Daily Archives: August 23, 2021

Therefore comfort one another with these words — Possessing the Treasure

by Mike Ratliff

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NASB)

Over the past several years especially right after Donald Trump was elected to the U.S. Presidency in November 2016, I became very concerned about the absolute audacity of those who hate the truth in the their attempt to remove all notion that the Christian Worldview was the preferred Sociological way of life in this country. Of course, this falling away began a long time ago it just seemed like those who made the most noise had suddenly come to power and were doing all they could to pass laws to protect the immoral while accusing the law-abiding citizens everywhere of being the real problem. My brethren isn’t it obvious that this country is now under the judgment of God? However, for those of us in Christ things are different. I have spent a great deal of time over the past several months researching Social Justice, Wokism, the corruption of the SBC, the absolute audacious stupidity of the CDC and governments in their handling of the Covid-19 so-called crisis. They aren’t even trying anymore to hide the fact that they are using this to bring in totalitarian control. Then there is the absolute ridiculousness of the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election of Joe Biden. Really? What is the common denominator of all this “stuff?” They are all rooted in “corruption” and that means it is coming from our enemy. Now this all sounds horrible and makes it seem as if there is no hope. That being said, carefully read today’s devotional from Spurgeon’s Morning by Morning.

C. H. Spurgeon

“The voice of weeping shall be no more heard.”—Isaiah 65:19.

HE glorified weep no more, for all outward a causes of grief are gone. There are no broken friendships, nor blighted prospects in heaven. Poverty, famine, peril, persecution, and slander, are unknown there. No pain distresses, no thought of death or bereavement saddens. They weep no more, for they are perfectly sanctified. No “evil heart of unbelief” prompts them to depart from the living God; they are without fault before His throne, and are fully conformed to His image. Well may they cease to mourn who have ceased to sin. They weep no more, because all fear of change is past. They know that they are eternally secure. Sin is shut out, and they are shut in. They dwell within a city which shall never be stormed; they bask in a sun which shall never set; they drink of a river which shall never dry; they pluck fruit from a tree which shall never wither. Countless cycles may revolve, but eternity shall not be exhausted, and while eternity endures, their immortality and blessedness shall co-exist with it. They are for ever with the Lord. They weep no more, because every desire is fulfilled. They cannot wish for anything which they have not in possession. Eye and ear, heart and hand, judgment, imagination, hope, desire, will, all the faculties, are completely satisfied; and imperfect as our present ideas are of the things which God hath prepared for them that love him, yet we know enough, by the revelation of the Spirit, that the saints above are supremely blessed. The joy of Christ, which is an infinite fulness of delight, is in them. They bathe themselves in the bottomless, shoreless sea of infinite beatitude. That same joyful rest remains for us. It may not be far distant. Ere long the weeping willow shall be exchanged for the palm-branch of victory, and sorrow’s dewdrops will be transformed into the pearls of everlasting bliss. “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” My brethren, couple this devotional with the passage I put at the top of this post (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) and what should we be doing? Yes, we are to be as wise as serpents, but as innocent as doves. Yes, we are to know what is going on, but we must keep our eyes on Christ and continue to obey Him in all things. What we have awaiting us in glory far surpasses anything we often prize here in the temporal. Come soon Lord Jesus! Soli Deo Gloria!

Therefore comfort one another with these words — Possessing the Treasure

August 23 Evening Quotes of The Day

Unable to Behold Jesus’ Present Glory
Acts 26:13–14; Revelation 1:17

Should the Lord Jesus appear now to any of us in his majesty and glory, it would not be unto our edification nor consolation. For we are not meet nor able, by the power of any light or grace that we have received, or can receive, to bear the immediate appearance and representation of them. His beloved apostle John had leaned on his bosom probably many a time in his life, in the intimate familiarities of love; but when he afterward appeared unto him in his glory, “he fell at his feet as dead.”


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

What Will Happen When the World Is Judged?
Genesis 49:9; Matthew 16:27; 24:30; 25:31; Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27; Revelation 5:5

O miserable, unthankful, and most mischievous world! What shall be your condemnation when he, who has so often gently provoked you to obey his truth, shall come in his glory to punish your contempt? What shall hide you from the presence of that lion whom you persecuted in every age? What shall excuse you, who so tyrannously has shed the blood of such as faithfully labored to bring you from blind ignorance and idolatry?


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

My Hiding Place (Part 2 of 2)

 After committing adultery and murder, David suffered from a guilty conscience. He’d hidden his sin from others, but he couldn’t hide it from God—and neither can we. Find out how a guilty conscience can be beneficial, on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


Source: My Hiding Place (Part 2 of 2)

August 23 Evening Verse of The Day

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6:3 press on to know the Lord. Like the call to return (v. 1), the call to true knowledge of the Lord is central to Hosea’s message (2:8, 20; 4:1, 6; 5:4; 6:6). See Introduction: Characteristics and Themes.

as the dawn … as the showers. These similes compare God’s reliability to the recurrent events of nature.[1]

6:3 God is known truly in Christ (Matt. 11:27; John 14:6; 17:3).[2]

6:3 — “Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord .… ”

Our highest pursuit in life is to get to know the Lord for who He really is. While we can do much of this on our own, God directs us to pursue Him together, with other believers who also love Him.[3]

6:3 God’s restored presence and blessings would be like the rain that waters and renews the earth. latter and former rain: The latter rains of Israel came in the spring and caused the plants to grow. The former rains came in the autumn and softened the ground for plowing and sowing.[4]

6:3. As noted earlier (5:4), to know God is relational, and Hosea called for the nation to press on to know Him. God’s going forth to save and restore Israel was as certain as the coming of the dawn and seasonal rain, which were reversals of the judgments brought about by the new moon (5:7) and droughts (2:9; 4:3).[5]

Ver. 3. Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord.—follow on:

In the context, the deliverance of God’s Church out of her troubles is foretold. In the same words our salvation in Christ is figured forth. “Knowledge” here includes the whole of experimental and practical godliness; for in religion we only know what we feel and do. In making progress in the life of godliness, the two words of our text are—a condition, a rule, and a spur.

I. The recommendation of our text implies—

1. That the pursuit is worthy.

2. That there is a leader whom we are to follow.

3. That the pursuit is begun. Regeneration has been experienced, pardon has been conferred, spiritual life is possessed.

4. That there is danger of stopping short. There are difficulties without, and foes within.

II. Special reasons for obeying the text.

1. Only so can the genuineness of our religion be proved.

2. Only so can our mission be fulfilled.

3. Only so can our characters be developed.

4. Only so can heaven be reached. How much there is enfolded in that word “overcometh.” Uncoil it by Divine help in your lives.

III. Encouragements to cheer and stimulate.

1. Bread is provided for the hungry.

2. A staff of promises for the weak.

3. Repose for the weary.

4. Complete success is guaranteed. (R. Berry.)

Knowing the Lord:

Ignorance is a lamentable evil. It unfits persons for acting their part with propriety in civil life, and it is far more injurious to them in the concerns of eternity.

I. What is meant by knowing the Lord.

1. It is to be scripturally acquainted with His character. No correct knowledge can be acquired concerning God and salvation, but through the instrumentality of the Word. In the volumes of nature and providence there is much to be learned concerning the existence and goodness of God. Only from the volume of inspiration we learn what God is, not only as our Creator and Preserver, but also as our Redeemer.

2. It is to give Him the homage which is due unto His name. There is the necessity of acknowledging Him—returning unto Him in new allegiance, by repentance unto life, and giving Him an unreserved reverence, in obedience to all His laws, ordinances, and commandments. Knowledge without a corresponding practice would only add to our condemnation.

II. Explain the proposal of following on to know the Lord.

1. It is to persevere in cultivating intercourse and acquaintance with Him. In so far as it has pleased God to reveal Himself unto us in His Word, it is our duty to learn what He hath revealed. We may, however, learn all that is to be theoretically known regarding God, and yet remain spiritually ignorant of His gracious character. His perfections will be best understood by a practical reliance upon them, and on acting agreeably to their nature.

2. Following on to know the Lord shall be crowned with success. Exertion in this Divine pursuit shall be successful. Disappointment is impossible. We shall know all the blessings of the New Covenant, whether pertaining to justification, adoption, or sanctification. We shall know and understand the law of our God, believingly feel its importance, and sincerely practise its requirements.

III. The encouragement to follow on to know the Lord. This blessing of our Saviour’s coming is—

1. Progressive and certain. “Prepared as the morning.” A knowledge of Divine things cannot be obtained but by a Divine teacher. The going forth of God the Saviour to enlighten and cherish His people, when they seek after Him, is as certain as the outgoings of the morning, which are a settled and regular constitution of nature.

2. Pleasant and desirable. “His going forth is prepared as the morning.” It is ever comfortable to know that in the midst of difficulties there is One prepared to give us relief. Christ, our Almighty Saviour and Friend, is so prepared. As the morning air and light are agreeable to the watchman who has been marching his weary rounds in the dark—to the weather-beaten mariner who has been tempest-tost through the night—so agreeable, and unspeakably more so is the coming of God our Saviour to enlighten and relieve them that are cast down and overwhelmed with the sense of sin, to help and comfort them that are ready to perish.

3. Quickening and salutary. “He shall come unto us as the rain.” Rain is not less necessary than heat for the production of vegetable life. It is like the circulation of the blood in the human body, that which keeps the whole system alive.

4. Invigorating and satisfying. “As the latter and former rain unto the earth.” The expression, latter and former rain, has reference to the two periodical rains that fell in the land of Canaan. As necessary as these rains are the showers of grace in the Church to water the seed of the Word, that it may spring up in our hearts unto everlasting life, to encourage its growth, and to perfect its fruits of holiness and meetness for the heavenly world. From this subject we may see ground for cherishing large expectations. God is gracious, His promise is large, and His Word is unimpeachable. God is able to carry you on to perfection; trust in Him then for all needful supplies, and you will not be disappointed. From this subject all may see the importance of being possessed by saving knowledge. (John Shoolbraid.)

The fuller knowledge of God:

Some give this rendering, “We shall know, and shall pursue on to know Jehovah,” and they explain the passage thus,—that the Israelites had derived no such benefit from the law of Moses, but that they still expected the fuller doctrine which Christ brought at His coming. They then think that this is a prophecy respecting that doctrine, which is now by the Gospel set forth to us in its full brightness, because God has manifested Himself in His Son as in a living image. But this is too refined an exposition; and it is enough for us to keep close to the design of the prophet. (John Calvin.)

Need of perseverance in seeking the knowledge of God:

All Scripture writers bear witness to the faithfulness of God; and call upon us, by patient continuance in well-doing, to seek for glory, honour, and immortality.

I. The important object of the believer’s pursuit. Of true believers it may be said, “they follow on to know the Lord.” In what does this knowledge consist; and in what way is it communicated to the mind? It is not a mere knowledge of such a Being as God, as Creator and Upholder; nor is it such an idea of God as is conceived by those who exalt one attribute to the exclusion of another, who make Him all mercy, forgetful of His perfect justice. We cannot know the Lord to our comfort, till we know Him as our God and Father in Jesus Christ. By nature, we stand at an immeasurable distance from God; and the more correct are our notions of His power, His holiness, and His glory, the more discouraging will they be if they are unconnected with the Redeemer as our Mediator with the Father. This knowledge is implanted in the soul by the Holy Ghost.

II. The certainty of its final success. He who “follows on” shall not fail of the grace of God. This truth is plainly declared, and figuratively exhibited. The figures are the morning and the rain. Learn—

1. How needful is this knowledge.

2. The reason why those who have attained some knowledge of Christ do not attain to more enlarged and experimental acquaintance with spiritual things. Be patient in hope, and persevering in prayer. (W. Mayers, A.M.)

The duty and happiness of progressive spiritual knowledge:

The works of God in nature are here employed to describe His moral government, His ways with His Church, His dealings with His people for their spiritual discipline and sanctification. The enlightening and comforting influences of the Holy Ghost shall as surely be vouchsafed to the soul longing for salvation, as the rain, the former and the latter, refreshes and fertilises the earth. The laws and operations of nature are not more certain than the fulfilment, in the revelation of grace, of God’s exceeding great and precious promises. The Divine promises and threatenings rest on the same foundation—the immovable foundation of His everlasting unchangeableness, His perfect faithfulness, His universal presence, His almighty power. The text contains a duty and a promise. Our duty is “to follow on to know the Lord,” and to its performance we are incited by a gracious promise. “Then shall we know Him”; for His going forth, His care and condescension, to meet us in mercy is prepared—is as predetermined and customary as those successive changes and established operations of His visible works which we so beneficially and continually experience. According to the text, the safety and happiness of knowing the Lord, and of following on to know Him, are consequent upon returning to the Lord with penitent acknowledgment and lively compunction on account of apostasy and disobedience. Suffering and wretchedness, in this world or in the next, or in both, are necessarily the results of sin. Alienation from God Is likewise spiritual insensibility, a moral death. It is also a condition of ignorance. The way of transgressors is hard. Consider what it is to know the Lord. How incomparably great is the excellence of this knowledge! The knowledge of the Lord comprehends the experience of the Divine goodness and loving-kindness, together with the fruits of faith and obedience to His commandments. Saving knowledge is communicated through the offices of the one Mediator, and the agency of the Holy Ghost, imparting an efficacious blessing upon prayer, the Word, and the ministrations of the Church. It consists in veneration and love towards the Lord—a meek but firm affiance in His promises and mercy, and in persevering obedience to Him. Let us make it our first and supreme concern to attain to the knowledge of God as our reconciled Father in Christ Jesus. Having attained this, your salvation is begun. While this knowledge implies and cherishes an approval of God’s ways and will, and is accompanied with love to Him and delight in Him, it likewise implies justice and mercy and charity to our fellow-creatures. (Thomas Ridley, M.A.)

The progressive character of the Christian life:

Christian life is not a house, but a plant. It is not complete, but grows.

1. It is growth in faith. Its beginning is, or may be, as small as a grain of mustard-seed. The least bit will do to begin with. Act upon what you now believe to be true and right as relates to our duties to God, to our fellows and ourselves. With God’s help I will undertake every known duty. Sin is to be eradicated, and holiness is to increase. In such a spirit the seed will germinate, the tree will grow, and strength will come, and what before was impossible will now be easy.

2. In knowledge: acquaint thyself with God. Ascend the mountain. There are ever new disclosures in creation, providence, and redemption.

3. In experience: here faith is verified. If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine. Faith alone blesses our life; unbelief is destructive. It works ruin to all our highest interests to live without faith—in government, in society, and in the family. Principles which cannot with safety to all dearest concerns be followed are necessarily false. Faith is confirmed in life and assured in death: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

4. In good works: religion is also practical. The tree bears good fruit, and bears it perennially. The Christian will improve in the quantity and quality of the good he does. Like the palm-tree, he will be fruitful to the end of life. (L. O. Thompson.)

Divine knowledge, and the means of acquiring it:

It is a universal law that nothing great can be achieved without perseverance. For want of considering this, many who commence a religious course with zeal and joy run well for a season, but meeting with unexpected difficulties, grow weary and give up the race.

I. Divine knowledge.

1. To know the Lord implies a general knowledge of His being, nature, and attributes.

2. It signifies a more particular and experimental knowledge of God, especially of His justice and mercy, these being the two great attributes exercised in the stupendous work of human redemption. The true believer is happily possessed of an experimental knowledge of the Divine mercy.

3. A more peculiar knowledge of God, especially of His goodness and love, is obtained by the sincere and pure in heart who “follow on to know” Him.

4. To know the Lord includes also, profound veneration; ardent love; humble confidence; and sincere and uniform obedience.

II. The means of acquiring Divine knowledge.

1. God could, no doubt, communicate a perfect knowledge of Himself instantaneously. But in doing so He must work a miracle, and this without answering any valuable end. The gradual operations of God in providence and grace are accommodated to our finite capacities, enabling us, step by step, to trace Him in His wondrous works.

2. To illustrate this Hosea uses two beautiful figures—the “morning” and the “rain.”

3. That this is the mode of the Divine manifestations evidently appears—

(1) From the media through which they are communicated; His works, His Word, and His Spirit.

(2) From the gradual manner in which God has revealed His will unto man by successive dispensations.

(3) This appears in the rise and progress of religion in the soul. The understanding is enlightened; the judgment convinced; the heart affected; and the will subdued. Hence contrition, repentance, faith, and prayer. Justification follows, and, in full, sanctification.

(4) We see, therefore, the necessity of following on to know the Lord, pressing on as after a guide through a crowd, as after a light in a dark place. When fully sanctified, there is as much necessity as ever for following on. The fountains of Divine knowledge are perennial. There are yet unexplored heights, and lengths, and depths, and breadths of the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. (Thomas Rowe.)

Perseverance in attaining the knowledge of God:

I. To know God requires that men should seek to know Him. The knowledge of the Most High is not instinctive and intuitive. Now, the world by wisdom knoweth not God. How strange that men should think to know God and religion without diligence, whilst they think not to know any human science or profession without application, and diligence, and exertion! Would to God that men were as wise for eternity as they are for time. It is, however, not merely necessary to give diligence in order to know God, we must “follow on” to know Him. The crowning grace of the Christian is constant perseverance. To him that overcometh, the promise of eternal life is made.

II. The encouragement as it is here so vividly portrayed. “Then shall we know.” God who cannot lie hath spoken this. The prophet adds two beautiful figures. The morning of the day is sure to come. The former and the latter rain will return in their seasons. (Hugh Stowell, A.M.)

