“And declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the Resurrection from the dead.” Romans 1:4
The bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is tremendously important. Death is man’s greatest enemy and it has conquered all men – but Christ. Cities and nations, like people, are born and grow for a season and then fade away. Homes, clothes, even vehicles, wear out and eventually go back to dust, just as do their owners. The Bible describes this universal reign of decay and death as “the bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:21). In science it is recognized as the Second Law of Thermodynamics – the Law of Increasing Entropy. Left to themselves, every system tends to become disordered, to run down and eventually die. All the founders of great religions and movements have died and you can visit their graves. Zoroaster, Confucius, Buddha, Muhammad, Marx and Lenin. They are all dead and decayed in the grave. But Jesus Christ is alive!
So, what difference does that make? You may ask. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is vitally important because it demonstrates Christ’s victory over death, it gives hope to all mankind, it shows that eternal life is available to believers, it points to the ultimate triumph of God over all evil and it provides an indisputable proof that the message about Jesus Christ, as both Judge and Saviour, is true. “Because He has appointed a Day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man Whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:31
The Research of Skeptics
The Resurrection is so important and foundational to Christianity that it has been targeted for the most relentless attacks. Frank Morison, a lawyer, determined to disprove the Resurrection and thereby undermine Christianity. The result of his exhaustive investigations was his conversion to Christ and the publication of his book: “Who Moved the Stone?” which decisively demonstrates the overwhelming evidence for the Resurrection.
A skeptical university lecturer, Josh McDowell, determined to disprove Christianity by investigating evidence against the Resurrection. The result was his conversion to Christ and publication of the monumental: “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” which exhaustively and conclusively presents documentation and evidence upon evidence substantiating the historical truth, factual accuracy, archaeological evidence, manuscript evidence, fulfilled prophecies, transformed lives and other indisputable evidences which support the fact of the Resurrection of Christ from the dead and the truth claims of Christianity.
Thomas Arnold, Professor of History at Oxford University, one of the greatest historians of the 19th Century wrote: “I know of no one fact in the history of mankind which is proved by better, fuller evidence of every sort, to the understanding of a fair enquirer, than the great sign which God has given us that Christ died and rose from the dead.”
Simon Greenleaf, an unbelieving Jew, recognized as one of the most skilled legal minds ever produced, developed the Harvard Law School. He is recognized as the top authority on what constitutes sound evidence. After being challenged by a student if he had examined the evidence for the Resurrection, Simon Greenleaf made a thorough and exhaustive examination of the objective evidence and the testimony of the four Gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In his book: “The Testimony of the Evangelists” (Baker, 1874) he concluded: “It was therefore impossible that they could have persisted in affirming the truths they have narrated, had not Jesus actually risen from the dead and had they not known this fact as certainly as they knew any other fact.”
Simon Greenleaf declared that any court of law, if presented with the evidence of the Resurrection, would have to give a verdict in favour of the integrity and accuracy of the Gospel writers and the fact of the Resurrection.
One of the most popular books ever written and most successful films ever produced, Ben Hur, was a result of a skeptical challenge to General Lew Wallace to the authenticity of Christ’s Resurrection and a careful examination of the evidence. As General Wallace was US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire at that time, he explored archaeological sites and manuscripts in the Holy Land.
What are the facts? The religious leaders, the Pharisees and Sadducees, who had campaigned and conspired to have Christ arrested and executed on trumped-up charges, had a compelling interest in disproving any claims of the Resurrection. They had presumed that the execution of Jesus would eliminate this threat to their religious power base and silence His supporters. These Jewish religious leaders had great concerns about the corpse of Jesus and they approached the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, for a military detachment to secure the tomb (Matthew 28:62-64).
The Roman governor’s priority in the volatile province of Palestine was to preserve peace and stability. He recognized the political problems that would ensue if anything happened to this religious Teacher whom he had three times declared innocent and ultimately washed his hands in front of the crowd declaring, “I am innocent of this Man’s Blood” (Matthew 27:24). His wife had warned him: “Do not have anything to do with that innocent Man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of Him.” (Matthew 27:19)
Pilate was only too aware that a travesty of justice had taken place and the last thing he needed was a review of his shameful conduct and dereliction of duty in this case. Ensuring that the victim’s corpse remained buried was definitely in Pilate’s political interests as well. “‘Take a guard’, Pilate answered. ‘Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how’. So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.” Matthew 27:65
The Roman Guard
As the chief priests had approached the Roman governor and as the Greek word Koustodia is used to describe the detachment of soldiers, it was evidently a Roman guard. If only a Temple guard had been used, there would have been no need to approach Pilate to issue the order. Additionally, the concern of the guards after the Resurrection to be protected from consequences from the governor (Matthew 28:14) confirms that those guarding the tomb were Roman soldiers. The detachment would have consisted of at least sixteen soldiers with four men placed directly in front of the entrance of the tomb, on duty, at any time. Under Roman military law any guard who deserted his post, or who fell asleep on duty, would face crucifixion. Typically, if Roman soldiers allowed a prisoner to escape they would face the same sentence as the prisoner – in this case crucifixion.
The seal placed on the stone at the entrance to the tomb signified the administrative authority of Rome and only an authorised officer of Rome would be permitted to break the seal. Anyone breaking a Roman seal without permission would be tracked down and executed.
Although the intention of the religious and political leaders had been to ensure that the phenomenon of Jesus ended at the tomb, their extraordinary security measures have only served to confirm the truth that they had murdered an innocent Man and that Jesus Christ was truly the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, “the Firstborn from the dead and the Ruler of the kings of the earth… the One Who lives and was dead and behold, I am alive forevermore.” Revelation 1:5,18.
