5/17/14

From Jim McGuiggan... Reflections on Regeneration (2)


Reflections on Regeneration (2)

 If we were to believe that "regeneration" was nothing more than a new status before God which is the result of his grace, that would ease some difficulties, but that's not what the Reformed idea of regeneration (new birth) is. For them, and some are more rigid than others, don't you know, it's a moral transformation worked by the sovereign Lord, the Holy Spirit, irresistibly recreating a God-hating, seething rebel into a God-adoring, holiness-loving and righteousness-pursuing saint. It is no "touch-up"—it is a complete obliteration of the structures of evil that were part of the sinner. It is not merely the forgiveness of past sins and a place as one of God's children—it's a moral recreation in the image of Jesus.

 As surely, they tell us, as the unforgiven one was dead in sin, as a result of the new birth the forgiven one is dead to sin. Great stress is laid on the metaphors "dead" and "born again". The utter impossibility of a corpse choosing or desiring anything is stressed and the utter impossibility of a child birthing itself is stressed. The aim is to give God all the glory for holistic redemption and take away any possible grounds for a sinner taking a share in that glory. The aim is laudable but God isn't nearly as concerned about that matter as they are and the approach they take to gain their aim is over-anxious and too lawyer-like.

Certainly Paul said the Colossians were dead in their sins (Colossians 3:13, and see Ephesians 2:1) and that the Roman Christians were dead to sin (Romans 6:11). He said the Ephesians & Colossians were "resurrected" out of their death in sin and Peter told his (Jewish) readers that they were "born again" by the resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:3). Paul says something very similar--linking it to baptism (see Colossians 2:10-12).

We might have thought that since the metaphor of "death" is used in reference to death in sin and death to sin that we should see them as equally forceful and in opposition. We're told that those who are "dead" in sin have absolutely no desire for righteousness or holiness, that we might as well be offering a corpse food as offer an unforgiven sinner God or righteousness. Why is it then that those who are said to be dead to sin so often run after it, are pleased by it and take pleasure in it?

We're told that those not yet born again are dominated by godless selfishness and a hatred for all that is holy, corrupted in every facet of their existence and spiralling down further into the practice of sin. We might have thought since being "born again" (regenerated) and being now a new moral creature (not just forgiven—but a new moral creation!) that they would have no desire to sin, that they would take no pleasure in it, that the very thought of it would repulse them. And yet Peter warns them with great seriousness to rid themselves of all malice and guile and envy and hypocrisy (1 Peter 2:1 and see 1:13-23). Paul urges those who were recreated in the image of Jesus to rid themselves of all kinds of evil behaviour (Ephesians 5:1-20 and Colossians 3:1—4:1).

Yes, I know, we're told about growth in holiness. That is a biblical truth and about that there should be no doubt; but it isn't the biblical witness that's in question here—what's in doubt is an interpretation of the biblical witness. We are being led to believe that the "new birth" is the utter destruction of our moral corruption and the creation of a new man entirely—so we want to know how someone born again can sin and take pleasure in it. If we're told they shouldn't our response is that they do! If we're told they shouldn't our response is that it should be impossible for them to do it and yet they do. If we're told that born again people don't sin and often find pleasure in it then we say these people are not living in the same world we're living in. [1 John insists that those who are truly God's people have a life policy—they pursue Christ's likeness and as a life policy they renounce wickedness and embrace righteousness.]

The always sinless Jesus grew in holiness (Luke 2:40, 52) but there was nothing in him that sin could cling on to (compare John 14.30). Growth in holiness isn't a difficult concept to take hold of but when we're told that all the inner structures of evil--structures without which we couldn't sin--have been destroyed, the attitudes and dispositions, the capacity to desire sin—we find it hard to understand how such a person can sin at all! If the new birth is the complete opposite of the old Adamic birth how is sin possible?

Let me ask it again, if "dead" in sin is to be understood as a spiritual and moral utter incapacity to seek to do righteousness what are we to think of "dead" to sin? With laser-like precision and mathematical exactitude and geometrical certainty we define words and "explain" metaphors to absurd lengths and then wonder why people nod their heads in disbelief. Our response at their inability to believe our "lawyering"? "That's proof of their need for the new birth," Oh well.

Maybe if "dead" to sin is true despite the presence in Christians of (at times) the capacity to drink at a poisonous fountain then "dead" in sin is true despite the capacity in the non-Christian to be hungry for and eat the moral crumbs from a gracious Holy Lord's table. Maybe if those who are "born again" still sin then those who are not yet born again still know and practice the things of the Lord (compare Romans 2:6-16).