Following on to know:

In Christ, the prophet promises, they should have inward knowledge of Him, ever growing, because the grace, through which it is given, ever grows. We know, in order to follow; we follow, in order to know. Light prepares the way for love. Love opens the mind for new love. The gifts of God are interwoven. They multiply and reproduce each other, until we come to the perfect state of eternity. Through eternity we shall follow on to know more of God. (E. B. Pusey, D.D.)

Divine knowledge:

We may consider this in two ways.

1. As an address of good men to themselves, being a kind of soliloquy, or self-admonition and encouragement.

2. As addressed to the godly from each other. The language is an expression of holy confidence. This admits of various degrees, but without some degree of it we shall never seek the Lord; shall never cleave to Him with full purpose of heart. Between this holy confidence and presumption there is no resemblance.

I. An important subject—Divine knowledge. To be destitute of this knowledge is to be in a perilous and even a perishing condition. Knowledge is the same to the soul as the window is to the building, or the eye to the body. Knowledge is essential to right conduct. It is from ignorance that a disregard to the Saviour springs. It is from ignorance that legality springs. Nothing can be truly religious or moral that is done in ignorance, because then there would be no motive or principle, and to these the Lord looks in all our actions; all righteous conduct is begun and carried on in the renewal of the mind. God’s empire is founded in light; the devil’s kingdom is founded in darkness. God opens the eyes of all His subjects, and they follow Him from conviction and disposition. Bishop Hall says, “God never works in a dark shop.” “He that commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” But what is this knowledge to which such importance is attached? What is it to know the Lord? It is one thing to know that there is a God, and another to know what He is. It is much more than knowing Him to be almighty. It is a knowing Him to be “righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works.” Such knowledge as this, if there be no more, will operate upon a sinner’s mind conscious of guilt, so as to produce distance, alarm, and fear. It is necessary to the recovery of a fallen creature that God should be known as the justifier of those who believe in Christ. In creation God is above us. In providence He is beyond us. In His holy law He is against us. But in Christ He is with us, and for us, and in us too. This knowledge is not a merely speculative knowledge. It is experimental. Some professors are like December nights, very clear, but alas! very cold. This is all that can be said with regard to their religion. But the knowledge of the Gospel is saving; it is the light of life; it descends from the head to the heart. What a difference there is between a mere conviction and a cordial assent!

II. A necessary duty. “Follow on to know the Lord.” This includes three things.

1. The practising what we know. Why should God give you more light while you are not disposed to make use of what you already have?

2. Diligence in the use of appointed means. God has ordained meditation, reading the Scriptures, hearing the Word, conversation with those who know a little more than ourselves, but, above all, prayer to the Father of mercies, as the appointed means.

3. It implies continuance in this active course. You have not only to hear, but also to watch.

III. An assured privilege. “Then shall ye know.” If probability is enough to actuate a man, how much more should real certainty do so. The assurance of success should encourage us in regard to others. Do not deal harshly with them. If unable for a time to embrace religious truths, be not impatient. God shall reveal this to them in His own time and way. Let this encourage you with regard to prayer. Are you desirous of knowing more of the blessed Saviour? Go on and you will know more and see more. Two cases in which this encouragement may be applied.

1. If you are in perplexity with regard to the path of duty.

2. Do you wish to know God better by appropriation? Are you anxious to know your own interest in Him?

IV. A striking illustration. Taken from the “morning” and the “rain.” As the morning, gradually; as the rain, periodically and regularly. He who gives the former rain in its season, will not fail to give the latter rain in its season. Even after the stress and strain of life, there shall be a reviving in your spiritual experience, to your own great comfort, and to the praise of our faithful and covenant-keeping God. (William Jay.)

The knowledge of God:

It is spoken of here as something distinct and definite. It is as palpable as the morning light. It is as sensible as the rain that waters the earth. Is any knowledge of God possible? The agnostic says, “We cannot know God. If He exists, He is beyond our reach. He is unknowable.” He does not deny that there is a God; he only denies that He can be known. In an important sense, the agnostic is right. The agnostic is not born again; he has never known the regenerating power of the Holy Ghost; therefore he cannot see the kingdom of God. Degenerate man cannot understand and appropriate the things of God—the truths of the spiritual world. Is man, then, born into this world with no capacity for knowing God? By no means. The spiritual faculties are not completely destroyed. In many ways they respond to the voice of God. No man is born either an atheist or an agnostic. The organs of spiritual life may be only rudimentary, but they exist. It is possible to know God, but only by the renewing and enlightening grace of His Holy Spirit. The knowledge of God is not reached by an intellectual process. It is faith which apprehends the invisible God, yet it is also experience which affixes the seal to the knowledge which faith attains. It is no exclusive privilege of the man of culture, it is equally open to the unlettered, the simple, the child. The “pure in heart shall see God.” It may be said, if one man can know God, why may not another? There is a gulf between the natural and the spiritual man, wider than that between animal and plant life. The distinction is as broad as between the living and the dead. The new life of regeneration is a beginning, a bud of promise, a day dawn; it is not the consummation of the spiritual life. The work and duty of the Christian is to follow on to know the Lord. We must take heed lest we become examples of “arrested development.” How can firm lasting faith be attained?

1. By realising to its depth our emptiness and need, and then our utter inability to supply it.

2. By clearing away certain obstacles which commonly clog up and check the flow of the grace of God. Of these the first and most obvious is sin. Then there is worldliness. Then neglect of prayer. Prayer is the key that will unlock the treasures of Divine knowledge. (R. H. M‘Kim, D.D.)

A new consciousness:

The infatuation of knowledge is the course of life; to know, the desire to know, unsettles life. Yet what is most of our knowledge? The world is a vast, wide churchyard, and what we call knowledge is but a reading of inscriptions. Much so-called knowledge is but curiosity, and when that curiosity is satisfied, it turns, like other unsatisfied appetites, upon, and corrodes itself. Our nature seeks Divine knowledge; knowledge, not of notions, but of facts; not of sentiments, but of laws. A man may talk of God, who has no rest in God.

1. If religion is progression, it is surely, before it can be this, a beginning; but as a beginning it is a consciousness. Consciousness which being translated is knowledge. Religion should produce happiness, but that is not the chief idea of religion. A holy heart has three stages in its history.

(1) To find something within us tending to evil, contrary to our full and free consent. The first part of our spiritual combat is when the world within awakes, and we find ourselves all wrong.

(2) A state in which it is interrupted; when it would do good, and mourns that evil is present with it.

(3) A state when it finds itself again sometimes rebelling against the better part. There is a state of apparent religious life which is not a state of consciousness or knowledge;—there is a want of conviction, and also mistaken apprehension. What a power the principle of grace is in the soul! This knowledge is great because God is the substance of the soul. The soul stands on and in God; so long as I stand on and in carnal and notional and phenomenal knowledge, I know not how to say my soul has a substance. When God is the substance of the soul and all its knowledge, then the blessed life and the blessed knowledge give light within.

2. But it is a progression. “Follow on.” What states grow out of this first state, the seminal germ of the Christian life? The evidences brighten as we follow on to know the Lord. You should determine to ascend to the knowledge of the higher law of the Christian life. Then shall we know when our knowledge shall no longer be narrowed by limited sensations. Every sense I possess is only a material sheathing of some deeper and higher sense, which cannot find its appropriate expression here. I can only conceive of the state of souls as a state of immortal consciousness, a state where hope and memory are one, and love is only passive in certain and secure possession. (Paxton Hood.)

Diligence in religion:

Doctrine: That the way to thrive in religion is to follow on, to pursue, to hold our hand to it, when once our hand is in it.

I. Who they are whom we may call to follow on. There are some whom we cannot call to follow on, because they have not yet stirred a foot in religion. There may be some whom the King has brought into His chambers, and assured of His love. Their business is to follow on. Others have got but some glimmerings of solid hope from the Lord. Others have gained some mastery over spiritual foes. Others are yet only striving. Others can only be said to have some desires towards God. Others have only had passing convictions of sin. Yet others know nothing more than inward uneasiness.

II. What is it to follow on?

1. You must make religion your great end.

2. You must be persuaded of the weight and worth of religion.

3. You must hold fast what you have.

4. You must be moving forward, labouring for more.

5. You must habitually attend upon religion, and make it your chief business.

6. You must be resolute and vigorous in your endeavours.

7. You must entertain a hope of success.

8. If you fall, you must get up again, and quicken your pace.

III. Confirm this doctrine. However small your beginnings or hopes may now be, yet persevere. You have God’s Word for it. “You shall reap, if you faint not.”

1. You have God’s Word of promise for it (Matt. 25:29).

2. It is the Lord’s ordinary way in His works, to bring great things by degrees out of small beginnings.

3. The works of grace in the soul ordinarily arise from very small beginnings. Consider—

4. The bountiful nature of God, who surely will not always flee from those who follow Him, but will at length be found of them.

5. No person gets a refusal from heaven, but those who court it by their own indifference. A faint way of seeking is to beg a denial.

6. As importunity is usually in all cases the way to come speed, so it has special advantages in this case which promise success.

7. Such followers the Lord does not bid to go back. And this is encouraging.

8. The Lord commands you to follow Him (Luke 11:19).

IV. Practical improvement.

1. Those who have not yet begun to seek the Lord are neither prospering in their souls, nor are they in the way to it.

2. It is no wonder that backsliders have lean souls.

3. They are in no prospering case who are at a stand in religion.

4. The smallest spark which you now have may be brought to a flame.

5. See what is the ruin of many communicants. It is not that they get nothing, it is that they carry nothing away; they follow nothing on. They do not hold their hands to it when they are at home. (T. Boston, D.D.)

The benefit of following on to know the Lord:

I. A course of conduct proposed. Knowledge in general is an excellence. The knowledge here proposed is most excellent, as to its nature and object, and most profitable to its possessor.

1. The proposal implies a previous state of ignorance and estrangement. This was manifestly the case with Israel, and it is but too true a picture of our own times.

2. The proposal implies reformation begun. The obstinacy has given way. They are ashamed. They seek His face “early,” earnestly.

3. The proposal is that of following up these good beginnings. We may learn much concerning God in His attributes and relations. The inquiry should be followed up in the way He has prescribed—the way of righteousness, self-denial, prayer, and religious obedience generally. We should follow on in the manner He has prescribed—sincerely, humbly, fervently, perseveringly.

II. The encouragement assumed.

1. This “going forth” is a certain blessing. The “outgoings of the morning” are settled by a Divine constitution.

2. This “going forth” is a progressive blessing. The condition suggested is that of improvement—of going on from good to better. It is a state of improving light. The subject should teach us—

1. The importance of saving knowledge. Those who remain at a distance from God must remain in darkness and barrenness and misery.

2. It should encourage exertion.

3. It should induce large expectations.

4. It should confirm us in a patient continuance in well-doing. (Sketches of Four Hundred Sermons.)

Conditions of knowledge:

There must be no sitting down by the wayside, no loitering, no laziness in all the school of the Church. “We shall know if we follow on to know.” If we practise the little we do know, we shall get outlook of things that lie beyond, and confidence to deal with them. Love shall beget love; capacity shall enlarge itself into a still fuller capacity, and practice in prayer should, so to say, end in skill of supplication; we shall know the way to the throne and the seat of mercy, and come boldly to it as of right, not in ourselves, but invested in us by the grace of God. “Prepared as the morning”—is established as the morning. It is a great action of law, a great movement settled, regulated, determined from eternity. “He shall come unto us as the rain,” not the occasional shower, not the intermittent baptism of soft water, but “as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” Both must come, each in its own time, and in its own way. Thus we have law, and thus we have mercy. Here we have philosophy which earthly philosophy has not yet comprehended; condescension that leaves behind no amazement that it can stoop so low as to touch the fartherest away. It is in these mysteries we live; in these voices we hear the only music we care to listen to. (Joseph Parker, D.D.)

Patient perseverance:

Is God revealed by the works of creation, or are those works the instruments for the memorial and confirmation of a previous revelation? We incline to the latter view. We cannot regard mankind as having been at any time independent of a revelation. Every man has, by traditionary revelation, a knowledge of God’s existence. When we examine into the works of nature, we find the confirmation of the truth with which we have been previously and independently made acquainted. There is no such thing as a light of nature, or natural religion.

I. The object of this knowledge. In the works of nature, and without the aid of the Bible, God is merely set forth as God, and not as the Lord; that is, He is known only as Creator. We regard this knowledge of the Lord as absolutely essential to man’s happiness. By the knowledge of the Lord, we mean acquaintance with His purposes and plans. For this a preternatural revelation is necessary. We must know God as a being possessing a mind and purpose with respect to human actions and conduct. We can see but a faint shadow of God’s purposes in the works of creation. It is desirable to know the Lord, for the sake of His law. Unless there be a law of moral restraint, there must exist a state of misery.

II. The nature and kind of this knowledge of the Lord. It must be of a practical character. It must be capable of the test of good deeds. Unpractical knowledge and imperfect knowledge are one and the same thing. To know is to perceive with certainty, or to see with approbation. Love is not perceived and apprehended by the intellect, but by the heart. Intellectual knowledge should be the handmaid of heart knowledge. And a heart knowledge is identical with a practical knowledge.

III. The prescribed means of acquiring this knowledge. “Follow on to know the Lord.” The advance to the perfect knowledge of the Lord is independent of all external circumstances and all innate abilities; and thus if we all employ the same simple means, then the result will be the same in all. (W. H. Wright, B.A.)

Go on, go on:

Arago says, in his Autobiography, that his master in mathematics was a word or two of advice which he found in the binding of one of his text-books. Puzzled and discouraged by the difficulties he met with in his early studies, he was almost ready to give over the pursuit. Some words which he found on the waste leaf used to stiffen the cover of his paper-bound text-book caught his eye and interested him. “Impelled,” he says, “by an indefinable curiosity, I dampened the cover of the book, and carefully unrolled the leaf to see what was on the other side. It proved to be a short letter from D’Alembert to a young person disheartened like myself by the difficulties of mathematical study, who had written to him for counsel. ‘Go on, sir, go on,’ was the counsel which D’Alembert gave him. ‘The difficulties you meet will resolve themselves as you advance. Proceed, and light will dawn and shine with increasing clearness on your path.’ That maxim,” says Arago, “was my greatest master in mathematics.” Following out those simple words, “Go on, sir, go on,” made him the first astronomical mathematician of his age. What Christians it would make of us! (Old Testament Anecdotes.)

Knowing by following on:

When climbing Snowdon, I one day scaled some precipitous rocks called “Crybydiskil,” i.e., “edge of the plate,” because on each side of the narrow ridge was a sheer precipice of several hundred feet. A thick fog came on which hid from view everything but ourselves and the bit of knife-edge on which we straddled. We knew that the ridge led direct to the summit, which we should reach if we went “forward.” We could see two yards beyond us, but not an inch farther. This was enough for the very next advance, when a further similar glimpse was revealed. So by creeping along the first few inches, we saw the next few hitherto hidden. So, as the Scripture says, “Follow on to know the Lord.” (Newman Hall.)

Practical devotion promotes our knowledge of God:

Near the Arctics the fogs are prevalent and thick. This is because there is so much ice drifting down from the vast frozen fields of the north, the meeting of which with the warmer southern waters fills the air with moisture. If we keep our minds at the edge of the cold regions of secularity, we may expect that our minds shall be in a fog as respects religious truth. Drift into the warmer air of practical devotion, accustom your heart to the prevalence of spiritual sentiments, and see how clear God’s truth will become. (J. B. Ludlow, D.D.)

His going forth is prepared as the morning.—Morning cometh:

1. The time of deliverance is the morning, the morning after the sad, dark night. As light is comfortable in the morning, after a dark and stormy night, so is deliverance after trouble. God’s mercies after afflictions are very sweet.

2. The Church has no afflictions unfollowed by a morning.

3. It is God’s presence which constitutes the saints’ morning.

4. God’s mercies to His people are prepared and decreed.

5. The saints in the night of their affliction can comfort themselves in this, that the morning is coming. It is night yet, but the morning will come; it is approaching.

6. The saints’ night is darkest a little before their deliverance; as a little before the dawning of the day the darkness is most dense and terrible.

7. God’s mode of deliverance is gradual. As the day breaks by degrees, so the saints shine gradually in their lives, answerable to the light which God imparts. (Jeremiah Burroughs.)

The going forth of the Lord prepared as the morning:

These words show just where Ephraim was in soul experience. He does not represent one destitute of spiritual light and life, but a quickened vessel of mercy, but one who was wrapping himself up in a garment, not of Christ’s giving, nor of the Spirit’s application. And there are many still who have the fear of God in their hearts who are wrapping themselves up in a covering which is not of God’s Spirit. There is something more to be known than the bare doctrine of Christ’s righteousness. That doctrine may even become a lying refuge if the mere letter of truth is sheltered in, and the Holy Ghost does not experimentally make it known to the soul.

I. The soul experience indicated. “A following on to know the Lord.” To know the Lord is the desire of every living soul. To know Him by His own Divine manifestations, by the gracious revelation of His grace, His love, His presence, His glory. To know the Lord is to know, experimentally and spiritually, the power of Jesus’ blood and righteousness. Thus to know the Lord is the sum and substance of vital godliness. But the expression “follow on” implies that there are many difficulties, obstacles, and hindrances in a man’s way, which keep him back from knowing the Lord.

1. Sometimes a man takes up the notion that he is but a self-deceiver and a hypocrite.

2. Sometimes Satan hurls a blasphemous suggestion into our carnal mind.

3. Sometimes the remembrance of past sins, lying as a heavy weight on the conscience, presses a man down with despondency and despair.