Christ’s Victory Over Death
“Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone from the door and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus, Who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold I have told you’. So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy and ran to bring His disciples word. And as they went to tell His disciples, behold Jesus met them, saying ‘Rejoice!’, so they came and held Him by the feet and worshipped Him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee and there they will see Me.'” Matthew 28:1-10
Attempts to Avoid the Truth of the Resurrection
To explain away the empty tomb, the enemies of the Gospel have had to resort to some desperate deceptions. The first was to suggest that the disciples had stolen the body. This incredible theory suggests that those same disciples who had slept in the garden, fled at His arrest, denied Him before a young woman, were hiding in fear behind locked doors, could have unitedly overcome sixteen professional Roman soldiers, dared to break a Roman seal, moved a two-ton tombstone, just to steal a corpse! A dead Messiah would have served absolutely no purpose for the disciples. What possible motivation could they have had, even had they possessed the ability to overcome the military, political and logistical obstacles? They had nothing to gain and everything to lose. Every one of the disciples suffered severe persecution, most dying as martyrs for the Faith. Would you die for a lie?
Did Jesus Really Die?
Others have questioned whether Christ had really died on the Cross. Perhaps He only fainted? This swoon theory would have us believe that the Roman soldiers, who were professional killers, (the centurion in charge, would most probably have already supervised dozens if not hundreds of executions), had failed to ensure that this high-profile political prisoner was not actually dead. Considering the vicious flogging which the Lord had already endured, the excruciating torture of crucifixion and the spear thrust into His side, with blood and water flowing out, all provide convincing evidence of death.
Yet, those advocating the swoon theory would have us believe that One Who had endured such savage flogging, crucifixion and a spear thrust to the heart, could not only have survived the legendary Roman military efficiency, but that He was revived on a cold slab in a cold tomb. Further that He somehow disengaged from the grave clothes and one hundred pounds of spices, ointments and wrappings which had effectively mummified Him, rolled away the two ton stone, overpowered, or eluded, the Roman soldiers and somehow found and impressed the disciples with His Deity? These suggestions have only to be mentioned in order to be dismissed as unbelievable.
The Empty Tomb
Another desperate attempt to explain away the Resurrection of Christ has been that they went to the wrong tomb. All of them, Mary Magdalene, Peter, John, the other women, all went to the wrong tomb. Somehow neither the Pharisees, nor the Sadducees, nor the Roman soldiers, nor Joseph of Arimathea, whose tomb it was, thought to point out that the tomb was in fact still occupied! However, this theory is also impossible, as the tomb was not in a cemetery, but in a garden privately owned by Joseph of Arimathea. There was no other tomb in that garden.
The Absence of the Body
All that the Roman and Jewish leaders had to do in order to end Christianity forever was produce the corpse of Jesus. But they couldn’t do it. Even when the Apostle Peter stood up on the day of Pentecost and proclaimed: “Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Acts 2:36. “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 4:33. Many thousands in Jerusalem, including many Pharisees, came to faith in Jesus Christ.
The Crisis of Credibility
To the Jewish religious leaders, this was their worst nightmare, a disaster. The proclamation of the Resurrection of Christ undermined their power and credibility. Thousands of their followers now believed that they had condemned an innocent Man, the Messiah Himself. The new religion of Christianity was undermining the power base and credibility of the Pharisees and Sadducees. If the body of Jesus could have been found, Christianity could be stopped dead in its tracks and the threat to the religious status quo would have ended. Since they desperately needed Jesus’ corpse, the Jewish leaders would have used every means at their disposal to hunt it down and find it – if that was possible.
The Testimony of Eye Witnesses
However, we are not only dealing with the empty tomb and the absence of the body, but the testimony of eyewitnesses. On at least twelve separate occasions Jesus Christ was seen after rising from the tomb. Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18; Mark 16:9); the other women (Matthew 28:8-10); Peter (Luke 24:34); the two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35); ten of the disciples (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-24); all eleven disciples, eight days later (John 20:24-29); seven disciples by the Sea of Tiberius (John 21:1-23); to five hundred at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6); to James (1 Corinthians 15:7); to all eleven apostles and others, at the Ascension (Acts 1:3-12); Paul (Acts 9:3-8); and John (Revelation 1:12-18), all saw the Lord bodily raised from the dead.
To explain away the testimony of all these eyewitnesses, enemies of Christianity suggest that these were merely hallucinations, perhaps as a result of hypnosis or hysteria. However, while hallucinations tend to be unique psychological experiences of an individual, we are here dealing with a large number of individuals, who at different times, in different groups, in different places, both indoors and outdoors, on a hilltop, along a roadside, by a lakeshore, all saw the Lord. They saw Him, they ate with Him, they saw the wounds in His hands and in His side.
Far from being gullible, it would appear that His disciples were very skeptical and slow to believe. Thomas declared that he would not believe that Christ had risen unless he personally placed his fingers in the nail prints in His hands and feet and his hand in the wound in His side.
The Transformation of the Disciples
Not only do we have the testimony of the eyewitnesses, but the dramatic transformation of the disciples. The Resurrection of Christ from the dead transformed the disciples’ grief to joy, their cowardice to boldness, their skepticism to faith and their doubt to determination. It turned Saul, the persecutor of the Church into Paul the Apostle of the Church.
The Transformation of History
It also transformed society and history. It changed the Jewish Sabbath into the Christian Lord’s Day. What else could explain the replacement of Saturday as the Jewish day of rest into Sunday as the Christian Lord’s Day? The Resurrection transformed a Jewish remnant into the worldwide Christian Church. Over 2-Billion people worldwide describe themselves as Christians who believe in the Resurrection of Christ from the dead. The very existence of the largest religious movement in the history of the world is another powerful evidence of the truth of the Resurrection.
