7/31/15

From Mark Copeland... "THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT" The Fruit Of The Spirit - Goodness

                       "THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT"

                   The Fruit Of The Spirit - Goodness

INTRODUCTION

1. At this point in our study on "the fruit of the Spirit", we are 
   examining those graces which relate especially to our dealings with
   our fellowman...
   a. Longsuffering, defined as "that quality of self-restraint in the
      face of provocation which does not hastily retaliate or promptly
      punish." (VINE)
   b. Kindness, defined as "the sympathetic kindliness or sweetness of
      temper which puts others at their ease, and shrinks from giving
      pain" (PLUMMER)
   c. And now we come to goodness...

2. The Greek word is agathosune {ag-ath-o-soo'-nay}...
   a. This word is perhaps the most difficult to define, for it is so
      general in nature
   b. The difficulty is seen in that the word "goodness" takes it 
      meaning from its context
      1) E.g., we might say "that is a good animal", or "he is a good man"
      2) But good in what way?  The context defines the sense...
   c. The problem with its use in Ga 5:22 is that there is little in
      the context to guide us

3. But there may be at least two ways we might be able to come to a
   proper understanding of this word...
   a. Comparing it to the words "just" and "evil"
   b. Considering two examples in the New Testament of "good" people

[Let's begin by...]

I. COMPARING "GOODNESS" TO THE WORDS "JUST" AND "EVIL"

   A. THE GREEKS OFTEN COMPARED "GOODNESS" WITH "JUSTICE"...
      1. BARCLAY writes of how the Greeks compared these words:
         a. "Justice, they say, is the quality which gives a man what
            is due him;"
         b. "...goodness is the quality which is out to do far more 
            than that, and which desires to give a man all that is to
            his benefit and help."
      2. Again, BARCLAY writes:  "The man who is just sticks to the
         letter of his bond; the man who is good goes far beyond it."
      -- This suggests that the primary idea of goodness is "generosity"

   B. IN THE NT, THE WORD FROM WHICH "GOODNESS" COMES IS OFTEN
      CONTRASTED WITH "EVIL"...
      1. In a few places, the words "evil" and "good" have particular meanings
      2. In the parable of The Laborers (Mt 20:15), "evil" means 
         "envious", while "good" is used for "generous"
      3. In Mt 6:19-23...
         a. The context speaks of an "evil" (or "bad") eye which is 
            begrudging and ungenerous - cf. Pr 28:22
         b. In contrast to the eye that is "good" which lays up 
            treasure in heaven (by being generous to others, cf. 1Ti 6:17-19)

   C. NOW WE CAN BEGIN TO DEFINE "GOODNESS"...
      1. The person who displays goodness is not like the person who is
         simply just...
         a. The person who is simply just gives only to another what he
            has earned
         b. Whereas the person who is good is generous to give what was
            not deserved
      2. The person who displays goodness is not like the person who is evil...
         a. The person who is evil begrudges everything he has to give
         b. The person who is good is open-hearted and open-handed, 
            i.e., generous

[It has been said that goodness "is easier to recognize than to 
define".  With that in mind, consider...]

II. TWO EXAMPLES OF "GOOD" PEOPLE

   A. BARNABAS WAS A "GOOD" MAN - Ac 11:24
      1. He was generous with his possessions
         a. Cf. Ac 4:32-37
         b. This is consistent with our definition above, that one who
            is good is generous to give to others what is not deserved
      2. He was happy to see the progress of others; i.e., he was not
         envious
         a. Cf. Ac 11:23
         b. Again this is consistent with our definition; he was not
            begrudging another's success
      3. Barnabas was an encourager of others
         a. Cf. Ac 11:23
         b. He was liberal with his good words, which is how he got his
            name - cf. Ac 4:36

   B. DORCAS WAS A "GOOD" WOMAN - Ac 9:36
      1. She was "full of good works and charitable deeds"
      2. Even in her death, her goodness was being felt
         a. Cf. Ac 9:39, where the widows were showing tunics and 
            garments she had made
         b. I doubt they were praising her ability to sew, but rather
            her charity in making such clothes for others (such as the widows)

CONCLUSION

1. All those who are truly led by the Spirit of God will produce the
   quality of "goodness" - cf. Ep 5:8-9

2. That is, doing kind things beyond what is expected or required
   a. Such was the case of Barnabas and Dorcas
   b. Paul was confident such was true of the brethren in Rome - Ro 15:14
   -- Would he have written the same of us?

3. That we should be "full of goodness" is only natural...
   a. For God who is our Father demonstrated His own "goodness"
   b. This He did by giving His Son to a sinful world undeserving of 
      such grace - Tit 3:3-7
   
Have you submitted to His saving mercy, that "washing of regeneration and
renewing of the Holy Spirit"? - cf. Jn 3:5; Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38

If not, then why not do so today, and then heed Paul's call to "goodness"...

   "This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm
   constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful
   to maintain good works.  These things are good and profitable to
   men." (Tit 3:8)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

Jesus, Rudely Interrupted by Dewayne Bryant, M.A.



https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=2827

Jesus, Rudely Interrupted

by  Dewayne Bryant, M.A.

Criticism of the Faith is nothing new. Whether big-budget documentaries, bestselling books, or blockbuster movies, the media is glutted with criticism aiming to overturn the faith of millions. It seems that every year a new angle emerges during the seasons when people step back to reflect upon their faith. As believers consider the truths of Christianity, hostile criticism attempts to revamp, revise, and rewrite what Christians have believed for two millennia. Christmas and Easter are perennial target release dates for books, articles, and television documentaries promising to reveal secrets that will turn Christianity upside down.
One of the most recent contributions of New Testament scholar and textual critic Bart Ehrman is a book entitled, Jesus, Interrupted. Released in 2009, this book picks up where his earlier work, Misquoting Jesus, leaves off. Ehrman continues his assault on the Christian Faith, assuring believers that his criticism does not controvert Christianity, but informs it. Since this information started him on the journey to agnosticism, it is easy to see how his assertions could be construed as disingenuous.

