12/5/14

From Jim McGuiggan... GOD HOMELESS--US AT HOME


GOD HOMELESS--US AT HOME

An animal shelter: "Where God was homeless and all people are at home!"

GK Chestertaon said that!

Since it's Advent season we're going to be hearing a lot about the incarnation of God in the birth of our Lord Jesus. It's wonderful that we should! We're going to hear much about his love and his sacrifice, about his poverty and rejection, his lower working-class status and such. Come "Easter" we will hear plenty about his suffering and the gory details of his physical trauma. Thank God that the cross and the resurrection will be made center in preaching and liturgy in general. [We could do well without the attempts to prove that crucifixion was the worst form of torture the world has ever known; clearly it wasn't. It's no crime to give something of a decription of crucifixion but you must have noticed that the NT doesn't go on and on about the details. The glory of the cross was not in the degree of physical agony produced; it was in the meaning of Christ's self-giving. There we see a son's holy and loving offering of obedience to his father; there we see a lover of humanity carrying out the gracious purpose of God to redeem a world; there we see God getting what he deserves--a trust-filled commitment the Holy One's heart's desire.] Here's something worth hearing about Jesus Christ who is God being a man:

“He was not merely a man so good as to be ‘like God'-- He was God. Now this is not just a pious commonplace; it is not a commonplace at all. For what it means is this, among other things: that for whatever reason God chose to make man as he is--limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death - He had the honesty and the courage to take His own medicine. Whatever game He is playing with His creation, He has kept his own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that He has not exacted from Himself. He has Himself gone through the whole human experience, from the trivial irritations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. When He was a man, He played the man. He was born in poverty and died in disgrace and thought it well worth while.” 

Dorothy Sayers said that! 

Don't you love that phrase, “and thought it well worth while”? That says things about human beings. Even sinful human beings! That says things about the God who came to us in and as Jesus Christ. Roll it all around in your mind for a while. Look in the mirror and think of what it says about you. Look out your window and think what it says about those people you see passing by. Look at your parents or children or brothers or sisters or husband or wife. Look at the people that come to your assembly. Yes, say that they could all do with changing. But what was it that God thought well worth while and who was it he came for?

What does that have to say to the multiplied millions who are born in, enslaved and shaped by poverty that beggars description and on top of that are saddled with gods and religions that add burdens too hard to bear? What's our first word to such oppressed and helpless people? Should it be something about what they need to do? Something about their need to repent of their sins and turn to God who has come to us in and as Jesus Christ? Or should it be a rich development of the truth that there is a God who sees all that is going on, that he means to bring it to an end and right all the wrongs, that he has entered into their experience of oppression and helplessness, died such a death and rose to make it clear that he is Lord of all that demeans and frightens and robs those that God has made to love and be loved. Our message then to the wayward and suffering humanity might well be that we come in the name of God to proclaim hope in Christ and that he wants people to join him in telling their fellow-sufferers, friends and families that Someone does know and will deal with the injustice and evil in such a way that joy-filled astonishment will take the place of despair and ceaseless hurt.

In the meantime? In the meantime they have the word of Someone they can trust; they have hope instead of utter despair, they have assurance that this evil chaos does not last forever. In the meantime the People of God who have been privileged with such a gospel will NOW do what they can [by God's grace] to reflect and embody the life and character of Jesus in all the ways that are open to them. They will TALK for gospeling is fundamental to their calling and essential in a world of sheep that have gone astray. The transformation of a person, a society, a nation or a world rests on the truth and that truth told. When the People of God are faithful they will talk; they will GOSPEL

They will do more than talk--they will do more than TALK.
 

Jesus and the Doctrine of Creation by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=457

Jesus and the Doctrine of Creation

by  Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

INTRODUCTION

To the faithful Christian, there is little of more importance than the proclamation and defense of the Old Jerusalem Gospel that is able to save men’s souls. Christianity did not come into the world with a whimper, but a bang. It was not in the first century, nor is it intended to be in the twentieth, something “done in a corner.” While it may be true to say regarding some religions that they flourish best in secrecy, such is not the case with Christianity. It is intended both to be presented, and to flourish, in the marketplace of ideas. In addition, it may be stated safely that while some religions eschew both open investigation and critical evaluation, Christianity welcomes both. It is a historical religion—the only one of all the major religions based upon an Individual rather than a mere ideology—which claims, and can document, an empty tomb for its Founder.
Christians, unlike adherents to many other religions, do not have an option regarding the distribution and/or dissemination of their faith. The efficacy of God’s saving grace as made possible through His Son, Jesus Christ, is a message that all accountable men and women need to hear, and one that Christians are commanded to pronounce (John 3:16; Matthew 28:18-20; cf. Ezekiel 33:7-9).
From time to time, however, Christians may be afflicted with either an attitude of indifference, or spiritual myopia (shortsightedness). Both critically impair effectiveness in spreading the Gospel. A Christian’s attitude of indifference may result from any number of factors, including such things as a person’s own spiritual weakness, a downtrodden spirit, a lack of serious Bible study, etc. Spiritual myopia, on the other hand, is often the end product of either not having an adequate understanding of the Gospel message itself, or not wishing to engage in the controversy that sometimes is necessary to propagate that message.
One such example of spiritual myopia afflicting some members of the church today centers on the biblical teaching regarding creation. Because no one is particularly fond of either controversy or playing the part of the controversialist, it is not uncommon nowadays to hear someone say, “Why get involved in controversial ‘peripheral’ issues like creation and evolution? Just teach the Gospel.” Or, one might hear it said that “since the Bible is not a textbook of science, and since it is the Rock of Ages which is important, and not the age of rocks, we should just ‘preach Christ.’ ”
Such statements are clear and compelling evidence of spiritual shortsightedness, and belie a basic misunderstanding of the seriousness of the Bible’s teachings on one of its most important topics. First, those who suggest that we not concern ourselves with “peripheral” topics such as creation and evolution, and that we instead “just preach the Gospel,” fail to realize that the Gospel includes creation and excludes evolution. Second, those who advise us to simply “emphasize saving faith, not faith in creation,” have apparently forgotten that the most magnificent chapter in all the Bible on the topic of faith (Hebrews 11) begins by stressing the importance of faith in the ex nihilo creation of all things by God (verse 3) as preliminary to any kind of meaningful faith in His promises. Third, in order to avoid the offense that may come from preaching the complete Gospel, some simply would regard creation as unimportant. God, however, considered it so important that it was the topic of His first revelation. The first chapter of Genesis is the very foundation of the rest of the biblical record. If the foundation is undermined, it will not be long until the superstructure built upon it collapses as well. Fourth, many Christians in our day and age have overlooked the impact on their own faith of not teaching what God has said about creation. G. Richard Culp put it well when he remarked: “One who doubts the Genesis account will not be the same man he once was, for his attitude toward Holy Scripture has been eroded by false teaching. Genesis is repeatedly referred to in the New Testament, and it cannot be separated from the total Christian message” (1975, pp. 160-161).
Lastly, however, some Christians, afflicted with spiritual myopia, have advised us to “just preach Christ,” all the while ignoring, or being uninformed of, the fact that Christ was the Creator before He became the Savior, and that His finished work of salvation is meaningful only in light of His finished work of creation (Hebrews 4:3-10). Furthermore, Christ and His inspired writers had a great deal to say on the topic of creation, and its relevance to a number of important issues. These teachings merit our serious attention, as the evidence below will document.

