11/26/14

From Jim McGuiggan... Luke 2:8-20: Don't be afraid


Luke 2:8-20: Don't be afraid

In Luke 2:8-20 the pastures are filled with sheep, the sky is filled with angelic glory and the shepherd hearts are filled with fear. And why wouldn’t they be afraid? Would you yawn your way through such an experience? But the angel of the Lord said, "Don’t be afraid." I wasn’t there but I know as sure as Sunday follows Saturday that he wasn’t yelling at them or bullying them into peace. Whatever his tone it wasn’t peevish and born out of impatience. It was assurance he was giving and not an order! No parent with a grain of sense would scream "enjoy yourself!" at the children thinking that that would enable them to do it. Yelling "live!" at a corpse doesn't work! 

The fear of the shepherds turned to joy when they heard the message the angel had to bring and when they checked it out at the stable. "Don’t be afraid because..." The reasons for their fear were dealt with in a message of assurance!

Some poor souls are born fearful, they are too high-strung. They don’t need a special occasion to make them tremble. They were born trembling and their social and family environments made the world an awful place. They aren’t one of the "beautiful people" or the "life and soul of the party" types so they’re forever hovering around on the outside of the circle, barely in touch and barely noticed. And as yet they aren’t able to tell those lovely stories about being "the kid that was never picked to play" but then things changed. For them nothing has yet changed and the deep fear that they never will is getting deeper! No one came along to kiss them and turn them from a frog into a prince and for them the beautiful song Somewhere over the Rainbow still ends with heartache and "why can’t I?"

And heartfelt religion doesn’t help them because the kind of religion they get is a ceaseless stream of moralizing, and "let’s all do better" and "let’s make his church grow" and "let’s get involved in the church’s programs" and "let’s give more money" and "let’s..." And it’s precisely because they take their religion seriously that these fearful people are even more afraid. Others are able to shrug and let the preacher babble on but not these people! They’re afraid not to take everything he says seriously but for more reasons than they know they can’t get up for the many challenges the vibrant ministers hand out. And then there are the fear-filled preachers...

Some fools among us mistake their fearlessness for faith. And more stupidly they somehow think they’re self-made! They never knew fear and came out of the womb ready to take on the world and when they came to Christ the assurance he offered only added to the calm that was already theirs as a result of genetic or neural circuitry, early life’s experiences or whatever. And because they were gifted and shaped into world-beaters they tend to think everyone should be the same. But they’re not the same! Those who are so well put together inside know no fear of rejection or failure, they career through life laughing at trouble and finding adventure in everything. Because they know no fear, or because when it comes they have the inner strength to shove it aside they’re tempted to look down on the fearful. For the brave among us the fear of the fearful is easily viewed as failure to be a true Christian and passages like Revelation 21:8 are brought in to threaten the fearful with hell. "God hasn't given us the spirit of fear," the fearful are told; but then nobody's claiming that he did but that doesn't change the fact that many of us are troubled by irrational fears! Keep feeding us something that will control fear and finally obliterate it.

You can’t make fearful people fearless by screaming at them or scorning them or threatening them with dire punishments because they're fearful. And it isn’t courage that leads us to savage such people—it’s stupidity and arrogance. If a man is brawling with a life-threatening cancer we rightly sympathize with him and speak encouragement and assurance to him. If a poor soul is brawling with paralysis through fear we demand that she heal herself! Who would choose to live the torment some of these people endure? Would you tell me that? But if we think we can’t help them then in God’s name let’s get out of the way and let others have a shot at it! I know people like us are a real burden and sometimes we're viewed as a real pain in the neck; that makes sense but Jesus took us in.
I don’t say all fear is of the same kind or that it runs equally deep in everyone’s experience and I’m sure that the help offered must be tailored depending on the person and his or her situation. I believe that what Christ said about the poor is true. In a world shaped like this "you will always have the poor with you" and in a world like this we’ll always have the fearful. I don’t know enough to heal all my own fears much less those of every one else but I know we need to dive into the massive truths of gospel that is brought to us in Jesus Christ. I know that we need to talk to people about their destiny as individuals and why they are in the world at all. I know that the God that came to us in Jesus Christ is a Father to us all and that the thought of him should strike joy into longing hearts. And I know that we need to restructure our whole thinking about suffering in the world and show it to be redemptive. However we speak or sing or behave it should be to echo the uplifting message of the angel to the shepherds, "Don’t be afraid because..." In God's name continue to give us reasons rather than your ranting.

