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1  Theology / Bible Study / Paul's Letter to the Romans on: Today at 02:50:34 PM
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Two Minutes With The Bible
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Paul's Letter to the Romans
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


One of the most enlightening books of the Bible, and indeed of all literature, is St. Paul’s great Epistle to the Romans.

Paul was by nature and training a logician, perhaps the greatest logician of all time, and in this case his words were Spirit-inspired, so that we have in his Epistle to the Romans a powerful logical argument about God and man, condemnation and justification. It is wonderful thus to have God’s plan of salvation explained for us. This is all too lacking in modern evangelism.

The doctrinal argument of Romans begins with a demonstration of the moral depravity of man. It says, even to the self-righteous:

    “Thou art inexcusable…” (2:1).

The Apostle then goes on to show that the Law was given, not to help men to be good, but “that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may be brought in guilty before God” (3:19). The conclusion:

    “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin” (3:20).

The Apostle presses his argument further by showing how the Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself as a satisfaction for sin that we might be “justified freely by [God’s] grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (3:24). His conclusion again:

    “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith, without [apart from] the deeds of the law” (3:28).

    “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:1).

Next he shows how those who trust in Christ are “baptized into Christ” (6:3), made one with Him by faith. The final conclusion:

    “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” (8:1).

And the Apostle closes the doctrinal part of this great epistle by exclaiming:

    “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? …Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (8:33,35).

Our advice to those who have questions about salvation: Study Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, thoughtfully and prayerfully.
2  Entertainment / Poetry/Prose / Murderer! on: Today at 02:47:06 PM
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Murderer!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"A great multitude of the people followed Him, including women who mourned and wailed for Him." Luke 23:27

Amid the rabble crowd which hounded the Redeemer to His doom, there were some gracious souls whose bitter anguish sought vent in wailing and lamentations--fit music to accompany that march of woe!

When my soul can, in imagination, see the Savior bearing His cross to Calvary--she joins the godly women and weeps with them; for, indeed, there is true cause for my grief--cause lying deeper than those mourning women thought. They bewailed . . .
  innocence--maltreated,
  goodness--persecuted,
  love--bleeding,
  meekness--dying!

But my heart has a deeper and more bitter cause to mourn--MY SINS were the scourges which lacerated those blessed shoulders, and crowned that bleeding brow with thorns!

My sins cried, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" and laid the cross upon His gracious shoulders! His being led forth to die, is sorrow enough for one eternity; but MY having been His murderer--is more, infinitely more grief, than one poor fountain of tears can express! Those women who loved and wept--could not have had greater reasons for love and grief, than my poor heart has!

The widow of Nain saw her son restored--but I myself have been raised to newness of life!
Peter's mother-in-law was cured of the fever--but I myself have been cured of the plague of sin!
Mary Magdalene had seven devils cast out of her--but a whole legion of devils were cast out of me!
Mary and Martha were favored with visits from Jesus--but He dwells with me!

I am not behind these holy women in debt to Jesus--let me not be behind them in gratitude or sorrow.
 

    "Love and grief my heart dividing,
     With my tears His feet I'll lave;
     Constant still in heart abiding,
     Weep for Him who died to save!"
     

"He was pierced for our transgressions,
  He was crushed for our iniquities;
  the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,
  and by His wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5


    Infinite grief! amazing woe!
    Behold my bleeding Lord!
    Hell and the Jews conspired His death,
    And used the Roman sword.

    O, the sharp pangs of smarting pain
    My dear Redeemer bore,
    When knotty whips and ragged thorns
    His sacred body tore!

    But knotty whips and ragged thorns
    In vain do I accuse;
    In vain I blame the Roman bands,
    And the more spiteful Jews.

    'Twere you, my sins, my cruel sins,
    His chief tormentors were;
    Each of my crimes became a nail,
    And unbelief the spear!

    'Twere you that pulled the vengeance down
    Upon His guiltless head;
    Break, break, my heart! O burst, mine eyes!
    And let my sorrows bleed.

    Strike, mighty grace, my flinty soul,
    Till melting waters flow,
    And deep repentance drowns my eyes,
    In sincere and bitter woe!
       Isaac Watts, 1674-1748
3  ChristiansUnite and Announcements / ChristiansUnite and Announcements / The Patriot Post Digest 4-23-2019 on: Today at 02:40:42 PM
________________________________
The Patriot Post Digest 4-23-2019
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription
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VACCINE FIGHT: “A New York City judge has dismissed a complaint from parents who objected to the city’s emergency vaccine order meant to immediately curb a dangerous measles epidemic threatening the city’s vulnerable. … NBC News reports that, as of Sunday, Brooklyn doctors have counted an astounding 626 cases of measles, more than the number of cases reported in the entire year 2014, when the city suffered a measles outbreak.” (The Daily Wire25)
LANDMARK DISCRIMINATION CASE: “In a watershed moment for LGBT-rights advocates, the Supreme Court has agreed to take up three cases involving LGBT individuals who claim they were fired from their jobs because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The court will decide whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination by employers based on ‘sex,’ also prohibits discrimination based on the sexual orientation and gender identity of workers. The cases are the first to test the bent of the new, conservative-leaning Court on LGBT issues.” (National Review26)
ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR: “Starbucks’ efforts to address opioid use and improperly disposed needles in its bathrooms are expanding. Starbucks stores in at least 25 US markets have installed needle-disposal boxes in bathrooms in recent months. By this summer, the chain aims to have installed sharps boxes in bathrooms in all regions where such action has been deemed necessary. … The company … faced at least one government investigation related to the issue in 2018 after two employees in a Eugene, Oregon, location were stuck with hypodermic needles within a month of each other.” (Business Insider27)
HUMOR: Al Gore commemorates Earth Day by using private jet to write “Save the Planet” in the sky (The Babylon Bee28)
POLICY: Trump took another important step to fully ending Iran nuclear deal; now he must finish the job (Washington Examiner29)
POLICY: Trump’s washing-machine tariffs created 1,800 jobs, but at a huge cost to consumers of $820,000 per job (American Enterprise Institute30)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights31.

https://patriotpost.us/articles/62557-tuesday-top-news-executive-summary


OPINION IN BRIEF

Dennis Prager: “When Jews were murdered at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Clinton mentioned the synagogue in a tweet. But in her post-Sri Lanka tweet, despite the bombing of three churches filled with Christians, Clinton made no mention of church or churches. In a tweet after the massacre of Muslims in New Zealand, she wrote that her heart broke for ‘the global Muslim community.’ But in her latest tweet, not a word about Christians or the global Christian community. Obama similarly wrote in his tweet about New Zealand that he was grieving with ‘the Muslim community’ over the ‘horrible massacre in the Mosques.’ But in his tweet about Sri Lanka, there is no mention of Christians or churches. The reason neither of them mentioned Christians or churches is that the left has essentially forbidden mention of all the anti-Christian murders perpetrated by Muslims in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and of all the Muslim desecration of churches in Europe, Africa and anywhere else. This is part of the same phenomenon — that I and others have documented — of British police and politicians covering up six years of rape of 1,400 of English girls by Muslim ‘grooming gangs’ in Rotherham and elsewhere in England.”


