6/29/15

From Mark Copeland... "FAITH IS THE VICTORY!" In Overcoming Boredom




                        "FAITH IS THE VICTORY!"

                         In Overcoming Boredom

INTRODUCTION

1. Our theme in this series of lessons is "Faith Is The Victory!"...
   a. Based upon the words of John in 1Jn 5:4-5
   b. Proclaiming faith in Jesus as the Son of God as key to overcoming
      the world
   c. Not just the world of sin, but anything that might hinder our 
      relationship with God

2. Our previous lesson considered the problem of "anxiety"
   a. A problem which according to the NIMH...
      1) Afflicts more than 23 million people in this country
      2) Disrupts work, family, and social lives, with some becoming
         housebound
      3) Is the most common of all the mental disorders
   b. A problem which faith in Jesus can help us to overcome...
      1) For Jesus provides the solution to anxiety by what He taught 
         - cf. Mt 6:25-34
         a) Reminding us of God's providential love and care
         b) Teaching us where to place our priorities in life
         c) Revealing our own limitations
      2) In addition, through Jesus' work on the cross and His current
         role as our High Priest, He becomes the means by which anxiety
         can be relieved through prayer - Php 4:6-7

3. Another problem many people face today is the opposite of anxiety:
   "boredom"
   a. Whereas anxiety is a state of uneasiness and apprehension, 
      boredom is a condition of mental weariness, listlessness, and 
      discontent
   b. Anxiety is often the cause of thinking we have too much to do at
      one time, boredom is result of thinking there is nothing to do
   c. Anxiety is more often the bane of adults, whereas boredom is 
      often the complaint of children (what parent hasn't heard their 
      child say, "I'm bored"?)

[Like anxiety, boredom can have a debilitating effect in our 
relationship with God and on our usefulness to Jesus Christ.  That is 
why we must overcome "boredom", and a good place to start is with...]

I. UNDERSTANDING BOREDOM

   A. DEFINING BOREDOM...
      1. According to self-proclaimed boredom expert, Garfield the Cat
         offers these tips on how to tell if you are really bored:
         a. You paint little faces on your nails, and pretend each
            finger is a person
         b. You spend hours watching bread mold
         c. You braid your eyebrows
         d. You watch a 3-hour documentary on sewage treatment
         e. You start playing the spoons
         f. You wonder if you're really bored
      2. More seriously, boredom is:  "a condition of mental weariness,
         listlessness, and discontent" (American Heritage Dictionary)
      3. What is of interest is the statement that "the word did not
         even enter the English vocabulary until the Enlightenment of
         the 18th century, the beginning of the modern era." (Gene 
         Edward Veith, Boredom and the Law of Diminishing Returns)

   B. CAUSES OF BOREDOM...
      1. Boredom is often the result of too much wealth, and too much 
         time on our hands
         a. Boredom is epidemic among children today, and according to
            one source...
            1) The problem is television, videos, and computer games
            2) Such activities which bombard children with fast-moving
               stimuli do not give them the chance to slow down, 
               reflect thoughtfully, or learn to process new 
               information (Nancy Samalin, Parent Guidance Workshops)
         b. Russian women are finding that boredom and depression are 
            side effects of wealth (Alessandra Stanley, New York Times,March 11, 1997)
         c. "By his very success in inventing labor-saving devices, 
            modern man has manufactured an abyss of boredom that only
            the privileged classes in earlier civilizations have ever
            fathomed." (Lewis Mumford)
      2. Boredom can also be traced to...
         a. A lack of faith in God ("Boredom: the consciousness of a 
            barren, meaningless existence." - Eric Hoffer)
         b. A pre-occupation with self to the neglect of what is around us
            1) "Boredom: what happens when we lose contact with the 
               universe." - John Ciardi
            2) "When people are bored, it is primarily with their own
               selves." - Eric Hoffer
      3. Boredom has also been attributed to...
         a. Unchallenging jobs
         b. Unfulfilled expectations
         c. Lack of physical activity
         d. Being too much of a spectator and too little of a 
            participant in activities

   C. THE DANGER OF BOREDOM...
      1. When listless and discontent, we are susceptible to what 
         promises excitement
         a. "Boredom has made more gamblers than greed, more drunkards
            than thirst, and perhaps as many suicides as despair." 
            (Charles Caleb Colton)
         b. "Boredom is often the motivation for adultery and divorce,
            abuse of alcohol or drugs, and even suicide." (ibid., Veith)
         c. "Boredom is...a vital problem for the moralist, since at 
            least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of 
            it." (Betrand Russell)
      2. When a Christian is "bored"...
         a. He is not very active in his service to the Lord
         b. He is therefore not very useful to the Lord

[Boredom has been called "a chronic symptom of a pleasure-obsessed 
age." (ibid., Veith).  For the Christian with faith in Jesus, it is 
possible to overcome boredom!  Here is how...]

II. OVERCOMING BOREDOM THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS

   A. JESUS CHANGES OUR FOCUS IN LIFE...
      1. Boredom is the result of an obsession with self and material possessions
      2. Yet Jesus teaches us to:
         a. Deny self - Lk 9:23-24
            1) People who are obsessed with self are never happy
            2) People who lose themselves in service to God are never bored!
         b. Change the object of your affections - Mt 6:19-21
            1) The pleasure of earthly things is fleeting at best, 
               followed by the inevitable letdowns - cf. "the passing 
               pleasures of sin" - He 11:25
            2) The only permanent possession we have is in heaven, and
               our affections should be placed on it
      3. His teachings are designed to give us great joy - Jn 15:11;
         e.g., Ac 20:35
      -- If we have enough faith in Jesus to follow His teachings, we 
         will be attacking one of the root causes of boredom (a 
         pre-occupation with self)

   B. JESUS ENLISTS US IN SERVICE DESIGNED TO TRULY SATISFY...
      1. Many people are bored because they know their efforts mean 
         very little
      2. Yet Jesus would have us enlist in a service with eternal 
         consequences:
         a. The saving of one's soul, and that of those around them! 
            - Mk 16:15-16
         b. Which, in proper perspective, is more important than 
            gaining the whole world! - cf. Mt 16:26
      3. The apostles found their service to God to be a source of 
         great joy
         a.  When John saw the fruits of his labors, he wrote he had 
             "no greater joy" - 3Jn 3-4
         b. The prospects of seeing his converts in the presence of the
            Lord gave Paul hope and joy for the future! - 1Th 2:19-20
      -- When one is engaged in the work of Jesus, their labors are not
         in vain, and have cosmic consequences (cf. Ep 6:12-13); how
         can one be bored with that?