Laying On of Hands by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=3782

Laying On of Hands

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The ability to perform miracles in the first century church was granted by God in essentially two ways: baptism of the Holy Spirit and the laying on of the apostles’ hands. The Bible only mentions the former avenue as occurring twice (Acts 2 and Acts 10), and then only for special and limited purposes, with a third occurrence implied in connection with Paul’s unique calling (Acts 9:15; 22:21; Romans 1:5; 11:13; 1 Corinthians 15:8; Galatians 1:16; 2:7-8; et al. See Miller, 2003). The latter avenue is specifically described by Luke in his account of the initial proclamation of the Gospel to the Samaritans:
Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit” (Acts 8:14-19, emp. added).
Since the New Testament expounds no other means by which any person may receive ability to perform miracles, it inevitably follows that no person living on Earth today has miraculous capability. Holy Spirit baptism was unique, exclusive, and limited at the beginning of the church, and no apostles are alive today to impart miraculous ability to anyone.
Some have challenged the exclusivity of the role of the apostles in their unique ability to impart miraculous capability by calling attention to the admonition given by Paul to Timothy: “Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership” (1 Timothy 4:14, emp. added). Based on this verse, some insist that the apostles were not the only conduit through which God would/will impart miraculous ability. Does the New Testament clarify this situation?
In 2 Timothy 1:6, Paul plainly declared that the “gift of God” which Timothy possessed was conferred “through the laying on of my hands.” How does one harmonize 1 Timothy 4:14 with 2 Timothy 1:6? Was Timothy’s miraculous ability conferred upon him by Paul, by the eldership, or by both? The grammar of the text provides the answer. In 2 Timothy 1:6, where Paul claimed sole credit for imparting the gift to Timothy, the Holy Spirit employed the Greek preposition dia with the genitive, which means “through” or “by means of ” (Machen, 1923, p. 41; Dana and Mantey, 1927, p. 101). However, in 1 Timothy 4:14, where Paul included the eldership in the action of impartation, he employed a completely different Greek preposition—meta. The root meaning of meta is “in the midst of ” (Dana and Mantey, p. 107). It denotes “the attendant circumstances of something that takes place”—the “accompanying phenomena” (Arndt and Gingrich, 1957, pp. 510-511, emp. added). It means “in association with” or “accompanied by” (Moule, 1959, p. 61; Thayer, 1901, p. 404; cf. Robertson, 1934, p. 611). In other words, Paul—as an apostle—imparted the miraculous gift to Timothy. It came from God through Paul. However, on that occasion, the local eldership of the church was present and participated with Paul in the event, lending their simultaneous support and accompanying commendation. After examining the grammatical data on the matter, Nicoll concluded: “[I]t was the imposition of hands by St. Paul that was the instrument used by God in the communication of the charisma to Timothy” (1900, 4:127; cf. Jamieson, et al., n.d., 2:414; Williams, 1960, p. 956). Consequently, 1 Timothy 4:14 provides no proof that miraculous capability could be received through other means in addition to apostolic imposition of hands and the two clear instances of Holy Spirit baptism.
[NOTE: For a more thorough study of miracles, see "Modern-Day Miracles, Tongue-Speaking, and Holy Spirit Baptism: A Refutation—EXTENDED VERSION"]

REFERENCES

Arndt, William and F.W. Gingrich (1957), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).
Dana, H.E. and Julius Mantey (1927), A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (Toronto, Canada: Macmillan).
Jamieson, Robert, A.R. Fausset, and David Brown (no date), A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Machen, J. Gresham (1923), New Testament Greek for Beginners (Toronto, Canada: Macmillan).
Miller, Dave (2003), “Modern-Day Miracles, Tongue-Speaking, and Holy Spirit Baptism: A Refutation—EXTENDED VERSION,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1399.
Moule, C.F.D. (1959), An Idiom-Book of New Testament Greek (Cambridge: University Press, 1977 reprint).
Nicoll, W. Robertson, ed. (1900), The Expositor’s Greek Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Robertson, A.T. (1934), A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press).
Thayer, J.H. (1901), Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1977 reprint).
Williams, George (1960), The Student’s Commentary on the Holy Scriptures (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel), sixth edition.

From Mark Copeland... Hard Hearts And Hard Thoughts (Mark 3:1-6)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                 Hard Hearts And Hard Thoughts (3:1-6)

INTRODUCTION

1. We have seen the criticism that Jesus endured from religious
   leaders...
   a. When He claimed to forgive sins - Mk 2:6-7
   b. When He dined with sinners - Mk 2:16
   c. When His disciples plucked grain on the Sabbath - Mk 2:23-24

2. Conflict between Jesus and the religious leaders escalated, from
   criticism to conniving...
   a. When the Pharisees sought opportunity to accuse Him - Mk 3:1-2
   b. When Jesus healed a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath - Mk 3:3-5
   c. When the Pharisees began conspiring with the Herodians to destroy
      Jesus - Mk 3:6

3. On this occasion, I am struck by hardness of the Pharisees' hearts...
   a. Which moved Jesus to grief and anger - Mk 3:5
   b. Which indubitably led to their hardness of plotting to destroy
      Jesus - Mk 3:6

[Apparently unable to appreciate the healing of a suffering man, it is
easy to be critical of the Pharisees' "Hard Hearts And Hard Thoughts".
Yet if we are not careful, we can be guilty of the same...]

I. CONSIDER THE PROBLEM

   A. OF HARD HEARTS...
      1. Has been around for a long time (Cain, Pharaoh, Israel)
      2. It leads to spiritual dullness - an inability to see truth
         a. Which prompted Jesus to teach the public in parables - Mt 13:13-15
         b. Which hindered His disciples from understanding the obvious
            - Mk 8:13-21; 16:14
      3. It leads to mental resistance - a refusal to consider what
         might be true
         a. As seen in our text with the Pharisees
         b. They were blinded to the good Jesus had done
      4. The end result is calamity! - cf. Pro 28:14
      -- Hardness of heart is a very serious problem!

