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16  ChristiansUnite and Announcements / ChristiansUnite and Announcements / The Patriot Post Digest 12-5-2017 on: December 08, 2017, 12:27:34 AM
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The Patriot Post Digest 12-5-2017
From The Federalist Patriot
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His infamous Twitter account, with 44 million followers of @RealDonaldTrump and another 21.3 million followers of @POTUS, places President Donald Trump in direct contact with voters, protesters, the media, America’s allies and enemies, alike, and the public at large. So, last week, for example, when Trump “retweeted” videos showing Muslims in the United Kingdom engaged in violence and anti-social behavior that another Twitter user had shared and linked with comment, it became a global incident with the UK’s Prime Minister Theresa May. She responded defensively, condemning Trump for stoking “hatred and mistrust.”

The average American, however, saw what Trump shared: Three videos capturing Muslims assaulting people, specifically a young man on crutches in one video, and smashing a statue of the Virgin Mary in another. Elitists within the professional political world lit the prairie fire declaring racism, bigotry and division, with no comment on the actual deeds shown in the videos.

Meanwhile, following Thursday night’s shocking verdict25 in the Kate Steinle murder trial in San Francisco — a sanctuary city that released the offending illegal immigrant who’d been charged previously with seven felonies and deported from the U.S. five different times before he caused the death of an innocent American — Trump spoke directly to America and said what most Americans were thinking.

@RealDonaldTrump first posted, “A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration” the evening of the verdict. The next morning, Trump added, “His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!”

The average American read and understood the exact sentiments of logic coming from the president. The only statements dripping of racism or prejudice were coming from the mouthpieces of the Left.

There are at least two other recent evidences that Trump’s untraditional access to the public may create “chaos” for those protecting the Swamp homeostasis, but the average American hears what they’re already thinking. First is the case of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s aggressive moves to prosecute retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, who very briefly served as Trump’s national security advisor post-election and admittedly lied to the FBI for reasons still unknown to the public. As the investigation strains to unearth a single shred of evidence that candidate Donald Trump colluded with the Russians, Americans understand that those who lie to the FBI should be prosecuted. But what about the legal gymnastics performed by the FBI, Justice Department and Barack Obama to minimize the mishandling of classified documents and documented lies of Hillary Clinton for months?

Again, the average American sees the injustice of one being protected for egregious criminal behavior while the other is publicly crucified for a process crime. As Trump put it, “Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI and nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and they destroyed his life. I think it’s a shame.”

Finally, the Alabama special election for U.S. Senate provides a clear demonstration that the average American, once again, sees through the bias and hit-jobs at the hands of the press.

The March 2008 edition of the Digital Journal chronicles26 the timeline of Roy Moore’s alleged relationships with under-aged girls to be during the same time he was twice running as a Democrat for public office in Gadsden, Alabama. Yet after 38 years and multiple election cycles, these charges are just now surfacing with The Washington Post and radical leftist/feminist attorney Gloria Allred being the voices telling the folks of Alabama to vote for a pro-abortion, pro-illegal immigration, tax-and-spender because “suddenly,” their now-GOP candidate is an alleged pervert. Time will tell, but Alabamans appear ready to tell the coastal elites to stick it where the sun don’t shine.

So, there is a new normal. While President Donald Trump talks directly to the American public and governs with a pretty conservative agenda, the professional politicians and media will continue to talk to each other in breathless indignation. The Swamp Creatures and the Deep State will ferociously fight for their existence and power believing themselves to be the normal. Yet the real new normal might be “power to the people.”

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

    Defense Spending Can Be Wasteful Too31 — While the nation debates tax cuts and deficits, here’s a look from a different angle.
    Obama’s Climate Change Dogma32 — His views on man-caused climate change preclude him from conversing with those who disagree.
    ACLU Joins in Celebrating Kaepernick’s Grandstanding33 — And he’s in good company too — the ACLU also commemorated fellow communist sympathizer Jane Fonda.
    Nevada Judge: Trump Needs Convict Votes34 — In truth, statistics undermine Judge Johnson’s seemingly anti-Trump crack.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

    Rich Lowry: No, Michael Flynn Didn’t Violate the Logan Act35
    Stephen Moore: Tax Plan Is a Cut for Everyone36
    Cal Thomas: Starving the Beast37
    Gary Bauer: How Deep Is the ‘Deep State’?38
    James Shott: Some Very Odd Courtroom Occurrences39

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion40.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Stephen Moore: “[Cato scholar Chris Edwards] examined the impact of the tax bill on the average tax filer in every income group with an income above $40,000. He didn’t include people who make less than that because very few in that income range have any income tax liability — and you can’t cut taxes on people who don’t pay taxes. Edwards’ remarkable analysis showed that as family income levels go up, the percentage reduction in tax burden goes down: Lower-middle-class people — who make between $40,000 and $50,000 a year — will see a 46 percent reduction in taxes paid; people who make more than $1 million will see roughly a 7 percent reduction in taxes (again, the exact rate depends on what state they live in). By the way, the Left also leaves out another impact of the tax cut that helps the middle class: a higher stock market. Some 54 million Americans have 401(k) plans. At least another 40 million have IRAs or pension plans. Where do you think that money is invested? Americans should look at their 401(k) accounts right now. They are surging in value in anticipation of the tax cut. This has contributed to a surge of economic optimism and Christmas shopping and spending. You want to kill the economy — and Christmas? Follow Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi’s advice and kill the tax cut. That’s not likely to happen. There is a high likelihood this tax cut will be enacted before Christmas. My friend Arthur Laffer says that he hopes taxes go up for everyone next year — because Americans are going to be making a lot more money as prosperity spreads to every state. Talk about a happy New Year.”

SHORT CUTS

Insight: “The work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.” —Michael Crichton (1942-2008.)

For the record: “ABC reporter Brian Ross erroneously reported that Donald Trump, while a candidate for president, instructed Michael Flynn to make contact with Russia. … This is not the first time Ross has made an egregious error in his reporting at the expense of conservatives. After the tragic shooting at a movie theater in Aurora Colorado in 2012, Ross reported that he had connected the shooter to a Tea Party website. The report was totally false, but it demonstrates how some in the media wanted to demonize the Tea Party movement.” —Gary Bauer

Upright: “Hillary Clinton lied many times to the FBI and nothing happened to her. Flynn lied and they destroyed his life. I think it’s a shame.” —Donald Trump

Non Compos Mentis: “No, it is the end of the world. This — health care, the debate on health care — is life-death. This is Armageddon. This is a very big deal.” —Nancy Pelosi on the GOP tax bill

That’s not how impartiality works: “When journalists are attacked, journalists have to resist.” —CNN’s Jim Acosta

And last… “What I have always found particularly puzzling is that liberal females never seem to question the motives of left-wing politicians who want to see Planned Parenthood fully funded by the federal government. Doesn’t it ever occur to them that the politicians are merely looking to protect themselves from those inevitable paternity suits?” —Burt Prelutsky

Join us 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
17  ChristiansUnite and Announcements / ChristiansUnite and Announcements / The Patriot Post Digest 12-5-2017 on: December 08, 2017, 12:26:32 AM
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The Patriot Post Digest 12-5-2017
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription
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The Patriot Post® · Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 5, 2017 · https://patriotpost.us/digests/52751

IN TODAY’S EDITION

    The FBI’s impartiality is seriously questionable amidst new revelations.
    The Supreme Court rebukes activist judges.
    Average Americans hear Trump much differently than elites do.
    While we debate tax cuts, keep in mind that wasteful spending is a huge problem.
    Obama’s climate change dogma is endlessly frustrating.
    The ACLU joins in celebrating Kaepernick’s grandstanding.
    Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“In questions of power, then, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.” —Thomas Jefferson (1798.)

IN BRIEF

Deep State Obstruction1


By Nate Jackson

The FBI’s investigations into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and Donald Trump’s alleged “collusion” with Russia were far from impartial. But we already knew that. What is new is the revelation that Peter Strzok, who was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s staff earlier this year, was basically a shill for the Clinton campaign. For starters, he sent anti-Trump texts to his colleague/mistress during the investigations. His removal was reported in August; the texts were hidden until now, despite a House subpoena that should have unearthed them.

