Daily Archives: December 21, 2021

Help from Without — VCY America

Yea, I will help thee.

Isaiah 41:10

Yesterday’s promise secured us strength for what we have to do, but this guarantees us aid in cases where we cannot act alone. The Lord says, “I will help thee.” Strength within is supplemented by help without. God can raise us up allies in our warfare if so it seems good in His sight; and even if He does not send us human assistance, He Himself will be at our side, and this is better still. “Our August Ally” is better than legions of mortal helpers.

His help is timely: He is a very present help in time of trouble. His help is very wise: He knows how to give each man help meet and fit for him. His help is most effectual, though vain is the help of man. His help is more than help, for He bears all the burden and supplies all the need. “The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man can do unto me.”

Because He has already been our help, we feel confidence in Him for the present and the future. Our prayer is, “Lord, be thou my helper”; our experience is, “The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities”; our expectation is, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, whence cometh my help”; and our song soon will be, “Thou, Lord, hast holden me.”

Help from Without — VCY America

The Bible and its Story: The Tablets Restored

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou breakest.” So all matters were placed as nearly as possible where they had been before Israel had broken the covenant. Moses went up again into Sinai, having risen higher than ever in God’s love, because he had been willing to perish utterly himself, but not to abandon his followers. Here upon Sinai Moses even ventured to pray that he might be blessed by beholding God in His full glory. As nearly as might be, God granted him this marvelous beatitude, yet not wholly; for “there shall no man see me, and live.”

‎As God passed by in His Glory, He placed Moses in a cleft of the rock and sheltered him with His hand. What Moses saw in that supreme moment, we know not; yet when he descended from the mount, with the rewritten tablets in his hand, his face so shone with the reflected glory of that momentary vision that he seemed more than mortal. The Israelites could not bear even that reflected brightness, so that for a time Moses was forced to shroud his face in a veil when he addressed them.

by Julius A. Bewer; Charles F. Horne

Christmas: Celebrate His Love (Part 9)

If God Has Not Forgotten Us, Why Have We Forgotten Him?

In this lesson we hypothesize what the world would be like if there had been no first Christmas.

Outline

It is hard to comprehend a world without Christ. That is because most of us have grown up in a Christian environment. But perhaps one of the best ways we could comprehend it is to look for just a moment to a period of time after Christ had gone to the cross, then to the grave, then out of the grave in resurrection. And Paul, trying to explain the importance of that to those who would read his letter to the Corinthians, posed a similar question in 1 Corinthians 15. He said in effect, “Let me tell you what life would be like if Christ had not come, if He had not died, if He had not been resurrected from the grave.”

  1. A World Without Christ?
  2. A Life Without Christ?
  3. Christmas Without Christ?

Overview

A World Without Christ?

In 1 Corinthians 15:14 Paul tells us that if Christ had not come, our preaching would be useless.

In that same verse, he says that if Christ had not come, our faith would be empty.

In verse 15 he said that if Christ had not come, those of us who are Christians would be false witnesses. We would be telling lies because we would be saying something was true when indeed it was not.

In 15:17 he said that if Christ had not come, our faith would be futile, worthless.

He said if Christ had not come we would all still be in our sins. We would be unforgiven.

In verse 18 of that text, he said if Christ had not come, we would never see our dead loved ones again, for those who have died have perished. And then in verse 19 he summarizes it by saying if Christ had not come, we would be the most miserable of all people.

Sometimes the only way we can appreciate what we have as Christians is to realize that everything that’s good, and everything that’s wholesome, and everything that’s positive, and everything that’s clean, and everything that’s true, has its roots in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, who came as the gift of God the Father to be our Savior. It is a wonderful thought to remember that God has not forgotten us.

A Life Without Christ?

But the question, then, must be: If God has not forgotten us, then why do we seem to have forgotten Him?

Every Christmas is the coming together of a magnificent occasion and a wonderful opportunity. It is not different from that first Christmas Day recorded for us in Luke 2:1–7:

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

I like to think of that night in terms of the kind of silence that is observed in the eastern U.S. when snow falls on Christmas Day, and everything is absolutely still.

On this magnificent night recorded by Luke, we are told that Mary brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger. It was a magnificent occasion that escaped observation by almost everyone who was there.

We read in John 1 that “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.… and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” At that moment in that silent night when Mary birthed her baby, Deity invaded humanity. In that moment, when Mary birthed her baby, eternity invaded time. And no one really understood that.

Micah the prophet said it this way in his prophecy of Micah 5:2: “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

How could one be born whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting? In that moment of time when Mary birthed her baby, Royalty invaded poverty. The One who had all wealth at His disposal, who was the King of glory, who created the world that we love and live in, that same One was birthed to Mary.

What a magnificent occasion! A silent night interrupted by a tiny cry in Bethlehem. This magnificent occasion was set up from eternity past. And it wonderfully met every criterion that was laid out for it.

But, on this night of all nights, it happened in a place where no one even recognized what was going on. The God who had refused to forget us, was forgotten by those to whom He first came. The Bible tells us “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him” (John 1:11). The King of glory had come down, and He was not recognized or received.

The innkeeper should not have missed it because he was so close to it. Isn’t it interesting how we can go through life, and often be so close to the magnificent, and never let it dawn upon our conscious awareness? He was so close. The mother of our Lord was at his door. She was seeking a place to birth the Son of God, and he would not let her in because there was no room.

Christmas Without Christ?

Am I pressing the point too much when I say that today the world is filled with innkeepers who miss the meaning of Christmas?

If that is not the case, why, as we go through the shopping centers during this season, are there so many grim faces in our stores, so many exhausted, sleepy people in our churches the Sunday before Christmas? The innkeeper missed Christmas not because he was angry or because he was belligerent. He missed Christmas because of ignorant preoccupation. He got so busy with everything that was going on in his life, taking care of the inn, taking care of the census, taking care of all of the pressure, he couldn’t stop to reflect upon the moment that was at hand.

Many people today are like that. The chambers of their souls are filled with needless things, stuff that doesn’t really matter. They miss the Messiah of God. Oh, how hard it is for us to clear out the chambers of our heart and mind, and make room for the Messiah!

One of the great tragedies of our time is not that God has forgotten us, but that we have forgotten Him. On the same day that Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the Russian-born Nobel prize winner, was presented with the Templeton Foundation Prize for Progress in Religion by Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace, he addressed many of Britain’s leading political and religious leaders, including the Archbishop of Canterbury. “Over half a century ago,” stated Solzhenitsyn, “while I was still a child, I remember hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation of the great disasters that have befallen Russia. Men have forgotten God. That’s why it has all happened. And if I were called upon to identify the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, I would be unable to find anything more precise and more worthy than to repeat, men have forgotten God.”

In our world today, doesn’t it seem to you that men have forgotten God? And we who have been given this holiday occasion to embrace the Christ because God has not forgotten us, we must ask ourselves in our hearts, “Have I forgotten God?” That is not a question just for those who do not know God through Christ. That is a question for all of us. It is possible for us to live as practical atheists and still be Christians in the sense that we go through our lives without giving any time whatsoever to the One who came to make life meaningful for us. Let us not, at this time of the year, forget the One who has not forgotten us.

Some have heard the gospel message throughout life from a mother’s teaching, in Sunday school, or growing up in church. Periodically, you have been reminded that it was for you that this Christ came. But like the innkeeper, you are so busy with everything else you keep pushing Him away. But there is a day coming when He will knock no more. If He knocks at your heart today, you must not forget Him. That is the message of Christmas. You must not forget the One who refused to forget you. Receive Him as your Savior.

Application

  1. If you know Christ today, make a list of as many good things as possible that would not exist in your life if not for your relationship with Him.
  2. Which of those events or circumstances were bad things that the Lord Jesus Christ transformed into something good?
  3. What, then, is the connection between Christ’s resurrection from the dead and His ability to redeem our lives into something good? (See Romans 8:11, 28–31.)
  4. In 1 Corinthians 15:12–22, what eventual circumstance is Paul connecting to Christ’s resurrection?

Why is that an essential part of every Christian’s perspective on the future?

If the resurrection of Christ is not a historical fact, where does that leave every Christian?

  1. What has been the historical pattern of great nations that have denied or left their faith in Christ?

In our culture today, what is replacing a belief in the Jesus of the Bible?

What effect is that producing?

  1. Do you believe it is possible for a genuine Christian to “forget God” in a practical, day-to-day sense?

Why or why not?

What would you forecast as some of the symptoms of that problem?

  1. What would you propose as good “preventative medicine” for not forgetting God?

What would you propose as good solutions for those Christians who have?

  1. In what way(s) might the Christmas holiday season afford an opportunity for us to “remember” Him? To encourage others to do the same?

To make Him known to those who don’t know Him?

Did You Know?

Although the story line for the Christmas classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” is purely fanciful and fictitious, it has for decades connected with those who feel forgotten and forsaken during the holidays, even pointing many to the God of the Bible and genuine faith in Christ.

For actor James Stewart, the barroom scene in which he cries out to God was so profoundly moving, the tears were real and the experience entirely unique. When he was asked to do another take for the benefit of facial closeups, he flatly refused, admitting that at that precise moment, he felt something of the desperation and hopelessness of those who have nowhere else to turn but the true God. The film editors worked with the one take they had, closeups were engineered by enlarging one frame at a time, and a truly vicarious moment of a desperate man’s plea to God made it to the screen.

Stained Glass

Use the final remains of various colors of crayons. Shave each color and create stacks of shavings by color. Let each child create their design by placing the colors in the pattern they create on a piece of waxed paper. Place another piece of paper on top of the crayon shavings and gently but firmly set a hot iron on the paper. To make sure you have the work surface protected, place a large piece of foil under the entire project. I also place a piece of waxed paper over the top before I set the iron down.

After the paper has cooled, gently peel the top sheet of paper off and enjoy the beauty of an original stained glass window. You may be surprised at the artistic expression in your family.[1]

 

[1] Jeremiah, D. (1999). Celebrate his love: Study guide (pp. 112–123). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Christmas: God In The Manger (Part 10)

Simeon’s Eye of Faith

A forgotten authority on Wesleyan hymns once commented, “There can hardly be a single paragraph of Scripture that is not somewhere reflected in the hymns of the Wesleys.” That observation was certainly accurate regarding the following two stanzas from Charles Wesley’s elegant 1744 Advent hymn:

 

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, Born to set Thy people free;

From our fears and sins release us; Let us find our rest in Thee.

Israel’s strength and consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art;

Dear Desire of ev’ry nation, Joy of ev’ry longing heart.

 

Born Thy people to deliver, Born a Child, and yet a King,

Born to reign in us forever, Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.

