11/15/14

From Jim McGuiggan... Luke 2:11, a son is GIVEN


Luke 2:11, a son is GIVEN

Isaiah 8 closes with a picture of awful gloom and judgement and chapter 9 opens with a glorious passing of the night and the rising of the sun with the darkness banished. The prophet then describes a glorious future and in 9:6-7 gives the ground on which that future is based, "For unto us a child is born unto us a son is given…The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this."

For unto us a child is born says why the future will not be like the past. "Unto us a son is given"—he is a gift. A gift! Not something we merit; we didn't earn him. He was sent by God as a gift. We didn't come up with him, didn't mould and shape him to suit our needs; we can't claim in that sense that he is "one of our own". He came from God! And though it is profoundly true that he was altogether one of us and because we dare not offer ourselves before the Holy Father we offer Jesus—though all that is true Jesus is not our gift to God he is God's gift to us!

Our salvation, our hope, our life are all wrapped up in Jesus who was given to us as a gift from God. Salvation begins and ends with God. It doesn't begin with our believing but with God's gracious purpose to save us before times eternal which when brought to us in the gospel generates faith in us (Philippians 1:29). Speaking of God in 2 Timothy 1:9 Paul says, "Who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time."

God saved us not because of anything we have done! God saved us because of his own purpose and grace! This grace was given to us! This grace was given to us before the beginning of time. This grace is experienced by us here and now.

Before we wrestle with the difficulties that such talk generates, the proper thing to do is confess the truth of it! If it's the case that we are saved then we should thank God that we have been saved because he purposed it in grace through Jesus Christ before the beginning of time. It's all right, don't you know, to be gob-smacked by this and it's all right to say, "How does that work?" because it's only when we take the passage seriously that we're overwhelmed and bewildered with a glad bewilderment.

Some of us aren't in the least staggered; we have it all worked out; we can easily "explain" and with very little effort (quoting a verse here and there and constructing a little syllogism here and there) we can plumb the depths of such truth. But I'm sure that says more about our ignorance than about our understanding and maybe it says a bit about our sense of our own brilliance.
No, the son in the manger is given to us, the prophet said. "Today in the city of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord," says the angel in Luke 2:11. A Saviour has been "born to you" is the angels equivalent to Isaiah's "a son is given."

Whatever the mystery here or the difficulties that need to be worked out, this we know: our salvation didn't begin with us! Our salvation was purposed before we came along. God didn't look down the ages to see who would receive him and then say, "I purpose to save those whom I foresee are willing to receive me." God purposed to save, sent his Son to save and the Spirit brings the gospel to save. When we happily, joyously find ourselves saved we know we have freely responded to God's eternal purpose. We know then that unto us a Son was given.

Male and Female Roles: Gender in the Bible by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=5007

Male and Female Roles: Gender in the Bible

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

In little more than half a century, American culture has experienced a massive restructuring of values and reorientation of moral and spiritual standards. One facet of this multifaceted effacement and erosion of biblical values has been dramatically altered gender roles. The feminist agenda has penetrated the American social landscape. Indeed, the onset of the feminist movement in the turbulent 1960s sparked a significant adjustment of societal norms resulting in the transformation of virtually every sphere of American culture—from the home and the church to the business world and beyond. Women now routinely serve in historically male capacities, including the military, politics, sports, and a host of community services including fire, police, ambulance, etc.
Make no mistake, a number of changes with regard to gender have emerged that may be deemed beneficial and positive. Nevertheless, the overall impact on American civilization has been negative, and the erosion of femininity has ushered in a host of evils that are hastening America’s moral implosion (e.g., abortion and homosexuality). Concomitant with the effort to eradicate gender differentiation has been the degradation of masculinity and the restructuring of the family unit (the fundamental building block of humanity—Genesis 1:27; 2:24). As womanhood has been devalued and her function altered, the rest of society has suffered dramatically. After all, women inevitably exert a profound influence on culture and society—for good or ill. Virtuous femininity is the glue that holds human civilization together. In the words of American poet William Ross Wallace’s immortal poem, “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, Rules the World” (1865). Sadly for America, feminism has overturned the rocker, thrown the baby out with the bathwater, punched Dad in the face, and stomped away from the house in a huff.

the bible still has the correct perspective

Amid this polarization that plagues American civilization in general, and Christendom in particular, one chasm continues to widen between those who wish to conform to Bible protocol and those who wish to modernize, update, and adapt Scripture to a changing society. The cry of those who are pressing the feminist agenda is that the church in the past has restricted women in roles of leadership and worship simply because of culture and flawed hermeneutical principles. They say we are the product of a male-dominated society and have consequently misconstrued the contextual meaning of the relevant biblical passages.
The underlying catalyst for this social turmoil, and resulting gender confusion, has been the rejection of the Bible as the authentic Word of the divine Being Who created the Universe and humans. Even among those who continue to profess their allegiance to Christianity, large numbers have capitulated to political correctness and abandoned the traditional, i.e., biblical, depiction of gender roles as defined by the Creator. In their quest to maintain relevance among the shifting sands of secular culture, they have imbibed the spirit of the age, been infected by humanistic philosophy, and consequently have compromised the clear teaching of Scripture on the role of women (cf. “Gender Inclusive…,” 2013; “Believe It…,” 2006; Pauls, 2013; “The Role of…,” 2006; Stirman, 2010).
As attitudes soften and biblical conviction weakens, Scripture is being reinterpreted to allow for expanded roles for women in worship. If one who studies the biblical text concludes that women are not to be restricted in worship, he is hailed as engaging in “fresh scholarly exegesis.” But the one who studies the text and concludes that God intended for women to be subordinate to male leadership in worship is guilty of prejudice and being unduly influenced by “Church tradition” or “cultural baggage.” How is it that the former’s religious practice and interpretation of Scripture is somehow curiously exempt from imbibing the spirit of an age in which feminist ideology has permeated virtually every segment of American society?
Nevertheless, Bible teaching on this subject is not that difficult to ascertain. Recent attempts to redefine gender roles fall flat, not only before a sensible assessment of relevant Bible passages on the subject, but in the face of the 2,000 year history of Christianity which has, for the most part, demonstrated a generally accurate grasp of the basic parameters of God’s will on this matter. Such has certainly been true in America where the Founders and 18th century men and women embraced the Christian worldview, and believed that “family integrity was indispensable for the public safety and happiness” (West, 1997, p. 85).

Relevant Bible Passages

A detailed study of the relevant biblical texts in one article is impossible. However, God’s Word is essentially simple on any significant subject in the Bible [NOTE: For useful discussions see Hicks and Morton, 1978; Piper and Grudem, 1991; Cottrell, 1992; Highers, 1991; Laws, 1994; Warren, 1975; Miller, 1994; Miller, 1996.] In fact, it is the more recently emerging “scholars” with their intellectual complexities and imported seminary bias that have contributed to the confusion over this subject (e.g., Osburn, 1993). Carroll Osburn summarized his discussion of 1 Timothy 2 in the words—“Put simply, any female who has sufficient and accurate information may teach that information in a gentle spirit to whomever in whatever situation they may be” (1994, p. 115). Is such a cavalier attitude to be allowed to so easily dismiss the historical and biblical distinction between the sexes? The reader is invited to give consideration to the following brief summary of New Testament teaching on the subject of the role of women in leadership in worship and the church.