Who is Strzok? The Wall Street Journal explains2:

    This is all the more notable because Mr. Strzok was a chief lieutenant to former FBI Director James Comey and played a lead role investigating alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election. Mr. Mueller then gave him a top role in his special-counsel probe. And before all this Mr. Strzok led the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails and sat in on the interview she gave to the FBI shortly before Mr. Comey publicly exonerated her in violation of Justice Department practice.

    Oh, and the woman with whom he supposedly exchanged anti-Trump texts, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, worked for both Mr. Mueller and deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, who was accused of a conflict of interest in the Clinton probe when it came out that Clinton allies had donated to the political campaign of Mr. McCabe’s wife.

But wait; there’s more. Strzok was one of two FBI agents who interviewed Michael Flynn on Jan. 24. That would be the same Flynn who’s now guilty of lying to the FBI3. Strzok also interviewed Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills. They too lied to the FBI and … nothing happened.

As if that weren’t enough, we’ve learned that Strzok was the one responsible for editing key language in a memo by James Comey4. What Comey originally called Clinton’s “grossly negligent” behavior — language specific to the statute Clinton violated — Strzok revised to read5 “extremely careless.” That’s a clear pander to Clinton, who admitted she was “careless” but denied anything worse. The watered-down language gave Comey the needed rationale for exonerating her — you know, shortly after Bill Clinton met Loretta Lynch6 on that Phoenix tarmac.

The investigation into Trump’s supposed collusion is turning into a probe about obstruction of justice. But, between the role of the fake Clinton-funded dossier7 in getting the FBI’s investigative ball rolling in the first place and the increasingly obvious conflicts of interest and political preferences of lead investigators, it may be that the real obstruction occurred at the Bureau.

In other news, Mueller has subpoenaed8 some of Trump’s bank records, perhaps crossing a line that Trump once painted red. This could get even more interesting quickly.

SCOTUS Scolds Lower Courts9

By Thomas Gallatin

In a 7-2 decision Monday, the Supreme Court stayed a block imposed by judges in Hawaii and Maryland against Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning travel from six majority-Muslim countries, as well as North Korea and Venezuela. In its ruling SCOTUS pressed both the Fourth and Ninth Circuit Courts to expedite their decisions on challenges that have been raised against Trump’s executive order. In the meantime, the travel ban will once again go into effect without restrictions. The ban is one thing; the judicial rebuke is another, which we’ll come back to.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions responded to SCOTUS’ decision, stating, “[This is] a substantial victory for the safety and security of the American people. We are pleased to have defended this order and heartened that a clear majority Supreme Court has allowed the President’s lawful proclamation protecting our country’s national security to go into full effect. The Constitution gives the President the responsibility and power to protect this country from all threats foreign and domestic, and this order remains vital to accomplishing those goals.”

Solicitor General Noel Francisco defended the legality of and need for Trump’s order, saying, “[It is a] comprehensive, worldwide review of the information shared by foreign governments that is used to screen aliens seeking entry to the United States. Based on that review, the Proclamation adopts tailored entry restrictions to address extensive findings that a handful of particular foreign governments have deficient information-sharing and identity-management practices, or other risk factors.”

The specifics of the ban, however, are almost incidental. SCOTUS’ decision is a win for the Rule of Law that also serves as a rebuke against activist judges. The High Court rarely intervenes when appellate courts are still considering cases, but did so here because disdain for a president or his policies is not justification for judges to ignore the law.

Top Headlines10

    FBI agent fired from Russia probe oversaw Flynn interviews, softened Comey language on Clinton email actions (Fox News11)

    Collins doubles funding ask for ObamaCare bill (The Hill12)

    Democrat Rep. John Conyers announces retirement amidst sexual harassment allegations, endorses son to run for seat (CBS News13)

    Former Democrat U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown sentenced to five years in prison (The Florida Times-Union14)

    President Donald Trump shaved some two million acres from two national monuments in Utah (The Salt Lake Tribune15)

    Trump pulls United States out of UN immigration deal (The Washington Free Beacon16)

    RNC to support Roy Moore in Senate race in Alabama, weeks after cutting ties with his campaign (The Washington Post17)

    Global temperature increases are lower and slower, says new study (Reason18.)

    ABC News president: Brian Ross will no longer cover stories related to Trump (Hot Air19)

    Humor: ABC News reports Trump nuked entire world, later clarifies he just microwaved a burrito (The Babylon Bee20)

    Policy: Consumers, not government, should decide If CVS-Aetna merger is a good idea (Investor’s Business Daily21)

    Policy: America’s “flyover country” is stronger than you think (City Journal22)

For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report23.

FEATURED ANALYSIS
Listen to Trump as an Average American, Not an Elite24


By Robin Smith

Have you been hearing the breathless media complaints and the DC political apparatus gasp out the latest narrative that the “new normal” of Washington is chaos, dysfunction and distrust, all while blaming Donald Trump and his supporters?

Just last weekend, Mike Murphy, GOP strategist and former Jeb Bush employee, trumpeted on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “We’re living through the first screwball presidency in American History!” As he argued on that the “careening” in DC of an out-of-control presidency has instilled fear, he tipped his hand.

If you listened on, you heard from whence the concerns and pleadings he’s heard originate: the “professionals” who lost the November 2016 election. “The Republicans I’ve talked to privately, the professional pols, are terrified,” Murphy said. “They think there’s a chaos factor, to quote Jeb Bush who predicted all this.”

So, it’s not just Hillary Clinton and the angry Left who cannot accept failure and loss of the presidential election. Well, there’s a reason the average American abandoned the decorum and stale predictability of the quadrennial campaign to say, “You’re all fired!”

Is there a new normal? If so, is it really bad or unwanted by the average American? Let’s follow a few pieces of evidence that prove, yes, there’s a new normal. However, it’s only bad to the elitist keepers of the status quo, who have been and are being repeatedly rejected despite their polished résumés.

Is Donald Trump always right? No. Is President Trump at times a jerk? Yes. But is Trump right on policy that reflects the reasons he won — securing the southern border and reducing illegal immigration, cutting and reforming taxes, destroying the chokehold of red-tape around the necks of businesses large and small, appointing originalist judges up and down the federal court system, and halting the foreign policy and national security approach of leading from behind? Why, yes, he sure is.

So, Trump’s big offense is that he has unsettled a great number of people by brutalizing the symbolic niceties of the Swamp creatures.
18  ChristiansUnite and Announcements / ChristiansUnite and Announcements / The Patriot Post Digest 12-4-2017 on: December 08, 2017, 12:24:54 AM
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The Patriot Post Digest 12-4-2017
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription
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ABC News, feeling the blowback for Ross’ clearly biased spin, suspended the reporter for four weeks. Why didn’t they fire him? This isn’t the first instance of Ross peddling fake news. He has been responsible for several “misreports” over the years. What does it say about ABC News that they are unwilling to let go of an obviously biased and repeat offender reporter. #Resistance?

Exit quote: “My job is to hold people accountable,” Ross said, “and that’s why I agree with being held accountable myself.” Wrong. Your job is to report, as best as possible, the truth — irrespective of political ideology.

Top Headlines10

    House Republicans prepare contempt action against FBI, DOJ (Bloomberg11)

    FBI agent removed from Russia probe had key role in Clinton email investigation (Paywall — The Wall Street Journal12)

    Election law loophole let Democrats fund foreign national’s sketchy dossier against Trump (The Washington Times13)

    Fusion GPS scandal implicates media in possible pay-to-publish scheme (The Federalist14)

    After Kate Steinle verdict15, rep unveils bill to imprison officials who shelter illegal immigrants (Fox News16)

    Lawmakers seek end to taxpayer-backed sexual harassment settlements (The Hill17)

    Mexican man convicted of sexual assault was deported from U.S. 20 times (Daily Mail18.)

    HIV-positive school aide charged with sexual offenses against 42 kids — Leftmedia silent (CNS News19)

    James Levine suspended by Met Opera after accusations that he sexually abused three teen boys (Fox News20)

    NFL taking money from breast cancer, veterans funds, to pay for “social justice” settlement (The Daily Wire21)

    Policy: If a Christian baker’s rights are violated, we all lose (The Daily Signal22)

    Policy: Secretary DeVos should remind colleges of their First Amendment obligations (National Review23)

For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report24.

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

    The Media/Political Fraternity Protects Its Own28 — “Everybody knew” has been the go-to term attached to the despicable behavior of elite low-lifes.

