From Steve Singleton... What about Bible contradictions?

What about Bible contradictions?

The careful study of alleged Bible contradictions is one that should be reserved for “going deeper.” If you are still navigating “the Shallows,” however, here are three principles to keep in mind.
  • Carefully define “contradiction.” Two statements are not contradictory unless they cannot both be true. If I say that it rained all day on Saturday and you say that it was sunny all day on Saturday, are these statements contradictory? Would it make a difference that you and I were in different states on Saturday? Would it matter that we are not talking about the same Saturday? The “works” of Romans 4:1-8 differ from those of James 2:14-26.
  •  Allow for missing details. When you give reports about the walk you just took, you might tell one person what you saw in the park and tell another what you looked at in the store window. These two people might have very different ideas about your walk, even though you reported accurately but not exhaustively. Compare Acts 18:8 with 1 Cor. 1:14 (Was Crispus baptized or not?). Compare Luke 24:1-11 with John 20:1-2 (How many women went to the empty tomb?).
  • The context is king. Two statements that seem to be exact opposites (such as “I am a good student” and “I am a poor student”) might both be true in their original contexts (“I am a good student when it comes to music” and “At nuclear physics, I am a poor student”). The context makes all the difference. See Proverbs 26:4-5 (Is it true there are times you should and should not answer a fool according to his folly?).
These three principles will take you far in sorting out alleged Bible contradictions. You may still find a few that lack enough clues to enable you to arrive at a decisive answer. In those cases, the Bible is innocent until proven guilty.

Want to go deeper? The following are useful resources for pursuing your study of alleged Bible contradictions:

Recommended for purchase:
John W. Haley. Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible (originally publ. 1874; new printing). Reprinted so often because it’s that good!

Online resources:
Enclyclopedia Apologetica (for specific passages – note: this covers such a wide range that I cannot possibly endorse everything it teaches. Think for yourself!)

Many thanks to brother Steve Singleton, for allowing me to post from his website, DeeperStudy.com

From Ben Fronczek... Our God is a God of New Beginnings

Our God is a God of New Beginnings 

By: Ben Fronczek

Here’s a true Story:

He was a young, poor, country boy who had some talent as a football player in high school. He ended up with a foot ball scholarship to a technical university after high school, but before going he married his 16 year old girl friend. His wife later wrote. “We were so poor,  So in love, but so poor.”
At the age of 18 this young man had his first son. His wife later said, that her husband had never drank alcohol before, but started to party with the football team once he got to college. She said,  “It was scary to me,”  as a young girl. She had never been exposed to that kind of life style. They soon had their second son, and she reported that her husband’s drinking habits worsened. She also suspected that he was also doing other drugs and was committing adultery. He started to become very angry, and was rarely with the family.
She went on to say that one day, a man went into the beer joint that her husband was working at with a Bible and tried to tell him about Jesus. She said her husband ran him off, and later got in a bar fight so bad that he got in trouble with the law. He came home that evening and told her that he was going to hide in the woods and probably wouldn’t “surface” for 2 or 3 months.
She said when he eventually turned up, the drinking continued – She said, “He became more and more mean, and mean-spirited,”. He eventually told her and their three children to get out leave their home.  
Later he told others, ‘I would say the low point in his life was when he ran his wife and the kids off. He was  all alone, with no hope, and miserable.’
He began to seriously wonder if there was a way out of all of his troubles, and his faithful wife suggested that he talk with the man who had once approached him about the Lord. And so he decided to talk to him
Later he said, “I didn’t even know what the Gospel of Jesus was,”  “I was blown away when I heard that Jesus died for me, was buried, and raised from the dead – something so … simple, but profound…”
One day his wife came home and found a note which said that he was at the church. She and their three boys went to the church and saw him standing in the baptistery. She rejoiced. She said,  “I heard him say, ‘I want to make Jesus the Lord of my life. I want to follow Him from this day forward.’  Her three boys were so excited that tears streamed down their faces. She said “The boys started hollering and singing, jumping all over the place … they were so happy,”  she said.   He told her that he was turning away from his sinful past, and it was in that moment that their family felt complete.
As a young Christian, he was put to the test when he caught men stealing fish from him down on the river. He said, In the past he would have confronted them with his shotgun – He said,  “I was fishing for a living – it was my livelihood. I was working my tail off,” he explains.
But he had been reading Romans 12,  which says –  
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them … Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink … Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good”       (English Standard Version, from Romans 12:14-21).
He was puzzled, but felt convicted –He called out to the Lord and said, “They’re stealing my fish here, Lord, and You want me to do what?”   Even though he felt that it made no “earthly sense,”  He determined to do good to the men. Just as they were about to pull his fishing net on-board their boat he caught them stealing from him again red-handed. Seeing this he told them “Here’s the good news – I’m going to raise the net, and whatever is in there, I’m going to give them to you,”. The men were suspicious but from that day forward, they quit stealing his fish. “I took that to mean God was right all along,” he said.
Being the outdoorsman that he was, soon after he became a Christian he made a unique duck call and named it the Duck Commander. He made and sold some earning $8,000 in sales his first year. The family-operated company has now grown to a multimillion dollar business. This man now in his 60’s,  and Phil Robertson does not hesitate to give credit where credit is due. He says,   ”I am giving the credit to God Almighty and Heaven for the duck call sales, the fish that were in the nets way back, [and] for my life.”

