4/3/15

From Jim McGuiggan... What atoned for sin? (1)

What atoned for sin? (1)

What atoned for sin was not Christ's suffering as suffering (much less "punishment") but Christ's holy obedience that took the form of suffering.
Suffering simply as the experience of pain has no moral quality or content—it is neither good nor evil, it is neither praiseworthy nor is it worthy of condemnation. The moral worth or the wicked nature of suffering lies not in itself, as pain experienced, but in its purpose, motivation, degree, context and other considerations.
The difference between pain inflicted by a surgeon and a mugger could illustrate this truth well.
The profound heartache experienced by a parent whose love for a wayward and endangered child differs from the profound heartache of a "lover" who desperately wants another man's wife and can't have her. Both experience great pain but we know there's a qualitative difference.
Suffering that is inflicted on us against our will is qualitatively different from suffering that we choose on behalf of others though in both cases it is suffering.
Suffering that is inflicted on the guilty as just punishment is qualitatively different from the suffering experienced by a lover who endures suffering because his/her beloved is being abused. Mary's suffering at the sight of her Son being murdered was of a different kind than the suffering endured by two robbers at the side of Jesus (see Luke 23:40-41).
This truth about suffering simply as pain experienced is germane to our understanding of the death of Jesus Christ. The moral quality and the reconciling power of Jesus' cross is not that he experienced pain, not even that he experienced pain unjustly—the significance of his pain relative to his atoning for sin, lay in another direction altogether; it had to do with his purpose in choosing pain and how his Holy Father construed his pain.
On stylistic grounds, Macleod Campbell is a very hard read but in The Nature of Atonement he has taught us well in showing us that Jesus' suffering was the form a Son's loving obedience took in doing the will of his Holy Father. That's what gave it its moral value and its reconciling power—it was the expression of a heart entirely aligned with the heart of the Holy Father. His aim was to reconcile humanity to God, to realign their hearts to the Holy Father and the nature of his goal is expressed in the nature of his life and death. What he was and did is what he meant to bring about in and for others. His life embodies and is the manifestation of his purpose.
His life of love and honour and devotion, consummated in "obedience unto death, even death on a cross," is the holy and moral response that should be expected from God's child; and it was what Jesus gave him— joyfully and no matter the cost.
In addition, Jesus was God's gift to humanity (2 Corinthians 9:15) so that Jesus' loving obedience was God's gift to humanity. That obedience was not only the expression of the Son's love for the Father it was an expression of the Son's love for the human family that is loved by the Father (2 Corinthians 8:9, John 3:16-17).
But Jesus is also redeemed humanity's gift to God. The hymn-writer expressed well this facet of the believer's life with God: "Nothing in my hand I bring/Simply to thy cross I cling."
The suffering of Jesus on the cross (as the essential consummation of all other aspects of his suffering in life) is not to be construed merely as pain endured, for that would take the holiness and moral quality out of it.
The suffering of Jesus (consummated in his death) is not to be construed as God punishing him instead of punishing the guilty for God has taught us that he regards that as immoral and sinful (Deuteronomy 24:16; 27:25 and Proverbs 6:17 illustrate). Not only was God not angry at Jesus he gloried in Jesus' embracing the cross. Not only did he not see him as guilty and defiled (for sin defiles as well as renders guilty) the Holy Spirit of God enabled him as a High Priest on the cross to offer himself as a spotless sacrifice (Hebrews 9:11-14). The same writer has Jesus as a High Priest as sinless and undefiled, offering himself up to purify people of their sins (2:15 and 7:26-27) and then going to glory (Hebrews 1:3-4).
©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.

"Unlike Naturalists, You Creationists Have a Blind Faith" by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4704

"Unlike Naturalists, You Creationists Have a Blind Faith"

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

We openly grant that the accusation represented by the title of this article is true, at least for many individuals today. But not for all.

“BLIND FAITH”—MANY HAVE IT

What is “blind faith”? What is meant by the accusation? The idea behind “blind faith” is that a person chooses to believe in something or someone (namely, God) without any supporting evidence. The portrait painted in our minds is that of a person who puts on a blindfold and steps up to a ledge. He cannot see what is beyond the ledge. He has no idea how far down the drop is—whether or not he will plummet to his death, break his legs, or simply fall down. He has no idea if there is water, a trampoline, or rocks at the bottom. He simply decides to believe that he will not die if he jumps off—that he will be safe. He has no evidence, only pure, baseless “faith.” So, he takes a “leap of faith.” Question: who in their right mind would do such a thing? Whoever has such a faith truly is na├»ve, an extremely emotionally, rather than rationally, charged individual, and possibly is in need of counseling, or has an agenda for having such a belief system.
Sadly many people have such a “faith.” Many people call themselves Christians, and claim to believe in the Bible, but clearly have not read it. They have a “blind faith” which, according to the Law of Rationality (Ruby, 1960, pp. 130-131), is irrational. Their belief in God is not based on the evidence, but is a blind leap into the dark without it. Philosphers call this phenomenon “fideism” (Popkin, 1967, 3:201-202). However, the biblical portrait of faith (Greek, pistis—translated equally as faith, belief, trust, or having confidence in; Arndt, et al., 1979, pp. 661-664) is not what some in Christendom have defined it to be nor what Hollywood has portrayed it to be. It is not “believing when common sense tells you not to,” as the 1947 movie, Miracle on 34th Street suggested (Seaton). It is not a “leap of faith” like Dr. Jones’ actions in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Spielberg, 1989). The Bible does not advocate a “Feel, don’t think” mentality, like that encouraged by Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars(Lucas, 1999). Biblical faith is based on evidence (Hebrews 11:1). It is trust—comparable to the trust one has in a parent or friend—that is based on proof. We trust someone when he has proven himself to be trustworthy. When one listens to or reads revelation from God’s Word (i.e., what Bible believers call “special revelation”) and the information therein proves to be true, one develops faith in God (Romans 10:17). When one examines the evidence from the created order (i.e., what Bible believers call “general revelation”), and it points to the existence of a supernatural Being as Creator—rather than blind, random, accidental change over time—we learn to trust God based on that evidence.
In short: The biblical model of faith requires evidence. According to the biblical model, the truth of God can be known—not felt or accepted without proof—and it will set men free (John 8:32). Sincere truth seekers examine what they have been told and investigate its veracity by pondering the evidence, as did the “fair-minded” Bereans of Acts 17:11, before becoming Christians. In fact, God (through Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:21) tells the creationist that he is expected to prove or test something before believing it—only accepting what has been proven right or good. Do such passages give the impression that the Bible advocates a blind, evidence-less faith?
Sadly, evidence-based faith is not the faith of many within Christendom. But “don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Many of us base our view squarely on the evidence—such as the evidence presented below. [NOTE: See Miller, 2003a for more on the topic of “blind faith” and the Bible. Also,Miller, 2003b.]