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

    Jeff Jacoby: What the Constitution Says About Cakes and Compelled Speech29
    Kathryn Jean Lopez: Set Your Sights on Joy30
    Tony Perkins: Happy Holy Days From the Trumps31
    Todd Starnes: DC Transit Bans Christmas Messages From Catholic Church32
    Burt Prelutsky: Coming to Grips With Groping33

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion34.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Jeff Jacoby: “On Tuesday, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission — the case of the same-sex wedding cake and the baker who refused to make it. … In Obergefell, the high court emphasized that dissent is entirely legitimate. ‘Many who deem same-sex marriage to be wrong reach that conclusion based on decent and honorable religious or philosophical premises, and neither they nor their beliefs are disparaged here,’ Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion. While same-sex couples would no longer be barred from marrying, he added, nothing should impede the continuation of ‘an open and searching debate.’ Were the justices serious about that? If so — if they truly don’t want the legalization of same-sex weddings to become an excuse to persecute ‘decent and honorable’ Americans who oppose gay marriage — they will use this case to say so. They’ll reverse the decision of the Colorado courts and uphold Phillips’s right not to support a practice he believes is wrong. … One needn’t share Phillips’s opinion of gay marriage to support his right to unmolested freedom of expression. Indeed, some groups that vigorously oppose his beliefs about matrimony have filed amicus briefs on his behalf. The right to have views that others don’t share, they know, is a quintessential American liberty. And the right not to be prosecuted for expressing those opinions is another.”

SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere.”

Non Compos Mentis: “The US will soon face the consequences of a #TaxBill that takes money from the poor to give to the rich. Those who voted for it will face consequences later, when they are judged. Do you think Jesus’s words about being judged on how we care for the poor don’t apply? Think again.” —Jesuit priest James Martin (“The Bible is crystal clear on Christ’s views on the exact right American marginal tax rate, but super fuzzy on sexuality and killing babies.” —The Federalist’s Sean Davis in a sarcastic response)

Hyperbole much? “Voters fooled by propaganda and tribal hatred. Millenials: move away if you can. USA is over. We killed it.” —Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald on the GOP tax cuts

But we repeat ourselves… “Is there any going back after this #TaxBillScam? To America? Does it matter now if Trump is impeached? There’s no America now. Not the one we knew. Sorry, feeling real despair this morning.” —tax expert actor Patton Oswald

To the dark side: “ Maybe [Republicans] think that the poor have it so easy that they need to have to pay more taxes to force them to go out and work more. … It’s really akin to rape.” —Bruce Bartlett, economic adviser to Ronald Reagan and Treasury official under George H.W. Bush

Proving Republicans right out of spite: “Any tax savings that i [sic] might get from this unfair and mean spirited gop [sic] tax bill i [sic] will donate to charities to help the poor and vulnerable. Who is with me?” —ABC’s Matthew Dowd

Still chasing: “The [Senate] Judiciary Committee has an investigation going as well and it involves obstruction of justice and I think what we’re beginning to see is the putting together of a case of obstruction of justice.” —Dianne Feinstein

And last… “In a harsh and stinging rebuke, ABC News forcing Brian Ross to take a Christmas vacation and return to work after New Year’s.” —Twitter satirist @hale_razor

Join us 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
19  ChristiansUnite and Announcements / ChristiansUnite and Announcements / The Patriot Post Digest 12-4-2017 on: December 08, 2017, 12:23:43 AM
________________________________________
The Patriot Post Digest 12-4-2017
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription
________________________________________


The Patriot Post® · Mid-Day Digest

Dec. 4, 2017 · https://patriotpost.us/digests/52728

IN TODAY’S EDITION

    The Senate passed tax reform. It’s not the prettiest bill but better than the status quo.
    Flynn pleaded guilty to lying about something that wasn’t a crime. No smoking gun.
    ABC suspends Brian Ross for another episode of fake news.
    The Leftmedia and entertainment industries know how to circle the wagons.
    Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds. This forms a complete barrier against any material oppression of the citizens by taxes of this class, and is itself a natural limitation of the power of imposing them.” —Alexander Hamilton (1787)

IN BRIEF

Tax Reform: Political (Pyrrhic) Victory?1


By Nate Jackson

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, Senate Republicans managed to pass their tax reform package. It’s a “yuge” political win for both the congressional GOP and for President Donald Trump. The bill will now go to conference with the House, as both chambers have passed reform along the same broad outline and compromise before Christmas is quite doable.

There are some caveats to everything we just said, however. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) was the lone Republican “no” on the Senate’s bill; he objected to how much it would add to the deficit. We share his concerns about our national debt, but our problem2 is with the spending side of things. Meanwhile, 13 House Republicans voted against that chamber’s bill, and Democrats, who know how to march in lockstep, were unified in both House and Senate. Thus the lack of any bipartisan consensus, the rushed and opaque work outside regular order, and the middle-of-the-night vote is all somewhat reminiscent of ObamaCare. Will tax reform similarly end up as a Pyrrhic victory for the GOP? Democrats and their media mouthpieces will continue to attack it as “tax cuts for the rich at the expense of the poor,” perhaps costing the GOP control of Congress in 2018.

We’ve certainly done our share of reporting on the mixed bag of the GOP’s reform efforts3, and we’d prefer any number of different prescriptions. But politically it’s the overall perception of the bill among the electorate that will matter next year. So Republicans hope that people see through Democrats’ class warfare rhetoric, that biased realtors are wrong about the damage to home prices, and that the Keynesians are underestimating economic growth generated by more Americans keeping more of their money. Leftists are wrong, of course. For one thing, just wait until the lower corporate tax rate results in a stock market boost, adding more money to the 401(k)s of millions of American workers. The economic effect will be good, even if it could be better with policy tweaks.

In short, Republicans are hoping that far-from-perfect tax reform is better than the status quo.

Flynn’s Plea — Much Ado About Nothing?4

By Thomas Gallatin

On Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller charged Michael Flynn, former national security advisor for Donald Trump, with lying to the FBI. The charge states that Flynn “willfully and knowingly” made “false, fictitious and fraudulent” statements to the agency while it was investigating Russian election meddling. David French of National Review points out5 that “the sharp-eyed reader will note that Flynn is being charged with lying to the FBI about activity that isn’t criminal.” Flynn has pleaded guilty to the charge and has now promised full cooperation with Mueller’s investigation.

What does this mean? The mainstream media outlets are speculating that Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump directed him to “make contact with the Russians.” While the Democrats and their Leftmedia mouthpieces are wildly playing this up to be the smoking gun of Russian collusion6 they have long been clamoring about, it’s not even remotely that. The devil is in the details — or in this case the timing — if in fact Trump directed Flynn after the election and during the transition to contact the Russians. Thus, this has nothing to do with the fake collusion charges. Moreover, there was nothing illegal about Flynn’s contact with the Russians.

Responding to the news of Flynn’s plea, the White House issued the following statement:

    Today, Michael Flynn, a former National Security Advisor at the White House for 25 days during the Trump Administration, and a former Obama administration official, entered a guilty plea to a single count of making a false statement to the FBI.

    The false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year. Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn. The conclusion of this phase of the Special Counsel’s work demonstrates again that the Special Counsel is moving with all deliberate speed and clears the way for a prompt and reasonable conclusion.

So, why has Flynn been the target of both the FBI and then the Mueller investigation? Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy believes7 the answer to be threefold, hinging upon Barack Obama’s desire to handicap Trump’s ability to reverse his policies both foreign and domestic. McCarthy writes that Obama aimed to “(1) to punish Flynn, and derivatively the incoming Trump administration, for opposing Obama’s anti-Israel legerdemain in the Security Council; (2) to promote the political narrative that Russia–Trump collusion had cheated Clinton out of her rightful election victory; and (3) to tie this collusion narrative to sanctions relief, thereby making it politically impossible for Trump to roll back Obama’s sanctions once he was sworn in — a boon for the Democrats’ collusion narrative since the sanctions stand as a reminder of Russia’s election meddling.”

This latest news is reminiscent of the special counsel railroading of Scooter Libby. And this is once again a reminder that Mueller’s investigation is free to go almost anywhere. For Democrats and their cohorts in the mainstream media, the endgame is the removal of Trump, because his election victory amounted to a massive refutation by the American people of Obama and his leftist policy agenda. Refusing to stand by and allow Trump to reverse their political achievements, Democrats have essentially opted for a resistance plan that seeks what McCarthy calls the “criminalization of politics.” Hence the call by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) on Sunday for pursuing a case against Trump for obstruction of justice8.

