“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” – Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard
“Hard to Be Wealthy and Not Wanton” Job 1:3; 42:12; Matthew 19:24; Mark 10:23, 25; Luke 18:24–25
Christ tells us “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Our Savior, indeed, does not speak of an impossibility, but of the difficulty of it and the rareness of it. Job unfolded the riddle and got through the needle’s eye with three thousand camels. But it is hard to be wealthy and not wanton.
Ritzema, E., & Vince, E. (Eds.). (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Puritans. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
Make a Habit of Performing Loving Acts Ephesians 4:2; Hebrews 10:24
Accustom yourself to make frequent acts of love, which inflame and melt the soul.
TERESA OF ÁVILA
Ritzema, E. (2013). 300 Quotations for Preachers from the Reformation. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
6:6 The references to forced labor in vv. 6 and 7 translate the same Hebrew word that was heard twice when Pharaoh complained that Moses and Aaron were stopping the Israelites “from their labor” (5:5) and told them to get back to their “labor” (5:4); it is also used at the start of the oppression (1:11; cp. 2:11). The Lord would oppose Pharaoh and his plans and would be successful where Moses was not, despite how it might appear at first.
The promise I will redeem you uses a legal term that pictures the Lord’s action as that of a close relative who protects a family member or recovers property that belongs to someone in the extended family (Lv 25; 27; Dt 19; Jr 32:6–15). Boaz did this for Naomi and Ruth (Ru 3:2, 9–13; 4:1–17). Such things were a matter of special interest to the Lord, who gained the reputation as Redeemer supreme (Pr 23:10–11; Is 41:14; 44:6; Jr 31:9–11). For the Lord to speak of himself as redeeming the Israelites by means of his outstretched arm clarified the nature of the conflict with Pharaoh. In Egyptian art and literature, Pharaoh was pictured in battle gear with his arm stretched out as a way of showing how powerful he was. Along with the “strong hand” (v. 1), the “outstretched arm” was a frequently used figure in references to what the Lord did at the time of the exodus (Dt 4:34; 5:15; 7:19; 9:29; 11:2; 2Kg 17:36; Ps 136:12; Jr 32:21).
In a later prophecy about the future defeat of Egypt, Pharaoh’s arms are broken (Ezk 30:20–26), and in a terrible reversal of the exodus, the Lord’s hand and arm are turned against Judah (Jr 21:5); but when restoration is prophesied, the strong hand and outstretched arm of the Lord are again at work on behalf of his people (Ezk 20:33–34). The Lord’s great acts of judgment (cp. Ex 7:4) would include action taken against the gods of Egypt (12:12; Nm 33:4). Ezekiel 14:21 also uses this term and defines the judgments planned there as including losses in war (“the sword”), famine, dangerous animals, and plagues, all sent as Israel’s punishment for idolatry (cp. Ezk 5:17).
6:6 bring you out … redeem. God’s reply to Moses’ complaint of 5:22–23. This is the central core of the section, a solemn assurance of redemption and of covenant reaffirmation.
redeem. This term normally refers to the restoration of rights to a disadvantaged family member by the payment of a price or a ransom; such redemption was normally effected by the next of kin (Lev. 25:25; cf. Ruth 4). Israel, as Yahweh’s son (4:22), was redeemed from Egypt to be God’s own people. Rescue, redemption, and covenant relation are the keys to the passage. The heart of the covenant is God’s claim on His people and the reciprocal claim that He allows them to make on Him.
6:6I will redeem The Hebrew word used here, ga’al, occurs in social and legal contexts with respect to kinship laws and rights. The go’el—or “redeemer”—was a kinsman charged with the responsibility to preserve or reacquire the family’s property and individual members. Over time, the term became more abstract and theological, as it was used to describe God’s actions toward Israel, whom He calls His firstborn son (e.g., 4:22). Compare v. 7.
