There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true. —Soren Kierkegaard. "…truth is true even if nobody believes it, and falsehood is false even if everybody believes it. That is why truth does not yield to opinion, fashion, numbers, office, or sincerity–it is simply true and that is the end of it" – Os Guinness, Time for Truth, pg.39. “He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God’s providence to lead him aright.” – Blaise Pascal. "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" – George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. We live in a “post-truth” world. According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and activist reporting – this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." – George Orwell “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” ― Soren Kierkegaard
If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, blessed shalt thou be in the city.
The city is full of care, and he who has to go there from day to day finds it to be a place of great wear and tear. It is full of noise, and stir, and bustle, and sore travail; many are its temptations, losses, and worries. But to go there with the divine blessing takes off the edge of its difficulty; to remain there with that blessing is to find pleasure in its duties and strength equal to its demands.
A blessing in the city may not make us great, but it will keep us good; it may not make us rich, but it will preserve us honest. Whether we are porters, or clerks, or managers, or merchants, or magistrates, the city will afford us opportunities for usefulness. It is good fishing where there are shoals of fish, and it is hopeful to work for our Lord amid the thronging crowds. We might prefer the quiet of a country life; but if called to town, we may certainly prefer it because there is room for our energies.
Today let us expect good things because of this promise, and let our care be to have an open ear to the voice of the Lord and a ready hand to execute His bidding. Obedience brings the blessing. “In keeping his commandments there is great reward.”
A lot of people think, “I’m not perfect, but I’m a pretty good person. God will let me into heaven.” This kind of thinking reminds me of the Esurance commercial where the woman says, “That’s not how it works; that’s not how any of this works!”
According to the Bible, getting into heaven by our own good deeds is “not how it works.” God is holy, which means that he is pure goodness, and he made human beings to be in a loving relationship with him. Because of the fall of man in the garden of Eden, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
Learning what it means that God is holy helps us to understand why the only way we can come to the Father is through Jesus. Here are seven essential things every person needs to know about the holiness of God:
1. God is different from his creation.
While humans have certain attributes that image their Creator, they are different kinds of beings than God. For starters, humans are created beings (finite), while God is spirit (infinite)—he has no beginning and no end:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” (Rev. 1:8)
When the Bible calls God holy, it means primarily that God is transcendentally separate. He is so far above and beyond us that He seems almost totally foreign to us. To be holy is to be ‘other,’ to be different in a special way” (p. 38). “And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!’” (Isa. 6:3)
2. God must uphold all his attributes.
Because he is spirit, God is always purely all of his attributes in complete perfection and unity. It is impossible for God to allow his mercy to override his justice. His holiness never conflicts with his love.
God must be true to all his attributes, because to do otherwise would be to deny his own self. As theologian Michael Horton so aptly states in his book The Christian Faith, ‘God would not be God if he did not possess all his attributes in the simplicity and perfection of his essence” (p. 229).
3. God’s holiness reveals our utter sinfulness.
We think God won’t mind a few sins here and there. The problem with this thinking is that we don’t get it. We don’t get how holy God is, and we don’t get how sinful we are. Isaiah understood it when he saw a vision of the Lord in his glory. He cried out,
And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isa. 6:5)
Isaiah saw his own sinfulness. He saw his total inadequacy to stand before God. He understood that he needed to be cleansed so he would not be destroyed by God’s utter goodness and purity.
We find another such example in the Gospel of Luke. When Peter witnessed the miracle of the great catch of fish:
But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” (Luke 5:8)
And when we get it—when we realize that there is nothing about us that is untouched by our depraved nature and how impossible it is for us to stand in righteousness before God on our own merits—this is when we must run to the foot of the cross and cling to Christ, our only hope.
4. We must be pure in heart to see our holy God.
The Psalmist writes about his longing to see the beatific vision—to see God in all his perfections in his dwelling place:
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. (Ps. 27:4)
According to Sproul, “Right now it is impossible for us to see God in His pure essence. Before that can ever happen, we must be purified” (The Holiness of God, p. 23). And without this purification, we cannot have eternal fellowship with God:
Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. (Eccles. 7:20)
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8)
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. (Rom. 5:12)
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:7-8)
5. God must judge sin and uphold justice and righteousness.
In this world we cry out against injustice. We are outraged over incidences where people hurt others and don’t bear the consequences of their wrongdoing. How much more is this the case when God sees his righteous law violated? He cannot look the other way. In order to uphold his attributes of holiness, righteousness, and justice, God must judge and punish sin (Num. 14:18; Nah. 1:3).