PARDON THE INTERRUPTION

Raised in a “fundamentalist” Christian home, Ehrman graduated high school and attended the conservative Moody Bible Institute. He continued his studies at Wheaton College in Illinois, and later received his Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary under the watch of Bruce Metzger, one of the foremost textual scholars of the 20th century. Somewhere along the way, he became increasingly disenchanted with the Christian Faith. Although he was a denominational minister during his time in graduate school, Ehrman has now left his Christian upbringing far behind. He now considers himself a “happy agnostic” (2005, p. 258). Jesus, Interrupted goes farther than his previous work, claiming not only that the Bible is full of scribal errors, but that the gospel accounts are fraught with contradictions and late inventions. In this sense, according to Ehrman, the story of Jesus—the historical man—was “rudely interrupted” by late insertions into the text. Though it has been well received on the popular level, Ehrman’s work has not met with approval from those best quipped to evaluate his claims. In his blog, respected New Testament scholar Ben Witherington III critiques Ehrman’s book, saying,
It is mystifying however why he would attempt to write a book like Jesus, Interrupted which frankly reflect [sic] no in-depth interaction at all with exegetes, theologians, and even most historians of the NT period of whatever faith or no faith at all. A quick perusal of the footnotes to this book, reveals mostly cross-references to Ehrman’s earlier popular works, with a few exceptions sprinkled in.... What is especially telling and odd about this is Bart does not much reflect a knowledge of the exegetical or historical study of the text in the last thirty years. Even in a work of this sort, we would expect some good up to date bibliography for those disposed to do further study, not merely copious cross-references to one’s other popular level books.... The impression is left, even if untrue, that Ehrman’s actual knowledge of and interaction with NT historians, exegetes, and theologians has been and is superficial and this has led to overly tendentious and superficial analysis (2009, emp. added).
Ehrman spends a great deal of time demonstrating what he considers to be problems with the gospel accounts. The discussion includes the nature of authorship, supposed inconsistencies and contradictions, and the idea that the gospel accounts present different accounts of events in Christ’s life. This includes the assertion that no one knows who wrote the gospel records. It was not Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as tradition claims, because Jesus’ disciples consisted of “[l]ower-class, illiterate, Aramaic-speaking peasants from Galilee” (2009, p. 106). Someone else far removed from the original historical setting must have written them.
Ehrman overplays the old chestnut that the gospel accounts were written anonymously. They are considered formally anonymous because none ever identifies their author. John’s gospel account gives the “Beloved Disciple” as the one responsible for its writing, and many believe that Mark mentions himself as the young man who runs away while Jesus is arrested (cf. Mark 14:51). Authors in the ancient world often referred to themselves indirectly in their work, and this is as close as any of the gospel accounts come to identifying their authors.
While the evangelists did not sign their work, this is a far cry from not knowing who wrote the gospel accounts. There was virtually no dispute in the early church over who wrote each one. If they had truly been written anonymously, there would be no end to the debate. In one sense we could compare the book of Hebrews to the gospel accounts. Like the gospel records, it, too, is formally anonymous. However, no one really knows who wrote it, and no less than a half dozen possibilities are cited as potential authors. If the gospel accounts were truly in the same category, the debate over their authorship would have continued to the present.
Ehrman notes that, “[s]tories were changed with what would strike us today as reckless abandon.... They were modified, amplified, and embellished. And sometimes they were made up” (2006, p. 259). He never explains why he chooses to believe that the stories concerning Jesus are legendary or fictitious. Biography, legend, and fiction are different genres, each with its own distinguishing characteristics. This is common fare for Christianity’s critics: to announce the Bible as fiction, legend, myth, or fairy tale without justification or supporting evidence. Ehrman notes:
For nearly twenty-five years now I have taught courses on the New Testament in universities, mainly Rutgers and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In all this time, the lesson that I have found most difficult to convey to students—the lesson that is the hardest to convince them of—is the historical-critical claim that each author of the Bible needs to be allowed to have his own say, since in many instances what one author has to say on a subject is not what another says. Sometimes the differences are a matter of stress and emphasis; sometimes they are discrepancies in different narratives or between different writers’ thoughts; and sometimes these discrepancies are quite large, affecting not only the small details of the text but the very big issues that these authors were addressing (2009, pp. 98-99).
One of the episodes Ehrman cites as a bona fide “error” in the gospel records is Christ’s cleansing of the Temple. John locates this event in the Passion Week, while the Synoptics present the incident early in Jesus’ ministry. So which is it? Which one made the mistake? Actually, it never would have crossed the minds of the ancient audience. The ancients did not insist on chronological accuracy in the same way moderns do. Ancient authors often arranged their material chronologically, but they also arranged it topically, and, in the case of the gospel accounts, theologically. To force an ancient work written in another culture to conform to modern Western standards is scholastic arrogance at its worst.
Many moderns put the Bible under a literary microscope, analyzing every chapter, every verse, every word. In the eyes of hostile critics, even the tiniest difficulties balloon into monumental testaments to the inaccuracy and unreliability of the Bible. Ben Witherington makes an interesting point in this regard. He says that we can think of the authors of the four gospel accounts much like painters. Each painted a portrait of Jesus based on his own perspective, as well as the purpose and rationale intended by the Holy Spirit. They selected the material to include in their work, a selectivity that is individualistic in nature. That the gospel writers would highlight different events, or give different angles on the same events, is expected. Modern biographers work the same way. Critics expect the authors to record the life of Jesus with a high-resolution, all-seeing lens. Rather than holding the biblical books to the same standards in use during the time they were produced, critics insist on modern standards in a way that is as unreasonable as it is irrational. To force the ancient text to conform to modern standards is bad interpretive method. It is a fundamental building block of reading ancient literature—the Bible included, of course—that one must seek to understand the context in which the literature is written. One cannot read ancient Greco-Roman literature by modern standards any more than one should read a modern newspaper with the same frame of mind as a citizen of ancient Rome. To continue Witherington’s analogy, this would be like criticizing Leonardo Da Vinci for not using a digital camera to photograph the Mona Lisa.
To point out one supposed contradiction highlighted in Jesus, Interrupted, Ehrman argues there is an irreconcilable difference concerning the death of Judas as recorded in Matthew and Acts. Matthew says that Judas hanged himself and the place became known as the Field of Blood because it was purchased with blood money (Matthew 27:3-9). In Acts, Luke claims that the Field of Blood is called that because, as Ehrman puts it, Judas burst open and bled all over the place. The reading in Acts is not as different as Ehrman suggests. Both accounts agree that the property is purchased with Judas’ money. Luke is ambiguous as to why the field was named the Field of Blood, while Matthew is explicit. Ehrman barely gives a passing nod to suggested attempts to reconcile the two, and downplays them accordingly. It is highly likely that Judas hanged himself, and after death, when the immune system is no longer working, bacteria began to multiply and produced gases that bloated Judas’ body. If the rope broke or Judas’ body fell when others were taking him down, Judas’ body would have ruptured upon striking the ground. This is not imaginative speculation, but the practical stuff of elementary biology.
Another problem in Jesus, Interrupted is the absence of comparative data concerning manuscript evidence from other ancient sources. Other Greco-Roman sources ranging from Greek philosophers to Roman government officials demonstrate far less attestation than the New Testament. The average classical author may have a work represented in only a couple of dozen manuscripts. The oldest copy of these works is often many centuries after the original date of writing. For instance, in the cases of Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, their most famous works are represented by a handful of manuscripts dating to the medieval period. Comparing the New Testament to these writings, the Bible has well over 5,700 copies. Roughly a dozen date to within a century of the original authors, and about four dozen exist that date to within two centuries. The earliest copy of a New Testament text is P52, otherwise known as the John Rylands papyrus. Housed in the British Library, this fragment of John’s Gospel dates to approximately A.D. 115-135. The contrast between the textual evidence of the New Testament and the manuscript evidence from the classical world could not be more vivid. The noted historian F.F. Bruce recounts the words of Sir Frederic Kenyon, former director of the British Museum: “The interval between the dates of the original composition and the earliest extant evidence [is] so small as to be negligible, and the last foundation for any doubt that the scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed” (Bruce, 1972, p. 20).

