You’ve driven by a cemetery! You’ve probably visited one. You might have heard them speaking. You haven’t? You would if you listened really hard. You say, “Don’t be silly. Graveyards can’t talk!” Oh, come on, use your imagination! Don’t be in a hurry…listen.
All those graves are speaking.
How about their tones? Happy tones? I’ve heard a few that sounded that way but mostly they have a mournful sound. The younger ones as well, of course, but listen to the really old ones—graves that have been there for hundreds of years. [There’s one down the street from where I used to live in Northern Ireland. If I recall correctly, the man was buried something like fifty years after the KJV was first published in 1611.]
The old graves, the ones with the stones barely able to stand up, weed surrounded and with dates difficult to make out—there the ones with the deepest and most mournful tones. But I’ve noticed that they’re the ones that speak with conviction.
What do the cemeteries and graves say when you pass by or walk around them? I’ve heard them say a lot of things. “You’ll be here too before you know it.” Things like that. Sometimes they all speak at the same time and say the same words and they say, “Dead people stay dead!” I may be wrong here but I think that happens most often when the rain is falling and it’s beginning to drip down the neck of your shirt and a cold breeze ceaselessly whispers.
It’s easy enough for Christians to sing happy songs in a church building and read great stories like the one in John 11. You know the one I’m talking about! Lazarus is bad sick, Jesus is sent for, he finally turns up and says to the girl whose hope for her now dead brother lies in the doctrine of the day of resurrection—“You’re looking at the resurrection!” Jesus in his Father’s name calls Lazarus out of the stench of death and sets him free.
It’s a great story! One of the best!
But Christians need to acknowledge the dirge sung in gloomy tones by graveyards all over the planet where the dead of the ages outnumber the living who are on their way to death.
It’s right to smile and maybe even to laugh as some fine preacher tells the story well. We’re supposed to rejoice in light of the story but we’re not to pretend that Death doesn’t stalk the world [even though we know Someone who is the Lord of Death].
Our teachers need to help us grasp the depths of the Lazarus story. We must be helped to rejoice in the truth of it but we must be helped to reflect on and examine the story from many perspectives. When they are done unpacking the story we’re supposed to be startled, assured, inspired, challenged, strengthened—we need more than information; we need transformation.
We’re not to strut! We’re not to be dismissive of the agony of the human family. Profound suffering, loss and bereavement are sacred places we should enter with reverence. The truth that graveyards tell is truth—though graveyards don’t know as much as they think they know! But death is real and graves, known and unknown, visited and unvisited, speak reality to us! Christians need to realize the power of Death over those without the Story.
In John 12:1-11 we’re told that Lazarus is now sitting at a meal, restored to happy sisters and smiling friends and people believed on Jesus. Then we’re told that some senseless leaders still thought that killing Jesus and Lazarus was the cure for their fears. Jesus delivers Lazarus from the corruption of Death and people without the Story still think that Death is lord. Such is Death’s power.
Tomorrow, Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the eighth day and the first, the day of a new beginning, the Resurrection day hosts of people will gather and announce the meaning of the death of Jesus Christ—the many meanings of the death of Jesus Christ. One of those truths is this: Cemeteries don’t tell the whole truth and sometimes they lie!
©2004 Jim McGuiggan. All materials are free to be copied and used as long as money is not being made.
Many thanks to brother Ed Healy, for allowing me to post from his website, theabidingword.com.

The Miracles of Jesus by Kyle Butt, M.A.