By Thine own eternal Spirit Rule in all our hearts alone;

By Thine all-sufficient merit, Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

 

Those beautiful lines summarize well the main sentiments of another impeccable testimony to the significance and validity of Christ’s birth—the aged, humble, and wise Simeon. Luke again reports on what happened and records Simeon’s prophetic words:

And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace,

According to Your word;

For my eyes have seen Your salvation

Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,

A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,

And the glory of Your people Israel.”

And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (2:25–35)

The Man Simeon

Although very little is known about him except what Luke 2 records, Simeon was, as we shall see, a fascinating character. His name is certainly a common Hebrew name (it was the name of one of the twelve tribes of Israel; Gen. 49:5–7) that means, “God has heard.” When Simeon’s parents named him as a baby, the Lord prompted them to give him a name that wonderfully alludes to the result of his heartfelt cry for God to send a comforter and deliverer. That cry was certainly Simeon’s lifelong hope, and at the end of his life God graciously heard and sent the Messiah.

His Spiritual Character

The first biblical description of the man Simeon involves his spiritual character: “this man was just and devout” (Luke 2:25). As we saw regarding Joseph and Mary, that simple statement is loaded with meaning—as a just man, Simeon stood righteous before God. God had declared him righteous, as only God can, when he trusted in Him rather than his good works for the forgiveness of sin. Simeon recognized his sinfulness, cast himself on the mercy of God, and the Lord declared him righteous because Christ’s death on the cross would bear away his sins.

If Simeon was a just man, it follows that he was also “devout.” That word means he was righteous. If anyone is truly justified, then scripturally he or she is necessarily also righteous, or in the process of being sanctified. Even in Simeon’s day, still under the Old Testament economy, when God declared someone like him righteous, that person’s life changed and he became a lover of God’s Law (see Psalm 119 and David’s heart attitude toward the Law of God).

Simply stated, a devout man such as Simeon is primarily concerned about the things of God. In fact, the term rendered “devout” in Luke 2 is often more literally translated “cautious,” indicating that Simeon would have been very careful how he treated God and responded to His Word. He lived a careful, cautious, responsible life, one that was exemplary and conscientious to honor God and bring glory to His name. And that’s what defined Simeon’s character as a true Jew—a believing Jew—and a genuine member of the righteous remnant of Israel.

His Theology

Luke 2:25 also indicates something important about Simeon’s theology: he was “waiting for the Consolation of Israel.” The word rendered “Consolation” is a direct reference to the Messiah. Thus Simeon had a hope for the coming of Messiah, the King who would bring in the promised Kingdom of Israel. And the only one who could fulfill that hope was the Consoler, the Comforter, the Helper—the Messiah.

But what was the source of Simeon’s great sense of hope? Undoubtedly, a major one had to be the Book of Isaiah. The second half of the prophet’s inspired writing contains a wealth of references to the theme of the coming Messianic consolation and comfort. Isaiah 40:1–2 declares, “‘Comfort, yes, comfort My people!’ says your God. ‘Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned.’” The righteous Jews looked for the time when Israel’s warfare would end and the Comforter (Messiah) would remove all sins.

The prophet goes on to say, “Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young” (vv. 10–11). None other than God Himself, in the person of Christ, would come to rule and comfort His people, even as a shepherd helps his sheep and lambs.

Isaiah 49:8–10 provides further promise:

Thus says the Lord:

“In an acceptable time I have heard You,

And in the day of salvation I have helped You;

I will preserve You and give You

As a covenant to the people,

To restore the earth,

To cause them to inherit the desolate heritages;

That You may say to the prisoners, ‘Go forth,’

To those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves.’

“They shall feed along the roads,

And their pastures shall be on all desolate heights.

They shall neither hunger nor thirst,

Neither heat nor sun shall strike them;

For He who has mercy on them will lead them,

Even by the springs of water He will guide them.”

God in effect reiterated the Abrahamic Covenant and promised to give Israel back her land. And along with that, the Lord pledged to minister a variety of compassionate favors. All of these prophecies foreshadowed the ministry of Christ as the Comforter of His people (Isa. 51:3; 57:18; 66:10–13).

So Simeon was a man who believed the Old Testament and took the prophet’s promises of consolation for Israel at face value. Simeon cared not only about his personal salvation, but also about the spiritual welfare of his people. His desire was very much a precursor to Paul’s decades later, when the apostle told the Roman believers:

I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen. (Romans 9:1–5)

In that sense, Simeon was a passionate true believer. And he even went Paul one better. The great apostle was not a member of the true remnant for his entire adult life and ministry; after all, he once persecuted Christians prior to his conversion from legalistic, lost Judaism. But Simeon always looked in faith to the hope of Israel’s comfort and consolation, the coming of Messiah. He longed earnestly for the fulfillment of the covenant promises; and the more his nation sank into sin, apostasy, unbelief, and legalism, the more his heart ached to see the Messiah deliver his fellow Israelites from all of that iniquity.

Special Anointing

In addition to his exemplary character qualities and his adherence to biblical theology, Simeon was a remarkable example of divine anointing for extraordinary service: “the Holy Spirit was upon him” (Luke 2:25).

First of all, Luke’s statement about Simeon applies just as if he were speaking of any Old Testament-era believer. The Spirit of God had to work in his heart to save him—to enable him to believe that God would provide a sacrifice and would forgive his sins, and that it was all by grace through faith, not works. The Holy Spirit used the picture of the Old Testament sacrificial system to point Simeon and other true Jews toward Christ’s final sacrifice. He thus brought them to justification and began the ongoing process of sanctification in their lives. In Simeon’s life we clearly see that process at work in his devout character and careful obedience to God’s Law.

That the Holy Spirit was upon Simeon, therefore, was not an indicator of a brand-new phenomenon. The Spirit was always present in believers’ lives. Luke was simply saying that God had anointed Simeon for a special responsibility, much as He had done for certain Old Testament saints (e.g., Samson, Samuel, the prophets). Most often that responsibility involved speaking for God, as we’ll see when Simeon interacts with the young Jesus and His parents.

But before Simeon uttered any prophetic statements, the Spirit had to reveal certain truths to him. “It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ” (2:26). Sometime earlier in his life God had revealed that amazing message to Simeon, which would have had some rare and unusual implications for his life.

God’s words probably created both exhilaration and tension for Simeon. Positively, they would have served as a wonderful milepost or terminus point around which he could have ordered his life. Imagine the incredible feeling of having precise insight into exactly what needed to occur before you could die. But such knowledge also undoubtedly resulted in some spiritual pressure for Simeon. The constant excitement of living in Messianic times and eagerly anticipating the appearance of Christ on any given day, week, or month must have been a powerful motivation for Simeon to examine his heart regularly. He wanted to be sure he was fully ready for the special event. We don’t know how long prior to Luke 2 that Simeon had known all those things, but the entire waiting process, however long or short, surely filled his heart with anticipation as he realized Messiah was coming in his lifetime.

Simeon at Last Meets Christ

Simeon’s sense of anticipation that he would actually see the Messiah, and his lifelong looking forward in hope to the consolation of Israel, finally culminated on a special day that coincided with Jesus’ presentation to the Lord. God providentially prompted his heart, and Simeon decided it was exactly the right time to go down to the temple: “So he came by the Spirit into the temple” (Luke 2:27). More precisely, the word translated “temple” means “big area” and refers to the Court of the Women, the outside courtyard that was the only temple-related place Mary could go.

God in His sovereign wisdom appointed a time and place for Simeon and Christ to meet. And the meeting occurred even though Joseph and Mary knew nothing of Simeon, and he knew nothing of them or how to identify the Child. However, the Lord overcame those barriers and brought the four people together. Perhaps Simeon approached the parents and initiated a conversation in this fashion: “The Spirit of God has led me here and has prompted me that it’s where the Messiah is. Can you give me some information?” To which Joseph and Mary may have replied, “Yes, here He is.”

Likewise, we can only imagine what Simeon felt as he took the baby Jesus out of Mary’s arms, pressed Him to his chest, and perhaps leaned his head down to kiss Him. We can only speculate concerning the magnitude of joy that must have flooded the old manheart as he realized God truly did fulfill His promises. At last, he was holding in his hands the Messiah, the Comforter and Consoler of Israel, the Savior of the world.

Simeon was filled with such great joy because he genuinely believed that Jesus was the Messiah. And he believed that because Joseph and Mary told him. They undoubtedly reported to him the amazing, miraculous ways in which Jesus’ birth had come to pass and reaffirmed to him how God had confirmed the truth of it all to their hearts. Simeon had long believed in the coming Messiah, and God was at that moment rewarding his faith by showing him specifically and unquestionably that the infant Jesus was the Christ.

Simeon’s Song of Praise

The moment Simeon realized that the baby he saw and held was indeed the Lord Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah, he launched into one of the most well-known, beloved, and theologically rich songs of praise found in all of Scripture. It certainly marked the most magnificent and joyful moment in his life as he witnessed the fulfillment of God’s promise that he would live to see the Messiah. Simeon’s clear testimony, known liturgically as the Nunc Dimittis (from the opening two words, “now Lord,” of the song’s Latin translation), appears in four short verses: “‘Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel’” (Luke 2:29–32).

Simeon’s affirmation that God was letting him depart in peace is simply a Semitic expression that he was then ready to die. He was acknowledging that everything was right for a sovereign God to let him die in peace. And why was that? Because Simeon understood that God is a saving God (1 Tim. 4:10), and that he was seeing the arrival of God’s salvation in the person of Jesus, the Messiah (Luke 1:69; Acts 4:12). His praise flowed because God’s Savior had come and, therefore, God’s salvation had come—and with that great truth a reality, it was then all right for his life to end. Simeon had lived to see what God had promised him.

But Simeon’s testimony did not end with one statement. If he had merely added his voice to that of Zacharias, Mary, and Joseph and confirmed the truth of God’s salvation for His people, it would not have advanced the testimony about Messiah any further. However, Simeon did go further and prophetically declared a truth that was shattering to conventional Israelite belief: “‘For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel’” (Luke 2:30–32).

Simeon’s additional words would have been truly astonishing for most Jews of his day. They believed someone would come as their Messiah, that he would reestablish the Kingdom of Israel, and with that kingdom that he would rule over the infidel Gentile world. But Simeon’s bold declaration said that God brought His Messiah/Savior to earth and prepared His salvation for all peoples without distinction—it is a light of revelation to the Gentiles, as well as being the glory of Israel.

Simeon’s statement was all the more shocking because even the remnant of Israel, those who believed and studied the Old Testament, hated what the term Gentile represented—no belief in the Scripture, desecration of the true and living God, disobedience to the commandment to love God above everything else, and violation of the prohibition against worshiping images of other gods. And as Gentiles became a more distinct group within Jewish society, members of the remnant seemed to resent the Gentiles’ blasphemy and idolatry more and more.