4. Sometimes the gusts of infidelity will so blow on a man’s mind as to make him doubt the reality of all religion.

5. Sometimes the recollection of many inconsistencies, foolish thoughts, words, and actions, stand like mountains of difficulty in his way.

6. Sometimes great worldly troubles hinder him.

7. Sometimes darkness besets the mind, and clouds of unbelief rest on the soul, and the way is obscure. The work of the Spirit in a man’s soul is to carry him on in spite of all these obstacles. It is really astonishing how souls are kept alive. For what are we to follow on? To know the Lord, as the sum and substance of all religion, as the very marrow of vital godliness.

II. Seeking the Lord and not finding Him. This is a part of experience through which every soul passeth. Here lies the difference between a living soul in his darkest hours and a dead professor. A living soul knows that God is to be found of His saints, but cannot always find Him for himself; but a dead professor knows nothing about God at all. It is to the living soul walking in darkness, and unable to find God, that the text says, “His going forth is prepared as the morning.” There is an appointed time for the Lord to go forth: and this is compared to the rising of the sun. All His goings forth are as much prepared, and the moment is as much appointed, as the time is fixed every morning for the sun to rise.

III. The fruit and effect of the Lord’s coming. As the rain—softening and fertilising. To understand the spiritual, we must first know the meaning of the natural figure. Explain the two rain seasons of Palestine. In the “early rain” is a figure of Christ’s first coming to the soul. By the “latter rain” is suggested Christ’s coming in Christian experience. (J. C. Philpot.)

Christ the day-dawn and the rain:

The most ancient Jewish commentators find the last fulfilment of these words in the great promised Messiah. It is Christ, then, whom our faith must grasp under these two figures, the day-dawn and the rain. The world is a great book of symbols for the soul of man to read God by. There is something of common likeness in these two figures, and yet something distinctive is conveyed. There is a twofold coming of the Son of God, the first in His own person to establish and confirm the Gospel, the second in His Holy Spirit, to apply it to the heart. The one of these may very fitly be compared to the morning, and the other to the rain.

I. The day-dawn and the rain represent some resemblances between the coming of Christ in His Gospel and in His Spirit.

1. They have the same manifest origin. The day-dawn comes from heaven and so does the rain. They are not of man’s ordering, but of God’s. And it is not less so with the Gospel and Spirit of Christ. Man neither invented them nor discovered them. They carry their evidence with them, like heaven’s sun and heaven’s rain. We may learn the origin of our faith in a study of the grandeur and comprehensiveness of its plan, and in a feeling of its power in our souls. The same God who makes morning to the world by the sun, gives the dawn of a new creation to the spirits of men through the Saviour.

2. They have the same mode of operation on the part of God. That mode of operation is soft and silent. The greatest powers of nature work most calmly and noiselessly. And like to these in their operations are the Gospel and Spirit of Christ. When our Saviour came into the world, it was silent and alone. So it was with His entrance into the heart. There is no outward crisis to tell of the birth of souls.

3. They have the same form of approach to us—in perfect freeness and fulness. The morning light comes unfettered by any condition, and so, also, descends the rain. The Gospel opens on the world priceless and free as the light which waits but for the eye to be unclosed to see and share it all. As free is the Spirit of Christ. Nor has He less fulness.

4. They have the same object and end. It is the transformation of death into life, and the raising of that which lives into higher and fairer form. The Gospel and Spirit of Christ have the same aim—life and revival. The Gospel of Christ is the Word of life. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of life. As both work together for life, so both must co-operate for revival.

II. Some points of the distinction between them.

1. Christ’s approach to men has a general and yet a special aspect. The sun comes every morning with a broad unbroken look, shining for all, and singling out none. There is a universality of kindness about him which men, with all their powers of limitation, have never been able to abridge. But the rain as it descends, breaks into drops, and hangs with its globules on every blade. There is a wonderfully individualising power in the rain. The Gospel of God’s grace enters the world with the broad universal look of daylight. It singles out none that it may exclude none. The arms of God are as wide as His call, and the power of Christ’s atonement is as unlimited as the invitation to it. But Christ comes after another manner with His Spirit. Here no man can tell how God is dealing with another.

2. Christ’s coming is constant, and yet variable. The sunrise is of all things the most sure and settled. And Christ visits men in His Gospel, steady and unchanging as the sun. But with the Holy Spirit it is otherwise. His coming varies in time and place, as the rain, whose arrival depends on causes we have not fathomed.

3. Christ’s coming may be with gladness, but also with trouble. What can be more joyful than the returning sun? But God comes also in the cloud, and there is a shade over the face of nature. So Christ comes, through His Spirit, in the conviction of sin.

4. Christ’s coming, in His Gospel and Spirit, may be separate for awhile, but they tend to a final and perfect union. They are indispensable to each other. Sunlight without rain, and rain without sunlight, can only work evil. The Gospel without the Spirit, would be the sun shining on a waterless waste. The Spirit without the Gospel, would be the rain falling in a starless night. Some have a very distinct perception of the Gospel in its freeness and fulness, but they have ceased to derive from it the comfort they once enjoyed. They need the rain. They have been too neglectful of the secret life of religion, which is its soul. (John Ker, D.D.)

The goings forth of the Lord:

By His going forth, we are to understand the communications of His grace in behalf of those who desire an interest in His favour.

I. The idea suggested by this expression is that of certainty as to the event. Before the faintest streaks of light appear, we feel no misgivings as to the return of morning. The longest winter night will come to an end. Thus certain and infallible are God’s gracious purposes to penitent souls. As soon shall the sun forget to rise, as His goings forth of grace and mercy be frustrated. This may encourage seeking souls, afflicted ones, weeping mothers and fathers, and those who are approaching the end of life.

II. An idea suggested by the first image in the text is that of clearness. What a change does the dawning morn produce upon the face of nature and the views of man! We find the path which before was doubtful open to our view. We can go to our avocations without stumbling, or, if travellers, prosecute our journey without fear. By the glorious light which God sheds upon their path, His people are guided into all truth. The most wonderful discoveries are made to their souls and they see more accurately than they ever did before the marvellous things of God’s law. The entrance of God’s word gives light, and crooked things become straight before it.

III. Another idea suggested is that of gladness and joy. “The light is sweet; and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.” As the night is the season of gloom, the morning is one of cheerfulness and joy. In Psalm 130 the truly penitent soul is represented as waiting for the consolations of religion under the image of those who watch for the coming of the morning. Neither the moon in all her beauty, nor the stars in all their brightness, can compare with the splendours of the orb of day. At his rising universal nature is refreshed, and the earth on which he shines puts on a robe of gladness. And it is thus with the “goings forth” of the Lord. Let but the healing beams of the Sun of Righteousness arise upon the soul, and even the wilderness and the solitary place will be glad for them. The whole heart is inspired with a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.

IV. Another idea suggested is that of progress. Not all at once, but gradual, is the beauty of the morning. So the goings forth of the Lord are gradual upon the soul, until from the first dawnings of spiritual light it is rendered capable of beholding the august glories of the Gospel. The second illustration in the passage is taken from the rain. Between rain that descends upon the earth, and the influences of Divine grace on the soul, many pleasing analogies obtain. Rain is the work of God. It falls according to the appointment of Him who causes it to descend on one city and not upon another. The rain falls sometimes gently and persistently, sometimes violently. Like the former and the latter rain of the East, there are two seasons in the Divine life, when the influences of the Divine Spirit are particularly requisite. Young converts stand in need of the one, and aged saints of the other. (J. L. Adamson.)

Coming as the morning:

A recent traveller gives a striking description of sunrise among the Himalaya Mountains. “We were watching,” she says, “the first flash of rosy dawn on a high snowpeak, as the stars disappeared one by one. The song of the first bird blended with the roar of the stream that fretted its way through the narrow gorge. Then we could trace the forms of trees, shrubs, and flowers above and below our path, and enjoy the fragrance of the eglantine blossoms strewn hither and thither like patches of snow.” Presently, however, her attention was drawn to a mimosa-tree which seemed quite dead. Its leaves, although green, were closed and drooping. Yet the root had not been disturbed—branches, twigs, blossoms, and the leaves themselves all appeared perfect. Was it dead, or only asleep? “As we watch and wonder, the slanting rays of yellow light from the great sun, hidden hitherto by the mountain opposite, creep toward us. They touch the mimosa-tree, and at the same moment we hear the rustle of the morning breeze among its leaves. Even as we look the delicate twigs are stirred; they flutter in the wind, they lift themselves to the golden rays, and, ere we pass on, the leaves are expanded, the blossoms erect, and the tree seems to rejoice among its fellows in its gracious fulness of life.” (Sunday Companion.)

Genuine piety:

I. In genuine piety the individual man has to do with the great God. He has to “follow On to know the Lord.”

II. In genuine piety the great God has to do with individual man. “His going forth is prepared as the morning,” &c.

1. He cometh to him as the “morning”—full of promise. What a delightful season is the morning. It rings the knell of the dark night, and heralds the coming day. How delightful the morning to the sufferer on his bed; to the mariner on the ocean, &c. God comes to the man that is “following on” to know Him; puts an end to the night of his guilt, and throws around him the first beams of a glorious day. He comes as the night to the wicked; He comes as the morning to the good. We would not have Him come as the noon to us. He would consume us with His glory.

2. He comes to him as “the rain”—full of refreshing influence. “He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.” What a glorious change do the seasonable showers produce upon the parched earth! they change every part into life and beauty. Thus the Almighty comes to the good man, and he feels it to be a time of refreshing from the “presence of the Lord.” Learn from this the glorious destiny of the good. It is a “following on” to know Him, “whom to know is life eternal.” (Homilist.)

The gentleness of Christ:

The Jews regarded these words as a prophecy of Christ. As such take them. How beautiful is the morning! How refreshing is the rain!

I. Both are independent of man. “The day is Thine, O Lord, Thou hast prepared the light.” “He prepareth rain for the earth.” They both emanate from God. How true of grace and mercy! He who gives morning to the world gives dawning to the soul.

1. How softly and silently come the light and the rain! How true of Christ’s coming into the world and of His mission among men! “He shall not strive,” &c. “The kingdom of God cometh not with observation”—with spectators looking on.

2. How true of Christ’s entrance into the soul! Not in the storm, but in the still small voice. “My conversion,” says a French evangelist, “was as gentle as a mother’s kiss.”

II. Both are necessary to man. Nansen tells us how they longed for the light! In India and Australia, how the thirsty land cries out for the refreshing showers! So the soul of man needs Christ.

III. Both are full and free for man. The sun and the rain come for all. No “Trusts” can monopolise them. How true of the Divine love! It is like the great sea whose waves beat upon every shore. “Draw up the blind,” said George Dawson; “let in the light.” When the gentle rain descends, you put out your ferns and flower-pots. Get where there are showers of blessing that your soul may be refreshed. (A. Hampden Lee.)

He shall come to us as the rain.—Christ as the rain:

1. Christ’s coming to the heart, and the rain’s coming to the flower, are alike in this, that each is by the sovereign ordering of God. Modern science has attained wonderful knowledge of the laws that govern the movements of the clouds. But we are as dependent upon God now, as ever, for the early and the latter rain, for the showers that water and refresh the earth. Equally dependent are we for those influences of the Holy Spirit by which Christ in all His preciousness and graciousness is communicated to the soul.

2. The coming in each case affords scope for the energy and efficacy of prayer. Whilst God is sovereign in His gifts, He is not arbitrary in their bestowment either in nature or in grace. There are innumerable and well-attested instances in which God has heard the prayers of His people for rain. And so the coming of Christ with spiritual power into the heart and into the Church may be secured by earnest and importunate prayer.

3. The coming of Christ in refreshing presence and power is often preceded by lightning and tempest. Dark clouds of adversity, fierce winds of temptation disturb and terrify the soul. When the storms of spiritual trial have encompassed the soul, Christ by His blessed Spirit comes in gentlest and most unobtrusive ministry to every parched leaf and drooping flower of the Christian graces.

4. The coming of Christ is like that of the rain in its benign and blessed results. The roots of religious life are fed. The fountains of spiritual energy in the soul are replenished. (T. D. Witherspoon, D.D., LL.D.)

The Spirit as rain:

1. As rain, the influences of the Holy Spirit are copious.

2. Are seasonable.

3. Are refreshing.

4. Are fertilising.

5. Are from above. (G. Brooks.)

As the latter and the former rain.—

The analogy between nature and grace is very close. God employs nature as a typal thing. He designs through it to image forth Diviner things. He would have us be observers of nature, to look through nature up to nature’s God. Years ago, an observing writer told how he “viewed the ravages of winter as the Jews did the desolation of their temple when its expressive types and symbols were demolished or defaced by the Babylonian armies, and thus he viewed spring as the rebuilding of the creation-temple, in which are renewed all the sweet and significant emblems of the everlasting Gospel.” In the same spirit may we consider the “early and latter rain,” the second of the two images employed by the prophet Hosea. Now, we read about the “former and the latter rain” in other parts of Scripture as well as in Hosea. (Thus in Deut. 11:14; Jer. 5:24; Joel 2:23; James 5:7.) Rain typifies and sets forth Divine influence and grace. It falls to fertilise where all was dry and fruitless. It falls to renew the face of the earth. It falls to ripen and mature the grain. In Judea the rain fell plentifully twice in the year. About September, and about March, it chiefly and more copiously fell. Now, the month Abib, or March, was the first month in the ecclesiastical or holy year; and hence we have light thrown on the expression, “the latter rain in the first month.” It may be observed, without any undue pressing of the similitude, that rain being the vapours exhaled by the sun, would cease to fall were the sun withdrawn from the firmament. The parallel between growth in nature and growth in grace, being clear, we are taught at once that Divine grace comes not apart from Him who, being the Son of God, died on the Cross for our sins, that through the Holy Ghost sent down, the fruitless soil of our fallen nature might have fertility—be quickened into newness of life. Now, it strikes us as interesting that, in the passages we have cited, beginning with the Book of Deuteronomy, and ending with the Epistle of St. James, there should be seen a certain order which we may follow as we try briefly to exhibit some truths suggested by our subject. In Deuteronomy, we read how God would give the first rain and the latter rain. Passing on to Jeremiah, we see how the people refused to fear the Lord who giveth rain both the former and the latter. In Hosea we read of the fuller knowledge to be enjoyed by those who serve the Lord. In Joel we read of the joy of the children of God to whom had been given the former rain. Then in St. James we read of the patience that becomes the Christian as he waits for the coming of his Lord. Undesigned as this order may be, it is nevertheless interesting. It suggests to us the thought of progressiveness. As the Christian dispensation is fuller, brighter than the Jewish; so the believer should advance, following on to know the Lord. Beginning, then, with the words of Deuteronomy, we read in chap. 11:13, 14: “And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul; that I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.” As Israel sought spiritual blessings, so should Israel enjoy temporal blessings as well. These were the terms of the Divine covenant. Grace, free and undeserved grace, itself the outflow of the Divine love, would bestow these blessings. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things (temporal necessaries) shall be added unto you.” Thus the prophet Jeremiah speaks: “But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart, … neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter in his season.” In the days of Moses, multitudes of the Israelites had turned from God. They entered not into the promised land, because of unbelief. On them “the former and the latter rain” never fell. So, in the days of Jeremiah, many feared not God, who yet saw how His covenant with nature was kept, and around whom privileges were gathered. The words of the prophet Hosea (chap. 6:3) tell of the bright and blessed results of real repentance, “Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord.” We observe in this verse that “the latter rain” is placed before “the former”; and it may be just said by the way that “the latter rain” (malkush, from a verb “to delay”) was more probably that which fell in the autumn, and “the former rain” (jirah) that which fell in the spring; though this is questioned. (See Calmet’s Dict.) Without seeing in this uncertainty any explanation of the precedence of “the latter rain” in the verse in Hosea, something perhaps may be inferred as to the inseparableness of “the former and the latter rain.” Grace is glory begun. And so the apostle Peter speaks: “And hope to the end (or, ‘hope perfectly,’ τελείως ἐλπίσατε), for the grace that is being brought unto you (φερομένην) at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Life eternal being the knowledge of God, and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent, Divine grace, typified by the early rain, must cause this knowledge to take root in our heart. And then, little and limited though that knowledge be at first, like the shower’s first drops, yet “we shall know, if we follow on to know the Lord.” Where rain has come, rain will come. “They go from strength to strength.” Sin, as they follow on, becomes less strong; God becomes more “the strength of their heart.” So the prophet Joel speaks of the joy of Christians: “Be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God, for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain and the latter rain in the first month.” In this verse, we are directed in the margin to observe that “the former rain moderately” is in the Hebrew “the … according to righteousness.” In the Septuagint the literal rendering would be, “For He gave to you (the) food (τὰ βρώματα) towards (or ‘with reference to’) righteousness, and will rain for you rain early and late (latter), according as before.” It does not seem quite plain how we are to take the words, “the former rain according to righteousness,” or “a teacher unto righteousness” (as Hebrews will have it), if they are not taken in some way to have regard to a teacher (perhaps Joel himself) typical of the Messiah. Concerning ourselves, however, with the rendering of our Authorised Version, “the former rain moderately” (or “in due measure”), we shall see that the children of Zion were to be glad and rejoice in the Lord their God, giving glory to Him who had kept and remembered His covenant, who had sent and who would send the shower to fructify the earth, and who had shed abroad in their hearts the very grace that shower should typify. “Be glad and rejoice”; your hearts have been disposed to holiness through Divine grace; God will perform the good work in you which He has begun. So spake the inspired prophet. And, in truth, joy becomes the Christian. But this joy, we remember, requires patience. And St. James, in the last passage remaining for us, speaks of “patience”: “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord”; and he proceeds to employ an illustration fetched from the tiller and the field. In the purpose and promise of God, precariousness has no place; and between seed-time and harvest nature exacts her needed interval. Time is needed for the early, time for the latter rain to fall. So spiritually; and more also. Natural rain may be withheld; drought may be instead. Grace shall always come, if rightly sought. It cannot fail. Patience becomes the Christian; the Word of God sown in his heart shall not be left waterless. But a span separates the early from the latter rain. To none should the time be either too long or yet too short. “Be patient unto the coming of the Lord.” And once again, there is encouragement in the thought of the rain, the latter rain, where there may have been a declension, where watchlessness may have been allowed, or where trial and temptation may have chilled devotion and zeal. Rain sought again, shall fall to revive. Never forsaken by a covenant God, penitent Israel, idolatrous and prayerless no more, will receive the blessing of abundance of rain: “he shall grow as the lily,” and “revive as the corn.” (Christian Observer.)[6]

In this verse the faithful pursue what we have before considered, making the hope of salvation sure to themselves: nor is it a matter of wonder that the Prophet dwells more fully on this subject; for we know how prone we are to entertain doubt. There is nothing more difficult, especially when God shows to us signs of his wrath, than to recover us, so that we may be really persuaded that he is our physician, when he seems to visit us for our sins. We must then, in this case, earnestly strive, for it cannot be done without labour. Hence the faithful now say, We shall know, and we shall pursue to know Jehovah. They show then by these words that they distrust not, but that light would arise after darkness; for this is the meaning of the words: We shall then know, they say; that is, “Though there is now on every side horrible darkness, yet the Lord will manifest his goodness to us, even though it may not immediately appear.” They therefore add, And we shall pursue after the knowledge of Jehovah. We now perceive the purport of the words.

