So much news came out about the US election late last week that it was not possible to cover it all.

Below is a summary of more news.

Trump team press conference — November 19

On Thursday, November 19, lawyers representing the Trump campaign gave a two-hour press conference. Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was also present.

Breitbart reported on the nine main points made:

Sidney Powell interviews — November 20 and 21

During the afternoon of Friday, November 20, Sidney Powell gave an interview to Howie Carr on his radio show. Here’s the podcast.

She said that this fraud was co-ordinated internationally (e.g. Canada, Lichtenstein, China) and that its extent is ‘absolutely terrifying’.

The Supreme Court will definitely want to hear this case as, from what she says, it involves foreign interference in a US election.

She also says there were ballots continually run through for Biden at Trump’s expense.

There was also fractional fraud going on. She said a vote for Trump counted 0.75 and one for Biden counted 1.25.

David J Harris Jr has more on the interview:

That evening, she gave an interview to the Washington Examiner‘s Larry O’Connor which you can listen to here.

She told him that ‘multiple people’ saw the fraud take place in real-time. In addition to the above, she said there were military votes, overwhelmingly for Trump, that were not counted.

She told O’Connor that she has testimony and affidavits to prove what occurred:

She hopes to file a formal complaint soon about election fraud that ‘will make jaws hit the floor’.

She says that the machines are so fraudulent that the upcoming run-off state election in Georgia should not take place. The machines can be programmed to get the desired result.

On Saturday, November 21, Powell appeared on Newsmax:

She said she plans to begin with Georgia, calling their current result ‘a total farce’:

Georgia is the first state I’m going to blow up and Mr Kemp and the Secretary of State need to go with it.

No doubt many saw the following statement dated September 22 from Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis regarding Sidney Powell:

It is unclear what that actually means.

However, she might be digging deeper, beyond the election result:

Or it might have to do with funding:

Two people in the know tweeted their views on Sunday.

Lin Wood said that he and Powell were fighting for ‘We The People’:

Powell’s client, Gen Michael Flynn, said she had been temporarily suspended from Twitter:

Developing …

The voting machines

In the video below, Michael Voris explains in layman’s terms how more votes went to Biden than to Trump on the evening of Tuesday, November 3:

The next video is also informative as it discusses what happened in the hotly contested Bush-Gore election of 2000, involving Florida’s hanging chads. Incredibly, those machines are still in use in some states. They also paved the way for the current machines from Dominion and Smartmatic, which, just to repeat, are completely programmable:

Interestingly, three days after the election Shaffer tweeted this about the Department of Homeland Security’s preparedness for the Democratic National Committee:

About these tweets, Gateway Pundit said on Saturday, November 21 (emphasis in the original):

These tweets caused an uproar on Twitter and liberals freaked out thinking they might have gotten caught in their attempt to steal the 2020 election. But the entire discussion was soon forgotten by the media and on Twitter.

Now with Sidney Powell’s claims the President won the election by a long shot, we wonder if what really Shaffer was hiding and referring to at the same time was the election fraud relate to the voting machines? Shaffer is an expert on the machines, maybe he was telling us they were all over it and not to worry?

This just a hunch but ultimately time will tell.

The ‘scandal of the century’

On November 19, a Louisiana newspaper published a report on the election. The Central City News calls it ‘the scandal of the century’:

With that in mind, no wonder President Trump has been tweeting frequently about it:

Regardless of ‘news’ reports, Pennsylvania is still in play with regard to lawsuits:

Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

On November 16, 2018, President Trump established the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, CISA.

CISA is part of the DHS, the Department of Homeland Security. Wikipedia states (see above link) CISA’s purpose is to:

improve cybersecurity across all levels of government, coordinate cybersecurity programs with states, and improve the government’s cybersecurity protections against private and nation-state hackers.[3]

CISA has Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council.

Incredibly, the council has a number of entities which seem somewhat misplaced for the Trump administration. How they got there, who knows?

Bear Witness Central has a list of the council members and an in-depth article about the agency itself.

Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

CISA disputed anomalies with the 2020 election results:

the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)—part of the DHS—issued a statement on November 12, 2020 disputing the allegations and saying “the November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.” However, what CISA failed to disclose is that Dominion Voting Systems is a member of CISA’s Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council, one of two entities that authored the statement issued by CISA.

You couldn’t make this up:

It is incredible that in addition to Dominion Voting Systems, Smartmatic and SCYTL are also members of the Coordinating Council. In addition, Hart InterCivic electronic machines were used in many states with questionable lack of security, the anti-Trump Associated Press, and Big Tech companies Amazon and Microsoft.

The statement about the election also says:

There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised. “While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too,” says the statement.

Meanwhile:

President Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell have denounced Dominion Voting Systems with the Smartmatic software from Communist Venezuela saying that this voting system has shifted millions of votes from Trump to Biden.

Fortunately, on November 17:

President Trump acted wisely when firing Christopher Krebs, the first Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and Krebs’s second in command, Matt Travis. A third official, Bryan Ware, Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, resigned.

Many insiders investigating the election think more needs to happen:

The President needs to tell the nation what the CIA did and fire its Director, Gina Haspel, as recommended by his lawyer Sidney Powell. The President needs also to tell the nation what Dominion Voting Systems did and its ties to the Communist Democratic Party. Then the President’s lawyers need to take his case to the Supreme Court. Failure to do that may eliminate his chances to return to the White House for a second term.

Lastly, the President also needs to fire FBI Director Christopher Wray for covering up the stolen election and the crimes of Joe Biden and his family. And his lack of cooperation with Congressional oversight committees.

The whole article is well worth reading.

That could be part of the reason why Trump replaced Secretary of Defense Mike Esper with Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller. At the end of last week, Miller announced that the US president’s orders will be carried out. The Special Operations civilian leadership will report directly to Miller instead of the ‘current bureaucratic channels’. This has been authorised by Congress, he said, and will put Special Operations Command on a ‘direct par’ with ‘the military services for the first time’ and will ‘immediately improve agility’.

The text preceding his video (see second tweet) is the author’s alone. Miller did not say those words:

Judge Jeanine Pirro sums up

Judge Jeanine did not let her audience down on Saturday, November 21.

