Monthly Archives: December 2021

Blessing or Curse? | Renewing Your Mind with R.C. Sproul

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In order to grant His people the blessing of salvation, Jesus bore the curse of God in their place. Today, R.C. Sproul speaks on the sobering cost of our redemption.

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Source: Blessing or Curse?

The Bible and its Story: The Women of Midian

The Moabites in their plotting against Israel had been joined by the Midianites, Moses’ former friends. With both of these people the Israelites had desired to be friendly; because both were traditionally allied to Abraham. Now, however, Moses saw that his people could not live beside these idolaters and preserve their own faith. The Moabites had fled from the immediate neighborhood; Moses dispatched against the Midianites an armed force under the lead of the resolute Phinehas. Only twelve thousand men were sent on this expedition. Yet it was enough; the Midianites gave but feeble resistance and then fled. Balaam, the treacherous prophet, was among them, and was slain. All the wealth of the cities of Midian, all their herds of cattle, even their women and children, were captured by the Israelites and brought back to Moses. Most amazing of all, of the twelve thousand warriors who achieved this victory, not a single one was slain.

‎When the poor captives were brought before Moses, he was wroth that his followers should thus be exposed to further intercourse with idolaters, and gave the hardest, sternest order of his whole career; only the very young and innocent women were spared, all the others were slain, lest they corrupt the people of Israel.

by Julius A. Bewer; Charles F. Horne

Give Thanks! | Today in the Word Devotional

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We have a family video that I always enjoy watching. It is of my oldest daughter when she was about six years old opening a Christmas gift. She received a stuffed animal that she had been wanting for some time. When she opened it, she hugged it and danced all around the room saying, “Thank you!” Her gratitude was spontaneous, exuberant, and genuine. This month we have been reflecting on the many gifts we have received through the coming of Jesus. We have looked at the ways in which God has kept His promises. We have considered the ways in which God’s love was displayed through Jesus. We have celebrated the fact that we have been adopted into a new family. And we have rejoiced that God has given us a purpose to fulfill. The appropriate response to all of this is to be filled with exuberant and genuine thankfulness! In today’s reading, Paul bursts forth in gratitude for what God has done: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (v. 3). That verse summarizes our month’s study quite well. Every blessing we enjoy comes from God. He chose us (v. 3). He “predestined us for adoption to sonship” (v. 5). He redeemed us (v. 7). He lavished us with grace (v. 8). He revealed to us the “mystery of his will” (v. 9). He has given us the Holy Spirit (v. 13). All of these benefits and more have come to us because of the person and work of Jesus Christ. These blessings were given to us not simply for our enjoyment, but so that we would be equipped to take part in God’s mission to the world while we look forward to our eternal inheritance (v. 14). >> Take a few minutes today to give thanks to the Lord for all that you have received. G. K. Chesterton once wrote, “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Source: Give Thanks!

Even the Faintest Call — VCY America

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shalt be delivered.

Joel 2:32

Why do I not call on His name? Why do I run to this neighbor and that when God is so near and will hear my faintest call? Why do I sit down and devise schemes and invent plans! Why not at once roll my self and my burden upon the Lord? Straightforward is the best runner—why do I not run at once to the living God? In vain shall I look for deliverance anywhere else; but with God I shall find it; for here I have His royal “shall” to make it sure.

I need not ask whether I may call on Him or not, for that word whosoever is a very wide and comprehensive one. Whosoever means me, for it means anybody and everybody who calls upon God. I will therefore follow the leading of the text and at once call upon the glorious Lord who had made so large a promise.

My case is urgent, and I do not see how I am to be delivered; but this is no business of mine. He who makes the promise will find out ways and means of keeping it. It is mine to obey His commands; it is not mine to direct His counsels. I am His servant, not His solicitor. I call upon Him, and He will deliver me.

Even the Faintest Call — VCY America

December 31 Evening Verse of The Day

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4:16 Ultimately the church will grow up into Christ in all aspects, with each part fitting together and supporting the other. Each member of the body must function properly if the body is to grow. We get our English word harmony from the Greek term translated fitted and knit together.[1]

4:16 body. Paul uses the analogy of the human body. Believers are not given gifts for their own private benefit, and no one can grow to maturity in isolation. Paul himself strives for a knowledge of the Son of God that comes to maturity only when all believers attain it as well.[2]

4:16 whole body The Church is one unified group directed by Christ to accomplish His purposes—yet there are many parts to it. Paul uses this metaphor to explain how many people with different roles and gifts can work together in unity (compare 1 Cor 12:12–20).[3]

4:16 joint. Paul continues the body metaphor to describe the church’s maturity. Every member (i.e., every believer, viewed as a limb, or unit, in Christ’s body) plays a crucial role in this growth. in love. There is no Christian maturity or true Christian ministry without love (1 Corinthians 13), and every act of love in the name of Christ is valued and remembered by him, as each part is working properly (illustrated in Eph. 4:25–32; cf. Matt. 25:31–43; 26:6–13).[4]

4:16 from whom. This refers to the Lord. Power for producing mature, equipped believers comes not from the effort of those believers alone but from their Head, the Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Col 2:19). proper working of each … part. Godly, biblical church growth results from every member of the body fully using his spiritual gift, in submission to the Holy Spirit and in cooperation with other believers (cf. Col 2:19).[5]

4:16 Note the use of the body metaphor here to present the same truth as the building metaphor in 2:21. Every joint … every part is essential to full growth. There are no insignificant parts in the body (1 Cor. 12:14–27). Anything that builds up believers and the church can be said to be edifying.[6]

4:16. Through Christ the whole body is joined and knit together by what every joint supplies. Paul uses the picture of the human body working together to show how believers in the Body of Christ are to use their gifts for mutual benefit (according to the effective working by which every part does it share). The result is the growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. The body grows up and each believer is built up in love.[7]

4:16 The Lord Jesus is not only the goal of growth, He is the source of growth as well. From Him the whole body is involved in the growth process. The marvelous integration of the members of the Body is described by the phrase, joined and knit together. This means that every member is exactly designed for his own place and function, and perfectly joined to every other member so as to make a complete, living organism. The importance, yes, the indispensability of every member is next indicated: joined and knit together by what every joint supplies. The human body consists primarily of bones, organs, and flesh. The bones are bound together by joints and ligaments, and the organs also are attached by ligaments. Each joint and ligament fulfills a role in the growth and usefulness of the body. So it is in the body of Christ. No member is superficial; even the most humble believer is necessary.

As each believer fulfills his proper role, the body grows as a harmonious, well-articulated unit. In a very real sense, the body causes growth of the body, paradoxical as it sounds. This simply means that growth is stimulated by the body itself as the members feed on the Bible, pray, worship, and witness for Christ. As Chafer said, “The Church, like the human body, is self-developing.” In addition to growth in size, there is a building up of itself in love. This speaks of the mutual concern of the members for one another. As Christians abide in Christ and fulfill their proper function in the church, they grow closer to one another in love and unity.[8]

4:16. The head allows each part of the body to mature and grow, not concentrating on special knowledge and growth for a favored few. Each of the parts of the body is needed to hold the whole body together in unity. The body is truly a maturing, loving body only as each part is encouraged to grow and do its part of the work.[9]

4:16 Paul uses the metaphor of the human body to emphasize unity in love, amidst diversity. Disunity opens the door to Satan, his angels, and false teachers (cf. Col. 2:8).[10]

16. Paul concludes this section by saying, from whom the entire body, harmoniously fitted together and held together by every supporting joint, according to the energy that corresponds to the capacity of each individual part, brings about bodily growth with a view to its own upbuilding in love. As head Christ causes his body, the church, to live and to grow (cf. Col. 2:19). He is its Organic Head. As head he also exercises authority over the church; in fact, over all things in the interest of the church (Eph. 1:20–23). He is its Ruling Head. It is doubtful whether either of these two ideas is ever completely absent when Christ is called head of the church, though sometimes one connotation and then again the other receives the greater emphasis, as the context indicates. And in such a passage as 5:23, 24 both ideas (growth and guidance) are brought to the fore. In the present passage (4:16) it is clearly the organic relationship that is stressed. The words reveal a marked resemblance to those found in Col. 2:19: “… the head, from whom the entire body, supported and held together by joints and ligaments, grows with a growth (that is) from God.” The fact that the human body—which is the underlying figure—is, indeed, “harmoniously fitted together and held together by every supporting joint” is an astounding wonder. It is, however, common knowledge, not refuted by the most up-to-date science. The real message which the apostle is conveying both here in Ephesians and in the Colossian parallel is accordingly this, that to Christ the entire church owes its growth. Just as the human body, when properly supported and held together, experiences normal growth, so also the church, when each of its members supports and maintains loving contact with the others and above all with Christ, will, under the sustaining care of God (or of Christ, as here in Ephesians: “Christ, from whom”), proceed from grace to grace and from glory to glory (cf. 1 Cor. 12). There are, however, two main additions in the Ephesian passage, points not stressed in its Colossian parallel:

1. that the body is fitted together and held together … according to the energy that corresponds to the capacity of each individual part. Meaning: in the church, too, every spiritually alive member does his part, performing his ministry in accordance with his God-given ability. This is a fine repetition of the thought introduced in all the preceding verses of this section, particularly in verses 7, 12, 13.

2. dropping the underlying figure, that when all the individual “parts” (members) of the church co-operate, the entire church grows spiritually with a view to its own upbuilding in love. The love to which reference is made is the same as that mentioned in verse 2; see on that verse. With this marvelous word Paul ends this marvelous section.[11]

Ver. 16. From whom the whole body, fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. The Church is one body of different parts:

