8/1/14

From Jim McGuiggan... David doesn't argue--he sings!


David doesn't argue--he sings!

 Taking it that Jewish tradition is correct David wrote this in Psalm 19:1, "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands." He goes on to say that their message goes out ceaselessly to the ends of the earth. 

Because this is true—and it is, of course—we believers are tempted to claim that you only have to look at the creation to know that "there is a God." But that certainly isn't what David said.  
We mustn't make less of what David said. He didn't say that the creation declares the glory of some god or other. Gentiles might say such a thing—and they often did. Ancient nations (and moderns ones too) look at creation and say it proclaims the glory of———or someone else. But that's not what David said. He makes the claim that the one true God that manifested himself to Israel is the creator and that when the creation speaks it speaks of Him

If you had asked David how he knew that—for the moment shelving any discussion about "inspiration"—he would have told you that he had been taught it since childhood. In this text he isn't making an argument based on reason, he's proclaiming his faith, he's proclaiming truth that God had revealed about himself. When he says the heavens proclaim God's glory he knows it because he knows the God who made it! There is no philosophical argument here. It is theology and faith pure and simple. There's no "design proves a designer" about this text. For David "God" is not the conclusion of a syllogism or a logical inference from empirical realities.  

Certainly he knows that the God who made the creation is all-powerful but he knows that because God told him! If you took a walk with David some star-filled evening or some blazing sunlit morning he'd sing you a song about the glory of God in these things. And if he did he wouldn't be "inferring" anything! He'd be bearing witness to the faith of his people and of his own heart; a faith that was revealed to him. Once you know it is God (the one true and living God, who revealed himself to the human family) you look at the splendour of the creation and say it is God's handiwork. But when you say it is God's handiwork you wouldn't be saying anything as shallow as: "This is the work of some supernatural being(s)," as Anthony Flew now says. 

If you made a rational argument to David and said that you were doing what he was doing in Psalm 19 he'd laugh out loud. We mustn't reduce an inspired utterance to a rational argument. We mustn't say, "See? David is saying you can reason from the creation to God!" He says no such thing! We mustn't claim that a rational argument could produce a Psalm 19! It just isn't so!

What Happened to the Body? by Brad Bromling, D.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1120

What Happened to the Body?

by  Brad Bromling, D.Min.

Q.

Christianity is based in its entirety on the claim that Jesus arose from the dead. Is there any actual evidence to support such a claim?
A.
The unexpected happened. He told them it would; He even told them how. They simply refused to believe. Thursday, Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem with His friends; Friday, He was dead. His battered, lifeless body was removed from the cross and carried away. Friday night it was there—undisturbed. All day Saturday it was there—under guard. Sunday dawned. The tomb was empty. What happened to the body?
Jesus Christ met death face-to-face, and defeated it. The tomb was empty Sunday morning because Jesus was alive. Tombs are for the dead—not the living. By His resurrection, every claim Jesus made regarding His deity was confirmed “with power” (Romans 1:4). He not only kept His word that He would be raised, but He fulfilled a thousand-year-old prophecy by David (cf. Psalm 16:1-2; Acts 2:24-36).
In an age devoid of active miracles, people often wonder if such a claim can be proved. The answer is “yes!” A compelling case for the resurrection can be made from the information contained in the Gospel records. This article will present some of that material, and will answer common alternative theories employed to explain away the resurrection.

THE EMPTY TOMB

If Jesus was raised, His tomb had to be emptied. His bodily resurrection is indefensible if He remained in the tomb even one hour of day four. If the tomb was occupied Monday, Jesus is less than divine, and there is no hope in Him as Savior. This makes the witness of the tomb all-important.
Before discussing the evidence from the tomb, however, two preliminary points call for attention. First, was Jesus placed in a tomb? The Bible is clear on this point. His interment was witnessed by at least four individuals. Joseph of Arimathea received permission from Pilate to bury Jesus (Mark 15:43-45). He and Nicodemus hurriedly prepared and entombed the Lord’s body (John 19:38). Their activities were observed by Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph (Mark 15:46-47). Then, on the next day, the chief priests and Pharisees requested of Pilate that a guard be provided for the tomb (Matthew 27:62-65). They necessarily believed Jesus’ body remained there at the time of their request. This request was granted and a guard was sent. It is inconceivable that Pilate (who was responsible for maintaining the body of Jesus) would have sealed and set watch over a tomb that he did not believe was occupied. Hence, at least four people saw Jesus’ body in the tomb on Friday. The Jews, Pilate, and the guards acknowledged its presence on Saturday.
Second, Jesus was not buried in just any tomb; it was a new tomb. This is significant when one remembers that a dead man was once miraculously revived when his body was placed into the tomb that contained Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 13:21). Instead, Jesus was put into a tomb “in which no one had yet been laid” (John 19:41). The Lord’s resurrection was a unique event that could not be attributed to such a factor.
With these facts established, consider how the tomb offers powerful evidence of the Lord’s resurrection. First, it was impossible for Jesus to escape from the tomb without being detected. This is seen in various ways.
  • All four of the Gospel records explicitly declare that the Lord was dead prior to entering the tomb (Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:44-45; Luke 23:46; John 19:32-34).
  • The tomb was cut out of solid rock (Matthew 27:60). Tombs, like caskets, generally are not equipped with back doors!
  • The cave opening was blocked by a massive stone (Matthew 27:60).
  • The stone was affixed with a seal, and watched by soldiers (Matthew 27:66).
Obviously, it was impossible for Jesus to leave that tomb (apart from the resurrection miracle), let alone to do so without detection.
Second, the tomb did not contain the body of Jesus after the dawning of Sunday. This evidence is gleaned from those on both sides of the issue.
  • The empty tomb was seen by at least six of Jesus’ followers: Mary Magdalene (Matthew 28:1-10), Mary (the mother of James) and Salome (Mark 16:1-8), Joanna (Luke 24:10), and Peter and John (John 20:2-8).
  • The empty tomb was probably seen by at least a few Roman guards (Matthew 28:2,11-15).
  • That the tomb was empty was not denied by the antagonistic Jews (they merely attempted to explain why it was empty).
  • That the tomb was empty was loudly proclaimed on the day of Pentecost in the presence of literally thousands of Jews who most certainly would have denied it if they could (Acts 2:24-36).

