8/3/15

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




                       "THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT"

                 The Fruit Of The Spirit - Faithfulness

INTRODUCTION

1. The seventh quality which Paul lists as the fruit of the Spirit is "faithfulness"...
   a. The Greek word is pistis {pis'-tis}
   b. In the NT, it is often used of a conviction or belief in respect
      to God and Christ
   c. But it also is used to describe the quality of "fidelity,faithfulness"
      1) "the character of one who can be relied on..." (THAYER)
      2) "faithful, to be trusted, reliable..." (VINE)
   d. William Barclay calls it "the virtue of reliability"

2. This virtue, unfortunately, is not too common...
   a. While many may claim it, the wise man declared it hard to find 
      - Pr 20:6
   b. The Psalmist decried the lack of "faithfulness" in his day, 
      describing a condition that sounds much like our situation today 
      - Ps 12:1-2
   -- Yet, faithfulness is essential for those who would receive the
      crown of life - Re 2:10

3. To encourage the development of this virtue in our lives, in this
   study we shall...
   a. Look to Jesus and God as examples of faithfulness
   b. Suggest a few areas in which we need greater faithfulness

[Anyone who is led by the Spirit of God, will certainly be motivated to
produce the virtue of faithfulness in their own lives as they
contemplate...]

I. THE FAITHFULNESS OF JESUS AND GOD

   A. THE FAITHFULNESS OF JESUS...
      1. Jesus was faithful in fulfilling His role as the Son of God
         a. Just as Moses was faithful as a servant - He 3:1-2
         b. Jesus was faithful in carrying out the work given Him - Jn4:34; 5:30; 6:38; 8:29
      2. He is also faithful in the role of being our high priest - He 2:17-18
         a. Faithful, because He understands our weaknesses - cf. He 4:
            14-15
         b. Faithful, because He richly supplies us with grace and 
            mercy - cf. He 4:16
      -- Isn't it wonderful to have a Savior upon Whom we can rely?

   B. THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD...
      1. God has always been known as a God of faithfulness - Deut 7:9
      2. And toward those who are His children, He is faithful 
         (reliable, trustworthy)...
         a. Not to allow us to be tempted beyond that we are able to 
            bear - 1Co 10:13
         b. To protect us from the evil one - 2Th 3:3
         c. To complete His work of salvation in us - 1Th 5:23-24
      -- Isn't it wonderful to know that God can be trusted in these 
         and many other ways?

[But to fully benefit from the faithfulness of Jesus and God, we must
be faithful as well! - cf. Re 2:10-11,25-26; 3:11-12. With that  in
mind, consider some...]

II. AREAS IN WHICH WE NEED GREATER FAITHFULNESS

   A. WE NEED TO BE MORE FAITHFUL TO GOD AND CHRIST...
      1. In the way we use our "talents" (abilities and opportunities)
         - cf. Mt 25:21
      2. Too often, people are like the one talent man, burying their
         talent; this greatly displeases the Lord - cf. Mt 25:24-26
         a. Like Moses at the burning bush, they make excuses
         b. But for every excuse man can devise, God can provide a way
            for us to be faithful!
      3. We begin by being faithful in small things...
         a. As indicated in Jesus' comments in Lk 16:10
         b. If we can't be counted upon for the small things, how can
            we be expected to be considered reliable when the going 
            gets tough? - cf. Jer 12:5