She says that, for four years, we were led to believe that Russia was behind the 2016 election. Yet, this year, we discover that American votes were counted overseas. She adds that Trump’s legal team have 250 affidavits — sworn testimony of evidence — pointing to voter fraud. She explains the pause in vote counts on November 3:

She says that, while Democrats run free, those who filed affidavits will likely need witness protection for telling the truth. Ordinary citizens are being censored for tweeting about voter fraud. Judge Jeanine tried it out with a friend of hers. Jeanine’s was posted. Her friend’s was suppressed. Yet, the greatest issue remains — if proven, this manipulation of votes is unconstitutional:

Judge Jeanine interviews Lin Wood

Lin Wood explains to Judge Jeanine that many Georgia legislators did not know that the voting law had been changed in March, in time for the primaries:

This is why he filed his own lawsuit only recently.

He plans to file for an emergency hearing, if necessary a district court, after his case was dismissed on Friday. He has video and photographic evidence of voter fraud in Georgia.

More on that tomorrow.

Conclusion

Here’s the election investigation thus far, in a nutshell:

Please pray for everyone involved.

Those interested can show their support on December 12:

In the meantime, keep calm and carry on.

bible-wornThe three-year Lectionary that many Catholics and Protestants hear in public worship gives us a great variety of Holy Scripture.

Yet, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

My series Forbidden Bible Verses — ones the Lectionary editors and their clergy omit — examines the passages we do not hear in church. These missing verses are also Essential Bible Verses, ones we should study with care and attention. Often, we find that they carry difficult messages and warnings.

Today’s reading is from the English Standard Version with commentary by Matthew Henry. We have no John MacArthur commentary this week, as he did not cover 1 Corinthians in detail.

1 Corinthians 4:6-7

I have applied all these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, brothers,[a] that you may learn by us not to go beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

—————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Last week’s post introduced 1 Corinthians, explaining more about Corinth and the Christians there.

Unlike the Thessalonians, who were devout, the Corinthians had shortcomings in their beliefs and conduct. Paul counselled and corrected them in this letter.

One of the big issues with the Corinthians involved the divisions within their church. Groups of them followed certain leaders. One faction aligned itself with Paul, another with Apollos, yet another with Cephas as well as one group claiming to follow Christ alone.

Paul addressed this factionalism in 1 Corinthians 3, excerpts from which follow (emphases mine):

2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human?

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.

10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled[b] master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

As we know, continuing squabbles lead to genuine strife and destructive division that can put an end to a church — or any other organisation for that matter.

Paul warned the Corinthians about the end result:

16 Do you not know that you[c] are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

He also took issue with their notional wisdom. Philosophy was very popular in Corinth:

18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

1 Corinthians 4 is about the role of Apostles (i.e. Paul) and ministers in the church (e.g. Apollos) and how the congregation should treat them.

He begins by saying that ministers of the church should be faithful, above all. Paul said he was not concerned if the Corinthians judged him, because only the Lord could judge him:

Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.

Paul knew that the divisions among them were causing them to be full of pride, each faction believing it was better than the other.

Therefore, he wrote that he and Apollos were faithful stewards of the church and, as such, just as they did not go beyond what Paul had taught them (‘beyond what is written’) or in Scripture, nor should the Corinthians in esteeming their respective faction over another (verse 6).

Matthew Henry explains:

The advice the apostle would by this means inculcate was that they might learn not to think of men above what is written (above what he had been writing), nor be puffed up for one against another (1 Corinthians 4:6). Apostles were not to be esteemed other than planters or waterers in God’s husbandry, master-builders in his building, stewards of his mysteries, and servants of Christ. And common ministers cannot bear these characters in the same sense that apostles did. Note, We must be very careful not to transfer the honour and authority of the Master to his servant. We must call no man Master on earth; one is our Master, even Christ, Matthew 23:8,10. We must not think of them above what is written. Note, The word of God is the best rule by which to judge concerning men. And again, judging rightly concerning men, and not judging more highly of them than is fit, is one way to prevent quarrels and contentions in the churches.

This is a perfect illustration of why pride is a sin. It destroys, never heals:

Pride commonly lies at the bottom of these quarrels. Self-conceit contributes very much to our immoderate esteem of our teachers, as well as ourselves. Our commendation of our own taste and judgment commonly goes along with our unreasonable applause, and always with a factious adherence to one teacher, in opposition to others that may be equally faithful and well qualified. But to think modestly of ourselves, and not above what is written of our teachers, is the most effectual means to prevent quarrels and contests, sidings and parties, in the church. We shall not be puffed up for one against another if we remember that they are all instruments employed by God in his husbandry and building, and endowed by him with their various talents and qualifications.

Verse 7 seems obscure, but Paul is really asking what makes everyone have such a high opinion of themselves, when everything they have with regard to gifts or talent comes from God.

Henry says that verse 7 also includes the ministers in their midst who headed the various factions. Those ministers were false teachers:

Here the apostle turns his discourse to the ministers who set themselves at the head of these factions, and did but too much encourage and abet the people in those feuds. What had they to glory in, when all their peculiar gifts were from God? They had received them, and could not glory in them as their own, without wronging God. At the time when they reflected on them to feed their vanity, they should have considered them as so many debts and obligations to divine bounty and grace. But it may be taken as a general maxim: We have no reason to be proud of our attainments, enjoyments, or performances; all that we have, or are, or do, that is good, is owing to the free and rich grace of God. Boasting is for ever excluded.

This is very important:

There is nothing we have that we can properly call our own: all is received from God. It is foolish in us therefore, and injurious to him, to boast of it; those who receive all should be proud of nothing, Psalms 115:1. Beggars and dependents may glory in their supports; but to glory in themselves is to be proud at once of meanness, impotence, and want. Note, Due attention to our obligations to divine grace would cure us of arrogance and self-conceit.

More will follow on this subject next week.

Next time — 1 Corinthians 4:8-13

Reign of Christ Sunday — November 22, 2020 — is the final Sunday in the Church year.

This is traditionally known as Christ the King Sunday.