1 Corinthians

Chapters 11 and 14 of First Corinthians constitute a context dealing with disorders in the worship assembly. The entire pericope of 11:2-14:40 concerns the worship assembly, i.e., “when you come together” (cf. 11:17,18,20,33; 14:23-26). Paul articulated the transcultural principle for all people throughout history in 11:3—“But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” “Head” clearly refers not to “source” but to “authority” (see Grudem, 1985, pp. 38-59). Therefore, God intends for women to be subordinate to men. [NOTE: The equality of male and female in Galatians 3:28 pertains to salvation status, not role.] Corinthian women were obviously removing their veils and stepping forward in the assembly to lead with their Spirit-imparted, miraculous capabilities, i.e., prophecy (12:10; 14:31) and prayer (14:14-15). Such activity was a direct violation of the subordination principle, articulated by Paul in chapter 14. In chapter 11, he focused on the propriety of females removing the cultural symbol of submission.
The women were removing their veils because they understood that to stand and exercise a spiritual gift in the assembly was an authoritative act of leadership. They recognized that to wear a symbol of submission to authority (the veil) while simultaneously conducting oneself in an authoritative fashion (to lead in worship) was self-contradictory. Paul’s insistence that women keep their veils on during the worship assembly amounted to an implicit directive to refrain from leading in the assembly—a directive stated explicitly in 14:34. The allusions to Creation law (11:7-9; cf. 14:34) underscore the fact that Paul saw the restrictions on women as rooted in the created ordernot culture. Also, Paul made clear that such restrictions applied equally to all churches of Christ (11:16).
Later in the same context (in chapter 14), Paul addresses further the confusion over spiritual gifts and returns specifically to the participation of women in the exercise of those gifts in the assembly. He again emphasizes the universal practice of churches of Christ: “as in all churches of the saints” (14:33). [NOTE: Grammatically, “as in all churches of the saints” links with “let your women keep silence.” Cf. the ASV, RSV, NIV, NEB, NAB, etc.] The women who possessed miraculous gifts were not to exercise them in the mixed worship assembly of the church. To do so was disgraceful—“a shame” (14:35). To insist upon doing so was equivalent to (1) presuming to be the authors of God’s Word, and (2) assuming that God’s standards do not apply to everyone (14:36).
Granted, 1 Corinthians chapters 11 and 14 address a unique situation. After all, spiritual gifts are no longer available to the church (1 Corinthians 13:8-11; see Miller, 2003a), and veils, in Western society, are no longer a cultural symbol of female submission (see Miller, 2003b; cf. Moore, 1998). Nevertheless, both passages demonstrate the clear application of the transcultural principle (female subordination in worship) to a specific cultural circumstance. The underlying submission principle remains intact as an inbuilt constituent element of the created order.

1 Timothy 2: The Central Scripture

I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control (1 Timothy 2:8-15).
The premier passage in the New Testament that treats the role of women in worship is 1 Timothy 2:8-15. The remote context of the book is proper behavior in the life of the church (1 Timothy 3:15). The immediate context of chapter two is worship, specifically prayer (1 Timothy 2:1,8). The context does not limit the worship to the church assembly, but includes the general life of the church.
In this passage, Paul affirms that adult males (andras) are to lead prayers anywhere people meet for worship. “Lifting up holy hands” is a figure of speech, metonymy, in which a posture of prayer is put in place of prayer itself. Their prayers are to usher forth from holy lives. On the other hand, women are admonished to focus on appropriate apparel and a submissive attitude. Notice the contrast framed in the passage: Men need to be holy, spiritual leaders in worship while women need to be modest and unassuming. “Silence” and “subjection” in this passage relate specifically to the exercise of spiritual authority over adult males in the church. “Usurp” (KJV) is not in the original text. Authentein should be translated “to have (or exercise) authority” (NKJV, ESV, NIV, RSV, NASB). Thus Paul instructed women not to teach nor in any other way to have authority over men in worship.
Why? Why would an inspired apostle place such limitations on Christian women? Was his concern prompted by the culture of that day? Was Paul merely accommodating an unenlightened, hostile environment, stalling for time and keeping prejudice to a minimum, until he could teach them the Gospel? Absolutely not. The Holy Spirit gives the reason for the limitations, and that reason transcends all culture and all locales. Paul states that women are not to exercise spiritual authority over men because Adam was created before Eve. Here we are given the heart and core of God’s will concerning how men and women are to function and interrelate. But what does the chronological priority of Adam have to do with the interrelationship of male and female?

Grounded in Creation—Not Culture

Paul is saying that God’s original design for the human race entailed the creation of the male first as an indication of his responsibility to be the spiritual leader of the home. He was created to function as the head or leader in the home and in the church. That is his functional purpose. Woman, on the other hand, was specifically designed and created for the purpose of being a subordinate—though not inferior—assistant. God could have created the woman first, but He did not. He could have created both male and female simultaneously,but He did not. His action was intended to convey His will with regard to gender as it relates to the interrelationship of man and woman.
This feature of Creation explains why God gave spiritual teaching to Adam before Eve was created, implying that Adam had the created responsibility to teach his wife (Genesis 2:15-17). It explains why the female is twice stated to have been created to be “an help meet for him,” i.e., a helper suitable for the man (Genesis 2:18,20, emp. added). This explains why the Genesis text clearly indicates that in a unique sense, the woman was created for the man—not vice versa. It explains why God brought the woman “to the man” (Genesis 2:22), again, as if she was made “for him”—not vice versa. Adam confirmed this understanding by stating “the woman whom You gave to be with me” (Genesis 3:12, emp. added). It explains why Paul argued in the Corinthian letter on the basis of this very distinction: “Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man” (1 Corinthians 11:9, emp. added). It further clarifies the implied authority of the man over the women in his act of naming the woman (Genesis 2:23; 3:20). The Jews understood this divinely designed order, evidenced by the practice of primogeniture—the firstborn male. God’s creation of the man first was specifically intended to communicate the authority/submission arrangement of the human race (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:8).
Observe that Paul next elaborates on this principle in 1 Timothy 2:14 by noting an example of what can happen when men and women tamper with God’s original intentions. When Eve took the spiritual initiative above her husband, and Adam failed to take the lead and exercise spiritual authority over his wife, Satan was able to wreak havoc on the home and cause the introduction of sin into the world (Genesis 3). When Paul said the woman was deceived, he was not suggesting that women are more gullible than men. Rather, when men or women fail to confine themselves to their created function, but instead tamper with and act in violation of divinely intended roles, spiritual vulnerability to sin naturally follows.
God’s appraisal of the matter was seen when He confronted the pair. He spoke first to the head of the home—the man (Genesis 3:9). His subsequent declaration to Eve reaffirmed the fact that she was not to yield to the inclination to take the lead in spiritual matters. Rather, she was to submit to the rule of her husband (Genesis 3:16; cf. 4:4). When God said to Adam, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife...” (Genesis 3:17), He was calling attention to the fact that Adam had failed to exercise spiritual leadership, thereby circumventing the divine arrangement of male-female relations.
Paul concludes his instructions by noting how women may be preserved from falling into the same trap of assuming unauthorized authority: “She will be saved in childbearing” (1 Timothy 2:15). “Childbearing” is the figure of speech known as synecdoche in which a part stands for the whole. Thus, Paul was referring to the whole of female responsibility. Women may avoid taking to themselves illicit functions by concentrating on the functions assigned to them by God, undertaken with faith, love, and holiness in sobriety (i.e., self-control).
Some argue that this text applies to husbands and wives rather than to men and women in general. However, the context of 1 Timothy is not the home, but the church (1 Timothy 3:15). Likewise, the use of the plural with the absence of the article in 2:9 and 2:11 suggests women in general. Nothing in the context would cause one to conclude that Paul was referring only to husbands and wives. Besides, would Paul restrict wives from leadership roles in the church—but then permit single women to lead?

