7/9/15

From Mark Copeland... "FASTING" Fasting In The New Testament

                               "FASTING"

                      Fasting In The New Testament

INTRODUCTION

1. In our previous lesson, we examined the subject of "Fasting In The
   Old Testament".

2. Here is what we found:
   a. Only one fast was specifically commanded in the 0. T. (on the
      Day of Atonement)
   b. But people often fasted when they wanted God to hear their
      prayers:
      1) In times of war or at the threat of it
      2) When loved ones were sick
      3) When seeking God's forgiveness
      4) When faced with impending danger
      5) When seeking God's will
   c. The purpose of such fasting:
      1) To humble themselves by "afflicting their souls"
      2) Believing that such humiliation would be pleasing in God's
         sight (and it often was)
   d. However, fasting was fruitless when:
      1) It was gone ceremonially
      2) It was done without true repentance
   e. There were also no set principles governing the length or nature
      of fasting

3. We shall now examine "Fasting In The New Testament", as taught and
   exemplified by:
   a. Jesus
   b. His church
   c. The apostle Paul
   ...in an effort to determine whether Christians can or should fast
      today!

[We begin by considering...]

I. FASTING IN THE LIFE OF JESUS

   A. JESUS FASTED FORTY DAYS IN THE WILDERNESS - Mt 4:1-9; Lk 4:1-2
      1. He was led into the wilderness "to be tempted" (Mt)
      2. He was "tempted for forty days by the devil" (Lk)
      3. "in those days He ate nothing" (Lk)
      -- Throughout this forty day period of temptation, Jesus felt it
         appropriate to fast

   B. JESUS TAUGHT ON FASTING IN HIS "SERMON ON THE MOUNT" - Mt 6:16-18
      1. Jesus said "when", not "if"; assuming his disciples WOULD fast
      2. When done properly a person would be rewarded by the Father...
         a. Suggesting that fasting was like prayer and giving alms
         b. I.e., an act of righteousness done to please the Father
      -- Fasting appears to have a place in the righteousness expected
         of those who would be citizens of the kingdom of heaven

   C. WHEN QUESTIONED BY JOHN'S DISCIPLES - Mt 9:14-17 (Mk 2:18-20;
      Lk 5:33-39)
      1. Jesus described a time when his disciples would fast
      2. But it is inappropriate to fast when the occasion does not
         call for it
      -- Fasting would have a place in the disciples' lives, but only
         on appropriate occasions (not as a ceremonial rite)

   D. THE COMBINED POWER OF PRAYER AND FASTING - Mt 17:14-21 (Mk 9:
      14-29)
      1. There are times when faith alone is not enough
      2. At these times prayer joined with fasting is necessary
      -- Fasting joined with prayer may accomplish things which normal
         faith may not

[Now let's take a look at...]

II. FASTING IN THE LORD'S CHURCH

   A. THE CHURCH AT ANTIOCH - Ac 13:1-3
      1. They were fasting as a group while ministering to the Lord
      2. They fasted and prayed in preparation to sending out Barnabas
         and Saul
      -- Fasting, when accompanied with prayer, can done as a group
         when involved in serving the Lord

   B. THE CHURCHES IN GALATIA - Ac 14:21-23
      1. Again, an example of fasting and prayer as a group; this time,
         in conjunction with the serious task of appointing elders
      2. Notice that this was done "in every church"
         a. Not just in one or two churches
         b. Not just in what might be consider "Jewish" churches where
            fasting might be considered "just a Jewish custom"
      -- Again, fasting can be a group activity in the work of a local church

[Now let's examine...]

III. FASTING IN THE MINISTRY OF THE APOSTLE PAUL

   A. FASTING WAS A MARK OF HIS MINISTRY...
      1. We have already noticed where he fasted with several churches
      2. But notice also:
         a. 2Co 6:4-10 (cf. verse 5)
         b. 2Co 11:23-28 (cf. verse 27 where fasting is mentioned
            separately from normal hunger and thirst)
      -- In both of these passages, Paul mentioned fasting as a mark of
         his ministry and of his good standing as a minister of Christ!

   B. HE ALSO TAUGHT THAT FASTING MIGHT HAVE A PLACE IN THE LIVES OF
      OTHERS...
      1. Cf. 1Co 7:5
      2. The only time husbands and wives may deprive one another is
         when by consent they devote themselves to fasting and prayer
         for a specific period of time

CONCLUSION

1. Though not actually Christians at the time, we also have other
   examples of those who fasted and were blessed by God...
   a. Anna - Lk 2:36-38
   b. Saul - Ac 9:9
   c. Cornelius - Ac 10:30-31

2. As a summary, then, here is what we have seen in this study:
   a. That our Lord fasted in time of temptation
   b. That He taught His disciples about fasting on several occasions
   c. That He foretold of a time in which His disciples would fast
   d. That there are times when the combination of fasting and prayer
      might be more efficacious than prayer alone
   e. That the early church fasted in their service to the Lord
   f. That Paul regarded fasting as a mark of his ministry
   g. That prayer and fasting often go hand in hand, utilized whenever
      there was a strong desire for God's blessing and guidance
   -- In view of such things, I can only conclude that fast does indeed
      have a place in the lives of Christians today

In our third and final lesson on this subject, we will consider some
thoughts concerning the WHY, WHEN, and HOW of fasting, as found in the
New Testament.