Advent — and a new Church year — begin on November 29, 2020.

These readings are for Year A in the three-year Lectionary used in public worship.

There are two options for the Psalm.

Emphases below are mine.

First reading and Psalm — Option One

Ezekiel 34 contains the Lord’s reproof of the elders of Israel — both religious and secular — in their lack of leadership. The Lord also took issue with the spiritually stronger laymen who neglected their weaker brethren. These verses say that the Lord will look after His people. So, too, does Christ, the root and offspring of David, look after His flock.

Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

34:11 For thus says the Lord GOD: I myself will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.

34:12 As shepherds seek out their flocks when they are among their scattered sheep, so I will seek out my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.

34:13 I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited parts of the land.

34:14 I will feed them with good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel shall be their pasture; there they shall lie down in good grazing land, and they shall feed on rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.

34:15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD.

34:16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice.

34:20 Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them: I myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.

34:21 Because you pushed with flank and shoulder, and butted at all the weak animals with your horns until you scattered them far and wide,

34:22 I will save my flock, and they shall no longer be ravaged; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.

34:23 I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.

34:24 And I, the LORD, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.

This Psalm is a marvellous song of praise and thanksgiving. These verses will be very familiar.

Psalm 100

100:1 Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.

100:2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing.

100:3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name.

100:5 For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm — Option Two

This Psalm of David’s expresses his joy in and praise of the Lord. These verses will also be familiar to many.

Psalm 95:1-7a

95:1 O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

95:2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

95:3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

95:4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.

95:5 The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed.

95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!

95:7a For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

Epistle

These verses of Paul’s to the believers in Ephesus are ideal for Christ the King Sunday.

Ephesians 1:15-23

1:15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason

1:16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.

1:17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him,

1:18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints,

1:19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.

1:20 God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,

1:21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come.

1:22 And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church,

1:23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Gospel

This is the continuation and conclusion of Matthew 25, which Jesus preached in the days before the Crucifixion. Here He describes His Second Coming.

Matthew 25:31-46

25:31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.

25:32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,

25:33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.

25:34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

25:35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

25:36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’

25:37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?

25:38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?

25:39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’

25:40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

25:41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;

25:42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,

25:43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

25:44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’

25:45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

I pray that all of us reading this are among the sheep.

Yesterday’s post featured top lawyer L Lin Wood Jr’s work for President Trump’s campaign team to prove voter fraud in Georgia.

Today’s post features another top lawyer, Sidney Powell, who is also working on the voter fraud issue for Team Trump. She is well known to Trump supporters for her continuing tireless work representing Gen Michael Flynn.

Of Ms Powell, Lin Wood says:

I mentioned Sidney Powell earlier this week in my summary of Judge Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News programme of Saturday, November 14.

Like Lin Wood, Powell is a redoubtable Southerner.

Breitbart’s John Nolte wrote about both lawyers on Monday, November 16 — ‘Nolte: Sidney Powell and Lin Wood Promise There’s a Ton of Voter Fraud’.

Of Powell, Nolte writes (emphases mine):

Sidney Powell is no joke. She served as a federal prosecutor for ten years and earned a national reputation as the attorney who swooped in, convinced Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn to withdraw his guilty pleas, and successfully pressured the Justice Department to drop its charges. She was a stalwart and regular presence in exposing the Russia Collusion Hoax, and by my count, everything she said was going to happen did happen.

This is a serious woman. There’s no circus atmosphere around her. And she is pledging, as she did over the weekend on Maria Bartiromo’s Sunday Morning Futures, that they have the goods, that they can prove there was enough voter fraud to overturn Joe Biden’s lead.

“There has been a massive and coordinated effort to steal this election from we the people of the United States of America, to delegitimize and destroy votes for Donald Trump, to manufacture votes for Joe Biden,” she said.

I posted the link to that interview in my Judge Jeanine post. Here it is. Breitbart‘s copy has been removed:

Sidney Powell has been examining voter fraud in several states, including the swing states so important to Trump’s results (see the Lou Dobbs video in this link).

On Friday, November 6, three days after the election, she told Lou Dobbs that the voting machines are partly to blame. The operation referred to below is one that US intelligence agencies use in foreign countries when they want to influence an election result. This operation was never intended to be used against the American people. And yet …

Sky News Australia were already on to this before the election — Saturday, October 31. Their seasoned commentator Alan Jones is fearless:

It is hard to fathom how much the Democrats have done and are doing:

On Monday, November 9, Powell tweeted about Georgia’s results, which are currently being recounted:

On Wednesday, November 11, she picked up on a detailed thread from TheDonald.win alleging voter fraud in several instances:

On Friday, November 13, she told Lou Dobbs that she will soon be ready to ‘release the Kraken’. I can hardly wait:

Highlights of the interview follow:

On Sunday, November 15, Powell gave an interview to Maria Bartiromo. She said that information has been coming in so quickly and in such volumes that she is struggling to ‘process it all’. She explained the connection between the voting machines and a member of Joe Biden’s transition team, a retired Navy admiral:

Hmm:

This is how a machine-driven voting anomaly might have worked on Tuesday, November 3:

Real Clear Politics has more on Powell’s interview with Bartiromo. Powell said that CIA director Gina Haspel should be dismissed:

President Trump’s lawyer Sidney Powell told FNC’s “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo that CIA director Gina Haspel should be fired for ignoring warnings about the Dominion voter software ahead of the 2020 election.

“It should never have been installed anywhere and we are going to show the public exactly how rotten the entire state is,” she said.

“Why Gina Haspel is still there in the CIA is beyond my comprehension,” Powell said. “She should be fired immediately.”

Wow.

What exactly, though, does ‘releasing the Kraken’ mean in terms of the election?