WHO MOVED THE STONE?

One of the tomb’s most impressive features was the immense stone that acted as its door. Matthew used the Greek phrase lithon megan to describe the stone (27:60). This two-word combination is the source of our modern term, “megalith” (i.e., large stone). Mark and Luke report that the four women who came to the tomb wondered who would move the stone for them (Mark 16:2-4; Luke 24:10). Mark calls the stone “very large.” How large is “very large”? While we may never know, it is safe to assume that four women could move a fairly large stone without help; yet, apparently the force needed to move this stone exceeded their combined strength (Mark 16:3). If these women didn’t move it, who did? Can we rationally conclude that it was moved by a brutally beaten, crucified, and allegedly dead man? The record indicates that an angel of the Lord was dispatched from heaven to accomplish the task (Matthew 28:2).
Someone might contend that the stone could not have been too heavy since Joseph rolled it in place by himself (Matthew 27:60). But this is only partially correct. The stones used for this purpose often were set in a sloping groove with the low point in front of the tomb’s opening. While it may have taken many men to move and scotch the stone up and away from the doorway prior to burial, one man easily could have removed the block and allowed gravity to draw the stone down the slope into its proper resting position. Also, it is possible that the stone was set in place by a number of men under the direction of Joseph. After all, when we say that Alexander conquered the world, we do not mean that he did so without the aid of an army!
Moreover, the stone was not just nudged aside to allow a single man to slip through, but it actually was moved completely away from the tomb (John 20:1). The moving of the great stone by the angel was an event of such magnitude that Matthew tells us the soldiers “shook for fear of him, and became as dead men” (28:4). It is no wonder they left their post and returned to the city to make a report to the chief priests! Adding to their fear of this supernatural sighting was the fact that the tomb they were guarding was opened and empty. Perhaps they reasoned that if the Jews knew the circumstances, they would not press charges against them for losing custody of the body.
The impressive evidence from the tomb and stone may be summarized as follows. On Friday, at least four witnesses saw Jesus’ dead body placed into a previously empty tomb. The tomb was sealed with a stone too large for four women to move. Jesus’ presence in the tomb was acknowledged by friend and enemy alike on Saturday, when the stone was affixed with a Roman seal (McDowell, 1981, p. 59). On Sunday the stone had been moved and Jesus’ body was gone!

WHY BRIBE THE GUARDS?

The Jews’ primary effort to prevent the disciples of Jesus from making any resurrection claims for their Master served as one of the strongest evidences supporting those claims. Matthew recounts the incident:
The next day, after the Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together before Pilate, saying, “Sir, we remember that the deceiver said, I will arise after three days. Command therefore that the tomb be made secure until the third day to guard against his disciples stealing the body and saying, He has been raised from the dead. The last deception will be worse than the first.” Pilate replied to them, “Take guards and go and make the tomb as secure as you can.” They departed and secured the tomb, sealing the stone, and stationing the guards (Matthew 27:62-66; McCord, 1988).
Although they did not believe Christ, the Jews realized the importance of His words. The passage implies that the Jews were obtaining a Roman guard. Some scholars contend that Pilate told the Jews to take their own temple guard for the task. This seems unlikely. In the Greek, the phrase, “Take a guard” is in the imperative. It was a “curt permission” to take guards (Robertson, 1930, 1:239). Why would the Jews approach Pilate to request a Jewish guard? If they used their own guard, they would have been open to criticisms should the body turn up missing. Why would the temple guard fear Pilate’s reaction (Matthew 28:14)? It seems more probable that the Jews wanted a Roman guard to prevent Jesus’ disciples from stealing their Lord’s body.
As noted above, the guards were terrified when the angel moved the giant stone away from the tomb. They left their post and some of them returned to the city to report the incredible event. No doubt fearful of what would become of them, they went to the Jews (to plead for help?). The record continues:
When they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, saying, “Tell them, His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept. And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.” So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day (Matthew 28:12-15).
The guards were left with an empty tomb, and the Jews were faced with a dilemma. They had to deal with not just an empty tomb, but also eyewitness accounts (from neutral witnesses) of the resurrection of Jesus. What could they do? Three options were possible: they could accept the testimony and believe in the One they crucified; they could complain to Pilate about his incompetent soldiers; or, they could enact a cover-up. They were not yet willing to accept this Jesus as the Messiah. If they complained to Pilate, he might either believe or slay the soldiers. If he believed them, the Jews would be defeated. If he slew them, the Jews would be left with an inexplicably empty tomb. There was really only one option for them—a cover-up. So they bought a false report and circulated it in all directions. However, contrary to their desire, everywhere that false report traveled, so went one important fact—the tomb was empty!

