Daily Archives: February 15, 2021

5 Smart Ways to Study the Bible with This Top Free Bible App — Faithlife Blog

“Reading the Bible isn’t the same as studying the Bible.” 

I remember learning that as a kid, sitting in the far-left row of Mrs. Bucy’s Sunday school class. Back then, Bible study tools were printed Bibles, bulky concordances (and even bulkier commentaries), and easy-to-misplace paper notebooks. 

Today, we can study the Bible from anywhere with a multitude of free Bible study apps. I may be slightly biased, but I’d recommend the free Bible app with 4.8 stars, rated by over 101,000+ people—Logos Bible Study. The newest version just released!

When you download it, you’re not getting just one of the best free Bible study apps. 

You’re getting 40+ digital resources valued at $900+ and the Bible study capabilities that earned recommendations from Matt Chandler, Kay Arthur, and She Reads Truth

But the best Bible study app in the world won’t do you much good unless you know how to start using it, so let’s take care of that problem . . . 

Here are five ways to begin using Logos to study the Bible today: 

  1. Get an overview—& put yourself on the fast track. 
screenshot showing the Passage Guide in the Logos Mobile App

When you open your app, tap on the “hamburger menu” on the bottom right and select Passage Guide. Then type in a passage. 

When you do, Logos will bring you everything you need to start your study. 

Really, if there’s only one thing you remember from this post, it’s this: start with Passage Guide. Once you’re there, you can tap to open cross references, read entries from Bible commentaries, explore parallel passages, and more.

commentary and other results in the Logos Bible study app

For example, here’s what you see when you type in Micah 6:8. 

Faithlife Study Bible results for Micah 6:8 in the Logos Bible study app

And here’s what you’d see if you tap on the Faithlife Study Bible link:

Everything in blue takes you to a relevant passage or resource inside Logos, so you don’t even have to know what’s in your library. Logos will find it for you and put it front and center, so all you have to do is tap.

2. Read the passage in different translations.

(6 Bible versions come free with your app.)

You likely have a preferred Bible version. (I do, too.) But comparing different translations can help you gain a clearer understanding of a passage. 

Dr. Mark Ward, Bible scholar and author, explains in When (and How) to Use Multiple Bible Translations:

If you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone and pick up a Bible translation you formerly avoided, something wonderful might happen: You might learn something! As soon as you see the interpretive rendering in the NIV or NLT, something may click for you: you might see meaning you never knew was there. Or as soon as you see the way a more literal translation of 1 Corinthians 7, you may realize that the interpretation of “virgin he is engaged to” (NIV) you’ve assumed all your life is really a more complicated issue than you realized. That might force you to dig deeper in your study. And what is the harm in this?

In your app, you can link Bible versions so they scroll together—jump from 1 Peter 3:8 in the Christian Standard Bible to the King James Version to the American Standard Version without having to type in the reference over and over. 

Bible Translations Text Comparison in the Logos Bible Study App

Or just tap on the “hamburger menu” and select Text Comparison

Here’s what it looks like for James 1:1. 

Comparison of Bible translations for James 1:1

If you were wondering, the Logos app DOES have a dark mode option, but it wasn’t turned on for these photos 😉 .

Free Bible Software. Priceless Insights. clickable image

3. Consult a study Bible. 

(The world’s most advanced digital study Bible, the Faithlife Study Bible, comes free with your app.)

A study Bible is like a mini commentary. You can quickly gather new information about context, potential applications, and more in a few seconds.

For example, the Faithlife Study Bible gives this extra information about Matthew 27:16:

"Flogged" word information in the Logos Bible Study app

When you tap on beaten in Logos, it takes you to the Lexham Bible Dictionary entry on Punishment, which explains types of punishment used in the Bible:

additional Bible study information on punishment in the Bible

See all those blue links? You can tap them to go deeper into your Bible study by reading Bible passages and other content in your library. 

4. Consult a commentary. 

(2 free whole-Bible commentaries come with your app, plus 1 on Romans and 1 on Galatians.)

When you consult commentaries, you’re getting the value of someone else’s learning—background information, historical and cultural context, possible applications, and more. Then you can use their insights to go deeper in your own study.

5. Do Bible word studies.  

In-depth Bible word study results in the Logos Bible app

You can do in-depth Bible word studies without knowing a lick of Hebrew or Greek. To study a word in Logos, just double tap on it, then tap Study. You’ll see the word in its original language, definitions of the word, how that word is translated throughout the Bible version you’re in, and example uses. 

Download the free Logos Bible study app today and dig in to what God has for you! As you use it, you can choose to grow your Bible study library inside Logos and add even more capability with upgrades starting at $49.99 for those new to Logos ($1,457.71 value).

It’s the only Bible study app you’ll ever need.

Free Bible Software. Priceless Insights. clickable image

5 Smart Ways to Study the Bible with This Top Free Bible App — Faithlife Blog

Rep. Mike Johnson: Impeachment Was About Democrats Framing 75 Million Trump Supporters as Capitol Hill Rioters — Christian Research Network

“I thought Trump’s attorneys did such a great job with their video montage where they showed all these guys — even the impeachment managers themselves — using the exact same language that they were trying to incriminate the president by using.”

(Robert Kraychik – Breitbart) Democrats used their impeachment pursuit against former President Donald Trump as an attempt to “equate” 75 million Americans who voted for Trump with “the couple hundred criminals who came in an ransacked the Capitol,” Rep. Mike Johnson said (R-LA) in an interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Sunday with host Joel Pollak.

Johnson said the Democrats’ “ultimate goal” with impeachment was to frame Trump’s supporters as indistinguishable from Capitol rioters.

“They really wanted to use impeachment as a vehicle because they wanted to equate all those tens of millions of Trump’s voters and all of his supporters and everybody who came to the rally, they wanted to equate all of those people with the couple hundred criminals who came in and ransacked the Capitol,” Johnson stated.

View article →

Rep. Mike Johnson: Impeachment Was About Democrats Framing 75 Million Trump Supporters as Capitol Hill Rioters — Christian Research Network

The New American’s Alex Newman Interviews Dr. Lee Merrick About Covid-19 and How the World is Being Manipulated by FEAR — Absolute Truth from the Word of God

MARANATHA!!!


The New American’s Alex Newman Interviews Dr. Lee Merrick About Covid-19 and How the World is Being Manipulated by FEAR — Absolute Truth from the Word of God

New PBS documentary “The Black Church” enlightens, inspires, and faces its flaws — Denison Forum

The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song, which begins airing Tuesday on PBS, offers an inspiring look at a four-hundred-year-old institution that forms the solid rock of the African-American experience. 

The sprawling documentary, which unfolds in four hours over two nights, is hosted by Harvard’s Dr. Henry Louis Gates, who also has a book on the subject coming out Tuesday. 

The Black Church features celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, and Jennifer Hudson, including some who have drifted away from the church after growing up in it. 

“There will always be moments that push us back to our faith,” said Bishop T. D. Jakes of The Potter’s House in Dallas. “Because life has a way of reminding you that you need something bigger than you to get through a season.” 

The beginnings of the Black Church in America

The black church’s story begins with slavery, followed by the Civil War and Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, the Civil Rights Movement, and the continued racial strife of the twenty-first century. 

Under slavery, Blacks often had to worship in secret. When they worshipped in public, Whites put them in segregated seating where they could be carefully controlled. 

Their White masters limited their exposure to parts of the Bible, such as the Book of Exodus, that might cause them to think about freedom. It was illegal to teach slaves to read and write. 

Then, in the first decade after the Civil War, thousands of Black churches sprang up across the South, later providing a refuge during the segregation era and a staging area for protests during the Civil Rights Movement. 

“In our experience as a people, there is no separation of church and state,” said Rev. Calvin O. Butts III of Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York. “Our political strength, our forward movement in this nation, has always been led by people of deep spirituality.” 

The songs of the Black Church

Music provides a glimpse into the soul of the Black church. The soundtrack features classics such as “Oh Happy Day,” “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” and “Down by the Riverside.” Many of the songs of the Civil Rights Movement were hymns with lyrics changed to reflect the civil-rights battle, like substituting the word freedom for Christian terms. 

“It’s hard to hate somebody if you can hum their music . . . and you can feel it,” said Robert Darden, a professor at Baylor University and a former gospel music editor for Billboard magazine.  

Legend, one of the executive producers of The Black Church, said he reveres the church and its traditions but is no longer actively religious. “For folks who are progressive now, the church just doesn’t connect on all the issues that we care about,” he said. 

Winfrey settled an argument between Gates and producer/director Stacey Holman about the name of the documentary. Gates left Winfrey a message with several possible names, and she called back and left him a voicemail, singing, “This is our story, this is our song” from the chorus of “Blessed Assurance.” 

Winfrey grew up attending church in Mississippi. The documentary shows her sitting between CBS News’ Gayle King and entertainer Tyler Perry during a service at The Potter’s House. 

“The master, in my opinion, is T. D. Jakes,” Winfrey said, adding that she sometimes flies into Dallas just to hear him preach. 

“The bitterness and biases”

The Black church is not a monolith, and the documentary doesn’t gloss over its flaws. Gates celebrates its rich history while acknowledging practices he considers homophobic and sexist. 

The documentary extols the often overlooked role of women in the Black church and the Civil Rights Movement, citing luminaries such as gospel singer Mahalia Jackson and activist Prathia Hall, who actually came up with the phrase “I have a dream” that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would use to such effect during his speech during the March on Washington in 1963. 

Evangelicals will be troubled by the rise of the prosperity gospel in the Black church. “How did we go from ‘I have a dream’ to bling, bling?” wonders Rev. William J. Barber II, pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina. 

The Black church also includes controversial activists such as Al Sharpton and Jeremiah Wright. But the truth is that Christ’s church, Black or White, is not perfect. Barack Obama, then a senator from Illinois running for president, touched on this in 2008 while responding to criticism of Wright, his pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. While disagreeing with controversial statements Wright had made, Obama refused to disavow him or his church

“Like other predominantly Black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the Black community in its entirety,” Obama said. “The church contains in full the kindness and cruelty, the fierce intelligence and the shocking ignorance, the struggles and successes, the love and, yes, the bitterness and biases that make up the Black experience in America.” 

“The meaning and the magic”

One of the most poignant moments comes in the final scene of The Black Church, when Gates speaks at the small Methodist church in West Virginia he attended as a child. 

“After so many years distance from it, I have finally come to understand more fully the meaning and the magic of the Black church,” he said. 

He told the congregation his favorite hymn of all time was “The Prodigal Son.” He began singing, “Oh, I believe, I believe, I will go back home.” 

With laughter and tears, hugs and kisses, he went back home. 

New PBS documentary “The Black Church” enlightens, inspires, and faces its flaws — Denison Forum

Conclusion Regarding Masks–They Do Not Work — Christian Research Service

There are NO randomized, controlled trials (RCT) with verified outcomes that show a benefit to healthcare workers or community members for wearing a mask or a respirator. There is no such definitive study. Likewise, no study exists that shows a benefit from a broad policy to wear masks in public (documented below).

Furthermore, if there were any benefit to wearing a mask, because of the blocking power against droplets and aerosol particles, then there should be more benefit from wearing a respirator (N95) compared to a surgical mask. There is not. Neither masks nor respirators protect; cloth coverings are essentially worthless.

It should be noted that the surgical masks are primarily designed to protect the environment from the wearer, whereas the respirators are supposed to protect the wearer from the environment. (Balazy, et al).

Coronavirus are <0.125 microns in size. Masks and respirators filter particles 0.30 to 0.80 microns in size. Masks cannot possibly work. No bias-free study has ever found a benefit from wearing a mask or respirator in this application.

Public Health Experts Keep Changing: Mask vs No Mask

March 15, 2020 – Medical Science News “Reusing masks may increase your risk of coronavirus infection.” https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200315/Reusing-masks-mayincrease-your-risk-of-coronavirus-infection-expert-says.aspx

  • Jenny Harries, England’s deputy chief medical officer, has warned that it was not a good idea for the public to wear facemasks as the virus can get trapped in the material and causes infection when the wearer breathes in. “For the average member of the public walking down a street, it is not a good idea,” Dr. Harries said.

March 30, 2020: WHO Emergencies Press Conference on coronavirus disease https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/transcripts/who-audio-emergenciescoronavirus-press-conference-full-30mar2020.pdf?sfvrsn=6b68bc4a_2

  • at 00:22:39) “We don’t generally recommend the wearing to masks in public by otherwise well individuals because it has not been up to now associated with any particular benefit…It does have benefit psychologically, socially and there are social norms around that and we don’t criticize the wearing of masks and have not done so but there is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any particular benefit. In fact, there’s some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly or taking it off and all the other risks that are otherwise associated with that.

March 31, 2020: https://www.newsmax.com/us/surgeon-general-adamsmasks/2020/03/31/id/960679/

  • “You can increase your risk of getting COVID19 by wearing a mask if you are not a health care provider. Folks who don’t know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of coronavirus.” -Dr. Jerome Adams, US Surgeon General

April 3, 2020: https://time.com/5794729/coronavirus-face-masks/

  • According to the CDC, wearing a surgical mask won’t stop the wearer from inhaling small airborne particles, which can cause infection. Nor do these masks form a snug seal around the face.
  • The CDC recommends surgical masks only for people who *already show symptoms* of coronavirus and must go outside. Wearing a mask can help prevent spreading the virus by protecting others nearby when you cough or sneeze.

May 1, 2020: Illinois issued an order that a mask will be required in public when social distancing isn’t an option.

May 27, 2020: Virginia announced a statewide mask mandate.

…..and many more states have followed suit.

Healthy persons do not spread illness . . .

Read PDF HERE.

Conclusion Regarding Masks–They Do Not Work — Christian Research Service

Smoking gun: Comey told Clapper FBI unable to ‘sufficiently corroborate’ Steele — then signed FISA — Christian Research Network

“After a multiyear court battle led by Southeastern Legal Foundation, this memo proves what we already suspected — those at the highest levels of our government misled and lied to the court to get permission to spy on the Trump campaign, plain and simple.” 

(John Solomon – Just the News)  The very day in January 2017 that then-FBI Director James Comey signed a FISA surveillance warrant application declaring content from Christopher Steele’s dossier had been “verified,” he wrote President Obama’s outgoing intelligence community chief with a very different assessment of the British spy’s intelligence on Russia collusion, a newly released memo shows.

“We are not able to sufficiently corroborate the reporting,” Comey wrote in a Jan. 12, 2017 email to then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that was declassified and made public through an open records lawsuit by the Southeastern Legal Foundation.

The memo recounts an internal debate inside the U.S. intelligence community during one of the most delicate moments in the FBI’s then six-month old Crossfire Hurricane probe.   View article →

Smoking gun: Comey told Clapper FBI unable to ‘sufficiently corroborate’ Steele — then signed FISA — Christian Research Network

48 Videos & 27 Documentaries (75 Total) With Doctors Explaining Why Vaccines Are Not Safe or Effective — Christian Research Service

Doctors who explain clearly why vaccines aren’t safe or effective.

1. Dr. Nancy Banks – http://bit.ly/1Ip0aIm
2. Dr. Russell Blaylock – http://bit.ly/1BXxQZL
3. Dr. Shiv Chopra – http://bit.ly/1gdgh1s
4. Dr. Sherri Tenpenny – http://bit.ly/1MPVbjx
5. Dr. Suzanne Humphries – http://bit.ly/17sKDbf
6. Dr. Larry Palevsky – http://bit.ly/1LLEjf6
7. Dr. Toni Bark – http://bit.ly/1CYM9RB
8. Dr. Andrew Wakefield – http://bit.ly/1MuyNzo
9. Dr. Meryl Nass – http://bit.ly/1DGzJsc
10. Dr. Raymond Obomsawin – http://bit.ly/1G9ZXYl
11. Dr. Ghislaine Lanctot – http://bit.ly/1MrVeUL
12. Dr. Robert Rowen – http://bit.ly/1SIELeF
13. Dr. David Ayoub – http://bit.ly/1SIELve
14. Dr. Boyd Haley PhD – http://bit.ly/1KsdVby
15. Dr. Rashid Buttar – http://bit.ly/1gWOkL6
16. Dr. Roby Mitchell – http://bit.ly/1gdgEZU
17. Dr. Ken Stoller – http://bit.ly/1MPVqLI
18. Dr. Mayer Eisenstein – http://bit.ly/1LLEqHH
19. Dr. Frank Engley, PhD – http://bit.ly/1OHbLDI
20. Dr. David Davis – http://bit.ly/1gdgJwo
21. Dr Tetyana Obukhanych – http://bit.ly/16Z7k6J
22. Dr. Harold E Buttram – http://bit.ly/1Kru6Df
23. Dr. Kelly Brogan – http://bit.ly/1D31pfQ
24. Dr. RC Tent – http://bit.ly/1MPVwmu
25. Dr. Rebecca Carley – http://bit.ly/K49F4d
26. Dr. Andrew Moulden – http://bit.ly/1fwzKJu
27. Dr. Jack Wolfson – http://bit.ly/1wtPHRA
28. Dr. Michael Elice – http://bit.ly/1KsdpKA
29. Dr. Terry Wahls – http://bit.ly/1gWOBhd
30. Dr. Stephanie Seneff – http://bit.ly/1OtWxAY
31. Dr. Paul Thomas – http://bit.ly/1DpeXPf
32. Many doctors talking at once – http://bit.ly/1MPVHOv
33. Dr. Richard Moskowitz – censored
34. Dr. Jane Orient – http://bit.ly/1MXX7pb
35. Dr. Richard Deth – http://bit.ly/1GQDL10

Read article HERE.

You can find many of these doctors and other professionals from around the world speaking out about the Covid Vaccine on the Peoples International Court of Justice website where it states “COVID-19 is a Crime Against Humanity”.

48 Videos & 27 Documentaries (75 Total) With Doctors Explaining Why Vaccines Are Not Safe or Effective — Christian Research Service

02/15/2021 — Wretched

    WR2021-0215

  • What lessons can we learn from the Ravi Zacharias debacle?
  • He has left behind a scandal, and his family is left with that legacy.
  • Are you actively mortifying your sin?
  • Did you know people actually disagreed with Todd?
  • There are many contentious subjects in our culture.

Download Now (right click and save)

02/15/2021 — Wretched

VCY Bible Institute launches “How to Think, not What to Think” — VCY America

Many have told us how beneficial the VCY Bible Institute has been, and now we’re excited to launch our tenth course.

Carl Kerby and our friends at Reasons for Hope are partnering with us to release the online course “How to Think, Not What to Think”, for free at the VCY Bible Institute.