   B. WE NEED TO BE FAITHFUL TO THE CHURCH...
      1. The family of God always has need of people who are truly 
         faithful (i.e., reliable, trustworthy, loyal)
      2. Lack of faithfulness to God's people can be seen in several
         ways:
         a. Forsaking the assembling of ourselves together - He 10:
            24-25
         b. Lack of participation in the family life of the church
            1) Neglecting opportunities to learn and grow together in
               God's Word
            2) Leaving it to others to carry out the work of the church
            3) Not concerned about the welfare of your brothers and
               sisters in Christ
         c. We cannot take such unfaithfulness lightly!
            1) We will be of little value to those who need us - cf. Pr 25:19
            2) We actually undermine the work of the Lord! - cf. Pr 18:9; Mt 12:30
      3. Do you need to have more faithfulness to the church?
         a. Ask yourself:  "If everyone were as faithful as I am, what
            kind of church would this be?"
            1) Would anyone be here, except for Sunday morning worship?
            2) Would there be any teachers for our children's classes?
            3) Would the church be growing, both numerically and 
               spiritually?
            4) Would the church even exist?
         b. Consider this example of "faithfulness" to the church...
               Grandma Taw Bow, a resident of Thailand, does not
            impress strangers. She is small of stature, bent with age,
            her hands and fingers gnarled with arthritis. She often
            stands quietly to one side.
               Her name translated into English means "Always." Despite
            her unimpressive physical appearance, Grandma Always has
            inspired her missionary friends and Thai Christians by her
            faithfulness.
               A widow and over ninety years of age, she lives as a
            servant in a Thai home. Every Sunday she walks two miles to
            church.  Out of her income of five cents a day, she
            regularly gives one day's wages to the Lord every week.
               When her missionary friends drive her home from church
            services, she gets out, and bows her head in an audible
            prayer for the missionaries and the work of Christ in
            Thailand.
               One missionary says, "The thought of Grandma Always'
            faithfulness humbles and deepens us."  (A Dictionary Of
            Christian Illustrations, p. 121)
      -- What the church needs are more "Grandma Always", both young 
         and old!

   C. WE NEED TO BE MORE FAITHFUL TO OUR FAMILIES...
      1. Fathers need to be faithful in fulfilling their spiritual
         roles - cf. Ep 6:4
      2. Mothers need to be faithful in fulfilling their family 
         responsibilities - Tit 2:3-5
      3. Of course, husbands and wives need to be faithful to one 
         another in their respective duties - Ep 5:22-33
      4. Children, you also have a need to be faithful - cf. Ep 6:1-3
      -- Do not our families deserve faithful spouses, parents and children?

   D. FINALLY, WE NEED TO BE MORE FAITHFUL TO OURSELVES...
      1. Shakespeare once described a man:  "He wears his faith as the
         fashion of his hat."
         a. Too often, some Christians are like that
         b. If it is fashionable to be a faithful Christian, then they
            are; if not, then they are not
      2. Those who are this way are only committing spiritual suicide
         and manslaughter
         a. That is, they are harming themselves
         b. And they are harming those who cannot rely upon them
      3. But for those who are faithful to themselves as well as to
         God...
         a. Will be preserved by the Lord:  "for the Lord preserves the
            faithful" - Ps 31:23
         b. And blessed by the Lord:  "A faithful man will abound with
            blessings..." - Pr 28:20
      -- Do we not owe it to ourselves to be faithful?

CONCLUSION

1. William Barclay ended his examination of this word in this way:
   a. "Pistos is indeed a great word. It describes the man on whose
      faithful service we may rely, on whose loyalty we may depend,
      whose word we can unreservedly accept."
   b. "It describes the man in whom there is the unswerving and 
      inflexible fidelity of Jesus Christ, and the utter dependability
      of God."

2. Yes, the one who is being led by the Spirit of God, to produce the
   fruit of the Spirit...
   a. Will follow in the footsteps of the God and Savior he serves
   b. Those footsteps include the virtue of faithfulness, the virtue of
      reliability!

Will you not strive to be faithful, in your service to God, the church,
your family, even to yourself?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

Jonah and the "Whale"? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.





