prayerfulness. 4. Consecration. 5. Attendance on means of grace. 6. Work for others. Such fruits remain in their effects, influence, and blessedness. Those that he planted in the house of the Lord, &c. (Preacher’s Monthly.)

Continuance the test of religious profession:—1. There are few things which, as we grow older, impress us more deeply than the transitoriness of thoughts and feelings. Places and persons that we once thought we never could forget, as years go on are all but quite forgotten; and so with feelings. And there is no respect in which this is more sadly felt than in the case of pious feelings and holy resolutions. We often think sadly of those whose goodness was like the morning cloud and the early dew. We sometimes fear lest we have been deluding ourselves with the belief that we were better and safer than we ever have been, and mourn for the soul-refreshing views, the earnest purpose, the warm affections, of the days when we first believed in Christ. 2. No doubt, by the make of our being, as we grow older, we grow less capable of emotion. Religion in the soul, after all, is a matter of fixed choice and resolution, of principle rather than of feeling. And yet it remains a great and true principle, that in the matter of Christian faith and feelings, that which lasts longest is best. This, indeed, is true of most things. The worth of anything depends much upon its durability. It is not the gaudy annual we value most, but the stedfast forest tree. The slight triumphal-arch, run up in a day, may flout the sober-looking buildings near it; but they remain after it is gone. The fairest profession, the most earnest labours, the most ardent affection for a time, will not suffice. That only is the true fruit of the Spirit, which does not wear out with advancing time. The text hints to us that it is even a harder thing to keep up a consistent Christian profession—year after year, through temptations, through troubles—than to make it, however fairly, at the first.

  1. It is only by our fruit remaining that we are warranted in believing that it is the right fruit. The only satisfactory proof, either to ourselves or to others, that our Christian faith, and hope, and charity, are the true fruits of the Spirit is that they last. In religion, the fruit which “remains” is the only fruit. Anything else is a pretender. Herein is a point of difference between worldly and spiritual things. It would not be just to say that things which wear out have no value. Who shall say that the flower which blooms in the morning and withers before the sunset is not a fair and kind gift of the Creator? Who shall affirm that the summer sunset is not beautiful, though even while we gaze upon it its hues are fading? Who shall deny that there is something precious in the lightsome glee of childhood, even though in a little while that cheerful face is sure to be shadowed by the cares of manhood? Indeed, the beauty and value of many things in this world are increased by the shortness of the time for which they last. But it is not thus with Christian grace. If it be not a grace which will last for ever, it is no grace at all. A man may show every appearance of being a true disciple; but if his zeal wanes and expires, if the throne of grace is deserted, the Bible neglected, and the little task of Christian philanthropy abandoned, how much reason there is then to fear lest the man was deceiving himself with a name to live while he was dead—that he was mistaking the transient warmth of mere human emotion for the gracious working of the Holy Spirit of God!
  2. “Fruit which remains” is the only kind of Christian profession which will recommend religion to those who are not Christians. Men judge of religion by the conduct and character of its professors. And just as a humble, consistent believer is a letter of recommendation of Christianity to all who know him, just so is the inconsistent believer’s life a something to make them doubt whether religion be a real thing, and not a mere matter of profession and pretence. No one but God can tell how much harm is done by the Christian who, in his new-born zeal, disdains the quiet faith of old disciples who have long walked consistently, but whose zeal passes like the morning cloud and the early dew. Oh! far better the modest fruit of the Spirit, which makes little show at first, but which remains year after year. Conclusion: The same power which implanted the better life within must keep it alive day by day; the continual working of the Spirit must foster the fruits of the Spirit; and that Spirit is to be had for the asking in fervent, humble prayer. Let us watch against the first symptoms of declension in religion; remember that spiritual decline begins in the closet; guard against that worldly spirit which is always ready to creep over us; seek to walk by faith, and not by sight; be diligent in the use of all the appointed means of grace, and vigilant in guarding against every approach of temptation; and seek to have our loins girt and our lamps burning, as those who do not know how soon or suddenly the Bridegroom may come. (A. K. H. Boyd, D.D.)

Religious permanence:—Think of the Speaker Himself! He is near unto His end. Will He indeed remain? Listen to the angry roar of the multitude, “Away with Him!” If an artist of that age had been asked to put on fresco the permanent, would he have chosen “the Christ”? He might have selected the emperor, or Jerusalem’s marble temple; but he would scarcely have selected the Saviour when He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. But our Lord Himself? Did He not know the secret of permanence? Full well we know His thoughts. “I, if I be lifted up will draw all men unto Me.” “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” The same spiritual permanence He would see in all His professed disciples. Let them but abide in Him, and then the branch would be as the vine! Fruit is to remain—

  1. In principle. Religion is founded on the permanence of the moral nature. It lays hold on the eternally right and true within us. Religion without principle is but a Jonah’s gourd. There may be beauty in our life, but there must be strength, or the beauty itself will be but the hectic flush of consumption. Think of a divine teacher who had to suit his thesis of virtue to education or country! No! His virtue was Sinai etherealized and glorified, but it was the same virtue. Christ has made morality living and real. His principles will live on in every age. None can displace them until men have denied the conscience within them. His words still are spirit, still are life. Thus, then, if we are Christians, we shall be firm and strong in moral principle. Ours will be no sentimental life.
  2. In influence. We are so to live that others may gather fruit from our lives when we are gone. We say Milton lives, and Baxter, and Pascal. True. The lustre of noble words and beautiful deeds lingers on, yea, even brightens with time. But the humblest life also lives on in the future years. The permanent influence is not that of the mere orator, thinker, or theologian. Brilliant epochs do not make lives. It is easy to fulfil special tasks, to enter upon some memorable struggle with all eyes fixed upon us. It is difficult in daily life, amid the distraction of little things, to be faithful, patient, earnest unto the end.

III. In feeling. The emotional nature is not to be crushed, or even relegated to an inferior place. No life is beautiful that is a stranger to tenderness or tears. But unless the heart keeps alive affection, all else will suffer; for we were made to love, and our influence will cease if that dies out. Why should emotion be a transient thing, to be apologized for or treated with affected criticism as unmanly? Christ was moved with compassion. Feeling should be permanent. Why not? We need not exhaust it by stimulants, nor mortgage the emotion of to-morrow by drawing upon its exchequer to-day. Within us all there ought to be a nature which the Divine memories of the gospel always touch with tenderness.

  1. In active endeavour. As flowers retire into themselves at eventide, so too often do men and women. There is lassitude or languor not born of physical weakness, but of mental ennui, which too often comes in the evening of life. It is a characteristic of a true Christian faith that it vivifies all eras of life. For there can be no preserved sanctities of service where there is no delight in the dear old ways, no true fountains of joy in God. When men lose interest, you cannot quicken their energy. Appeal will not do it, nor arguments, nor firmness of will. A regiment in which there are grey-headed soldiers is likely to have enduring men in it; and a Christian army in which the veterans do not tire is not only a beautiful spectacle, but constitutes a brave contingent for the war.
  2. Immortality. (W. M. Statham.)[12]

16. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you. Jesus’ initiative was the basis of this friendship, and his choice of the disciples as his friends involved an appointment or a commission: so that you might go and bear fruit. With these words, Jesus returned to the theme of the earlier part of the chapter—the vine and the branches, and the function of the branches to bear fruit for the gardener. The nature of the fruit expected was discussed in the commentary on 15:4, where it was concluded that fruit is the entire outcome of the disciples’ life and ministry carried out in obedience to Christ and enjoying his presence through the Spirit. When Jesus said that the disciples were to go and bear fruit, the ‘going’ most likely referred to their missionary endeavours. The fruit they were to bear in their going would include new believers.

This fruit is described as fruit that will last. The word last translates menē. The same word is used to speak of three other things that last: the ‘food’ that the Son of Man will give and which endures (menousan) to eternal life (6:27); the son, not the slave, who has a permanent place (menei) in the family (8:35); and the Messiah who remains (menei) for ever and does not die (12:34). Noting these parallels, we may say that fruit that will last denotes the eternal significance of life and ministry carried out in obedience to Jesus, including making new believers.