Jesus Himself had prophesied His Resurrection from the dead. Because of His fulfilment of this, we can be absolutely certain that Jesus Christ is God with us, as He claimed. By His Resurrection we can know that our sins are forgiven through His Blood sacrificed on the Cross of Calvary: “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that Whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:14-16
Because of Christ’s death on the Cross, we can rejoice that our sins are paid for – we are forgiven, justified by faith.
Because of Christ’s Resurrection from the dead, we can rejoice in the prospect of eternal life.
Because of Christ’s Ascension, we can know that He has all authority and that His Great Commission will be accomplished on earth.
Because of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost we do not need to trust in our own abilities, but in His power alone. “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord.”
Proclaim It to the Nations
William Sangster – the church leader and hymn writer – suffered from increasing paralysis which finally prevented him from even being able to talk. On his last Easter before he died, he wrote: “How terrible to wake up on Easter and have no voice to shout, ‘HE IS RISEN’, far worse, to have a voice and not to want to shout!”
We serve a risen Saviour! Death is defeated. Christ has risen – victorious over death, hell, satan and the grave.
Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in Christ, though he may die, yet shall he live, (John 11:25).
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3
As our nation continues to depart from its founding principles, conservatives are desperately searching for strategies to re-establish the checks and balances designed to prevent government tyranny. As specific problems are identified, solutions are proposed. If professional politicians are the problem, term limits will get rid of them. If government spending is the problem, a balanced budget is the answer. If government overreach is the problem, defund and close government agencies. If moral decay is the issue, legislate against it.
The Convention of States (COS) agenda promises to resolve all these problems. Their plan is to invoke Article V of the Constitution in which thirty-four states can petition Congress to call a “convention of states” to propose constitutional amendments. They contend that each state delegation is restricted to proposing only amendments specified in the state’s petition. Common suggested amendments are Congressional Term Limits and a Balanced Budget Amendment. COS proponents claim that the states will control all aspects of the convention and any amendments proposed would still have to be ratified by ¾ of the states to become part of the Constitution. They claim the process is legal, constitutional, and a perfectly foolproof and safe way to reestablish constitutional rule.
I vehemently disagree. The Article V Convention of States is a Trojan Horse.
Article V of the Constitution is a 143-word run-on sentence that should make English teachers gasp and cringe. An English teacher so appalled, however, would probably have taught the class how to parse a sentence to understand who does what to whom. To parse a sentence one must find the subject, verb, and object of the sentence and temporarily put all the rest aside.
Here is the full text of Article V of the US Constitution with highlights for further discussion:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or,on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.
The simple declarative sentence reads as follows:
The Congress shall propose amendments to this Constitution or shall call a convention for proposing amendments.
Congress, it appears, can take one of two actions with certain triggers:
Option 2 is what the COS folks are talking about. Based just on this part of Article V, here are the obvious sources of risk:
“Congress shall call a convention”
Article V also specifies the ratification process which contains additional obvious risks. Amendments become part of the constitution “when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress”. Once again, Congress controls the ratification process.
The COS promoters claim that the process is safe as the states would control the entire process including making the rules, choosing delegates, and creating the convention agenda. They also claim that the rules could not be changed by the convention itself once it is underway. History proves them wrong.
Contrary to the COS narrative, our Constitution was written by a “runaway” convention, even though it turned out well. After the War of Independence, our country was governed by the Articles of Confederation, which created a central government that was too weak to enforce unified action even when essential. To remedy those deficiencies, a convention was called with only one specific purpose – to amend the Articles of Confederation. According to rules, amending the Articles required ratification of any changes by all thirteen states.
The convention convened in Philadelphia, but delegations from only twelve states were present. Rhode Island refused to attend. Disregarding the rules, the delegates decided to discard the Articles of Confederation entirely and write a new Constitution. Instead of requiring agreement by all thirteen states, the new Constitution became law of the land when ratified by only nine of the thirteen states.
The convention that created our Constitution defied and broke every rule under which it was called. It discarded the Articles of Confederation entirely instead of just amending it and changed the ratification requirements from all thirteen states to just nine. By definition, that was a runaway convention.
Commentary by Phyllis Schlafly on the Article V ConCon
Whether you call it a “Convention of States,” a “Constitutional Convention,” or a “ConCon,” the outcome is the same. It would open up our beloved founding document to attack from all kinds of special interest groups with intentions far less noble than the Founding Fathers.
Here are three concrete reasons Phyllis Schlafly opposed an Article V convention:
Many other notable constitutional scholars agreed with her. Chief Justice Warren Burger said, “A Constitutional Convention today would be a free-for-all for special interest groups, television coverage, and press speculation.”
Justice Antonin Scalia avidly opposed an Article V convention. He called it a “horrible idea.”
Even current proponents of an Article V ConCon like Mark Meckler admit that having one convention will open the door to many more. “There is no way to prevent the cycle [of multiple conventions] from happening because the cycle of it is the cycle of human nature.”
The Convention of States agenda is an organized attack on the Constitution. It is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, enlisting the support of conservatives by promising that a Convention of States will give us the tools we need to re-establish our constitutional republic.
In reality, the Constitution of States program is a dangerous tool that uses our patriotic hearts and desires to bring the fox into the henhouse.
Suddenly, this has become a critically important issue for citizens of North Carolina. In our state, the Republicans in the state House of Representatives voted to call for a Convention of States. The Senate has not voted yet, but they could in the short session that starts after the primary on May 17.