Taught by Reasons for Hope professor Dr. Juan Valdes, How to Think, Not What to Think, is an introduction to critical thinking and logic, to help students of all ages evaluate ideas and truth claims.

How to Think, Not What to Think, features lectures, powerpoints, quizzes, and optional textbooks and reading assignments; to help you discern past ethical relativism and avoid logical fallacies.

To learn more or enroll for free, go to VCY.Bible.

VCY Bible Institute launches “How to Think, not What to Think” — VCY America

February 15 Evening Quotes of The Day

Heirs of Another Kingdom
Philippians 3:20

Let the heirs of the kingdom behave themselves suitably to their character and dignity. Live as having the faith and hope of this glorious kingdom: Let your conversation be in heaven. Let your souls delight in communion with God while you are on earth, since you look for your happiness in communion with him in heaven. Let your speech and actions savor of heaven; and in your manner of life, look like the country to which you are going.

THOMAS BOSTON

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

Teach the Word of God Sincerely
Ezekiel 13:2; Acts 6:2; 1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 3:16; 4:2

We therefore, the interpreters of God’s holy word, and faithful ministers of the church of Christ, must have a diligent regard to keep the scriptures sound and perfect, and to teach the people of Christ the word of God sincerely; made plain, I mean, and not corrupted or darkened by foolish and wrong expositions of our own invention.

HEINRICH BULLINGER

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

February 15 Evening Verse of the Day

15:6 Old and childless, Abram believed the Lord; that is, he affirmed that God is dependable. God credited it to him as righteousness, that is, he judged or accounted that Abram measured up to the standard, conformed to the norm. Abram’s faith and God’s gracious response to it served as a paradigm of the Christian experience in three different NT books (Rm 4:3; Gl 3:6; Jms 2:23).[1]


15:6 The term “accounted” may mean “attribute,” “reckon,” or “regard as,” and is almost parallel to a bookkeeping transfer of an eligible item from one column or category to another. The faith of Abram became the equivalent of righteousness. The word translated “believed” is from the Hebrew ˒aman, meaning “to confirm” or “to trust” (cf. Jon. 3:5, note). Abram was justified (declared righteous) by God because of his faith (Rom. 4:3). He demonstrated his faith by obeying God without hesitation at Mt. Moriah (22:1–12), which gave him favor with God (James 2:20–24). To have such faith is to measure up to God’s requirements. From the earliest times, salvation and a right relationship to God have resulted from the attitude of faith.[2]


15:6 This verse provides the early core doctrine of justification by faith, not by works (Gal. 3:6–14). Abraham believed the promise of the birth of an heir from the dead (Rom. 4:17–21; Heb. 11:11, 12), and God counted Abraham to be righteous, to be meeting His covenant demand. Abraham’s justification by faith is a model of our faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s sacrifice for sin, and God’s crediting His righteousness to us by faith (Rom. 4:22–25).

believed. Abraham is father of all who believe (Rom. 4:11), and all who believe are children of Abraham (Gal. 3:7).

righteousness. See 6:9 and note; Heb. 11:6–12.[3]


15:6 he believed in Yahweh A clear statement of faith. Paul uses this as an example of salvation by faith (Rom 4:1–8).

righteousness Abram’s response of faith confirms Yahweh’s choice of him for the covenant. An ot parallel to this episode occurs in Neh 9:7–8.[4]


15:6 This key verse in Genesis is quoted four times in the NT (Rom. 4:3, 22; Gal. 3:6; James 2:23). Faith in God is something that everyone in the Bible was expected to exercise. It entails trust in or confident reliance on God (see notes on John 1:12–13; Heb. 11:1), based on the truthfulness of his words, and it will lead to obeying his commands. A person’s faith or lack of it is most apparent in crises such as Abram was facing. He believed God would give him a son despite many years of childlessness. counted … as righteousness. “Righteousness” is the fundamental OT virtue characterized by a godly life lived in conformity with the law. It is the righteous who enjoy God’s favor. Here the narrator underlines the significance of faith, in that before Abram has proved himself righteous by his deeds, he is counted (that is, regarded) as righteous because of his faith.

15:6 Abram’s trust in God is the model for Christians’ trust in God’s promises in Christ (Gal. 3:6–9). Righteousness is “counted” or reckoned, not on the basis of our achievement, but because in faith we look to God who supplies righteousness in Christ (Rom. 4:5–9; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:6).[5]


15:6 believed … reckoned … as righteousness. The Apostle Paul quoted these words as an illustration of faith over and against works (Ro 4:3, 9, 22; Gal 3:6; Jas 2:23). Abram was justified by faith! See notes on Ro 4 and Gal 3 for a fuller discussion of justification by faith.[6]


15:6 — And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Even when Abram did not see how God could fulfill His gracious promise to him regarding an heir, he trusted the Lord anyway. He looked beyond what he could see to what God could see.[7]


15:6 When God made a promise, Abram believed in the Lord. “Believed” is from the Hebrew root ‘aman, meaning “to be established,” “to be confirmed.” When God commanded Abram, he obeyed (12:4; 22:3). Nothing so marks the lives of Abram and Sarai as their belief in God (Heb. 11:8–19). It is this belief, faith in the only living God, that saves the sinner from sin (John 12:11). He accounted it to him for righteousness: Some have thought that in OT times people were saved by their good deeds rather than by faith, but this idea is mistaken. Abram was not saved because of righteous living or obedience, but by believing in God and so being declared righteous by Him. The only valid work is the work of faith (John 6:28, 29).[8]


Affirming Abram’s Imperfect Faith (15:6)

15:6. God reckoned Abram’s faith as righteousness. The Hebrew grammar indicates this verse is parenthetical—background information that Abram had previously believed God. This harmonizes with Heb 11:8, which depicts Abraham expressing saving faith previous to Gn 15, in response to God’s call to emigrate to Canaan (Gn 12:1). Abram’s faith in Gn 15 reflects his growth of faith since that call. This verse presents three facts about justification. (1) Justification is based on faith, not works, since there is nothing that Abram had ever done to earn it. This was precisely Paul’s point when he cited Gn 15:6 in Rm 4:3–5 as an example of one “who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly.” (2) The faith on which justification is based need not be perfect, since Abram’s faith in God’s promise of a genetic heir is also the very thing he continued to doubt (see, e.g., Gn 17:17). One can appreciate the value of this for all believers, for who can claim his faith is truly perfect? (3) Justification is not a matter of being “made” actually and practically righteous, but of being “declared” righteous. Genesis 15:6 does not say God “made him righteous,” but rather God reckoned it to him as righteousness. The expression “reckoned it” may also be translated “considered it” or “credited it.” While believers are still sinful, through justification, God has imputed righteousness to them. It is through sanctification that, by God’s grace, believers can overcome their sinful inclinations and grow in righteousness, a process not addressed in Gn 15:6 (for sanctification see comments on Rm 5–8, esp. Rm 6:21–23; 8:12–17).[9]


6. This great statement is quoted twice by Paul (Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6) and once by James (2:23) to confirm that justification has always been by faith (James adds that faith must show itself genuine, 2:18). This story and the argument of Romans 4 present faith not as a crowning merit but as readiness to accept what God promises. Note that Abram’s trust was both personal (in the Lord, av, rv) and propositional (the context is the specific word of the Lord in verses 4, 5).[10]


6. And he believed in the Lord. None of us would be able to conceive the rich and hidden doctrine which this passage contains, unless Paul had borne his torch before us. (Rom. 4:3.) But it is strange, and seems like a prodigy, that when the Spirit of God has kindled so great a light, yet the greater part of interpreters wander with closed eyes, as in the darkness of night. I omit the Jews, whose blindness is well known. But it is (as I have said) monstrous, that they who have had Paul as their luminous expositor, should so foolishly have depraved this place. However, it hence appears, that in all ages, Satan has laboured at nothing more assiduously than to extinguish, or to smother, the gratuitous justification of faith, which is here expressly asserted. The words of Moses are, “He believed in the Lord, and he counted it to him for righteousness.” In the first place, the faith of Abram is commended, because by it he embraced the promise of God; it is commended, in the second place, because hence Abram obtained righteousness in the sight of God, and that by imputation. For the word חשב, (chashab,) which Moses uses, is to be understood as relating to the judgment of God, just as in Psalm 106:31, where the zeal of Phinehas is said to have been counted to him for righteousness. The meaning of the expression will, however, more fully appear by comparison with its opposites. In Leviticus 7:18, it is said that when expiation has been made, iniquity ‘shall not be imputed’ to a man. Again, in chap. 17:4, ‘Blood shall be imputed unto that man.’ So, in 2 Sam. 19:19, Shimei says, ‘Let not the king impute iniquity unto me.’ Nearly of the same import is the expression in 2 Kings 12:15, ‘They reckoned not with the man into whose hand they delivered the money for the work;’ that is, they required no account of the money, but suffered them to administer it, in perfect confidence. Let us now return to Moses. Just as we understand that they to whom iniquity is imputed are guilty before God; so those to whom he imputes righteousness are approved by him as just persons; wherefore Abram was received into the number and rank of just persons, by the imputation of righteousness. For Paul, in order that he may show us distinctly the force and nature, or quality of this righteousness, leads us to the celestial tribunal of God. Therefore, they foolishly trifle who apply this term to his character as an honest man; as if it meant that Abram was personally held to be a just and righteous man. They also, no less unskilfully, corrupt the text, who say that Abram is here ascribing to God the glory of righteousness, seeing that he ventures to acquiesce surely in His promises, acknowledging Him to be faithful and true; for although Moses does not expressly mention the name of God, yet the accustomed method of speaking in the Scriptures removes all ambiguity. Lastly, it is not less the part of stupor than of impudence, when this faith is said to have been imputed to him for righteousness, to mingle with it some other meaning, than that the faith of Abram was accepted in the place of righteousness with God.

It seems, however, to be absurd, that Abram should be justified by believing that his seed would be as numerous as the stars of heaven; for this could be nothing but a particular faith, which would by no means suffice for the complete righteousness of man. Besides, what could an earthly and temporal promise avail for eternal salvation? I answer, first, that the believing of which Moses speaks, is not to be restricted to a single clause of the promise here referred to, but embraces the whole; secondly, that Abram did not form his estimate of the promised seed from this oracle alone, but also from others, where a special benediction is added. Whence we infer that he did not expect some common or undefined seed, but that in which the world was to be blessed. Should any one pertinaciously insist, that what is said in common of all the children of Abram, is forcibly distorted when applied to Christ; in the first place, it cannot be denied that God now again repeats the promise before made to his servant, for the purpose of answering his complaint. But we have said—and the thing itself clearly proves—that Abram was impelled thus greatly to desire seed, by a regard to the promised benediction. Whence it follows, that this promise was not taken by him separately from others. But to pass all this over; we must, I say, consider what is here treated of, in order to form a judgment of the faith of Abram. God does not promise to his servant this or the other thing only, as he sometimes grants special benefits to unbelievers, who are without the taste of his paternal love; but he declares, that He will be propitious to him, and confirms him in the confidence of safety, by relying upon His protection and His grace. For he who has God for his inheritance does not exult in fading joy; but, as one already elevated towards heaven, enjoys the solid happiness of eternal life. It is, indeed, to be maintained as an axiom, that all the promises of God, made to the faithful, flow from the free mercy of God, and are evidences of that paternal love, and of that gratuitous adoption, on which their salvation is founded. Therefore, we do not say that Abram was justified because he laid hold on a single word, respecting the offspring to be brought forth, but because he embraced God as his Father. And truly faith does not justify us for any other reason, than that it reconciles us unto God; and that it does so, not by its own merit; but because we receive the grace offered to us in the promises, and have no doubt of eternal life, being fully persuaded that we are loved by God as sons. Therefore, Paul reasons from contraries, that he to whom faith is imputed for righteousness, has not been justified by works. (Rom. 4:4.) For whosoever obtains righteousness by works, his merits come into the account before God. But we apprehend righteousness by faith, when God freely reconciles us to himself. Whence it follows, that the merit of works ceases when righteousness is sought by faith; for it is necessary that this righteousness should be freely given by God, and offered in his word, in order that any one may possess it by faith. To render this more intelligible, when Moses says that faith was imputed to Abram for righteousness, he does not mean that faith was that first cause of righteousness which is called the efficient, but only the formal cause; as if he had said, that Abram was therefore justified, because, relying on the paternal loving-kindness of God, he trusted to His mere goodness, and not to himself, nor to his own merits. For it is especially to be observed, that faith borrows a righteousness elsewhere, of which we, in ourselves, are destitute; otherwise it would be in vain for Paul to set faith in opposition to works, when speaking of the mode of obtaining righteousness. Besides, the mutual relation between the free promise and faith, leaves no doubt upon the subject.

We must now notice the circumstance of time. Abram was justified by faith many years after he had been called by God; after he had left his country a voluntary exile, rendering himself a remarkable example of patience and of continence; after he had entirely dedicated himself to sanctity, and after he had, by exercising himself in the spiritual and external service of God, aspired to a life almost angelical. It therefore follows, that even to the end of life, we are led towards the eternal kingdom of God by the righteousness of faith. On which point many are too grossly deceived. For they grant, indeed, that the righteousness which is freely bestowed upon sinners, and offered to the unworthy, is received by faith alone; but they restrict this to a moment of time, so that he who at the first obtained justification by faith, may afterwards be justified by good works. By this method, faith is nothing else than the beginning of righteousness, whereas righteousness itself consists in a continual course of works. But they who thus trifle must be altogether insane. For if the angelical uprightness of Abram, faithfully cultivated through so many years, in one uniform course, did not prevent him from fleeing to faith, for the sake of obtaining righteousness; where upon earth besides will such perfection be found, as may stand in God’s sight? Therefore, by a consideration of the time in which this was said to Abram, we certainly gather, that the righteousness of works is not to be substituted for the righteousness of faith, in any such way, that one should perfect what the other has begun; but that holy men are only justified by faith, as long as they live in the world. If any one object, that Abram previously believed God, when he followed Him at His call, and committed himself to His direction and guardianship, the solution is ready; that we are not here told when Abram first began to be justified, or to believe in God; but that in this one place it is declared, or related, how he had been justified through his whole life. For if Moses had spoken thus immediately on Abram’s first vocation, the cavil of which I have spoken would have been more specious; namely, that the righteousness of faith was only initial (so to speak) and not perpetual. But now, since after such great progress, he is still said to be justified by faith, it thence easily appears that the saints are justified freely even unto death. I confess, indeed, that after the faithful are born again by the Spirit of God, the method of justifying differs, in some respect, from the former. For God reconciles to himself those who are born only of the flesh, and who are destitute of all good; and since he finds nothing in them except a dreadful mass of evils, he counts them just, by imputation. But those to whom he has imparted the Spirit of holiness and righteousness, he embraces with his gifts. Nevertheless, in order that their good works may please God, it is necessary that these works themselves should be justified by gratuitous imputation; but some evil is always inherent in them. Meanwhile, however, this is a settled point, that men are justified before God by believing not by working; while they obtain grace by faith, because they are unable to deserve a reward by works. Paul also, in hence contending, that Abram did not merit by works the righteousness which he had received before his circumcision, does not impugn the above doctrine. The argument of Paul is of this kind: The circumcision of Abram was posterior to his justification in the order of time, and therefore could not be its cause, for of necessity the cause precedes its effect. I also grant, that Paul, for this reason, contends that works are not meritorious, except under the covenant of the law, of which covenant, circumcision is put as the earnest and the symbol. But since Paul is not here defining the force and nature of circumcision, regarded as a pure and genuine institution of God, but is rather disputing on the sense attached to it, by those with whom he deals, he therefore does not allude to the covenant which God before had made with Abram, because the mention of it was unnecessary for the present purpose. Both arguments are therefore of force; first, that the righteousness of Abram cannot be ascribed to the covenant of the law, because it preceded his circumcision; and, secondly, that the righteousness even of the most perfect characters perpetually consists in faith; since Abram, with all the excellency of his virtues, after his daily and even remarkable service of God, was, nevertheless, justified by faith. For this also is, in the last place, worthy of observation, that what is here related concerning one man, is applicable to all the sons of God. For since he was called the father of the faithful, not without reason; and since further, there is but one method of obtaining salvation; Paul properly teaches, that a real and not personal righteousness is in this place described.[11]


15:6 / The narrator defines Abram’s relationship to God: Abram believed Yahweh, and Yahweh credited it to him as righteousness. “Believe in” means “put trust in, rely on.” Here it means that Abram put his full trust in God. In expressing his complaint to God Abram demonstrated that trust. Instead of letting his bitter frustration at God’s apparent failure to keep his promise fester inside him, he voiced his distress when God came to him. Thus he preempted it from eroding his faith in God and in the promise of a son.

As a result, God credited Abram’s faith as righteousness. The term “righteousness” is variously interpreted. Many Jewish scholars understand it as reward or merit, an interpretation that accords with God’s promise of wages (v. 1). But since God had already promised Abram rewards, something more is meant by this statement. Other scholars take righteousness in the moral sense of keeping the law, since righteousness is often used with that meaning (e.g., Ezek. 18:5), but law was not an issue in Abram’s relationship with God. G. von Rad understands it as describing a right relationship (Genesis: A Commentary [trans. J. Marks; rev. ed.; OTL; Philadelphia: Westminster, 1972], p. 185). The verb “credit,” however, moves the term “righteousness” away from a relational meaning. “Credit” implies some type of official action; that is, God declared Abram’s belief to be the basis for his having full standing in God’s presence. That means no accusation made against one whom God declared to be righteous would stand in the heavenly court. In this radical reorientation of the divine-human relationship, God declared that Abram had this privileged position on the basis of his faith, not on the basis of righteous deeds or acts of devotion.

Abram thereby becomes the model of all who worship Yahweh by faith. The audacity of his believing stands out against the bleakness of his situation. Furthermore, Abram’s complaints show that a person of faith at times feels keen disappointment and frustration. Nevertheless, such a person is not afraid to express that feeling to God. On hearing God’s answer, Abram had to decide whether to continue to exercise faith or not. Now as then, God often demands that one maintain faith in the face of improbable circumstances in which belief appears ridiculous. Such was Abram’s experience. If he had told one of his Canaanite neighbors about God’s promise, his words would have sounded incredible. Nevertheless, God wanted him to believe the promise despite the physical improbabilities of its being fulfilled. Although God reaffirmed and strengthened the promise through the symbol of the vast starry heavens, God made no commitment to fulfilling it in the near future. God thus called on Abram to continue to exercise faith. In the words of Brueggemann, “Those who believe the promise and hope against barrenness nevertheless must live with the barrenness” (Genesis, p. 140).