Clarice Feldman, a regular contributor to American Thinker, reminds us that, on September 12, 2018, Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) prohibiting foreign influence in American elections:

it cannot be doubted that two years ago he anticipated foreign interference with our election process and issued in an Executive Order a means to investigate and punish any person, group or country which engaged in such international election fraud

It’s a lengthy order and I’ll try to note some of the most significant portions of it. It tasks the DNI with preparing a report of the investigative results of such interference no later than 45 days after an election

Clarice Feldman goes on to elaborate on the contents of the EO. She says:

Did this Executive Order set in place a means to investigate computer manipulation overseas to affect our election and did such an investigation reveal that this occurred and significantly affected the election in several key states? If so, the reported results must be amended substantially to discard the false count, or other measures taken to prevent certifying fraudulent results dependent on the manipulated reported final tallies. That is the issue I think Powell and Wood are hinting at.

To be sure, there is a great deal of evidence of regular old-timey ballot stuffing and standard election fraud, but computer and internet generated mischief has the potential to far exceed that and seems to Trump’s lawyers in fact to have done so.

Feldman then describes what has happened with Georgia’s results and discusses the voting machines involved.

She concludes:

At the Department of Defense, General Michael Flynn’s aide Ezra Cohen-Watnick has been made acting undersecretary of intelligence. Previously he was the U.S. strategic policy coordinator for all intelligence programs, “including, among other things, covert action, human intelligence, electronic surveillance.”

Are Trump’s lawyers onto something big or not? We’ll have to see

Sidney Powell went so far as to say:

On November 17, Newsmax reported that Michigan’s Wayne County refused to verify election results, which could send the decision to their state’s legislature. Powell told Newsmax presenter Greg Kelly that this was good news. She had more to say about the voting machines, which allegedly have a ‘back door’ for manipulation — ‘a feature’ not a bug. She says she has it on good authority (a former Venezuelan military officer) that it worked successfully for Venezuela’s Chavez and Maduro. The presenter said it’s no wonder Biden didn’t campaign. She is still in the process of gathering more information and hearing from more people every day who want the fraud revealed and stopped:

Jan Jekielek from The Epoch Times has more on that story:

The next six tweets are particularly important:

Powell told Newsmax’s Greg Kelly (see video above) that Trump received 80m votes in a clear landslide. The voter fraud, she says, is ‘very serious’ and involves ‘trillions of dollars of worldwide wealth’.

Powell is still putting together evidence and testimony, but millions await her ‘release of the Kraken’ with great anticipation.

President Trump praised Sidney Powell, Lin Wood, Joseph diGenova and all the other lawyers working for his campaign:

Remember:

Also:

On Thursday, November 19, Sidney Powell participated in a press conference with former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and attorney Jenna Ellis, who also helped to defend John MacArthur’s Grace Community Church against lockdown rules in Los Angeles County.

Howie Carr’s audio from November 19 has excerpts of what Powell said. She sounded disgusted and saddened, in equal measure. She said that she will continue to pursue the voter fraud.

When you hear her allegations in that audio, it is difficult to comprehend just how appalling it must be to discover voter fraud on such a massive scale.

I wish Sidney Powell all the very best as she pursues the truth not only for President Trump but also America, the Great Republic.

Stay tuned for more developments in the days to come.

The investigation into President Trump’s vote count in the US election continues.

Several avenues appear to be closed at this point, e.g. in Pennsylvania.

However, the state of Georgia is still under the spotlight.

One of the lawyers helping out Team Trump is Lin Wood, who, earlier this year helped 18-year-old Nicholas Sandmann win a huge lawsuit against the Washington Post. Nicholas Sandmann was the high school student in Covington, Kentucky who was verbally attacked after the 2019 March for Life in Washington, DC. The media had a field day and accused the student of provoking the verbal attacker, who turned out to be an activist.

The story was on television and in the newspapers for days. Those reports carried many false statements about Sandmann, which put him, his family and his school in potential danger for some time.

In the end, on July 24, 2020, Nicholas Sandmann thanked Lin Wood and fellow lawyer Todd McMurtry for the wildly successful result:

Lin Wood tweeted:

When he is not practising law, Lucian Lincoln Wood Jr goes on gator patrol in Georgia, where he lives.

He also owns four dogs:

Three weeks before the election, he asked:

After the election, Wood began casting his gimlet eye on the questionable results in Georgia, which has a Republican governor.

He says he has reason to believe there in Chinese influence at the state’s uppermost echelon.

He pressed on with the alleged irregularities, concluding:

Wood began to focus on the voting machines used in Georgia and 32 other US states:

Those machines are not used in Texas:

Wood had more (also see this):

Two days later, on Wednesday, November 11, he tweeted the following, also featured in Gateway Pundit:

He also warned of an online disinformation campaign.

He remembered American veterans and their fallen comrades:

He also renewed a call to the state’s governor to take action by convening the state legislature:

That afternoon, he appeared on the popular radio programme, syndicated nationwide, The Howie Carr Show (start at 22 minutes at the audio link). He spoke with Howie at length about the election. Gateway Pundit has excerpts of their conversation (emphases in the original):

Attorney Lin Wood: Time and effort I’ve been putting into this but really it reflects almost round the clock efforts by members of the legal profession and ordinary people. People of this country that are all determined and not only uncovered the truth but exposed the truth. And when all is known I’m 100% confident that Donald Trump will be President of the United States for four more years. And I’m just this confident that Joe Biden and the people like him that been trying to steal this election and committed crimes for years they will all go to jail.

Howie Carr: What leads you to be so optimistic? There’s time but we are coming up on dates of voter certification.

Lin Wood: I believe in We the People. This was a well planned, almost for two decades attack to overthrow our government. Was it well done in the sense to hide the fraud? Sure. But it was too massive!… The process will show that they themselves killed several people in this country.

These are other tweets highlighting other points which he mentioned to Howie Carr:

Early the next day, he posted one of his uplifting messages:

He posted more, blaming China. Gateway Pundit has the following tweet and more:

He also tweeted an agreement between the Democrats and Georgia’s Secretary of State, also a Republican. Hmm:

Early on Saturday, November 14, he had this to say about the raid on a server facility in Germany, related to the implicated voting machines. The included tweet is from Republican congressman Louis Gohmert from Texas:

On that subject, he had this to say about the 2016 and 2018 elections:

He had positive thoughts:

He reiterated what he thinks Georgia’s governor should do:

Wood spoke again with Howie Carr on Monday, November 16. Howie asked him how positive he was compared with last week.