It is time to actively call your senators in Raleigh and urge them to vote against the COS resolution and explain why that is so important.
Resist Tyranny and Trust in Freedom!
After the Steal,
It’s Crazy for Trump Supporters to Support an Article V
By Janine Hansen, Eagle Forum National Constitutional Issues Chairman, email@example.com, 775-397-6859
Because of the 2020 election Trump supporters have lost faith in the operation of our Constitutional Republic. Understandably, we saw massive election fraud, corrupt judges, and a crooked Congress confirming the steal.
Our Constitutional Republic stands at a crossroads. Now more than ever our activism is critical. BUT, we cannot allow ourselves to be used to further undermine and destroy our U.S. Constitution.
For decades before her passing, Phyllis Schlafly valiantly fought a dangerous threat to our Constitution, an Article V “convention for proposing amendments” or as we would call it a Constitutional Convention. There are almost no rules for the convention in Article V of the Constitution. Exceptions are: that after 34 states have made application for a Convention that Congress “shall call a Convention” and that the amendments passed by the Constitutional Convention become part of the Constitution when ratified by three fourths of the several states or by Conventions in those states.
This ratification by the states seems like a safeguard to a run-away Constitutional Convention, but is it? In the original Constitutional Convention, the only national precedent we have, the ratification process was changed from a unanimous requirement in the Articles of Confederation to only nine states required in the New Constitution. In other words, they changed the ratification process in the original Constitutional Convention before they sent it out to the states to be ratified. The Constitution itself in Article V does not prohibit changing the ratification process. Could that happen now? In the political environment in which we find ourselves with no regard for truth or the sacredness of our fundamental constitutional processes like elections, what might we expect?
If the delegates at the Constitutional Convention felt that they could not get their many new amendments passed by enough states, they could change the number of states required to ratify their multiple amendments. Consider how many Red states there are and how many blue states there are. Are there enough states, either red or blue to equal three fourths of the states that could agree on any amendments? So it is logical in order to achieve the ratification of all the new amendments that the ratification process would have to be changed, lowered as to the number of states required.
Another important question is: who sets the rules for the Convention? Pro-convention groups like Convention of States claim that “the states would set the rules”. How? Congress calls the Convention sets the time and location and then Congress would set the rules. Does that give you comfort knowing the Pelosi and Schumer would be deciding the rules for a Constitutional Convention and who controlled the gavel?
Numerous times while in the U.S. Senate, former Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah had a set of rules for a Constitutional Convention passed by the U.S. Senate. These rules always contained a provision that the votes accorded to the states would be according to the Electoral College. In other words, if your state has 8 Congressmen and 2 Senators then your state would have 10 votes out of 538 at the Constitutional Convention. Radical California would have 55 and New York would have 29. Most conservative Red states have much smaller populations and therefore much smaller representation.
How would the delegates to the Constitutional Convention be chosen? Well there is no guidance in Article V and we don’t really know. Under the “necessary and proper clause” of the U.S. Constitution, it would appear as if Congress would determine how to select delegates. Proponents of the Convention of States claim that the State Legislatures will choose the delegates as in the original Constitutional Convention. Do you have full confidence in your State Legislature to choose delegates who would represent you and stand solidly behind our Constitutional Republic? Having worked in my own Nevada Legislature for decades I would say, they have about as much integrity as the U.S. Congress. That’s downright scary to consider putting our sacred Constitution in the hands of compromised and corrupt politicians who are supposed to fix it. You can bet that the first thing to go would be our Right to Keep and Bear Arms, next our Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech and Assembly.
On 19 March 1813 David Livingstone, the best friend Africa ever had, was born in the industrial town of Blantyre, 8 miles from Glasgow, in Scotland.
The Fighting Missionary
The hero of the Battle of Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington, described Dr. David Livingstone as “The fighting parson.”
The Friend of Africa
Jacob Wainwright, who had been rescued from slavery by Dr. Livingstone, described him as: “The friend of the African.”
American journalist and explorer, Henry Morton Stanley, described Dr. Livingstone as: “A truly pious man, a man deeply imbued with real religious instincts. His religion… is of the true, practical kind, never losing a chance to manifest itself in a quiet, practical way, never demonstrative or loud. It is always at work, if not in deed, by shining example.”
An Example of Excellence
Stanley described his attitude when he first arrived in Africa: “as prejudiced against religion as the worst infidel…” However, the example of David Livingstone, who had truly left all to follow Christ, converted Stanley. It is not so much what you say, but what you do that counts. Action is eloquence. David Livingstone said what he meant. He meant what he said and he did all he promised. He was true to his word.
David Livingstone was hailed in his lifetime as the greatest missionary explorer of all time. As one contemporary journalist described it: “the Christian’s Faith in God is strengthened by the author’s very survival of every imaginable danger. The abolitionist is inspired by the prospect of stopping the slave trade. Medical men are intrigued by Livingstones approach to disease and the value of his treatment for fever…” The incredible courage and sacrifices of David Livingstone inspired multiplied hundreds of men and women to dedicate their lives to Missions in Africa. What can we learn about the family and upbringing of David Livingstone, to understand his Faith, courage and vision?
Born in Blantyre
David Livingstone was born on 19 March 1813, in the industrial town of Blantyre, 8 miles from Glasgow. Today the largest city in Malawi is called Blantyre, in honour of the birthplace of David Livingstone.
His Father, Neil Livingstone, was a dedicated Christian who had met his future wife, Agnes, when he was apprenticed to a local tailor. He won the hand of the tailor’s daughter and became a tea salesman so that he could travel and preach the Gospel, distributing Evangelistic tracts to his customers door-to-door. Neil also taught at Sunday school and was a zealous member of a local Missionary Society, persistently promoting prayer meetings and Missionary causes. David Livingstone later wrote concerning his Father: “He deserved my lasting gratitude and homage for presenting me from infancy with a continuously consistent pious example.”
