6/19/14

From Jim McGuiggan... THE LITTLE FLOCK


THE LITTLE FLOCK

“Fear not little flock. For it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” [Luke 12:32]

And who does he say this too? The worried, the fearful, the people who even as he speaks live in a land occupied by the most powerful army on earth, people who know that revolt is brewing, people harassed by proconsular foreign gangsters and their groveling political servants. He speaks to people he knows will soon see a million and a half of their fellows slain in a vain military revolt.

He never says such things to the powerful! He says it only to the underdogs, to those who are about to march out against a world they could never change, a world too strong for them.

The big hitters, the power-brokers, the Tiberius’s of the world need no help, ask for no help, demonstrate their self-sufficiency by their unstoppable legions and especially by their shrewd handling of social structures that shape powerless people and makes them content and submissive or resentful and bitter but hopeless. World-makers these are, these emperors who will say things like this to gathered ambassadors and representatives of little fretful nations:

“Here—here’s plenty of bread, here are good roads, here’s a political voice, here’s military assurance of protection against invaders and domestic subversives. Satisfied? Good, now fall down and worship me, the provider of all you care about, all you know you need. The only sin you can commit that I take any notice of is the sin of rejecting me as your god. Do that and I’ll bury you.

”Do that and I will send my ruthless and unstoppable legions against you. They’ll come like a horde of locusts, countless and devouring, covering your land as they have done with so many lands and nations that thought they could resist us. There is nothing we cannot do; our power is limitless. We hold the power of life and death.”1

That’s how a Roman emperor would speak—the world’s most powerful man! Meanwhile, as the crow flies, something like 1450 miles away in a little village a young man is speaking to a grieving girl whose brother lies buried just outside the town. He’s says:

I…am…resurrection!

I…am…life!

How familiar the words!

He’s a young man, hardly yet in his prime.

What’s he saying? He’s saying: ”I am the cure of death! I’m the destroyer of death. I frighten Death. Death trembles at my name for my name is: RESURRECTION.

So, the response of the Christian is what? In addition to a steadfast refusal to dismiss or sideline God's gospel truth it must surely involve a wise and and practical and diligent response to Matthew 25:31-46. Jesus thought it worth saying that even a cup of cold water in his name gets God's attention and will never be forgotten.
1. Do read Isaiah 36, the entire chapter as an illustratin of such rhetoric

by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A. ... Scientists Are Human, Too!




http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=393

Scientists Are Human, Too!

by  Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.


The scientific community has been doing some soul-searching of late. At the center of the issue is the question of objectivity in science. The philosophy of scientism would have us believe that science is the only road to truth and, therefore, that scientists are the sole guardians of knowledge. Practically speaking, most scientists probably would acknowledge that science is a human endeavor and, consequently, subject to the imperfections of its practitioners. Nonetheless, the scientific establishment is wrestling with issues of pseudoscience, bias, and fraud.

PSEUDOSCIENCE

This first category usually includes the paranormal, various New Age beliefs, and personal encounters with UFOs. Proponents of naturalism and materialism expand this definition to include any scientific theory that challenges their personal perception of the world. Examples would be creationism, cold fusion, homeopathic medicine, and the Gaia hypothesis. Personally, I do not subscribe to the last three ideas. However, some scientists depart from objectivity in their harsh criticism of such unconventional views.

BIAS

Of course, creationists have argued that their view can compete on the same level as evolutionary theories (e.g., Geisler and Anderson, 1987). It is here that I raise the issue of bias. In the big picture, the purpose of consensus is to prevent confusion arising from unconfirmed or seemingly suspect research. Supposedly, scientists will not accept any new theory until their collective learning and experience tell them that it is better than the existing one. Still, some charge that editors of professional journals, and peer reviewers, occasionally resist publishing opposing views. Consensus should not censor, but should encourage more rigorous work.
Sometimes the resistance can be great indeed. For example, Halton Arp thinks he has found evidence that supports his theory against the prevailing Big Bang theory. However, he has difficulty getting access to major telescopes because other scientists do not believe he could possibly be right (Arp, 1990).
The same people will hardly give creationism a fair hearing. The following list is a small selection of attitudes that illustrate my point.
Faith in creation is personal and subjective, whereas faith in evolution is universal and objective (Ferrell, 1991).
Any scientific experiments that set out to confirm the Bible are automatically unscientific (Rice, 1989).
Although Werhner von Braun led America into space, his belief in creationism prevents him from being considered a “true” scientist (Jones, 1989).
One evolutionist said this in response to the young age of dinosaur bones dated by a group of creationists: “No matter what date they claim, the dinosaurs died out 66 million years ago” (Lafferty, 1991).