If you haven’t guessed it already I am talking about the father and patriarch of what is now known as Duck Dynasty.  Here we have just one example of a man being what we now call… reborn or born again; going from someone who was vile, corrupt, and mean to becoming a sweet and loving husband and father, and now someone who stands up and professes Christ and his Lord and preaches his word. It has been said that Phil has baptized over 300 people into Christ in the river just outside his home in Louisiana.

I wanted to tell you this story today because as we begin a New Year many of us look at it as a new beginning. Some of us make New Year resolutions. Some of us go on diets, start an exercise regimen, many of us even start a Bible reading program or do other things we’ve put off doing.
What I want to do is remind us all that Our God is a God of New Beginnings. Just like with Phil Robertson becoming quite literally a new man, we hear and read about how God has enabled people to experience new beginnings over and over in big and small ways ever since the beginning.

For example..

● The creation itself was a new beginning.

● Eve coming on the scene in Adam’s life was the start of a new beginning for him.

● Noah and his family experienced a new beginning. Like the sin in Phil’s life and ours when we were baptized, God washed away the sin of the world in the flood waters of Noah’s time and they all began a new life as they exited the ark.     

1 Peter 3 says,  

“In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, 21 and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ,  who has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”

● At the Tower of Babel when God gave people different languages it was a new beginning for those people.

● When God interacted with Abram and make a covenant with him it was new beginning for Abram and his descendants. His family would become the Hebrew nation and the first Jews.

● Joseph interpreting the dreams of Pharaoh led to a new beginning for him and the people of Israel. His small family later moved to Egypt and grew in a nation of people there.

● After 400 years in Egypt God would have Moses lead the Jews out to start a new life again. We see this happening over and over again throughout Bible history, from entering the promised land to being swept away to Babylon and then being led back again to rebuild.

But the greatest change that God brings about are the changes that happen in individual’s lives because of what Jesus did for us. Stories like Phil Robertson's have been taking place since Jesus came on the scene 2000 years ago. Lives have been changed, renewed, and there have been countless new beginning. Fisherman and tax collector became Apostles. Thieves, prostitutes, murders, drug addicts, and still worst alike have been given a new beginning, having been born again because of Jesus.

Most all of us know about the Jewish Pharisee that hated Jesus and his followers and what they stood for. Saul of Tarsus hunted Christians down, imprisoned them, and even approved of their death. But then the God of new beginnings opened his eyes by blinding him on the road to Damascus. He did a 180 and eventually became one of those Christians that he use to persecute. He was a new man and often wrote about it. 