Neil Livingstone was also a strict disciplinarian who sought to bring up David in the fear of the Lord. At age 9, David was challenged to learn the longest chapter in the Bible: Psalm 119 (all 176 verses) off by heart in order to receive a copy of the New Testament. Because Neil had seen the ravaging effects of alcoholism, he was a teetotaller and persuaded his son to follow his example in abstaining from alcohol, for life.
David’s mother, Agnes, was a gentle, small and delicate woman whose compassionate kindness and loving nature served as a counter-balance to her husband’s strict and austere rule. It was said that her son, David, inherited her remarkably bright eyes. Agnes instilled in her family, a scrupulous concern for cleanliness and immaculate appearance. Later, Henry Morton Stanley commented on the immaculate standards of David Livingstone to his men as they began their epic 999-day expedition across the Congo: “Dr. Livingstone shaved every day of the 4 months, I was with him in the field and you will shave every day!”
The Napoleonic Wars
David was born during the last years of the ruinous Napoleonic wars which devastated Europe. The economic impact of the 25 years of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars had left many unemployed in Britain and an economically depressed environment.
The Livingstones lived a very frugal lifestyle on a minuscule budget. The Livingstone family lived in a single room, ten feet by fourteen feet. Two baby boys had died in their infancy, David had one older surviving brother, John. Another brother, Charles and two sisters, Janet and Agnes were born after David.
There was neither hot nor cold running water in the tenement building and David had to walk many times a day down the tightly curved, brick staircase to fetch water from the pump in the yard and heave it back up the stairs and along the corridor of the 3rd floor to their room. The Livingstones shared their tenement with 24 other families. At night mattresses were pulled out from under the parents’ bed which was set into a recess in the wall. Privacy was non-existent and the family cooked, ate, sewed, studied and slept in that single room.
A Passion for Reading
David Livingstone borrowed extensively from the local library, particularly books on travel and science. William Wilberforce’s Practical Christianity had a major impact on his life and clearly influenced his life-long crusade against the slave trade. Sitting by the banks of the River Clyde, engrossed in a book, young David was startled to hear the desperate cries of a young girl and her baby brother drifting in a boat towards the weir of the old Mill. David immediately plunged into the icy waters and rescued them from disaster.
The Cotton Mill
At age 10, David began his full-time employment, 14 hours a day, 6 days a week, for the next 10 years at the Monteith and Company Cotton Spinning Factory. He was to be a piecer, to repair broken threads in spinning frames. David’s day began at 5:30 am every morning as the bell was rung. Work would begin at 6am and continue until 8pm. The workers in the cotton mill had to work in tremendous heat and humidity. Steamed temperatures of 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit were considered ideal for the production of thread.
Every day, David would have to walk an average of 34 km, much of this in crawling, or stooping position, amongst and under the machinery, or balancing over it. One can imagine what tremendous physical training this was for his later transcontinental expeditions throughout Africa. Piecers received constant beatings from their supervisors to keep them moving through such long shifts, despite fatigue and exhaustion.
Hunger for Knowledge
Yet, David used his first week’s wages to purchase Ruddiman’s Rudiments of Latin. David managed to read in the factory by balancing his book on a portion of the spinning jenny so that he could catch sentence after sentence as he rushed by at his work. In this way, he maintained fairly constant study undisturbed by the roar of the machinery. Less than 10% of the children who worked in the Cotton Mills ever learned to read or write. David not only learned to read and write, he taught himself Latin, Greek and Hebrew. After work, he would attend a night school, 8 pm to 10 pm. Then he returned home to study, often until midnight. His mother frequently had to take his books away before he would go to sleep.
At age 12, David Livingstone came under intense conviction of sin and experienced a radical conversion to Christ. He wrote: “In the glow of love that Christianity inspired, I resolved to devote my life to the alleviation of human misery.” He wrote: “That the Salvation of men ought to be the chief desire and aim of every Christian.” He made a resolution that he would give to the cause of Missions all that he might earn beyond what was required for his subsistence.
At age 13, he attended an extra Latin class. When all the other students gave up, he alone remained in the class and the school teacher cancelled the lessons, not seeing the overzealous son of a tea merchant as worthy of his attention. David continued to learn Latin on his own.
David’s grandfather, Neil Livingstone Senior, also had an impact on the upbringing of David. He had been a tenant farmer on the island of Ulva, off the West coast of Scotland. He was evicted by the English to open up the area for a vast sheep farm. He passed on what he had heard from his grandfather: “I have searched most carefully through all the traditions of our family and I never could discover that there was a dishonest man among your forefathers. If therefore any of you, or any of your children, should take to dishonest ways, it will not be because it runs in our blood… I leave this precept with you; be honest!“
Another man who influenced David Livingstone was Thomas Burke, an old soldier who had fought in the Napoleonic Wars who would ring his bell to shatter the peace and quiet of Blantyre every Sunday morning to rouse the people to attend his early morning Prayer meeting. Burke was abrupt, direct and challenging. The Livingstone family faithfully supported him.
Another man who impressed David Livingstone was David Hogg, who from his deathbed challenged the young boy: “Now lad! Make religion the everyday business of your life and not a thing of fits and starts; for if you do not, temptation and other things will get the better of you!”