Ver. 6.—Say unto the children of Israel. God felt for the disappointment which the people had suffered in finding no alleviation of their toils, but the reverse, after their hopes had been raised high by the words of Moses (ch. 4:31). He therefore sent them an inspiriting and gracious message” They should be rid of their bondage; they should be brought out; they should be redeemed and delivered by his mighty arm and miraculous intervention. He, Jehovah, had said it.” Faith would lay hold on this assurance and cling to it, even though God still delayed his coming, and did not precipitate matters. A stretched-out arm. Arms are stretched out by men to help and save. An outstretched arm in the Egyptian writing meant “action.” The phrase, elsewhere so common, is here used for the first time. (Compare, however, ch. 3:20.) It was significant of active, energetic help. Great judgments. These had been previously hinted at (ch. 3:20 and ch. 4:22) but had not been previously called “judgments.” Compare Gen. 15:14 “Also that nation whom they serve will I judge.” The plagues of Egypt were not merely “wonders,” but punishments inflicted on a proud and cruel nation by a Judge.
Therefore (6:6) shows that the following command to Moses is grounded in the covenant promise solemnly entered into with the patriarchs. In response to the foremen’s complaint (5:21), which echoes the attitude of the people as a whole, Moses is instructed to say to the Israelites: “I am the Lord.” By beginning with this authoritative self-identification formula (6:2), Moses would make it clear that his message is not his own. He is acting as God’s spokesman, and conveying a message grounded in the will of the Lord, who has committed himself to be to his people all that they could possibly expect of their God. As he had already promised them through Moses, he would act to free them. This is stated in three ways. I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. ‘Yoke’ here renders the same word as is translated ‘forced labour’ (1:11), ‘hard labour’ (2:11), ‘work’ (5:4) and ‘bondage’ (6:9). ‘Bringing out’ is usually used of their release from Egypt (3:10; 7:5; 13:3; 20:2). Perhaps here ‘bringing out from under’ may picture the release of a pack animal which had been weighed down with a load that was too heavy for it—no doubt the Israelite slaves would have sympathised with that. I will free you (plural here and throughout to verse 8) from being slaves to them. ‘Free’ is the same word as translated ‘rescue’ earlier (2:19). It conveys the idea of snatching away from the grasp of another person or a situation of peril by exercising superior power. In this case the Israelites will be given relief from the bondage of the slavery that had been imposed on them by the Egyptians.
The third phrase that is used is perhaps the most significant. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. ‘Redeem’ adds to ‘rescue’ the idea of relationship. It implies ‘act as your kinsman-redeemer’, and is the practical outworking of the bond that the Lord has already recognised as existing between himself and the Israelites. “Israel is my firstborn son” (4:22). The kinsman-redeemer acted on behalf of close relatives who had fallen on bad times: he was required to buy back any inalienable property sold by them (Lev. 25:25), to buy back any kinsman who sold himself into slavery to a foreigner (Lev. 25:47–55), and to act in place of a deceased relative in receiving restitution (Num. 5:8). Boaz acted as kinsman-redeemer with respect to Ruth (Ruth 4). Here the Lord is committing himself to act to free the Israelites because of the relationship that the covenant has created between him and them. It will not be the case, however, that some monetary payment will be made for their release, but a display of divine strength overthrowing their oppressors. ‘Outstretched arm’ is a metaphor of power in action (3:20). It may have Egyptian overtones in that kings and gods are often portrayed with outstretched arm as a symbol of their might. ‘Acts of judgment’ (7:4) points to the correction of an unjust situation. The exploitation practised by the Egyptians would be condemned and punished by the Lord.
 Coover-Cox, D. G. (2017). Exodus. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 98). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
“Bring Him your grief and pain as often as you need to and receive His crown of beauty and oil of gladness. Allow Him to heal all your wounded places and restore you with His love. He is more than enough for your every need.”
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me… He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted … to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” Isaiah 61:1-3
Your Heavenly Father is faithful to comfort you in your grief.
These days may not feel like His goodness or His faithfulness. Be blessed to trust that God is good and kind even if it doesn’t feel like it in this moment. Hear His gentle invitation to come to Him and receive His love, comfort, and guidance. The indwelling Christ is anointed in your life to bring good news to you, to bind up your broken heart.
He hears your prayers and your tears when there are no words. He counts them as liquid intercession, which is precious to Him (Psalm 56:8a). Be blessed to know Him as your Father of compassion and God of all comfort, who comforts you in all your troubles (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
Receive the covering of His sweet presence and peace that passes all understanding. Be blessed with strength and courage as you face the days ahead. You are not alone. He is your Mighty Warrior and contends with those forces that are contending with you (Isaiah 42:13; Psalm 35:1). May you be at peace with a still heart, while He fights for you (Exodus 14:14; Psalm 46:10).