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (Rom. 1:18)
But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. (Rom. 2:5)
Because God is holy, he must uphold his law and pour out his wrath against all evil. He must judge the wicked. It is human nature to want mercy for ourselves but justice for those who have wronged us; yet, God shows no partiality (Acts. 10:34-35):
You shall therefore keep my statutes and my rules; if a person does them, he shall live by them: I am the Lord. (Lev. 18:5; see also Luke 10:28)
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:23)
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (Gal. 6:7)
6. God became the solution to the problem of sin because only the God-man could save us.
Since there was no way for sinful humans to keep God’s law perfectly or completely atone for their sins, Jesus was born in the flesh so he could fulfill the whole law and be the perfect sacrifice on behalf of all who put their faith in him:
And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Heb. 10:11–14)
At Golgotha, we see the God who is both “just and the justifier” (Matt. 27:33–35; Rom. 3:26). Horton points out that it is at the cross where “we see how far God is willing to go in order to uphold all of his attributes in the simplicity of his being” (p. 266).
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:21)
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Pet. 2:24)
7. The holiness of God means that we can trust God to always do what is good, right, and just.
God always has been and always will be holy. According to theologian R. Scott Clark, “Christians may rest safely in God’s promises because he is faithful not only in his intentions but in his nature. By nature he is unchangeable. God swore by himself. He is immutable. Therefore his oath/promise is immutable and therefore reliable” (“Does God Change?”).
“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Num. 23:19)
That’s how it actually works—salvation comes through Christ alone.
One of the most loving things we can ever do is to help people understand that they cannot create their own reality of the afterlife. Thinking something is true does not make it so. Good people do go to heaven, but they are only judged by God to be good based on the finished work of Christ counted to them through faith alone, by God’s grace alone, in Christ alone. People need the truth about God, themselves, and what is going to happen after they die. In short, they need the gospel.
It is far better for Jesus to pay for your sins on your behalf so you don’t have to spend eternity doing so. Let the perfect righteousness of Jesus, the God-man, be your righteousness, because it is something you can never attain on your own. Don’t wait to trust in Christ for your salvation, for he is your one and only hope.
Jephthah’s victory over the Ammonites gave him an unquestioned rule in Gilead; but it brought against him unexpected enemies. The tribe of Ephraim had long regarded themselves as chief among the Israelites. They had objected when Gideon had summoned Israel to war without consulting them; but Gideon had soothed them with soft words. Now they objected yet more vehemently that Jephthah, an outlaw, he taken the leadership against Ammon. Perhaps Jephthah was embittered by his own hard lot. At any rate he answered in no such gentle manner as had Gideon. Instead he bade the Ephraimites defiance, and they attacked him.
At the head of his Gileadites Jephthah routed Ephraim; and, as the fugitives fled back over Jordan toward their western homes, the men of Gilead guarded all the fords of the river. As each man approached they challenged him with deadly purpose. If he was an Ephraimite they slew him; if he denied his tribe they had a sure test. The long separation of the Israelites east and west of Jordan had led to differences of language. The guttural “h” had faded from Ephraim’s tongue; and the unlucky victims could not pronounce the password “Shibboleth.” This savage punishment left Jephthah the undisputed leader of Israel; but he died within six years.
15 For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, 16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. Ephesians 1:15-23 (NASB) Read verses 18-23 on the site.
I have used the term “Spiritual Blindness” quite a bit here in my posts and I have done so assuming that you all know what I am talking about. There are times, however, when I am utterly amazed at the depth of spiritual blindness in some professing Christians. I am not God….
I am not omniscient so I do not know if some of these people are false believers or if they are simply very immature. If I knew them more personally perhaps I would know, but, in any case, when someone professes to be a Christian, but holds the view, “we are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:14), therefore, we need not bother with the law at all. We may do whatever we please even if it is condemned in Scripture.” This is the error of antinomianism. That term, antinomianism, means lawlessness – being against law. Those who are afflicted with this disease are so because God has not enlightened the eyes of their hearts with His truth.
Here is Ephesians 1:18 from the NASB, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints…”View article →
When we think of Jesus’ earthly ministry, we tend to think of headline moments such as miracles and confrontations with the Pharisees. But mostly He invested in a close circle of followers, especially the twelve disciples. As A. B. Bruce wrote in The Training of the Twelve: They “entered on a regular apprenticeship for the great office of apostleship, in the course of which they were to learn, in the privacy of an intimate daily fellowship with their Master, what they should be, do, believe, and teach, as His witnesses and ambassadors to the world.” In this sense, the four Gospels are in large measure accounts of Jesus’ life-on-life training program. Today’s reading is just one episode among many. The occasion here was a shameful quarrel about which of them was the greatest. Jesus taught them that in His kingdom “greatness” consists not of power or position but of service. Jesus Himself was among them as a servant (v. 27). The selfish ways in which authority is used on earth contrast entirely with the way authority works in God’s kingdom (vv. 25–26). One day, they would sit on thrones, “judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (v. 30), but God is the sovereign King over all (v. 29). God had plans for these men to be leaders of the early church. Jesus had personally chosen them as His special students. He cared for their spiritual growth and well being (vv. 31–32). Whether Jesus taught in an expository manner as in this case, or through parables or miracles or object lessons (such as washing their feet), He often reversed the expectations of both the crowds and His close followers. It’s uncertain how much the Twelve understood at the time, but later the Spirit reminded them of Jesus’ words and illuminated their meaning to them. >> How can you apply this lesson today? Can you turn the tables and serve someone who ordinarily cares for your needs? Give all the glory to Jesus who set the example for us to follow.