I. The Church is a unit body. It is not meant to convey the idea that the Church is in any way a material and tangible body, presented to the senses like material substance generally. It is not a body of any earthly form and figure. Our common conception of a body is a combination of particles constituting certain qualities and forces. We understand the spiritual through the analogies and symbols of the material and earthly. The Church is a holy combination of all spiritual powers and sympathies meeting in one centre and end, proceeding from the nature of Divine law and order, the relation of moral beings to one another, and the relation in which all stand to God, the spiritual Father and wise Ruler of the universe. This is the Church in its highest and purest form; it is the Church in the body of its principles, and the sympathies of its heart. 1. The unity of the Church consists in its design and service. 2. It is a unity of sympathy. 3. It is a unity of privilege. 4. It is one in relation. The Church stands related to its source and Head, to Divine order, to all intelligent beings, to itself and all belonging to its laws and blessings, to this world and the next. These are relations of privilege and responsibility, of honour and duty. 5. It is one in life and spirit. 6. It is one in likeness. The Church, as the product of one mind, carries the same Divine image everywhere, both in its laws and members. It is intended to mould the human family into the Divine likeness. II. The Church, as one body, possesses various parts and fit organs to perform its work and conserve its existence. It is not one clumsy mechanical piece, without either parts or joints, but a body of numerous organs for the accomplishment of different services. In its spiritual constitution it is a body of various elements, for the performance of high and gracious designs. In order that these various elements may have mediums of expression to reach their intended and fit end, there must be a befitting organization of parts and suitable quality. 1. The members of the body are intended to perform the required functions for the service of the body itself. The body has to serve itself before it can be useful to others. It is, in a sense, its own saviour or destroyer. The right use of its own functions and resources is its salvation; the rejection of this is its sure death and decay. There are some powers given for its protection, there are others for its growth and vigour; there are others for its comfort and happiness, and others, again, intended for its beauty and attraction. To have a perfect body, all these must do their own work, and co-operate for a common end; and to have a healthy and happy Church, all its functions must be active in doing their own work, and united together for one holy and high end. 2. The body has relations and duties to things besides itself. The body stands related, some way or other, to all the things of earth. All the works of this world depend upon the fitness of the members of the human body to do them; so that if these were to fail, all would stop. There could be no art without the mind and the senses; neither would there be commerce, building of houses, cultivation of the field, or any other work of any kind whatever. Such is the vast importance of the members of this small body, that all in life and society depend upon their order and efficiency. So is it in analogy with the Church; all in society morally depends upon the efficiency and the right use of its means and organs. All have their work. Unity of likeness and variety of work are the two things which demand and consume the service of the one and the whole. The head, the heart, and the hand of all have work, and that as much for their own sake as that of others; and all this diversity and force are for the needful and common service of the whole. To make these different organs complete and effective, you will see at once that there are other conditions required, which may be suggested as worthy of your respect and belief. (1) It is needful that these organs should be in their proper position. (2) Each organ must have its particular and proper work assigned to it. (3) It is required that they are all regularly and faithfully exercised. Exercise is the soul of power; it is both the condition of health and usefulness. (4) It is expected that there is a common sympathy between all the members of the body. They are coupled together. Harmony of parts in a machine, of members in the human body, of functions in society, of powers in the mind, and of graces in the soul, are analogous one to another, and are equally necessary for happy working and successful results. Sympathy in the members of the body is expressed by mutual co-operation and assistance, by subordination to and respect for one another, and constant assisting and forbearing with one another. As with the body corporeal, so is it intended to be in the body spiritual. The strongest must sympathize with the weak. Extremes are intended to meet, and do meet, in harmony here. (5) The body must have elasticity, to act with ease, comfort, and effect. The body is not made in one piece, but of different parts. Between these there is unity, and yet there is elasticity, so that every one can play its own part without inconvenience to itself or encumbrance to its neighbour. (6) All are governed by one will and intelligence. The members of the body, though various and numerous, are governed by one rational will, hence their unity in operation and subject. The Church, in all its members and functions, is governed by one constant and unfailing will, and this is one source of its power and unity. Only one will governing all, through all time and in all places, and that the one and the whole! What a thought!—what a comfort! (7) It is requisite that there should be life underlying the whole.

III. All the parts in the organization of the body abe subordinate, and intended for the increase of the whole. 1. It is to be a general and complete increase of the whole body. In order to have a well-developed and equally proportionate Church, all means must be used, all functions must be exercised; thus every part is developed, so that it becomes a true counterpart of real existence, and fit for all intended for it, and demanded of it. 2. It is a conditional increase, produced by the use of means. To secure the increase of the whole body, the law of the conditions demands that all means should be used, all powers exercised, the spirit one of faith and love, the motive true and unselfish, and the activity constant and unyielding. God gives increase according to law and order; and when these things are united, never does it fail. When our life unites with Divine order, happy results always follow, and never disappoint us. 3. It is an indefinite increase. There is neither limit nor end prescribed to it. It runs down through time and eternity; it pervades the universe of rational and responsible existence. 4. The soil and quality of the increase is love. Increase in love is one towards ourselves and the object or objects of our desire and delight at the same time. As love is the refining power of the soul, to increase in it is to advance in all that is morally pure and beautiful. It is the sweet element of happiness, and he who grows in it increases in the thing all wish and all seek. It is one of the chief elements in which we become like God, for He is love.

IV. The Church, as a body of parts, is dependent upon its representative Head for its order and resources. 1. Its laws and resources are from Him. The laws given by the Head to the Church are few and natural, proceeding from the unchangeable relations of man to man, and man to God. Love to God and love to man are the great moral laws which remain in the Church for ever, without declension or change, because they are essential to the relations of moral beings, and the moral universe could not exist without them. 2. From Him it receives its symmetrical proportion and harmony. The symmetry of the Church is the harmony of all its parts with themselves, with the Divine economy of the universe, and with itself, in all times and places. This threefold symmetry it receives from its glorious Head, who is one and unchangeable. 3. From Him it receives its oneness. This gives the Church, through all times and places, unity of purpose and character. Its oneness is not in its feet, but in its Head. 4. From Him it receives light and life. As life and light are elements in importance and value above all others, so is Christ to the Church. As He is made by God the representative Head, He is made its light and life. 5. From Him it receives its beauty and attraction. A deformed head would destroy every possible beauty and attraction of the whole body. A noble head gives beauty and nobility to the whole. We look first at the head; we form our opinion of the whole from the character of the head. In its outward form the Church may appear mean and unattractive in some of its members, but the Head makes up for the whole. The Head is never out of sight; it is visible to all from all its members. 6. Its magnitude and universality are received from the Head. His greatness becomes that of the Church, by virtue of the relation existing between them. Where the Head is, the Church is represented. In the Head, the Church of earth and heaven are united; the spirit of the Head unites the present with the future, and thus gives to the Church universality in time and space. 7. The Church is indebted for its hope and high destiny to its Head. The Head lives for the body. The exaltation of the Head will be that of the body also. The Head is above all human reach; and, in connection with its Head, the body will triumph over all foes and opposition. (T. Hughes.)

Mutual dependence:

I. Observe, in the first place, that all the true members of Christ are entirely dependent on Christ. Independence is the great principle of our corrupt nature—that sinful independence, that would lead the creature not to acknowledge its entire dependence on God. But let me say to such that hear me, be assured of this; the soul in that state never can enter the kingdom of heaven.

II. But observe now, that the members of Christ are not only dependent on Christ, but they are dependent upon each other. Look at a tree; is it not so? I see the branch dependent upon its stem, as the stem is dependent upon its root; but I see little branches dependent upon the other branches, and still smaller fibres dependent upon the smallest branches. And so is it in this figure before us: “from whom the whole body,” in its parts “fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part.”

III. And now consider the great object and end, for which all this takes place. It “maketh increase of the body.” That is, “the whole body” in its parts “maketh increase of the body” as a whole. (J. H. Evans, M.A.)

Christian work and Christian life:—Christian life in the truest sense is impossible apart from Christian activity. In other words, in the Church every one has something to do.

I. There must be a hearty conviction that because we can therefore we ought to do so. Power, you know, is a talent down to its uttermost limit, and as long as there is something which “every joint” can supply, alas for that joint’s health and life, if it fails of its function. A Christian that does no Christian work, is an anomaly. Analogy teaches this. Nature is not receptive only: nature is a bountiful giver; rendering back again, thirty, sixty, and a hundred fold, that which man entrusts to her keeping. Social life teaches the same doctrine. We cannot, if we would, do without one another.

II. All Christians have not the same work to do. Every joint is to supply something, but every joint is not to supply the same thing. It is to be according to “the measure of every part.” There is something to be done by all of us; but our work varies with our position in life. (W. G. Barrett.)

An honourable vocation for all:—Very little are some of the joints and fibres; but every little helps. Who shall despise the day of small things? But for the accumulated atoms, the aggregated littles, where were the body? As the author of “Felix Holt” says, we see human heroism broken into units, and are apt to imagine, this unit did little—might as well not have been. But in this way we might break up a great army into units; in this way we might break the sunlight into fragments, and think that this and the other might be cheaply parted with. There is a latter day apologue of a gimlet that grew exceedingly discontented with its vocation, envying all the other tools in the carpenter’s basket, and thinking scorn of its own mean duty of perpetually boring and picking holes everywhere. “The saw and the axe had grand work to do; and the plane got praise always; so did the chisel for its carving; and the happy hammer was always ringing merrily upon the clenching nail.” But for it, a wretched, poking, paltry, gimlet its work was hidden away, and very little seemed its recognized use. But the gimlet is assured, on the best authority, that nothing could compensate for its absence, and is therefore bidden be content, nay happy; for though its work seems mean and secret, it is indispensable. To its good offices, the workman is said to look chiefly for coherence without splitting; and to its quiet influences, the neatness, the solidity, the comfort of his structure may greatly be ascribed. The apologue has, of course, its practical application. “Are there not many pining gimlets in society, ambitious of the honour given to the greater-seeming tools of our Architect, but unconscious that in His hands they are quite as useful? The loving little child, the gentle woman, the patience of many a moral martyr, the diligence of many a duteous drudge, though their works may be unseen and their virtues operate in obscurity, yet are these main helpers to the very joints and bands of our body corporate, the quiet home influences whereby the great edifice, Society, is so nicely wainscoted and floored without split-boards.…” John Newton said that if two angels came down from heaven to execute a Divine command, and one was appointed to conduct an empire, and the other to sweep street in it, they would feel no inclination to change employments. So again, the same robust divine affirmed that a Christian should never plead spirituality for being a sloven; “if he be but a shoe-cleaner, he should be the best in the parish.” As the old servant tells Ruth in Mrs. Gaskell’s story, “There’s a right and a wrong way of setting about everything—and to my thinking, the right way is to take a thing up heartily, if it is only making a bed. Why, dear, ah me! making a bed may be done after a Christian fashion, I take it, or else what’s to come of such as we in heaven, who’ve had little enough time on earth for clapping ourselves down on our knees for set prayers?” This quaint speaker had laid to heart the lesson once for all enforced upon her, to do her duty in that state of life to which it had pleased God to call her; her station was that of a servant, and, looked at aright, as honourable as a king’s: she was to help and serve others in one way, just as a king is in another. Her parting counsel to Ruth runs thus: “Just try for a day to think of all the odd jobs as to be done well and truly in God’s sight, not just slurred over anyhow, and you’ll go through them twice as cheerfully,” besides doing them more efficiently. John Brown, of Haddington, being waited on by a lad of excitable temperament, who informed him of his desire to become a preacher, and whom the shrewd pastor saw to be as weak in intellect as he was strong in conceit, advised him to continue in his present vocation. The young man said, “But I wish to preach and glorify God.” The old commentator replied, “My young friend, a man may glorify God making broom besoms; stick to your trade, and glorify God by your life and conversation.” As it was said of Bossuet, in the seventeenth century, that he could not walk, or sit down, or even pluck a currant, without your recognizing in him the great bishop (so asserts a modern French divine, not of Bossuet’s Church), just so the workman and the domestic servant who are animated by their Master’s spirit, distinguish themselves among their fellows by a certain air of nobility; under their blouse or their livery may be seen to shine the signal light of their aristocratie spirituelle, the image of the Most High Himself. However mean their employment, they go about it with neither disgust nor indifference; but with an intelligent interest, because, in the sight of God, and indeed in their own eyes, their occupation is on a level with that of king or emperor. (Francis Jacox.)

The Church edifying itself in love:

I. The Church of Christ is compared to a body. 1. The life of a body. 2. Its head. 3. The members. 4. Their unity. 5. Its nourishment. 6. The soul.