Even the most faithful and righteous of the believing Jews could not imagine that God’s salvation would include people beyond Israel. For example, when the shepherds heard the angels proclaim, “‘For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord’” (Luke 2:11; emphasis added), they assumed the “to you” meant them and other Jews. And when Mary and Joseph heard they were to name their son Jesus (“Yahweh saves”) because He would save His people from their sins, they understood “His people” to mean only Israel.

However, the numerous statements of the prophet Isaiah, uttered centuries earlier, contradicted such thinking. Isaiah 9:1–2 applies to Galilee’s honor at the time of Jesus’ ministry: “Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed, as when at first He lightly esteemed the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward more heavily oppressed her, by the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, in Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined.” Jesus actually did go to the other side of the Jordan to preach and serve. Those who lived in dark lands (Gentiles) experienced the light of the gospel.

Isaiah 42:6–7 says, “I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house.” The prophet recorded a conversation between the Father and the Son that indicated God would use Christ, working through the nation of Israel, to be a light to the nations. That same expression (or one very similar), with the same meaning, appears four other places in the Book of Isaiah (49:6; 51:4; 52:10; 60:1–3; 45:25; 46:13).

In view of all those prophetic statements, no one should have been shocked at Simeon’s words. He could have had any one of the Isaiah references in mind with his declaration, which demonstrates again that Simeon was a man of God and a capable spokesman to announce the significance of Christ’s birth. In this case the significance is that salvation, brought by Messiah, has been prepared by God to be sufficient for the whole world because He loves the world (Matt. 28:18–20; John 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:1–6;
1 Pet. 3:9).

Parents’s Response to Simeon

As we’ve seen in our study, Joseph and Mary were already full of wonder and amazement concerning the incredible facts and miraculous circumstances attending the birth of Jesus. They realized they were the earthly parents of the Son of God, the Messiah, and the Savior of His people, all of which was beyond their comprehension. Then when they heard Simeon’s statement about the Gentiles, they were astonished anew and reminded afresh that the entire episode was entirely beyond their grasp (Luke 2:33). God had, as it were, placed in Joseph and Mary’s hands a Savior for everyone who believes, Jew and Gentile.

But the euphoria of that realization ended quickly for Mary and Joseph when Simeon concluded his pronouncement with this final, shocking statement: “‘Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed’” (vv. 34–35).

Jesus’ parents surely were taken aback when listening to those words, the tone of which they had not heard before. Simeon’s prediction constitutes the first negative note in Luke’s account of Christ’s birth. Until then it had been all a record of divine promises fulfilled and news of God’s salvation that brought a sense of peace, hope, joy, and praise for His glory. But then Jesus’ parents, particularly Mary, had to grapple with thoughts of Israelites falling and rising and a sword piercing Mary’s soul. They certainly were asking themselves what Simeon’s closing words really meant.

Simeon directed his sober forewarning especially to Mary rather than Joseph because he knew Joseph wouldn’t be present for the culmination of Jesus’ ministry. After Jesus’ encounter with the Jewish teachers in the temple when He was twelve, Joseph disappears from the record. (He might have died even before Jesus began His earthly ministry.) But Mary witnessed or heard about all the high moments and low points of her Son’s ministry. And Simeon foresees Mary’s experience according to three categories: separation, opposition, and affliction.

Christ Separates People

First, Simeon knew Mary would endure emotional conflict, pain, and suffering because Jesus would represent a line of demarcation in the lives of all who saw and heard Him. Some would respond positively and rise to the glories of salvation, but others would respond negatively and fall into the despair of eternal judgment.

Simeon was introducing a new concept. Mary and everyone else who heard his words confronted for the first time the new perspective that some—even many—Jews would be lost. Not all of them would rejoice at Messiah’s ministry. Again, Simeon could have drawn his thoughts directly from Isaiah: “‘He [Messiah] will be as a sanctuary, but a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense to both the houses of Israel, as a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. And many among them shall stumble; they shall fall and be broken, be snared and taken’” (8:14–15; 28:16; John 1:11; 1 Pet. 2:6–8).

The life and ministry of Jesus Christ would perfectly verify the words of Simeon and the prophets. The whole nation of Israel turned against our Lord, and ultimately the Jewish leaders persuaded the Romans to have Him executed—only a relatively small remnant of Jews received Him and believed unto eternal life. The rest would fall irretrievably over the “stone of stumbling” and “rock of offense.”

Christ Stirs Opposition from People

The division Messiah’s life caused among His people included overt opposition from many. He represented the light and righteousness that the average person hated (John 3:18–20). Eventually, as the Gospels clearly attest, the unbelieving Jews would contest everything Jesus said and did. The opposition began with indifference and progressed to hatred, plotting, insults, mockery, verbal vilification, physical torture, and abuse, and it ended with crucifixion.

It is hard enough for us today to believe that many of the Jews in Jesus’ time opposed Him so sinfully and completely. But Mary, who heretofore had done nothing but rejoice over the arrival of Messiah, had to be feeling shock and sadness over Simeon’s warning. Perhaps it would have been understandable if such future opposition had referred to the Gentiles; but it was unthinkable for her to identify it with the chosen nation of Israel.

But God’s sovereign redemptive purpose was again behind Simeon’s sobering declaration. His words could have wonderfully clarified for believing Jews like Mary the prophecy of Isaiah 53:3, “He [Christ] is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”

Mary Experiences Affliction

Simeon’s prophecy then turned from addressing the nations to addressing Mary personally. He said, in effect, that before everything ended, Mary’s role as Jesus’ mother would become very difficult personally. “‘A sword will pierce through your own soul also’” (Luke 2:35).

Because Mary undoubtedly loved Jesus more than any mother ever loved a child, it was extremely hard for her when Jesus had to push her away on the human level. When at age twelve He had to be about His Father’s business in the temple (Luke 2:46–50), it was necessary, in a sense, to push Mary aside. Later, when He was doing His first miracle in Cana (John 2:1–11), Jesus didn’t call her “mother”; He called her “woman” (v. 4). And on another occasion, when Mary came to visit Him with His half brothers (Matt. 12:46–50), He said, “‘Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’ And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother’” (vv. 48–50).

Jesus gently but firmly nudged Mary from merely being His mother to realizing that she needed to depend on Him as her Savior and Lord. And after Jesus was hated, ridiculed, unfairly tried, physically assaulted, and crucified, Mary was standing at the foot of the cross, watching right up to the end of His life (John 19:25). Seeing Jesus suffering on the cross certainly would have rammed a sword through her maternal heart. In addition, Mary’s heart was no doubt pierced through because she, as a believing Jew, had to witness all the unbelieving opposition to Christ pour forth from many of her fellow Israelites.

Mary was an ordinary woman who dealt with enormous strain just being the mother of the Son of God. Her life accurately fulfilled Simeon’s admonition to her as she periodically felt bewildered by Jesus’ words and actions and certainly cut to the heart with emotional pain as she saw His rejection, suffering, and death.

The Revelation Simeon’s Words Predict

Years ago I read about a man who took a friend on a tour of Paris. They went to the Louvre and looked at all the great paintings there. That night they went to a concert hall and heard a wonderful symphony. At the end of the evening, the man asked his friend, “Well, what do you think?” And the friend replied, “I wasn’t all that impressed.”

In response, the man told his friend, “If it’s any consolation to you, the museum and its art were not on trial and neither was the symphony. You were on trial. History has already determined the greatness of these works of art and of this music. All that your attitude reveals is the smallness of your own appreciation.”

Likewise, Jesus isn’t on trial, but every soul is. Simeon declared, “‘This Child … is a sign which will be spoken against … that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed’” (Luke 2:34–35). When God prompted Jesus to begin His ministry, many people rallied to oppose Him. That opposition simply revealed the wickedness of people’s hearts. Specifically, it also revealed the apostasy of the Jews’ religion, with all its hypocrisy, self-righteousness, legalism, and shallowness. And that attitude is still prevalent today.

When considering the facts of Christ’s birth, many people think, You know, the baby Jesus was a sweet child. And when He grew up, peace, joy, and happiness followed Him everywhere. Jesus was really a good man, and everyone felt good about Him when He healed the sick and taught interesting parables. That’s the kind of Jesus I want to embrace.

But you must go far beyond that. To embrace Jesus by saving faith and enter His Kingdom, you must allow Him to expose your sin. That means you repent of your evil thoughts and deeds, come to Him for forgiveness, receive His justification, and begin to live a holy life. But if you hate Jesus for exposing your sin and refuse to repent, you’ll die in your sins and go to hell. So Christ’s life was and is a revelation. How people respond reveals the condition of their hearts.

The word Simeon used for “thoughts” in verse 35 connotes negative beliefs. He was indicating that Jesus would reveal the filth of sinful thoughts. Even the Son of God couldn’t have a ministry as He did and still make everyone feel good all the time. As we have seen, He created such hostility that the people killed Him. When one represents and teaches the truth of holiness, as Christ did, he exposes the evil of the human heart.

Some people today, as in Jesus’ time, will fall on their faces, repent, and believe. But many other people today, also as in Jesus’ time, will reject Him and refuse to believe.

In summary, Simeon’s testimony to Christ had far-reaching implications. Above all, it demonstrated the supreme joy of a righteous Jew whom God had allowed to meet the Messiah. The hope of Israel and the world was then realized—even though heartache and difficulty would result during the course of Jesus’ ministry. Salvation had come, and Simeon could die in peace. His task, though brief and contained in a small segment of Scripture, was of great significance. God used Simeon to give a powerful affirmation to the truth that the infant Jesus was the promised Christ.[1]

 

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (2001). God in the manger: the miraculous birth of Christ (pp. 121–135). Nashville, TN: W Pub. Group.

December 21 – A miracle child — Reformed Perspective

Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John… he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God.” –  Luke 1:13,16 

Scripture reading: Luke 1:1-25

The Lord chose, on several occasions, to mark His work in history with unusual birth stories. Some examples include the births of Isaac, Samuel, Samson and John the Baptist. These births were like signposts, or markers, reminding that the Lord alone could provide deliverance for His people. These occasions were also surrounded by signs such as announcements by angels. Strange, miraculous things happened!

Elizabeth was “well advanced in years” and yet was expecting a baby. Zacharias was visited by an angel and was unable to speak for months. The baby boy was given an unusual name and was filled with the Holy Spirit. He would live an extraordinary life in the wilderness, even as a youth. All of these things were proof that the Lord was working out his plan in history. John the Baptist was sent to get the attention of God’s people. They needed a wake-up call, a call to repentance. They needed to be prepared to meet the Lord Jesus.

Though we live in different times, is it not true that many need the same call today? A call to be turned, away from themselves, away from worldliness and away from superficial religion? Are you prepared to meet the Lord when He returns? Are your friends and your family ready? One day, all of us will have to meet Him face-to-face. Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and His impending arrival ought to fill us with reverence!

Suggestion for prayer

Pray for those that do not see their need to be turned to the Lord God, that the preaching of the gospel would lead them to true repentance.