Jesus made this promise to those who would go and bear fruit: whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is the third of four remarkable promises Jesus made concerning prayer (14:13–14; 15:7–8, 16–17; 16:23–24). In each case, the promise is conditional. Here it is conditional upon two things: the disciples carrying out their commission to go and bear fruit, and prayer being made in Jesus’ name (see ‘Additional note: “in my name”/“in his name” ’, p. 350).[13]


16You did not choose me, but I chose you,” Jesus goes on (v. 16a), in keeping with the priority of his love for them over their love for one another (see vv. 9, 12; also 13:1, 14, 34). Love, as we have seen, is understood as choice, or preference. The disciples are Jesus’ “friends” because he has chosen them as his friends. What he says here is said just as emphatically in 1 John: “In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us” (1 Jn 4:10), and “We love, because he first loved us” (1 Jn 4:19, italics added). He has twice spoken of his love as choice or election: “Did I not choose you as the Twelve? And one of you is ‘the devil’ ” (6:70), and “I am not speaking about all of you. I know which ones I chose” (13:18). Now that Judas is gone, he can say without qualification, “I chose you.” His choice of these disciples is not so much divine “election” in the classic theological sense of the term as simply the selection of “Twelve” (now eleven) out of all who followed him, to accompany him in his ministry and carry on his work after his departure.

This he now makes explicit: “and appointed you that you might go and bear fruit, and that your fruit might last—that whatever you ask the Father in my name he might give you” (v. 16b). So far he has only hinted at a mission of some kind (see 13:16 and 20), without telling the disciples explicitly that it is their mission, or that he is actually “sending” them into the world as the Father sent him (see 13:20). Without using the actual word “send” (as he will in due course; see 17:18; 20:21), he reveals that his purpose for the disciples he has chosen is that they “go” and “bear fruit,” and that their fruit “last,”72 that is, “dwell” in the Vine, just as they dwell in the Vine. “Go and bear fruit” are closely linked, almost to the point that “go” functions as a helping verb (as in “I’m going fishing,” 21:3). The accent is not on “going away” as Jesus will “go away” (13:33; 14:28), but on “bearing fruit” in the sense of making disciples or winning new converts (see 17:20, “those who believe in me through their word”). Then Jesus adds, in words that sound curiously anticlimactic, “that whatever you ask of the Father in my name he might give you.” This should not be read as an additional goal beyond “bearing fruit,” as if answered prayer depends on success in evangelism. Rather, the reverse is true. The two purpose clauses are both saying the same thing, reminding the disciples that whatever success they may have in “bearing fruit” in the course of their mission to the world is gained through answered prayer, and only through answered prayer. At times we were reminded that this was true even of Jesus himself (see 9:31; 11:22, 41–42), and he has made it clear in the present discourse that prayer was indeed the key both to the disciples’ “greater works” (14:13–14) and to the bearing of “much fruit” (vv. 7–8).[14]


16 We always tend to feel that the initiative is with us. Jesus now assures his followers that this is not the case. It was not they who chose him, as was normally the case when disciples attached themselves to a particular rabbi. Students the world over delight to seek out the teacher of their choice and attach themselves to him or her. But Jesus’ disciples did not hold the initiative. On the contrary, it was he who chose them.37 And not only did he choose them, but he appointed them to their task. This is, first, to go; the idea of mission is frequent in this Gospel. The first function then of the disciples is that they are to be emissaries of Christ. The second thing is that they should “bear fruit” (see on v. 2). The fruit they bear is not transient but abiding. It is possible that here the bearing of fruit includes the thought of service leading to the conversion of others (why else should they “go”?), as in 4:36. It is perhaps unexpected that this is subordinate to the aim of prevailing prayer. The disciples are to bear fruit, so that their fruit may abide, so that whatever they ask God he may give it (the latter thought is repeated with slight variations in 16:23). “Whatever” is very thoroughgoing. Nothing is held back. For “in my name” see on 14:13. Here it is the Father who answers prayer, not Christ as in 14:14. Jesus foresaw that when he left the disciples they would not find life easy. The gospel they preached would bring them into collision with the worldly-minded, and indeed with the religious people of the day. So now he gives them counsel, warning them of persecution to come. For the true Christian opposition is inevitable.[15]


16 It was common practice for a disciple to choose the rabbi under whom he wished to study. Not so in the case of Jesus’ disciples: “You did not choose me, but I chose you.” In spiritual matters the initiative is always God’s. Our activity is a response to his prior action. The election spoken of here was not to eternal life but to fruit bearing. They were chosen and appointed to “go and bear fruit.” Even Calvin, 2:102, says that this verse “does not treat of the common election of believers” but “of that special election by which He appointed His disciples to the office of preaching the Gospel.” Appointment to the apostolic office was first of all a mandate to go as an emissary of Jesus. Second, it involved bearing fruit—in context, the conversion of those who hear the message (cf. 4:36). If the fruit of v. 16 were the same as the fruit of vv. 2–5 (the inner graces and outer conduct resulting from the presence of the Spirit in the life of the Christian), there would be no particular reason why the disciples should “go.”

We typically think of prayer as a prerequisite for bearing fruit. The final clause of v. 16 reverses the order (unless the two hina clauses are to be taken as coordinate—an unlikely case, since we were not chosen so that our prayers would be answered). Jesus says that fruit bearing prompts the Father to “give you whatever you ask in my name” (cf. Mt 7:7). Bearing fruit indicates that the believer has responded to the charge to “go” and carry out this divinely ordained mission. A life of obedience allows the Father to answer the requests we make as representatives of his Son. The ministry of believers extends in time the ministry of Jesus.[16]


The Friends of Jesus Have Been Specially Chosen by Him

You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. (15:16)

In a reversal of the customary Jewish practice (normally would-be disciples approached a rabbi they wanted to follow), the disciples did not choose Jesus but He chose them. The knowledge that Jesus chose them (and by extension all believers) to salvation apart from any merit of their own (v. 19; John 6:44, 65; Acts 13:48; Rom. 8:28–30; Gal. 1:15; Eph. 1:4; 2 Thess. 2:13; 2 Tim. 1:9; 2:10; 1 Peter 1:1–2) eliminates any pretense of spiritual pride that Christians might otherwise feel (cf. Rom. 3:27; 4:2; 1 Cor. 1:26–31; Gal. 6:14; Eph. 2:9).

Not only did Jesus choose the disciples for salvation, He also appointed them for service. The word translated appointed is a form of the verb tithēmi, which has here the connotation of being set apart or ordained for special service (cf. its similar usage in Acts 20:28; 1 Cor. 12:28; 1 Tim. 1:12; 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:11).

Having chosen and trained the disciples, Jesus commanded them to go into the world, proclaim the good news about Him, and bear fruit. The Christian life is not a spectator sport; Jesus did not choose believers to stand idly by while the world continues on its way to hell. On the contrary, His explicit command is, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19–20; cf. Luke 14:23).

When believers proclaim the gospel, those who respond savingly to it become fruit that will remain forever (cf. 4:36; Luke 16:9). That the Lord repeated the promise of verse 7 (see the exposition of that verse in chapter 13 of this volume), whatever you ask of the Father in My name He will give to you, emphasizes the essential link between prayer and evangelism (cf. Luke 10:2; 2 Thess. 3:1).

The privileges that characterize the friends of Jesus Christ carry with them corresponding responsibilities. It is their nature to love one another, yet the Bible commands them to “fervently love one another from the heart” (1 Peter 1:22). They know divine truth, yet they must study it diligently (2 Tim. 2:15). Jesus called His friends out of the world, so they must be careful not to love it (1 John 2:15). Those who have been granted the privilege of bearing fruit must submit to the Father’s pruning, so they can bear even more fruit (15:2). The Lord’s promise of answered prayer demands that believers pray effectively (James 5:16) and unceasingly (1 Thess. 5:17). In short, those who have been granted the inestimable privilege of being the friends of Jesus Christ must “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which [they] have been called” (Eph. 4:1).[17]


[1] Bowman, R. M., Jr. (2017). Is Jesus the Only Way? In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1698). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1543). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Jn 15:16). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2056). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Jn 15:16). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Jn 15:16). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[7] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1349). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[8] Wilkin, R. N. (2010). The Gospel according to John. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 451). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.