THE OTHER SINS OF EHRMAN

Ehrman plays his hand with considerable calculation. In his The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings, he asserts, “there is not a single reference to Jesus or his followers in pagan literature of any kind during the first century” (2008, p. 41). While technically correct, it is somewhat misleading. Josephus is Jewish—and therefore not pagan—yet he mentions Christ in two passages in his Jewish Wars at the end of the first century, references which are undisputed among scholars specializing in Josephan studies. If we were to include the first two decades of the second century, we would have to include several pagan authors: the Roman historians Suetonius and Tacitus, along with Pliny the Younger, governor of the Roman province of Bithynia.
The assertion that no references to Jesus and His followers exist in the first century has one important qualification that Ehrman seems to have omitted deliberately. While there are no extant references to them known to scholars today, Suetonius and Tacitus would have needed historical records or official documents in order to produce their biographies of the Roman emperors. While these documents no longer exist today, first-century records seem to have been readily available to historians. In other words, these documents did exist, but have perished with the passing of time. Ehrman’s rather misleading statement should have read, “there are no surviving references to Jesus or his followers in strictly pagan literature during the first century A.D. known to scholars presently.”
New Testament scholar Robert Yarbrough points out in Ehrman’s work the  “traditions of (much later) noncanonical gospels are consistently privileged vis-à-vis their canonical counterparts; the assumption is that we must treat their assertions as potential historical fact even though the assertions were not written down for a century, at least, after their putative origin” (2000, p. 366). Ehrman tends to elevate the non-canonical gospel records over those of the New Testament even though they were written centuries after the life of Christ. The constant claim that the gospel accounts cannot be trusted because they were written decades later than the events they describe vanishes, and the non-canonical gospels are considered relatively trustworthy despite the fact that the amount of time that separates them from the events they purport to describe is not decades as with the gospel accounts, but centuries.
As an example of his approach, Ehrman notes that the Gospel of Peter features “[a] giant Jesus and a walking, talking cross,” adding, “It’s hard to believe that this Gospel was ever lost” (2009, p. 209). He seems to think that Christianity was like any other religion, accepting the fantastic with little regard for reality. Many of the extracanonical gospels Ehrman prizes demonstrate the same features. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas has a number of odd miracle stories. The author appears to enjoy telling fantastic stories of weird happenings during the fictional childhood of Jesus, and the more bizarre the better. This provides a vivid contrast with the canonical gospel accounts, which record the happenings of Jesus’ life in sober fashion. It should be no wonder why the Christians dismissed the tall tales of gospels like Peter and Thomas. They preferred believable biographies to other “gospels” that were the ancient equivalent of science fiction.

THE HERMENEUTIC OF SUSPICION

As a text critic, Ehrman is quite good. As an interpreter he is abysmal. He insists on a rigidly literal interpretation of the text that does not allow for nuances or for passages from one book to complement those from another. In some cases, individual authors may state components of a biblical doctrine individually, but Ehrman forces them into different camps. It seems almost as if his method aims to pit the biblical authors against one another rather than allowing them to work together. In this way, Ehrman is able to create contradictions where none actually exist. In some places, he appears to deliberately distort the theological viewpoint of the biblical authors in order to manufacture divergent viewpoints. He typically notes that scholars have attempted to reconcile these positions, unsatisfactorily as far as he is concerned. After explaining what appear to be perfectly legitimate and convincing solutions to each problem he discusses, Ehrman then reverts to an unorthodox reading of the text and pronounces the difficulty unsolvable.
For Ehrman, the ultimate reason why more people do not know about these supposed contradictions is because the population is largely ignorant—the very problem he seeks to remedy. In his view, scholarship has not written popular-level books, and seminary-trained ministers are unwilling to share this information with their church members. When discussing his view that most of the New Testament books were not written by the actual authors, he asks with incredulity, “why isn’t this more widely known? Why is it that the person in the pew—not to mention the person in the street—knows nothing about this? Your guess is as good as mine” (2009, p. 137). It never seems to cross his mind that seminary-trained ministers and biblical scholars who know about these views find that they fail to agree with the evidence.
Yarbrough makes a powerful point about the cavalier attitude Ehrman takes toward the biblical text: “the early Christians who supposedly invented stories about Jesus...and then believed them were not deconstructionists engaged in teaching careers in comfortable university positions but tradesmen and professionals who knew the daily struggle for survival and were willing to die for their convictions” (2000, p. 370). For those living in the first century, the Christian faith was not a detached system of belief that could be adopted or discarded without consequence. Mistrust, discrimination, and even persecution ever loomed above the heads of the early Christians. Making the choice to follow Christ was a genuine commitment that had real—and often highly unpleasant—consequences.
The reader of Jesus, Interrupted must be careful to sort through Ehrman’s arguments. He is an accomplished textual critic, but allows preconceptions and personal bias to color his conclusions. Rarely, if ever, does Ehrman engage the opposing viewpoint. He seems to delight in manufacturing biblical contradictions and then refuses to allow them to be solved. His work makes it seem as if he has uncovered a secret hoard of biblical knowledge previously denied to all others. To those who are academically equipped to evaluate the truthfulness of Ehrman’s claims, this treasure trove of trade secrets is nothing more than fool’s gold.

REFERENCES

Bruce, F.F. (1972), The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press).
Ehrman, Bart (2005), Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (San Francisco: HarperSanFransicso).
Ehrman, Bart (2006), Peter, Paul, and Mary Magdalene: The Followers of Jesus in History and Legend (New York: Oxford University Press).
Ehrman, Bart (2008), The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings (New York: Oxford University Press).
Ehrman, Bart (2009), Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don’t Know About Them) (New York: HarperOne).
Witherington, Ben (2009), “Bart Interrupted—A Detailed Analysis of ‘Jesus Interrupted’ Part 1,” [On-line], URL: http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/2009/04/bart-interrupted-detailed-analysis-of.html.
Yarbrough, Robert (2000), “The Power and Pathos of Professor Ehrman’s New Testament Introduction,” Perspectives in Religions Studies, Winter, 27[4]:363-370.