[There's something astonishing about the way Christian people who believe this Reformed teaching castigate their foes. They absolutely rage against society, calling it to practice righteousness and upright behaviour as if they believed society could even want to do it much less be able to do it. In their books and sermons and cds they teach this utter incapacity doctrine and then whip society unmercifully for not doing what it's utterly incapable of doing! They say society is born sold under sin by Adam and morally corrupt to the point that they are dead to any possibility to act in righteousness and then rage at them as if they didn't believe a word of their own teaching. Is that not a miracle?

And what happens when non-Christians do something morally fine or have a character that expresses itself habitually, life-long, in kindness? These same people dismiss it as "nothing but filthy rags." They run to texts that say you can't save yourself. I had one man tell me (hand on my heart!) that it was a form of hypocrisy. At least he was consistent and prepared to speak so boldly! With that doctrine how could it be anything else? Many of the other kind that hold his views slink off muttering things about "common grace" and "God doesn't save us by our good works!" Good grief!]

Most of us don't need to be persuaded that the entire human family--ourselves included--has been over-run by Sin and that the only Saviour is the Lord God. We see that in scripture, in ourselves and all around us. We don't need these overly-refined explanations that give the wicked an alibi and makes puppets out of humans.

From Nathaniel Nelson... The Flat-Footed, Beaver-Tailed, Duck-Billed Platypus




http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=997

The Flat-Footed, Beaver-Tailed, Duck-Billed Platypus

by  Nathaniel Nelson

The duck-billed platypus has been a mortal enemy of evolution since it was first discovered in 1797. When this marvelous animal was sent to England, scientists believed that it was a fraud concocted by Chinese taxidermists (see Ham, 2002, p. 126), because of their reputation for sewing various parts together to create an assortment of unusual animals. After the initial discovery of the platypus, it was introduced to the public as Platypus anatinus by George Shaw. This name would not last, though, because a scientist by the name of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach changed its name to the “paradoxical bird bill,” or Ornithorhynchus paradoxus (see Wendt, 1959, pp. 253-254). After arguments between these two men over the name of the platypus, they finally came to an agreement: they would call it the “duck-like bird-bill,” or Ornithorhynchus anatinus.
Why was there so much controversy over what this animal actually was? And why was its name so peculiar? The anatomy of this amazing creature reveals some of the answers. In a book titled The Variety of Life, Colin Tudge wrote:
The Prototheria contains just one living group, the order Monotremata, which nowadays is represented only by the duck-billed platypus and two species (in two genera) of echidna; creatures that lay eggs, and keep their new-hatched young in a pouch (2000, p. 437. emp. added).
Taxonomists have been forced to place the duck-billed platypus in its own order because it does not belong anywhere else. Robert W. Faid explained why this is so:
The bill of the platypus is like a duck’s bill. On each foot there are not only five toes, but webbing which makes it a cross between a duck and an animal which has to scratch and dig. Unlike most mammals, the limbs of the platypus are short and parallel to the ground. The external ear is only a hole without the ear lobe which mammals usually have. The eyes are small. The platypus is nocturnal. It catches its food under water and stores the worms, snails, grubs, etc, in cheek pouches like those of a squirrel (1990, p. 111).
Evolutionists are astounded at the myriad of varying structures found on the duck-billed platypus. Its beak would imply a close relationship to ducks; its tail might place it with beavers; its hair is similar to that of a bear; its webbed feet imply that it would be an otter; and its claws are the likeness of a reptile’s. God’s hand must have been behind such diversity, because evolution certainly wasn’t!
The physiological diversity of the platypus is just as intriguing. Spurs located on the hind legs of the platypus produce venom. This poison is nearly as deadly as most venomous snakes! This would make it the world’s only venomous animal with fur (see Faid, p. 112). Stuart Burgess, in his book Hallmarks of Design, pointed out: “The platypus goes on to feed the young with milk like a normal mammal. However, the platypus, unlike any other mammal, does not have feeding nipples but milks seeps out of pores in its skin!” (2000, p. 111). Nipples are the means by which mammals feed. The platypus defies this rule with pores as a means of feeding its offspring. These functions of the platypus are paradoxical if you look at them from an evolutionary taxonomic point of view. From a creationist standpoint, though, it seems much easier to explain why God would create something so diverse.
The fossil record also testifies to the fact that the platypus is a genuine creature, not having evolved from a common predecessor. Scott M. Huse wrote:
There are several good reasons for rejecting the evolutionary interpretation of the origin of the platypus. A few of these reasons include: (1) Platypus fossils are exactly the same as modern forms. (2)The complex structures of the egg and milk glands are always fully developed and offer no solution as to the origin and development of the womb or the milk. (3) The more typical mammals are found in much lower strata that the egg-laying platypus. Thus, the duck-billed platypus appears to be a distinct kind of animal in and of itself that has been specifically designed to include a mixture of traits (1997, p.149, emp. added).
Evolutionists cannot explain the anatomy of the platypus; they cannot explain its physiology; and they cannot explain it by evolutionary processes. It is evident that the platypus holds evolutionary scientists in perplexity because of its diverse nature. This creature can be explained only by God’s guiding hand.

