12/11/14

From Jim McGuiggan... Jesus and Camelot


Jesus and Camelot

Tennyson tells us that King Arthur established the order of the Round Table. A table without a head or foot, where all were equal in their commitment to justice for all and might for right. His dream drew knights from all over England and Europe and the effects of it were felt all over the land when women could walk out in the evening alone without worry, when doors were left unlocked, when the roads were cleared of robbers and tyrants were disestablished. But just when things were flourishing, the greatest knight of them all, Lancelot, set his eye on the king's wife, Guinevere, and she on him. The wickedness became known and Lancelot rode away only to return when he heard that the knights had demanded that Guinevere be tried for treason. She was tried and condemned to death but Lancelot came and rescued her and carried her off to France where she entered a convent. The knights and Arthur raged and for a while there was nothing but inflamed pride and vengeance in their hearts and so they sailed to France, prepared to make war against Lancelot and his forces.

Arthur is broken-hearted and dispirited. The dream had failed, the purpose had died. The great sin of Guinevere and Lancelot had also exposed the underlying sin of all of them when vengeance and bitterness reigned and offended pride had proved stronger than brotherhood and forgiveness.

In the musical adaptation the king is putting on his armour in the dawn of the day of battle when he hears a rustling in the bush; it was a boy about twelve who had stowed away on one of the ships—to kill the enemy and be a knight, he said. Arthur wanted to know why he would want to be part of an extinct fellowship. Had he ever met a knight, was his father a knight or had his mother been rescued by a knight? The answer to all these questions was no, so what did he know of knights? Only the stories he had heard, the boy said, and when the king asked him what stories he spoke of justice for all, the round table and might used in the service of right. As the boy spoke the astonished king was mouthing the words with him.

Stories! The story of the dream had kept the dream alive. The stories of righteousness and justice for all kept the vision alive in the heart of a boy who'd never even seen a knight. The deeply depressed king has gained new heart and knights the boy Sir Tom of Warwick with a commission to go home and grow old telling the story of the meaning of Camelot. 

Part of his instruction was this:

Every evening from December to December
Before you fall asleep upon your cot
Think back on all the tales that you remember
Of Camelot.
Ask everyone if he has heard the story
And tell it loud and clear if he has not
Don't let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one bright shining moment
That was known as Camelot.

At that moment an aide comes to remind the king that they have a battle to fight and win but the king, all smiles and optimism, assures his companion that their victory already stands before them in the heart of a boy who cherishes the story and what it means; a boy who will tell it everywhere he goes. What happens at the approaching battle is now irrelevant.

The massive truth on which all great fiction is built is that God's great purpose for the human family was and is accomplished in and through Jesus Christ and that it is God's wisdom by the foolishness of a preached message—a Story—to redeem the world (1 Corinthians 1:21). The victory has already been won and in the body of Jesus Christ, the church, that message about God's dream and purpose that cannot be thwarted is kept alive in each new generation.

In ultimate truth, the world is saved not by science or philosophy or political reform however needful these are and no matter how true it is that these are instruments of God at his pleasure. The human family is saved and all things in heaven and on earth are reconciled to God and find their ultimate state of blessing in him about whom the Story is told.

And the victory over the world is gained in the name of Jesus Christ through those who cherish the Story and will not let it be forgot (1 John 5:4-5).  

Preachers and teachers and the entire church of God have a commission and a destiny—tell and live out the Story!

Is Satan "Lucifer"? by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1091

Is Satan "Lucifer"?

by  Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

Q.

