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31  ChristiansUnite and Announcements / ChristiansUnite and Announcements / The Patriot Post Digest 2-10-2020 on: February 13, 2020, 10:28:10 PM
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The Patriot Post Digest 2-10-2020
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And that was before the law took effect in December, precipitating a surge33 of illegals rushing to New York DMVs to obtain their new identification, using foreign documents such as passports or a driver’s license to get it.

Not all New Yorkers were on board. Lawsuits filed33 by Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola and Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns, both of whom argued the law would put him in conflict with federal immigration law, were dismissed separately by U.S. district judges, Gary Sharpe and Elizabeth Wolford, for the same reason: Both judges deemed the clerks lacked standing to challenge the law.

New York Attorney General Letitia James was pleased34 the courts dismissed “meritless claims."And last Friday she announced35 her intent to sue the DHS. "Despite President Trump’s attempt to punish New Yorkers for passing our own laws and standing up to his xenophobic policies, we will not back down,” she said.

Xenophobic policies? During his State of the Union Address36, President Trump made it clear what sanctuary jurisdictions are really all about. “Just 29 days ago, a criminal alien freed by the sanctuary city of New York was charged with the brutal rape and murder of a 92-year-old woman,” Trump stated. “The killer had been previously arrested for assault, but under New York’s sanctuary policies, he was set free. If the city had honored ICE’s detainer request, his victim would be alive today.”

CNN’s Van Jones, who was once the Obama administration’s “green jobs” czar until he was forced to resign due in large part to his association with the 9/11 conspiracy truthers, provided the typically progressive response to such inconvenient realities. After asserting37 that Trump is “managing” racial issues as a “tradeoff between the Latinos and the African Americans,” Jones insisted, “Sanctuary cities are safer than non-sanctuary cities. The Cato Institute, which is libertarian, has come out and said immigrants are committing less crime.” He added, “So, for some reason he thinks that doubling down on the anti-immigrant piece is a big part of this thing.”

Remarkably, no one ever challenges the utter bankruptcy of such an absurd contention. If the Rule of Law were upheld, crimes committed by illegals would be almost wholly avoidable. Thus, it would be truly enlightening to know what Jones and other sanctuary supporters consider a “reasonable” level of murders, rapes, robberies, etc., Americans must endure, not just for accommodating illegal immigration, but seeing it incentivized by “woke” politicians.

Trump addressed that reality as well. “No issue better illustrates the divide between America’s working class and America’s political class than illegal immigration,” he stated. “Wealthy politicians and donors push for open borders while living their lives behind walls, gates, and guards. Meanwhile, working-class Americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal immigration.”

One political-class member, Richard Azzopardi, a senior adviser to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was annoyed38 by the crackdown. “This is obviously political retaliation by the federal government and we’re going to review our legal options,” he said. Cuomo echoed those sentiments, calling the crackdown “pure politics.” He also asserted the federal government is “anti-immigrant.”

Nothing is more political — or more dishonest — than the ongoing and highly orchestrated effort by progressives to conflate illegal and legal immigration, as if the difference between the two is somehow irrelevant.

It is not, and the Trump administration is making that crystal clear. Moreover, Ken Cuccinelli, the senior official performing the duties of acting secretary at the DHS reminded39 Americans what Cuomo and his illegal-immigration-supporting allies have either forgotten or don’t care about: “[A] majority of 9/11 terrorists used Virginia driver’s licenses to help accomplish their evil mission,” Cuccinelli stated. Moreover, unlike Virginia, which addressed the problem, Cuccinelli added that New York is “walking backwards, quite intentionally, in the other direction to bar the sharing of law-enforcement-relevant information like vehicle registration, matching driver’s licenses to identifications, and, critically, criminal records which are kept up to date, and DMV databases.”

Access to records is only part of the equation. The Real ID Act of 200540 requires states to establish an applicant’s date of birth, Social Security number, proof of residence, and citizenship or lawful status to obtain a driver’s license compliant with that law. It also empowers the DHS secretary to define “official purposes” for which those licenses can be used, including41 the boarding of commercially operated airline flights, or entering federal buildings and nuclear power plants.

Nonetheless, The Washington Post reveals42 the administration’s efforts are rather modest: “A DHS official with knowledge of the deliberations said the department does not plan to take immediate steps against other states and cities.”

Really? Why not? Fifteen43 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico offer driver’s licenses to illegals, and it’s well past time to have the courts decide if this practice — asserted to be a states rights’ issue — is really another effort to nullify federal immigration law.

Furthermore, this administration should explore every option available to undermine sanctuary policies — including demands that Congress enact laws making officials who harbor illegals44 subject to civil and criminal liabilities when those illegals commit crimes that harm American citizens.

Hopefully, making it inconvenient to travel is the first in a series of initiatives that would ultimately make sanctuary jurisdictions politically untenable.

Americans have abided de facto anarchy long enough.

https://patriotpost.us/articles/68462-challenging-sanctuary-jurisdictions-2020-02-10

Stand for Our Schools45

Grassroots perspective by Patrick Hampton

Janiyah Davis is like many students across the United States, brilliant and talented, but stuck in a school that stifles her potential.

But during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address36, the Philadelphia fourth grader took the spotlight. Trump presented her with an Opportunity Scholarship that would allow her to attend a public or private school of her choice. Her mother proudly stood beside her daughter as Trump announced what he says is the “next step forward in building an inclusive society.”

According to the address, 18 states have created opportunity scholarships. Janiyah, who was among many children on the waiting list for the scholarship, waits no longer.