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

How Can a Person Know Which God Exists? by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.






https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=5154


How Can a Person Know Which God Exists?

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

Poseidon: Greek god of the sea
Several decades ago, the United States was overwhelmingly Christian in its religious persuasion. When naturalism and Darwinian evolution picked up speed in the U.S. and challenged the biblical story of man’s origins—the perspective most held by Americans—apologists sprang up in response, dealing a death blow to the naturalistic religion in the minds of many. Once evolutionary theory had been dealt with, both biblically and scientifically, it was natural for many Americans to recognize that they had always been right—Christianity is the true religion.
Sadly, under the banner of “tolerance,” the “politically correct” police have made significant inroads in compelling the American public, not only to tolerate, but to endorse and encourage pluralism and the proliferation of false religion in America. What was once an understood conclusion—that if evolution is wrong, then biblical Creation must be true—is now heavily challenged in America.
Nisroch: Assyrian god of agriculture
It has become a popular tactic among atheistic scoffers to mock Bible believers by sarcastically arguing that there’s just as much evidence for the Flying Spaghetti Monster as there is for any god. Therefore, if intelligent design doctrine deserves time in the classroom, so does the doctrine of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster—the Pastafarians (cf. Langton, 2005; Butt, 2010, p. 12). At the University of South Carolina, a student organization made up of Pastafarians was responsible for sponsoring the debate held between A.P.’s Kyle Butt and popular atheist, Dan Barker (Butt, 2010).
One such scoffer approached me awhile back after one of the sessions of my evolution seminar—a biology professor from the local university in the city where I was speaking. His quibble was a fair one: “Even if you’re right that naturalistic evolution/atheism is false, you still haven’t proven which God exists. You haven’t proven it’s the God of the Bible. Why couldn’t it be Allah? Or [sarcastically] the Flying Spaghetti Monster?”
It is true that many times when apologists discredit naturalism and show that the evidence points to supernaturalism, they do not necessarily always take the next step and answer how we arrive specifically at the God of the Bible as the one true God. Perhaps the main reason, again, is because the answer was once so obvious that the additional step did not need to be taken. People already had faith in the Bible, and they only needed someone to answer an attack on its integrity. Upon answering it, they went back to their faith in Christianity comfortably. But as naturalism and pluralism have eroded the next generation, and Bible teaching—the impetus for developing faith (Romans 10:17)—has declined, Christianity is no longer a given.
Jupiter: Roman god of light and sky, and protector of the state and its laws
Many in Christendom would respond to the professor’s questions by saying, “You just have to have faith. You just have to take a leap and accept the God of the Bible. You don’t have to have tangible evidence.” That reaction, of course, is exactly how scoffers want you to answer. Their response: “Aha! You don’t have proof that God exists. So why should I believe in Him? I might as well pick one that suits me better or make up my own god to serve.”
The Bible simply does not teach that one should accept God without evidence. We should test or prove all things, and only believe those things that can be sustained with evidence (1 Thessalonians 5:21). We should not accept what someone tells us “on faith,” because many teach lies; they should be tested to see if their claims can be backed with evidence (1 John 4:1). The truth should be searched for (Acts 17:11). It can be known (John 8:32). God would not expect us to believe that He is the one true God without evidence for that claim.
While there are different ways to answer the question posed by the professor, the most direct and simple answer is that the Bible contains characteristics which humans could not have produced. If it can be proven that a God exists and that the Bible is from God, then logically, the God of the Bible is the true God. It is truly a sad commentary on Christendom at large that the professor, as well as the many individuals that are posing such questions today, have not heard the simple answer about the nature of God’s divine Word.
After taking a moment to recover from the fact that he clearly had never experienced anyone responding rationally to his criticisms, the professor said, “Really? [pause] I’d like to see that evidence.” I pointed him to our book that summarizes the mounds of evidence that testify to the inspiration of the Bible (cf. Butt, 2007), and although he said he did not want to support our organization with a purchase, he allowed an elder at the church that hosted the event to give it to him as a gift.
Ganesh: Hindu god of wisdom, knowledge, and new beginnings
If you have not studied the divine qualities of the Bible, or are not prepared to carry on a discussion with others about the inspiration of the Bible, might I recommend to you that you secure a copy of Behold! The Word of God through our Web store immediately. Consider also getting the free pdf version in the “PDF-Books” section of our Web site, browsing the “Inspiration of the Bible” category on our Web site, or at the very least, order a back issue of our Reason & Revelation article titled “3 Good Reasons to Believe the Bible is from God” (Butt and Lyons, 2015). Consider also those friends, loved ones, and even enemies that might benefit from a copy. The professor’s question is one of the most pivotal questions one can ask today, and the Lord’s army must be armed with the truth to be able to aid those seeking it.