[9] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments. (A. Farstad, Ed.) (p. 1551). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[10] Utley, R. J. (1999). The Beloved Disciple’s Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John (Vol. Volume 4, pp. 140–141). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

[11] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Gospel According to John (Vol. 2, pp. 307–308). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.

[12] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: St. John (Vol. 2, pp. 664–669). London: James Nisbet & Co.

[13] Kruse, C. G. (2017). John: An Introduction and Commentary. (E. J. Schnabel, Ed.) (Second edition, Vol. 4, pp. 373–374). London: Inter-Varsity Press.

[14] Michaels, J. R. (2010). The Gospel of John (pp. 815–816). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

[15] Morris, L. (1995). The Gospel according to John (p. 600). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[16] Mounce, R. H. (2007). John. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Luke–Acts (Revised Edition) (Vol. 10, pp. 578–579). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[17] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2008). John 12–21 (pp. 162–163). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Mid-Day Snapshot · Jan. 15, 2021

THE FOUNDATION

“There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily.” —George Washington (1795)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Revisiting the Capitol Mayhem

Douglas Andrews

If you believe, as we do, that Impeachment 2.0 was a farce, you’re about to become even more convinced.

How so? Evidence continues to mount that the January 6 riot at the Capitol was planned well in advance of President Donald Trump’s speech just beforehand. And if it was planned well in advance, the Democrats’ impeachment claim that the president incited the violence by whipping up a frenzied mob with his speech that very day begins to fall apart.

The relevant portion of the Democrats’ article of impeachment, “Incitement of Insurrection,” reads as follows:

Shortly before the Joint Session commenced, President Trump, addressed a crowd at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C. There, he reiterated false claims that “we won this election, and we won it by a landslide.” He also willfully made statements that, in context, encouraged — and foreseeably resulted in — lawless action at the Capitol, such as: “if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.” Thus incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed, in an attempt to, among other objectives, interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election, unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol, injured and killed law enforcement personnel, menaced Members of Congress, the Vice President, and Congressional personnel, and engaged in other violent, deadly, destructive and seditious acts.

But as Ian Schwartz reports at RealClearPolitics, “Investigative journalist John Solomon [of Just the News] said the D.C. Metropolitan police has denied his news company’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to see the department’s investigation into the Capitol Hill riot. In an interview with ‘Real America’s Voice’ host Eric Greitens on Wednesday, Solomon said police are keeping interviews with key capitol security officials secret because there is something ‘embarrassing.’ … Solomon said he has ‘significant evidence’ that the Capitol Police, FBI, and Congress had prior warning of a planned attack and it was not a spontaneous riot emanating from President Donald Trump’s speech that day.”

Can a president be unimpeached? Inquiring minds want to know.

There’s plenty that we still don’t know about last Wednesday, and some of the key players seem pretty tight-lipped about it. “The question I have,” says Solomon, “is what did Nancy Pelosi, what did Mitch McConnell know about these threats beforehand? If they didn’t know, it’s an intelligence failure of the police. If they did know, there’s something they didn’t tell us before we went into this impeachment round today.”

As Solomon noted Wednesday in an interview on “Actionable Intelligence with Eric Greitens,” it was “a drive-by impeachment.”

While thousands of people approached the Capitol and milled around outside, those who led the charge to breach the building don’t appear to have been garden-variety Trump supporters. One of them, in fact, was a Black Lives Matter agitator named John Sullivan. He was arrested in Utah yesterday. As the Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy reports, “A self-styled Black Lives Matter activist who filmed himself encouraging the storming of the Capitol last week and was nearby when a police officer shot and killed a woman trying to climb through a window outside of the House speaker’s lobby was charged in federal court Thursday. John Sullivan, the founder of Insurgence USA and a leftist protest organizer, was charged in an 18-page criminal complaint. … The complaint notes Sullivan wore a ballistics vest and gas mask when he entered the Capitol through a broken window and pushed past U.S. Capitol Police once inside.”

There was even a video — since removed by YouTube whitewashers — of Sullivan bragging about having posed as a Trump supporter and breaking windows at the Capitol.

One more question about Sullivan: He’s reported to have been near Ashli Babbitt, the unarmed woman who was shot and killed by a Capitol Police lieutenant while climbing onto a window outside the House Speaker’s Lobby. Did Sullivan encourage or provoke her?

Others, as the Associated Press reports, came from the far Right: “Among the most prominent to emerge is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and decorated combat veteran from Texas who was arrested after he was photographed wearing a helmet and body armor on the floor of the Senate, holding a pair of zip-tie handcuffs.”

Suffice it to say: 74,223,755 Americans voted for Donald Trump on November 3, and tens of thousands of them came to Washington on January 6 to peacefully protest what they sincerely believe to have been a stolen election. A relative handful of extremists — those who led or otherwise encouraged the violence at the Capitol — and a Trump-hating mainstream media have unfairly tarred them.

Finally, we’d argue that one lefty agitator charged so far by police doesn’t discount our story last week: “No, It Wasn’t Antifa.” The understandable reaction from many grassroots Trump supporters, including some who were there and told us about the rally, was to blame the Left for a “false flag” operation of sorts. More than a week out and as police investigations continue, that just doesn’t appear to be the case.

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Biden’s COVID ‘Rescue’ Plan

Thomas Gallatin

Never fear, Joe Biden has announced his “American Rescue Plan,” a $1.9 trillion proposal to “change the course of the pandemic [and] build a bridge towards economic recovery, and invest in racial justice.” Wait… “racial injustice”? Why does everything have to be about this leftist canard?

Anyway, back to the economy, which Democrats are such experts at fixing. Headlining Biden’s plan is $400 billion earmarked for a national vaccination and testing program, with the expressed focus to reopen schools and protect vulnerable populations. Biden also wants Americans to receive another round of stimulus checks of $1,400 per person, adding to the $600 recently distributed in Congress’s last COVID-19 relief bill to reach the $2,000 sum that President Donald Trump, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer stumped for last month.

Biden’s plan also includes one of the Democrats’ favorite and ill-advised agenda items — a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage. Small businesses are already struggling with the economic burden of COVID. Forcing them to pay extra to hire back workers is not going to help them or workers who still won’t have jobs. But it sure will appear compassionate.

Aside from a few leftist goodies like that, however, when compared to the actions the Trump administration has taken in response to the pandemic, the truth is that Biden is still largely plagiarizing. His plan is more about how he talks about the pandemic than any real substantive change in action. Of course, he’ll have the advantage of a supportive press to praise his “decisive” action, and we predict the novel virus will soon stop dominating the headlines for that reason.

Meanwhile, almost as if on cue, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is planning to begin releasing his state from his draconian economy-stifling lockdown shackles. Sounding ironically like Trump, Cuomo argued, “We simply cannot stay closed until the vaccine hits critical mass — the cost is too high. We must reopen the economy, but we must do it smartly and safely.”

Cuomo’s not the only Democrat leader pushing reopening in the midst of what Biden once warned would be a “dark winter.” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot also insists that the city must reopen bars and restaurants “as soon as possible.” She swears, “I am very, very focused on getting our restaurants reopened. If we look at the various criteria that the state has set, we are meeting most if not all of those. So that’s a conversation that I will have with the governor. But I want to get our restaurants and our bars reopened as quickly as possible.”

It’s funny how as soon as Biden is about to take up residence in the White House, Democrat are suddenly concerned about getting the economy up and moving again, even as the number of COVID infections and deaths continue to hit records. The Chicago Tribune reports, “State health officials on Thursday reported 6,652 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19. The seven-day average of new cases hit 6,377, roughly the same it was a week ago after spiking to 6,990 average daily cases for the week ending Sunday. In all, there have been 1,052,682 known cases statewide throughout the pandemic.”

We argued right from the beginning of the pandemic that Democrats would exploit it to force the economy into recession in order to defeat Donald Trump. Naturally, now that Joe Biden is coming to the “rescue,” those same Democrats find it politically advantageous to call for reopening the economy. Don’t get us wrong — we want economic recovery and have been calling for it since the beginning. But now that Democrats want to end “15 days to slow the spread” after a mere 10 months (and after all election challenges had played out), we’re just calling a spade a spade when we say it’s a cynical play to make sure Ol’ Joe gets the credit.