God and the Laws of Science: The Law of Causality by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.



https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3716

God and the Laws of Science: The Law of Causality

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

INTRODUCTION

The Law of Cause and Effect states that every material effect must have an adequate antecedent or simultaneous cause. The mass of a paper clip is not going to provide sufficient gravitational pull to cause a tidal wave. There must be an adequate cause for the tidal wave, like a massive, offshore, underwater earthquake (“Tsunamis,” 2000, p. 1064). Leaning against a mountain will certainly not cause it to topple over. Jumping up and down on the ground will not cause an earthquake. If a chair is not placed in an empty room, the room will remain chairless. If matter was not made and placed in the Universe, we would not exist. There must be an adequate antecedent or simultaneous cause for every material effect. Perhaps the Law of Cause and Effect seems intuitive to most, but common sense is foreign to many when God is brought into the discussion.

CAUSALITY AND HISTORY

The Law of Cause and Effect, or Law/Principle of Causality, has been investigated and recognized for millennia. In Phaedo, written by Plato in 360 B.C., an “investigation of nature” is spoken of concerning causality, wherein “the causes of everything, why each thing comes into being and why it perishes and why it exists” are discussed (Plato, 1966, 1:96a-b, emp. added). In 350 B.C., Aristotle contributed more to the causality discussion by stipulating that causes can be “spoken of in four senses”: material, formal, efficient, and final (Aristotle, 2009, 1[3]). Moving forward two millennia in no way changed the established fact pressed by the Law of Cause and Effect. In 1781, the renowned philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote concerning the Principle of Causality in his Critique of Pure Reason that “everything that happens presupposes a previous condition, which it follows with absolute certainty, in conformity with a rule.... All changes take place according to the law of the connection of Cause and Effect” (Kant, 1781). Fast forwarding another 350 years, our understanding of the world still did not cause the law to be discredited. In 1934, W.T. Stace, professor of philosophy at Princeton University, in A Critical History of Greek Philosophy, wrote:
Every student of logic knows that this is the ultimate canon of the sciences, the foundation of them all. If we did not believe the truth of causation, namely, everything which has a beginning has a cause, and that in the same circumstances the same things invariably happen, all the sciences would at once crumble to dust. In every scientific investigation this truth is assumed (1934, p. 6, emp. added).
The truth of causality is so substantiated that it is taken for granted in scientific investigation.

A few decades later, the Law of Cause and Effect still had not been repealed. In The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Richard Taylor wrote, “Nevertheless, it is hardly disputable that the idea of causation is not only indispensable in the common affairs of life but in all applied sciences as well” (1967, p. 57, emp. added). Even today, when scientific exploration has brought us to unprecedented heights of knowledge, the age old Law of Causality cannot be denied. Today’s dictionaries define “causality” as:
  • “the principle that nothing can happen without being caused” (“Causality,” 2009).
  • “the principle that everything has a cause” (“Causality,” 2008).
Indeed, the Law of Cause and Effect is not, and cannot rationally be, denied—except when necessary in order to prop up a deficient worldview. Its ramifications have been argued for years, but after the dust settles, the Law of Cause and Effect still stands unscathed, having weathered the trials thrust upon it for thousands of years.

THE LAW OF CAUSALITY—A PROBLEM FOR ATHEISTS

Creationists have absolutely no problem with the truth articulated by this God-ordained law from antiquity. The Bible, in essence, articulated the principle millennia ago when in Hebrews 3:4 it says that “every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.” A house must have a cause—namely, a builder. It will not build itself. However, evolutionists are left in a quandary when trying to explain how the effect of the infinitely complex Universe could have come about without a cause. Three decades ago, Robert Jastrow, founder and former director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA, wrote:
The Universe, and everything that has happened in it since the beginning of time, are a grand effect without a known cause. An effect without a known cause? That is not the world of science; it is a world of witchcraft, of wild events and the whims of demons, a medieval world that science has tried to banish. As scientists, what are we to make of this picture? I do not know. I would only like to present the evidence for the statement that the Universe, and man himself, originated in a moment when time began (1977, p. 21).
When Jastrow says that there is no “known cause” for everything in the Universe, he is referring to the fact that there is no known natural cause. If atheism were true, there must be a natural explanation of what caused the Universe. Scientists and philosophers recognize that there must be a cause that would be sufficient to bring about matter and the Universe—and yet no natural cause is known. The McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms says that “causality,” in physics, is “the principle that an event cannot precede its cause” (2003, p. 346). However, the atheist must concede that in order for his/her claim to be valid, the effect of the Universe not only preceded its cause, but actually came about without it! Such a viewpoint is hardly in keeping with science. Scientifically speaking, according to the Law of Cause and Effect, there had to be a Cause for the Universe. The only book on the planet which contains characteristics that prove its production to be above human capability is the Bible (see Butt, 2007). The God of the Bible is its author (2 Timothy 3:16-17), and in the very first verse of the inspired material He gave to humans, He articulated with authority and clarity that He is the Cause Who brought about the Universe and all that is in it.

UNCAUSED CAUSE?

Often the atheist or skeptic, attempting to distract and side-step the truth of this law without responding to it, retorts, “But if everything had to have a beginning, why does the same concept not apply to God?” Notice that this statement is based on a misunderstanding of what the Law of Cause and Effect claims concerning the Universe. The law states that every material effect must have an adequate antecedent or simultaneous cause. The God of the Bible is a spiritual Being (John 4:24) and therefore is not governed by physical law.

Recall also what Professor W.T. Stace wrote in A Critical History of Greek Philosophy concerning causality. “[E]verything which has a beginning has a cause” (1934, p. 6, emp. added). As mentioned above, scientists and philosophers recognize that, logically, there must be an initial cause of the Universe. [Those who attempt to argue the eternality of the Universe are in direct contradiction with the Second Law of Thermodynamics (see Miller, 2007).] However, God, not being a physical, finite being, but an eternal, spiritual being (by definition), would not be subject to the condition of requiring a beginning. Therefore, the law does not apply to Him. Psalm 90:2 says concerning God, “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (emp. added). The Bible describes God as a Being who has always been and always will be—“from everlasting to everlasting.” He, therefore, had no beginning. Hebrews 3:4 again states, “every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God,” indicating that God is not constrained by the Law of Cause and Effect as are houses, but rather, is the Chief Builder—the Uncaused Causer—the Being who initially set all effects into motion. The point stands. The Law of Cause and Effect supports the creation model, not the atheistic evolutionary model.

REFERENCES

Aristotle (2009), Metaphysics, trans. W.D. Ross, http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/metaphysics.1.i.html.

Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), http://www.apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/Behold%20the%20Word%20of%20God.pdf.

“Causality” (2009), Collins English Dictionary—Complete & Unabridged, 10th ed. (New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers), http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Causality?x=35&y=25.

“Causality” (2008), Concise Oxford English Dictionary, (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press), http://www.wordreference.com/definition/causality.

Jastrow, Robert (1977), Until the Sun Dies (New York: W.W. Norton).

Kant, Immanuel (1781), The Critique of Pure Reason, trans. J.M.D. Meiklejohn (London: Henry G. Bohn), 1878 edition, http://philosophy.eserver.org/kant/critique-of-pure-reason.txt.