In Phil. 3 he writes,

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless.
7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things.”

As we enter a new year I want you to remember this. Our God is a God of new beginnings. 

Eph 3:20 says that God,  

is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us”

You may know that you have something in your life that you need to change.  I say, ask God to help you make that change. Paul said that He ‘is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. ‘

In this text Paul tells us what helped him. He consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus as Lord.” And so he 

‘pressed on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of him, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 He press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God had called him heavenward in Christ Jesus.’

God will give you that new beginning, a new start, a new life, but sometime you have to set a goal and ask God to help you.  If God was willing to send His Son to suffer and then die on that cruel cross, if He loves you that much don’t you think He will help you with some of these other things in your life you want to change?

You know what the problem is? We do without a lot because we are not bold enough to ask God with conviction for his help and favor.

James 4 says, 

You do not have because you do not ask God.”

We have to trust Him and remember how much He loves us and who we are to Him. We are His redeemed ones, those He saved. We are those He justified. We are co-heirs with Christ Jesus, we are His children.

Why should we think He wouldn’t want to help us? There is no excuse for not becoming victorious in all things if Jesus is your Lord and if God is our Father

In Closing I want to mention a special ‘new beginning’ that God has in store for us. 

It is the prize that Paul wrote about.   

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

The Apostle John wrote about this in Revelation 21, he wrote,   

“21 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”

Our God is a God of new beginnings.  I encourage you to look to God for new beginnings. He has your very best in mind. I also encourage you to make an extra effort like Paul, forget the past and all the ways you messed up and start straining toward what is ahead,  press on toward that prize for which God has called you heavenward. With Jesus’ help you can do anything.

For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566

From Jim McGuiggan... Baptism: Water that divides

Baptism: Water that divides

Not too long ago an author wrote a book on baptism called The Water that Divides. The title is appropriate given today’s religious climate with some people talking as if it were the most important thing in the Bible and others who think it should be carried out but if it isn’t there’s no great loss. Some dismiss it altogether as not worthy of discussion. Some insist that baptism is part of God’s bringing the sinner into saving union with Christ (I am one of those who believe that) and others that it’s an ordinance you attend to after you have entered Christ but if you don’t attend to it there’s no great loss. In light of the New Testament and 2,000 years of church history this is an astonishing stance for believers in the Christ to take.

Some think because salvation is altogether by God’s generous grace (and it certainly is!) that baptism can safely be ignored. They don’t get this from the New Testament, which strenuously and tirelessly proclaims that salvation is altogether of the gracious God and still calls all nations to be baptized into the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Matthew 29:19 and see Acts 2:38, 19:5 and 22:16).

Some think because salvation is entirely by grace that baptism can’t be part of the coming to Christ to be saved. But the New Testament insists that salvation is entirely by God’s grace and it still says to people who want to be saved, “Be baptized!” for the forgiveness or washing away of sins and it still insists that baptism initiates the trusting and penitent sinner into the Christ (Romans 6:3 and Galatians 3:27).

There is no need to and it is profoundly false to make baptism all-important (only God is all-important) but the New Testament offers no such dilemma. Baptism’s importance is no more and no less than the New Testament shows it to be. Anxious to prove their point some people talk of nothing else but baptism and that’s tragic. The New Testament talks about it easily and often but it doesn’t make it the be-all or end-all of proclamation or even the sinner’s response. It doesn’t apologize for calling people to submit to it who want to belong to Christ but then it didn’t need to. Those who wanted to find peace with Christ asked what to do, they were told and they did it and everyone rejoiced in the saving grace of a generous and forgiving Lord.