Paul draws on this verse to undergird his teaching that a person is justified solely by faith (Rom. 4:3–4, 9, 22–25; Gal. 3:6–9). He argues that because no human can do sufficient works of righteousness to be just before God, a person can be declared just or innocent only on the basis of faith in God. Everyone who is justified by faith has peace with God (Rom. 5:1).[12]


6  In response to these promises, Abram put his faith in Yahweh. This is the first time that this word—the Hiphil of ʾāman—appears in the Bible, and it will be used only two more times in Genesis (42:20); 45:26). Of course, this is not the first time that Abram has put his trust in Yahweh’s word (see 12:1ff.). The action of faith preceded the vocabulary of faith. That is, by virtue of his earlier obedient response to a word from God, Abram was putting his faith in Yahweh (see, e.g., 12:1ff.).

Hebraists wonder why the verb for put faith or “believe” is in the Hiphil stem (which generally has a causative force), and why the verb is sometimes followed by the preposition be (23 times) and other times by the preposition le (14 times). On this second issue one may say that in some instances the choice of the following preposition is inconsequential; note especially the parallelism of Ps. 106:12, 24: “They believed [heʾĕmîn be] his words” (v. 12); “they did not believe [heʾĕmîn le] his word” (v. 24). However, note that there are more instances where the verb followed by be is used in a positive sense. Almost all the examples with le are negative ones, as in the above example from Ps. 106:24 (except Exod. 4:8b; Prov. 14:15 is technically positive, but it describes the gullible person who believes anything and everything).

The first issue, the use of the Hiphil stem for “believe, have faith,” has been explained in various ways. The standard nuance attached to the Hiphil, that is, a causative, “to make firm,” is certainly ruled out for Gen. 15:6. Some commentators (e.g., Speiser) have suggested a declarative-estimative function: “he declared him (or considered him) firm, steadfast.” This shifts the emphasis from the subject of the action to the object of the action, and so in 15:6 it is Yahweh who is highlighted, not Abram. This suggestion is ruled out grammatically by the fact that verbs used declaratively are followed by a direct object. heʾĕmin, on the contrary, is followed by a preposition or is used absolutely (Ps. 116:10, “I have remained faithful”).

Close to the latter suggestion is the idea that we have here a delocutive use of the Hiphil. Gen. 15:6 would be read something like: “He declared, ‘Amen’ in Yahweh.” Thus Abram gives not just a mental response, but a verbal, confessional statement, to which Yahweh responds in v. 6b. Grammatically there is not the same need for a direct object after a delocutive verb as there is after a declarative one.

The traditional explanation has been to assign to the Hiphil of this verb an internal-transitive function, that is, “the entering into a certain condition and, further, the being in the same.” Abram “became steadfast (or firm) in Yahweh.” This nuance differs from the previous two in that it emphasizes the certainty and the sureness of the believer, rather than the certainty of the object or statement in which faith was placed. What prompted Abram’s faith was certainly the promise of the Lord, and that is the incentive to faith. But this is a theological observation, not a linguistic one.25

The second part of this verse records Yahweh’s response to Abram’s exercise of faith: he credited it to him as righteousness. But even here there is a degree of ambiguity. Who credited whom? Of course, one may say that the NT settles the issue, for Paul expressly identifies the subject as God and the indirect object as Abram (Rom. 4:3). If we follow normal Hebrew syntax, in which the subject of the first clause is presumed to continue into the next clause if the subject is unexpressed, then the verse’s meaning is changed. (This is the same problem we encountered in 9:27, “May God enlarge Japheth, and may he [?] dwell in Shem’s tents.”) In 15:6 is the subject of wayyaḥšeḇehā God or Abram? Abram is the subject of the first clause. Does he, therefore, continue as the logical subject of the second clause?

The Hebrew of the verse certainly permits this interpretation, especially when one recalls that eḏāqá means both “righteousness” (a theological meaning) and “justice” (a juridical meaning). The whole verse could then be translated: “Abram put his faith in Yahweh, and he [Abram] considered it [the promise of seed(s)] justice.” Nevertheless, as we have noted above, the traditional interpretation makes the most sense in the wider biblical context and is grammatically justifiable.

The verb ḥāšaḇ has two basic meanings throughout the OT. One is “count, value, calculate.” The second is “plan, think out, conceive, invent.” The first encompasses the bringing together of numbers and quantities and values with an eye to weighing or evaluating or calculating. The second encompasses the bringing together of ideas and plans for some intended project. In addition, the OT provides instances of ḥāšaḇ with an impersonal accusative object and a dative of the person involved, who is introduced by the preposition le, “to”; the meaning of this construction is “to reckon or credit something (as something) to someone’s account.” This idiom appears in both active and passive constructions. This is what one finds in Gen. 15:6: (1) the verb ḥāšaḇ (“he credited or reckoned”); (2) double impersonal accusative object, -hā (“it”) and eḏāqá (“righteousness”); and (3) dative of the person involved, who is introduced with the preposition le (“to him”). Thus our translation, he credited (or reckoned, imputed) it to him as righteousness. A second instance of this construction appears in 2 Sam. 19:20 (Eng. 19). Shimei, the Benjamite secessionist who had led a revolt against David, now comes before a restored David and pleads for mercy. His plea to the king is “let my lord not reckon [ʾal-yaḥašāḇ] to me [] [my] wrongdoing [ʿāwōn].” Again, we have the verb ḥāšaḇ, followed by the dative of the person involved, introduced with the preposition le, and then the impersonal accusative object. This illustration is very close to Ps. 32:2, “blessed is the man whom Yahweh does not impute [lōʾ yaḥšōḇ] to him [] iniquity [ʿāwōn].”

For the idiom with the passive voice of the verb, see Lev. 7:18, which deals with illegally eating the flesh of the peace offering on the third day. For such a violation the offering will not be accepted by the priest (lōʾ yērāṣeh), nor will it be credited to the offerer by the priest (lōʾ yēḥāšēḇ lô). See also Lev. 17:4, which is concerned with the person who does not bring his sacrifice and offer it to Yahweh before the tabernacle. The result of such omission is that “blood guilt [dām] shall be imputed [yēḥāšēḇ] to that man [lāʾîš hahûʾ].” Cf. Num. 18:27, “your heave offering shall be reckoned to you [weneḥšaḇ lāḵem] as grain from the threshing floor,” and Prov. 27:14, which deals with the loudmouthed individual who “blesses” his friend very early in the morning. What happens to his blessing is that “as a curse [qelālá] it will be reckoned to him [tēḥāšeḇ lô].”

Von Rad has appealed to the two passages in Leviticus (7:18); 17:4) and the one in Numbers (18:27)) to suggest that the origin of “he credited it to him for righteousness” in Gen. 15:6 is to be found in the Israelite cultus. Such priestly passages illustrate a declaratory act performed by the priest, using declaratory formulae, to state the cultic acceptance of the individual’s sacrifice, albeit Gen. 15:6 spiritualizes such a process. It is quite valid to assert that ḥāšaḇ was used in the OT in cultic acts; however, the same may not be said for eḏāqá, at least when sacrifices are presented. Following Seybold, we suggest that ḥāšaḇ in Gen. 15:6 is used to demonstrate Yahweh’s reckoning of Abram’s act of faith as the deciding factor in his relationship with Abram. ḥāšaḇ “defines Yahweh’s momentary reaction theologically as an act of conscious judgment.”[13]


Salvation’s Hinge

Genesis 15:6

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Following the first chapter of Genesis, which tells of the creation of all things by the eternal and self-existent God, and the third chapter, which tells of the fall of Adam and Eve into sin, the next great pivotal chapter of the Old Testament is Genesis 15. By many standards it is the greatest, for it tells of Abram’s justification by grace through faith and records the official covenant established with him by God, through which his posterity was blessed.

In the middle of this chapter occurs what is perhaps the most important verse in the entire Bible: Genesis 15:6. In it, the doctrine of justification by faith is set forth for the first time. This is the first verse in the Bible explicitly to speak of (1) “faith,” (2) “righteousness,” and (3) “justification.” We know that faith existed before Abram; for Abel, Enoch, Noah (Heb. 11:4–5, 7), and the other godly patriarchs were saved by it. It was through faith on the basis of the imputed righteousness of Christ that God justified these Old Testament figures, as Paul says clearly in Romans 3:21–26. But up to this point in Genesis, we have not had this truth taught explicitly. Here the doctrine of justification by grace through faith, and hence the theme of the entire Bible, is set before us.

Martin Luther, whose rediscovery of the truths about justification in the sixteenth century launched the Reformation, considered this the doctrine by which the church stands or falls: “When the article of justification has fallen, everything has fallen.… This is the chief article from which all other doctrines have flowed.… It alone begets, nourishes, builds, preserves, and defends the church of God; and without it the church of God cannot exist for one hour.” It is “the master and prince, the lord, the ruler, and the judge over all kinds of doctrines.”

John Calvin—who followed Luther in the early development of the Reformation and whose Institutes became the systematic theology of the Reformation—said the same. He called it “the main hinge on which religion turns.”

Thomas Watson observed, “Justification is the very hinge and pillar of Christianity. An error about justification is dangerous, like a defect in a foundation. Justification by Christ is a spring of the water of life. To have the poison of corrupt doctrine cast into this spring is damnable.”

These statements are not hyperboles. They are simple truth because justification by faith is God’s answer to the most basic of all religious questions, namely, how can a man or woman become right with God? We are not right with him in ourselves; this is what the doctrine of sin means. Sin means that we are in rebellion against God, and if we are against God, we cannot be right with God. We are transgressors. Moreover, we are all transgressors, as Paul says: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). The doctrine of justification by faith is the most important of all Christian doctrines because it tells how one who is in rebellion against God may become right with him. It says that we may be justified, not by our own works-righteousness, but solely by the work of Christ received by faith.

Is Faith a Substitute?

This doctrine occurs in the Bible for the first time in Genesis 15:6, as I have said. So we must take time to study this text carefully. The passage says that after Abram had asked his question about God’s promise to give him numerous descendants and God had responded by repeating the promise and linking it to the stars, Abram “believed the Lord, and he [that is, the Lord] credited it to him as righteousness.”

What does this verse actually mean? Some have read it as if it were saying that because Abram did not have any righteousness by which he could become justified before God, God therefore looked around for something that he could accept in place of that righteousness and, finding a bit of faith in Abram, took that. Putting it even more outrageously, others have suggested that God was in heaven looking around for someone to save, knowing that all were ungodly but hoping against hope that he might find someone in whom some little bit of good might be found, on the basis of which it would be possible to save him. At last he found Abram. He was ungodly like the rest. But he did have this one little thing: faith. So God said, “Even though this little bit of faith is not righteousness, it is at least something I can work with. I will take it instead of righteousness. I will consider it righteousness and thus save Abram.”

Even to put it like that shows the absurdity of this interpretation, for God is not a juggler of truth. God does not pretend a thing is something it is not. Consequently, if God counts Abram as being righteous, it must be on the basis of a true righteousness—either his or someone else’s—and not on the mere fiction of substituting apples for oranges or pretending that a sow’s ear is actually the silk purse of salvation.

There are several reasons why we should be warned against this interpretation. First, when the text says that “he credited it to him as righteousness,” what does “it” refer to? What is its antecedent? The view I have been describing would have to maintain that the antecedent is the fact that Abram believed God or the faith involved in that belief. But this is a very difficult thing to justify grammatically. “It” demands a noun (or at least a verbal noun) as an antecedent, but this antecedent is missing. This fact alone suggests that we should probably look further for what was in fact reckoned to Abram as righteousness.

Again, one must consider the way faith is referred to throughout the rest of the Bible. It is never said that people are saved because of their faith or on the basis of their faith. They are saved by faith, which means “by faith as a channel.

The Greek preposition dia, rendered “by” in the phrase “justification by faith,” can mean “because of” or “through.” If it means “because of,” faith would indeed be both the ground of salvation and a substitute for righteousness. But it does not mean this, because whenever dia means “because of” its object is the dative case, and this never happens when “faith” is the object. When the Greek word for “faith” occurs with dia, it is always in the genitive case, and that is the case the object should be in when dia means “by” or “through.” So the phrase dia pisteos means “through” or “by faith,” indicating that faith is a channel but not the grounds of salvation.

In order to spend a twenty-dollar bill you have to have faith in its purchasing power. But it is not your faith that is the basis of the purchase. It is the value of the money. So also in the spiritual dimension.

The third reason why this verse does not mean that God picked out a man who had a little bit of faith and saved him because of his faith is that this is not the meaning of the word “credited” that occurs here. In Hebrew, the word is hashab, in Greek logizomai. Both are properly translated “reckoned,” or “accounted.” The important thing about these words is that they refer to an accurate kind of record keeping, as in financial accounting. Accounting is an exact science. It is a field in which the worker has to be one hundred percent right. If the accountant is not one hundred percent right, the person is not a good accountant. Suppose I am walking around with a dollar in my pocket, and I am aware that this is not very much money. I would like to have more. So I get out my little pocket accounting book and “reckon” ten dollars more. According to my book I now have eleven dollars. But what does this mean? Nothing at all. If I want to reckon ten dollars to my account, I must have ten dollars. So, reckoning, accounting, or crediting is an acknowledgment of what is actually the case.

It is the same in justification. What truth is involved in the statement found in Psalm 32:2, “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count [reckon] against him”? Does God just subtract sin from the account book of our lives and forget about it? Not at all. He removes it from our book, but this is only because he has transferred it to the book of Jesus Christ. Jesus paid sin’s penalty when he died on the cross. In a parallel action, God reckons Christ’s righteousness to us. This is what happened to Abram, and it is what has happened to everyone who has ever been saved. There are different degrees of understanding concerning what God has done in Christ for our salvation—the Old Testament saints understanding less, the New Testament saints understanding more. But always, what is understood is believed and what is imputed to us is the righteousness of Christ.

A Legal Term

Justification is not only a bookkeeping matter. It is also a legal matter, for it involves the pronouncement of God, who, in this case, appears in the role of judge. What happens when a judge justifies, rather than condemns, a person? He does not make him blameless. Rather, he declares that in his judgment the person brought before him is not guilty of the accusation that has been made and is instead in a right and proper standing before the law. Justification is a declaration that the person involved is upright before whatever law the judge is appointed to administer.

Justification means the pronouncing of a person righteous before God. But here we are confronted with a problem. Men and women are not right before God, yet God justifies them. It cannot be denied that God’s judgment is always according to truth and equity. It cannot be denied that we are ungodly. It cannot be denied that God nevertheless justifies the ungodly (Rom. 4:5; cf. Rom. 3:19–24). But how can this be? If we were to justify the ungodly, that is, if we were to declare a person who is guilty to be innocent, our act would be an outrage before both God and man. Yet this is what God does. How can he do it? How can he justify the ungodly and at the same time be just?

In answering this question we note that the Christian doctrine is justification by faith, as Genesis 15:6 shows, and not merely justification. Alone, justification means to declare righteous, as we have indicated. But the Christian doctrine is not only that. It is justification “by faith,” and this latter phrase means faith in Jesus as God’s provision for our sin. The Christian doctrine of justification is therefore actually God’s declaring the believing individual to be righteous, not on the basis of his own works or irrespective of works, but on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice. In God’s justification of the sinner, there is a unique factor that does not enter into any other case of justification. That unique factor is the combination of Christ’s atonement for our sin and God’s provision for our need of a divine righteousness through him. In justification, God declares that he has accepted the sacrifice of Christ as the payment of our debt to the divine justice, and in place of sin has imputed Christ’s righteousness to us.

This is the argument that Paul develops in the latter half of Romans 3:21–26. “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

The significance of these verses may be illustrated in this way. Quite a few years ago in America a society for the spread of atheism prepared a leaflet on Old Testament characters, including half a dozen sketches as well as lurid descriptions of their misdeeds. The sketches were ugly, and no efforts were spared in describing their sin. One of the persons included was Abraham. The leaflet pointed out that he was willing to sacrifice his wife’s honor to save his own life. Yet he was called “the friend of God.” The atheists asked what kind of God this is who would have a friend like Abraham. Another figure was Jacob. He was described as a cheat and a liar. Yet God called himself “the God of Jacob.” Moses was portrayed as a murderer and a fugitive from justice, which he was. Yet Moses spoke with God “face to face.” David was shown to be an adulterer who compounded the crime of adultery with the murder of the woman’s husband. Yet David was called “a man after God’s own heart.” The atheists asked what kind of a God could be pleased with David.

The remarkable thing about this leaflet is that it had hit upon something absolutely true, which God himself acknowledges. God calls himself just and holy. Yet for centuries he kept justifying human beings such as these. One might say that for centuries there had been a blot on God’s name; for, as Paul says, he had indeed been passing over “the sins committed beforehand.” Is God unjust then? No. For, as Paul shows, in the death of Christ, God’s name and purposes are vindicated. It is now seen that it is on the basis of his death that God had justified and continues to justify the ungodly.

Paul’s Conversion

Paul’s conversion illustrates these points. In Acts, Paul relates his experience from a historical perspective, telling what happened as he went to Damascus to arrest and persecute Christians. But in Philippians 3:4–8, his account is theological, showing how his thinking about God and God’s way of salvation changed when he met Christ: “If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

What Paul is saying in this paragraph is that in the days before he met Jesus Christ, he had viewed his life as something like a balance sheet. It had assets and liabilities, and he thought that being saved consisted in having more in the column of assets than in the column of liabilities.

Moreover, as he looked at his life then, he thought there were considerable assets. Some he had inherited and some he had earned. Among the inherited assets was the fact that Paul had been born into a Jewish family and had been circumcised according to Jewish law on the eighth day of life. He was no proselyte—circumcised in later life—nor, was he an Ishmaelite—circumcised at the age of thirteen. He was a pure-blooded Jew, born of Jewish parents (“a Hebrew of Hebrews”). He was also an Israelite, that is, a member of God’s covenant people. Moreover, he was of the tribe of Benjamin. When the civil war came that divided Judah from Israel after the death of Solomon, Benjamin was the one tribe that remained with Judah. The northern tribes apostatized from God’s revealed religion and set up schismatic altars; blood sacrifices were performed in violation of Leviticus 17. But Benjamin had remained loyal, and Paul was of that tribe.

Then, too, Paul had advantages that he had won for himself. In regard to the law, he was a Pharisee. The Pharisees were the most faithful of all Jewish sects in their adherence to the law, and Paul had chosen to be among their number. Moreover, he had been a zealous Pharisee, which he had proved by his persecution of the infant church.