REFERENCES

Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Butt, Kyle (2010), A Christian’s Guide to Refuting Modern Atheism (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Butt, Kyle and Eric Lyons (2015), “3 Good Reasons to Believe the Bible is from God,” Reason & Revelation, 35[1]:2-11.
Langton, James (2005), “In the Beginning There Was the Flying Spaghetti Monster,” The Telegraph, September 11, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/1498162/In-the-beginning-there-was-the-Flying-Spaghetti-Monster.html.

Exceptional Spider Silk by Eric Lyons, M.Min.






https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2150


Exceptional Spider Silk

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

To the average person, a spider’s web looks rather weak and flimsy. With the greatest of ease, a person can destroy a web. In only a second, the spider’s house is razed with the wave of a hand. Even Job’s uninspired friend, Bildad, testified of the fragileness of webs when he likened the unrighteous to those “whose trust is a spider’s web” (Job 8:14), who are leaning upon a house that easily perishes. So why are scientists increasingly mesmerized by the spider’s silk webbing?
Scientists are so enamored with spider silk because it has an “exceptional capacity to absorb kinetic energy” (Cunningham, 2007). Although it may not seem strong and tough from the vantage point of a human who easily can tear down a spider’s web, pound-for-pound, the silk from certain kinds of spiders is five times stronger than steel. What’s more, it can stretch 30 percent farther than the stretchiest known nylon, and is twice as flexible. Scientists have discovered that spider silk can even stretch 40 percent beyond its original length without breaking. In fact, due to its amazing strength and flexibility, it has been said that you could stop a jumbo jet in mid-flight with a spider web made of silk only one centimeter thick.
Since harvesting silk from spiders is impractical, scientists are attempting to make synthetic “spider silk” that could be used for countless things, including bulletproof vests, bridge suspension cables, and artificial tendons. Scientists especially covet the silk’s “exceptional capacity to absorb kinetic energy” and are hoping to copy what they call its “winning formula.” How have scientists fared thus far? In truth, even “[t]he best industrial fibers don’t absorb as much kinetic energy as spider silk does.... Despite years of research, scientists still can’t make a material as tough as the silk found within a spider web” (Cunningham, emp. added). Zoologist Chris Holland admitted that synthetic fibers “can’t even come close to” equaling the amazing qualities of spider-produced silk (as quoted in Cunningham).
What explanation do scientists give for the origin of spiders and their exceptional silk? To what do we owe this “winning formula” that intelligent scientists have been attempting to copy for years? According to Holland, “[s]piders...evolved the capacity to spin silk” (as quoted in Cunningham, emp. added). The mastermind behind the unequalled, “energy-efficient, high-performance” fibers in spider silk is, allegedly, mindless evolution. Truly, “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25). “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4).

REFERENCE

Cunningham, Aimee (2007), “Taken for a Spin,” Science News, April 14, [On-line], URL: http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20070414/bob8.asp.

Bat “Vision” by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.







https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=1450

Bat “Vision”

by  Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

Bats often fly speedily through stalactite-filled caves and seemingly impenetrable wooded areas. For bats, one wrong move or turn can mean serious injury or death. Contrary to popular opinion, most bats possess at least decent vision. However, bats’ hearing is so sensitive that, for navigational purposes, bats use their ears more than their eyes. Bats are capable of emitting a sound that humans cannot hear. Some species use this very high-pitched, shrill tone when flying to determine what is in front of them (see “Echolocation,” n.d.). The sound bounces off objects in a bat’s path, and the bat hears the echo. Amazingly, the bat is able to determine precisely the direction he should fly in order to avoid smashing into the looming object. This process is referred to as “echolocation.” Bats also use echolocation to find food, especially flying insects.
Bats make this sound from a few, to two hundred, times per second. Do not confuse this sound with the squeaky noise you hear when you stand next to the bat exhibit at your local zoo. That noise is made by bats when they are frustrated, excited, or mating. Bats use different sounds, along with their large ears, to perform echolocation. Scientists use bat detectors to transpose the sounds to a lower frequency—one that humans can hear (see “California Underground...,” 1999). Not all bats, however, use echolocation; approximately 200 species of fruit bats in Africa, Asia, and Australia have larger eyes and are able to use their sharp vision to quickly negotiate obstacles.
Other animals, including dolphins and orca and beluga whales, use echolocation under water, like sonar signals (see “Echolocation”). The process of echolocation also has been observed in terrestrial mammals such as rodents, insectivores, Megachiroptera, and in nocturnal cave-dwelling oil birds and cave swiftlets (see Uy, 1994, p. 1; Blackshear, n.d., p. 1.). In addition, scientific research over the past fifty years has revealed that the auditory system is a major tool employed by blind humans as a means of perception.
Did the complex auditory and navigation systems of bats evolve, as many would have us believe?