Part of the reason there is no heavy argumentation on baptism in the New Testament is because nobody ever dreamed of arguing about it. If people didn’t argue about it today we could talk about it and call for it as part of the coming to Christ as easily and naturally as they did in the New Testament. I confess it irks me more than a little to hear baptism stressed to the point almost of tedium. But it annoys me a bit also to hear people dismiss God’s command and wonder why others talk about it so much. If there was more humble submission to an explicit command of God that the New Testament relates to forgiveness, salvation and union with Christ maybe we’d hear less going on and on about baptism.

It should make us ponder our belief and practice when a gentleman understandably feels the need to write a book on baptism called The Water that Divides when in point of fact Paul saw it in a precisely opposite way. He saw it as water that unites. In Galatians 3:26-27 he assures the Galatians that they were all children of God by faith because (for, the Greek gar) when they were baptized they entered by faith into Christ and clothed themselves with Christ so that there was no longer anything to divide them. The distinctions that were used to keep them apart, sexism, racism, elitism had all been neutralized in Christ Jesus.

So, in Paul’s teaching, and he knew more about grace and God’s generosity than anyone before or since, baptism didn’t divide, it protested everything that did divide us one from another. The man or woman, girl or boy that by faith is baptized into the reconciling Christ defies all those social and ethical differences that work to keep us apart. We can imagine what it felt like to Paul when he personally on one of those perhaps rare occasions baptized someone into Christ. Looking at it with his eyes, God at that moment, via Paul and the person now coming to Christ, was once more denouncing all that keeps humans apart from him and from one another. When he baptized someone into Christ Paul was tearing down partitions and rehearsing the truth that in Christ walls stronger than granite were destroyed.

He could have said that without mentioning baptism (he said it in other places without mentioning baptism) but the fact is that he mentioned baptism here! The Bible and life teaches us that our life with God is inlaid with many rites and actions that we don’t fully understand. And there’s something fearfully high-handed about puny little preachers whose life is a vapor and whose learning is fragmentary at best urging people to pay little or no attention to God’s word on this matter. I’d urge anyone who wants to give their life to Christ or anyone who has loved the Christ always but hasn’t yet been baptized as the New Testament lays it out to prayerfully reflect on the scriptures about this matter of baptism and act accordingly.

I’m acquainted with a godly man that has loved the Lord for many years. He has not submitted to a believer’s baptism and in fact has said he doesn’t need to. Speaking of that fine man a writer said, “Can you imagine anyone saying he needed to be baptized?” The writer’s response was that this lovely man didn’t need to do it. I think this is a silly thing to say and I think it is high-handed, especially in light of Matthew 5:19, because Matthew 28:19 gives no one the right to refuse.

I’m acquainted with a godly, prayerful and God-centered man in the New Testament who received God’s personal word of approval. God sent him a preacher who would inform him how he could come to God in and through Jesus Christ. The preacher began to speak and God interrupted the proceedings by sending the Holy Spirit on the man and his whole family. If there was ever a man who didn’t need to be baptized there we have him. But that’s not how Peter saw it. He commanded Cornelius to be baptized in the name of the Christ and he insisted that it was Cornelius’ privilege as well as due response. The whole story’s in Acts 10 and into 11.

How dare we say to God-loving and Christ-believing people that they don’t need to be baptized in his name? Who do we think we are? God?

©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, theabidingword.com.

From Mark Copeland... Those Who Resist Authority ( Titus 1:10-16)

                         "THE EPISTLE TO TITUS"

                  Those Who Resist Authority (1:10-16)


1. In his epistle to Titus, Paul's first order of business was to...
   a. Remind Titus why he was left on the island of Crete - Tit 1:5
   b. Provide the qualifications needed for the appointment of elders
      - Tit 1:6-9

2. The need for such elders is described in the rest of the first
   a. Because of those described as insubordinate - Tit 1:10
   b. Who were negatively impacting the churches on Crete - Tit 1:11

3. What does it mean to be an insubordinate...?
   a. Insubordinate:  one who does not submit to authority, mutinous
   b. Insubordination is therefore disobedience and resistance to

4. In the setting of our text, that would mean the authority of the
   apostles of Christ...
   b. In whose teachings the early church continued steadfastly - e.g.,
      Ac 2:42
   c. Whose teachings were to be considered on par with the Lord's - cf.
      1Co 14:37; 1Th 2:13

[Insubordination can be a problem in churches today, so we do well to
carefully consider text of our study (Tit 1:10-16).  First, notice what
is revealed concerning...]