II. The imperfections of this body. 1. Its numbers. 2. Its graces.

III. The endeavours it should make for its own edifying.

IV. The fact that the more love abounds, the more will it be edified. Love—1. Enlarges supplication. 2. Inclines to peace. 3. Produces condescension. 4. Promotes activity. (N. Vincent, M.A.)

The Church, Christ’s Body, a growing body:—Concerning this growth, the apostle says—I. It is from Christ. He is the causal source from which all life and power is derived. II. It depends on the intimate union of all the parts of the body with the head, by means of appropriate bands. III. It is symmetrical. IV. It is a growth in love. (Dr. Hodge.)

The Body of Christ:—The figure in the mind of the apostle is that of a human body, in its unity, in its symmetry, in its structural completeness, its framework of bones shielding the brain, shielding the eye, sheathing the life-marrow in the spinal column; in the legs supporting the frame as pillars of marble set upon sockets of fine gold, the whole wrapped in an enswathement of closely-knit, cunningly-knit muscles, ramified with countless nerves, furnished with eyes, ears, hands, feet, and all the rest:—“The whole body fitly,” &c. This is the object before the eye of the apostle as he writes of the body that grows out of Christ.

I. As a body the Church possesses visibility. For about thirty-three years, more or less, God manifest in the flesh was visible to the eyes of the world. Indeed, for that last twelvemonth of His life on earth it may be said that Palestine saw little else. Tabor in its bold isolation, Hermon with his glittering crown of snow, even Jerusalem itself, was hardly so obtrusively visible as this great, strange personage. And louder, gladder doxology never rolled up from earth to heaven than that of the whole orchestra of priests, Levites, scribes, and Pharisees, sanhedrim, and synagogue when the body of Jesus disappeared from human view. They never for a moment questioned that this was the “end all” of the whole perplexity. Little did they dream that the withdrawal of this body only made way for another a thousand times more visible. It is time long ago that men understood and recognized this truth. They suppose that Christ is a purely historic Christ, while in fact He is a contemporary Christ. They fancy that the Body of the great Nazarene Reformer is gone for ever from sight and time; while, in fact, the Church is His Body now visible to the eyes of millions. As a body, the Church of Christ is visible. Should the thought arise that the Church as a whole includes vast numbers of members who are not visible—that here and there in the world are members of the Body of whom the world knows nothing—we answer, Yes, and only part of the human body is visible. We do not see the lungs and the heart and the nerves and the blood, and yet the body is visible, and so is the Church, which is the Body of Christ.

II. As a body, the Church consists of a great variety of component parts. The constituents of a human body are very numerous, very various; and these constituents find their way to the body from every quarter of the globe. The whole round world has been laid under contribution to make up the body in which you live, move, and have your being. And is not this true of the Church which is the Body of Christ? Not a variety of temperament, not a grade of intellect, not a style of social life but has contributed to the building up of this Body of Christ. In that Body we find the learned professor, and by his side the child of illiteracy; the scientist discoursing of the plants, from the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop that groweth out of the wall, of beasts, birds, and fishes, of meteors and stars, of Orion and Pleiades, and by his side one who hardly knows that the earth is round, and is right sure of very little else than that he is a poor lost sinner, and that Christ died to save him. One member of this Body dwells among Greenland’s icy mountains, another on India’s coral strand; one wears the black skin of the African, another the red skin of the American Indian; one the yellow skin of the Chinese, and another the tawny skin of the Malay; another still the white skin of the Caucasian; but all alike are members of the Body of Christ.

III. As a body, the Church is also characterized by a compact organic unity. It is a body “fitly framed together,” &c. This unity is a unity of Life and Spirit. The vital force that gives life to, warms, propels, acts in each believer, issues from Christ. “From whom,” &c. In a vine, however large, the same life is in every leaf and every branch, every tendril and every grape. In the whole vine there is perfect unity of life, and that life is the one vine-life. This is seen in the similarity of fruit the vine produces. On the same vine you do not find here the Malaga grape, there the Catawba, and here the Isabella; but on every branch the same fruit; for they are all the product of one life. But Jesus said, “I am the vine,” &c. If any leaf on the vine can say “such a life dwells in me,” every other leaf can say the same. 1. The Church is the Body of Christ—it is His head, His brain—an organ of thought to Him. Whatever is lofty, pure, noble in the conception of the Church, in the conceptions of the believer, is due to the Spirit of Christ acting through the mind of the Church. 2. The Church is the eyes of Christ (Matt. 9:36). The Jews thought that on Calvary those pitying eyes for ever closed in death. To-day, after so many centuries, Jesus looks abroad through a hundred millions of compassionate eyes upon the children of men scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd. 3. The Church is the feet of Jesus. How restless were those feet (Matt. 9:35). And to-day the Church, His Body, is going about “all the cities and villages,” &c. 4. And the Church is the hands of Jesus. How blessed the relation of membership in this Body of Christ, His work employing our thought, our eyes, our hands, our feet, our lips! This being so, two consequences follow. 1. No member of this Body must do anything that Jesus would not have done when He was on the earth. 2. Every member of this Body of Christ must be ready, willing, anxious to do what Jesus would do in his, in her place. (William P. Breed, D.D.)

The vitality and development of the body:—The figure is a striking one. The body derives its vitality and power of development from the head. The Church has a living connection with its living Head, and were such a union dissolved, spiritual death would be the immediate result. The body is fitly framed together, and compacted by the functional assistance of the joints. Its various members are not in isolation, like the several pieces of a marble statue. No portion is superfluous; each is in its fittest place, and the position and relations of none could be altered without positive injury. “Fearfully and wonderfully made,” it has its hard framework of bone so formed as to protect its vital organs in the thorax and skull, and yet so united by “curiously-wrought” joints, as to possess freedom of motion both in its vertebral column and limbs. But it is no ghastly and repulsive skeleton, for it is clothed with flesh and fibre, which are fed from ubiquitous vessels, and inter-penetrated with nerves—the spirit’s own sensational agents and messengers. It is a mechanism in which all is so finely adjusted, that every part helps and is helped, strengthens and is strengthened, the invisible action of the pores being as indispensable as the mass of the brain and the pulsations of the heart. When the commissioned nerve moves the muscle, the hand and foot need the vision to guide them, and the eye, therefore, occupies the elevated position of a sentinel. How this figure is applicable to the Church may be seen under a different image at 2:21. The Church enjoys a similar compacted organization—all about her, in doctrine, discipline, ordinance, and enterprize, possessing mutual adaptation, and showing harmony of structure. (J. Eadie, D.D.)

The growth of the body:—“The body maketh increase of itself” according to the energy which is distributed, not only through it, but to “every part” in its own proportion. Corporeal growth is not effected by additions from without. The body itself elaborates the materials of its own development. Its stomach digests the food, and the numerous absorbents extract and assimilate its nourishment. It grows, each part according to its nature and uses. The head does not swell into the dimensions of the trunk, nor does the “little finger” become “thicker than the loins.” Each has the size that adapts it to its uses, and brings it into symmetry with the entire living organism. And every part grows. The sculptor works upon a portion only of the block at a time, and, with laborious efforts, brings out in slow succession the likeness of a feature or a limb, till the statue assume its intended aspect and attitude. But the plastic energy of nature presents no such graduated forms of operation, and needs no supplement of previous defects. Even in embryo the organization is perfect, though it is in miniature, and development only is required. For the “energy” is in every part at once, but in every part in due apportionment. So the Church universal has in it a Divine energy, and that in all its parts, by which its spiritual development is secured. In pastors and people, in missionaries and catechists, in instructors of youth and in the youth themselves, this Divine principle has diffused itself, and produces everywhere proportionate advancement. And no member or ordinance is superfluous. The widow’s mite was commended by Him who sat over against the treasury. Solomon built a temple. Joseph provided a tomb. Mary the mother gave birth to the Child, and the other Marys wrapt the Corpse in spices. Lydia entertained the apostle, and Phœbe carried an Epistle. Of old the princes and heroes went to the field, and “wise-hearted women did spin.” While Joshua fought, Moses prayed. The snuffers and trays were as necessary as the magnificent lamp-stand. The rustic style of Amos, the herdsman, has its place in Scripture as well as the graceful paragraphs of the royal preacher. A basket was as necessary for Paul’s safety at one time as his burgess ticket, and a squadron of cavalry at another. And the result is, that the Church is built up, for love is the element of spiritual progress. That love fills the renewed nature, and possesses peculiar facilities of action in “edifying” the mystical Body of Christ. And, lastly, the figure is intimately connected with the leading idea of the preceding paragraph, and presents a final argument on behalf of the unity of the Church. The apostle speaks of but one Body—“the whole Body.” Whatever parts it may have, whatever their form, uses, and position, whatever the amount of energy resident in them, still, from their connection with the one living Head, and from their own compacted union and mutual adjustment, they compose but one structure “in love.” (Ibid.)[12]

16. Christ is the glue that holds the body together: from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love. Jesus is also the source of the body’s growth. As love and gifts are applied with truth, the body grows.

The picture of being joined … together recalls how in the ancient world stones had to be smoothed by stonemasons in order that they might work together to form a building. The second picture, of being knit together, speaks of arguments being fitted together. There is an alignment of teaching that draws the body together (Col. 2:19). The emphasis on teaching has been consistent (4:4–6, 13, 15). The syn– prefix reappears for both terms (synarmologoumenon, symbibazomenou), as in 2:20–22 and 3:6. A corporate emphasis reappears as well, with the idea of all things working together. Putting this all together with the rest of the letter, the linkage involves people of various backgrounds and gifts of various types. As each part of the body effectively is in contact with the others, the body works together as it is designed to do. The emphasis on connection is obvious and purposeful. Believers are never meant to function as individualistic islands. The stress on the role of each within the corporate structure comes next, with the reference to each one working properly, or ‘in measure’. It is this verse that undercuts a too excessive distinction between clergy and lay members. All are to contribute. Each member applies the measure he or she has been given by Christ to make the body work well and grow to a spiritual maturity rooted in love. Paul alternates between the metaphors of a building and a bodily organism because the church can be seen as both—a holy temple and a unified new man.

The emphasis on love is not accidental either. The goal of what God is doing in the world is primarily relational. Even the teaching serves this end. So how one lives is as important as what one believes. Love has dotted the last two verses of the section to drive home this point (see also 4:2). Sometimes the church’s failure is not in what it believes but in how it carries it out. As 1 Corinthians 13 says, without love all you get is noise. Here we get a bonus. Not only is love applied as the body does its work, but love grows in the body as it works together.


This is a rich section; one of the most important tasks of theology is defining what the church is supposed to be. Using both building imagery that points to a holy temple and body imagery that points to a unified person, Paul exhorts the church to see and to hold on to its oneness. This is a unity to be maintained, as there is one God and one faith. It requires forbearance and love. Only a walk that promotes such unity is worthy of the calling that God has given to each believer. God has equipped the church to go there through a power and authority he possesses and has distributed through the Christ who has ascended over all. The gifts we have received are the spoils of a victory already achieved by his work on the cross. They are to be utilized in the battle that remains.