REFERENCES

Blackshear, Jim (no date), “A Research Proposal: Echolocation—How Can We Best Teach It?,” Stephen F. Austin State University, [On-line], URL: http://hubel.sfasu.edu/courseinfo/SL02/jb2echolocation.htm.
“California Underground: Bat Echolocation Station” (1999), Oakland Museum of California, [On-line], URL: http://www.museumca.org/caves/onli_echo.html.
“Echolocation” (no date), National Parks Conservation Association, [On-line], URL: http://www.eparks.org/wildlife_protection/wildlife_facts/bats/echolocation.asp.
Uy, Christine (1994), “ ‘Seeing’ Sounds: Echolocation by Blind Humans,” ed. Bridget Wagner, Tony Chen, Harvard Undergraduate Society for Neuroscience, [On-line], URL: http://hcs.harvard.edu/husn/BRAIN/vol1/echo.html.

Christians Believe In Global Warming by Dave Miller, Ph.D.






https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=3772


Christians Believe In Global Warming

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The hoopla in recent years regarding global warming has reached a frenzied state. As Al Gore declared in his 2006 book An Inconvenient Truth:
Not only does human-caused global warming exist, but it is also growing more and more dangerous, and at a pace that has now made it a planetary emergency.... [H]umans are the cause of most of the global warming that is taking place.... [W]e are hearing and seeing dire warnings of the worst potential catastrophe in the history of human civilization: a global climate crisis that is deepening and rapidly becoming more dangerous than anything we have ever faced (pp. 8,9,10, emp. added).
Of course, the boisterous allegations of the climatologists have been fraught with self-contradiction. Today we are being told that due to human interference, global warming and the “greenhouse effect” are occurring, and that the Earth’s temperature is increasing (cf. Sagan, 1997, pp. 105ff.). Yet we have also been terrorized with the notion that our actions are “lowering the surface temperature of our planet” (Sagan, 1980, p. 103). Ironically, a 1974 article in TIME magazine reported a three decade long cooling of atmospheric temperatures and other “weather aberrations” that “may be the harbinger of another ice age” (“Another Ice Age?”). Insisting that “telltale signs are everywhere,” as expected, one of the culprits responsible for the threat was identified as man, since “dust and other particles released into the atmosphere as a result of farming and fuel burning may be blocking more and more sunlight from reaching and heating the surface of the earth” (“Another Ice Age?”). The 1974 article concluded:
Whatever the cause of the cooling trend, its effects could be extremely serious, if not catastrophic. Scientists figure that only a 1% decrease in the amount of sunlight hitting the earth’s surface could tip the climate balance, and cool the planet enough to send it sliding down the road to another ice age within only a few hundred years (“Another Ice Age?,” emp. added).
So which is it? Ice age or global warming? Since yesterday’s science is today’s superstition, how wary ought we to be regarding the bold claims of today’s “science”?
The truth is that God created the Earth to be self-sustaining until it has served its purpose. It is self-healing, resilient, and restorative. It actually rejuvenates itself. The greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon set into place by God. God designed gases in the atmosphere, like carbon dioxide and water vapor, to remain in balance and warm the Earth, creating a stable climate for the support of plant, animal, and human life. Without these gases, Earth would be 40 to 60 degrees colder—essentially a frigid desert (cf. Climate Change..., 1990, p. xxxvii).
The Earth is not “fragile” when it comes to human interference. Humans cannot destroy the Earth (let alone the Universe). Humans cannot eliminate the ozone layer. Humans cannot cause permanent, life-threatening global warming. Human ability to pollute, contaminate, and destroy the environment cannot begin to compare with the destructive forces of nature itself: volcanoes, tornados, hurricanes, drought, typhoons, earthquakes, and floods. The 1991 volcanic eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines introduced 20 to 30 megatons of sulfur dioxide and aerosols into the Earth’s atmosphere, with those materials completely encircling the Earth in some three months (Sagan, 1997, p. 107). Satellite data collected indicated that, as a result, “the ozone levels had depleted by about 15 percent” (Rickman, 1997). In fact, as a direct result of the large amounts of stratospheric sulfate particles from the Mount Pinatubo eruption, “record low global ozone levels were recorded in 1992 and 1993” (“Environmental Indicators...,” n.d., emp. added). NASA concluded: “Stratospheric aerosols such as those produced by major volcanic eruptions are thought to be important catalysts in the chemical processes leading to the observed ozone losses” (“NASA’s Ozone Studies,” n.d.; cf. “Incomplete Recovery...,” 2006). Humans cannot begin to compete with nature’s impact on itself. We humans have an inflated sense of our own importance if we think that we determine whether the world goes on after we are gone.
Sadly, while so much of the world’s attention is directed to physical concerns, America’s most important role of pointing the world to spiritual concerns, specifically, the truth of the Christian religion, has fallen by the wayside. Instead of being preoccupied with the future of the Earth—the God-designed, temporary abode of human habitation (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)—our foremost concern ought to be with where we will spend the afterlife: heaven or hell. As God warned the Romans: “For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: ‘As I live, says the LORD, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:10-12). To the Corinthians, He explained: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Corinthians 5:10-11).
The world will last for just as long as God intends—regardless of how much environmental damage humans inflict on the planet. The Earth’s environment will remain intact until it fulfills the purpose for which He created it. When that day arrives, then, yes, global warming will most definitely occur—but it will be divinely instigated and exceed anything humans can even imagine. Here is God’s own description of that day:
But the heavens and the earth which now exist are kept in store by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.... The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? (2 Peter 3:7-12).