JESUS—AS THE CREATOR

As in all areas having to do with our faith, if we accept what Christ has to say regarding creation, we shall not err. His testimony is our guide, and one from which we should not stray. But what is the nature of that testimony?
Modernists and liberals would have us believe that while the creation account itself is not to be accepted as true, that should not significantly affect our dependence on the Christ who spoke of it as being true. For example, professor Van A. Harvey of Stanford University has commented that the “Christian faith is not belief in a miracle, it is the confidence that Jesus’ witness is a true one” (1966, p. 274). What does he mean by such a statement? Listen as he explains further:
If we understand properly what is meant by faith, then this faith has no clear relation to any particular set of historical beliefs at all.... The conclusion one is driven to is that the content of faith can as well be mediated through a historically false story of a certain kind as through a true one, through a myth as well as through history (1966, pp. 280-281, emp. added).
In other words, genuine faith can as easily be grounded in falsehood as in truth! So, it is not whether Jesus actually told the truth, but whether we believe He told the truth that matters. It is our “confidence that Jesus’ witness is a true one” that is important, not the truthfulness of what Jesus said.
What strikes one immediately about such a concept is the low estimate of the Savior it entails. If Jesus could use falsehoods to teach on so-called “peripheral” matters like creation, why could He then not also use falsehoods to teach on “essential” matters like salvation? And who among us becomes the final arbiter as to what is true and what is false? Surely the Lord’s words of rebuke, as given to the two on the road to Emmaus, apply here: “O fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (Luke 24:25). We serve a God Who cannot lie (Titus 1:2). What Christ believed and taught, we, as His disciples, should believe and teach—with the full assurance that we shall be both accurate and safe in so doing. The question is, what did the Lord and His inspired writers teach regarding creation?
In several New Testament passages, we find evidence that Christ was the Creator! John 1:1-3 records, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made” (emp. added). Christ was not just present during the events, but was the active agent, in creation. Paul affirmed that very thing in Colossians 1:16 when he observed that “in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers: all things have been created through him and unto him” (emp. added).
The Hebrew writer observed that “God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers manners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds” (Hebrews 1:1-2, emp. added). Paul told the early Christians, “Yet to us there is one God, the Father of whom are all things, and we unto him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and we through him” (1 Corinthians 8:6, emp. added).
In commenting on these various passages, John C. Whitcomb observed:
It is highly instructive, therefore, for the Christian to turn to Genesis 1, which he accepts as a record of the creative acts of Jesus Christ in the light of John 1:3, Colossians 1:16, and Hebrews 1:2, and to recognize that the manner by which living things were brought into existence in the beginning finds its analogy in the miraculous works of Jesus Christ the Creator, who visited this planet less than 2,000 years ago to show men that He indeed was fully capable of doing the things that Moses described by the Holy Spirit concerning the week of creation” (1973, pp. 23-24, emp. added).
Dr. Whitcomb’s point is well made. Christ’s entire earthly ministry provided verification of the fact that He did exactly what the Scriptures attribute to Him in His work of creation. The importance of this must not be overlooked. If anyone had a right to speak on the events of that first week, He certainly did. He was there “in the beginning,” and He was the Creator! That being the case, the question then becomes, “What did Jesus say about the creation?”
Jesus—On the Time Element of Creation
During His earthly sojourn, Christ spoke explicitly regarding the creation. In Mark 10:6, for example, He declared: “But from the beginning of the creation, Male and female made he them.” Note these three paramount truths: (1) The first couple was “made”; they were not biological accidents. Interestingly, the verb “made” in the Greek is in the aorist tense, implying point action, rather than progressive development (which would be characteristic of evolutionary activity). W.E. Vine made this very observation with reference to the composition of the human body in his comments on 1 Corinthians 12:18 (1951, p. 173). (2) The original pair was fashioned “male and female”; they were not initially an asexual “blob” that eventually experienced sexual diversion. (3) Adam and Eve existed “from the beginning of the creation.” The Greek word for “beginning” is arché, and is used of “absolute, denoting the beginning of the world and of its history, the beginning of creation.” The Greek word for “creation” is ktiseos, and denotes the “sum-total of what God has created” (Cremer, 1962, pp. 113,114,381, emp. in orig.). Christ certainly did not subscribe to the notion that the Earth was vastly older than humanity.
Unquestionably, then, Jesus placed the first humans at the very dawn of creation. To reject this clear truth, one must either contend that: (a) Christ knew the Universe was in existence billions of years before man, but, accommodating Himself to the ignorances of that age, deliberately misrepresented the situation; or (b) The Lord Himself, living in pre-scientific times, was uninformed about the matter. Either of these allegations, of course, is blasphemous.
In Luke 11:45-52, the Lord rebuked the rebellious Jews of His day and foretold the horrible destruction that would come upon them. He charged them with following in the footsteps of their ancestors and hence announced that upon them would come “the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world.” Then, with parallelism characteristic of Hebrew expression, Christ rephrased the thought by saying, “from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zachariah....”
The point not to be missed is that Jesus placed the murder of Abel back near “the foundation of the world.” Abel’s death occurred some years after the creation, but was close enough to that creation for Jesus to state that it was associated with “the beginning of the world.” If the world came into existence several billion years before the creation of mankind, how could the shedding of human blood be declared to have occurred at the “foundation of the world”?
In John 8:44, Christ referred to the devil, who “was a murderer from the beginning.” Once again, human existence is placed near “the beginning.” Isaiah asked this penetrating question of the people in His day: “Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?” (Isaiah 40:21). Notice how Isaiah corroborates Christ’s statements. Isaiah, too, places “the beginning” and “the foundations of the earth” in the same context. Paul, speaking in Romans 1:20-21, did likewise. He affirmed: “For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse” (emp. added). Notice that the term “perceived” is from the Greek noeo, a word used for rational intelligence, while the phrase “clearly seen” (kathoratai) is an intensified form of horao, a term which “gives prominence to the discerning mind” (Thayer, 1958, p. 452). Paul’s point could not be clearer. The power and divinity of God, as revealed through the things that were created, have been observable to human intelligence since the creation of the world. Man has thus existed from the beginning; he is not some “johnny-come-lately” as evolutionary theories postulate. Nor was the Earth in existence billions of years prior to his existence, as some would have us believe. Again, the Lord’s testimony is not suspect; He was there!
Jesus—On the Foundational Importance of Creation
During the late 1940s, Woolsey Teller, second president of the American Association for the Advancement of Atheism, debated Dr. James D. Bales of Harding College (as it was then known). During that debate, Mr. Teller made this piercing statement: “If evolution is accepted, Adam and Eve go out! That story, the Bible fable, is interesting mythology but it doesn’t present the true picture of the origin of man” (1976, p. 54). He was correct, of course, in stating that if evolution is true, the Bible cannot be.
Christ, however, placed His divine stamp of approval on the creation account in a number of ways. Consider the following.
  1. In Matthew 19, the account is given of the Pharisees attempting to set the Lord against the law of Moses by inquiring about His position on marriage, divorce, and remarriage. In answering them, He asserted the permanence of the marriage bond by quoting Genesis 2:24—“For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and the two shall become one flesh” (verse 5). In appealing to the creation of man and woman, as detailed in Genesis 2, the Lord made it clear that He accepted that account as both factual and historical and in so doing used it as the basis for the New Testament doctrine of marriage, divorce, and remarriage.
     