From a human perspective, these were real assets. But the day came when Paul saw what these amounted to in the sight of the righteous God. It was the day Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Before that time, Paul thought he was attaining righteousness by keeping the law. But when he saw Christ, he discerned that these acts of righteousness were actually like filthy rags. Before, he had said, “As touching the righteousness that is in the law I am blameless.” Now he said, “I am the worst [of sinners]” (cf. 1 Tim. 1:15), and he stopped trying to justify himself to God, who on the basis of Christ’s death freely justifies the ungodly. So far as his balance sheet was concerned, Paul recognized that what he had accumulated was in reality not an asset at all. It was a liability, for it had kept him from Christ. He called it “loss.” Then, under assets he entered “Jesus Christ” alone.

This has always been the heart of Christianity and Christian experience. One hymn puts it this way:

Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to Thy cross I cling;

Naked, come to Thee for dress,

Helpless, look to Thee for grace;

Foul, I to the fountain fly;

Wash me, Saviour, or I die!

Rock of ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee.

It is the glory of the Christian gospel that God has graciously worked in the lives of all those who, giving up trying to do good works in order to earn or merit salvation, instead, by faith, receive the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior; he makes them spiritually alive (that is, they are regenerated), declares their sins to have been punished at Calvary, and imputes to them the righteousness of Christ.

What Did Abram Believe?

Genesis 15:6

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Genesis 15:6 is one of the most important verses, if not the most important verse, in the entire Bible, for it tells for the first time how a sinful man or woman may become right with God. In ourselves we are not right with God. We are alienated from him by our sinful natures and by deliberate sinful choices. We are under God’s wrath, and apart from him we are destined to perish miserably. If it is possible that we can become right with God once again—as this verse says we can—thereby passing from sin to holiness and from wrath to blessing, this is clearly great news, and the verse that tells us how this can happen is of supreme importance.

We may put it another way. Genesis 15:6 says that “Abram believed the Lord” and that “he [that is, the Lord] credited it to him as righteousness.” What was it Abram believed? If we can find out what Abram believed, then we can believe it too and can also be counted righteous, as Abram was.

But a problem develops. The text says that Abram “believed” God, but strictly speaking it does not tell us what Abram believed. We have the object of his faith, that is, God, but we are left in the dark as to the specific content of God’s revelation. What had God told Abram and what did Abram understand by that disclosure? Was it God’s promise to be his “shield” and “very great reward” (v. 1)? Was it God’s assurance that he would have an “heir” coming from his own body (v. 4)? Was it the prophecy of numerous posterity, like the stars of heaven (v. 5)? Or does the content of the promise and of Abram’s faith go back even farther to the prospect of a homeland, a name that would be great, and blessing to come to others through Abram’s blessing (Gen. 12:1–7)? Was it all of these? Or was the promise something greater and deeper even than any of the things already mentioned in this early period of the patriarch’s pilgrimage? If we had no other part of the Bible than Genesis to go on, we would have to conclude that all these promises were involved and that Abram was justified before God on the basis of a trusting attitude toward him in all things. We would not be far wrong in thinking this, but there is more to say.

The interesting thing about Genesis 15:6 is that it is repeated three more times in the Bible (Rom. 4:3; Gal. 3:6; James 2:23), each time within a different context. One of these—Galatians 3:6 and the surrounding verses—gives us the specific answer to our question. It tells us what Abram believed and sets his example of faith before everyone.

Paul and the Galatians

The Book of Galatians has an important context, and we must be reminded of it to see where the verses regarding Abram fit in. Paul had preached to the Galatians of southern Asia Minor on his first missionary journey from Antioch (Acts 13–14) and had established churches there. He had taught the Galatians that salvation from sin does not come from keeping the law, or from any other form of moral rearmament, but from the work of Christ. In his death, our sin is punished, and through the channel of faith in that sacrifice, God now imparts the righteousness of Christ freely to believers. The Galatians had believed this gospel, were baptized, and had begun to live in the power of God’s Holy Spirit, who apparently began to work miracles among them (Gal. 3:5).

Some time later—we do not know exactly when—Paul received word that the Galatians were in the process of departing from this faith previously received. They had been visited by Jews who had come from Jerusalem as, so they said, official representatives of James, the Lord’s brother. They had come to straighten out the “wrong” theology of the Galatians. According to these men, Paul was teaching heresy. He taught that faith in Christ was enough for salvation. But this was not right, they said. Faith in Christ is not sufficient. The Gentiles also have to come under the law of Moses to be saved. They can have Christ, but they must have Moses too. They can have grace, but they must have works. Faith is all right, but one must also add the rite of circumcision.

There must have been three parts to this argument, for Paul seems to answer each in turn. The Jerusalem delegation accused him of not actually being an apostle, though he claimed to be one. Paul answers this charge in Galatians 1 and 2. They accused him of being unbiblical in his teaching, for it was clear (so they said) that all the Old Testament figures had been saved by keeping the law and by circumcision. Paul answers this in Galatians 3 and 4. Finally, they accused Paul of producing lax living or outright immorality by this teaching. Paul answers this charge in Galatians 5 and 6.

The most important part of Galatians is the central section, where Paul maintains not only that his teaching is biblical but that his is the only true teaching. Therefore no one, not even Abram, has been saved in any other way than by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.

The Faith of Abram

When Paul appealed to Abram in Galatians 3, he was not appealing to just any historical example, important though that would be. No, Paul was pointing to one who was the acknowledged father and prototype of Israel. God had called Abram from a pagan ancestry (Josh. 24:1–2). He had established a covenant of salvation with him (Gen. 15:7–21). All Jews, even Paul’s opponents, looked back to Abram as their father in the faith and as an example to follow. How then was this important figure saved? How was Abram justified? Paul answers by quoting Genesis 15:6, showing that Abram “believed God” and that “it was credited to him as righteousness” (Gal. 3:6).

But what did Abram believe? It is at this point that Paul’s handling of the Galatians’ problem has bearing on the question we are asking from Genesis. Paul’s opponents would have claimed that Abram believed precisely what they believed, namely, that a person is saved by works—that is, by keeping the law. Or again, they would claim that Abram was saved by circumcision. If Paul should claim, as he does, that Abram was justified by God before the giving of the law or even before the giving of the rite of circumcision (Gal. 3:17; Rom. 4:9–12), they would claim that he was also said to be justified before the coming of Christ. So if an argument from a sequence of events is valid in the case of the law or circumcision, it is valid in the case of Jesus of Nazareth too. Abram could not have been saved by faith in Christ, because he did not know Christ. Therefore, Christ is not essential for salvation.

Paul replies that, on the contrary, Abram did look forward to the coming of Christ and did trust him as his personal Savior from sin. He makes three points.

First, he says that Abram was justified by faith in God’s word regarding spiritual things, that is, by faith in the gospel. We find this in Galatians 3:8–9: “The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: ‘All nations will be blessed through you.’ So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.” Paul’s quotation “All nations will be blessed through you” is from Genesis 12:3, which is part of the promise that came at the very beginning of Abram’s pilgrimage. He is saying that this blessing believed in by Abram was no mere material thing, as if God were promising land or prosperity or peace to the world’s pagan nations. God was doing nothing of the sort. He was promising a spiritual blessing, salvation, to people from every nation, and he was saying that this promised salvation would come to them through Abram. Paul calls this “the gospel” announced in advance.

So when we read the record of Abram’s life we must not suppose that his faith was always operating on the same level as our faith. Often we think only of the material things God can give us. Abram was operating on the highest level from the start. He heard the promise of the land, of course. But what was uppermost in his mind was the spiritual promise of salvation to all nations. In seeing this, Abram was not a pygmy in faith but a giant. It was for the sake of this blessing that he was willing to live without personal possession of the Promised Land. “He was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10).

Second, Paul says that the spiritual promises received and believed by Abram concerned redemption. That is, they concerned not merely some vague promise of salvation from worldly ills but salvation from sin’s curse by a coming work of redemption. He calls this “the blessing given to Abraham.” “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.’ He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit” (Gal. 3:13–14).

Earlier in this volume, when we discussed Genesis 12:3 in detail, we saw that the promise of redemption is quite rich. It is a concept drawn from the world of commerce, according to which something that has been held in bondage is set free by the payment of a price. We use the term in referring to pawn shops. If you need extra money, you can get it by hocking an object at one of these establishments. You exchange the object for a fraction of its worth in money. Later, when you are better off and want to retrieve the object, you can do so by repaying the money you borrowed, plus interest—assuming that the item has not been sold in the meantime. We speak of redeeming the mortgaged item. The word was used like this in ancient times with special reference to the redemption of slaves, a major item of commerce. Slaves could be bought; but they could also be set free by paying the price of redemption.

This is what Jesus did for us in salvation. Jesus delivered us from the bondage of sin at the cost of his own life—because he loved us. Did Abram really foresee and believe that? We can suppose that Abram did not know as much as those who have lived after Jesus’ coming and are aware of the facts concerning his birth, life, death, and resurrection. But we must not be too ready to assume that Abram was entirely ignorant of what was involved in salvation. Paul says that Abram’s faith was in God’s promises (“the gospel,” Gal. 3:8). What is more natural than that he looked forward to some work of God in delivering the fallen human race from sin’s slavery?

Finally, Paul says that in addition to looking for a spiritual blessing to be achieved by a redeeming work of God, Abram also looked forward to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ especially. How do we know? Because, says Paul, “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say, ‘and to seeds,’ meaning many people, but ‘and to your seed,’ meaning one person, who is Christ” (Gal. 3:16). This is easy to check out. If we turn back to Genesis, we find that God uses this word “seed” in speaking of the promise (12:7; 13:15; 24:7 kjv). Paul is saying that Abram picked up on that, realizing that it was a promise, not merely of a vast number of descendants—another promise made to Abram, though elsewhere—but of a particular descendant, Christ, who would bring salvation and thus be the ultimate source of spiritual blessing to the whole world. Abram did not yet know Jesus’ name. But he was looking forward in faith to the coming of this individual, and it was on the basis of this faith that God justified him from sin and reckoned him righteous.

Old Testament Examples

This significant point may be expanded in this way: it was not only Abram who was justified by faith in Christ but all who have been, are being, and will be saved—all the Old Testament figures, all the New Testament figures, and all believers since Bible times.

Let us ask the Old Testament figures about it. Here is Jacob, the first of those we shall interrogate. Jacob was the grandson of Abram. He was not a very admirable character, since he seems to have been somewhat of a momma’s boy and was not above cheating his brother out of his birthright and deceiving his aged father in the process. Still, we know that Jacob was saved, because God calls himself “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob” (Exod. 3:15). “Jacob, on what basis were you saved? We know it was not your character because your character was nothing to boast about.”

“No, it certainly was not,” says Jacob.

“Perhaps you were saved on the basis of your ancestry?”

“No,” says Jacob, “it wasn’t that. It was my faith in the Savior. I didn’t know much about him. I’m sure I didn’t have as much understanding in these things as my grandfather Abram. But if you read the account of the blessing I gave my sons as I lay dying, you’ll find that I looked forward to this Savior, saying, ‘The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his’ (Gen. 49:10). My faith was in this ruler who was also the Savior.”

Next we turn to Moses. “Moses, you were one of the greatest leaders Israel ever had. You were the great lawgiver. You were the one who went up into the mountain of the Lord to get the law. You brought it down to the people and then ministered it to them for forty years. If ever anyone was saved by the law, it was you. Tell us, weren’t you accounted righteous on the basis of your literal obedience to the law and your good works?”

“Oh, no,” replies Moses. “You know about my life. I was a murderer; I killed an Egyptian. I was saved on the basis of Christ’s work, not my obedience to the law. I knew the promises. I knew that he would come to be my deliverer. What is more, God revealed some specific things to me about him. The Lord told me, ‘I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell them everything I command him’ (Deut. 18:18). I looked forward to that prophet and was saved by faith in him.”

Our next witness appears in kingly garb. His name is David. What an impression he makes! “Tell us, David, you were called ‘a man after God’s own heart,’ weren’t you?”

“Yes,” says David.

“That means you tried to think as God thinks and act always as God would have you act, doesn’t it?”

“I suppose it does,” David answers.

“Then that is why you were saved, isn’t it? You were saved because of how you thought and acted.”

“No, that is not right,” David replies. “No one is saved by what he does. A person is only saved by faith in the Savior. Don’t you remember that when God promised me that my house and my throne would be established forever, I protested that this was not the way of mere men (2 Sam. 7:16–19)? If my throne was to endure forever, it would be through the work of one who is more than man—through God’s true King, who is also the Savior. I believed that and trusted in his work. I am in heaven because of what he did and through faith in him.”

We talk to Isaiah and find that he was looking forward to the coming of that “man of sorrows” who should take our sorrow and suffering upon himself. Isaiah said, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6).

Daniel prophesied concerning “the Anointed One” (Dan. 9:25).

Micah knew that he should be born in Bethlehem (Mic. 5:2).

John the Baptist, the last of the great biblical figures before Jesus—of whom Jesus said none was greater—looked for the coming of this Savior. John said, “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire” (Matt. 3:11–12).

What is Your Right?

Now I ask the question of you. On what basis do you expect to have salvation? On what basis do you hope to enter heaven?

Many years ago a former pastor of Tenth Presbyterian Church, Donald Grey Barnhouse, devised a way of making this matter clear to people who were confused about the gospel. It has since been picked up by D. James Kennedy of the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and been incorporated into his program “Evangelism Explosion.” Barnhouse would say, “Suppose in the next few moments you and I should both be killed and we should find ourselves before the gate of heaven and God should ask, ‘What right do you have to enter my heaven?’ What would you say?” Barnhouse found as the result of dealing with many people that only three possible answers could be given.

Some people would talk about their good works: “I’d say that I’ve been a pretty good person. I’ve never done anything very bad. I give to charitable causes. On the whole, I’ve done the best I can.” Barnhouse would take such persons to Romans 3:20 to show them that “no one will be declared righteous … by observing the law,” mentioning that, far from procuring salvation, their works are actually what got them into trouble in the first place.

Other people would answer, “I suppose I wouldn’t have a thing to say.” Barnhouse would show that these were actually quoting Scripture, for in the day of God’s judgment “every mouth [will] be silenced” (Rom. 3:19).

The third answer and the only acceptable one is that which Abram, Jacob, Moses, David, and all the other saints of both Old and New Testament times have given. It is: “My right to heaven is what Jesus Christ has done. Jesus died for me. He died in my place. I trust him. I trust his work on my behalf. I stand before you, not in my own sin and unrighteousness, but in the person of Christ.”

Is that your answer? It should be; for if you come in that way, you are coming in the only way God will accept, and you can be sure that he will accept you. As one of our hymns puts it, “He cannot turn away the presence of his Son.” If that is your answer, you can know that the day is coming when you will enter in through those great gates of heaven to join the company of the redeemed of all ages, the company of those reaching back to the very beginning of the race—to Adam, Eve, Abraham, and all who trusted in Christ—and stretching forward to all who will yet believe in the Savior.

No Boasting Before God

Genesis 15:6

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Years ago, when I was just a boy learning my first lessons in the Bible, I was influenced greatly by Donald Grey Barnhouse, one of my predecessors at Tenth Presbyterian Church. I remember many of the stories he told to illumine Bible truths. One of them was about a young man who had been brought up in a New York City slum but had risen to fame and fortune in the theatrical field through his songwriting talents. He bought a yacht with his new wealth, and although he did not know the first thing about yachting, he hired men to sail the boat for him and assumed the title “Captain.” Then he invited his mother, who had come to the United States from eastern Europe and had more common sense than her son, to go sailing with him.

The young man seated his mother in the stern of his yacht and went below to change into his captain’s uniform. When he appeared on deck a few moments later, he was resplendent. His uniform was white, and it was liberally decorated with gold braid and brass buttons. The young man struck an appropriate pose and said, “Look, Momma, I’m a captain!”

The old woman calmly surveyed him, then, like one used to deflating the ego of her bumptious children, answered, “Sonny, by you, you is a captain, and by me, you is a captain, but by captains, you is no captain.” After telling this story, Barnhouse would apply it to good works and our lack of standing before God. He would say, “By you, you’re good; by me, you’re good; but by God, you’re no good. In his sight you have no goodness at all.”

The Example of Abram

In the last two chapters, we have been looking at Genesis 15:6, a verse which occurs in the record of Abram’s life and is perhaps the most important verse in the Old Testament or even in the entire Bible. It is important because it is the first verse in the Bible that tells how a sinful man or woman may become right before God. The interesting thing about this verse is that it is not only found in Genesis. It is repeated, as we might expect of a verse of such importance, elsewhere in Scripture: Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6, and James 2:23. In each of these instances, at least one aspect of the original statement is expanded and applied.

In chapter 77 we looked at the second citation: Galatians 3:6. Here we look at the first, Romans 4:3, and as we do we understand how our text fits into the story about the gentleman captain and his mother. Romans 4:3 occurs in a passage that warns people about boasting before God. Paul uses Abram as an example. Abram was a man of great character. He was a person that his physical descendants, the Jews, might well look back to and in whom they might take great pride. But although Abram was great before men, he was not great before God and was therefore not justified on the basis of anything he ever was, did, or might do.

Paul puts it like this: “What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness’ ” (Rom. 4:1–3).

Paul is saying that even if Abram possessed something about which he could boast—and Paul is not admitting even this; it is only a hypothetical possibility—even then Abram’s boasting could only be before men. In the terms of our story, Abram could say, “Look, boys, I’m a very good man!” But God would reply, “By you, you’re good; in the eyes of your physical descendants, the Jews, you’re good; but by me, you’re no good.” Abram could boast before men, but he could never boast of salvation.

God Hates Boasting

In stating things like this, I am afraid that even yet we do not quite do justice to this matter of boasting. For our story almost suggests that, although we cannot boast before God, it is actually all right to boast before other human beings. It would be a great mistake to think this. We will never think rightly about boasting until we realize that God hates boasting in all matters and has set his face like flint against pride.

Why does God hate boasting? There are several reasons, but the first, as the link between “pride” and “boasting” shows, is that this is the original sin and therefore the source of all other transgressions. This was Satan’s sin. According to Ezekiel, Satan was “the model of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (Ezek. 28:12). He was “blameless” in his ways until “wickedness” was found in him (v. 15). What was that wickedness? Ezekiel explains in verse 17: “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor.”

Isaiah describes the boasting that followed:

You said in your heart,

“I will ascend to heaven;

I will raise my throne

above the stars of God;

I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,

on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain.

I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;

I will make myself like the Most High.”

Isaiah 14:13–14

If there were no other reason for God to hate boasting, that would be enough all by itself. God hates boasting because it is the first of all sins and thus the sin that has brought all other sins upon the race.