REFERENCES

“Another Ice Age” (1974), TIME Magazine, June 24, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914-1,00.html.
Climate Change: The IPCC Scientific Assessment (1990), Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), http://www.ipcc.ch/pub/reports.htm.
“Environmental Indicators: Ozone Depletion” (no date), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/indicat/index.html.
Gore, Al (2006), An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming (New York: Rodale).
“Incomplete Recovery Forecast for Earth’s Ozone Layer” (2006), CBC News, May 3, http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2006/05/03/ozone-layer060503.html.
NASA’s Ozone Studies” (no date), NASA Facts On-Line, http://www.gsfc.nasa.gov/gsfc/service/gallery/fact_sheets/earthsci/ozonestu.htm.
Rickman, James (1997), “Los Alamos Computer Model Accurately Predicts Global Climate Effects of Pinatubo Eruption,” Los Alamos National Laboratory, http://www.lanl.gov/orgs/pa/News/012297text.html.
Sagan, Carl (1997), Billions and Billions (New York: Random House).
Sagan, Carl (1980), Cosmos (New York: Random House).

From Jim McGuiggan... Revelation 20.5, First resurrection


Revelation 20.5, First resurrection

A reader asked about Revelation 20:5 and the meaning of the “first resurrection”. Maybe the following brief remarks are useful. I think we should make up our minds to this first: John is revealing a truth by means of a picture. What he describes is what he sees but we’re supposed to say, “Yes, that’s what he sees but what is the truth he wants to convey by the images?”
In chapter 19 he has just described the battle of Armageddon (see it anticipated in chapter 16) where the Christ and his followers triumph over Satan, the beasts and the armies that followed them. Imagine a battlefield and imagine that when the smoke clears there are dead scattered all over the place. Imagine the Dragon/Serpent being imprisoned, the beast-leaders being thrown into a fire and now look at the scattered dead.
None of what you imagined is literally true as described. Whoever you make the Serpent and the beasts to be (I see them stand for Satan and the Roman Empire) the description in 19:19--20:3 is not to be taken literally. We’re supposed to say, “That’s what he saw, now what does he mean?”
The same is true regarding the dead and the resurrections. Imagine a battlefield littered with the dead. Now imagine many of them coming to life while a host of others remain dead. We’re told that those who come to life FIRST are those who had lived and died for the Lamb (20:4). This resurrection is just as surely a truth told in picture form as the binding and imprisoning of the Dragon. The now resurrected ones climb up on to thrones along with others who are already enthroned (20:4, beginning and end of verse). And what does the picture say? It says the followers of the Lamb are victors whether they die in battle or not. And who are they victorious over? In this case it is the Roman Empire, which is the instrument of Satan’s hatred against Christ and his church.
They are said to reign a thousand years (20:4 and compare 20:2-3). A thousand-year binding and reigning has nothing to do with chronology; it is a use of time to express a truth. It expresses the perfection of the defeat of Satan and the victory of the church. In his use of Rome the Satan is utterly defeated and not just slightly winded. In their conflict with Rome the followers of the Lamb don’t gain a slight advantage they triumph completely.
There are still corpses lying on the battlefield. They lie dead for the thousand years. Their utter loss is proclaimed by a thousand-year death just as a thousand-year living and reigning proclaims the triumph of the saints. When the thousand years have ended (that stays consistent with the vision’s use of time) the corpses left on the battlefield rise from the dead. But they rise to what? To die again (20:11-15). That is the “second” resurrection (though the term isn’t used in the text) in contrast to the first resurrection.
 John said all the truth he was telling would soon be seen paraded before the eyes of the world and the city that claimed to be “the eternal city” (Rome) is ruined and its armies destroyed (compare 1:1 and 3 with 22:6,10).
 So what do I think the first resurrection speaks of? It’s the triumph of the followers of the Lamb told in picture form and it contrasted with the utter defeat and loss of the followers of Satan.
For a little more, click here.


