From Gary... Getting along with others

Good fences make good neighbors. If that is true, then this must be a nice place to live.  After all, just knocking on this person's front door requires a real effort.  Reality is: sometimes its hard to "get along" with others.  So many things can happen; barking dogs,  noise levels at night, kids fighting, dirty looks, envy... and the list is practically endless.  I even had a neighbor once who took over six months to fix his septic tank-- its been over 30 years and I still remember that smell in August!!!  Getting along to go along calms things down and a quiet response solves most problems.  One thing that really helps is prayer, because it changes things and most of the time -- this means you!!!  Jesus put it this way in the Sermon on the Mount...

Matthew, Chapter 5
 43  “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’   44  But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you,  45  that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.   46  For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same?   47  If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same?   48  Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. 

Wise words to live by!!!  Beyond the obvious settling effect, people will notice something different about you and wonder.  I can tell you from experience that this message from Jesus is not an easy thing to do, but it is GOD'S WAY and that is the best way!!!  Bottom line is.... be as peaceable with those around you as you can be.  If not, well, pull up your ladder and stay by yourself; and see how long that lasts!!!

From Gary... Bible Reading, Mar. 27

Mar. 27
Leviticus 9, 10

Lev 9:1 It happened on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the elders of Israel;
Lev 9:2 and he said to Aaron, "Take a calf from the herd for a sin offering, and a ram for a burnt offering, without blemish, and offer them before Yahweh.
Lev 9:3 You shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'Take a male goat for a sin offering; and a calf and a lamb, both a year old, without blemish, for a burnt offering;
Lev 9:4 and a bull and a ram for peace offerings, to sacrifice before Yahweh; and a meal offering mixed with oil: for today Yahweh appears to you.' "
Lev 9:5 They brought what Moses commanded before the Tent of Meeting: and all the congregation drew near and stood before Yahweh.
Lev 9:6 Moses said, "This is the thing which Yahweh commanded that you should do: and the glory of Yahweh shall appear to you."
Lev 9:7 Moses said to Aaron, "Draw near to the altar, and offer your sin offering, and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself, and for the people; and offer the offering of the people, and make atonement for them; as Yahweh commanded."
Lev 9:8 So Aaron drew near to the altar, and killed the calf of the sin offering, which was for himself.
Lev 9:9 The sons of Aaron presented the blood to him; and he dipped his finger in the blood, and put it on the horns of the altar, and poured out the blood at the base of the altar:
Lev 9:10 but the fat, and the kidneys, and the cover from the liver of the sin offering, he burned upon the altar; as Yahweh commanded Moses.
Lev 9:11 The flesh and the skin he burned with fire outside the camp.
Lev 9:12 He killed the burnt offering; and Aaron's sons delivered the blood to him, and he sprinkled it around on the altar.
Lev 9:13 They delivered the burnt offering to him, piece by piece, and the head: and he burned them upon the altar.
Lev 9:14 He washed the innards and the legs, and burned them on the burnt offering on the altar.
Lev 9:15 He presented the people's offering, and took the goat of the sin offering which was for the people, and killed it, and offered it for sin, like the first.
Lev 9:16 He presented the burnt offering, and offered it according to the ordinance.
Lev 9:17 He presented the meal offering, and filled his hand from there, and burned it upon the altar, besides the burnt offering of the morning.
Lev 9:18 He also killed the bull and the ram, the sacrifice of peace offerings, which was for the people: and Aaron's sons delivered to him the blood, which he sprinkled around on the altar,
Lev 9:19 and the fat of the bull and of the ram, the fat tail, and that which covers the innards, and the kidneys, and the cover of the liver:
Lev 9:20 and they put the fat upon the breasts, and he burned the fat on the altar:
Lev 9:21 and the breasts and the right thigh Aaron waved for a wave offering before Yahweh, as Moses commanded.
Lev 9:22 Aaron lifted up his hands toward the people, and blessed them; and he came down from offering the sin offering, and the burnt offering, and the peace offerings.
Lev 9:23 Moses and Aaron went into the Tent of Meeting, and came out, and blessed the people: and the glory of Yahweh appeared to all the people.
Lev 9:24 There came forth fire from before Yahweh, and consumed the burnt offering and the fat upon the altar: and when all the people saw it, they shouted, and fell on their faces.