   B. OF HARD THOUGHTS...
      1. Hard hearts produce hard thoughts (e.g., the plot to destroy
         Jesus)
         a. The Pharisees and Herodians were unable to see the good that
            Jesus was doing
         b. They became co-belligerents, though normally opposed to one
            another
      2. Very similar to what we see in today's political environment
         a. An inability to see any good in the opposition
         b. A willingness to engage in the politics of personal
            destruction
         c. Plotting to destroy by any means possible
      3. The same occurs often in the realm of religious differences
         a. In our efforts to stand firm for the truth
         b. We can easily begin to think ill of neighbors, co-workers,
            even brethren!
         c. It becomes evident in the way we treat others (ignore,
            malign, abuse)
      4. Hard thoughts thus lead to verbal abuse and physical violence
      -- Hard thoughts don't remain thoughts very long, they transform
         into deeds!

[Since the problems of "Hard Hearts And Hard Thoughts" are real and
serious, what can be done...?]

II. CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVE

   A. FOR HARD HEARTS...
      1. We can nurture a tender, compassionate heart; by remembering:
         a. Our own weaknesses and need for forgiveness - Ep 4:32; Co 3:12-13
         b. The condemnation of those without compassion - Mt 18:33-35;
            Ja 2:13
      2. This will help create good and noble hearts, with fair minds
         like:
         a. The good soil in the parable of the sower - Lk 8:15
         b. The Bereans willing to give Paul a fair hearing - Ac 17:11
      -- Tender hearts are created by remembering our own failings

   B. FOR HARD THOUGHTS...
      1. Tender hearts will address the problem of hard thoughts
      2. But kind thoughts can be further nurtured by:
         a. Dwelling on things that are noble and pure - Ph 4:8
         b. Developing the mind of Christ - Ph 2:3-5
      3. Such tender minds will be characterized by:
         a. Lowliness of mind, esteeming others better than ourselves
         b. Looking out for the interests of others
      -- Tender minds are the result of growing in Christ

CONCLUSION

1. Consider the following contrast between...
   a. The mindset of the Pharisees and the Herodians - cf. Mk 3:6
   b. The mindset enjoined by the apostle Peter - cf. 1 Pe 3:8-12

2. What kind of mindset do we have...?
   a. One filled with hard thoughts produced by hard hearts?
   b. One filled with kind thoughts produced by tender hearts?

The goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering of God is designed to
produce the latter.  But if we remain hard-hearted against God and man,
we will experience the wrath of God in the day of judgment...

   Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance,
   and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads
   you to repentance?

   But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart
   you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath
   and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.
                                                       - Ro 2:4-5

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... Lord Of The Sabbath (Mark 2:23-28)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                     Lord Of The Sabbath (2:23-28)

INTRODUCTION

1. As noted previously, the ministry of Jesus prompted close scrutiny by
   religious leaders...
   a. As when the scribes took issue with His claim to forgive sins - Mk 2:6-7
   b. As when the scribes and Pharisees took issue with His dining with
      sinners - Mk 2:16

2. One issue in particular produced a strong reaction:  the Sabbath and
   its observance...
   a. At first, it involved Jesus' disciples plucking grain on the
      Sabbath - Mk 2:23-24
   b. Later, Jesus would be criticized for healing on the Sabbath - cf.
      Mk 3:1-2

3. On the occasion involving Jesus' disciples plucking grain...
   a. The Pharisees said it was unlawful - Mk 2:24
   b. Actually, it was contrary to rabbinical tradition, but not the Law
      per se

4. In answering the Pharisees, Jesus stated two notable things...
   a. "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath." - Mk 2:27
   b. "Therefore the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath." - Mk 2:28

[These statements will serve as the basis for this study, beginning with
the idea that...]

I. THE SABBATH WAS MADE FOR MAN

   A. THE INSTITUTION OF THE SABBATH...
      1. The Sabbath was first commanded to Israel in the Wilderness
         - Exo 16:23-30
      2. It had previously been unknown to them - cf. Neh 9:14
      3. It was then codified in the Ten Commandments - Exo 20:8-10
      4. As part of the Covenant not given to the patriarchs, but to
         Israel - Deut 5:2-3
      -- The Sabbath was not commanded by God until the time of Moses

   B. THE BASIS OF THE SABBATH...
      1. Based on the fact that God Himself rested on the Seventh Day
         - Exo 20:11
      2. Inserted as a prolepsis by Moses in his Genesis account - cf.
         Gen 2:3
      3. Given to Israel as a special sign between them and God - Exo 31:13-17
      4. Given to remind them of their slavery in Egypt - Deut 5:15
      -- The Sabbath was given only to Israel as part of the Law of
         Moses

[Man was made first, and even existed for millenniums before the Sabbath
was ever commanded (see The Sabbath Day for more detail).  Thus the
Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  Next we notice the
claim made by Jesus that...]