Wood responded that he was 100% the week before (November 11) and was 105% positive this week (audio here, which includes a separate interview with another lawyer, former US Attorney Joe DiGenova, who is also investigating voter fraud for Team Trump):

On Tuesday, November 17, he tweeted a link to an article on Doug Ross’s website:

Doug Ross studied graphs from the New York Times showing Pennsylvania’s and Georgia’s ballot tabulation. Ross says (highlights in purple mine):

The charts below are derived from The New York Times‘ real-time election feeds (e.g., here). They show “DNA-level” evidence of vote fraud that was systematically used to overcome massive Trump leads with “vote flips” to Biden.

The twin charts below depict the shifts in votes starting on election day. The X-axis is the date/time and the Y-axis represents the change in votes (positive values denote shifts for Trump, negative values represent shifts for Biden, in hundreds).

Notice the similarities in PA and GA? How the right sides of the graph show virtually no movement for Trump; and very predictable vote movements to Biden. How predictable?

Below are excerpts of spreadsheets that show what was happening on the right side of each chart. Vote flips in the same-sized bundles (6,000 in PA and 4,800 in GA) were injected into the system to overcome Trump’s lead in both states. You can click either image above to see all of the data.

The highlighted cells show where the vote counts — stunningly obvious in retrospect — were manipulated to benefit Biden.

Note the vote flips, represented by the highlighted cells, that occurred in both PA and GA. In PA, late vote flips in bundles of around 6,000 were clear anomalies to slowly overcome Trump’s lead. In GA, the bundles were in 4,800 vote swaps.

Again, these are just excerpts. You can see the workbooks for yourself here: just click for Pennsylvania and Georgia.

Scroll down until you start hitting the highlighted cells.

Sorry, Democrats: this is what we call DNA-level statistical proof of fraud.

L Lin Wood Jr is still receiving correspondence from voters and poll watchers in Georgia:

He also doubts whether Georgia’s recount, which is supposed to include an audit, is progressing as it should:

While he continues to investigate, he has a message for Trump supporters:

I hope Lin Wood wins for President Trump and all Americans, the same way he did for Nicholas Sandmann.

May God bless him and his endeavours for the truth.

Last Sunday in the UK, we had a Twitter trend about Lurpak butter.

Lurpak is excellent butter and it is Danish.

Foodies are now concerned about tariffs on EU products beginning in January 2021.

Environment Secretary George Eustice, who was a fruit farmer in his family’s business prior to entering politics, appeared on the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show to discuss Brexit. When the topic of tariffs came up, he said that EU companies with factories in the UK would not have to pay them.

Lurpak lovers began to worry. Lurpak’s parent company is a large Danish dairy co-operative, Arla.

Someone tweeted a photo of his Lurpak butter dish. This was from a Christmas ad campaign several years ago featuring an animated trumpet player, if I remember rightly:

I hope that people saw the second tweet below. Adam Payne writes about Brexit for Business Insider. One quarter of Arla’s milk suppliers are British:

Arla is the third largest food company in the UK. Who knew?

Case closed.

My fellow citizens should not worry: Lurpak, along with other Arla products, will still be available in the UK post-Brexit.

If George Eustice was wrong about Arla, I surely hope he is right about Dominic Cummings, who left No. 10 on Friday afternoon, November 13 (!), carrying a box with his papers and personal belongings:

Cummings was the mastermind behind Brexit, even though Baron (Lord) David Frost has been leading the negotiations with Michel Barnier.

This is what Eustice told Marr on Sunday:

Given Boris’s odd behaviour after his bout with coronavirus in April, I hope very much that we will not get BRINO come December 31. As Theresa May so often said:

No deal is better than a bad deal.

She turned sour as milk and went back on her word.

Whatever happens, at least we’ll still have Lurpak.

On Sunday, President Trump retweeted the introduction to Watters’ World from Saturday, November 14:

It’s a great 8-minute long video.

Watters notes President Trump’s many accomplishments over the past four years and finds it inconceivable that he would not win re-election, particularly when Joe Biden was such a lacklustre candidate. He also pointed out that Republicans had very good election results.

Watters also cast doubt on the voting machines and software as well as the coralling of Republican vote watchers, who were told to stand so far away that their presence was meaningless.

Watters is prepared to say he was wrong only after every vote has been counted. However, he says that this was the first election to have so many mail-in ballots and, with little to no signature verification and ballots allowed after Election Day, it was a recipe for fraudulent voting.

Watters says that if mail-in ballots are the wave of the future, the United States will never have an honest election again. Americans will lose trust in the voting system.

Wherever we live in the Western world, our vote is the only voice we have. I feel for the American people.

I hope that Jesse Watters is right in his conclusion that Trump will be back for a second term.

Judge Jeanine Pirro had to take a Saturday off because Fox News did not want her to discuss voter fraud in the US election:

Fortunately, she was back on November 14 to examine the topic.

Rep. Jim Jordan from Ohio pointed out that Republicans have unseated some Democrats down ballot. New Republican winners are women, minorities and veterans. He also said that with so many Republicans winning those down ballot races, it is illogical that a GOP presidential incumbent would lose the election:

The Republican leader in the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy from California, echoed what Jim Jordan said but added that it is essential that every legal vote be counted in this election:

Gen Michael Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell talked about the voting machines and software used in the election, casting doubt on both:

Georgia congressman Doug Collins joined Judge Jeanine to discuss voting irregularities in that state and the lawsuits filed there:

Finally, Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s first campaign manager in 2016, told Judge Jeanine how he was unable to watch Philadelphia’s vote count even with a court order allowing him to do so. He was allowed in to the city’s massive convention centre only after the votes were counted:

Corey Lewandowski also caught coronavirus and had to return home to New Hampshire. He told Judge Jeanine that he had very few symptoms and has now recovered.

Meanwhile, the (re)counts continue.

Bible ancient-futurenetThe three-year Lectionary that many Catholics and Protestants hear in public worship gives us a great variety of Holy Scripture.

Yet, it doesn’t tell the whole story.