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The Road Ahead for the GOP

Michael Swartz

Aside from some unexpected victories in House races and some gains at the state level, the 2020 election and its aftermath have proven disastrous for the Republican Party — especially the dual Senate defeats in Georgia. The party now also has two factions: those who will go to the wall to defend President Donald Trump, and those who long for the times when the party’s agenda was more suitable to the Chamber of Commerce and the Beltway think tanks. Frankly, there’s a third group caught in between — genuine grassroots conservatives rooting for Trump’s agenda while being appalled by his methods. But the real battle is between the two factions.

The first clear sign of the GOP’s course came last week when the Republican National Committee selected its leadership for the next two years. Pro-Trump RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel was reelected by acclamation, but her co-chair Tommy Hicks faced opposition from several candidates before prevailing to win another term. Even so, there were RNC members who worried that the party was going in the wrong direction.

“What’s our strategy for surviving and doing well in a post-Trump world?” asked New Jersey committeeman Bill Palatucci. “We don’t have a future as a party if we can’t win Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan. It’s an important self-examination we need to go through to figure out how we do better, and it is a waste of time to chalk it up to just saying, ‘It was stolen from us.’”

To that end, there were several possible 2024 GOP contenders at the RNC event, including popular governors Ron DeSantis of Florida and Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.

At the RNC, McDaniel touted her 2020 fundraising and ground game, claiming the party raised a record amount and “talk[ed] to more voters — 182 million of them — than any other campaign in history.” But the Democrats made all that irrelevant when they greatly expanded mail-in balloting.

For example, as election lawyer J. Christian Adams noted back in December, “Two things happened [in the 2020 election]. First, COVID led to a dismantling of state election integrity laws by everyone except the one body with the constitutional prerogative to change the rules of electing the president — the state legislatures. Second, the Center for Technology and Civic Life happened. If you’re focused on goblins in the voting machines but don’t know anything about the CTCL and what they did to defeat Donald Trump, it’s time to up your game.”

The CTCL — which benefitted in large part from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and his $350 million donation — gifted large sums to local election boards in key areas. “Hundreds of millions of private charitable dollars flowed into key urban county election offices in battleground states,” Adams explained. “The same private philanthropic largess did not reach red counties. Urban counties were able to revolutionize government election offices into Joe Biden turnout machines.”

Obviously, Facebook’s bias wasn’t just online, and it’s just as obvious that, despite Trump’s increased electoral success among urban minority voters, the enhanced turnout meant he was still fighting a losing battle. Moreover, the money never reached red counties because the donor wanted them to stay home.

It could well be that some of CTCL’s largesse, along with the hard work by Stacey Abrams, was the spark that rocketed Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock to victory in Georgia. Abrams, as our Mark Alexander pointed out, helped register 115,000 new voters in time for the January runoff. In order to hold the Senate, Republicans had to turn out their own voters. Obviously, they failed.

So Democrats are excited, both at Trump’s defeat and the chance to hold a slim trifecta in the federal government for at least two years. For the moment, their moderate and progressive wings aren’t at each other’s throats — but just wait until the Harris-Biden administration is sworn in.

Yet for all the unity among Republicans preached by Chairwoman McDaniel, the reality is that folks are choosing sides. New York Representative Lee Zeldin seemed to embrace the establishment line by claiming Republicans in Congress had cause for optimism because of the Democrats’ slim majorities. But that’s not the fighting spirit Trump supporters are looking for.

Asking if the Republicans will go the way of the Whigs, writer and onetime CIA agent Sam Faddis opines that the populist wing of the GOP isn’t going anywhere.

“The reality,” he writes, “is that a great many of the ‘leaders’ in the GOP have always been uncomfortable with the principles of the populist movement sweeping the nation. … They did their best to conceal this reality as long as Donald Trump inhabited the White House. Sensing he is on his last legs; they conceal it no longer. Like the Whigs, they have misjudged the moment. Trump’s apparent defeat ends nothing. … The tens of millions of Americans seething with anger at COVID lockdowns, social media ‘thought police’ and dictatorial state governors are not going away. They have seen now the reality of the GOP establishment, and they will remember.”

Faddis is representative of many of Trump’s 74 million voters — the ones who showed up at his rallies and swarmed the polls on Election Day, eschewing the mail-in ballots to express their opinion in person. Because they weren’t necessarily loyal to the GOP before Trump, they’ll be the ones who abandon the party if it once again cozies up to the Beltway elites, the think tanks, and the connected insiders.

The Republican Party has lost the popular vote in all but one of this century’s six presidential elections, and the GOP risks becoming a regional party if changes aren’t made soon. Perhaps the Democrats are doing Republicans a favor by going pedal-to-the-metal with their socialist agenda, but the GOP can’t win by simply playing defense. Donald Trump was the candidate whose boldness on hot-button issues such as immigration and tax reform brought back those who became disillusioned when the Tea Party devolved to just another group of inside-the-Beltway grifters, and the Republican establishment cooled the fiery spirits of those the Tea Party helped to place in Congress.

Trump had crossover appeal between the populist and conservative wings of the GOP because he actually fought the Democrats. Think about it: They needed three years of a phony Russian influence scandal, an impeachment, a deadly Chinese virus that tanked a booming economy, and fraud-friendly mail-in balloting to barely defeat him in a few key swing states. He was an America-first president who millions of folks believe really loves our country.

Now that he’s on his way out the door, the question may become whether Donald Trump even stays in the Republican Party or goes “Teddy Roosevelt” by creating a new third party. Trump supporters who are furious with how congressional GOP members have sold him out on the 2020 election and Impeachment 2.0 are pleading their case for the creation of the Patriot Party, which would run on the working-class concerns for which Trump advocated and back him in a 2024 matchup with Kamala Harris.

If that happens, the GOP itself may be headed toward the dustbin of history.

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Where Are Conservatives to Go?

Brian Mark Weber

In the wake of the Capitol riot and the immediate and frequently over-the-top condemnation of President Donald Trump and his supporters, social media giants Twitter and Facebook began purging conservatives. The first to go was the president himself, but now the dominoes are falling. Big Tech platforms colluded to eliminate a competitor, Parler. Anyone suspected of being right-of-center is on the chopping block.

Before Donald Trump took office, it took a lot of effort to cross Big Tech’s conservative red line and get banned. Now, however, just question the results of the presidential election and you’ll be grouped with the same thugs who scaled walls, smashed windows, and tangled with cops at the Capitol.

The Jack Dorseys of the social media world have no problem branding as a threat anyone who isn’t sufficiently woke. As for free and fair elections, though, Twitter seems to care more about an honest and open discussion of politics in Uganda than here in the United States.

So what happens to millions of conservatives who’ve been censored by Big Tech?

The answer might be creating alternative platforms, but that doesn’t work when web hosting services refuse to do business with conservatives. Just ask Parler CEO John Matze, who now says his service may never come back.

The problem is that it’s not going to stop with social media.

Former Major League Baseball star Curt Schilling’s insurance company canceled his policy for being an outspoken conservative. Senator Josh Hawley’s book deal was rescinded by publisher Simon & Schuster. Donald Trump himself is being blacklisted by banks, politicians, universities, athletes, and sports organizations. Even New York City will no longer make contracts with the Trump Organization. People who worked for Trump are being fired from other gigs.

In the end, however, it’s not just about Trump. It’s about anyone holding traditional conservative views. As Michael Goodwin writes at the New York Post, “Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and their co-conspirators in Big Media and Big Tech are proving Trump was right when he said his supporters were the ultimate target.”

Make no mistake: Conservatives will be ostracized unless they repent and conform. They’ll have no place to work or go to school, and they’ll be unable to open a bank account, get a mortgage, or travel. What’s happening is the ripping apart of our country into two parallel worlds, and what may have seemed preposterous only a few years ago now seems like a grim reality.