Fake News Alert at ABC9

ABC News’ Brian Ross had a Dan Rather moment Friday. Jumping at the apparent opportunity to make a name for himself as he laid the ax at the foot of Donald Trump’s presidency, Ross erroneously reported that Michael Flynn4 had made a plea deal in Robert Mueller’s investigation to testify that candidate Trump had directed him to contact the Russians. Ah ha! The smoking gun of the Trump/Russia collusion conspiracy had finally been unearthed! … Except for the matter of one massive detail — a detail that would temporarily send the stock market into a downward spiral negatively impacting the pension funds of millions of Americans. Then came the correction. It was not “candidate” Trump, but President-elect Trump who had directed Flynn to contact the Russians.
20  Theology / Bible Prescription Shop / Water the Roots! on: December 07, 2017, 05:46:12 PM
Water the Roots!
From Timeless Grace Gems
J.R. Miller



        In these days of bustling Christian activities — is there not danger that we neglect the culture of our hearts?

        One Sabbath morning Wilberforce called upon Clarkson, and found him sitting among his papers, busily engaged upon his great emancipation from slavery schemes. He said to him, very earnestly, "Oh, Clarkson! do you ever think about your soul?" Clarkson replied, "Wilberforce, I have time to think about nothing now but these poor negroes."

        And is there not danger that many who are absorbed in schemes of benevolence, may forget to look after their own souls? Is there not the same danger in the life of every Christian pastor and Christian worker? Is not the tendency of these days, even in the church, toward the cultivation of a working religion — oftentimes to the neglect of deep heart piety?

        I have not one word to say against Christian activity. No one can do too much. But efficient activity can spring only from deep heart religion. First, sit at Jesus' feet — and then ministry will follow as naturally as the harvest follows the sowing.

        The Redeemer's own life was an example for our imitation, and never was there such a worker as he. All his energies were given out in unceasing activities. But his life had a root. He spent hours, oftentimes whole nights, in prayer. He was always full of the Holy Spirit, and went ever from silent and deep communion — to his toils among men.

        And the same is true of all the truly great workers who have ever toiled in the church. They took care of their own souls as the best and only true preparation for caring for the souls of others. Their grand developments of Christian energy were the regular outgrowths of fervent piety. They took root downwards — and bore fruit upwards. And so it must ever be. Efficient, continued, and fruitful activity can result only from a life that is hidden with Christ in God.

        What the church needs then, today, is not less Christian energy and activity — it needs more. But that it may have more — it must first have more heart-life. A Christian life can only be luxuriant and fruitful — when its roots grow in a deep soil, and receive plentiful showers of spiritual influence.

        And it is in the prayer-closet, that the roots of Christian life grow. If there is no secret prayer, no silent communion, no personal living with God — then there can be no genuine fruits of the Spirit.

        In many ways, the root is the most important part of the tree. Men do not see it. It is hidden under the ground. It gets no praise from men. Yet in the dark it works in silence — and in its secret laboratory, it generates the life which goes up into the tree, and which manifests itself in trunk and branches, in foliage and fruits. The leaves are woven down in that dark earth-factory. The colors that tint the flowers are prepared down in that lowly workshop. The little blocks that are piled in silence, one by one, as the beautiful fabric of the tree goes up — are hewn out in the secret quarries of the roots. The fruits which every year hang in rich clusters on the branches, draw all their richness and lusciousness from the roots. And if a tree droops and languishes, he who would revive it must look to the roots.

        In the same way, these analogies hold true in the spiritual life. A man's secret and personal religious life is not that which the world sees, and praises, and understands; nor is it that which directly blesses and benefits the world. It is not a man's prayer-closet which is to be set upon a hill. But that there may be a beautiful, luxuriant and fruitful life in the sight of the world — there must be a secret, hidden root-life to nourish this visible growth. That a man may be active and useful as a Christian worker — he must first be wrought upon by the Divine Spirit.

        Every active Christian life must have, therefore, for its counterpart, a close personal walk with God. The energy of the one, must be balanced by the intenseness of the other. The danger is not that we work too much — but that we pray too little. It is to be feared that we have too many deserted or rarely frequented closets. We take too little time for quiet, solitary communion with God. When we are hurried with duties — then we take still less time for secret devotion. Our activity entrenches upon our communion. Our work takes us away from our waiting.

        It is right to give, but we must first receive from God, or how can we give? We must not go out to starving souls with an empty basket; we must wait at Jesus' feet, until he fills our hands with bread.

        We are so cumbered with much serving that we have no time with Mary, to sit down to silent meditation. In our hurry for results, we do not give God time to bring the fruits to perfection in our lives. We pluck them while green and unripe, and think to feed men with them thus. If we would be busy Marthas — then we must first be waiting Marys. We must receive at God's hand, before we distribute to the multitude.

        Let us, then, see to it that our own souls are fed — before we seek to feed others. Let us build our prayer-closets close to our pulpits and our fields of labor. Let us see that the roots are watered — and then we shall be fruitful trees indeed, our branches hanging full, and covered with beauty!
21  Theology / Bible Study / Believers Justified on: December 07, 2017, 05:44:54 PM
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Believers Justified
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


Our Lord’s appearance to Saul of Tarsus (later called Paul) on the road to Damascus, changed the pitiless persecutor in a moment into the docile, yes the devoted follower of the Christ he had so bitterly hated.

This transformation took place not only because he had now seen the risen, ascended Christ; it was caused also by what he had learned from Christ. From heaven the Lord had revealed to Paul the glory of His finished work of redemption and had sent him forth to proclaim “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).

This is seen in the closing words of the Apostle’s first recorded sermon, delivered at the synagogue at Antioch in Pisidia. After mentioning the death and resurrection of Christ, the Apostle said:

    “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses” (Acts 13:38,39).

Paul never changed this message, but kept emphasizing it wherever he went as well as in his writings. He saw in this truth the answer to man’s condemnation for breaking God’s holy law. Thus he wrote to the Romans:

    “…by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested” (Rom. 3:20,21).

    “[We] declare, I say, at this time, [Christ’s] righteousness; that [God] might be just and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” (Rom. 3:26).

Mark well: He does not say, “believeth and is baptized.” This was the message committed to the twelve (Mark 16: 16; Acts 2:38.). With the ushering in of the dispensation of grace God was manifested as “the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
22  Entertainment / Poetry/Prose / Think of all the hard things there are in your life on: December 07, 2017, 05:42:56 PM
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From Grace Gems:
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Think of all the hard things there are in your life

(Susannah Spurgeon, "Words of Cheer and Comfort for Sick and Sorrowful Souls!" 1898.)

"Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You!" Jeremiah 32:17

"Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for Me?" Jeremiah 32:26-27

Dear reader, your difficulties and trials may not be similar to those of "the weeping prophet"--but they are very real, and seemingly insurmountable to you. It is a fact that, of yourself, you can neither overcome nor endure them. So I want to remind you that the Lord's hand is not shortened--that what was true of His power in Jeremiah's time, is as certainly true today. Whatever present hardship may press upon you, or whatever burden may be weighing you down--you, yes, you may look up to Him with confident faith, and say, "There is nothing too hard for You!"

Oh, the blessed peace which such an assurance brings! I do not know what your particular sorrow or hardship may be--but I do know that, whatever its nature--cruel, or bitter, or hopeless--it is as "nothing" to Him! He is able to deliver you--as easily as you can call upon Him for support and help.

Now, dear friend, think of all the hard things there are in your life:
  poor circumstances,
  difficult duties,
  grievous pains,
  sore struggles,
  bitter disappointments,
  harsh words,
  sinful thoughts,
  a hard heart of your own,
  a hard heart in others.
Gather all these, and many more together, and pile them one on another until you have one great mountain of afflictions--and your God still calmly asks the question: "Is there anything too hard for Me?"

When our hearts are weary of life's cares and crosses, when our courage flags because of our helplessness, and we cry out with the patriarch, "All these things are against me!"--then what a support and stronghold is the fact that our God has all power in heaven and on earth! There is nothing too mighty for Him to manage--there is nothing too insignificant to escape His notice! Jeremiah's faith . . .
  sees no obstacles,
  stumbles at no hindrances,
  faints under no burden,
  shrinks from no responsibilities
--because he realizes the sublime Omnipotence of God, and fortifies himself by calling to remembrance His "outstretched arm" in the creation of the heavens and the earth. Cannot we do likewise?