There is a second reason also: boasting before God is unjustified and totally ineffective. This is the burden of Paul’s argument in Romans. We have looked at Romans 4:1–3, in which Paul speaks of Abram’s potential for boasting. But this is not the first time Paul has spoken of boasting in this letter. As a matter of fact, boasting is mentioned more in Romans than in any other New Testament book, with the sole exception of 2 Corinthians, where similar points are made. The idea is found in Romans 1:30; 2:17, 23; 3:27; 11:18; and 15:17.

In Romans 2, that is, just before verses that mention Abram, the New International Version translates the word as “brag.” It is in reference to those who brag about keeping the law. These were the religious people of Paul’s day. In Romans 1, Paul has eloquently exposed the sins of the heathen, including the sin of boasting. But at this point these religious figures would undoubtedly pull their magnificent robes about them and conclude that although Paul’s indictments might be true of the heathen peoples, they were certainly not true of themselves. After all, they had inherited a special relationship to God just by being Jews. And if that were not enough, they had the law. There was nothing greater than this upon the face of the earth; this was their possession. If anyone could boast before God, it was they.

But what does Paul say? He admits their advantages but denies their conclusion, saying that although they did indeed have advantages, they had forfeited these by their disobedience. He writes: “Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God; if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? As it is written: ‘God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you’ ” (Rom. 2:17–24). Paul’s point is that no one can boast. Whether we admit it or not, each of us commits the same sins we see in others.

The third reason why God hates pride is that it is harmful to us personally. Pride keeps the sinful creatures he loves from the only way of salvation. So long as we think we are somebody and can fend for ourselves, we will never submit to God and believe that he has done everything needful for our salvation. We will still want some part of his glory for ourselves. It is only when we are humbled to the dust—as the helpless, needy sinners we are—that we will come to Christ.

The Snake in the Desert

I began this chapter with a story from the ministry of Donald Grey Barnhouse. It is fitting that I also end with one. It concerns two verses (John 3:14–15) and the incident, recorded in the Book of Numbers, that they refer to: “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” The question is: How does the example of Moses lifting up a snake in the wilderness illustrate the doctrine that God saves us through the work of Christ apart from human merit?

During their desert wanderings from Egypt to the land of Canaan, the people of Israel grew so rebellious against God that he sent venomous snakes among them. Many people were bitten and died; others came to Moses, asking him to intercede between them and God. When Moses did this, God commanded him to make a snake out of bronze and erect it on a pole in the midst of the Israelite camp. The heart of the episode lies in God’s promise that in order to be cured, anyone bitten by the fiery snakes needed only to look to the bronze snake on the pole.

It goes without saying that, in itself, the remedy proposed by God and enacted faithfully by Moses was absurd. In our day especially, with our knowledge of illness and the cures effected by the various drugs and antibiotics available, we are aware that there was not the least bit of therapeutic value in the bronze snake. At best, it could have been a warning to avoid the venomous snakes. Actually, the snake was a way of pointing the people’s faith back to God. There were all sorts of things the people could do—things in which they would inevitably take a full measure of pride—but these would not help them in that situation. They had to let go of their pride and trust God entirely.

Think of what God did not command for their deliverance. First, the people were not encouraged to invent medicines to offset the poison. Barnhouse writes of this idea: “The brewing of potions and the making of salves would have given them all something to do and would have satisfied every natural instinct of the heart to work on behalf of its own cure. [But] there was nothing of the kind mentioned. They were to cease from human remedies and turn to a divine remedy. The fact that they were not told to make a human remedy is indicative of the greater fact that there is no human remedy for sin. Men have been bitten by the serpent of sin. How are they going to be cured of its bite? There is nothing but death awaiting them as a result of their wound unless God himself shall furnish a remedy. Men rush around in the fury of human religions seeking a palliative for sin. They perform all sorts of rites, chastising the flesh, humbling the spirit. They undertake fasts and pilgrimages. Like the man in Israel’s camp who refused to look at the brazen serpent, but spent his time brewing concoctions for ameliorating his own conditions, they are carried off to spiritual death through the poison that is in their being. The man who trusts in religion instead of looking to Christ will be eternally lost.”

Second, the people who had been bitten were not encouraged to follow any path of self-reformation. We might imagine them acknowledging that they had certainly gotten into a bad area of the country and had been exceptionally foolish in giving the snakes an opportunity to bite them. “Henceforth,” they might have said, “we shall be more careful. We shall see that this will never happen again.” Obviously, even if they had been able to do this, there would still have been no cure. The poison was in them, and those who had been bitten died.

Third, the dying were not told to band together and fight the deadly snakes. Barnhouse says,

If the incident had been met after the fashion of our day, there would have been a rush to incorporate the Society for the Extermination of the Fiery Serpents, popularly to be known as SEFS; and there would have been badges for the coat lapel, cards for district workers, secretaries for organization of branches, pledge cards, and mass rallies. There would have been a publication office and a weekly journal to tell of the progress of the work. There would have been photographs of heaps of serpents that had been killed by the faithful workers. The fact that the serpents had already infected their victims would have been played down, and the membership lists would have been pushed to the utmost.

Let us accompany one of the zealous workers as he might take a pledge card into the tent of a stricken victim. The man had been bitten and the poison has already affected his limbs. He lies in feverish agony [for the phrase “fiery serpents” refers to the effects produced in the ones bitten, not in the color of the snakes], the glaze of death already coming to his eyes. The zealous member of the Society for the Extermination of Fiery Serpents tells him of all that has been done to combat the serpents, and urges the man to join—as a life member if possible (fee $10,000), a sustaining member (fee $1,000), contributing member (fee $25), or annual member (anything the organizer can get). The dying victim fumbles in his pocketbook for money and then takes a pen in hand. His fingers are held by the worker who helps him form his signature on the pledge and membership card, and the man signs in full—and dies.

Fourth, those who had been bitten by the snakes were not told to pray to the snake on the pole. You must not misunderstand me here. Prayer is a good thing, but prayer is not a way of earning salvation. Rather, salvation comes by belief. The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved” (Rom. 10:9–10).

Finally, those who were bitten were not commanded to buy some relic of the bronze snake or possess some fragment of the pole on which it had been erected. The notion that salvation can come by relics is perhaps the most absurd and totally pagan idea ever associated with Christianity, and yet today there are millions who believe that they can come closer to heaven by adoring a piece of the cross or the bones of a saint. History should illuminate such folly. During the Middle Ages, those who traveled to the Holy Land were asked to bring back souvenirs of Christianity, just as a visitor to Europe or the Far East might be asked to bring back souvenirs today. The Arabs, who were good businessmen, quickly supplied the demand—so well, in fact, that it is said the Middle Ages possessed enough particles of the true cross to build several cathedrals. Unfortunately, the possession of such relics eventually gave way to the worship of them and the belief that a person could be saved by touching or possessing them.

It is interesting to note that the same thing happened with the snake erected by Moses in the wilderness. Someone apparently preserved the snake, and it remained in Israel for hundreds of years, gaining more and more worshipers. At last, upon becoming king, Hezekiah “broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it” (2 Kings 18:4).

Look to Jesus

By this time you will have understood that the only thing required of the dying Israelites was that they believe God’s word about the snake and look to it as he commanded them. So also are we to look to Christ for salvation.

We are to do what Charles Haddon Spurgeon, that great Baptist preacher of the nineteenth century, did the day he was saved. He was only a boy at the time, but he had gone to a service in a Primitive Methodist chapel where a layman, not the regular minister, was preaching. The man had little learning and little to say. But the result was beneficial, for he stuck closely to his text, which was: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth” (Isa. 45:22 kjv). As Spurgeon remembered it, the man did not even pronounce the words properly, but that did not matter. The layman launched into his text, and his message went like this: “My dear friends, this is a very simple text indeed. It just says, ‘Look.’ Now lookin’ don’t take a great deal of pain. It ain’t liftin’ your foot or your finger; it is just, ‘Look.’ Well, a man needn’t go to college to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man needn’t be worth a thousand pounds a year to be able to look. Anyone can look; even a child can look. But then the text says, ‘Look unto Me.’ Ay! Many of you are lookin’ to yourselves, but it’s no use lookin’ there. You’ll never find any comfort in yourselves. Look to Christ. The text says, ‘Look unto Me.’ ”

At this point he noticed Spurgeon and—fixing his eyes on him as if he knew the struggle going on in the boy’s heart—continued, “Young man, you look miserable, and you always will be miserable—miserable in life, and miserable in death—if you don’t obey my text.” Then lifting up his hands as only a good Primitive Methodist could do, he shouted, “Young man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothin’ to do but to look and live.” And Spurgeon did.

Have you looked to Jesus? If you have not, is your pride keeping you from it? Those things of which you are proud may be all right before others, but they are nothing before God. Can you see that? If so, then you can also see that if they are nothing with him, they are worse than nothing for you because they are keeping you from the way that leads to life and are dragging you to eternal death. Forget them. Look to Jesus. Find Jesus, and know that in finding him, you will be justified before God and he will be pleased.[14]


[1] Bergen, R. D. (2017). Genesis. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 33). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] Criswell, W. A., Patterson, P., Clendenen, E. R., Akin, D. L., Chamberlin, M., Patterson, D. K., & Pogue, J. (Eds.). (1991). Believer’s Study Bible (electronic ed., Ge 15:6). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 34). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[4] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Ge 15:6). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

[5] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 77). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[6] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Ge 15:6). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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

[8] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 31). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[9] Rydelnik, M. A., & Vanlaningham, M. (Eds.). (2014). Genesis. In The moody bible commentary (pp. 72–73). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[10] Kidner, D. (1967). Genesis: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 1, p. 135). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[11] Calvin, J., & King, J. (2010). Commentary on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis (Vol. 1, pp. 404–410). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[12] Hartley, J. E. (2012). Genesis. (W. W. Gasque, R. L. Hubbard Jr., & R. K. Johnston, Eds.) (pp. 156–157). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

[13] Hamilton, V. P. (1990). The Book of Genesis, Chapters 1–17 (pp. 423–427). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[14] Boice, J. M. (1998). Genesis: an expositional commentary (pp. 539–559). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

February 15 Afternoon Quotes of The Day

The Importance of Action for Being a Christian
1 Samuel 15:22

When Demosthenes was asked what was the first part of an orator, what the second, what the third, he answered: Action. The same may I say, if any should ask me what is the first, the second, the third part of a Christian, I must answer: Action.

THOMAS BROOKS

Ritzema, E. (Ed.). (2012). 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Time to Pass from Evil to Good
Psalm 34:14; 37:27; Acts 26:18; 1 Peter 3:11

Beloved brothers, it is time to pass from evil to good, from darkness to light, from this most unfaithful world to everlasting joys, lest that day take us unawares in which our Lord Jesus Christ shall come to make the round world a desert, and to give over to everlasting punishment sinners who would not repent of the sins which they did.

VENERABLE BEDE

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

Cartoons and Memes · Feb. 15, 2021

Owen

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Go Figure

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A Total Clown Show

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Like a Freight Train

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Tech Support Needed

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They Live

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I Thought So

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Disney Magic

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Rachel Levine Versus Gina Carano

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The Twilight Zone

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Bold Assumption

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Self-Sabotage

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A Whale of a Time

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It’s Like This

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Borders

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Car Part

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

Mid-Day Snapshot · Feb. 15, 2021

THE FOUNDATION

“He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time, till at length it becomes habitual.” —Thomas Jefferson (1785)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

FEATURED ANALYSIS

Trump Acquitted a Second Time in Dems’ Sham Impeachment

Thomas Gallatin

In a surprise to no one, the Senate voted Saturday to acquit Donald Trump of the impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection” in connecting to the January 6 Capitol riot. Needing to reach the two-thirds threshold of 67 votes to convict the former president, the Senate vote came up short, 57 to 43, with seven Republicans joining all 50 Democrats in voting to convict.

The prospect of ending the trial on Saturday was almost derailed when Democrats pressed for calling witnesses, a measure that was adopted. However, with the defense threatening to call in a litany of Democrat lawmakers to cross examine, it was agreed that the testimony of Representative Jaime Beutler (R-WA) regarding Trump’s initial response to the Capitol riot was officially entered into the record as evidence.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who voted against conviction on the grounds that impeaching a former president was outside the bounds of the Constitution, nevertheless blasted Trump for his role in inciting the crowd. McConnell said the riot was a “foreseeable consequence of the growing crescendo of false statements, conspiracy theories, and reckless hyperbole which the defeated president kept shouting into the largest megaphone on planet Earth.”

It would appear that McConnell would love nothing more than to rid the Republican Party of the influence of Trump.

Following his second impeachment acquittal, Trump responded by thanking his legal team “for their tireless work upholding justice and defending truth” and those members of Congress “who stood proudly for the Constitution we all revere and for the sacred legal principles at the heart of our country.” He also noted the “sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree.”

Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC), who voted against conviction, warned, “The process they used to impeach this president was an affront to the rule of law. … The trial record was a complete joke, hearsay upon hearsay, and … if you use this model I don’t know how [Vice President] Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if Republicans take back the House because she actually bailed out rioters and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open. So we’ve opened Pandora’s Box here and I’m sad for the country.”

In the end, Democrats once again put the country through another sham impeachment that amounted to nothing more than political theater solely intended to damage all Republicans. No matter how loudly the Democrats claim to be preserving democracy, the reality is they have no concern for constitutional fidelity or even truth itself. This was only ever about a political power play via a campaign to smear all conservatives, Trump supporters, and Republicans as “a threat to democracy” when nothing could be further from the truth.

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Biden and Harris Call for ‘Battle’

Mark Alexander

In the final day of testimony ahead of the acquittal of former President Donald Trump on unsubstantiated charges (now for a second time), Trump’s defense team entered into evidence a collection of public remarks by Democrats using combative “fight” language — at the same time some of them were clearly inciting their constituents to riot across the nation.

But there was a call to “battle” that has yet to be mentioned…

In the five months ahead of the 2020 election, almost all Democrat Party principals watched in deafening silence as their Marxist “Black Lives Matter” constituents and their “antifa movement” constituents battled with police, burned and looted businesses, and murdered citizens.

As historian Victor Davis Hanson noted, the “summer of rage” included “100 days of torching federal court houses and police precincts, 700 policeman injured, 40 people dead, $4-$5 billion in damages…” However, there was little condemnation from Demos, while in many cases there was support for the violence. As I noted in my condemnation of the “Capitol riot jackasses,” Democrats have a clear double standard when it comes to the condemnation of riots.

Here’s the kicker: In the midst of all that leftist violence, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were promoting their “BATTLE” campaign slogan nationwide.

On the front page of the Biden/Harris campaign website, Biden declared, “I’ve long talked about the battle for the soul of America,” and he uses the word “battle” NINE times in connection with issues that the Democrats had highly politicized in order to ensure their constituents were highly charged — and agitated.

Biden claimed, “It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric. To lower the temperature.” Indeed it is, Joe. He then issued battle orders, calling on his “forces” to fight “in the great battles of our time,” including “the battle to achieve racial justice and root out systemic racism in this country.”

Yes, that was the catalytic canard Biden and Harris promoted to foment all the urban destruction. Those violent riots originated with the BIG Lie that our nation is infested with “systemic racism.”

Biden declared this is “the battle to restore decency” and that “our nation is shaped by the constant battle between our better angels and our darkest impulses.”

Now, I know what Biden and Harris meant in regard to all those “battles,” just as I knew what Trump meant when telling his constituents to fight. But given the Democrats’ new standard for such combative language, it is an inescapable fact that the burn, loot, and murder rage by leftists nationwide, which has been exponentially more costly than the Capitol riot, is directly tied to Democrat political rhetoric.

It is clear that over the last four years, the Democrat Party’s most vociferous hate hustlers, in collusion with their Leftmedia propagandists and their Big Tech free speech suppressors, have perfected the politicization of hate, aiding and abetting now countless leftist insurrections across the nation. They effectively used their anti-Trump “hate platform” to foment fear, anger, and division in order to systematically disunite America.

Biden fanned the rage-riot flames declaring, “Does anyone believe there will be less violence … if Donald Trump is reelected?” Likewise, Kamala Harris said, “They’re not gonna stop before Election Day in November, and they’re not gonna stop after Election Day. … They’re not going to let up, and they should not, and we should not.” So committed was she to those “peaceful protesters” that she supported a bail fund for their release. Many of them were re-arrested, and at least one violent protester was re-re-arrested.

Hate hustlers and their supporting cast are nothing new, as evident in the writings of Frederick Douglass, Booker Washington, and Martin King. But what is new is their ability to proliferate hate and division through mass media networks.

The primary proliferators of hate have been House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), but it’s become abundantly clear that the Biden/Harris regime is now the launching platform.

What follows is a compendium of additional “hate” rhetoric used by Democrats.

Socialist “Squad” member Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) declared: “You know, there needs to be unrest in the streets for as long as there’s unrest in our lives.” (The Twitter police must have missed this hate rhetoric because accounts for Biden, Harris, and Pressley have not been suspended.)

Last year, Schumer addressed a mob on the steps of the Supreme Court, fomenting disruption while a case was being deliberated: “I want to tell you Gorsuch. I want to tell you Kavanaugh. You have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.” As Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) notes: “I think if we’re going to criminalize speech, and somehow impeach everybody who says, ‘Oh, go fight to hear your voices heard,’ I mean, we really ought to impeach Chuck Schumer then.”

Pelosi told her constituents: “If there is some collateral damage for some others who do not share our view, well, so be it.”

Recall that ahead of the 2018 election, Hillary Clinton declared that Democrats can’t be civil: “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for. … I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) incited Democrats: “Go to the Hill today. Please, get up in the face of some congresspeople.”

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) told Democrats, “What we’ve got to do is fight in Congress, fight in the courts, fight in the streets…”

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called on Democrats to harass Republicans in public places: “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

Such calls for violence against Republicans resulted in the recent protests at the home of Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), as described by his wife Erin, who was home with their infant daughter. There was no Demo condemnation.

Biden and Harris have promoted fighting President Trump directly.

Biden threatened to fight Trump in 2016: “I could take him behind the gym. That’s what I wish.” (I would have paid BIG BUCKS to watch that rumble.) He doubled down on that threat against President Trump again in 2018: “I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.”

Harris joked about killing Trump and Mike Pence in a cage fight to applauding fans: “Does one of them have to come out alive?”

And Biden has targeted Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and factory workers with ass whoopins. He declared, “I’d like to give [Cramer] a high threshold of pain. I’m serious. I’m really serious.” He told the Detroit union worker in his now-infamous “AR-14” argument, “You’re full of s—t” and then threatened, “I’m going to go outside with your ass. … I’m not working for you.” (I would have paid BIG BUCKS to watch either of those rumbles, too.)