7:16 Unlike other rabbis, Jesus claimed direct knowledge from God (8:28).
7:16 his who sent me. Jesus indicates the source of His teaching. His message is not original with Himself but comes from His Father.
7:16the one who sent me Jesus’ teaching and authority come from God. See note on John 7:15.
7:16 His who sent Me. The qualitative difference of Jesus’ teaching was found in its source, i.e., the Father gave it to Him (8:26, 40, 46, 47; 12:49, 50). It originated from God the Father Himself, in contrast to rabbis who received it from man (Gal 1:12). While rabbis relied on the authority of others (a long chain of human tradition), Jesus’ authority centered in Himself (cf. Mt 7:28, 29; Ac 4:13).
7:16not Mine, but His: Jesus’ statement indicates that He did not receive His teaching from the rabbis, nor did He fabricate it. Instead His teaching came directly from God.
7:16 Once again it is beautiful to see how the Lord refused to take any credit for Himself, but simply tried to glorify His Father. Jesus answered simply that His teaching was not His own, but that it came from the One who sent Him. Whatever the Lord Jesus spoke and whatever He taught were the things which His Father told Him to speak and to teach. He did not act independently of the Father.
7:16 Jesus again drew attention not only to His submission (see note at 5:19) to the Father but also to His unique knowledge of the Father. They had earthly teachers; He had the heavenly Teacher.
16. In his answer Jesus shows that the critics had failed completely to think of the possibility that the contents of his teaching might have been derived from another source, far superior to any Jewish seminary. As the critics saw it, there were only two possibilities: either, Jesus must have been enrolled as a regular student in a rabbinical school; or else, he is simply spouting his own ideas. And whereas they knew that the first of these alternatives was definitely “out,” the second must be the truth. So Jesus answered them and said, My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. Not taught by man, nor self-taught, but instructed by God himself, that was his answer. On Jesus as the One sent by God see vol. I, pp. 142, 150, 208. Not only had he derived the contents of his teaching from his Father in heaven, but he had also been divinely commissioned to convey it to the people on earth. Let his enemies take note of this fact; namely, that in rejecting him and his message they are rejecting God himself (cf. 4:34; 5:23, 24, 30; Matt. 10:40).
16. My doctrine is not mine, Christ shows that this circumstance, which was an offence to the Jews, was rather a ladder by which they ought to have risen higher to perceive the glory of God; as if he had said, “When you see a teacher not trained in the school of men, know that I have been taught by God.” For the reason why the Heavenly Father determined that his Son should go out of a mechanic’s workshop, rather than from the schools of the scribes, was, that the origin of the Gospel might be more manifest, that none might think that it had been fabricated on the earth, or imagine that any human being was the author of it. Thus also Christ chose ignorant and uneducated men to be his apostles, and permitted them to remain three years in gross ignorance, that, having instructed them in a single instant, he might bring them forward as new men, and even as angels who had just come down from heaven.
But that of him who sent me. Meanwhile, Christ shows whence we ought to derive the authority of spiritual doctrine, from God alone. And when he asserts that the doctrine of his Father is not his, he looks to the capacity of the hearers, who had no higher opinion of him than that he was a man. By way of concession, therefore, he allows himself to be reckoned different from his Father, but so as to bring forward nothing but what the Father had enjoined. The amount of what is stated is, that what he teaches in the name of his Father is not a doctrine of men, and did not proceed from men, so as to be capable of being despised with impunity. We see by what method he procures authority for his doctrine. It is by referring it to God as its Author. We see also on what ground, and for what reason, he demands that he shall be heard. It is, because the Father sent him to teach. Both of these things ought to be possessed by every man who takes upon himself the office of a teacher, and wishes that he should be believed.
7:16 / Jesus answered. Here, as in 15:17, 19, Jesus is not answering a specific question directed at him but initiating a discourse. The middle form of the verb (apekrinato) used in the earlier passage would have been appropriate here as well, but the narrator has chosen instead the more common passive (apekrithē), possibly because of v. 21, where the dialogue has become a realistic one and apekrithē is used in direct answer to the crowd’s question.