Isaiah 14:12 mentions the name of "Lucifer." I’ve heard it said that this is Satan. Are Lucifer and Satan one and the same?
A.
It is sad, but nevertheless true, that on occasion Bible students attribute to God’s Word facts and concepts that it neither teaches nor advocates. These ill-advised beliefs run the entire gamut—from harmless misinterpretations to potentially soul-threatening false doctrines.
Although there are numerous examples from both categories that could be listed, perhaps one of the most popular misconceptions among Bible believers is that Satan also is designated as “Lucifer” within the pages of the Bible. What is the origin of the name Lucifer, what is its meaning, and is it a synonym for “Satan”? Here are the facts.
The word “Lucifer” is used in the King James Version only once, in Isaiah 14:12: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” The Hebrew word translated “Lucifer” is helel (or heylel), from the root, hâlâl, meaning “to shine” or “to bear light.” Keil and Delitzsch noted that “[i]t derives its name in other ancient languages also from its striking brilliancy, and is here called ben-shachar (son of the dawn)... (1982, 7:311). However, the KJV translators did not translate helel as Lucifer because of something inherent in the Hebrew term itself. Instead, they borrowed the name from Jerome’s translation of the Bible (A.D. 383-405) known as the Latin Vulgate. Jerome, likely believing that the term was describing the planet Venus, employed the Latin term “Lucifer” (“light-bearing”) to designate “the morning star” (Venus). Only later did the suggestion originate that Isaiah 14:12ff. was speaking of the devil. Eventually, the name Lucifer came to be synonymous with Satan. But is Satan “Lucifer”?
No, he is not. The context into which verse 12 fits begins in verse 4 where God told Isaiah to “take up this parable against the king of Babylon, and say, ‘How hath the oppressor ceased! the golden city ceased!’” In his commentary on Isaiah, Albert Barnes explained that God’s wrath was kindled against the king because the ruler “intended not to acknowledge any superior either in heaven or earth, but designed that himself and his laws should be regarded as supreme” (1950, 1:272). The chest-pounding boast of the impudent potentate was:
I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High (vss. 13-14).
As a result of his egotistical self-deification, the pagan monarch eventually would experience both the collapse of his kingdom and the loss of his life—an ignominious end that is described in vivid and powerful terms. “Sheol from beneath is moved for thee to meet thee at thy coming,” the prophet proclaimed to the once-powerful king. And when the ruler finally descends into his eternal grave, captives of that hidden realm will taunt him by saying, “Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms?” (vs. 16). He is denominated as a “man” (vs. 16) who would die in disrepute and whose body would be buried, not in a king’s sarcophagus, but in pits reserved for the downtrodden masses (vss. 19-20). Worms would eat his body, and hedgehogs would trample his grave (vss. 11,23).
It was in this context that Isaiah referred to the king of Babylon as “the morning star” (“son of the morning”; “son of the dawn”) to depict the once-shining-but-now-dimmed, once-lofty-but-now-diminished, status of the (soon to be former) ruler. In his Bible Commentary, E.M. Zerr observed that such phrases were “...used figuratively in this verse to symbolize the dignity and splendor of the Babylonian monarch. His complete overthrow was likened to the falling of the morning star” (1954, 3:265). This kind of phraseology should not be surprising since “[i]n the O.T., the demise of corrupt national powers is frequently depicted under the imagery of falling heavenly luminaries (cf. Isa. 13:10; Ezek. 32:7), hence, quite appropriately in this context the Babylonian monarch is described as a fallen star [cf. ASV]” (Jackson, 1987, 23:15).
Nowhere within the context of Isaiah 14, however, is Satan depicted as Lucifer. In fact, quite the opposite is true. In his commentary on Isaiah, Burton Coffman wrote: “We are glad that our version (ASV) leaves the word Lucifer out of this rendition, because...Satan does not enter into this passage as a subject at all” (1990, p. 141). The Babylonian ruler was to die and be buried—fates neither of which Satan is destined to endure. The king was called “a man” whose body was to be eaten by worms, but Satan, as a spirit, has no physical body. The monarch lived in and abided over a “golden city” (vs. 4), but Satan is the monarch of a kingdom of spiritual darkness (cf. Ephesians 6:12). And so on.
The context presented in Isaiah 14:4-16 not only does not portray Satan as Lucifer, but actually militates against it. Keil and Delitzsch firmly proclaimed that “Lucifer,” as a synonym, “is a perfectly appropriate one for the king of Babel, on account of the early date of the Babylonian culture, which reached back as far as the grey twilight of primeval times, and also because of its predominate astrological character” (1982, p. 312). They then correctly concluded that “Lucifer, as a name given to the devil, was derived from this passage...without any warrant whatever, as relating to the apostasy and punishment of the angelic leaders” (pp. 312-313).