SHORT CUTS

For the record: “[Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez rushed to politicize the horrific terrorist attacks in New Zealand last month, tweeting approximately 14 times about the attack. Ocasio-Cortez has not tweeted about the hundreds of Christians murdered at churches in Sri Lanka on Easter by Islamic terrorists.” —Ryan Saavedra

Friendly fire: “The winner of the economic argument in the last five presidential elections with swing voters has won the presidency. And I think … Bernie Sanders is unlikely … to stand up to the constant barrage that is Donald Trump on economic issues like that. … You have to excite your base and turn out people, and you have to win swing voters. … Today, you would say in a general election context, Bernie Sanders wouldn’t be that candidate.” —Obama campaign manager Jim Messina

Exhibit A: “If somebody commits a serious crime — sexual assault, murder — they’re going to be punished. They may be in jail for 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, their whole lives. That’s what happens when you commit a serious crime. But I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people.” —Sen. Bernie Sanders

You’ve been warned: “Upon being elected, I will give the United States Congress 100 days to get their act together and have the courage to pass gun-safety laws. And if they fail to do it, then I will take executive action.” —Sen. Kamala Harris

Alpha Jackass: “There is no excuse for terror attacks against innocent people but as a journalist I saw Western Christian missionaries unscrupulpusly [sic] converting Buddhist orphans for food and shelter after the Asian tsunami. Don’t send your prayers. … In fact prayers are proven beyond doubt to have no effect. What might help, however, is ending the Western campaign to convert people of other religions in exchange for charity.” —British TV star Andy West

The BIG Lie: “This president is a double-digit obstructor, according to the Mueller report, in the number of ways he sought to obstruct justice. Which leads me … to Attorney General Barr. You can be the attorney general of the United States and represent all of us, or you can represent Donald Trump. You can’t do both. And because Attorney General Barr wants to represent Donald Trump, I think he should resign.” —Rep. Eric Swalwell

And last… “How can we trust these people to read the full Mueller Report when they haven’t even read the Green New Deal? Which is five pages.” —Steven Crowder

https://patriotpost.us/articles/62555-tuesday-short-cuts


Join our editors and staff in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families. We also humbly ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher
4  ChristiansUnite and Announcements / ChristiansUnite and Announcements / The Patriot Post Digest 4-23-2019 on: Today at 02:38:49 PM
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The Patriot Post Digest 4-23-2019
From The Federalist Patriot
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The Patriot Post® · Mid-Day Digest
Apr. 23, 2019
https://patriotpost.us/digests/62559-mid-day-digest

THE FOUNDATION

“To prevent crimes, is the noblest end and aim of criminal jurisprudence. To punish them, is one of the means necessary for the accomplishment of this noble end and aim.” —James Wilson (1790)

https://patriotpost.us/fqd/62558-founders-quote-daily

IN TODAY’S EDITION

Trump’s latest immigration effort — visa overstays.1

Warren’s “free college” plan is a desperate plea for attention.2
Daily Features: More Analysis3, Columnists4, Headlines5, Opinion in Brief6, Short Cuts7, Memes8, and Cartoons9.

IN BRIEF

Time to Enforce the Law on Visa Overstays10

Democrats and the Leftmedia have often sought to downplay President Donald Trump’s loudly voiced calls to tackle the problem of illegal immigration — specifically his emphasis on securing the southern border — by pivoting to point out that the “bigger” problem is visa overstays. While that is a statistically arguable observation (at least one study11 found that the number of visa overstays represents a higher percentage of illegal aliens than illegal border crossers do) this response is a disingenuous objection to dealing with the real crisis at the border. Why can’t both problems be addressed? Well, it appears that Trump has decided to do just that, calling the Democrats’ bluff.

On Monday, the president ordered the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security to find ways to limit the number of foreigners overstaying their short-term visas. The White House stated that the administration will “find effective ways to combat the rampant number of overstays” that are “undermining the rule of law and straining resources that are needed to address the crisis at our southern border.”

In signing his executive order, Trump stated, “We have laws that need to be followed to keep Americans safe and to protect the integrity of a system where, right now, there are millions of people who are waiting in line to come to America to see the American Dream.” It will be interesting to see how many Democrats object to Trump’s latest order to enforce the law — or what judge will strike it down.

https://patriotpost.us/articles/62556-time-to-enforce-the-law-on-visa-overstays


Warren’s ‘Universal Free College’ Plan Is No Free Lunch12

The country’s favorite 1/1024th Native American and Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren recently released her plan for tackling the growing problem of student-loan debt. Currently running a disappointing third in her own state, Warren’s pitch is a desperate attempt to gain attention by running to the left of current Democrat frontrunner Bernie Sanders. Warren is seeking to take the lead on government-provided “free stuff13” by offering some actual details as to how she would implement a “free college” program. Not surprisingly, the former college professor’s plan is chock-full of stuff that would make any Marxist revolutionary proud. No wonder she made her pitch on Vladimir Lenin’s birthday.

Warren’s first order of business would be to “solve” the problem of student-loan debt by simply canceling it. She explains, “The first step in addressing this crisis is to deal head-on with the outstanding debt that is weighing down millions of families and should never have been required in the first place. That’s why I’m calling for something truly transformational  —  the cancellation of up to $50,000 in student loan debt for 42 million Americans.” So, by a stroke of the pen, she would eliminate at least part of the obligations of “more than 95% of the nearly 45 million Americans with student loan debt,” as well as “wipe out student loan debt entirely for more than 75% of the Americans with that debt.”

But everyone knows that money doesn’t grow on trees; somebody has to pay for this. Warren has an answer for that: “the government,” which of course any thinking person knows means taxpayers. However, she contends that it would only be “a one-time cost … of $640 billion.” It’s the second part of her plan, the Universal Free College program, that would tip the scales at “roughly $1.25 trillion over ten years” and should really be getting everyone’s attention. (Americans owe a collective $1.5 trillion in student loans.) But, don’t worry — Warren has this cost figured out as well. You see, only “the 75,000 wealthiest families in the country” will be charged. She calls it her “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” on “those with fortunes of $50 million or more.” This is plainly wealth redistribution.

Warren is committed to the “universal” aspect of her plan — so much so that she would “prohibit public colleges from considering citizenship status” during admissions decisions. Her plan would also “ban for-profit colleges from receiving any federal dollars (including military benefits and federal student loans), so they can no longer use taxpayer dollars to enrich themselves while targeting lower-income students, service members, and students of color and leaving them saddled with debt.” Evidently, Warren would rather they become permanent wards of the state.

https://patriotpost.us/articles/62548-warrens-universal-free-college-plan-is-no-free-lunch


ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

Featured Analysis: Sanctuary Jurisdictions Are Not Practicing Federalism14 — The Ninth Circuit Court is the latest to rule against the Trump administration’s enforcement.
Born That Way? Research Says No15 — Transgenderism’s “born the wrong way” claim is undercutting the homosexual lobby.
How Romney and Trump Were Both Right16 — Romney’s right about Founding principles, while Trump is correct about the need to fight.
That Eight-Year-Old Ocasio-Cortez Impersonator17 — Sometimes, we can sum up the American Spirit with humor. This is such a time.
Video: Warren First 2020 Dem to Call For Impeachment18 — 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren talks with Rachel Maddow
Video: Is Denmark Socialist?19 — The Left references countries like Denmark as “proof” that socialism works. It’s not socialist.


TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

IMPEACHMENT EXPECTATIONS: According to The Hill21, “Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said Monday that the House should take steps toward impeaching President Trump,” which follows an identical recommendation from Sen. Elizabeth Warren. But the Associated Press adds22, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged divided Democrats to focus on fact-finding rather than the prospect of any impeachment proceedings.”
ENTITLEMENT TROUBLES: “Trustees for the Social Security and Medicare programs on Monday announced that the long-term deficit facing the programs was a staggering $59 trillion. As the retirement age population expands relative to the working-age population in the coming decades and the cost of healthcare explodes, the two programs will eat up a growing amount of government resources unless there are significant changes. … [The estimates] could be optimistic, because, according to the trustees, ‘the Medicare projections shown here could be substantially understated as a result of other potentially unsustainable elements of current law.’” (Washington Examiner23)
NEW YORK’S GREEN NEW STEAL: “Mayor Bill de Blasio marked Earth Day by outlining measures to make New York greener Monday, including dramatically cutting the carbon footprint of the city’s signature building, the skyscraper. ‘We’re going to ban the classic glass and steel skyscrapers, which are incredibly inefficient,’ he told MSNBC television. The New York version of the ‘Green New Deal’ currently being pushed by freshmen Democratic members of Congress would make buildings of more than 25,000 square feet (2,300 square meters) cut their emissions by 40 percent by 2030, compared with 2005 levels. The Democratic mayor said that those who fail to meet the new environmental standards could face fines of more than a million dollars, in the case of larger buildings.” (Agence France-Presse24)
5  Theology / Bible Prescription Shop / Comfort for Christians on: April 22, 2019, 02:47:37 PM
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From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________


Comfort for Christians

by Arthur W. Pink, 1952

NO CONDEMNATION


"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)

"There is therefore now no condemnation." The eighth chapter of the epistle to the Romans concludes the first section of that wonderful epistle. Its opening word "Therefore" may be viewed in a twofold way. First, it connects with all that has been said from 3:21. An inference is now deduced from the whole of the preceding discussion, an inference which was, in fact, the grand conclusion toward which the apostle had been aiming throughout the entire argument. Because Christ has been set forth "a propitiation through faith in His blood" (3:25); because He was "delivered for our offences and raised again for our justification" (4:25); because by the obedience of the One the many (believers of all ages) are "made righteous," constituted so, legally, (5:19); because believers have "died (judicially) to sin" (6:2); because they have "died" to the condemning power of the law (7:4), "there is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION."