Of course, there’s a long list of leftists who made Nazi comparisons to antagonize their constituents.

Biden said Trump was “sort of like Goebbels,” the Nazi propagandist.

And House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) compared Trump to Hitler, pleading: “I’m beginning to see what happened in Germany back in the 1930s. I never thought that could happen in this country. How do you elect a person president, then all of a sudden you’re going to give him the authority to be dictator? That’s what Hitler did in Germany.”

Notwithstanding any limits on their abject hypocrisy, Democrats were finally able to identify one riot in the last four years they could all condemn, ad infinitum — the one perpetrated in the Capitol building on January 6th by a fractional faction of jackass thugs. That small atypical break-off group of violent radicals, clearly distinguishable from the otherwise lawful and respectful Trump rally attendees, were less likely inspired to violence by anything Donald Trump said that day, than they were by the type of rhetoric spewed by a primary benefactor and promoter of that rally: fringe conspiracy theory agitator and perpetual charlatan Alex Jones.

And now, despite their incessant claims of “systemic racism” and relentless accusations that cops are racist, Democrats finally found a police officer they can praise, and an entire police department they can give a Congressional Gold Medal, as props for their Trump impeachment charade.

Recall what Joe Biden said about the “racist” way Capitol Police handled the riot: “Not only did we see the failure to protect one of the three branches of our government, we also saw a clear failure to carry out equal justice. No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protesting yesterday, they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob of thugs that stormed the Capitol. We all know that’s true. And it is unacceptable.”

And likewise, Kamala Harris condemned the Capitol Police: “We witnessed two systems of justice when we saw one that let extremists storm the United States Capitol, and another that released tear gas on peaceful protesters last summer.” (Ah yes, that brazen “peaceful protester” lie.)

Translation: The Capitol Police are racists.

So, should Biden and Harris be impeached? According to Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), “I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House, because she actually bailed out rioters.” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) previously noted, “Kamala Harris helped violent rioters in Minnesota get out of jail to do more damage. Don’t believe her when she says she ‘condemns the violence’ — look at her record, not her words.”

Of course, Republicans won’t impeach Biden or Harris — nor should they — because the only standard upon which their words are impeachable is the Democrat double standard for Trump.

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The Depravity of the Lincoln Project

Douglas Andrews

Now more than ever, Republicans needed a blacklist. It needn’t be very long — just eight names would suffice: John Weaver, Steve Schmidt, Rick Wilson, George Conway, Reed Galen, Mike Madrid, Ron Steslow, and Jennifer Horn.

These eight are the founding members of the Donald Trump-hating Lincoln Project, that now utterly disgraced stink bomb of a political action committee that seemed to be far more adept at sexually preying on young men and separating gullible Democrats from their money than influencing the American electorate.

When we wrote about them two weeks ago, the full measure of the Lincoln Project’s awfulness hadn’t yet come into clear focus. At that time, they’d only recently thrown their sick senior leader under the bus a full three weeks after a lone journalist named Ryan Gidursky had broken the story in The American Conservative.

“John Weaver led a secret life that was built on a foundation of deception at every level,” they disingenuously tweeted. “He is a predator, a liar, and an abuser. We extend our deepest sympathies to those who were targeted by his deplorable and predatory behavior. We are disgusted and outraged that someone in a position of power and trust would use it for these means.”

But, as it turns out, these sanctimonious scumbags knew about their colleague’s depravity last summer. Yet they did nothing. Job One, it seems, wasn’t to protect innocent boys and young men from sexual predation; it was to help the Democrats beat Donald Trump on November 3. If a dozen or so boys and young men had to suffer the repeated and unwelcome sexual advances of cofounder John Weaver, well, that was apparently a price worth paying.

It’s sickening, but true.

As the Associated Press reports, “In June 2020, members of the organization’s leadership were informed in writing and in subsequent phone calls of at least 10 specific allegations of harassment against co-founder John Weaver, including two involving Lincoln Project employees, according to multiple people with direct knowledge of the situation. The email and phone calls raise questions about the Lincoln Project’s statement last month that it was ‘shocked’ when accusations surfaced publicly this year. It’s also the first known suggestion that Weaver targeted a Lincoln Project staffer.”

Got that? They were shocked — SHOCKED — to find that homosexual predation was going on in their midst.

Steve Schmidt, the former senior campaign strategist and adviser to John McCain, took his sweet time before resigning on Friday — which happened to be Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. He did so in a tweet of never-ending drivel. He didn’t know! Honest!

Schmidt’s departure leaves just two dead-enders, Rick Wilson and Reed Galen, with the group. One wonders what the heck they’re waiting for.

“How unethical was the Lincoln Project?” asks Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff. “So unethical that it tolerated Weaver’s sexual harassment of boys and young men, and published the private messages of a co-founder who raised questions about his misconduct. The viciousness of the Lincoln Project should have come as no surprise. This project did not arise from concerns about public policy. It was a vehicle for revenge — revenge by [co-founder George] Conway for being snubbed by the White House; revenge for McCain’s acolytes for Trump’s treatment of their man; and revenge for consultants whom Trump had bypassed and rendered irrelevant.”

What’s more, the majority of the money raised by the Lincoln Project — went to companies run by the group’s founders. So they weren’t just greedy and depraved; they were also deceitful. As the Washington Examiner reports, “‘It raises questions about where the rest of the money ultimately went,’ said Brendan Fischer with the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center in Washington. ‘Generally speaking, you’d expect to see a major super PAC spend a majority or more of their money on advertisements, and that’s not what happened here.’ Records show that only about one-third, $27 million, of the money raised by the super PAC went to TV and online advertisements during the 2020 election cycle.”

Good riddance to the Lincoln Project and everyone associated with it. May none of them ever again be consulted by Republicans, nor ever again work on so much as a GOP campaign for dog catcher.

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Et Tu, Ravi?

Nate Jackson

The late Ravi Zacharias was a Christian apologist and evangelist beloved by many. He was a man who, when he died last May at age 74, left behind a legacy of love and truth and faithful living. Or so we thought.

Upon his death, our Thomas Gallatin reflected on Zacharias’s impact. His 48-year career legacy included founding Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) in 1984, as well as authoring more than 30 books and preaching in more than 70 countries. Millions of people benefited from his gospel message.

Yet after his death — when he is no longer here to defend himself — rumors began circulating of sexual abuse accusations against him. Could it be that this seeming giant of Christian faith lived a double life, preying on several women from his position of power and authority?

It seems the answer is yes.

“It is with shattered hearts that we issue this statement about the allegations against RZIM’s Founder, Ravi Zacharias,” wrote the ministry’s board in an open letter. Last year, the board commissioned the law firm Miller & Martin PLLC to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations, and with this letter releases that report “in the exact form that we received it.” It is damning and tragic.

If the accusations are true, and the evidence suggests they are, then Ravi Zacharias victimized multiple women. It is to them first that our hearts go out. The same was true of the board, which wrote:

To be victimized by unwanted sexual contact, advances, and behavior is horrendous. It is diametrically opposed to everything we believe about the value and dignity of every single person. We believe not only the women who made their allegations public but also additional women who had not previously made public allegations against Ravi but whose identities and stories were uncovered during the investigation. Tragically, witnesses described encounters including sexting, unwanted touching, spiritual abuse, and rape. We are devastated by what the investigation has shown and are filled with sorrow for the women who were hurt by this terrible abuse.

Beyond the direct victims are those closest to Ravi. “The findings of this investigation and their public release will be devastating to Ravi’s wife, son, and daughters, and to his entire family,” the board wrote. “Our hearts are broken for them, and we grieve with the weight of being part of this unimaginable pain.”

The board’s gut-wrenching letter described how recent months were in fact not the first time such allegations had been made. One accuser, Lori Anne Thompson, came forward in 2017, and the board apologizes now with “shattered hearts” and “profound grief” for not believing her, and for “both privately and publicly perpetuat[ing] a false narrative.” Ravi was alive then, and he did deny the charges, even claiming to be the victim, which only added to his shame. He ended up suing Thompson, only to pay her $250,000 to eventually settle with a nondisclosure agreement attached. The board didn’t fully investigate, including allowing Zacharias to refuse review of his phone records.

Now that he’s gone and can no longer shield himself from investigation, Christianity Today reports, “Even a limited review of Zacharias’s old devices revealed contacts for more than 200 massage therapists in the US and Asia and hundreds of images of young women, including some that showed the women naked. Zacharias solicited and received photos until a few months before his death.”

The investigative report notes that one woman accused him of rape, saying that he “made her pray with him to thank God for the ‘opportunity’ they both received.” She added that “he called her his ‘reward’ for living a life of service to God, and he referenced the ‘godly men’ in the Bible with more than one wife.” He warned her that she would be responsible for millions of people hurt by damage to his reputation.

Zacharias evidently silenced and marginalized those who even questioned the appearance of impropriety when he would travel with only a female personal masseuse, using his back pain as an excuse. He seemingly acted in textbook fashion to cover his offenses, threatening women and blocking accountability. He was a man who evidently used his power and authority to gratify his own lusts, all while surrounding himself with people who would validate instead of challenge him — people more invested in their own role and reputation in a ministry than in the truth.

In much of this, he was like Liberty University’s Jerry Falwell Jr., Hillsong’s Carl Lentz, and far too many others.

At great length, the board now confesses its own shortcomings in oversight and handling of both Ravi and the accusations against him. The failures of many people around Zacharias were numerous and profound, and accountability should come. The board’s confession and public pledge seems to be an example of what owning up to negligence and working to rectify it should look like, but the letter is anonymous. Who will be held accountable for this now that Ravi is gone? He cannot defend himself, let alone answer for his sins. Who failed in allowing him to continue, looking the other way or even enabling him, and what will happen to them? No one at RZIM has publicly resigned. There will apparently be layoffs, but will they include merely low-level and powerless people, or the people at the top — people who should not have given Zacharias a free pass?

It’s worth remembering the biblical doctrine of the total depravity of humans. People are the worst, broken in every way and capable of awful things. It’s amazing that God saves any of us. Of course, Jesus does save sinners. Perhaps that still includes Ravi Zacharias, who was guilty of more and worse sins than the millions of people who benefited from his ministry ever knew. And most of all we hope his victims will find refuge in the Lord — even refuge from a man who apparently did unspeakable things in His name.

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Second Amendment in the Crosshairs

Douglas Andrews

In 2008, the District of Columbia v. Heller decision finally affirmed what the Founders knew all along: that the Second Amendment refers to an individual right to keep and bear arms, rather than a collective one meant strictly for militias. Like nearly every other amendment in the Bill of Rights, the Second was meant to empower individuals, not government.

“The notion,” wrote David Harsanyi in 2018, “of individual ownership of firearms was so unmistakable and so omnipresent in colonial days — and beyond — that Americans saw no more need to debate its existence than they did the right to drink water or breathe the air. Not a single Minuteman was asked to hand his musket over to the Continental Congress after chasing the British back to Boston. If they had been, the Revolution would have been short-lived, indeed.”

Still, the Heller decision hasn’t deterred the Left from its desire to restrict the gun rights of the citizenry. Like a hardy perennial, the gun grabbers keep reappearing even as cooler election-conscious heads within the Democrat caucus always seem to prevail.

But this time just feels a bit different. Joe Biden has a pen and a phone, and the radical elements of his party seem especially emboldened by both his diminished cognitive capacity and by “the fierce urgency of now.” One need only consider the continued presence of thousands of National Guard troops in our nation’s capital to be reminded of the Left’s willingness to use the power of the state to intimidate the people and to let them know who’s boss.

“Leaders of several gun control groups say they left a recent White House meeting believing President Biden will soon take consequential action on such issues as gun purchases and possession,” writes Sophie Mann in Just the News. “‘President Biden is committed to taking executive action and working with Congress to put in place reforms that will keep this country’s kids and communities safe,’ said gun control advocate Peter Ambler following a virtual meeting with White House officials Susan Rice and Cedric Richmond. ‘Today’s meeting was a strong affirmation of that commitment.’”

Biden himself seems like he wishes he could take the National Rifle Association “out behind the gym and beat the hell out of [it],” if we can redirect the inciteful rhetoric he aimed at then-President Donald Trump in 2018.

When asked whether Biden will resort to executive action, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “First I will say that the president addressing gun violence in the country and putting in place additional safety measures is something that the president has a personal commitment to, and his history on this issue is evidence of that. He has obviously taken on the NRA twice and won and he is happy and eager to do that in the future.”

So much for Joe Biden’s promise to “work as hard for those who didn’t vote for me as those who did.”

Both the NRA and the clear language of the Second Amendment are in Joe and Kamala Harris’s crosshairs. And because this president has shown no reluctance to dictate via executive action what he’s unable to enact legislatively, this story bears watching.

As Justice Joseph Story noted in his classic Commentaries on the Constitution, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is “the palladium of the liberties of a republic.” Our Founders were clearheaded in its meaning when they ratified the Second Amendment, and we must be no less clearheaded in our zeal to defend it today.

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Government/Corporate Tyranny

Arnold Ahlert

On January 14, 2021, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) finalized a rule codifying a decade of OCC guidance that made it illegal for any OCC-regulated bank with more than $100 billion in assets to reject customers for any reason other than financial risk. In short, it was an effort to prevent banks from targeting industries and organizations deemed “politically incorrect” by the American Left and therefore “unworthy” of access to services, capital, and/or credit. One week later, the OCC put the rule on hold to “allow the next confirmed Comptroller of the Currency to review the final rule and the public comments the OCC received, as part of an orderly transition.”

Before his departure, acting Comptroller Brian Brooks explained the rationale behind the original rule. “As Comptrollers and staff in previous administrations have made clear in speeches, guidance, and testimony, banks should not terminate services to entire categories of customers without conducting individual risk assessments,” he stated. “It is inconsistent with basic principles of prudent risk management to make decisions based solely on conclusory or categorical assertions of risk without actual analysis. Moreover, elected officials should determine what is legal and illegal in our country.”

The OCC further argued that it was the agency’s obligation “to ensure fair access to financial services, and fair treatment of customers” required by banks following the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law in 2010.

The rule was initially proposed on November 19, 2020, and drew praise from Republicans who had criticized virtue-signaling banking behemoths such as Citibank, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase, which had dropped clients that sold firearms and/or refused to fund fossil fuel producers.

Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, made it clear he has no patience for such politically motivated machinations. “Fairness matters. Discrimination is not allowed in our society and big banks should not be an exception,” he explained. “No matter how important their services are, they do not have the right to create de-facto bans on legal businesses like energy producers and gun manufacturers.”

Unsurprisingly, Democrats insisted the Dodd-Frank bill was about protecting people of color who had faced banking discrimination for decades, not rich corporations with a myriad of banking options.

Banking industry groups were also critical. “The rule lacks both logic and legal basis, it ignores basic facts about how banking works, and it will undermine the safety and soundness of the banks to which it applies,” said Greg Baer, president and CEO of the Bank Policy Institute, a research and advocacy group for big U.S. banks. “Its substantive problems are outweighed only by the egregious procedural failings of the rule making process, and for these reasons it is unlikely to withstand scrutiny.”

Scrutiny from whom? Millions of Americans are well aware we have entered an age where, under the banner of “socially responsible investing,” a hard-left political agenda is being forcibly imposed on them.

And not just by banks. “Corporate action meant to undermine the democratic will has been a hallmark of American business for years now,” explains columnist Stephen R. Soukup.

Soukup cites egregious examples, noting that several corporate titans, including Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook, “conspired to overturn the will of the people” in the cases of Georgia’s religious liberty bill and its fetal heartbeat legislation, as well as North Carolina’s since-overturned bathroom bill that would have required “transgenders” to use the bathroom associated with their biological sex.

Such efforts elicit a troubling question: Who’s really in control of America — duly elected public officials at the local, state, and federal level, or a handful of virtue-signaling corporate CEOs who answer to no one but themselves?

BlackRock Inc., an investment firm with over $7 trillion under management — as in assets surpassed by only the entire GDP of two countries, the U.S. and China — may have provided an answer. A year ago, BlackRock CEO Laurence D. Fink wrote a letter to a number of other world CEOs stating that climate change will be “a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects” precipitating “a fundamental reshaping of finance.”

This year, Fink upped the ante, calling on all companies “to disclose a plan for how their business model will be compatible with a net-zero economy,” defined by Fink as limiting global warming to no more than two degrees Celsius above preindustrial averages and eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. “We expect you to disclose how this plan is incorporated into your long-term strategy and reviewed by your board of directors,” he wrote.

Companies that fail to obey? Fink added that BlackRock will be using a “heightened-scrutiny model” for climate risk that includes “flagging holdings for potential exit.”

This business model is promoted as Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) investing. In reality it is organized extortion, whereby leftist activists are attempting to transcend government and create their own set of rules: Either a corporation adheres to leftist dogma, or it will have no access to capital markets.

Will the Biden administration derail these efforts? Probably not. More likely, it will use some variation of the Green New Deal as a vehicle to not only abide such financial extortion but to completely eliminate what should be a wall of separation between the private and public sector. Furthermore, Americans will likely endure the furtherance of a de facto progressive cartel. One already willing to suppress any and all “misinformation” inimical to its agenda, replete with threats issued by activist groups such as Sleeping Giants, Global Disinformation Index, and Check My Ads to those deemed insufficiently “woke.”

Moreover, that cartel isn’t solely about controlling finance. In an astounding breach of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against “unreasonable searches and seizures of property by the government,” Bank of America indiscriminately provided private customer data to the federal government regarding any and all individuals who traveled to or near Washington, DC, purchased hotel accommodations and/or airline tickets, bought weapons, or shopped at “weapons-related” retailers one or about January 6.

This was done to determine if they were involved in the riot at the Capitol.

That this was apparently coordinated between the FBI and Bank of America without the requisite written request, subpoena, or warrant, and — even more despicably — without the required notification of individual account owners. For all intents and purposes, a major bank enabled a fishing expedition by a corrupt law enforcement agency that included targeting people who committed no crime whatsoever.

“What we’re witnessing is the federal government’s police power and the corporate world’s information power coming together to perform a complete end-run around the United States Constitution,” columnist Andrea Widburg explains.

Not just the Constitution, but the fundamental concept of the nation-state. During his inauguration speech Joe Biden spoke about “unifying” America. Americans are now learning that unification is all about a partnership between government and corporate oligarchs, both intent on imposing Constitution-be-damned globalized tyranny.