CONCLUSION

1. Solomon learned after a life of excess that this world has nothing
   lasting to offer...
   a. Though exciting at first, it all proved "vanity" - Ec 2:10-11
   b. He concluded that the true purpose of man was to "fear God and
      keep His commandments" - Ec 12:13
   -- If he had only listened to his father, David, who wrote about the
      "great reward" in keeping God's commandments (cf. Ps 19:7-11),
      Solomon might not have experienced so much vanity in his life

2. Boredom is a result of pre-occupation with the "vanity" of this life...
   a. Jesus came to deliver us from any sense of listlessness and discontent
   b. He does so by giving us purpose and direction in life, that we 
      might find great joy in serving God and His children!

When people are willing to believe in Jesus and become His disciples,
there is no reason for boredom in their lives!
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011


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Hazor and Old Testament Accuracy by Wayne Jackson, M.A.



https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=389

Hazor and Old Testament Accuracy

by  Wayne Jackson, M.A.

The city of Hazor lay almost nine miles north of the Sea of Galilee. During the time of Joshua, it was a Canaanite stronghold in northern Palestine. In the conquest of Canaan, as Joshua marched his army northward, he was confronted by a coalition of forces under the leadership of Jabin, King of Hazor. The biblical record declares that the Israelite army resoundingly defeated this confederation and burned Hazor to the ground (Joshua 11:1-14).
In excavations at Hazor (1955-1958, 1968), Yigael Yadin discovered evidence that this city had been destroyed in the thirteenth century B.C. He identified it with Joshua’s conquest. The problem with this assertion is this: it does not harmonize with scriptural chronology regarding the time of the Exodus from Egypt. The data contained in 1 Kings 6:1 indicate that the Exodus occurred some 480 years prior to the fourth year of Solomon’s reign (c. 966 B.C.), thus in the mid-fifteenth century B.C. Liberal critics, subscribing to the documentary hypothesis, simply dismiss 1 Kings 6:1 as an addition of some later time, and therefore chronologically worthless. It is interesting to note, however, that “the name of the month which appears in that text is the archaic form of the name and not the late one” (Davis, 1971, p. 29).
But the fact of the matter is, Professor Yadin’s discoveries revealed that there were two destructions at Hazor: one in the thirteenth century B.C. and another in the fifteenth century B.C. (Avi-Yonah, 1976, 2:481-482). Actually, this is precisely the picture presented in the Old Testament.
In addition to the conquest of Hazor during the time of Joshua in the mid-fifteenth century B.C., two centuries later, in the period of Israel’s judges, the Israelites again engaged the King of Hazor in battle. Under the leadership of Deborah and Barak (c. 1258 B.C.), the armies of Hazor, under Sisera, were decisively defeated (Judges 4:2ff.), and as professor Siegfried H. Horn observed, “undoubtedly Hazor was destroyed” (Horn, 1963, p. 31).
Once more, the precise accuracy of the biblical record has been vindicated, and the charges of liberal critics have been shown to be baseless.

REFERENCES

Avi-Yonah, Michael, et al. (1976), Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall).
Davis, John J. (1975), Moses and the Gods of Egypt (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Horn, Siegfried H. (1963), Records of the Past Illuminate the Bible (Washington, D.C.: Review & Herald).

Does God Accept Human Sacrifice? by Kyle Butt, M.A.




https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2775

Does God Accept Human Sacrifice?

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

Twelve minutes and 45 seconds into Dan Barker’s opening statement in our Darwin Day debate on February 12, 2009, he claimed that the God of the Bible cannot exist because the Bible presents contradictory information about God’s acceptance of human sacrifice. Barker said: “Does He [God—KB] accept human sacrifice? In some verses, ‘Yes,’ in some verses, ‘No.’ Remember the thing about when [sic] Abraham; He asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac” (Butt and Barker, 2009).
This brief statement is the only one that he gave as “evidence” of this alleged Bible contradiction. In our debate he did not cite any verses that he believes show this contradiction. But in chapter 13 of his book godless, he made the same claim and listed several verses. On page 240, he quoted Deuteronomy 12:31: “Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.” Barker then quoted Genesis 22:2: “And he [God—KB] said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of” (KJV). Dan does not offer any comments on these two verses, other than to list them as contradictory.
On close inspection, however, it becomes evident that these two verses cannot be contradictory. From the biblical narrative in Genesis 22, it is clear that God never intended to allow Abraham to kill his son. When Abraham got to the top of the appointed mountain, before he killed his son, God stopped him and showed him a ram caught in a thicket that was provided as a sacrifice instead of Isaac. God knew that He would stop Abraham before the sacrifice (see Lyons, 2009), and thus, never planned to accept a human sacrifice in this instance. If Isaac was never sacrificed, due to God’s intervention, then it cannot be claimed that God accepted human sacrifice on this occasion. In fact, since God stepped in and commanded Abraham not to sacrifice his son (Genesis 22:12), Abraham would have been sinning if he had continued with the sacrifice. It is impossible to claim that God accepted the human sacrifice of Isaac when the Bible specifically states that He prevented it. [NOTE: At this point in the discussion, Barker generally changes the argument, and demands that it was immoral for Abraham to follow God’s commands. That allegation will be dealt with in a future article. It is important to stay focused on Barker’s original allegation of contradiction before moving on to refute his allegation that God is immoral.]