While those on the Left may be giddy right now as they watch the collective flogging of conservatives, this isn’t going to end well for anyone. As The Daily Wire’s Ian Haworth writes, “It’s not difficult to envisage a future where everything is split along ideological lines — lines drawn by the Left. One set of utilities for the Left, and another for those they despise. One media for the Left, and another for those they despise. Restaurants, cinemas, airlines for the Left, and others for those they despise.”

So much for national unity. But maybe we can find a way to live within the system.

The organization 2ndVote rates companies according to their liberal or conservative leanings. This helps conservatives who are politically minded enough to vote with their dollars. Yet millions of Americans don’t or won’t do that.

Another solution might be for states to divest in Big Tech. Great idea, but it’ll take more than one state to make Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook reconsider their stance on free speech.

Patriots can also elude Big Tech’s tyranny by going back to old-fashioned politicking: printing newsletters, knocking on doors, organizing groups. After all, the greatest political movements in world history didn’t need Twitter.

For now, though, the drive to push conservatives into a distant echo chamber will create a greater divide and heighten tensions. We will no longer trust one another, nor look to one another for solutions.

And we will no longer be the United States.

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Jack Dorsey and the New Last Refuge of a Scoundrel

Douglas Andrews

“Patriotism,” said the great British man of letters Samuel Johnson, “is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

It’s a clever quip, to be sure, but we’ve never much cared for it. Maybe if he’d zeroed in on pretend patriotism instead of blasting away at the behavior as broadly defined — summer soldiers versus winter soldiers, that sort of thing. He was a Tory, after all, so he no doubt knew that a nation without patriots is a nation without a future.

Anyway, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is certainly no patriot, but it’s hard to think of a more scoundrelly scoundrel. Almost like clockwork, he’s once again taken to tweetstorming both his phony remorse and his righteousness for having silenced the president of the United States.

“I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban Donald Trump from Twitter,” he began. “We faced an extraordinary and untenable circumstance, forcing us to focus all of our actions on public safety. Offline harm as a result of online speech is demonstrably real, and what drives our policy and enforcement above all.”

Dorsey then ladled out some disingenuous slop about “the real and significant ramifications” of, oh, banning U.S. presidents and “the noble purpose and ideals of the open internet.”

He continued, “Having to take these actions fragment the public conversation. They divide us. They limit the potential for clarification, redemption, and learning. And sets a precedent I feel is dangerous: the power an individual or corporation has over a part of the global public conversation.”

How do we know that Dorsey is lying about all this? Because James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas has captured him saying as much. “We are focused on one account right now,” says Dorsey in the leaked video, “but this is going to be much bigger than just one account, and it’s going to go on for much longer than just this day, this week, and the next few weeks and go on beyond the inauguration.” By “this,” of course, he means total censorship.

Dorsey is right about one thing: The precedent is dangerous. As we noted recently, “If we seem a bit obsessive about Big Tech’s efforts to selectively silence political speech and thereby restrict the marketplace of ideas, it’s for good reason. Media censorship breeds frustration, because it eliminates what we might call a pressure-relief valve. When we as citizens have no voice, we stew and we simmer, and sometimes we boil over.”

Put simply, censorship is what powerful people do when they’re afraid of losing the argument.

Censorship is what people like Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong and Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez and Xi Jinping and Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey do. In a perverse way, Big Tech is paying Donald Trump a compliment: It’s silencing him because it fears what he might say. It’s trembling at the power of his words alone.

Perhaps, were he around today, Dr. Johnson, having observed the actions of Dorsey and Zuckerberg and their speech-suppressing ilk, would’ve instead quipped, “Censorship is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” After all, there are precious few acts more cowardly than silencing one’s opposition, nor a more fitting word than “scoundrel” to describe the billionaire speech suppressors who are doing it.

And would that it were only Big Tech. As Fox News’s Tucker Carlson asks and answers, “Where is this going? We’ll tell you: Wherever corporate America wants it to go, because they’re effectively in charge. Corporations are now fully aligned with a political party. How much distance is there between the Biden campaign and Google, the most powerful company in the world? Right around none. Publicly held multinationals like Facebook and Twitter and Google can do whatever they want and what they want to do is become partisan actors. They’ve silenced Donald Trump, and they will silence you if you dare dissent, make no mistake.”

In the end, Dorsey tries to polish this turd of his making, but to no avail. “Our goal in this moment,” he says, “is to disarm as much as we can, and ensure we are all building towards a greater common understanding, and a more peaceful [totalitarian] existence on earth. I believe the internet and global public conversation is our best and most relevant method of achieving this. I also recognize it does not feel that way today. Everything we learn in this moment will better our effort, and push us to be what we are: one humanity working together [toward a glorious socialist paradise].”

PS: The bracketed material in the paragraph above is satire. Just in case Jack’s minions are watching.

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The Lincoln Cancel Project

Thomas Gallatin

Not satisfied with President Donald Trump’s election defeat, the supposed “Republican” Never-Trumpers at The Lincoln Project are now working to compile and publicize a list of individuals who work in the Trump administration. The motive appears to be a political vendetta.

As Lincoln Project senior adviser Stuart Stevens stated when announcing the action, “We are constructing a database of Trump officials & staff that will detail their roles in the Trump administration & track where they are now. No personal info, only professional. But they will be held accountable & not allowed to pretend they were not involved.”

Clearly, the aim of The Lincoln Project is to vilify not only Donald Trump but anyone who dared to work on the political agenda of making America great. As The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board notes, “The only reason for an anti-Trump group to publicize the employment information of former officials is to deter employers from hiring them. If they are hired, progressive employees could scour the list and create petitions for them to be fired or doxed. This will deepen America’s civic strife.”

That’s putting it mildly.

No American president and no administration is ever 100% evil or 100% wrong. While political disagreements are genuine and serious, to paint all political opponents as pure villains that must be eradicated from society after serving in government will only lead to greater division and anger.

Magnanimity in victory and grace in defeat are what lead to national unity, not baseless and hyperbolic demonization. But leftists are both sore losers and winners.

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EXECUTIVE NEWS SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

Government & Politics

  • Biden’s coronavirus board is in the dark on final vaccine plan (Politico)
  • Democrats pressure Speaker Pelosi to expel Madison Cawthorn (Fox News)
  • What could possibly go wrong? “Squad” members elevated to key House committees (National Review)
  • South Carolina politico and unsuccessful Lindsay Graham challenger Jaime Harrison selected as Biden’s DNC chairman (Politico)

Leftmedia

  • Politico boss pilloried for handing over its signature news product to Ben Shapiro (Daily Beast)
  • AOC wants a government commission to (unconstitutionally) “rein in” media (PJ Media)

Memo to AOC: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” —1st Amendment

Cancel Culture

  • Harvard students seek to revoke Trump graduates’ diplomas (Fox Business)
  • Macaulay Culkin supports erasing Trump cameo in “Home Alone 2” (Daily Wire)

Science & Health

  • Large study of UK healthcare workers suggests most people immune for at least five months after catching COVID for first time (Nature)
  • Mayo Clinic study: Antibody-rich plasma treatment reduced chance of COVID death by 25% (NY Post)
  • 2020 (probably) sets another global temperature record (AP)

National Security

  • Federal prosecutors hit MS-13 “board of directors” with terror charges (NY Post)
  • Killing of Christians increased 60% in 2020, mostly due to Islamic violence in Nigeria (Disrn)

The ChiCom Chronicles

  • Senior NASA scientist pleads guilty to making false statements related to China’s Thousand Talents Program (DOJ)
  • Former Harvard-affiliated researcher ordered to leave country after attempt to smuggle cancer research to China (College Fix)
  • MIT professor charged with hiding work for China (AP)

Business & Economy

  • Weekly unemployment claims jump to 965,000 as virus takes toll (AP)
  • Record 21 million guns sold in 2020, up 60%; women and blacks top buyers (Examiner)

Annals of the “Social Justice” Caliphate

  • “Kill all Republicans”: Amazon sells 204 items promoting violence and hate (NewsBusters)
  • The mobbing of a Portland bookstore reminds us why Fahrenheit 451 was written (FEE)
  • Memory refresher: A left-wing terrorist who bombed the Capitol building in 1983 was pardoned by Clinton and now fundraises for BLM (Not the Bee)

Non Compos Mentis

  • Data shows U.S. police more likely to use force against liberal protesters (UPI)

Food for thought: Which “protesters” caused at least a billion dollars in damage via vandalism and infernos last summer? Which “protesters” committed numerous murders while causing said damage? And which “protesters” put people out of business and ruined livelihoods?