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Dolly Parton Triggers the Woke Crowd

Robin Smith

The “woke” crowd has severe disdain for those who have pursued and exemplify the American Dream. Case in point is the criticism fired off at Dolly Parton for a “9 to 5” Super Bowl ad last weekend — criticisms that range from her “playing a rich man’s game,” as alleged at NBC News, to Newsweek’s handwringing over her having a “dystopian reality and an insane ideology.”

There’s never a point at which they’ll be satisfied.

Squarespace, an American website company, dropped some serious money to get a mega-star like Parton to inspire one of TV’s largest American audiences to pursue their dream of owning a business founded on their own gifts, talents, and aspirations. The decades-old “9 to 5” Grammy Award-winning lyrics were modified from the soundtrack of the 1980 movie by the same name where a trio of working women triumphed over their sexist boss and Parton’s character endured sexual harassment.

The ad’s upbeat tune matched the vibe of scenes of tired workers leaving their day jobs to energetically build their own businesses using Squarespace’s web creations in their endeavors. Yet the “stay woke, stay angry” crowd despises those who dare to dream about launching a business that could grow into a full-time arrangement in the evening. Newsweek’s David Sirota, for one, scorned the idea that a side hustle could “liberate us from the economic hardship of the low-paying day job,” arguing against what he called the effort to normalize “the idea that working ourselves to death is actually a virtue” and asserting that Parton’s newly framed jingle furthers “the disturbing assumptions and propaganda.”

It’s propaganda to the woke, you see, if one does what others won’t do to have what others don’t have.

NBC’s Kim Kelly called Parton’s 20-second ditty a “tone-deaf misstep from the beloved icon.” Specifically, Parton is allegedly doing the bidding of oppressors by ignoring the “exploitative nature of the daily grind” while showing that “side hustles are painted as freeing, fun and fulfilling.” Kelly declares the “horrors” of the “perfect storm of gig economy propaganda” while Parton sells herself out “to promote the false virtues of working overtime.”

Good grief. Don’t expect greatness from any of these malcontents.

Parton grew up in the mountains of east Tennessee watching her sharecropping illiterate father work extra construction jobs to provide for a family self-described as “dirt poor.” She recalled, “When I was a little girl, I used a tobacco stick and a tin can and pretended it was a microphone, and I sang on my front porch, imagining I was on the Grand Ole Opry.” That dream came true with her Opry debut at an unheard-of age of 13. Through hard work she has earned the right to sing her song with a few new words: “Working 5 to 9, you keep dreaming, dreaming, dreaming/ 5 to 9 … you can do it!”

This Queen of Country music, who at 74 years young has won 189 music awards, has also donated heavily toward a COVID vaccine, helped give over $9 million to victims of the 2016 fires in the Smoky Mountains, and founded an organization that has distributed over 150 million books to assist with literacy.

Perhaps we should listen to what this successful businesswoman has to say about work instead of those who ignorantly view envy as economic policy and socialism as the way to level everyone into abysmal sameness. Dolly Parton, who has been chastised by the “experts” demanding she repent for her support of grit, hard work, and pursuit of the American Dream, gives her own wisdom to the woke in her album “Backwoods Barbie”: “You better stop whinin’, pinin’, get your dreams in line and then just shine, design, refine till they come true, and you better get to livin’.”

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Planned Parenthood Expands Into ‘Transitioning’ Racket

Thomas Gallatin

It’s a well-established fact that Planned Parenthood’s primary revenue source comes from performing abortions, even though it seeks to deflect this reality under the euphemism of “reproductive healthcare.” Well, it has recently come to light that Planned Parenthood has expanded its revenue stream beyond abortions to that of “gender transition,” specifically targeting children.

Abigail Shrier recently shed light on this venture that has caused even an ardent abortion proponent and Planned Parenthood employee to ring the alarm bells against this expanded focus. Shrier writes, “The Planned Parenthood clinic where she worked was located in a small town of roughly 30,000. Abortions were the clinic’s ‘bread and butter,’ something this employee fully supports. But, she noted, ‘trans identifying kids are cash cows, and they are kept on the hook for the foreseeable future in terms of follow-up appointments, bloodwork, meetings, etc., whereas abortions are (hopefully) a one-and-done situation.’”

Just how big of a “cash cow” is this “gender transition” contrivance? No hard numbers have been released, though according to Planned Parenthood’s own website for central and western New York, “Nationally, Planned Parenthood is the second largest provider of Gender Affirming Hormone Care.” And the Planned Parenthood employee noted that at the clinic she worked at, one or two new “biologically female teen patients” would come in daily seeking testosterone treatment.

The employee added that Planned Parenthood did little to question the legitimacy of teenage girls’ expressed desire to “transition.” As she explained, “The questions that we asked were like, very closed ended… It would be, ‘You know, at what age did this start’? Boom that is it. ‘What kinds of dysphoria do you feel’? Boom that’s it, you know? ‘What do you want out of your transition?’ ‘Do you want top surgery?’ ‘Do you want bottom surgery?’”

“A lot of them have serious emotional issues,” the employee admitted. “A lot of them had a history of abuse and baggage.” She also observed that many of them had visible “self-harm scars,” but rather than address an obvious issue, “we just move on exactly the issue at hand” — that is, moving forward on “gender transitioning.”

Finally, Shrier makes an important point as she asks the employee, “Did any of the girls asking to start a course of testosterone ever get turned down? Perhaps some were sent for psychiatric evaluation before proceeding with testosterone treatment? ‘None of the girls,’ she said. ‘One of the boys who did confess that he smoked so much weed that he was doubling up on his estrogen. … We did end up ceasing his therapy until he saw — I think it was like a substance abuse counselor or something like that. But other than that, we never turned away anybody.’”

As with abortion, Planned Parenthood has a vested financial interest in exploiting and normalizing the tragic problem of gender dysphoria. For them, it’s nothing more than an easily tapped revenue stream.

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Valentine Love Lost Between Biden, Media

Nate Jackson

Joe Biden’s administration promised from the get-go to be friendlier to the press than Donald Trump’s administration ever was. Given the media’s incessant torment of and hatred for Trump, that wouldn’t be hard. It would be even easier given the loyal devotion of the Leftmedia to the Democrat Party. But some relationships are friendlier than others, and it took less than a day for at least one relationship to turn sour.

Deputy White House Press Secretary T. J. Ducklo resigned over Valentine’s weekend after revelations of having threatened Politico reporter Tara Palmeri regarding reports that Ducklo was involved in a relationship with Axios reporter Alexi McCammond. “I will destroy you,” the male Ducklo told the female Palmeri in January, among other terrible and misogynistic things not fit for reprinting here.

You see, while Ducklo was a senior member of Biden’s campaign communications team, McCammond was covering the Biden campaign. She “solved” the glaring conflict of interest posed by her romantic affiliation by … switching to Kamala Harris’s vice presidential campaign in November. Then again, it’s not news that Democrats and the media have always had an incestuous relationship.

As for Biden, the “Big Guy” himself? He warned his staff on inauguration day — the same day Palmeri began her inquiry — “[If] I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise I will fire you on the spot.”

Yet Ducklo worked for Biden for nearly another month before being suspended for a week. Less than a day after his suspension, Ducklo fell on his own sword with a contrite statement regarding his failures. In other words, he was not fired “on the spot,” but resigned, albeit probably under pressure.

Why didn’t Biden keep his word? Maybe he simply forgot what he had promised. Or maybe he decided he couldn’t fire Ducklo when so much time had already passed since the offense. Press Secretary Jen Psaki “explained” that Ducklo’s offense “doesn’t meet the president’s standard” for immediate termination.

So, where is the media outrage? Was Ducklo’s exit sufficient for the sycophants in the press room?

The reality, of course, is that the Democrat/media alliance trumps all other considerations. Biden’s team will get favorable coverage as often as Trump’s got negative coverage, whether or not someone in the White House is literally sleeping with someone in the press corps. This mainstream media prostitution is and will continue to be a disgusting perversion of a free press.

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Washington’s Birthday vs. Presidents’ Day

In some circles, today is observed as “Presidents’ Day,” jointly honoring Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (some even extend the commemoration to all presidents), but it is still officially recognized as the anniversary of Washington’s birth. That is how we mark the date in our humble shop. (Washington’s actual birthday is February 22.)

Read more.

EXECUTIVE NEWS SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

Top of the Fold

  • Trump acquitted 57-43 in sham impeachment trial (NBC News) | “I have much to share with you”: Trump celebrates acquittal, hints at political future (PJ Media)
  • Historic winter storm spreading snow, damaging ice from the Deep South into the Northeast (Weather.com)

Government & Politics

  • Joe Biden makes (terrible) history: He’s the first president in 40 years to punt on contacting Israel (Free Beacon)

Surely, no one’s more thrilled than anti-Semitic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

  • Regrettably, Biden is poised to swing the 9th Circuit Circus back to the left (Examiner)
  • Healing! White House deputy press secretary who threatened female reporter resigns (PJ Media)
  • Systemic sexual misconduct: Lincoln Project cofounder Steve Schmidt resigns as group’s scandal grows (Examiner)

Cancel Culture

  • ABC’s “Bachelor” host Chris Harrison forced to step aside to become “educated” and “anti-racist” (Disrn)
  • David Hogg steps down from “March for Our Lives” group after his pillow venture roils peers (Disrn)
  • Government plan to rename Confederate bases moves forward (Daily Wire)

Media

  • New York Times quietly updates report on fire extinguisher striking Capitol Police officer (Examiner) | What happened to Brian Sicknick? (National Review)
  • Twitter inevitably nets $1.14 billion loss for 2020 (Disrn)

Health

  • U.S. dips below 100,000 average daily new coronavirus cases for first time in months (Examiner)
  • WHO changes its mind again, says Wuhan lab leak as COVID-19 origin deserves more consideration (Disrn)

National Security

  • Insanity: National Guard could stay in DC “at least through Fall 2021” (Daily Wire)
  • 1.2 million illegal immigrants are awaiting deportation, and most are living freely in communities nationwide (Washington Times)
  • Meanwhile, DHS will allow 25,000 illegals to enter from Mexico (CNSNews.com)
  • Biden administration moves forward with plans to close Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention facility (Disrn)

Annals of the “Social Justice” Caliphate

  • Violent protest from “peaceful” BLM leaves two NYPD cops injured (Fox News)
  • Oregon warns math is racist, promotes program for teachers to dismantle its “white supremacy” (Disrn)
  • Washington National Cathedral faces blowback for allowing guest preacher who preaches what the Bibles teaches (Daily Wire)

Around the Nation

  • On second thought… Minneapolis suddenly shifts approach, spends millions to hire more police officers (Examiner)
  • South Carolina legislators virtuously pass “heartbeat” bill banning abortion after six weeks (Disrn)
  • Maryland set for first digital ad tax in the country after state Senate overrides veto (Examiner)

Around the World

  • Russia threatens to cut ties with EU if sanctions are imposed over jailing of Alexei Navalny (NPR)
  • Mario Draghi sworn in as Italy’s new prime minister (BBC News)
  • Tokyo Olympics boss resigns after saying “annoying” female board members don’t stop talking (Disrn)

“Non Compos Mentis” Award

  • AOC blamed Trump for assaults on elderly Asians; the attacker was Muslim (FrontPage Mag)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: Democrats flirt with destroying another Senate guardrail (National Review)
  • Policy: How to handle the growing China space threat (National Review)
  • Belly laugh of the week: Trump now most acquitted president in history (Babylon Bee)

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

Why the Left HATES the Nuclear Family Structure — Thomas Sowell explains why leftists always wanted to eradicate the nuclear family structure.

Satire: Left Wing Empathy™ — The biggest difference between the Right and Left is that the Left has EMPATHY!

Priest Unloads on Pro-Abortion Catholics — In his homily on Sunday, February 7, 2021 Rev. William Kosco addresses pro-abortion Catholics.

Gina Carano Did Nothing Wrong — Her warning over the consequences of dehumanizing people was completely correct.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

 

 

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

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.” —Peter Drucker (1909-2005)

Observations: “Recent polls suggest that nearly two-thirds of Americans report self-censoring about politics at least occasionally, essentially becoming a nation of doublethinkers despite the magnificent constitutional protections for free thought and expression enshrined in the Bill of Rights. … We need a Twitter Test challenging bottom-up cultural totalitarianism that is spreading throughout free societies. That test asks: In the democratic society in which you live, can you express your individual views loudly, in public and in private, on social media and at rallies, without fear of being shamed, excommunicated, or cancelled?” —Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky

For the record I: “Former President Trump’s actions [preceding] the riot were a disgraceful — disgraceful — dereliction of duty. … The leader of the free world cannot spend weeks thundering that shadowy forces are stealing our country and then feign surprise when people believe him and do reckless things.” —Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who voted to acquit

For the record II: “After careful consideration of the respective counsels’ arguments, I have concluded that President Trump is guilty of the charge made by the House of Representatives. … President Trump incited the insurrection against Congress by using the power of his office to summon his supporters to Washington on January 6th and urging them to march on the Capitol during the counting of electoral votes. He did this despite the obvious and well known threats of violence that day. President Trump also violated his oath of office by failing to protect the Capitol, the Vice President, and others in the Capitol. Each and every one of these conclusions compels me to support conviction.” —Senator Mitt Romney

Non compos mentis: “We could have called God herself and the Republicans weren’t going to be willing to convict.” —Rep. Eric Swalwell (“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked.” —Galatians 6:7)

Demo-gogue: “It was nearly two weeks ago that Jill and I paid our respects to Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who laid in honor in the Rotunda after losing his life protecting the Capitol from a riotous, violent mob on January 6, 2021. [Saturday], 57 Senators — including a record 7 Republicans — voted to find former President Trump guilty for inciting that deadly insurrection on our very democracy. The Senate vote followed the bipartisan vote to impeach him by the House of Representatives. While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute.” —Joe Biden

Forewarning: “This Administration will not wait for the next mass shooting to heed that call. We will take action to end our epidemic of gun violence and make our schools and communities safer. Today, I am calling on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets. We owe it to all those we’ve lost and to all those left behind to grieve to make a change. The time to act is now.” —Joe Biden

Then: “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man. … I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks.” —Joe Biden in 2019 | Now: “I was on the phone for two straight hours with Xi Jinping. … If we don’t get moving, they’re going to eat our lunch.” —Joe Biden in 2021

What could possibly go wrong? “I pledge to advocate for and acknowledge all lived experiences and intersectional identities of every Sailor in the Navy.” —Task Force One Navy pledge

And last… “Pretty amazing how ‘Follow The Science’ became ‘Follow The Teachers Unions While Calling Your Opponents Anti-Science’ overnight, and our incredible Journalismers went right along with it.” —Ben Shapiro

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

15 Feb 2021 News Briefing

Newsweek Courageously Warns That Sex-Change Surgery Might Just Destroy Your Life

As the social media giants continue to crack down on those who violate their trans-activist talking points, another perspective has been raised from an unexpected source. I’m talking about a powerful, deeply moving article posted in Newsweek and titled, “We Need Balance When It Comes To Gender Dysphoric Kids. I Would Know.” The author of the op-ed is Scott Newgent, self-described as “a 48-year-old transgender man.” What Newgent has written is courageous, deeply revealing, poignant, and accurate. Perhaps others will now heed these urgent warnings, since those of us on the conservative Christian side who have been presenting similar cases have been largely ignored to this day.

Graham: McConnell ‘put a load on Republicans’ back’ with anti-Trump speech
The senator also said he believes the impeachment set a dangerous precedent. “I don’t know how Kamala Harris doesn’t get impeached if the Republicans take over the House, because she actually bailed out rioters, and one of the rioters went back to the streets and broke somebody’s head open,” Graham said. “So we’ve opened Pandora’s box here, and I’m sad for the country.”

An earthquake at the Olympic torch relay start point is just the beleaguered Tokyo 2020 Games’ latest crisis
The 7.1 magnitude quake which hit the region on Saturday was, for many, a painful reminder of the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck the same area almost 10 years ago, causing a tsunami and the subsequent notorious nuclear meltdown. Saturday’s quake is just the latest in a long line of setbacks to beleaguer Tokyo 2020.

Utah Governor Signs Bill Allowing Concealed Carry of Firearm Without Permit
“With the passage of this bill, Utah joins 17 other states with some form of permitless concealed carry,” Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican in his first term, said in a statement to news outlets. “This bill protects Second Amendment rights, reduces permitless open carry (which is already legal), and includes significant funding for suicide prevention.”

Acquitted again by Senate, Trump still a powerful force in Republican politics
With only 7 Republicans voting for conviction, it highlights just how powerful a grip he has on the party he remade in his image, with strategists saying the RNC won’t be able to win elections without Trump supporters anytime soon

Syria claims Israel attacked near Damascus
Syrian air defense intercepted “Israeli aggression” over Damascus on Sunday night, Syrian state television reported. So far, no additional details are available.

Did Iran just Find a way to bypass Western Sanctions and Advance Nuke Program?
Iranian Parliament speaker Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf said on Friday that his country plans to join the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). According to Ghalibaf, Tehran would take its first steps to join the organization of nations from Eastern Europe and Western and Central Asia in two weeks.

‘STUNNING ADMISSION’ Pentagon admits it has been testing wreckage from UFO crashes & findings may ‘change our lives forever,’ expert says
THE Pentagon has admitted to holding and testing wreckage from UFO crashes in a bombshell Freedom of Information letter, shared with The Sun. Bragalia said it was a “stunning admission” from the US government and the documents reveal that some of the retrieved debris possesses “extraordinary capabilities” including the potential to make things invisible or even slow down the speed of light.

Who are the 7 Republican senators that voted to convict Trump in second impeachment trial?
Voting to find Trump guilty were GOP Sens. Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Gab founder says he’ll no longer do interviews with ‘pagan’ media
Andrew Torba, the founder of Gab.com, an online community where freedom of speech is paramount, says he’s no longer going to be doing interviews with “Paganist” media. “I encourage everyone else to do the same. If they are not serving God, they are serving Satan and I’m simply not going to fund that activity,” “If you’re not a Christian reporter or from a Christian media company you will be ignored. ”

James Dobson calls out Biden for ‘radical agenda’
America has been “teetering near the point of no return” for some time, Dobson wrote in his February newsletter, and the “freefall has begun.”

On Edge: In a Rural Eastern Plains Community Plagued by Drought, Stigma Won’t be Easy to Overcome
“It’s horrible, just horrible, the ways drought can affect the human mind,” says Jimmy Brown, a third-generation farmer in Eads whose wheat and grain sorghum crops withered this year, just like those of his neighbors. Each generation has taught the next to take the long view because they have learned that wishing – or praying – for rain doesn’t make it happen. Yet nobody here can remember a year so parched that little grew higher than their work boots. No one recalls ground so dry that even the bindweed stopped growing.