ALTERNATIVE THEORIES

Some persist in doubt. They reject the possibility of Christ’s resurrection and offer various explanations for the data.

The Swoon Theory

Some have suggested that Jesus did not actually die. He just fainted (“swooned”) and merely seemed to be dead. Thinking He was dead, His friends buried Him according to custom. After resting upon that cold stone slab, the Lord’s body naturally revived; thus revived, He moved the stone and exited the tomb (carefully avoiding being spotted by the guards). This view is utterly without foundation and collapses after even the most cursory glance at the evidence.
First, the body was acknowledged as dead by all parties involved. The Romans (who were experts at crucifixion) saw He was already dead and did not need to have His legs broken (John 19:33). Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus had died so quickly, and investigated the matter (Mark 15:44-45). The followers of Jesus knew He was dead, for they began to prepare Him for burial, and even anticipated the coming of Sunday so they could finish the job. The Jews were sure He was dead, otherwise they would not have been so concerned with keeping His disciples from stealing His body (Matthew 27:62-66).
Second, no one who has been scourged, nailed to and hung upon a cross for six hours, and has had a spear pierce his side, is going to wake up capable of rolling away a stone that four women could not move!
Third, if this theory were true, the Jews would have been more successful claiming that Jesus had only swooned than in manufacturing an excuse for the empty tomb.
Fourth, where is Jesus now? The divine record has Him appearing for only forty days after His alleged swoon—what of the rest of His life?
Fifth, can any clear-thinking person really believe that the apostles lived persecuted lives and died as martyrs for a cause they knew to be false, or that Jesus would have been so cruel as to be the cause of such (either directly or indirectly)? Everything we know of Jesus mitigates against this thought.

The Wrong Tomb Theory

Some suggest that although Jesus was actually dead and buried, His followers accidentally went to another tomb that was empty. This theory hardly deserves mention; it defies nearly every detail of the resurrection narratives and leads to the absurd conclusion that not only His friends, but His enemies, and the Roman soldiers all went to the wrong tomb. On the contrary, the Gospel records mention that the interred body was seen by at least four people. How long would it take before someone recognized the mistake? After all, Joseph of Arimathea surely knew how to locate his own tomb, and easily could have corrected this error. Finally, Paul told of more than five hundred witnesses who did not see the empty tomb, but who had seen the risen Lord (1 Corinthians 15:6).

Friends Stole the Body

The most common theory suggests that Jesus’ friends stole His body while the guards slept. This was the story circulating when Matthew wrote his history (Matthew 28:15). But, where is the evidence that the guards slept? How could the disciples have moved the stone and kept from waking the guards? Why would the Jews have paid the guards to say the very thing that they tried to avoid in the first place? The whole reason the Pharisees asked Pilate to grant them a guard was to keep the disciples from stealing the body!
This view implies that the disciples knowingly devoted their lives to a falsehood. But, J.P. Moreland points out, “the disciples had nothing to gain by lying and starting a new religion. They faced hardship, ridicule, hostility, and martyrs’ deaths. In light of this, they could have never sustained such unwavering motivation if they knew what they were preaching was a lie” (1987, pp. 171-172).

Enemies Stole the Body

Some might aver that Jesus’ body was stolen by the Jews to keep the disciples from doing so. Hence, they took the body and hired a guard to watch an already vacant tomb. But this is ridiculous. If they stole the body, why did they not expose the disciples’ lie? Instead, they maintained the unprovable position that it was really the disciples who took the body. They never produced the body. What did they have to gain by concealing the most powerful evidence conceivable against the resurrection? Imagine how devastating it would have been for the disciples, had the Jews paraded Jesus’ rotting corpse before the many thousands on Pentecost. Such an act would have strangled the infant church in its crib.