EXODUS 22:29

In addition to the incident with Isaac, Barker cited Exodus 22:29 as an example of God accepting human sacrifice. In godless, he quoted this verse on page 240: “For thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors; the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.” With all due respect to Barker, either he has intentionally misled the reader by citing this verse, or he is unaware of its true meaning. Based on his background of Bible study and his claims of biblical knowledge, the former, unfortunately, seems to be the case.
Exodus 22:29 was never intended to mean that the Israelites were supposed to sacrifice their firstborn sons to God. In fact, Exodus 13:13 says, “And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.” What did it mean to redeem the firstborn son? It meant that the Israelites were to give to the Lord five skekels of silver when the firstborn son was one month old (see Numbers 18:16). What was the purpose of redeeming the firstborn son? Moses explained that it was a memorial of the process by which God delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage (Exodus 13:14-15). It is inexcusably poor scholarship for any person who has read the book of Exodus to make such an uninformed statement as to demand that Exodus 22:29 speaks of human sacrifice. We should remember, however, that Barker has admitted his belief that honesty is not always the best tactic for dealing with Christianity or the Bible (Butt, 2003).

JEPHTHAH’S VOW

As further “evidence” of a Bible contradiction in regard to human sacrifice, Barker cited the story of Jephthah that is found in Judges 11:30-39. In that biblical narrative, Jephthah made a vow to God that, if God would give him victory against his enemies, then Jephthah would sacrifice the first thing that came out of his house upon his return. Jephthah defeated his enemies and his only daughter was the first thing that greeted him. Jephthah was very sorry for his vow, but the text says that he “carried out his vow with her which he had vowed” (Judges 11:39).
In regard to Jephthah’s vow, there are several insurmountable problems with presenting this as an example of God accepting human sacrifice. First, there is considerable evidence that the girl was not killed, she simply was dedicated to the Lord, remained unmarried, and had no children (for a more thorough discussion of Jephthah’s vow, see Miller, 2003). Second, there is no indication that God approved of Jephthah’s vow. If Jephthah offered his daughter as a literal burnt offering, he disobeyed God’s instructions in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 18:21; 20:2-5; Deuteronomy 12:31; 18:10). The Jephthah incident cannot be used to show that God either asked for human sacrifice, or approved of it.

SAUL’S DESCENDANTS

Furthermore, Barker cited 2 Samuel 21:8-14 as an example of God accepting human sacrifice. Barker quoted those verses as follows: “But the king [David] took the two sons of Rizpah…and the five sons of Michal…and he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest… And after that God was intreated for the land” (2008, pp. 240-241). Again, this narrative offers no proof that God ever accepted human sacrifice. Was it the case that God sometimes demanded that sinful people who deserved capital punishment be put to death for their sins? Yes, it was (see Miller, 2002). Could it be, then, that the descendants of Saul were guilty of offenses that deserved the death penalty? Yes.
Notice that the text indicates that the ones who were hanged were “men” (2 Samuel 21:6), who would have been old enough to be responsible for their moral decisions. Furthermore, notice that the text indicates that Saul’s “house” or “household” was a bloodthirsty house (2 Samuel 21:1), apparently implying that many of his relatives were involved in his murderous plots. In 2 Samuel 16:5-14, the Bible introduces a wicked man named Shimei who was “from the family of the house of Saul” (2 Samuel 16:5). And Saul’s wickedness is documented throughout the book of 1 Samuel. Could it be that Saul’s descendants who were hanged had followed in the wicked paths of many from the “house of Saul” and deserved the death penalty? Yes. Thus, it is once again impossible to use this passage to “prove” that God accepted human sacrifice.

"THE DEATH OF CHRIST

Finally, Barker alleges that the sacrifice of Christ provides an example of God accepting human sacrifice. He cited Hebrews 10:10-12 and 1 Corinthians 5:7 as evidence. Once more, Barker is guilty of egregious textual manipulation and dishonesty. Did God approve of the sinful actions of those who killed Jesus? Absolutely not. In fact, Peter explained that those who killed Jesus had done so with “lawless hands” (Acts 2:23). He further explained that they had to repent of their sins or they would be lost forever (Acts 2:38). While God used the sinful actions of Jesus’ murderers to bring about His purposes (Acts 3:17-19), He never condoned those actions. Those who murdered Jesus violated God’s law; they did not accomplish their dastardly deeds at God’s request, nor with His approval.
Barker is well aware of this truth. In fact, he has spoken in other places about Christ’s atoning sacrifice. In his book Losing Faith in Faith, Barker stated:
Christians do know how to think; but they don’t start deep enough. A thoughtful conclusion is the synthesis of antecedent presuppositions or conclusions. The propitiatory nature of Christ’s sacrificial atonement, for example, is very logical. Logical, that is, if you first accept the existence of sin, the fall of humankind, the wrath of God and divine judgment. If you don’t buy the premises, then, of course, the conclusion cannot be logical (1992, p. 60).
Barker, of course, does not “buy the premises,” but his denial of them does not make them any less logical or true. And if they are true, then he acknowledges that the sacrifice of Christ, although perpetrated by sinful men acting against God’s will, fits logically into the scheme of redemption.

CONCLUSION

God has never accepted human sacrifice. The examples that Barker has listed fail completely to manifest a contradiction in the Bible concerning God’s policy toward the practice. Barker’s lack of knowledge, or his intentional dishonesty, is evident throughout his discussion of the biblical view of human sacrifice. Since no contradiction exists, the accusation of a Bible contradiction is unfounded, and cannot be used against the Bible or the existence of God. Let us all be gravely reminded that those who twist the Scriptures, and force them to seemingly say what they do not say, do so at their own eternal peril (2 Peter 3:16).