REFERENCES

Barnes, Albert (1950 edition), Barnes’ Notes on the Old and New Testaments—Isaiah (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Coffman, James Burton (1990), The Major Prophets—Isaiah (Abilene, TX: ACU Press).
Jackson, Wayne (1987), “Your Question & My Answer,” Christian Courier, 23:15, August.
Keil, C.F. and Franz Delitzsch, (1982 edition), Commentary on the Old Testament—Isaiah (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Zerr, E.M. (1954), Bible Commentary (Bowling Green, KY: Guardian of Truth Publications).

From Mark Copeland... The Savior's Sigh (Mark 8:11-13)

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                      The Savior's Sigh (8:11-13)

INTRODUCTION

1. Have you ever considered the Lord's reaction to your behavior...
   a. When you refuse to believe in Him?
   b. When you do not follow Him as you should?

2. In this lesson I want us to think how Jesus must feel...
   a. When we put off obeying the gospel of Christ
   b. When we fail to trust and obey Him in our daily walk

[In our text (Mk 8:11-13) we read of Jesus' response to those who came
to test Him.  Let's begin by carefully noting...]

I. THE NARRATIVE

   A. THE PHARISEES' DEMAND A SIGN...
      1. Jesus had just returned to the western shores of Galilee - Mk8:10
      2. The Pharisees began to dispute with Him - Mk 8:11
         a. They had challenged Jesus before - Mk 2:6-7,16; 3:22; 7:1-2
         b. Matthew adds that they were joined by the Sadducees - Mt 16:1
      3. They demanded a sign - Mk 8:11
         a. A sign from heaven, perhaps like Joshua? - cf. Josh 10:12-14
         b. Had they not seen and heard of the many miracles already
            done?
         c. They were testing Him, perhaps hoping He would fail and be
            discredited

   B. JESUS' RESPONSE INVOLVED A SIGH...
      1. He sighed deeply in His spirit - Mk 8:12
         a. The anguish which Jesus experienced came from deep down
            inside him - Hendriksen
         b. Here the word "spirit" is used in a sense not much different
            from "heart" or "inner being." - ibid.
      2. Similar responses on other occasions
         a. Grieved by the hardness of their hearts - Mk 3:5
         b. Sighed as He healed the deaf mute - Mk 7:34
         c. Groaned in His spirit seeing the grief of others - Jn 11:33
         d. Wept over the city of Jerusalem - Lk 19:41-44

[Because of their hard hearts, no sign such as they were demanding would
be given them, except His resurrection (Mk 8:12-13; cf. Mt 12:39-40;
16:1-4).  Now consider whether Jesus might "sigh deeply in His spirit
today...]

II. THE APPLICATION

   A. JESUS OBSERVES OUR BEHAVIOR...
      1. Just as He observed the behavior of Saul of Tarsus - Ac 9:5
      2. Just as He observed the churches of Asia
         a. He knew their works - Re 2:2,9,13,19; 3:1,8,15
         b. He found fault where it was due - Re 2:4,14,20; 3:2,16

   B. WOULD NOT JESUS SIGH DEEPLY...
      1. When we refuse to obey His gospel, time after time? - cf. Mt11:28-30
      2. When our conduct is not much different than those of the world?
         - cf. Mt 5:20
      3. When our love is no different than that displayed by sinners?
         - cf. Mt 5:44-48
      4. When the kingdom of God is not our priority in life? - cf. Mt6:33
      5. When tribulation or persecution causes us to stumble? - cf. Mt 13:20-21
      6. When anxiety or materialism makes us unfruitful? - cf. Mt 13:22
      7. When discouragement leads us to abandon prayer? - cf. Lk 18:1
      8. When human traditions displace keeping the commands of God?
         - cf. Mk 7:7,9
      9. When denominationalism defeats His prayer for unity? - cf. Jn 17:20-21
     10. When love of the world replaces love for His Father? - cf. 1Jn 2:15-17