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms (2003), pub. M.D. Licker (New York: McGraw-Hill), sixth edition.

Miller, Jeff (2007), “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective,” Reason & Revelation, 27[4]:25-31, April, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3293.

Plato (1966), Plato in Twelve Volumes, trans. Harold North Fowler (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press), http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0170%3Atext%3DPhaedo%3Asection%3D96a.

Stace, W.T. (1934), A Critical History of Greek Philosophy (London: Macmillan and Co.).

Taylor, Richard (1967), “Causation,” in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Paul Edwards (New York: Philosophical Library).

“Tsunamis” (2000), The Oxford Companion to the Earth, ed. Paul L. Hancock & Brian J. Skinner (Oxford University Press).

Butt/Barker Debate Now A Book by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=3592

Butt/Barker Debate Now A Book

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

A notable debate on the existence of God was conducted on February 12, 2009 between popular atheist Dan Barker and A.P.’s own Kyle Butt. In addition to the capacity crowd of 500 and the thousands that watched over the Internet, the debate has been viewed by many more by means of the DVD released by Apologetics Press last year. buttbarkerHaving engaged in over 70 public debates, Dan Barker is widely considered among atheists to be well-qualified to articulate the atheist’s viewpoint.

Due to the brief nature of the debate, a total time of about two hours, several issues were broached that called for a more thorough treatment. While many of Barker’s atheistic contentions were answered in the main, we thought it would be beneficial to provide more comprehensive responses to his assertions. In that regard, we are pleased to announce the release of the book version of the debate, titled A Christian’s Guide to Refuting Modern Atheism, subtitled “An Expanded Study of the Butt/Barker Debate.”

This volume contains a complete transcript of the oral debate. However, it also contains an additional 200+ pages of detailed analysis and refutation of Barker’s atheistic allegations. Consequently, in addition to providing the reader with a response to Barker’s debate points, this outstanding book serves as a valuable guide to refute most modern atheistic attacks on the God of the Bible. Indeed, it offers a decisive defeat of atheism.

At a time when a tidal wave of skepticism, unbelief, and rejection of the Christian worldview is sweeping over the nation, this volume constitutes a welcome addition to the Christian arsenal in the never-ending war between good and evil. You will want this book in your library, and you will want to use it to bolster the Christian convictions of your children, grandchildren, and friends.

Does Christianity Produce “Sexual Misery”? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1726

Does Christianity Produce “Sexual Misery”?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Even though most Christians in twenty-first-century America recognize that we live in a sex-crazed society, it seems we rarely consider how Divine regulations concerning “sexual relations” are a chief reason why unbelievers reject Christianity. It has long been understood that some unbelievers refuse to accept the Bible as a God-inspired text because it would require them to live according to a set moral standard. Now, author Chaz Bufe has specifically mentioned “sexual misery” as a negative by-product of Christianity, and one of the main reasons why Christ and His doctrine should be rejected. In a pamphlet he wrote titled 20 Reasons to Abandon Christianity, Bufe listed “Christianity produces sexual misery” as reason number ten. He stated:
In addition to the misery produced by authoritarian Christian intrusions into the sex lives of non-Christians, Christianity produces great misery among its own adherents through its insistence that sex (except the very narrow variety it sanctions) is evil, against God’s law. Christianity proscribes sex between unmarried people, sex outside of marriage, homosexual relations, bestiality, and even “impure” sexual thoughts. Indulging in such things can and will, in the conventional Christian view, lead straight to hell (n.d.).
One thing that Chaz got correct is that engaging in sexual relations outside of a lawful marriage is “against God’s law” (cf. Matthew 19:1-10; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Galatians 5:19-21). And, as the writer of Hebrews warned, “[F]ornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4; cf. 1 Corinthians 5:10). But who actually are the miserable ones when it comes to sexual relations? Are those who submit to God’s laws on the matter suffering great “sexual misery,” or are the ones who live sexually promiscuous lives the actual ones who experience misery?
Truly, it is the sexually immoral who often suffer from various disorders caused by their licentious behavior. According to the American Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 65 million people (or 22% of the U.S. population) live with one or more incurable sexually transmitted diseases (“Tracking..., 2004). Those who refuse to abide by God’s laws pertaining to sexual relations risk becoming one of these infected ones, who frequently suffer with lesions, warts, and genital inflammation, and may also experience pain while urinating or during sexual intercourse. Women with various STDs sometimes suffer with pelvic inflammation, cancer, infertility, and can even have problems with pregnancy and childbirth. Bufe contends that “Christianity produces sexual misery,” yet those who live according to God’s standards of morality are not the ones experiencing the debilitating effects of an ungodly, permissive sexual lifestyle.
Granted, the Christian life is not a walk in the park. Jesus’ way is “difficult” (Matthew 7:14). The disciple of Christ is instructed to “deny himself” sinful pleasures (Matthew 16:24) and “imitate” Jesus, the sinless One (1 Peter 2:21-22; 1 Corinthians 11:1). Sexual temptation certainly can be hard to resist, especially as an adolescent. But, the so-called “misery” that Christians go through when resisting the lust of the flesh in no way compares to the misery of the sexually immoral. Abiding by any number of laws can be difficult. One person may constantly get frustrated by having to abide by speed limits, while another may get irritated with various tax laws. People who want to lose weight must set dietary rules for themselves. Following these rules can be very trying (as most all who have tried to lose weight can attest), involving self-denial, self-control, and self-discipline. However, eventually, restricted eating habits will lead to one becoming much healthier. Similarly, the difficulties in restraining oneself sexually in order to comply with God’s laws regarding marriage can eventually lead to a great sexual relationship with one’s lawful spouse, not to mention a stronger relationship with God. What’s more, a child of God has the promise that “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Without question, God’s way concerning sexual relations is the best way, and the right way. The fact that unbelievers list “sexual misery” as one of the top twenty reasons to reject Christianity simply reveals how weak their case really is against Christianity, as well as how easily they overlook problems that arise (e.g., STDs) from living lives contrary to God’s will.

REFERENCES

Bufe, Chaz (no date), 20 Reasons to Abandon Christianity (Tucson, AZ: Sharp Press), [On-line], URL: http://www.seesharppress.com/20reasons.html#numberten.
“Tracking the Hidden Epidemics 2000” (2004), Center for Disease Control, [On-line], URL: http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/od/news/RevBrochure1pdfintro.htm.

