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Jesus Light of the World 616Christ the King Sunday — also known as the Feast of Christ the King and Stir up Sunday — was on November 26, 2017.

This feast day is the last Sunday of the Church year.

December 2, 2017, is the first Sunday in Advent. From then through the week following the next Christ the King Sunday, readings will come from Year B in the three-year Lectionary used in public worship.

Christ the King Sunday

Pope Pius XI created this feast day in 1925 to combat secularism imposed by dictatorships around the world at that time. Until 1960, the feast day was the last Sunday in October. With Vatican II, it was moved to the end of November.

As Protestant denominations began using the Lectionary in the 1970s, more of them gradually adopted the feast. Wikipedia tells us (bold emphases in the original, the one in purple mine):

Those churches that use the Revised Common Lectionary observe Christ the King Sunday as the final Sunday of their liturgical years.[12] These churches include most major Anglican and mainline Protestant groups, including the Church of England, Episcopal Church, Anglican Church in North America, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and other Lutheran groups, United Methodist Church and other Methodist groups, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the United Church of Christ, and the Moravian Church. Some, such as the Uniting Church in Australia refer to it in non-gendered terms as feast of The Reign of Christ.

In the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Sweden, this day is referred to as the Sunday of Doom, previously highlighting the final judgement, though after the Lectionary of 1983 the theme of the day was amended to the Return of Christ. In the Church in Wales, part of the Anglican Communion, the 4 Sundays before Advent are called the “Sundays of the Kingdom” and Christ the King is observed as a season and not a single festal day.

The United Methodist Church website has details on the impact the feast had in Mexico in the 1920s (emphases mine below):

It was first added in 1925 by the Roman Catholic Church in response to increasing secularization movements worldwide, but in particular to the plight of Mexican Christians who were being told by their government that only their government was due ultimate allegiance. The Church in Mexico remained faithful, holding public parades throughout the land (with significant governmental pushback!) proclaiming “Cristo Rey!,” “Christ is King!” Pope Pius XI made that declaration the basis of a Holy Day to be observed throughout the entire Roman Catholic Church, “Christ, The King of the Universe.”

In Britain, the feast is popularly known as Stir up Sunday, the time when women start making their Christmas cakes, which need the ensuing weeks in order to achieve maximum flavour and texture. The name comes from the traditional Collect:

Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people, that they bringing forth the fruit of good works, may by you be richly rewarded: through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen

Of course, in our postmodern era, some Christians object to the use of gender-oriented language, such as the word ‘king’. Therefore, some churches refer to it as Reign of Christ Sunday.

The aforementioned United Methodist Church article has a social justice tone to it regarding this particular feast day:

Here’s the part we may not like as well, but must pay attention to.

This shepherd takes sides.

This is also the shepherd who will choose to ignore or even destroy the sheep who have prospered at the expense of those who have been injured and scattered, those who have pushed or shoved the others out of the way to get all the choicest pasture for themselves, those who made themselves strong on the backs of those who were weaker and whom they made weaker still. This shepherd has no interest in their preservation. They are like a cancer, taking and consuming resources for themselves and their own purposes that were intended to be made available for the good of the whole body. If they will survive at all, it will be without the help of this shepherd.

This shepherd sides with the weak, the outcast, the damaged, the diseased, the abandoned, the marginalized.

That is what the Year A readings say, certainly, but there are different readings for the other two Lectionary years.

ChurchYear.Net understands our Saviour, the King of Kings, more broadly:

The earliest Christians identified Jesus with the predicted Messiah of the Jews. The Jewish word “messiah,” and the Greek word “Christ,” both mean “anointed one,” and came to refer to the expected king who would deliver Israel from the hands of the Romans. Christians believe that Jesus is this expected Messiah. Unlike the messiah most Jews expected, Jesus came to free all people, Jew and Gentile, and he did not come to free them from the Romans, but from sin and death. Thus the king of the Jews, and of the cosmos, does not rule over a kingdom of this world.

ChurchYear.Net explains Pius XI’s original objectives for establishing this feast day:

Pius hoped the institution of the feast would have various effects. They were:

1. That nations would see that the Church has the right to freedom, and immunity from the state (Quas Primas, 32).
2. That leaders and nations would see that they are bound to give respect to Christ (Quas Primas, 31).
3. That the faithful would gain strength and courage from the celebration of the feast, as we are reminded that Christ must reign in our hearts, minds, wills, and bodies (Quas Primas, 33).

Today, the same distrust of authority exists, although the problem has gotten worse. Individualism has been embraced to such an extreme, that for many, the only authority is the individual self. The idea of Christ as ruler is rejected in such a strongly individualistic system. Also, many balk at the idea of kings and queens, believing them to be antiquated and possibly oppressive. Some even reject the titles of “lord” and “king” for Christ because they believe that such titles are borrowed from oppressive systems of government. However true these statements might be (some kings have been oppressive), these individuals miss the point: Christ’s kingship is one of humility and service.

The site also has a separate page of prayers and hymns for Christ the King Sunday.

The readings for 2017 — Year A — are on the Vanderbilt University Lectionary site. The respective Epistle and Gospel follow:

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.

——————————–

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.”

First Sunday of Advent

The Epistle and Gospel readings for the First Sunday of Advent — Lectionary Year B — continue a similar theme, about being prepared for the Final Judgement.

Note that Paul’s letter to the Corinthians mentions thankfulness, spiritual strength and spiritual gifts — all coming from God — and being called into the fellowship of Christ Jesus:

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

1:3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1:4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus,

1:5 for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind–

1:6 just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you–

1:7 so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1:8 He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1:9 God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

In Mark’s Gospel, we read Jesus’s warning about not knowing when the time will come, therefore, be prepared — ‘keep alert’, ‘keep awake’:

Mark 13:24-37

13:24 “But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light,

13:25 and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

13:26 Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory.

13:27 Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

13:28 “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near.

13:29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.

13:30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.

13:31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

13:32 “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

13:33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.

13:34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.

13:35 Therefore, keep awake–for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn,

13:36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly.

13:37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”

Most Christians observe Advent as a time of spiritual preparation for Christmas. I will feature Advent posts and resources in the coming weeks.

Until then, readers might find Vanderbilt’s Advent resources and this page of Sunday readings useful.

On Monday, November 27, 2017, First Lady Melania Trump welcomed a group of schoolchildren to the White House which she has transformed into a magical Winter Wonderland.

Ballet dancers performed selections from The Nutcracker Suite. The US Marine Corps band provided musical accompaniment. (Ignore the sarcasm from the CNN reporter’s caption.)

AP has a good video here of the dancers and Mrs Trump’s warm hugs for each child. She also sat down to talk and listen to their Christmas letters to the US military and helped them decorate Christmas wreaths:

This video shows more of Mrs Trump’s dress (see the back at 40 seconds in). There were two tables set up for the pupils, but the children at the second table quickly left to stand behind Mrs Trump at her table. One girl sat on her lap:

One child compared America’s first lady to an angel:

Indeed. Mrs Trump’s dress was perfect for the occasion:

The Gateway Pundit reported that the children are from Joint Base Andrews:

NBC News tweeted heartwarming footage of Melania Trump welcoming students from Joint Base Andrews at a White House Christmas event. The children were stunned as the angelic First Lady entered the room.