The Free Church
1832 was a special watershed year for the Livingstone family. Neil Livingstone, dissatisfied with the spiritual life of the Church of Scotland, changed his church membership to the Free Church. This required the Livingstones to walk to Hamilton, a nearby village for their Sunday worship services. Although they received many invitations to dine with families of the congregation, they chose to carry their own food and not impose upon the limited resources of the other families of the congregation, which they knew were also struggling financially. After Sunday lunch, the Livingstone family were treated to their one luxury, a barley sweet each. The Livingstones never accepted any hand-outs. They worked for everything they had.
Setting the Captives Free
The Free Church in Hamilton were strong supporters of Missions. In 1833, William Wilberforce’s lifelong crusade against slavery was successful. Slavery was abolished throughout the British Empire, by an act of Parliament. This inspired an ever greater vision for Missions. Those who had been freed from physical slavery, now needed to be freed from spiritual slavery. Missionaries were needed to go to the ends of the earth!
Books and tracts from the Revival movement sweeping America reached Scotland and created much excitement and deepening of spiritual life and vision. David Livingstone received a pamphlet written by Karl Gutzlaff, of the Netherlands Missionary Society. In it, Gutzlaff appealed for medical missionaries to go to China. David was inspired by how a medical missionary could be much more effective in converting the lost. He had learned enough Latin to be able to understand most medical terms. He was remarkably well-read and easily would pass the University entrance requirements. His chief obstacle would be a lack of finances.
Through great determination, he saved most of his money during the next 18 months to be able to put himself through Medical school and Theological College. At the age of 23, David set out on foot to begin his Theological and medical studies in Glasgow. From 1836 to 1838, he benefited from the best Theological and medical training available at that time. Each weekend he would walk back home to Blantyre. Although he was frequently offered lifts in a horse and cart, David would refuse, preferring the 4-hour long walk, often in the snow, in order to strengthen his muscles for his career in Missions.
London Missionary Society
In his second year at college, David applied to the London Missionary Society. David’s Father was concerned that his son’s application had omitted important facts. Therefore, without David’s knowledge, Neil Livingstone wrote to the LMS Board informing them of his son’s diligence in attending lectures, refusing offers of a lift to town, his refusals of secure teaching posts offered, of his early quest for Latin proficiency and of his hard work, sacrificial lifestyle and dedication to study.
In response to the question on whether he was married or engaged, David wrote: “unmarried; under no engagement relating to marriage, never made proposals of marriage, nor conducted myself so to any woman as to cause her to suspect that I intended anything related to marriage; and so far as my present wishes are concerned, I should prefer going out unmarried, that I might be without that care which the concerns of a family necessarily induce and give myself wholly to the work.”
Eight months after his application, David was finally invited to London, 30 August 1838, for an interview. After the second interview in September, the Directors accepted Livingstone on probation. He was placed under the mentorship of Rev. Richard Cecil who described David as having: “sense and quiet vigour; whose temper is good and his character substantial.”
Failure Does Not Need to be Final
However, at his first preaching opportunity, David froze in the pulpit and abruptly declared: “Friends, I have forgotten all I have to say!” and hurried out of the pulpit. The Directors of the London Missionary Society seriously considered rejecting his candidacy. However, a wise man pleaded hard that his probation should be extended. At future preaching engagements, he proved himself a capable and energetic communicator.
One lady in Ongar, wrote of David Livingstone: “I never knew anyone who gave me more the idea of power over other men, such power as our Saviour showed while on earth, the power of love and purity combined.”
During his studies, David wrote to his sisters, urging them: “to seek to be uncommon Christians, that is eminently holy and devoted servants of the most High… let us seek and with the conviction that we cannot do without it, that selfishness be extirpated, pride banished, unbelief driven from the mind, every idol dethroned and everything hostile to holiness and opposed to the Divine Will crucified; that Holiness to the Lord may be engraved on the heart and evermore characterise our whole conduct. This is what we ought to strive after; this is the way to be happy; this is what our Saviour loves, entire surrender of heart. May He enable us by His Spirit to persevere until we attain it!”
Focused on God’s Kingdom
It was noted that David earnestly sought first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. He steadfastly sought the Lord’s will for his life and he persevered through every problem. David Livingstone was described as an idealist, an eccentric bookworm loner. He took his task and calling most seriously. Whatever he did he performed thoroughly. His character was uncompromising. He was inflexible in his adherence to his word.
Dr. Risdon Bennet, of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, described David Livingstone as: “Pure and noble… simple, modest, unassuming and self-reliant…” Dr. Bennet wrote that he was “struck with the amount of knowledge that Livingstone had already acquired of those subjects which constituted the foundation of medical science…”
Redirected to Africa
David Livingstone’s plans to be a medical missionary to China was frustrated when the Opium War erupted. The LMS declared China closed. It was at that opportune time that LMS Missionary Robert Moffat conducted speaking engagements in London. He inspired David Livingstone as he spoke of: “The smoke of a thousand villages where no Missionary has ever been.” David switched his focus from Asia to Africa.
Crusade Against Slavery
While attending a meeting of the Society for the Extinction of the Slave Trade and for the Civilisation of Africa, in Exeter Hall, on 1 June 1840, Livingstone heard Thomas Foxwell Buxton speak of the Importance of Commerce and Christianity to defeat the slave trade in Africa. Africans would only be saved from the slave trade when they had an alternative to selling their own people to pay for the beads, cloth, guns and trinkets that they coveted.
During his final medical exams, David Livingstone argued with the Board who were not convinced about the usefulness of the stethoscope. Despite Livingstone’s unorthodox views, he qualified with a Licentiate of the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons, November 1840.
On a bleak November morning, 1840, in Blantyre, the Livingstone family rose at 5 am and the 27-year-old David read Psalm 121 to his family. He then read Psalm 135. The family bowed in prayer and then Neil walked his son to the Glasgow docks and saw his son embark on his great African adventure.