II. THE SON OF MAN IS LORD OF THE SABBATH

   A. WITH AUTHORITY TO INTERPRET ITS USE...
      1. As the Son of Man, Jesus was complete and perfect manhood
         a. Since the Sabbath was made for man, the Son of Man was
            rightly the Lord of the Sabbath
         b. He could decide what was permissible, or what was forbidden
      2. As the Son of God, ever one with the Father, He had given the
         Sabbath in the first place! - cf. Jn 1:1-2; 8:58; 10:30; 17:21
      3. Jesus demonstrated  His Lordship by the superiority of His
         reply to the Pharisees
         a. Jesus first appealed to example of David and his men - Mk 2:
            25-26; cf. 1Sa 21:1-6
         b. Matthew adds the example of priests working in the temple on
            the Sabbath - cf. Mt 12:5
         c. Note that Jesus appealed to Scripture to make His point
            ("Have you never read...?")
         d. And what was Jesus' point?  Consider the following:
            1) "A higher law, where it conflicts with a lower one,
               suspends or limits the lower one at the point of
               conflict. Thus the higher laws of worship in the temple
               suspended the lower law of Sabbath observance, and thus
               also the higher law of mercy suspended the lower law as
               to the showbread when David took it and mercifully gave
               it to his hungry followers, and when God in mercy
               permitted this to be done." - J. W. McGarvey, The
               Fourfold Gospel
            2) "And thus, had they done what was otherwise unlawful, the
               disciples would have been justified in eating by the
               higher law of Christ's service. And thus also would
               Christ have been justified in permitting them to eat by
               the law of mercy, which was superior to that which
               rendered the seventh day to God as a sacrifice." - ibid.
         e. Thus by using Scripture Jesus effectively silenced their
            objection based on tradition!
      -- As Lord of the Sabbath, He had sovereign authority to interpret
         its use

   B. WITH AUTHORITY TO RESCIND ITS USE...
      1. If He so willed, Jesus could discontinue the Sabbath
         requirement - cf. He 1:3 ("upholding all things by the word of
         His power")
      2. In fact, Jesus has brought the Law (of which the Sabbath was
         part) to an end!
         a. Through His death on the cross - cf. Ep 2:14-16
         b. Having nailed it to the cross - cf. Col 2:14
         c. Jews who come to Christ die to the Law - cf. Ro 7:4-7
         d. The Old Covenant has been replaced by the New Covenant -
            2Co 3:6-11; He 8:6-13
      3. That Jesus ended the Sabbath requirement is evident
         a. "So let no one judge you in food or drink, or regarding...
            sabbaths" - Col 2:16
         b. "One person esteems one day above another; another esteems
            every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own
            mind." - Ro 14:5
         c. Thus Christians assemble on the first day of the week to
            worship - Ac 20:7; 1Co 16:1-2
      -- As Lord of the Sabbath, He has chosen to rescind its use

CONCLUSION

1. Controversy over the observance of the Sabbath has been around for a
   long time...
   a. The manner of its observance was a major issue during Jesus'
      ministry
   b. The need for its observance is still questioned by some today

2. But when we pay close attention to the teaching of "The Lord Of The
   Sabbath"...
   a. We will reach conclusions based on Scripture rather than tradition
   b. We will find that the Lord who ordained the Sabbath has rescinded
      its use

While we appreciate the role of the Sabbath in Israel's history, let us
be sure that it is the Lord of the Sabbath that we worship, and not the
Sabbath itself...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... Of Wine And Wineskins (Mark 2:22)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                      Of Wine And Wineskins (2:22)

INTRODUCTION

1. When Jesus was questioned about fasting, He replied with three
   illustrations...
   a. Bridegroom and friends - Mk 2:19-20
   b. Patches and garments - Mk 2:21
   c. Wine and wineskins - Mk 2:22

2. The illustration most remembered is that of wine and wineskins...
   a. Jesus used it to show the incongruity of mixing His gospel with
      the Judaistic system
   b. Others have taken the illustration much farther, often to teach
      things Jesus did not

[One might make a broader use of the illustration of wine and wineskins,
but the end result should not contradict Jesus' own use of it.  Taking a
closer look, let's first note some...]

I. IMPLICATIONS OF THE ILLUSTRATION

   A. NEW WINE IMPLIES NEW BLESSINGS...
      1. Jesus implied His teaching would be like new wine, requiring
         new wineskins
      2. This "new wine" would include blessings for those who believe
         in Him
      3. For example, true forgiveness of sins through His sacrifice
         - cf. He 10:10-12
      4. Also, the blessing of the Spirit in some new way - cf. Jn 7:
         37-39
      -- New wine:  new blessings for those who would be His disciples

   B. NEW WINESKINS IMPLIES NEW STRUCTURES...
      1. Jesus intimated that His blessings would be packaged anew in
         new wineskins
      2. The "new wineskins" would be the means by which blessings
         are presented and preserved
      3. For example, through baptism instead of circumcision - cf. Co 2:11-13
      4. Also, through a spiritual tabernacle rather than a physical one
         - cf. He 9:9-11
      5. Jesus gave His apostles the "structure" by which He wanted His
         blessings to be presented and shared (i.e., apostolic doctrine)
         - e.g., Ac 2:42; 1Co 4:17; 11:2; 14:33-37
      -- New wineskins:  new structures by which those blessings would
         be enjoyed

[Once we properly understand the implications of Jesus' use of wine and
wineskins, we are less likely to misuse it should we make broader
application.  Allow me, if I may, to offer four...]