  2. It is not uncommon to hear those who are anxious to compromise the biblical record of creation claim that Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are two different, and contradictory, accounts. However, Jesus did not accept them as such. In Matthew 19:4-5 He tied the two together and used them to teach the people of His day: “Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female [quoting Genesis 1:27—BT], and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh [quoting Genesis 2:24—BT]....” If these were indeed different, and contradictory, accounts, Jesus apparently did not know it.
     
  3. Jesus believed in the fixity of created kinds. He asked: “Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?... A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Matthew 7:16,18).
     
  4. Jesus called Satan “the father of lies” (John 8:44), in what is a clear reference to the falsehood he told Eve in Genesis 3:4-5. Thus, Jesus also placed His imprimatur on the account of the fall of man.
     
  5. Jesus accepted the Sabbath as a day of rest in commemoration of God’s completed creation. In Mark 2:28 He told the people that “the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” Yet the Sabbath as a Jewish holy day was instituted as a direct result of God’s work during the six-day creation week of Genesis 1 and 2 (cf. Exodus 20:8-11). The Lord spoke approvingly of those events, and counted them as real, literal, and historical in nature.
     
  6. Jesus stated to the disbelieving Jews of His day: “For if ye believed Moses, ye would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” (John 5:46-47). Where, exactly, did Moses write of Christ? Genesis 3:15 is the first Messianic prophecy on record. Christ accepted that passage as correct. Whitcomb has noted: “It is the privilege of these men to dispense with an historical Adam if they so desire. But they do not at the same time have the privilege of claiming that Jesus Christ spoke the truth. Adam and Christ stand or fall together” (1972, p. 111).
     
  7. Jesus spoke of the Noahic flood as an actual occurrence in history (Matthew 24:37ff.). He even used that Flood in making a comparison to the destruction that would befall the Earth at His second coming. He referred to Abel as an actual historical character (Matthew 23:35). And, He advocated the view that the Universe actually had a beginning (as opposed to the popular view of His time that matter was eternal) when He remarked that “such was not since the beginning of the world [Greek, kosmos]” (Matthew 24:21, emp. added).

CONCLUSION

Why is creation so important? Simply put, the answer is this: “If there is no creation, there is nothing else. If there is no Creator, then there is no Saviour either” (Segraves, 1973, p. 24). Our understanding of creation depends upon our understanding of Christ, and vice versa. In Romans 5:14, Paul spoke of Adam “who is a figure of him who was to come” (emp. added). The word “figure” is the translation of the Greek word, tupos (type). Adam was a “type” of Christ; the two are thus inextricably linked. Paul extended that comparison to Adam in the great “resurrection chapter” when he said: “The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is of heaven...and as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (1 Corinthians 15:45-48).
In 1 Corinthians 11:8,12, Paul contended that woman was “of man.” The Greek for the word “of” is ek, meaning “out of.” In 1 Timothy 2:13, Paul called Eve by name, denoting her as a literal, historical character. He noted that “the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness” (2 Corinthians 11:3). Peter used the Flood to discuss an analogy of our salvation (1 Peter 3:21), and referred to the emerging Earth as something that actually had taken place (2 Peter 3:5b).
There are numerous other examples such as these that could be given if space allowed. The point, however, is well made. The first eleven chapters of Genesis, which we often refer to as the “creation chapters,” are an integral part of the biblical record. They are not warts or growths that may be shaved off, leaving the remainder intact. Jesus accepted them as correct and reliable, and used them as a basis for many of His teachings. If Adam turns out to be a myth, as many today would have us believe, Jesus is likewise reduced in stature. The two do indeed “stand or fall together.” Jesus’ teachings on creation stressed its importance. If it was important to Him, it should be equally as important to us as well.