BUT WE DON’T

In order for a belief to not be “blind” or irrational, it needs supporting evidence. While the creationist does not claim to hold direct, observable evidence of God, since we cannot taste, touch, see, hear, or smell Him, the indirect evidence—a legitimate source of scientific evidence—is overwhelming. What supporting evidence do creationists put forth? A thorough treatment of this subject is outside the scope of this article, but hundreds of articles and books deal eloquently and credibly with the subject. [NOTE: See www.apologeticpress.org for a library of said material.]
In short, the creationist argues, among other things, that:
  1. The available evidence contradicts the atheistic model (cf. Miller, 2012b; Miller, 2013c), which logically leaves theism—the Creation model;
  2. The fundamental evidence that contradicts the naturalistic model, supports the contentions of the creation model, which never contradicts the scientific evidence;
  3. The existence and teachings of the laws of science demand a non-material, uncaused Cause for the Universe;
  4. There are numerous natural evidences in the Universe that exhibit the characteristics of intent, purpose, and complexity, which indicate a Mind behind them. Such attributes testify to the presence of intelligent design, which implies a Designer;
  5. Objective morality exists, which implies a higher Law that transcends mankind, which in turn demands a supernatural Author;
  6. A Book exists that contains certain characteristics that can only be explainable if it is what it says it is—the Word of the Creator.
These proofs, and many others, provide evidence that demands an explanation and cannot be satiated by naturalistic theories. Only supernatural Creation provides an answer in keeping with the evidence. The Creation model can hardly be deemed unscientific. Its legitimate followers cannot be brushed aside as “blind” believers. Such sweeping accusations are unfair and betray a prejudiced, stereotypical mindset, to say nothing of the fact that such accusations fall victim to the ad hominemlogical fallacy (“Fallacies,” 2012).

ACTUALLY, EVOLUTIONISTS DO

In truth, Creation is the reasonable choice—the one not beholden to evidence-less leaps of faith. It is not contingent on the baseless, mythical claim that aliens exist and initiated life on Earth (cf. Miller, 2013a); that abiogenesis—like magic from a fictional novel—is somehow possible (cf. Miller, 2012b); that non-humans give birth to humans, as they do in the tabloids (cf. Flew and Warren, 1977, pp. 25,45,65); or the fanciful idea that Universes spontaneously pop into existence (cf. Miller, 2013c). Indeed, atheistic evolution is simply well-packaged superstition. Creation is the option in keeping with reason and the evidence.
While some who call themselves “Christians,” do, indeed, have an unscriptural, blind faith, in truth, the same can be said of the evolutionary community—and more so. Why? (1) Because unlike evolution, the evidence does not contradict Creation but supports it, even though some have accepted Creation without that evidence; (2) because not all creationists hold to a blind faith. Some examine the evidence and draw the reasonable conclusion that a Creator exists. However, all naturalists musthave a blind, evidence-less faith, since atheistic evolution is based on certain baseless, unprovable assumptions, including abiogenesis, naturalism, spontaneous generation or the eternality of matter, etc. (cf. Miller, 2013b and Kerkut, 1960 for other key, baseless evolutionary assumptions). Belief in those assumptions is purely blind. They (1) are not supported by the evidence, which classifies evolution as irrational; (2) actually contradict the evidence; and (3) even show the naturalist to be engaged in self-contradiction, which he blindly ignores when confronted with the evidence of his contradictions (cf. Miller, 2012a). It seems clear that it is the evolutionist—not the creationist—who holds to a blind faith.
Consider the following timeless quotes from various prominent evolutionists concerning the character of the naturalist’s faith:
  • Robert Jastrow, evolutionary astronomer and founder and former director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA: “At present, science has no satisfactory answer to the question of the origin of life on the earth. Perhaps the appearance of life on the earth is a miracle. Scientists  [i.e., naturalists—JM] are reluctant to accept that view, but their choices are limited; either life was created on the earth by the will of a being outside the grasp of scientific understanding, or it evolved on our planet spontaneously, through chemical reactions occurring in nonliving matter lying on the surface of the planet. The first theory places the question of the origin of life beyond the reach of scientific inquiry. It is a statement of faith in the power of a Supreme Being not subject to the laws of science. The second theory is alsoan act of faith. The act of faith consists inassuming that the scientific view of the origin of life is correct, without having concrete evidence to support that belief” (1977, pp. 62-63, emp. added).
  • John Sullivan, once a popular evolutionary science writer: “The hypothesis that life has developed from inorganic matter is, at present, still an article of faith” (1933, p. 95, emp. added).
  • Richard Lewontin, evolutionary geneticist of Harvard University: “Our willingness to accept scientific claims against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs..., in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to naturalism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door”(1997, p. 31, 2nd and 4th emp. in orig.).
  • G.A. Kerkut, British evolutionary physiologist: Spontaneous generation is “a matter of faith on the part of the biologist…. The evidence for what did happen is not available” (1960, p. 150, emp. added).
  • Loren Eiseley, evolutionary anthropologist of the University of Pennsylvania: “With the failure of these many efforts, science was left in the somewhat embarrassing position of having to postulate theories of living origins which it could not demonstrate. After having chided the theologian for his reliance on myth and miracle, science found itself in the unenviable position of having tocreate a mythology of its own: namely, the assumption that what, after long effort, could not be proved to take place today, had, in truth, taken place in the primeval past” (1957, pp. 201-202, emp. added).
  • Robert Hazen, evolutionary geologist who received his doctoral degree in Earth Science from Harvard University, a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory, and a professor of Earth Science at George Mason University: “I make anassumption that life emerged from basic raw materials through a sequence of events that was completely consistent with the natural laws of chemistry and physics. Even with this scientific approach, there is a possibility that we’ll never know—in fact, that we can’t ever know. It is possible that life emerged by an almost infinitely improbable sequence of difficult chemical reactions. If life is the result of an infinitely improbable succession of chemical steps, then any scientific attempt to understand life’s origin is doomed to failure; such a succession could not be duplicated in a program of lab experiments. If the origin of life was an infinitely improbable accident, then there’s absolutely nothing you or I or anyone else could do to figure out how it happened. I must tell you, that’s a depressing thought to someone like me who has devoted a decade to understanding the origin of life” (2005, emp. added).
  • Fred Hoyle, distinguished atheistic British astronomer, and Chandra Wickramasinghe, professor of astronomy and applied mathematics at University College, Cardiff, Wales: “It is doubtful that anything like the conditions which were simulated in the laboratory existed at all on a primitive Earth, or occurred for long enough times and over sufficiently extended regions of the Earth’s surface to produce large enough local concentrations of the biochemicals required for the start of life. In accepting the ‘primeval soup theory’ of the origin of life, scientists have replaced religious mysteries which shrouded this question with equally mysterious scientific dogmas. The implied scientific dogmas are just as inaccessible to the empirical approach” (1978, p. 26, emp. added).
If these quotes from eminent evolutionists do not prove that naturalistic evolution is a religious faith, and a blind one at that, what would? It’s no wonder that the late Colin Patterson, senior paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History in London, said about evolution, “One morning I woke up and something had happened in the night, and it struck me that I had been working on this stuff for twenty years and there was not one thing I knew about it. That’s quite a shock to learn that one can be misled so long. Either there was something wrong with me, or there was something wrong with evolutionary theory” (1981, emp. added). These quotes simply do not characterize true Christianity or the true Creation model—but they do characterize evolution.
Thus, it seems that the rank and file evolutionist’s self-incriminating, venomous accusations towards the creationist are well-represented by the Shakespearean quote, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks” (III.2). Be wary of the one who makes accusations the loudest and attempts to deflect attention from his own inadequacies.
Bottom line: The true model of origins will be based on the evidence. It will be the rational model. It will not contradict the evidence at every turn. So atheistic evolution is not the true model of origins.