FRAUD

Sadly, fraud and misconduct have tainted the history of science. Perhaps the most famous example is the so-called Piltdown man, which was announced to the world in 1912. Clever forgers put a human skull with the jaw bone of a modern ape, and aged it artificially. The hoax fooled many great experts until the early 1950s, when new techniques exposed the deception. This is an embarrassing incident, not just for science, but for evolution. For almost forty years, evolutionists pointed to the Piltdown man as an example of the alleged ape-man transition. The Piltdown case has a positive side, however. It teaches us that science can correct itself, despite the consensus.

CONCLUSION

Some scientists may call our view pseudoscience, look with bias on our scientific case, and present false arguments to the world, whether intentional or otherwise. However, science itself is not the enemy of truth. Certainly, science and scientists have their limitations, but we can work within those limitations to advance the cause of our Creator.

REFERENCES

Arp, Halton (1990), “Discordant Observations,” Science, 249:611, August 10.
Ferrell, Keith (1991), “The Chasm of Creationism,” Omni, 14[1]:14, October.
Geisler, Norman L. and J. Kerby Anderson (1987), Origin Science (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Jones, Lewis (1989), “The Two Cultures: A Resurrection,” Skeptical Inquirer, 14[1]:57-64, Fall.
Lafferty, Michael B. (1991), “Creationists Say Dinosaurs Lived With Man,” Columbus Dispatch, pp. 1B-2B, November 3
Rice, Stanley (1989), “ ‘Faithful in the Little Things’: Creationists and ‘Operation Science,’ ” Creation/Evolution, 25:8-14.

Originally published in Reason & Revelation, March 1993, 13[3]:22. Copyright © 1993 Apologetics Press, Inc. All rights reserved.

From Mark Copeland... Persecuted For Righteousness' Sake (Acts 16:16-25)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

             Persecuted For Righteousness' Sake (16:16-25)

INTRODUCTION

1. Jesus spoke of being persecuted for righteousness' sake... - Mt 5:10

2. The apostles of Christ certainly suffered much persecution...
   a. As Paul alluded to in his epistles - 1Co 4:9-13
   b. Paul especially endured much suffering for Christ - 2Co 11:24-25

[Such persecution came as a result of trying to live godly or righteous
lives (cf. 2Ti 3:12).  At this point in our study of Acts, we find an
example of Paul being "Persecuted For Righteousness' Sake"...]

I. PAUL EXPELS A SPIRIT

   A. THAT POSSESSED A SLAVE GIRL...
      1. She possessed "a spirit of divination" - Ac 16:16
         a. The Greek speaks literally of a "python spirit."
         b. The python was the symbol of the famous Delphic oracle and
            represented the god Apollo, who was believed to render 
            predictions of future events. 
         c. The serpent had thus become a symbol of augury, and anyone
            who was seen to possess the gift of foretelling the future 
            was described as led by the "python." 
         -- Polhill, J. B. (1995). Vol. 26: Acts. The New American
            Commentary
      2. She brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling - Ac 16:16

   B. THAT GREATLY ANNOYED PAUL...
      1. The possessed girl followed Paul and his companions on the way
         to prayer - Ac 16:17
      2. She would cry out "These men are the servants of the Most High
         God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation." - Ac 16:17
      3. This she did for many days, which annoyed Paul - Ac 16:18; cf.
         Lk 4:34,41
      4. Why was Paul annoyed ("grieved", KJV)?
         a. The acclamations may have been true in one sense
         b. But they were open to misunderstanding by pagan hearers
         c. The term "Most High God" was commonly applied to Zeus, and
            "the way of salvation" could also be misconstrued by Gentiles
            - Polhill, ibid.
      5. "The course pursued by Paul was the same with that of Jesus,
         who invariably stopped the mouths of demons when they attempted
         to testify to his claims. The propriety of this course will be
         apparent upon observing:
         a. "First, That to have permitted demons to testify for the
            truth would have convinced the people that there was an 
            alliance between them and the preachers.
         b. "Second, This supposed alliance would have caused all the
            good repute of Jesus and the apostles to reflect upon the 
            demons, and all the evil repute of demons to reflect upon 
            them.
         c. "If Christ and the apostles had given countenance to demons
            while telling the truth, they could have used their 
            endorsement to gain credence when telling a lie; and thus,
            believers would have been left to the mercy of seducing 
            spirits, fulfilling, with the apparent sanction of Christ, 
            the prophesy of Paul that, 'In the latter times men shall 
            depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and 
            teachings of demons, speaking lies in disguise, having the
            conscience seared with a hot iron.' (1Ti 4:1-2)
         d. "To guard against this result, it was necessary to exorcise
            all demons who ventured to speak in favor of the truth."
         -- McGarvey, J. W. (1872). A commentary on Acts of Apostles
      5. So Paul commanded the spirit to come out, and it did that very
         hour - Ac 16:18