REFERENCES

Cremer, H. (1962), Biblico-Theological Lexicon of New Testament Greek (London: T & T Clark).
Culp, G. Richard (1975), Remember Thy Creator (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Harvey, Van A. (1966), The Historian and the Believer (New York: Macmillan).
Segraves, K.L. (1973), Jesus Christ Creator (San Diego, CA: Creation-Science Research Center).
Teller, Woolsey and James D. Bales (1976), The Existence of God—A Debate (Shreveport, LA: Lambert).
Thayer, J.H. (1958), Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Edinburgh: T & T Clark).
Vine, W.E. (1951), First Corinthians (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Whitcomb, John C. (1972), The Early Earth (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Whitcomb, John C. (1973), “Methods of the Creator,” And God Created, Vol. III, ed. K.L. Segraves (San Diego, CA: Creation-Science Research Center).

From Mark Copeland... The Danger Of Traditions (Mark 7:1-13)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                   The Danger Of Traditions (7:1-13)

INTRODUCTION

1. As Jesus went about teaching, He often ran afoul of religious leaders
   over keeping traditions...
   a. E.g., plucking heads of grain on the Sabbath - Mk 2:23-28
   b. E.g., eating with unwashed hands - Mk 7:1-13

2. In Mk 7:1-13, Jesus describes the danger of traditions at length...
   a. How keeping them can make void the very commands of God
   b. How keeping them can make our worship vain before God

3. Traditions are very important in some religions...
   a. In Roman Catholicism, tradition is placed on par with God's Word
      1) "It is an article of faith from a decree of the Vatican Council
         that Tradition is a source of theological teaching distinct
         from Scripture, and that it is infallible.  It is therefore to
         be received with the same internal assent of Scripture, for it
         is the word of God." - Catholic Dictionary, p. 41-42
      2) "Do you have to believe in Tradition?  Yes, because it is the
         Word of God and has equal authority with the Bible." - Catholic
         Catechism For Adults, p. 11
   b. Protestant churches have their own traditions
      1) It is often their traditions that distinguish between the
         denominations
      2) To be a member of a particular denomination, one must accept
         its traditions

4. In this study, with Mk 7:1-13 as our basic text, we will address the
   following questions...
   a. What are traditions?
   b. Are traditions always wrong?
   c. If not, when does a tradition become sinful?

[Let's begin with...]

I. THE MEANING OF TRADITION

   A. THE WORD ITSELF...
      1. The Greek word is paradosis, which means "giving over" or
         "handing down"
      2. It refers to teaching that is handed down either by word
         (orally) or in writing

   B. AS UNDERSTOOD BY THE JEWS...
      1. It applied to the oral teachings of the elders (distinguished
         elders from Moses on down)
      2. These traditions were often divided into three classes...
         a. Oral laws supposedly given by Moses in addition to the
            written laws
         b. Decisions of various judges which became precedents in
            judicial matters
         c. Interpretations of highly respected rabbis held in reverence
            along with the OT scriptures
         -- Article on "Tradition", ISBE
      3. Prior to his conversion, Paul was a staunch supporter of Jewish
         tradition - Ga 1:13-14

   C. AS UNDERSTOOD BY ROMAN AND GREEK CATHOLICS...
      1. Their views appear to be parallel to that of the Jews
      2. What they consider "Tradition" is what they believe to be the
         teachings:
         a. Of Jesus or the apostles, persevered orally rather than
            through writing
         b. Of various councils which have left various decrees
         c. Of various church leaders (such as the pope) considered to
            be inspired with later revelations from God
      3. Of course, one is expected to take their word for it that these
         "traditions" were truly from God and have been faithfully
         transmitted

   D. AS FOUND IN THE SCRIPTURES...
      1. The word "tradition" as such is not found in the Old Testament
      2. It is found thirteen (13) times in New Testament
         a. Three (3) times it refers to "apostolic teaching"
            1) That which had been delivered by the apostles - 1Co 11:2
            2) Whether by word (in person) or epistle - 2Th 2:15
            3) Which Christians were expected to keep - 2Th 3:6
         b. Ten (10) times it refers to "the tradition of the elders" or
            "the traditions of men"
            1) As in our text and parallel passages - Mk 7:3-13; Mt 15:2-6
            2) Of which Paul warned the Colossians - Col 2:8
            3) From which Jewish Christians had been delivered - 1Pe 1:18; Ga 1:14
      3. Jesus did not feel bound to abide by "the traditions of the
         elders"
         a. Some traditions He had no problem with keeping
            1) Such as going to a wedding feast - Jn 2:1-2
            2) Or attending the Feast Of Dedication - Jn 10:22-23
         b. But He just as easily had no problem with violating other
            traditions
            1) Plucking grain on the Sabbath - Mk 2:23-28
            2) Eating with unwashed hands - Mk 7:1-5
      4. Evidently Jesus did not subscribe to the view of "traditions"
         handed down orally
         a. He never appealed to the traditions of the elders
         b. He either appealed to the authority of the written Word (the
            Law of Moses), or to His own authority as the Son of God

[Not all "traditions" are wrong.  If they are teachings of God, "handed
down" by inspired men, they are to be heeded (2Th 2:15).  But if they
are doctrines or interpretations handed down by uninspired men, like the
traditions of the Jews they are suspect.  As we return to our text (Mk 7:1-13), Jesus points out...]