REFERENCES

Burgess, Stuart (2000), Hallmarks of Design (Epsom, Surrey: Day One Publications).
Faid, Robert W. (1990), A Scientific Approach to Christianity (Green Forest, AR: Leaf Press).
Ham, Ken (2002), Did Eve Really Have an Extra Rib? (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Huse, Scott H. (1997), The Collapse of Evolution (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books).
Tudge, Colin (2000), The Variety of Life (Great Clarendon St., Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Wendt, Herbert (1959), Out of Noah’s Ark, trans. Michael Bullock (Cambridge, MA: Riverside Press).

From Mark Copeland... The First Martyr (Acts 6:8-7:60)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                     The First Martyr (6:8-7:60)

INTRODUCTION

1. As the church in Jerusalem grew, persecution intensified...
   a. Beginning with threats not to preach - Ac 4:18-21
   b. Followed by beatings and more threats - Ac 5:40

2. The persecution soon reached a new level...
   a. Beginning with the martyrdom of Stephen, one of the seven - Ac6:5
   b. Leading to a great persecution against the whole church - Ac 8:1

[Stephen was the first martyr who gave his life for Christ.  A man "full
of faith and of the Holy Spirit" (Ac 6:5), his example has inspired many
to suffer for Christ in a similar manner.  To appreciate why, let's begin
by reviewing...]

I. STEPHEN'S ARREST

   A. PROMPTED BY HIS MINISTRY...
      1. Full of faith and power, he did great wonders and signs among
         the people - Ac 6:8
      2. He disputed with some from the Synagogue of the Freedmen - Ac 6:9-10
         a. Cyrenians, Alexandrians (Africa), and those from Cilicia
            and Asia (Turkey)
         b. Who were unable to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by
            which he spoke

   B. LED BY FALSE ACCUSATIONS...
      1. By men secretly induced to charge him with blasphemy against
         Moses and God - Ac 6:11-12
         a. Who stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes
         b. To seize and bring him to the council (the Sanhedrin)
      2. By false witnesses set up to charge Stephen with blasphemy 
         - Ac 6:13-14
         a. Against the holy place (temple):  "We have heard him say
            that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place"
         b. Against the law (of Moses):  "and change the customs which
            Moses delivered to us"
      3. Stephen may have referred to what Jesus spoke about:
         a. Destroying the temple and rebuilding it in three days - Mk 14:58
         b. Which John explained referred to the temple of His body 
            - Jn 2:19-21  
      4. Stephen may also referred to what Jesus spoke about:
         a. The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple - Mt 24:1-2; Mk13:1-2; Lk 21:5-6
         b. Which did affect customs that Moses delivered (e.g., animal
            sacrifices ceased)

   C. ACCOMPANIED BY COMPOSURE...
      1. All who sat in the council looked steadfastly at him - Ac 6:15
      2. They saw his face as the face of an angel - ibid.
      3. Evidence that he was filled with the Spirit - cf. Ac 6:5; Ga 5:22-23

[Stephen faced his accusers with "a presence marked by confidence,
serenity, and courage." (EBC)  With the question of the high priest (Ac
7:1), the stage is set for Stephen's defense...]