Now this passage teaches us, that when God hides his face, we act foolishly if we cherish our unbelief; for we ought, on the contrary, as I have already said, to contend with this destructive disease, inasmuch as Satan seeks nothing else but to sink us in despair. This his device then ought to be understood by us, as Paul reminds us, (2 Cor. 2:11;) and the Holy Spirit supplies us here with weapons, by which we may repel this temptation of Satan, “What? thou seest that God is angry with thee; nor is it of any use to thee to attempt to come to him, for every access is shut up.” This is what Satan suggests to us, when we are sensible of our sins. What is to be done? The Prophet here propounds a remedy, We shall know; “Though now we are sunk in thick darkness, though there never shines on us, no, not even a spark of light, yet we shall know (as Isaiah says, ‘I will hope in the Lord, who hides his face from Jacob’) that this is the true exercise of our faith, when we lift up our eyes to the light which seems to be extinguished, and when in the darkness of death we yet continue to promise to ourselves life, as we are here taught: We shall then know; further, We shall pursue after the knowledge of Jehovah; though God withdraws his face, and, as it were designedly, doubles the darkness, and all knowledge of his grace be, as it were, extinct, we shall yet pursue after this knowledge; that is, no obstacle shall keep us from striving, and our efforts will at length make their way to that grace which seems to be wholly excluded from us.”

Some give this rendering, We shall know, and shall pursue on to know Jehovah, and explain the passage thus,—that the Israelites had derived no such benefit from the law of Moses, but that they still expected the fuller doctrine, which Christ brought at his coming. They then think that this is a prophecy respecting that doctrine, which is now by the Gospel set forth to us is its full brightness, because God has manifested himself in his Son as in a living image. But this is too refined an exposition; and it is enough for us to keep close to the design of the Prophet. He indeed introduces the godly thus speaking for this reason—because there was need of great and strong effort, that they might rise up to the hope of salvation; for it was not to be the exile of one day, but of seventy years. When therefore so heavy a trial awaited the godly, the Prophet here wished to prepare them for the laborious warfare: We shall then know, and follow on to know Jehovah.

Then he says, As the morning shall come to us his going forth,—a similitude the most appropriate; for here the faithful call to mind the continued succession of days and nights. No wonder that God bids us to hope for his grace, the sight of which is yet hid from us; for except we had learnt by long experience, who could hope for sudden light when the darkness of night prevails? Should we not think that the earth is wholly deprived of light? But seeing that the dawn suddenly shines, and puts an end to the darkness of night, and dispels it, what wonder is it that the Lord should shine forth beyond our expectation? His going forth then shall be like the morning.

He here calls a new manifestation the going forth of God, that is, when God shows that he regards his people with favour, when he shows that he is mindful of the covenant which he made with Abraham; for as long as the people were exiled from their country, God seemed not, as we have said, to look on them any more; nay, the judgment of the flesh only suggested this, that God was far distant from his people. He then calls it the going forth of God, when God should show himself propitious to the captives, and should wholly restore them; then the going forth of God shall come, and shall be like the morning. We now then see that he confirms them by the order of nature, as Paul does, when he chides the unbelief of those to whom a future resurrection seemed incredible, because it surpasses the thoughts of the flesh; “O fool!” he says, “dost thou not see that what thou sowest first decays and then germinates? God now sets before thee in a decaying seed an emblem of the future resurrection.” So also in this place, since light daily rises to us, and the morning shines after the darkness of night, what then will not the Lord effect by himself, who works so powerfully by material things? When he will put forth his full power, what, think we, will he do? Will he not much more surpass all the thoughts of our flesh? We now then see why this similitude was added.

He afterwards describes to us the effect of this manifestation, He shall come, he says, as the rain to us, as the late rain, a rain to the earth. This comparison shows, that as soon as God will deign to look on his people, his countenance will be like the rain, which irrigates the earth. When the earth is dry after long heat and long drought, it seems to be incapable of producing fruit; but rain restores to it its moisture and vigour. Thus then the Prophet, in the person of the faithful, does here strengthen the hope of a full restoration. He shall come to us as the rain, as the late rain.

The Hebrews call the late rain מלקוש, melakush, by which the corn was ripened. And it seems that the Prophet meant the vernal rain by the word גשם, geshem. But the sense is clearly this, that though the Israelites had become so dry that they had no longer any vigour, there would yet be no less virtue in God’s grace than in the rain, which fructifies the earth when it seems to be barren. But when at the end he adds, a rain to the earth, I doubt not but that he meant seasonable rain, which is pleasant and acceptable to the earth, or which the earth really wants; for a violent shower cannot be called properly a rain to the earth, because it is destructive and hurtful. It follows—[7]

3. I beg the Reader at the very entrance upon this verse, to observe with me, that the little word if is in Italicks; consequently hath no right to be there, and certainly ought not to be there, if the sense be injured by it, or lessened, or destroyed. And that it doth all this is very evident. For if it be left out the doctrine is plain and clear. Then shall we know; we shall follow on to know the Lord. For as the first knowledge of the Lord is wholly from his grace, and before that grace is given no one ever can know the Lord; so all the after knowledge is from the same divine teaching, and not deriving an atom from human study, or human attainments. Matt. 11:27. And I beg the Reader once for all to remark, that this, and similar ifs of scripture are never put in, as forming any cause or reason for such grace being shewn, for the doctrine itself is absolute. Then shall we know, saith the Prophet; when? even when the Lord hath raised up the poor sinner, and caused him to live in his sight. There is a similar passage, Heb. 3:14. For we are made partakers (saith the Apostle) of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end. Here observe, the Holy Ghost is giving testimony of a present mercy, not speaking of one in future. He saith, we are made partakers of Christ. How was this wrought? Surely by grace. Hence therefore our holding fast the beginning of our confidence cannot be the cause, or condition of being made; for that hath been already done, and is really and actually enjoyed. It is only spoken of therefore as our truly feeling it, and knowing it, when by the lively actings of faith, we hold fast and live upon it. But what a whole volume of the richest things is said of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the latter part of this verse. His goings forth have been prepared as the morning. And was it not so, when in the morning of eternity he came up at the call Jehovah, prepared in the everlasting council of peace for the redemption of his people? Was it not so, when in the day dawn, and day-star, of the early revelations in time, he came forth, as the sum and substance of every type, every shadow of the law; every promise, every intimation in the gospel? And is he not so now, and hath been in all ages of his Church, to all, and every one of his redeemed, as prepared for them in the sweetest of all mornings, after the dark night of a sinful, fallen, ruined state, which must have ended in the everlasting blackness of despair, had not Jesus arisen as the sum of righteousness, with healing in his wings? And how doth he come to his people, when visiting them under their original dry and barren state of their wilderness nature, at the first, and in all the after manifestations of his grace? Is it not as the rain; both the latter and the former? Every grace of Jesus is indeed as the rain, and dew of heaven; that is free, unmerited, unlooked for, and unsought. It tarrieth not for man, neither waiteth for the sons of men. Micah 5:7. How blessedly Jesus is spoken of under this figure. Psalm 72:6. He shall come down as the rain upon the mown grass: refreshing the earth when weary, and scorched, and dry. And I beg the Reader to observe the great beauty of the Prophet’s expression, in putting the latter rain before the former, in allusion to the Lord Jesus Christ. For in Judea, there were generally two seasons of refreshing rains; the one in Autumn, the other in the spring. Now at the close of the Autumnal season the seed was then sown; this was what was called the latter rain, though in reality the first after seed time, therefore this is first spoken of, with an eye to Christ, in watering the souls of his people, when he hath sown the spiritual seed of his grace in their hearts. And the former season of the year Jesus refresheth them, in the time of the harvest, when he brings his redeemed home to his heavenly garner. Prov. 16:15.[8]

6:3         ‘And let us know—let us press on to know the Lord.

As certain as the dawn ˻is˼ his going forth,

and he will come like rain for us—

like spring rain ˻which˼ waters the earth.’

And let us know introduces an exhortation which follows logically from the preceding expression of hope. ‘Know’ is used in its Hoseanic sense of faithfully acknowledging the covenant King (cf. 4:1; Jer. 31:34). Perhaps it echoes and reverses the condition described in 5:4. Press on indicates an enthusiastic and unremitting ‘pursuit’ of the Lord, as well as an admission that the goal has not yet been adequately attained and requires resolution and effort for success. This is in contrast to their previous pursuit of the Baals (2:7), and it is not a matter of mere survival, but of spiritual fellowship and harmony, which is achieved collectively on the basis of individual repentance and restoration.

They are assured that they will be successful in such endeavours because the character of the Lord is constant. His going forth employs a term which describes the rising of the sun (Ps. 19:6), and it points to something as being as regular and certain as the coming of the dawn (cf. Isa. 58:8; Mal. 4:2). Here it reflects the Lord’s intervention in the flow of history as he imposes his will upon the affairs of earth. His coming brings benefits in its train. Rain is a general term for rain, and the metaphor combines the ideas of regularity and refreshment (cf. Deut. 32:2). It is the latter idea which is especially brought out by like spring rain, falling in March and April, which matures the crops and ensures a bountiful harvest (cf. Joel 2:23). The desirability of rain possibly reflects on the drought that the land was experiencing (2:12; 4:3), and the use of such natural and agricultural phenomena is a virtual rejection of the outlook of the Canaanite cult. Enjoyment of blessing is the outcome when there is true submission to the sole covenant King.[9]

[1] Sproul, R. C. (Ed.). (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1245). Orlando, FL; Lake Mary, FL: Ligonier Ministries.

[2] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 1631). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

[3] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Ho 6:3). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

[4] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1032). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[5] Goodrich, J. K. (2014). Hosea. In M. A. Rydelnik & M. Vanlaningham (Eds.), The moody bible commentary (p. 1322). Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

[6] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: The Minor Prophets (Vol. 1, pp. 101–114). New York; Chicago; Toronto; London; Edinburgh: Fleming H. Revell Company.

[7] Calvin, J., & Owen, J. (2010). Commentaries on the Twelve Minor Prophets (Vol. 1, pp. 220–223). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[8] Hawker, R. (2013). Poor Man’s Old Testament Commentary: Ezekiel–Malachi (Vol. 6, pp. 320–321). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[9] Mackay, J. L. (2012). Hosea: A Mentor Commentary (pp. 184–185). Ross-shire, Great Britain: Mentor.

Finding Clear Guidance — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

“Who is the man that fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.” Psalm 25:12

How can you be sure you’re making the right decision? Sometimes it may seem as if God plays hide and seek when we’re trying to know His will, but that’s not the way He operates. He wants to give us clear direction. The real question is, What do you need to do to hear His voice?

Clear the pathway. We have two main obstacles that hinder our discernment: sin in our life and our own strong desires about the situation. To receive the Lord’s guidance, we must repent of all known sin and make our desires secondary to His.

Exercise patience. Sometimes it takes a great deal of strength to stand still when everything within you is shouting, “Hurry! Time is running out!” But if you rush ahead of God, you may miss His will.

Persist in prayer. The Bible clearly instructs us to keep coming to the Lord with our concerns. As we continue to pray, He will gradually weed out anything confusing until we come to His conclusion about the matter.

Search the Scriptures. The Word of God has an answer for every need, and the Holy Spirit knows just how to point us in the right direction. I remember times while I was reading the Bible that a verse jumped off the page and supplied the exact answer I needed to make an important decision.

So often when we’re faced with a critical choice, all we want from the Lord is a quick answer. But He delights to meet with us in order to deepen our relationship with Him. Don’t let the urgency of your need keep you from enjoying the intimacy of His presence as you seek His will.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
Used by Permission
From: Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit http://www.intouch.org.

Further Reading

•  You Asked God for What?
•  Hearing God’s Voice
•  Salvation Explained

Finding Clear Guidance — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

We will not Fear — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.” Psalm 46:1,2 (NKJV)

Living near one of the most majestic mountains of the Cascade range, I am constantly reminded of the might and presence of our Creator God.  Rounding a corner as I drove to work one day, I was met by another breathtaking view of Mount Hood.  As it towered directly in front of me, its beauty and steadfast presence brought these verses to mind: “We will not fear. . .though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”

My imagination began to run wild.  What if something as sure and steadfast as Mount Hood did uproot and was suddenly hurled into the Pacific Ocean? A mountain dropped in the sea would cause an alarm greater than its splash. Fear would be the most natural result.

If that were to happen, what would we do?  Scripture says, “We will not fear.”  If we will not fear, even if the most terrifying “natural disaster” were to occur, will we fear in financial uncertainty, political upheaval, an unknown future, or a scary diagnosis?

We will not fear” is not a mantra to be recited continuously until we convince ourselves to do what we say. It is the response of faith in the character of our steadfast God – a God more steadfast than the highest mountains and more present than our overwhelming troubles.  We will not fear, because “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Prayer:  Father, Thank You for being our refuge and strength. Thank You for Your abiding presence. Grant us the faith to trust You with our uncertainties.  Grant us the faith that swallows fear, for Your Name’s sake. Amen.

by Bethany Hayes
Used by Permission

Further Reading

•   God Provides for His Own
•   God is Bigger than All My Problems
•  Salvation Explained

We will not Fear — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

August 23 Afternoon Quotes of The Day

The Cold Water of Persecution
Matthew 5:10–12; Acts 8:1; 1 Peter 4:13–14

The cold water of persecution is often thrown on the church’s face to fetch her to herself when she is in a swoon of indolence or pride.


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

This Life Marked with Crosses on All Sides
Matthew 10:38; 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23; Luke 24:26, 46; John 15:20; Colossians 1:24; 2 Timothy 3:12

The whole life of Christ was a cross and a martyrdom, and do you seek rest and enjoyment for yourself? You deceive yourself, you are mistaken if you seek anything but to suffer, for this mortal life is full of miseries and marked with crosses on all sides. Indeed, the more spiritual progress a person makes, so much heavier will he frequently find the cross, because as his love increases, the pain of his exile also increases.


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

A Light in the Dark — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

“Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”.” John 8:12

What an encouraging promise from Jesus! As Jesus followers we don’t have to walk in the dark! Yet it can feel like there is plenty of darkness around us as the news is filled with confusion and conflict, and our own lives have shadows of their own. Jesus says here that when we follow Him we won’t be stumbling around in the dark. He says we will have His light, the light of life, to guide us. We can be sure footed and confident as we navigate our days.

But what does that look like on a Monday morning when the week stretches out before us with our individual unknowns? We can feel like we are stumbling or, at the very least, like we can’t see the next step ahead.

The Bible is full of daily instruction for walking in the dark and not stumbling along. It tells us that it is a lamp for our feet and a light on our path. (Psalm 119:105)  If you feel unsure today of your next step, if it feels like  darkness is seeping into your heart and mind, invite Jesus to pour His Light into your life. His word gives us specific instruction as we follow Him.

“It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night…” Psalm 92: 1& 2

Start your day with reminding yourself of God’s steadfast, unmovable love for you. Before your feet hit the floor in the morning, thank Him for His loving kindness toward you. Even if the question marks of life cause you to doubt His love at times, remember His track record in your life and thank Him intentionally.  Ask Him to help you be aware of His presence with you today.

As you close your eyes at night, pause to recount how faithful He was to you through the day. Be specific in the little ways you may have noticed His presence as you take a moment to reflect. Thank Him that His faithfulness is something you can count on.

Father God,  today I want to reach for Your light as I walk in places that are dark and where shadows cross my path. Help me to intentionally seek Your presence as I go through this day. Help me not to stumble around, but to keep my focus on Your love and faithfulness. I will count on Your wisdom to guide me and Your strength to empower me. In the strong name of Jesus I pray, amen.