I took up a book in a leisure moment the other day, opened it carelessly, and this is what I read: "It is a scientifically proved fact, that this great globe on which we live, spins around on its axis at the rate of a thousand miles an hour, and propels through space in its orbit at a speed immensely greater!"

The thought of this, seemed almost to take away my breath! Was I calmly and constantly living in the swirl of such a stupendous miracle as this? Then surely I could say, "Ah, Lord God! there is nothing too hard for You! My little troubles and afflictions--how small they must be to You! Yet with what tender compassion, do You stoop from guiding the worlds in their courses--to support and comfort the hearts of those who fear You!"

Never let us give up in despair, while we have such a God to trust in. If there is a great mountain of sorrow or difficulty in your way, dear friend--do not be cast down by the darkness of its shadow. Your God can either make a way for you through it--or He can guide you around it--or, just as easily, He can carry you right over it! There is nothing too hard for Him! Expect Him to make the crooked things straight, and to bring the high things low. And while you keep humbly at His feet, He will work wondrously, and you shall see His salvation!
23  Theology / Bible Prescription Shop / A Living Christ! on: December 06, 2017, 05:10:35 PM
A Living Christ!
From Timeless Grace Gems
J.R. Miller



        It has been suggested that one of the faults of much evangelical preaching is the too exclusive presentation of a suffering, dying, dead, and buried Christ — rather than of a risen, living, ever-sympathizing, ever-helping Christ. This fault results from the desire to hold forth "Christ crucified" as the one and only ground of salvation. But the consequence too often is, that the only conception of the Savior produced in the minds of the people, is that of One who suffered and died. They are led to trust for salvation to the one past act of redemption — rather than to the power of an ever-present Savior. Their eyes are turned back to the cross — rather than up to the throne.

        A little reflection will satisfy anyone that the conception of a living Christ is not a vivid and powerful one in the minds of the mass of Christians. Somehow they read the beautiful and tender gospel story, and look back upon it as something in the far past, which belongs to them only as a bundle of sweet and fragrant memories. They think of Jesus very much as of a dear friend they have lost, or as one who lived centuries ago a noble life of self-sacrifice — but who lives no longer. His history is all they have. They read his tender words of love, follow him in his gentle ministries, and learn to love him.

        Then they come to his cross, and that seems to be the end. His voice is heard no more. His hand no longer ministers in homes of need. His feet no longer come on love errands. They gather up the precious memories and cherish them most sacredly. They wish that they had lived when he was on the earth, or that he would come again and repeat that wondrous life that they might enjoy its blessings. But to them he is dead. They have not the consciousness of his living presence with them.

        Now the Scriptures are at great pains to present Christ as a living Savior. The infinite importance of his death is everywhere recognized; but mark how all the New Testament writers labor to remove every shadow of doubt from the fact that he rose again, and how his resurrection is held forth as the most important fact in his history, the very foundation of all gospel truth and of all Christian hope.

        His frequent appearances after his resurrection were meant to produce and confirm in the minds of his disciples — a most vivid conception of himself as living again. He sought to blot out of their minds the thought of a dead Master, which had so filled their hearts with despair while he lay in the grave, and to impress upon them by never-to-be-forgotten incidents the truth that he was really alive. And the apostles carried that conception, that glorious consciousness, with them into all their work and all their perils. To them Jesus was as truly alive and as really with them while they preached and suffered — as he ever was during the brief years of his human presence.

        Then all the presentations of the epistles and especially of the Book of Revelation are most vivid pictures of a living Christ. Very little is said about a dying Christ — but a great deal about him who "ever lives."

        Now, no one believes or preaches that he is now dead. I am only speaking of the way he is held forth as a Savior, saving men by his death on the cross, rather than by the power of his life.

        Is Christ presented so as to produce in the minds and hearts of believers a vivid conception of a living person, ever caring for them, ever with them? Do they think of him as a Savior who performed the whole of their salvation-work nineteen centuries ago when he gave his life for them — or as a Savior who is saving them by his strong arm, moment by moment?

        A vivid realization of Christ as living — is essential to noble Christian life. How easy it is to go to the throne of grace when we feel that on that throne sits that same Jesus whose tender and beautiful life is delineated on the gospel pages! We remember how compassionate, how pitiful, how kind he was, and how easy it was to go to him, and how lovingly he received all who came unto him, never turning one away unblest. If he is the God who hears our prayers and listens to the recital of our griefs and cares — then how boldly we can come to him! The thought of that "same Jesus" on the heavenly throne, as the God with whom we have to do, is a precious one.

        He is there as our advocate to manage all our affairs for us; he is there to prepare a place for us, and to receive us when we go home. It is a comforting thought when things seem to go wrong with you — that it is the Jesus of Bethany and Calvary who presides over the affairs of providence. It was a glorious joy when Stephen was dying to see that "same Jesus" standing with open arms to receive him. And his eyes merely saw what is real with every dying believer. These joys are lost, when there is not a clear consciousness of a living Christ in the heart.

        Then there is still a further blessing which springs out of the faith that realizes a living Christ. It is the consciousness of that Savior's presence with each believer all the time. Many people realize that he lives in Heaven, and manages their affairs for them, and will receive them at last; but they fail to realize the glorious truth of his abiding presence with them. There is no promise of the Scriptures repeated over and over again so often as this: "I will be with you — I am with you always." Jesus has not left the earth. He never will leave it for a moment until his last redeemed one has reached the heavenly Father's home. More precious still — he never for a moment leaves the side of any one believer, from the hour of his conversion until he enters Heaven to go no more out forever. That is the way Jesus preserves his people in this life — by his abiding presence with them.

        It is the consciousness of his abiding presence that we need. It is true, but how many realize it? And if not realized it avails us nothing in our hours of need. Mary's heart was breaking in the garden while Jesus stood close beside her, because she did not know that he was with her. What a world of comfort and joy came into her heart, with the consciousness that Jesus stood by her side!

        In the same way, in all the Christian's sorrows and trials — Jesus is with him. What he needs is to believe this, to realize it. Faith makes it a real presence, and what more does any Christian need?

        For three years, the veil that hid God from our eyes was lifted to give us a manifestation of his perpetual presence and ministry of love among men. The gospel record is but a few pages torn out of the history of a life that has been going on upon the earth since the creation, and will go on until the end. We have Christ with us — as really as the disciples had.

        The sinner who comes fresh from his sins can find, not merely atonement for his sins — but the bosom of divine love! The mourner can find, not words of comfort only — but the sympathy and tender heart of the Comforter. The tempted, fainting believer can find, not promises of strength merely — but the same living, mighty hand that Peter found when he began to sink in the waves. The lost sinner, crying out, finds not merely the assurance of pardon and life — but he finds himself lifted up by the Good Shepherd and borne gently along to the fold.
24  Theology / Bible Prescription Shop / Later You Will Understand on: December 06, 2017, 05:09:06 PM
Later You Will Understand
From Timeless Grace Gems
J.R. Miller



"You do not know now what I am doing — but later you will understand." John 13:7

Peter could not understand why Jesus should so condescend as to wash his feet. It perplexed and puzzled him, and he shrank from submitting to it. Jesus said, "You do not know now what I am doing — but later you will understand." And so it proved. There came days afterwards when he understood it all, when he knew why his Master had done it — and when he truly saw beauty, wisdom, love, richest instruction, and divine necessity in it.

And the same principle applies all through life. There are many things in the providence of God which at the time are dark and obscure — but which the future makes clear and plain. The Lord lays us aside in the midst of our usefulness, he desolates our homes, he breaks our harp-strings, he pours bitterness into our cups of sweetness. Our lives are full of strange, perplexing things — and we do not know what they mean. Our dim eyes cannot read the dark pages. Our dull ears cannot hear the voice of love that speaks out to us from every circumstance. Our heavy hearts cannot perceive the love which throbs with full pulse in every event.

But there will come a day when every dark page in our life's history shall be explained — when all the tangle and confusion shall be unraveled, and the web shall lie before us woven through unto the end, warp and woof, with threads of gold and silver. This word of Christ is the key to all the dark and strange providences in the life of every believer: "You do not know now what I am doing — but later you will understand."