Deaconesses

Those who advocate expanded roles for women in the church appeal to the alleged existence of deaconesses in the New Testament. Only two passages even hint of such an office: Romans 16:1-2 and 1 Timothy 3:11. In Romans 16:1, the term translated “servant” in the KJV is the Greek word diakonos, an indeclinable term meaning “one who serves or ministers.” It is of common gender (i.e., may refer to men or women) and occurs in the following verses: Matthew 20:26; 22:13; 23:11; Mark 9:35; 10:43; John 2:5,9; 12:26; Romans 13:4; 15:8; 1 Corinthians 3:5; 16:1; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 6:4; 11:15,23; Galatians 2:17; Ephesians 3:7; 6:21; Philippians 1:1; Colossians 1:7,23,25; 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 3:2; 1 Timothy 3:8,12; 4:6.
The term is used in the New Testament in two senses. First, it is used as a technical term for a formal office in the church to which one may be appointed by meeting certain qualifications. Second, it is used as a non-technical term for the informal activity of serving or attending to. Additional words in the New Testament that have both a technical and non-technical meaning include “apostle,” “elder,” and “shepherd.” To be rational in one’s analysis of a matter, one must draw only those conclusions that are warranted by the evidence. In the matter of deaconesses, one should only conclude that a deaconess is being referred to when the context plainly shows the office is under consideration.
In Romans 13:4, the civil government is said to be God’s deacon. In Romans 15:8, Christ is said to be a deacon of the Jews. In 2 Corinthians 3:6 and 6:4, Paul is said to be a deacon of the New Covenant and a deacon of God. Apollos is listed with Paul as a deacon in 1 Corinthians 3:5. Obviously, these are all non-technical uses of the term referring to the service or assistance being rendered.
Nothing in the context of Romans 16:1 warrants the conclusion that Paul was describing Phoebe as an official appointee—a deaconess. “Our sister” designates her church membership and “servant” specifies the special efforts she extended to the church in Cenchrea where she was an active, caring member. Being a “servant of the church” no more implies a formal appointee than does the expression in Colossians 1:25 where Paul is said to be the church’s servant.
Some have insisted that the term in Romans 16:2 translated “help” implies a technical usage. It is true that prostatis can mean a helper in the sense of presiding with authority. But this word carries the same inbuilt obscurity that diakonos does in that it has a formal and informal sense. But since the verse explicitly states that Phoebe was a “helper” to Paul, the non-technical usage must be in view. She would not have exercised authority over Paul. Even his fellow apostles did not do that since he exercised high authority direct from the Lord (1 Corinthians 14:37-38; Galatians 1:6-12; 2 Thessalonians 3:14). Only Christ wielded authority over Paul.
Romans 16:2 actually employs a play on words. Paul told the Corinthians to “help” (paristemi) Phoebe since she has been a “help” (prostatis) to many, including Paul himself. While the masculine noun prostates can mean “leader,” the actual feminine noun prostatis means “protectress, patroness, helper” (Arndt and Gingrich, 1957, p. 718). Paul was saying, “Help Phoebe as she has helped others and me.” She had been a concerned, generous, hospitable, dedicated contributor to the Lord’s work. Paul was paying her a tremendous tribute and expressing publicly the honor due her. But he was not acknowledging her as an office holder in the church.
The second passage that some have appealed to in order to find sanction for deaconesses in the church is 1 Timothy 3:11. In the midst of a listing of the qualifications of deacons, Paul referred to women. What women? Was Paul referring to the wives of the church officers, or was he referring to female appointees, i.e., deaconesses? Once again, the underlying Greek term is of no help in answering this question since gunaikas (from gune) also has both a technical and non-technical sense. It can mean a “wife” or simply a “female” or “woman.” It is used both ways in 1 Timothy: “female” in 2:9-12,14 and “wife” in 3:2,12; 5:9.
Five contextual observations, however, provide assistance in ascertaining the meaning of the passage. First, a woman cannot be “the husband of one wife” (3:12). Second, in a discussion of male deacons from 3:8-13, it would be unusual to switch in the middle to female deacons for one verse without some clarification. Third, referring to the wives of church officers would be appropriate since family conduct is a qualifying concern (3:2,4-5,12). Fourth, “likewise” (3:11) could simply mean that wives are to have similar virtues as the deacons without implying they share the same office (cf. 1 Timothy 5:25; Titus 2:3). Fifth, lack of the possessive genitive with gunaikas (“of deacons”) or “their” does not rule out wives of deacons since neither is used in other cases where men/women are being described as wives/husbands (Colossians 3:18-19; Ephesians 5:22-25; 1 Corinthians 7:2-4,11,14,33; Matthew 18:25; Mark 10:2).
Insufficient textual evidence exists to warrant the conclusion that the office of deaconess is referred to in the New Testament. Outside the New Testament, Pliny, Governor of Bythynia, wrote a letter to Emperor Trajan about A.D. 110 referring in Latin to two ministrae (female ministers). This term has the same ambiguity within it that diakonos has. He could have been referring to official appointees, or he just as easily could have been referring simply to servants. In any case, a passing reference by an uninformed non-Christian is hardly trustworthy evidence. Christian historical sources from this same period do not refer to the existence of female appointees even though they do discuss church organization (Lewis, 1988, p. 108).
Not until the late third century in the Syrian Didascalia do we find reference to deaconesses. Their work consisted of assisting at the baptism of women, going into homes of heathens where believing women lived, and visiting the sick (ministering to them and bathing them). A full-blown church order of deaconesses does not appear until the fourth/fifth centuries. Again, their responsibilities consisted of keeping the doors, aiding in female baptisms, and doing other work with women (Lewis, pp. 108-109). Those within the church today who are pressing for deaconesses and expanded roles for women would hardly be content with such tasks.
Even if women were deacons in the New Testament church, they would not have functioned in any sort of leadership or authority position over men. They were not to be appointed as elders. If Acts 6:1-5 refers to the appointment of deacons (the verb form is used) in the Jerusalem church (Woods, 1986, p. 199), they were all males and their specific task entailed distribution of physical assistance to widows.
The evidence is simply lacking. The existence of a female deaconate within the New Testament cannot be demonstrated. Those who insist upon establishing such an office do so without the authority of the Scriptures behind them.

unequal or inferior?

A final word needs to be said concerning the fact that both men and women must remember that Bible teaching on difference in role in no way implies a difference in worth, value, or ability. Galatians 3:28 (“neither male nor female”), 1 Timothy 2:15 (“she shall be saved”), and 1 Peter 3:7 (“heirs together of the grace of life”) all show that males and females are equals as far as their person and salvation status is concerned. Women are often superior to men in talent, intellect, and ability. Women are not inferior to men anymore than Christ is inferior to God, citizens are inferior to the President, or church members are inferior to elders. The role of women in the church is not a matter of control, power, or oppression. It is a matter of submission on the part of all human beings to the will of God (Ephesians 5:21). It is a matter of willingness on the part of God’s creatures, male and female, to subordinate themselves to the divine arrangement regarding the sexes. The biblical differentiation is purely a matter of function, assigned tasks, and sphere of responsibility. The question for us is: “How willing am I to fit myself into God’s arrangement?”

Conclusion

The role of gender, like most of the values of Western civilization, is in the throes of confusion and redefinition. Those who resist unbiblical redefinitions are considered tradition-bound, narrow-minded, chauvinistic misogynists, as if they cannot hold honest, unbiased, studied convictions on such matters; as if the Bible has been misunderstood all these years. If the Bible authorized it, no man should have any personal aversion to women having complete access to leadership roles in the church. Indeed, many talented, godly women possess abilities and talents that would enable them to surpass many of the male worship leaders functioning in the church today.
Those who reject the divine inspiration of the Bible will remain unaffected by and disinterested in the teaching of the Bible regarding gender. However, the Bible stands as an unalterable, eternal declaration of God’s will on the matter. By those words we will be judged (John 12:48). For those who respect the Bible as the Word of God, Bible teaching is fatal to the notion of female leadership in the church and home. May we all bow humbly and submissively before the God of Heaven.