On 20 November 1840, David Livingstone was ordained as a Congregational Missionary in the Albion Street Chapel. On 8 December, he set sail in the George for Cape Town, South Africa.
Against All Odds
David had experienced little childhood or adolescence. In his upbringing, he had little, or no play, or recreation. Against all odds, he had already achieved far more than would have been thought humanly possible for someone born into such a poverty-stricken and disadvantaged background. To achieve what he had, Livingstone had had to be decisive, goal-orientated and inflexible. As time went on, he became less and less flexible and showed little or no patience for those with lower standards of devotion to Christ and His Great Commission.
Let the Earth Hear His Voice
To those who said that the work at home must be completed thoroughly before any Missions be engaged in abroad, Livingstone responded: “All men have the right to hear God’s Word. No nation ought to hoard the Gospel like a miser!”
Through Tempestuous Seas
Livingstone described his three months journey to Cape Town: “Our little vessel went reeling and staggering over the waves as if she had been drunk. Our trunks perpetually breaking from their lashings, were tossed from one side of the cabin to the other, …huddled together in glorious confusion… imagine if you can a ship in a fit of epilepsy.” David befriended Captain Donaldson and learned all that he could concerning the quadrant and the sextant, frequently staying up until past midnight to take lunar observations and work out directions using the stars. As the ship rocked and reeled over the perilous seas, Livingstone studied Theology. Finally, a raging storm split the foremast of the ship and they had to put into Rio de Janeiro to have it repaired. He also acquired quinine bushes from his hikes. This proved to be most fortuitous as he later developed his treatment for Malaria from it.
Ministry in Brazil
David described battling profusely to refuse bottles of liquor that were offered to him from all sides in Brazil. The Brazilians expressed shock that any Englishman should refuse alcohol, for many of his fellow countrymen and seamen had continually disgraced themselves in the streets of Rio by intoxication. David handed out Gospel tracts at the notorious Waterfront Bar and narrowly escaped with his life as 20 drunk, angry sailors assaulted him. He engaged in ministry at the local hospital and witnessed raging drunken delirium. He shared the Gospel with a dying French sailor and urged him to trust in Christ alone for eternal Salvation.
The Cape of Good Hope
On 17 March 1841, Livingstone sighted the majestic Table Mountain as the George edged into Table Bay. Thus, began one of the most incredible Missionary careers of the best friend Africa ever had.
All over the world we are seeing courageous individuals responding to The Great Reset with Great Resistance. We have seen Great Repression seeking to crush the Resistance, not only in Canada, but also in Australia, New Zealand, in Europe and the United States and in South Africa. What are the tools and tactics of tyrants? How can we best recognize, resist and respond to repression? “He is conceited…he has an unhealthy interest in controversies and arguments that result in envy, quarrelling, malicious talk, evil suspicions.” 1 Timothy 6:4.
Blame-shifting and Bulling
The tools of tyrants include: boycotts and blacklisting, blame shifting and bulling, censorship and character assassination, discrediting, demonizing, distracting, defunding and de-platforming, excluding and economic warfare, fake news and false flags, gossip and gas-lighting, lies and libel, sanctions and slander, intimidation and interference, toxic terminology, threats and terrorism, propaganda and psychological warfare, revolution and repression. “While they promise them freedom, they themselves are slaves of depravity…” 2 Peter 2:19
In Canada we have seen Justin Trudeau using all of these favorite tools of tyrants against those who disagree with him. After almost 2 years of repressive rule in which the state claimed the power to determine who could work, when they could work, how they could work, where they could work, what they needed to wear, whether they were allowed to worship or not, and even what chemicals had to be injected into their body, there was rising Resistance. Instead of responding to the growing outrage over government overreach and intrusion into the everyday lives of communities, congregations, families and individuals, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doubled down with even more repressive rules crushing working class people such as the truckers. “Justice is turned back and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street and equity cannot enter.” Isaiah 59:14
Gossip and Gas-lighting
When tens of thousands of people rose up in the Freedom Convoy to demand the end of medical tyranny, vaccine mandates and the masquerade madness, with hundreds of thousands of Canadians across the country coming out in enthusiastic support for their initiative, Trudeau responded with one of the favorite tools of tyrants. He slandered the truckers and their supporters as: right wing extremists, racists, misogynists, white supremacists, science deniers and Nazis! “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil… Who justify the wicked for a bribe and take away justice from the righteous man!” Isaiah 5:20-23
Slander is the Tool of the Loser
As Socrates observed: “When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.” British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher would often repeat this quote when her opponents resorted to ad hominem arguments and slander. As in soccer, you’re meant to play the ball not the man. To kick a fellow player rather than the ball is to be guilty of a foul. In any debate, one should deal with the issue, not attack the individual with whom we are having the disagreement. “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
Rather than addressing the issues being protested against by the Freedom Convoy, Justin Trudeau chose to character assassinate the protesters and then blame shifted by hypocritically accusing the truckers of interfering with the economy and people’s everyday lives! After two years of suffocating the economy and people’s everyday lives with the lockdown lunacy, masquerade madness, covid cult, salvation by vaccination mandates, it is incredible that Trudeau could have the audacity to blame the very people who were trying to open up the economy and bring freedom back to everyone’s daily lives, for the very policies he had been enforcing! “…’Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Therefore the wrath of the Lord is upon you.'” 2 Chronicles 19:2
Sanctions and Economic Warfare
Trudeau mobilized his minions to persuade go fund me to freeze the money raised to support the freedom convoy and then to prevent give send go from forwarding the funds raised for the protesters. Sanctions and economic warfare are popular tools of tyrants. “You shall not steal.” Exodus 10: 15
Communist Chinese Connection