REFERENCES

Arndt, William, F.W. Gingrich, and Frederick W. Danker (1979), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), second edition revised.
Eiseley, Loren (1957), The Immense Journey (New York: Random House).
“Fallacies” (2012), The Writing Center at UNC Chapel Hill,http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/fallacies.
Flew, Antony G.N. and Thomas B. Warren (1977), The Warren-Flew Debate on the Existence of God(Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).
Hazen, Robert (2005), Origins of Life, audio-taped lecture (Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company).
Hoyle, Fred and Chandra Wickramasinghe (1978), Lifecloud (New York: Harper & Row).
Jastrow, Robert (1977), Until the Sun Dies (New York: W.W. Norton).
Kerkut, George A. (1960), The Implications of Evolution (London: Pergamon).
Lewontin, Richard (1997), “Billions and Billions of Demons,” The New York Review, January 9.
Lucas, George, dir. (1999), Star Wars Episode I—The Phantom Menace, Lucasfilm.
Miller, Dave (2003a), “Blind Faith,” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=444.
Miller, Dave (2003b), “Modern-Day Miracles, Tongue-Speaking, and Holy Spirit Baptism: A Refutation--EXTENDED VERSION,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1399.
Miller, Jeff (2012a), “The Atheistic Naturalist’s Self-Contradiction,” Reason & Revelation, 32[5]:53, May, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1029&article=1763.
Miller, Jeff (2012b), “The Law of Biogenesis,” Reason & Revelation, 32[1]:2-11, January,http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1018&article=1722.
Miller, Jeff (2013a), “Directed Panspermia and Little, Green (Non-Existent) Men from Outer Space,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=4620.
Miller, Jeff (2013b), “Don’t Assume Too Much: Not All Assumptions in Science Are Bad,” Reason & Revelation, 33[6]: 62-64,69-70, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1122&article=2153.
Miller, Jeff (2013c), “Evolution and the Laws of Science: the Laws of Thermodynamics,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2786.
Patterson, Colin (1981), Written transcript made from audio tape of lecture presented at the American Museum of Natural History, November.
Popkin, Richard (1967), “Fideism” in The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (New York: McMillan).
Ruby, Lionel (1960), Logic: An Introduction (Chicago, IL: J.B. Lippincott).
Seaton, George (1947), Miracle on 34th Street, Twentieth Century Fox.
Shakespeare, William (2011), Hamlet, The Literature Network, http://www.online-literature.com/shakespeare/hamlet/10/.
Spielberg, Steven, dir. (1989), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Paramount Pictures.
Sullivan, J.W.N. (1933), Limitations of Science (New York: Viking Press).

Baptism and the New Birth by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1516