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

December 21 – A miracle child — Reformed Perspective

Step in and Stay — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1 (NKJV)


You know what it’s like to ride with someone who knows all the back roads. The “easy” roads. The “secret” way to get places. But you also know the truth. It’s not really “secret.”  It’s just not commonly used.

The Bible talks about a “secret place.” Not a place God is hiding from us, but an uncommon place. Uncommon, because not many of us dwell there on a consistent basis.

Attitudes and anxieties fester, and it’s difficult to dwell in the secret place. We listen to lies in our head, and we step out. It seems we have finally resorted to its safety, and the smallest irritation lures us away.

So what can we do?

We can learn to identify those lures in our lives that cause us to step out of the secret place. We can beware of “trigger thoughts” common to all of us, like these:

“What if. . .”
I’m tired of . . .”
He always . . .”
She never. . .”

Whatever takes our mind off the sufficient control of the good God whose Shadow is the safest place to be is the very thing that will push us out of the secret place.

Each morning, spend time securing that spot in the “secret place.” Then, guard against attitudes and thoughts that cause you to step out of its safety.

How can you and I “dwell in the secret place of the Most High”?

Step in . . . and stay.

Father, Thank You for being our shelter, our hiding place, a safe place from all that seeks to destroy our peace.  Help us as we guard against all that lures us away from that secure place in You.  May we step into that safety daily, and stay there by Your grace. In Jesus Name.  Amen.

By Bethany Hayes
Used by permission


Further Reading

•  Struggles, Despair
•  Going Deeper with God
•  Salvation Explained

Step in and Stay — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

Christmas Abundance — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

“A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” John 10:10 (HCSB)


I will never forget my first Christmas as a follower of Christ. I was thousands of miles from home, grieving my mother’s passing, battling my addictions, flat broke, and almost out of hope. My life seemed bleak and I couldn’t understand why. Desperate for understanding, I sought out my pastor and he read today’s verse to me.

We have a God of hope, faith and love. He comes to offer life in our darkest hours, while the thief seeks to kill and destroy. God doesn’t offer us a bed of roses; in fact, our situation can sometimes feel like a bed of thorns. His abundance is not found in our circumstances or material possessions. Rather, it’s found deep within our hearts.

When Paul and Silas were arrested in Philippi, their circumstances could not have been much worse; they’d been beaten, whipped and thrown in jail. If they’d focused on their circumstances, they would have lost their joy and hope, but turning to God in songs of praise, abundance came alive in them. The Holy Spirit filled them with hope, faith, and joy.

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13(HCSB)

If your Christmas is looking less-than-ideal or is even painful, remember that God hasn’t forgotten you. He wants to fill you till overflowing with His hope, peace, and joy. Press in to His abundance by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Heavenly Father, help us to press into Your hope and Your faithfulness Lord. Help me rest in Your promise of an abundant life and know that our circumstances are just temporal. Amen.

By Rev. Daniel Forster
Used by Permission


Further Reading

•   Christmas Section
•  Stories:  Why God
•  Salvation Explained

Christmas Abundance — Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God

The Bible and its Story: Moses Wins Pardon for Israel

Neither from Moses nor his Master, neither from the God nor the man came there ever any sign of regret for that first punishment inflicted upon Israel. The following day Moses summoned the subdued and shivering people, and told them the wickedness of their sin. He promised to secure their pardon from God, and indeed he had already done so. Yet God warned Moses that He would no longer dwell with Israel in person, “for thou art a stiffnecked people: lest I consume thee in the way.”

‎Hearing this, the people mourned. They were afraid to venture across the wilderness unprotected by their God. So Moses entreated the Lord to stay with them, offering himself as a sacrifice in Israel’s stead. And all Israel entreated God also. At length, as Moses approached the tent, wherein was the altar of worship, the temporary tabernacle or house of God, the pillar of cloud which had indicated the divine presence among them, returned suddenly to its place before the opening of the tent. By this sign all Israel knew that their Lord had forgiven them; “and all the people rose up and worshipped, every man in his tent door.”

by Julius A. Bewer; Charles F. Horne

21 Dec 2021 News Briefing

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‘Absolute insanity’: School illegally resurrects segregation for ‘families of color’
A Colorado public school has resurrected segregation, scheduling a play night for “families of color” in the name of “equity,” according to a report from BizPacReview. In violation of Colo. Const. art. IX, sec. 8: “nor shall any distinction or classification of pupils be made on account of race or color.” https://t.co/W3jmTUpPQK “Denver Public Schools now promoting racially-segregated playtime—for ‘equity.’ Segregation seems to have come full circle and the left is once again implementing it at schools and in other areas of society

Diplomacy is ‘no longer sufficient’ to prevent Russian escalation, Lithuanian defense chief says
The Biden administration should not wait for further Russian escalation to impose consequences on Moscow and support Ukraine, Lithuania’s top military official said Thursday. “Our support should be provided not when aggression starts, but prior to that.”

Satanic Temple to install Sol Invictus holiday display at state Capitol rotunda
This year’s display will feature the “satanic deity” Baphomet, depicted as a swaddling babe. It was designed by Albuquerque-based horror artist Chris P. Andres.

Islamic countries pledge humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, warn of ‘chaos’
Islamic countries pledged on Sunday to set up a humanitarian trust fund for Afghanistan as, with millions facing hunger and a harsh winter setting in, Pakistan’s prime minister warned of chaos if the worsening emergency was not urgently addressed. The crisis is causing mounting alarm but the international response has been muted, given Western reluctance to help the Taliban government, which seized power in August.

6.2 magnitude quake shakes Northern California
A 6.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Northern California rattled a wide swath of the state shortly after noon local time, according to data from the US Geological Survey.The quake occurred just off Cape Mendocino near Humboldt County and was felt as far away as San Francisco and Chico, California. “It was slow rolling at first, but then it really got going,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal tells CNN. “We haven’t had a shake like this since 2010.”

US warns of China ‘aggression’ after more live-fire exercises in South China Sea
The Chinese military has been holding more live-fire drills in the contested South China Sea this week, state media reported, while accusing the United States of “saber-rattling and making provocations.” The military exercises come as Washington has amplified its concerns about China’s “aggressive actions.” This week the top U.S. diplomat vowed to ensure freedom of navigation in the disputed waterway.

Russian warship mysteriously engulfed in fire
A nearly complete Russian warship under construction in St. Petersburg, was engulfed in flames on Friday night. The cause of the devastating fire is unknown. The Russian corvette of project 20385, known as Provorny or “Agile,” mysteriously caught fire on Friday at the Severnaya Verf shipyard. The fire broke out as the ship was nearing completion.

China says it doesn’t fear fight with US
During remarks about China’s diplomatic posture towards the world, Wang said, “China’s attitude is consistent and clear-cut: dialogue may be conducted, but it should be based on equality; cooperation is welcome, but it should be for mutual benefit,” adding, “Competition may exist, but it should be healthy in nature; confrontation, which China does not fear, will be met in kind.”

It’s Official: Durham Is Investigating The Clinton Campaign
Did you catch that? I’ll emphasize: The Hillary Clinton Campaign and its employees are subject to “matters before the Special Counsel.” Durham notices the potential conflict of interest, informing the court that Danchenko’s trial might raise the following issues:

Blumenthal Thought Commie Awards Ceremony Was ‘Labor Event,’ Regrets Attendance
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) says he would not have taken part in an awards ceremony this month had he known the ceremony was hosted by the Communist Party USA, though video shows he took stage after organizers made clear that it was a comrade conclave.

Manchin Takes Dead Aim at Biden’s Agenda
There’s an old Appalachian Christmas tradition in which children throw their wish lists into a fireplace in hopes fairies will bring the embers to Santa Claus. President Joe Biden may want to consider giving it a try after Senator Joe Manchin’s Sunday morning announcement that he’s gifting the White House a lump of West Virginia coal for Christmas: a “no” vote on the multitrillion-dollar “Build Back Better” plan. Not a year into his presidency, Biden’s domestic agenda is dead.

State lawmakers asked to approve concentration camps for the sick
When American mayors, governors and others wanted their populations to submit to COVID-19 lockdown and other orders, they were faced with what they perceived as an obstacle: those individuals who simply would not follow orders. Now, in the state of New York, a proposal is being prepared for lawmakers to consider that would resolve that dispute.
A plan prefiled for the coming legislature would allow authorities to simply determine who they wanted locked up – and then lock them up. The idea, cast as a “public health law,” is being prepared for the 2021-2022 legislature.

SHOCK INCIDENT:, 3rd Graders Forced To Reenact Holocaust, Shooting Peers, Digging Graves
A staff member at a school in Washington D.C. was suspended on Friday after forcing third-grade children to reenact scenes from the Holocaust, including shooting victims and digging mass graves, The Washington Post reported on Sunday. … the instructor made anti-Semitic statements during the “lesson,” including that the Germans did this “because the Jews ruined Christmas.”

Elizabeth Warren Spends Thousands on Attack Ads Against Elon Musk
Elizabeth Warren’s Warren Democrats, Inc., spent $3,340 on Facebook ads from December 11 to December 18. Who did Warren spend most of that money on? Apparently, smearing Elon Musk. The attack ads were part of a promotion for Warren’s proposed wealth tax. They accused Elon Musk of being a freeloader …

Ex-military intel chief: Israel was involved in Soleimani assassination
Maj. Gen. Tamir Hayman confirms Israel’s part in high-profile assassination of the head of Iran’s elite Quds force, adds Israel successfully torpedoed Iranian weapons shipments, entrenchment in Syria.

Palestinians shoot at IDF as it maps out demolition of terrorist homes
Serious clashes broke out between Palestinians and the IDF in the pre-dawn hours of Monday as soldiers mapped out the homes of four terror suspects so it can weigh the demolition of the structures as a punitive measure.

Following Iranian threats, Revolutionary Guards stage large military drill
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps staged a major military exercise across the country’s south on Monday amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program, state TV reported. The exercise comes days after talks to revive Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers broke up in Vienna.

Israel warns it might assassinate senior Hamas members
Egyptian mediators that have recently arrived in the Gaza Strip reportedly brought a message from Israel to Hamas in which the Jewish state warned that it might resume the targeted assassination of the terrorist group’s members if it continued propagating violence in Judea and Samaria.

Americans identifying as Christian at all-time low, secularism at all-time high
A new survey by the Pew Research Institute concluded that the religiously unaffiliated share of the US public is 6 percentage points higher than it was five years ago and 10 points higher than a decade ago, indicating that the US trend towards secularization is continuing at a fast pace.

Is Israel repeating King Saul’s mistake allowing modern-day Amalekites to procreate?
The Telegraph reported the birth as a “Christmas miracle”, comparing the birth of the terrorist’s sons to the birth of Jesus. The father, Nahed Hmeid, has been in an Israeli prison since 2007 for his role in firing rockets at Israeli civilian centers from Gaza and for deploying roadside bombs.