God Stole the Body

One of the most unusual theories regarding the resurrection of Jesus was penned by Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses:
Our Lord’s human body was, however, supernaturally removed from the tomb; because had it remained there it would have been an insurmountable obstacle to the faith of the disciples, who were not yet instructed in spiritual things—for “the spirit was not yet given.” (John 7:39.) We know nothing about what became of it, except that it did not decay or corrupt. (Acts 2:27,31.) Whether it was dissolved into gases or whether it is still preserved somewhere as the grand memorial of God’s love, of Christ’s obedience, and of our redemption, no one knows (1912, 2:129).
Obvious problems with this theory are numerous. Not only does it deny the plain teachings of Scripture, but it implies that the disciples’ faith in the resurrection was based upon a falsehood. In other words, they believed the Lord was raised, and had irrefutable proof of it—when in fact He wasn’t. This makes God guilty of deliberate deception.

The Hallucination Theory

Another alternative theory is that the disciples never actually saw the Lord’s risen body—they only imagined they did. However, the biggest hindrance to this view is that many of these eyewitnesses were not easily convinced. Thomas was hardly alone in his skepticism concerning the resurrection. When the women went to the tomb on Sunday they found it empty. Their first reaction was one of bewilderment, not belief (Luke 24:4). Remember the disciples’ reaction to Mary’s incredible report? They had been with Jesus and had no doubt heard Him say many times that He would rise again, and yet Mark wrote: “And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe” (Mark 16:11). Jesus later rebuked them for this unbelief (Mark 16:14). They should have expected His resurrection, but obviously they did not. Jesus was also disappointed in the two disciples from Emmaus for failing to believe in the resurrection claims (Luke 24:25). Even at nightfall of the resurrection day the disciples were still doubting (Luke 24:38). The point is this: at first, these witnesses were unwilling to accept the fact of the resurrection.
Had they been predisposed to believe the reports of the resurrection, we might wonder if they simply believed what they wanted to about the matter. On the contrary, here were people who initially were skeptical and required evidence for belief. If they had believed all along that they would see the Lord alive again, then isolated hallucinations might have taken place among the mentally unstable disciples (if there were any). But, hallucinations do not occur in people of stable mental condition (unless artificially induced). Regardless, the empty tomb remains unexplained by this theory.

CONCLUSION: THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESURRECTION

If compelled by the evidence to believe the resurrection, what is its relevance? First, the resurrection is the strongest single argument for the deity of Jesus (Romans 1:4). If He was raised from the dead as David prophesied, and as He so often promised, then He must have been deity! If He was not raised, then David spoke of another, and Jesus was a liar.
Second, the resurrection is the foundational principle upon which Christianity is built. Paul linked the reality of salvation to the fact of the resurrection; refute that fact, and Christians are a truly pathetic lot (1 Corinthians 15). Christianity is either the one true religion of the one true God, or it is a farce—the reality of the resurrection determines which.
Third, the fact of the resurrection is the greatest source of genuine hope available in this transient and confusing world. If Christ was raised, Christians will be raised (1 Corinthians 15). Since Christ was raised, He took away the power of death. His resurrection made it possible for Him to keep His promise to prepare a heavenly home for the faithful (John 14:1-4). No one fact offers more hope or assurance than does the truth of the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

REFERENCES

McCord, Hugo (1988), McCord’s New Testament Translation of the Everlasting Gospel (Henderson, TN: Freed-Hardeman College).
McDowell, Josh (1981), The Resurrection Factor (San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life Publishers).
Moreland, J.P. (1987), Scaling the Secular City (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Robertson, A.T. (1930), Word Pictures in the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Russell, Charles Taze (1889), Studies in the Scriptures (New York: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society).

From Mark Copeland... To See And Be Free! (Acts 26:18)

                          "THE BOOK OF ACTS"

                      To See And Be Free! (26:18)

INTRODUCTION

1. When Saul of Tarsus (later known as the apostle Paul) was on the road
   to Damascus...
   a. The Lord Jesus appeared to him in a blinding light - Ac 26:12-14
   b. Jesus identified Himself, and told Saul the task he would fulfill 
      - Ac 26:15-17

2. The commission given to Saul concerning both Jews and Gentiles was
   clear... - Ac 26:18
   a. "to open their eyes"
   b. "so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of
      Satan to God"
   c. "that they may receive forgiveness and a place among those 
      sanctified by faith in Me."

[In this lesson, I want to direct our attention to the idea of turning
"from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God."  Let's
begin with the idea of turning...]

I. FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT

   A. THE WORLD IS IN DARKNESS...
      1. Many people walk in the futility of their minds - Ep 4:17
      2. Their understanding darkened, alienated from the life of God
         - Ep 4:18
      3. Because of ignorance, because of the blindness of their heart 
         - Ep 4:19
      4. Past feeling, given over to lewdness, working uncleanness with
         greed - Ep 4:19
      -- This helps us to understand the moral decline prevalent in our
         society

   B. JESUS IS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD...
      1. He offers the light of life and truth - Jn 8:12; 14:6
      2. The truth (that which is true, real) is to be found in Jesus
         - Ep 4:20-21
      3. Who teaches us to put off corrupt and deceitful lusts - Ep 4:22
      4. Who renews the spirit of our minds, in true righteousness and
         holiness - Ep 4:23-24
      -- Only in Jesus can we find our way through the moral morass in 
         the world  

[Jesus helps us to "see the light", so we can then "walk as children of
light" and "expose the unfruitful works of darkness (Ep 5:8-14).  But
in order for this to happen we must be set free, delivered...]