The Miracles of Jesus

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

In John 20:31, we learn why Jesus performed miracles—so “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.” The miracles of Christ recorded in the Gospels proved that Jesus had been given all power in Heaven and on Earth. Trustworthy men documented that He had power over the human body and could heal sickness and disease with the touch of His hand (Matthew 8:1-4). On other occasions, He proved that He had power over the spiritual world by forgiving sins (Luke 5:20-24) and casting out demons (Luke 6:18). He also had power to control the physical world by calming storms and walking on water (Matthew 14:25-43). And His power over death was shown through His glorious resurrection three days after His crucifixion (John 20:24-29).
Jesus’ miracles were designed to prove that He was the Son of God. Even the Pharisees, His worst enemies, admitted: “This man works many signs. If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him” (John 11:47-48). Yet they steadfastly refused to believe that He was God’s Son. Many of them even saw Him raise Lazarus from the dead, heal the sick, and cause the blind to see. Yet they would not admit to His deity.
Why should it be any different today? Anyone who takes an honest look at the evidence should see that this world must have had a Creator. The Bible is inspired by that Creator, and informs us that Jesus performed miracles to prove He was the Son of God. Yet many people will brush aside all the evidence—just as the Pharisees did—and deny Christ’s divinity. The Judgment Day will find those people hearing the words of Christ: “Woe unto you!… For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes” (Matthew 11:21).


Miracles are only impossible in a world with no God. Throughout history, God has used miracles to create the Universe, to add credibility to the men who had been entrusted with His message, and to accomplish His divine purposes. Jesus of Nazareth repeatedly performed miraculous deeds in order to prove to His followers (and to His enemies!) that He was indeed the Son of God. Sadly, many people during Christ’s day refused to believe in Him as God’s Son. And, just as sadly, many today stubbornly refuse to believe in the Sonship of Christ. As Christ told the unbelieving Pharisees of His day, so will He tell the modern-day disbelievers, “Woe unto you!"

From Mark Copeland... Difficulties With Evolutionary Science

                        "THE CASE FOR CREATION"

                 Difficulties With Evolutionary Science


1. Many people assume that science has proven evolution as a fact...
   a. That it is no longer a theory
   b. But an irrefutable explanation for the origin of life
   c. A good reason to reject the Biblical account of creation

2. This is because most are unaware that...
   a. Crucial elements of evolutionary theory have never been proven
   b. There is a growing dissent among scientists regarding 

[In this study I want to illustrate that there are difficulties with
evolutionary science, leading some to suggest that it is a "theory in
crisis".  But first we should carefully define our terms...]


      1. Evolution = change
      2. Evolution = change over time
      3. Evolution = a process that results in heritable changes in a
         population spread over many generations
      -- Both creationists and evolutionists agree with this basic definition

      1. This term generally refers to evolutionary change below the
         level of species
      2. Though some apply it to changes below the level of genera or even families
         a. The Genesis account refers to God creating "according to its kind" - Gen 1:24-25
         b. Some understand "kind=species", but "kind" might include
            genera or families
      3. This change is easily observable, especially within species
      4. Even if it were shown that evolution produces a change from one
         species to another, it does not necessarily contradict the Genesis account
      -- Creationists acknowledge this degree of evolution as factual

      1. This term generally refers to evolutionary change at or above
         the level of species
      2. Though some apply it to changes above the level of genera or families
      3. This relates to large scale changes over geological time, e.g.,
         "from amoeba to man"
      4. This degree of change is not observable, but assumed based on extrapolation
      -- Evolutionists claim this degree of evolution as factual

      1. Darwinism - A theory of organic evolution claiming that new
         species arise and are perpetuated by natural selection
      2. Neo-Darwinism - A modern Darwinian theory that explains new
         species in terms of genetic mutations, more properly known as
         Modern Evolution Synthesis
      -- In both views, evidence from microevolution is extrapolated to
         support macroevolution

[The difficulties of evolutionary science discussed in this lesson
pertain to macroevolution, not microevolution.  Microevolution is a
fact, but macroevolution is a theory much in dispute...]