One reason for the present obscurity — is our ignorance, or present limited knowledge. We know now, only in part. We see now, only through a glass darkly.

The boy enters the college, and the teacher puts into his hand a page of Greek, and asks him to read it. But he cannot understand a sentence of it. He cannot spell out a single word. He cannot tell what one letter is. It is a page of hieroglyphics to him. It is full of mysteries. But the years roll on. He applies himself to the study of the language. He masters the alphabet; he learns to spell out the words, and then to translate. By-and -by commencement day comes, and the professor hands him again the same page that so puzzled and perplexed him on the day of his entrance. It is all plain now. He reads it off with perfect ease — he understands every word. There is beauty for him now in every line. Every sentence contains some golden truth. It is a page of the New Testament in the very words first written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit — and words of love, of heavenly wisdom, of divine instruction lie upon the page. As he reads they thrill his whole soul, and fill all his heart with the warmth and tender joy of Heaven. Every word is bright with the hidden fires of God's love. Riper knowledge has unlocked to him, all the mysteries of the page!

We are all scholars in God's school. The lessons set for us seem at first like the pages of an unknown language. We cannot pronounce the words. We cannot understand their meaning. They confuse and perplex us. We see no wisdom, no beauty, no love in them. But the passing years bring riper wisdom and fuller knowledge.

Every day, the past becomes plainer; and when we stand at the end of our school-days the old confusing pages will be clear and simple to us. We shall be able to read them off with ease. Then we shall see that every line held a golden lesson for our hearts — that every dark providence in our lives was one of God's precious love-thoughts written out for us — and the whole page will glow with divine beauty.

Only fuller knowledge is needed to explain to us much of the mystery of our lives. In the cloudless light and perfect revelation of Heaven — every shadow of mystery will vanish, and the strangest providences will seem as plain and easy as childhood's first lessons are to ripened and cultured manhood.

Another reason why many of the Lord's ways seem so strange to us, is because we see them only in their incompleteness. We must wait until they are finished, before we can fully understand what God is doing.

In the artist's studio, you may see pictures that are only faint outlines. There are the branches of a tree and no trunk; or there is the trunk and no branches. There is a head, only, finished — or the outline picture of a man with only one arm or one hand filled out. No one would judge of the artist's work in this unfinished state. He would wait until all his pictures were completed.

In the same way, as our lives appear to ourselves — we see them when God is in the very midst of his work upon them. The work of sanctification is the process of bringing out the features of spiritual and divine beauty in human souls. And in this process, the Divine Artist oftentimes employs trials as his instruments. He first seems to destroy — but tribulation works patience. Many a man learns submission — when the Father's hand rests so heavily upon him that he cannot rise. Many a feature of beauty in the soul — is brought out in the darkness of affliction. The process seems to be destructive — but afterwards it yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness. Not at the time, but afterwards. When God finishes his work, it is beautiful and very good.

There was a time when the heart of Jacob was well-near crushed by an accumulation of adversities. Twenty years before, Joseph had been torn out of his arms and slain, as he supposed. Now Simeon was lying in a dark dungeon in Egypt, under the hand of a despotic master. And now Benjamin, too, was to be carried away. In the bitterness of his soul he cried out, "All these things are against me!" But these things were not against him — God had not yet finished his work. The final result had not yet been wrought out. All things seemed against him — but he lived to praise the Lord for all the strange providences which appeared so cruel at that hour. These were but the crude blocks out of which God was building up a beautiful home for his old age, and with which he was laying the foundation of future greatness and glory for his family. They were links in a golden chain of blessing.

So it ever is, "You do not know now what I am doing — but later you will understand." Wait until God has completed his work — and then all shall be well. You may see it even on the earth. Before you close your eyes in death — you may see the good brought out of the seeming evil of your life. But if not, if you die with the mystery still unsolved — then one moment in Heaven will explain all. Then you shall see all things completed. You shall see the web out of the loom — all its beautiful figures perfect, not one thread dropped or tangled. You shall see the temple finished — every block in its place, and the whole adorned with glory. You shall see the picture when the artist has put the last touches to it — and when it appears no more marred and spoiled, as you thought it would be by so much trial — but perfect and beautiful, bearing in every feature the likeness of Christ.

Then you shall see all the dark providences of your life carried out to their final result. You shall see both the discipline — and its blessing; both the affliction — and its rich fruits; both the furnace-fires — and the brilliant gold.

When the night comes on, when the mists and fogs darken the sky and hide the stars, and the vessel cannot be guided — the sailor drops his anchor and waits for the morning. In the same way, faith does in the hour of darkness and perplexity. It cannot see the good or the wisdom of the providences of life — but it knows that the hand of love is shaping them all, and that the end shall be blessing and glory! It knows that the morning will come, that the mists will clear away, and it may drop the anchor and wait for the day.
25  Theology / Bible Prescription Shop / Quenching the Spirit on: December 06, 2017, 05:07:33 PM
Quenching the Spirit
From Timeless Grace Gems
Francis Bourdillon, 1881



        "Do not quench the Spirit." 1 Thessalonians 5:19

        All God's gifts, temporal and spiritual — may be used either rightly, or wrongly. He gives us life — we may either waste it, or spend it well. He gives us talents — we may use them either for good purposes, or for evil purposes. He gives us the offers of the gospel — we may reject them. He gives us His Holy Spirit — but the Holy Spirit may be quenched. For though it is true that a saving work of grace in the soul cannot finally be destroyed — yet the promptings of the Spirit may be resisted, and His sanctifying power crossed and opposed. We would not find this exhortation, "Do not quench the Spirit" — unless it might be done, and unless there were a danger of doing it.

        What is meant then by quenching the Spirit? The work of the Spirit is in the heart. There He . . .
        convinces men of sin,
        touches the conscience,
        moves the feelings,
        applies the word of God,
        and leads to Christ and to holiness.

        Now quenching is doing anything to stop or hinder this work. It is a figure of speech, taken from the quenching of fire. Water will quench fire — either by putting it out, or by making it burn less brightly. A heap of dirt or rubbish thrown on a fire will have the same effect. In like manner the Spirit may be quenched in various ways. Let us consider some of them:

        1. By grieving Him. The apostle writes to the Ephesians, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God" (Ephesians 4:30). The Spirit is grieved when . . .
        we sin against conscience,
        indulge willfully in any evil habit,
        or do what we know to be wrong.

        This was the charge against Israel; "But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; therefore He turned to be their enemy, and Himself fought against them" (Isaiah 63:10). This is a sure way of quenching the Spirit. God said of old, "My Spirit shall not abide in [or strive with] man forever" (Genesis 6:3). When the Spirit is grieved by willful sin, the conscience becomes blunted, impressions fade away, and the Spirit at length ceases to strive.

        2. By neglecting Him. The promptings of the Spirit in the heart are to be diligently attended to — the inward voice is to be listened to and obeyed. We should welcome the Spirit, watch for His presence, and submit ourselves to His leading. Otherwise we quench the Spirit by indifference and neglect.

        3. By worldliness of mind. The work of the Spirit is in the heart. But if the heart is filled with the world, there is no room for the workings of the Spirit. Or if the love of the world is allowed to gain a hold upon those who have received the Spirit — then His work is smothered and quenched, as fire is by water or dirt thrown upon it. This may be done by the world in any shape — by gain, pleasure, folly, by too great keenness about even lawful things, and even by human affections unduly indulged. In every heart there should be room left for the Spirit — the chief place, or the Spirit is quenched. Alas, in how many hearts is the Spirit quenched by the world.

        4. By a lack of watchfulness. If a Christian has found anything to interfere with spirituality of mind in time past — such as any amusement, any company, any pursuit, any book, any train of thought — he must watch against that thing especially. Otherwise he quenches the Spirit. If he lives generally in an unwatchful way, as if there were no snares around him, not keeping guard within and without — then again the Spirit is quenched, and His gracious work is checked.

        How often at the close of the day, when we kneel down for our evening prayer and think over all we have done and said and thought, are we deeply humbled because we have quenched the Spirit through unwatchfulness.

        We began the day perhaps with earnest prayer. In the early morning, before entering on the duties of the day, we committed ourselves to God and sought His grace and guidance. We prayed — but we forgot to watch. And so when some sudden temptation came — it prevailed against us, and we fell. We spoke unchristian words, or harbored a wrong feeling, or did a wrong action, or were ashamed of Christ, or gave way to folly. Thus the Spirit was quenched; our peace was broken, and the closeness of our walk with God was interrupted — and we find at the end of the day a ruffled mind and a special need of pardoning mercy.