On a Lighter Note…

  • Message in a bottle makes 1,500-mile, two-year journey across the Pacific to the shores of Papua New Guinea (Daily Mail)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: The impoverished idea of a wealth tax (Governing)
  • Policy: EU’s new investment deal with China a blow to transatlantic alliance (Daily Signal)
  • Humor: AOC suggests nuking sun at night when it’s colder to fight climate change (Genesius Times)

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit Headline Report.

The Patriot Post is a certified ad-free news service, unlike third-party commercial news sites linked on this page, which may also require a paid subscription.

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VIDEOS

Empire State Wants to Create Disease Detention Facilities — New York has proposed legislation that would empower the governor to send COVID “cases, contacts & carriers” to detention facilities.

Translating Joe Biden’s Progressive Message — James Linsday of NewDiscourses.com exposes the real meaning and values behind Joe Biden’s recent announcement that when re-opening the economy, he will prioritize minority groups.

The Real Threat to Democracy — Big Tech purges conservatives while letting leftist violence run wild.

Hypocritical AOC Slams Capitol Riots, Turns Blind Eye to BLM — She lies about conservatives and Republicans not calling out rioting and political violence, when they’ve literally been doing so for the entire year.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

 

 

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Do not hold the delusion that your advancement is accomplished by crushing others.” —Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC)

Upright I: “We are challenged again today to take to heart and reach for [MLK’s] vision of a brighter future together as Americans. The best way to do this is through community — not a social media community, but a real community made up of real people. … While it’s easy to feel outraged and to blame others, and it may make us feel better and even feel superior to others, outrage does not lead to action that creates hope. We need positive, hopeful action which spurs even more action and is contagious to others. Just as outrage is easily spread to others, so too is hope. You get to decide every day where you focus your energies and what your impact on others will be at the end of the day. You can choose to harbor hope or outrage within you.” —Jackie Gingrich Cushman

Upright II: “A free and civilized society cannot survive at all without a firm commitment to the truth, deeply ingrained in and exemplified by its most fundamental institutions, including government, law enforcement, educational institutions and the national media (broadcast, social and otherwise). The conflict, anger and widespread resentment we are seeing now are the consequences of abandoning honesty in favor of hyperbole, hypocrisy and hysteria for political gain. Contrary to the popular narrative, this is not recent and did not originate under President Donald Trump or because of him. But it has escalated since his inauguration in 2017 and is now at a dangerous fever pitch.” —Laura Hollis

For the record: “There is no limiting principle when it comes to the current trend of political deplatforming by tech giants that have enormous market power. It’s one thing for companies to control content on their own platforms. It’s another to use their tools to deny service to rivals.” —The Wall Street Journal

Strike while the iron’s hot: “Why did Big Tech, the media, the publishing industry, a host of corporations and a growing number of campuses double down on censoring some free speech? Why now blacklist, censor and cancel thousands of people? True, Trump gave them an opening when some rogue supporters vandalized the Capitol. But the real reason is that the left has long been eager to curtail the speech of those it opposes. Last week simply offered members of the left the sort of perfect crisis that they determined should never go to waste.” —Victor Davis Hanson

Alpha jackass I: “Osama bin Laden did not enter U.S. soil on September 11, but it was widely acknowledged that he was responsible for inspiring the attack on our country. And the president, with his words … inspired and radicalized people to storm the Capitol.” —Rep. Eric Swalwell

Alpha jackass II: “[Trump] incited a riot. He incited an insurrection. He’s arguably, at least in the 21st century, you could say Timothy McVeigh for the 20th century, but he is the domestic terrorist of the 21st century.” —Anthony Scaramucci

Dezinformatsiya: “I am never on the side of the Klan. Principled people, conservative or liberal, never on the Klan side. Principled people, conservative or liberal, never on the Nazi side. Principled people who are conservative or liberal, never on the side that treats their fellow Americans as less than. … If you voted for Trump, you voted for the person who the Klan supported. You voted for the person who Nazis support. You voted for the person who the alt-right supports. You voted for the person who incited a crowd to go into the Capitol and potentially take the lives of lawmakers.” —CNN’s Don Lemon (“Telling 75 million Americans they’re on the same side as the Klan may get the left nodding, but further alienates 75 million Americans at a pretty critical time in American history. The media is sowing more division.” —Erick Erickson)

And last… “The antithesis of the Proverb ‘a soft answer turns away wrath’ is that a hard answer increases wrath. It can be argued that all of Trump’s personal insults of others have now circled back to attack him.” —Cal Thomas

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

“The Patriot Post” (https://patriotpost.us)

Headlines – 1/15/2021

Territorial West Bank dispute ends in violence, as attack numbers spike

US House reintroduces bill to sanction global backers of Hamas, Islamic Jihad

Israel, Arab allies ‘on same page’ against Iran ahead of Biden transition

‘Next big step’: Experts advocate relocating Israel to US military’s Central Command

With Iran held in check by Biden hopes, Israel grabs chance to hit hard in Syria

Report: IDF drawing up plans to strike Iran’s nuclear program

Likud minister warns Israel could attack Iran nuclear program if US rejoins deal

In threat to Israel, Iran positions ‘suicide drones’ in Yemen

North Korea showcases what it calls ‘world’s most powerful weapon’

North Korea shows off new submarine-launched missiles after rare party congress

UN predicts ‘famine not seen in 40 years’ due to Pompeo’s Yemen policy

Trump Praises Military Policies, Says ‘Troops in Afghanistan Are at a 19-year Low’

US to Bar Entry to Chinese Navy Officials, Business Execs Involved in Militarizing South China Sea

Chinese Regime Oversaw ‘Unprecedented’ Efforts to Crush Human Rights in 2020, US Commission Says

US Adds CNOOC to Blacklist, Saying It Helps China Intimidate Neighbors

83 Global Brands Tied to Forced Labor in China – Benedict Rogers

Twitter says Chinese government’s tweets denying ‘forced labor’ in Xinjiang don’t break its rules

Bombshell revelations as Trump declassifies all FBI documents in Russia probe

Trump’s impeachment trial could begin the day Biden is inaugurated

Trump ‘would have standing to challenge’ his impeachment trial: Turley

Navarro: Dems ‘Did Violence’ by Impeaching ‘Legally Elected’ Trump

Franklin Graham casts ‘shame’ on House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump, likens them to Judas

Celebs Praise the Republicans Who Voted to Impeach Trump: ‘Thank You, You’re a Patriot’

Commentary: Impeachment Is Not Just About Removing President Trump – It’s About Canceling You

Impeaching Biden? Republican Rep. to File Articles against Biden Day after Inauguration

Democrats demand probe into nature of Capitol tours on day before assault

House Republicans could face investigations and potential removal for their involvement in the Capitol attacks

Senators Johnson, Graham Support Independent Commission to Investigate Jan. 6 Breach of Capitol

Investigators pursuing signs US Capitol riot was planned

Facebook’s Sandberg deflects blame for Capitol riot even as new evidence shows it played a pivotal role

Dozens of people on FBI terrorist watch list came to D.C. the day of Capitol riot

Justice Department Charges 14 Leaders of MS-13 Gang With Terrorism Offenses

Black Lives Matter Activist Who Stormed Capitol on Jan. 6 Charged

BLM activist inside Capitol claims he was ‘documenting’ riots, once said ‘burn it all down’

John Sullivan trained for Olympics and appeared in an Uber commercial before becoming a left-wing activist and rioting at the Capitol

Man From Georgia Arrested After Entering US Capitol Killed Himself

Washington locked down as police warn of ‘major security threat’ from extremists

National Mall could be closed on Inauguration Day

National Guard at Capitol Authorized to Use Lethal Force in Aftermath of Mob

Biden inauguration rehearsal is postponed due to security threats

Republicans and Democrats agree – the country is falling apart

Media Are Accusing A Republican Lawmaker Of Insurrection For Quoting Nancy Pelosi