REFERENCES

Barker, Dan (1992), Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist (Madison, WI: Freedom From Religion Foundation).
Barker, Dan (2008), godless (Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press).
Butt, Kyle (2003), “What ‘We All Know’ About a Lie,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1839.
Butt, Kyle and Dan Barker (2009), Butt/Barker Debate: Does the God of the Bible Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Lyons, Eric (2009), “Does God Really Know Everything?”, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/607.
Miller, Dave (2002), “Capital Punishment and the Bible,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1974.
Miller, Dave (2003), “Jephthah’s Daughter,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/4709.

Atheism or Christianity: Whose Fruit is Sweeter? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.



https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=1576

Atheism or Christianity: Whose Fruit is Sweeter?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

“Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies.” Such is the arduous title of a recent article that appeared in Journal of Religion and Society. Although the content of the article is much more reader friendly and interesting than its title might suggest, the author’s proposal is disturbingly misleading. According to Gregory Paul, “a freelance scientist and scientific illustrator specializing in dinosaur evolution” who penned the article in question (“Author Information,” n.d.), “[a]greement with the hypothesis that belief in a creator is beneficial to societies is largely based on assumption, anecdotal accounts, and on studies of limited scope and quality restricted to one population” (Paul, 2005). Supposedly, America’s forefathers like Benjamin Franklin were wrong in their many remarks about how religion (and specifically the Christian religion) would be a blessing upon America. Gregory Paul indicates that actually the blight of theism is clearly visible, and apparently a source of much of America’s dysfunction.
In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in the prosperous democracies.... No democracy is known to have combined strong religiosity and popular denial of evolution with high rates of societal health. Higher rates of non-theism and acceptance of human evolution usually correlate with lower rates of dysfunction, and the least theistic nations are usually the least dysfunctional. None of the strongly secularized, pro-evolution democracies is experiencing high levels of measurable dysfunction... (Paul, 2005).
Thankfully, Mr. Paul admitted that his writing was “not an attempt to present a definitive study that establishes cause versus effect between religiosity, secularism and societal health.” Nevertheless, he leaves readers with the strong impression that the fruit of theism is much more bitter than that of atheism.
Although one could argue that on certain grounds the United States is not as “dysfunctional” as some might contend, statistics do indicate that in America 22% of the population suffers from one or more STDs (“Tracking...,” 2004), more than one million innocent, unborn babies are slaughtered every year (“Induced Abortion,” 2002), and on average one murder (not including abortions) occurs every 32 minutes (“Crime in...,” 2003). These are only a few of the ghastly statistics that indicate America certainly is not the “shining city on the hill” that many (including our Founding Fathers) would like for it to be. That said, is one justified in closely attaching such data to America’s predominant theistic viewpoint? After all, “[o]ver the past fifty years of research, the percentage of Americans who believe in God has never dropped below 90%” (Gallup, Jr. and Lindsay, 1999, p. 23). Does theism really breed poor societal health and dysfunction? Answer: It certainly could. But, pure, unadulterated Christianity and true, biblical theism does not.
Most Americans believe in a higher power, which they may call “God,” but for many this is not the God of the Bible. They simply believe in a “convenient” creator, who allows them to do whatever feels good. They reject the Bible as revelation from God, and choose to live according to their own rules (which can lead to a dysfunctional society if those “rules” are contrary to biblical mandates). A great percentage of the remaining theists in America who call themselves Christians have perverted Christianity to the extent that somehow (among other things) having sexual relations outside of a scriptural marriage and killing innocent, unborn babies is acceptable. This type of theism is no better than atheism, and its fruit will be just as bitter. Israel suffered much throughout their history, but this was not the result of their theism. Rather, it was because of their departure from true, faithful devotion to Jehovah God (e.g., Numbers 14:33-34; Judges 19-20). As far back as 1947, Lincoln Barnett, in an article titled “God and the American People,” observed how “[i]t is evident that a profound gulf lies between America’s avowed ethical standards and the observable realities of national life. What may be more alarming is the gap between what Americans think they do and what they do do” (emp. in orig.). This gap has only widened in the last fifty years. What many theistic Americans may say they do (obey the God of the Bible) and what they really do (contribute to the moral decline of society by breaking God’s laws) is, indeed, disconcerting and grounds for legitimate criticism.
Atheistic, pro-evolution democracies, however, cannot logically associate the immorality of America with pure Christianity, and thus assume that atheism is more beneficial for a society. A country comprised of true Christians would be mostly void of such things as sexually transmitted diseases, murder, thievery, drunken fathers who beat their wives and children, drunk drivers who turn automobiles into lethal weapons, and heartache caused by such things as divorce, adultery, and covetousness (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:21; Matthew 19:9; Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5-9; Galatians 5:19-23; Ephesians 4:28; 5:25,28; 6:4). Only those who break God’s commandments intended for man’s benefit would cause undesirable fruit to be reaped. [NOTE: This is the kind of society that America’s Founding Fathers envisioned—one based upon the unchanging, moral principles of the Bible. In reality, America was founded to be a republic, not a democracy (see Miller, 2005).]
The God of the Bible cannot logically be blamed because “theists” or “Christians” forsake His commands and do that which is right in their own eyes (cf. Judges 17:6). Furthermore, simply because the more atheistic, pro-evolution democracies do not permit their godless philosophy of life to produce the true fruits of the “survival of the fittest” mentality, but rather choose to live according to moral guidelines similar to those found in the Bible (e.g., not murdering, stealing, lying, etc.), does not mean that alleged low rates of crime, murder, etc. is the fruit of true atheistic thought. In short, unrighteousness, whether it stems from atheism or a corrupted form of Christianity, produces bitter fruit that will eventually bring about the wrath of God.
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people (Proverbs 14:34).
Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink, who justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away justice from the righteous man! Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, and the flame consumes the chaff, so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom will ascend like dust; because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 5:20-24).