CONCLUSION

1. From the Savior's sigh we learn that Jesus cared deeply...
   a. For those He was willing to heal (e.g., the deaf mute)
   b. For those He was willing to save (e.g., the Pharisees)

2. In similar fashion, Jesus stands ready...
   a. To save us from our sins
   b. To heal us of our souls' diseases

How will Jesus react to our response to Him?  Will it be with great joy,
or a deep sigh in His spirit...?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

From Gary... Bible Reading December 11


Bible Reading   

December 11

The World English Bible



Dec. 11
Daniel 9-12

Dan 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans,
Dan 9:2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years about which the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah the prophet, for the accomplishing of the desolations of Jerusalem, even seventy years.
Dan 9:3 I set my face to the Lord God, to seek by prayer and petitions, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.
Dan 9:4 I prayed to Yahweh my God, and made confession, and said, Oh, Lord, the great and dreadful God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness with those who love him and keep his commandments,
Dan 9:5 we have sinned, and have dealt perversely, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even turning aside from your precepts and from your ordinances;
Dan 9:6 neither have we listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
Dan 9:7 Lord, righteousness belongs to you, but to us confusion of face, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, who are near, and who are far off, through all the countries where you have driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against you.
Dan 9:8 Lord, to us belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you.
Dan 9:9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness; for we have rebelled against him;
Dan 9:10 neither have we obeyed the voice of Yahweh our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
Dan 9:11 Yes, all Israel have transgressed your law, even turning aside, that they should not obey your voice: therefore has the curse been poured out on us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God; for we have sinned against him.
Dan 9:12 He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us, and against our judges who judged us, by bringing on us a great evil; for under the whole sky has not been done as has been done on Jerusalem.
Dan 9:13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come on us: yet have we not entreated the favor of Yahweh our God, that we should turn from our iniquities, and have discernment in your truth.
Dan 9:14 Therefore has Yahweh watched over the evil, and brought it on us; for Yahweh our God is righteous in all his works which he does, and we have not obeyed his voice.
Dan 9:15 Now, Lord our God, who has brought your people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have gotten you renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
Dan 9:16 Lord, according to all your righteousness, let your anger and please let your wrath be turned away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people are become a reproach to all who are around us.
Dan 9:17 Now therefore, our God, listen to the prayer of your servant, and to his petitions, and cause your face to shine on your sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.
Dan 9:18 My God, turn your ear, and hear; open your eyes, and see our desolations, and the city which is called by your name: for we do not present our petitions before you for our righteousness, but for your great mercies' sake.
Dan 9:19 Lord, hear; Lord, forgive; Lord, listen and do; don't defer, for your own sake, my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.
Dan 9:20 While I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before Yahweh my God for the holy mountain of my God;
Dan 9:21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening offering.
Dan 9:22 He instructed me, and talked with me, and said, Daniel, I am now come forth to give you wisdom and understanding.
Dan 9:23 At the beginning of your petitions the commandment went forth, and I am come to tell you; for you are greatly beloved: therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision.
Dan 9:24 Seventy weeks are decreed on your people and on your holy city, to finish disobedience, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.
Dan 9:25 Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Anointed One, the prince, shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troubled times.
Dan 9:26 After the sixty-two weeks the Anointed One shall be cut off, and shall have nothing: and the people of the prince who shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and its end shall be with a flood, and even to the end shall be war; desolations are determined.
Dan 9:27 He shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease; and on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate; and even to the full end, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out on the desolate.
Dan 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, even a great warfare: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
Dan 10:2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three whole weeks.
Dan 10:3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine into my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, until three whole weeks were fulfilled.
Dan 10:4 In the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel,
Dan 10:5 I lifted up my eyes, and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, whose thighs were girded with pure gold of Uphaz:
Dan 10:6 his body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as flaming torches, and his arms and his feet like burnished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
Dan 10:7 I, Daniel, alone saw the vision; for the men who were with me didn't see the vision; but a great quaking fell on them, and they fled to hide themselves.
Dan 10:8 So I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me; for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
Dan 10:9 Yet heard I the voice of his words; and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I fallen into a deep sleep on my face, with my face toward the ground.