II. THE DANGER OF TRADITIONS OF MEN

   A. THEY CAN LEAD TO HYPOCRITICAL WORSHIP...
      1. Traditions of men tend toward ritualism (just look at the
         rituals found in many religions that have no scriptural basis)
      2. Such ritualism is often done repeatedly, with little thought as
         to its origin and purpose
      3. It is easy to go through such rituals, with the heart and mind
         on other things
      4. Worship without the heart (or mind) of man is hypocritical
         worship! - Mk 7:6

   B. THEY CAN LEAD TO VAIN WORSHIP...
      1. When traditions of men are taught on the same level as the
         commands of God, it leads to vain worship - Mk 7:7
      2. Such worship may appear to be impressive, but it in actually
         "empty, worthless"
         a. First, because God did not command it
         b. Second, because it does not accomplish the good we really
            need - cf. Col 2:18-23

   C. THEY CAN MAKE THE WORD OF GOD VOID...
      1. Jesus gave the example of honoring one's parents - Mk 7:10-12
         a. The elders' tradition taught giving to the temple freed one
            from giving to one's parents
         b. Thus rendering the command of God of no effect
      2. There are traditions of men today with similar affect
         a. Such as the practice of sprinkling for baptism, a tradition
            of man
         b. When one keeps the tradition of sprinkling, they make the
            command of God to be baptized (immersed) of no effect!
      3. Through such traditions, one is actually rejecting the command
         of God! - Mk 7:8-9,13

CONCLUSION

1. What are traditions...?
   a. They are simply teachings that have been handed down
   b. In the case of inspired men (like the apostles) given in person or
      through their writings, such traditions are good and to be
      followed

2. Oral traditions, given through a succession of uninspired men, are at
   best suspect...
   a. Jesus did not hold traditions orally transmitted through the Jews
      on par with God's written word
   b. Nor should we hold traditions orally transmitted through men on
      par with God's written word

3. At worst, traditions of men can be vain and deadly...
   a. When their observance leads one to not keep a command of God
   b. When they are taught as doctrine, on par with God's word
   c. When they lead to ritualism, done without engaging the heart and
      mind of man

From the words of Jesus, let us beware of "The Danger Of Traditions",
and make sure that our faith and practice is based upon the written Word
of God, not the interpretations and teachings of uninspired men...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... The Healings In Gennesaret (Mark 6:53-56)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                  The Healings In Gennesaret (6:53-56)

INTRODUCTION

1. Following Jesus' walk on water, other miracles soon followed...
   a. Shortly after anchoring the boat on the shores of Gennesaret - Mk 6:53
   b. When Jesus healed everyone who was brought to Him - Mk 6:54-56

2. "The Healings In Gennesaret" provide an opportunity to make
   observations about...
   a. The success of Jesus' healing ministry
   b. The purpose of Jesus' healing ministry

[Similar observations can be made about the healing ministries of Peter
and Paul, which can serve to critique so-called healing ministries today
(are they really of God?).  So let's begin by noting...]

I. THE SETTING OF THE HEALINGS

   A. IN GENNESARET...
      1. Where Jesus and His disciples anchored their boat - Mk 6:53
      2. A densely populated and fertile plain south of Capernaum
         - Hendriksen
      3. About 3 miles along the Sea of Galilee (also called the Lake of
         Gennesaret, Lk 5:1) - ibid.
      4. Its natural beauty and fertility were most remarkable... the
         plain produced walnuts, palms, figs, olives, and grapes
         - Josephus

   B. OTHER OCCASIONS...
      1. The healings of Peter - Ac 5:14-16
         a. In Jerusalem
         b. During the early days of the church
      2. The healings of Paul - Ac 19:11-12
         a. In Ephesus
         b. During his extended stay, while on his third journey

[In both rustic and urban settings, wonderful things happened when true
men of God were healing the sick.  But now let's consider carefully...]

II. THE SUCCESS OF THE HEALINGS

   A. IN GENNESARET...
      1. When people heard He was there, they gathered the sick - Mk 6:54-56
      2. Wherever He went, they brought the sick to Him
         a. On beds
         b. Laying them in the market places
      3. Note well:  "as many as touched Him were made well"

   B. OTHER OCCASIONS...
      1. Peter in Jerusalem - Ac 5:14-16
         a. The sick were laid out in the street on beds and couches
         b. People from surrounding cities were brought the sick and
            possessed
         c. Note well:  "they were all healed"
      2. Paul at Ephesus - Ac 19:11-12
         a. God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul
         b. Even handkerchiefs brought from his body to the sick healed
            them
         c. Note well:  implied is that all who received such
            ministrations were healed

[The crowds that gathered around Jesus, Peter, and Paul were
understandable.  The success of these three men was remarkable.  Now for
an observation or two about...]

III. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE HEALINGS

   A. IN GENNESARET...
      1. The purpose of the healings was to confirm Jesus' claims - cf.
         Jn 5:36; 10:25,37-38
      2. People who saw such signs made the connection - e.g., Jn 3:2;
         9:30-33
      3. Jesus did refrain on one occasion from doing miracles for lack
         of faith - cf. Mt 13:58
      4. But note well:  He never failed any miracle that He Himself
         attempted!

   B. OTHER OCCASIONS...
      1. The purpose of apostolic miracles was to confirm their message
         - Mk 16:17-20
      2. God bore witness to His Word by the gifts of the Holy Spirit
         - He 2:3-4
      3. The apostles did not always heal those they knew were sick
         - cf. 2Ti 4:20
      4. But note well:  the apostles never failed any miracle they
         attempted!

CONCLUSION

1. Today, there are self-proclaimed faith healers who say God is working
   through them...
   a. Often large crowds attend their meetings, hoping to be healed
   b. But many people leave such meetings, disappointed that they were
      not healed
   c. Despite having such healers lay their hands on them, and pray for
      them

2. When true servants of God healed, everyone was healed...!
   a. Whether it was Jesus, Peter or Paul
   b. The purpose of miracles to confirm they were servants of God
   c. And God left no room for doubt!

3. The fact is, such healing ministries were for a specific purpose...
   a. They were to confirm the message and messengers as being from God
   b. Once the Word of God was completely revealed and confirmed, there
      is no longer a need for such miracles of confirmation - cf. 1Co 13:8-10
   c. Which explains why such miracles are not being done today
   d. Contrary to claims made by false teachers who mislead many

When we carefully study the miracles of Jesus and those of His apostles,
comparing them with the so-called miracle healers of today, we can
easily see the difference...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Mark Copeland... Jesus Walks On Water (Mark 6:45-52)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                     Jesus Walks On Water (6:45-52)

INTRODUCTION

1. Have you ever felt alone...
   a. As you battled the storms of life?
   b. Wondering where Jesus was when you needed Him?