      1. "It is now approximately half a century since the neo-Darwinian
         synthesis was formulated. A great deal of research has been
         carried on within the paradigm it defines. Yet the successes of
         the theory are limited to the interpretation of the minutiae of
         evolution, such as the adaptive change in coloration of moths;
         while it has remarkably little to say on the questions which
         interest us most, such as how there came to be moths in the
         first place." - Ho, Mae-Wan & Saunders, P.T., "Beyond
         neo-Darwinism - An Epigenetic Approach to Evolution," Journal
         of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 78, 1979
      2. "Clearly something is missing from biology. It appears that
         Darwin's theory works for the small-scale aspects of evolution:
         it can explain the variations and the adaptations within
         species that produce fine-tuning of varieties to different
         habitats. The large-scale differences of form between types of
         organism that are the foundation of biological classification
         systems seem to require a principle other than natural
         selection operating on small variations, some process that
         gives rise to distinctly different forms of organism. This is
         the problem of emergent order in evolution, the origins of
         novel structures in organisms that has always been a primary
         interest in biology." - Goodwin, Brian [Professor of Biology,
         Open University, UK], "How The Leopard Changed Its Spots: The
         Evolution of Complexity," 1994
      -- Microevolution has been proven, but macroevolution has not!

      1. "Neo-Darwinism has failed as an evolutionary theory that can
         explain the origin of species, understood as organisms of
         distinctive form and behaviour. In other words, it is not an
         adequate theory of evolution. What it does provide is a partial
         theory of adaptation, or microevolution (small-scale adaptive
         changes in organisms)." - Goodwin, Brian [Professor of Biology,
         Open University, UK], "Neo-Darwinism has failed as an
         evolutionary theory," The Times Higher Education Supplement, May 19, 1995
      2. "My main criticism of Darwinism is that it fails in its initial
         objective, which is to explain the origin of species. Now, let
         me explain exactly what I mean by that. I mean it fails to
         explain the emergence of organisms, the specific forms during
         evolution like algae and ferns and flowering plants, corals,
         starfish, crabs, fish, birds." - Goodwin, Brian, "An interview
         with Professor Brian Goodwin by Dr David King," GenEthics News,
         Issue 11. March/April 1996
      -- These are not the words of a creationist!

      1. "I well remember how the synthetic theory beguiled me with its
         unifying power when I was a graduate student in the mid-1960's.
         Since then I have been watching it slowly unravel as a
         universal description of evolution. The molecular assault came
         first, followed quickly by renewed attention to unorthodox
         theories of speciation and by challenges at the level of
         macroevolution itself. I have been reluctant to admit it-since
         beguiling is often forever-but if Mayr's characterization of
         the synthetic theory is accurate, then that theory, as a
         general proposition, is effectively dead, despite its
         persistence as textbook orthodoxy." - Gould, Stephen Jay
         [Professor of Zoology and Geology, Harvard University, USA],
         "Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?,"
         Paleobiology, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1980
      2. "More and more workers are showing signs of dissatisfaction
         with the synthetic theory. Some are attacking its philosophical
         foundations, arguing that the reason that it has been so amply
         confirmed is simply that it is unfalsifiable: with a little
         ingenuity any observation can be made to appear consistent with
         it. Others have been deliberately setting out to work in just
         those areas in which neo-Darwinism is least comfortable, like
         the problem of the gaps in the fossil record or the mechanisms
         of non-Mendelian inheritance. Still others, notably some
         systematists, have decided to ignore the theory altogether, and
         to carry on their research without any a priori assumption
         about how evolution has occurred. Perhaps most significantly of
         all, there is now appearing a stream of articles and books
         defending the synthetic theory. It is not so long ago that
         hardly anyone thought this was necessary." - Ho, Mae-Wan
         [Biologist, The Open University, UK] & Saunders, Peter T.
         [Mathematician, University of London], eds., "Beyond Neo-
         Darwinism: An Introduction to the New Evolutionary Paradigm,"
         Academic Press: London, 1984
      3. "The 'modern evolutionary synthesis' convinced most biologists
         that natural selection was the only directive influence on
         adaptive evolution. Today, however, dissatisfaction with the
         synthesis is widespread, and creationists and antidarwinians
         are multiplying. The central problem with the synthesis is its
         failure to show (or to provide distinct signs) that natural
         selection of random mutations could account for observed levels
         of adaptation." - Leigh, Egbert G., Jr. [Biologist, Smithsonian
         Institution, USA], "The modern synthesis, Ronald Fisher and
         creationism," Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vol. 14, No. 12
      -- Scientists are having to go "back to the drawing board"!