II. FROM THE POWER OF SATAN TO GOD

   A. SATAN ENSLAVES THROUGH SIN...
      1. He works in the sons of disobedience, who fulfill their lusts 
         and desires - Ep 2:1-3; Ti 3:3
      2. As man sins, he becomes enslaved to sin - Jn 8:34
      3. Slavery to sin leads to death, which is what we deserve - Ro 6:16,23
      4. Even the "good man" finds himself enslaved by his sin - Ro 7:14-24
      -- What a terrible dilemma, but in Christ there is deliverance!
         - Ro 7:25

   B. CHRIST DELIVERS FROM SIN...
      1. He offers deliverance from the guilt of sin
         a. Through forgiveness of sins - Ac 26:18
         b. With redemption through His blood - Ep 1:7
         c. So there is no more condemnation for sin - Ro 8:1; Jn 5:24
         d. This occurs when we are baptized into Christ - Ac 2:38; 22:16
      2. He provides deliverance from the bondage of sin
         a. As we walk according to the Spirit - Ro 8:1-4
         b. As we set our minds on the things of the Spirit - Ro 8:5-8
         c. For the Spirit indwells the Christian - Ro 8:9-11
         d. And with the Spirit's aid, we can put to death the deeds of 
            the body - Ro 8:12-13
      -- Instead of serving Satan and sin, we can now live as sons of
         God! - Ro 8:14

CONCLUSION

1. By faith in Jesus, we receive forgiveness of sins and an 
   inheritance... - Ac 26:18
   a. Forgiveness through His blood - Ep 1:7
   b. An inheritance in which the Spirit is the down payment - Ep 1:13-14 

2. By faith in Jesus, we are thus sanctified (set apart)... - Ac 26:18
   a. Delivered from the power of darkness, conveyed into His kingdom
      - Col 1:13
   b. Free to set on our minds on things above, to put off the old and 
      put on the new - Col 3:1-17

Thus Jesus helps us "To See And Be Free!"   It begins when in faith and
repentance we are baptized into Christ (cf. Tit 3:3-7).  In the words
of what some take to be an early baptismal hymn...

                        "Awake, you who sleep,
                        Arise from the dead,
                        And Christ will give you light."
                                             - Ep 5:14

Have you seen the light of truth and life?  Have you been delivered from
the power of Satan and sin, empowered to serve God in righteousness and
holiness?  

If not, look to Jesus in obedient faith...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2013