2. Then perhaps the miracle we are about to study may be helpful...
   a. When Jesus walked on the water
   b. Recorded in three gospels (Matthew, Mark, John)

[Our study will be based on Mark's account (Mk 6:45-52).  We'll divide
the study in two sections, beginning with verses 45-47 where we read
of...]

I. THE PRAYER IN JESUS' ABSENCE

   A. JESUS PRAYED AS THEY WERE ROWING...
      1. Jesus sent His disciples by boat to Bethsaida near Capernaum
         - Mk 6:45; cf. Jn 6:17
      2. He Himself departed to the mountain to pray - Mk 6:46
         a. Even in His busy schedule, taking time to pray was a
            priority for Jesus - cf. Mk 1:35
         b. If the Son of God needed prayer, how much more the children
            of God today! - cf. Col 4:2
      3. Thus at evening, while His disciples were rowing, He was alone
         - Mk 6:47
      -- Two vivid scenes:  Jesus praying on the mountain, His disciples
         rowing in the sea

   B. JESUS PRAYS AS WE ARE WORKING...
      1. Like the disciples rowing in the sea, we are to busying working
         a. Working out our salvation with fear and trembling - cf. Php 2:12
         b. Abounding in the work of the Lord - cf. 1Co 15:58
      2. Meanwhile, as on the mountain, so now in heaven, Jesus prays
         for us
         a. He is our great High Priest - cf. He 4:14-16
         b. He makes intercession on our behalf - cf. He 7:25; Ro 8:34;
            1Jn 2:1
      -- Two vivid scenes:  Jesus praying in heaven, His disciples busy
         on earth

[As we return to our text (verses 48-52), the two scenes become one as
Jesus joins His disciples and we read of...]

II. THE PEACE OF JESUS' PRESENCE

   A. JESUS' COMING BROUGHT THEM PEACE...
      1. Jesus saw His disciples straining at rowing - Mk 6:48
         a. For the wind was against them
         b. Matthew records the boat was being tossed by the waves - Mt 14:24
      2. Jesus came to them, walking on the sea - Mk 6:48
         a. About the fourth watch of the night (3:00 to 6:00 am)
         b. He would have passed them by had they not called out
      3. The disciples saw Him, thought it was a ghost, and cried out
         - Mk 6:49
         a. Perhaps like King Herod, they were prone to superstition
            - cf. Mk 6:14
         b. Given the circumstances (dark night, stormy sea), who could
            blame them?
      4. They were greatly troubled, but Jesus spoke words of comfort
         - Mk 6:50
         a. Note that Mark says "immediately" - Jesus sought to allay
            their fears quickly
         b. "Be of good cheer" (NKJV), "Take heart" (ESV), "Take
            courage" (NASB)
         c. "It is I; do not be afraid" - Jesus sought to encourage them
            with His presence
      5. It is interesting that Mark does not record Peter's attempt to
         walk out to Jesus
         a. As recorded by Matthew - Mt 14:28-31
         b. Especially if Mark's gospel was based mostly on Peter's
            testimony
         c. Yet it is consistent with the humility often seen in the
            gospels, where the authors make little or no reference to
            themselves (cf. Matthew, Mark, John)
      6. As Jesus joined them in the boat, the wind ceased and they
         marveled - Mk 6:51-52
         a. Greatly amazed beyond measure, and rightly so!
         b. For they had yet to grasp the significance of His feeding
            the 5000
         c. According to Matthew, they worshiped Jesus and proclaimed
            Him to be the Son of God - Mt 14:33
      -- Jesus' coming had brought great peace and comfort to His
         disciples

   B. JESUS' COMING WILL BRING US PEACE...
      1. For now, we are like the disciples, rowing our way to the
         heavenly shore
      2. At times, the stormy seas in our journey will make us afraid
         and challenge our faith
      3. Remember that He prays for us!
         a. As He did on the mountain
         b. So He now does in heaven
      4. When He does come...
         a. His coming will be with the greatest "storm" ever! - cf. 2Pe 3:10-12
         b. But it will bring joy and peace for those who look for Him
            - cf. 2Pe 3:13; Re 21:1-7
      5. How we will gladly proclaim Him to be the Son of God!
      -- Jesus' final coming will bring great peace and comfort to those
         who serve Him

CONCLUSION

1. As described in the Believer's Bible Commentary...

   "The church has seen in this miracle a picture of the present age and
   its close. Jesus on the mountain represents Christ in His present
   ministry in heaven, interceding for His people. The disciples
   represent His servants, buffeted by the storms and trials of life.
   Soon the Savior will return to His own, deliver them from danger and
   distress and guide them safe to the heavenly shore."

2. So while we may struggle at times in our service to the Lord...
   a. We can take comfort, knowing that Jesus is praying for us during
      the storm
   b. We can take courage, knowing that His coming for us will bring us
      great peace

But such comfort and courage will come only to those who are willing to
serve Him now.  Are you in the "boat" and "rowing" in the service of
Jesus Christ, the Son of God...? - cf. Mt 28:18-20