Be blessed in His covenant of love that can never be taken from you (Romans 8:35, 38-39). He will never leave you. His promises can never be broken. He never loses sight of who He created you uniquely to be.
Bring Him your grief and pain as often as you need to and receive His crown of beauty and oil of gladness. Allow Him to heal all your wounded places and restore you with His love. He is more than enough for your every need.
If we are going to be true children of our Father, his values must become our own, his lost sheep must become our quest.
“This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.” Psalm 34:6
So few hear the cry of the poor or respond to the plight of the disadvantaged. If we are going to be true children of our Father, his values must become our own, his lost sheep must become our quest. Let’s help others around us who are in need find that when they call to God, they are not forgotten. Let’s be his delivery system of grace.
Gracious and Holy Father, please use me to be a delivery system for your grace. In the name of Jesus, your greatest gift of grace. Amen.
Israeli settlers attack Palestinian harvesters in West Bank A group of 30 settlers attacked a Palestinian family in Yasuf, in the West Bank on Friday morning, according to a report by the Israeli human rights organization Yesh Din. According to the report, the attackers threw stones at the family, and after some of them successfully escaped, the attackers then reached the 50-year-old mother of the family and sprayed pepper spray at her face.
As Erdogan set for another tour, Turkey deepens ties with Africa East Africa’s largest indoor arena in Rwanda; a national mosque in Ghana; an army base in Somalia; and an almost 400km-long railway project which would help give landlocked Ethiopia direct access to major trade routes through the port of Djibouti. These are just some of Turkey’s increasingly growing footprints across sub-Saharan Africa…
Texas teachers told to present “other perspectives” on the Holocaust As you go through, just try to remember the concepts of the [bill] 3979, Peddy said, referring to House Bill 3979, signed into law in June as a means of combatting the teaching of critical race theory in public schools. The law requires teachers to present multiple perspectives when discussing “widely debated and currently controversial” issues. “And make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust,” Peddy continued, “that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives.” “How do you oppose the Holocaust?” one teacher asked.
Bill Clinton hospitalized in California for blood infection, spokesperson says Bill Clinton was admitted to the University of California Irvine Medical Center’s intensive care unit for a urinary tract infection that spread to his bloodstream, his doctors told CNN on Thursday. “He was admitted to the ICU for close monitoring and administered IV antibiotics and fluids. He remains at the hospital for continuous monitoring,”
Doctors Examined Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca Vaccines Under A Microscore and Identified Metals and Parasites Thirty-five groups of doctors, research scientists and lawyers across US, UK, Germany, Austria and Japan examined a thousand vials of Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca ‘vaccines’ and found hundreds of sharp edged metal pieces in one droplet along with parasite material. When researchers heated the samples while being observed under the microscope, the particles began to move and were in-sync with each other. Sharp metal objects, graphene layers, large rectangular objects that have never seen before, are not biologic and likely are harmful when inside a human body. These doctors are calling for a worldwide halt of Covid injections. -GEG
America: A Dead Man Walking `Will America Exist in 10 or 20 Years? Probably Not. I knew America was finished when the insouciant dumbshits let the corrupt Establishment openly and blatantly steal a presidential election and install a cipher as front man for the Establishment’s agenda. What is the Establishment’s agenda? It is Evil incarnate.
Australia is set to stop manufacturing the AstraZeneca vaccine onshore with the life-saving jab falling victim to ‘negative press’. The federal government in November last year contracted Australia biomedical firm CSL to produce 50 million doses of the Oxford University vaccine at its manufacturing hub in Melbourne.
Sources are coming forward to claim that a growing number of U.S. Navy SEALS who are seeking a religious exemption to the Department of Defense’s (DOD) COVID-19 vaccine mandate are being hit with intimidation and threats in attempts to make them submit to getting the shot.
Michael Berry, First Liberty Institute’s general counsel, and Lt. Col. U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, is representing 34 Navy SEALS and two reservists in their quests to get these exemptions. He told Fox News that the Navy’s new vaccine mandate is illegal and infringes upon an individual’s First Amendment freedoms.
“Purging our military of its elite servicemembers is detrimental to national security. Doing so because the Commander in Chief refuses to accommodate their religious convictions is abhorrent to the Constitution. Their years of experience and leadership in service to our nation is immeasurable and irreplaceable,” Berry said. “Remove a SEAL from special warfare, reduce his salary, and force him to repay his training is purely vindictive and punitive. And it’s illegal. They have nothing to do with a virus.”