While inclusivity and opportunity are platforms often lauded by progressive Democrats, few if any stood to support school-choice initiatives. Few if any stood to support Janiyah.

This denial is widespread — taking place across the nation, and especially back home here in Tennessee. So far, more than 57 private schools in the Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville areas have expressed interest in the state’s program for educational savings accounts. In Chattanooga, a groundswell of support for school choice has emerged. Yet Democrats remain staunchly opposed, arguing that this could do more harm than good.
32  ChristiansUnite and Announcements / ChristiansUnite and Announcements / The Patriot Post Digest 2-10-2020 on: February 13, 2020, 10:26:43 PM
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From The Federalist Patriot
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https://patriotpost.us/articles/68445-fbi-director-carter-page-surveillance-was-illegal-2020-02-10

The Brilliance of Mitch McConnell22

Robin Smith

Americans have just watched the impeachment drama meet its end in the Senate following orderly speeches, which was in stark contrast to the scripted-for-cable-news performances in the House demanding to remove President Donald Trump. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been vilified by the Left with terms like “ruthless” and “egregious” because he denied additional drama to the same folks who still can’t get over losing the 2016 presidential election. In the eyes of Republicans, the Senate has, again, done its job — as has McConnell.

But, as recently as December 2017, McConnell was under significant fire from within the Republican Party grassroots for, at the time, his role in fueling the fiery and failed special Alabama Senate primary race. Many grassroots conservatives blamed McConnell for the fact that a key Senate seat is now held by Doug Jones, a lone Democrat senator from the South. Many also called the Senate majority leader an albatross around the necks of the conservative cause — as Nancy Pelosi is to Democrats. The list of grievances included failure to deal with illegal immigration, failure to halt Planned Parenthood funding, and failure to repeal or replace ObamaCare.

Put simply, Mitch McConnell was not exactly hailed by grassroots Republicans.

That was until the unexpected death of Antonin Scalia23 in February 2016.

A month after Scalia’s passing, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland24. McConnell cited his former colleague Joe Biden’s own words in shelving the Democrat nomination by declaring no vacancy on the Supreme Court would be filled in the year of a presidential election. The “Biden Rule” originated in June 1992, when the then-Senate Judiciary Committee chairman argued that, should a vacancy occur when President George H.W. Bush was running against Democrat Bill Clinton, the deliberating body would “seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the political campaign season is over.”

McConnell’s move was a huge gamble, because nobody seriously thought Donald Trump would defeat Hillary Clinton. But, as it turns out, McConnell ensured that Garland’s nomination never received a Senate hearing, and he provided voters with a big reason to vote Trump. Once Trump took office, he and McConnell delivered, nominating and confirming Neil Gorsuch25.

DC theatrics were in full swing when Trump made his nomination to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy with Brett Kavanaugh. Unlike the Gorsuch nomination, Kavanaugh’s nomination came ahead of a midterm election and shifted the ideological balance of the Court. But McConnell’s steady leadership came into focus as America watched over 48 hours of questioning and hysteria that ultimately solidified the Supreme Court with an originalist interpretation of the Rule of Law. While most will remember the Democrats’ shameful display26 that displaced anything resembling civility during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings, don’t overlook the importance of an earlier stance McConnell took that made this appointment as valuable.

These two Supreme Court justices are the shiny trophies promised by presidential candidate Trump. But, since his first day in office, President Trump has filled over 20% of the circuit-court seats in the country. His 34th circuit judge is being confirmed with three more in the queue for floor action. Compare this record to his predecessor, who appointed 55 circuit judges in eight years. Trump currently still has 128 District Court vacancies to fill.

Needless to say, the impact on the judiciary is already immense27, with the guarantee of this campaign promise returning to the presidential trail in 2020. Yet this would not be possible without the Senate and the leadership of Majority Leader McConnell.

McConnell has embraced his role, recently declaring, “You’ll be pleased to know that my motto for the remainder of this Congress is leave no vacancy behind.” He’s doing the work to confirm women and men who are relatively young and intellectually skilled, many with experience as Supreme Court clerks. And their approach to the bench is “to follow the law and the Constitution.”

Yes, President Donald Trump will be credited with his role in placing conservative constitutionalists throughout our nation’s courts. But the ruthless brilliance and powerful maneuvering by Kentucky’s senior senator will forever earn him many accolades for being one of America’s most consequential leaders impacting conservative policy and law.

https://patriotpost.us/articles/68464-the-brilliance-of-mitch-mcconnell-2020-02-10

Challenging Sanctuary Jurisdictions28

Arnold Ahlert

For as long as most Americans can remember, Democrats have made it clear that any law inimical to their agenda can be blithely ignored. Nothing makes this clearer than the hundreds of locales across the nation known as “sanctuary” jurisdictions, where policies forbid local law enforcement from cooperating with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). New York state is one such place, and for the first time America has an administration willing to force the political class to choose between maintaining a haven for illegal aliens or keeping access to programs that help state residents move through customs lines more quickly.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf revealed29 the administration’s agenda last Wednesday. Wolf explained the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was immediately suspending enrollment in Global Entry and several other Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP), including NEXUS, SENTRI, and FAST. Thousands30 of New Yorkers are members of these programs, because they allow people to bypass typically long Customs and Border Protection (CPB) lines.

The state’s recently enacted “Green Light Law31,” which gives illegal aliens access to drivers’ licenses — but also blocks federal agencies like ICE and CPB from accessing the state’s DMV records without a court order — was the tipping point. In a letter32 provided to state officials, Wolf noted the law “compromises CPB’s ability to confirm whether an individual applying to TTP membership meets the program’s eligibility requirement.”