“Are you the first lady?!” a boy asked as he hugged Melania Trump.

“She seriously looks like an angel,” added another child.

Look at the kids run to her:

They clearly enjoyed being with her:

The White House issued a press release on this year’s Christmas decorations, excerpted below (emphases mine):

The First Family will celebrate their first Christmas in the White House with a nod to tradition. This year’s theme, “Time-Honored Traditions” was designed by First Lady Melania Trump to pay respect to 200 years of holiday traditions at the White House.

In the East Wing, visitors find a tribute to our service members and their families with the Gold Star Family Tree, which has been decorated with gold stars and patriotic ribbon. Visitors are encouraged to write a message to their loved ones who are on duty or abroad on the digital tablets provided.

After passing through the East colonnade, visitors will see the China Room, which honors the holiday traditions of dining and hospitality. The room is set up for a family Christmas dinner, with the table displaying the china from President Ronald Reagan. Then, visitors will see the Library, which features President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1866 edition of “A Christmas Carol,” as they recall the time-honored custom of reading Christmas stories to loved ones.

On the State Floor of the White House, the Grand Foyer and Cross Hall celebrate the first themed White House Christmas, which was the “Nutcracker Suite” in 1961. The Green Room honors the festivities of crafts, paper, and classic design. The Blue Room holds the official White House Christmas tree, which is decorated with glass ornaments depicting the seal of each State and territory. The Red Room hosts delightful holiday treats, and has been decorated with peppermints, candy, and cookies. The State Dining Room holds a traditional gingerbread house, which depicts the South facade of the White House and features Mrs. Trump’s signature Christmas wreaths.

I mentioned the gingerbread house last week. It is something to behold.

The White House will be receiving many visitors in the run up to Christmas:

the White House will host more than 100 open houses and many receptions. More than 25,000 visitors will walk the halls taking part in public tours.

Unlike presidential palaces, it is considered the People’s House, and the Trumps have opened the doors to tens of thousands of Americans, many for special recognition, in addition to those attending tours.

After many years in storage, the Nativity scene has reappeared:

You can see it from a distance in this video, at the end of a corridor full of brilliantly decorated Christmas trees:

This video shows the Nativity scene close up at the beginning of the following video (detail photo here). How beautiful:

In addition to views of the other rooms — including the Blue Room with the main Christmas tree (also see) — that video also has an excellent extended close-up of the gingerbread house, complete with portico and columns. How did they make that? Wow!

Mrs Trump also has Christmas booklets printed which explain a bit about the history of the White House rooms. The boy in the illustration is the First Son, aged 11:

Along with millions of Americans, I am so grateful for such a wonderful First Family.

No more Mao ornaments, as favoured by the Obamas. Thank goodness for that.

Compare and contrast the 2016 White House decorations with this year’s. (No Mao ornaments, but the difference is startling.)

Even worse were the Clintons’ White House displays. Please read the story at that link (content too indecent to summarise here).

In closing, here is another video.

I am also grateful that the Gateway Pundit‘s Jim Hoft gave special emphasis to the Nativity scene:

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are bringing Christ back to Christmas.

Melania released video of the beautiful White House decorations.

And this year a Nativity scene was included.

Yes! Christmas makes a comeback!

And the White House has never looked as beautiful as it does now.

———————————————————————————-

UPDATE: CNN announced they will be boycotting the Trumps’ White House Christmas party for the media. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders is delighted, and Trump says we should turn off CNN.

Having seen the following two tweets about Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, I checked for an update on rebuilding the battered island.

The mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, made another video last week. Looking somewhat Castro-like in a military cap and with a new tee shirt, she again said that Puerto Ricans are starving and that the Trump administration is doing next to nothing to help her fellow citizens:

Bill Clinton visited her that same day. One wonders if Bubba brought the shirt with him, which is how she got her other ‘help us’ attire. I don’t see any starving people in the photos. Everyone seems to be having a jolly time:

However, not everyone agrees with Yulín’s blame of the Trump administration:

On November 3, Yulín told CNN — which clearly adores her — that the death toll from Maria could be 500, but she has nothing solid on which to base that claim. It’s just to make Trump and his administration appear incompetent and cruel.

CNN posted an article — also on November 20 — which brought up the 500 dead figure and states that many are dying in fires from lanterns because they have no electricity.

However, these deaths are occurring now, which begs the question: whose fault is that?

At the end of September, I wrote about how fragile Puerto Rico’s infrastructure was before the hurricane. Everyone on the island knows that.

On November 19, the Los Angeles Times wrote about the lack of electricity, which is driving Puerto Ricans to the mainland:

Prosper, 67, considers himself a creative type. He managed to wire the 12-volt lightbulbs in his home to a series of car batteries.

“Even if there is no electricity, there’s light here,” Prosper said, showing his living room.

Officials estimate several hundred people — mostly young adults — are leaving Puerto Rico each day for the mainland.

The exodus was taking place even before Maria, a Category 4 storm, hit the island on Sept. 20.

Then this follows with mention of the island’s governor, Ricardo Rosselló (emphases mine):

For years, the commonwealth has struggled with debt. In May, Rossello said the Puerto Rican government, embroiled in a more than $70-billion debt crisis, would go to federal court in hopes of receiving protection from creditors.

Tony Villamil, an economist based in Miami who has worked extensively in Puerto Rico, said Saturday it was “going to take a decade at minimum for the island to recover and regain some sense of normalcy.”

“The ports, the power grid, the highways all need to be rebuilt with significant improvements,” Villamil said. “There needs to be a strong public-private sector relationship that is developed to help in these efforts.”

To date Congress has approved $5 billion in aid for Puerto Rico since Maria made landfall. Even so, Rossello has called on the federal government to give Puerto Rico nearly $94 billion in recovery aid.

While in Washington, D.C., this month for meetings with members of Congress, Rossello outlined how the money would be spent: about $46 billion from the Community Development Block Grant program to restore housing; $30 billion from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for infrastructure; and $17 billion in other grant programs for long-term recovery.

Still, as Rosello and other officials scramble to find money to rebuild the commonwealth and, in turn, stanch migration to the mainland, some have given up and are moving out.

Someone in Puerto Rico posted the following in response to the LA Times‘s tweet about the article (see here, here and here):

not Trump lets be honest puerto rico has a deep corruption problem! lots of money in help are now missing!

you don’t live in puerto rico! corruption is rampant! lots of the help money went to no bid contracts with phantom companies!

so much government corruption in puerto rico, contracts with phantom companies and partisan issues! everybody should demand transparency!