Berry went on to say that the clients he is representing have a combined more than 350 years of military service and more than 100 combat deployments.
This comes after the Navy’s COVID Consolidated Disposition Authority (CCDA) issued a new directive on Thursday stating that if SEALs refuse to get the vaccine, the Navy may seek to recover from each individual SEAL the money the government has spent on training them. Training just one individual SEAL can cost millions of dollars.
Another internal document states that as special operations (SO) duty personnel, SEALS who refuse to get vaccinated based only on religious or personal beliefs will be “disqualified” from SO duty. This means that a SEAL who seeks a religious objection would lose their “special warfare” pay due to SO status.
The Navy has set November 14 as the deadline for active-duty sailors to get either their second shot of a two-dose vaccine or the single shot of a one-dose vaccine, with reservists having until December 14.
One source came forward to claim that when one SEAL informed his commander that he was planning to seek a religious exemption, the officer fired back by saying that he would have to give up his Special Warfare pin, also known as a “Trident.” SEALS who are stripped of the privilege of wearing a Trident are removed from the SEAL community completely and sent back to be a regular sailor, despite, in some cases, years of work to earn special operator status.
First, Liberty is planning to file a complaint on behalf of the SEALS using pseudonyms and concealing locations in order to protect the identities of the service members who are afraid of retaliation from the Navy leadership.
“SEALs have invested their lives into serving this nation, dedicating years of their lives and millions of taxpayer dollars in training to be the most elite fighting force on the face of the earth,” said Berry. “Yet, the Commander in Chief would simply kick them out of the Navy, send them to jail, and force them to repay the nation for their training—all for simply declining a vaccine.”
This piece was written by James Samson on October 15, 2021. It originally appeared in RedVoiceMedia.com and is used by permission.
A new survey reveals that evangelicals account for a higher share of practicing Christians than their mainline counterparts. The American Bible Society released the seventh chapter of its 11th annual State of the Bible report titled “The Bible in the American Church.”
When it comes to President Joe Biden, it is very common knowledge amongst his handlers, cabinet, and Democrats that he doesn’t fare so well when addressing the public. While it is unknown if the Democrats knew this before backing him as president, the party is utterly helpless as giving speeches, reassuring the people, and taming the press is part of the job. And with that, Biden has showcased a great demo reel of stumbles, fumbles, and outright forgetfulness as he can’t make it through a single speech without some major blunder. This brings us to his latest attempt at showing what a true leader looks like.
In the video below, President Biden spoke at the University of Connecticut on Friday when he spiraled off on one of his usual tangents. Biden said passionately on Democracy and how it is disappearing in the world of today. But while he was trying to convey a need for unity, he confusingly contorted his face, almost grimacing. What is even more shocking is how Biden somehow keeps this face as he begins to yell at the crowd about the importance of democracy.
Although President Biden might appear to be passionate about democracy, it should be noted that he not only signed more executive orders than any other president, but he is also trying to force a vaccine on the American people whether they want it or not. That’s true democracy.
I received a piece of spam mail late last week offering to “elevate” the worship service at my church. I can think of a number of verbs that might pique the interest of a Reformed church: purify, reform, sanctify, solemnize are some that come to mind but elevate is not one of them. The advertiser, to whet my appetite for elevating, avers that “an increasing number of churches are adding audio-video displays to enhance the worship experience with great results.” In the next sentence I half expected him to say, “E.g., congregations at Bethel and Dan have also added golden calves to their service and the people are very pleased.”
To refresh your memory about 1 Kings 12, King Jereboam said:
If this people go up to offer sacrifices in the temple of the LORD at Jerusalem, then the heart of this people will turn again to their lord, to Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” So the king took counsel and made two calves of gold. And he said to the people, “You have gone up to Jerusalem long enough. Behold your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” And he set one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan (1 Kings 12:27–29; ESV).
The issue here is what the Lord wanted versus what Jereboam wanted. The question is this: on what principle do congregations do what they do in public worship? According to the email, the goal of a public worship service is to create a certain quality of religious experience in the congregation. This has been the principle of evangelical worship since the early nineteenth century. This is not the biblical principle of worship as the Reformed churches understand Scripture.