II. STEPHEN'S DEFENSE

   A. GOD'S DEALINGS WITH ABRAHAM...
      1. The call to leave Mesopotamia - Ac 7:2-3
      2. The sojourn in Canaan - Ac 7:4
      3. The promise of possession to his descendants - Ac 7:5-7
      4. The covenant of circumcision - Ac 7:8
      5. His descendants:  Isaac, Jacob, the twelve patriarchs - Ac 7:8

   B. THE PATRIARCHS' SOJOURN IN EGYPT...
      1. Joseph sold into Egypt, becomes governor - Ac 7:9-10
      2. Jacob and his sons move to Egypt during the famine - Ac 7:11-14
      3. The patriarchs buried in Canaan - Ac 7:15-16

   C. GOD'S DELIVERANCE OF ISRAEL BY MOSES...
      1. The children Israel in Egypt become slaves - Ac 7:17-19
      2. The work of Moses, deliverer of Israel
         a. Raised by Pharaoh's daughter - Ac 7:20-21
         b. Educated by Egyptians, mighty in words and deeds - Ac 7:22
         c. Kills an Egyptian, but despised by his brethren - Ac 7:23-28
         d. Flees to Midian where he has two sons - Ac 7:29
         e. The Lord appears to him in a burning bush at Mount Sinai 
            - Ac 7:30-34
         f. Returns to Egypt, delivers Israel and brings them into the
            wilderness - Ac 7:35-36

   D. ISRAEL'S REBELLION AGAINST MOSES AND GOD...
      1. Moses is the person:
         a. Who said God would raise up another prophet like him - Ac 7:37
         b. Who spoke to the Angel on Mount Sinai - Ac 7:38
         c. Who received living oracles to give to Israel - Ac 7:38
         d. Whom the fathers would not obey but rejected - Ac 7:39
      2. Israel is the nation:
         a. Who turned back into Egypt in their hearts - Ac 7:39
         b. Who pressured Aaron to make a golden calf - Ac 7:40-41
         c. Whom God gave up to worship idols for forty years in the
            wilderness - Ac 7:42-43
            1) They may have offered sacrifices to the Lord
            2) But they also worshiped Moloch and Remphan - cf. Am 5:25-27

   E. GOD'S TRUE TABERNACLE...
      1. The fathers of Israel had the tabernacle of witness
         a. In the wilderness, built according to the pattern shown
            Moses - Ac 7:44
         b. Brought into the promised land by Joshua - Ac 7:45
      2. They also had the temple
         a. Asked for by David, who found favor before God - Ac 7:46
         b. Built by his son Solomon - Ac 7:47
      3. Yet the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands
         a. For heaven is His throne and earth is His footstool - Ac 7:48-49
         b. His hand has made all these things - Ac 7:50; cf. Isa 66:1-2
         c. This may have been to allay any concern about the
            destruction of the temple, as God is not bound to be 
            worshipped at just one location - cf. Jn 4:19-24

   F. ISRAEL'S RESISTANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT...
      1. Stephen charges the council of resisting the Holy Spirit, like
         their fathers - Ac 7:51
      2. Their fathers persecuted and killed the prophets, so they have
         killed the Just One - Ac 7:52
      3. They received the law, but did not keep it - Ac 7:53

[Stephen surveyed Israel's history of rejecting God and His Spirit, then
charged that they followed in their fathers' rebellion by having murdered
the Just One (Jesus).  They themselves had not kept the very Law they
accused him of having blasphemed!  With such accusers, the outcome is not
surprising...]

III. STEPHEN'S DEATH

   A. THE REACTION OF THE COUNCIL...
      1. They were cut to the heart
         a. They gnashed at Stephen with their teeth - Ac 7:54
         b. Compare those on the day of Pentecost - cf. Ac 2:37
      2. Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven
         a. He saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right
            hand of God - Ac 7:55
         b. He tells what he saw:  "The Son of Man standing at the right
            hand of God!" - Ac 7:56
         c. Why is Jesus standing?
            1) He is otherwise described as sitting - Lk 22:69; Mk 16:19;
               Ac 2:34; Ep 1:20; Col 3:1; He 1:3; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 
               Re 3:21
            2) Could it be out of respect, to welcome His first martyr?
      3. In response, the council:
         a. Cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears - Ac 7:57
         b. Ran at him with one accord, and cast him out of the city 
            - Ac 7:58

   B. THE STONING OF STEPHEN...
      1. The witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of Saul - Ac 7:58;
         22:20
         a. Who consented to Stephen's death - Ac 8:1
         b. Who later led a great persecution against the church - Ac 8:3; 9:1-2
      2. They stoned Stephen as he was calling on God - Ac 7:59-60
         a. "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" - cf. Lk 23:46
         b. "Lord, do not charge them with this sin" - cf. Lk 23:34
      3. Having said this, he fell asleep (i.e., died) - Ac 7:60; 8:1