My series Forbidden Bible Verses — ones the Lectionary editors and their clergy omit — examines the passages we do not hear in church. These missing verses are also Essential Bible Verses, ones we should study with care and attention. Often, we find that they carry difficult messages and warnings.

Today’s reading is from the English Standard Version with commentary by Matthew Henry and John MacArthur as cited below.

1 Corinthians 2:13-16

13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.[a]

14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

—————————————————————————————————–

Today, having finished a study of Romans, we begin exploring the Lectionary verses omitted from 1 Corinthians.

I have included today’s verses, even though they are optional in the Epistle read on the Fifth Sunday of Epiphany in Year A. One wonders how often these important verses are included in the Epistle read in churches on that day.

The church in Corinth, which Paul founded, had particular challenges because of the cosmopolitan mindset of that city. The people of Corinth were similar to the residents of many major cities of our time. They were noted for their promiscuity, lax morality and litigious tendencies.

John MacArthur’s Grace To You (GTY) site has an introduction to 1 Corinthians, excerpted below (emphases mine).

The early Church fathers authenticated this letter — epistle — as belonging to Paul:

… the epistle was written by the Apostle Paul, whose authorship cannot be seriously questioned. Pauline authorship has been universally accepted by the church since the first century, when 1 Corinthians was penned. Internally, the apostle claimed to have written the epistle (1:1, 13; 3:4–6; 4:15; 16:21). Externally, this correspondence has been acknowledged as genuine since A.D. 95 by Clement of Rome, who was writing to the Corinthian church. Other early Christian leaders who authenticated Paul as author include Ignatius (ca. A.D. 110), Polycarp (ca. A.D. 135), and Tertullian (ca. A.D. 200).

Here is the timeline:

This epistle was most likely written in the first half of A.D. 55 from Ephesus (16:8, 9, 19) while Paul was on his third missionary journey. The apostle intended to remain on at Ephesus to complete his 3 year stay (Acts 20:31) until Pentecost (May/June) A.D. 55 (16:8). Then he hoped to winter (A.D. 55–56) at Corinth (16:6; Acts 20:2). His departure for Corinth was anticipated even as he wrote (4:19; 11:34; 16:8).

As Acts 18 is not in the Lectionary, you can read more in my posts below:

Acts 18:1-4 — Paul, Corinth, Aquila, Priscilla

Acts 18:5-11: Paul, Corinth, Silas, Timothy, election, predestination

Acts 18:12-17 – St Paul, Corinth, Gallio, Sosthenes, tribunal

Acts 18:18-23 — Paul, Priscilla and Aquila, Ephesus, Syria, Nazirite vow, churches in Syria, Galatia and Phyrgia

Acts 18:24-28 – Apollos, Priscilla and Aquila, Ephesus, Achaia

Corinth was a thriving city by any standard:

The city of Corinth was located in southern Greece, in what was the Roman province of Achaia, ca. 45 miles W from Athens. This lower part, the Peloponnesus, is connected to the rest of Greece by a 4-mile-wide isthmus, which is bounded on the E by the Saronic Gulf and on the W by the Gulf of Corinth. Corinth is near the middle of the isthmus and is prominently situated on a high plateau. For many centuries, all N-S land traffic in that area had to pass through or near this ancient city. Since travel by sea around the Peloponnesus involved a 250 mile voyage that was dangerous and obviously time consuming, most captains carried their ships on skids or rollers across the isthmus directly past Corinth. Corinth understandably prospered as a major trade city, not only for most of Greece but for much of the Mediterranean area, including North Africa, Italy, and Asia Minor. A canal across the isthmus was begun by the emperor Nero during the first century A.D., but was not completed until near the end of the nineteenth century.

In addition to its flourishing trade, Corinth was well known for hosting the Isthmian games, which attracted great audiences from near and far.

Morally, the Corinthians stood out as being debauched people:

Even by the pagan standards of its own culture, Corinth became so morally corrupt that its very name became synonymous with debauchery and moral depravity. To “corinthianize” came to represent gross immorality and drunken debauchery. In 6:9, 10, Paul lists some of the specific sins for which the city was noted and which formerly had characterized many believers in the church there. Tragically, some of the worst sins were still found among some church members. One of those sins, incest, was condemned even by most pagan Gentiles (5:1).

Matthew Henry’s introduction makes a similar observation:

It was in a particular manner noted for fornication, insomuch that a Corinthian woman was a proverbial phrase for a strumpet, and korinthiazein, korinthiasesthai–to play the Corinthian, is to play the whore, or indulge whorish inclinations.

The city had an acropolis — ‘a high city’ — which the Corinthians used both for defence and for worship. The acropolis had a temple dedicated to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. At night, the temple’s priestesses offered their services to men in the city. GTY‘s introduction tells us:

Some 1, 000 priestesses, who were “religious” prostitutes, lived and worked there and came down into the city in the evening to offer their services to male citizens and foreign visitors.

Acts 18 tells us how Paul founded the church in Corinth:

The church in Corinth was founded by Paul on his second missionary journey (Acts 18:1ff.). As usual, his ministry began in the synagogue, where he was assisted by two Jewish believers, Priscilla and Aquila, with whom he lived for a while and who were fellow tradesmen. Soon after, Silas and Timothy joined them and Paul began preaching even more intensely in the synagogue. When most of the Jews resisted the gospel, he left the synagogue, but not before Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, his family, and many other Corinthians were converted (Acts 18:5–8).

After ministering in Corinth for over a year and a half (Acts 18:11), Paul was brought before a Roman tribunal by some of the Jewish leaders. Because the charges were strictly religious and not civil, the proconsul, Gallio, dismissed the case. Shortly thereafter, Paul took Priscilla and Aquila with him to Ephesus. From there he returned to Israel (vv. 18–22).

Unable to fully break with the culture from which it came, the church at Corinth was exceptionally factional, showing its carnality and immaturity. After the gifted Apollos had ministered in the church for some time, a group of his admirers established a clique and had little to do with the rest of the church. Another group developed that was loyal to Paul, another claimed special allegiance to Peter (Cephas), and still another to Christ alone (see 1:10–13; 3:1–9).