Dan 10:10 Behold, a hand touched me, which set me on my knees and on the palms of my hands.
Dan 10:11 He said to me, Daniel, you man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright; for to you am I now sent. When he had spoken this word to me, I stood trembling.
Dan 10:12 Then said he to me, Don't be afraid, Daniel; for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard: and I am come for your words' sake.
Dan 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; but, behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me: and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Dan 10:14 Now I have come to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the latter days; for the vision is yet for many days:
Dan 10:15 and when he had spoken to me according to these words, I set my face toward the ground, and was mute.
Dan 10:16 Behold, one in the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spoke and said to him who stood before me, my lord, by reason of the vision my sorrows are turned on me, and I retain no strength.
Dan 10:17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, immediately there remained no strength in me, neither was there breath left in me.
Dan 10:18 Then there touched me again one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me.
Dan 10:19 He said, "Greatly beloved man, don't be afraid: peace be to you, be strong, yes, be strong." When he spoke to me, I was strengthened, and said, "Let my lord speak; for you have strengthened me."
Dan 10:20 Then he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? Now I will return to fight with the prince of Persia. When I go forth, behold, the prince of Greece shall come.
Dan 10:21 But I will tell you that which is inscribed in the writing of truth: and there is none who holds with me against these, but Michael your prince."
Dan 11:1 "As for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him.
Dan 11:2 Now will I show you the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and when he has grown strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the realm of Greece.
Dan 11:3 A mighty king shall stand up, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
Dan 11:4 When he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of the sky, but not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others besides these.
Dan 11:5 The king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
Dan 11:6 At the end of years they shall join themselves together; and the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the strength of her arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm; but she shall be given up, and those who brought her, and he who became the father of her, and he who strengthened her in those times.
Dan 11:7 But out of a shoot from her roots shall one stand up in his place, who shall come to the army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail.
Dan 11:8 Also their gods, with their molten images, and with their goodly vessels of silver and of gold, shall he carry captive into Egypt; and he shall refrain some years from the king of the north.
Dan 11:9 He shall come into the realm of the king of the south, but he shall return into his own land.
Dan 11:10 His sons shall war, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces, which shall come on, and overflow, and pass through; and they shall return and war, even to his fortress.
Dan 11:11 The king of the south shall be moved with anger, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north; and he shall set forth a great multitude, and the multitude shall be given into his hand.
Dan 11:12 The multitude shall be lifted up, and his heart shall be exalted; and he shall cast down tens of thousands, but he shall not prevail.
Dan 11:13 The king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former; and he shall come on at the end of the times, even of years, with a great army and with much substance.
Dan 11:14 In those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the children of the violent among your people shall lift themselves up to establish the vision; but they shall fall.
Dan 11:15 So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mound, and take a well-fortified city: and the forces of the south shall not stand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to stand.
Dan 11:16 But he who comes against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him; and he shall stand in the glorious land, and in his hand shall be destruction.
Dan 11:17 He shall set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and with him equitable conditions; and he shall perform them: and he shall give him the daughter of women, to corrupt her; but she shall not stand, neither be for him.
Dan 11:18 After this shall he turn his face to the islands, and shall take many: but a prince shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; yes, moreover, he shall cause his reproach to turn on him.
Dan 11:19 Then he shall turn his face toward the fortresses of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and shall not be found.
Dan 11:20 Then shall stand up in his place one who shall cause a tax collector to pass through the kingdom to maintain its glory; but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.
Dan 11:21 In his place shall stand up a contemptible person, to whom they had not given the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in time of security, and shall obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
Dan 11:22 The overwhelming forces shall be overwhelmed from before him, and shall be broken; yes, also the prince of the covenant.
Dan 11:23 After the league made with him he shall work deceitfully; for he shall come up, and shall become strong, with a small people.
Dan 11:24 In time of security shall he come even on the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them prey, and spoil, and substance: yes, he shall devise his devices against the strongholds, even for a time.
Dan 11:25 He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall war in battle with an exceeding great and mighty army; but he shall not stand; for they shall devise devices against him.
Dan 11:26 Yes, they who eat of his dainties shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow; and many shall fall down slain.