From Jim McGuiggan... The wreck of the universe


The wreck of the universe

"Isn’t that a bit radical?" That’s what he said. We’d been close friends some years ago but our friendship lost its way. Life has a way of working out like that. We’d been talking about the awful suffering of the world and I was claiming that the world’s suffering was God’s redemptive chastisement by which he intends to bring the world to glory. I had said that we rebelled, God in loving holiness responded in chastisement and so the combination of our sin and God’s relentless love means suffering; suffering that affects even innocent babies and righteous people. He was thinking of the horrific suffering in the world when he said, "Isn’t that a bit radical?" What could I do but agree?
But, then, what a paramedic does is radical when he comes to a car wreck and sees people on the verge of dying in agony. These caring professionals will cut into a woman’s throat with a penknife and shove a tube into it so she can breathe. Or they’ll shoot electric charges through a helpless body to galvanize heart muscle into action or they grab a saw and rasp their way through a child’s leg to keep it from dying in a fire that is threatening to break out at any moment. I’d say that any of that was a bit radical!
I suppose in the end that it all depends on how we assess the situation. Is life worth having? If yes, rip open the throat, amputate the arm or leg, assault the body with a strong electric charge or force the tube into the fluid filled lung. However radical all that is even gentle and loving parents would urge it on if it meant ultimate life and health for the one they love. They’d share the agony but they’d insist that the medic get on with his awful but life-saving work.
There is suffering in the world because the universe has had a horrendous moral wreck and the divine Paramedic will not permit us to go down to destruction without attempting to rescue us! It doesn’t really matter that we aren’t able to see our danger and loss in a true light. It doesn’t matter that we don’t love him or ourselves enough to care about real and glorious living. It only matters that he sees our loss for what it is and that he loves us enough to do what he knows is necessary.
It’s rubbish to say of a paramedic that he shreds the bodies of the endangered people because he’s sadistic—precisely the reverse is true! It isn’t pain and loss he enjoys; it’s life and health he longs to see and he pursues it whatever the cost. It is nonsense to say of God’s chastisement that it is vengeful over-reaction—it is a holy lover that’s at work, one that can’t bear to let us die. If we were to trust him the day would come when we would look back at the global hurt and fall to our knees blessing his name that he ignored our whining or our lofty criticism. We’d be speechless with gratitude that he went on with his redeeming work, enduring the sight and sound of us, immoral and pathetically limited as we are sitting in judgement on him. Like little insects born, living and dying during a thunderstorm and concluding that that is the sum total of reality.
And once we get into a rhythm we can describe the physical suffering and loss of the world in the most graphic terms and with increasing passion. And why not—doesn’t some of it absolutely beggar belief? But of the moral chaos of the world—not a word! We rant and rave about the horrors of the physical (and somebody should!) and puff at all talk about sin and the moral gloom that is the trigger for it all. We groan and weep about the car wreck and impatiently dismiss the moral wreck of the cosmos. The final proof that God won’t ignore the whole of it is the cross of Christ where humanity’s awful moral wreck is seen in blinding clarity. Did God think the cross was overkill? If the Lord Jesus Christ is the revelation of the one true God then God is prepared to do whatever it takes to bring us glory and life eternal.
(I have a thing called Celebrating the Wrath of God that you might find useful.)

From Gary... Bible Reading July 31-August 2



Bible Reading 

July 31-August 2

The World English Bible



July 31
2 Chronicles 25-27
2Ch 25:1 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jehoaddan, of Jerusalem.
2Ch 25:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, but not with a perfect heart.
2Ch 25:3 Now it happened, when the kingdom was established to him, that he killed his servants who had killed the king his father.
2Ch 25:4 But he didn't put their children to death, but did according to that which is written in the law in the book of Moses, as Yahweh commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers; but every man shall die for his own sin.
2Ch 25:5 Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and ordered them according to their fathers' houses, under captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, even all Judah and Benjamin: and he numbered them from twenty years old and upward, and found them three hundred thousand chosen men, able to go forth to war, who could handle spear and shield.
2Ch 25:6 He hired also one hundred thousand mighty men of valor out of Israel for one hundred talents of silver.
2Ch 25:7 But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, don't let the army of Israel go with you; for Yahweh is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim.
2Ch 25:8 But if you will go, do valiantly, be strong for the battle: God will cast you down before the enemy; for God has power to help, and to cast down.
2Ch 25:9 Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? The man of God answered, Yahweh is able to give you much more than this.
2Ch 25:10 Then Amaziah separated them, to wit, the army that had come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again: therefore their anger was greatly kindled against Judah, and they returned home in fierce anger.
2Ch 25:11 Amaziah took courage, and led forth his people, and went to the Valley of Salt, and struck of the children of Seir ten thousand.
2Ch 25:12 other ten thousand did the children of Judah carry away alive, and brought them to the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, so that they all were broken in pieces.
2Ch 25:13 But the men of the army whom Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, fell on the cities of Judah, from Samaria even to Beth Horon, and struck of them three thousand, and took much spoil.
2Ch 25:14 Now it happened, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense to them.
2Ch 25:15 Therefore the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent to him a prophet, who said to him, Why have you sought after the gods of the people, which have not delivered their own people out of your hand?
2Ch 25:16 It happened, as he talked with him, that the king said to him, Have we made you of the king's counsel? Stop! Why should you be struck down? Then the prophet stopped, and said, I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this, and have not listened to my counsel.
2Ch 25:17 Then Amaziah king of Judah took advice, and sent to Joash, the son of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one another in the face.
2Ch 25:18 Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give your daughter to my son as wife: and there passed by a wild animal that was in Lebanon, and trod down the thistle.
2Ch 25:19 You say, Behold, you have struck Edom; and your heart lifts you up to boast: abide now at home; why should you meddle to your hurt, that you should fall, even you, and Judah with you?
2Ch 25:20 But Amaziah would not hear; for it was of God, that he might deliver them into the hand of their enemies, because they had sought after the gods of Edom.
2Ch 25:21 So Joash king of Israel went up; and he and Amaziah king of Judah looked one another in the face at Beth Shemesh, which belongs to Judah.
2Ch 25:22 Judah was defeated by Israel; and they fled every man to his tent.
2Ch 25:23 Joash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, at Beth Shemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits.
2Ch 25:24 He took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God with Obed-Edom, and the treasures of the king's house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria.
2Ch 25:25 Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years.
2Ch 25:26 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, first and last, behold, aren't they written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel?
2Ch 25:27 Now from the time that Amaziah did turn away from following Yahweh they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent after him to Lachish, and killed him there.
2Ch 25:28 They brought him on horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.
2Ch 26:1 All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.
2Ch 26:2 He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.
2Ch 26:3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jechiliah, of Jerusalem.
2Ch 26:4 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.
2Ch 26:5 He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the vision of God: and as long as he sought Yahweh, God made him to prosper.
2Ch 26:6 He went forth and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in the country of Ashdod, and among the Philistines.
2Ch 26:7 God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur Baal, and the Meunim.
2Ch 26:8 The Ammonites gave tribute to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entrance of Egypt; for he grew exceeding strong.
2Ch 26:9 Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.
2Ch 26:10 He built towers in the wilderness, and dug out many cisterns, for he had much livestock; in the lowland also, and in the plain: and he had farmers and vineyard keepers in the mountains and in the fruitful fields; for he loved farming.
2Ch 26:11 Moreover Uzziah had an army of fighting men, who went out to war by bands, according to the number of their reckoning made by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king's captains.
2Ch 26:12 The whole number of the heads of fathers' houses, even the mighty men of valor, was two thousand and six hundred.
2Ch 26:13 Under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, who made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.
2Ch 26:14 Uzziah prepared for them, even for all the army, shields, and spears, and helmets, and coats of mail, and bows, and stones for slinging.
2Ch 26:15 He made in Jerusalem engines, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and on the battlements, with which to shoot arrows and great stones. His name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, until he was strong.
2Ch 26:16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, so that he did corruptly, and he trespassed against Yahweh his God; for he went into the temple of Yahweh to burn incense on the altar of incense.
2Ch 26:17 Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him eighty priests of Yahweh, who were valiant men:
2Ch 26:18 and they withstood Uzziah the king, and said to him, It pertains not to you, Uzziah, to burn incense to Yahweh, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for you have trespassed; neither shall it be for your honor from Yahweh God.
2Ch 26:19 Then Uzziah was angry; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense; and while he was angry with the priests, the leprosy broke forth in his forehead before the priests in the house of Yahweh, beside the altar of incense.
2Ch 26:20 Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked on him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out quickly from there; yes, himself hurried also to go out, because Yahweh had struck him.
2Ch 26:21 Uzziah the king was a leper to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of Yahweh: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land.
2Ch 26:22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.
2Ch 26:23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the field of burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his place.
2Ch 27:1 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok.
2Ch 27:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that his father Uzziah had done: however he didn't enter into the temple of Yahweh. The people did yet corruptly.
2Ch 27:3 He built the upper gate of the house of Yahweh, and on the wall of Ophel he built much.
2Ch 27:4 Moreover he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers.
2Ch 27:5 He fought also with the king of the children of Ammon, and prevailed against them. The children of Ammon gave him the same year one hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon render to him, in the second year also, and in the third.
2Ch 27:6 So Jotham became mighty, because he ordered his ways before Yahweh his God.
2Ch 27:7 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
2Ch 27:8 He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.
2Ch 27:9 Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his place.
 