Both commentators agree that Paul wrote this epistle to the Corinthians to correct their faults, both spiritual and moral. Henry has this take, which includes their penchant for adult incest because of a false teacher in their midst:

Some time after he left them he wrote this epistle to them, to water what he had planted and rectify some gross disorders which during his absence had been introduced, partly from the interest some false teacher or teachers had obtained amongst them, and partly from the leaven of their old maxims and manners, that had not been thoroughly purged out by the Christian principles they had entertained. And it is but too visible how much their wealth had helped to corrupt their manners, from the several faults for which the apostle reprehends them. Pride, avarice, luxury, lust (the natural offspring of a carnal and corrupt mind), are all fed and prompted by outward affluence. And with all these either the body of this people or some particular persons among them are here charged by the apostle. Their pride discovered itself in their parties and factions, and the notorious disorders they committed in the exercise of their spiritual gifts. And this vice was not wholly fed by their wealth, but by the insight they had into the Greek learning and philosophy. Some of the ancients tell us that the city abounded with rhetoricians and philosophers. And these were men naturally vain, full of self-conceit, and apt to despise the plain doctrine of the gospel, because it did not feed the curiosity of an inquisitive and disputing temper, nor please the ear with artful speeches and a flow of fine words. Their avarice was manifest in their law-suits and litigations … before heathen judges. Their luxury appeared in more instances than one, in their dress, in their debauching themselves even at the Lord’s table, when the rich, who were most faulty on this account, were guilty also of a very proud and criminal contempt of their poor brethren. Their lust broke out in a most flagrant and infamous instance, such as had not been named among the Gentiles, not spoken of without detestation–that a man should have his father’s wife, either as his wife, or so as to commit fornication with her. This indeed seems to be the fault of a particular person; but the whole church were to blame that they had his crime in no greater abhorrence, that they could endure one of such very corrupt morals and of so flagitious a behaviour among them. But their participation in his sin was yet greater, if, as some of the ancients tell us, they were puffed up on behalf of the great learning and eloquence of this incestuous person.

The abhorrent false teaching about incest was the main reason why Paul insisted the faithful implement a system of church discipline (1 Corinthians 5), verses which are notably not in the Lectionary.

The Corinthians were in a very bad way.

In addition to addressing their immorality, Paul calls for church unity around Christ, not various factions (1 Corinthians 1). He also gives them several lessons on doctrine, reverence and godly living.

In 1 Corinthians 2, Paul tells them that wisdom comes not from man, i.e. philosophy, but from God.

The context to today’s passage can be seen in the two preceding verses:

11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.

One also does not need to be a towering genius to understand God’s wisdom or to be edified by it. This is why gnosticism was declared a heresy; it relies on unnecessary esoteric ‘knowledge’ and interpretations of the Gospel.

Paul tells the Corinthians that Christians receive their wisdom from the Holy Spirit rather than mankind (verse 13). Only the Holy Spirit can enable us to understand God’s wisdom. Furthermore, only those filled with the Spirit can understand God’s spiritual truth.

MacArthur explains:

The poor, the uneducated, simple people, for the most part, have always in history constituted the make-up of the church. The reason is they stand then collectively as a testimonial as a rebuke against the world. As the Gentiles stand to make Israel jealous, so do the foolish, the simple stand as redeemed people to make the wise of this world jealous.

As we saw last time, the simplest person without any education who knows God knows more than the greatest philosopher in the world who doesn’t know God. And what a rebuke that is to human wisdom.

Also:

As soon as you became Christian, the first thing you received was wisdom. Who are the truly wise in this world but those who know God. Who are the truly wise in this world but those who know salvation. We are the wise, and we stand as a testimony for all time that God took simple, humble people who didn’t know enough to do anything to redeem themselves, to transform themselves, who didn’t even have the mind and the mental abilities of the best of the world, and He made us the wisest in existence; and His is the glory.

Because only those whom the Spirit has enlightened can understand God’s truth, that truth appears as ‘folly’ — foolishness — to others (verse 14). Is this not something we are surrounded by today? So many people puff themselves up because of their earthly knowledge, particularly when it comes to technology and other scientific endeavours. The vast majority of them openly ridicule a belief in God. They deride us as fools or chumps.

Paul refers frequently to unbelievers as ‘natural’, meaning of an unspiritual, carnal nature, interested merely in self-gratification.

Henry tells us that the ‘natural man’ was very much in vogue in Paul’s era. Natural men viewed each other as being wise, hence the popularity of human philosophy:

The natural man, that is, the wise man of the world (1 Corinthians 1:19,20), the wise man after the flesh, or according to the flesh (1 Corinthians 2:26), one who hath the wisdom of the world, man’s wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:4-6), a man, as some of the ancients, that would learn all truth by his own ratiocinations, receive nothing by faith, nor own any need of supernatural assistance. This was very much the character of the pretenders to philosophy and the Grecian learning and wisdom in that day. Such a man receives not the things of the Spirit of God. Revelation is not with him a principle of science; he looks upon it as delirium and dotage, the extravagant thought of some deluded dreamer. It is no way to wisdom among the famous masters of the world; and for that reason he can have no knowledge of things revealed, because they are only spiritually discerned, or made known by the revelation of the Spirit, which is a principle of science or knowledge that he will not admit.

It is the same in our time.

Paul goes on to say that the spiritual person can judge all things but can be judged by no one (verse 15). Substitute ‘discern’ and ‘discerned’ for a better context.

Those enlightened by the Spirit can discern not only worldly but also spiritual things. The natural man cannot discern the spiritual. Therefore, he is incapable of understanding those whom the Spirit governs.

Henry says:

In short, he who founds all his knowledge upon principles of science, and the mere light of reason, can never be a judge of the truth or falsehood of what is received by revelation.

I highlighted ‘all’ because philosophy and science certainly have their place. St Thomas Aquinas, who lived during the Middle Ages, is undoubtedly the greatest Christian philosopher. This is because the Spirit governed his mind. Some of our greatest scientists from the age of Enlightenment through to the 19th century were Christian. Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian monk who lived during the 19th century, is the father of genetics. Thanks to his painstaking experiments with pea plants, he discovered dominant and recessive genes, which he called ‘factors’. Of course, farmers had known since the dawn of time how to cross-breed plants and animals successfully, but they did not know the rules as to why. Mendel’s extensive work firmly established those rules.