Electricity prices in Europe surge to record highs
European power prices surged to record highs over the past couple of days after France announced the closure of four of its largest nuclear reactors. The crisis is further exacerbated by already very high prices of natural gas and cold temperatures. By the end of the month, most of the continent will endure below average temperatures, further increasing power demand.

Winter storm “Carmel” hits Israel with strong winds, heavy rain and snow
A severe winter storm named Carmel made landfall over Israel on Monday, December 20, 2021, bringing strong winds, heavy rain and snow. Carmel is the 3rd winter storm named by the newly formed East Mediterranean Storm Naming Group, composed of Greece, Cyprus and Israel.

London Vaccine Protests Turn Violent 
London covid vaccine protests turn violent as scuffles break out at an anti-lockdown protest in Parliament Square as thousands of protestors opposed to vaccine passports and Plan B rules clash with police while ministers consider more restrictions to lock down the people.

After Leaving The Southern Baptist Church, False Teacher Beth Moore Makes Her Way Back To ‘Mother Rome’ In Anglican Church Service 
Beth Moore having left the Southern Baptist Church is now right at home in the perfect Laodicean end times hot spot, the Anglican Church. Not fully Protestant and not fully Roman Catholic, the Anglican church is a hybrid where doctrine is not the main thing, but form and ceremony is given the top spot.

Staff Librarian In Washington, DC, Instructed Third Graders To Reenact Hitler’s Holocaust By Acting Out The Shooting Of Jews In Ditches
Is vital that the Holocaust be taught in schools, so that every generation will know what happened to God’s chosen people under Adolf Hitler, who fulfilled the biblical type of Antichrist in 7 particulars, but this lesson plan had another angle to teach from. In far left Washington, DC, a staff librarian instructed third graders to reenact the shooting of Jews by Nazis, and then having them push the ‘dead bodies’ into a ditch. What’s the lesson? Anti-Semitism.

‘It’s worse than a war zone’ : Murder and mayhem being encouraged by media in preparation for the second American civil war to go hot 
Everything from culture wars, to violence in the streets, cities burning, smash-and-grab theft an epidemic in and of itself, and surging murders in 12 Democrat-controlled cities have reached “record highs” in 2021, with a police official stating “It’s worse than a war zone around here lately.”

Facebook Pulls Plug On Now The End Begins Page In Operation Since 2010 For Telling You The Truth About The COVID Vaccine And Digital Passport
In 2010 I wrote “For generations the Bible has warned of the coming End of Days, and you will live to see it. The frightening events in the world financial markets foretells the coming undoing of America by her own elected officials. America, a nation raised up by the Hand of God to spread the Gospel and be a beacon of Freedom for people around the world is about to be forever silenced by those sworn to protect her. YOU are living in the time of The End.”

Hospital Says to Earn Religious Exemption from Vaccine, Devout Employees Can’t Take Tylenol
In response, he and other administrators developed a so-called “attestation form” that employees requesting an exemption would be forced to sign. The form requires those employees to commit to refraining from everyday medicines such as Tylenol, Pepto-Bismol, ibuprofen, Benadryl and Claritin, among others. The form says these medicines have used fetal cells during their development, so employees must not take them in order to “support your claim of a ‘sincerely held religious belief.’”

As Biden’s Border Crisis Rages, Armed Texans Arrive to Round Up Illegal Aliens
A new Texas law is attracting armed groups with body armor, long guns and high tech drones to the border.

Fauci: We’re Going to ‘Mandate’ CV Shots if ‘Hardcore Group’ of Holdouts Are Not ‘Persuaded’ to Submit
White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said over the weekend that the Biden regime is going to “mandate” everyone including children take Big Pharma’s experimental shots if they’re not “persuaded” to take them and called for banning Americans from flying, going to work, college and school if they refuse to submit.

Vaccines are now EXTERMINATING oblivious Democrats while illegal immigrants are PROTECTED from vaccines so they can replace dead Democrats
Joe Biden’s promised, “winter of severe illness and death” isn’t merely a threat, it’s a roadmap to the mass murder of obedient, oblivious Democrats who believed authorities and took the spike protein injections that are mislabeled “vaccines.” Now, as winter accelerates and vitamin D deficiencies take hold, those obedient Democrats are going to be dying in unprecedented numbers. The CDC warns that 15,600 Americans will be dying each week by Christmas. We put that number at 25,000 Americans each week by the end of February.

The Human Implantable COVID-19 Vaccination Passport Microchip We Told You Was Coming Has Now Arrived 
A start-up hub in Sweden has showcased a new use for its microchip implants: your Covid-19 vaccination passport. The company Epicenter plans to market the versatility of the technology it spent years developing. The chips use Near-field communication (NFC), which can communicate with any NFC-capable smartphone. The company says the procedure is entirely reversible. Oh yeah, I am sure it is. We told you this was coming, and now it’s here. What now? Let’s open the Bible and find out. The Mark of the Beast and the human implantable microchip are right there waiting for you to discover them.

Doing Satan’s Work: Pentagon Orders Company to Stop Making Faith-Based Dog Tags
The Pentagon recently ordered Shields of Strength to stop making faith-based dog tags. The company has been making the tags for 20 years. But the Pentagon got one complaint and ordered the company to stop making the faith-based dog tags.

Vaccines now EXTERMINATING oblivious Democrats while illegal immigration REPLACES them
As obedient Democrats DIE OFF from vaccines, they are REPLACED by unvaccinated illegal immigrants

Criminal Illegal Aliens, Including Sex Offenders, Gangs & Smugglers, Swarm Border
U.S. Border Patrol agents are being swamped with criminal illegal aliens such as gang members and sex offenders across the southern border. The situation is so dire that one human smuggler crashed into a local resident’s car, killing a mother and daughter.

New York Legislation Provides for Indefinite Detention of Unvaccinated at Governor’s Whim.
In the next legislative session beginning January 5th, 2022, the New York Senate and Assembly could vote on a bill that would grant permissions to remove and detain cases, contacts, carriers, or anyone suspected of presenting a “significant threat to public health” and remove them from public life on an indefinite basis.

Source: https://www.raptureready.com/2021/12/21/21-dec-2021/

Headlines – 12/21/2021

Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad Agree to Step Up Attacks on Israel

Israel said to arrest over 100 Hamas members in Hebron area in major sweep

Settlers Clash With Palestinians in Aftermath of West Bank Killing

14-year-old Palestinian girl charged with attempted murder for stabbing attack

PA television broadcasts girl calling to ‘trample the necks of the Zionists’

Polish opposition duo hacked by Israeli NSO Group’s spyware, watchdog says

Islamic Republic of Iran threatens to light Israel on fire

Bennett to ZOA: Iranian aggression will be met with full weight of Israel’s force

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard holds military drill amid tension

Inside the Deadly Water Crisis Threatening Iran’s Leadership

US national security adviser set to arrive in Israel for talks on Iran

Tensions rising between U.S. and Iran; New Year’s seen as potential flashpoint

Turkey’s Lira Sinks Again as Erdogan Cites Islamic Sharia Law to Defend Economic Management

Over 700,000 flock to Saudi Arabia’s top music festival

Giant rave in Saudi desert pushes kingdom’s changing boundaries

Germany faces pressure to risk its energy future to get back at Putin. That’s a tough choice.

Communists Sweep Sham Hong Kong Election

Pro-Beijing ‘patriots’ sweep Hong Kong election with record low turnout

Chinese Spies Have Penetrated Taiwan’s Military, Case Documents Reveal

Israeli companies exported cruise missiles to China without permit

Aid group says kidnapped missionaries in Haiti escaped from violent 400 Mawozo gang

Missionaries Made Daring Nighttime Escape from Haitian Gang: God ‘Prepared a Path’

Leftist millennial wins election as Chile’s next president

Chile’s left cheers as Boric win ripples through Latin America

Chile’s new president is bitter Israel critic, whose win has many local Jews worried

House Dem blames Biden WH for not holding anyone ‘accountable’ for multiple crises: ‘Started with Afghanistan’

It’s Official: Durham Is Investigating The Clinton Campaign

Durham tells court members of Clinton 2016 campaign under scrutiny

Pelosi: House Prepared to Recognize Anniversary of Jan. 6 Capitol Attack

Pentagon issues rules aimed at stopping rise of extremism

Pelosi’s Majority Crumbles: Three Democrats Announce Retirement Within 24 Hours

Gubernatorial Candidate Lou Barletta: Democrat ‘Party of Lawlessness’ Engendered Philly Murder Wave

Lou Barletta: Like DeSantis, I’ll Bus Illegal Aliens Out of Pennsylvania to Biden’s Delaware

Following Twitter Ban, Independent Journalist Alex Berenson Sues Twitter for First Amendment Violation

Forget Banks: Hackers Stole $100+ Million in Six Different Cryptocurrency Exchange Attacks

Solar Storm Warning: Expert Says at Least Two ‘Big-Flare Players’ Could Be Released From the Sun

‘Scary’ 6.2 earthquake strikes area near Eureka in Northern California

5.2 magnitude earthquake hits near Lakatoro, Vanuatu

5.1 magnitude earthquake hits near Burruyacu, Argentina

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits near Shizunai-furukawacho, Japan

5.0 magnitude earthquake hits the South Atlantic Ocean

Hunga Tongo-Hunga Ha’Apai volcano in Tongo erupts to 40,000ft

Sabancaya volcano in Peru erupts to 26,000ft

Sangay volcano in Ecuador erupts to 21,000ft

Ruiz volcano in Colombia erupts to 20,000ft

Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupts to 15,000ft

Reventador volcano in Ecuador erupts to 15,000ft

Suwanosajima volcano on Japan erupts to 13,000ft

Nevados De Chillan volcano in Chile erupts to 12,000ft

Israelis in Philippines call for urgent aid as typhoon death toll climbs to over 375

Crime Increases in Mayfield, Kentucky, After Devastating Tornado

Ferocious storm turns deadly in eastern Australia

Widespread floods hit Malaysia after more than a month’s worth of rain in 1 day

Floods in Malaysia displace more than 21,000 after heavy rains

Record warmth to roast parts of US on Christmas

Himalayan glaciers are melting at an extraordinary rate, research finds

NASA Engineer Revealed as the Real-Life Inspiration Behind ‘The Exorcist’

Idaho murder suspect charged with cannibalism; believed eating victim could ‘cure his brain,’ authorities say

UK Supreme Court denies request to add ‘X’ gender option to passports

NY Judge Rules Photographer Can’t Refuse to Work at Same-Sex Weddings

Editor of Swimming Magazine Says Trans Swimmer’s Advantage Just Like ‘Doping’

A Plan Forms in Mexico: Help Americans Get Abortions

Illinois will allow minors to obtain abortions without parental notification

California’s Legal Pot Industry ‘Collapsing’: ‘Pushed To A Breaking Point’

We’re Cursing More. Blame the #%$ Pandemic.