By Gail Rodgers
Used by Permission

Further Reading

•  Life Can Bring Joy out of Sorrow by Norma Becker
•  Fully Surrender to the Lord
•  Salvation Explained

A Light in the Dark — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

23 Aug 2021 News Briefing


‘Gates of Hell’ crater has burned in remote desert for 50 years
For 50 years, the “Gates of Hell,” formally known as the Darvaza gas crater, has illuminated the skies of the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan, yet it remains a mystery to most. George Kourounis, who traveled to the center of the fiery pit, told AccuWeather that the Gates of Hell “is one of the most interesting places on Earth.”

The 7.1 magnitude earthquake occurred near the South Sandwich Islands
Earthquake with magnitude 7.1 occurred in the region of the South Sandwich Islands. The epicenter was located at a depth of 14 km.

What If Everyone Actually Had To Work To Get Paid?
In the 27 states that have ended the extra $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits, paid on top of the regular state unemployment insurance, people are returning to work at a much faster rate than in states where the extra $300 a week are still being paid: this was further confirmed today by the unemployment insurance (UI) data from the Labor Department.

Russian Military Hails Syria’s Successful Intercepts Of 22 Of 24 Missiles In Latest Israeli Attack
Rear Adm. Vadim Kulit, head of the Russian military’s Reconciliation Center in Syria, further detailed that Syrian anti-air defenses successfully shot down a total of 22 out of 24 of the inbound missiles launched by the Israeli warplanes.

‘Does The President Not Know What’s Going On?’: Blinken Directly Contradicts Biden When Pressed By Chris Wallace
Secretary of State Antony Blinken directly contradicted statements made by President Joe Biden just two days earlier in a “Fox News Sunday” interview with Chris Wallace.

At least 14 dead, dozens missing in Tennessee, North Carolina flooding
Seventeen inches of rain fell in a day in one Tennessee town. — Some residents were reportedly trapped in their homes with water up to their necks. — Dozens of people are missing. At least 14 people were dead and dozens more remained missing Sunday after record-shattering downpours triggered flooding across parts of rural Tennessee and North Carolina.

Pentagon orders US airlines to help evacuate Americans, Afghans
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered on Sunday the activation of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet to assist with the evacuation of U.S. citizens and personnel, Special Immigrant Visa Applicants and other at-risk individuals from Afghanistan, according to a statement by Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby emailed to American Military News. In the first stage, the Defense Department is requesting three aircraft each from American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Airlines, and Omni Air, as well as two from Hawaiian Airlines and four Boeing 777s from United Airlines, totaling 18 aircrafts.

Iran Goes on the Offensive as the U.S. Retreats From Afghanistan and Elsewhere
The factor underlying the Mideast violence earlier this summer seems clear: Iran is trying to assert power across several fronts. It is wielding a variety of assets, proxies and franchises against the full range of enemies it perceives in the region.

Taliban going door-to-door executing Christians
Frontier Alliance International, a global Christian missionary organization, released a statement last week stating that the Taliban in Afghanistan is going door-to-door, searching for Christians and executing them. The Taliban has a hit list of known Christians they are targeting to pursue and kill.

New Study: A majority of Americans now believe in evolution
Thus said Hashem, your Redeemer, Who formed you in the womb: It is I, Hashem, who made everything, Who alone stretched out the heavens And unaided spread out the earth; A new study published by the University of Michigan in the journal Public Understanding of Science reported that after many years of public opinion being evenly divided, the majority of Americans now claim to support the theory of evolution.

Liberman: New haredi draft law is a ‘vision of the end of days’
The temporary lowering of the draft exemption age is aimed at encouraging some yeshiva students to join the job market, giving them a three-year period during which they will be able to pursue a career without being drafted.

Afghan evacuees arrive in the US; Biden says numbers may rise to 65,000
The first groups of Afghan evacuees arrived at Dulles International Airport Saturday, one week after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.

The New Censors: Polls Shows Almost Half Of Americans Favor Government Censoring “Misinformation”
Free speech advocates are facing a generational shift…

Florida gives school districts 48 hours to reverse mask mandates or lose funding – ABC News
Two Florida school districts that defied state rules and imposed mask mandates for students have been given 48 hours to reverse course or lose state funding equal to the salaries of their school board members.

Italian student, 22, who tattooed Covid certificate barcode on ARM becomes TikTok star after scanning into McDonald’s
A STUDENT in Italy has become an unexpected TikTok sensation after tattooing the barcode of his Covid certificate on his arm.

Stranded Afghans Delete Social Media As Taliban Seizes US Surveillance Equipment
…privacy advocates are raising the concern that the U.S. data program possibly inherited by the Taliban could lead to blowback threatening civil liberties in America.

Germany’s Largest Amusement Park Segregates Vaxx’d From Unvaxx’d With Colored Wristbands
Germany’s Robert Koch Institute, a government agency and research institute responsible for disease control and prevention, declared this week that the fourth wave of coronavirus infections has begun.

Israel has one of the world’s highest daily COVID-19 infection rates, despite high vaccine uptake
..Nearly one in every 150 people in Israel today has the virus. An average of nearly 7,500 people are infected per day – double the infection rate of two weeks ago.

Russian Military Hails Syria’s Successful Intercepts Of 22 Of 24 Missiles In Latest Israeli Attack
Russia recently indicated new ‘red lines’ suggesting it will step up active support in assisting Syria toward repelling the raids…

Shock: European Union Reports 1.5 Million Vaccine Injuries, 15,472 Deaths
..So as high as these numbers are, they do NOT reflect all of Europe. The actual number in Europe who are reported dead or injured due to COVID-19 shots would be much higher than what we are reporting here. The EudraVigilance database reports that through June 19, 2021 there are 15,472 deaths and 1,509,266 injuries reported following injections of four experimental COVID-19 shots:

Nurses and hospital workers – considered heroes during vaccine-less COVID pandemic – now being fired by healthcare Nazis over refusal to get the jab
As the Biden regime and Democrat drones around the country continue to implement COVID-19 vaccination mandates, more and more Americans are rising up and saying ‘no,’ and that includes health care professionals like highly skilled, highly experienced nurses.

PERMANENT TYRANNY: Scottish government wants emergency COVID-19 powers to become permanent
The Scottish government has made public a set of proposals to make some coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency powers permanent, including the ability to impose a lockdown.

At Least 22 Dead, 50 Missing After Deadliest Flood Event Ever In Middle Tennessee
“We have lost a lot of roads, both rural and major highways… In my 28 years, it’s the worst I’ve ever seen it.”

Holocaust survivor: We should be ‘more than nervous’ about COVID-19 measures
Holocaust survivor and medical activist Vera Sharav said recently on a podcast that we should be feeling “more than nervous” about the current state of public health measures, including lockdowns, forced vaccinations, and testing.

Grocery prices skyrocket 31 percent in one year as lockdowns, drought and money printing unleash food inflation
Food prices in July were up 31 percent from the same month in 2020, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. This rise is fueled by supply chain disruption and extreme weather conditions.

CDC misleads public, fails to mention that “mild” Myocarditis Has Lifelong Consequences 
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the new mRNA COVID shot available under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) can cause a variety of adverse effects, including myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation.  The CDC also claims these cases are typically mild.

For the Greater Good…
“Several years ago while working in Germany I visited the Dachau Concentration Camp. I will tell you if you ever get the opportunity to do so, I highly recommend it. Not because it is a tourist attraction, but because it is about our history – a history we never want to repeat. I will also tell you, it is one of the most gut-wrenching, soul-piercing, things I have ever experienced. You can feel the death in this place and as you walk the grounds and there are images, newspaper archives, clothing, as well as smells you will never forget.

As Biden Continues Obama’s Plan to Close Gitmo, Hundreds of Former Detainees Have Returned to Terrorism and are Killing Americans Again
Thanks to Biden-Obama, hundreds of the worlds most evil terrorists have been released from US custody and are now free to pursue their murderous revenge against the west.

Jovan Pulitzer Reveals It’s Not the ‘Watermarks’ on the Ballots – It’s Better
Jovan Pulitzer surprised us all once again and likely scared the hell out of any election fraudsters in the process.  In a video he released Wednesday on Twitter, Jovan explained that identifying markings are in fact on the ballots and are exactly what they were looking for during the audit!  He explained it wasn’t bamboo paper as audit detractors claimed, and it wasn’t secret “watermarks” either.

How Did The Taliban Know That The Joe Biden Afghan Surrender Was Coming?
They knew. The Taliban knew that the newly-elected Joe Biden regime would pull out all the stops in Afghanistan leaving the entire country and anyone left there at their heartless mercy. How is it possible that the Taliban knew about the human catastrophe before the 10,000 to 45,000 Americans in Afghanistan knew?

Chinese authorities paying citizens to spy on neighbors, report ‘illegal’ Christian activitiesChina’s communist regime has ordered citizens in the country’s northeastern region to spy on Christians and report any “illegal religious activities,” including preaching and religious house gatherings.

Source: https://www.raptureready.com/2021/08/23/23-aug-2021/

NYC mandates vaccinations for ALL public school teachers and staff, NO exceptionsPosted: 23 Aug 2021 07:49 AM PDT(ETH) – All New York City public school teachers and other staffers will have to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, officials said Monday as the nation’s largest school system prepares for classes to start next month.The Associated Press stated the city previously said teachers, like other city employees, would have to get the shots or get tested weekly for the virus. The new policy marks the first no-option vaccination mandate for a broad group of city workers in the nation’s most populous city, though Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday that coaches and students in football, basketball, and other “high-risk” sports would have to get inoculated before play begins.Continue reading NYC mandates vaccinations for ALL public school teachers and staff, NO exceptions at End Time Headlines.
FALLING AWAY: 60% of adults under 40 now say Jesus isn’t only way to salvation and equal to Mohammed and BuddhaPosted: 23 Aug 2021 07:28 AM PDT(OPINION) ETH – More than 60% of born again Christians in America between the ages of 18 and 39 believe that Buddha, Muhammad, and Jesus are all valid paths to salvation and over 30% say they either believe that Jesus sinned just like other people when He lived on Earth or aren’t sure, according to a new study.There’s a “striking decline” in evangelical religious beliefs and practices over the last 10 years, as the number of self-proclaimed believers to hold these beliefs has increased by nearly 25%, says Probe Ministries in a statement announcing the results of its Religious Views & Practices Survey.Continue reading FALLING AWAY: 60% of adults under 40 now say Jesus isn’t only way to salvation and equal to Mohammed and Buddha at End Time Headlines.
UPDATE: 22 dead, many missing after catastrophic 17 inches of rain in Tennessee…Posted: 23 Aug 2021 07:16 AM PDT(ETH)- At least 22 people were killed and rescue crews searched desperately Sunday amid shattered homes and tangled debris for dozens of people still missing after record-breaking rain sent floodwaters surging through Middle Tennessee.The Associated Press reported that Saturday’s flooding in rural areas took out roads, cellphone towers, and telephone lines, leaving families uncertain about whether their loved ones survived the unprecedented deluge. Emergency workers were searching door to door, said Kristi Brown, a coordinator for health and safety supervisor with Humphreys County Schools.Continue reading UPDATE: 22 dead, many missing after catastrophic 17 inches of rain in Tennessee… at End Time Headlines.
GAME CHANGER: FDA grants full approval to PFIZER shot, clearing path to more mandates…Posted: 23 Aug 2021 06:58 AM PDT(ETH) – The Food and Drug Administration granted Pfizer and BioNTech full U.S. approval of their Covid-19 vaccine – becoming the first in the U.S. to win the coveted designation and giving even more businesses, schools, and universities greater confidence to adopt vaccine mandates.According to CNBC, Up until now, the mRNA vaccine was on the U.S. market under an Emergency Use Authorization, which was granted by the FDA in December.Continue reading GAME CHANGER: FDA grants full approval to PFIZER shot, clearing path to more mandates… at End Time Headlines.
Australian broadcaster accidentally ran footage of satanic ritual during news segmentPosted: 22 Aug 2021 06:41 PM PDT(ETH) – An Australian broadcaster accidentally aired a clip of a satanic meeting during its nightly news broadcast, giving viewers an unexpected glimpse into the religious ceremonies of a satanic group based in Queensland.According to INSIDER, The clip was broadcast during a nightly news program aired by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which is also known as ABC TV. It starts with a segment on police dog welfare, showing suit-clad men standing outside a building, but quickly cuts to a visual of three people wearing black and standing beside a brightly lit, upside-down cross.Continue reading Australian broadcaster accidentally ran footage of satanic ritual during news segment at End Time Headlines.
Nearly 20 San Francisco police, fire, sheriff’s employees facing suspensions for not disclosing COVID vaccine statusPosted: 22 Aug 2021 06:21 PM PDT(ETH) – Nearly 20 police, fire, and Sheriff’s Office employees in San Francisco are facing 10-day unpaid suspensions for refusing to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status by the city’s Aug. 12 deadline.According to KTLA5 News, The employees — including eight in the Police Department, seven in the Fire Department, and two in the Sheriff’s Office — received letters from their department heads this week informing them of the potential disciplinary action, the San Francisco Chronicle first reported.Continue reading Nearly 20 San Francisco police, fire, sheriff’s employees facing suspensions for not disclosing COVID vaccine status at End Time Headlines.
RETURN OF ISIS: New threat emerges for Americans in AfghanistanPosted: 22 Aug 2021 06:08 PM PDT(ETH) – The U.S. warned that Islamic State poses a threat to Americans in Afghanistan as the Biden administration seeks to evacuate thousands of U.S. citizens and Afghan allies. The Wallstreet Journal stated: “The threat is real. It is acute.It is persistent. And it is something we are focused on with every tool in our arsenal,” Jake Sullivan, President Biden’s national security adviser, told CNN on Sunday when asked whether crowds at the Kabul international airport are vulnerable to terrorist attacks.Continue reading RETURN OF ISIS: New threat emerges for Americans in Afghanistan at End Time Headlines.
Grocery Prices Skyrocket 31% in One Year as Lockdowns, Drought and Money Printing Unleash Food InflationPosted: 22 Aug 2021 04:33 PM PDT(OPINION) ETH – Food prices in July were up 31 percent from the same month in 2020, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. This rise is fueled by supply chain disruption and extreme weather conditions.Central banks disregard food and fuel inflation when setting policies as they are the most volatile categories in the typical basket of consumer goods and services. However, these are the first things that come to mind when ordinary people think about inflation.Continue reading Grocery Prices Skyrocket 31% in One Year as Lockdowns, Drought and Money Printing Unleash Food Inflation at End Time Headlines.
Mississippi orders coronavirus-infected individuals to isolate at home or face up to 5 years in prisonPosted: 22 Aug 2021 04:13 PM PDT(ETH) – The Mississippi State Department of Health issued an alert on Friday ordering any coronavirus-positive individuals to isolate for at least 10 days or face up to a 5-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $5,000.According to Yahoo News, The isolation order comes amid surging COVID-19 cases in Mississippi, as the 7-day average for new cases in the state reached 4,316 on Friday, nearly double the highest point during the second wave in January, according to Johns Hopkins University data.Continue reading Mississippi orders coronavirus-infected individuals to isolate at home or face up to 5 years in prison at End Time Headlines.
Over 200 University of Virginia students have been disenrolled from fall semester after failing to get vaccinatedPosted: 22 Aug 2021 03:21 PM PDT(ETH) – More than 200 University of Virginia students who didn’t comply with the school’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement have been disenrolled ahead of the fall semester.According to a report from NBC Los Angeles, The school disenrolled 238 students, including 49 students who were enrolled in fall courses, The Virginian-Pilot reported. That may mean that “a good number” of the remaining students “may not have been planning to return to the University this fall at all,” university spokesperson Brian Coy said.Continue reading Over 200 University of Virginia students have been disenrolled from fall semester after failing to get vaccinated at End Time Headlines.
Over 130,000 left without power as Henri makes landfallPosted: 22 Aug 2021 03:13 PM PDT(ETH) – More than 130,000 homes and businesses were without power after Tropical Storm Henri made landfall in Rhode Island Sunday afternoon, knocking down trees and power lines and bringing flooding rainfall to some areas.The Weather Channel stated that mandatory evacuations were ordered in some communities and several areas are under a state of emergency. Continued dangerous, heavy rainfall is possible as Henri moves further across land. “Rainfall flooding has dominated the story with Henri and will probably continue to do so,” weather.com senior meteorologist Jonathan Erdman said Sunday afternoon.Continue reading Over 130,000 left without power as Henri makes landfall at End Time Headlines.

Mid-Day Snapshot · Aug. 23, 2021

“From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”


“Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.” —John Adams (1808)

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Afghanistan: A Message to Combat Vets From a Medal of Honor Marine

Mark Alexander

These are difficult and shameful days for our nation, as the most deadly and hateful scourge of any evil cult on earth has been allowed to rise again.

It is particularly difficult for American veterans of the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, as well as our Iraq war vets. The visceral scenes as that nation fell are disruptive reminders for those who are living with injuries from that conflict, injuries seen and unseen. Even more so for the families of the 2,448 American military warriors who died in Afghanistan.

It is, likewise, difficult for our veterans of the war with communist Vietnam, who sacrificed much in another conflict we did not finish, which cost 58,281 American lives and, again, countless injuries seen and unseen.