Baptism and the New Birth

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

A major cleavage within Christendom pertains to the point at which the “new birth” occurs. Most of Christendom maintains that a person is born again, and thus has sin washed away by the blood of Christ, when that person “accepts Jesus Christ as his personal savior.” By this expression, it is meant that a person must mentally and/or orally decide to embrace Christ as the Lord of his life. Hence, the new birth is seen simply as a determination of the will—a moment in time when the person accepts Christ in his mind and couples that decision with an oral confession.
The passage in the New Testament that alludes specifically to being born again pertains to a conversation that Jesus had with a high-ranking Jewish official:
There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again’ ” (John 3:1-7, emp. added).
In an effort to avoid identifying “water” (vs. 5) as water baptism, many within Christendom in the last half century have proposed a variety of novel interpretations. For example, some have proposed that “water” is a reference to the Holy Spirit. While it certainly is true that John uses the word “water” symbolically to represent the Spirit later in his book (7:38-39), that fact had to be explained by the inspired writer. However, in chapter three, the normal, literal meaning is clearly in view, not only because water baptism throughout the New Testament is consistently associated with the salvation event (e.g., Acts 2:38; 8:12-13,36-38; 9:18; 10:47-48; 16:15,33; 18:8; 19:5; 22:16; Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:12; Hebrews 10:22; 1 Peter 3:21), but even in this context, eighteen verses later, the term clearly has a literal meaning: “Now John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there” (John 3:23). Additionally, if “water” in John 3:5 is an allusion to the Holy Spirit, the result would be nonsensical: “unless one is born of the Spirit and the Spirit.”
Another quibble offered in an effort to avoid the clear import of John 3:5 is that “water” is a symbol for the blood of Jesus. Of course, no rationale exists for making such a connection. Elsewhere John refers explicitly to water and blood, but clearly distinguishes them from each other in their import (1 John 5:6).
Perhaps the most popular notion, advanced only in recent years, is that “water” is a reference to a pregnant woman’s “water”—i.e., the amniotic fluid that accompanies the physical birth of a child. However, this suggestion likewise fails to fit the context of Jesus’ remarks. In fact, Nicodemus himself thought that Jesus was referring to physical birth (“mother’s womb”). But Jesus corrected his misconception, and contrasted such thinking with the intended meaning of “water and Spirit.” Indeed, Jesus would not have told Nicodemus that he needed to be born physically (“water”). He would not have included the act of physical birth in His listing of prerequisites to entering the kingdom. That would make Jesus say that before a person can enter the kingdom he or she must first be a person! What would be the point of stating such a thing? [Would it perhaps be to ensure that everyone understands that non-humans (i.e., animals) cannot enter the kingdom?!] Later in the same chapter, did John baptize near Salim “because there was much amniotic fluid there”?
If one cares to consult the rest of the New Testament in order to allow the Bible to be its own best interpreter, and in order to allow the Bible to harmonize with itself, additional passages shed light on the meaning of John 3:5. According to the rest of the New Testament, spiritual conception occurs when the Gospel (i.e., the seed of the Holy Spirit—Luke 8:11) is implanted in the human heart and mind (James 1:18; 1 Corinthians 4:15; Ephesians 6:17; 1 Peter 1:23). The Word of God, in turn, generates penitent faith in the human heart (Romans 10:17) that leads the individual to obey the Gospel by being baptized in water (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Hebrews 10:22). The resulting condition of the individual is that he or she is now a child of God, a citizen of the kingdom, and member of the church of Christ (Matthew 28:19-20; Galatians 3:26-27; Romans 6:4).
Additional verses in the New Testament clarify and cinch this meaning of John 3:5, pinpointing the “new birth,” while also allowing us to understand the activity of the Holy Spirit in the act of conversion. Consider the following chart (Jackson, 1988):
John 3:5SpiritWaterKingdom
 
1 Corinthians 12:13SpiritBaptizedBody
Ephesians 5:26WordWashing/WaterCleansed Church
Titus 3:5Renewal of SpiritWashing of RegenerationSaved by Mercy
These verses demonstrate that God achieves conversion through the Gospel message authored by the Holy Spirit. When a person comes to an understanding (Acts 8:30) of the that inspired message, his penitent faith leads him to submit to water immersion for the remission of sins (Acts 8:36,38; 10:47). The result of his obedient response to the Gospel is that he is saved and cleansed from past sin and instantaneously placed into the kingdom of Christ.
Notice that submission to the divine plan of salvation does not mean that humans save themselves by effecting their own salvation. Their obedience does not earn or merit their forgiveness. Rather, the terms or conditions of salvation are stipulated by God—not by humans—and are a manifestation of His mercy! When people submit to the terms of entrance into the kingdom of Christ, they are saved by the blood of Jesus and the grace of God—not their own effort! Water immersion is not to be viewed as a “work of righteousness which we have done” (Titus 3:5). When we submit to baptism, we are being saved by “the kindness and love of God our Savior” (Titus 3:4). We are being saved “according to His mercy” (Titus 3:5).

REFERENCES

Jackson, Wayne (1988), “The New Birth: What is It?,” Christian Courier, 24:14, August.

If He Were a Prophet... by Kyle Butt, M.A.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=2170

If He Were a Prophet...

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

The gospel accounts paint a picture of the character of Jesus unrivaled by any other personality in human history. On one memorable occasion, Jesus was invited to eat with a Pharisee named Simon (Luke 7:36-50). During his stay, a woman who was known in the area for her sinful lifestyle approached Jesus. She proceeded to wash His feet with her tears, dry them with her hair, and anoint Jesus with fragrant oil.
Simon, seeing the sinful woman’s behavior, said to himself, “This man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner” (Luke 7:39). Notice two important aspects of Simon’s response. First, he spoke to himself. There is no indication that his thoughts were verbalized or in any way audible to those around him. Second, the criterion he set to determine whether Christ was a prophet was knowledge of the woman’s sinful lifestyle.
Jesus’ response to Simon proved that He was far more than a prophet. He answered the Pharisee by explaining that those who have sinned much and been forgiven of their sins will love God more than those who feel they have few sins to forgive. Jesus then forgave the woman’s sins. His response exhibited a knowledge, not only of the spiritual condition of the woman, but also of Simon’s inner conversation with himself. Not only did Jesus know the woman was a sinner, but He knew the conversation Simon had with himself about Jesus’ reaction to the woman. What did Jesus’ reaction prove? It should have proved to Simon that Jesus was far more than a prophet. When Jesus forgave the woman’s sins, He proved that He was God in the flesh.
The modern application of this story is profound. Jesus has exhibited far more evidence validating His deity than any reasonable person could demand. His life was prophesied in minute detail hundreds of years before He was born, He accomplished miracles that supported the prophesies, He foretold His own death and resurrection, He showed Himself alive to many witnesses after His resurrection, and ascended to Heaven in the sight of many witnesses as the culmination of His earthly ministry. The honest, reasonable response to Jesus’ personality and power is perfectly summarized in Nathanael’s reaction to Jesus’ miraculous knowledge. After Jesus explained to Nathanael that He had miraculously seen Nathanael under the fig tree, Nathanael exclaimed: “Rabbi, You are the Son of God” (John 1:49)!

"Can't Order Come from Disorder Due to the Sun?" by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=4789

"Can't Order Come from Disorder Due to the Sun?"