Trump Adviser: Republicans Who Support Trump Impeachment Don’t Have Political Future

Parler argues Amazon shut it down to block Trump from joining

White House Trade Adviser: Amazon Suspension of Parler Is ‘Chilling’

Head of Instagram on Bias at Facebook: ‘We’re Not Neutral’

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Says Big Tech’s Blacklisting of Donald Trump Was Not ‘Coordinated’

Twitter ‘whistleblower’ leaks video of Dorsey telling staff actions will be ‘much bigger’ than Trump ban

Trump supporters seek online refuges after big tech backlash

North Dakota Bill Would Let Censored Citizens File Lawsuits Against Facebook, Twitter

O’Keefe: Exposure of Big Tech censorship agenda leading to ‘revolution of whistleblowing’

CEO of social media app Gab: ‘What we’re seeing right now is the rise of communism, plain and simple’

Dennis Prager – ‘This Is the Reichstag Fire, Relived’

Top Biden DOJ Appointee Open to Court Packing: ‘Nothing Is Off the Table’

New York AG Sues NYPD, NYC Over Alleged Excessive Force Against Floyd Protesters

Estonian government collapses over corruption investigation

6.2 magnitude earthquake in Indonesia’s Sulawesi kills at least 8, injures hundreds

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the Tristan da Cunha region

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 27,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 20,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

‘Monster’ hurricanes keep getting even stronger, analysis shows

Wind wreaks havoc on Fort Collins area; 99 mph gust reported at Glen Haven

Intense gusts force wind warnings in 8 states, cause power outages for hundreds of thousands

Central US slammed with major wind storm, blizzard

Madrid Mayor Says Snowstorm Caused Nearly $2 Billion in Damage

Freezing temperatures in Saudi Arabia’s Asir for the first time since 1971

UN says world facing ‘catastrophic’ warming as 2020 ties record for hottest year

UN urges nations to scale up climate change adaptation to avoid major economic loss

Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin Warns of Climate Mandates

‘It’s a humanitarian issue’: North Dakota mulling bill to ban abortion in most circumstances

Missouri Becomes First ‘Abortion-Free State’ in the U.S., Pro-Life Group Says

Cardinal Timothy Dolan Warns Biden Opposing Abortion Is Nonnegotiable for Catholics

Trans man killed amid Puerto Rico’s ‘wave of homophobic and transphobic violence’

CCP Virus Updates: WHO Team Arrives in China to Investigate Origins

Tech coalition working to create digital COVID-19 vaccination passport

COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects May Have Led to 13 Deaths: Norway

75-year-old Israeli woman found lifeless hours after second dose of Covid-19 vaccine

27-year-old mother suffers seizures, is hospitalized after taking COVID vaccine

Rep. Adriano Espaillat diagnosed with COVID-19 after getting vaccine

UK Bank Threatens to Cancel Accounts if Customers Refuse to Wear Masks

Italy political crisis erupts over EU Covid spending

60% rise in Christians killed worldwide in 2020: Open Doors report

Source: Tracking the Birth Pangs – News and Links (trackingbibleprophecy.org)

15 Jan 2021 – Rapture Ready News

On Thursday Iran’s state media condemned the action of a “foreign” vessel which it said “intended to approach the naval drill” that Iranian forces are currently conducting in the Gulf of Oman. Later Iranian state media published rare footage of a submarine in the vicinity of the two-day naval exercise, specifically in or near the Strait of Hormuz. The submarine is said to have departed soon after the incident following an Iranian Navy warning.

CIA declassifies hundreds of UFO documents – here’s where to find them
The new CIA UFO trove includes 243 different downloadable files with names such as “‘FLYING SAUCERS’ IN EAST GERMANY,” “POLICE OFFICERS SPOT UFO; RAPID REACTION FORCE ALERTED” and “U.S. AIR FORCE CONTRACT WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO TO REPORT ON THE UFO’S” to name a few.

Christians Debate The Prophetic Future Of America – Prosperity vs End Times
Despite all of this chaos, many Americans remain absolutely convinced that the greatest days of the United States are still ahead of us. To them, the current problems we are facing are just minor bumps in the road that will soon be resolved as we continue to steamroll toward an incredibly glorious future. Personally, I don’t see how this makes any sense at all, but there are millions upon millions of people out there that actually believe this.

Franklin Graham: 10 Republicans who voted to impeach are Judas
‘It makes you wonder what the 30 pieces of silver were that Speaker Pelosi promised for this betrayal’ With those words, Franklin Graham scolded the 10 Republican House members who “joined with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats in impeaching President Trump yesterday,” Graham wrote on Facebook. The 10 were Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Liz Cheney of Wyoming, John Katko of New York, Fred Upton of Michigan, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington, Dan Newhouse of Washington, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Tom Rice of South Carolina and David Valadao of California.

Articles of impeachment to be filed against Biden
With impeachment now routine in the Nancy Pelosi-run U.S. House, a freshman Republican member has announced she will file articles of impeachment against Joe Biden one day after his inauguration. With the Democrats in control of the House, there’s little chance Greene’s move will gain any traction, but her charge is not without merit.

Sheldon Adelson to be buried on Mount of Olives tomorrow
Jewish American billionaire Sheldon Adelson will be laid to rest in the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem tomorrow, in accordance with his wish to be buried in Israel. The plane carrying Adelson’s body arrived in Israel Thursday evening after taking off from Los Angeles, California this morning. Close friends and family of Adelson came to see his coffin when the plane landed, including Prime Minister Netanyahu.

US executes first woman on federal death row in nearly seven decades
The US government executed convicted murderer Lisa Montgomery, the only woman on federal death row, early on Wednesday, after the Supreme Court cleared the last hurdle for her execution by overturning a stay, Montgomery was convicted in 2007 in Missouri for kidnapping and strangling Bobbie Jo Stinnett, then eight months pregnant. Montgomery cut Stinnett’s fetus from the womb. The child survived.

Public trust crumbles amid COVID, fake news – survey
The Edelman Trust Barometer, which for two decades has polled thousands of people on their trust in core institutions, found 57% of people believe government leaders, business chiefs and journalists are spreading falsehoods or exaggerations.

Three dead, 24 injured after strong quake in Indonesia’s Sulawesi
At least three people have died and 24 been injured after a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck Indonesia’s Sulawesi island, the country’s disaster mitigation agency said on Friday.

Israel, Arab allies ‘on same page’ against Iran ahead of Biden transition
Israel and like-minded Arab states have a shared message ahead of US President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration next week: Don’t reduce the pressure on Iran. The countries aligned with Israel on this matter are not just its new allies in the Gulf, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, but also include Egypt and Jordan, an official involved in the matter said on Thursday.

Pompeo, Head of Mossad Spotted in Private Meeting at DC Cafe as Tensions Rise with Iran
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mossad (Israel’s spy agency) chief Yossi Cohen were seen at Cafe Milano in Washington DC on Monday, The meeting comes on the heels of major US military movements in the Persian Gulf.

Army warns Civilians: Buy Radio for Bomb Shelters in Preparation for Mass Power Outage
In what many are saying is a forewarning against an imminent Iranian strike, a rather ominous video was published on Wednesday by the IDF’S Homefront Command. The Army’s clip instructs Israeli civilians to keep a radio in their bomb shelters in case of massive power or internet outage. Although the IDF tried to keep the video lighthearted, reports from Tehran indicate that their nuclear ambitions have only gained steam in anticipation of a Biden presidency.

COURT RULES AGAINST CUOMO, IN FAVOR OF FREEDOM OF RELIGION
A high court in New York ruled again that Governor Mario Cuomo cannot institute restrictions on religious institutions that are more severe restrictions than other entities, such as grocery stores, gyms, bars, and casinos.

TOP RABBI: AMERICA IS COLLAPSING, ISRAEL MUST STEP UP AS NEW WORLD SUPERPOWER
One of Israel’s most respected rabbis, Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, has released a statement on the status of America as a waning world superpower and a message of hope for Israel to fill the void. Rabbi Eliyahu is the Chief Rabbi of Safed and a member of the Chief Rabbinate Council. Rabbi Eliyahu explains that the schism is deeper than last week’s incident on Capitol Hill saying: “The big crisis that is currently happening in America didn’t start with the storming of Capitol Hill. It started with the Democratic party’s’ lack of confidence in Trump’s presidency expressed in fiery protests across the United States, and his being labeled in every possible derogatory manner.”