But not only is the "therefore" to be viewed as a conclusion drawn from the whole of the previous discussion, it is also to be considered as having a close relation to what immediately precedes. In the second half of Romans 7 the apostle had described the painful and ceaseless conflict which is waged between the antagonistic natures in the one who has been born again, illustrating this by a reference to his own personal experiences as a Christian. Having portrayed with a master pen--himself sitting for the picture--the spiritual struggles of the child of God, the apostle now proceeds to direct attention to the Divine consolation for a condition so distressing and humiliating. The transition from the despondent tone of the seventh chapter to the triumphant language of the eighth, appears startling and abrupt, yet is quite logical and natural. If it is true that to the saints of God belongs the conflict of sin and death, under whose effect they mourn, equally true is it that their deliverance from the curse and the corresponding condemnation, is a victory in which they rejoice. A very striking contrast is thus pointed.

In the second half of Romans 7 the apostle treats the power of sin, which operates in believers as long as they are in the world; in the opening verses of chapter eight, he speaks of the guilt of sin from which they are completely delivered the moment they are united to the Savior by faith. Hence in 7:24 the apostle asks "Who shall deliver me" from the power of sin, but in 8:2 he says, "has made me free," that is has delivered me, from the guilt of sin.

"There is therefore now no condemnation." It is not here a question of our heart condemning us (as in 1 John 3:21), nor of us finding nothing within which is worthy of condemnation; instead, it is the far more blessed fact that God does not condemn the one who has trusted in Christ, to the saving of his soul. We need to distinguish sharply between subjective and objective truth; between that which is judicial and that which is experimental; otherwise, we shall fail to draw from such Scriptures as the one now before us the comfort and peace they are designed to convey. There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. "In Christ" is the believer's position before God, not his condition in the flesh. "In Adam" I was condemned (Rom 5:12); but "in Christ" is to be forever freed from all condemnation.

"There is therefore now no condemnation." The qualifying "now" implies there was a time when Christians, before they believed, were under condemnation. This was before they died with Christ, died judicially (Gal 2:20) to the penalty of God's righteous law. This "now," then, distinguishes between two states or conditions. By nature we were "under the (sentence of) law," but now believers are "under grace" (Rom 6:14). By nature we were "children of wrath" (Eph. 2:2), but now we are "accepted in the Beloved" (Eph. 1:6). Under the first covenant we were "in Adam" (1 Cor 15:22), but now we are "in Christ" (Rom 8:1). As believers in Christ we have everlasting life, and because of this we "shall not come into condemnation."

Condemnation is a word of tremendous import, and the better we understand it, the more shall we appreciate the wondrous grace which has delivered us from its power. In the halls of a human court this is a term which falls with fearful knell upon the ear of the convicted criminal and fills the spectators with sadness and horror. But in the court of Divine Justice it is vested with a meaning and content infinitely more solemn and awe-inspiring. To that Court every member of Adam's fallen race is cited. "Conceived in sin, shaped in iniquity" each one enters this world under arrest--an indicted criminal, a rebel manacled. How, then, is it possible for such a one to escape the execution of the dread sentence? There was only one way, and that was by the removal from us of that which called forth the sentence, namely SIN. Let guilt be removed and there can be "no condemnation."

Has guilt been removed, removed, we mean, from the sinner who believes? Let the Scriptures answer: "As far as the east is from the west so far has he removed our transgressions from us" (Psalm 103:12). "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions" (Isa 43:25). "You have cast all my sins behind your back" (Isa 38:17). "Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more" (Heb. 10:17).

But how could guilt be removed? Only by it being transferred. Divine holiness could not ignore it; but Divine grace could and did transfer it. The sins of believers were transferred to Christ: "The Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isa 53:6). "For he has made him to be sin for us" (2 Cor 5:21).

"There is therefore no condemnation." The "no" is emphatic. It signifies there is no condemnation whatever. No condemnation from the law, or on account of inward corruption, or because Satan can substantiate a charge against me; there is none from any source or for any cause at all. "No condemnation" means that none at all is possible; that none ever will be. There is no condemnation because there is no accusation (see 8:33), and there can be no accusation because there is no imputation of sin (see 4:8).

"There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." When treating of the conflict between the two natures in the believer the apostle had, in the previous chapter, spoken of himself in his own person, in order to show that the highest attainments in grace do no exempt from the internal warfare which he there describes. But here in 8:1 the apostle changes the number. He does not say, There is no condemnation to me, but "to those who are in Christ Jesus." This was most gracious of the Holy Spirit. Had the apostle spoken here in the singular number, we should have reasoned that such a blessed exemption was well suited to this honored servant of God who enjoyed such wondrous privileges; but could not apply to us. The Spirit of God, therefore, moved the apostle to employ the plural number here, to show that "no condemnation" is true of all in Christ Jesus.

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." To be in Christ Jesus is to be perfectly identified with Him in the judicial reckoning and dealings of God. And it is also to be one with Him as vitally united by faith. Immunity from condemnation does not depend in any way upon our "walk," but solely on our being "in Christ." "The believer is in Christ as Noah was enclosed within the ark, with the heavens darkening above him, and the waters heaving beneath him, yet not a drop of the flood penetrating his vessel, not a blast of the storm disturbing the serenity of his spirit. The believer is in Christ as Jacob was in the garment of the elder brother when Isaac kissed and blessed him. He is in Christ as the poor homicide was within the city of refuge when pursued by the avenger of blood, but who could not overtake and slay him" (Octavius Winslow, 1857). And because he is "in Christ" there is, therefore, no condemnation for him. Hallelujah!
6  Theology / Bible Study / The Bride of Christ on: April 22, 2019, 02:41:39 PM
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The Bride of Christ
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler

Here in the context of the Second Coming of Christ, believing Israel is said to make herself ready. This is in keeping with the Prophetic program insofar as the kingdom saints did not have the assurance of their salvation. Consequently, they were instructed to overcome, seek and ye shall find, endure to the end, etc. (Matt. 6:33; 24:13; I John 4,5). Surely, this cannot be said of the Church, the Body of Christ. We are not only eternally secure, we have the assurance of it. As members of His Body we are accepted in the Beloved and therefore complete in Him (Eph. 1:6; Col. 2:10).

It should also be noted that John refers to Israel as the “wife” of the Lamb. Of course, this excludes the Body of Christ as participants in this ceremony inasmuch as Paul always addresses us in the masculine gender. Christ is our Head, not our groom. But in what sense is Israel the “wife” of the Lamb if she is to be united to the Messiah in the holy bonds of matrimony? The answer lies in the law of the betrothal (Deut. 22:23-25).

In days of old, when a man and woman came together before a rabbi, they were betrothed to one another. Similar to our present day engagement, the betrothal was a binding agreement wherein the parties were actually classified husband and wife. Upon completion of the ceremony, the couple returned to their respective homes for one year. This period was to give the husband an opportunity to prepare a home for his bride-to-be. It was also to ensure that the woman had been faithful, and was not with child. Of course, it was during this time that Mary was found with child before she and Joseph had come together in the intimacy of the marriage relationship (Matt. 1:18-25).

In this regard, Christ has returned to heaven to prepare a place for His bride in the kingdom. Since this aspect of the kingdom of heaven is brought to the earth, it will be like heaven on earth. As the tribulation period runs its course, Israel will be observed to determine who among them have been faithful to the commands of Christ contained in the kingdom gospel (John 14:1-3 cf. Luke 19:11-27).