Shame on Joe Biden and his disgraceful lying cadre, who betrayed the men, women, and children of Afghanistan, ripping from them the shield of hope and promise and leaving them for slaughter. Biden has simultaneously betrayed all Americans who served there. On the eve of the 20th observance of the 9/11 Islamist attack on our nation, this dangerously inept American commander-in-chief has re-seeded al-Qa’ida’s terrorist turf — and let the world’s tyrants know they have nothing to fear from him.

I have talked with many Operation Enduring Freedom veterans this week, and these words from Operation Enduring Freedom Marine, Medal of Honor recipient Kyle Carpenter, rise above the din.

Years ago, a wise old man who had seen a lot of warfare told me that if the greatest of warriors have no heart, they are just mercenaries.

I know Kyle, and I can attest to the fact that he is a humble, distinguished warrior, a young man with heart and faith. As a courageous 21-year-old kid in the heat of combat with the Taliban, he instinctively jumped over an enemy grenade in order to protect a fellow Marine. He did so at mortal risk to his own life and suffered severe injuries as a result.

Kyle offered a brief but compelling message to his fellow veterans and all Americans.

As I try to make sense of the present while reflecting on the past, it’s difficult to get past the immeasurable sacrifice, the loss of innocent youth. … And for those Patriots and brave warriors, who gave their last full measure of devotion, the loss of life. … Was it worth it? After two decades of war, thousands of medevacs and flag-draped caskets, it is an understandable question. As I search my own thoughts for the answer as the news plays in the background, I see the most clear and heartbreaking answer to that question as I watch a man fall from the sky, unable to hold onto a military plane leaving Afghanistan. Freedom is a powerful, beautiful, and earned privilege, and if we only helped give them that Freedom … for a brief moment in time, they still experienced it. Children were able to go to school … women could show their beautiful faces … girls could become women without being forced into ‘marriage’ with Taliban. Ultimately we gave them hope that there could be a brighter sunrise than the day before. So, was it worth it? As service members and Americans, to help our fellow human beings will always be worth sacrifice. … Afghanistan and our lives are just brief fleeting moments in time and I am just thankful that I had the chance to stand on the shoulders of giants while I was here.“

encourage you to view his remarks here.

Of his message, Kyle notes: “If you are struggling, please know, you are not alone. Reach out, we’re all with you. Love and Semper Fidelis to my fellow veterans, service members, and the beautiful people of Afghanistan.”

Additionally, there was another brief but important message to fellow combat veterans from MajGen Mastin Robeson (USMC Ret). I encourage you to view his remarks here.

It is with a heart of gratitude and humility that we say thank you to Kyle, Mastin, and all those who have served with honor and dignity, and the families of those who never returned.

If you a Veteran in crisis or concerned about a vet, please use the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Call: 800-273-8255 and Press 1 Text: 838255

(Follow @MAlexander1776)

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

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Team Biden Struggles to Cover for Biden

Thomas Gallatin

In his attempt to justify his Afghanistan debacle, Joe Biden claimed that al-Qaida had been eliminated from the country, which left no reason to sustain a U.S. military presence. “Look, let’s put this thing in perspective here,” Biden asserted. “What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point with al-Qaida gone? We went to Afghanistan for the express purpose of getting rid of al-Qaida in Afghanistan, as well as … getting Osama bin Laden. And we did.” What, him worry?

One big problem: Al-Qaida still has a presence in Afghanistan. In fact, Secretary of State Antony Blinken was forced to offer a correction of sorts. Asked about the president’s comment, he answered, “Al-Qaida’s capacity to do what it did on 9/11 — to attack us, to attack our partners or allies from Afghanistan — is vastly, vastly diminished.” When pressed again to say if al-Qaida is really gone, Blinken responded, “Are there al-Qaida members and remnants in Afghanistan? Yes.” Then he sought to do damage control on yet another Biden lie, arguing, “What the president was referring to was its capacity to do what it did on 9/11. And that capacity has been very successfully diminished.” Would that be diminished like the Taliban, which was supposedly highly unlikely to take over Afghanistan?

But the false claim that al-Qaida no longer exists in Afghanistan was merely one of several deceptive statements Biden has made as the fallout from his failed exit strategy continues. Biden also claimed: “The Taliban has not taken action against U.S. forces. So far, they have, by and large, followed through what they said, in terms of allowing Americans to pass through, and the like.” And yet Biden hedged: “And I’m sure they don’t control all of their forces. It’s a ragtag force. And so, we’ll see. We’ll see whether or not what they say turns out to be true.” Well, reports have been coming out that Taliban fighters have indeed impeded U.S. troops attempting to evacuate Americans, including firefights around the Kabul airport.

Biden then amazingly declared, “My job is to make judgments. My job is to make judgments no one else can or will make. I made them.” And what are these judgments? Well, apparently they include trusting the Taliban to do the right thing. “Look, the Taliban has a — the Taliban has to make a fundamental decision: Is the Taliban going to attempt to be able to unite and provide for the wellbeing of the people of Afghanistan, which no one group has ever done since before — for hundreds of years. And if it does, it’s going to need everything from additional help, in terms of economic assistance, trades, and a whole range of things.” Is Biden seriously suggesting the U.S. and the rest of the world give a terrorist organization the status of a legitimate state authority? This is his “judgment”?

Clearly, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin doesn’t share his boss’s Taliban optimism. First, Austin was forced to correct the record when asked if people seeking to flee have faced Taliban opposition. He admitted that they have had “tough encounters,” which is putting it unbelievably mildly. When asked if Taliban actors were allowing Americans to get through to the Kabul airport, he responded, “If you have an American passport, and if you have the right credentials, the Taliban has been allowing people to pass safely through.” However, when Austin was pushed on whether all Americans are getting through unmolested, he hedged: “There’s no such thing as an absolute. And this kind of environment, as you would imagine … there have been incidents of people having some tough encounters with Taliban.”

What about Vice President Kamala Harris, the calm and steady hand who’s ready to take over at a moment’s notice? “What’s your response to reports of Americans—” stuck in Afghanistan, a reporter began before being cut off by a Harris. The VP — wait for it — laughed before deflecting and filibustering.

As Biden’s utter incompetency is being exposed nearly every time he opens his mouth, his administration handlers are being forced to correct the record as they run damage control. Their puppet is broken and it’s getting harder and harder to hide their own incompetency behind his.

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The Plight of Christians in Afghanistan

Nate Jackson

Unless you’re an armed member of the Taliban in Afghanistan, your life is likely in danger right now. In particular, Joe Biden’s disastrous retreat put more than 10,000 American citizens at risk, as well as tens of thousands of Afghans who assisted the U.S. over the years. But there’s another group of endangered people that’s often overlooked in Muslim-majority countries: Christians.

In a nation of approximately 38 million, estimates put the number of Christians as at most 12,000. Afghan law forbids conversion to Christianity. In fact, it’s dangerous for anyone even with generational roots to identify as Christian, but that’s especially true for converts from Islam. Enforcement is even more brutal under sharia law, which will be reinstated under the Taliban. Given that reality, there could be many more Christians in Afghanistan than anyone knows. Reports are that “the Taliban are going door to door” and asking for Christians, and it’s not to welcome them to the new Afghanistan.

“There’s a real concern amongst Afghan Christians that targeted killings will start happening because of their status as Christians,” says Will Stark, South Asia regional manager for International Christian Concern. The slaughter of Christians at the hands of Muslim extremists is still playing out in Nigeria. We know the danger is real and imminent.

Some Afghan Christians have appealed to the pope for help fleeing. American media personality Glenn Beck has raised millions of dollars to help. Other organization likewise will do what’s possible, but the situation isn’t conducive to orderly help.

As one Christian who fled Afghanistan after the murder of his parents in the 1990s put it, “I don’t understand why the West left Afghanistan this way after 20 years of sacrifices, of democracy.” In some ways neither do we, but we’re also well acquainted with the unfortunate answer.

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Hayden Smears Trump Supporters

Douglas Andrews

Michael Hayden served our nation for more than four decades. But somewhere along the way, he turned into a soft, snarky, know-it-all pipsqueak. Or perhaps he’s been that way all along.

But now that he’s retired, Hayden, the former Air Force general, NSA director, and CIA director, seems to think the American people need to hear what he thinks about a specific subset of us: namely, the 74 million Americans who presciently voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

On Thursday, Hayden retweeted a split image in which the topmost photo showed a caravan of black-clad Islamist warriors waving guns and flags above a caption reading: “Their Taliban,” while the bottom image showed a line of pickup trucks adorned with American flags and “Trump 2020” flags above the caption, “Our Taliban.”

It sure sounds like Hayden is telling us he cast his vote for Joe Biden, but one wonders whether he gave any thought to what his deeply ill-informed decision says about him. Or perhaps, like a 12-year-old who just hopped onto daddy’s zero-turn mower for the first time, he simply doesn’t know how this Twitter thing works, or what it means to retweet something.

And so, while Hayden clearly thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room, the fact is he clearly isn’t. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have retweeted an image purporting to be of the Taliban when in fact the warriors it depicts aren’t Taliban at all. How do we know this? Because they’re clearly flying the ISIS flag, not the Taliban flag.

And this guy was the director of the NSA and the CIA? And was appointed to those posts by George W. Bush? No wonder our “intelligence” services are in such bad shape. No wonder they failed us on 9/11, failed us on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, failed us on the fallout from the Arab Spring, failed us on Russia invading Ukraine, and failed us on COVID-19. They’ve been infiltrated by pseudo-smart leftists like Hayden and John Brennan. (For what it’s worth, the title of Hayden’s most recent book is The Attack on Intelligence. You’re telling us, Mike.)

Lest you think Hayden’s Trump-derangement is limited to a single intemperate click of the “retweet” button, think again. He also replied to a Twitter suggestion that “we send the MAGA wearing unvaxxed to Afghanistan” by tweeting, “Good idea.”

Speaking of Donald Trump, he was in Alabama this weekend, trying hard not to think about ankle-biters like Hayden. Indeed, he had something of an “I told you so” moment on Saturday night — a moment that lasted for a couple of hours.

“One year ago this month in my nomination speech,” Trump told a massive crowd, despite the rain, at a “Save America” rally in Cullman, Alabama, “I warned the entire country of the disastrous consequences of a Biden presidency.”

That he did.

He went on to call Biden’s disastrous leadership in Afghanistan “the greatest foreign policy humiliation in the history of the United States of America,” and “the most astonishing display of gross incompetence by a nation’s leader, perhaps at any time that anybody has ever seen.” In fact, he added, “Vietnam looks like a masterclass in strategy compared to Joe Biden’s strategy.”

Judging from the incoherence of Joe Biden and his team this past week, it’s hard to argue against Trump’s point.

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Vaccine Passports Come to NYC

Arnold Ahlert

“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” —Benjamin Franklin

One of the worst mayors in the nation has further “burnished” his credentials.

On August 3, New York City’s Bill de Blasio announced that vaccine passports would become a way of life in the Big Apple. “We know that strong, clear mandates help,” de Blasio stated during a press conference announcing his “Key to NYC” initiative. “If you’re vaccinated, you have the key. You can open the door. If you’re unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be allowed to participate in many things.”

This dictatorial decree was launched on August 16. It will be enforced beginning September 13.

Some New Yorkers may be less than enthused. For example, only 28% percent of black New Yorkers between the ages of 18 and 44 are vaccinated, and only 48% of Latino residents have gotten the jab. As a result, 72% of blacks and 52% Hispanics between those ages will be getting a firsthand experience with discrimination that has a decidedly Jim Crow odor about it.

Brought to you by the very same Democrat Party that embraced it the first time around.

Moreover, it’s not just service at restaurants, gyms, and theaters that will be denied to the unvaccinated. They will also be denied the right to work at these establishments.

On the flip side, de Blasio has now turned thousands of people who work at these establishments into de facto government enforcement agents. “If you’re hungry, I’m gonna sit here and be like, ‘No, you can’t come in, you cannot get food, because you’re not vaccinated?’” asked Jacqueline Badillo, a restaurant cashier. “It’s too much.”

Georgie Fulton, 31, another Brooklyn restaurant server, noted the policy will be equally disastrous for restaurants already facing staffing shortages engendered by the Biden administration’s extension of enhanced unemployment benefits — benefits that pay some people more to sit home than go out and get a job. “Everyone’s struggling to find more staff, and then that’s just one extra thing that we have to do that takes time,” she said. “It’s just time-consuming and annoying.”

That the unconstitutional and wholly arbitrary abrogation of personal choice and individual freedom is seen as irritating rather than infuriating is a stark reminder of just how corrupt America’s educational system has become. With the apparent cooperation of far too many go-along-to-get-along New Yorkers, requiring all of them to provide proof of COVID vaccination and a photo ID began rolling out last Tuesday. When the edict goes fully into effect on September 13, those establishments who defy it will be hit with a series of escalating fines that begin at $1,000 for the first “offense” followed by $2,000 for the second, and $5,000 for all subsequent violations.

The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Aren’t these the very same Democrats, led by Joe Biden, who insisted a photo-ID requirement for voting amounted to “Jim Crow 2.0”? The ones who wring their collective hands about “systemic racism” even as they enforce de facto segregation for a majority of non-white New Yorkers?

What about illegals? New York is such a dedicated sanctuary city that it has refused to honor more than 1,300 detainer requests ICE even for illegals charged with felonies, and state officials are forbidden to inquire about one’s immigration status. Some illegals have taken advantage of the city’s ID cards, but what about those who wish to remain in the shadows, even as they are required to show ID and proof of vaccination to remain employed?

What about New York’s Jewish population, which is the largest Jewish community in the world outside of Israel? Are they willing to abide a “papers, please” policy that officially designates some New Yorkers as “The Other,” both of which reek with a historical stench that cannot possibly be denied?

Whatever happened to “never again”?

And what about vaccinated people? In spite of their status, are there any who still believe in autonomy and personal choice to the point where they are willing to stand with the fellow unvaccinated New Yorkers solely for principle’s sake? Or have we reached the point where the path of least resistance is all that matters, and Ben Franklin’s aforementioned admonition will be tossed on the ash heap of history?

“Last month, the Centers for Disease Control reported that vaccinated people who contract the delta variant carry viral loads similar to those of people who are unvaccinated,” explains columnist Portia Berry-Kilby. “In short, vaccinated people can spread the virus just as the unvaccinated can. Faced with such a fact, one struggles to see how a vaccine passport serves as little more than a license to spread COVID variants old and new.”

What’s far less of a struggle to see is the tyrannical ambitions of a self-aggrandizing mayor, and the legions of useful idiots who will accommodate him.

Thankfully, some New Yorkers are fighting back. A newly formed group called The Independent Restaurant Owners Association Rescue, which includes gyms and dining establishments, has filed suit against the city. The suit alleges that the mandate violates the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights and unfairly targets certain establishments, but not others like churches, grocery stores, schools, offices, and medical facilities; that it is “arbitrary and capricious.” It also alleges that the COVID-19 Delta variant can spread among both vaccinated and unvaccinated people, and that it doesn’t accommodate vaccination exceptions for those who’ve already had the virus, those allergic to vaccine ingredients, those with pre-existing conditions that elevate risk, and those whose religious beliefs prevent them from getting it.

Nonetheless, de Blasio stated that he has “tremendous confidence that we’re in a strong legal position.” He added, “We’re in a global pandemic still.”

Really? Then why the wholesale capriciousness? Unvaccinated New Yorkers can still briefly enter restaurants and bars to get takeout, or use the restroom as long as they wear a face mask and practice social distancing. Performers entertaining a crowd live inside a restaurant don’t need to provide proof of vaccination unless they are NYC residents, or employees of the Key to NYC establishment.

Who defines “briefly”? Why are some venues wholly exempt? And why delay the roll out for three more weeks?

De Blasio insists the delay is about “educating” the public. About what? Full-blown submission to political whims sold as “following the science”?

For almost two years, Americans have been subjected to the most highly orchestrated fear campaign in history. And all throughout, we were assured that lockdowns, mask mandates, travel restrictions, the evisceration of peoples’ livelihoods, the suppression of alternative viewpoints and treatments, ukases issued by officials, and the wholesale — and in some cases unconstitutional — bastardization of the 2020 election process, were critical to “stopping the spread” of COVID. All while ruling class mandarins exempted themselves and “approved” protesters from all of it, whenever it suited their purposes.

When does it end? Only when — or is that if — ordinary Americans decide they won’t submit to full-blown totalitarianism.

For “safety’s sake.”

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On the Web


Rolling Disaster in Afghanistan

  • Harris laugh when asked about Americans stranded in Afghanistan (Washington Examiner)
  • Blinken fails to defend Biden when asked directly about competence (Daily Wire)
  • No one fired for Afghanistan disaster (Axios)
  • U.S.-wanted leader of notorious terrorist group back in Kabul (CNS News)
  • Afghanistan’s Christians, small in number, have gone underground (Washington Times)
  • British Parliament unloads on Biden: “Biden may have condemned the world to Chinese domination in future” (Daily Wire)

Government & Politics

  • Capitol Police officer who shot Ashli Babbitt exonerated in internal probe (NBC News)
  • Biden admin quietly dismisses thousands of amnesty cases (Washington Times)
  • Border Patrol warn of morale collapse (Washington Examiner)


  • 22 killed in TN flooding (WSMV)
  • Biden trying to push enhanced jobless benefits past deadline (Just the News)
  • 61% of Americans paid no fed income tax in 2020 (CNBC)
  • China passes 3-child policy hoping to reverse demographic crisis (Breitbart)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: Afghans and Americans need a plan of action (American Enterprise Institute)
  • Humor: “We don’t have the capacity to collect large numbers of people,” says administration with thousands of kids in cages (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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For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.