II. EXTENSIONS OF THE ILLUSTRATION

   A. SOME PUT JESUS' WINE IN OLD TESTAMENT WINESKINS...
      1. That is what Jesus said would be inappropriate in regards to
         fasting
      2. That is, trying to force Jesus' "wine" into the wineskins of
         the Old Testament
      3. Even so, note some examples in which people have done this:
         a. Ritualistic fasting instead of appropriate fasting - Didache
            8:1-2
         b. Separate priesthood instead of the priesthood of all
            believers - 1Pe 2:5,9
         c. Instrumental music instead of making melody with the heart
            - Ep 5:19
         d. Infant baptism, based on the OT rite of circumcision - cf.
            Col 2:11-12
      -- Early on, many have tried to enwrap Jesus' "wine" with OT
         "wineskins"

   B. SOME PUT JESUS' WINE IN THEIR OWN WINESKINS...
      1. Others try to package Jesus' "wine" in the wineskins of modern
         concepts
      2. They respect the "aged wine", but feel it needs to be
         re-packaged
      3. Thus the frequent call for change, in such areas as:
         a. Church organization (denominationalism, sponsoring churches)
         b. Church worship (modern dance, praise teams)
         c. Church work (social programs, family entertainment)
         d. Church leadership (popes, metropolitan bishops, priests,
            team leaders, women pastors)
      -- This attitude fails to appreciate the value of the original
         "wineskin"

   C. SOME PUT THEIR OWN WINE IN JESUS' WINESKINS...
      1. Then some believe the Spirit is guiding them to new revelation
      2. While they may respect the "old wineskin", they want "new wine"
      3. Thus the call to update the teaching of the church, in such
         areas as:
         a. New doctrines (social gospel, liberation theology, health
            and wealth gospel)
         b. New lifestyles (divorce and remarriage, homosexuality,
            same-sex marriages)
      -- This attitude fails to appreciate the value of the original
         "wine"

   D. SOME PUT THEIR OWN WINE IN THEIR OWN WINESKINS...
      1. Some believe the Spirit guides them to make total changes
      2. Changing both the message (wine) and the organization
         (wineskin)
      3. Examples of such extreme makeovers include:
         a. Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists
         b. Others with their parachurch organizations
      -- This attitude reflects disregard for both the original "wine"
         and "wineskin"

CONCLUSION

1. Many believe we can simply discard the "wine" and "wineskin" Jesus
   gave...
   a. That we can repackage His wine with wineskins as we see fit
   b. That we can even replace His wine with new wines of our own

2. Dare we presume to believe that we can improve on anything Jesus has
   given us...?
   a. The blessings which are all-sufficient to life and godliness?
      - cf. 2Pe 1:3
   b. The structures which have presented and preserved these blessings?
      - cf. 2Ti 3:16-17; Jude 3

3. After two millennia, Jesus' "new wine" is now "old"...
   a. But like literal wine, the old is better than the new
   b. Best served from the container in which it has been preserved

Rather than coming up with "new wine" and "new wineskins" of our own
making, we should seek that given by Jesus and His apostles.  Therefore
the words of Jeremiah seem appropriate...

   Thus says the LORD: "Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the
   old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will
   find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in
   it.'" - Jer 6:16