REFERENCES

“Author Information” (no date), The John Hopkins University Press, [On-line], URL: http://www.press.jhu.edu/books/title_pages/1442.html.
Barnett, Lincoln (1947), “God and the American People,” Ladies Home Journal, November.
“Crime in the United States, 2002” (2003), Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC.
Gallup, George Jr. and Michael Lindsay (1999), Surveying the Religious Landscape: Trends in U.S. Beliefs (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing).
“Induced Abortion” (2002), Alan Guttmacher Institute, [On-line], URL: http://www.agi-usa.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.pdf.
Miller, Dave (2005), “Christianity, Democracy, and Iraq,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/308.
Paul, Gregory S. (2005), “Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies,” Journal of Religion and Society, vol. 7, [On-line], URL: http://moses.creighton.edu/JRS/2005/2005-11.html.
“Tracking the Hidden Epidemics 2000” (2004), Center for Disease Control, [On-line], URL: http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/od/news/RevBrochure1pdfintro.htm.

Can't Teach Morality in School by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=2113

Can't Teach Morality in School

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

You’ve undoubtedly heard the expression: “You can’t legislate morality!” Actually, such a claim is fairly recent in American culture and flies directly in the face of fact. After all, God has legislated human morality from the very beginning of time. The laws of every country do the same. If we cannot legislate morality, shall we annul all our laws against murder, theft, and perjury in court? The notion is typical of the mindless drivel spouted since the 1960s by those who reject traditional American values—values that arose from the Bible.
The same may be said concerning the relentless attempt to expel God and morality from the public schools. Liberal educators insist that morality must not be taught in the school system. The theory is that moral standards have no objective reality. They arise from within persons and exist only in reference to the subjective opinion and will of the individual. Hence, schools should not attempt to enforce upon students one particular value system. Such insidious, suicidal nonsense has transformed the American public school system into a recipe for national disaster.
Acceptance of such thinking is not only a recent phenomenon in American history, the notion was soundly repudiated by the Founders of American education. A mountain of evidence exists to verify this claim. As one example, consider the founding of the University of Pennsylvania, due in large part to the efforts of Benjamin Franklin (“University of...,” n.d.). Nine signers of the Declaration of Independence and 11 signers of the Constitution were associated with this institution. This longtime traditional member of the Ivy League is a private university founded in 1740 in Philadelphia as a charity school. It became an academy in 1753, with Benjamin Franklin as president of the first board of trustees, and is credited with opening the first school of medicine in the United States in 1765. Consider the motto of the school: Leges sine moribus vanae. Meaning? “Laws without morals are useless.” What better description of what is happening to the nation in general and public education in particular?

REFERENCES

“University of Pennsylvania” (no date), Answers.com, [On-line], URL: http://www.answers.com/topic/university-of-pennsylvania.

From Jim McGuiggan... Book of Revelation (5)


Book of Revelation (5)