https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=69

Jonah and the "Whale"?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Skeptics frequently have railed against the allusion to a “whale” in Matthew 12:40 in the King James Version. They have insisted that the very idea that a person actually could be swallowed by such a creature and survive is preposterous. Yet this charge has been shown to be impotent for two reasons: (1) historical precedent exists for the possibility of just such an occurrence; and (2) the text of Jonah insists that the sea creature in question was orchestrated supernaturally by God for the purpose intended (see Thompson, 1996, 16:86). God specifically “prepared” (mahnah—appointed, constituted, made ready) a great fish (Gesenius, 1847, p. 486). The same term is employed in the same book to refer to additional direct manipulations initiated by God. He also prepared a plant (4:6), a worm (4:7), and a vehement wind (4:8) [see Wigram, 1890, p. 733]. George Cansdale was correct in concluding: “[T]here is no point in speculating about the full physical explanation of an incident that primarily is metaphysical, i.e., miraculous” (1975, 5:925, emp. added). McClintock and Strong agree: “[T]he transaction is plainly miraculous, and no longer within the sphere of zoological discussion” (1881, 10:972). Jonah’s survival after being inside a sea creature is no more remarkable than Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego surviving the “burning fiery furnace” (Daniel 3:27).
In addition to the evidence that may be deduced for (1) the credibility of a whale swallowing Jonah and (2) the miraculous preparation of the creature by God, a third clarification is in order that pertains to translation. The actual text of the book of Jonah states that “the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah” (Jonah 1:17). The Hebrew term (dahg) that underlies the English translation “fish” (1:17; 2:1,10) is a broad term that “always has the collective meaning ‘fish’ ” (Botterweck, 1978, 3:135). William Gesenius, whose lexicographical labors in the Hebrew language were without peer, defined dahg merely as “fish” (p. 189). Eminent Hebrew scholar, C.F. Keil, insisted strongly that “[t]he great fish, which is not more precisely defined, was not a whale” (Keil and Delitzsch, 1977, 10:398, emp. added). We conclude, therefore, that the word used in the book of Jonah to refer to the sea creature that swallowed Jonah, refers indiscriminately to any type of fish—without regard for the technical taxonomic, classification schemes developed by the scientific community in the last few centuries. It has the same generic latitude that inheres in the English word “fish” has, which can refer to any number of cold-blooded aquatic vertebrates—from a trout, bass, or crappie to sharks, rays, jellyfish, and crayfish (American Heritage Dictionary, 2000, p. 665).
However, a point of clarification needs to be sounded even here. According to the present zoological nomenclature, a “whale” is not a “fish”—it is classified as a mammal. Hebrew linguistic experts note no such distinction in the terms used in the Old Testament. The ordinary term for “fish” (dahg) would not necessarily exclude the whale in its application.
The Hebrew uses three additional terms that are germane to this discussion. Two of the words are closely interrelated: tan-neem and tan-neen. The first term generally is translated (though erroneously) as “dragon” in the KJV. Newer translations typically use “jackal,” except in Ezekiel 29:3 and 32:2, where the creature’s habitat is obviously aquatic, so “monster” generally is employed (Day, 1939, 2:873). The second term is treated more loosely in the KJV, and variously translated as “whales” (Genesis 1:21; Job 7:12), “serpent,” archaic for “snake” (Exodus 7:9,10), “dragon” (Jeremiah 51:34), and “sea monsters” (Lamentations 4:3). The third relevant term is “leviathan”—a transliteration of the Hebrew term liv-yah-thahn (Job 41:1; 104:26; Isaiah 27:1). This “very large aquatic creature” (Gesenius, p. 433) was unquestionably a now-extinct, dinosaur-like reptile that once inhabited the oceans (Lyons, 2001). Whereas the term “leviathan” undoubtedly refers to a specific type of animal, the previous two terms (tan-neem and tan-neen) are generic and nonspecific like dahg. [Interestingly, Isaiah 27:1 refers to leviathan as both a “snake” (nah-ghahsh) and a “monster,” or “reptile” (NKJV) (tah-neen)].
What is particularly noteworthy is the fact that on the fifth day of Creation, God created sea life. He used two terms to specify these inhabitants of the “waters.” The first was “souls” (Genesis 1:20,21b)—the ordinary term for living “things,” or “creatures” (nephesh). The second was “sea-monsters” (Genesis 1:21a)—the plural of tan-neen (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia, 1967/77, p. 2). This latter term is important for understanding the generic nature of the Hebrew language in its reference to the animal occupants of the sea. The word is translated erroneously as “whales” in the KJV. The NKJV has “sea creatures,” the ASV, NASB, RSV, and NEB have “sea monsters,” while the NIV has “creatures of the sea.” These latter three renderings are accurate representations of the Hebrew. They illustrate the in-built ambiguity that characterizes the Hebrew designations of animal species in the Old Testament. [NOTE: The term translated “birds” (Genesis 1:20,21, 22,26,28,30) doubtless possesses the same latitude and indiscriminate flexibility in meaning, thereby designating any creature that has the capability of flight, including mammals (e.g., bats), insects, and reptiles (e.g., pterodactyl).]
Moving to New Testament Greek, and the verse under discussion in this article (Matthew 12:40), did Christ refer to the great fish of Jonah as a “whale”? Matthew records that Jesus employed the Greek term ketos to refer to Jonah’s sea creature. The Septuagint translators used the same term in their rendering of Jonah 1:17. Greek lexicographers are decisive on the meaning of this word. The highly respected Greek scholars Arndt and Gingrich offer only one definition for ketos—“sea-monster” (1957, p. 432). The dictionary that was designed for use with the United Bible Societies’ prestigious Greek New Testament text (A Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament) defined ketos as “large sea creature” (Newman, 1971, p. 100). Thayer listed three terms—“sea-monster, whale, huge fish” (1901, p. 346), with the reference to “whale” being merely one possibility among many others within the broader sense of the term. Renowned Bible commentator Albert Barnes insisted: “It is well known that the Greek word translated as whale, in the New Testament, does not of necessity mean a whale, but may denote a large fish or sea-monster of any kind” (1949, 1:134, italics in orig.). He speculated that the creature was a species of shark. McClintock and Strong elaborated further by noting that the term “is not restricted in its meaning to ‘a whale,’ or any cetacean; ...it may denote any sea-monster, either ‘a whale,’ or ‘a shark,’ or a ‘seal,’ or ‘a tunny of enormous size’ ” (10:973). Respected Bible scholar J.W. McGarvey wrote: “The Greek word here translated whale is ‘sea monster’ ” (n.d., p. 306). Lenski also preferred the rendering “sea monster,” stating that “[t]he ‘whale’ of our versions is only an effort at translation” (1961, 1:493, emp. added).
The versionary evidence is surely confusing to the average English reader of the New Testament. The KJV, ASV, and RSV all render ketos in Matthew 12:40 as “whale.” Their rationale behind this unjustifiable linguistic decision, which Lewis maintains has created “an unnecessary problem” (1976, 2:178-179), remains a mystery. Ironically, all three versions translate Jonah 1:17 as “fish.” On the other hand, the NASB, NEB, and REB all have “sea monster” in Matthew 12:40. Three translations that handled the matter in a comparable fashion to each other include the GNB (“big fish”), the NIV (“huge fish”), and the NKJV (“great fish”). It also should be noted that, as a matter of fact, the generic word in Greek for “fish” is ichthus—not ketos. The latter term varies from the former in that ketos refers generically to a sea monster, or perhaps, a huge fish (cf. Vine, 1952, p. 209).
What conclusion is to be drawn from these linguistic data? Both the Hebrew and Greek languages lacked the precision to identify with specificity the identity of the creature that swallowed Jonah. As Earl S. Kalland affirmed, “[t]he identity or biological classification of this great water monster is unknown” (1980, 1:401). Both dahg and ketos “designate sea creatures of undefined species” (Lewis, 2:178).