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

Many creationists argue that evolution requires order to come about from disorder—complexity to come about naturally from simplicity—in defiance of the Second Law of Thermodynamics (cf. Miller, 2013). The evolutionist retorts that the Earth is not a closed system—localized pockets of order can come from disorder, as long as energy is added to those pockets (e.g., an orderly room can come from a disorderly room if work or energy is applied to the room). The evolutionist argues that the Earth is a system that is, in fact, receiving useful external energy (e.g., from the Sun). So, it is presumed that evolution could happen.
While it may be true that extra-terrestrial energy could cause pockets of order from disorder on the Earth, it does not follow that atheistic evolution could happen. As we have shown elsewhere, regardless of the extra-terrestrial energy reaching Earth, the evidence confirms that life does not come from non-life (Miller, 2012a), laws of science do not write themselves (Miller, 2012b), matter and energy do not last forever or spontaneously generate (Miller, 2013), and information is not added to the genome through mutations (cf. this issue of R&R). Without an explanation for how evolution can cross these barriers, evolution is tantamount to witchcraft.
Furthermore, while energy can sometimes bring about pockets of order from disorder, energy alone is not what is required. It must be the right kind of energy to do so. While the Sun can be an excellent source of useful energy, it can also be a dangerous source of serious damage—causing deaths, deserts, and damaged property. In order to explain how the order of the Earth’s species could come about from disorder through evolution, one would have to prove that extra-terrestrial energy sources would be capable of doing such a thing—a major task to say the least, especially when there is no observable evidence that macroevolution could even happen regardless.
Ultimately, the question is irrelevant, since regardless of the extra-terrestrial energy that is reaching Earth and its potential ability to create localized order, it is clear that it is not countering the entropy that is rapidly building in the genome (see the discussion of genetic entropy in the current issue). Deleterious mutations are leading to mutational meltdown, generation by generation, regardless of the Sun or any other external source of energy. Evolution requires genomic progress, not deterioration, and extra-terrestrial energy is not solving the problem for evolutionary theory.
No wonder Paul Davies lamented, “It seems that order has arisen out of chaos, in apparent defiance of the second law of thermodynamics…. Does this then suggest that some sort of gigantic cosmic miracle has occurred against all imaginable betting odds?” (1978, p. 507). Davies recognizes that evolution would require a miracle since it flies in the face of a natural law—the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which tells us that the Universe is moving irreversibly towards a state of higher disorder and chaos (Miller, 2013). But since he does not believe in a miracle Worker, it is irrational for him to contend that evolution could “miraculously” happen in spite of entropy. His conclusion should be, “Maybe naturalistic evolution is not true.” Instead, he concludes that magic—a spontaneous miracle—might have happened without a miracle Worker. Naturalistic evolution is a blind, irrational faith.

REFERENCES

Davies, Paul (1978), “Chance or Choice: Is the Universe an Accident?” New Scientist, 80[1129]:506-508, November.
Miller, Jeff (2012a), “The Law of Biogenesis,” Reason & Revelation, 32[1]:2-11, January,http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1018&article=1722.
Miller, Jeff (2012b), “The Laws of Science—by God,” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4545.
Miller, Jeff (2013), “Evolution and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Thermodynamics,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article= 2786.

"Not Under Bondage" by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1081

"Not Under Bondage"