It is imperative that we glean from all of these principal passages that the marriage of the Lamb will occur on the earth when Christ returns to set up His kingdom. Following the wedding, the Apostle John was instructed to write:

“Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9).

These guests are undoubtedly the kingdom Gentiles who will be invited to enjoy the blessings of the coming Golden Age (Matt. 25:31-46; Luke 14:15-24).

THE BRIDE AND PAUL’S EPISTLES

It is essential that the reader keep in mind that the Church, the Body of Christ was hid in God from ages and generations past. Thus with the advent of the administration of Grace a number of new metaphors are applied to the Church, such as: Body, stewards, ambassadors, etc. Some seem to think that Paul does, indeed, speak of us as the Bride of Christ in Ephesians 5. But they have failed to distinguish between Paul’s usage of a metaphor and a simile. A well-respected theologian from the turn of the century writes:

“The confounding of the Church as the Bride in Ephesians 5, has resulted from not seeing the Figure of Speech used throughout the passage is that of Simile, and not Metaphor: `Metaphor’ places one thing for another. It is representation. `Simile’ is but resemblance. We must therefore not say when comparing one thing with another that that one thing is another. Observe the continued comparison between Christ and the Church of His Body, and the conduct of wives and husbands. Note the presence of simile in every instance, and the absence of metaphor.”

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, AS UNTO THE LORD” (vs. 22).

“For the husband is the head of the wife, even AS CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH” (vs. 23).

“Husbands, love your wives even AS CHRIST ALSO LOVED THE CHURCH, and gave Himself for it” (vs. 25).

“For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even AS THE LORD THE CHURCH” (vs. 29).

So then, the apostle by using a simile instead of a metaphor is desiring to show the resemblance between the marriage relationship and Christ and His Church. Paul points to the love relationship to demonstrate that “as Christ loved the Church,” husbands should love their wives. In like manner, wives are to emulate the Church by submitting to their own husbands. Nowhere in the portion under consideration does the apostle use the metaphor of a bride. In fact, just the opposite is true: “…and He is the Savior of the BODY” (vs. 23). “For we are members of His BODY, of His flesh, and of His bones” (vs. 30).

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you AS A CHASTE VIRGIN TO CHRIST” (II Cor. 11:2).

Insofar as the Corinthians had a propensity to live carelessly, the apostle again uses the marriage relationship to show the importance of living a godly life in Christ Jesus. Marriages are built on trust, fidelity, purity of heart and life. Paul was challenging the Corinthians to be faithful to the one who called them into His grace. We should add that since the apostle uses the pronoun “you” in this context it would seem to indicate that he was merely addressing this local assembly of believers, and not the whole Body of Christ. Paul had founded this assembly and naturally had a godly jealously over them as their spiritual father. Of course, we would do well to heed the apostle’s admonition lest we too follow in the footsteps of the Corinthians.

It is our firm conviction that the Body of Christ is not the Bride, the Lamb’s wife. We believe to teach otherwise is to bring a kingdom truth into the Body of Christ where it is not only unnatural, but a forced interpretation. May God in His grace give us a Berean spirit to study to see if these things are so. AMEN!
7  Theology / Bible Study / The Bride of Christ on: April 22, 2019, 02:40:25 PM
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The Bride of Christ
by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


As we plow through mountains of correspondence here at the Berean Bible Society, there is often a recurring theme. Of late, many have been inquiring as to whether or not the Body of Christ is the Bride of Christ. We have always taken this to be the leading of the Holy Spirit since these letters come from different parts of the country, indeed, the world. If the ministry has taught us one thing, it is this: Birds of a feather flock together! In other words, if one has a question of this sort others are normally standing in the shadows pondering the same thing.

Although the Bride of Christ falls under the classification of a “secondary issue” the very nature of the subject has a profound effect on how certain passages are interpreted. Through the years, Pastor Stam and I have been in about 85 percent agreement when it comes to rightly dividing the Word of truth. However, one area that we have never seen eye to eye on is the issue under consideration. Brother Stam believes that the Body of Christ is numbered with the company of believers commonly known as the Bride of Christ. We have had a number of spirited discussions on the matter, all of which ended in the old “Mexican standoff.” There were times as we left the room together, he would chuckle and exclaim, “Paul, some day you will see the light!”

Mindful of whom I was discussing these eternal issues with, I have weighed the evidence very carefully under the microscope of Paul’s gospel. After bringing everything into focus, I am more convinced than ever that the Body of Christ is not the Bride, the Lamb’s wife. To me it seems terribly inconsistent to make distinction after distinction between Israel and the Church and then turn around and say that they are one in the same, that is, the Bride of Christ. Of course, some teach that the “Body” is the Bride, not Israel, but this is simply not supported by the facts. One thing is clear in this discussion: the opinions of men are inconsequential in view of the eternal question, “What saith the Scriptures?”

WORDS AND PHRASES

In our quest to rightly divide the Word of truth certain “words” and “phrases” are identified with the Prophetic program while others are associated with the Mystery. Interestingly, the “Bride of Christ” is an unscriptural phrase that is foreign to both programs of God. It is merely a theological expression that originated in the futile mind of man to describe those who will be present at the marriage of the Lamb preceding the kingdom (Rev. 19:7-9). The exact phrase used in prophecy is only found in the Apocalypse where one of the seven angels said to John: “Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife” (Rev. 21:9).

The terms “bride,” “Lamb,” and “wife” (in relation to the marriage of the Lamb) are woven throughout the pages of prophecy. For example: “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom” (John 3:29 cf. Jer. 2:32). “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29 cf. Isa. 53:7). “…for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7 cf. Isa. 54:4-7).

One will search in vain to find any of this terminology in St. Paul’s epistles. In fact, Paul frequently makes reference to Christ as Savior, Lord and Head, but he never speaks of Him as the Lamb of God and for good reason. In prophecy, God had graciously imparted the sacrificial system which foreshadowed the once-for-all sacrifice. Thus, Christ was the sinless, spotless Lamb of God who satisfied the righteous demands of the law. He was consistently portrayed as the innocent victim--a lamb being led to the slaughter (Lev. 4:32-35; Isa. 53:3-8). With the introduction of a new dispensation, Christ is portrayed in a completely different light by the Apostle Paul. Today, He is the Lord of glory, the mighty victor who has conquered sin through His death and resurrection (I Cor. 2:8; 15:20-23).

THE BRIDE IN PROPHECY

Who is the Bride of the Lamb? Thankfully, we do not have to rely upon our own human reasoning for an answer to this perplexing question. The Scriptures are explicitly clear that the “Bride” is Israel. When John the Baptist was asked why all men sought the Master and his ministry was fading in glory, he responded: “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:29,30).

Working in reverse order, clearly the “friend of the bridegroom” is John the Baptist. John says that it was cause for rejoicing upon hearing the voice of the bridegroom. “…this my [John the Baptist’s] joy therefore is fulfilled.” The “bridegroom” is none other than Christ Himself. In the previous verse John stated that he was “…not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him” (vs. 28). He then confirms this by applying the illustration of the bridegroom. John was merely the forerunner to prepare the way for the Messiah. Hence, “He [Christ] must increase, but I [John] must decrease” (vs. 30).

Bearing in mind that the gospel according to John is a record of the earthly ministry of Christ, the “bride” is obviously Israel. John the Baptist plainly declares in this record: “And I knew Him not: but that He should be made manifest to ISRAEL, therefore am I come baptizing with water” (John 1:31). Did not our Lord instruct His disciples to “Go not into the way of the Gentiles….But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of ISRAEL”? (Matt. 10:5,6). Did not our Lord say concerning Himself at that time: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of ISRAEL”? (Matt. 15:24).