References

Arndt, William F. and F. Wilbur Gingrich (1957), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press).
“Believe It Or Not” (2006), Christianity: Then and Now, ed. John Waddey, 5[11], July, http://www.christianity-then-and-now.com/PDF/CTN%20July%2006.pdf.
Cottrell, Jack (1992), Feminism and the Bible (Joplin, MO: College Press).
“Gender Inclusive and Egalitarian Churches in the Church of Christ Heritage” (2013), http://www.wherethespiritleads.org/gender_inclusive_churches.htm.
Grudem, Wayne (1985), “Does kephale (‘head’) Mean ‘Source’ or ‘Authority over’ in Greek Literature? A Survey of 2,336 Examples,” Trinity Journal, 6 NS, 38-59.
Hicks, John, and Bruce Morton (1978), Woman’s Role in the Church (Shreveport, LA: Lambert Book House).
Highers, Alan, ed., (1991), “Role of Women in the Church,” The Spiritual Sword, 22[2], January.
Laws, Jim, ed. (1994), Women To The Glory of God (Memphis, TN: Getwell Church of Christ).
Lewis, Jack (1988), Exegesis of Difficult Passages (Searcy, AR: Resource Publications).
Miller, Dave (1994), “An Exegesis of 1 Tim. 2:11-15 (Part 1) & (Part 2),” The Restorer, 14[3]:12-16 & 14[4]:9-14, March & April.
Miller, Dave (1996), “Feminist Attitudes Toward the Bible,” The Spiritual Sword, 27[2]:3-6, January.
Miller, Dave (2003a), “Modern-Day Miracles, Tongue-Speaking, and Holy Spirit Baptism: A Refutation,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/rr/rr2003/r&r0303b.htm.
Miller, Dave (2003b), “Veils, Footwashing, and the Holy Kiss,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1275&topic=379.
Moore, Kevin (1998), We Have No Such Custom (Wanganui, NZ: Kevin Moore).
Osburn, Carroll, ed. (1993), Essays On Women in Earliest Christianity (Joplin, MO: College Press).
Osburn, Carroll (1994), Women in the Church (Abilene, TX: Restoration Perspectives).
Pauls, Dale (2013), “Good news!: Naomi Walters Named Minister in Residence at Stamford Church of Christ,” Reflections on Announcement, July 7, http://gal328.org/category/good-news/.
Piper, John and Wayne Grudem, eds. (1991), Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books).
“The Role of Women in the Church” (2006), Cole Mill Road Church of Christ, http://www.colemillroad.org/.
Stirman, Sarah (2010), “Women in the Church: Moving Toward Equality,” Abilene Report-News, February 25, http://www.reporternews.com/news/2010/feb/25/women-in-the-church-moving-toward-equality/
Wallace, William Ross (1865), “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle Is The Hand That Rules The World,” Poets’ Corner, http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/wallace1.html.
Warren, Thomas, ed. (1975), “Woman—In the View of God,” The Spiritual Sword, 6[4], July.
West, Thomas (1997), Vindicating the Founders (New York: Rowman & Littlefield).
Woods, Guy N. (1986), Questions and Answers: Volume Two (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).

From Mark Copeland... The Judgment Of The Nations (Matthew 25:31-46)

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                 The Judgment Of The Nations (25:31-46)

INTRODUCTION

1. Included in "The Olivet Discourse" are two parables, followed by a
   judgment scene...
   a. The parables are directed toward Jesus' disciples
      1) The first to encourage them to be watchful - Mt 25:1-13
      2) The second to admonish them to be productive - Mt 25:14-30
   b. The judgment scene depicts the nations brought before Jesus 
      - Mt 25:31-46
      1) Note that it is the "nations" being judged, not disciples
      2) The nations are judged based upon their treatment of Jesus'
         disciples
         a) Those that showed mercy and kindness to His disciples are
            blessed
         b) Those that did not are condemned

2. Questions abound regarding "The Judgment Of The Nations"...
   a. Who are the "nations" in this passage?  All of mankind, or only
      the non-elect?
   b. Is this "judgment" scene depicting the Day of Judgment, or might
      it refer to a judgment that foreshadowed the Final Judgment?
   c. As part of "The Olivet Discourse", could Jesus still be talking
      about events related to the destruction of Jerusalem?

[However one may answer such questions, there are important lessons to
be gleaned from these words of Jesus.  But let's first consider how it
may be that Jesus is still referring to events related to the
destruction of Jerusalem described in Mt 24...]

I. THE JUDGMENT OF THE NATIONS THEME

   A. AS FOUND IN THE BOOK OF JOEL...
      1. The coming day of the Lord is depicted
         a. Following the outpouring of God's Spirit - Joel 2:28-29
         b. A great and terrible day is coming - Joel 2:30-31
         c. Yet salvation is available to those who accept it - Joel 2:32; cf. Ac 2:16-21
      2. A "judgment of the nations" is then described
         a. The nations gathered in the Valley of Jehoshaphat - Joel 3:1-2a,12-16
         b. The nations judged on the basis of their treatment of God's
            people - Joel 3:2b-8

   B. AS FOUND IN THE OLIVET DISCOURSE...
      1. Jesus foretold the coming day of the Lord - Mt 24:1-51
         a. Coming in destruction upon Jerusalem 
         b. With warnings to escape when they see Jerusalem surrounded
            by armies
      2. A judgment of the nations is then described - Mt 25:31-46
         a. The nations gathered before Son of Man
         b. The nations judged on the basis of their treatment of God's
            people ("inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of
            these My brethren")

   C. THIS IS A COMMON THEME IN THE SCRIPTURES...
      1. God describes judgment to come, using other nations as
         instruments of His wrath
      2. But He also holds the nations accountable for how His people
         are treated; for example...
         a. Assyria, the rod of God's anger - Isa 10:5-7,12-14,24-26
         b. Damascus, Gaza, Tyre, Edom, Ammon - Amos 1:3,6,9,11,13
      3. Nations that went too far (e.g., abusing the innocent) were
         held accountable

   D. JESUS MAY BE USING THE SAME THEME...
      1. Describing a judgment upon the nations...
         a. Employing figures reminiscent of the Judgment at the Last
            Day; for example...
            1) The Son of Man coming in glory, sitting on His throne
            2) The nations divided like sheep and goats
            3) Judgment rendered, followed by reward or punishment
         b. For such judgments foreshadowed and typified the Final
            Judgment
      2. Describing a judgment of the nations...
         a. Which followed the Lord's judgment upon Jerusalem - Mt 24
         b. Regarding their treatment of His brethren (the disciples of
            Jesus)
         c. Nations who treated them kindly would be blessed, otherwise
            they would be condemned
         -- In the Book of Revelation, we see how Jesus dealt with the 
            Roman empire, used as the instrument of wrath in destroying
            Jerusalem, and then the object of wrath in its own judgment

[This may be what Jesus is doing at this point in "The Olivet
Discourse".  It would certainly serve to comfort His disciples, knowing
that nations which failed to show mercy to them would not go
unpunished.  Even if this is point of the text, we can still glean
important...]

II. LESSONS FROM THE JUDGMENT OF THE NATIONS

   A. THERE WILL BE A DAY OF JUDGMENT...
      1. Just as the Lord has judged nations throughout history
      2. So He will judge the world at the end of time, at the Last Day
         a. Jesus often spoke of the Judgment - e.g., Mt 12:36-37,
            41-42; Jn 12:47-48
         b. Paul also - e.g., Ac 17:30-31; 24:25; Ro 2:3-6; 14:10; 
            2Co 5:10; 2Ti 4:1
         c. Others as well - e.g., He 9:27; 1Pe 4:5; 2Pe 2:9; 3:7;
            1Jn 4:17; Jude 6
      -- Are we preparing for the Day of Judgment?

   B. ONE ISSUE WILL BE HOW WE TREATED JESUS' BRETHREN...
      1. Of course, every deed, word, and thought will be judged (see
         above verses)
      2. But our text reminds us how Jesus takes the treatment of His
         brethren - Mt 25:40,45
         a. "as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren,
            you did it to Me"
         b. "as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did
            not do it to Me"
      3. Jesus made the same point to Saul on the road to Damascus 
         - Ac 9:1-5
         a. "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?"
         b. "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting."
         -- By persecuting the church, Saul was guilty of persecuting
            Christ!
      4. Jesus is the head, and His disciples (the church) is His body
         - Ep 1:22-23
         a. What we do or not do for His disciples, we do or not do for
            Christ!
         b. How is our treatment of our brethren?  Are we guilty of:
            1) Abusing them?
            2) Ignoring them?
            3) Failing to love them?
      -- What is our relationship with other Christians, especially in
         the context of the local church?