God has given leaders to guide the church in this endeavour, but their task is to equip others to play their part. All too often we leave the work of the church to its leaders, but here the body grows best when each member is equipped for works of service and for the edification of the body. Such equipping, rooted in solid teaching, allows for discernment when confronted with the disturbed waters of life and also makes one mature so that good judgment can follow. As all members play their part according to the gifts they have received and in line with the instruction they have embraced, the body grows, reflecting truth in love and mirroring the character of Christ. The growth that results leads into an even deeper capacity to love and walk with God, while being his witness to the world by living lives distinct from those around them. That is where Paul goes next.[13]

16. From Christ alone, as head, the body derives its whole capacity for growth and activity and its direction as one co-ordinated, directed entity. Colossians 2:19 is closely parallel to this verse, and should be studied with it, but there the word translated joinedtogether is not used. Its only other use in the New Testament is in 2:21. It derives from a word (harmos) used for a joint or fastening in the construction of a building, or for the shoulder-joint of the body. The second participle (symbibazomenon) is used in a general way of bringing things or people together, and of reconciling those who have quarrelled, and of putting together facts in an argument or a course of teaching. Both participles thus give the sense of a functional unity, that is made possible among the members by the direction of the head. But after the participles the Greek is difficult. The word translated joint (haphē) has many meanings. Basically it means a ‘touch’, and so can mean ‘contact’, ‘point of contact’, or ‘grip’, and these meanings have led commentators to a variety of interpretations. Both the context and medical usage of the word for a ‘joint’ of the body justify the rsv rendering, and most English translations follow this. The Greek says literally ‘through every joint of the supply’, which probably means that it is through every joint with which the body is equipped—‘every constituent joint’ (neb)—that growth and true functioning are possible. In other words the body depends for its growth and its work on the Lord’s direction, on his provision for the whole (cf. vv. 11–12), and on his arrangement for the interrelation of the members as well.

Then we are brought back to a word (Gk. energeia) that has become familiar in this letter (cf. 1:19 and 3:7), as the apostle turns from the consideration of the members and the connection between them, to the whole working properly. Each part, in its place and according to its need, must have this functioning that is made possible by the ‘energizing’ of God in the whole. Then, yet again, the purpose of growth is mentioned, and it is made clear that each member does not seek its own growth but that of ‘the body’ (av) as a whole (rsv has bodily growth), not its own upbuilding but the upbuilding of the whole. Moreover, the context makes clear that it is not increase in size of the church that is primarily in view, by members being added to it, but spiritual increase. And this increase is above all in love. The little phrase comes yet again (cf. 1:4; 3:17; 4:2; 5:2), as love determines that each member will seek the upbuilding of all. Then without doubt, if there is a caring community living in love and showing the truth in love, the numerical increase will follow.[14]

16. From whom the whole body. All our increase should tend to exalt more highly the glory of Christ. This is now proved by the best possible reason. It is he who supplies all our wants, and without whose protection we cannot be safe. As the root conveys sap to the whole tree, so all the vigour which we possess must flow to us from Christ. There are three things here which deserve our attention. The first is what has now been stated. All the life or health which is diffused through the members flows from the head; so that the members occupy a subordinate rank. The second is, that, by the distribution made, the limited share of each renders the communication between all the members absolutely necessary. The third is, that, without mutual love, the health of the body cannot be maintained. Through the members, as canals, is conveyed from the head all that is necessary for the nourishment of the body. While this connection is upheld, the body is alive and healthy. Each member, too, has its own proper share,—according to the effectual working in the measure of every part.

Lastly, he shows that by love the church is edified,—to the edifying of itself in love. This means that no increase is advantageous, which does not bear a just proportion to the whole body. That man is mistaken who desires his own separate growth. If a leg or arm should grow to a prodigious size, or the mouth be more fully distended, would the undue enlargement of those parts be otherwise than injurious to the whole frame? In like manner, if we wish to be considered members of Christ, let no man be anything for himself, but let us all be whatever we are for the benefit of each other. This is accomplished by love; and where it does not reign, there is no “edification,” but an absolute scattering of the church.[15]

Ver. 16.—From whom all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth. The relation of ἐκ in this verse to εἰς in ver. 15 is to be noted—growing up vitally into him, the body derives vital substance from him. Not, however, in a mere individual sense, but as an organization, the parts being adapted and articulated to one another (this process being continuous; see present participles, συναρμολογούμενον and συνβιβαζόμενον). In the Church there are babes in Christ, also young men and old men; some are clear in intellect, some strong in faith, some warm in love, some excel in passive virtues, some in active; but in a well-ordered Church these should be getting jointed together, and learning to work with and for one another, no one despising gifts which he has not but another has; in this sense, there ought to be a spiritual communism, for all are one spiritual body. But spiritual communism does not involve social communism or even social equality, nor will social distinctions be obliterated in a pure Church, except so far as they hinder spiritual communion. According to the energy in the measure (or, proportion) of each individual part. This clause seems to be most naturally connected with what follows. In the fit framing of the body, channels as it were are laid for the propagation and working of the vital force throughout the body; this force is not alike, but of various amount in the different parts; some members have much of it, some little, but the measure of this vital force regulates the growth. Carries on the growth of the body. The middle voice, ποιεῖται, indicates that it is a growth from within, while depending on the energy furnished by Christ. For building up of itself in love. This is the end, so far as the body itself is concerned, though, of course, the completed spiritual body, like the completed natural body, has work to do outside itself. In a healthy Church there is a continual work of building up; construction, not destruction, is its proper business—promoting peace, purity, prayerfulness, trust, activity in the work of the Lord, but all in love, the absence of which makes winter instead of summer, declension instead of progress, death instead of life. In illustration of the various measure of grace, and yet its real efficiency in all the members of the Church, Eadie says, “No member or ordinance is superfluous. The widow’s mite was commended by him who sat over against the treasury. Solomon built a temple. Joseph provided a tomb. Mary the mother gave birth to the child, and the other Marys wrapped the corpse in spices. Lydia entertained the apostle, and Phœbe carried an Epistle of old, the princes and heroes went to the field, and wise-hearted women did spin. While Joshua fought, Moses prayed. The snuffers and trays were as necessary as the magnificent lampstand.… The result is that the Church is built up, for love is the element of spiritual progress. That love fills the renewed nature”. The Church has been defined as an institution that has truth for its nourishment, love for its atmosphere, and Christ for its Head.[16]

4:16 / As the head of the body, Christ directs and controls the growth that is to take place. Thus he is the source as well as the goal of the church’s growth. To illustrate, the author employs a physiological metaphor similar to the one in Colossians 2:19. In Colossians, the emphasis is upon the nourishment and cohesion that the Head gives the body; in Ephesians, the head-body relationship remains, but emphasis is given to the interdependence of individuals within the body in much the same way that muscles, nerves, limbs, and so on are joined together in the human organism. The syn verbs (synarmologoumenon, “to fit or join together,” and symbibazomenon, “to bring, unite, knit together”), underscore this concern, and their present tense indicates an ongoing process within the body of Christ.

Again, the author draws attention to the importance of parts in relation to the whole: The whole body, joined and held together … grows and builds … as each part does its work. It is one thing for individual members to be related to the Head (4:15); but it is equally significant that the growth of the body depends upon the way these members relate to one another and perform their appropriate function as members of the body. This building and growing process takes place in love. As the readers have been exhorted to demonstrate love to each other (4:2, 15), they are reminded again that love is the soil out of which such growth in unity takes place (cf. 3:17).[17]

16  It is from him that the body, in all its parts, derives its life. By his power it is “fitted together”—a participle used in Eph. 2:21 of the building which is growing into “a holy sanctuary in the Lord”—so that through all its joints or ligaments the means necessary for its development flow from the head into every limb and organ. The thought is identical with that of Col. 2:19 (the wording of which indeed is closely followed): from the head, Paul says there, “the whole body, supplied and fitted together through the joints and ligaments, grows with the growth that comes from God.” It is not from the head, important as it is, that the natural body receives all the supplies requisite for health and development; but it is indeed from the living Christ that his people receive (through the Spirit) all that they need to make them effectively his people.

This is true of his people as a whole, and it is true of each individual believer. The body “grows effectively”—grows by the inner strength that he supplies—“according to the due measure of each separate part.”95 Each one functions best in union with him and with the others. The bond that unites the members one with another is the bond of love—the love of Christ constraining them (2 Cor. 5:14)—so that only by love can the body be built up to his stature.[18]

16 Concluding the sentence he started in v. 11, admittedly in a most circuitous fashion, Paul describes the role Christ has when the body, the church, functions in the proper way. The wording closely follows that of Colossians 2:19. This verse functions as a summary of what Paul has been arguing since v. 7. Having just designated Christ as the Head, Paul depicts a church as functioning on the analogy of a physical body—bones and ligaments, joints and mutually working parts, enabling the body to grow and function in harmony. Christ energizes the body; he provides its leadership and nourishment (hence the introductory phrase “from him”). Here Paul displays the goal that all members of the church function and work together, not merely the leaders who equip. No part can operate, much less survive, without a vital organic connection to the rest of the body. When the connectors (the Greek word haphēs [GK 913] means “ligament” or “fastener”) are properly functioning among the members of the body, the body finds support (epichorēgia, GK 2221, means “assistance” or “support”; BDAG, 387; cf. Php 1:19, where Paul uses epichorēgia to describe the Holy Spirit’s support). In view of v. 11, “every supporting ligament” probably refers to the gifted leaders, or as Muddiman, 209, puts it, “ministerial joints” (cf. O’Brien, 314–15; Lincoln, 263; Schnackenburg, 189–90).

They work to build unity (vv. 11–13). They help connect believers—the participles “joined” and “held together”—to one another, and as all the parts work together, the body continues to build itself up in love and achieves growth. “Love” again inhabits all relationships (vv. 2, 15). That Paul puts all the verbs in this verse in the present tense emphasizes ongoing action. The church is not a static body; it has never arrived. All members have ongoing roles to play—whether leaders or lay members—but none amount to anything apart from their connection to the organism under Christ’s headship and with his power. Again Paul emphasizes unity, harmony, and love for one another under Christ the Head, who loves the church (5:23, 25).[19]

The Power for God’s Pattern

from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (4:16)

The power for being equipped and matured into lovingly authentic proclaimers is not in believers themselves, in their leaders, or in church structure. The Body receives its authority, direction, and power as it grows “up in all aspects into … Christ,” from whom the whole body [is] fitted and held together. The two present passive participles that these phrases translate are synonymous and are meant to express that the close, tight, compacted correlation of function in the Body as an organism is the result of Christ’s power. That does not negate the efforts of believers, as proved by the phrases by that which every joint supplies and according to the proper working of each individual part. Each of these phrases is extremely significant in conveying truth about the function of the Body. Christ holds the Body together and makes it function by that which every joint supplies. That is to say, the joints are points of contrast, the joining together or union where the spiritual supply, resources, and gifts of the Holy Spirit pass from one member to another, providing the flow of ministry that produces growth.

The proper working of each individual part recalls the importance of each believer’s gift (v. 7; cf. 1 Cor. 12:12–27). The growth of the church is not a result of clever methods but of every member of the Body fully using his spiritual gift in close contact with other believers. Christ is the source of the life and power and growth of the church, which He facilitates through each believer’s gifts and mutual ministry in joints touching other believers. The power in the church flows from the Lord through individual believers and relationships between believers.