The tweet below shows the state of play last week. Note that the main problem is electricity, which was already a dangerously serious problem before Maria struck:

The latest controversy alleges that FEMA waited 40 days to start funding long term work on rebuilding the island. In fact, it was Governor Rosselló who waited for 30 days. Once he made his request, FEMA approved it within the customary 10 days, the same time it takes on the mainland. On November 21, Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Día reported:

Although FEMA assured that the delay in the approval of C-G funds will not affect the island, the fact is that Puerto Rico waited for a month to begin the process of requesting funds for permanent projects.

In addition, although the Rosselló Nevares administration and FEMA spent the first weeks responding to the emergency, two months after the hurricane, most of the island continues without power and to date, the process of installing tarps to residences by the Corps of Engineers does not even reach a quarter of the universe of affected units.

On November 15, the paper reported the bemusement of American legislators on Rosselló’s — and the island’s power authority PREPA’s — slow response:

Washington.- Yesterday, Republicans and Democrats of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources showed themselves confused by the decision of the Government of Puerto Rico to ignore, for over a month during the emergency caused by Hurricane Maria, mutual aid agreements with American public energy corporations.

“One month in the recovery process was lost,” said the president of the committee, Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), who, without the insistence heard from the House, asked the executive director of the Board, Natalie Jaresko, if it was necessary to appoint an “emergency manager” for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA).

There were problems with one of the initial contracts, with a company called Whitefish, with which Ryan Zinke, the US Secretary of the Interior (see tweet at the top of this post), has connections. That said, Puerto Rico cancelled the contract, which is also the subject of investigation requests by the FBI, Congress, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the General Inspectors of the departments of Homeland Security and Energy.

Ricardo Ramos, PREPA’s executive director, said he had not received any request from the FBI.

Rosselló says that he was not involved with the contract and that, had he anticipated the slow pace of the recovery process, he would had acted differently.

The story continues.

Further reading:

Hurricane Maria: the Left — including media — are wrong about relief efforts (September 27)

Hurricane Maria: beware American media misinformation about Puerto Rico (September 28)

Hurricane Maria has worsened Puerto Rico’s weak infrastructure (September 28)

Hurricane Maria: fact and fallacy in Puerto Rico (September 28 – October 1)

Hurricane Maria: more news from Puerto Rico (September 25 – October 1)

Hurricane Maria: President Trump’s trip to Puerto Rico (October 3)

 

 

 

 

Have we considered the scriptural accuracy of ‘stairway to heaven’?

This graphic from Reddit explains it beautifully:

This is what Jesus said (Matthew 7:13-14), emphasis mine:

13 “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy[a] that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 14 For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

Not too long ago, I had a conversation with someone who is the son of a prominent cleric, now deceased. When he spoke at length about accepting sexual depravity in our modern era — Christian tolerance in changing times — I had to remind him of those verses. I doubt it did any good, but we need to know what the Bible says and to speak up about such things.

What follows is an update on Q Clearance Anon, about whom I posted a little over two weeks ago.

The author of the Reddit thread that had a compilation of Q posts wrote that, as of November 20, no new posts would be added.

I would have added this to my post of November 10 on the subject, however, even though comments were technically still open, I could not add a comment to the thread on November 24.

One of the Anons commenting on or after November 15 said that the original Q was no longer posting on 4chan.org/pol/. In fact, that person said Q stopped commenting on November 9. We do not know for sure, but it could be that other security operatives are signing off as Q, meaning that we could be looking at a small group of people instead of an individual.

This link is to the Q posts between November 10 and 24. Take them for what they are (probably some disinfo in them) and read the oldest posts starting on page 4, bottom to top.

I posted most of the ones on page 4 and a few from the bottom of page 3. Going further we have this from Wednesday, November 15 (MI — Military Intelligence — below):

Who financed 9-11?
Who was Bin Laden’s handler?
Why was the Clowns In America tasked to hunt/kill/capture UBL?
Why not MI?
If we found UBL, eliminated his security, why would we immediately kill him and not take him alive?
Why wouldn’t we want to capture UBL alive and extract other possible T-level events?
Perhaps someday people will understand ‘they’ had a plan to conduct ‘another’ mass extinction event.
WWI & II – orchestrated and planned by select families?
Fantasy land.
Remember, the more people there are, the more power the people have.
Why do D’s push for gun control ‘directly’ after every tragic incident?
Why is this so very important to their agenda?
We, the people, are who they are afraid of.
We, the people, are who they fear will one day awake.
Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Q

Q went quiet after that.

His next post was on Saturday, November 18:

++

That was the day after the mid-air crash near Waddesdon Manor, a former Rothschild home. Family members live nearby.

Q went quiet again.

His next post was on Monday, November 20. It was a series of questions about the media, which ended with this:

How much power of influence does Twitter, FB, Reddit, etc. have in influencing the minds of people?
Has the stranglehold of the MSM been diminished?
What is open source?
What has become blatantly obvious since the election of POTUS?
Why would they allow this (visibility) to occur?
Were they not prepared to counter?
What miscalculation occurred?
What opposite impact did this generate?
How did POTUS recognize and invert?
What happens when an entity and/or individual accumulates power?
Define corruption.
Define censorship.
Define ‘controlled’ censorship.
What action is Twitter taking effective mid-Dec?
What is the purpose of this action?
Possible test to understand public / gov’t response?

In the continuation, also dated November 20, Q renamed The Storm to the Silent War, which is interesting, as I had thought of the same name around that time — not having been aware of his post. This is important for people who think nothing is happening. This is so explosive that some of it will have to happen without the public — or media — knowing (emphases mine):

What has been occurring recently?
The stage must be set.
Crumbs are easy to swallow.
What if Hugh Hefner was /a Clown In America?
What is a honeypot?
Define blackmail.
How could this be applied?
Fantasy land.
WHO HAS ALL OF THE INFORMATION?
No Such Agency.
The hunter becomes the hunted.
Operations underway.
Operators active.
Disinformation is real.
Disinformation is necessary.
Silent war (some gets out).
The Great Awakening.
Iron Eagle.
Godfather III.
The Hunt for Red October.
Q

He then posted three brief messages aimed at those who wonder if anything is happening. This is the first:

QMAP 1/2 confirmed.
This is the key.
Q

The second:

1&2 confirmed.
You will need for coming weeks.
Put it this way, six attempts were made to silence the witness scheduled to appear tomorrow.
Special operators on guard.
Q

The third, which states he was able to deactivate online interference:

Bots deactivated upon arrival.
Keep up the good fight.
It’s spreading.
Q

He then posted about Saudi Arabia, Twitter, Twitter’s new policy in effect mid-December 2017, Trump’s tweets and his account having been taken down for 10 minutes several days ago:

(Repost to correct thread).
Expand your thinking.
What are patterns?
How are patterns formed and isolated?
What are data sets?
What is a map?
Re: Twitter (repeat)(important).
What action is Twitter taking effective mid-Dec?
What is the purpose of this action?
Possible test to understand public / gov’t response?
When was this announced?
When did events in SA transpire?
Who controlled a large portion of Twitter stock?
Why is this relevant?
Expand your thinking.
What is the real purpose of this action?
What is the SS?
Who is the primary person protected under the SS?
What action is Twitter taking effective mid-Dec?
Would POTUS be able to use Twitter post action?
Define the ‘known’ action.
Why is the MSM ignoring this action?
What transpired w/ POTUS’ Twitter account a short time ago?
Re-read crumbs on this topic (necessary).
Two scenarios (lose/lose).
POTUS advised by SS to terminate use of Twitter due to new website tracking policy (cookies) amongst other spyware not disclosed (risk) – 1st time they failed (re-read).
POTUS silenced on Twitter due to new policy (re: SS / risk).
Direct message failure.
POTUS refuses to be silenced.
Bad actors gather metadata and targeting.
Small example of the ongoing silent war.
Options?
Regulate?
Problem: time to complete.
Solution?
Patriots, get the word out.
Jason Bourne (Deep Dream).
Q

He then posted:

POTUS opened the door of all doors.
Expand your thinking.
What is the keystone?
Q

Someone posted, asking Q about the notional missing North Korean submarine. He replied:

>>150214567
Red Oct sig has not occurred yet.
Follow the map.
Q

Someone else asked Q about Soros selling shares in online companies. He replied:

>>150214997
!!!

Q posted more brief messages about good ultimately overcoming evil.

Then he posted about the aforementioned air crash near Waddesdon Manor on Friday, November 17. Before going there, the Telegraph posted an article on the crash on November 18, excerpts of which follow:

An aviation student who dreamt of becoming a pilot was killed along with three other people when his plane hit a helicopter near the Rothschild’s Buckinghamshire estate on Friday.

Friends have paid tribute to 18-year-old Saavan Mundae, from Buckinghamshire New University’s aviation course, saying he died doing what he “loved and believed in”

Also killed when the student’s Cessna 152 crashed into a helicopter on Friday was his flight instructor, the helicopter pilot and his passenger.

Captain Mike Green, the pilot of the helicopter, had taken a passenger on a ‘gift’ sightseeing tour’ when his helicopter was hit by the Cessna.

Both aircraft disintegrated on impact and plummeted to the ground.

They had taken off a short time earlier from an airfield where air traffic control had been shut due to “staff shortages”.

Wreckage from the aircraft tumbled from the sky and landed just over a mile from the former home of the Rothschild banking family at Waddesdon Manor, in Buckinghamshire.

Thames Valley Police confirmed last night that the four bodies of the men were still at the crash scene and had not yet been recovered. Three of the victims’ families visited the crash scene yesterday afternoon …

Nothing has appeared in the media since. If it has appeared, it’s buried deeply.

I won’t post everything Q posted on the crash — starting on Wednesday, November 22 — but he did mention Captain Mike Green with a coded message, which he calls a ‘stringer’:

_Conf_D-TT_^_v891_0600_yes
_green1_0600
Bunker Apple Yellow Sky [… + 1]

Yes.

His next message told us to pay attention to the word order in the aforementioned message with the stringer.

Then:

Keywords:
Confirm.
Green.
Sky.
Why were keywords added in the stringer?
What was the purpose?
What was previously stated?
To who specifically?
++
Who countered?
Learn to read the map.
Missing critical items.
Graphic is key.
Ordering is critical.
Q

On the bottom of page 2, Q elaborated, mentioning a certain lord of the manor specifically. This is an excerpt from that message:

What was previously stated?
++
Who was the pilot of the plane?
Bad actor?
Who was the pilot of the helicopter?
Green?
What was countered?
Who was on the ground (outside) shortly before the collision?
Who was in the home shortly before the collision?
Learn to read the map.
We may have overestimated your ability.
Q

Quite possibly. Most of us have not been to spy school.

This is Q’s next message, answering a reader:

>>150398185Shadow war.
Act II, Scene IV.
(Movie idea – thoughts?)
(Characters)
Good guy (pilot of helicopter).
Bad guy (pilot of plane).
Targets (on ground and in home).
(Story)
Upon receipt of the ‘go’ code – Good guy flies during a blackout window provided by unknown agency w/ unknowns (ordinary people by the look of it) to a select location (re: highly classified mission) who was given the ‘go’ order by ‘x’ to execute (delivery – (3) for care_). Bad guy intercepts message due to rogue operator embedded in tactical observation unit and takes out Good guy by top down invisible attack.
Mission failure.
Encore: What has since occurred by Targets?
Q

You can see a reader’s interpretation of this.

Someone asked Q if he could be a lot less cryptic, but Q said that if he spelled everything out, /pol/ would be shut down.

Q then turned his attention towards the occult that ensnares the elite:

Their need for symbolism will be their downfall.
Follow the Owl & Y head around the world.
Identify and list.
They don’t hide it.
They don’t fear you.
You are sheep to them.
You are feeders.
Godfather III.
Q

A longer comment followed asking what powerful people wear the Owl & Y head symbol, linking this to Internet censorship. An excerpt follows:

Why are they worn/shown openly?
Their need for symbolism will be their downfall.
MSM role?
Push conspiracy theory.
Social media role?
Push conspiracy theory and institute new rules allowing for ban.
Censorship.
The graphic is key.
Re-read graphic (ex: what family did Soros replace (Y)).
Part II – How were they ‘adopted’ into the cult (as children).
What were they provided for obeying and staying silent (brainwashed)?
All that you know to be right is wrong.
The ‘cult’ runs the world.
Fantasy land.
The world is fighting back (& destroying the cult).
20% public.
80% private.
The world would otherwise collapse.
40,000ft. v. (again) and need to decrease altitude to avoid ‘conspiracy’ label.
Was necessary.
GODFATHER III.
For God & Country.
Q

This message followed:

USA vs.
Necessary to cut strings from foreign bad actors.
Necessary to form WW alliances to defeat.
Think Merkel is a coincidence?
They are puppets.
They are weak.
They are scared.
80% dark ops necessary.
20% public for justice.
The stage must be set.
Have faith.
Q

More messages follow on page 2, some of which call our attention to triangular buildings.

Then:

U1 – CA – EU – ASIA – IRAN/NK
Where did it end up?
What was the purpose?
Who was suppose to win the election of 2016?
Why was the Iran deal kept from Congress and placed at the highest level of classification?
Meaning, a United States Senator could NOT review the deal but other foreign powers could.
How much money was hand delivered by plane(s)?
Why in cash?
Where did the plane(s) actually land?
What was the cover?
Who paid for BO to attend Harvard?
Why would this occur pre-political days?
Who was the biggest contributor to the CF?
The graphic is the key.
Why does the MSM push conspiracy w/o investigation?
Who controls the MSM?
What does the word ‘conspiracy’ mean to you?
Has the word ‘conspiracy’ been branded to mean something shameful in today’s society?
The world cannot handle the truth.
This pill cannot be swallowed by most.
Risk in painting this picture.
THE SUM OF ALL FEARS.
Q

After that, there is this:

Rizvi Traverse Management.
Happy hunting.
Q

On Thanksgiving Day, November 23, Q was upbeat:

>>150559263
We are winning bigly.
Q

Also:

Can’t wait for the green light.
Teams on standby.
Q

There are several messages on page 1, including one telling people that Rizvi Traverse Management is very important to remember. Clicking on their homepage shows that they have invested in several companies Q has been writing about. Scary.