Why is that important? “In New York alone, last year ICE arrested 149 child predators, identified or rescued 105 victims of exploitation and human trafficking, arrested 230 gang members, and seized 6,487 pounds of illegal narcotics, including fentanyl and opioids,” Wolf added. “In the vast majority of these cases, ICE relied on New York DMV records to fulfill its mission.”
33  ChristiansUnite and Announcements / ChristiansUnite and Announcements / The Patriot Post Digest 2-10-2020 on: February 13, 2020, 10:24:51 PM
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The Patriot Post Digest 2-10-2020
From The Federalist Patriot
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The Patriot Post® · Mid-Day Digest

Feb. 10, 2020

https://patriotpost.us/digests/68463-mid-day-digest-2020-02-10

THE FOUNDATION1

“A little matter will move a party, but it must be something great that moves a nation.” —Thomas Paine (1792)

https://patriotpost.us/fqd/68478-founders-quote-daily-2020-02-10

IN TODAY’S DIGEST

    Carville Blasts Leftist Dems; Candidates Hold 8th Debate2
    FBI Director: Carter Page Surveillance Was Illegal3
    The Brilliance of Mitch McConnell4
    Challenging Sanctuary Jurisdictions5
    Stand for Our Schools6
    Daily Features: News Executive Summary7, Videos8, Best of Right Opinion9, Short Cuts10, Memes11, and Cartoons12.

FEATURED ANALYSIS13

Carville Blasts Leftist Dems; Candidates Hold 8th Debate14

Following the Democrats’ Iowa caucuses debacle last week, former Bill Clinton campaign adviser and Democrat strategist James Carville publicly blasted his party’s candidates in interviews for their hard-left platforms. On MSNBC, Carville went on a rant over the Democrats’ poor performance, concluding that he was “scared to death” about the 2020 election. In a followup interview with Vox writer Sean Illing, Carville further elaborated on his concerns, bemoaning, “We’re losing our [darn] minds.”

Pointing to the lower-than-expected voter enthusiasm in Iowa, Carville observed, “Look, the turnout in the Iowa caucus was below what we expected [and] what we wanted. Trump’s approval rating is probably as high as it’s been. This is very bad. And now it appears the party can’t even count votes. What the hell am I supposed to think? … And now it’s like we’re losing our [darn] minds. Someone’s got to step their game up here.”

Democrats have gone to the extreme left, Carville charges, and by doing so they are turning off vast swaths of the country. “We have candidates on the debate stage talking about open borders and decriminalizing illegal immigration. They’re talking about doing away with nuclear energy and fracking. You’ve got Bernie Sanders talking about letting criminals and terrorists vote from jail cells. It doesn’t matter what you think about any of that, or if there are good arguments — talking about that is not how you win a national election. It’s not how you become a majoritarian party. … They’ve tacked off the [darn] radar screen.”

Carville also blasted Democrats over their “free college” platform, arguing, “Here’s another stupid thing: Democrats talking about free college tuition or debt forgiveness. I’m not here to debate the idea. What I can tell you is that people all over this country worked their way through school, sent their kids to school, paid off student loans. They don’t want to hear this s—. And you saw [Elizabeth] Warren confronted by an angry voter15 over this. It’s just not a winning message.”

The Democrats’ elitist and self-righteous attitude is not a formula for winning, Carville notes, as he laments that this “smugness” and “patronizing” would only lead to further Democrat losses. “We can’t win the Senate by looking down at people. The Democrat Party has to drive a narrative that doesn’t give off vapors that we’re smarter than everyone or culturally arrogant.”

Carville’s interview was published last Friday, hours before the Democrat presidential candidates took the stage for their eighth debate. That debate made abundantly clear that Carville’s assessment was spot on. The Democrat candidates are simply uninterested or unable to concern themselves with any views outside of their narrow leftist ideology. As PowerLine’s Steven Hayward insightfully observed, “I watched the Democratic field show once again that it is running to be president of Twitter more than President of the United States.”

For example, not one of the candidates on the stage Friday night would have given the go-ahead, like Trump did, to take out Iran’s leading terrorist, Qasem Soleimani16. Bernie Sanders strangely argued, “You cannot go around saying, ‘You’re a bad guy. We’re gonna assassinate you.’ And then you’re gonna have, if that happens, you’re opening the door to international anarchy.” Pete Buttigieg ridiculously asserted that “taking out a bad guy is a bad idea if you do not know what you’re doing.” Joe Biden suggested (without evidence) that “there’s no evidence yet of an imminent threat that was going to come from [Soleimani].” Never mind the fact that he had the blood of thousands of Americans already on his hands.

Regarding socialism, only one candidate on stage — Amy Klobuchar — raised her hand in rejection of the failed ideology. On the question of racism, every candidate brandished their “woke” talking points, deriding America as a racist country founded on racism. Sanders took the cake: “We have a racist society from top to bottom, impacting healthcare, housing, criminal justice, education — you name it. And clearly this is an issue that must be dealt with.”

Finally, one of the moments that most highlights the current divide between Democrats and Republicans was Biden’s chastising Trump for awarding Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom. “By the way, Colonel Vindman got thrown out of the White House today,” Biden lamented. “[The president] should have been pinning a medal on Vindman, and not on Rush Limbaugh. I think we should all stand and get Colonel Vindman a show of how much we support him. Stand up and clap for Vindman!” Biden demanded.