Regional ramifications as Trump seeks to include Israel in CENTCOM
The US is moving to include Israel in Central Command, the military command that oversees a vast swath of the Middle East, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. For many years Israel and Turkey were included in European Command because Israel was largely rejected by most countries in the region, and it was difficult for the US to host Israeli generals and their counterparts. Turkey was a member of NATO.

13 people suffer facial paralysis after coronavirus vaccine – report
Some 13 people have experienced mild facial paralysis as a side effect after taking the COVID-19 vaccine, the Health Ministry reported, and estimates are that the number of cases could be higher. Health officials have raised questions about whether or not to administer the second dose to these individuals, but the Health Ministry is recommending that the second dose be given.

Beginning to Look Like It’s Time to Invent Another Internet
Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the Internet, has become frustrated with its current state and the restrictions major corporations have placed upon the once-free environment—and he’s decided to do something about it. He reportedly “doesn’t like how groups like Facebook, Google, and Amazon have effectively centralized the Internet, nor how they control people’s data.”

North Korea unveils new submarine-launched missile
North Korea has unveiled a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile, described by state media as “the world’s most powerful weapon”. Several of the missiles were displayed at a parade overseen by leader Kim Jong-un, reported state media. The show of military strength comes days before the inauguration of Joe Biden as US president.

Indonesia earthquake: Sulawesi hospital among collapsed buildings
Rescuers are searching through the rubble of a partially-collapsed Indonesian hospital after an earthquake struck the island of Sulawesi, killing at least 34 people. The 6.2-magnitude quake on Friday morning came just hours after an earlier, smaller tremor. Hundreds of people were injured and thousands displaced by the quake.

Syria war: Suspected Israeli strikes on Iran-linked targets ‘kill dozens’
Israel has reportedly carried out a wave of air strikes on Iran-backed militia positions in Syria overnight, in the fourth such attack in two weeks. The Syrian state news agency Sana said Israeli aircraft attacked the eastern Deir al-Zour and Albu Kamal regions. It did not mention any casualties, but the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 14 Syrian soldiers and 43 allied militiamen were killed.

Iran works on uranium metal for reactor fuel
Iran has started work on uranium metal-based fuel for a research reactor, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog and Tehran said on Wednesday, in the latest breach of its nuclear deal… Kazem Gharib Abadi, Iran’s representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), confirmed the country has started working on the fuel, saying everything has been reported to the agency.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard holds ballistic missile drill amid tensions
Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard forces on Friday held a military exercise involving ballistic missiles and drones in the country’s central desert, state TV reported, amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a US pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.

Deadly windstorm rolls through Pacific Northwest, more than 600 000 customers without power
A powerful windstorm hit the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, leaving at least two people dead and more than half a million people without electricity. The storm left a trail of damage, caused a landslide that shut down a highway, and produced a historic wind gust of 114 km/h (71 mph) at Spokane International Airport.

The insurrection lie
The legacy media has spent the last week repeating the lie that Trump supporters travelled to Washington D.C. last week in a coordinated attempt to overthrow the government. It’s a lie.

President Trump Declassifies Russia Collusion Documents — Coming as Soon as Friday
On Tuesday The Gateway Pundit got word that President Trump was going to declassify all of the Russian hoax investigation documents. We reported previously that Deep State operatives, including people inside the White House and ostensibly on “his” side, were urging the president to keep the information from the public.

Shock As UK Now Mandating Biometric Immunity Passports And Begins Refusing Entry To Supermarkets And Banks For People Not Wearing A Mask
While America in particular and the world in general is obsessed with the ongoing civil war playing itself out in Washington DC, across the pond in the UK the New World Order proceeds unabated. The draconian COVID-1984 immunity passports and now something called a vaccine passport are in the process of being rolled out. All this while the Bill Gates funded Moderna calmly tells us that COVID is ‘never going away”’

Another Violent Leftist Arrested at US Capitol Protest: Registered Democrat and 34-Year-Old Son of a New York Judge
Another violent leftist was arrested on Wednesday for partaking in the US Capitol protest turned Antifa riot.

An astonishing theory: FEMA and the US military will save America at its final hour
Today’s Situation Update for January 14th examines the two competing theories for the outcome of the rigged 2020 election. In one outcome, Trump has given up, Biden will be sworn in, and the United States of America will be plunged into a communist-controlled authoritarian police state that silences conservative dissent.

UNMASKED: Docs reveal Governor’s secret $1B CCP Deal
In a Special report from Judicial Watch, a conservative legal watchdog group has announced that it received hundreds of pages of documents revealing the contract materials and communications related to a $1 billion contract for face masks between the California Office of Emergency Services (OES) and the Chinese Communist Party linked BYD.

Organizations Linked to Chinese Military Are a Cash Cow for American Colleges
Chinese military-linked entities, including those behind extensive cyber attacks and espionage, funneled at least $88 million into U.S. universities over the course of six years, according to a Washington Free Beacon review of federal records.

The Evil Will Not Win: Prayers for Strength and Protection During this Time of Evil and Corruption
God, our refuge and strength, help us in times of trouble. When the earth dissolves and the mountains tumble into the sea and its waters roar and foam, remind us of your might, and your good and gracious will. All creation is groaning as it suffers the corruption of sin, but you have promised to make all things work together for the good of those who love you.

Marine Corps. Rebukes Pelosi: “WE DON’T WORK FOR YOU!”
General David H. Berger, Commandant of the United States Marine Corps., refused House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request to use the Corps. to safeguard Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration from Trump supporters and insurrectionists.

Montreal synagogue defaced with swastikas
One man is in police custody after one of Montreal’s largest synagogues was vandalized with anti-Semitic symbols on Wednesday, CTV News reports.

PBS top lawyer says gov should build ‘enlightenment camps and remove children from Trump supporting homes
This is what the leftists, along with those that support their agenda, think about Americans. It’s in their own words. Believe them when they say it.

Competing Trump scenarios; breaking the spells of FEAR and SCARCITY
On the surface, it appears certain that Trump has thrown in the towel and is preparing for Biden to be sworn in as president. If that’s true, then all conservatives, Christians, gun owners and Trump supporters across America must prepare to be persecuted like never before. The death squads will be initiated by Democrats as soon as they complete their illegal coup and seize the White House.

In Final Act, Trump Admin To Present ‘Bombshell’ Findings Blaming Wuhan Lab For COVID-19, WHO Cover-Up 
The Trump administration will present ‘dramatic new evidence’ that the virus which causes COVID-19 leaked from a Wuhan lab, according to the Daily Mail, which adds that outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will make a “bombshell” announcement that SARS-CoV-2 did not naturally jump from bats to humans through an intermediary species – and was instead cultured by scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), where both Chinese and foreign experts have warned of shoddy bio-security for years.

Trump declassifying trove of FBI memos exposing Steele’s motivations, ties to impeachment witness — Christian Research Network

“Late last year, the Trump administration declassified evidence showing the CIA warned President Obama and the FBI that it had intercepted intelligence indicating Hillary Clinton had personally ordered up an operation to “vilify” Trump with a false story of collusion as a means of distracting from the negative publicity of her email scandal.”

(John Solomon – Just the News)   Delivering in his final days on one of his last unfulfilled promises, President Trump is declassifying a massive trove of FBI documents showing the Russia collusion story was leaked in the final weeks of the 2016 election in an effort to counteract Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.

The memos to be released as early as Friday include FBI interviews and human source evaluation reports for two of the main informants in the Russia case, former MI6 agent Christopher Steele and academic Stefan Halper.

The president authorized the release of a foot-high stack of internal FBI and DOJ documents that detail significant flaws in the investigation and provide a detailed timeline of when the FBI first realized the Steele dossier was problematic, multiple government officials told Just the News.  View article →

Trump declassifying trove of FBI memos exposing Steele’s motivations, ties to impeachment witness — Christian Research Network