Lev 10:1 Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer, and put fire in it, and laid incense on it, and offered strange fire before Yahweh, which he had not commanded them.
Lev 10:2 And fire came forth from before Yahweh, and devoured them, and they died before Yahweh.
Lev 10:3 Then Moses said to Aaron, "This is what Yahweh spoke of, saying, 'I will show myself holy to those who come near me, and before all the people I will be glorified.' " Aaron held his peace.
Lev 10:4 Moses called Mishael and Elzaphan, the sons of Uzziel the uncle of Aaron, and said to them, "Draw near, carry your brothers from before the sanctuary out of the camp."
Lev 10:5 So they drew near, and carried them in their coats out of the camp, as Moses had said.
Lev 10:6 Moses said to Aaron, and to Eleazar and to Ithamar, his sons, "Don't let the hair of your heads go loose, neither tear your clothes; that you don't die, and that he not be angry with all the congregation: but let your brothers, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which Yahweh has kindled.
Lev 10:7 You shall not go out from the door of the Tent of Meeting, lest you die; for the anointing oil of Yahweh is on you." They did according to the word of Moses.
Lev 10:8 Yahweh spoke to Aaron, saying,
Lev 10:9 "Drink no wine nor strong drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the Tent of Meeting, that you don't die: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations:
Lev 10:10 and that you are to make a distinction between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean;
Lev 10:11 and that you are to teach the children of Israel all the statutes which Yahweh has spoken to them by Moses."
Lev 10:12 Moses spoke to Aaron, and to Eleazar and to Ithamar, his sons who were left, "Take the meal offering that remains of the offerings of Yahweh made by fire, and eat it without yeast beside the altar; for it is most holy;
Lev 10:13 and you shall eat it in a holy place, because it is your portion, and your sons' portion, of the offerings of Yahweh made by fire: for so I am commanded.
Lev 10:14 The waved breast and the heaved thigh you shall eat in a clean place, you, and your sons, and your daughters with you: for they are given as your portion, and your sons' portion, out of the sacrifices of the peace offerings of the children of Israel.
Lev 10:15 The heaved thigh and the waved breast they shall bring with the offerings made by fire of the fat, to wave it for a wave offering before Yahweh: and it shall be yours, and your sons' with you, as a portion forever; as Yahweh has commanded."
Lev 10:16 Moses diligently inquired about the goat of the sin offering, and, behold, it was burned: and he was angry with Eleazar and with Ithamar, the sons of Aaron who were left, saying,
Lev 10:17 "Why haven't you eaten the sin offering in the place of the sanctuary, seeing it is most holy, and he has given it you to bear the iniquity of the congregation, to make atonement for them before Yahweh?
Lev 10:18 Behold, its blood was not brought into the inner part of the sanctuary: you certainly should have eaten it in the sanctuary, as I commanded."
Lev 10:19 Aaron spoke to Moses, "Behold, this day they have offered their sin offering and their burnt offering before Yahweh; and such things as these have happened to me: and if I had eaten the sin offering today, would it have been pleasing in the sight of Yahweh?"
Lev 10:20 When Moses heard that, it was pleasing in his sight.

Mar. 27, 28
Mark 16

Mar 16:1 When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him.
Mar 16:2 Very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
Mar 16:3 They were saying among themselves, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?"
Mar 16:4 for it was very big. Looking up, they saw that the stone was rolled back.
Mar 16:5 Entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were amazed.
Mar 16:6 He said to them, "Don't be amazed. You seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen. He is not here. Behold, the place where they laid him!
Mar 16:7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He goes before you into Galilee. There you will see him, as he said to you.' "
Mar 16:8 They went out, and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had come on them. They said nothing to anyone; for they were afraid.
Mar 16:9 Now when he had risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.
Mar 16:10 She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
Mar 16:11 When they heard that he was alive, and had been seen by her, they disbelieved.
Mar 16:12 After these things he was revealed in another form to two of them, as they walked, on their way into the country.
Mar 16:13 They went away and told it to the rest. They didn't believe them, either.
Mar 16:14 Afterward he was revealed to the eleven themselves as they sat at the table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they didn't believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
Mar 16:15 He said to them, "Go into all the world, and preach the Good News to the whole creation.
Mar 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned.
Mar 16:17 These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new languages;
Mar 16:18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will in no way hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
Mar 16:19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
Mar 16:20 They went out, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.

From Gary V. Womack... Thankfulness


TEXT:  Lk. 17:11-19

Thanks An expression of gratitude. Grateful acknowledgment of something received by or done for one.