These Democrats are so out of touch with much of America that they don’t seem to realize the majority of their attacks against Trump are in fact attacks against Americans. These Democrats do indeed appear to be losing their minds.

https://patriotpost.us/articles/68476-carville-blasts-leftist-dems-candidates-hold-8th-debate-2020-02-10

FBI Director: Carter Page Surveillance Was Illegal17

Thomas Gallatin

While much of the country’s attention was focused on the Senate voting to acquit18 President Donald Trump of the House Democrats’ impeachment charges on Wednesday, a potentially criminally significant moment was occurring in a House Judiciary Committee hearing, where FBI Director Chris Wray answered questions regarding the FBI’s abuse of the FISA court19. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) cited Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report20, which found that the FBI had failed to follow the law with its FISA warrant applications to surveil Carter Page. Ratcliffe asked Wray to “acknowledge that this was illegal surveillance with respect to at least several of these FISA applications because there was no probable cause or proper predication — correct?” Wray responded in the affirmative, simply answering, “Right.”

That’s quite an admission and an about-face from Wray’s comments last December when, in an interview with ABC News, he sought to downplay the seriousness of the IG report. “I think it’s important for the American people to know that when the FBI opens an investigation it does so with proper predication, with proper authorization, based on the facts and nothing else,” Wray stated then. “I think it’s important that the inspector general found that in this particular instance the investigation was opened with appropriate predication and authorization.” Now he’s acknowledging that the FISA application for surveilling Page was illegal. This will certainly help Page in his lawsuit21 against the Justice Department and FBI.

Once again, it appears that Trump has been proven correct. He blasted Wray’s characterization of the IG report, asserting, “I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me. With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!”

While the wheels of justice may turn slowly, the good news is that they are still turning.
34  Theology / Bible Study / Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895 on: February 13, 2020, 12:45:25 PM
__________________________________________
From Grace Gems - Free and Public Domain:
Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
http://www.gracegems.org/19/literature.htm
___________________________________________



        September 21.

        "Yes, Lord—but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table!" Matthew 15:27

        When Jesus spoke to the poor Gentile woman in the language of the time, as if she were but a 'dog'—she was not offended. She was willing to be as a dog under the Master's table. She was ready to grant to the Jews—the children's place. The position Jesus had assigned to her satisfied her. For the dogs under the table did not starve. The children were first served, and then the pieces of food which they let fall, belonged to the dogs. Even the crumbs from that table were enough for her. Thus her humility and also her faith were shown.

        We should come to Christ with a deep sense of our unworthiness, ready to take the lowest place; and we should realize that even the crumbs of his grace and love are better than all the feasts of this world.
35  Theology / Bible Study / Can God Forget? on: February 13, 2020, 12:40:30 PM
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Can God Forget?

by Pastor Ricky Kurth


    "And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more" (Heb. 10:17).

We know that God forgives the sins of His people, but does He forget them? It would seem so. Our text suggests that He "will not remember" the sins committed against Him by His children (Isa. 43:25). Believers have always found a great deal of comfort in this blessed thought.

But then God calls upon us to likewise forgive others "even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Eph. 4:32). Doesn't this suggest that we too should forgive and forget? Perhaps you are thinking, "But Pastor, you don't know what they did to me!" True, but was it more than what was done to God when men crucified His Son?

Remember, God's vow to forgive and forget the sins of His people includes even the brutal murder of His only begotten Son. We are tempted to think, "Well, it's easy for God to forget," but such is not the case. God says of the sins of unbelievers that He "will NEVER forget ANY of their works" (Amos 8:7). How then can this God of "total recall" forget our sins? Does His memory have a convenient "on/off " switch that makes it easy for Him to forgive and forget? If so, then we who do not have such a switch would have an excuse for forgiving but not forgetting. But if God has such a switch, would He not also have to erase His memory of Calvary, or else forever wonder why His Son had to die? But it cannot be that God could forget the Cross, for Revelation 5:6 joins John 20:27 to reveal that the Lord's resurrection body will forever bear the scars of the Cross, making it impossible for God--or us--to ever forget His sacrifice for our sins.

What then is the answer to our question? Can God forget our sins? Perhaps the reader has noticed that we never read that God will forget the sins of His people, but rather that He "will not remember" them. By a deliberate act of His "will" He chooses to act toward us AS IF He has forgotten our sins, on the basis of the blood of the Cross. That's how fully and completely He has forgiven our sins. And if we are to forgive others "as" God forgave us, then we too must choose to act toward others as if we have so fully forgiven their transgressions against us that we have forgotten them--also on the basis of Christ's shed blood. This and this alone is complete forgiveness of others, and it is high spiritual ground indeed.

May God help us to live with a slate wiped clean of "all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking… with all malice" (Eph. 4:31).
36  Theology / Bible Study / Paul, The Master-builder on: February 13, 2020, 12:39:06 PM
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Paul, The Master-builder

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam


In I Corinthians 3:10, the Apostle Paul declares by divine inspiration:

    “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise [instructed] master-builder, I have laid the foundation,and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.”

In what sense was Paul the master-builder of the Church, and what “foundation” did he lay? Did he not himself say that “other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ”? Yes, he did — and in this very passage! He sought to lay no other foundation than Christ, but God had chosen him to proclaim Christ in a new way.

Some years previous our Lord had asked His disciples: “Whom say ye that I am”, and Peter had instantly replied: “Thou art the Christ [Messiah], the Son of the living God” (Matt.16:16). This is how believers in general had recognized Him at that time (John 1:49; 6:69; 11:27; 20:31). Indeed, the Messianic kingdom was to be established upon Christ as God’s anointed Son (Messiah means “anointed”).

But with the raising up of Paul, God began to form “the Church which is Christ’s body” (Eph.1:22,23; Col. 1:24,25). This is the Church of today, and it is founded, not on Christ as King, but as the exalted Lord and Head of the “one body” (ICor.12:13).