Moving farther along in the gospel according to Matthew, we have the parable of the ten virgins (Matt. 25:1-13). Here we learn that only believing Israel will participate in the actual marriage of the Lamb. You will recall that there were five wise virgins and five foolish. When the bridegroom delayed his coming the lamps of the unwise virgins ran out of oil as they slumbered. Therefore, the five foolish virgins, representative of the unsaved, were unprepared when the midnight cry came “Behold, the bridegroom cometh!” While they went to purchase oil, the Bridegroom came “…and they [five saved virgins] that were ready went in with him to the marriage” (vs. 10). In addition, this portion teaches us that the marriage will take place when our Lord returns in His glory at the close of the Great Tribulation (vs. 13).

The above is confirmed by the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation.

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Rev. 19:7,8).
8  Theology / Bible Study / He That Is Spiritual on: April 22, 2019, 02:38:16 PM
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He That Is Spiritual
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


    “He that is spiritual judgeth [discerneth] all things, yet he himself is judged [discerned] of no man” (I Cor. 2:15).

The truly spiritual man is so far above the wisest sages of this world, yes, so far above the mass of Christians with whom he comes into contact, that he can understand them, but they can never quite understand him.

We should all long to be truly spiritual, but what is true spirituality?

In the Pauline Epistles the human race is divided, by the Spirit, into four classes: the natural man, the babe in Christ, the carnal Christian, and the spiritual Christian.

All four of these are referred to in one passage of Scripture (I Cor. 2:14–3:4) and it should be noted that they are classified according to their ability to appreciate and assimilate “the things of God” as revealed in His Word.

Through diligent, prayerful study of the Word, and with a sincere desire to obey it, the spiritual man has come to know God and the Lord Jesus Christ more and more intimately. Babes in Christ and carnal believers about him cannot “discern” him, simply because they have not come to know God as he. But he, having grown to spiritual maturity, quite understands them. He is among those of whom it is written:

    “But strong meat [solid food] belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5:14).
9  Theology / Bible Study / The Mighty Power Of God on: April 22, 2019, 02:36:50 PM
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The Mighty Power Of God
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In 1866 Alfred Nobel invented an explosive made of nitroglycerin absorbed in a porous material. It was by far the most powerful explosive that had so far been invented.

When Nobel and his friends saw what his invention could do, and had to decide on a name, they sought for the strongest possible word for power — in any language. The word they finally chose was the Greek word dunamis, from which our word dynamite is derived.

This word, in Greek also the strongest word for power, is used again and again in the New Testament and is generally translated simply “power”.

When our Lord wrought miracles, for example, St. Luke testifies that “the POWER [dunamis] of the Lord was present to heal” (Luke 5:17). In promising His apostles that they too would work miracles, He said: “Ye [shall] be endued with POWER [dunamis] from on high”(Luke 24:49).

When the Sadducees questioned the resurrection, Jesus answered: “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the POWER [dunamis] of God” (Matt.22:29), and St. Paul declares that Christ was “declared to be the Son of God with POWER [dunamis]…by the resurrection from the dead”(Rom.1:4).

Using this same word, Paul, by inspiration, declares that “the gospel of Christ…is THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION, to every one that believeth…” (Rom. 1:16). This is because, according to this gospel, or good news, “CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS”, and “THE PREACHING OF THE CROSS”, he says, is to believers “THE POWER OF GOD”(ICor.1:18).

But not only are believers saved by the power of God; they are “KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD” (IPet. 1:5). Indeed, the adjective of this same word “dunamis” is used in Hebrews 7:25, where we read that the Lord Jesus Christ is “ABLE…TO SAVE…TO THE UTTERMOST [THOSE] THAT COME UNTO GOD BY HIM”. Thus the Bible uses the very strongest word for power to show how secure is the salvation of those who trust in Christ.
10  Entertainment / Poetry/Prose / The diamond in that ring! on: April 22, 2019, 02:33:46 PM
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The diamond in that ring!

(Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)

The whole of Scripture is but one entire love-letter, all written in golden letters, dispatched from the Lord Christ to His beloved spouse on earth. In it, there is so much to be read of . . .
  the love of Christ,
  the heart of Christ,
  the kindness of Christ,
  the grace of Christ, and
  the glory of Christ,
that a holy heart cannot but love, and embrace, and endeavor to conform to every line.

The whole Word of God is a field--and Christ is the treasure which is hidden in that field!

The whole Word of God is a ring of gold--and Christ is the diamond in that ring!

"The Scriptures point to Me!" John 5:39
11  Entertainment / Poetry/Prose / Kisses! on: April 22, 2019, 02:32:11 PM
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Kisses!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth!" Song of Solomon 1:2

Let us seek the same desires after our Lord, as those which glowed in the heart of the elect spouse.

How bold is her love! See how she leaps at once to Him--there are no prefatory words; she does not even mention His name; she is in the heart of her theme at once, for she speaks of Him who was the only "Him" in the world to her!

It was much condescension which permitted the weeping penitent to anoint His feet with spikenard.
It was rich love which allowed the gentle Mary to sit at His feet and learn of Him.
But here love--strong, fervent love, aspires to higher tokens of regard and more intimate fellowship.

Esther trembled in the presence of king Ahasuerus; but here the spouse in joyful liberty of perfect love, knows no fear. If we have received the same loving spirit--we also may ask the like kisses.

By "kisses" we suppose to be intended those varied manifestations of affection by which the believer is made to enjoy the love of Jesus.

The kiss of reconciliation we enjoyed at our conversion, and it was as sweet as honey dropping from the comb.

The kiss of acceptance is still warm on our brow, as we know that He has accepted us through His rich grace.

The kiss of daily communion is that which we pant after to be repeated day after day
--until it is changed into the kiss of reception, which removes the soul from earth,
and the kiss of consummation which fills it with the joy of Heaven!

Faith is the road--but communion with Jesus is the well from which the pilgrim drinks.

O Lover of our souls, do not be distant to us.
Let the lips of Your blessing--meet the lips of our asking!
Let the lips of Your fullness--touch the lips of our need, and straightway the kiss will be effected!
12  ChristiansUnite and Announcements / ChristiansUnite and Announcements / The Patriot Post Digest 4-22-2019 on: April 22, 2019, 02:29:02 PM
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NO MORE IRAN-OIL PRIVILEGES: “The United States on Monday said it will eliminate in May all waivers granted to eight economies allowing them to buy Iranian oil without facing U.S. sanctions, as it ratcheted up pressure to choke off all oil revenues of the Islamic Republic. … The sanctions were imposed as Washington pressed Iran to curtail its nuclear program and stop backing militant proxies across the Middle East. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday reiterated that Washington’s goal was to bring down exports of Iranian oil to zero and added the United States had no plans to give any grace period beyond May 1 for countries to comply.” (Reuters23)
NO JOKE: UKRAINE ELECTS COMEDIAN: “Increasingly, voters are plumping for reality-TV stars to express their anger and seek solutions to intractable problems. Donald Trump … is the most obvious example. But look at Ukraine: This nation of 44 million people just saw a comedian who plays a fictional Ukrainian president on TV win 73 percent of the vote and become … the president-elect.” (National Review24)
NOW DRIVING THE IMPEACHMENT BANDWAGON: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) became the first 2020 presidential candidate to call for the initiation of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump on Friday, calling it the ‘constitutional duty’ of Congress following the findings of the Robert Mueller report. Warren sent out a series of tweets Friday afternoon saying the partially redacted Mueller report released Thursday had laid out the facts of Russian interference in the 2016 election and wrote Trump ‘obstructed the investigation into that attack.’ There was no other recourse for his actions than impeachment, she said.” (The Washington Free Beacon25)
NINTH CIRCUS BOWS AGAIN TO SANCTUARY CITIES: “The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals discarded the Trump administration’s attempt to block two of California’s sanctuary laws and determined Thursday that the laws, which restrict local cooperation with federal law enforcement, will remain in place. … The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals did block a portion of a third sanctuary city law that was passed in 2017, known as Assembly Bill 103. The court blocked part of the law requires state officials to examine federal immigration detention facilities in California.” (Washington Examiner26)
BORDER MILITIAMEN APPREHENDED: “The FBI on Saturday said it had arrested Larry Hopkins, the leader of an armed group that is stopping undocumented migrants after they cross the U.S.-Mexico border into New Mexico. … Hopkins, 69, also known as Johnny Horton, was arrested in Sunland Park, New Mexico, on a federal complaint charging him with being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. … The [United Constitutional Patriots] describes itself as a ‘patriot group’ helping U.S. Border Patrol cope with record numbers of Central American families crossing the border to seek asylum.” (Reuters27)
HUMOR: Trump awards self the Presidential Medal of Not Committing Crimes (The Babylon Bee28)
POLICY: This Earth Day, thank America: The world leader in clean air (Washington Examiner29)
POLICY: The perversion of the Endangered Species Act (RealClearPolicy30)
For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights31.