Where His people have close relationships of genuine spiritual ministry, God works; and where they are not intimate with each other and faithful with their gifts, He cannot work. He does not look for creativity, ingenuity, or cleverness but for willing and loving obedience. The physical body functions properly only as each member in union with every other member responds to the direction of the head to do exactly what it was designed to do.

In Colossians 2:19 Paul gives a priceless insight when he warns against “not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.” The key idea in that verse is for every member of the Body to remain close and intimate, holding tightly to fellowship with Christ, the Head, and thus not be led astray by that which is false and destructive.

The sum of all that these truths affirm is that every individual believer is to stay close to Jesus Christ, faithfully using his spiritual gift in close contact with every believer he touches, and that through such commitment and ministry the Lord’s power will flow for the building up of the Body in love.

The noun growth (auxēsis, used only here and in Col. 2:19) is present middle in form, indicating that the body produces its own growth through resident dynamics. As with all living organisms, spiritual growth in the church does not come from forces outside but from the vital power within that causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself. All of this is in love, which is always to be the spirit of the fellowship of believers. Above all things, the Body is to manifest love, and when it is built up according to this plan, the world will know it is the Body of Christ (John 13:34–35).[20]

[1] Wallace, D. B. (2017). Perseverance of the Saints. In E. A. Blum & T. Wax (Eds.), CSB Study Bible: Notes (p. 1876). Holman Bible Publishers.

[2] Sproul, R. C., ed. (2005). The Reformation Study Bible: English Standard Version (p. 1710). Ligonier Ministries.

[3] Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., Whitehead, M. M., Grigoni, M. R., & Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Eph 4:16). Lexham Press.

[4] Crossway Bibles. (2008). The ESV Study Bible (p. 2269). Crossway Bibles.

[5] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2006). The MacArthur study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Eph 4:16). Thomas Nelson Publishers.

[6] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 1537). T. Nelson Publishers.

[7] Bond, J. B. (2010). The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 879). Grace Evangelical Society.

[8] MacDonald, W. (1995). Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments (A. Farstad, Ed.; p. 1937). Thomas Nelson.

[9] Anders, M. (1999). Galatians-Colossians (Vol. 8, p. 153). Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[10] Utley, R. J. (1997). Paul Bound, the Gospel Unbound: Letters from Prison (Colossians, Ephesians and Philemon, then later, Philippians): Vol. Volume 8 (p. 112). Bible Lessons International.

[11] Hendriksen, W., & Kistemaker, S. J. (1953–2001). Exposition of Ephesians (Vol. 7, pp. 203–204). Baker Book House.

[12] Exell, J. S. (n.d.). The Biblical Illustrator: Ephesians (pp. 401–406). Fleming H. Revell Company.

[13] Bock, D. L. (2019). Ephesians: An Introduction and Commentary (E. J. Schnabel, Ed.; Vol. 10, pp. 131–132). Inter-Varsity Press.

[14] Foulkes, F. (1989). Ephesians: an introduction and commentary (Vol. 10, pp. 130–131). InterVarsity Press.

[15] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentaries on the Epistles of Paul to the Galatians and Ephesians (pp. 287–288). Logos Bible Software.

[16] Spence-Jones, H. D. M., ed. (1909). Ephesians (pp. 150–151). Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[17] Patzia, A. G. (2011). Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon (pp. 246–247). Baker Books.

[18] Bruce, F. F. (1984). The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (pp. 352–353). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

[19] Klein, W. W. (2006). Ephesians. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Ephesians–Philemon (Revised Edition) (Vol. 12, p. 122). Zondervan.

[20] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1986). Ephesians (pp. 161–162). Moody Press.

December 31 – Alpha and Omega — Reformed Perspective

“Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” – Revelation 22:12-13 

Scripture reading: Matthew 2:8-23

The history of the Lord Jesus Christ has not ended. Even today, we are still a part of the story and we will be part of the end, one way or another. The Bible ends with reminders that He will return and that it will be sooner than is expected. For many, it has been too easy to think that tomorrow will be like today and the next year smoother than the last. The Lord, however, often reminds us to be ready for His return.

When He comes again, it will not be as a Child laid in a manger. He will come as the Judge and the conquering King. He will come as the all-powerful Son of God. Many people were not ready for His first coming. By and large, as time passed, they rejected Him. Only a few faithful women and one disciple were at His cross. Very few, at first, came to the tomb. When it is your time, or His time to return, will you be ready? Will you meet Him with joy? As you enter another year, know that you are reconciled to God through His blood! Be sure that you have kissed the Son, lest He be angry and you perish in the way! (Psalm 2:12). It will not be long, when rather than seeing Him dimly, it shall be face to face. May you be one of those that looks forward to His coming with joy, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

Suggestion for prayer

Pray that the church of Jesus Christ would be ready to meet her bridegroom!

Pastor Robert VanDoodewaard currently serves the Free Reformed Church in Powassan, Ontario, Canada as a minister of the gospel.

December 31 – Alpha and Omega — Reformed Perspective

Singing into the Future — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

“Be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Ephesians 5:19-20

It was a fitting song for a New Year’s Eve service: “God of our life, through all the circling years, we trust in you.  In all the past, your hand we view.  God of the past, our times are in your hand.”*

We sang with a sense of gratitude and faith. In the beautiful sanctuary, surrounded by friends and in anticipation of the bread and wine we would soon share, the words slipped easily from our lips. We have seen his hand and we have trusted; we basked in his presence.

But then we came to the first line of the final stanza. ”God of the coming years, through paths unknown we follow you. The past is past, we cannot change any of its triumphs or losses. We now face the future and its sure challenges, its unknown paths.”

We dare not merely mouth the words; God hears every whisper of every song. Will we follow him as we promise in music? His part is to never leave or forsake us; our part is to follow through all the stanzas of our lives.

(*God of Our Life – by Hugh T Kerr)

Good Shepherd, it is so easy to sing the words and even to mean them to some degree. Help me carry the song into every moment of every day, singing to you.

By Marilyn Ehle
Used by Permission

More:  New Year Articles

Further Reading

•  Year End Reflections

•  On Whom Will You Rely in the Coming Year?

•  Is it Time for a Maintenance Check-up? – Spiritual maintenance

•  Salvation Explained

Singing into the Future — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

The Bible and its Story: Moab Leads Israel Into Sin

Following the crafty advice of Balaam, King Balak would not fight against the Israelites. He made peace with them, granting all they asked. Then the women of Moab made themselves specially friendly to the men of Israel, invited them to their homes, and persuaded them to worship the false gods, the idols of Moab. Many Israelites fell into the snare; idolatry spread among them. So bold at length did the idolaters become, that a prince of the house of Simeon paraded his evil practices even before the eyes of Moses himself.

‎Then came the punishment, God sent another plague to strike down those who had deserted Him; and Phinehas, a son of the high priest Eleazar, seized a spear and before all the congregation slew the chief offender, the prince of Simeon. So God stayed the plague and blessed the house of Phinehas forever because of his prompt and decisive action.

by Julius A. Bewer; Charles F. Horne

Writing Your Story, Part 2 | Recent videos for Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah

Do you ever skip to the last page to see how a story ends? As a believer, you can do that with the story of your life. But be sure to pick up where you leave off! Dr. David Jeremiah offers encouragement to see your life as a story written by God. A story that ends in victory, yet is meant to be lived fully each day until then.

Source: Writing Your Story, Part 2

31 Dec 2021 News Briefing


CDC Director Admits Latest COVID Restrictions Based On What Government “Thought People Would Be Able To Tolerate”
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky admitted Wednesday that the agency’s latest guidance on COVID was based on what the government perceived people would accept.

FBI ‘Secret Spy Plane Surveillance Program’ Detailed In Court Records
The FBI’s aerial surveillance program was first revealed in June 2015 by the Associated Press, which reported that the bureau maintained a civilian air force through private shell companies. The FBI admitted to the program days later, saying in a statement that “it should come as no surprise that the FBI uses planes to follow terrorists, spies, and serious criminals.” According to Al-Azhari, the FBI captured 428 hours of footage of him and created 935 separate videos with the planes—violating the Fourth Amendment in the process.

Prosecutors Quietly Dropped Case Against Epstein Jail Guards During Ghislaine Maxwell Trial
While Ghislaine Maxwell stood trial for her part in Jeffrey Epstein’s underage sex-trafficking operation, federal prosecutors quietly dropped their case against two jail guards who allegedly ‘slept on the job’ while the wealthy pedophile killed himself – or was murdered, depending on who you believe, or whether one has common sense.

NDAA Blocking Biden From Closing Gitmo
The bill extends amendments that were in previous NDAA’s that block the White House from using funds to transfer or release Gitmo detainees into the US or other countries. The bill also blocks the use of funds to close the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay altogether.

Most Americans Don’t Trust Teachers, Schools With Children’s Gender Identity: Survey
A majority of Americans say that male and female are the only two genders, and that schools shouldn’t be allowed to counsel children about gender or sexuality without parents’ consent, according to the results of a survey released Monday.

“Pure Insanity”: San Francisco Residents Reflect On Surge In Crime
To native San Franciscans, shoplifting and car break-ins are now a normal part of life in a big city. “What’s happened over the last 10 months is that this crime has escalated, from hitting cars, to robbing tourists, to robbing locals, to robbing stores. I mean, it’s just gotten rampant, absolutely rampant,”

Nancy Pelosi Buys Millions In Call Options In Google, Micron, Roblox, Salesforce And Disney
Despite a populist grassroots movement seeking to ban Congress members from trading stocks, one which has attracted bipartisan political support, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – arguably one of the most prolific Congressional traders – said two weeks ago that lawmakers should be allowed to make trades while serving. “We’re a free market economy,” Pelosi told reporters during a news conference. “They should be able to participate in that.” Pelosi’s statement came days after progressive New Yorker, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, reiterated her support for banning lawmakers from the practice. Ocasio-Cortez and other members of Congress argue that lawmakers have access to information the public is not privy to and the ability to write and pass policy, they should abstain from buying and selling individual stock and other assets.

Uproar Over Chicago Mass: Did Theatrical Christmas Eve Liturgy Go Too Far?
Outraged by a freewheeling Christmas Eve Mass, some Catholics are calling on Cardinal Blase Cupich to crack down on liturgical abuses in Novus Ordo Masses in the Archdiocese of Chicago, rather than imposing severe restrictions on reverential Traditional Latin Masses. The Mass in question featured jazz musicians, choreographed dances around the altar, and theatrical lighting effects.

Key Scientist Behind mRNA Vaccines Kicked Off Twitter After Speaking Out Against COVID Vax
Robert Malone, an infectious disease expert who boasts credit as one of the inventors of the mRNA vaccine, has been booted from Twitter after sharing a link to a video that claimed Pfizer’s shot may do more harm than good.