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

“But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace” (1 Corinthians 7:15).
A current misconception with regard to divorce and remarriage is the notion that 1 Corinthians 7:15 is a “later revelation” that “modifies” or “clarifies” Matthew 19:9. It is argued that 1 Corinthians 7:15 permits the Christian, who is deserted by a non-Christian mate, to remarry on the sole ground of that desertion. On the other hand, it is suggested, Matthew 19:9 (which permits remarriage only on the ground of fornication) applies strictly to a Christian married to a Christian, and therefore is not to be considered applicable to the Christian who is married to a non-Christian. Several factors make this position untenable.
First, the context of Matthew 19 is divorce (Matthew 19:3), while the context of 1 Corinthians 7 is not divorce but the propriety of marriage (1 Corinthians 7:1ff.). Jesus applied God’s original marriage law (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6) to the question of divorce and remarriage (Matthew 19:9). But Paul applied God’s marriage law to several different questions that related to celibacy and the legitimacy of marriage for widows/widowers, Christians/non-Christians, and singles.
Second, it is incorrect to hold that if 1 Corinthians 7:15 pertains to a Christian married to a non-Christian, then Matthew 19:9 must refer exclusively to a Christian married to a Christian. Matthew 19:9 was uttered in context to a group of Jews seeking an answer to their question concerning Jewish divorce (Matthew 19:3). Jesus gave them an answer that was intended for them, as well as for those who would live during the Christian age. He appealed to Genesis 2, which resides in a pre-Jewish context and clearly applies to all people—i.e., the totality of humanity. Genesis 2 is a human race context. It reveals God’s ideal will for human marriage for all of human history—pre-Mosaic, Mosaic, and Christian.
Though divorce and remarriage for reasons other than fornication was “permitted” (epetrepsen—Matthew 19:8, though not endorsed) during the Mosaic period, Jesus made clear that the Jews had strayed from the original ideal because of their hard hearts. He further emphasized (notice the use of de—“but” in Matthew 19:9) that the original marriage law, which permitted divorce and remarriage for fornication alone, would be reinstated and would be applicable to all persons during the Christian age. Prior to the cross, ignorance may have been “unattended to” (huperidon—Acts 17:30), that is, God did not have a universal law, like the Gospel (Mark 16:15-16), but with the ratification of the New Testament, all men everywhere are responsible and liable for conforming themselves to God’s universal laws of marriage, divorce, and remarriage. God’s original marriage law was, and is, addressed to all people (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6). Christ’s application to the question of divorce was implied in the original law, and is addressed to all people (Matthew 19:9). Paul’s application to questions of sex, celibacy, and non-Christian mates is addressed to all people (1 Corinthians 7). Scripture harmonizes beautifully, and God treats all impartially. Thus the phrase “to the rest” (1 Corinthians 7:12) cannot be referring uniquely or solely to non-Christian marriage relationships, since Jesus already referred to all marriages (whether Jew or non-Jew, Christian or non-Christian).
Third, 1 Corinthians 7 does not address different “classes” of marriagesThe Corinthian letter was written in response to correspondence previously sent to Paul by the Corinthians (cf. 1:11; 5:1; 7:1; 8:1; 12:1; 16:1). Thus, 1 Corinthians amounts to a point-by-point response to matters previously raised by the Corinthians themselves. When Paul referred to the general question of sexual activity/celibacy (7:1), he was alluding to the method by which he organized his remarks in direct response to questions asked by the Corinthians. Thus, “to the rest” (7:12) refers to the rest of the matters or questions about which the Corinthians specifically inquired (and to which Jesus did not make specific application while on Earth). These matters (not marriages) are easily discernible from what follows. The “rest” of the questions would have included the following:
  • Should a Christian male who has a non-Christian wife sever the relationship (vs. 12)?
  • Should a Christian female who has a non-Christian husband sever the relationship (vs. 13)?
  • Are Christians somehow ceremonially defiled or rendered unclean by such relationships (vs. 14)?
  • Are children born to such relationships ceremonially unclean (vs. 14)?
  • Is a Christian guilty of sin if their non-Christian mate severs the relationship (vs. 15-16)?
  • Does becoming a Christian mean that one should dissolve all conditions and relationships that were entered into before becoming a Christian (vss. 17-24)?
  • What should be the sexual and/or marital status of virgins and widows in light of the current period of distress (vss. 25-40)?
All of these questions may be answered in light of, and in harmony with, Jesus’ own remarks in Matthew 19. Jesus did not specifically make application to these unique instances (vs. 12—“to the rest speak I, not the Lord”). He did not address Himself to the application of God’s general marriage law to every specific situation (specifically to the spiritual status of a Christian married to a non-Christian). Yet, His teaching applies to every case of marriage on the question of divorce.
Fourth, the specific context of 1 Corinthians 7:15 relates to the person who becomes a Christian, but whose mate does not. The unbeliever now finds himself married to a different person (in the sense that his mate underwent a total change and began to live a completely different lifestyle). The unbeliever demands that his mate make a choice: “either give up Christ or I’m leaving!” Yet to live in marriage with an unbeliever, who threatens departure if the believer does not capitulate to the unbeliever (i.e., compromise Christian responsibility or neglect divinely ordained duty), is to be involved in slavery (i.e., “bondage”). But neither at the time the marriage was contracted, nor at the present time (the force of the perfect indicative passive in Greek), has the Christian been under that kind of bondage. God never intended nor approved a view that regards marriage as slavery. Christians are slaves only to God—never to men or mates (Matthew 23:10; Romans 6:22; Ephesians 6:6; Colossians 3:24; Philemon 16; 1 Corinthians 7:15). So Paul was saying that although a believer is married to an unbeliever (and continues to be so), the believer is not to compromise his or her discipleship. To do so, at the insistence of the unbelieving mate, would constitute slavery that was never God’s intention for marriage.
To suggest that dedoulotai (“bondage”) refers to the marriage bond is to maintain that in some sense (or in some cases) the marriage bond is to be viewed as a state of slaveryBut God does not want us to view our marital unions as slave relationships in which we are “under bondage.” We may be “bound” (1 Corinthians 7:27,39; Romans 7:2), but we are not “enslaved” (1 Corinthians 7:15). So Paul was not commenting on the status of a believer’s marital relationship (i.e., whether bound or loosed). Rather, he was commenting on the status of a believer’s spiritual relationship as a Christian in the context of marital discord that is initiated by the non-Christian mate. Paul was answering the question: “How does being married to a non-Christian affect my status as a Christian if he or she threatens to leave?” He was not answering the question: “How does being married to a non-Christian affect my status as a husband/wife (and the potential for remarriage) when the non-Christian departs?” Jesus already answered that question in Matthew 19:9—divorce and remarriage is permitted only upon the basis of sexual unfaithfulness. Paul, too, spoke more directly to this question earlier in the chapter when he ruled out remarriage: “Let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband” (vss. 10-11).
To summarize: although God’s marriage law is stringent (for everybody), and although God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16), nevertheless, there are times when an unbelieving mate actually will force the believer to make a choice between Christ and the unbelieving mate. To choose the mate over Christ would be slavery (i.e., “bondage”). Yet, the believer is not now, and never has been, in such enslavement. Thus, the believer must let the unbeliever exit the relationship in peace. The believer must “let him depart”—in the sense that the believer must not seek to prevent his departure by compromising his loyalty to Christ. Of course, the Christian would continue to hold out hope that the marriage could be saved. If, however, the non-Christian forms a sexual union outside of marriage with another, the Christian is permitted the right to exercise the injunction of Matthew 19:9 by putting away the non-Christian on the sole grounds of fornication, and may then marry another eligible person.
One final factor needs to be addressed. Verses 17-24 cannot be requiring an individual to remain in whatever marital state that person is in at the time of conversion. Paul used the examples of slavery and circumcision to show that merely because a person becomes a Christian, he or she is not absolved of pre-Christian circumstances. If a person is a slave prior to baptism, that person will continue to be a slave after baptism, and should not think that becoming a Christian gives one the right to shirk legal status as a slave. This is why Paul instructed Onesimus to return to his position of servitude (Philemon 12). Thus Paul was encouraging the person who becomes a Christian, but whose mate does not become a Christian, to remain in that marriage rather than think that becoming a Christian somehow gives him or her the right to sever the relationship with the non-Christian mate. Being married to a non-Christian mate is not sinful in and of itself (see Miller, 2002).
Paul was not placing his stamp of approval upon relationships, practices, and conditions that weresinful prior to baptism; nor was he encouraging Christians to remain in those relationships. Such would contradict what he later told the Corinthians concerning unequal yokes (2 Corinthians 6:17) and repentance (2 Corinthians 7:8-10). Rather, he was referring to relationships and conditions that werenot sinful prior to baptism, and was telling Christians that they still had the same obligation to conduct themselves appropriately (i.e., according to God’s laws) within those situations, now that they were Christians. Such instructions apply to any relationship, practice, or condition that was not sinful (i.e., in violation of Christ’s laws) prior to baptism. But it does not apply to any practice or relationship that was sinful prior to baptism (i.e., adultery, homosexuality, evil business practices, etc.; cf. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
May God grant us the humility and determination to conform our lives to His will concerning marriage—no matter how narrow it may seem (Matthew 7:14). May the church of our day be spared any further harm that comes from the promotion of false theories and doctrines that are calculated to re-define God’s will as “wide” and “broad” (Matthew 7:13). May we truly seek to please, not men, but God (Galatians 1:10).
REFERENCES
Miller, Dave (2002), “Be Not Unequally Yoked,” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1802.

From Mark Copeland... "THE CHRISTIAN HOME AND FAMILY" Resolving Family Conflict


                    "THE CHRISTIAN HOME AND FAMILY"
                     
                       Resolving Family Conflict

INTRODUCTION

1. As mentioned in our first lesson, the family as an institution 
   today is struggling...
   a. Husbands and wives often suffer strained relationships
   b. Parents and children are frequently at odds with one another
   c. Much misery in life is due to dysfunctional family 
      relationships

2. I believe that much family turmoil can be resolved...
   a. When we understand the areas and reasons for 
      potential conflict
   b. When we are willing to take simple but profound actions

[Let's begin by reviewing common sources of marital and familial conflict...]
 