      1. They were idle talkers and deceivers - Tit 1:10
         a. "More given to talk than practical religion" - Barnes
         b. Not honest, seeking to deceive others
         c. Such conduct had permeated the character of those living on
            Crete - Tit 1:12-13a
         d. It was also true of those among the circumcision (Judaizers
            who sought to bind the Law on Gentiles - cf. Ac 15:1)
      2. Their minds and consciences were defiled - Tit 1:15
         a. A natural consequence of deceiving others
         b. Their minds and consciences have become corrupted
         c. Notice Paul's description of such people in 1Ti 6:3-5
      3. They had become abominable and disobedient - Tit 1:16
         a. Abominable:  detestable to God
         b. Disobedient:  unwilling to be persuaded and obey
         c. Guilty of six things that are an abomination to God - cf.
            Pr 6:16-19
      4. They were disqualified for every good work - Tit 1:16
         a. Disqualified:  literally, reprobate, worthless
         b. Of no real value to God, who has created us to walk in good
            works - cf. Ep 2:10

      1. Those who resist the authority of the Word are more likely to
         be given to talk than doing
      2. We should beware of those prone to be talkers and not doers
      3. They not only deceive others, but themselves as well - cf. Ja
      4. Following them will make our religion useless - ibid.

[Resisting the authority of God's Word is a serious offense.  It is also
has the potential of great harm...]


      1. They were subverting whole households - Tit 1:11
         a. Turning them away from the faith
         b. Not just one member, but entire families!
      2. They were teaching things they ought not, for the sake of
         dishonest gain - Tit 1:11
         a. Motivated more by popularity and monetary gain
         b. Willing therefore to teach things that were not true

      1. Insubordinates are also motivated by such things as popularity
         and monetary gain
      2. Who will teach what others want to hear, rather than the Word
         of God
      3. Whose influence will not stop with just one or two, but impact
         entire families!

[Where insubordinates exist, how should they be treated...?]


      1. Their mouths were to be stopped - Tit 1:11
         a. It means, properly, to check, or curb, as with a bridle; to
            restrain, or bridle in; and then, to put to silence - Barnes
         b. It is, of course, implied here that this was to be done in a
            proper way, and in accordance with the spirit of the gospel
            - ibid.
      2. They were to be rebuked sharply - Tit 1:13
         a. The reproof should be such as would be understood, and would
            show them plainly the wickedness of such traits of character
            - Barnes
         b. He was not to be mealy-mouthed, but he was to call things by
            their right names, and not to spare their faults - ibid.
      3. With the goal of helping them to be sound in the faith - Tit 1:
         a. Confronting error has the objective of saving the one in
         b. Not just stopping the spread of error - cf. 2Ti 2:24-25
      4. This was the duty, not just of Titus, but of the elders - cf.
         Tit 1:9

      1. We must take insubordination seriously
      2. We must stop the spread of false teaching by addressing it
      3. We must have in view the salvation of those guilty of
         insubordination and error
      4. This is the duty of both evangelists and elders
      5. If the insubordinate fails to repent, then withdrawal is the
         final option
         a. As Paul commanded the church in Rome - Ro 16:17-18
         b. As he commanded the church in Thessalonica - cf. 2Th 3:6,


1. We have seen that those who resist the authority of God's Word...
   a. Hurt themselves by corrupting their minds and consciences
   b. Harm those whom they influence through their teaching