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading November 26

Bible Reading   

November 26

The World English Bible


Nov. 26
Lamentations 1-5

Lam 1:1 How the city sits solitary, that was full of people! She has become as a widow, who was great among the nations! She who was a princess among the provinces is become tributary!
Lam 1:2 She weeps sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her: All her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they are become her enemies.
Lam 1:3 Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude; she dwells among the nations, she finds no rest: all her persecutors overtook her within the straits.
Lam 1:4 The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn assembly; all her gates are desolate, her priests do sigh: her virgins are afflicted, and she herself is in bitterness.
Lam 1:5 Her adversaries are become the head, her enemies prosper; for Yahweh has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her young children are gone into captivity before the adversary.
Lam 1:6 From the daughter of Zion all her majesty is departed: her princes are become like harts that find no pasture, they are gone without strength before the pursuer.
Lam 1:7 Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that were from the days of old: when her people fell into the hand of the adversary, and none did help her, The adversaries saw her, they did mock at her desolations.
Lam 1:8 Jerusalem has grievously sinned; therefore she is become as an unclean thing; all who honored her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yes, she sighs, and turns backward.
Lam 1:9 Her filthiness was in her skirts; she didn't remember her latter end; therefore is she come down wonderfully; she has no comforter: see, Yahweh, my affliction; for the enemy has magnified himself.
Lam 1:10 The adversary has spread out his hand on all her pleasant things: for she has seen that the nations are entered into her sanctuary, concerning whom you did command that they should not enter into your assembly.
Lam 1:11 All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for food to refresh the soul: look, Yahweh, and see; for I am become abject.
Lam 1:12 Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look, and see if there be any sorrow like my sorrow, which is brought on me, With which Yahweh has afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.
Lam 1:13 From on high has he sent fire into my bones, and it prevails against them; He has spread a net for my feet, he has turned me back: He has made me desolate and faint all the day.
Lam 1:14 The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand; They are knit together, they are come up on my neck; he has made my strength to fail: The Lord has delivered me into their hands, against whom I am not able to stand.
Lam 1:15 The Lord has set at nothing all my mighty men in the midst of me; He has called a solemn assembly against me to crush my young men: The Lord has trodden as in a winepress the virgin daughter of Judah.
Lam 1:16 For these things I weep; my eye, my eye runs down with water; Because the comforter who should refresh my soul is far from me: My children are desolate, because the enemy has prevailed.
Lam 1:17 Zion spreads forth her hands; there is none to comfort her; Yahweh has commanded concerning Jacob, that those who are around him should be his adversaries: Jerusalem is among them as an unclean thing.
Lam 1:18 Yahweh is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment: Please hear all you peoples, and see my sorrow: My virgins and my young men are gone into captivity.
Lam 1:19 I called for my lovers, but they deceived me: My priests and my elders gave up the spirit in the city, While they sought them food to refresh their souls.
Lam 1:20 See, Yahweh; for I am in distress; my heart is troubled; My heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled: Abroad the sword bereaves, at home there is as death.
Lam 1:21 They have heard that I sigh; there is none to comfort me; All my enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that you have done it: You will bring the day that you have proclaimed, and they shall be like me.
Lam 1:22 Let all their wickedness come before you; Do to them, as you have done to me for all my transgressions: For my sighs are many, and my heart is faint.
Lam 2:1 How has the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger! He has cast down from heaven to the earth the beauty of Israel, And hasn't remembered his footstool in the day of his anger.
Lam 2:2 The Lord has swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and has not pitied: He has thrown down in his wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; He has brought them down to the ground; he has profaned the kingdom and its princes.
Lam 2:3 He has cut off in fierce anger all the horn of Israel; He has drawn back his right hand from before the enemy: He has burned up Jacob like a flaming fire, which devours all around.
Lam 2:4 He has bent his bow like an enemy, he has stood with his right hand as an adversary, Has killed all that were pleasant to the eye: In the tent of the daughter of Zion he has poured out his wrath like fire.
Lam 2:5 The Lord is become as an enemy, he has swallowed up Israel; He has swallowed up all her palaces, he has destroyed his strongholds; He has multiplied in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.
Lam 2:6 He has violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden; he has destroyed his place of assembly: Yahweh has caused solemn assembly and Sabbath to be forgotten in Zion, Has despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.
Lam 2:7 The Lord has cast off his altar, he has abhorred his sanctuary; He has given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces: They have made a noise in the house of Yahweh, as in the day of a solemn assembly.
Lam 2:8 Yahweh has purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion; He has stretched out the line, he has not withdrawn his hand from destroying; He has made the rampart and wall to lament; they languish together.
Lam 2:9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he has destroyed and broken her bars: Her king and her princes are among the nations where the law is not; Yes, her prophets find no vision from Yahweh.
Lam 2:10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground, they keep silence; They have cast up dust on their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: The virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.
Lam 2:11 My eyes do fail with tears, my heart is troubled; My liver is poured on the earth, because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, Because the young children and the infants swoon in the streets of the city.
Lam 2:12 They tell their mothers, Where is grain and wine? When they swoon as the wounded in the streets of the city, When their soul is poured out into their mothers' bosom.
Lam 2:13 What shall I testify to you? what shall I liken to you, daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I compare to you, that I may comfort you, virgin daughter of Zion? For your breach is great like the sea: who can heal you?
Lam 2:14 Your prophets have seen for you false and foolish visions; They have not uncovered your iniquity, to bring back your captivity, But have seen for you false oracles and causes of banishment.
Lam 2:15 All that pass by clap their hands at you; They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men called The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth?
Lam 2:16 All your enemies have opened their mouth wide against you; They hiss and gnash the teeth; they say, We have swallowed her up; Certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.
Lam 2:17 Yahweh has done that which he purposed; he has fulfilled his word that he commanded in the days of old; He has thrown down, and has not pitied: He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you; he has exalted the horn of your adversaries.
Lam 2:18 Their heart cried to the Lord: wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night; Give yourself no respite; don't let the apple of your eye cease.
Lam 2:19 Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord: Lift up your hands toward him for the life of your young children, that faint for hunger at the head of every street.
Lam 2:20 Look, Yahweh, and see to whom you have done thus! Shall the women eat their fruit, the children that are dandled in the hands? Shall the priest and the prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord?
Lam 2:21 The youth and the old man lie on the ground in the streets; My virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword: You have killed them in the day of your anger; you have slaughtered, and not pitied.
Lam 2:22 You have called, as in the day of a solemn assembly, my terrors on every side; There was none that escaped or remained in the day of Yahweh's anger: Those that I have dandled and brought up has my enemy consumed.
Lam 3:1 I am the man that has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
Lam 3:2 He has led me and caused me to walk in darkness, and not in light.
Lam 3:3 Surely against me he turns his hand again and again all the day.
Lam 3:4 My flesh and my skin has he made old; he has broken my bones.
Lam 3:5 He has built against me, and surrounded me with gall and travail.
Lam 3:6 He has made me to dwell in dark places, as those that have been long dead.
Lam 3:7 He has walled me about, that I can't go forth; he has made my chain heavy.