As it enters 2022, Israel’s population nears 10 million
Out of 9.45 million residents, 73.9% are Jewish and 21.1% Arab; 25,000 new immigrants, with 30% of them from Russia, 14.6% from France, 13.9% from U.S. and 12.4% from Ukraine

Abbas tells Putin Israel risks ‘explosion’ in Judea and Samaria
Abbas spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday and warned that Israeli policies could lead to an “explosion” of violence in Judea and Samaria. Abbas cited settlement construction, home demolitions, and “settler terrorism” as the policies that could bring about a conflagration, the PA news agency Wafa reported. “The continuation of these Israeli measures will lead to an explosion of the situation,” Abbas said.

Colorado Wildfires Destroy Hundreds Of Homes, Force 30,000 To Evacuate
Fast-moving wildfires in Colorado ― once an unusual phenomenon for this time of year ― forced tens of thousands of residents to evacuate Thursday as hundreds of homes went up in flames. At least two blazes, the Middle Fork fire and the Marshall fire, have been named so far. Authorities have called for the immediate evacuation of more than 30,000 people in the towns of Louisville and Superior, which are both southeast of Boulder.

5 ways Israel365 fulfilled prophecy and built up the Land of Israel in 2021
It’s been a tremendous year for the Israel365 Charity Fund, on many fronts. Thanks to a number of factors, Israel365 nearly doubled our efforts and raised over $1 million from nearly 10,000 donors in 2021.

Iranian-made UAVs are in Venezuela, 1,200 miles from Miami’s skyscrapers, expert reveals
Venezuela, essentially in the backyard of the U.S., is a state that the office of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei classifies as being, at least symbolically, a part of the radical Shi’ite axis, said Beeri, a former member of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate. “The Venezuelan regime, like Iran, is isolated. They share common interests and foster ties. Iran has clear economic and military interests in the country, and it is exploiting Venezuela’s weakness,” said Beeri. Venezuela, for its part, benefits by receiving military capabilities in the form of UAVs from Iran, which it says are for domestic security use, such as protecting oil assets.

La Palma’s Volcano Has Officially Stopped Erupting After 85 Days
La Palma’s Volcano Has Officially Stopped Erupting After 85 Days Cumbre Vieja’s most recent eruption was the island’s longest in 375 years. The Cumbre Vieja volcano, which had been wreaking havoc on La Palma for nearly three months with lava, ash, and earthquakes, has recently gone silent on the island. On Christmas Day, experts formally declared the eruption to be over. The volcano’s version of a holiday gift, according to some media outlets and even Spain’s president.

Philippines signs $554M deal for 2 South Korean-made warships amid Chinese aggression
The Philippines signed a deal valued at U.S. $554 million Tuesday to buy two small warships from a South Korean manufacturer, officials said, as Manila seeks to modernize its navy amid perceived security threats over South China Sea territorial disputes.

OK Nat’l Guard won’t punish troops refusing vaccine despite federal judge’s ruling
The Oklahoma National Guard will not punish unvaccinated troops, despite a federal judge’s ruling this week that the federal government can mandate vaccines for Guard troops on state-level duty. “We are really in the same holding pattern we’ve been in, and that is we continue to follow the governor’s policy, and wait,” Tschetter said. “… So the National Guard policy that the (Adjutant Gen. Thomas Mancino) put in place basically says that we aren’t going to remove people from service and we are not going to punish with administrative action for (being) unvaccinated.”

Biden admin planning ‘emergency’ exit from Ukraine over Russian invasion
The United States Embassy in Kyiv is working on “emergency preparations” in the event it must evacuate non-emergency personnel or diplomats’ families due to a Russian invasion of Ukraine, internal emails obtained by ABC News revealed this week.

Biden admin deletes own reports of terrorist arrested in US after crossing southern border
President Joe Biden’s Customs and Border Protection took down a Border Patrol official’s posts on Twitter and Facebook that detailed the arrest of a “potential terrorist” because they said it contained “law enforcement sensitive information.” Last week, Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Chris Clem tweeted that border agents had “apprehended a potential terrorist who illegally entered the U.S. from Mexico.” The potential terrorist was wearing a local ambulance service jacket and photos were shared to social media.

Now Maybe Maxwell Wants to Cut a Deal
“It all depends on who she would be cooperating against, and what she has to offer,” said defense lawyer Jeffrey Lichtman. Investigators might want incriminating information about any famous people involved, “particularly politicians, Hollywood celebrities, and even an alleged member of the British royal family.” A former federal sex crimes prosecutor said, “Prince Andrew may be the next shoe to drop, and it may be the only shoe.”

Hundreds of Cops Raid Office of Hong Kong News Website
A vocal pro-democracy website in Hong Kong shut down Wednesday after police raided its office and arrested six current and former editors and board members in a continuing crackdown on dissent in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. Stand News said in a statement that its website and social media are no longer being updated and will be taken down. It said all employees have been dismissed.

‘Carmel’ storm brings record-breaking showers throughout Israel
In just two days, the “Carmel” winter storm managed to bring record-breaking amounts of rainfall to many parts of Israel, with some measuring well over 100 mm of rain.

California snowpack jumps to 160% of average, nourishing hopes for drought recovery
After a year of historic drought and wildfire, California will go into 2022 cold and wet, with more snow on the ground than it has had at year’s end in a decade.

Severe Weather Forecast New Year’s Eve Day Southern US 
As Americans ring in the new year and say goodbye to 2021, a large portion of the country will be at risk for a serious severe weather outbreak that could involve nocturnal tornadoes, AccuWeather forecasters say.

Bacon may disappear in California as pig rules take effect 
At the beginning of next year, California will begin enforcing an animal welfare proposition approved overwhelmingly by voters in 2018 that requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves. National veal and egg producers are optimistic they can meet the new standards, but only 4% of hog operations now comply with the new rules.

New York Bill Paves Way To Forced COVID Jabs
In certain parts of the country – namely, states with no massive mandates or lockdowns – the novel coronavirus pandemic seems to have had a less noticeable impact on the daily lives of individuals and business owners.  Other states, like California and New York, have been dealing with perpetual “states of emergencies,” rapidly expanding mandates and other impositions that threaten the autonomy and basic rights of their citizens.

Russia Fines Google With Record $100 Million For Corrupting Minors With Porn, Propaganda & Transgenderism 
After repeatedly accusing Google of ignoring Russian laws on obscenity, Russia has dramatically escalated its long-running battle with major US-based internet platforms. On Friday a Moscow court imposed an unprecedented fine of almost $100 million on Google for corrupting minors with porn, propaganda and transgenderism.

Huge Number Of Food Shortages Predicted For 2022 By A Variety Of Experts
In 2020 and 2021 we saw a number of shortages, from foods to computer chips, stemming from different reasons. First and foremost which kicked off the extremely depleted store shelves that our readers sent exclusive images of, all across the country, while certain specific areas saw less, and others more shortages, were the lockdowns.

360X increase in the rate of adenopathy after vaccination
A radiologist noticed a weird finding. Since the vaccines rolled out, the number of cases of unexplained adenopathy findings went from 1 every 6 months to 2 to 3 per day. That’s an increase of 360X.

Biden waves white flag, admits that covid won and there is “no federal solution”
Just before boarding a plane to head to his home in Delaware the other day, fake “president” Joe Biden told the media that there is “no federal solution” to the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19).

Russia’s red line: Moscow not about to allow Ukraine to join NATO as World War III hangs in the balance 
NATO has been one of the most successful military alliances in the history of the modern world, having successfully faced off against the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact that went defunct when the USSR collapsed in 1990.

Texas health systems discriminating against white people, denying them access to monoclonal antibodies
If you are under 65 and have white skin, the MacArthur Medical Center (MMC) in Irving, Tex., will not give you monoclonal antibodies for the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19).

Irish Senator Exposes Big Pharma Corruption: ‘Omicron’ is Making Them Billions 
Senator Sharon Keogan warned that the government is making people’s fundamental freedoms contingent upon consuming a product from a private company.

Seek and Destroy: CAIR Brags They Are Targeting and Destroying America
“We demand” is the operative phrase used by CAIR to target people they want to destroy. CAIR’s cancel culture works on the famous and not-so-famous alike. The term “Islamophobic” is thrown around like so much confetti at a New Year’s Party.

Doctors Warn of Vaccine Damages in Patients: ‘People Are Being Deceived’ (Video) – RAIR
They have had more deaths from this one shot since it has rolled out than they have in the last thirty years in VAERS reporting.

About 1,450 Afghan Children Evacuated To US Without Parents; 250 Still Remain In Government Shelters
It’s been reported that, approximately 1,450 Afghan native children were forced to stay with relatives already in the US or under government care after having been evacuated from Afghanistan completely on their own. Their parents either stayed behind or were killed in the Kabul airport explosion that took place during the evacuation.

Aaron Rodgers Drops A Bomb: Implies NFL Teams Secretly Using “Horse Dewormer” To Treat COVID Players
…Appearing on the Pat McAfee SiriusXM Show, Rodger admitted that drugs like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine are being adopted by National Football League teams. “I do know, behind the scenes — this is 100% true — there are many teams who are recommending a lot of the same treatments that I got for their players.”

Over 200 Marines Kicked Out for Not Taking COVID Vaccine
More than 200 Marines have been kicked out of the Marine Corps for choosing not to take the coronavirus vaccine, the Marine Corps announced Thursday.

CDC Director Walensky Says Updated Covid Guidance Based on What Agency “Thought People Would be Able to Tolerate” (VIDEO)
And here it is. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday said the agency’s updated Covid guidance was based on [as much tyranny] as people would tolerate.

Communist China to Censor Religious Content on the Web
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has announced it will implement efforts to restrict the spreading of religious content online.


Headlines – 12/31/2021

Abbas said to warn Gantz changes on Temple Mt. could lead to ‘unstoppable’ violence

Palestinian Authority’s Abbas warns Putin: West Bank poised for an ‘explosion’

World cheers Gantz-Abbas meeting, hopes for continued cooperation in 2022

Israel, Palestinians exchange first gunfire in months amid meeting of top officials

U.S. Announces $99 Million Funding to UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees

Belgian soccer fans filmed giving Nazi salutes, singing ‘Jews to the gas’

Hezbollah deploys air defense systems in Syria’s Qalamoun mountains

Amid warming ties, Bahrain names new ambassador to Syria after over a decade

Jordanian man killed in UK taxi blast was blown up by his own bomb, investigators say

Iran launches rocket into space amid Vienna nuclear talks

Iran Bans Crypto Mining to Avoid Power Blackouts

The Myanmar military is employing a familiar strategy of massacres and burnings

A Ukraine Invasion Could Go Nuclear: 15 Reactors Would Be In War Zone

Chinese ‘brain control’ warfare work revealed

China warns US will ‘face unbearable price’ on Taiwan

Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Media Closes After Police Raid

Blinken Calls on China, Hong Kong to Release Arrested Pro-Democracy Journalists

Walmart Faces Potential Boycott in China

Over a Dozen Spanish Border Guards Injured as 500 Migrants Try to Storm City

Number of Fake ‘Child’ Migrants in Britain More Than Triples in a Year

2021: 1.9M Migrants Apprehended Along Southwest Border, 500K ‘Got Away’

Lawmaker: Joe Biden Reallocated $2 Billion in COVID Testing Funds to House Illegals at the Border