Aug. 1
2 Chronicles 28-30

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



Aug. 2
2 Chronicles 31-33

2Ch 31:1 Now when all this was finished, all Israel who were present went out to the cities of Judah, and broke in pieces the pillars, and cut down the Asherim, and broke down the high places and the altars out of all Judah and Benjamin, in Ephraim also and Manasseh, until they had destroyed them all. Then all the children of Israel returned, every man to his possession, into their own cities.
2Ch 31:2 Hezekiah appointed the divisions of the priests and the Levites after their divisions, every man according to his service, both the priests and the Levites, for burnt offerings and for peace offerings, to minister, and to give thanks, and to praise in the gates of the camp of Yahweh.
2Ch 31:3 He appointed also the king's portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the Sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of Yahweh.
2Ch 31:4 Moreover he commanded the people who lived in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might give themselves to the law of Yahweh.
2Ch 31:5 As soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel gave in abundance the first fruits of grain, new wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.
2Ch 31:6 The children of Israel and Judah, who lived in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of cattle and sheep, and the tithe of dedicated things which were consecrated to Yahweh their God, and laid them by heaps.
2Ch 31:7 In the third month they began to lay the foundation of the heaps, and finished them in the seventh month.
2Ch 31:8 When Hezekiah and the princes came and saw the heaps, they blessed Yahweh, and his people Israel.
2Ch 31:9 Then Hezekiah questioned the priests and the Levites concerning the heaps.
2Ch 31:10 Azariah the chief priest, of the house of Zadok, answered him and said, Since the people began to bring the offerings into the house of Yahweh, we have eaten and had enough, and have left plenty: for Yahweh has blessed his people; and that which is left is this great store.
2Ch 31:11 Then Hezekiah commanded to prepare chambers in the house of Yahweh; and they prepared them.
2Ch 31:12 They brought in the offerings and the tithes and the dedicated things faithfully: and over them Conaniah the Levite was ruler, and Shimei his brother was second.
2Ch 31:13 Jehiel, and Azaziah, and Nahath, and Asahel, and Jerimoth, and Jozabad, and Eliel, and Ismachiah, and Mahath, and Benaiah, were overseers under the hand of Conaniah and Shimei his brother, by the appointment of Hezekiah the king, and Azariah the ruler of the house of God.
2Ch 31:14 Kore the son of Imnah the Levite, the porter at the east gate, was over the freewill offerings of God, to distribute the offerings of Yahweh, and the most holy things.
2Ch 31:15 Under him were Eden, and Miniamin, and Jeshua, and Shemaiah, Amariah, and Shecaniah, in the cities of the priests, in their office of trust, to give to their brothers by divisions, as well to the great as to the small:
2Ch 31:16 besides those who were reckoned by genealogy of males, from three years old and upward, even everyone who entered into the house of Yahweh, as the duty of every day required, for their service in their offices according to their divisions;
2Ch 31:17 and those who were reckoned by genealogy of the priests by their fathers' houses, and the Levites from twenty years old and upward, in their offices by their divisions;
2Ch 31:18 and those who were reckoned by genealogy of all their little ones, their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, through all the congregation: for in their office of trust they sanctified themselves in holiness.
2Ch 31:19 Also for the sons of Aaron the priests, who were in the fields of the suburbs of their cities, in every city, there were men who were mentioned by name, to give portions to all the males among the priests, and to all who were reckoned by genealogy among the Levites.
2Ch 31:20 Hezekiah did so throughout all Judah; and he worked that which was good and right and faithful before Yahweh his God.
2Ch 31:21 In every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered.