2. Insubordinates must be stopped...
   a. By rebuking them sharply, hoping they will become sound in the
   b. If they do not repent, then we must withdraw ourselves from them

Elders and evangelists are especially charged with the responsibility of
dealing with insubordinates.  But every Christian should be on guard
against the harmful influence of those who are disobedient and resistant
to the authority of God's Word...

xecutable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading February 10

Bible Reading

February 10

The World English Bible

Feb. 10
Genesis 41

Gen 41:1 It happened at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and behold, he stood by the river.
Gen 41:2 Behold, there came up out of the river seven cattle, sleek and fat, and they fed in the marsh grass.
Gen 41:3 Behold, seven other cattle came up after them out of the river, ugly and thin, and stood by the other cattle on the brink of the river.
Gen 41:4 The ugly and thin cattle ate up the seven sleek and fat cattle. So Pharaoh awoke.
Gen 41:5 He slept and dreamed a second time: and behold, seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, healthy and good.
Gen 41:6 Behold, seven heads of grain, thin and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them.
Gen 41:7 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy and full ears. Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream.
Gen 41:8 It happened in the morning that his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all of Egypt's magicians and wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was no one who could interpret them to Pharaoh.
Gen 41:9 Then the chief cupbearer spoke to Pharaoh, saying, "I remember my faults today.
Gen 41:10 Pharaoh was angry with his servants, and put me in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, me and the chief baker.
Gen 41:11 We dreamed a dream in one night, I and he. We dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.
Gen 41:12 There was with us there a young man, a Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard, and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams. To each man according to his dream he interpreted.
Gen 41:13 It happened, as he interpreted to us, so it was: he restored me to my office, and he hanged him."
Gen 41:14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon. He shaved himself, changed his clothing, and came in to Pharaoh.
Gen 41:15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have dreamed a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it."
Gen 41:16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, "It isn't in me. God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace."
Gen 41:17 Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, "In my dream, behold, I stood on the brink of the river:
Gen 41:18 and behold, there came up out of the river seven cattle, fat and sleek. They fed in the marsh grass,
Gen 41:19 and behold, seven other cattle came up after them, poor and very ugly and thin, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for ugliness.
Gen 41:20 The thin and ugly cattle ate up the first seven fat cattle,
Gen 41:21 and when they had eaten them up, it couldn't be known that they had eaten them, but they were still ugly, as at the beginning. So I awoke.
Gen 41:22 I saw in my dream, and behold, seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, full and good:
Gen 41:23 and behold, seven heads of grain, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them.
Gen 41:24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. I told it to the magicians, but there was no one who could explain it to me."
Gen 41:25 Joseph said to Pharaoh, "The dream of Pharaoh is one. What God is about to do he has declared to Pharaoh.
Gen 41:26 The seven good cattle are seven years; and the seven good heads of grain are seven years. The dream is one.
Gen 41:27 The seven thin and ugly cattle that came up after them are seven years, and also the seven empty heads of grain blasted with the east wind; they will be seven years of famine.
Gen 41:28 That is the thing which I spoke to Pharaoh. What God is about to do he has shown to Pharaoh.
Gen 41:29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:30 There will arise after them seven years of famine, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will consume the land,
Gen 41:31 and the plenty will not be known in the land by reason of that famine which follows; for it will be very grievous.
Gen 41:32 The dream was doubled to Pharaoh, because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
Gen 41:33 "Now therefore let Pharaoh look for a discreet and wise man, and set him over the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt's produce in the seven plenteous years.
Gen 41:35 Let them gather all the food of these good years that come, and lay up grain under the hand of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it.
Gen 41:36 The food will be for a store to the land against the seven years of famine, which will be in the land of Egypt; that the land not perish through the famine."
Gen 41:37 The thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.
Gen 41:38 Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?"
Gen 41:39 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Because God has shown you all of this, there is none so discreet and wise as you.
Gen 41:40 You shall be over my house, and according to your word will all my people be ruled. Only in the throne I will be greater than you."
Gen 41:41 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Behold, I have set you over all the land of Egypt."
Gen 41:42 Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand, and put it on Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in robes of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck,
Gen 41:43 and he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had. They cried before him, "Bow the knee!" He set him over all the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:44 Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I am Pharaoh, and without you shall no man lift up his hand or his foot in all the land of Egypt."
Gen 41:45 Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-Paneah; and he gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On as a wife. Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:46 Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:47 In the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth abundantly.
Gen 41:48 He gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was around every city, he laid up in the same.
Gen 41:49 Joseph laid up grain as the sand of the sea, very much, until he stopped counting, for it was without number.
Gen 41:50 To Joseph were born two sons before the year of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, bore to him.
Gen 41:51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh, "For," he said, "God has made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house."
Gen 41:52 The name of the second, he called Ephraim: "For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction."
Gen 41:53 The seven years of plenty, that were in the land of Egypt, came to an end.
Gen 41:54 The seven years of famine began to come, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.
Gen 41:55 When all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread, and Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, "Go to Joseph. What he says to you, do."
Gen 41:56 The famine was over all the surface of the earth. Joseph opened all the store houses, and sold to the Egyptians. The famine was severe in the land of Egypt.
Gen 41:57 All countries came into Egypt, to Joseph, to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all the earth. 