   C. THERE ARE PLACES PREPARED FOR AFTER THE JUDGMENT...
      1. One is for prepared people - Mt 25:34
         a. Described as "the kingdom prepared for you from the
            foundation of the world" - cf. 2Ti 4:18; 2Pe 1:11
         b. Described as "new heavens and a new earth in which 
            righteousness dwells" - cf. 2Pe 3:13; Re 21:1
         c. Described as "the holy city, New Jerusalem" - cf. He 13:14;
            Re 3:12; 21:2-7
         -- This place is for those whose names are in the Lamb's book
            of Life - Re 20:11-15
      2. One is for unprepared people - Mt 25:41
         a. Described as "the everlasting fire prepared for the devil
            and his angels" - cf. Re 20:10
         b. Described as "the like of fire and brimstone" - Re 20:10,
            14; 21:8
         c. Described as "the second death" - Re 20:14; 21:8
         -- This place is for those whose names are not in the book of
            life - Re 20:15
      3. Both places are prepared to last for eternity - Mt 25:46
         a. The one offering everlasting punishment
         b. The other offering eternal life

CONCLUSION

1. God's judgment upon nations in the past were written for our
   admonition - 1Co 10:11
   a. Such judgments reveal that God is a Righteous Judge
   b. Such judgments portend the Judgment to come at the Last Day

2. Whether or not Jesus uses the setting of the Final Judgment to
   describe judgment upon the nations following the destruction of
   Jerusalem, His words should cause us to consider...
   a. Are we preparing for the Day of Judgment?
   b. Involved in that preparation, is our relationship with our
      brethren what it ought to be?
   c. What will Jesus say to us on that Day?

May we all walk in the grace and mercy of the Lord with an obedient
faith and love, so that we may hear Him say:

   "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared
   for you from the foundation of world." - Mt 25:34

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... The Olivet Discourse - II (24:29-51)

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                  The Olivet Discourse - II (24:29-51)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our previous lesson, we covered the first half of Matthew 24...
   a. Commonly called "The Olivet Discourse", since Jesus was on the
      Mount of Olives when He delivered it
   b. A challenging passage of scripture, believed to discussing...
      1) The destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred in 70 A.D.
      2) The second coming of Christ, which is yet to occur
      3) Or both events, described either in turn or intertwined

2. I've proposed the entire chapter foretells the destruction of
   Jerusalem, based first upon the setting leading up to the discourse,
   which includes...
   a. Jesus' words spoken in the temple
      1) His parables about Israel's rejection of Him - Mt 21:28-32,
         33-46; 22:1-14
      2) His condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees - Mt 23:27-36
      3) His lamentation over Jerusalem - Mt 23:37-39
   b. Jesus' prophecy spoken about the temple - Mt 24:1-2
   c. The questions of the disciples, which when Mark and Luke's
      account are considered, appear to be:
      1) "When will these things be?"
      2) "What will be the sign when all these things will be 
         fulfilled?" -- Cf. Mt 24:3; Mk 13:4; Lk 21:7

3. We saw that in verses 4-29, Jesus describes...
   a. What will "not" be the sign (other than the gospel preached to
      all nations) - Mt 24:4-14
   b. What will be the sign - Mt 24:15
      1) The abomination of desolation spoken by Daniel - Dan 9:26-27
      2) Which Luke explains to be Jerusalem surrounded by armies - Lk
         21:20
   c. What to do when they saw the sign - Mt 24:16-28
      1) Those in Judea were to flee to the mountains to avoid a great
         tribulation
      2) They were not to be misled by false christs or false prophets

[Up to verse 29, Jesus described a local, escapable judgment to befall
Jerusalem.  He does not describe the worldwide, inescapable judgment
taught elsewhere in the Scriptures.  But with verse 29, some believe
Jesus now addresses His second coming (cf. J.W. McGarvey's Four-Fold
Gospel).  As we continue with our study, I propose that the destruction
of Jerusalem is still under consideration...]

II. THE OLIVET DISCOURSE (continued)

   D. WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT...
      1. Events to occur "immediately after the tribulation of those
         days"...
         a. Cosmic disturbances - Mt 24:29
            1) The sun will be darkened
            2) The moon will not give its light
            3) The stars will fall from heaven
            4) The heavens will be shaken
         b. The sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven - Mt 24:30
            1) All the tribes of the earth will mourn
            2) They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of
               heaven with power and great glory
         c. The elect will be gathered - Mt 24:31
            1) For with a great sound of the trumpet, angels will be
               sent
            2) They shall gather the elect from the four winds, from
               one end of heaven to another     
      2. Such events certainly sound like the second coming of Christ,
         but consider two reasons why they may not be referring to
         Jesus' coming at the Last Day...
         a. The events were to occur "immediately after the tribulation
            of those days" ("in those days, after that tribulation")
            - Mt 24:29; Mk 13:24
            1) They are connected in time to the tribulation described
               in Mt 24:15-28
            2) This "coming" of Jesus was to occur at the conclusion of
               the siege of Jerusalem
         b. The events are similar to those used to foretell God's
            judgment of other nations
            1) Babylon - Isa 13:1,6-13
            2) Egypt - Isa 19:1-2; cf. Eze 32:2,7-9
            3) Tyre - Isa 23:1; 24:21-23
            4) Edom - Isa 34:4-6
            5) Nineveh - Nah 1:1-5
            6) Israel - Am 8:9
            7) Judah - Jer 4:5-6,23-28
      3. For such reasons, I suggest that even in Mt 24:29-31...
         a. Jesus refers to the destruction of Jerusalem
         b. Like other Jewish prophets, Jesus uses figurative language
            to depict:
            1) The judgment to befall the wicked (in terms of worldwide
               destruction)
            2) The provision made for the righteous (in terms of the
               gathering by angels)
         c. Jewish prophets foretold God's judgment upon such 
            nations...
            1) Using figures of worldwide destruction, even though the
               judgment was local
            2) Perhaps because such judgments foreshadow God's Final
               Judgment to come upon the entire world at the Last Day

   [The rest of the chapter includes...]

   E. ADMONITIONS TO BE PREPARED AND PRODUCTIVE...
      1. The parable of the fig tree - Mt 24:32-33
         a. New branches and leaves indicate summer is near
         b. When you see these things (Jerusalem surrounded by armies),
            the time is near
      2. It would happen before "this generation" passed away - Mt 24:
         34
         a. Some define "generation" as a race of people (i.e., the
            Jews) - cf. McGarvey, B. W. Johnson
         b. But note its use by Jesus just prior to this discourse 
            - Mt 23:33-36 (esp. 36)
         -- The destruction of Jerusalem came to pass within forty
            years!
      3. The words of Jesus will come to pass - Mt 24:35
         a. Heaven and earth shall pass away one day - cf. 2Pe 3:7,10
         b. But Jesus' words will by no means pass away
         -- With v. 35, some believe Jesus now talks about the second
            coming; but Jesus is using an illustration to demonstrate
            the surety of His words - e.g., Mt 5:18
      4. Of that day and hour, only the Father knows - Mt 24:36
         a. They might discern the general timing with the advance of
            armies toward Jerusalem
         b. But the day and hour when the siege would begin, only the
            Father knew
         -- So don't delay when the "sign" appears (Jerusalem
            surrounded by armies)
      5. It will be like the days of Noah - Mt 24:37-39
         a. In the days before the flood...
            1) Noah knew what was coming and was preparing, but people
               continued with their normal activities
            2) Only when it was too late did the people know
         b. Prior to the siege of Jerusalem...
            1) Many people probably thought the conflict would end
               peacefully, and so lived their lives accordingly
            2) But once the siege began, it was too late
      6. Some will be taken away - Mt 24:40-41
         a. When the city was stormed, 97,000 Jews were taken captive
         b. Some to be killed by beasts in Roman theaters, some sent to
            work in Egypt, others sold as slaves -- Flavius Josephus,
            Jewish Wars (as quoted in Barnes Commentary on Matthew)
      7. Therefore, watch! - Mt 24:42-44
         a. You don't know the hour of the Son of Man's coming
         b. Don't be caught off guard, like the master of a house who
            did not know when a thief would break in
         c. Be ready, for the Son of Man will come when you not expect
            Him
         -- The siege of Jerusalem might begin promptly, so flee Judea
            quickly when you see the armies surrounding Jerusalem!
      8. The parable of the faithful servant and the wicked servant 
         - Mt 24:45-51
         a. The faithful servant is blessed if doing the master's will
            when he comes
         b. So the disciples of Jesus are admonished to be productive