Another says:

What is FB?
Spying tool?
Who created it?
Who really created it?
Nothing is what it seems.
Q

Exactly.

On Friday, November 24, Q discussed the news stories about a certain company’s mercenaries torturing Saudis as part of the purge of princes, which started on November 4. The company denies it.

A reader investigated Q’s mention of Keyhole as being very important:

>>150681065

Q!

is this relevant?

At In-Q-Tel, Painter’s work focused on identifying, researching and evaluating “new start-up technology firms that were believed to offer tremendous value to the CIA, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency.” Indeed, the NGA had confirmed that its intelligence obtained via Keyhole was used by the NSA to support US operations in Iraq from 2003 onwards.

A former US Army special operations intelligence officer, Painter’s new job at Google as of July 2005 was federal manager of what Keyhole was to become: Google Earth Enterprise. By 2007, Painter had become Google’s federal chief technologist.

‘TK’ refers to Talent/Keyhole, code names for imagery from reconnaissance aircraft and spy satellites,

Near the close, Q posted three messages, one of which follows (this is the other and here is a photo):

>>150698169
Expand further.
Make the connection.
Map currently has 43 confirmed connections.
Important to understand.
When this breaks many won’t swallow.
MSM not trusted.
You are the voice.
We are here to help guide.
Future proves past.
You are the calm before and during the storm.
Q

In the meantime, keep reading the news. As Q has written on more than one occasion, we will find out some things via an:

Unclassified setting.
Monitored and analyzed in RT.
Future answers past.
Q

Also refer to my first post, especially for the links therein. This detailed album from Reddit goes through what Q discussed early on through November 13. This /pol/ thread discusses Q’s Thanksgiving and Friday posts.

This image and text compilation (click and zoom to enlarge) suggests that Q’s earlier references to Wonderland could mean something other than — or in addition to — Saudi Arabia.

This Reddit post — and this one — discuss severe child abuse in a Chinese school, indicating that Q was right about Asia also going through a clean-up process. There appears to be a connection to the Clinton Foundation.

This post, discussing Q’s Thanksgiving messages, is dated November 24.

Bible GenevaThe 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 have omitted — 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.

Acts 13:4-7

Barnabas and Saul on Cyprus

So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.

————————————————————————————

Last week’s entry discussed the verses following Herod’s death by worms. First, the number of new Christians increased — the death was so slow, so public and gruesome it could only have been seen as a divine judgement. Secondly, Barnabas and Saul brought John Mark (St Mark of the Gospel) into their ministry.

Yesterday’s post explained the first three verses of Acts 13. If you haven’t yet read it, doing so will help clarify the shift out of Jerusalem and Judea to distant lands to spread the Word.

In summary, the church in Antioch was becoming well established to the point that two of the ministers could go and establish another church elsewhere. The five teachers in Antioch were Barnabas (the eldest), Simeon Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen and Saul. The Holy Spirit directed the five to send Barnabas and Saul away for a new ministry.

Those who know the Bible well and those have been following my series on Acts, recognise Barnabas, the Levite from Cyprus who converted. He first appears at the end of Acts 4. I wrote about him in last week’s Forbidden Bible Verses instalment about Acts 12:24-25.

Note that St Luke, the author of Acts, again impresses upon us that the Holy Spirit sent forth Barnabas and Saul, who went to the port of Seleucia and sailed to Cyprus (verse 4). It is possible that Barnabas wanted to evangelise his homeland.

If not, Cyprus was still an easy first destination. MacArthur says that arriving at Seleucia from Antioch was a 16-mile journey via the Euphrates River. From Seleucia:

you could look out a few miles, you could see Cyprus, a little island out there. They got a ship and took off …

MacArthur describes Cyprus (emphases mine below):

That little island of Cyprus, 30 to 50 miles wide, 110 miles long, two important cities, one in the southeast corner, one in the northwest corner Salamis and Paphos and the land in-between was going to be conquered for Christ. That’s the first new adventure for the Gentile church. What an exciting thing.

They first arrived at Salamis on the south-east coast, where they began preaching and teaching in the synagogues with John (Mark, of the Gospel) to help them (verse 5).

Saul of Tarsus preached in the synagogues of Damascus (Acts 9:20), so it seemed logical to do the same on Cyprus. MacArthur explains:

Now there were a lot of Jews in that city, many thousands, enough to keep several synagogues operating. And as Paul’s custom was soon to be, he went into the synagogues and there he used the place as a platform. It was a public place where many could gather and it was a great place for preaching and he’d go there and begin to preach. And since he was a Jew he would inevitably have access and as a former member of the Sanhedrin and so forth and so on they would be receiving him.

John Mark’s role was of a preacher-in-training. Matthew Henry’s commentary tells us:

They had John for their minister; not their servant in common things, but their assistant in the things of God, either to prepare their way in places where they designed to come or to carry on their work in places where they had begun it, or to converse familiarly with those to whom they preached publicly, and explain things to them; and such a one might be many ways of use to them, especially in a strange country.

The three men travelled from east to west, a journey of 110 miles, no doubt stopping in many places along the way to preach and teach. Luke did not tell us how long this journey with frequent stops took, but it must have been some time.

Their final destination was Paphos on the north-west coast (verse 6). Paphos was the seat of the Roman government on the island and was well-known for the Paphian Venus, as there was a widespread and deep cult surrounding the goddess of love there. MacArthur explains:

Venus was supposedly, according to their tradition, to have been born in the foam of the sea off the shore of Paphos having been born then come to live in Paphos and she was worshipped with the wildest kind of sexual orgies, as were so many of the gods and goddesses of that time. One writer said the city was a pit of sin where people wallowed in moral filth. So here comes two guys and a helper. They are going to conquer Paphos. Here they come, but the Spirit of God is with them.

It could only be expected that Satan would be there to try and frustrate their holy work. The three men met a Jewish sorcerer by the name of Bar-Jesus (verse 6), which means ‘son of salvation’ or ‘son of Joshua’. Henry says that the name carried an alternative — darker — meaning:

the Syriac calls him, Bar-shoma–the son of pride; filius inflationis–the son of inflation.

‘Inflation’ there means being puffed up with pride.

Bar-Jesus’s other name was Elymas, which we will see next week (Acts 13:8).

Bar-Jesus was not a magician who does card tricks or pulls rabbits out of hats. He was a practitioner of the dark arts.

If you think this scene with a magician sounds familiar, you remember the story of Simon Magus from Acts 8 (here and here), when he was baptised thanks to Philip the Evangelist then asked the Apostles to sell him power from the Holy Spirit. Clearly, the man never understood and Peter rebuked him severely. Simon Magus and Bar-Jesus shared similar characteristics.