[In exorcising the spirit, Paul was doing the slave girl a kindness, an
act of righteousness if you will.  But as Jesus implied, righteousness
can often lead to persecution...]
 
II. PAUL AND SILAS ARE PERSECUTED

   A. BY MASTERS AND MAGISTRATES...
      1. The slave girl's masters motivated by loss of profit - Ac 16:19-21
         a. Seized Paul and Silas, dragging them to the marketplace and
            the authorities
         b. Accusing them as Jews troubling the city, teaching customs 
            not lawful for Romans
      2. The magistrates (normally two per colony) motivated by the
         multitude - Ac 16:22
         a. As the multitude rose up together against Paul and Silas
         b. The magistrates tore off Paul and Silas' clothes, commanded
            them to be beaten with rods 

   B. WITH BEATINGS AND IMPRISONMENT...
      1. Beaten with rods - Ac 16:22-23
         a. Probably by lictors; lit., rod bearers (the "officers") - cf.
            Ac 16:35,38
         b. With many stripes; likely one of the three times Paul
            mentions - cf. 2Co 11:25
      2. Imprisoned with stocks - Ac 16:23-24
         a. Securely in the inner prison
         b. With feet fastened in stocks

   C. FOLLOWED BY PRAYER AND PRAISE...
      1. Despite pain of beaten skin, discomfort of fastened feet - Ac 16:23-25
         a. They prayed, likely with thanksgiving - cf. Php 4:6-7
         b. They sang hymns to God (hymns are songs of praise and joy) 
            - cf. Ep 5:19
      2. Thus Paul and Silas rejoiced when persecuted for righteousness'
         sake!
         a. As Jesus told His disciples to do when persecuted - Mt 5:11-12; Lk 6:22-23   
         b. As other apostles did they were persecuted - Ac 5:41
      
CONCLUSION

1. By precept, we're told how to respond when persecuted for 
   righteousness' sake...
   a. Jesus:  "Rejoice...be exceedingly glad; leap for joy!" - Mt 5:12;
      Lk 6:23
   b. Peter:  "Rejoice...glorify God" - 1Pe 4:12-16

2. By example, we're told how to respond when persecuted for 
   righteousness' sake...
   a. Pray, as Paul and Silas prayed to God in prison
   b. Sing, as Paul and Silas sang hymns to God in prison

May the example of Paul and Silas inspire us to keep the precept...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2013

From Gary... Bible Reading June 19

Bible Reading  

June 19

The World English Bible



June 19
1 Samuel 31

1Sa 31:1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain on Mount Gilboa.
1Sa 31:2 The Philistines followed hard on Saul and on his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul.
1Sa 31:3 The battle went sore against Saul, and the archers overtook him; and he was greatly distressed by reason of the archers.
1Sa 31:4 Then said Saul to his armor bearer, Draw your sword, and thrust me through therewith, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armor bearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took his sword, and fell on it.
1Sa 31:5 When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he likewise fell on his sword, and died with him.
1Sa 31:6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor bearer, and all his men, that same day together.
1Sa 31:7 When the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and those who were beyond the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and lived in them.
1Sa 31:8 It happened on the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, that they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa.
1Sa 31:9 They cut off his head, and stripped off his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines all around, to carry the news to the house of their idols, and to the people.
1Sa 31:10 They put his armor in the house of the Ashtaroth; and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan.
1Sa 31:11 When the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard concerning him that which the Philistines had done to Saul,
1Sa 31:12 all the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan; and they came to Jabesh, and burnt them there.
1Sa 31:13 They took their bones, and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.