CDC Grappling With Data Gaps in COVID-19 Tracking

Rosenfield: Left Has Abandoned Health Care as ‘Human Right’ for Unvaccinated

Oxford Study: 1 in 100 Vaccinated Individuals Were Admitted to Hospital or Died with Arrhythmia During Study Period

New Zealand links 26-year-old man’s death to Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine

EU approves Novavax, a 5th vaccine, amid efforts to combat raging Omicron

‘Unvaccinated’ Marjorie Taylor Greene owns stock in three vaccine companies

Trump and O’Reilly Reveal They Received Vaccine Boosters – And Get Booed By Audience

NY Times Editorial Board Member Praises Trump for Getting Booster

Dr. Fauci Says Millions of Americans Refusing to Get Experimental Covid Vaccine is “Unacceptable”

White House Confirms Biden Slated to Deliver Speech on ‘Risks Posed to Unvaccinated Individuals’

White House: Joe Biden ‘Not Trying to Scare People,’ Will Warn Unvaccinated Likely to Die

Anthony Fauci Agrees with Biden’s Prediction of Deadly Winter for Unvaccinated: ‘The President Is Correct’

Harris contrasts with Biden, refuses to blame unvaccinated for COVID waves

McEnany rips Biden admin’s ‘stark warning’ to the unvaccinated: Not the message of a ‘great uniter’

“It’s Not a Matter of If, But When” – Psaki Echoes Fauci When Asked if Biden Regime will Change the Definition of “Fully Vaccinated” to Include Booster

Tucker Carlson: Biden’s COVID policies are the muscle spasms of a dying political party

Supreme Court Now Weighing Multiple Lawsuits Against Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

Businesses, 27 States to Supreme Court: Strike Down Biden OSHA Vaccine Mandate

Kavanaugh asks Biden to respond to flood of vaccine mandate appeals, SCOTUS set to take up high-stakes case

‘It’s Gone Way, Way Too Far’: DeSantis Vows To Protect Americans Lives From Mandates

Lawmakers in Congress side with Navy SEALS facing discharge over COVID vaccine mandate

Canadian Province Walks Back No Jab, No Food Mandate After Legal Threats

Vaccine Passports are ‘Disguised’ Mandates, Admits French Health Secretary

Scientists puzzled: Why are Omicron cases already falling in South Africa?

Omicron sweeping across America, now 73% of all new US COVID-19 cases

Fauci: ‘We Have Enough Infection’ in US to Lift South African Travel Ban

Israel bans travel to US after Omicron cases found on Miami flight

Fully Vaccinated And Boosted White House Aide Tests Positive For Covid After Spending Time with Biden on Friday

Triple-Vaccinated CNBC Host Jim Cramer Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Stocks slide to start the week as omicron fears intensify, Dow falls 430 points

World Economic Forum’s annual Davos summit put on hold due to omicron

NHL becomes first professional U.S. sports league to postpone schedule due to COVID-19

Grandmother Who Violated Mask Mandate to Spend Christmas Behind Bars

Boston Archdiocese Mandates Masks in Churches Despite Widespread Vaccinations

Fauci on if Wearing Masks on Airplanes Will End: ‘I Don’t Think So’

Mike Huckabee: You Can’t Make Mask-Wearing a ‘Permanent Emergency Order’

Omicron Chaos: Democrats Warn Biden May Need a Second Coronavirus Stimulus

Manchin killing BBB likely saved US from economic ‘disaster,’ experts say

Manchin: ‘We’re Getting Into’ a ‘Financial Crisis’ with Inflation, ‘Making More of a Crisis on the Individual’

Joe Manchin Privately Told Colleagues Parents Use Child Tax Credit Money On Drugs

Hollywood Elitist Bette Midler Calls West Virginians, “Poor, Illiterate and Strung Out” After Manchin Kills Biden’s Build Back Broke Bill – Twitter Users Respond

Manchin confidant: Biden White House’s incivility was last straw on Build Back Better

‘A recipe for absolute destruction’: Democrats scramble to avoid electoral blowback after Manchin halts Biden agenda

Source: http://trackingbibleprophecy.org/birthpangs.php

Mid-Day Snapshot · Dec. 21, 2021

“From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”

THE FOUNDATION

“Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason.” —Benjamin Franklin (1735)

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IN TODAY’S DIGEST

Dire Omicron Warnings and Raging Hypocrisy

Joe Biden has failed his own test, yet he continues to demonize the unvaccinated.

Nate Jackson

“220,000 deaths,” Candidate Joe Biden tallied on October 22, 2020. “Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain President of the United States.”

We begin with that trip down memory lane not so much to condemn Biden for the nearly 400,000 deaths on his watch — though it’s a disqualifying number by his own standard — but because of the shameless irresponsibility of uttering such nonsense in the first place. As with many things, a president can affect outcomes with his policies, but COVID-19 is a virus, and viruses do what viruses do, which is spread among people.

Biden never does seem to lay blame for the virus on the Chinese Communists running that Wuhan lab. That’s because Biden and his fellow Democrats spent all of 2020 blaming Donald Trump for the death of every single American from or with COVID, all so Democrats could win the election. And they’ve spent all of 2021 demonizing the unvaccinated, the science of natural immunity or the liberty of personal choice be damned. Unity, right?

The president’s most recent warning was as dire as they come: “We are looking at a winter of severe illness and death for the unvaccinated — for themselves, their families, and the hospitals they’ll soon overwhelm.” He plans to reiterate that warning today in a speech, as well as announce the federal purchase of 500 million at-home COVID tests. More testing means more positives, which means more media panic.

Merry Christmas Season’s Greetings — you’re all going to die.

Is it any wonder that so many Americans are still refusing a vaccine that Democrats so thoroughly politicized?

Again, as word of a vaccine came before the election — and then was confirmed just days after it — Democrats sowed fear and distrust about it. Why? Because Trump was instrumental in clearing the way for development. He removed government barriers and promised partnership to deliver multiple life-saving vaccines. But all Biden, Kamala Harris, and others could do was say they’d seriously question any vaccine Trump had a hand in developing.

No sooner had they won the election than their tune changed. Not only would they take the vaccine — Biden even attempted to take credit for it — they would bully, browbeat, shame, and vilify anyone who chose not to. Then Biden mandated it for millions. Spreading COVID? Blame the unvaccinated. When fully vaccinated Democrats contract COVID, blame maskless Republicans. And so on, ad nauseam. Democrats grossly politicized all things COVID knowing it would (and has) cost lives, but they did it because it was politically advantageous for their party.

Indeed, the vaccines are so politicized that Trump fans are literally booing him for saying he received the booster shot.

Headlines in recent days are dominated by fearmongering about the Omicron variant (which the CDC says accounts for 73% of current cases), as if to back up Biden’s threats and warnings, even while ignoring the inconvenient reality that Omicron appears to be milder and less deadly. Meanwhile, there is reason to believe the coronavirus is endemic. We should all get used to living with it instead of cowering in fear and shutting down over it, which much of Europe is doing all over again.

As for Biden, the real reason for his crass and divisive warnings is nothing more than a political diversion from his disastrous presidency. Afghanistan, the open border, economic chaos, and this week’s failure of his signature legislation means he needs a distraction. What could be better than surging Omicron?

Oh, and by the way, Democrats have shifted their attention from Build Back Better to their effort to revamp voting procedures across the country. They want to make permanent the “features” of the 2020 election that helped Joe Biden get 81 million* votes. What could justify those measures better than surging Omicron?

For the final word, we’ll turn to an unlikely source — Vice President Kamala Harris. “I don’t think this is a moment to talk about fault,” Harris said this week. “It is no one’s fault that this virus hit our shores or hit the world. … It is more about individual power and responsibility and the decisions that everyone has the choice to make.”

Unless her boss takes away that individual power.

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Our Woke Military Goes to Extremes

The Biden administration is hell-bent on ferreting out those pesky white supremacists.

Douglas Andrews

“Like” the wrong thing on social media, and you’re likely in big trouble, soldier.

That’s the message from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who this week issued a memorandum and a report on Countering Extremist Activity Within the Department of Defense. Austin’s memo begins:

The overwhelming majority of the men and women of the Department of Defense serve this country with honor and integrity. They respect the oath they took to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. We are grateful for that dedication.

We believe only a very few violate this oath by participating in extremist activities, but even the actions of a few can have an outsized impact on unit cohesion, morale and readiness — and the physical harm some of these activities can engender can undermine the safety of our people. We owe the men and women of the Department of Defense an environment free of extremist activities, and we owe our country a military that reflects the founding values of our democracy.

Austin’s directive then introduces the U.S. military’s new anti-extremism policy and is thus the latest salvo in the Biden administration’s efforts to root out and punish anyone in the military who might take issue with, say, the teaching of racist, cohesion-killing Marxist doctrine such as Critical Race Theory, or the taxpayer funding of gender “reassignment” surgery for active-duty “transgender” warriors, or the naming of a Navy ship after a sailor whose acclaimed biography indicates that he statutorily raped underaged men and received an “Other than Honorable” discharge from the service. Things like that.

Apparently, Joe Biden’s Department of Defense has the warfighting stuff all figured out. No need to study what went wrong in Afghanistan. No need to worry about why China is so far ahead of us in hypersonic missile technology.

As the Military Times reports, the notion of defining what constitutes extremism is still an inexact science for the Pentagon — like “‘threading a very fine needle, when we’re engaging in prohibiting conduct that may be protected by the First Amendment,’ a defense official told reporters Monday.”

As the Times also noted, “Recruits won’t be subject to any sort of social media screening before signing a contract, a defense official said, but recruiters will ask some questions about their activities or affiliations.”

Here’s an idea: How about asking each recruit if he’s willing to support and defend the Constitution of the United States?

Instead, Biden’s military seems intent on cracking down on social media — specifically, “electronic and cyber activities regarding extremist activities, or groups that support extremist activities — including posting, liking, sharing, re-tweeting, or otherwise distributing content — when such action is taken with the intent to promote or otherwise endorse extremist activities.”

As the report also states, “Military personnel are responsible for the content they publish on all personal and public Internet domains, including social media sites, blogs, websites, and applications.”

It all seems like much ado over not very much. As Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, “We believe that less than 100, or about 100, active duty or reserve component members of the military participated in prohibited extremist activities.”

Meanwhile, our enemies look on in bemusement.

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Biden’s Ill-Advised Mileage Mandate

The EPA hiked fuel standards to 55 MPG by 2026, ensuring higher-priced new vehicles are out of reach for more Americans.

Thomas Gallatin

In yet another demonstration of how the Biden administration is completely out of touch with the travails of regular Americans, Joe Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency has raised the fuel-efficiency standards for automakers. Passenger cars and light-duty trucks now must reach a fleetwide average of 55 miles per gallon by 2026, a drastic increase from the 43 MPG standard set by the Trump administration. The current standard for 2021 model year is 40 MPG.