CONCLUSION

1. Stephen's death was the first of many...
   a. Saul (Paul) would later confess of others - Ac 22:4; 26:9-11
   b. We read of other martyrs:  James, Antipas - Ac 12:1-2; Re 2:13
   c. Countless thousands have died for Christ over the years, even to
      the present day

2. We may never face martyrdom; but when we encounter persecution for
   our faith, we should...
   a. Face with it the composure of Stephen - Ac 6:15
   b. Possess the forgiving spirit of both Jesus and Stephen - Lk 23:34;
      Ac 7:60

Remembering Jesus' promise:  "Be faithful until death, and I will give
you the crown of life." - Re 2:10

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2012

From Gary... Bible Reading May 17

Bible Reading  

May 17

The World English Bible


May 17
Joshua 15, 16

Jos 15:1 The lot for the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families was to the border of Edom, even to the wilderness of Zin southward, at the uttermost part of the south.
Jos 15:2 Their south border was from the uttermost part of the Salt Sea, from the bay that looks southward;
Jos 15:3 and it went out southward of the ascent of Akrabbim, and passed along to Zin, and went up by the south of Kadesh Barnea, and passed along by Hezron, went up to Addar, and turned about to Karka;
Jos 15:4 and it passed along to Azmon, went out at the brook of Egypt; and the border ended at the sea. This shall be your south border.
Jos 15:5 The east border was the Salt Sea, even to the end of the Jordan. The border of the north quarter was from the bay of the sea at the end of the Jordan.
Jos 15:6 The border went up to Beth Hoglah, and passed along by the north of Beth Arabah; and the border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben.
Jos 15:7 The border went up to Debir from the valley of Achor, and so northward, looking toward Gilgal, that is over against the ascent of Adummim, which is on the south side of the river. The border passed along to the waters of En Shemesh, and ended at En Rogel.
Jos 15:8 The border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom to the side of the Jebusite southward (the same is Jerusalem); and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lies before the valley of Hinnom westward, which is at the farthest part of the valley of Rephaim northward.
Jos 15:9 The border extended from the top of the mountain to the spring of the waters of Nephtoah, and went out to the cities of Mount Ephron; and the border extended to Baalah (the same is Kiriath Jearim);
Jos 15:10 and the border turned about from Baalah westward to Mount Seir, and passed along to the side of Mount Jearim on the north (the same is Chesalon), and went down to Beth Shemesh, and passed along by Timnah;
Jos 15:11 and the border went out to the side of Ekron northward; and the border extended to Shikkeron, and passed along to Mount Baalah, and went out at Jabneel; and the goings out of the border were at the sea.
Jos 15:12 The west border was to the shore of the great sea. This is the border of the children of Judah according to their families.
Jos 15:13 To Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a portion among the children of Judah, according to the commandment of Yahweh to Joshua, even Kiriath Arba, named after the father of Anak (the same is Hebron).
Jos 15:14 Caleb drove out the three sons of Anak: Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai, the children of Anak.
Jos 15:15 He went up against the inhabitants of Debir: now the name of Debir before was Kiriath Sepher.
Jos 15:16 Caleb said, "He who strikes Kiriath Sepher, and takes it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter as wife."
Jos 15:17 Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife.
Jos 15:18 It happened, when she came, that she had him ask her father fore a field. She got off of her donkey, and Caleb said, "What do you want?"
Jos 15:19 She said, "Give me a blessing. Because you have set me in the land of the South, give me also springs of water." He gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.
Jos 15:20 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Judah according to their families.
Jos 15:21 The farthest cities of the tribe of the children of Judah toward the border of Edom in the South were Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur,
Jos 15:22 Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah,
Jos 15:23 Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan,
Jos 15:24 Ziph, Telem, Bealoth,
Jos 15:25 Hazor Hadattah, Kerioth Hezron (the same is Hazor),
Jos 15:26 Amam, Shema, Moladah,
Jos 15:27 Hazar Gaddah, Heshmon, Beth Pelet,
Jos 15:28 Hazar Shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah,
Jos 15:29 Baalah, Iim, Ezem,
Jos 15:30 Eltolad, Chesil, Hormah,
Jos 15:31 Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah,
Jos 15:32 Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain, and Rimmon. All the cities are twenty-nine, with their villages.