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading December 5


Bible Reading   

December 5

The World English Bible


Dec. 5
Ezekiel 33-36

Eze 33:1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 33:2 Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and tell them, When I bring the sword on a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and set him for their watchman;
Eze 33:3 if, when he sees the sword come on the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
Eze 33:4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and doesn't take warning, if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be on his own head.
Eze 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and didn't take warning; his blood shall be on him; whereas if he had taken warning, he would have delivered his soul.
Eze 33:6 But if the watchman sees the sword come, and doesn't blow the trumpet, and the people aren't warned, and the sword comes, and take any person from among them; he is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
Eze 33:7 So you, son of man, I have set you a watchman to the house of Israel; therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
Eze 33:8 When I tell the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die, and you don't speak to warn the wicked from his way; that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at your hand.
Eze 33:9 Nevertheless, if you warn the wicked of his way to turn from it, and he doesn't turn from his way; he shall die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul.
Eze 33:10 You, son of man, tell the house of Israel: Thus you speak, saying, Our transgressions and our sins are on us, and we pine away in them; how then can we live?
Eze 33:11 Tell them, As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn you, turn you from your evil ways; for why will you die, house of Israel?
Eze 33:12 You, son of man, tell the children of your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his disobedience; and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turns from his wickedness; neither shall he who is righteous be able to live thereby in the day that he sins.
Eze 33:13 When I tell the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his righteousness, and commit iniquity, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered; but in his iniquity that he has committed, therein shall he die.
Eze 33:14 Again, when I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;
Eze 33:15 if the wicked restore the pledge, give again that which he had taken by robbery, walk in the statutes of life, committing no iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.
Eze 33:16 None of his sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him: he has done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.
Eze 33:17 Yet the children of your people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.
Eze 33:18 When the righteous turns from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, he shall even die therein.
Eze 33:19 When the wicked turns from his wickedness, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.
Eze 33:20 Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not equal. House of Israel, I will judge you everyone after his ways.
Eze 33:21 It happened in the twelfth year of our captivity, in the tenth month, in the fifth day of the month, that one who had escaped out of Jerusalem came to me, saying, The city has been struck.
Eze 33:22 Now the hand of Yahweh had been on me in the evening, before he who was escaped came; and he had opened my mouth, until he came to me in the morning; and my mouth was opened, and I was no more mute.
Eze 33:23 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 33:24 Son of man, they who inhabit those waste places in the land of Israel speak, saying, Abraham was one, and he inherited the land: but we are many; the land is given us for inheritance.
Eze 33:25 Therefore tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: You eat with the blood, and lift up your eyes to your idols, and shed blood: and shall you possess the land?
Eze 33:26 You stand on your sword, you work abomination, and you defile everyone his neighbor's wife: and shall you possess the land?
Eze 33:27 You shall tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: As I live, surely those who are in the waste places shall fall by the sword; and him who is in the open field will I give to the animals to be devoured; and those who are in the strongholds and in the caves shall die of the pestilence.
Eze 33:28 I will make the land a desolation and an astonishment; and the pride of her power shall cease; and the mountains of Israel shall be desolate, so that none shall pass through.
Eze 33:29 Then shall they know that I am Yahweh, when I have made the land a desolation and an astonishment, because of all their abominations which they have committed.
Eze 33:30 As for you, son of man, the children of your people talk of you by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, everyone to his brother, saying, Please come and hear what is the word that comes forth from Yahweh.
Eze 33:31 They come to you as the people comes, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear your words, but don't do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goes after their gain.
Eze 33:32 Behold, you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they don't do them.
Eze 33:33 When this comes to pass, (behold, it comes), then shall they know that a prophet has been among them.
Eze 34:1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and tell them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shouldn't the shepherds feed the sheep?
Eze 34:3 You eat the fat, and you clothe you with the wool, you kill the fatlings; but you don't feed the sheep.
Eze 34:4 You haven't strengthened the diseased, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought back that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with rigor have you ruled over them.
Eze 34:5 They were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food to all the animals of the field, and were scattered.
Eze 34:6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill: yes, my sheep were scattered on all the surface of the earth; and there was none who searched or sought.
Eze 34:7 Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh:
Eze 34:8 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely because my sheep became a prey, and my sheep became food to all the animals of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my sheep, but the shepherds fed themselves, and didn't feed my sheep;
Eze 34:9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of Yahweh:
Eze 34:10 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my sheep at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the sheep; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; and I will deliver my sheep from their mouth, that they may not be food for them.
Eze 34:11 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I myself, even I, will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.
Eze 34:12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered abroad, so will I seek out my sheep; and I will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.
Eze 34:13 I will bring them out from the peoples, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the watercourses, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
Eze 34:14 I will feed them with good pasture; and on the mountains of the height of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie down in a good fold; and on fat pasture shall they feed on the mountains of Israel.
Eze 34:15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will cause them to lie down, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 34:16 I will seek that which was lost, and will bring back that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but the fat and the strong I will destroy; I will feed them in justice.
Eze 34:17 As for you, O my flock, thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I judge between sheep and sheep, the rams and the male goats.
Eze 34:18 Seems it a small thing to you to have fed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the residue of your pasture? and to have drunk of the clear waters, but you must foul the residue with your feet?
Eze 34:19 As for my sheep, they eat that which you have trodden with your feet, and they drink that which you have fouled with your feet.
Eze 34:20 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh to them: Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
Eze 34:21 Because you thrust with side and with shoulder, and push all the diseased with your horns, until you have scattered them abroad;
Eze 34:22 therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between sheep and sheep.
Eze 34:23 I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.
Eze 34:24 I, Yahweh, will be their God, and my servant David prince among them; I, Yahweh, have spoken it.
Eze 34:25 I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause evil animals to cease out of the land; and they shall dwell securely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods.
Eze 34:26 I will make them and the places around my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in its season; there shall be showers of blessing.
Eze 34:27 The tree of the field shall yield its fruit, and the earth shall yield its increase, and they shall be secure in their land; and they shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have broken the bars of their yoke, and have delivered them out of the hand of those who made slaves of them.
Eze 34:28 They shall no more be a prey to the nations, neither shall the animals of the earth devour them; but they shall dwell securely, and none shall make them afraid.
Eze 34:29 I will raise up to them a plantation for renown, and they shall be no more consumed with famine in the land, neither bear the shame of the nations any more.
Eze 34:30 They shall know that I, Yahweh, their God am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 34:31 You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 35:1 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 35:2 Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it,
Eze 35:3 and tell it, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against you, and I will make you a desolation and an astonishment.
Eze 35:4 I will lay your cities waste, and you shall be desolate; and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 35:5 Because you have had a perpetual enmity, and have given over the children of Israel to the power of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time of the iniquity of the end;
Eze 35:6 therefore, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I will prepare you to blood, and blood shall pursue you: since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you.
Eze 35:7 Thus will I make Mount Seir an astonishment and a desolation; and I will cut off from it him who passes through and him who returns.
Eze 35:8 I will fill its mountains with its slain: in your hills and in your valleys and in all your watercourses shall they fall who are slain with the sword.
Eze 35:9 I will make you a perpetual desolation, and your cities shall not be inhabited; and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 35:10 Because you have said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas Yahweh was there:
Eze 35:11 therefore, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I will do according to your anger, and according to your envy which you have shown out of your hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I shall judge you.
Eze 35:12 You shall know that I, Yahweh, have heard all your insults which you have spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they are given us to devour.
Eze 35:13 You have magnified yourselves against me with your mouth, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard it.
Eze 35:14 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: When the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate.
Eze 35:15 As you did rejoice over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so will I do to you: you shall be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom, even all of it; and they shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 36:1 You, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of Yahweh.
Eze 36:2 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because the enemy has said against you, Aha! and, The ancient high places are ours in possession;
Eze 36:3 therefore prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because, even because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that you might be a possession to the residue of the nations, and you are taken up in the lips of talkers, and the evil report of the people;
Eze 36:4 therefore, you mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Yahweh: Thus says the Lord Yahweh to the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses and to the valleys, to the desolate wastes and to the cities that are forsaken, which are become a prey and derision to the residue of the nations that are all around;
Eze 36:5 therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the nations, and against all Edom, that have appointed my land to themselves for a possession with the joy of all their heart, with despite of soul, to cast it out for a prey.
Eze 36:6 Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and tell the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses and to the valleys, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my wrath, because you have borne the shame of the nations:
Eze 36:7 therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: I have sworn, saying, Surely the nations that are around you, they shall bear their shame.
Eze 36:8 But you, mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people Israel; for they are at hand to come.
Eze 36:9 For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn into you, and you shall be tilled and sown;
Eze 36:10 and I will multiply men on you, all the house of Israel, even all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built;
Eze 36:11 and I will multiply on you man and animal; and they shall increase and be fruitful; and I will cause you to be inhabited after your former estate, and will do better to you than at your beginnings: and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 36:12 Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, even my people Israel; and they shall possess you, and you shall be their inheritance, and you shall no more henceforth bereave them of children.
Eze 36:13 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because they say to you, You land are a devourer of men, and have been a bereaver of your nation;
Eze 36:14 therefore you shall devour men no more, neither bereave your nation any more, says the Lord Yahweh;
Eze 36:15 neither will I let you hear any more the shame of the nations, neither shall you bear the reproach of the peoples any more, neither shall you cause your nation to stumble any more, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 36:16 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 36:17 Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their way and by their doings: their way before me was as the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity.
Eze 36:18 Therefore I poured out my wrath on them for the blood which they had poured out on the land, and because they had defiled it with their idols;
Eze 36:19 and I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.
Eze 36:20 When they came to the nations, where they went, they profaned my holy name; in that men said of them, These are the people of Yahweh, and are gone forth out of his land.
Eze 36:21 But I had regard for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations, where they went.
Eze 36:22 Therefore tell the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: I don't do this for your sake, house of Israel, but for my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations, where you went.
Eze 36:23 I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am Yahweh, says the Lord Yahweh, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
Eze 36:24 For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land.
Eze 36:25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
Eze 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.
Eze 36:27 I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my ordinances, and do them.
Eze 36:28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Eze 36:29 I will save you from all your uncleanness: and I will call for the grain, and will multiply it, and lay no famine on you.
Eze 36:30 I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that you may receive no more the reproach of famine among the nations.
Eze 36:31 Then you shall remember your evil ways, and your doings that were not good; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.
Eze 36:32 Nor for your sake do I this, says the Lord Yahweh, be it known to you: be ashamed and confounded for your ways, house of Israel.
Eze 36:33 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built.
Eze 36:34 The land that was desolate shall be tilled, whereas it was a desolation in the sight of all who passed by.
Eze 36:35 They shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited.
Eze 36:36 Then the nations that are left around you shall know that I, Yahweh, have built the ruined places, and planted that which was desolate: I, Yahweh, have spoken it, and I will do it.
Eze 36:37 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: For this, moreover, will I be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them: I will increase them with men like a flock.
Eze 36:38 As the flock for sacrifice, as the flock of Jerusalem in her appointed feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men; and they shall know that I am Yahweh.