REFERENCES

American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000), (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.
Arndt, W.F. and F.W. Gingrich (1957), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).
Barnes, Albert (1949 reprint), Notes on the New Testament: Matthew and Mark (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1967/77), (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelstiftung).
Botterweck, G. Johannes and Helmer Ringgren (1978), Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Cansdale, George S. (1975), The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, ed. Merrill C. Tenney (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Day, Alfred Ely (1939), “Dragon,” The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, James Orr, ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1974 reprint).
Gesenius, William (1847), Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1979 reprint).
Kalland, Earl S. (1980), “dag, daga,” Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason Archer Jr., and Bruce Waltke (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch (1977 reprint), Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Lenski, R.C.H. (1961), The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg).
Lewis, Jack P. (1976), The Gospel According to Matthew (Austin, TX: Sweet).
Lyons, Eric (2001), “Behemoth and Leviathan—Creatures of Controversy,” Reason and Revelation, 21:1-7, January.
McGarvey, J.W. (n.d.), The Fourfold Gospel (Cincinnati, OH: Standard).
McClintock, John and James Strong (1881), Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1970 reprint).
Newman, Barclay M. Jr. (1971), A Concise Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament (London: United Bible Societies).
Thayer, Joseph H. (1901), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1977 reprint).
Thompson, Bert (1996), “Jonah, Jesus, and Anti-supernaturalism,” Reason and Revelation, 16:86, November.
Vine, W.E. (1952), An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell).
Wigram, George W. (1890), The Englishman’s Hebrew and Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1980 reprint).