        5. By spiritual idleness. I mean by this — backwardness in prayer, and neglect of the Bible, and of the other means of grace. God usually works by means, and especially the Spirit is promised in answer to prayer. But if we neglect prayer, we do, as it were, stop up the channel by which the Spirit would come to us. Thus we quench the Spirit.

        These are some of the ways — but by no means all, in which the Spirit may be quenched. Perhaps conscience may recall others to the mind.

        This is not a thing of small importance. In quenching the Spirit, we do ourselves much evil and bring on ourselves great loss. For thus we lose spirituality of mind, and "to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace" (Romans 8:6). The spiritual mind is that mind in which the Spirit dwells. If the Spirit is quenched — then this indwelling is injured. We lose also the sense of acceptance. "The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ" (Romans 8:16-17). But this too is lost, if the Spirit is quenched. There is no inward witness then.

        In like manner, when the Spirit is quenched — spiritual growth is stopped, for growth is the Spirit's work. The heart becomes cold and dead. It no longer feels and melts and loves. There is — no nearness to God, no love of His word, no warmth in prayer.

        Let those who have already experienced the work of the Spirit, beware of quenching the Spirit. Have not your best and happiest times been those in which you have most walked in the Spirit? Cherish the Spirit then. Let no sinful indulgence, no neglect of His voice, no love of the world, no careless walking, no slothfulness — be allowed to hinder the inward work. As you value spiritual comfort, as you desire spiritual progress — beware of quenching the Spirit!

        Many are not conscious of any work of the Spirit in their hearts. Yet the Spirit may have begun to work there. Have you ever convictions of sin, uneasy feelings that all is not right with your soul, some faint desire after better things — fears, misgivings, apprehensions? Do not try to stifle these feelings or fly for relief from them, to the world — lest you should thus be quenching the Spirit. These may be the strivings of the Spirit within your heart, the pleadings of God with you — to lead you to Himself. Cherish them, yield to them, pray over them. Your greatest misery would be to succeed in driving away all serious thoughts — and to go on in your own way unchecked and undisturbed. For then the Spirit would have left you. Your highest happiness would be to listen to the still small voice within, to follow that gracious guidance, to draw near to God, to seek and to find Christ the Savior.
26  Entertainment / Poetry/Prose / No sin can be little! on: December 06, 2017, 05:05:25 PM
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
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No sin can be little!

(John Bunyan)

No sin can be little, because it is committed against the great God of heaven and earth.

To commit little sins--the sinner must find a little god!

"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace!" Ephesians 1:7

"The blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin." 1 John 1:7
27  Entertainment / Poetry/Prose / The devil's old delusion! on: December 06, 2017, 05:04:10 PM
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________


The devil's old delusion!

(J.C. Ryle, "The Gospel of Luke" 1858.)

"John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him: You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire!" Luke 3

We have, in these verses, a specimen of John the Baptist's ministry. It is a portion of Scripture which should always be especially interesting to a Christian mind.

We should first mark the holy boldness with which John addresses the multitudes who came to his baptism. He speaks to them as a "brood of vipers!" He saw the rottenness and hypocrisy of the profession which the crowd around him were making, and uses language descriptive of their case.
His head was not turned by popularity.
He did not care who was offended by his words.
The spiritual disease of those before him was desperate, and of long standing--and he knew that desperate diseases need strong remedies!

Well would it be for the Church of Christ, if it possessed more plain speaking ministers in our days--like John the Baptist.

A morbid dislike to strong language;
an excessive fear of giving offence;
a constant flinching from directness and plain speaking--
are, unhappily, too much the characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit.

Uncharitable language is no doubt always to be deprecated. But there is no charity . . .
  in flattering unconverted people,
  in abstaining from any mention of their vices,
  or in applying smooth names to damnable sins!

There are two texts which are too much forgotten by Christian preachers. In one it is written, "Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you." Luke 6:26. In the other it is written, "Am I now trying to win the approval of men--or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were trying to please men--I would not be Christ's servant." Galatians 1:10

We should mark, also--how plainly John speaks to his hearers about HELL and danger!
He tells them that there is a "coming wrath!"
He speaks of "the ax" of God's judgment--and of unfruitful trees being "thrown into the fire!"

The subject of HELL is always offensive to human nature. The minister who dwells much upon it--must expect to find himself regarded as barbaric, violent, unfeeling and narrow-minded!

Men love to hear "smooth things," and to be told of peace, and not of danger. Isaiah 30:10

But the subject of Hell is one that ought not to be kept back, if we desire to do good to souls. It is one that our Lord Jesus Christ brought forward frequently in His public teachings. That loving Savior, who spoke so graciously of the way to Heaven--has also used the plainest language about the way to Hell.

Let us beware of being wise above that which is written, and more charitable than Scripture itself. Let the language of John the Baptist be deeply engraved on our hearts. Let us never be ashamed to avow our firm belief, that there is a "coming wrath" for the impenitent; and that it is possible for a man to be lost, as well as to be saved.

To be silent on the subject--is dreadful treachery to men's souls. It only encourages them to persevere in wickedness, and fosters the devil's old delusion in their minds, "You shall not surely die!" Genesis 3:4

That minister is surely our best friend--who tells us honestly of danger, and warns us, like John the Baptist, to "flee from the wrath to come!"

Never will a man flee--until he sees that there is real cause to be afraid.
Never will he seek Heaven--until he is convinced that he is on his way to Hell.

The religion in which there is no mention of Hell--is not the religion of John the Baptist, or of our Lord Jesus and His apostles!
28  Entertainment / Poetry/Prose / He goes to the forest--and chooses the most suitable 'rod' to correct us! on: December 06, 2017, 05:02:08 PM
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems:
Very Old - But Beautiful and Timeless Treasures.
Everything is FREE and Public Domain.
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________

He goes to the forest--and chooses the most suitable 'rod' to correct us!

(James Smith, "Divine Chastening" 1859)

"You shall also consider in your heart, that, as a man chastens his son--so the Lord your God chastens you." Deuteronomy 8:5

Our heavenly Father loves us just as much when He frowns--as when He smiles upon us.

The Lord Himself chastens His children. He never allows His children to be flogged by others, nor keeps a drill-sergeant to do it. He Himself chastens every redeemed child.

He selects the instrument. He does not take up a rod that may 'by chance' lay before Him–just because it comes first to hand. No, no! He goes to the forest--and chooses the most suitable 'rod' to correct us! Proud man always imagines that God . . .
  has chosen the wrong rod,
  or strikes on the wrong place,
  or corrects at the wrong time.
But depend upon it--it is all right. If He . . .
  strikes the body,
  or seizes the property,
  or removes the family member,
  or alienates the friend,
  or afflicts the soul--
it is all done in infinite wisdom, and perfect love.

He numbers His strokes. Not one too many, nor one too few--but just the right number is appointed. LESS would not humble the proud heart, bend the stubborn will, or turn back the wandering feet. MORE would unduly depress, give Satan an occasion against us, or harden our hearts. Believer, you shall never have one more stroke than your Heavenly Father has appointed--nor will He appoint one more than is necessary!

He marks the effects of the rod. He watches to see the effect produced by every stroke. If we fall at His feet, humble ourselves before Him, confess our sins, and appeal to His mercy--we take hold of His strength, and the chastisement soon ceases.

Sanctified correction always . . .
  embitters sin,
  brings us nearer to God,
  softens our spirits,
  humbles our hearts,
  produces penitence, and
  leads us to admire the wisdom and love of God.

Chastisement is designed to improve our characters--these, at best, are very imperfect. In order therefore to make us more watchful, prayerful, diligent, and devout--our heavenly Father uses the rod. And, if at any time we are left long without it, we become . . .
  lukewarm,
  careless,
  indifferent,
  conformed to the world,
  and carnally minded.

When the tear of penitence is seen in our eye--the rod soon drops from His hand! Or, if the discipline is continued--then such comfort, peace, and meekness flow into the soul--that we call it sweet affliction, and bless His dear name for it.

Nor can we then pray for the removal of the rod--but only for its deeper sanctification. We creep close to His feet, look up in His paternal face, catch His loving eye--and almost swoon with pleasure, humility, and love!