Rom. 3:23 "For all have sinned and fall short of the 
                  glory of God."

                     WITHOUT HOPE.

Jas. 1:17 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is 
                from above, and comes down from the 
                Father of lights, with whom there is no 
                variation or shadow of turning."

We should ASK for our needs - it is an expression
of trust on our part to ASK.

Ja. 4:2-3 "You lust and do not have. You murder 
              and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and 
              war. Yet you do not have because you do 
              not ask. (3) You ask and do not receive, 
              because you ask amiss, that you may 
              spend it on your pleasures."

Mt. 7:7-8 "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and 
               you will find; knock, and it will be opened. 
               (8) For everyone who asks receives, and 
               he who seeks finds, and to him who  
               knocks it will be opened."

ALL OBEYED HIS COMMAND - He tested their faith by telling them to go to the priest before they were healed.

Jas. 1:2-3 "My brethren, count it all joy when you 
                 fall into various trials, (3) knowing that 
                 the testing of your faith produces 

Mt. 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, 
               Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, 
               but he who does the will of My Father in 


Rev. 22:14 "Blessed are those who do His 
                  commandments, that they may have
                  the right to the tree of life, and may 
                  enter through the gates into the city."

ONE WAS THANKFUL - 9 of them were 
                                      not thankful.

2 Tim. 3:1-5
                   "In the last days, some would be 

NOTICE the sins that unthankfulness is listed with.

Rom. 1:21 "because, although they knew God, they 
                 did not glorify Him as God, nor were 
                 thankful, but became futile in their 
                 thoughts, and their foolish hearts were 


HE RETURNED - "Gratitude goes out of its way to express itself." (gvw)


Rev. 4:9-11 In heaven, God is glorified in 
                   thanksgiving and praise. Will there be 
                   any room for the unthankful in Heaven?

HE FELL DOWN AT HIS FEET - Humility. NOTICE again in:

2 Tim. 3:2 the boastful and the proud are 
                 unthankful. Do we fall down at His feet in 
                 prayer to thank Him - or do we let days 
                 go by without speaking to Him.?

HE THANKED HIM "There is no thankfulness where it is not expressed." (gvw)

Col. 3:17 "And whatever you do in word or deed, do 
                all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving 
                thanks to God."

Psm. 100:1-ff "...enter into His gates with 


To refuse God's generous offer of His Son is to express unthankfulness

To believe and obey is the greatest expression of thankfulness there is:

Acts 16:30-34
Notice the thankfulness of the Philippian jailer -
He believed the gospel & was baptized He served those he had imprisoned He rejoiced in believing

From Jim McGuiggan... God Punishing the Innocent (2)

God Punishing the Innocent (2)

God created us a community and he works with us as a human community. This is a matter of critical importance. If we look not only at "sin/curse" texts but also at blessing texts we see that God's works just as surely in a community/humanity way in blessing as in cursing. We see it in life, everywhere in life, and we have Christ's affirmation of God sending rain/sunshine/fruitful seasons/heart gladness on humanity (Matthew 5, Acts 14,). Then there's Acts 17 where we're told that God gives "life and everything else" to humanity and that "in him we live..."—this is true of humanity.
God's visiting sin on children of those who hate him means they bear the consequences of the fathers' crimes when God punishes the guilty fathers. The innocent are not regarded as actual sinners so God has no intention of punishing them. But God does not exempt the children from suffering though he does not "punish" them. An earthly judge who sends an embezzling father to prison does not "punish" his four children though he certainly knows his decision means loss for the children. The earthly judge has no option but to act within the "community" nature of life that the Holy Father has chosen to create and within which he insists on working. The earthly judge (so to speak) "visits the sin of the father on the children."
The reverse is also true. "Showing mercy" to the children of lovers of God (an Old Testament doctrine) has nothing to do with attributing "moral goodness" to a child who has done neither good nor evil. It is the reverse process of "visiting sin". It is the God-determined and "natural" overflow of blessing that comes to a child whose parents are blessed by God. The blessing of the children is the result not of their personal holiness and love of God; it comes to them through the love of their parents and God's consequent blessing.
But even in passages like Exodus 20:6 we aren't being taught that mercy is only shown to the children of God-lovers—see the universal texts above from Acts. Nor are we to conclude that Exodus 20:5 or Deuteronomy 5:8 are iron clad retributive threats much less "imputation" texts. These promise/threats are part of a larger picture and over-arching purpose. God extends and retracts them as suits his purpose. Lovers of God suffer and non-lovers are blessed.