So far we’ve said that the book of Revelation was written nearly two thousand years ago and said it was dealing with things that were soon to happen because the time was near. So the book of Revelation mustn’t be used to predict things that are supposed to be still ahead and in the very near future because the time is near.
We’ve said the book is written mainly in pictures and images rather that straight prose like, say, Genesis or Luke. So we aren’t supposed to take the book literally. We’re supposed to say, "That’s what he saw, that’s the image that was presented, now what do the images mean?"
Having acknowledged that the central character is God himself we looked at some of the major characters in the book. We glanced at Rome, presented by four images (including the great City). We glanced at the People of God under four images and Christ in five descriptions and the Devil as the Dragon and the "fallen star" that had the key of the abyss. Let’s take a look at some of the major symbols in the book. Resist the temptation (if it exists) to think you are reading what was literally to happen. Revelation describes the events and relationships and responses of God and people in images! The images are mostly taken from Old Testament scripture so we have a clue as to how they are functioning. For example, when you read of "plagues" you will think of Egypt and how the plagues functioned. So here we go.
Seals and Sealing (5:1-5,9 and 7:1-8)
In ancient times even as it is today in diplomatic and other circles some documents are places are marked as "off limits" to everyone except those who are authorized to be there or to handle this or that. The more powerful or important the person who put his seal on the document to say it was his, the less likely it was that the documents (or the place) would be interfered with. Rulers might throw a Daniel in a lion’s den and put their royal seal on it (Daniel 6:17, and see Matthew 27:66). To "seal up" a document was to keep it from prying or curious eyes; it kept its contents secure.
So when we come across a document (a scroll) sealed with seals we’re to know it is not to be trifled with or interfered with. The only allowed to remove seals is someone who is authorized or is powerful enough to face the consequences. This is what we find in 5:1-5,9. The "little book" (scroll) is the immediate destiny of the People of God. It is unrevealed and John is afraid it can’t be opened but he hears that someone is "worthy" to "unseal" it. Picture a rolled up scroll and imagine seven clasps that hold it closed. Imagine someone tearing off one clasp and part of the scroll flapping back to reveal some of the writing that’s on it. He tears off another and it flaps open even more and more until the whole contents are revealed. This is sort of what’s pictured in this vision.
Remember: To seal is to mark it out as belonging to you. To seal is to forbid the unauthorized to interfere with it. To seal is both to protect and keep (in the case of writings) hidden. To tear off seals is to claim authority and (in the case of writings) it is to reveal. You’ll remember that the 144,000 were sealed to mark them out as God’s and the angel was told not to harm the sealed ones (7:2).
Trumpets and bowls (8:2 and 16:1-21)
In the ancient world and in biblical literature trumpets were used to call people to attention whether that meant to bring them into an assembly or raise an alarm. We read something of the purpose of trumpet blowing in Numbers 10:1-10. Bowls were used in the Old Testament for mixing wine, for carrying blood or oil (in connection with the sacrificial system). They’d put, let’s say, wine or oil or incense in a bowl and would pour it out unto the Lord as an offering. Of course bowls were used for everyday purposes as well but in Revelation the stress is on activity in which God is involved so we’re to see a temple, sacrificial setting.
The trumpets and bowls in Revelation introduce us to plagues that follow on the line of the plagues on Egypt. They are more intense than the plagues on Egypt and here and there you find an added element or two. If you read Exodus 7—10 you’ll get the central thrust and function of the plagues mentioned in the book of Revelation.
John uses quite a bit of OT plague material but he uses only as much of it as he wishes. In the OT Egypt refused to recognize Yahweh (Exodus 3:19-20 and 7:5) and persecuted the People of God and God sent plagues on them bot to appeal to them and punish them. You’ll recall that each plague was a warning (a trumpet blast, so to speak) calling Egypt to obey God and let his People go free. In the book of Revelation Rome persecutes the People of God (and half the world) and God sends plagues on them both to warn and punish them (see Revelation 8:20-21). Like Egypt Rome will not pay attention so the full wrath of God is outpoured (the image is of bowls full of plague being emptied on the Empire).
In both Exodus and revelation we hear of water turned to blood, terrible locusts and body ulcers, of darkness and lightning and thunder and incredible hailstorms. Notice too that despite the limited punishments the oppressors will not repent and acknowledge God or his People (Exodus 8:15,19 and Revelation 9:20 and 16:9 illustrate the point).
When you read of trumpets and outpoured bowls think, "These are plagues on Rome just as there were plagues on Egypt." In Exodus the plagues were actual events while in Revelation they are images that carry the same message. God is against Rome as surely as he was against Egypt. You can see simply by reading Revelation that the plagues aren’t literal events.
Measuring the temple (11:1-2)
Biblical characters measured things to separate them from what isn’t measured. There’s nothing strange about this. We do it all the time with things from wallpaper, to curtains to room-sizes and on and on. We measure 12 feet by 12 feet and say "that’s the bedroom" and then 10 feet by 12 and say "that’s the kitchen." Measuring is part of the process of separating and giving something special significance. Ezekiel 40—48 is one long measuring experience for the prophet because he watches a man measuring everything he comes across (40:2-3). In 42:20 we’re told that the sanctuary area had a walled and measured square. It was measured "to separate the holy from the common." Measuring it made it different from the other areas that were not measured or were made distinct.
In Revelation 11:1-2 we have a picture of a temple. There was one word for the temple as a whole and another for the inner sanctuary, the heart of the temple ("naos"). The temple in the vision is to endure attack from enemies and the enemies are able to tread down the outer areas but they would not be allowed to breach the inner sanctuary.
You don’t need to be told that the New Covenant People of God are seen also as the temple of God (compare 1 Peter 2:5; Ephesians 2:21 and 1 Corinthians 3:16). Here we have another picture of the People of God being persecuted but protected, they suffer but they are sustained. This truth is told in the image of alien armies treading the outer courts without being able to breach the citadel. It was customary in ancient times to build temples on elevated ground and it was common for them to be well constructed, fort-like structures, well walled so it was possible for the perimeter to be breached and the heart to resist. Joshua took Jerusalem but it wasn’t until many years later that David’s general Joab took the citadel of Jerusalem from the Jebusites. During the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD the temple resisted for some time even after Jerusalem’s walls were breached.
In the measuring imagery we find again the theme that runs throughout Revelation, persecution and protection, suffering and sustenance, trouble and triumph. In the vision the inner sanctuary is measured and no foreign foot treads in it though the area outside is trodden under. We are hearing that the trouble faced by the People of God is real but that it isn’t the final word. The last word is with God and not the Roman legions or emperors!
The lake of fire (19:20 and 20:14-15)
The Bible teaches that some people will suffer eternal punishment (2 Thessalonians 1:9 and Matthew 25:46, eternal punishing is another matter). But that’s not the point in the Revelation passages cited above. The lake of fire is another symbol that intends to convey the utter defeat and loss of God’s enemies.
John borrows his imagery from the fate suffered by Sodom and Gomorrah (see Genesis 19 and Jude 7). He also finds material in Isaiah 34:8-10, which prophesies the destruction of Edom. Isaiah isn’t talking about the obliteration of the actual soil or land of Edom; he has in mind the social and kingdom fabric of the nation as a nation (so it is with the other kingdoms like Babylon, Egypt and Assyria and the like). When God judged Edom it wasn’t turned into a literal lake of fire but that’s how the prophet described it in 34:9-10. Here’s what he says. "Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch, her dust into burning sulfur; her land will become blazing pitch! It will not be quenched night and day; its smoke will rise forever." What literally happened to Sodom is used by Isaiah to describe the fate of Edom when God completely judged her. John borrows the same language to describe the ultimate and utter defeat of Rome and all who assist her.
The fire is called "the second death" in Revelation 20:14 and 21:9. The first death is implied in 20:4-6. There we have two kinds of people that suffered death: the followers of Christ and the supporters of the beasts. For some comment on this section and the "first resurrection" go to What’s the first Resurrection?
Remember: We are dealing with pictures, images! Beasts aren’t literal, chains are literal, dragons aren’t literal and lakes of fire aren’t literal. It’s the meaning we want.
Go to Lesson 6