[To my knowledge, the scientists quoted above are not creationists.  But
together with many other scientists they illustrate a growing...]


      1. "During recent decades, new scientific evidence from many
         scientific disciplines such as cosmology, physics, biology,
         "artificial intelligence" research, and others have caused
         scientists to begin questioning Darwinism's central tenet of
         natural selection and studying the evidence supporting it in greater detail."
      2. "Yet public TV programs, educational policy statements, and
         science textbooks have asserted that Darwin's theory of
         evolution fully explains the complexity of living things. The
         public has been assured that all known evidence supports
         Darwinism and that virtually every scientist in the world
         believes the theory to be true."
      3. "The scientists on this list dispute the first claim and stand
         as living testimony in contradiction to the second. Since
         Discovery Institute launched this list in 2001, hundreds of
         scientists have courageously stepped forward to sign their names."
      4. "The list is growing and includes scientists from the US
         National Academy of Sciences, Russian, Hungarian and Czech
         National Academies, as well as from universities such as
         Yale, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and others."
      5. Their Statement: "We are skeptical of claims for the ability of
         random mutation and natural selection to account for the
         complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for
         Darwinian theory should be encouraged."
      6. Over 700 scientists have signed the above statement - The List Of Scientists
      -- Scientific Dissent From Darwinism

      1. "Sadly, academic freedom is no longer assured in many
         countries. This is especially true when it involves espousing
         views contrary to the theory of Darwinian macroevolution."
      2. "Numerous instances have been documented where scientists and
         teachers have either been censored or removed from their
         positions for allowing or facilitating open discussion of the
         empirical problems of macroevolution."
      3. "As academia has suppressed freedom of speech in this area,
         another avenue needs to be available to promote accurate
         information and the free exchange of ideas concerning the
         debate over Darwinism and alternative theories on origins."
      4. "Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity (PSSI) was
         established as a means for physicians and surgeons to publicly
         be counted among those skeptical of nature-driven Darwinian macroevolution."
      5. Their statement:  "As medical doctors we are skeptical of the
         claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection
         to account for the origination and complexity of life and we
         therefore dissent from Darwinian macroevolution as a viable
         theory. This does not imply the endorsement of any alternative theory."
      6. Almost 300 doctors have signed the above statement - The List Of Doctors
      -- Physicians And Surgeons For Scientific Integrity


1. I have not presented specific problems with macroevolution, such as...
   a. The Cambrian explosion
   b. Gaps in the fossil records
   c. Lack of transitional forms
   d. Evidence of humans coexisting with dinosaurs
   -- I am not scientist, and willing to let others evaluate such evidence

2. But it does not take a trained scientist to know that macroevolution...
   a. Is only a theory, not yet proven
   b. Is a leap of blind faith (requiring extrapolation without
      sufficient evidence)
   -- The major difference between the Biblical account and Darwinian theory

3. My purpose is simply to emphasize...
   a. "There is scientific dissent from Darwinism."
   b. "It deserves to be heard."
   -- Dissent From Evolution, ibid.

Reasons why we do not often hear about such dissent in our schools and
mainstream media will be considered in our next and final lesson...

Note:  Quotations in the section "Difficulties With Evolution" were
copied from a compilation of quotes on creation and evolution by Stephen
E. Jones.