From Gary... Bible Reading August 1


Bible Reading  

August 1

The World English Bible

 
Aug. 1
2 Chronicles 28-30

2Ch 28:1 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: and he didn't do that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, like David his father;
2Ch 28:2 but he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, and made also molten images for the Baals.
2Ch 28:3 Moreover he burnt incense in the valley of the son of Hinnom, and burnt his children in the fire, according to the abominations of the nations whom Yahweh cast out before the children of Israel.
2Ch 28:4 He sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree.
2Ch 28:5 Therefore Yahweh his God delivered him into the hand of the king of Syria; and they struck him, and carried away of his a great multitude of captives, and brought them to Damascus. He was also delivered into the hand of the king of Israel, who struck him with a great slaughter.
2Ch 28:6 For Pekah the son of Remaliah killed in Judah one hundred twenty thousand in one day, all of them valiant men; because they had forsaken Yahweh, the God of their fathers.
2Ch 28:7 Zichri, a mighty man of Ephraim, killed Maaseiah the king's son, and Azrikam the ruler of the house, and Elkanah who was next to the king.
2Ch 28:8 The children of Israel carried away captive of their brothers two hundred thousand, women, sons, and daughters, and took also away much spoil from them, and brought the spoil to Samaria.
2Ch 28:9 But a prophet of Yahweh was there, whose name was Oded: and he went out to meet the army that came to Samaria, and said to them, Behold, because Yahweh, the God of your fathers, was angry with Judah, he has delivered them into your hand, and you have slain them in a rage which has reached up to heaven.
2Ch 28:10 Now you purpose to keep under the children of Judah and Jerusalem for bondservants and bondmaids for yourselves: but aren't there even with you trespasses of your own against Yahweh your God?
2Ch 28:11 Now hear me therefore, and send back the captives, that you have taken captive from your brothers; for the fierce wrath of Yahweh is on you.
2Ch 28:12 Then certain of the heads of the children of Ephraim, Azariah the son of Johanan, Berechiah the son of Meshillemoth, and Jehizkiah the son of Shallum, and Amasa the son of Hadlai, stood up against those who came from the war,
2Ch 28:13 and said to them, You shall not bring in the captives here: for you purpose that which will bring on us a trespass against Yahweh, to add to our sins and to our trespass; for our trespass is great, and there is fierce wrath against Israel.
2Ch 28:14 So the armed men left the captives and the spoil before the princes and all the assembly.
2Ch 28:15 The men who have been mentioned by name rose up, and took the captives, and with the spoil clothed all who were naked among them, and arrayed them, and shod them, and gave them to eat and to drink, and anointed them, and carried all the feeble of them on donkeys, and brought them to Jericho, the city of palm trees, to their brothers: then they returned to Samaria.
2Ch 28:16 At that time did king Ahaz send to the kings of Assyria to help him.
2Ch 28:17 For again the Edomites had come and struck Judah, and carried away captives.
2Ch 28:18 The Philistines also had invaded the cities of the lowland, and of the South of Judah, and had taken Beth Shemesh, and Aijalon, and Gederoth, and Soco with its towns, and Timnah with its towns, Gimzo also and its towns: and they lived there.
2Ch 28:19 For Yahweh brought Judah low because of Ahaz king of Israel; for he had dealt wantonly in Judah, and trespassed severely against Yahweh.
2Ch 28:20 Tilgath Pilneser king of Assyria came to him, and distressed him, but didn't strengthen him.
2Ch 28:21 For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of Yahweh, and out of the house of the king and of the princes, and gave it to the king of Assyria: but it didn't help him.
2Ch 28:22 In the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against Yahweh, this same king Ahaz.
2Ch 28:23 For he sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, which struck him; and he said, Because the gods of the kings of Syria helped them, therefore will I sacrifice to them, that they may help me. But they were the ruin of him, and of all Israel.
2Ch 28:24 Ahaz gathered together the vessels of the house of God, and cut in pieces the vessels of the house of God, and shut up the doors of the house of Yahweh; and he made him altars in every corner of Jerusalem.
2Ch 28:25 In every city of Judah he made high places to burn incense to other gods, and provoked to anger Yahweh, the God of his fathers.
2Ch 28:26 Now the rest of his acts, and all his ways, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
2Ch 28:27 Ahaz slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city, even in Jerusalem; for they didn't bring him into the tombs of the kings of Israel: and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.
2Ch 29:1 Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah.
2Ch 29:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that David his father had done.
2Ch 29:3 He in the first year of his reign, in the first month, opened the doors of the house of Yahweh, and repaired them.
2Ch 29:4 He brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them together into the broad place on the east,
2Ch 29:5 and said to them, Hear me, you Levites; now sanctify yourselves, and sanctify the house of Yahweh, the God of your fathers, and carry forth the filthiness out of the holy place.
2Ch 29:6 For our fathers have trespassed, and done that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh our God, and have forsaken him, and have turned away their faces from the habitation of Yahweh, and turned their backs.
2Ch 29:7 Also they have shut up the doors of the porch, and put out the lamps, and have not burned incense nor offered burnt offerings in the holy place to the God of Israel.
2Ch 29:8 Therefore the wrath of Yahweh was on Judah and Jerusalem, and he has delivered them to be tossed back and forth, to be an astonishment, and a hissing, as you see with your eyes.
2Ch 29:9 For, behold, our fathers have fallen by the sword, and our sons and our daughters and our wives are in captivity for this.
2Ch 29:10 Now it is in my heart to make a covenant with Yahweh, the God of Israel, that his fierce anger may turn away from us.
2Ch 29:11 My sons, don't be negligent now; for Yahweh has chosen you to stand before him, to minister to him, and that you should be his ministers, and burn incense.
2Ch 29:12 Then the Levites arose, Mahath, the son of Amasai, and Joel the son of Azariah, of the sons of the Kohathites; and of the sons of Merari, Kish the son of Abdi, and Azariah the son of Jehallelel; and of the Gershonites, Joah the son of Zimmah, and Eden the son of Joah;
2Ch 29:13 and of the sons of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeuel; and of the sons of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah;
2Ch 29:14 and of the sons of Heman, Jehuel and Shimei; and of the sons of Jeduthun, Shemaiah and Uzziel.
2Ch 29:15 They gathered their brothers, and sanctified themselves, and went in, according to the commandment of the king by the words of Yahweh, to cleanse the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 29:16 The priests went in to the inner part of the house of Yahweh, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of Yahweh into the court of the house of Yahweh. The Levites took it, to carry it out abroad to the brook Kidron.
2Ch 29:17 Now they began on the first day of the first month to sanctify, and on the eighth day of the month came they to the porch of Yahweh; and they sanctified the house of Yahweh in eight days: and on the sixteenth day of the first month they made an end.
2Ch 29:18 Then they went in to Hezekiah the king within the palace, and said, We have cleansed all the house of Yahweh, and the altar of burnt offering, with all its vessels, and the table of show bread, with all its vessels.
2Ch 29:19 Moreover all the vessels, which king Ahaz in his reign did cast away when he trespassed, have we prepared and sanctified; and behold, they are before the altar of Yahweh.