Upright: “Events in Afghanistan are devastating, and there’s no reversing them. We aren’t going to be able to make up for the losses to our security or for the great price that will be paid by our allies. But there is something to be done about the corrosive sense that when our government makes massive, avoidable errors, no one is ever held to account.” —National Review

Real suffering: “We are seeing everything we have built so hard piece-by-piece being lost in Afghanistan. Our 20 years of gains and hard work vanished overnight. The world betrayed Afghanistan, legitimized the savages, and brought them into power. I don’t understand. I am still in shock. Afghans, especially women, will face a very new world, a world of fear, destruction, misery and endless pain.” —Fox News National Security correspondent Jennifer Griffin, quoting a letter from an Afghan woman, an NGO leader whose identity is being withheld for her safety

There’s a word for this: “I have seen no questioning of our credibility from our allies around the world.” —Joe Biden

Friendly fire multiplied:

All three of Barack Obama’s CIA directors have criticized Biden’s failure, however understated:

CIA Director and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta: “Our national security is threatened. … With the Taliban now controlling Afghanistan, there is no question that they will provide a safe haven for al-Qaida and for ISIS.”

CIA Director David Petraeus: “The situation is absolutely heartbreaking. It is tragic … This is a Dunkirk moment or, perhaps, a Saigon moment.”

Even Obama’s sleazy Trump-hating CIA Director John Brennan said: “[Biden] was clearly caught off guard. … The U.S. military along with U.S. contractors and intelligence officers have been the bloodstream that have sustained the Afghan military and security forces for many, many years. The abrupt severing of that bloodstream … compounded by impact of the announced withdrawal in a rapid way [caused the collapse].”

More to the point, Obama Acting CIA Director Michael Morell said the Taliban “knew it was going to win” when “the clock started in April when the president made the decision,” and “to blame intelligence now infuriates me, absolutely infuriates me.” (In other words, once Biden declared we were completely abandoning our operations there, the Taliban knew they had nothing to fear from Biden.)

All four of Obama’s ambassadors to Afghanistan have criticized Biden’s failure, however understated:

Obama U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker called Biden’s handling of Afghanistan “an indelible stain on his presidency.” He added: “I’m left with some grave questions in my mind about his ability to lead our nation as commander-in-chief. … To have read this so wrong — or, even worse, to have understood what was likely to happen and not care. I think it is damning for him to have created this situation in his first significant action as commander-in-chief. … It’s an unforced error, and as an American I am deeply concerned.”

Ambassador Karl Eikenberry: “Evacuation of an embassy can be interpreted locally and internationally as abandonment, akin to a military unit fleeing from its position under enemy pressure.”

Ambassador James Cunningham: “There was little to no real planning done about how to compensate for the withdrawal of their forces made it almost impossible to carry that out effectively and safely. … They were behind the curve from the beginning of the announcement and that became rapidly apparent to the Afghans and to the Taliban as well.”

Ambassador Michael McKinley: Biden’s withdrawal plan “tied to the 20th anniversary of 9/11, and in the middle of the fighting season, was a mistake.”

And one high-level Obama adviser piled on…

Senior Advisor David Axelrod: “You cannot defend the execution here. This has been a disaster. … It’s a failure, and [Biden] needs to own that failure.”

Meanwhile, some Democrats have awakened from their slumber with a few “keen sense of the obvious” criticisms:

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ): “I am disappointed that the Biden administration clearly did not accurately assess the implications of a rapid U.S. withdrawal.”

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI): “This is a chaotic situation. … I don’t think it needed to be this way.”

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) said that the withdrawal of U.S. troops “should have been carefully planned to prevent violence and instability.”

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) blamed the Biden administration’s “failures of intelligence, diplomacy and a lack of imagination as we transitioned military forces from the country.”

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA): “This is a crisis of untold proportions.”

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA): “To say that today is anything short of a disaster would be dishonest. Worse, it was avoidable. … All the scenes of total chaos that we saw play out on the TV yesterday could have been avoided if the [Biden] administration had planned for this in advance.”

Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI): “ This is a catastrophe. … Biden owed a better plan to our men and women in uniform.”

The BIG Lie: “Our women are Muslim, they will also be happy to be living within our framework of Sharia.” —Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid

The BIG Lie II: “The Islamic Emirate — after the freedom of this nation — is not going to revenge anybody, we do not have any grudges against anybody. We have pardoned anyone, all those who have fought against us. We don’t want to repeat any conflict, any war, again, and we want to do away with the factors for conflict. … Therefore, the Islamic Emirate does not have any kind of hostility or animosity with anyone, animosities have come to an end, and we would like to live peacefully.” —Zabihullah Mujahid

Elitist arrogance: “I am really struggling to think of a time when I despaired more for the country and had so much contempt not just for both parties, but the bases of both parties.” —Jonah Goldberg

And last… “Guys, you’re all criticizing without understanding the situation: Biden has to use his vacation days or he loses them.” —Frank J. Fleming

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



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

“From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”

Cartoons and Memes · Aug. 23, 2021

“From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”


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Ice Cream

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Circle Back

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Another Consequence

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Biden’s Lies

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High Five

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The Difference

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Forever Clueless

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There’s More to Come

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The Whole World Right Now

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“From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”

Judge Jeanine Blames Biden For Afghanistan Disaster – ‘Fumbling, Lying, Idiotic Fool’ — LifeZette

Judge Jeanine Pirro spoke out over the weekend to torch Joe Biden for his handling of the disaster in Afghanistan, saying that his “ineptitude” and “incompetence” is to blame for what’s happening there.

“Mark this day as the day the United States of America officially fell from grace as the world’s superpower, due to the ineptitude, the incompetence, and the dereliction of duty by a so-called commander in chief,” Pirro said on her Fox News show on Saturday night. “A fumbling, lying, idiotic fool incapable of extricating innocent Americans and Afghan allies from behind enemy lines in the war zone we entered 20 years ago.”

“As American families of those trapped behind enemy lines, as Afghani Americans whose families helped us, and indeed Americans of all walks of life are glued to this crisis on television,” she added. “They’re met with government officials who are not only not candid, or are confused or are just outright lying.”

Not stopping there, Pirro proceeded to double down.

“Clearly, the Taliban has taken over. They have our weapons, and we can’t even get Americans to the airport,” she said. “How do you expect any American in danger overseas to even believe you? One day, you tell us to proceed to the airport, but you cannot provide safe passage to that airport. The next day, Americans are told to simply proceed to that airport anyway. Today, we’re told not to go to the airport. This, in spite of your promise that you’ll use every resource to carry out the mission. You can’t guarantee passage to an airport in a third-world country that we’ve controlled for 20 years.”

Fox News host Trey Gowdy also blamed Biden for the Afghanistan debacle over the weekend.

“Biden said that America is back, he was wrong. the Taliban is back,” Gowdy concluded. “And America? Well, America is leaving. Leaving the women and children. Leaving those who believed in us. Leaves those who risked and gave their lives for us. America does not leave women, girls, children our friends or fellow Americans behind, period. Greatness comes with a price. What we’re seeing in Afghanistan is not American greatness. It is an American failure.”

Judge Jeanine Blames Biden For Afghanistan Disaster – ‘Fumbling, Lying, Idiotic Fool’ — LifeZette

Trey Gowdy Rips Biden – Blames Him For ‘Women And Children Killed In The Streets’ Of Afghanistan — LifeZette

During the monologue of his weekly Fox News show on Sunday night, former Congressman Trey Gowdy slammed Joe Biden for the “women and children killed in the streets” of Afghanistan as the Taliban gets more and more control of the country.

“When Joe Biden became president, he made a point of telling the world that America is back. As if we had gone somewhere, he was Moses leading us out of the wilderness and the media, of course, they fell for it,” Gowdy said. “But others know better. Ask the people hanging on to the wheels of American planes. Ask the women and children killed in the streets and ask our allies and friends tortured because they dared to take America at its word.”

While Gowdy talked, disturbing images were shown on the screen depicting the chaos in Afghanistan.

“Usually there would be a warning here, that images you are about to see are disturbing,” Gowdy stated. ” But just because something is disturbing does not mean we should not see it, we should force ourselves to see these images because if we think these images are disturbing, what about the reality of actually living through and dying through the images.”

“Imagine what it would take for you to climb to a wheel well of an airplane,” he continued. “Your chances for survival are zero, you are simply choosing the manner in which you will die. You are choosing to die with this fleeting moment of freedom rather than being beaten or stoned to death.”

“Can you can feel the desperation required to hang on to the wheel of a plane, to leave your family and your friends, maybe forever just to escape?” Gowdy asked. “Can you imagine a country where the streets are devoid of women and girls because they are too scared for their lives to appear in public? Can you can imagine a country where your friends are targeted, beaten, killed simply and only because they are your friends?”

“Can you think of a country where your religion can get you hanged? And what about the images of military equipment you developed, and you built, and you paid for, being controlled by a group that stones women to death,” he added. “The images do not match the representation of our country.”

“The images do not match the greatness of our country,” Gowdy said. “The images do not match what we expect from ourselves. What is the use of being the world’s greatest superpower if you can’t stop women and children from being killed? And what is the value in being the strongest country on Earth if you can’t protect your friends…and what’s the value of being great if your friends and allies cannot trust your greatness?”

Not stopping there, Gowdy rejected the pledge made by Biden after he won the 2020 presidential election.

“Biden said that America is back, he was wrong. the Taliban is back,” Gowdy concluded. “And America? Well, America is leaving. Leaving the women and children. Leaving those who believed in us. Leaves those who risked and gave their lives for us. America does not leave women, girls, children our friends or fellow Americans behind, period. Greatness comes with a price. What we’re seeing in Afghanistan is not American greatness. It is an American failure.”

Trey Gowdy Rips Biden – Blames Him For ‘Women And Children Killed In The Streets’ Of Afghanistan — LifeZette

Hoping Sleepy-Joe Would Become President, Osama Bin Laden Banned Al-Qaeda From Attempting to Kill Biden Because His Incompetence Would “Lead The US Into a Crisis” — The Gateway Pundit

Osama bin Laden banned al-Qaeda from trying to assassinate Joe Biden because – even over a decade ago – it was obvious he would be a completely incompetent president that would ‘lead the US into a crisis.’

The comments were discovered in a message that bin Laden wrote to an aide identified as ‘Brother Shaykh Mahmud’ (real name Atiyah Abd al-Rahman) in 2010. The 48-page letter was found with a massive amount of other documents by US special forces in Pakistan when the terrorist leader was killed in 2011.

In it, he explains al-Qaeda’s plans to shift resources away from operations in other Muslim countries so they can coordinate more terror attacks against the United States.

Bin Laden wanted to use the freed up manpower to create two hit squads that would be tasked with planning and carrying out attacks on high ranking American officials if they were to make a trip to the middle east. Obama and the former head of the CIA, David Petraeus, were the jihadist’s two prime targets.

The express goal was to take out the then-current president and key figureheads around him so that the “totally unprepared” Biden would become the new commander in chief. 

Excerpts from the bin Laden letter:

‘Obama is the head of infidelity and killing him automatically will make Biden take over the presidency for the remainder of the term, as it is the norm over there. 

‘Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the US into a crisis.’

‘As for Petraeus, he is the man of the hour in this last year of the war, and killing him would alter the war’s path.’

The documents were first made public in 2012, but have recently resurfaced with a newfound credibility to them ever since Biden’s ineptitude and weakness orchestrated the massive failure in Afghanistan that we are currently enduring.

The decision to withdraw US troops from the country while the Taliban was primed for a takeover will undoubtedly go down as one of the worst foreign policy decisions in history. Not only did he arm the insurgents with their massive stockpile of elite weaponry, he left thousands of US citizens in the country to fend for themselves as they try to reach evacuation flights to go home.

Americans have taken notice and for the first time since he became fraud-in-chief his approval rating dropped below 50% in all the major polls. The majority of voters also believe that he is NOT mentally and physically capable enough for the job.

Breaking: British Para Troops Are Running Vehicle Patrols Through Center of Kabul to Extract Trapped UK Citizens — While Biden Abandons Trapped Americans

The rest of the world is also furious. Foreign news are saying he is a ‘humiliation’ to the US and has faced intense backlash from global leaders because millions are expected to flee the terror state and resettle in their countries.

And no surprise the radicals in his Administration are running cover.

Biden Admin Omitted Impassioned Plea by Emmanuel Macron to Show Moral Responsibility in Afghanistan from White House Readout — Hid It from American Public

In the end and a decade after he died, Bin Laden got what he hoped for – A Biden presidency.

He was only half right though. Feeble Ol’-Joe has led the WORLD into a crisis. 

Hoping Sleepy-Joe Would Become President, Osama Bin Laden Banned Al-Qaeda From Attempting to Kill Biden Because His Incompetence Would “Lead The US Into a Crisis” — The Gateway Pundit

Employee Vaccination Religious Exemption — Gentle Reformation

Today the Federal Drug Administration granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19. In the lead-up to that news, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said such an approval will likely increase vaccine requirements especially in places of business and educational institutions. Not unexpectedly, the societal discussion around this topic has been extremely contentious, and there are sincerely held and well-informed opinions on both ends of the spectrum about whether or not to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

In the days ahead Christians will need to continue to determine for themselves whether or not they will get the vaccine. The Protestant and Presbyterian tradition to which I belong values the liberty of conscience, and the RPCNA – the denomiation I am in – has no stated position on this or other vaccines. So, in the spirit of Christian charity, we must be content to let others have their different opinions and act according to their own conscience even as we seek to inform and be informed about these important matters.

Recently, Pastor Brant Bosserman – a pastor in the PCA and a guest contributor to Gentle Reformation – provided members of his congregation with a letter to employers requesting a religious exemption to possible COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Knowing this may be a scenario many Christians face in coming months, Pastor Bosserman has provided the letter below (written from the perspective of a pastor on behalf of a member) to serve as a template to ask for such an exemption. I offer it here acknowledging that not everyone will agree with the need for a religious exemption, but also recognizing each Christian’s right to sincerely hold religious convictions.

Dear Employer

In my capacity as a Minister in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), I am writing on behalf of ________________________ to ask that his/her religious exemption from receiving Covid-19 vaccination be honored by your organization.

A concept germane to historic Presbyterian theology, and as codified in our Westminster Standards (1646, American Revision 1788), is that of “Liberty of Conscience.”  The Apostle Paul taught that “whatever is not from faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23; cf. Rom. 14:1-23; 1 Cor. 8:1-13; James 4:17).  This means that if a Christian cannot perform an action with faithful confidence that God would allow it, to so act is to “sin” and to “defile” one’s conscience (1 Cor. 8:6).  This doctrine of “Liberty of Conscience” presupposes that Christians may differ significantly in their understanding of how to apply God’s moral law, and that each is bound to act in accordance with his/her understanding of it.  Individual Christians, civil leaders, and even clergy must be careful not to exalt their preferred applications of God’s moral law as rules which prohibit, much less contradict others’ convictions.  For, as the Westminster Confession declares, “God alone is Lord of the conscience” (20:2).  When Christians do succumb to outward pressure to behave contrary to God’s moral law as it is impressed upon their conscience, they “betray” and “destroy” that liberty granted to them by God and violate their covenant with Him (Westminster Confession, 20:2).

Policies rendering Covid-19 vaccination mandatory have the distinct capacity to violate the Christian conscience in a variety of ways.  Thus, many Christians must refrain from them, lest they sin.

First, whereas rules prohibiting infected employees from coming to the workplace are welcome, rules requiring employees to disclose their vaccination status and/or to place a foreign drug within their bodies conflict with fundamental human rights to privacy.  Thus, even vaccinated Christians may have a conscientious objection to disclosing their status with a view to protecting the liberties of their fellow employees.  The Christian whose conscience testifies that vaccination policies deprive co-workers of God-given rights cannot disclose his/her vaccination status without sinning against his/her neighbor and contributing to a hostile work environment.

Second, there is a fundamental moral distinction between harming oneself or one’s neighbor passively or actively.  An unvaccinated individual may inadvertently contract Covid-19, as with many viruses.  In contrast, the individual who pursues vaccination must be an active participant in placing a foreign substance in his/her body, that has proven harmful and even fatal to some (especially between doses and/or prior to two weeks after the second dose).  It is one thing for a healthy person to incur an illness, as divine providence would have it, by no intentional activity of his/her own.  It is another thing for a healthy individual to intentionally utilize a drug that has had severe adverse effects in others, and possibly contribute to his/her own harm.  For the Christian who views the latter as an especial violation of the 6th commandment—”thou shall not kill”—he/she cannot become vaccinated without sinning.

Third, the long-term effects of all Covid-19 vaccines are unknown.  Determination of exactly how unknown future consequences should come to bear on present decisions is a distinct matter of conscience, since there is no hard rule by which the unknown can be weighed.  The Christian whose conscience will not allow him/her to risk incurring unknown adverse consequences cannot become vaccinated without sinning.

Fourth, Covid-19 vaccines were tested and developed using fetal cells (or fetal cell lines) taken from elective abortions, as indicated here.  As elective abortions are prohibited by the sixth commandment—”thou shall not kill”—Christians have an interest in opposing and refusing to use medical products that encourage and/or validate the murder of the unborn.  The Christian whose conscience will not allow him/her to use such medical products cannot become vaccinated without sinning.

As a minister of the Gospel, I do hope and pray that your organization will recognize the legitimate religious exemption  _________________  from policies compelling him/her and other employees to receive Covid-19 vaccination.