If you think the weather’s been the driest you’ve seen in your life, you’re right
The western United States is in the grip of a once-in-a-lifetime drought that is threatening millions of acres of farmland and rangeland, drying up streams and creeks and forcing people to think about alternative landscaping choices that don’t suck up so much water. “A lot of people will say this is the worst drought they have seen in their lifetime, and yes, they’re right,” said Joel Lisonbee, a climatologist and drought information coordinator with the National Integrated Drought Information System.

UAE’s first ambassador to Israel sworn in
Dubai’s ruler and The United Arab Emirates’ Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has sworn in the country’s first ambassador to Israel, Mohammed Mahmoud Al-Khaja, the Dubai Media Office said on Sunday. The UAE’s cabinet last month approved the establishment of an embassy in Tel Aviv in Israel, state media said, while Israel announced its embassy had opened in Abu Dhabi…

Alleged Israeli missile strike targets sites near Damascus
Syrian air defenses responded to alleged Israeli missile strikes targeting sites near Damascus on Sunday night, according to Syrian state news SANA. A military source told SANA that the missiles were fired from the Golan Heights and that Syrian air defenses had succeeded in intercepting most of them.

Turkey botches raid, blames ‘terrorists,’ attacks domestic critics
Within a 24-hour period, Turkey’s ruling party and its supporters managed to, first, admit they botched a deadly raid in northern Iraq, blamed “terrorists” for killing people harmed in the raid, and then moved the target to attack domestic political opponents. Turkey’s AK Party…has…pushed invasions of Syria, Libya and Armenia and hosts Hamas terrorists, is now pushing for a new war in Iraq, Syria and at home.

Israeli air force holds ‘surprise’ drill near Lebanon border
Israel’s air force has begun a “surprise exercise” to improve combat readiness along the United Nations-demarcated Blue Line between it and Lebanon, according to its military. The military said on Monday that the drill, which will last until Wednesday, would result in increased air traffic throughout the country and that explosions may be heard in northern Israel.

More than 1.4 million homes without power as unprecedented winter storm hits Texas
More than 1.4 million homes are experiencing power outages across Texas after extremely cold temperatures and frozen precipitation blanketed the entire state…All 254 Texas counties were placed under Winter Storm Warning on Saturday, February 13, the same as in Oklahoma and Arkansas on Sunday. As of Monday morning, February 15, more than 150 million Americans are under Winter Storm Warnings…

America’s Out Of Control Teens Are On A Historic Crime Spree
…if we continue to refuse to see the error of our ways… the fabric of our society will continue to unravel, and the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted on a daily basis will continue to disappear.

‘Snow apocalypse’ blankets frozen Moscow
Heavy snowfalls have buried Moscow in massive snow piles, disrupting transport, delaying flights and making it tough to get around for pedestrians braving strong winds and temperatures of minus 15 Celsius (5 Fahrenheit).

How you’re doing: The pandemic’s impact on mental health
More people of all ages are reporting that the pandemic has affected their mental state. How do you deal with the situation?

German Neurologist Warns Against Wearing Facemasks: ‘Oxygen Deprivation Causes Permanent Neurological Damage’ (and it’s worse for kids)
..“The reinhalation of our exhaled air will without a doubt create oxygen deficiency and a flooding of carbon dioxide. We know that the human brain is very sensitive to oxygen deprivation. There are nerve cells for example in the hippocampus that can’t be longer than 3 minutes without oxygen – they cannot survive.

Iran test fires sophisticated short-range missile
Iran’s army test fired a sophisticated short-range missile on Sunday, The Associated Press reported, citing the Iranian official IRNA news agency.

COVID-19 Vaccine Makers AstraZeneca and Janssen Announce They’re Now Expanding Trials To Include Pregnant Women And Newborn Babies 
When we warned you all last year that the then-coming COVID-19 vaccines would be global, multiple shots for everyone on Planet Earth, many wrote to say we were deluded and paranoid conspiracy theorists, writing sensational headlines as clickbait. Six weeks into 2021 and what do we see? COVID-19 vaccines, that have not been approved outside of emergency use only, for pregnant women and newborn babies. We won’t apologize for writing sensational headlines and we won’t apologize for telling you the truth.

Gay Singer And Professing Christian Grace Baldridge Hits The Number #1 Spot On iTunes Christian Music Charts
Jesus Christ went to cross to pay the price to pay for all sin, including that of homosexuality, but the problem starts with people who think that homosexuality is not a sin. The very idea of Christian LGBTQ+ people is an idea that opposes itself from start to finish. Someone who drinks too much goes to AA to be told that what they’re doing is wrong and potentially deadly, and they’re given steps to become sober. Someone who goes to AA drunk is asked to leave, I think you get the idea of what I’m telling you.

EU’s COVID-19 Vaccination Debacle Is “Epochal Failure”
The European Union’s much-touted campaign to vaccinate 450 million Europeans against Covid-19 has gotten off to an inauspicious start. The vaccination rollout has been plagued by bureaucratic sclerosis, poorly-negotiated contracts, penny-pinching and blame shifting — all wrapped in a shroud of secrecy. The result is a needless and embarrassing shortage of vaccines, and yet another a crisis of legitimacy for the EU.

35 States Allow Babies Born Alive After a Botched Abortion to be Left to Die
“Can you look me in the eye and tell me that I shouldn’t be alive?” That was the question 14 abortion survivors never got to ask America. Fox Sports, the host of this year’s Super Bowl, refused to air their ad. Maybe they were afraid of creating controversy. Or maybe, they were worried about putting a real face on this thing called “choice.” Either way, it’s a question our country needs to answer. And Tuesday morning, Senate Republicans looked at their colleagues and did.

Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to be tested on children
The trial will assess the “safety and immune responses” in children and young adults aged between 6 and 17 and will take place in three English cities.

‘Matrix’-Style Wearable Device Turns Humans Into Battery
..Researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have come one step closer to harness the human bodies’ thermoelectric energy to power low-cost wearable devices.

Snow, ice blast US; winter storms forecasted nationwide
As snow and ice continued to wreak havoc across the U.S. into Saturday night, a third of the U.S. was bracing for wintry weather, including subzero temperatures, power outages and icy roads, forecasted to continue through early next week.

Televangelist Frederick KC Price, founder of Crenshaw Christian Center, dies from COVID-19Frederick K.C. Price, the founder of the 28,000-member Crenshaw Christian Center in California, has died weeks after contracting the coronavirus.

Source: 15 Feb 2021 – Rapture Ready


Headlines – 2/15/2021

Biden Makes History: First President in 40 Years to Punt on Contacting Israel – White House doesn’t list Israel as American ally

US rejoins UN Human Rights Council, noncommittal on Golan Heights sovereignty

After years of talks, a plan to provide Israeli gas to Gaza nears approval

UAE’s first ambassador to Israel sworn in by Emirati PM

Iran tests ‘smart’ missile with 300-kilometer range

Exiled Iranian crown prince confident end of ayatollahs’ regime is near

Sudan says Ethiopian forces crossed border, raising tensions

Pro-Navalny ‘flashlight’ protests light up Russian cities

Russia’s rising poverty fuels political discontent

Myanmar: tanks roll into cities as internet shut down

Hong Kong: alarm over proposed law that could ban anyone from leaving

Mario Draghi, Former EU Central Bank Head, Sworn In As Italy’s Prime Minister

Smoking gun: Comey told Clapper FBI unable to ‘sufficiently corroborate’ Steele – then signed FISA

Support Grows for 9/11-Style Commission to Probe US Capitol Breach

National Guard could be stationed in DC until at least the fall: report

Biden Says ‘Democracy Is Fragile’ Following Senate Vote to Acquit Trump

Liberal Hollywood celebrities suffer complete meltdowns over Trump’s acquittal, deem Republicans as ‘traitors’

Trump Lawyers Celebrate Impeachment Acquittal, Criticize Media

Why impeachment evidence tested TV’s standards

Impeachment Manager: Trial Could Have Lasted Years If Witnesses Were Called

Impeachment Based on Political Differences Becoming the Norm: Lindsey Graham

Graham: McConnell ‘Put a Load on the Back of Republicans’ with Anti-Trump Speech

Louisiana GOP censures Sen. Cassidy over impeachment vote to convict Trump

Graham warns Kamala Harris could be impeachment target because Democrats ‘opened Pandora’s box’

Lindsey Graham: Trump is ‘excited’ for 2022 and wants to ‘rebuild the Republican Party’

GOP Gov. Larry Hogan Urges Party to Leave ‘Cult of Donald Trump,’ Hails Conviction Votes

Puerto Rico governor expects movement on statehood next month

Biden calls on Congress to ‘enact commonsense gun law reforms’ on third anniversary of Parkland shooting

Microsoft Urges US to ‘Copy’ Australia’s Big Tech Media Law

Trains halted, scores injured in aftermath of strong earthquake in Japan

5.8 magnitude earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands

5.3 magnitude earthquake hits near Port-Vila, Vanuatu

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Adak, Alaska

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Volcano Islands, Japan region

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Namie, Japan

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Palu, Indonesia

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near La Gomera, Guatemala

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits southeast of the Loyalty Islands

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 25,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 22,000ft

Popocateptl volcano in Mexico erupts to 19,000ft

Klyuchevskoy volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 17,000ft

Raung volcano in Indonesia erupts to 16,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Pacaya volcano in Guatemala erupts to 12,000ft

Record-Breaking Cold for Days in Middle of U.S.

Historic winter storm slams Texas with record cold, icy roads

Deadly pileup in Fort Worth like a ‘scene out of a movie’

‘Rotating outages’ possible in next 72 hours as state officials urge Texans to conserve power due to extreme cold

Extreme cold hits United States – electricity and heating prices surge as infrastructure fails to deliver

The inside story of how Ravi Zacharias’s ministry concealed and enabled his abuse

Ravi Zacharias’s Books Pulled by HarperCollins After RZIM Investigative Report

Christian pastor in Germany fined for ‘inciting hatred’ against homosexuals

Gender identity bill divides Spain’s feminists, left-wing

Guinea enters ‘epidemic situation’ as seven Ebola cases confirmed

Biden plans to focus on coronavirus in first G7 meeting

New Zealand puts largest city into lockdown over three positive COVID-19 cases

UK study: British COVID variant could be up to 70% more deadly

UK’s Johnson: ‘No point’ if we don’t vaccinate everyone

Covid passports could deliver a ‘summer of joy,’ Denmark hopes

Israel to begin reopening – for the vaccinated

Israel and Cyprus reach tourism deal for vaccinated travelers

Synagogues, stores could be reopened for all Sunday; malls, gyms for vaccinated in Israel

How billions in pandemic aid was swindled by con artists and crime syndicates

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


Apostasy Watch Monday 2-15-21

Daniel Mann – Peace of Mind

Televangelist Frederick K.C. Price dies following hospitalization for Covid-19. He was 89

John MacArthur’s Church Postpones Shepherd’s Conference Due to “Threats” from County & State

New pastors announced to replace Carl Lentz at Hillsong East Coast

UK’s Zacharias Trust Separates from RZIM for Inadequate Response to “Systemic Failings”

Where is Raymond Koh? Pastor remains missing 4 years after abduction

Source: Daily News and Commentary (apostasywatch.com)

A Biblical Guide to (Not?) Calling Out False Teachers — The Messed Up Church

“You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?” -Jesus Christ in Matthew 23:33

“Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those on the outside. Remove the evil person from among you.” -The Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 5:11-13

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” -James 3:1

Have you told someone: “judge not!” or “don’t touch God’s anointed!” when they criticized a particular Bible teacher, pastor, or authority figure? Do you think that Christians should accept everybody’s opinion as equally valid, as long as their “heart is in the right place?” Do you believe that when a person has a specific theological belief it’s a personal matter that should be kept “between themselves and God?” Do you think that a person automatically invalidates their ideas if they “don’t seem very loving?”

After all, nobody wants to be this person, right?…

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Well, here are some verses from the Bible to give clarity to this issue:

Here’s how Jesus responded to the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees (the hypocritical religious leaders of His day):

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. 

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it.  And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.  In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!

You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

-Matthew 23:13-39

Lesson: Jesus was very angry with the religious leaders because they were adding to God’s Word a bunch of extra rules that made them the “special anointed ones” who alone had access to God. Jesus called them every nasty name in the book because they were hypocrites who had no need for God’s mercy; they believed they were living sinless lives and had earned the favor of God (and they demanded that the “regular people” treat them as religious celebrities). They didn’t care to serve the people-they wanted to show off to the people.

Jesus made this really clear in the beginning of His angry speech:

“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: ‘The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.’” -Matthew 23:1-4

Here is another passage where we see Jesus acting in a way that might seem “unloving” and “too judgmental” by today’s standards:

“The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money-changers seated at their tables. And He made a scourge of cords, and drove all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, “Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business.” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house will consume me.” The Jews then said to Him, “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body. So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.

Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.” -John 2:13-25

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Here’s another occasion where Jesus (violently) clears out the temple:

“Then they came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves; and He would not permit anyone to carry merchandise through the temple. And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ den.” The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching.” -Mark 11:15-18

Notice that the chief priests and the scribes “were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching?” This is not the meek and harmless Jesus that is depicted so often today. The category of people that get into trouble with Jesus are those who believe they’ve earned favor with God, and who want to profit from their position as religious leaders. Jesus called out the false teachers who believed themselves to be righteous leaders when they were nothing of the sort. He couldn’t let their false teaching prevent people from receiving the gracious gift of salvation that comes from simple faith as a pure gift from God. To be “nice” to these religious leaders would mean that their false teaching would keep people in bondage.

Here’s another Bible passage where Jesus sounded, well, kind of judgmental, narrow-minded and mean…

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. So then, you will know them by their fruits.

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’” -Matthew 7:15-23

In that passage we hear Jesus clearly telling us to “beware of false prophets, who come to us in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Shouldn’t we take Jesus at His word? To assume that everyone who claims to be a true prophet actually is a true prophet would be disobeying the Lord Himself.

“Hey! I don’t like where this article is going!”
“Hey! I don’t like where this article is going!”

Notice that this applies to people who perform all sorts of miraculous deeds in the name of Jesus?

Jesus did not like it when people demanded to “see a sign” from Him because He knew that they were filled with unbelief. No matter what He would have said (or done) they refused to believe in Him. A lack of belief was the problem, not a lack of miracles!

“Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, ‘Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.’ He answered, ‘A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now something greater than Jonah is here.’ -Matthew 12:38-41

But some will say that, yes, Jesus could speak with such certainty because He was God, but since no one else is God, no one else should ever speak that way. They would say now that we’re all part of the Christian church we should just agree to get along in spite of any differences we might have.

The Bible does not speak this way. Specifically, the Apostles (who wrote the New Testament) did not speak this way at all. And we’re not even going to get into the way the Old Testament describes false prophets, for the time being.

A great deal of what is written in the Bible exposes and corrects false teaching!

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“That’s some good stuff right there!” -The Apostle Paul
“That’s some good stuff right there!” -The Apostle Paul

The Apostle Paul wrote (“judgmental,” “mean-spirited,” and “narrow-minded”) stuff like this:

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for a period of three years I did not cease to admonish each one with tears.” -Acts 20:28-31

“For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.” -2 Corinthians 11:13-15

“I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” -Galatians 1:6-10

“This was an issue because of the false brothers, who slipped in under false pretenses to spy on the freedom we have in Christ. Their goal was to make us slaves. We refused to give in to them even for a moment, so that the truth of the Gospel would continue with you.” -Galatians 2:4-5

“Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them (mark and avoid them). For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting. For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil.” -Romans 16:17-19

“Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.” –2 Corinthians 2:17

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.” -Ephesians 5:6-13

But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of a brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler-not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those on the outside. Remove the evil person from among you.” -1 Corinthians 5:11-13

For there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach, for the sake of sordid gain.” -Titus 1:10-11

“Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.” -Colossians 2:18

Now here are some things that the Apostle Peter wrote:

“For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” -1 Peter 4:17

“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.” 2 Peter 2:1-3

“Regard the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as also our dear leader Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom that was given to him. He spoke about these things the same way in all of his letters. There are some matters that are hard to understand in his letters, which the ignorant and unstable distort, as they also do with the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” -2 Peter 3:15-16

Now here are some things that James wrote:

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” -James 3:1

“My brothers, if anyone among you wanders away from the truth and someone turns him back, let it be known that the one who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” -James 5:19-20

Now here are some things that the Apostle John wrote:

“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” -1 John 4:1

“For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds.” -2 John 1:7-11

Just about the entire book of Jude is written to correct false teachers! Here are just a few verses (and here’s a link to the whole tiny book):

“Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.” -Jude 3,4

In conclusion:

The Bible is God’s Word. The Bible is loaded full of warnings against false teachers and false teachings. The Bible even encourages us to name false teachers in order to warn others. Paul publicly rebuked Peter because Peter was denying the Gospel by going back to keeping the Jewish law!

  • “But when Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him in public, because he was clearly wrong. Before some men who had been sent by James arrived there, Peter had been eating with the Gentile believers. But after these men arrived, he drew back and would not eat with the Gentiles, because he was afraid of those who were in favor of circumcising them. The other Jewish believers also started acting like cowards along with Peter; and even Barnabas was swept along by their cowardly action. When I saw that they were not walking a straight path in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, ‘You are a Jew, yet you have been living like a Gentile, not like a Jew. How, then, can you try to force Gentiles to live like Jews?’” -Galatians 2:11-14
  • “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world.”-2 Timothy 4:10
  • “…which some have put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.”-1 Timothy 1:19-20
  • “But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.”-2 Timothy 2:16-18

Here’s the rest of that passage to wrap up this article:

“Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.’

Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing that they produce quarrels. 

The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” -2 Timothy 2:19-26


Here’s a really helpful video on this topic:

A Biblical Guide to (Not?) Calling Out False Teachers — The Messed Up Church

Steve Kozar on Beth Moore: The moment she laid her Charismatic cards on the table…

The End Time

By Elizabeth Prata

There are many resources online to help the Christian believer strengthen her faith. We live in times where we’re blessed with being able to access some of today’s best preaching and teaching, and also can become familiar with the Divines from the past. We have podcasts, sermons, blogs, videos. What a bounty!

I always try to connect you to the most solid ministries that I can. I came across Steve Kozar’s youtube podcast the other day. His channel covers many different topics in different ways, and I stumbled onto his “Hit the Bar” portion of the channel. He and his lovely wife Paulette present a video, allow the viewer to watch for a bit, then the ‘hit the space bar’ and pause it while dissecting it off the cuff.

I was familiar with Steve Kozar’s name from having read the Pirate Christian (Chris Rosebrough) for many years…

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