2Ch 29:20 Then Hezekiah the king arose early, and gathered the princes of the city, and went up to the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 29:21 They brought seven bulls, and seven rams, and seven lambs, and seven male goats, for a sin offering for the kingdom and for the sanctuary and for Judah. He commanded the priests the sons of Aaron to offer them on the altar of Yahweh.
2Ch 29:22 So they killed the bulls, and the priests received the blood, and sprinkled it on the altar: and they killed the rams, and sprinkled the blood on the altar: they killed also the lambs, and sprinkled the blood on the altar.
2Ch 29:23 They brought near the male goats for the sin offering before the king and the assembly; and they laid their hands on them:
2Ch 29:24 and the priests killed them, and they made a sin offering with their blood on the altar, to make atonement for all Israel; for the king commanded that the burnt offering and the sin offering should be made for all Israel.
2Ch 29:25 He set the Levites in the house of Yahweh with cymbals, with stringed instruments, and with harps, according to the commandment of David, and of Gad the king's seer, and Nathan the prophet; for the commandment was of Yahweh by his prophets.
2Ch 29:26 The Levites stood with the instruments of David, and the priests with the trumpets.
2Ch 29:27 Hezekiah commanded to offer the burnt offering on the altar. When the burnt offering began, the song of Yahweh began also, and the trumpets, together with the instruments of David king of Israel.
2Ch 29:28 All the assembly worshiped, and the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished.
2Ch 29:29 When they had made an end of offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed themselves and worshiped.
2Ch 29:30 Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praises to Yahweh with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. They sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshiped.
2Ch 29:31 Then Hezekiah answered, Now you have consecrated yourselves to Yahweh; come near and bring sacrifices and thank offerings into the house of Yahweh. The assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings; and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings.
2Ch 29:32 The number of the burnt offerings which the assembly brought was seventy bulls, one hundred rams, and two hundred lambs: all these were for a burnt offering to Yahweh.
2Ch 29:33 The consecrated things were six hundred head of cattle and three thousand sheep.
2Ch 29:34 But the priests were too few, so that they could not flay all the burnt offerings: therefore their brothers the Levites helped them, until the work was ended, and until the priests had sanctified themselves; for the Levites were more upright in heart to sanctify themselves than the priests.
2Ch 29:35 Also the burnt offerings were in abundance, with the fat of the peace offerings, and with the drink offerings for every burnt offering. So the service of the house of Yahweh was set in order.
2Ch 29:36 Hezekiah rejoiced, and all the people, because of that which God had prepared for the people: for the thing was done suddenly.
2Ch 30:1 Hezekiah sent to all Israel and Judah, and wrote letters also to Ephraim and Manasseh, that they should come to the house of Yahweh at Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to Yahweh, the God of Israel.
2Ch 30:2 For the king had taken counsel, and his princes, and all the assembly in Jerusalem, to keep the Passover in the second month.
2Ch 30:3 For they could not keep it at that time, because the priests had not sanctified themselves in sufficient number, neither had the people gathered themselves together to Jerusalem.
2Ch 30:4 The thing was right in the eyes of the king and of all the assembly.
2Ch 30:5 So they established a decree to make proclamation throughout all Israel, from Beersheba even to Dan, that they should come to keep the Passover to Yahweh, the God of Israel, at Jerusalem: for they had not kept it in great numbers in such sort as it is written.
2Ch 30:6 So the posts went with the letters from the king and his princes throughout all Israel and Judah, and according to the commandment of the king, saying, You children of Israel, turn again to Yahweh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, that he may return to the remnant that have escaped of you out of the hand of the kings of Assyria.
2Ch 30:7 Don't be like your fathers, and like your brothers, who trespassed against Yahweh, the God of their fathers, so that he gave them up to desolation, as you see.
2Ch 30:8 Now don't you be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; but yield yourselves to Yahweh, and enter into his sanctuary, which he has sanctified forever, and serve Yahweh your God, that his fierce anger may turn away from you.
2Ch 30:9 For if you turn again to Yahweh, your brothers and your children shall find compassion before those who led them captive, and shall come again into this land: for Yahweh your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if you return to him.
2Ch 30:10 So the posts passed from city to city through the country of Ephraim and Manasseh, even to Zebulun: but they ridiculed them, and mocked them.
2Ch 30:11 Nevertheless certain men of Asher and Manasseh and of Zebulun humbled themselves, and came to Jerusalem.
2Ch 30:12 Also on Judah came the hand of God to give them one heart, to do the commandment of the king and of the princes by the word of Yahweh.
2Ch 30:13 There assembled at Jerusalem much people to keep the feast of unleavened bread in the second month, a very great assembly.
2Ch 30:14 They arose and took away the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for incense took they away, and cast them into the brook Kidron.
2Ch 30:15 Then they killed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the second month: and the priests and the Levites were ashamed, and sanctified themselves, and brought burnt offerings into the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 30:16 They stood in their place after their order, according to the law of Moses the man of God: the priests sprinkled the blood which they received of the hand of the Levites.
2Ch 30:17 For there were many in the assembly who had not sanctified themselves: therefore the Levites were in charge of killing the Passovers for everyone who was not clean, to sanctify them to Yahweh.
2Ch 30:18 For a multitude of the people, even many of Ephraim and Manasseh, Issachar and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet did they eat the Passover otherwise than it is written. For Hezekiah had prayed for them, saying, The good Yahweh pardon everyone
2Ch 30:19 who sets his heart to seek God, Yahweh, the God of his fathers, though not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary.
2Ch 30:20 Yahweh listened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.
2Ch 30:21 The children of Israel who were present at Jerusalem kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with great gladness; and the Levites and the priests praised Yahweh day by day, singing with loud instruments to Yahweh.
2Ch 30:22 Hezekiah spoke comfortably to all the Levites who had good understanding in the service of Yahweh. So they ate throughout the feast for the seven days, offering sacrifices of peace offerings, and making confession to Yahweh, the God of their fathers.
2Ch 30:23 The whole assembly took counsel to keep other seven days; and they kept other seven days with gladness.
2Ch 30:24 For Hezekiah king of Judah did give to the assembly for offerings one thousand bulls and seven thousand sheep; and the princes gave to the assembly a thousand bulls and ten thousand sheep: and a great number of priests sanctified themselves.
2Ch 30:25 All the assembly of Judah, with the priests and the Levites, and all the assembly who came out of Israel, and the foreigners who came out of the land of Israel, and who lived in Judah, rejoiced.
2Ch 30:26 So there was great joy in Jerusalem; for since the time of Solomon the son of David king of Israel there was not the like in Jerusalem.
2Ch 30:27 Then the priests the Levites arose and blessed the people: and their voice was heard, and their prayer came up to his holy habitation, even to heaven.