John MacArthur expands on this:

Both were demon-possessed mediums. You know what a medium is? It’s a contact. Men contact this medium who is infested with demons and thus they contacted the demonic world.

The title sorcerer, let me take a footnote on that. The title sorcerer comes from the Greek word magos, from which we get magic. Now watch very carefully. The word initially doesn’t have to mean anything evil in its full sense. The word magos is the very word translated in Matthew 2 for wise men magi. It’s the same word. In reference to them, remember they came bearing gifts for the Christ child, but in reference to them it has kind of a good sense for they were good men, they were astronomers from Persia and magi became the title of Persian astronomers, Persian scientists.

But some of that Persian science had degenerated into the occult. Astronomy became what? Astrology. And so there were two kinds of Persian scientists. There were magi who were in a rather good sense somewhat scientific and there were magi who were correctly to be translated sorcerers. And though they were Zoroastrian priests to begin with, they rather divided into two kinds, those who were really plugged into Satan and those who were somewhat pseudoscientific. And so the word itself can go either way. But magic really was the art practiced by Persian priests in connection with astronomy. It deteriorated into astrology and now it comes down to what we know today.

And so every kind of fraud and deception and every form of the occult and so forth and so on was going on in the name of magic. And this guy was into it. He was a magician. He was a sorcerer. Now I’m not talking about magic. I’m not talking about pulling rabbits out of hats. That’s inconsequential. That’s immaterial. That may even prove to illustrate some good principles. We’re talking about demonic magic.

All right, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet. Now notice this: mediums are very often false prophets. Demon possessed people very often fain to be prophets of God.

Bar-Jesus was with the Roman pro-consul, Sergius Paulus, at the time he summoned Barnabas and Saul to hear the Word (verse 7). We are told that Sergius Paulus is ‘a man of intelligence’.

Given that information, did Sergius Paulus invite Bar-Jesus to be an adviser of some sort? MacArthur thinks so:

Sergius Paulus then dabbled in the occult and he had this man with him. And it’s interesting the emperor Tiberius, at this particular time in the world, had a whole flock of these occult medium demon-possessed people around him giving him information. Is it any wonder the Roman Empire went out of existence? All the information was coming from the pit.

Henry’s commentary proffers another perspective:

He was hanging on at court, was with the deputy of the country. It does not appear that the deputy called for him, as he did for Barnabas and Saul; but he thrust himself upon him, aiming, no doubt, to make a hand of him, and get money by him.

The story continues next week.

However, in closing, MacArthur gave this sermon in 1973. It begins with the deterioration of the Spirit-driven Church in favour of something secular:

I hope that several things are happening as we’re studying the book of Acts. One of those is I hope that it’s iconoclastic in a sense. That is I hope that it smashes some idols about the church, because I think that for many years through the filtering in and out of church history and culture and so forth the church has very often substituted its form for its real life. It has substituted its ritual for its reality. It has become an institution instead of life. It has become a business instead of a body. It has become a kind of professional pulpitism sponsored by lay spectators rather than a ministering organism and I hope that somehow as we study the book of Acts, even as we did when we studied the book of Ephesians, we are smashing some old idols about the church and that we can kind of get down to the basis of what the New Testament church is to be …

There are two extremes of the church that I see. There is the religious machine type church, which is big business. The church becomes an end in itself. It just exists to exist. It is not a means to anything. It is just an end. It doesn’t have as its primary goal, at least in a working sense, teaching and winning and discipling and reproducing. Its success is measured by the number of people that are there, the number of bodies that are briefed, baptized, blessed, and given tithing envelopes, and that’s about it. And if you have more bodies in your building than the guy down the street you’re successful and he’s not.

And so you have the big business idea of the church, which, of course, is totally foreign to the concept of an organism and a body that operates in simplicity through the gifts of the Spirit and the responsibilities of fellowship.

On the other hand, you have the other extreme, which is the social reform view of the church. That the church isn’t really to preach the Word of God, the church is to preach economics, politics, it is involved in civil and social and environmental struggles and truly the pastors and leaders are as lost as the heathen, only they are more damned the Bible says, because they sin willfully against light and their false prophets. Their concern is a preoccupation with civil issues. If there is no reality to their theology, if they can’t believe the Word of God, if they can’t really nail down who Jesus is and they can’t be firm on fact on who God is, the only thing left to do is fool around with man. And so that’s what happens.

U. S. and News and World Report recently did some surveys of young pastors and young ministers and these men says the article, “Are calling on our churches to save the individual.” Sounds good. It goes on, “By saving or reforming society dealing with the ills of urbanization technology and discrimination.” Only that approach they feel will make religion relevant.

Beloved, that approach will make religion obsolete. That is not what we’re to do. Oh ultimately we are to minister to the total man in every way, but the church preoccupied with social ills is a church that is had the gospel vacuumed and sucked right out of it. And I reject the idea that the church is a reformed institution for the world. I think the church is a reformed institution for one man at a time on the basis of the gospel of Jesus Christ and changed individuals will change the world. You’ll never change society any other way than to change men through the preaching of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

That approach severely weakened Christianity, starting in the 1980s and continuing on through the present day.

The terrible truth is that no clergyperson will admit this grave error, indeed, a grave sin against Christ.

Next time — Acts 13:8-12

Bible read me 2Up through Chapter 12, the Book of Acts, which St Luke wrote, is mostly about the disciples’ preaching to the Jewish people.

Chapter 13 shows the shift to a Gentile Church. Commentary cited below comes from Matthew Henry and John MacArthur.

These first three verses are in the three-year Lectionary used in public worship:

Barnabas and Saul Sent Off

13 Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger,[a] Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a lifelong friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.

I wrote about the church in Antioch a few weeks ago to better appreciate Acts 13. Acts 11:19-30 is also in the three-year Lectionary. This is an important reading, especially these verses (emphases mine below):

25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

As my post explains, ‘Christians’ was a derogatory term used by the pagans to mean cultish followers of Christ. In Greek, ‘iani’ means ‘the party of’. The pagans in Antioch meant it as an insult.

The Christians in Antioch were devout and sent donations to the church in Judea:

27 Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). 29 So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers[d] living in Judea. 30 And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

In Acts 13, we discover that Barnabas and Saul left Antioch to continue their ministry elsewhere, which will be the subject of the next Forbidden Bible Verses post.

In the first verse, St Luke wrote that there were prophets and teachers in the church in Antioch. Agabus was a prophet, as he revealed the Holy Spirit’s message that a famine would occur. The teachers revealed the truth of Jesus Christ as instructed by the Spirit.

Matthew Henry explains:

… those here mentioned were at times divinely inspired, and had instructions immediately from heaven upon special occasions, which gave them the title of prophets; and withal they were stated teachers of the church in their religious assemblies, expounded the scriptures, and opened the doctrine of Christ with suitable applications. These were the prophets, and scribes, or teachers, which Christ promised to send (Matthew 23:34), such as were every way qualified for the service of the Christian church. Antioch was a great city, and the Christians there were many, so that they could not all meet in one place; it was therefore requisite they should have many teachers, to preside in their respective assemblies, and to deliver God’s mind to them.