From Gary... Bible Reading July 9





Bible Reading  

July 9

The World English Bible



July 9
2 Kings 13-15

2Ki 13:1 In the three and twentieth year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years.
2Ki 13:2 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin; he didn't depart from it.
2Ki 13:3 The anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, continually.
2Ki 13:4 Jehoahaz begged Yahweh, and Yahweh listened to him; for he saw the oppression of Israel, how that the king of Syria oppressed them.
2Ki 13:5 (Yahweh gave Israel a savior, so that they went out from under the hand of the Syrians; and the children of Israel lived in their tents as before.
2Ki 13:6 Nevertheless they didn't depart from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, with which he made Israel to sin, but walked therein: and there remained the Asherah also in Samaria.)
2Ki 13:7 For he didn't leave to Jehoahaz of the people save fifty horsemen, and ten chariots, and ten thousand footmen; for the king of Syria destroyed them, and made them like the dust in threshing.
2Ki 13:8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoahaz, and all that he did, and his might, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
2Ki 13:9 Jehoahaz slept with his fathers; and they buried him in Samaria: and Joash his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 13:10 In the thirty-seventh year of Joash king of Judah began Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned sixteen years.
2Ki 13:11 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh; he didn't depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin; but he walked therein.
2Ki 13:12 Now the rest of the acts of Joash, and all that he did, and his might with which he fought against Amaziah king of Judah, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
2Ki 13:13 Joash slept with his fathers; and Jeroboam sat on his throne: and Joash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.
2Ki 13:14 Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness of which he died: and Joash the king of Israel came down to him, and wept over him, and said, My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!
2Ki 13:15 Elisha said to him, Take bow and arrows; and he took to him bow and arrows.
2Ki 13:16 He said to the king of Israel, Put your hand on the bow; and he put his hand on it. Elisha laid his hands on the king's hands.
2Ki 13:17 He said, Open the window eastward; and he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot; and he shot. He said, Yahweh's arrow of victory, even the arrow of victory over Syria; for you shall strike the Syrians in Aphek, until you have consumed them.
2Ki 13:18 He said, Take the arrows; and he took them. He said to the king of Israel, Smite on the ground; and he struck thrice, and stayed.
2Ki 13:19 The man of God was angry with him, and said, You should have struck five or six times: then you would have struck Syria until you had consumed it, whereas now you shall strike Syria just three times.
2Ki 13:20 Elisha died, and they buried him. Now the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year.
2Ki 13:21 It happened, as they were burying a man, that behold, they spied a band; and they cast the man into the tomb of Elisha: and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.
2Ki 13:22 Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz.
2Ki 13:23 But Yahweh was gracious to them, and had compassion on them, and had respect to them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast he them from his presence as yet.
2Ki 13:24 Hazael king of Syria died; and Benhadad his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 13:25 Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again out of the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael the cities which he had taken out of the hand of Jehoahaz his father by war. Three times did Joash strike him, and recovered the cities of Israel.
2Ki 14:1 In the second year of Joash son of Joahaz king of Israel began Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah to reign.
2Ki 14:2 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jehoaddin of Jerusalem.
2Ki 14:3 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, yet not like David his father: he did according to all that Joash his father had done.
2Ki 14:4 However the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.
2Ki 14:5 It happened, as soon as the kingdom was established in his hand, that he killed his servants who had slain the king his father:
2Ki 14:6 but the children of the murderers he didn't put to death; according to that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, as Yahweh commanded, saying, The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, nor the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall die for his own sin.
2Ki 14:7 He killed of Edom in the Valley of Salt ten thousand, and took Sela by war, and called its name Joktheel, to this day.
2Ki 14:8 Then Amaziah sent messengers to Jehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one another in the face.
2Ki 14:9 Jehoash the king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give your daughter to my son as wife: and there passed by a wild animal that was in Lebanon, and trod down the thistle.
2Ki 14:10 You have indeed struck Edom, and your heart has lifted you up: glory of it, and abide at home; for why should you meddle to your hurt, that you should fall, even you, and Judah with you?
2Ki 14:11 But Amaziah would not hear. So Jehoash king of Israel went up; and he and Amaziah king of Judah looked one another in the face at Beth Shemesh, which belongs to Judah.
2Ki 14:12 Judah was defeated by Israel; and they fled every man to his tent.
2Ki 14:13 Jehoash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Jehoash the son of Ahaziah, at Beth Shemesh, and came to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits.
2Ki 14:14 He took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of Yahweh, and in the treasures of the king's house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria.
2Ki 14:15 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoash which he did, and his might, and how he fought with Amaziah king of Judah, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
2Ki 14:16 Jehoash slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel; and Jeroboam his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 14:17 Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Jehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years.
2Ki 14:18 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 14:19 They made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent after him to Lachish, and killed him there.