Two Men Executed Cartel-Style in Texas Border City

5 Slashed Bodies Found on Roadside in Southern Mexico

String of deaths among National Guardsmen deployed at border raising questions about mission

The Pentagon has streamlined the process for sending National Guard troops into DC

Far-Left Jan 6 Commission Demands Bank Records of Trump Staff in Bizarre Intimidation Attempt

Poll: 71% of GOP Doubt Legitimacy of Biden’s Win

Hillary Slams Biden “We Don’t Have a White House that We Can Count on to be Sane and Sober and Stable and Productive”

Armed Man Arrested While Driving To Kill Biden, Fauci, Obama, Zuckerberg, Officials Say

The Metaverse’s Dark Side: Here Come Harassment and Assaults

5.7 magnitude earthquake hits the South Sandwich Islands region

5.4 magnitude earthquake hits the Molucca Sea

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Yonakuni, Japan

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits the Kermadec Islands region

7 earthquakes detected near Columbia this week, highest magnitude was 3.3

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 23,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 20,000ft

Semeru volcano in Indonesia erupts to 19,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 19,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Sheveluch volcano on Kamchatka, Russia erupts to 14,000ft

Nevados De Chillan volcano in Chile erupts to 13,000ft

Multi-day severe weather outbreak to begin on New Year’s Eve across the Southeast

Evacuations Ordered After 100 MPH Winds Fuel Colorado Fires

California snowpack jumps to 160% of average, nourishing hopes for drought recovery

‘Carmel’ storm brings record-breaking showers throughout Israel

Shockwave from huge explosion in coal silo rocks Baltimore

Bacon may disappear in California as pig rules take effect

Security Uses Tear Gas to Break Up Massive Crowd Brawl During High School Basketball Tournament

Matt Gaetz: ‘Nothing More Dangerous’ than ‘Weaponization’ of DOJ Against People Who Go to School Board Meetings

Victims of sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell ‘relieved’ after guilty verdict

Speculation grows that Maxwell may try to cut a deal for reduced sentence

First Maxwell, Now Prince Andrew? New Legal Development Could Mean Big Trouble for Epstein-Linked Royal

Prince Andrew’s lawyers ‘in emergency talks’ amid fears Ghislaine Maxwell could ‘name names’ after guilty verdict

Judge in Ghislaine Maxwell Case Orders Epstein Agreement with Prince Andrew to Be Released by January 3rd

Judges to unseal Epstein papers ahead of Prince Andrew’s case

Bill Clinton Trends On Twitter After After Maxwell Found Guilty On 5 Of 6 Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell’s crimes are worse than those of Jeffrey Epstein, accuser says

Alan Dershowitz: BBC says interview with Epstein ex-lawyer broke editorial standards

Federal prosecutors quietly dropped their case against Jeffrey Epstein’s jail guards in the middle of Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial

Second ex-CNN staffer under investigation for alleged crimes involving minors: report

This Is CNN: 15 Embarrassing Network Moments in 2021

New York governor declares racism ‘public health emergency’ amid new anti-discrimination legislation

Teva Found Liable for Fueling Opioid Addiction in New York

Bird flu outbreak spreads to organic farm in northern Israel

Franklin Graham doesn’t believe vaccine COVID-19 passport microchips are the ‘mark of the beast’

Twitter has fun with the CDC following latest backtrack: ‘The CDC now recommends’

Twitter bans mRNA vaccine pioneer-turned-critic. His response? ‘Constant clown show’

World Health Organization chief contradicts Fauci and says booster shots may just ‘prolong pandemic’

Sen. Rick Scott Accuses Biden of Hypocrisy Over Antibody Distribution

Florida surgeon general: Biden admin ‘actively preventing’ monoclonal antibody COVID-19 treatments

Maryland doctor says people are ‘going to die’ after Biden admin uses faulty data to snub antibody treatments

Video of Dead COVID Patients ‘Piled Up’ Outside Hospital Raises Questions

Experts, governors warn of U.S. Omicron ‘blizzard’ in weeks ahead

Infectious Disease Expert: Cases Will Rise So ‘Dramatically’ in Coming Weeks It Will Be Hard to Keep ‘Everyday’ Life Operating

Some governments are easing rules for isolation, citing dangers of economic and health-care strains from omicron spread

Dreams of a new COVID pill panacea have been dashed over signs the pills won’t be as safe, effective and widely available as some initially thought they might be

Rogers criticizes NFL’s ‘two-class system’ regarding players’ vaccination status

Kat Cammack: White House Wants to Cause Class Warfare Between Vaccinated, Unvaccinated

Starving Xi’an Residents Cry Out for Help on Day 8 of Extreme City Lockdown

Mexican Cartel Paddles COVID Lockdown Violators at Christmas Party

Israeli, Saudi FMs take part in virtual meeting on Omicron hosted by Blinken

Israel reinstates mask mandate outdoors, approves 4th dose of COVID vaccine

Woman Tests Positive for COVID-19 Mid-Flight, Isolates for 5 Hours in Bathroom

FAA Warns of Covid-19’s Impact on Staffing as Airlines Cancel Nearly 1,200 Flights Thursday

CDC says ‘avoid cruise travel, regardless of vaccination status’

Greece bans music at New Year’s venues amid COVID-19 spike

Netherlands Announces Plan To Give People Up to Six Doses of COVID Vaccine

Marines kick out 206 troops for refusing Covid-19 vaccine

New York City’s Mayor-Elect to Keep Private Employer Vaccine Mandate in Place

De Blasio says he doesn’t ‘believe in shutdowns’ despite shutting down NYC for several months

Dem Governor Rejects Mask Mandates, Points Out the Obvious About How Well They’re Working in NYC

Man faked a COVID positive test to avoid court hearing in Connecticut, officials say

Cryptocurrency prices fall in December, and investors blame omicron, climate change

The world’s 10 richest people added $402 billion to their fortunes in 2021. Here’s whose net worth grew the most

Economists warn of inflation inequality as poor get slammed by rising prices

Rising gas price projections complicate Biden’s horizons


Part 2: Canada COVID Care Alliance Analysis Shows Pfizer’s Vaccination for Kids is ‘ALL RISK’ and No Benefit – Pfizer Acknowledges it May Cause Myocarditis in Children (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

Earlier today, The Gateway Pundit published a damning report released by the Canadian COVID Care Alliance explaining why Pfizer shots can do more harm than good to people.

You can read the first part here: Damning Report: Canadian COVID Care Alliance Explains Why Pfizer Shots Can Do More Harm Than Good (VIDEO)

Canadian COVID Care Alliance is consists of over 500 independent Canadian doctors, scientists, and health care practitioners who are committed to providing quality, balanced, evidence-based information to the Canadian public about COVID-19 so that hospitalizations can be reduced, lives saved, and our country safely restored to normal as quickly as possible. 

According to its website, the Pfizer 6 month data shows that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccines cause more illness than they prevent. Also, an overview of the Pfizer trial flaws in both design and execution.

Now, let’s talk first about the 12 to 15-year-old adolescent trial. According to page 24 of their in-depth analysis, the vaccination for adolescents is really all risk and no benefit. Adolescence are at statistically zero risk of death from COVID-19 and very low risk of severe illness. Among the vaccinated kids in the trial, there’s at least one serious adverse event.

For the adolescents, inoculation is really all risk and no benefit. The trial was severely underpowered. As a study, this small will not reliably show up risk for adverse events. There was an inoculated group of 1,005 and zero of them tested positive for COVID-19 and a placebo group of 978, and 18 of them tested positive for COVID-19.

So Pfizer claimed these were great results, but since adolescence are at statistically zero risk of death from COVID-19 and very low risk of severe illness. In fact, the New York Times said in October of this year that for children without a serious medical condition, the danger of severe COVID is so low that it’s difficult to quantify.

The inoculation is of very little benefit to them, but it does present a very real risk of adverse events. However, the adolescent Pfizer study wasn’t actually designed to find adverse events because a serious adverse event, including death that occurred even in 1 out of 800 kids might not even show up in a sample size of 1,005 people. But in this case, the danger signal did come through. Among the inoculated adolescents, there was at least one serious adverse event, and her name was Maddie De Garay.

Maddie de Garay is a 12-year-old trial participant who developed a serious reaction after her second dose of the inoculation and was hospitalized within 24 hours. She developed gastroparesis, nausea, vomiting, erratic blood pressure, memory loss, brain fog, headaches, dizziness, fainting seizures, verbal and motor ticks, menstrual cycle issues, lost feeling from the waist down, lost bowel and bladder control, and she had to have a feeding tube because she lost her ability to eat.

She’s been hospitalized many times since then, and for the past 10 months she’s been wheelchair-bound and fed via a tube. In their report to the FDA, Pfizer described her injuries as functional abdominal pain, and there’s a link to the FDA report (page 30). This is unconscionable and certainly opens up the possibility that other adverse events have been suppressed or misrepresented.

In terms of the 5 to 11-year-old Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination trial, the Canadian COVID Care Alliance said the vaccination is an unacceptable risk to their health. Even Pfizer acknowledges the vaccine will cause myocarditis in children.

In terms of 5 to 11-year-olds, the inoculation is an unacceptable risk to their health. In this table, Pfizer using predictive modeling, acknowledges that the inoculations will cause myocarditis in children.

See the columns in red, but they optimistically claim that there will be zero deaths from this myocarditis. See the column in yellow, it’s speculation on their part, the low-level evidence of a predictive model. But let’s just say it’s true and there will be no deaths. There’s still no justification for giving children myocarditis. First do no harm should apply here. But the government has now normalized the expectation of heart problems from these inoculations among children to the point that sick kids are actually putting out brochures on how to deal with them.

The way to deal with them is don’t give them products that will harm their hearts because myocarditis is actually very serious. It’s damaged to the heart, and it’s not reversible.

So while Pfizer may be correct in that their inoculations might not cause any immediate deaths, we maintain that a one in five chance of dying in six and a half years is unequivocally, an unacceptable risk for children.

But the FDA says it is an acceptable risk for children. They have actually abandoned the first do no harm principle. Remember, medical interventions are supposed to be proven safe before they’re rolled out in the population. Yet Dr. Eric Rubin, one of the 18 members of the FDA advisory panel who voted to approve the inoculations for children from five to eleven, actually said the opposite and suggested that a population level rollout was an appropriate way to test for adverse events.

A German news site actually put together a list of over 75 known cases of athletes collapsing and even dying in the last five months. These incidents are supposed to be rare and we can’t ignore that they no longer are.

Remember when the whole world went into panic mode and shut down over a few fake videos of Chinese people collapsing, but crickets over dozens and dozens of real instances of people most specifically athletes collapsing.

Pfizer also admits in their report that their studies weren’t powered to find rare side effects because their long-term immune response efficacy and safety data is limited.

In addition to admitting that their inoculations can cause myocarditis Pfizer also admits right in their report that their long-term immune response efficacy and safety data is limited and that their studies weren’t powered to find rare side effects.

And that’s true, as the inoculation was only tested on about 1500 kids, how many parents know that? How many would take their kids to get this shot if they were informed of this? The law of informed consent says that they should be, but it’s not happening.