St Luke named five men ministering to the church in Antioch.

Those who know the Bible well and those have been following my series on Acts, recognise Barnabas, the Levite who converted. He first appears at the end of Acts 4. I wrote about him in my last Forbidden Bible Verses instalment about Acts 12:24-25.

Simeon — Simon — Niger, Henry’s commentary says, was so called for his jet black hair. John MacArthur believes Simeon was black. Either way, he was notable for his hair or skin colour. Regardless, the early Christians were colour-blind, and Simeon was a leader of the church in Antioch.

Questions also arise about the identity of Lucius of Cyrene. Cyrene — in present-day Libya — was known as the Athens of Africa. Was St Luke identifying himself? Again, we do not know. As with Simeon Niger, we do not have enough information to say either way. Henry wrote that a prominent Bible scholar of his day, Dr Lightfoot, thought Lucius of Cyrene was Luke, positing that Luke received the Gospel when he left Cyrene for Jerusalem. Lightfoot probably read Origen to come to that conclusion. MacArthur, on the other hand, makes no such connection. Whatever the case, Lucius of Cyrene was one of the founders of the church in Antioch and could have been one of the converts to flee Jerusalem after Stephen’s martyrdom (Acts 7:55-58).

Manaen had grown up with one of the Herods and gave up a privileged life to preach about Jesus Christ.

Finally, there was Saul of Tarsus — St Paul. Acts 13 is the first time we see ‘Paul’ instead of Saul. That passage will also be the subject of another Forbidden Bible Verses post.

Henry’s commentary tells us that Barnabas was named first as he was the eldest. Note that Saul was named last, possibly, as Henry says, because he was the youngest. That said, Saul’s ministry would become pre-eminent and feature largely in the New Testament.

Before going on to the next verse, it is important to understand the importance of the first verse. MacArthur explains the growth of the Church at this time:

Now the pattern for the church is very clear again here in Antioch as it was in Jerusalem. Before the church has much effect on the world it must be strong in itself. And so there is a very careful delineating even back in Chapter 11 … of the fact that this church in Antioch was founded in teaching. It had a solid basis, and then from that solid basis it began to move out into the world. You know that was the pattern in Jerusalem. Jerusalem grew up first of all in itself. Then, as best as we can tell, it was seven years after the founding of the Jerusalem church that people were first sent out from there, first sent out toward Antioch. That church grew strong and then established a beachhead in the world. And that beachhead in the pagan world was Antioch.

There’s been time for Antioch to get strong, and as Antioch has become solid and strong it’s ready to move out and establish new beachheads elsewhere in the pagan [world]. And that’s the way the church is to work. The church is to grow strong. It is to grow virile in the Word of God. It is to grow solid and then when it grows solid then it can have an effect on its world and it moves out from there sending out equipped and trained men to establish new beachheads. That’s the plan of the church.

It is exciting to contemplate this, particularly in our era, when the Church appears faithless. The faith of these leaders and their focus on teaching was what made the difference. How many clergy are teaching the Gospel today? Not very many. They prefer to expound on politics and social justice. Wrong!

By contrast, these five men in Antioch worshipped the Lord and fasted (verse 2). Henry points out that fasting took root among believers after Jesus ascended to Heaven:

Though it was not so much practised by the disciples of Christ, while the bridegroom was with them, as it was by the disciples of John [the Baptist] and of the Pharisees; yet, after the bridegroom was taken away, they abounded in it, as those that had well learned to deny themselves and to endure hardness.

Such was their devotion that the Holy Spirit spoke to them — either literally or figuratively (giving the men the same thought) — with a request that Barnabas and Saul go to minister elsewhere.

After their fasting and praying was complete, Simeon, Lucius and Manaen laid hands on Barnabas and Saul, who then left Antioch.

Henry’s commentary tells us:

They implored a blessing upon them in their present undertaking, begged that God would be with them, and give them success; and, in order to this, that they might be filled with the Holy Ghost in their work. This very thing is explained Acts 14:26, where it is said, concerning Paul and Barnabas, that from Antioch they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. As it was an instance of the humility of Barnabas and Saul that they submitted to the imposition of the hands of those that were their equals, or rather their inferiors; so it was of the good disposition of the other teachers that they did not envy Barnabas and Saul the honour to which they were preferred, but cheerfully committed it to them, with hearty prayers for them; and they sent them away with all expedition, out of a concern for those countries where they were to break up fallow ground.

MacArthur tells us what the lesson of these verses is:

A church that is not under the control of the Holy Spirit is not going to have an effective ministry. Now that is so basic it almost beggars the terms to even talk about it or the concept. Now let me show you what I mean by that.

Now go to I Corinthians 12:7-13. I Corinthians 12, and I want you to just catalog in your mind generally the idea of the importance of the Spirit in the life of the church as you listen to me read these verses. Just key in on the word Spirit, referring to the Holy Spirit. “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit.” Verse 11, “But all these worketh that one and very same Spirit.” Verse 13, “For by one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Greeks, bond or free, we’ve all been made to drink into one Spirit.”

Now here you have some interesting things, watch. You have the giving of spiritual gifts done by whom? Well the agent is the Spirit. You have the manifestation of the Spirit given to every man. You have the Spirit energizing all the gifts in verse 11. You have the Spirit baptizing everybody into the body in verse 13 and the Spirit indwelling everybody. Do you know what the life of the church depends on? It depends on what? The Holy Spirit! It’s an absolute contradiction to assume that a church can function unless it is under the very direct control of the Holy Spirit. You got it? A church cannot function apart from that. Why? Because all the church is, is the combination of the ministries of the gifts of the Spirit. Right? All it is, is the interaction of the Holy Spirit through human vessels. That’s all it is. If you suck that out of the church you have nothing but carnal clanging going on.

And that describes what is happening in the majority of our churches today — ‘carnal clanging going on’. Pray fervently and frequently for the state of the Church. And, churchgoers or not, let us also pray with all our hearts that we stay — or become — righteous in God’s sight. Studying the Bible is essential in this process.

Forbidden Bible Verses continues tomorrow.

The 2017 White House Christmas tree arrived from Wisconsin on Monday, November 20.

First Lady Melania Trump and 11-year-old Barron Trump received the tree, which was placed in the Blue Room.

The Chapman family, owners of Silent Night Evergreens in Endeavor, Wisconsin, won this year’s National Christmas Tree Association contest and, by virtue of that, supplied the White House tree.

The Daily Mail has more.

A military band played O Christmas Tree (O Tannenbaum, my late father’s favourite carol) before the arrival of the horse-drawn carriage:

The building to the right in that video is the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, where the vice president and cabinet officials have their offices.