Jun. 19, 20
John 18

Joh 18:1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples over the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered.
Joh 18:2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples.
Joh 18:3 Judas then, having taken a detachment of soldiers and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
Joh 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were happening to him, went forth, and said to them, "Who are you looking for?"
Joh 18:5 They answered him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am he." Judas also, who betrayed him, was standing with them.
Joh 18:6 When therefore he said to them, "I am he," they went backward, and fell to the ground.
Joh 18:7 Again therefore he asked them, "Who are you looking for?" They said, "Jesus of Nazareth."
Joh 18:8 Jesus answered, "I told you that I am he. If therefore you seek me, let these go their way,"
Joh 18:9 that the word might be fulfilled which he spoke, "Of those whom you have given me, I have lost none."
Joh 18:10 Simon Peter therefore, having a sword, drew it, and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.
Joh 18:11 Jesus therefore said to Peter, "Put the sword into its sheath. The cup which the Father has given me, shall I not surely drink it?"
Joh 18:12 So the detachment, the commanding officer, and the officers of the Jews, seized Jesus and bound him,
Joh 18:13 and led him to Annas first, for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was high priest that year.
Joh 18:14 Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should perish for the people.
Joh 18:15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered in with Jesus into the court of the high priest;
Joh 18:16 but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought in Peter.
Joh 18:17 Then the maid who kept the door said to Peter, "Are you also one of this man's disciples?" He said, "I am not."
Joh 18:18 Now the servants and the officers were standing there, having made a fire of coals, for it was cold. They were warming themselves. Peter was with them, standing and warming himself.
Joh 18:19 The high priest therefore asked Jesus about his disciples, and about his teaching.
Joh 18:20 Jesus answered him, "I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues, and in the temple, where the Jews always meet. I said nothing in secret.
Joh 18:21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them. Behold, these know the things which I said."
Joh 18:22 When he had said this, one of the officers standing by slapped Jesus with his hand, saying, "Do you answer the high priest like that?"
Joh 18:23 Jesus answered him, "If I have spoken evil, testify of the evil; but if well, why do you beat me?"
Joh 18:24 Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas, the high priest.
Joh 18:25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. They said therefore to him, "You aren't also one of his disciples, are you?" He denied it, and said, "I am not."
Joh 18:26 One of the servants of the high priest, being a relative of him whose ear Peter had cut off, said, "Didn't I see you in the garden with him?"
Joh 18:27 Peter therefore denied it again, and immediately the rooster crowed.
Joh 18:28 They led Jesus therefore from Caiaphas into the Praetorium. It was early, and they themselves didn't enter into the Praetorium, that they might not be defiled, but might eat the Passover.
Joh 18:29 Pilate therefore went out to them, and said, "What accusation do you bring against this man?"
Joh 18:30 They answered him, "If this man weren't an evildoer, we wouldn't have delivered him up to you."
Joh 18:31 Pilate therefore said to them, "Take him yourselves, and judge him according to your law." Therefore the Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death,"
Joh 18:32 that the word of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spoke, signifying by what kind of death he should die.
Joh 18:33 Pilate therefore entered again into the Praetorium, called Jesus, and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
Joh 18:34 Jesus answered him, "Do you say this by yourself, or did others tell you about me?"
Joh 18:35 Pilate answered, "I'm not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered you to me. What have you done?"
Joh 18:36 Jesus answered, "My Kingdom is not of this world. If my Kingdom were of this world, then my servants would fight, that I wouldn't be delivered to the Jews. But now my Kingdom is not from here."
Joh 18:37 Pilate therefore said to him, "Are you a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this reason I have been born, and for this reason I have come into the world, that I should testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice."
Joh 18:38 Pilate said to him, "What is truth?" When he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no basis for a charge against him.
Joh 18:39 But you have a custom, that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Therefore do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"
Joh 18:40 Then they all shouted again, saying, "Not this man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber.

From Gary... Peace



You know, you can learn a lot from an animal!!!  And if I could have one, I think I would like a cat as well.  On Sunday's and Wednesday's the Justice's cat follows them to church and greets everyone.  This friendliness has warmed me up to the feline persuasion, but since my Linda is allergic- no creature like this one seems to be in my future. However, this picture did remind me of a couple of verses from the Bible...

Isaiah, Chapter 26 (NASB)
Isa 26:3  "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You.
Isa 26:4  "Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.

John, Chapter 14 (NASB)
Joh 14:27  "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.

There is something so satisfying about these verses, so wonderful that they shine in a world of trouble like a beacon reaching out to a lost ship at sea.  Enough said!!!

PS. you also might enjoy this...