Paul does not present Christ as Messiah, but as Lord. In Romans 10:9 he declares:

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as LORD, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Again in I Corinthians 12:3: “No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Spirit”. And again in Philippians 2:9-11, he declares that God has highly exalted Christ and given Him a name above every name, “that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father”.

Have you confessed Him as your Lord and Saviour?
37  Entertainment / Poetry/Prose / Isaiah 53:5 on: February 13, 2020, 12:34:29 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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Isaiah 53:5

(J.C. Ryle)

"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

Was Jesus scourged?
It was that "through His stripes we might be healed."

Was Jesus condemned, though innocent?
It was that we might be acquitted, though guilty.

Did Jesus wear a crown of thorns?
It was that we might wear the crown of glory.

Was Jesus stripped of His clothing?
It was that we might be clothed in His everlasting righteousness.

Was Jesus mocked and reviled?
It was that we might be honored and blessed.

Was Jesus reckoned a malefactor, and numbered among transgressors?
It was that we might be reckoned innocent, and justified from all sin.

Was Jesus declared unable to save Himself?
It was that He might be able to save others to the uttermost.

Did Jesus die at last, and that the most painful and disgraceful of deaths?
It was that we might live for evermore, and be exalted to the highest glory!
38  Entertainment / Poetry/Prose / I have been informed of the loss of your dear wife on: February 13, 2020, 12:31:57 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
FREE E-mail Subscription:
http://www.gracegems.org/
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I have been informed of the loss of your dear wife

(John Berridge)

Dear brother,
I have been informed of the loss of your dear wife.
She has now put off mortality, and has become immortal.
Can this grieve you? Oh, that I was where she now is:
   "Safe landed on that peaceful shore,
    Where pilgrims meet to part no more!"

She was once a mourning sinner in this poor wilderness, but she is now a glorified saint in Zion.
The Lord has become her everlasting light, and the days of her mourning are ended.

Does this trouble you? She was once afflicted with bodily pains and weakness, encompassed with cares, and harassed with a crowd of anxious, needless fears. She has now arrived at her Father's house, and He has wiped away all tears from her eyes, and freed her in a moment from all pains, cares, fears, and needs. And shall this distress you?

You have not lost your wife, she has only left you for a short time.
She has left her earthly husband, to go home to her heavenly Father.
She expects your arrival there soon, to join the Hallelujahs for redeeming love.

Are you still weeping? Shame upon you, brother!
Are you weeping because your wife can weep no more?
Are you weeping because she is eternally happy?
Are you weeping because she is joined to that assembly where all are kings and priests?
Are you weeping because she is daily feasted with heavenly manna in her Father's kingdom?
Are you weeping because she is now where you desire to be eternally?
Are you weeping because she is singing sweet anthems to her God and your God?
O shameful weeping!

Jesus has fetched your bride triumphantly home to His kingdom, to draw your soul more ardently thither.
He has broken up your cistern--to bring you nearer, and keep you closer to the ever-flowing fountain!
Jesus has caused a moment's separation, to divorce your affections from the creature.
He has torn a wedding-string from your heart, to set it a-bleeding more freely and panting more vehemently for Himself. Hereafter you will see how gracious the Lord has been, in calling your beloved wife home, in order to betroth you more effectually to Himself.

Remember that sorrow is a safe companion for a pilgrim who walks much astray, until his heart is well broken.

May all your tears flow in a heavenly channel, and every sigh waft your soul nearer to Jesus!

May the God of all consolation comfort you through life, and in death afford you a triumphant entrance into His glorious kingdom!

So prays your friend and brother in the gospel of Christ,
John Berridge
39  Theology / Bible Study / Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895 on: February 11, 2020, 10:45:12 AM
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Devotionals By J.R. Miller, 1895
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        September 20.

        "If you love Me—you will keep My commandments." John 14:15

        Love is more than a mere sentiment; it is also a life. The proof of it must be in acts. Thus in one of his epistles this disciple of love writes: "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him—how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:16-18

        This same principle applies to our profession of love for Christ. It is not enough that we sing it in our hymns, say it in our prayers, or utter it in our creed; we must show it in our life! A fruit-tree proves its usefulness by bearing fruit in the season. The rose-bush puts forth beautiful roses. And when we claim to be Christ's friends—we must show it by doing what he bids us to do.
40  Theology / Bible Study / The Judgment Seat of Christ - Part 3 on: February 11, 2020, 10:35:23 AM
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The Judgment Seat of Christ - Part 3

by Pastor Paul M. Sadler

DID YOU KNOW?

Sadly, most believers have little interest or concern regarding the Judgment Seat of Christ. They live as though they will never stand before the Lord and give an account of their life. By the time they take the matter seriously it will be too late. But did you know there are at least three areas that will profoundly affect our walk throughout eternity?

    “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For ye are our glory and joy” (I Thes. 2:19,20).

In Paul’s epistles there are three crowns promised to those who faithfully serve the Lord. This particular passage seems to indicate that these are not literal crowns that will be handed out; rather they will be honors bestowed upon those who have earned them. The crown of rejoicing has been called the soul-winners crown. Paul had personally led many at Thessalonica to a saving knowledge of Christ. He rejoiced that they had been delivered from the power of idols, which can neither speak nor reason, to worship the true and living God.

Think of it, if the angels rejoice when one sinner is saved, surely heaven will resound with a shout upon the completion of our redemption. In that day, the Lord is going to publicly acknowledge Paul and all those who had a burden for lost souls. This will be a reward in itself to hear the Savior say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” The rejection and ridicule we experienced at the hands of unscrupulous men will be but a passing memory.