https://patriotpost.us/articles/62529-monday-top-news-executive-summary


OPINION IN BRIEF

Jeff Jacoby: “Neither the administration nor its bitterest foes come out of this looking good. The special counsel’s report confirms that Trump and many in his circle are brazen grifters, and that he is a president devoid of honor or integrity. At the same time, the media wing of the anti-Trump ‘resistance,’ which spent two years promoting the false narrative that Trump colluded with Russia to steal an election, has wrecked whatever remained of its reputation for objectivity. It is abundantly clear that Mueller looked, and looked hard, for the ‘corrupt intent’ that would justify a finding of criminality. It is just as clear that he couldn’t find it. Donald Trump’s future will not be decided by the Justice Department. The Mueller report’s bottom line … is another way of saying that the president’s fate lies in the realm of politics, not prosecutors. … In the end [Mueller] proved only that the president elected in 2016 is an obnoxious loudmouth. That isn’t grounds for impeachment. The Mueller report means that Trump’s presidency is safe through 2020. What happens after that is in the voters’ hands.”


SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “No arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.” —Ronald Reagan

Upright: “The fact that no crime is found does not mean the underlying conduct merits our endorsement. It is common sense that we can conclude the president did not handle each of the ten incidents in a way we find admirable, and at the same time agree that the president’s conduct was not felonious. Common sense is in short supply, though.” —Andrew McCarthy

Braying Jackass: “We would not be surprised if some headline writer somewhere came up … with ‘Baghdad Bill Barr’ for what we saw [last week].” —MSNBC’s Brian Williams, who no doubt witnessed the collusion firsthand

Non compos mentis: “Democrats have to first call these [pro-life] bills what they are, which are forced-pregnancy bills. But we also have to acknowledge that access to abortion is part of reproductive health and therefore it’s part of reproductive justice. Particularly for African-American women, our lack of access to a full range of reproductive choices limits our ability to not only determine our families but it also harms our ability to engage in the economy.” —Stacey Abrams

Braying Jenny: “Sometimes you spend weekends with divorced dad. That feels like it’s fun but then you get sick. That’s what America’s going through. We’re kinda living with divorced dad.” —Michelle Obama

A solid strategy! “I want you all to shut [ICE] down. We can shut them down. Don’t wait for this Congress to act. Shut ‘em down. I know what they’re gonna say. They’ll go, 'What do you mean, Rashida?’ Well I’ll tell you. There are some people that are using hunger strike [sic], all these other things, going to the border, and I plan to.” —Rep. Rashida Tlaib

Assault rifles already are on the table: “As somebody who is very familiar from my military training with weapons of war, somebody who carried a rifle and a pistol around a foreign land on order of the president, [I think] there are some weapons that just don’t belong in our neighborhoods in peace time in America. We’ve already decided that this is within the Second Amendment because we’ve decided that somewhere in between a slingshot and a nuclear weapon, we can draw a line. And that’s not unconstitutional; it’s common sense. And that’s why I think assault rifles need to be on the table too.” —Pete Buttigieg

And last… “Christians are murdered by Muslims far, far, far more than the reverse. Yet ‘Islamophobia’ is a common term while you hardly hear anything about ‘Christophobia.’ Why do you think that is?” —Matt Walsh

https://patriotpost.us/articles/62527-monday-short-cuts


Join our editors and staff in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families. We also humbly ask prayer for your Patriot team, that our mission would seed and encourage the spirit of Liberty in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher
13  ChristiansUnite and Announcements / ChristiansUnite and Announcements / The Patriot Post Digest 4-22-2019 on: April 22, 2019, 02:27:07 PM
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The Patriot Post® · Mid-Day Digest
Apr. 22, 2019
https://patriotpost.us/digests/62535-mid-day-digest

THE FOUNDATION

“And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep for ever.” —Thomas Jefferson (1781)

https://patriotpost.us/fqd/62531-founders-quote-daily

IN TODAY’S EDITION

Nearly 300 murdered by Islamofascists in Sri Lanka.1
Dems and their Leftmedia mouthpieces are desperate to save the narrative.2
Daily Features: More Analysis3, Columnists4, Headlines5, Opinion in Brief6, Short Cuts7, Memes8, and Cartoons9.

IN BRIEF

Christians Persecuted by Islamists Worldwide10

As worshippers gathered at three churches in separate cities in Sri Lanka to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ11 on the most holy day of the Christian calendar, several radical Islamist suicide bombers sent many Christians to meet their risen Savior. In a very profound sense, we take comfort in knowing those souls received a beautiful and eternal reward after they suffered for their faithfulness — just as Christ warned his followers would happen. Another three attacks were perpetrated at Sri Lankan hotels, along with another at a banquet hall, and still another at a home raided by police. A van detonated Monday outside one of the churches, as police attempted to defuse several bombs. All told, at least 290 people were murdered in these coordinated attacks, including several Americans, and more than 500 were wounded and now must deal with their injuries and grief.

As for the Islamofascist bombers who thought they’d receive their reward and 72 virgins … well, let’s just say they’re experiencing something else this morning.

Compounding the tragedy, the Associated Press reports, “Sri Lankan officials failed to heed warnings from intelligence agencies about the threat of an attack by a domestic radical Muslim group that officials blame for Easter Sunday bombings which killed more than 200 people, the country’s health minister said Monday. The coordinated bombings that ripped through churches and luxury hotels were carried out by seven suicide bombers from a militant group named National Thowfeek Jamaath, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.”

It shouldn’t be surprising that so many in the West are refusing to focus on what this is — a radical Islamist attack primarily on Christians. Instead we get bromides about “Easter worshippers” from the likes of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. When attacks are perpetrated by other ideologues (white supremacists) or target other particular victims (homosexuals), these same folks play up the identity elements. Not so with Christian victims, despite the fact that Christians are far more persecuted around the world12 than virtually any other group.

In fact, hundreds upon hundreds of Christians have been murdered for their faith already this year in attacks around the world. But with the Leftmedia avoiding reporting most of these deaths, and with prominent leftists avoiding even the word “Christian” — especially when the perpetrators are adherents to the Religion of Peace™ — one could be forgiven for getting the sense that Christians just aren’t a favored victim group. Jesus did say, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.”

We in our humble shop offer our prayers for the loved ones of the victims, many of whom are our brothers and sisters in the faith.

https://patriotpost.us/articles/62528-christians-persecuted-by-islamists-worldwide


Dems & Leftmedia Desperate to Save Anti-Trump Narrative13

One of the biggest problems with a lie is its nature to breed more lies. This reality has been on full display following the release of Robert Mueller’s report14. With Attorney General William Barr’s original four-page executive summary of the report, which accurately summarized Mueller’s conclusion that there was no evidence of any Trump/Russia collusion while leaving undecided the question of whether Trump obstructed the investigation, Democrats quickly cried foul and demanded to see the full report, claiming that Barr was hiding something.

The first big lie, propagated by the fallacious and salacious Christopher Steele anti-Trump dossier (paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign), was that President Donald Trump colluded with the Russian to win the election. Remember it was the Leftmedia that first published the Steele dossier without ever verifying its credibility, helping to foment the collusion narrative. Conveniently, only now is The New York Times willing to throw out the dossier as complete junk. It served its purpose, effectively allowing the Leftmedia and Democrats to throw enough shade on Trump to justify the demands for a special investigation.

Then for two years, Democrats and their Leftmedia cohorts preached incessantly that Mueller was about to unearth evidence of Trump’s nefarious Russian connections. However, as it became increasingly apparent that there was no evidence to support the collusion narrative, Democrats pivoted and moved the goalposts, claiming that Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice due to his loud and repeated objections to Mueller’s “witch hunt.” Big lie number two.