I. CAUSES OF FAMILY CONFLICT

   A. MONEY...
      1. Most couples argue over bills, debt, spending, and other
         financial issues
      2. Parents and children argue over allowances, or the lack thereof

   B. CHILDREN...
      1. Discipline, diet, and other parenting issues can be sources of disagreement
      2. Having children can accentuate differences in beliefs on
         issues like how to discipline, who is responsible for most of 
         the child care or what educational options to choose

   C. SEX...
      1. For spouses, frequency, quality, and infidelity are all common
         sources of disharmony
      2. Parents struggle in guiding children through land-minds in our
         sex-crazed culture

   D. CHORES...
      1. Many couples argue over equitable distribution of household
         work, and how to do it
      2. Instead of dividing household chores fairly they quibble over
         who did or didn't do what

   E. FRIENDS...
      1. What friends will be considered acceptable for spouses and children?
      2. Not all friends are helpful to relationships, some of them are toxic

   F. ENTERTAINMENT...
      1. What shall we do with our spare time?  Where shall we go?
      2. Different interests can threaten family relationships

   G. RELIGION...
      1. What shall we believe? How shall we raise the children? What
         holidays shall we observe?
      2. Religious differences in religion can create much conflict in
         the family

   H. RELATIVES...
      1. In-laws, grandparents, siblings, step-children, etc., can all
         create stress within a family
      2. To what degree do we allow them to impact the nuclear family?

   I. EXPECTATIONS...
      1. We all go into marriage and family with certain expectations
      2. We expect spouses to be as mature as our parents, our standard
         of living equal to theirs
      3. Unmet expectations are a major source of conflict in marriages
         and families

   J. PERSONALITIES...
      1. There are personality traits and personal habits that can doom
         marriages and families
      2. Even adults can suffer from "childhood arrests", and behave
         like selfish children

[This list is not exhaustive, but illustrates the challenges that
families often face.  Even so, I believe the solution is rather simple if
we are willing to implement it...]

II. RESOLVING FAMILY CONFLICT

   A. RELIGION IS THE KEY...
      1. Religious beliefs affect every area of potential conflict
         (children, money, friends, etc.)
      2. Agree on religion, and other problems will be easier to handle
      3. With God on your side you will have His blessing and
         providential aid!
      4. Ignore Him, and you face your troubles on your own!

   B. BEHAVE AS CHRISTIANS...
      1. Grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ
         a. Develop Christ-like qualities - cf. 2Pe 1:5-8
         b. Produce the fruit of the Spirit - cf. Ga 5:22-23
      2. Treat your family like brethren
         a. With lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering, forbearing with
            love - Ep 4:1-2; Php 2:3-4
         b. Just as loving brethren helps to ensure good days and
            answered prayers - cf. 1Pe 3:7-12
      3. Love your family like enemies
         a. Refuse to retaliate, respond with good - Mt 5:38-42  
         b. Love your enemies, just as God loves you! - Mt 5:43-48
      4. It takes two to fight, so be the bigger person
         a. If one person does the right thing, differences quickly
            diffuse - cf. Pr 15:1
         b. Proper conduct more likely encourages the other person to
            do likewise

CONCLUSION

1. With so many potential causes of family conflict...
   a. It is not surprising that many families are dysfunctional
   b. Leading many to mistakenly believe that marriage and family are outdated

2. But when family members are willing to heed God's Word...
   a. Potential problems rarely arise
   b. Conflicts are quickly abated

The home and family as Christ would have it can be one of the most
wonderful blessings in the world...!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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From Gary... Bible Reading April 3