2Ki 14:20 They brought him on horses; and he was buried at Jerusalem with his fathers in the city of David.
2Ki 14:21 All the people of Judah took Azariah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.
2Ki 14:22 He built Elath, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.
2Ki 14:23 In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and reigned forty-one years.
2Ki 14:24 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh: he didn't depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin.
2Ki 14:25 He restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the sea of the Arabah, according to the word of Yahweh, the God of Israel, which he spoke by his servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet, who was of Gath Hepher.
2Ki 14:26 For Yahweh saw the affliction of Israel, that it was very bitter; for there was none shut up nor left at large, neither was there any helper for Israel.
2Ki 14:27 Yahweh didn't say that he would blot out the name of Israel from under the sky; but he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Joash.
2Ki 14:28 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and his might, how he warred, and how he recovered Damascus, and Hamath, which had belonged to Judah, for Israel, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
2Ki 14:29 Jeroboam slept with his fathers, even with the kings of Israel; and Zechariah his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 15:1 In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel began Azariah son of Amaziah king of Judah to reign.
2Ki 15:2 Sixteen years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.
2Ki 15:3 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.
2Ki 15:4 However the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.
2Ki 15:5 Yahweh struck the king, so that he was a leper to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house. Jotham the king's son was over the household, judging the people of the land.
2Ki 15:6 Now the rest of the acts of Azariah, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 15:7 Azariah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the city of David: and Jotham his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 15:8 In the thirty-eighth year of Azariah king of Judah did Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reign over Israel in Samaria six months.
2Ki 15:9 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh, as his fathers had done: he didn't depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin.
2Ki 15:10 Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and struck him before the people, and killed him, and reigned in his place.
2Ki 15:11 Now the rest of the acts of Zechariah, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
2Ki 15:12 This was the word of Yahweh which he spoke to Jehu, saying, Your sons to the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel. So it came to pass.
2Ki 15:13 Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the nine and thirtieth year of Uzziah king of Judah; and he reigned the space of a month in Samaria.
2Ki 15:14 Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and struck Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and killed him, and reigned in his place.
2Ki 15:15 Now the rest of the acts of Shallum, and his conspiracy which he made, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
2Ki 15:16 Then Menahem struck Tiphsah, and all who were therein, and its borders, from Tirzah: because they didn't open to him, therefore he struck it; and all the women therein who were with child he ripped up.
2Ki 15:17 In the nine and thirtieth year of Azariah king of Judah began Menahem the son of Gadi to reign over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria.
2Ki 15:18 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh: he didn't depart all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin.
2Ki 15:19 There came against the land Pul the king of Assyria; and Menahem gave Pul one thousand talents of silver, that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand.
2Ki 15:20 Menahem exacted the money of Israel, even of all the mighty men of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the king of Assyria. So the king of Assyria turned back, and didn't stay there in the land.
2Ki 15:21 Now the rest of the acts of Menahem, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel?
2Ki 15:22 Menahem slept with his fathers; and Pekahiah his son reigned in his place.
2Ki 15:23 In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years.
2Ki 15:24 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh: he didn't depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin.
2Ki 15:25 Pekah the son of Remaliah, his captain, conspired against him, and struck him in Samaria, in the castle of the king's house, with Argob and Arieh; and with him were fifty men of the Gileadites: and he killed him, and reigned in his place.
2Ki 15:26 Now the rest of the acts of Pekahiah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
2Ki 15:27 In the two and fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years.
2Ki 15:28 He did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh: he didn't depart from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, with which he made Israel to sin.
2Ki 15:29 In the days of Pekah king of Israel came Tiglath Pileser king of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel Beth Maacah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee, all the land of Naphtali; and he carried them captive to Assyria.
2Ki 15:30 Hoshea the son of Elah made a conspiracy against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and struck him, and killed him, and reigned in his place, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.
2Ki 15:31 Now the rest of the acts of Pekah, and all that he did, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel.
2Ki 15:32 In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel began Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah to reign.
2Ki 15:33 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jerusha the daughter of Zadok.
2Ki 15:34 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh; he did according to all that his father Uzziah had done.
2Ki 15:35 However the high places were not taken away: the people still sacrificed and burned incense in the high places. He built the upper gate of the house of Yahweh.
2Ki 15:36 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all that he did, aren't they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah?
2Ki 15:37 In those days Yahweh began to send against Judah Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah.
2Ki 15:38 Jotham slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in the city of David his father: and Ahaz his son reigned in his place.