Last Thursday, as he promised, Barr released Mueller’s full report15, with the appropriate redactions. And it quickly became apparent that Democrat claims that Barr was hiding damning information were completely unfounded and untrue. Barr’s executive summary was entirely accurate, and yet, due to the redactions, the Democrats continued to lob their vacuous assertions of Barr stumping for Trump. Furthermore, the fact that Mueller was inconclusive on the question of whether Trump engaged in any obstruction of justice was “evidence” enough for Democrats to double down on their “obstruction” narrative. House Democrats are calling for more investigations into the “damning evidence.” Big lie number three.

Once again, the Democrat and Leftmedia aim could not be more clear: Do everything possible to paint a false narrative as credible in their effort to convince the American people that Trump should not be in office. This is a classic demonstration in dirty politics. By begging the question of Trump’s guilt, Democrats and the Leftmedia feel free to foment any false and misleading narrative against him. The reality is Democrats are only serving to expose the depth of their desperation to discredit a duly elected president.

https://patriotpost.us/articles/62530-dems-and-leftmedia-desperate-to-save-anti-trump-narrative


ON OUR WEBSITE TODAY

Featured Analysis: Dallas DA Elevates Social Justice Over the Rule of Law16 — He announces his office “will not prosecute theft of personal items less than $750.”
Earth Day 201917 — It’s no small irony that Nelson founded “Earth Day” on the centenary of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s birthday.
Grassroots Perspective: Abortion Mills Target Blacks18 — But two recent pro-life movies are shedding light on a very dark industry.
Humor Video: Remy’s Old Town Road19 — With roads in disrepair, Mayor Remy addresses his city’s most pressing need.
Video: Do Victims Have a Right to Self-Defense?20 — If a woman buys a gun, some claim the abusive man is more likely to use it on her.

TOP NEWS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

SCOTUS TACKLES CITIZENSHIP QUESTION: “The battle over the Trump administration’s efforts to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 census is hitting the Supreme Court. The justices will hear arguments on Tuesday over the administration adding the question, a controversial move that has sparked legal battles throughout the U.S. court system. The Commerce Department, which administers the census, is expected to argue that it has the authority to collect data on citizenship and that the question is needed to help with the Justice Department’s enforcement of the Voting Rights Act.” (The Hill22)
14  Theology / Bible Prescription Shop / THE SCRIPTURES AND LOVE on: April 20, 2019, 04:22:02 PM
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From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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THE SCRIPTURES AND LOVE

Arthur Pink, 1932

Love for the brethren is far, far more than finding agreeable the society of those whose temperaments are similar to or whose views accord with my own. It pertains not to mere nature, but is a spiritual and supernatural thing. It is the heart being drawn out to those in whom I perceive something of Christ. Thus it is very much more than a party spirit; it embraces all in whom I can see the image of God’s Son. It is, therefore, a loving them for Christ’s sake, for what I see of Christ in them. It is the Holy Spirit within attracting and alluring me with Christ indwelling my brethren and sisters. Thus real Christian love is not only a Divine gift, but is altogether dependent upon God for its invigoration and exercise. We need to pray daily that the Holy Spirit will call forth into action and manifestation, toward both God and His people, that love which He has shed abroad in our hearts.

5. We profit from the Word when we rightly exercise Christian love. This is done, not by seeking to please our brethren and ingratiate ourselves in their esteem, but when we truly seek their highest good. "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments" (1 John 5:2). What is the real test of my personal love to God Himself? It is my keeping of His commandments (see John 14:15,21,24; 15:10,14). The genuineness and strength of my love to God are not to be measured by my words, nor by the lustiness with which I sing His praises, but by my obedience to His Word. The same principle holds good in my relations with my brethren.

"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep His commandments." If I am glossing over the faults of my brethren and sisters, if I am walking with them in a course of self-will and self-pleasing, then I am not "loving" them. "You shall not hate your brother in your heart: you shall in any wise rebuke your neighbor, and not suffer sin upon him" (Lev. 19:17). Love is to be exercised in a Divine way, and never at the expense of my failing to love God; in fact, it is only when God has His proper place in my heart that spiritual love can be exercised by me toward my brethren. True spiritual love does not consist in gratifying them, but in pleasing God and helping them; and I can only help them in the path of God’s commandments.

Petting and pampering one another is not brotherly love; exhorting one another to press forward in the race that is set before us, and speaking words (enforced by the example of our daily walk) which will encourage them to "look off unto Jesus," would be much more helpful. Brotherly love is a holy thing, and not a fleshly sentiment or a loose indifference as to the path we are treading. God’s "commandments" are expressions of His love, as well as of His authority, and to ignore them, even while seeking to be kindly affectioned one to another, is not "love" at all. The exercise of love is to be in strict conformity to the revealed will of God. We are to love "in the truth" (3 John 1).

6. We profit from the Word when we are taught the varied manifestations of Christian love. To love our brethren and manifest the love in all kinds of ways is our bounden duty. But at no point can we do this more truly and effectually, and with less affectation and ostentation, than by having fellowship with them at the throne of grace. There are brethren and sisters in Christ in the four corners of the earth, about the details of whose trials and conflicts, temptations and sorrows, I know nothing; yet I can express my love for them, and pour out my heart before God on their behalf, by earnest supplication and intercession. In no other way can the Christian more manifest his affectionate regard toward his fellow-pilgrims than by using all his interests in the Lord Jesus in their behalf, in-treating His mercies and favors unto them.

"Whoever has this world’s good, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his affections of compassion from him, how dwells the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:17,18). Many of God’s people are very poor in this world’s goods. Sometimes they wonder why it is so; it is a great trial to them. One reason why the Lord permits this is that others of His Saints may have their compassion drawn out and minister to their temporal needs from the abundance with which God has furnished them. Real love is intensely practical: it considers no office too mean, no task too humbling, where the sufferings of a brother can be relieved. When the Lord of love was here upon earth, He had thought for the bodily hunger of the multitude and the comfort of His disciples" feet!

But there are some of the Lord’s people so poor that they have very little indeed to share with others. What, then, may they do? Why, make the spiritual concerns of all the saints their own; interest themselves on their behalf at the throne of grace! We know by our own cases and circumstances what the feelings, sorrows, and complaints of other saints must be the subjects of. We know from sad experience how easy it is to give way to a spirit of discontent and murmuring. But we also know how, when we have cried unto the Lord for His quieting hand to be laid upon us, and when He has brought some precious promise to our remembrance, what peace and comfort have come to our heart. Then let us beg Him to be equally gracious to all His distressed saints. Let us seek to make their burdens our own, and weep with those who weep, as well as rejoice with those who rejoice. Thus shall we express real love for their people in Christ by entreating their Lord and our Lord to remember them with everlasting kindness.

This is how the Lord Jesus is now manifesting His love to His saints: "He ever lives to make intercession for them" (Heb. 7:25). He makes their cause and care His own. He is entreating the Father on their behalf. None is forgotten by Him: every lone sheep is borne upon the heart of the Good Shepherd. Thus, by expressing our love to the brethren in daily prayers for the supply of their varied needs, we are brought into fellowship with our great High Priest. Not only so, but the saints will be endeared to us thereby: our very praying for them as the beloved of God will increase our love and esteem for them as such. We cannot carry them on our hearts before the throne of grace without cherishing in our own hearts a real affection for them. The best way of overcoming a bitter spirit to a brother who has offended is to be much in prayer for him.

7. We profit from the Word when we are taught the proper cultivation of Christian love. We suggest two or three rules for this. First, recognizing at the outset that just as there is much in you (in me) which will severely try the love of the brethren, so there will not be a little in them to test our love. "Forbearing one another in love" (Eph. 4:3) is a great admonition on this subject which each of us needs to lay to heart. It is surely striking to note that the very first quality of spiritual love named in 1 Corinthians 13 is that it "suffers long" (verse 4).