Feb. 10, 11
Matthew 21

Mat 21:1 When they drew near to Jerusalem, and came to Bethsphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples,
Mat 21:2 saying to them, "Go into the village that is opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them, and bring them to me.
Mat 21:3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord needs them,' and immediately he will send them."
Mat 21:4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying,
Mat 21:5 "Tell the daughter of Zion, behold, your King comes to you, humble, and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."
Mat 21:6 The disciples went, and did just as Jesus commanded them,
Mat 21:7 and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their clothes on them; and he sat on them.
Mat 21:8 A very great multitude spread their clothes on the road. Others cut branches from the trees, and spread them on the road.
Mat 21:9 The multitudes who went before him, and who followed kept shouting, "Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"
Mat 21:10 When he had come into Jerusalem, all the city was stirred up, saying, "Who is this?"
Mat 21:11 The multitudes said, "This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee."
Mat 21:12 Jesus entered into the temple of God, and drove out all of those who sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the money changers' tables and the seats of those who sold the doves.
Mat 21:13 He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of robbers!"
Mat 21:14 The blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.
Mat 21:15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children who were crying in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the son of David!" they were indignant,
Mat 21:16 and said to him, "Do you hear what these are saying?" Jesus said to them, "Yes. Did you never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and nursing babies you have perfected praise?' "
Mat 21:17 He left them, and went out of the city to Bethany, and lodged there.
Mat 21:18 Now in the morning, as he returned to the city, he was hungry.
Mat 21:19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he came to it, and found nothing on it but leaves. He said to it, "Let there be no fruit from you forever!" Immediately the fig tree withered away.
Mat 21:20 When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, "How did the fig tree immediately wither away?"
Mat 21:21 Jesus answered them, "Most certainly I tell you, if you have faith, and don't doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you told this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it would be done.
Mat 21:22 All things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."
Mat 21:23 When he had come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, "By what authority do you do these things? Who gave you this authority?"
Mat 21:24 Jesus answered them, "I also will ask you one question, which if you tell me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Mat 21:25 The baptism of John, where was it from? From heaven or from men?" They reasoned with themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask us, 'Why then did you not believe him?'
Mat 21:26 But if we say, 'From men,' we fear the multitude, for all hold John as a prophet."
Mat 21:27 They answered Jesus, and said, "We don't know." He also said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
Mat 21:28 But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first, and said, 'Son, go work today in my vineyard.'
Mat 21:29 He answered, 'I will not,' but afterward he changed his mind, and went.
Mat 21:30 He came to the second, and said the same thing. He answered, 'I go, sir,' but he didn't go.
Mat 21:31 Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said to him, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Most certainly I tell you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering into the Kingdom of God before you.
Mat 21:32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you didn't believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. When you saw it, you didn't even repent afterward, that you might believe him.
Mat 21:33 "Hear another parable. There was a man who was a master of a household, who planted a vineyard, set a hedge about it, dug a winepress in it, built a tower, leased it out to farmers, and went into another country.
Mat 21:34 When the season for the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the farmers, to receive his fruit.
Mat 21:35 The farmers took his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned another.
Mat 21:36 Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they treated them the same way.
Mat 21:37 But afterward he sent to them his son, saying, 'They will respect my son.'
Mat 21:38 But the farmers, when they saw the son, said among themselves, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and seize his inheritance.'
Mat 21:39 So they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.
Mat 21:40 When therefore the lord of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those farmers?"
Mat 21:41 They told him, "He will miserably destroy those miserable men, and will lease out the vineyard to other farmers, who will give him the fruit in its season."
Mat 21:42 Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, 'The stone which the builders rejected, the same was made the head of the corner. This was from the Lord. It is marvelous in our eyes?'
Mat 21:43 "Therefore I tell you, the Kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and will be given to a nation bringing forth its fruit.
Mat 21:44 He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but on whoever it will fall, it will scatter him as dust."
Mat 21:45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he spoke about them.
Mat 21:46 When they sought to seize him, they feared the multitudes, because they considered him to be a prophet.