Jul. 8, 9
Acts 7

Act 7:1 The high priest said, "Are these things so?"
Act 7:2 He said, "Brothers and fathers, listen. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,
Act 7:3 and said to him, 'Get out of your land, and from your relatives, and come into a land which I will show you.'
Act 7:4 Then he came out of the land of the Chaldaeans, and lived in Haran. From there, when his father was dead, God moved him into this land, where you are now living.
Act 7:5 He gave him no inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on. He promised that he would give it to him for a possession, and to his seed after him, when he still had no child.
Act 7:6 God spoke in this way: that his seed would live as aliens in a strange land, and that they would be enslaved and mistreated for four hundred years.
Act 7:7 'I will judge the nation to which they will be in bondage,' said God, 'and after that will they come out, and serve me in this place.'
Act 7:8 He gave him the covenant of circumcision. So Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day. Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.
Act 7:9 "The patriarchs, moved with jealousy against Joseph, sold him into Egypt. God was with him,
Act 7:10 and delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt. He made him governor over Egypt and all his house.
Act 7:11 Now a famine came over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction. Our fathers found no food.
Act 7:12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers the first time.
Act 7:13 On the second time Joseph was made known to his brothers, and Joseph's race was revealed to Pharaoh.
Act 7:14 Joseph sent, and summoned Jacob, his father, and all his relatives, seventy-five souls.
Act 7:15 Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, himself and our fathers,
Act 7:16 and they were brought back to Shechem, and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a price in silver from the children of Hamor of Shechem.
Act 7:17 "But as the time of the promise came close which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt,
Act 7:18 until there arose a different king, who didn't know Joseph.
Act 7:19 The same took advantage of our race, and mistreated our fathers, and forced them to throw out their babies, so that they wouldn't stay alive.
Act 7:20 At that time Moses was born, and was exceedingly handsome. He was nourished three months in his father's house.
Act 7:21 When he was thrown out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and reared him as her own son.
Act 7:22 Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. He was mighty in his words and works.
Act 7:23 But when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel.
Act 7:24 Seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged him who was oppressed, striking the Egyptian.
Act 7:25 He supposed that his brothers understood that God, by his hand, was giving them deliverance; but they didn't understand.
Act 7:26 "The day following, he appeared to them as they fought, and urged them to be at peace again, saying, 'Sirs, you are brothers. Why do you wrong one another?'
Act 7:27 But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?
Act 7:28 Do you want to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?'
Act 7:29 Moses fled at this saying, and became a stranger in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons.
Act 7:30 "When forty years were fulfilled, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush.
Act 7:31 When Moses saw it, he wondered at the sight. As he came close to see, a voice of the Lord came to him,
Act 7:32 'I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.' Moses trembled, and dared not look.
Act 7:33 The Lord said to him, 'Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.
Act 7:34 I have surely seen the affliction of my people that is in Egypt, and have heard their groaning. I have come down to deliver them. Now come, I will send you into Egypt.'
Act 7:35 "This Moses, whom they refused, saying, 'Who made you a ruler and a judge?'-God has sent him as both a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush.
Act 7:36 This man led them out, having worked wonders and signs in Egypt, in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years.
Act 7:37 This is that Moses, who said to the children of Israel, 'The Lord our God will raise up a prophet for you from among your brothers, like me.'
Act 7:38 This is he who was in the assembly in the wilderness with the angel that spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, who received living oracles to give to us,
Act 7:39 to whom our fathers wouldn't be obedient, but rejected him, and turned back in their hearts to Egypt,
Act 7:40 saying to Aaron, 'Make us gods that will go before us, for as for this Moses, who led us out of the land of Egypt, we don't know what has become of him.'
Act 7:41 They made a calf in those days, and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their hands.
Act 7:42 But God turned, and gave them up to serve the army of the sky, as it is written in the book of the prophets, 'Did you offer to me slain animals and sacrifices forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?
Act 7:43 You took up the tabernacle of Moloch, the star of your god Rephan, the figures which you made to worship. I will carry you away beyond Babylon.'
Act 7:44 "Our fathers had the tabernacle of the testimony in the wilderness, even as he who spoke to Moses commanded him to make it according to the pattern that he had seen;
Act 7:45 which also our fathers, in their turn, brought in with Joshua when they entered into the possession of the nations, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, to the days of David,
Act 7:46 who found favor in the sight of God, and asked to find a habitation for the God of Jacob.
Act 7:47 But Solomon built him a house.
Act 7:48 However, the Most High doesn't dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says,
Act 7:49 'heaven is my throne, and the earth a footstool for my feet. What kind of house will you build me?' says the Lord; 'or what is the place of my rest?
Act 7:50 Didn't my hand make all these things?'
Act 7:51 "You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit! As your fathers did, so you do.
Act 7:52 Which of the prophets didn't your fathers persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, of whom you have now become betrayers and murderers.
Act 7:53 You received the law as it was ordained by angels, and didn't keep it!"
Act 7:54 Now when they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.
Act 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
Act 7:56 and said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"
Act 7:57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and rushed at him with one accord.
Act 7:58 They threw him out of the city, and stoned him. The witnesses placed their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Act 7:59 They stoned Stephen as he called out, saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!"
Act 7:60 He kneeled down, and cried wStudy Questionsith a loud voice, "Lord, don't hold this sin against them!" When he had said this, he fell asleep.