CONCLUSION

1. Admittedly, there is much in "The Olivet Discourse" that alludes to
   our Lord's second coming at the Last Day...
   a. But that is no different than the prophecies by other Jewish
      prophets who foretold God's judgment upon other nations
   b. It was a common motif used by Jewish prophets, we should not be
      surprised to see Jesus using the same
   -- And rightly so, for God's judgments upon nations in the past are
      types and shadows of the Final Judgment to befall the entire
      world when Jesus comes again

2. In addition to the setting leading up to the discourse, there is the
   natural flow of the discourse itself that leads me to conclude it is
   entirely about the destruction of Jerusalem...
   a. Jesus' disciples are told what will not be the sign - Mt 24:1-14
   b. They are told will be the sign that His coming is near - Mt 24:15
   c. They are told what to do when they see the sign - Mt 24:16-28
   d. His coming in judgment (the fall of Jerusalem) is described in
      terms reminiscent of other Jewish prophets who foretold of God's
      judgments upon various nations - Mt 24:29-31
   e. Admonitions are given for them to be prepared and productive in
      the meantime - Mt 24:32-51

So I view "The Olivet Discourse" to describe a local, escapable
judgment which occurred as Jesus foretold in 70 A. D.  However, there
is still the worldwide, inescapable judgment at the Last Day - cf. 1 Th
5:2-3; 2Th 1:7-10; 2Pe 3:10-12

Are you ready for that Day?  The admonitions to be prepared and
productive are very similar:

   "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in
   which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the
   elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the
   works that are in it will be burned up."

   "Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what
   manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
   looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because
   of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the
   elements will melt with fervent heat?"

   "Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens
   and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved,
   looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in
   peace, without spot and blameless;"
                                              - 2Pe 3:10-14

From Mark Copeland... The Olivet Discourse - I (Matthew 24:1-28)

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                   The Olivet Discourse - I (24:1-28)

INTRODUCTION

1. A challenging passage in the Bible is Jesus' discourse on the Mount
   of Olives...
   a. Given shortly after He left the temple with His disciples
   b. Recorded in Mt 24:1-51; Mk 13:1-37; Lk 21:5-36
   c. Commonly referred to as "The Olivet Discourse"
   -- Our focus will be primarily on Matthew's account - Mt 24:1-51

2. It's difficulty is apparent as one considers the diversity of
   interpretations offered...
   a. Some maintain that it is entirely about events preceding the
      Lord's second coming
   b. Others say that it is entirely about events related to the
      destruction of Jerusalem which occurred in 70 A.D.
   c. Yet many believe it contains reference to both of these events

3. Even those who say it refers to both events differ as to when a
   particular event is being described in Matthew's account...
   a. Some say that verses 4-28 refer to the destruction of Jerusalem,
      and verse 29 begins the discussion about the Lord's second coming
      (cf. J. W. McGarvey, The Four-Fold Gospel)
   b. Others contend that verse 35 begins talking about the second
      coming
   c. Others say Jesus switches back and forth throughout the discourse

4. I have trouble with Mt 24 describing both events in the light of
   Lk 17...
   a. Where Jesus is talking about "one of the days of the Son of Man"
      - Lk 17:22-37
      1) Note:  He alludes to the fact there is more than one "day of
         the Son of Man"
      2) I.e., the Lord will come in judgment in ways prior to His
         final coming at the Last Day
   b. In the discourse of Lk 17, Jesus uses language similar to Mt 24,
      but in ways that do not allow for a simple division of Mt 24,
      either at verse 29 or 35; notice...
      1) Lk 17:26-29 is parallel to Mt 24:37-39 (found after verses
         29,35)
      2) Yet Lk 17:31 is parallel to Mt 24:17-18 (found before verses
         29,35)
      3) And then Lk 17:34-36 is parallel to Mt 24:40-41 (found after
         verses 29,35)
   -- If Jesus is describing just one event in Lk 17 (which I believe
      He is), then He is likely describing just one event in Mt 24

[At this time, I view "The Olivet Discourse" in Mt 24 as depicting the
destruction of Jerusalem which occurred in 70 A.D., though it certainly
foreshadows His second coming.  To see why, let's start with...]

I. THE SETTING OF THE OLIVET DISCOURSE

   A. THE WORDS OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE...
      1. His parables depicting Israel's rejection of Him, and its
         consequence
         a. The parable of the two sons - Mt 21:28-32 (cf. v.31-32)
         b. The parable of the wicked vine dressers - Mt 21:33-46 (cf.
            v.42-45)
         c. The parable of the wedding feast - Mt 22:1-14 (cf. v.7-9)
      2. His condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees
         a. Who would fill up the measure of their fathers' guilt - Mt 23:29-32
         b. Who kill, crucify, scourge, and persecute the prophets,
            wise men, and scribes He would send to them - Mt 23:33-34
         c. Upon whom the blood of all the righteous would come, upon
            that very generation - Mt 23:35-36
      3. His lamentation over Jerusalem
         a. The city who kills the prophets and stones those sent to
            her - Mt 23:37a
         b. The city unwilling to accept the love shown her - Mt 23:37b
         c. Whose house would be left desolate - Mt 23:38-39

   B. THE PROPHECY OF JESUS ABOUT THE TEMPLE...
      1. After his disciples were showing Him the buildings of temple 
         - Mt 24:1
      2. Declaring that not one stone would be left upon another - Mt 24:2

   C. THE QUESTIONS OF THE DISCIPLES...
      1. In Mark's gospel, two questions are asked - Mk 13:4
         a. "When will these things be?"
         b. "What will be the sign when all these things will be
            fulfilled?"
      2. In Luke's gospel, the two questions are similar - Lk 21:7
         a. "When will these things be?"
         b. "What sign will there be when these things are about to
            take place?"
      3. In Matthew's gospel, the second question is worded differently
         - Mt 24:3
         a. "When will these things be?"
         b. "What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of
            the age?"
      4. Observations regarding these questions:
         a. Matthew wrote his gospel for a Jewish audience
            1) He likely recorded the questions as asked by the
               disciples, who presumed the destruction of temple would
               mean His coming and the end of the age
            2) Jewish readers of the gospel would likely have the same
               conception
         b. Mark and Luke wrote their gospels to Gentiles
            1) To avoid possible misunderstanding by non-Jewish 
               readers, they worded the disciples' questions to reflect
               what the discourse is actually about
            2) I.e., the destruction of the temple and the sign when
               its destruction would be imminent

[When the setting leading up to "The Olivet Discourse" is carefully
considered, the subject of Jesus' words become clear.  The destruction
of the temple is the matter under consideration, not the second coming
of Christ.  Now let's proceed to examine more closely...]