 
Aug. 1, 2
Acts 19

Act 19:1 It happened that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul, having passed through the upper country, came to Ephesus, and found certain disciples.
Act 19:2 He said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They said to him, "No, we haven't even heard that there is a Holy Spirit."
Act 19:3 He said, "Into what then were you baptized?" They said, "Into John's baptism."
Act 19:4 Paul said, "John indeed baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe in the one who would come after him, that is, in Jesus."
Act 19:5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Act 19:6 When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke with other languages and prophesied.
Act 19:7 They were about twelve men in all.
Act 19:8 He entered into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for a period of three months, reasoning and persuading about the things concerning the Kingdom of God.
Act 19:9 But when some were hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
Act 19:10 This continued for two years, so that all those who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.
Act 19:11 God worked special miracles by the hands of Paul,
Act 19:12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and the evil spirits went out.
Act 19:13 But some of the itinerant Jews, exorcists, took on themselves to invoke over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, "We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches."
Act 19:14 There were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did this.
Act 19:15 The evil spirit answered, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?"
Act 19:16 The man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Act 19:17 This became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived at Ephesus. Fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
Act 19:18 Many also of those who had believed came, confessing, and declaring their deeds.
Act 19:19 Many of those who practiced magical arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. They counted the price of them, and found it to be fifty thousand pieces of silver.
Act 19:20 So the word of the Lord was growing and becoming mighty.
Act 19:21 Now after these things had ended, Paul determined in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, "After I have been there, I must also see Rome."
Act 19:22 Having sent into Macedonia two of those who served him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.
Act 19:23 About that time there arose no small stir concerning the Way.
Act 19:24 For a certain man named Demetrius, a silversmith, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought no little business to the craftsmen,
Act 19:25 whom he gathered together, with the workmen of like occupation, and said, "Sirs, you know that by this business we have our wealth.
Act 19:26 You see and hear, that not at Ephesus alone, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul has persuaded and turned away many people, saying that they are no gods, that are made with hands.
Act 19:27 Not only is there danger that this our trade come into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be counted as nothing, and her majesty destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worships."
Act 19:28 When they heard this they were filled with anger, and cried out, saying, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
Act 19:29 The whole city was filled with confusion, and they rushed with one accord into the theater, having seized Gaius and Aristarchus, men of Macedonia, Paul's companions in travel.
Act 19:30 When Paul wanted to enter in to the people, the disciples didn't allow him.
Act 19:31 Certain also of the Asiarchs, being his friends, sent to him and begged him not to venture into the theater.
Act 19:32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another, for the assembly was in confusion. Most of them didn't know why they had come together.
Act 19:33 They brought Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. Alexander beckoned with his hand, and would have made a defense to the people.
Act 19:34 But when they perceived that he was a Jew, all with one voice for a time of about two hours cried out, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
Act 19:35 When the town clerk had quieted the multitude, he said, "You men of Ephesus, what man is there who doesn't know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great goddess Artemis, and of the image which fell down from Zeus?
Act 19:36 Seeing then that these things can't be denied, you ought to be quiet, and to do nothing rash.
Act 19:37 For you have brought these men here, who are neither robbers of temples nor blasphemers of your goddess.
Act 19:38 If therefore Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a matter against anyone, the courts are open, and there are proconsuls. Let them press charges against one another.
Act 19:39 But if you seek anything about other matters, it will be settled in the regular assembly.
Act 19:40 For indeed we are in danger of being accused concerning this day's riot, there being no cause. Concerning it, we wouldn't be able to give an account of this commotion."
Act 19:41 When he had thus spoken, he dismissed the assembly.