He makes  the rod beneficial to us. He corrects us, not for His pleasure--but for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. He uses the rod . . .
  to convince us of our folly,
  to keep us sensible of His authority,
  to make us smart for our inconsistencies,
  to bring us to repentance, and
  to make us cautious, tender, and humble.

Whatever end He fixes upon--is beneficial; and whatever end He fixes upon--He will bring to pass. So that we may well say, even when smarting under the rod, "We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

He loves us too well, to give us any unnecessary pain--and He is too wise to allow our follies to go uncorrected.
29  Theology / Bible Study / The All-Sufficient Much More Over-Abounding Grace of the God of All Grace on: December 06, 2017, 04:34:47 PM
The All-Sufficient Much More Over-Abounding Grace of the God of All Grace
by Pastor J. C. O'Hair


If this message should reach a guilty criminal in the prison, or a nice, respectable, moral, upright, sincere, benevolent, active unsaved religious church-member, in good standing with the pastor and the official board, it might prove profit. able to read Luke 7:36 to 50, and learn what Christ, in the house of the religious Pharisee, said to that self-righteous man and what He said to the sinful woman who was most unwelcome visitor in the Pharisee’s home. Christ referred to both of them when He said concerning the two, “when they had nothing to pay, He frankly forgave them both.” “Her sins which are many are forgiven.” (Luke 7:47). “And Christ said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.” (Luke 7:48.). The sins of that guilty woman were not unpardonable; but if that Pharisee did not receive Christ as Saviour, he will spend eternity with the unbelievers, murderers, whoremongers, drunkards and thieves and the rest of the self-righteous Christ-rejecting nice, religious people. (Revelation 21:8.).

We learn, in Acts 3:12 to 26, that the murder of the eternal Son of God was not an unpardonable sin; for those guilty murderers, who obeyed Acts 2:38, were saved. That one sin outweighs all of the other sins that the human race has committed. Come with all your sins and crimes, or with your self-righteousness, to Christ and Calvary and learn that where sin abounded grace did, and doth, ‘much more’ ‘over-abound’.

THE GRACE OF GOD TEACHES AND ENABLES CHRISTIANS

In Titus 2:11 and 12 we read that the same grace of God, which has brought God’s salvation for all who will believe the gospel and receive Christ as Saviour, teaches Christians that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. In Titus 2:12 the word ‘teaching’ is translated in other verses, ‘discipline’, ‘chasten’. To live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world is a very large order. In the language of II Corinthians 2:16, “who is sufficient for these things?” The answer is in II Corinthians 3:5: “not that we are sufficient of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.” God says, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” (II Corinthians 12:9).

What God’s grace teaches Christians to do that same all-sufficient, much more overabounding grace enables them to do. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.” (II Corinthians 9:8.).

When the Lord Jesus, by His Divine grace and power, was merciful to that guilty, sinful woman in John 8:1 to 11, saying “neither do I condemn thee,” He added, “go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11). As we think of Christ’s dealings with that sinful woman, we first think of Romans 5:20 and then of Romans 6:1 and 2 and Romans 6:15: “Where sin abounded grace did much more over-abound.” “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are ‘dead to sin’ live any longer therein?” “Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?” “God forbid.”

God’s mighty power, exceeding abundant power, is available for every redeemed person (Ephesians 1:19 to 23 . . . Ephesians 3:20). The “all grace’ of the God of all grace is likewise available.

    “Now unto Him Who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever.” (Jude 24 and 25). “Unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:21). “Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, be glory, and dominion forever and ever.” “Amen.” (Revelation 1:5).
30  Theology / Bible Study / The All-Sufficient Much More Over-Abounding Grace of the God of All Grace on: December 06, 2017, 04:33:23 PM
The All-Sufficient Much More Over-Abounding Grace of the God of All Grace
by Pastor J. C. O'Hair


God is a jealous God. Be very, very careful about perverting His ‘GRACE’ gospel or frustrating His ‘GRACE’. It is indeed a spiritual crime, for which every one who claims to be the Lord’s steward will surely give account. Read Paul’s testimony in Galatians 6:14, Philippians 3:7 and 8 and Philippians 1:21, and make it your testimony and experience. Do not be afraid of the grace of God. Read, believe and carefully and prayerfully consider the truth of Romans 11:6: “If by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace; otherwise work is no more work.”
REPEATING ISRAEL’S GREAT BLUNDER

Millions of religious Gentiles are today making the serious, fatal blunder that God’s religious nation, Israel, made in the first Christian century, the blunder that brought their downfall: “Israel hath not attained unto the law of righteousness. Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. They stumbled at that stumblingstone.” (Romans 9:31 and 32 ). Why is it that the religious Gentiles of 1955 do not profit by the great blunder of religious Israel? Why do they not believe and receive at full face value the glorious truth of II Corinthians 5:21 and 8:9, the truth that the sinless Lord Jesus Christ was made sin in our behalf when He yielded up the ghost on the cross, that believers might be made ‘THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD’ in HIM. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.”

Then concerning the riches of Christ and the riches of God’s grace for all the human race note the truth of Romans 11:12, which tells of the diminishing and fall of religious Israel, because they refused to be saved by the infinite grace of the God of all grace: “Now if the FALL of them (Israel) be the ‘RICHES’ of the world, and the DIMINISHING of them the ‘RICHES OF THE GENTILES’.” The blinded Israelites in this age and dispensation and reign of grace are spiritually very poor. Many of them are rich in worldly possessions. Together with many Gentiles they are but little influenced by the words of their own Messiah in Luke 12:15 and Luke 16:15: “a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth” . . . “God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.”

Self-righteousness can be a sin far more deadly than murder and adultery. The greatest blunder that any person on earth can make is to reject the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, the Saviour from the awful, terrible wrath of God.

Although Satan, the god of this age, is responsible for the unbelief of lost, condemned sinners (II Corinthians 4:4 and 5 and John 3:17 to 19), to every rational man or woman in this land of Bibles God is today repeating the charge of Romans 2:1; “thou art inexcusable, O man.” In Romans 1:20 we learn that before the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit came down from heaven, long before the risen Christ gave to Paul the gospel of grace and the dispensation of grace, the human race was without excuse.

Remember the great truths of John 3:17, I Timothy 2:4 to 6 and Ephesians 2:8 to 10: “God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” . . . “God will have all men to be saved; ONE GOD, ONE MEDIATOR between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself a ransom for all” . . . “by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; the gift of God . . . not of works, lest any man should boast . . . for we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Only people who have been redeemed in God’s way, “justified without a cause by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 3:24 to 26), can ‘walk in the Spirit’ and thus fulfill the righteousness of the law. (Galatians 5:25 and Romans 8:4). Unless and until a person is in. dwelt by the Holy Spirit, that person cannot please God. (Romans 8:8 and 9). When the believing sinner meets God at Calvary and receives Christ, that believer receives freely God’s righteousness and the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 3:14 . . . Ephesians 1:13 and 14). There are no other requirements: no ordinances, no religious ceremonies, no worthiness, no merits, no good deeds on the part of the believing sinner. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly” . . . “God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” . . . “being now justified by His blood.” (Romans 5:6 to 10). Justified believers are saints and are temples of the Holy Spirit. They are exhorted to “walk as becometh saints” (Ephesians 5:l to 4); to “abstain from all appearance of evil” (I Thessalonians 5:22); to be shining lights in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, holding forth the Word of Life. (Philippians 2:14 to 16).

NO UNPARDONABLE SIN IN THIS AGE AND DISPENSATION OF GRACE

In the Epistle to the Ephesians we learn how dead sinners became living saints; “by grace through faith.” (Ephesians 2:8 to 10). Those living saints indeed had been dead sinners, alienated from the life of God, by nature the children of wrath. (Ephesians 2:1 to 3 . . . Ephesians 4:18.). Before they received God’s grace and God’s Son all of their sins were unpardoned; but not one of them unpardonable. When they believed the gospel of grace, by which they were saved forever and seated in the heavenlies, all of their sins were pardoned, and by grace they stood in the presence of God as though they had never committed one sin. None of them had to obey Acts 2:38, the message which Peter reached on the day of Pentecost. hey believed the gospel of grace. he dispensation of the grace of God for Gentiles did not begin with Peter and Pentecost; but with Paul after the ‘FALL’ of Israel.
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