The British Medical Journal, one of the oldest and most respected medical journals in the world, has actually called Pfizer out for serious issues in the execution of their trials. On November 2, 2021, they released an article about their investigation into Ventavia, which was one of the research companies that Pfizer hired to conduct the trials.

The Whistleblower is a regional director who actually reported her company to the FDA for falsifying data for unblinding participants, for not following up and testing participants who reported symptoms and for mislabeling specimens. Several other employees backed up her account. Despite all this, neither Pfizer nor the FDA ever audited or investigated the research company. Pfizer never disclosed the problems in its emergency use authorization application, and in fact, Fisr has now hired that same researcher, Ventavia, to run four more COVID-19 trials. So all this to say that it’s not surprising that we’re seeing the issues that we are in the six-month trial report and also in the six-month report, Pfizer actually manipulated their efficacy data.

They took the results from their adult trial, which started in July of 2020, and then they mixed in the results from the twelve to 15-year-old trial, despite the fact that the adolescent trial actually started four months later. So since it’s well known that the efficacy of the inoculations wanes over time, this gave a false boost to the efficacy numbers. The efficacy of those two cohorts should have been reported separately, not presented as one combined result, but without that boost, their efficacy number likely would have fallen.

You can watch the detailed presentation below to know more and some damning revelations. We also included the PDF version of the presentation below. (Skip to 19:50 if you have seen the video on the first part)

The Pfizer Inoculations Do More Harm Than Good by Jim Hoft on Scribd

Part 2: Canada COVID Care Alliance Analysis Shows Pfizer’s Vaccination for Kids is ‘ALL RISK’ and No Benefit – Pfizer Acknowledges it May Cause Myocarditis in Children (VIDEO) — The Gateway Pundit

New Year’s resolutions about a relationship with God are popular among young Americans: Poll

A relationship with God is among the three most common subjects of New Year’s resolutions, particularly among younger Americans, according to a new Lifeway Research survey.

Source: New Year’s resolutions about a relationship with God are popular among young Americans: Poll

“Omicron Death!” – Pandemic Pandemonia Reaches New Heights… | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Matt Taibbi and Matt Orfalea via TK News,

For a while now it’s been clear the primary objective of most pandemic coverage is to scare the socks off mass audiences. Good news, bad news, boring news, interesting news, news that’s more of a wash in the final analysis, news that’s a net plus overall: it’s all presented as terrifying, more signs of the Apocalypse. There’s no better example than the stampede to advertise the “first death from Omicron” in the United States.

Matt Orfalea does a hilarious job of stitching together an homage to the latest moral panic. So many great little details here, from the “Way Too Early” background to one reporter’s premature death report to the “aggressive Covid vice” imagery, the dramatic Biden-cough, and so much more.

It was the world’s loudest record-scratch when the WHO in the first week of December said the ominous “Omicron variant” of Covid-19 had been detected in 38 countries, but without any known deaths.

No deaths? How could that be? In the United States in late November, we’d already skipped past the stunned-curiosity phase and moved straight into active mass panic, with “fallout from the Omicron variant” causing the Dow to fall 652 points in a day when news of the mutant contagion arrived. Right away, we had a travel ban from southern Africa, an address urging calm from President Mumbles, and a declaration of a “Variant of Concern” from the CDC, as “scientists raced” to learn more about this “almost Frankensteinish” new strain of Covid-19.

The next month of Omicron coverage offered a fascinating window into our Covid-fixated future. For most of December, we were presented with an unbroken string of scare stories that in many cases actively buried the lede on the most important question: is this thing going to kill me? The Washington Post on December 14th, for instance, ran a story about how the “CDC warns” that a “punishing wave” could be coming as soon as January. The piece noted Omicron was “dramatically more transmissible” and “a more slippery foe when encountered by neutralizing antibodies,” but ignored the issue of lethality altogether, which would seem impossible to do by accident.

“How deadly is the Omicron variant? WHO releases death report,” wrote the Express U.K. earlier this week, with the following sub-headline:

OMICRON cases have increased more than tenfold since authorities identified the first UK infections in November, but scientists’ knowledge of the variant has increased in kind. The World Health Organization (WHO) released its first death report this weekend, outlining how dangerous it really is.

Reading that headline hits your fear center, making you anxious to know just exactly “how dangerous it really is.” What does that mean? Scrolling down, you first read that Omicron mutations “allow it to escape immunity provided by both vaccine doses,” that “it reduces two doses of Pfizer to 30 percent effectiveness, with AstraZeneca potentially down to zero,” and that while boosters can restore effectiveness to 75 percent, “many are at Omicron’s mercy.” Not good!

Only far down the piece do you read that since the WHO’s “no deaths” report in early December, the disease has “spread rapidly, and one person in the UK has died with the new variant… Recent data suggests the disease Omicron causes is milder than its predecessors…”

The distinction between “dying with” and “dying from” is a sticking point in theory if you’re trying to accurately gauge the lethality of a thing, but journalists have mostly shrugged it off.

On December 20th, a man in Houston died “with” Omicron. The Harris County Public Health office issued a release citing an “Omicron Variant-Related” death, but Harris County judge Lisa Hidalgo, sporting a stylish tree-branch-pattern mask, wasted no time in announcing, “The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has arrived in full force.”

As shown in Matt’s video, Hidalgo raised the county’s County’s Covid-19 “threat level” status to “Level-2 Orange,” bringing us back to the halcyon days of the War on Terror, when the government each day assigned us a mathematical Expected Freakout Level (EFL) about things over which we had no control.

Within hours, national press outlets like CNN had reported the “first death attributed to the Omicron variant,” gushing, as Jeremy Diamond is shown doing in this video, that “Covid surges are surging!” Pundits wasted little time wagging their bony death-fingers in our direction: “First Omicron Death in U.S. Was Reinfection—A Warning to Those Who’ve Already Had COVID,” wrote Newsweek.

Shortly after, a Harris County Public Health official named Martha Marquez hedged, saying they could confirm the dead man was Omicron-positive, but the cause of death had not yet been determined.

The arrival of both the Delta and Omicron variants were reported in ways that recalled the classic “Africanized killer bees” media panics of yore. Stay in your homes and be vigilant about the highly aggressive African invader who just might move in next door: for a good long time, this was a staple of local TV, as noted in Bowling for Columbine:

Descriptions of Omicron as the scary scary thing coming from southern Africa have been near carbon-copies of those old bee stories. Kudos to the few outlets at home and in Europe that pointed out the hypocrisy of this coverage. If you’re really bent on using the deadly new “Africanized” variant to frighten people into getting vaccinated, shouldn’t you also be “racing” to pass patent waivers so countries like India and South Africa can make their own vaccines, thereby preventing the spread of mutations before they even have a chance to become headlines here?

If they’re determined to keep going in the scare direction, they should do a better job of it. Omicron is certainly an improvement over Delta, but they should dispense with the pretense and start giving true Fangoria names to coronavirus strains: the “Mutilator” Variant, the “Suffocating Agony” variant, the “Shaft-Sagger,” the “Face-Eater,” etc. Would you bet against something like that coming?

* That is not @Orf in the death suit.

Source: “Omicron Death!” – Pandemic Pandemonia Reaches New Heights…

New Scientific Study finds at least 400,000 Americans may have died due to the Covid-19 Vaccines

Columbia University researchers have found that the true number of people in the USA and other territories who have died as a result of getting one of the experimental Covid-19 injections is […]

Source: New Scientific Study finds at least 400,000 Americans may have died due to the Covid-19 Vaccines

John MacArthur to pastors: Fight government claim that biblical moral standards are a ‘myth’ | WND

The White House is lit with colors of the rainbow on June 26, 2015, in celebration of the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

A prominent American Christian leader, John MacArthur of Grace Community Church in Caliafornia, has issued a call to American church pastors to join in a fight being waged by their Canadian brothers.

Decision Magazine reports that MacArthur wants American Christian church leaders to join with Canadian pastors on Jan. 16 to preach on God’s plan for human sexuality.

MacArthur also has posted online a statement that Christian leaders are encouraged to sign.

The problem is a coming Canadian law that specifically contradicts the Bible. According to MacArthur’s posting, the preamble to the new Canadian law, which is to take effect Jan. 8, states that “heterosexuality, cisgender gender identity and gender expression that conforms to the sex assigned to a person at birth are to be preferred over other sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions” is a “myth.”

MacArthur explained, “According to Canadian law, as of January 8, 2022, the belief in God’s design for marriage and sexuality will now be seen as a myth.”

The Decision report explained the Canadian law is an attack on speech and faith under the guise of banning “so-called conversation therapy.” That agenda already has gotten a start in the United States with several states that have banned it.

Essentially, the idea would restrict any speech or belief that would counsel individuals, especially youth, against adopting a homosexual or transgender lifestyle. Counseling in promotion of those horrific body modifications and mutilations still is allowed.

MacArthur includes a call to repent of sin and turn to Jesus Christ as the first step of Christian discipleship.

MacArthur cited comments that came from Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church of Edmonton, Alberta, and Pastor Andrew DeBartolo of Encounter Church in Kingston, Ontario.

Coates explained the law “directly comes against parents and counselors who would seek to offer biblical counsel with respect to sexual immorality and gender” and could “criminalize evangelism” if a person turns from homosexuality or transgenderism or is encouraged to do so.

And DeBartolo explained, “On January 16, 2022, faithful men across this country (and many in the United States as well) will be preaching on God’s design for marriage and a biblical ethic of sexuality. We will be doing so illegally, declaring to the state that there is one God and one Lord over His church, and that Christ alone gets to both define marriage and dictate what is required in the pulpit. We are honored that our American brothers will be joining us in this.”

MacArthur pointed out what pastors are supposed to do: “Our calling as gospel ministers is to preach the truth, confront sin, and call all men to repentance and obedience to the gospel—the good news that achieves soul conversion and saves sinners from eternal wrath.”

He asks other pastors, “Will you stand with me and our Canadian brothers and confront, in a spirit of love and mercy, the damning sins legalized in our culture? And will you join the nationwide effort to preach on a biblical view of sexual morality on January 16, 2022 and proclaim the gospel of salvation that is now criminalized?”

The Decision report explained the law, C-4, “amends the Canadian criminal code to include anything deemed conversion therapy. It also states that ‘conversion therapy causes harm to society because, among other things, it is based on and propagates myths and stereotypes about sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, including the myth that heterosexuality, cisgender gender identity, and gender expression that conforms to the sex assigned to a person at birth are to be preferred over other sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions.'”

MacArthur explained a unified message from Christian pastors “will put the Canadian and the U.S. governments on notice that they have attacked the Word of God. We are all well-aware of the evil power and destructive influence of the homosexual and transgender ideology. Our government is bent on not only normalizing this perversion, but also legalizing it, and furthermore criminalizing opposition to it.”

Source: John MacArthur to pastors: Fight government claim that biblical moral standards are a ‘myth’

BIDEN WHAA…? TOP moments from U.S. President

Here you go, the TOP moments from U.S. President! #news #trending #currentevents ————————————————————————————————– Freedom over censorship, truth over narrative. Follow us on Facebook: Follow us on TikTok: Follow us on Telegram: Follow us on Twitter:

Source: BIDEN WHAA…? TOP moments from U.S. President