©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.

Many thanks to brother Ed Healy for allowing me to post from his website, the abiding word.com.

From Mark Copeland... Alternatives To The Resurrection

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

              Alternatives To The Resurrection (28:11-15)


1. There are certain facts of history that no one can deny...
   a. Many people testified they saw Jesus raised from the dead
   b. These same people suffered greatly because of their testimony
   -- Such facts support the actual resurrection of Jesus from the dead

2. From the beginning, there have been alternative theories to explain
   the empty tomb...
   a. Matthew records the earliest theory: the disciples stole the body
      - Mt 28:11-15
   b. Other theories have been raised as well

3. Because of the significance of the resurrection (described in a
   previous lesson)...
   a. Those opposed to the gospel know this event must be discredited
   b. We who believe in Jesus must always be ready to provide a defense
      - 1Pe 3:15
      1) Not only why we accept the testimony of the witnesses (see
         previous lesson)
      2) But why we find alternative explanations impossible to accept

[In this study, we shall consider various "Alternatives To The
Resurrection", and why they are inadequate to explain the empty tomb.
We begin with the first explanation...]


      1. The disciples stole the body, then claimed He rose from the
      2. This was the "official" theory offered from the very beginning
         - Mt 28:11-15

      1. The explanation defies logic
         a. If the soldiers were asleep...
            1) How did they know it was the disciples who took the
            2) How could the large stone guarding the entrance be
               rolled away without awakening the soldiers?
         b. The soldiers guarding the tomb were Romans - Mt 27:62-66
            1) They were professional soldiers
            2) Charged to guard the tomb with their lives
            3) The punishment for falling asleep on duty was death
      2. This would make those who testified they saw Jesus liars and
         a. As we saw in the previous lesson, they claimed empirical
         b. Suppose just a few disciples stole the body, unbeknown by
            1) Such as Nicodemus, Joseph of Arimathea, or the women
            2) Others still say they saw Jesus, ate and drank with Him
         c. You have to explain why they were willing to lie and die
            knowing it was a lie

[The likelihood of timid disciples stealing the body of Jesus out from
under the noses of highly disciplined and skilled Roman soldiers while
they slept (an offense punishable by death) is hard to believe! Perhaps
that is why those who refuse to believe in the resurrection have
proposed alternative explanations, one being...]


      1. The women went to the wrong tomb, and found it empty
      2. They erroneously concluded that Jesus had risen, and their
         story spread

      1. The women had been to the tomb before - Mt 27:61
      2. The religious and political leaders could have easily silenced
         the apostles' claim
         a. If the women went to the wrong tomb, then the right tomb
            was still sealed and guarded by the Roman soldiers
         b. When the apostles' created an uproar with their story of
            the resurrection of Jesus (cf. Ac 4:1-2; 5:27-33), the
            Jewish leaders could have directed people to the right tomb
            and presented the body of Jesus!
      3. You still have the testimony of the apostles to contend with

[A more popular explanation in some circles is...]


      1. Jesus did not actually die on the cross, He only swooned
         a. Suffering from shock, pain, and loss of blood, He fainted
            (swooned) from exhaustion
         b. Thinking that He was dead, the Roman soldiers took Him down
            and buried Him in the tomb
      2. In the coolness of the tomb, Jesus revived
         a. Somehow He left the tomb
         b. Appeared to His disciples, then lived in obscurity to die
            years later

      1. Jesus would have had to revive sufficiently enough to:
         a. Break through the burial garments that bound Him, including
            a hundred pounds of spices used in preparing His body for
            burial - Jn 19:38-40
         b. Role away the large stone that sealed the tomb
         c. Fight off the Roman guards protecting the tomb
         d. Walk the seven miles to Emmaus where He was seen by the two
         e. Walk back to Jerusalem where He was seen by the apostles
         -- All within the same day!
      2. Every effort was made to prove He was dead
         a. The Roman soldiers at the cross pierced His side - Jn 19:
            1) Out of which flowed blood and water
            2) An indication He was already dead, having died of a
               ruptured heart
         b. Pilate made sure He was dead - Mk 15:43-45
            1) When Joseph of Arimathea wanted the body
            2) The Roman centurion confirmed that Jesus was dead
      3. Not only would this make the apostles liars and frauds, but
         Jesus also for allowing a lie to spread for years!