Dec. 5
1 Peter 3

1Pe 3:1 In like manner, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; so that, even if any don't obey the Word, they may be won by the behavior of their wives without a word;
1Pe 3:2 seeing your pure behavior in fear.
1Pe 3:3 Let your beauty be not just the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on fine clothing;
1Pe 3:4 but in the hidden person of the heart, in the incorruptible adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God very precious.
1Pe 3:5 For this is how the holy women before, who hoped in God also adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands:
1Pe 3:6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose children you now are, if you do well, and are not put in fear by any terror.
1Pe 3:7 You husbands, in like manner, live with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor to the woman, as to the weaker vessel, as being also joint heirs of the grace of life; that your prayers may not be hindered.
1Pe 3:8 Finally, be all like-minded, compassionate, loving as brothers, tenderhearted, courteous,
1Pe 3:9 not rendering evil for evil, or reviling for reviling; but instead blessing; knowing that to this were you called, that you may inherit a blessing.
1Pe 3:10 For, "He who would love life, and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit.
1Pe 3:11 Let him turn away from evil, and do good. Let him seek peace, and pursue it.
1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears open to their prayer; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."
1Pe 3:13 Now who is he who will harm you, if you become imitators of that which is good?
1Pe 3:14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. "Don't fear what they fear, neither be troubled."
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts; and always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason concerning the hope that is in you, with humility and fear:
1Pe 3:16 having a good conscience; that, while you are spoken against as evildoers, they may be disappointed who curse your good manner of life in Christ.
1Pe 3:17 For it is better, if it is God's will, that you suffer for doing well than for doing evil.
1Pe 3:18 Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God; being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
1Pe 3:19 in which he also went and preached to the spirits in prison,
1Pe 3:20 who before were disobedient, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, while the ship was being built. In it, few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water.
1Pe 3:21 This is a symbol of baptism, which now saves you--not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,
1Pe 3:22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, angels and authorities and powers being made subject to him.