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading March 4

Bible Reading  

March 4

The World English Bible

Mar. 4
Exodus 14

Exo 14:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Exo 14:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, that they turn back and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, before Baal Zephon. You shall encamp opposite it by the sea.
Exo 14:3 Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, 'They are entangled in the land. The wilderness has shut them in.'
Exo 14:4 I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will follow after them; and I will get honor over Pharaoh, and over all his armies; and the Egyptians shall know that I am Yahweh." They did so.
Exo 14:5 It was told the king of Egypt that the people had fled; and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was changed towards the people, and they said, "What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?"
Exo 14:6 He made ready his chariot, and took his army with him;
Exo 14:7 and he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over all of them.
Exo 14:8 Yahweh hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel; for the children of Israel went out with a high hand.
Exo 14:9 The Egyptians pursued after them: all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, his horsemen, and his army; and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pihahiroth, before Baal Zephon.
Exo 14:10 When Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians were marching after them; and they were very afraid. The children of Israel cried out to Yahweh.
Exo 14:11 They said to Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you treated us this way, to bring us forth out of Egypt?
Exo 14:12 Isn't this the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, 'Leave us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians?' For it were better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness."
Exo 14:13 Moses said to the people, "Don't be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of Yahweh, which he will work for you today: for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you shall never see them again.
Exo 14:14 Yahweh will fight for you, and you shall be still."
Exo 14:15 Yahweh said to Moses, "Why do you cry to me? Speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward.
Exo 14:16 Lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go into the midst of the sea on dry ground.
Exo 14:17 I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall go in after them: and I will get myself honor over Pharaoh, and over all his armies, over his chariots, and over his horsemen.
Exo 14:18 The Egyptians shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have gotten myself honor over Pharaoh, over his chariots, and over his horsemen."
Exo 14:19 The angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them, and stood behind them.
Exo 14:20 It came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud and the darkness, yet gave it light by night: and the one didn't come near the other all the night.
Exo 14:21 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and Yahweh caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all the night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.
Exo 14:22 The children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand, and on their left.
Exo 14:23 The Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea: all of Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.
Exo 14:24 It happened in the morning watch, that Yahweh looked out on the Egyptian army through the pillar of fire and of cloud, and confused the Egyptian army.
Exo 14:25 He took off their chariot wheels, and they drove them heavily; so that the Egyptians said, "Let's flee from the face of Israel, for Yahweh fights for them against the Egyptians!"
Exo 14:26 Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea, that the waters may come again on the Egyptians, on their chariots, and on their horsemen."
Exo 14:27 Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to its strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it. Yahweh overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea.
Exo 14:28 The waters returned, and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even all Pharaoh's army that went in after them into the sea. There remained not so much as one of them.
Exo 14:29 But the children of Israel walked on dry land in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand, and on their left.
Exo 14:30 Thus Yahweh saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.

Exo 14:31 Israel saw the great work which Yahweh did to the Egyptians, and the people feared Yahweh; and they believed in Yahweh, and in his servant Moses.


From Gary... Change

Some people will not turn from sin no matter what.  Unfortunately, this is a fact of life.  Yet, for the sake of appearance, some will outwardly pretend to change. John the Baptizer was one who saw people for what they actually were and told the unvarnished truth.  And it was not pretty....

Matthew, Chapter 3 (WEB)

  1 In those days, John the Baptizer came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying,  2 “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying, 
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
make ready the way of the Lord.
Make his paths straight.”

  4  Now John himself wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then people from Jerusalem, all of Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him.  6 They were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.  7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for his baptism, he said to them, “You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  8 Therefore produce fruit worthy of repentance!  9 Don’t think to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father,’ for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 

  10  “Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire.  11 I indeed baptize you in water for repentance, but he who comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit.  12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor. He will gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire.” 

The one after John is Jesus and verse 12 (b) still applies.  Crunch time; either we listen (and change) or don't. I think that listening would be a good idea, don't you? And if, after a healthy self-assessment, you realize your sin- Change!!!  There really is no getting around verse 12, is there?