    “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him: if we deny Him, He also will deny us: If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself” (II Tim. 2:12,13).

Every member of the Body of Christ is said to be seated with Christ in the heavenlies; therefore, we will rule and reign with Christ over the earth. But not all will hold the same position or degree of authority. This will be determined by our willingness to suffer for His name’s sake, here and now. We are going to assume the positions of authority left vacant when Satan and His fallen host are cast out of heaven. Each of these positions represent degrees of authority which have been patterned after God’s orig-inal heavenly order; they are: principalities, powers, mights, dominions, thrones, etc. (Eph. 1:21; Col. 1:16 cf. Eph. 6:12).

If you had a choice, which earthly position of authority would you wish to hold--a Cabinet post in Washington or a Clerk at a small town County Seat who files court records? You see, “if we suffer, we shall also reign with Him,” but if we are ashamed of Christ due to the fear of men, “He also will deny us,” that is, a higher position and greater degree of authority. Bear in mind, there will be no room for advancement in eternity since our position will be fixed by what transpires at the Bema Seat. Perhaps we need to follow the motto of the Army, “To be all that you can be,” but in this case for the Lord. You will not regret the decision!

If we “believe not” that this is true and that He is able to keep us, He abides faithful, even though we are unfaithful, because He cannot deny Himself. In short, He has promised to save us and will honor His Word. The honor of His name is at stake.

Apparently, the degree we are going to be glorified in the resurrection is also determined by our current conduct and service. As Paul develops the theme of the resurrection in I Corinthians 15, he states:

    “All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory” (I Cor. 15:39-41).

I have always believed that this passage is clear proof that evolution is the Devil’s lie. “All flesh is not the same flesh.” How true! If we evolved from the lower life forms as the evolutionists claim, then the flesh of fish should be compatible with human flesh; yet one is warm-blooded and the other cold. Nor is it possible to give a transfusion of blood from animals to humans, which you would think could certainly be done since this is farther along on the evolutionary timetable. Of course the point Paul is making is this, terrestrial bodies differ from one another and each has its own glory.

He now contrasts earthly and heavenly bodies. As we look heavenward, the sun has a greater glory than the moon. It sustains life upon the earth. Interestingly, God created the sun on the fourth day of creation to demonstrate that He could sustain life upon the earth apart from the sun. He is sovereign! The very essence of His being is greater in power and glory than the sun.

The light of the moon which graces the night sky has a greater glory than the stars. Its phases during the course of a month are a heavenly demonstration of God’s handiwork. Amazingly the moon’s gravitational pull upon the earth causes both high and low tides that show not only order, but design.

Although the moon has a greater glory than the stars, the apostle adds, “One star differeth from another star in glory.” Man continues to build more and more powerful telescopes to peer into the universe, but with each one he discovers more of these heavenly bodies called stars. He is increasingly frustrated because he’s unable to number them. But consider this: God “telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names” (Psa. 147:4). We agree with King David, “such knowledge is…high,” it’s infinite!

Astronomers tell us that stars vary in size--some are much larger than others. In fact some, like the North Star, are brighter while others form constellations such as the Big Dipper. Paul would have us understand that in both the earthly and heavenly realm there is diversity and differing degrees of glory. Then he adds, “So also is the resurrection of the dead.” (See I Cor. 15:42).

Thus, there is a major difference between these natural bodies we possess and the resurrected body. One is sown in corruption and eventually will perish, but the other is raised in incorruption never to perish again. One is sown in dishonor due to the Adamic nature while the other is raised in glory. With creation as a backdrop, there will also be differing degrees of glorification in the resurrection, based on whether or not we faithfully served the Lord. This could well mean that the faithful will have greater adaptation to their eternal surroundings and perhaps greater responsibility.

The Judgment Seat of Christ ends the administration of Grace. As we witness the dawn of eternity, wonder of wonders, God is going to “show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7). May the love of Christ motivate us to live for Him rather than ourselves. After all, the things around us which we call prized possessions are merely temporal, but the unseen things that we’ve laid up in heaven will impact us for eternity.
41  Theology / Bible Study / The Judgment Seat of Christ - Part 3 on: February 11, 2020, 10:26:49 AM
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The Judgment Seat of Christ - Part 3

by Pastor Paul M. Sadler


    “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire” (I Cor. 3:13-15).

As we have seen, one of the symbols of the Word of God is fire. At the Judgment Seat of Christ it will be applied to our works and purge away the dross. Only those things done for Christ of a permanent nature will endure this Divine review. For those who consistently built upon the foundation with gold, silver and precious stones, their works will abide and they will be rewarded accordingly. While we are not told the nature of these rewards, we should always desire the fullness of what God has provided for us. It is a solemn thought that our present conduct will have a bearing upon us throughout eternity.

Those who carelessly built upon the foundation with wood, hay, and stubble are going to suffer irreparable loss, but Paul adds an interesting statement: “but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” God is always faithful to His Word. Even though a believer may suffer the devastating loss of eternal reward, according to the Word of God he will still be saved, for God has promised eternal life to all who believe (Rom. 6:23). You see salvation isn’t based upon our good works, but rather the finished work of Christ. It is after our conversion that we learn believers “are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). Notice we “should walk in them,” which strongly implies not all will see the importance of living for the Lord.

JUDGE NOT

    “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God” (I Cor. 4:5).

Judgment may take the form of discernment or passing final sentence upon someone. For example, we are at liberty to judge or discern the things that differ in God’s Word; however, we have no right to judge others. Those who hastily condemn their fellow man are treading upon Divine ground.