16 Critics of Jesus reasoned that, since he had not studied under an acknowledged rabbinic master, he must be setting forth his own ideas. “Not so,” Jesus responded: “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.” The rabbinic approach was to substantiate every statement by demonstrating its congruence with previously accepted judgments. If Jesus had said that he was self-taught, he would have been discredited at once. Morris, 405, notes that “the age did not prize originality.” But Jesus’ teaching was not his own. Neither did it grow out of Jewish oral tradition. What he taught came from God. As the works he did came from the Father (5:36), so also did his teaching (7:16). Far from being an arrogant advocate of novel ideas, he was a humble and submissive exponent of truth that came directly from God.
“We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith.” Hebrews 12:2 (GW)
Not on the winds of opposition, but on the setting of the sail;
Not on the howling of the storm, but on the voice of the Captain;
Not on the darkness of the sea, but on the lighthouse on the shore;
Not on the density of the fog, but on the true north of the compass;
Not on the restlessness of the waves, but on the anchor that holds steady.
“God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.” Hebrews 6:18-19 NLT
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
My pastor was talking about trust and the vital importance of trusting God. He asked us, “What is under your standing? What are you basing your choices on? Do you believe that God is for you? Do you believe that His plans for you are good? Do you believe that God is going to show up?”
These are great questions. God is fully trustworthy. He has given us His whole heart. He’s all in.
Proverbs 3:5-6 speaks about trusting God with our whole heart and acknowledging God in all our ways. Trust is not a one-time decision; it’s part of our relationship with God that requires constant maintenance. Every situation, every decision, every thought is a choice to trust God or not.
Trust is absolutely vital to having a close relationship with God. Trust in God opens the door to all sorts of healthy spiritual practices. When I trust God I don’t second-guess the way He blesses others. Trust keeps me from doubting His goodness when I don’t understand His timing.
Father in Heaven, so often I catch myself falling back into old habits and trying to solve things my way, in my timing. Help me to come to You first. I believe that You love me and I know that Your plans for me are for my benefit – even when they don’t feel very good. Help me to walk in the reality of Your love today and trust as one who’s heart is turned toward You. In Your name I pray, amen.
Put your trust into practice today – Track your doubts for a day. Really pay attention to your thoughts and practice trusting God. When fear or doubt creeps in stop that thought and pray. Ask God for His peace. Once you’ve counted your doubts for a day, see if you can make the next day’s number smaller.
“And she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel, that the daughters of Irael went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.”
Perhaps the Biblical conclusion of this pathetic tale is not entirely clear. Most students of the Holy Book have understood it, as has the artist of the present picture, that Jephthah slew his daughter upon an altar, even as Abraham planned to do with Isaac. There can be no question that the ordinary method of “sacrifice” meant the destruction of the sacrificed; with a sheep or bullock it meant death. Yet the insistence with which the Mosaic law always sets itself against those human sacrifices common in many pagan worships, this, combined with the horror of the deed itself, with the certainty that God could never have desired or countenanced such cruelty, and with the emphasis which the story lays on the heroine’s virginity, all these facts have suggested to some that perhaps Jephthah’s sacrifice consisted only in consecrating his daughter to the service of the Lord, debarring her from marriage, and compelling her to live out her life in solitude.
If you’ve ever worked hard to reach a goal like losing weight or becoming debt-free, you know that’s when the real work begins. Dr. David Jeremiah explains how just a few moments of compromise can set back years of progress. Nehemiah saw it in ancient Israel, and if you’re not careful, you can see it in your Christian walk.
How focused are you and your church at rescuing people lost in sin? Is your church involvement more a social gathering than for the purpose of saving lives? Consider those questions as John continues his series called . . . Delivered by God.
The 79-year-old president was asked to comment on a recent poll showing nearly half of those surveyed believe he is in cognitive decline Read more: https://on.rt.com/bpqr #news #Biden #worldevents ————————————————————————————————– Freedom over censorship, truth over narrative.
TONIGHT: THE PRESIDENT’S FIRST PRESS CONFERENCE OF THE YEAR; HIT WITH QUESTIONS OVER THE ADMINISTRATION’S APPROACH TO THE PANDEMIC, SOARING INFLATION, AND THE BIDEN AGENDA AS THE DEMOCRATS’ PUSH FOR AN ELECTION LAW OVERHUAL TUMBLES IN THE SENATE.
President Biden answers wide range of questions in extended press conference marking end of first year in office amid low approval ratings; Democrats fail to change filibuster rule to pass election reform bill in Senate; Religious Freedom Institute looking to recruit lawmakers regardless of party who will stand for the free exercise of religion in the US; Dr.
FOX Business’ Stuart Varney blasts Biden’s first-year failures, from inflation to Build Back Better agenda.#FOXBusiness … STUART VARNEY: I’m going to sum up the president’s news conference like this: I’m making “enormous progress”.