II. THE OLIVET DISCOURSE

   A. WHAT WILL "NOT" BE THE SIGN...
      1. Be careful that none deceive you, claiming to be the Christ 
         - Mt 24:4-5
      2. Don't be troubled by wars, earthquakes, famines, pestilence
         - Mt 24:6-8
         a. Such things will come, but the end (destruction of the
            temple) is not yet
         b. They are only the beginning of sorrows (not the sign of the
            end)
      3. Anticipate persecution and hard times - Mt 24:9-13
         a. You will be killed and hated for His name's sake
         b. Many will be offended, betray one another, and hate one
            another
         c. False prophets will deceive many
         d. The love of many will grow cold because of lawlessness
         e. But he who endures to "the end" will be saved -- "the end"
            refers here:
            1) Not to the second coming (implying one must live until
               Christ comes again)
            2) Nor to the destruction of Jerusalem (implying once one
               has survived that event, one's salvation is secured)
            3) But to the end of one's life - cf. Re 2:10
      4. The gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world 
         - Mt 24:14
         a. As a witness to all the nations
         b. Then the end (the destruction of the temple) will come
            1) This would end the Jewish sacrifices, and other remnants
               of OT worship
            2) That which was nailed to the cross, abolished by Jesus'
               death, would pass away - cf. Col 2:14-17; Ep 2:14-16; He 8:13
         -- Was the gospel preached to all nations prior to the
            destruction of the temple?  Note what Paul wrote prior to
            70 A.D. - Ro 10:16-18; Col 1:23

   B. WHAT WILL BE THE SIGN...
      1. The "abomination of desolation" - Mt 24:15; Mk 13:14
         a. Standing in the holy place (the holy city Jerusalem)
         b. As foretold by Daniel - cf. Dan 9:26-27
      2. When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies - Lk 21:20
         a. Luke therefore explains the "abomination of desolation"
         b. In 70 A.D., Roman armies surrounded and besieged Jerusalem
            prior to destroying it and the temple
      -- Thus Jesus answers the disciples' question:  "What sign will
         there be when these things are about to take place?"

   C. WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU SEE THE SIGN...
      1. Those in Judea are to flee to the mountains - Mt 24:16-22
         a. Don't delay by going to your homes and getting your clothes
         b. It will be a difficult time for pregnant and nursing
            mothers
         c. Pray that your flight be not in winter (when travel is
            difficult) or on the Sabbath (when city gates are closed to
            travel)
         d. For there will be "great tribulation", though shortened for
            the elect's sake
            1) Luke specifies the nature of this tribulation - Lk 21:
               23b-24
            2) A Jewish general taking captive by the Romans just prior
               to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 offered this
               summary:
               a) All the calamities which had befallen any nation from
                  the beginning of the world were but small in 
                  comparison with those of the Jews
               b) In the siege of Jerusalem, no fewer than 1,100,000
                  perished (it was during the time of the Passover,
                  when more than 3,000,000 Jews were assembled)
               c) In surrounding provinces 250,000 were slain
               d) 97,000 were taken captive, some killed by beasts in
                  Roman theaters, some sent to work in Egypt, others
                  sold as slaves
               -- Flavius Josephus, Jewish Wars (as quoted in Barnes
                  Commentary on Matthew)
            3) The "elect" were Christians, spared by a shortened siege
               a) The Jews in the city engaged the Romans in battle
               b) Titus, the Roman general, being called to return to
                  Rome, proceeded to end the siege and stormed the city
                  (Barnes Commentary)
      2. Don't be misled by false christs and false prophets - Mt 24:
         23-28
         a. Even those who show great signs and wonders to deceive
         b. For the coming (judgment) of the Son of Man will be like
            lightning across the sky
            1) Do not expect to find Him in the desert or in inner
               rooms
            2) When He comes in judgment, it will be swift - cf. Lk 17:
               22-24
         c. Where the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered
            1) Alluding to Jerusalem surrounded by armies
            2) This is the "sign" to warn them it is time to flee
               Jerusalem and Judea!

CONCLUSION (Part One)

1. So far, all this depicts a local, escapable judgment...
   a. Where Jesus warned those in Judea of what is to come
   b. Where they are given a sign to let them know when to flee
   -- Indeed, many believe that up to verse 29 (or 35), Jesus is
      foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem (and its temple) that
      did occur in 70 A. D.

2. It certainly does not fit a worldwide, inescapable judgment...
   a. As will characterize the second coming of Christ
   b. As Paul and Peter taught Christians throughout the Mediterranean
      world - cf. 1Th 5:2-3; 2Th 1:7-10; 2Pe 3:10-12

3. Our next study will continue "The Olivet Discourse", starting with
   verse 29...
   a. Which certainly sounds like the second coming of Christ
   b. But is it?  Or was Jesus still describing events pertaining to
      the destruction of Jerusalem?

Eusebius (ca. 300 A.D.) in his "Ecclesiastical History" wrote that
Christians heeded the warnings of Jesus in Matthew 24, and fled 
Jerusalem when it was surrounded by the Roman army.

May we likewise heed the words of Jesus and not be misled by false
prophets and false christs, not be troubled by wars, famines,
pestilence, earthquakes, or even persecution, but endure to the end by
remaining faithful to Him, and look forward to His final coming at the
Last Day!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading.... November 15