Lam 3:8 Yes, when I cry, and call for help, he shuts out my prayer.
Lam 3:9 He has walled up my ways with cut stone; he has made my paths crooked.
Lam 3:10 He is to me as a bear lying in wait, as a lion in secret places.
Lam 3:11 He has turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; he has made me desolate.
Lam 3:12 He has bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.
Lam 3:13 He has caused the shafts of his quiver to enter into my kidneys.
Lam 3:14 I am become a derision to all my people, and their song all the day.
Lam 3:15 He has filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood.
Lam 3:16 He has also broken my teeth with gravel stones; he has covered me with ashes.
Lam 3:17 You have removed my soul far off from peace; I forgot prosperity.
Lam 3:18 I said, My strength is perished, and my expectation from Yahweh.
Lam 3:19 Remember my affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.
Lam 3:20 My soul still remembers them, and is bowed down within me.
Lam 3:21 This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope.
Lam 3:22 It is of Yahweh's loving kindnesses that we are not consumed, because his compassion doesn't fail.
Lam 3:23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lam 3:24 Yahweh is my portion, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
Lam 3:25 Yahweh is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.
Lam 3:26 It is good that a man should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of Yahweh.
Lam 3:27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
Lam 3:28 Let him sit alone and keep silence, because he has laid it on him.
Lam 3:29 Let him put his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope.
Lam 3:30 Let him give his cheek to him who strikes him; let him be filled full with reproach.
Lam 3:31 For the Lord will not cast off forever.
Lam 3:32 For though he cause grief, yet he will have compassion according to the multitude of his loving kindnesses.
Lam 3:33 For he does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.
Lam 3:34 To crush under foot all the prisoners of the earth,
Lam 3:35 To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the Most High,
Lam 3:36 To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord doesn't approve.
Lam 3:37 Who is he who says, and it comes to pass, when the Lord doesn't command it?
Lam 3:38 Doesn't evil and good come out of the mouth of the Most High?
Lam 3:39 Why does a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
Lam 3:40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to Yahweh.
Lam 3:41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands to God in the heavens.
Lam 3:42 We have transgressed and have rebelled; you have not pardoned.
Lam 3:43 You have covered with anger and pursued us; you have killed, you have not pitied.
Lam 3:44 You have covered yourself with a cloud, so that no prayer can pass through.
Lam 3:45 You have made us an off-scouring and refuse in the midst of the peoples.
Lam 3:46 All our enemies have opened their mouth wide against us.
Lam 3:47 Fear and the pit are come on us, devastation and destruction.
Lam 3:48 My eye runs down with streams of water, for the destruction of the daughter of my people.
Lam 3:49 My eye pours down, and doesn't cease, without any intermission,
Lam 3:50 Until Yahweh look down, and see from heaven.
Lam 3:51 My eye affects my soul, because of all the daughters of my city.
Lam 3:52 They have chased me sore like a bird, those who are my enemies without cause.
Lam 3:53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and have cast a stone on me.
Lam 3:54 Waters flowed over my head; I said, I am cut off.
Lam 3:55 I called on your name, Yahweh, out of the lowest dungeon.
Lam 3:56 You heard my voice; don't hide your ear at my breathing, at my cry.
Lam 3:57 You drew near in the day that I called on you; you said, Don't be afraid.
Lam 3:58 Lord, you have pleaded the causes of my soul; you have redeemed my life.
Lam 3:59 Yahweh, you have seen my wrong; judge you my cause.
Lam 3:60 You have seen all their vengeance and all their devices against me.
Lam 3:61 You have heard their reproach, Yahweh, and all their devices against me,
Lam 3:62 The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day.
Lam 3:63 See you their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their song.
Lam 3:64 You will render to them a recompense, Yahweh, according to the work of their hands.
Lam 3:65 You will give them hardness of heart, your curse to them.
Lam 3:66 You will pursue them in anger, and destroy them from under the heavens of Yahweh.
Lam 4:1 How is the gold become dim! how is the most pure gold changed! The stones of the sanctuary are poured out at the head of every street.
Lam 4:2 The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, How are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!
Lam 4:3 Even the jackals draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: The daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.
Lam 4:4 The tongue of the sucking child cleaves to the roof of his mouth for thirst: The young children ask bread, and no man breaks it to them.
Lam 4:5 Those who did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: Those who were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.
Lam 4:6 For the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom, That was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands were laid on her.
Lam 4:7 Her nobles were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk; They were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was as of sapphire.
Lam 4:8 Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: Their skin cleaves to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.
Lam 4:9 Those who are killed with the sword are better than those who are killed with hunger; For these pine away, stricken through, for want of the fruits of the field.
Lam 4:10 The hands of the pitiful women have boiled their own children; They were their food in the destruction of the daughter of my people.
Lam 4:11 Yahweh has accomplished his wrath, he has poured out his fierce anger; He has kindled a fire in Zion, which has devoured its foundations.
Lam 4:12 The kings of the earth didn't believe, neither all the inhabitants of the world, That the adversary and the enemy would enter into the gates of Jerusalem.
Lam 4:13 It is because of the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, That have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her.
Lam 4:14 They wander as blind men in the streets, they are polluted with blood, So that men can't touch their garments.
Lam 4:15 Depart you, they cried to them, Unclean! depart, depart, don't touch! When they fled away and wandered, men said among the nations, They shall no more sojourn here.
Lam 4:16 The anger of Yahweh has scattered them; he will no more regard them: They didn't respect the persons of the priests, they didn't favor the elders.
Lam 4:17 Our eyes do yet fail in looking for our vain help: In our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save.
Lam 4:18 They hunt our steps, so that we can't go in our streets: Our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come.
Lam 4:19 Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles of the sky: They chased us on the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness.
Lam 4:20 The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of Yahweh, was taken in their pits; Of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the nations.
Lam 4:21 Rejoice and be glad, daughter of Edom, that dwell in the land of Uz: The cup shall pass through to you also; you shall be drunken, and shall make yourself naked.
Lam 4:22 The punishment of your iniquity is accomplished, daughter of Zion; he will no more carry you away into captivity: He will visit your iniquity, daughter of Edom; he will uncover your sins.
Lam 5:1 Remember, Yahweh, what has come on us: Look, and see our reproach.
Lam 5:2 Our inheritance is turned to strangers, Our houses to aliens.
Lam 5:3 We are orphans and fatherless; Our mothers are as widows.
Lam 5:4 We have drunken our water for money; Our wood is sold to us.
Lam 5:5 Our pursuers are on our necks: We are weary, and have no rest.
Lam 5:6 We have given the hand to the Egyptians, To the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread.
Lam 5:7 Our fathers sinned, and are no more; We have borne their iniquities.
Lam 5:8 Servants rule over us: There is none to deliver us out of their hand.
Lam 5:9 We get our bread at the peril of our lives, Because of the sword of the wilderness.
Lam 5:10 Our skin is black like an oven, Because of the burning heat of famine.
Lam 5:11 They ravished the women in Zion, The virgins in the cities of Judah.
Lam 5:12 Princes were hanged up by their hand: The faces of elders were not honored.
Lam 5:13 The young men bare the mill; The children stumbled under the wood.
Lam 5:14 The elders have ceased from the gate, The young men from their music.
Lam 5:15 The joy of our heart is ceased; Our dance is turned into mourning.
Lam 5:16 The crown is fallen from our head: Woe to us! for we have sinned.
Lam 5:17 For this our heart is faint; For these things our eyes are dim;
Lam 5:18 For the mountain of Zion, which is desolate: The foxes walk on it.
Lam 5:19 You, Yahweh, abide forever; Your throne is from generation to generation.
Lam 5:20 Why do you forget us forever, And forsake us so long time?
Lam 5:21 Turn you us to you, Yahweh, and we shall be turned; Renew our days as of old.
Lam 5:22 But you have utterly rejected us; You are very angry against us. 