But I digress.

In verse 16, Paul cites Isaiah 40:13. One can substitute ‘directed’ for ‘measured’ below:

Who has measured[a] the Spirit of the Lord,
    or what man shows him his counsel?

Man is incapable of measuring or directing the Triune God, however, as Paul affirms, believers have the mind of Christ. The Spirit governs our minds.

Henry explains:

Very few have known any thing of the mind of God by a natural power. But, adds the apostle, we have the mind of Christ; and the mind of Christ is the mind of God. He is God, and the principal messenger and prophet of God. And the apostles were empowered by his Spirit to make known his mind to us. And in the holy scriptures the mind of Christ, and the mind of God in Christ, are fully revealed to us. Observe, It is the great privilege of Christians that they have the mind of Christ revealed to them by his Spirit.

What a marvellous thought on which to end.

This theme continues in next week’s reading, which is not in the Lectionary.

Next time –1 Corinthians 4:6-7

Below are the readings for the Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity, November 15, 2020.

These are for Year A in the three-year Lectionary used in public worship.

There are two options for the first reading and Psalm.

Emphases below are mine.

First reading and Psalm — Option One

Some time after Joshua’s death — after Ehud died — the Israelites fell into serious sin once again. Joshua had defeated Jabin, but, over the years, Jabin was able to rebuild his kingdom. God judged the Israelites by putting Jabin over them. After two decades, the judge and prophetess Deborah received word from the Lord that it was time for His judgement to end with another battle. Lappidoth (verse 4) means ‘lamps’. Deborah was an extraordinary woman, brilliant — as bright as a lamp — in spiritual and intellectual discernment. As such, Matthew Henry says that ‘wife of Lappidoth’ may be considered a figurative expression.

Judges 4:1-7

4:1 The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, after Ehud died.

4:2 So the LORD sold them into the hand of King Jabin of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; the commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-ha-goiim.

4:3 Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD for help; for he had nine hundred chariots of iron, and had oppressed the Israelites cruelly twenty years.

4:4 At that time Deborah, a prophetess, wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel.

4:5 She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the Israelites came up to her for judgment.

4:6 She sent and summoned Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you, ‘Go, take position at Mount Tabor, bringing ten thousand from the tribe of Naphtali and the tribe of Zebulun.

4:7 I will draw out Sisera, the general of Jabin’s army, to meet you by the Wadi Kishon with his chariots and his troops; and I will give him into your hand.'”

The Psalm was written at a time when God’s people were severely oppressed. However, it is a timeless plea for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Psalm 123

123:1 To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!

123:2 As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, until he has mercy upon us.

123:3 Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt.

123:4 Our soul has had more than its fill of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.

First reading and Psalm — Option Two

Zephaniah was the last minor prophet before the captivity at the hands of the Chaldeans. Zephaniah warned of the destruction of Jerusalem and enumerated the sins of Judah which formed the basis for God’s judgement. The prophet Jeremiah lived through that captivity.

Zephaniah 1:7, 12-18

1:7 Be silent before the Lord GOD! For the day of the LORD is at hand; the LORD has prepared a sacrifice, he has consecrated his guests.

1:12 At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the people who rest complacently on their dregs, those who say in their hearts, “The LORD will not do good, nor will he do harm.”

1:13 Their wealth shall be plundered, and their houses laid waste. Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit them; though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them.

1:14 The great day of the LORD is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the LORD is bitter, the warrior cries aloud there.

1:15 That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness,

1:16 a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements.

1:17 I will bring such distress upon people that they shall walk like the blind; because they have sinned against the LORD, their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung.

1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath; in the fire of his passion the whole earth shall be consumed; for a full, a terrible end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.

The Psalm, which Moses wrote, recognises God’s omnipotence, and asks Him for the human wisdom to acknowledge it.

Psalm 90:1-8, (9-11), 12

90:1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.

90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

90:3 You turn us back to dust, and say, “Turn back, you mortals.”

90:4 For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past, or like a watch in the night.

90:5 You sweep them away; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning;

90:6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed; in the evening it fades and withers.

90:7 For we are consumed by your anger; by your wrath we are overwhelmed.

90:8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance.

90:9 For all our days pass away under your wrath; our years come to an end like a sigh.

90:10 The days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty, if we are strong; even then their span is only toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.

90:11 Who considers the power of your anger? Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.

90:12 So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.

Epistle

Readings from 1 Thessalonians continue. Paul has no lectures to offer these holy Christians. He reminds them to continue being mindful of their mortality and to carry on building each other up in faith.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

5:1 Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you.

5:2 For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

5:3 When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape!

5:4 But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief;

5:5 for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness.

5:6 So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober;

5:7 for those who sleep sleep at night, and those who are drunk get drunk at night.

5:8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.

5:9 For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

5:10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him.

5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

Gospel

Readings from Matthew continue. Jesus taught these parables in the week of His death on the Cross. This is the Parable of the Talents. The conclusion seems harsh. However, the talents — worth quite a sum — were an analogy for the gifts that God gives each of us to increase for His praise and glory. Therefore, we should not waste the gifts He gives us. All good things come from Him alone and we should use them. He does not want us to bury — ignore — these gifts. Even with one gift, we can increase our use and value of it during our lifetimes, becoming holier people as we spread the Gospel according to our abilities.

Matthew 25:14-30

25:14 “For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them;

25:15 to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.

25:16 The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents.

25:17 In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents.

25:18 But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

25:19 After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them.

25:20 Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’

25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

25:22 And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’

25:23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

25:24 Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed;

25:25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’

25:26 But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter?

25:27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest.

25:28 So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents.

25:29 For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.

25:30 As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'”

Note that the tone of the readings for the past two Sundays have been more sombre. They have to do with the importance of wisdom, repentance, mortality and judgement. They prepare us for the approaching season of Advent, where we contemplate our failings and seek to do better in preparation for the feast of Christmas.

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