From Gary... Bible reading June 29



Bible reading  

June 29

The World English Bible



June 29
1 Kings 4-6

1Ki 4:1 King Solomon was king over all Israel.
1Ki 4:2 These were the princes whom he had: Azariah the son of Zadok, the priest;
1Ki 4:3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, scribes; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder;
1Ki 4:4 and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the army; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests;
1Ki 4:5 and Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers; and Zabud the son of Nathan was chief minister, and the king's friend;
1Ki 4:6 and Ahishar was over the household; and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the men subject to forced labor.
1Ki 4:7 Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household: each man had to make provision for a month in the year.
1Ki 4:8 These are their names: Ben Hur, in the hill country of Ephraim;
1Ki 4:9 Ben Deker, in Makaz, and in Shaalbim, and Beth Shemesh, and Elon Beth Hanan;
1Ki 4:10 Ben Hesed, in Arubboth (to him pertained Socoh, and all the land of Hepher);
1Ki 4:11 Ben Abinadab, in all the height of Dor (he had Taphath the daughter of Solomon as wife);
1Ki 4:12 Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth Shean which is beside Zarethan, beneath Jezreel, from Beth Shean to Abel Meholah, as far as beyond Jokmeam;
1Ki 4:13 Ben Geber, in Ramoth Gilead (to him pertained the towns of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead; even to him pertained the region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars);
1Ki 4:14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim;
1Ki 4:15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also took Basemath the daughter of Solomon as wife);
1Ki 4:16 Baana the son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth;
1Ki 4:17 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar;
1Ki 4:18 Shimei the son of Ela, in Benjamin;
1Ki 4:19 Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan; and he was the only officer who was in the land.
1Ki 4:20 Judah and Israel were many as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking and making merry.
1Ki 4:21 Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt: they brought tribute, and served Solomon all the days of his life.
1Ki 4:22 Solomon's provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and sixty measures of meal,
1Ki 4:23 ten head of fat cattle, and twenty head of cattle out of the pastures, and one hundred sheep, besides harts, and gazelles, and roebucks, and fattened fowl.
1Ki 4:24 For he had dominion over all the region on this side the River, from Tiphsah even to Gaza, over all the kings on this side the River: and he had peace on all sides around him.
1Ki 4:25 Judah and Israel lived safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon.
1Ki 4:26 Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.
1Ki 4:27 Those officers provided food for king Solomon, and for all who came to king Solomon's table, every man in his month; they let nothing be lacking.
1Ki 4:28 Barley also and straw for the horses and swift steeds brought they to the place where the officers were, every man according to his duty.
1Ki 4:29 God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceeding much, and very great understanding, even as the sand that is on the seashore.
1Ki 4:30 Solomon's wisdom excelled the wisdom of all the children of the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt.
1Ki 4:31 For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all the nations all around.
1Ki 4:32 He spoke three thousand proverbs; and his songs were one thousand five.
1Ki 4:33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, and of birds, and of creeping things, and of fish.
1Ki 4:34 There came of all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.
1Ki 5:1 Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon; for he had heard that they had anointed him king in the room of his father: for Hiram was ever a lover of David.
1Ki 5:2 Solomon sent to Hiram, saying,
1Ki 5:3 You know how that David my father could not build a house for the name of Yahweh his God for the wars which were about him on every side, until Yahweh put them under the soles of his feet.
1Ki 5:4 But now Yahweh my God has given me rest on every side; there is neither adversary, nor evil occurrence.
1Ki 5:5 Behold, I purpose to build a house for the name of Yahweh my God, as Yahweh spoke to David my father, saying, Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your room, he shall build the house for my name.
1Ki 5:6 Now therefore command you that they cut me cedar trees out of Lebanon; and my servants shall be with your servants; and I will give you hire for your servants according to all that you shall say: for you know that there is not among us any who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.
1Ki 5:7 It happened, when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, that he rejoiced greatly, and said, Blessed be Yahweh this day, who has given to David a wise son over this great people.
1Ki 5:8 Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have heard the message which you have sent to me: I will do all your desire concerning timber of cedar, and concerning timber of fir.
1Ki 5:9 My servants shall bring them down from Lebanon to the sea; and I will make them into rafts to go by sea to the place that you shall appoint me, and will cause them to be broken up there, and you shall receive them; and you shall accomplish my desire, in giving food for my household.
1Ki 5:10 So Hiram gave Solomon timber of cedar and timber of fir according to all his desire.
1Ki 5:11 Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure oil: thus gave Solomon to Hiram year by year.
1Ki 5:12 Yahweh gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him; and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon; and they two made a league together.
1Ki 5:13 King Solomon raised a levy out of all Israel; and the levy was thirty thousand men.
1Ki 5:14 He sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses; a month they were in Lebanon, and two months at home; and Adoniram was over the men subject to forced labor.
1Ki 5:15 Solomon had seventy thousand who bore burdens, and eighty thousand who were stone cutters in the mountains;
1Ki 5:16 besides Solomon's chief officers who were over the work, three thousand and three hundred, who bore rule over the people who labored in the work.
1Ki 5:17 The king commanded, and they cut out great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the house with worked stone.
1Ki 5:18 Solomon's builders and Hiram's builders and the Gebalites did fashion them, and prepared the timber and the stones to build the house.