The EPA touts that its new rule will save drivers an estimated $210 billion to $420 billion in fuel costs through 2050, and that’s assuming fuel prices don’t continue their upward trajectory thanks to Bidenflation. The EPA claims that even factoring in the higher price of more fuel-efficient vehicles, a driver can still expect to save $1,000 in total costs over the lifetime of the 2026 model vehicles. Will that offset the higher price of the vehicle?

“We are setting robust and rigorous standards that will aggressively reduce the pollution that is harming people and our planet — and save families money at the same time,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan asserted. Never mind the fact that the EPA’s new standards will raise the price of new vehicles, making them unaffordable for more Americans. And it won’t do a darn thing to “save the planet,” as that statement is pure hubris.

Meanwhile, ensuring that the price of gas remains high for the foreseeable future, last week Biden’s EPA proposed changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), colloquially known as the ethanol mandate, to increase the percentage of ethanol blended in gasoline. At issue is the compliance credits smaller refineries can purchase from other companies if they don’t meet ethanol quotas.

“Congress allowed small refiners to petition the EPA for an exemption if the program’s hefty compliance costs threaten their operations,” explains The Wall Street Journal. “Yet the EPA wants to deny exemptions to all 65 small refineries that have sought one. If these refiners shut down, there could be disruptions in the U.S. fuel supply, especially along the East Coast where small refiners are clustered. More fuel would be imported. But the shutdowns would make prices more volatile, as has happened in California.”

The great irony here is that the EPA’s proposal would actually most benefit Big Oil, which has invested heavily in ethanol and biofuels. The little guy, the smaller refinery operations, are the ones getting hurt — all while higher prices are passed on to consumers at the pump. Interestingly, one of the leading factors for the increasing cost at the pump is the increasing price of ethanol.

Ethanol also directly impacts the price of food. Some 40% of the U.S. corn crop goes to ethanol and biofuel production, increasing the price of corn across the board, including feed corn for cattle, which in turn increases the price of beef.

Oh well. At least people tired of paying high prices for gas can just buy electric vehicles

It is these centralized leftist feel-good “green” policies that do next to nothing to “combat climate change” but do have a significant and negative impact on the economy. The ecofascists don’t care, so long as their agenda for greater top-down control is further realized.

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False Attacks Won’t Fight Climate Change

The Left claims the Right hates the planet, which won’t do a thing to solve any kind of crisis.

Harold Hutchison

While many grassroots Patriots are rightly focused on left-wing hate speech and the abuses of power that have been and could be spawned from the incendiary rhetoric, there is another front they should view with no small amount of alarm.

That is the push the Left is making over “climate change.” Nobody disputes Earth’s climate has changed over the eons and epochs that this planet has been around. Look up the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, for example. Or you can go back to the Ice Age and the time of the dinosaurs. Nobody would argue that figuring out just how our planet’s environment works is a bad idea.

Oh, and we all want clean air and water. That should go without saying, except that leftists seem to think conservatives hate these things.

The big question in the wake of COVID-19, especially considering the double standards and depraved indifference shown by politicians and bureaucrats to the suffering the lockdowns inflicted, is this: Can we trust that the scientists are giving us straight answers and not playing politics?

There is a lot of justification to ask that question of the Biden administration. During the pandemic, we noted that scientists were playing political favorites. There is also the example of how some in the field of medicine perverted and prostituted science to push gun control.

We can’t ignore the fact that the pronouncements given out by “experts” who don’t miss paychecks when lockdowns are imposed (unlike many in the real world) are backed by ruthless censorship from Silicon Valley. Let’s put it this way — there is anecdotal evidence that hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin are at least somewhat effective as treatments for COVID, especially when given early.

What can we say for climate change? Can we trust the data? We can’t be sure. But there are some red flags that we could see the same sorts of moving goalposts we saw with the COVID-19 pandemic. For starters, there is a track record of doomsday predictions that haven’t come to pass. This raises the question of whether we are dealing with a “garbage in, garbage out” situation.

Worse, we can’t help but note that some prominent scientists are calling for censorship of dissenting viewpoints. In 2016, some Democrat attorneys general sought to wield RICO against opponents of their environmental policies. Before he was fighting vaccine mandates, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wanted to unleash the legal system on opponents of his preferred policies. Does this remind you of some of the tactics we’ve seen during the Biden administration, or from the State of New York?

Yet despite all that, Americans are asked to make massive changes to their lives on the say-so of a lot of “experts” who won’t miss paychecks in the process of enacting those changes while many Americans will struggle — after already suffering the biggest regulatory taking in history during the COVID-19 pandemic. Will the steps we are told we must take to “save the planet” be another “cure” worse than the “disease”?

The fact is, if politicians and the government experts want to understand why there is skepticism on climate change, they just have to look at their own conduct. Sadly, they prefer censorship, brute-force weaponization of government power, and false claims of attacks on science to the self-reflection and humility needed to begin the process of regaining years — if not decades — of squandered trust. That is not likely to happen under Joe Biden.

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Denmark Protects Islamic Pedophiles

A Parliament member will serve jail time for freeing young girls from arranged marriages.

Emmy Griffin

Denmark, like the rest of Europe, has faced an influx of refugees since 2015. A big surge came from Syria, where the predominant religion of the refugees is Islam. This has proven to be an issue because of the practices allowed by their religion.

Specifically, this means arranged marriages of young girls to full-grown, sometimes aged men. This is a practice of which Muhammed himself, after whom Islamists try to model their behavior, allegedly condoned and partook. Ostensibly, his third wife, Aisha bint Abu Bakr, was six when they married and nine when that marriage was consummated. This tale may be apocryphal, and both the pro-pedophilic and anti-pedophilic sides argue this point. Regardless, Islamists use this example as justification for the practice of marrying child brides.

Pedophilia of this sort is rightfully frowned upon and illegal in most of the West. Western countries are horrified at the thought of a seven- or eight-year-old girl being married to a 70-year-old man, who may or may not be her cousin.

Enter Inger Støjberg. She was a member of the Danish Parliament and was regarded universally as a hero for all the work she has accomplished since her coronation in 2001.

Støjberg became minister over immigration in 2015 and served in that capacity until 2019. This was at the height of the Syrian refugee crisis. Under her management, she tightened restrictions and sanctions for asylum seekers coming to Denmark — for example, by sending foreign criminals to live on an island in the Baltic Sea, or taking out advertisements in foreign newspapers to deter refugees from coming to Denmark in the first place. Her policies also expected the asylum seekers to pay to live in the country. In her rational opinion, it is not the job of the hardworking Danish to pay taxes that support non-Danish. Her policies were far stricter than those of neighboring European countries, which made her a target for criticism. But it was precisely these sanctions that made her a hero to her people.

Amazingly, the policy that has most landed Støjberg in hot water concerns the influx of child brides along with their asylum-seeking husbands. She viewed what these girls were enduring as statutory rape and took swift action to protect them. She first gave them the option to leave their husbands, but after realizing this was a complicated venture (most of these girls wouldn’t leave because of family pressure), she turned it into an order. She successfully separated 18 couples, freeing children all under the age of 15.

This caused outrage both in Denmark and the broader European stage. According to the international laws on children’s rights (European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child), Støjberg had no right to separate these “couples” even if the girls were underage. In other words, the husbands hold more favor than the children they are violating.

Støjberg’s own Parliament voted to impeach her on February 2, 2021. Her trial concluded on December 13. She was found guilty of breaking the law and faces 60 days in prison.

This whole story — yet another example of evil being called good and good evil — has brought to the surface the drastic clash of cultures that this refugee crisis has wrought. It is not unlike the story from 2012, when nine Islamic immigrants were arrested for a child sex ring in Manchester, England.

When a Judeo-Christian-based culture clashes with a hardcore Islamic one, the victims are usually children. Time and time again, children are proven to be the most marginalized group. Though this story is from Europe, it is not too different from the struggles our own country is facing. The “transgender” agenda and the abortion lobby both prey on our children, and pedophilia is not far away from being the next agenda we are suffered to endure. These ideologies need to be exorcised. They should not be tolerated because, if we let “progressives” keep pushing us down their slippery slope, the real victims will be our children.

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A Bumblin’ Stumblin’ 2021

If Joe Biden’s first year as president could be distilled into a single event, it’d be his memorable trip up the stairs of Air Force One.

Douglas Andrews

What a fitting end to Joe Biden’s first year as president. The devastating defeat this week of his ruinous Build Back Better bill had the odd effect of turning his biggest lie, his most hilarious howler … into the truth.

It was back on September 25 when his handlers put out the following statement on his POTUS Twitter account: “My Build Back Better Agenda costs zero dollars. Instead of wasting money on tax breaks, loopholes, and tax evasion for big corporations and the wealthy, we can make a once-in-a-generation investment in working America. And it adds zero dollars to the national debt.”

Remember the uproar? Remember how even has pals in the mainstream media were doing spit takes? No one believed that ridiculous claim — not even the left-leaning Congressional Budget Office, which first said his bill would add $367 billion to the deficit and then reassessed it over a decade under real-world conditions and came up with $3 trillion in new debt.

But now, thanks to West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and 50 resolute Republican senators, his massive domestic spending agenda is dead, and Honest Joe Biden’s most outrageous claim is correct after all: His now-defunct bill will indeed add “zero dollars to the national debt.”

For Joe Biden, 2021 was one Democrat disaster after another. There was his son Hunter and the Laptop From Hell, whose incriminating contents would’ve landed any other president’s son in prison by now. There was his disastrous handling of illegal immigration across our southern border — a disaster that continues to remake the demography of our country. There was his catastrophic retreat and surrender in Afghanistan, whose effects are still reverberating around the world. There was his awful stewardship of our nation’s economy and the runaway inflation his fiscal policies have introduced. And there was his failed declaration of independence from the COVID-19 pandemic — a pandemic whose permanence continues to plague and divide the nation. There was — and still is — his party’s obsession with the events of January 6, which Biden called “the worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War.” It was an ugly event that he and his Democrat colleagues have kept calling a “deadly insurrection,” even though the only life lost to violence in the Capitol that day was that of 35-year-old Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed 14-year Air Force veteran who was shot by a Capitol policeman named Michael Byrd.

Speaking of worst things “since the Civil War,” there was Biden’s response to the very modest voter reform efforts of certain Republican-controlled state legislatures such as Georgia — efforts he claimed amounted to “the most dangerous threat to voting and the integrity of free and fair elections in our history.” Regarding those Republican efforts, Biden warned: “We’re facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That’s not hyperbole — since the Civil War. Confederates back then never breached the Capitol as insurrectionists did on January 6. I’m not saying this to alarm you. I’m saying this because you should be alarmed.”