From Gary... A message for the times (past and present)

If I were the Devil...

 Paul Harvey, now there is a name I haven't heard in awhile!!!  I remember his directness, his insight and the obvious wisdom that comes with years of reflection. The link entitled "If I were the Devil..." was a presentation of his in 1965.  Those of us who can remember back that far, will tell you things were very different then; even though the world was generically a gentler place, it was changing- AND NOT FOR THE BETTER!!!  Please listen to what he has to say and realize that it has come to pass.  Now, I realize that there are MANY, MANY fine people out there, but if you think that you are immune to the influence of evil- think again!!!  Consider Job....
 Job, Chapter 1
 8  Yahweh said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant, Job? For there is no one like him in the earth, a blameless and an upright man, one who fears God, and turns away from evil.” 

  9  Then Satan answered Yahweh, and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing?  10 Haven’t you made a hedge around him, and around his house, and around all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.  11 But stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will renounce you to your face.” 

  12  Yahweh said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power. Only on himself don’t stretch out your hand.”

 Job, Chapter 2
 1 Again, on the day when the God’s sons came to present themselves before Yahweh, Satan came also among them to present himself before Yahweh.  2 Yahweh said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” 

Satan answered Yahweh, and said, “From going back and forth in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” 

  3  Yahweh said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? For there is no one like him in the earth, a blameless and an upright man, one who fears God, and turns away from evil. He still maintains his integrity, although you incited me against him, to ruin him without cause.” 

  4  Satan answered Yahweh, and said, “Skin for skin. Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will renounce you to your face.” 

  6  Yahweh said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand. Only spare his life.” 

  7  So Satan went out from the presence of Yahweh, and struck Job with painful sores from the sole of his foot to his head.

We live in a world at war and the forces of evil (with the dreaded Satan leading them on) are doing their best to harm YOU!!!  No one can change what has occurred since Paul Harvey outlined Satan's efforts at our destruction. But the Bible teaches us that we can come to grips with whatever situation comes our way and seek God- then move on with our life.  This is the message of the book of Job. The United States of America was once a very great nation and it can be so again.  However, to achieve that lofty goal, we need to do what Job did- accept God for who HE is and acknowledge that we have fallen short of what we should do to follow HIM!!!  Those who have listened to the audio message have a good start already- they know the enemies plan.  Now, go out there and oppose it!!!!!