Bible Reading 

November 15

The World English Bible


Nov. 15
Jeremiah 10-13

Jer 10:1 Hear the word which Yahweh speaks to you, house of Israel!
Jer 10:2 Thus says Yahweh, "Don't learn the way of the nations, and don't be dismayed at the signs of the sky; for the nations are dismayed at them.
Jer 10:3 For the customs of the peoples are vanity; for one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe.
Jer 10:4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it not move.
Jer 10:5 They are like a palm tree, of turned work, and don't speak: they must be carried, because they can't go. Don't be afraid of them; for they can't do evil, neither is it in them to do good."
Jer 10:6 There is none like you, Yahweh; you are great, and your name is great in might.
Jer 10:7 Who should not fear you, King of the nations? for to you does it appertain; because among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their royal estate, there is none like you.
Jer 10:8 But they are together brutish and foolish: the instruction of idols! it is but a stock.
Jer 10:9 There is silver beaten into plates, which is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the artificer and of the hands of the goldsmith; blue and purple for their clothing; they are all the work of skillful men.
Jer 10:10 But Yahweh is the true God; he is the living God, and an everlasting King: at his wrath the earth trembles, and the nations are not able to abide his indignation.
Jer 10:11 You shall say this to them: The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, these shall perish from the earth, and from under the heavens.
Jer 10:12 He has made the earth by his power, he has established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding has he stretched out the heavens:
Jer 10:13 when he utters his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he makes lightnings for the rain, and brings forth the wind out of his treasuries.
Jer 10:14 Every man is become brutish and is without knowledge; every goldsmith is disappointed by his engraved image; for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
Jer 10:15 They are vanity, a work of delusion: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
Jer 10:16 The portion of Jacob is not like these; for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the tribe of his inheritance: Yahweh of Armies is his name.
Jer 10:17 Gather up your wares out of the land, you who abide in the siege.
Jer 10:18 For thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will sling out the inhabitants of the land at this time, and will distress them, that they may feel it.
Jer 10:19 Woe is me because of my hurt! my wound is grievous: but I said, Truly this is my grief, and I must bear it.
Jer 10:20 My tent is destroyed, and all my cords are broken: my children are gone forth from me, and they are no more: there is none to spread my tent any more, and to set up my curtains.
Jer 10:21 For the shepherds are become brutish, and have not inquired of Yahweh: therefore they have not prospered, and all their flocks are scattered.
Jer 10:22 The voice of news, behold, it comes, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah a desolation, a dwelling place of jackals.
Jer 10:23 Yahweh, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.
Jer 10:24 Yahweh, correct me, but in measure: not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.
Jer 10:25 Pour out your wrath on the nations that don't know you, and on the families that don't call on your name: for they have devoured Jacob, yes, they have devoured him and consumed him, and have laid waste his habitation.
Jer 11:1 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying,
Jer 11:2 Hear you the words of this covenant, and speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
Jer 11:3 and say you to them, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: Cursed be the man who doesn't hear the words of this covenant,
Jer 11:4 which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, out of the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so you shall be my people, and I will be your God;
Jer 11:5 that I may establish the oath which I swore to your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as at this day. Then answered I, and said, Amen, Yahweh.
Jer 11:6 Yahweh said to me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear you the words of this covenant, and do them.
Jer 11:7 For I earnestly protested to your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even to this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice.
Jer 11:8 Yet they didn't obey, nor turn their ear, but walked everyone in the stubbornness of their evil heart: therefore I brought on them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do, but they didn't do them.
Jer 11:9 Yahweh said to me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
Jer 11:10 They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, who refused to hear my words; and they are gone after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.
Jer 11:11 Therefore thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will bring evil on them, which they shall not be able to escape; and they shall cry to me, but I will not listen to them.
Jer 11:12 Then shall the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem go and cry to the gods to which they offer incense: but they will not save them at all in the time of their trouble.
Jer 11:13 For according to the number of your cities are your gods, Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have you set up altars to the shameful thing, even altars to burn incense to Baal.
Jer 11:14 Therefore don't you pray for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them; for I will not hear them in the time that they cry to me because of their trouble.
Jer 11:15 What has my beloved to do in my house, seeing she has worked lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from you? when you do evil, then you rejoice.
Jer 11:16 Yahweh called your name, A green olive tree, beautiful with goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he has kindled fire on it, and its branches are broken.
Jer 11:17 For Yahweh of Armies, who planted you, has pronounced evil against you, because of the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have worked for themselves in provoking me to anger by offering incense to Baal.
Jer 11:18 Yahweh gave me knowledge of it, and I knew it: then you showed me their doings.
Jer 11:19 But I was like a gentle lamb that is led to the slaughter; and I didn't know that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered.
Jer 11:20 But, Yahweh of Armies, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind, I shall see your vengeance on them; for to you have I revealed my cause.
Jer 11:21 Therefore thus says Yahweh concerning the men of Anathoth, who seek your life, saying, You shall not prophesy in the name of Yahweh, that you not die by our hand;
Jer 11:22 therefore thus says Yahweh of Armies, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine;
Jer 11:23 and there shall be no remnant to them: for I will bring evil on the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.
Jer 12:1 Righteous are you, Yahweh, when I contend with you; yet would I reason the cause with you: why does the way of the wicked prosper? why are all they at ease who deal very treacherously?
Jer 12:2 You have planted them, yes, they have taken root; they grow, yes, they bring forth fruit: you are near in their mouth, and far from their heart.
Jer 12:3 But you, Yahweh, know me; you see me, and try my heart toward you: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.
Jer 12:4 How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of the whole country wither? for the wickedness of those who dwell therein, the animals are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our latter end.
Jer 12:5 If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? and though in a land of peace you are secure, yet how will you do in the pride of the Jordan?
Jer 12:6 For even your brothers, and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; even they have cried aloud after you: don't believe them, though they speak beautiful words to you.
Jer 12:7 I have forsaken my house, I have cast off my heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.
Jer 12:8 My heritage is become to me as a lion in the forest: she has uttered her voice against me; therefore I have hated her.
Jer 12:9 Is my heritage to me as a speckled bird of prey? are the birds of prey against her all around? go you, assemble all the animals of the field, bring them to devour.
Jer 12:10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
Jer 12:11 They have made it a desolation; it mourns to me, being desolate; the whole land is made desolate, because no man lays it to heart.
Jer 12:12 Destroyers are come on all the bare heights in the wilderness; for the sword of Yahweh devours from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh has peace.
Jer 12:13 They have sown wheat, and have reaped thorns; they have put themselves to pain, and profit nothing: and you shall be ashamed of your fruits, because of the fierce anger of Yahweh.
Jer 12:14 Thus says Yahweh against all my evil neighbors, who touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit: behold, I will pluck them up from off their land, and will pluck up the house of Judah from among them.
Jer 12:15 It shall happen, after that I have plucked them up, I will return and have compassion on them; and I will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land.
Jer 12:16 It shall happen, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, As Yahweh lives; even as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built up in the midst of my people.
Jer 12:17 But if they will not hear, then will I pluck up that nation, plucking up and destroying it, says Yahweh.
Jer 13:1 Thus says Yahweh to me, Go, and buy you a linen belt, and put it on your waist, and don't put it in water.
Jer 13:2 So I bought a belt according to the word of Yahweh, and put it on my waist.
Jer 13:3 The word of Yahweh came to me the second time, saying,
Jer 13:4 Take the belt that you have bought, which is on your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.
Jer 13:5 So I went, and hid it by the Euphrates, as Yahweh commanded me.
Jer 13:6 It happened after many days, that Yahweh said to me, Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take the belt from there, which I commanded you to hide there.
Jer 13:7 Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and took the belt from the place where I had hid it; and behold, the belt was marred, it was profitable for nothing.
Jer 13:8 Then the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Jer 13:9 Thus says Yahweh, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem.
Jer 13:10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who walk in the stubbornness of their heart, and are gone after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this belt, which is profitable for nothing.
Jer 13:11 For as the belt cleaves to the waist of a man, so have I caused to cleave to me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, says Yahweh; that they may be to me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.
Jer 13:12 Therefore you shall speak to them this word: Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine: and they shall tell you, Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine?
Jer 13:13 Then you shall tell them, Thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings who sit on David's throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness.
Jer 13:14 I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, says Yahweh: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have compassion, that I should not destroy them.
Jer 13:15 Hear you, and give ear; don't be proud; for Yahweh has spoken.
Jer 13:16 Give glory to Yahweh your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and, while you look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.
Jer 13:17 But if you will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret for your pride; and my eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because Yahweh's flock is taken captive.
Jer 13:18 Say you to the king and to the queen mother, Humble yourselves, sit down; for your headdresses are come down, even the crown of your glory.
Jer 13:19 The cities of the South are shut up, and there is none to open them: Judah is carried away captive, all of it; it is wholly carried away captive.
Jer 13:20 Lift up your eyes, and see those who come from the north: where is the flock that was given you, your beautiful flock?
Jer 13:21 What will you say, when he shall set over you as head those whom you have yourself taught to be friends to you? shall not sorrows take hold of you, as of a woman in travail?
Jer 13:22 If you say in your heart, Why are these things come on me? for the greatness of your iniquity are your skirts uncovered, and your heels suffer violence.
Jer 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may you also do good, who are accustomed to do evil.
Jer 13:24 Therefore will I scatter them, as the stubble that passes away, by the wind of the wilderness.
Jer 13:25 This is your lot, the portion measured to you from me, says Yahweh; because you have forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.
Jer 13:26 Therefore will I also uncover your skirts on your face, and your shame shall appear.
Jer 13:27 I have seen your abominations, even your adulteries, and your neighing, the lewdness of your prostitution, on the hills in the field. Woe to you, Jerusalem! you will not be made clean; how long shall it yet be?

 
Nov. 15
Hebrews 1

Heb 1:1 God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,
Heb 1:2 has at the end of these days spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds.
Heb 1:3 His Son is the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself made purification for our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 1:4 having become so much better than the angels, as he has inherited a more excellent name than they have.
Heb 1:5 For to which of the angels did he say at any time, "You are my Son. Today have I become your father?" and again, "I will be to him a Father, and he will be to me a Son?"
Heb 1:6 Again, when he brings in the firstborn into the world he says, "Let all the angels of God worship him."
Heb 1:7 Of the angels he says, "Who makes his angels winds, and his servants a flame of fire."
Heb 1:8 But of the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your Kingdom.
Heb 1:9 You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows."
Heb 1:10 And, "You, Lord, in the beginning, laid the foundation of the earth. The heavens are the works of your hands.
Heb 1:11 They will perish, but you continue. They all will grow old like a garment does.
Heb 1:12 As a mantle, you will roll them up, and they will be changed; but you are the same. Your years will not fail."
Heb 1:13 But which of the angels has he told at any time, "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet?"
Heb 1:14 Aren't they all serving spirits, sent out to do service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?