Jos 15:33 In the lowland, Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah,
Jos 15:34 Zanoah, En Gannim, Tappuah, Enam,
Jos 15:35 Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah,
Jos 15:36 Shaaraim, Adithaim and Gederah (or Gederothaim); fourteen cities with their villages.
Jos 15:37 Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal Gad,
Jos 15:38 Dilean, Mizpeh, Joktheel,
Jos 15:39 Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon,
Jos 15:40 Cabbon, Lahmam, Chitlish,
Jos 15:41 Gederoth, Beth Dagon, Naamah, and Makkedah; sixteen cities with their villages.
Jos 15:42 Libnah, Ether, Ashan,
Jos 15:43 Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib,
Jos 15:44 Keilah, Achzib, and Mareshah; nine cities with their villages.
Jos 15:45 Ekron, with its towns and its villages;
Jos 15:46 from Ekron even to the sea, all that were by the side of Ashdod, with their villages.
Jos 15:47 Ashdod, its towns and its villages; Gaza, its towns and its villages; to the brook of Egypt, and the great sea with its coastline.
Jos 15:48 In the hill country, Shamir, Jattir, Socoh,
Jos 15:49 Dannah, Kiriath Sannah (which is Debir),
Jos 15:50 Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim,
Jos 15:51 Goshen, Holon, and Giloh; eleven cities with their villages.
Jos 15:52 Arab, Dumah, Eshan,
Jos 15:53 Janim, Beth Tappuah, Aphekah,
Jos 15:54 Humtah, Kiriath Arba (the same is Hebron), and Zior; nine cities with their villages.
Jos 15:55 Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Jutah,
Jos 15:56 Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah,
Jos 15:57 Kain, Gibeah, and Timnah; ten cities with their villages.
Jos 15:58 Halhul, Beth Zur, Gedor,
Jos 15:59 Maarath, Beth Anoth, and Eltekon; six cities with their villages.
Jos 15:60 Kiriath Baal (the same is Kiriath Jearim), and Rabbah; two cities with their villages.
Jos 15:61 In the wilderness, Beth Arabah, Middin, Secacah,
Jos 15:62 Nibshan, the City of Salt, and En Gedi; six cities with their villages.
Jos 15:63 As for the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the children of Judah couldn't drive them out; but the Jebusites live with the children of Judah at Jerusalem to this day.
Jos 16:1 The lot came out for the children of Joseph from the Jordan at Jericho, at the waters of Jericho on the east, even the wilderness, going up from Jericho through the hill country to Bethel.
Jos 16:2 It went out from Bethel to Luz, and passed along to the border of the Archites to Ataroth;
Jos 16:3 and it went down westward to the border of the Japhletites, to the border of Beth Horon the lower, even to Gezer; and ended at the sea.
Jos 16:4 The children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim, took their inheritance.
Jos 16:5 This was the border of the children of Ephraim according to their families. The border of their inheritance eastward was Ataroth Addar, to Beth Horon the upper.
Jos 16:6 The border went out westward at Michmethath on the north. The border turned about eastward to Taanath Shiloh, and passed along it on the east of Janoah.
Jos 16:7 It went down from Janoah to Ataroth, to Naarah, reached to Jericho, and went out at the Jordan.
Jos 16:8 From Tappuah the border went along westward to the brook of Kanah; and ended at the sea. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the children of Ephraim according to their families;
Jos 16:9 together with the cities which were set apart for the children of Ephraim in the midst of the inheritance of the children of Manasseh, all the cities with their villages.
Jos 16:10 They didn't drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwell in the midst of Ephraim to this day, and have become servants to do forced labor.


From Gary... I have heard this before...







Larry Shatzer, who is one of the finest Bible teachers I have ever known, likes to say something like this sign. If I remember correctly, he says: "It is no fool, who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose".  And Larry says it again and again and keeps on saying it. I never have asked him, but my guess is that it is all about priorities. Jesus puts it this way...

Matthew, Chapter 16 (NASB)
Mat 16:24  Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.
Mat 16:25  "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
Mat 16:26  "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?


Life is a struggle; we work all our lives to survive and "succeed". If we do manage to become a "success", then what? Often, we find that "success" is really not success, but an illusion. Money, possessions, power, and fame are transitory; they all dissolve at our demise. Remember these words from John...???

1 John, Chapter 2 (NASB)
1Jn 2:15  Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
1Jn 2:17  The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

One more thing- and forever is a very, very long time!!! Choose wisely!!!