Barron is taller than his mother, who was wearing high-heeled knee-high leather boots:

Mrs Trump spoke with the Chapmans before she and Barron posed for a photograph:

This video shows how many men it took to unload and take the tree indoors:

It looks as if there is also — in another room — a huge gingerbread representation of the White House, baked and assembled by the pastry chefs (click on each of the top two photos):

It is interesting that this year’s White House ornament (below) honours a Democrat. That said, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the longest serving US president. He died in office, but many Americans thought his four-term tenure was turning him into a dictator. In 1947, Congress passed the 22nd Amendment,  restricting a president to two terms. The 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified in 1951.

Tree, sugar sculpture, wreaths and ornaments aside, for the first time in several years, a nativity scene will be on display in the White House.

The Trumps are making Christmas great again.

Best wishes to my American readers for a very happy Thanksgiving! May you have an abundance of food and fun.

On Tuesday, November 21, 2017, President Donald Trump pardoned his first Thanksgiving turkeys, Drumstick, which weighs 47 pounds, and Wishbone, a 36-pounder:

Drumstick and understudy Wishbone spent Monday night at the luxurious Willard Hotel in Washington, as per turkey pardon tradition, before visiting the White House:

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders enjoyed the experience with one of her children:

The First Family also enjoyed the event. The Daily Mail has great photos of Trump children and grandchildren.

The video of the pardon is worth watching for history, jokes and, on a serious note, thanks to the American people. First Lady Melania Trump and First Son Barron, 11, joined the US president:

Although Trump read off a teleprompter, his delivery was spot on. Excerpts from his remarks follow (emphases mine):

… I’m especially pleased that we’re joined for this great occasion by Carl Wittenburg, Chairman of the National Turkey Federation, along with his wife, Sharlene, and sons, Nate and Wyatt.

It was 70 years ago that the National Turkey Federation first presented the National Thanksgiving Turkey to President Harry Truman — who, I might add, did not grant the pardon. He refused. He was a tough cookie. (Laughter.) Today, I’m going to be a much nicer President.

Over the past 10 months, Melania and I have had the pleasure of welcoming many, many special visitors to the great White House. We’ve hosted dozens of incredible world leaders, members of Congress, and, along the way, a few very strange birds. But we have yet to receive any visitors quite like our magnificent guest of honor today — Drumstick. Hi, Drumstick. Oh, Drumstick, I think, is going to be very happy …

Drumstick was raised on Carl and Sharlene’s turkey farm in Douglas County, Minnesota, with the help of five young women from the Douglas County 4-H chapter who are here with us today. And I want to say, great work. Where are they? Please stand. Great job you’ve done. (Applause.) 4-H. That’s great. Thank you.

Upon being pardoned, Drumstick and his friend, Wishbone, will live out their days at “Gobbler’s Rest” — beautiful place. It’s custom-built; it’s an enclosure on the campus of Virginia Tech. Tremendous school. There, they’ll join Tater and Tot, the two turkeys pardoned last year by President Obama.

As many of you know, I have been very active in overturning a number of executive actions by my predecessor. However, I have been informed by the White House Counsel’s Office that Tater and Tot’s pardons cannot, under any circumstances, be revoked. So we’re not going to revoke them. So, Tater and Tot, you can rest easy.

I’d also like to thank the National Turkey Federation for bringing along two other turkeys from Jaindl’s Turkey Farm in Orefield, Pennsylvania — the great state of Pennsylvania. We’re donating these turkeys to Martha’s Table, a truly fantastic charity right here in Washington D.C., which provides warm meals to people in need. They do a fantastic job.

Before we get to the pardon, I would like to take a moment to extend our very heartfelt special message: Thanks. Thanks, folks — to the finest and bravest people in the entire world, our great men and women in uniform: the military, law enforcement, first responders. These are incredible people. So, thank you.

Many of you are always — and you know your loved ones — and you’re far away, and you spend so much time away. This Thanksgiving, I want each of you to know that we’re forever grateful for the incredible job and for the incredible sacrifices that you and your families make in defense of our nation, our freedom, and our truly great American flag.

I’d also like to express my thanks to the wonderful citizens of our country — the people who care for our communities, raise America’s children, uphold our laws and our values, and make this amazing land into our national home …

And now I think Drumstick and Wishbone would be very thankful if we would just get around to the pardon. They say,

“Enough talk, please pardon us.”

So I want to thank everybody for being here today and wish everybody a very, very happy Thanksgiving — very special people[,] a very special country.

Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

Given the political climate in the United States, the pardons gave rise to humour:

Earlier in the day, Trump spoke with Vladimir Putin for over an hour, discussing a variety of topics.

Before departing the White House to spend Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago, he spoke with the press, who, for the most part, badgered him with their usual stupid questions. However, someone did ask about his conversation with Putin:

We had a great call with President Putin. We’re talking about peace in Syria — very important. We’re talking about North Korea. We had a call that lasted almost an hour and a half. We’ve just put out a release on the call. But we’re talking very strongly about bringing peace for Syria. We’re talking about very strongly about North Korea and Ukraine.

Another reason to be grateful this Thanksgiving. Great things are happening in the United States — and the world.

Thanksgiving bloglibumneduTuesday before Thanksgiving is a good time to start preparing for Turkey Day.

You can make pie crust and buy any last-minute essentials. Making cranberry sauce is also a good Tuesday activity.

Make your Thanksgiving pie on Wednesday, so that you have less to do on Thursday.

Prep vegetables on Wednesday and put them in a pot of water or stock (cover with a lid) on the stove ready for cooking on Thursday. Alternatively, cook them on Wednesday to reheat on Thursday.

Make your turkey stock for Thanksgiving gravy ahead of time on Wednesday. Remove the wings from your turkey, joint them (for bone broth), sauté them with a tablespoon of salted butter until browned, then add water. Bringing the pot up to the boil and simmering sufficiently takes about three hours. Turn off the heat and leave to cool gradually to room temperature.

You can also make your stuffing then so that it is ready for the bird straightaway on Thanksgiving.

By the way, the secret to a good stuffing is plenty of butter. Use a ratio of 1/3 stock to 2/3 butter. Sauté chopped onion, mushrooms and celery with 125g — one stick — of butter in the stuffing pot before adding the croutons. Add another 125g of butter when you add your stock. Melt the butter in the stock then add the croutons, put a lid on the pan and turn off the heat. You will get a lot of compliments!

Finally, be sure to season your turkey well before putting it in the oven. Prepare a seasoned rub of your choice, adding plenty of salt. I also put softened salted butter with sage or bay leaves under the skin. It makes a huge difference to the finished product.

Salt and butter are your Thanksgiving dinner friends.

I mention this because the worst Thanksgiving dinner I ever ate was at a nurse’s house in the late 1970s. I can remember it to this day. She did not season the bird at all — or any of the side dishes. Furthermore, everything was low-fat. I ate out of politeness, but could easily have passed that dinner by.

Also, if it is easier for you to carve and dish up in the kitchen, do so. You’ll save time on the washing up, as you won’t have serving dishes to clean.

In closing, Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be a huge chore. Start now, so that you can relax a bit more with your guests on the day.

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