Dan 11:27 As for both these kings, their hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table: but it shall not prosper; for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.
Dan 11:28 Then shall he return into his land with great substance; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do his pleasure, and return to his own land.
Dan 11:29 At the time appointed he shall return, and come into the south; but it shall not be in the latter time as it was in the former.
Dan 11:30 For ships of Kittim shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and shall return, and have indignation against the holy covenant, and shall do his pleasure: he shall even return, and have regard to those who forsake the holy covenant.
Dan 11:31 Forces shall stand on his part, and they shall profane the sanctuary, even the fortress, and shall take away the continual burnt offering, and they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate.
Dan 11:32 Such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he pervert by flatteries; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
Dan 11:33 Those who are wise among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by spoil, many days.
Dan 11:34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help; but many shall join themselves to them with flatteries.
Dan 11:35 Some of those who are wise shall fall, to refine them, and to purify, and to make them white, even to the time of the end; because it is yet for the time appointed.
Dan 11:36 The king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods; and he shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished; for that which is determined shall be done.
Dan 11:37 Neither shall he regard the gods of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all.
Dan 11:38 But in his place shall he honor the god of fortresses; and a god whom his fathers didn't know shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
Dan 11:39 He shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign god: whoever acknowledges him he will increase with glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for a price.
Dan 11:40 At the time of the end shall the king of the south contend with him; and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass through.
Dan 11:41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
Dan 11:42 He shall stretch forth his hand also on the countries; and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
Dan 11:43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
Dan 11:44 But news out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him; and he shall go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to sweep away many.
Dan 11:45 He shall plant the tents of his palace between the sea and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.
Dan 12:1 "At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who stands for the children of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who shall be found written in the book.
Dan 12:2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Dan 12:3 Those who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the expanse; and those who turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.
Dan 12:4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run back and forth, and knowledge shall be increased."
Dan 12:5 Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, there stood other two, the one on the brink of the river on this side, and the other on the brink of the river on that side.
Dan 12:6 One said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
Dan 12:7 I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by him who lives forever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half; and when they have made an end of breaking in pieces the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
Dan 12:8 I heard, but I didn't understand: then said I, my lord, what shall be the issue of these things?
Dan 12:9 He said, Go your way, Daniel; for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end.
Dan 12:10 Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but those who are wise shall understand.
Dan 12:11 From the time that the continual burnt offering shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred ninety days.
Dan 12:12 Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred thirty-five days.
Dan 12:13 But go you your way until the end be; for you shall rest, and shall stand in your lot, at the end of the days.
 
Dec. 11
1 John 1

1Jn 1:1 That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we saw, and our hands touched, concerning the Word of life
1Jn 1:2 (and the life was revealed, and we have seen, and testify, and declare to you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was revealed to us);
1Jn 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us. Yes, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
1Jn 1:4 And we write these things to you, that our joy may be fulfilled.
1Jn 1:5 This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and don't tell the truth.
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10 If we say that we haven't sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

From Gary... The colors of blessing!!!


I have had this particular picture for a long time, so I am unsure as to where I obtained it, but I seem to think it came from Walter Vogt- if so- Thanks!!!  Anyway, it is beautiful and makes me think of how beautiful God has made this world and the things in it. And God is a benevolent caretaker, just as Jesus has said...

Matthew Chapter 6 (WEB)
24  “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You can’t serve both God and Mammon.   25  Therefore I tell you, don’t be anxious for your life: what you will eat, or what you will drink; nor yet for your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food, and the body more than clothing?   26  See the birds of the sky, that they don’t sow, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns. Your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you of much more value than they?

If God cares for such a beautiful little thing like this bird- then what about us? In this holiday season, remember to be content with our blessings, for God will provide what we really need.  And the first thing I can think of is beauty!!! Well, I can check that one off the list!!!