[Another popular alternative explanation is...]


      1. All of Christ's post-resurrection appearances were only
         supposed appearances
      2. Those who claimed to see Jesus had hallucinations

      1. Remember that the appearances were not just to individuals,
         one at a time
         a. The two disciples on the road to Emmaus claimed to see Him
            - Lk 24:13-35
         b. Ten apostles claimed to see Him - Jn 20:19-25
         c. He appeared to over 500 people at once - 1Co 15:6
      2. The hallucination theory contradicts laws and principles which
         psychiatrists say are essential to hallucinations:
         a. Only certain kinds of people have hallucinations
            1) These are usually high-strung, highly imaginative, and
               very nervous people
            2) Usually only paranoid or schizophrenic individuals have
            3) The appearances were not restricted to people of any
               particular psychological make up
         b. Hallucinations are linked in an individual's subconscious
            1) An individual may have an hallucination
            2) But hallucinations do not appear to groups of people
         c. They occur in people when there is a spirit of anticipation
            or hopeful expectation
            1) The disciples had no such anticipation - Lk 24:13-21
            2) They were prone to disbelieve even after they were told
               of the resurrection - Jn 20:24-25

[Then there is the theory that...]


      1. The appearances were not really Christ at all, but someone
         impersonating Him
      2. This is evident because in some cases they did not recognize
         Him at first

      1. The disciples were reluctant to believe in the resurrection
         a. Some were doubtful, such as Thomas - Jn 20:24-25
         b. It would have been hard to convince them unless it was
            really Him
      2. It would have been impossible to impersonate Christ's wounds
         a. This was Christ's proof it was really Him - Jn 20:26-27
         b. Which convinced doubting Thomas - Jn 20:28-29
      3. The apostles traveled with Jesus for three years
         a. It is incredible that anyone could have gotten away with an
         b. Which is why the apostles were witnesses of the 
            resurrection - Ac 10:39-41
      4. The one claiming to be Jesus performed miracles
         a. Suddenly appearing in locked rooms - Jn 20:19
         b. Directing them how to catch fish - Jn 21:1-7

[Closely related to this would be the theory that...]


      1. The disciples simply mistook for Jesus someone who looked like
      2. For example, the women mistook the gardener for Jesus - Jn 20:

      1. The same problems as with the impersonation theory
         a. Disciples reluctant to believe in the resurrection
         b. Impossible to recreate the wounds of Jesus
         c. Ample time with Jesus to verify His identity
      2. While Mary may have mistaken Jesus for the gardener, she was
         able to look through her grief and recognize who He was

[Finally, here is an alternative proposed by some theologians who just
cannot accept the idea of a physical, bodily resurrection...]


      1. Christ's resurrection was not a real physical resurrection
      2. Christ's body remained in the grave and His real resurrection
         was spiritual in nature
      3. It was only told this way to illustrate the truth of spiritual

      1. If it was only a spiritual resurrection, what happened to the
         a. The enemies of Christ were never able to produce a body
         b. Which they would have gladly done to discredit the apostles
      2. Again, the nature of the apostles' testimony is empirical:
         they ate and drank with Him, touched Him - Lk 24:36-43; Ac 10:
         39-41; 1Jn 1:1-2
      3. Paul argued a bodily resurrection of Jesus as evidence for our
         own bodily resurrection - 1Co 15:12-58


1. The resurrection of Jesus has been variously interpreted as...
   a. A great hoax (the resurrection is false)
   b. Mythology (the resurrection is fiction)
   -- Therefore various alternatives have been proposed to explain the
      empty tomb

2. But there is only one interpretation worth accepting...
   a. It is the supreme event of history (the resurrection is fact)
   b. Supported by empirical testimony provided by reliable witnesses
   c. With implications of great significance for both unbeliever and
      believer alike

When you consider the strength of the apostles' testimony, and contrast
it with the weakness of the alternative explanations that have been
proposed, it leads an honest person in only one direction:  to faith in
Jesus Christ as the Son of God...

   "And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His
   disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are
   written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son
   of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."
                                                     (Jn 20:30-31)

Are you willing to believe in Jesus, that you might have life in His
name?  Then heed the words of the apostle Peter proclaimed in the first
gospel sermon:

   "Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God
   has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."
   Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said
   to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what
   shall we do?"  Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every
   one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the
   remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy
   Spirit.  For the promise is to you and to your children, and to
   all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."
                                                       (Ac 2:36-39)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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