As the apostle says, we are to “judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come.” We simply are not in a position to judge anyone. Who among us can know the motive behind someone’s actions, much less the intent of their heart? Certainly no one can ever say they have all the details needed to make an impartial ruling. Even general observations in life are usually an inaccurate assessment of the actual circumstances. Allow me to illustrate:

Charles Swindoll one time related an experience he had in his own life. He was speaking at a week-long conference in California where, every time he spoke, a certain man would fall asleep after twenty minutes. By the end of the week, Chuck said that he was irritated by it, yet he said nothing about it.

After the last meeting, the wife of the man came up to Chuck and told him that her husband was too embarrassed to come. She went on to share with him that her husband was dying and the medication he took made him sleepy. But she said that he wanted her to tell Chuck how much he loves him, and that his final request was that he be able to attend a conference where Chuck were speaking.

Things are not always as they appear; therefore, we are wise never to judge anything before the time. You may just generate more wood, hay, and stubble than you bargained for when the trump sounds.

Notice in the above passage that it is when the Lord comes, “who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts.” We are to understand that this is the Lord’s Secret Coming for the Body of Christ, which of course, includes the Judgment Seat of Christ. So Paul is speaking here of the judgment of believers at that day. This raises the question as to whether or not our sins will be taken into consideration at this review, especially in light of the fact the apostle states the Lord will reveal the hidden things of darkness.

Clearly the believer is forgiven in Christ of all sins: past, present, and future. As the apostle says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). We are beyond the reach of God’s judgment as far as condemnation is concerned. With this in mind, if there is to be a fair and impartial hearing it will be necessary for our indiscretions to be brought to light. In other words, the Lord is going to set the record straight, without forgetting we are His children.

Take for example the pastor who embezzles the savings of a godly widow under the pretext that she’s helping the work of the ministry. He may think he’s gotten away with it, but at that day his evil deed will be exposed. Although the widow was deceived, she will be richly rewarded since she gave the gift out of concern for lost souls. Her intentions were as pure as the wind-driven snow! The pastor, on the other hand, will suffer shame and great loss for his actions. Paul warns all those who minister in the things of the Lord in this manner, “some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after” (I Tim. 5:24).

Unsound doctrine is closely associated with ungodly behavior. Usually the premise is that the end justifies the means. Sadly, the motive of some who preach the gospel is not always what it should be. Paul could surely relate to this, for he says regarding his ministry: “The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds” (Phil. 1:16). These types of sinful motives will be brought to light at the Bema Seat, not to mention the harm they caused the Lord’s work.

Those who are guilty of spreading lies and slandering others will have much to answer for when they stand before the Lord. Remember these words and remember them well: “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you” (Heb. 13:17). Those who have had their reputation ruined at the hands of carnal believers have this promise: God will right all wrongs.

The story is told of the American missionary organization that raised money for property, including buildings, in a country in Europe. When the Chairman of the European Board resigned, a local board member was able to usurp authority, rewrite the constitution of the organization, and declare himself owner. The Christian leader, in effect, stole the property from the Christian organization, expelled its leadership, and put the church and newly built apartments in his name. (Your Eternal Reward by Erwin W. Lutzer, Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois, pg. 66.) It is hard for us to believe that the Lord would simply overlook such an injustice. Rest assured, those who engage in such behavior will have their corrupt ways laid bare and suffer unbelievable loss in the process.

In this connection the question is often asked, will there be tears in heaven? As sure as the sun rises in the morning, you can count on it! These will be tears of regret and remorse over what could have been if we had only remained faithful to Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. The emotion at times is going to be overwhelming. But the greatest regret of all will be when we see the sorrow on our Savior’s face for how we mistreated one another as members of the Body of Christ. Thankfully these tears will be wiped away at the close of this judgment--there will be no more sorrow or crying. “Then shall every man have praise of God” (I Cor. 4:5). The same will be true of the prophetic saints as they prepare to enter the eternal state (Rev. 21:3-5).
42  Theology / Bible Study / The Time Element In Scripture on: February 11, 2020, 10:24:15 AM
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The Time Element In Scripture

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam
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How many Scriptural problems would be solved, how many seeming contradictions explained, if we were more careful to note the time element, emphasized so strongly in the Word of God.

In Romans 5:12 we learn that sin entered the human race by Adam. Then later “the law entered” (Ver. 20). But still later the Apostle Paul arose to say: “But now, the righteousness of God without the law is manifested” (Rom. 3:21).

Early in man’s history blood sacrifices were required for acceptance with God (See Gen. 4:4; Heb. 11:4), later circumcision and the Law (Gen. 17:14; Ex. 19:5), and still later, repentance and water baptism (Mark 1:4; Acts 2:38). But not until Paul do we learn of salvation by grace through faith alone, on the basis of Christ’s finished, all-sufficient work of redemption.

This is why the Apostle refers in Gal. 3:23 to “the faith which should afterward be revealed.” This is why he declares that our Lord “gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time”, and adds: “whereunto I am ordained a preacher and an apostle” (I Tim. 2:6,7).

It is only as we recognize the time element in Scripture that we see the difference between “the kingdom of heaven” and “the Body of Christ,” between “the gospel of the kingdom” and “the gospel of the grace of God,” between the “dispensation of law” and “the dispensation of the grace of God.”