Here is what the Reformed say about what the Lord wants from his people in public worship:
96. What does God require in the second Commandment?
That we in no wise make any image of God, nor worship Him in any other way than He has commanded us in His Word (Heidelberg Catechism).
And inasmuch as the Roman Church, forsaking the use and customs of the primitive Church, has introduced new commandments and a new form of worship of God, we esteem it but reasonable to prefer the commandments of God, who is himself truth, to the commandments of men, who by their nature are inclined to deceit and vanity (French Confession, preface).
Therefore we reject all human innovations and all laws imposed on us, in our worship of God (Belgic Confession, art. 32)
…the acceptable way of worshiping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will, that he may not be worshiped according to the imaginations and devices of men, or the suggestions of Satan, under any visible representation, or any other way not prescribed in the Holy Scripture (WCF 21.1)
So, our principle of worship is that we do in worship only what the Lord has commanded. The Lord has not commanded the use of videos to “elevate” worship. Therefore we may not do it. Further, the Reformed churches make a distinction between the elements of worship and the circumstances. Indeed, those among the Reformed who would like to incorporate video into their services and thereby “elevate” them appeal to this very distinction to justify the use of videos. If this distinction is new to you please see the resources below, where the distinction is explained in detail.
To those who appeal to the distinction to justify the use of video in public worship I reply that this abuses the distinction by redefining the terms. When we talk about “circumstances” and “the light of nature” (e.g., Westminster Confession, 1.6) we are talking about those things that are necessary or unavoidable relative to public worship. The list of things required by nature is quite short, e.g., a shared time, place, and language. In order to hold a public worship service we must meet in one place, at the same time, using the same language (1 Cor 14:9–12). Videos are not necessary for public worship. Electricity is not even necessary. The church met for public worship for 1900 years without electricity.
The unsolicited invitation I received to install screens in order to show videos during the worship service gives us an opportunity to remind ourselves again about what worship is: adoring and calling upon the name of the Lord, hearing his law and his gospel, receiving his sacraments, and calling upon his name according to his revealed will. The Lord is not interested in our good ideas. We have known this at least since about 1500 B.C.
Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD. Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Among those who are near me I will be sanctified, and before all the people I will be glorified.’” And Aaron held his peace (Lev 10:1–3; ESV).
The translation “unauthorized fire” is apt. The older translation of “strange fire” no longer communicates the intent of the text. “Unauthorized” is apt precisely because what Calvin called the “rule of worship” is not an invention of dyspeptic Reformed theologians but a revelation from God.
The Lord has not changed since the days of Moses and Aaron. He is still holy. He struck fear into his people by striking down members of his covenant assembly who dared lie to the Holy Spirit (See Acts 5:1–11).
Pastors are sorely tempted to try to find a way to justify the use of videos during worship. We know that we live in a visual age and that people respond to videos and that they would help drive home in an affecting way. There is just one difficulty: God has not authorized it and they are not necessary to worship.
I have good news. The Lord has already established two visual aids for public worship: Holy Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. There is a sense, however, in which the entire service is already an audio-visual experience. It is a wonderful sensory experience to hear God’s people singing his Word (and that without the aid of instruments). We are meant to be affected by the sight of baptismal waters being applied by the minister to believers and to their children. We are meant to hold, smell, and taste the bread and wine of Holy Communion. In fact, in traditional Reformed worship, the congregation was invited forward to the table to receive the elements of the Lord’s Supper directly from the hand of the minister:
75. How is it signified and sealed to you in the Holy Supper, that you do partake of the one sacrifice of Christ on the cross and all His benefits?
Thus: that Christ has commanded me and all believers to eat of this broken bread and to drink of this cup in remembrance of Him, and has joined therewith these promises:1First, that His body was offered and broken on the cross for me and His blood shed for me, as certainly as I see with my eyes the bread of the Lord broken for me and the cup communicated to me; and further, that with His crucified body and shed blood He Himself feeds and nourishes my soul to everlasting life, as certainly as I receive from the hand of the minister and taste with my mouth the bread and cup of the Lord, which are given me as certain tokens of the body and blood of Christ.
The Lord is aware of our need for sense experience. He has met that need. The question is whether we will be satisfied with what the Lord has given or whether, like some in the history of redemption, we will seek to improve on what God has graciously given us?