2Ch 32:1 After these things, and this faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fortified cities, and thought to win them for himself.
2Ch 32:2 When Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem,
2Ch 32:3 he took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the springs which were outside of the city; and they helped him.
2Ch 32:4 So there was gathered much people together, and they stopped all the springs, and the brook that flowed through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water?
2Ch 32:5 He took courage, and built up all the wall that was broken down, and raised it up to the towers, and the other wall outside, and strengthened Millo in the city of David, and made weapons and shields in abundance.
2Ch 32:6 He set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the broad place at the gate of the city, and spoke comfortably to them, saying,
2Ch 32:7 Be strong and of good courage, don't be afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude who is with him; for there is a greater with us than with him:
2Ch 32:8 with him is an arm of flesh; but with us is Yahweh our God to help us, and to fight our battles. The people rested themselves on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.
2Ch 32:9 After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (now he was before Lachish, and all his power with him), to Hezekiah king of Judah, and to all Judah who were at Jerusalem, saying,
2Ch 32:10 Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria, In whom do you trust, that you abide the siege in Jerusalem?
2Ch 32:11 Doesn't Hezekiah persuade you, to give you over to die by famine and by thirst, saying, Yahweh our God will deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria?
2Ch 32:12 Has not the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, You shall worship before one altar, and on it you shall burn incense?
2Ch 32:13 Don't you know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of the lands? Were the gods of the nations of the lands in any wise able to deliver their land out of my hand?
2Ch 32:14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations which my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of my hand?
2Ch 32:15 Now therefore don't let Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you after this manner, neither believe you him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of my hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of my hand?
2Ch 32:16 His servants spoke yet more against Yahweh God, and against his servant Hezekiah.
2Ch 32:17 He wrote also letters, to rail on Yahweh, the God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of the lands, which have not delivered their people out of my hand, so shall the God of Hezekiah not deliver his people out of my hand.
2Ch 32:18 They cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city.
2Ch 32:19 They spoke of the God of Jerusalem, as of the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of men's hands.
2Ch 32:20 Hezekiah the king, and Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, prayed because of this, and cried to heaven.
2Ch 32:21 Yahweh sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains, in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. When he was come into the house of his god, those who came forth from his own bowels killed him there with the sword.
2Ch 32:22 Thus Yahweh saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side.
2Ch 32:23 Many brought gifts to Yahweh to Jerusalem, and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah; so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from thenceforth.
2Ch 32:24 In those days Hezekiah was sick even to death: and he prayed to Yahweh; and he spoke to him, and gave him a sign.
2Ch 32:25 But Hezekiah didn't render again according to the benefit done to him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath on him, and on Judah and Jerusalem.
2Ch 32:26 Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of Yahweh didn't come on them in the days of Hezekiah.
2Ch 32:27 Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honor: and he provided him treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of goodly vessels;
2Ch 32:28 storehouses also for the increase of grain and new wine and oil; and stalls for all manner of animals, and flocks in folds.
2Ch 32:29 Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance; for God had given him very much substance.
2Ch 32:30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper spring of the waters of Gihon, and brought them straight down on the west side of the city of David. Hezekiah prospered in all his works.
2Ch 32:31 However in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.
2Ch 32:32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his good deeds, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel.
2Ch 32:33 Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the ascent of the tombs of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honor at his death. Manasseh his son reigned in his place.
2Ch 33:1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem.
2Ch 33:2 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, after the abominations of the nations whom Yahweh cast out before the children of Israel.
2Ch 33:3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; and he reared up altars for the Baals, and made Asheroth, and worshiped all the army of the sky, and served them.
2Ch 33:4 He built altars in the house of Yahweh, of which Yahweh said, In Jerusalem shall my name be forever.
2Ch 33:5 He built altars for all the army of the sky in the two courts of the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 33:6 He also made his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom; and he practiced sorcery, and used enchantments, and practiced sorcery, and dealt with those who had familiar spirits, and with wizards: he worked much evil in the sight of Yahweh, to provoke him to anger.
2Ch 33:7 He set the engraved image of the idol, which he had made, in the house of God, of which God said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name forever:
2Ch 33:8 neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from off the land which I have appointed for your fathers, if only they will observe to do all that I have commanded them, even all the law and the statutes and the ordinances given by Moses.
2Ch 33:9 Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that they did evil more than did the nations whom Yahweh destroyed before the children of Israel.
2Ch 33:10 Yahweh spoke to Manasseh, and to his people; but they gave no heed.
2Ch 33:11 Therefore Yahweh brought on them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh in chains, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.
2Ch 33:12 When he was in distress, he begged Yahweh his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers.
2Ch 33:13 He prayed to him; and he was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that Yahweh he was God.
2Ch 33:14 Now after this he built an outer wall to the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entrance at the fish gate; and he encircled Ophel with it, and raised it up to a very great height: and he put valiant captains in all the fortified cities of Judah.
2Ch 33:15 He took away the foreign gods, and the idol out of the house of Yahweh, and all the altars that he had built in the mountain of the house of Yahweh, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city.
2Ch 33:16 He built up the altar of Yahweh, and offered thereon sacrifices of peace offerings and of thanksgiving, and commanded Judah to serve Yahweh, the God of Israel.
2Ch 33:17 Nevertheless the people sacrificed still in the high places, but only to Yahweh their God.
2Ch 33:18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of Yahweh, the God of Israel, behold, they are written among the acts of the kings of Israel.
2Ch 33:19 His prayer also, and how God was entreated of him, and all his sin and his trespass, and the places in which he built high places, and set up the Asherim and the engraved images, before he humbled himself: behold, they are written in the history of Hozai.
2Ch 33:20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his place.
2Ch 33:21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem.
2Ch 33:22 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as did Manasseh his father; and Amon sacrificed to all the engraved images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them.
2Ch 33:23 He didn't humble himself before Yahweh, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but this same Amon trespassed more and more.
2Ch 33:24 His servants conspired against him, and put him to death in his own house.
2Ch 33:25 But the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place.


Jul. 30, 31
Acts 18

Act 18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth.
Act 18:2 He found a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by race, who had recently come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome. He came to them,
Act 18:3 and because he practiced the same trade, he lived with them and worked, for by trade they were tent makers.
Act 18:4 He reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Greeks.
Act 18:5 But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.
Act 18:6 When they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook out his clothing and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on, I will go to the Gentiles!"
Act 18:7 He departed there, and went into the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue.
Act 18:8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house. Many of the Corinthians, when they heard, believed and were baptized.
Act 18:9 The Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, "Don't be afraid, but speak and don't be silent;
Act 18:10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many people in this city."
Act 18:11 He lived there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Act 18:12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat,
Act 18:13 saying, "This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law."
Act 18:14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, "If indeed it were a matter of wrong or of wicked crime, you Jews, it would be reasonable that I should bear with you;
Act 18:15 but if they are questions about words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves. For I don't want to be a judge of these matters."
Act 18:16 He drove them from the judgment seat.
Act 18:17 Then all the Greeks laid hold on Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. Gallio didn't care about any of these things.
Act 18:18 Paul, having stayed after this many more days, took his leave of the brothers, and sailed from there for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. He shaved his head in Cenchreae, for he had a vow.
Act 18:19 He came to Ephesus, and he left them there; but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.
Act 18:20 When they asked him to stay with them a longer time, he declined;
Act 18:21 but taking his leave of them, and saying, "I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem, but I will return again to you if God wills," he set sail from Ephesus.
Act 18:22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the assembly, and went down to Antioch.
Act 18:23 Having spent some time there, he departed, and went through the region of Galatia, and Phrygia, in order, establishing all the disciples.
Act 18:24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by race, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus. He was mighty in the Scriptures.
Act 18:25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, although he knew only the baptism of John.
Act 18:26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside, and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
Act 18:27 When he had determined to pass over into Achaia, the brothers encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him. When he had come, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;
Act 18:28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews, publicly showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.


Aug. 1, 2
Acts 19

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