A comparison of Romans 3:21 and 26 shows how this time element is emphasized in Scripture. After discussing the function of the Law in Verses 19 and 20, the Apostle Paul declares: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested…” Then, in Ver. 26 he states that it is God’s purpose: “To declare, I say, at this time His [Christ’s] righteousness; that He [God] might be just and the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.”
43  Theology / Bible Study / Paraskevidekatriaphobia on: February 11, 2020, 10:22:07 AM
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Paraskevidekatriaphobia

by Pastor Ricky Kurth


If you don't know what that is, I can't say as I blame you. If I were a smart aleck, I might "explain" that paraskevidekatriaphobia is a derivation of triskaidekaphobia, but that would probably leave most of our readers just as befuddled. But the latter is the fear of the number thirteen, and the former refers to the more specific phobia of fear of Friday the 13th.

Before you start thinking that people with these phobias should just grow up and get over it, you might want to consider how society itself contributes to this fear. You've never stepped off the elevator on to the thirteenth floor of a tall building, simply because the highly educated architects that design our skyscrapers superstitiously refuse to include one. If that old movie made it seem rational that Kris Kringle was Santa Claus by noting that the United States Post Office directed mail to him, its easy to understand how buildings without a 13th floor make a fear of the number 13 seem rational as well.

The effects of paraskevidekatriaphobia are claimed to be extensive. Since many Americans refuse to fly or conduct business on a Friday the 13th, it is said the economy suffers an estimated 800 million dollar loss every time this date rolls around. Back in the 1930s, the influence of this phobia even reached the highest office in our land, as FDR refused to travel on Friday the 13th.

It may surprise you to learn that the origin of this phobia finds its roots in the Bible, when thirteen men observed the last supper. One was a traitor, and tradition (wrongly) holds that the Lord was crucified a few hours later on a Friday.

What's the cure for paraskevidekatriaphobia? An old joke says if you can pronounce the word, you're cured! In 1913, a pastor tried to cure people by officiating at Friday the 13th weddings without charge. But since superstition is the veneration of something that deserves none, a better way to help people overcome this superstition is to do what Paul did when he encountered some superstitious people (Acts 17:22) and preach the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (v. 23-31). The world considers Paul's gospel to be superstition (Acts 25:19), "but unto us which are saved it is the power of God" (1 Cor. 1:18). Paul's use of the present tense here shows his gospel is more than just "the power of God unto salvation" (Rom. 1:16). Once we are saved, his gospel "is" still the power of God to help us overcome "the spirit of fear" with the spirit "of…a sound mind" (2 Tim. 1:7), a mind made sound by a full knowledge of Paul's gospel.
44  Entertainment / Poetry/Prose / There is no spot in you! on: February 11, 2020, 10:16:07 AM
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There is no spot in you!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"You are absolutely beautiful, My beloved! There is no spot in you!" Song of Solomon 4:7

Having pronounced His Church positively full of beauty--our Lord confirms His praise by a precious negative, "There is no spot in you!" As if the thought occurred to the Bridegroom that the carping world would insinuate that He had only mentioned her lovely parts, and had purposely omitted those features which were deformed or defiled--He sums up all by declaring her universally and entirely lovely, and utterly devoid of stain.

A spot may soon be removed, and is the very least thing that can disfigure beauty--but even from this little blemish, the believer is delivered in his Lord's sight. If He had said there is no hideous scar, no horrible deformity, no repulsive ulcer--we might even then have marveled. But when He testifies that she is free from the slightest spot--all these other forms of defilement are included, and the height of wonder is increased.

If He had but promised to remove all spots in Heaven, we would have had eternal reason for joy. But when He speaks of it as already done--who can restrain the most intense emotions of satisfaction and delight! O my soul, here is marrow and fatness for you; eat your full, and be satisfied with royal dainties!

Jesus has no quarrel with His spouse. She often wanders from Him and grieves Him--but He does not allow her faults to affect His love. He sometimes chides, but it is always in the tenderest manner, with the kindest intentions--it is "My love" even then. There is no remembrance of our follies. He does not cherish ill thoughts of us--but He pardons and loves as well after the offence, as before it! It is well for us that it is so, for if Jesus were as mindful of injuries as we are--how could He commune with us? Our precious Husband knows our silly hearts too well, to take any offence at our follies and faults.
45  Entertainment / Poetry/Prose / You are absolutely beautiful, My beloved! on: February 11, 2020, 10:14:34 AM
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You are absolutely beautiful, My beloved!

(Charles Spurgeon)

"You are absolutely beautiful, My beloved! There is no spot in you!" Song of Solomon 4:7

The Lord's admiration of His Church is very astonishing, and His description of her beauty is very glowing. She is not merely beautiful--but "absolutely beautiful." He views her in Himself, washed in His sin-atoning blood, and clothed in His meritorious righteousness--thus He considers her to be full of loveliness and beauty. No wonder that such is the case--since it is but His own perfect excellency that He admires; for the holiness, glory, and perfection of His Church--are His own glorious garments on the back of His own well-beloved spouse!

Nor is the Church barely lovely, she is superlatively so. Her Lord styles her the "most beautiful of women." Song of Solomon 1:8

She has a real worth and excellence which cannot be rivaled by all the nobility and royalty of the world. If Jesus could exchange His elect bride for all the angels in Heaven--He would not, for He puts her first and foremost, "most beautiful of women." She far outshines the stars!

Nor is this an opinion which He is ashamed of, for He invites all men to hear it. He sets a "behold" before it, a special note of exclamation, inviting and arresting attention. "Behold! How beautiful you are, My beloved, how beautiful!" (Song of Solomon 4:1). His opinion He publishes abroad even now, and one day from the throne of His glory He will avow the truth of it before the assembled universe. "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with Me!" will be His solemn affirmation of the loveliness of His elect!

"Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her  to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless!" Ephesians 5:25-27

"The king is enthralled by your beauty!" Psalm 45:11
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