Then we saw Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau emulating the Communist Chinese dictatorship that he has expressed such admiration for. Declaring a state of emergency, he mobilized his police to bully and bludgeon the peaceful protesters in the streets of Ottawa, freeze their bank accounts, confiscate their vehicles, threaten to take away their children and place them under state-controlled welfare and have their pets assigned to shelters where they could be euthanized! Not content with arresting the peaceful protesters, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government were determined to destroy the lives of not only the protesters but also of those who supported them, even with small donations. “Their feet run to evil and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.” Isaiah 59:7
Harassment and Threats
The details of those who have given donations to the freedom convoy were published online leading to much harassment and threats being unleashed upon simple working class people and entrepreneurs. “You shall not covet … ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilment of the Law.” Romans 13:8-10
All of this was made possible by the pervasive propaganda which demonized simple working class people who wanted their lives back. Fake news enabled Trudeau’s tyranny. False flags were also used to distract from the primary message of the thousands of truckers and hundreds of thousands of their supporters. Words were weaponized and terminology made toxic. Canadians were warned that the word Freedom is subversive and is code for white supremacy and right-wing extremism. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
Using George Orwell’s 1984 as a Manual
It would appear that liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada has used George Orwell’s 1984 as a manual rather than recognizing it as a warning of tyrannical tools and tactics to be avoided. George Orwell warned of the dangers of totalitarian government and the subversion of language, where the Ministry of Truth (Minitruth) deals with lies and propaganda, demonizing the opponents of the state, making them unpersons/vaporizing them and ensuring that their message and identity disappear down the memory hole. The Ministry of plenty (miniplenty) deals with rationing and ensures starvation. The ministry of peace (Minipeace) deals with war and the ministry of love (Minilove) deals with torture to ensure subservience and obedience from the masses. “The way of peace they have not known and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace.” Isaiah 59:8.
Double Standards and Hypocrisy
In the name of democracy the peaceful protests of many tens of thousands of Canadians were suppressed. In the name of Law & Order, the rule of law was suspended and effective martial law enforced. Those who normally trumpet tolerance crushed dissent and outlawed freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of worship, freedom of opinion and freedom of the press. Even journalists were warned not to cover the police actions and journalists were attacked and arrested. “Who will rise up for Me against the evildoers? Who will stand up for Me against the workers of iniquity?” Psalm 94:16
A new climate science study, involving a panel of 17 experts from 13 countries, has just been published in the scientific journal, Atmosphere. The study looked at the various data adjustments that are routinely applied to the European temperature records in the widely used Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN) dataset over the last 10 years.
The GHCN monthly temperature dataset is the main data source for thermometer records used by several of the groups calculating global warming – including NOAA, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).
These thermometer records can vary in length from decades to over a century. Over these long periods, the temperature records from individual weather stations often contain abrupt changes due to local factors that have nothing to do with global or national temperature trends. For example, changes in the location of the weather station, the types of thermometers used or the growth of urban heat islands around the station.
To try to correct for these non-climatic biases, NOAA, who maintain the GHCN dataset have been running a computer program to identify abrupt jumps in the records using statistical methods. Whenever the program identifies an abrupt jump it applies an adjustment to remove that jump from the station’s record. This process is called temperature homogenization. Until now, most scientists have assumed the process is generally working correctly.
In this new study, the authors analyzed thousands of different versions of the dataset downloaded over 10 years. They studied the homogenization adjustments for more than 800 European temperature records. They found that these adjustments changed dramatically every day when NOAA re-ran their computer program.
The authors found that only 17% of NOAA’s adjustments were consistent from run to run.
Furthermore, by compiling historical records known as station history metadata for each of the stations, they were able to compare the adjustments applied by NOAA’s computer program to the documented changes that were known to have occurred at the weather station. They found that less than 20% of the adjustments NOAA had been applying corresponded to any event noted by the station observers – such as a change in instrumentation or a station move.
The findings of the study show that most of the homogenization adjustments carried out by NOAA have been surprisingly inconsistent.
Moreover, every day, as the latest updates to the thermometer records arrive, the adjustments NOAA applies to the entire dataset are recalculated and changed. As a result, for any given station, e.g., Cheb, Czech Republic, the official homogenized temperatures for 1951 (as an example) might be very different in Tuesday’s dataset than in Monday’s dataset.
The study itself was not focused on the net effects of these adjustments on long-term climate trends. However, the authors warned that these bizarre inconsistencies in this widely-used climate dataset are scientifically troubling. They also are concerned that most researchers using this important dataset have been unaware of these problems until now.
The authors conclude their study by making various recommendations for how these problems might be resolved, and how the temperature homogenization efforts can be improved in the future.
Evaluation of the Homogenization Adjustments Applied to European Temperature Records in the Global Historical Climatology Network Dataset
by Peter O’Neill, Ronan Connolly, Michael Connolly, Willie Soon, Barbara Chimani, Marcel Crok, Rob de Vos, Hermann Harde, Peter Kajaba, Peter Nojarov, Rajmund Przybylak, Dubravka Rasol, Oleg Skrynyk, Olesya Skrynyk, Petr Štěpánek, Agnieszka Wypych and Pavel Zahradníček
A link to the Center for Environmental Research and Earth Studies: https://www.ceres-science.com/
Dr. Lee Button explains the power to declare war under the U.S. Constitution. This is from a weekly show that aired in New Hampshire and hosted by the National Heritage Center for Constitutional Studies
For information on the National Heritage Center for Constitutional Studies, please visit their website http://www.nhccs.org