Bible Reading  

April 3

The World English Bible

Apr. 3
Leviticus 23, 24

Lev 23:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 23:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, 'The set feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my set feasts.
Lev 23:3 " 'Six days shall work be done: but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no manner of work. It is a Sabbath to Yahweh in all your dwellings.
Lev 23:4 " 'These are the set feasts of Yahweh, even holy convocations, which you shall proclaim in their appointed season.
Lev 23:5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening, is Yahweh's Passover.
Lev 23:6 On the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread to Yahweh. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.
Lev 23:7 In the first day you shall have a holy convocation. You shall do no regular work.
Lev 23:8 But you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh seven days. In the seventh day is a holy convocation: you shall do no regular work.' "
Lev 23:9 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 23:10 "Speak to the children of Israel, and tell them, 'When you have come into the land which I give to you, and shall reap its the harvest, then you shall bring the sheaf of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest:
Lev 23:11 and he shall wave the sheaf before Yahweh, to be accepted for you. On the next day after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.
Lev 23:12 On the day when you wave the sheaf, you shall offer a male lamb without blemish a year old for a burnt offering to Yahweh.
Lev 23:13 The meal offering with it shall be two tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire to Yahweh for a pleasant aroma; and the drink offering with it shall be of wine, the fourth part of a hin.
Lev 23:14 You shall eat neither bread, nor roasted grain, nor fresh grain, until this same day, until you have brought the offering of your God. This is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
Lev 23:15 " 'You shall count from the next day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be completed:
Lev 23:16 even to the next day after the seventh Sabbath you shall number fifty days; and you shall offer a new meal offering to Yahweh.
Lev 23:17 You shall bring out of your habitations two loaves of bread for a wave offering made of two tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour. They shall be baked with yeast, for first fruits to Yahweh.
Lev 23:18 You shall present with the bread seven lambs without blemish a year old, one young bull, and two rams. They shall be a burnt offering to Yahweh, with their meal offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of a sweet aroma to Yahweh.
Lev 23:19 You shall offer one male goat for a sin offering, and two male lambs a year old for a sacrifice of peace offerings.
Lev 23:20 The priest shall wave them with the bread of the first fruits for a wave offering before Yahweh, with the two lambs. They shall be holy to Yahweh for the priest.
Lev 23:21 You shall make proclamation on the same day: there shall be a holy convocation to you; you shall do no regular work. This is a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations.
Lev 23:22 " 'When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap into the corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest: you shall leave them for the poor, and for the foreigner. I am Yahweh your God.' "
Lev 23:23 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 23:24 "Speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, shall be a solemn rest to you, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation.
Lev 23:25 You shall do no regular work; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh.' "
Lev 23:26 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 23:27 "However on the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement: it shall be a holy convocation to you, and you shall afflict yourselves; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh.
Lev 23:28 You shall do no manner of work in that same day; for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement for you before Yahweh your God.
Lev 23:29 For whoever it is who shall not deny himself in that same day; shall be cut off from his people.
Lev 23:30 Whoever it is who does any manner of work in that same day, that person I will destroy from among his people.
Lev 23:31 You shall do no manner of work: it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings.
Lev 23:32 It shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall deny yourselves. In the ninth day of the month at evening, from evening to evening, you shall keep your Sabbath."
Lev 23:33 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 23:34 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say, 'On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of tents for seven days to Yahweh.
Lev 23:35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation: you shall do no regular work.
Lev 23:36 Seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh. On the eighth day shall be a holy convocation to you; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh. It is a solemn assembly; you shall do no regular work.
Lev 23:37 " 'These are the appointed feasts of Yahweh, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to Yahweh, a burnt offering, and a meal offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, each on its own day;
Lev 23:38 besides the Sabbaths of Yahweh, and besides your gifts, and besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to Yahweh.
Lev 23:39 " 'So on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruits of the land, you shall keep the feast of Yahweh seven days: on the first day shall be a solemn rest, and on the eighth day shall be a solemn rest.
Lev 23:40 You shall take on the first day the fruit of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your God seven days.
Lev 23:41 You shall keep it a feast to Yahweh seven days in the year: it is a statute forever throughout your generations; you shall keep it in the seventh month.
Lev 23:42 You shall dwell in booths seven days. All who are native-born in Israel shall dwell in booths,
Lev 23:43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.' "
Lev 23:44 Moses declared to the children of Israel the appointed feasts of Yahweh.
Lev 24:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 24:2 "Command the children of Israel, that they bring to you pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually.
Lev 24:3 Outside of the veil of the Testimony, in the Tent of Meeting, shall Aaron keep it in order from evening to morning before Yahweh continually: it shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.
Lev 24:4 He shall keep in order the lamps on the pure gold lampstand before Yahweh continually.
Lev 24:5 "You shall take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes of it: two tenth parts of an ephah shall be in one cake.
Lev 24:6 You shall set them in two rows, six on a row, on the pure gold table before Yahweh.
Lev 24:7 You shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be to the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire to Yahweh.
Lev 24:8 Every Sabbath day he shall set it in order before Yahweh continually. It is on the behalf of the children of Israel an everlasting covenant.
Lev 24:9 It shall be for Aaron and his sons; and they shall eat it in a holy place: for it is most holy to him of the offerings of Yahweh made by fire by a perpetual statute."
Lev 24:10 The son of an Israelite woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel; and the son of the Israelite woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp.
Lev 24:11 The son of the Israelite woman blasphemed the Name, and cursed; and they brought him to Moses. His mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.
Lev 24:12 They put him in custody, until the will of Yahweh should be declared to them.
Lev 24:13 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 24:14 "Bring out of the camp him who cursed; and let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him.
Lev 24:15 You shall speak to the children of Israel, saying, 'Whoever curses his God shall bear his sin.
Lev 24:16 He who blasphemes the name of Yahweh, he shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall certainly stone him: the foreigner as well as the native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.
Lev 24:17 " 'He who strikes any man mortally shall surely be put to death.
Lev 24:18 He who strikes an animal mortally shall make it good, life for life.
Lev 24:19 If anyone injures his neighbor; as he has done, so shall it be done to him:
Lev 24:20 fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has injured someone, so shall it be done to him.
Lev 24:21 He who kills an animal shall make it good; and he who kills a man shall be put to death.
Lev 24:22 You shall have one kind of law, for the foreigner as well as the native-born: for I am Yahweh your God.' "

Lev 24:23 Moses spoke to the children of Israel; and they brought forth him who had cursed out of the camp, and stoned him with stones. The children of Israel did as Yahweh commanded Moses.

 Apr. 2, 3
Luke 3

Luk 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene,
Luk 3:2 in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness.
Luk 3:3 He came into all the region around the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for remission of sins.
Luk 3:4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make ready the way of the Lord. Make his paths straight.
Luk 3:5 Every valley will be filled. Every mountain and hill will be brought low. The crooked will become straight, and the rough ways smooth.
Luk 3:6 All flesh will see God's salvation.' "
Luk 3:7 He said therefore to the multitudes who went out to be baptized by him, "You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Luk 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and don't begin to say among yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father;' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones!
Luk 3:9 Even now the axe also lies at the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doesn't bring forth good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire."
Luk 3:10 The multitudes asked him, "What then must we do?"
Luk 3:11 He answered them, "He who has two coats, let him give to him who has none. He who has food, let him do likewise."
Luk 3:12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, "Teacher, what must we do?"
Luk 3:13 He said to them, "Collect no more than that which is appointed to you."
Luk 3:14 Soldiers also asked him, saying, "What about us? What must we do?" He said to them, "Extort from no one by violence, neither accuse anyone wrongfully. Be content with your wages."
Luk 3:15 As the people were in expectation, and all men reasoned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he was the Christ,
Luk 3:16 John answered them all, "I indeed baptize you with water, but he comes who is mightier than I, the latchet of whose sandals I am not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire,
Luk 3:17 whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing floor, and will gather the wheat into his barn; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."
Luk 3:18 Then with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people,
Luk 3:19 but Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the evil things which Herod had done,
Luk 3:20 added this also to them all, that he shut up John in prison.
Luk 3:21 Now it happened, when all the people were baptized, Jesus also had been baptized, and was praying. The sky was opened,
Luk 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form as a dove on him; and a voice came out of the sky, saying "You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased."
Luk 3:23 Jesus himself, when he began to teach, was about thirty years old, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli,
Luk 3:24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph,
Luk 3:25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai,
Luk 3:26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Joseph, the son of Judah,
Luk 3:27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri,
Luk 3:28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmodam, the son of Er,
Luk 3:29 the son of Jose, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi,
Luk 3:30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonan, the son of Eliakim,
Luk 3:31 the son of Melea, the son of Menan, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David,
Luk 3:32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Salmon, the son of Nahshon,
Luk 3:33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Aram, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah,
Luk 3:34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor,
Luk 3:35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah,
Luk 3:36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech,
Luk 3:37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan,
Luk 3:38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.