 
Nov. 26
Hebrews 12

Heb 12:1 Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:3 For consider him who has endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, that you don't grow weary, fainting in your souls.
Heb 12:4 You have not yet resisted to blood, striving against sin;
Heb 12:5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which reasons with you as with children, "My son, don't take lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by him;
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loves, he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives."
Heb 12:7 It is for discipline that you endure. God deals with you as with children, for what son is there whom his father doesn't discipline?
Heb 12:8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have been made partakers, then are you illegitimate, and not children.
Heb 12:9 Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live?
Heb 12:10 For they indeed, for a few days, punished us as seemed good to them; but he for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness.
Heb 12:11 All chastening seems for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been exercised thereby.
Heb 12:12 Therefore, lift up the hands that hang down and the feeble knees,
Heb 12:13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that which is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
Heb 12:14 Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man will see the Lord,
Heb 12:15 looking carefully lest there be any man who falls short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and many be defiled by it;
Heb 12:16 lest there be any sexually immoral person, or profane person, like Esau, who sold his birthright for one meal.
Heb 12:17 For you know that even when he afterward desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for a change of mind though he sought it diligently with tears.
Heb 12:18 For you have not come to a mountain that might be touched, and that burned with fire, and to blackness, darkness, storm,
Heb 12:19 the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which those who heard it begged that not one more word should be spoken to them,
Heb 12:20 for they could not stand that which was commanded, "If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned;"
Heb 12:21 and so fearful was the appearance, that Moses said, "I am terrified and trembling."
Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable multitudes of angels,
Heb 12:23 to the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24 to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better than that of Abel.
Heb 12:25 See that you don't refuse him who speaks. For if they didn't escape when they refused him who warned on the Earth, how much more will we not escape who turn away from him who warns from heaven,
Heb 12:26 whose voice shook the earth then, but now he has promised, saying, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens."
Heb 12:27 This phrase, "Yet once more," signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain.
Heb 12:28 Therefore, receiving a Kingdom that can't be shaken, let us have grace, through which we serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe,
Heb 12:29 for our God is a consuming fire.