Second, the best way to cultivate any virtue or grace is to exercise it. Talking and theorizing about it avails nothing unless it be carried into action. Many are the complaints heard today about the littleness of the love which is being manifested in many places: that is all the more reason why I should seek to be a better example! Suffer not the coldness and unkindness of others to dampen your love, but "overcome evil with good" (Romans 12:21). Prayerfully ponder 1 Corinthians 13 at least once a week.

Third, above all, see to it that your own heart basks in the light and warmth of God’s love. Like begets like. The more you are truly occupied with the unwearying, unfailing, unfathomable love of Christ to you, the more will your heart be drawn out in love to those who are His. A beautiful illustration of this is found in the fact that the particular apostle who wrote most upon brotherly love was he who leaned upon the Master’s bosom. The Lord grant all requisite grace to both reader and writer (than whom none more needs to heed them) to observe these rules, to the praise of the glory of His grace, and to the good of His beloved people.
15  Theology / Bible Prescription Shop / THE SCRIPTURES AND LOVE on: April 20, 2019, 04:20:29 PM
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________


THE SCRIPTURES AND LOVE

Arthur Pink, 1932


In earlier chapters we have sought to point out some of the ways by which we may ascertain whether or not our reading and searching of the Scriptures are really being blessed to our souls. Many are deceived on this matter, mistaking an eagerness to acquire knowledge for a spiritual love of the Truth (2 Thess. 2:10), and assuming that addition to their store of learning is the same thing as growth in grace. A great deal depends upon the end or aim we have before us when turning to God’s Word. If it be simply to familiarize ourselves with its contents and become better versed in its details, it is likely that the garden of our souls will remain barren; but if with the prayerful desire to be rebuked and corrected by the Word, to be searched by the Spirit, to conform our hearts to its holy requirements, then we may expect a Divine blessing.

In the preceding chapters we have endeavored to single out the vital things by which we may discover what progress we are making in personal godliness. Various criteria have been given, which it becomes both writer and reader honestly to measure themselves by. We have pressed such tests as: Am I acquiring a greater hatred of sin, and a practical deliverance from its power and pollution? Am I obtaining a deeper acquaintance with God and His Christ? Is my prayer-life healthier? Are my good works more abundant? Is my obedience fuller and gladder? Am I more separated from the world in my affections and ways? Am I learning to make a right and profitable use of God’s promises, and so delighting myself in Him that His joy is my daily strength? Unless I can truthfully say that these are (in some measure) my experience, then it is greatly to be feared that my study of the Scriptures is profiting me little or nothing.

It hardly seems fitting that these chapters should be concluded until one has been devoted to the consideration of Christian love. The extent to which this spiritual grace is, or is not, being cultivated and regulated affords another index to the measure in which my perusal of God’s Word is helping me spiritually. No one can read the Scriptures with any measure of attention without discovering how much they have to say about love, and therefore it behooves each one of us prayerfully and carefully to ascertain whether or not his or her love be really a spiritual one, and whether it be in a healthy state and is being exercised aright.

The subject of Christian love is far too comprehensive to consider all its varied phases within the compass of a single chapter. Properly we should begin with contemplating the exercise of our love toward God and His Christ, but as this has been at least touched upon in preceding chapters we shall now waive it. Much too, might be said about the natural love which we owe to our fellow-men, who belong to the same family as we do, but there is less need to write on that theme than on what is now before our mind. Here we propose to confine our attention to spiritual love to the brethren, the brethren of Christ.

1. We profit from the Word when we perceive the great importance of Christian love. Nowhere is this brought out more emphatically than in 1 Corinthians chapter 13. There the Holy Spirit tells us that though a professing Christian can speak fluently and eloquently upon Divine things, if he has not love, he is like metal, which, though it makes a noise when struck, is lifeless. That though he can prophesy, understand all mysteries and knowledge, and has faith which brings miracles to pass, yet if he be lacking in love, he is spiritually a nonentity. Yes, that though he be so benevolent as to give all his worldly possessions to feed the poor, and yield his body to a martyr’s death, yet if he have not love, it profits him nothing. How high a value is here placed upon love, and how essential for me to make sure I possess it!

Said our Lord, "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another" (John 13:35). By Christ’s making it the badge of Christian discipleship, we see again the great importance of love. It is an essential test of the genuineness of our profession: we cannot love Christ unless we love His brethren, for they are all bound up in the same "bundle of life" (1 Samuel 25:29) with Him. Love to those whom He has redeemed is a sure evidence of spiritual and supernatural love to the Lord Jesus Himself. Where the Holy Spirit has wrought a supernatural birth, He will draw forth that nature into exercise, He will produce in the hearts and lives and conduct of the saints supernatural graces, one of which is loving all who are Christ’s for Christ’s sake.

2. We profit from the Word when we learn to detect the sad perversions of Christian love. As water will not rise above its own level, so the natural man is incapable of understanding, still less appreciating, that which is spiritual (1 Cor. 2:14). Therefore we should not be surprised when unregenerate professors mistake human sentimentality and carnal pleasantries for spiritual love. But sad it is to see some of God’s own people living on so low a plane that they confuse human amiability and affability with the queen of the Christian graces. While it is true that spiritual love is characterized by meekness and gentleness, yet is it something very different from and vastly superior to the courtesies and kindnesses of the flesh.

How many a doting father has withheld the rod from his children, under the mistaken notion that real affection for them and the chastising of them were incompatible! How many a foolish mother, who disdained all corporal punishment, has boasted that "love" rules in her home! One of the most trying experiences of the writer, in his extensive travels, has been to spend a season in homes where the children have been completely spoilt. It is a wicked perversion of the word "love" to apply it to moral laxity and parental looseness. But this same pernicious idea rules the minds of many people in other connections and relations. If a servant of God rebukes their fleshly and worldly ways, if he presses the uncompromising claims of God, he is at once charged with being "lacking in love." Oh, how terribly are multitudes deceived by Satan on this important subject!

3. We profit from the Word when we are taught the true nature of Christian love. Christian love is a spiritual grace abiding in the souls of the saints alongside faith and hope (1 Cor. 13:13). It is a holy disposition wrought in them when they are regenerated (1 John 5:1). ft is nothing less than the love of God shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 5:5). It is a righteous principle which seeks the highest good of others. It is the very reverse of that principle of self-love and self-seeking which is in us by nature. It is not only an affectionate regard of all who bear the image of Christ, but also a powerful desire to promote their welfare. It is not a fickle sentiment which is easily offended, but an abiding dynamic which "many waters" of cold indifference or "floods" of disapproval can neither quench nor drown (Song of Sol. 8:7). Though coming far short in degree it is the same in essence as His of whom we read, "Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end" (John 13:1).

There is no safer and surer way of obtaining a right conception of the nature of Christian love than by making a thorough study of its perfect exemplification in and by the Lord Jesus. When we say a "thorough study," we mean the taking of a comprehensive survey of all that is recorded of Him in the four Gospels, and not the limiting of ourselves to a few favorite passages or incidents. As this is done, we discover that His love was not only benevolent and magnanimous, thoughtful and gentle, unselfish and self-sacrificing, patient and unchanging, but that many other elements also entered into it. Love could deny an urgent request (John 11:6), rebuke His mother (John 2:4), use a whip (John 2: 15), severely upbraid His doubting disciples (Luke 24:25), and denounce hypocrites (Matt. 23:13-33). Love can be stern (Matt. 16:23), yes, angry (Mark 3 :5). Spiritual love is a holy thing: it is faithful to God; it is uncompromising toward all that is evil.

4. We profit from the Word when we discover that Christian love is a Divine communication. "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren" (1 John 3:14). "Love to the brethren is the fruit and effect of a new and supernatural birth, wrought in our souls by the Holy Spirit, as the blessed evidence of our having been chosen in Christ by the Divine Father, before the world was. To love Christ and His, and our brethren in Him, is congenial to that Divine nature He has made us the partakers of by His Holy Spirit. .. . This love of the brethren must be a peculiar love, such as none but the regenerate are the subjects of, and which none but they can exercise, or the apostle would not have so particularly mentioned it; it is such that those who have it not are in a state of unregeneracy; so it follows, "he that loves not his brother abides in death" " (S. E. Pierce).
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