The president’s pronouncements have indeed been stirring, even Rooseveltian. How else to describe those smooth, steady, mellifluous tones and that command of the spoken word that never failed to leave the sober-minded critics at MSNBC awestruck?

And just as Joe Biden’s oratorical gifts instilled confidence in the American people, so too are we confident that he’s of sound mind and body. We know this because White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor said it was so. “[Biden] remains a healthy, vigorous, 78-year-old male, who is fit to successfully execute the duties of the presidency,” said O’Connor last month. Indeed, only the healthiest and most vigorous of American presidents can race so swiftly through a portion of the Declaration of Independence that its very words are left coughing in the dust. “We hold these truths to be self-evident,” Biden said back in March of 2020. “All men and women are created by the, you know, you know, the thing.”

You know, the thing.

Perhaps it was also altogether fitting, then, that Dr. O’Connor was able to vouch for Biden’s cognitive condition only after having performed a presidential colonoscopy.

One year down, and three more to go.

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On the Web

EXECUTIVE NEWS SUMMARY

Jordan Candler

Top of the Fold

  • Record low turnout for Hong Kong “patriots only” election (Axios)

“The only way the people of Hong Kong could protest was by not voting, and voter participation fell dramatically — to its lowest level since 1997. Fewer than half of those who voted in 2019 turned out for Sunday’s elections. It’s important to keep this in mind during any discussions of communist China. Beijing signed a treaty with Great Britain vowing to preserve freedom in Hong Kong until 2047. The city was to maintain a special status as ‘one country, two systems’ — part of communist China, but free economically and politically. Well, as they always do, the communists lied. Hong Kong is now thoroughly under the iron fist of the Chinese Communist Party. Meanwhile, we’re still sending athletes to the Beijing ‘Genocide Olympics’ next year, and Joe Biden, corporate America and professional sports leagues are groveling before these communist tyrants.” —Gary Bauer

  • Senator Manchin says he won’t be bullied into submission on Bilk Back Better (Daily Wire)

“I knew where [Democrat negotiators] were and I knew what they could and could not do. They just never realized it because they figured, ‘Surely to God we can move one person, surely we can badger and beat one person up, surely we can get enough protesters to make that person uncomfortable enough.’ Well, guess what? I’m from West Virginia. I’m not from where they’re from, and they can just beat the living crap out of people and think they’ll be submissive, period.” —Joe Manchin

Government & Politics

  • Yet another poll shows Joe “Winter of Severe Illness and Death” Biden approval rating hitting new low (41%) (New York Post)
  • Red wave: Three more House Democrats retire, total now 23 incumbents quitting (Washington Times)
  • World Economic Forum summit in Davos indefinitely postponed amid Omicron panic (Daily Wire)

Security

  • Self-destruction: Chinese Communist Party paid DC radio station $4.4 million to broadcast propaganda (Free Beacon)
  • 12,000 troops find religious exemption for vaccines unattainable (AP)

Culture

  • A trash TV show’s scumbag star: “Deeply saddened” Sex and the City cast issues joint statement on Chris Noth (Page Six)
  • Birds of a feather: Kim Foxx lied about contacts with Jussie Smollett’s sister, violated legal ethics, investigation finds (Fox News)
  • Jury begins deliberations in Ghislaine Maxwell trial (National Review)

Closing Arguments

  • Policy: How Biden can outfox Putin in Ukraine (National Review)
  • Satire: In stunning blow to democracy, legislation decided by majority of elected representatives (Babylon Bee)

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

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

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READER COMMENTS

Editor’s Note: Each week we receive hundreds of comments and correspondences — and we read every one of them. Click here for a few thought-provoking comments about specific articles. The views expressed therein don’t necessarily reflect those of The Patriot Post.

VIDEOS

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

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

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive.” —Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998)

“Even if something does emerge from the ashes of Build Back Better, it is going to be much less revolutionary than Democrats had hoped. Remember, this was a bill that they initially hoped would finance subsidized child care, government preschool, paid leave, an expansion of Obamacare, a souped-up Medicare, ongoing monthly payments to families, portions of the Green New Deal, and even amnesty for illegal immigrants. With Republicans poised to take back at least the House next year, Manchin’s statement likely forecloses the opportunity for any sort of mega-bill to pass in the rest of Biden’s presidential term. That gives conservatives something to celebrate going into the new year.” —National Review

A blind squirrel finds a nut I: “The emergency is over. You know, public health doesn’t get to tell people what to wear. It’s just not their job. You don’t tell people to wear a jacket when they go out in the winter and force them to. If they get frostbite, it’s their own darn fault.” —Colorado Governor Jared Polis

A blind squirrel finds a nut II: “I think it’s really important that our leaders, whether they’re governors or mayors, local influencers, lead with facts rather than fear. People just don’t react well to this ongoing environment of fear for two years.” —Jared Polis

Follow the Science™: “We didn’t see Delta coming. I think most scientists did not — upon whose advice and direction we have relied — didn’t see Delta coming. We didn’t see Omicron coming. And that’s the nature of what this, this awful virus has been, which as it turns out, has mutations and variants.” —Kamala Harris

Season’s Greetings! “We are intent on not letting Omicron disrupt work and school for the vaccinated. You’ve done the right thing, and we will get through this. For the unvaccinated, you’re looking at a winter of severe illness and death for yourselves, your families, and the hospitals you may soon overwhelm.” —White House COVID Czar Jeff Zients

Non compos mentis: “I’m really sorry that the lab leak has become such a distraction for so many people because frankly, we still don’t know. There is no evidence really to say. Most of the scientific community, myself included, think that is a possibility, but far more likely, this was a natural way in which a virus left a bat, maybe traveled through some other species and got to humans.” —former National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins

Swamp Doctor: “Do not do things like go to gatherings where there are people who you do not know what their vaccination status is.” —Anthony Fauci

Disinformation: “On a flight now to Bay Area and it is one-hundred percent batty that the unvaccinated are allowed to fly. It’s unsafe in the cabin and we are transporting the virus. Requiring the vaccine to fly is the LEAST we can do to stop the spread.” —Congressman Eric Swalwell (“The statistics, I recall, is that 99.97 percent of airborne pathogens are captured by the HEPA [high-efficiency particulate air] filtering system, and it’s turned over every two or three minutes. I think the case is very strong that masks don’t add much, if anything, in the air cabin.” —Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly)

And last… “Biden spent the weekend in Wilmington. He isn’t giving an address about the latest Wuhan coronavirus variant until Tuesday… Quite the ‘emergency.’” —Katie Pavlich

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TODAY’S MEME

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TODAY’S CARTOON

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“From The Patriot Post (patriotpost.us)”

Advent- Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 25, Jesus’ Authority

The End Time

By Elizabeth Prata

This section of verses that show Jesus’ life are focused on His attributes & earthly ministry. We’ve seen Him through what He does, as servant, teacher, shepherd, intercessor, and healer. Now we look at who He is by looking at His attribute of omniscience yesterday and today we ponder His authority.

How to represent the authority of Jesus over life, in pictorial form? That was a tough one. I settled on the notion of the dock being the long journey of finite earthly life in the flesh, then we come to an inevitable end and launch up and into the eternal heavens. Jesus has authority over every step.

I recently wrote an essay focusing on the authority of Jesus. It is linked below if you’re interested, along with a couple of additional essays from credible sources.

thirty days of jesus day 25

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Further Reading

The End Time: Jesus Has the Authority

AIG:

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CBN NewsWatch AM: December 21, 2021

12 MISSIONARIES ARE NOW BACK HOME SAFE. THEY WERE HELD HOSTAGE IN HAITI AND GAINED THEIR FREEDOM BY ESCAPING THEIR CAPTORS AND WALKING FOR HOURS THROUGH DIFFICULT TERRAIN BEFORE FINDING HELP. COVID-19 IS SPREADING LIKE WILDFIRE ACROSS THE UNITED STATES.

Source: CBN NewsWatch AM: December 21, 2021

Joe Biden Gaslights America! Year-End Recap: Claims Americans Are Better Off — Christian Research Network

(Breitbart – Wendell Husebo) President Joe Biden reportedly claimed in a year-end recap to congressional members that Americans are in better circumstances than they were in 2020.

During 40-year high inflation, high crime, high numbers of migrants crossing the southern border, the fractured supply chain, and omicron chaos, the White House dubbed the memo, “2021: POTUS Delivered Results for Working Families,” and touted vaccination rates and reopened schools, Axios reported.

“Before President Biden took office: less than 1% of Americans were vaccinated,” the memo reportedly states. “Today: More than 71% of American adults are fully vaccinated.”  View article →

Joe Biden Gaslights America! Year-End Recap: Claims Americans Are Better Off — Christian Research Network

Tomi Lahren: I believe this is who’s really ‘pulling the strings’ for Biden

The Fox Nation host reacts to an anonymous Congress member calling out the Biden administration and discusses the future of the Democratic Party. #FoxNews

Source: Tomi Lahren: I believe this is who’s really ‘pulling the strings’ for Biden

The good news is the experts are often wrong

By most counts, 2021 turned out to be another miserable year. COVID-19 is still with us, inflation soared, the foreign policy establishment got everything wrong, particularly, Afghanistan, and on some days, President Biden appears to have a vague understanding that he is president.

Source: The good news is the experts are often wrong

Japanese Government Tells Citizens: “Don’t Discriminate Against The Unvaccinated” | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Despite numerous major countries making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory, the Japanese government has told its citizens “do not discriminate against those who have not been vaccinated.”

Germany is set to follow Austria by imposing mandatory jabs, with refuseniks who still resist taking them facing escalating fines and eventually prison sentences.

However, Japan is taking a very different approach, asserting that vaccines should only ever be administered with full consent and that they shouldn’t be used as tools of coercion or intimidation.

The following notice was posted on the website for the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare;

“Although we encourage all citizens to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, it is not compulsory or mandatory. Vaccination will be given only with the consent of the person to be vaccinated after the information provided. Please get vaccinated of your own decision, understanding both the effectiveness in preventing infectious diseases and the risk of side effects. No vaccination will be given without consent. Please do not force anyone in your workplace or those who around you to be vaccinated, and do not discriminate against those who have not been vaccinated.”

The Prime Minister’s website also contains a similar statement.

“Vaccines will never be administered without the recipient’s consent. We urge the public never to coerce vaccinations at the workplace or upon others around them, and never to treat those who have not received the vaccine in a discriminatory manner.”

Meanwhile, in Austria, the government is literally hiring people to ‘hunt down’ those who refuse to take the jab.

“Western countries still claim to be the foremost defenders of civil liberties,” writes Noah Carl. “But in the era of Covid safetyism, it seems that mantle has passed to Japan. Perhaps the country will send a delegation of human rights experts to teach the West about individual freedom.”

Source: Japanese Government Tells Citizens: “Don’t Discriminate Against The Unvaccinated”