1Ki 6:1 It happened in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Ziv, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of Yahweh.
1Ki 6:2 The house which king Solomon built for Yahweh, its length was sixty cubits, and its breadth twenty cubits, and its height thirty cubits.
1Ki 6:3 The porch before the temple of the house, twenty cubits was its length, according to the breadth of the house; and ten cubits was its breadth before the house.
1Ki 6:4 For the house he made windows of fixed lattice work.
1Ki 6:5 Against the wall of the house he built stories all around, against the walls of the house all around, both of the temple and of the oracle; and he made side chambers all around.
1Ki 6:6 The nethermost story was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad; for on the outside he made offsets in the wall of the house all around, that the beams should not have hold in the walls of the house.
1Ki 6:7 The house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready at the quarry; and there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.
1Ki 6:8 The door for the middle side chambers was in the right side of the house: and they went up by winding stairs into the middle story, and out of the middle into the third.
1Ki 6:9 So he built the house, and finished it; and he covered the house with beams and planks of cedar.
1Ki 6:10 He built the stories against all the house, each five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar.
1Ki 6:11 The word of Yahweh came to Solomon, saying,
1Ki 6:12 Concerning this house which you are building, if you will walk in my statutes, and execute my ordinances, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father.
1Ki 6:13 I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel.
1Ki 6:14 So Solomon built the house, and finished it.
1Ki 6:15 He built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar: from the floor of the house to the walls of the ceiling, he covered them on the inside with wood; and he covered the floor of the house with boards of fir.
1Ki 6:16 He built twenty cubits on the hinder part of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the walls of the ceiling: he built them for it within, for an oracle, even for the most holy place.
1Ki 6:17 The house, that is, the temple before the oracle, was forty cubits long.
1Ki 6:18 There was cedar on the house within, carved with buds and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen.
1Ki 6:19 He prepared an oracle in the midst of the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of Yahweh.
1Ki 6:20 Within the oracle was a space of twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in its height; and he overlaid it with pure gold: and he covered the altar with cedar.
1Ki 6:21 So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he drew chains of gold across before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold.
1Ki 6:22 The whole house he overlaid with gold, until all the house was finished: also the whole altar that belonged to the oracle he overlaid with gold.
1Ki 6:23 In the oracle he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high.
1Ki 6:24 Five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing to the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits.
1Ki 6:25 The other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubim were of one measure and one form.
1Ki 6:26 The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub.
1Ki 6:27 He set the cherubim within the inner house; and the wings of the cherubim were stretched forth, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house.
1Ki 6:28 He overlaid the cherubim with gold.
1Ki 6:29 He carved all the walls of the house around with carved figures of cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, inside and outside.
1Ki 6:30 The floor of the house he overlaid with gold, inside and outside.
1Ki 6:31 For the entrance of the oracle he made doors of olive wood: the lintel and door posts were a fifth part of the wall.
1Ki 6:32 So he made two doors of olive wood; and he carved on them carvings of cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold; and he spread the gold on the cherubim, and on the palm trees.
1Ki 6:33 So also made he for the entrance of the temple door posts of olive wood, out of a fourth part of the wall;
1Ki 6:34 and two doors of fir wood: the two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding.
1Ki 6:35 He carved thereon cherubim and palm trees and open flowers; and he overlaid them with gold fitted on the engraved work.
1Ki 6:36 He built the inner court with three courses of cut stone, and a course of cedar beams.
1Ki 6:37 In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of Yahweh laid, in the month Ziv.
1Ki 6:38 In the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all its parts, and according to all its fashion. So was he seven years in building it.



Jun. 28, 29
Acts 2

Act 2:1 Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Act 2:2 Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Act 2:3 Tongues like fire appeared and were distributed to them, and one sat on each of them.
Act 2:4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak.
Act 2:5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under the sky.
Act 2:6 When this sound was heard, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because everyone heard them speaking in his own language.
Act 2:7 They were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, "Behold, aren't all these who speak Galileans?
Act 2:8 How do we hear, everyone in our own native language?
Act 2:9 Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia,
Act 2:10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, the parts of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes,
Act 2:11 Cretans and Arabians: we hear them speaking in our languages the mighty works of God!"
Act 2:12 They were all amazed, and were perplexed, saying one to another, "What does this mean?"
Act 2:13 Others, mocking, said, "They are filled with new wine."
Act 2:14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spoke out to them, "You men of Judea, and all you who dwell at Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to my words.
Act 2:15 For these aren't drunken, as you suppose, seeing it is only the third hour of the day.
Act 2:16 But this is what has been spoken through the prophet Joel:
Act 2:17 'It will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions. Your old men will dream dreams.
Act 2:18 Yes, and on my servants and on my handmaidens in those days, I will pour out my Spirit, and they will prophesy.
Act 2:19 I will show wonders in the sky above, and signs on the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and billows of smoke.
Act 2:20 The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes.
Act 2:21 It will be, that whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.'
Act 2:22 "Men of Israel, hear these words! Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved by God to you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as you yourselves know,
Act 2:23 him, being delivered up by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by the hand of lawless men, crucified and killed;
Act 2:24 whom God raised up, having freed him from the agony of death, because it was not possible that he should be held by it.
Act 2:25 For David says concerning him, 'I saw the Lord always before my face, For he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved.
Act 2:26 Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced. Moreover my flesh also will dwell in hope;
Act 2:27 because you will not leave my soul in Hades, neither will you allow your Holy One to see decay.
Act 2:28 You made known to me the ways of life. You will make me full of gladness with your presence.'
Act 2:29 "Brothers, I may tell you freely of the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
Act 2:30 Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, he would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne,
Act 2:31 he foreseeing this spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was his soul left in Hades, nor did his flesh see decay.
Act 2:32 This Jesus God raised up, to which we all are witnesses.
Act 2:33 Being therefore exalted by the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this, which you now see and hear.
Act 2:34 For David didn't ascend into the heavens, but he says himself, 'The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit by my right hand,
Act 2:35 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." '
Act 2:36 "Let all the house of Israel therefore know certainly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."
Act 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
Act 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Act 2:39 For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are far off, even as many as the Lord our God will call to himself."
Act 2:40 With many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this crooked generation!"
Act 2:41 Then those who gladly received his word were baptized. There were added that day about three thousand souls.
Act 2:42 They continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayer.
Act 2:43 Fear came on every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
Act 2:44 All who believed were together, and had all things in common.
Act 2:45 They sold their possessions and goods, and distributed them to all, according as anyone had need.
Act 2:46 Day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart,
Act 2:47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. The Lord added to the assembly day by day those who were being saved.