Employee Vaccination Religious Exemption — Gentle Reformation

Horowitz: The FDA’s indefensible approval of the Pfizer shot — Conservative Review

Jesse Jackson and his wife are the latest victims of our government’s refusal to focus on early treatment. After having been fully vaccinated, they are the latest high-profile people to be hospitalized with the virus.

Based on the government’s own narrative, there is now nowhere for the lockdown/mask/shot cartel to run or hide from their failure nor their continued denial of the efficacy of prior natural immunity and early treatment for those without prior infection. Even for those vaccinated, the safest and most effective way forward is to test for prior immunity and treat pre-emptively or early those who have not yet been infected. Anything else will result in a growing death toll, endless life-altering side effects from the vaccine, an erosion of human rights, and the crushing of our economy and way of life.

The narrative of “the pandemic of the unvaccinated” collapsed quickly. As I predicted, not only did the data show the vaccine barely worked to stop infection, but the protection against critical illness wanes over time and might even induce a form of antibody-mediated viral enhancement, which continuously makes the virus worse. Thus, the more we push boosters, the more we suffer viral enhancement, waning antibodies, and the massive risk of side effects accompanying each shot.

In a CDC briefing from Aug. 18, director Rochelle Walensky let the cat out of the bag — that not only does the protection wear off, but it might enhance the disease.

“And even though our vaccines are currently working well to prevent hospitalizations, we are seeing concerning evidence of waning vaccine effectiveness over time and against the Delta variant,” said Walensky during the briefing. “Additionally, reports from our international colleagues, including Israel, suggest increased risk of severe disease amongst those vaccinated early. Given evidence, we are concerned that the current strong protection against severe infection, hospitalization and death could decrease in the months ahead. Especially among those who are at higher risk or who were vaccinated earlier during the phases of our vaccination rollout. In the context of these concerns, we are planning for Americans to receive booster shots.”

Stop the tape! Walensky now concedes the following:

  • There is zero justification to mandate the vaccine given that it doesn’t stop infection and transmission.
  • Even the personal protection from serious illness wanes after about six months or so and increasingly so for those most vulnerable to the virus who need the protection the most.
  • The vaccine efficacy wanes both over time and with mutant strains that will likely continue.
  • In a stunning admission, she says that reports from Israel seem to “suggest increased risk of severe disease amongst those vaccinated early.” This could indicate some degree of antibody dependent disease enhancement. After all, if the immunity is waning, then there is always a concern that the antibodies are strong enough to bind but not strong enough to block, which creates a more dangerous conduit for the virus into the cells, which is what people like mRNA vaccine inventor Dr. Robert Malone have been warning about. The FDA itself conceded in its memorandum (p.52) on the EUA approval of the shots, “Risk of vaccine-enhanced disease over time, potentially associated with waning immunity, remains unknown and needs to be evaluated further in ongoing clinical trials.”

Yet what is Walensky’s solution? To exacerbate this cycle and give yet another round of shots to everyone. Not only will this cause needless death and injury without long-term protection, but it will likely enhance viral immune escape even more. A pre-print study from Spanish researchers found that the antibody levels produced by booster shots to the Alpha variant seemed to net decreasing results. “Our results with the Alpha variant suggest that 3rd doses of present vaxes to the general population might not be the best approach to increase the immunity to the emerging VOCs,” gently concluded the authors. However, if these boosters are going to produce half-baked levels from the get-go, not only will the efficacy wane quicker (after users suffer all the side effects), but the risk for antibody dependent disease enhancement grows more alarming.

Israel, a country where nearly every older adult is vaccinated and many have received booster shots, is now concerned about the discovery of an even more virulent strain. Scientists have been warning that the devastating results of mass vaccination, particularly with a narrow-spectrum preventive vaccine like the spike protein shots, would create a super virus through viral immune escape. “Plans to vaccinate those with high risk of fatal disease followed by a drive to reach herd immunity while in uncontrolled transmission among the rest of the population is likely to greatly increase the probability that a resistant strain is established,” warned a group of European scientists in a paper published last month in Nature.

How can the FDA approve this shot when it has not fully studied the effects of myocarditis and other side effects? How can agency officials fully approve it when they themselves admit the shot requires an unknown number of boosters? Data from Israel revealed: “A full course of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was just 39% effective at preventing infections and 41% effective at preventing symptomatic infections caused by the Delta Covid-19 variant, according to Israel’s health ministry.” Again, how can this be approved and marketed as a vaccine?

The FDA’s industry guidance for EUA status (p.13) requires a 50% threshold of efficacy to even get emergency use authorization, much less full approval! With our government admitting it is now below this threshold and waning with every day and every new variant, how can full approval be justified, particularly of the Pfizer shot?

Contrast this to natural immunity, and it is simply indefensible for our government to treat vaccinated people as less a threat than those with prior infection. How good is natural immunity? The U.K., which is the only country that publishes granular weekly surveillance data, shows that the number of “probable” reinfections is just 0.025%. Almost all of them were likely very mild cases. The trend line also shows that the reinfection cases have not grown with the Delta variant.
This all demonstrates that not only should those who already have immunity shy away from the risk of these shots, but even those who don’t should focus on early and prophylactic treatment to get them over the inevitable exposure to the virus. A truly honest government would be promoting this message rather than doubling and tripling down on failure as the only solution to a problem they continue to make worse.

Horowitz: The FDA’s indefensible approval of the Pfizer shot — Conservative Review

‘We Are Coming for You’: Afghanistan’s Christians Continue to Call for Prayers Amid Reports of Taliban Persecution | CBN

Afghanistan’s Christian community is in urgent need of prayer as many try to flee the country following the Taliban’s stunning takeover of the country last week.

Life under Taliban rule would be extremely difficult for Christians and new reports of persecution against believers have already emerged, International Christian Concern (ICC) reports.

Beatings, torture, and kidnappings are common for Christians in Afghanistan – some are even martyred. Those who convert from Islam to Christianity are often murdered by their own family members or other Muslims.

“We are telling people to stay in their houses because going out now is too dangerous,” an Afghan Christian leader told ICC. “Some known Christians are already receiving threatening phone calls. In these phone calls, unknown people say, ‘We are coming for you.'”

Release International’s spokesman, Andrew Boyd, says at least one Christian has been killed by Taliban fighters, including a Hazara.

“The Taliban have been checking phones to check if there are any Bibles downloaded onto their phones,” Boyd said. “We have a report that at least on Hazara has been killed as a result of this.”

According to The Times of London, Taliban fighters have been going house to house in search of anyone who may have cooperated with Western forces “and were threatening to kill or harm their relatives if they do not surrender.”

Rex Rogers of SAT-7 USA, a satellite TV ministry to the Middle East and North Africa, says the situation is “dire.”

“We’ve seen the Taliban in the past, we know what they do,” he added. “We may not know why things that happened to us, or in the world, but we know the God who knows why. We trust the sovereign God of the universe, who’s also our Heavenly Father.”

Some Afghan Christians are communicating with SAT-7 on social media, while others call in asking for prayer.

“They are connecting; our Dari-speaking Christian counselors are responding to them as best they can. Sometimes they’re asking us for information and help, [asking questions like] ‘How do I get out of here?’,” Rogers explained.

It is estimated that there are 10,000 and 12,000 Christians in Afghanistan but they remain in hiding due to fear of persecution. Over 99 percent of the country is comprised of Muslims, with the majority being Sunni.

Leaving Islam is considered shameful and Christian converts face grave consequences if their new faith is discovered.

“It’s an uncertain situation for the whole country, not just for secret believers,” read a statement from the field director of Open Doors in Asia.

Afghanistan is ranked second on Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List of countries where Christians suffer the most persecution.

Source: ‘We Are Coming for You’: Afghanistan’s Christians Continue to Call for Prayers Amid Reports of Taliban Persecution

Video shows Pelosi, DCCC donors enjoying maskless party as masked servants attend them | WND

“Rules for thee, but not for me,” remains the elitist motto a year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’re tired of the double standards, we’re tired of hearing the same politicians who live life as usual while telling us to continue to alter our lifestyles to suit their rules. And we’re especially tired of the draconian mandate culture coming to life before our eyes.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is no stranger to COVID hypocrisy, and she’s still going strong with it — even amid the rampant spread of the fearsome, more highly contagious delta variant.

Just take a look at this video shared in a tweet from New York Times reporter Kenneth Vogel on Sunday, which shows Pelosi — a woman who requires masks for members of Congress and visitors to the House side of the Capitol — speaking to the entirely maskless group present at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee retreat in Napa Valley, California.

The footage pans over the crowd, showing long, decorated tables surrounded by DCCC members packed nearly shoulder-to-shoulder as masked wait staff scurry about.

To no one’s surprise, Pelosi is maskless too.

Journalist and political commentator Glenn Greenwald shared Vogel’s tweet shortly after, attaching the caption: “All the servants fully masked. The almost-entirely old, white, rich crowd of DCCC donors free to go maskless as they’re served.”

The observation isn’t his alone, nor should it be.

At this point, we should all be outraged to see the same people who demand that we stay at home, present vaccination cards for services or entry into businesses, wear masks and remain socially distanced from those around us are doing little of these — if any.

Sure, we can suspect — considering the Dems’ adamant vaccine push — that nearly everyone present at the DCCC event had been vaccinated.

However, in too many places, there are no exceptions for the everyday Americans who have done the same.

Now, in some Democratic-run jurisdictions, masks are being enforced on the unvaccinated and the vaccinated — and it’s making people ask … what are these vaccines actually preventing?

Still, that cannot distract from the DCCC’s elitist display that’s been the cause of so much spite and dissent among everyday people.

We don’t like being told what to do — how (or how far) to stand around others, how we can’t be trusted to use our own discretion regarding our personal health, how to breathe, even.

But our disdain for control comes from being controlled — not from ranking among the controllers.

Did Pelosi and the rest of the DCCC elitists ever give pause to the idea that the event’s servants could contract COVID from them for remaining maskless (I’m not saying they would; I’m simply posing the argument they’ve tried to make and am applying it to this question).

The leftist elite’s concerns regarding COVID seem to extend far beyond themselves in the most convenient way.

Perhaps, as I mentioned, every guest in attendance had already been fully vaccinated and they realize how freeing it is to parade around without the same masks they tell everyone else to wear.

In the minds of too many Democrats, everyday Americans don’t deserve that luxury.

That much is obvious from the way we’re admonished for making our own personal choices, for reading scientifically based articles that pose claims that are different from the Centers for Disease Control’s standard, or for telling our employers “no thank you” when asked if we want to receive the controversial jabs.

It is time to call out the governmental elitists for their hypocrisy, for promoting the same policies they feel free to discard whenever they wish.

In the elite mind, rules are for servants.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Source: Video shows Pelosi, DCCC donors enjoying maskless party as masked servants attend them

Majority Disapprove Of Biden’s Handling Of Afghanistan, How About You?

Streaming: Mon 12 PM EST Biden did try to blame Trump for the immediate Taliban takeover of Kabul, as President Ashraf Ghani fled, but Trump told Fox News’ “Hannity” on Tuesday night, he had no confidence in Ghani, calling him a “crook.” The poll asked the question: “Who is more to blame for the Taliban taking over Afghanistan, President Biden or former President Trump?” The poll found 51% of likely voters blame Biden for the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, while 38% blame Trump.

Source: Majority Disapprove Of Biden’s Handling Of Afghanistan, How About You?

America faces greater threat now than during the Cold War — Capstone Report

America faces a worse geopolitical situation than it saw in the Cold War. During the Cold War, the US resisted an economically ailing Soviet Union while most of the industrialized world arrayed against communism.

According to Henry Kissinger, “Most of history has displayed a synthesis of military, political, and economic strength, which in general has proved to be symmetrical. In the Cold War period, the various elements of power became quite distinct. The former Soviet Union was a military superpower and at the same time an economic dwarf. It was also possible for a country to be an economic giant but to be militarily irrelevant, as was the case with Japan.”[1]

The current situation is different than the Cold War.

Significantly different.

China is an economic rival to the United States in many sectors. China is a major manufacturing power and is now an innovator in electronics like 5G. China is growing its military power.

It looks like China is seeking to become a regional hegemon—and dominate Asia.

According to Elbridge Colby as quoted by The New Yorker, “Great powers create market areas…And that’s what China’s trying to do. And, if the Chinese have a trade area over which they’re ascendant that comprises fifty per cent of global G.D.P. or more, you can bet that Americans are going to suffer.”

Pay attention to this.

Such control would pose a fundamental threat to the global balance of power. It would essentially lead to an Eurasian block dominated by China. This is something that the US must resist. The lessons of history teach us this.

“For three centuries, British leaders had operated from the assumption that, if Europe’s resources were marshaled by a single dominant power, that country would then have the resources to challenge Great Britain’s command of the seas, and thus threaten its independence. Geopolitically, the United States, also an island off the shores of Eurasia, should, by the same reasoning, have felt obliged to resist the domination of Europe or Asia by any one power and, even more, the control of both continents by the same power.”[2]

This is what we now face. The possibility of China dominating Asia and then finally Europe either with or despite its junior partner Russia.

This offers the US an important opening at some point in the future to seek rapprochement with Moscow. Therefore, some settlement with Putin and his successors recognizing a Russian sphere of influence is wise—it would create a path for the US to draw Moscow away from any reliance on Beijing.

Even if this is impossible, at the very least, it is imperative the US prevent a growing Sino-Russian cooperation escalating into a full-blown alliance. Such an alliance would present the US with the horrifying possibility of a two-front war—as detailed in this National Interest essay.

Central to that article is this: “Averting such scenarios should not only or primarily be a concern for the U.S. military; it is also the job of U.S. diplomacy. Indeed, diplomacy in its highest form has historically been used for precisely this purpose, as an instrument for rearranging power in space and time to avoid fighting numerous enemies at once. This role—the sequencing of rivalries—should be the central preoccupation of American diplomacy today. Rather than trying to contain Russia and China simultaneously, the United States needs to find a way to stagger its contests with these two powers to ensure that it does not face both at the same time in a war.”

Or find a way to live with a Russian sphere of influence.

Russia is a great power. It will have a sphere of influence around its periphery. Attempting to change reality should be rejected.

In fact, history teaches that despots often do not want to work with other despots. It was through a series of errors that Mussolini was driven into alliance with Berlin—earlier in his career he preferred cooperation with France and Great Britain. The Italian dictator even ordered troops to the border with Austria at one point to stand against Hitler. However, the Allies were incompetent in handling Mussolini and drove the tyrants together instead of pitting them against each other.

This was an important point Kissinger stressed in the Allies mishandling of the Abyssinia Crisis—something that put virtue signaling over cold hard facts. According to Kissinger, “Collective security had condemned Haile Selassie to losing all of his country rather than the half he would have lost under the Realpolitik of the Hoare-Laval plan.”[3]

It also pushed Italy into the arms of Germany.

There is a lesson here.

But, at best preventing a Moscow-Beijing alliance is a long way off. It may not even be possible. As A. Wess Mitchell warns, “Russia is too hostile to be ‘flipped,’ China is too far along in its rise to be deferred, and both powers’ demands are too expansive and incompatible for either to be effectively co-opted.”

This could very well be right about Russia. However, in 2001, Putin was far more pro-West than currently. Perhaps, if the US reconsidered its approach then a reset with Putin would be possible?

In the meantime, the US must make do with its own resources and the ability to rally regional allies around China’s periphery.

China’s Military Buildup or Why die for Danzig?

Last week, we noted China’s ability to convert civilian ferries for landing purposes. A friend sent this article that presents an even more depressing view of the situation. The article examines the evidence available and finds China likely has far more shipping capacity than US policy experts think.

This fits with China’s military buildup over the last few decades. As detailed in books by Michael Pillsbury, the Hundred Year Marathon, and General Robert Spalding, Stealth War, China pursued its goal to displace America as the global hegemon.

Colby’s new book, according to the New Yorker, “documents the steady Chinese military buildup: around ten-per-cent annual increases in its budget for a quarter century; he also pointed out that China has a Navy that exceeds America’s in the number of boats, if not yet tonnage, as well as missiles that can reach U.S. bases around Asia and as far as Honolulu. All of this is pointing, Colby argues, to an invasion of Taiwan, an event he sees as likely and whose consequences he believes could be disastrous.”

I’ve pre-ordered the book. This will be an important one for everyone to read and understand the challenges the US faces. Standing out is the threat to Taiwan.

Key point of Colby’s conversation with the New Yorker is that a “successful invasion would send an unmistakable message to all other countries in Asia about who is the dominant power in the region and who gets to write the rules of the economic order.”

Some might think Taiwan would be a minor event, a sideshow. They would point to the stalemate in Korea or the defeat in Vietnam as examples of something everyone thought huge at the time but were minor to the end of the Cold War.

However, such ignores the key differences. Those were skirmishes on the periphery of the main conflict between the ideological centers of Washington and Moscow. Neither were a direct confrontation. A Chinese invasion of Taiwan would be a direct confrontation with the United States.

A defeat for the United States here would signal a reshuffling of the Asian order similar to Japan’s victory over Russia in 1905.

That event sparked greater militarism in Asia and led to World War II.

A US defeat over Taiwan likely would do the same. It would either risk escalation, something Eisenhower always feared inevitable in any direct confrontation during the Cold War, or a series of future conflicts as the world adjusts to the new power realities.

The US must prepare. Now.

[1] Diplomacy, p. 23.

[2] Diplomacy, pp. 50-51.

[3] Diplomacy, p. 300.

America faces greater threat now than during the Cold War — Capstone Report