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




 https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3726

God and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Probability

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

PROBABILITY AND SCIENCE

A typical misconception about science is that it can tell us what will definitely happen now or in the future given enough time, or what would certainly have happened in the past, given enough time. The truth is, science is limited in that it does not grant absolute truth, but only yields degrees of probability or likelihood. Science observes the Universe, records evidence, and strives to draw conclusions about what has happened in the past, is happening now, and what will potentially happen in the future, given the current state of scientific knowledge—which is often times woefully incomplete, and even inaccurate. The late, prominent evolutionist George Gaylord Simpson discussed the nature of science and probability several years ago in the classic textbook, Life: An Introduction to Biology, stating:
We speak in terms of “acceptance,” “confidence,” and “probability,” not “proof.” If by proof is meant the establishment of eternal and absolute truth, open to no possible exception or modification, then proof has no place in the natural sciences. Alternatively, proof in a natural science, such as biology, must be defined as the attainment of a high degree of confidence (Simpson and Beck, 1965, p. 16, emp. added).
In other words, science observes and attempts to answer for mankind such things as: what could have happened in the past; what most likely happened; what is probably happening now; what could happen in the future; or what will likely happen in the future. Science does not necessarily tell us what will certainly always be or has always been the case. Rather, it tells us what has always been observed to be the case and what will almost certainly always be the case, without exception, and which coincides with logic, intuition, and mathematics. When enough evidence is gathered and all that evidence points to some truth and therefore yields an extremely high level of confidence in that truth (i.e., the probability of the same truth always being the case is considered so high that it is beyond doubt), the truth is made a law. Such a step is not taken lightly. Extensive observation must be conducted before doing so. Therefore, the laws of science are highly respected and considered to be essentially beyond doubt. However, there is always the slightest potential that a law could be broken in the future by some unknown event. Thus, probability is intimately intertwined with science. Mark Kac, famous mathematician and professor at Cornell and Rockefeller Universities, said, “Probability is a cornerstone of all the sciences, and its daughter, the science of statistics, enters into all human activities” (as quoted in Smith, 1975, p. 111, emp. added).
Many evolutionists understand the significance of probability in science and yet go too far in their use of the laws of probability, presumptuously claiming that they can do more than they profess to do. These assert that anything—no matter how far-fetched—will inevitably happen, given enough time, as long as it does not have a probability of zero. Supposedly, objects will pop into existence, and eventually, those things will come to life and transform into humans. Many evolutionists have long cited the principles of probability in an effort to support such unscientific dogmas (e.g., Erwin, 2000). As far back as 1954, George Wald, writing in Scientific American concerning the origin of life on Earth, penned the words:
However improbable we regard this event, or any of the steps it involves, given enough time, it will almost certainly happen at least once. And for life as we know it, once may be enough. Time is the hero of the plot…. Given so much time, the impossible becomes possible, the possible becomes probable, and the probable becomes virtually certain. One has only to wait; time itself performs miracles (Wald, p. 48, emp. added).
There are at least four problems with such assertions about the laws of probability.

GIVEN ENOUGH TIME

First of all, we are not “given enough time” for macroevolution to have occurred. We at Apologetics Press have documented this fact time and time again (cf. Jackson, 1983; Thompson, 2001). Years ago, in his article “The Young Earth,” Henry Morris listed 76 scientific dating techniques, based on standard evolutionary assumptions, which all indicate that the Earth is relatively young (Morris, 1974). Donald DeYoung documented extensive, compelling evidence for a young Earth as well, in the book Thousands…Not Billions (2005). This fact alone dispels the preposterous contention that we are the descendants of ape-like creatures.

THE SINGLE LAW OF CHANCE

The second problem with the assertion of evolutionary inevitability is implied by the work of the renowned French mathematician, Emile Borel, for whom the lunar crater, Borel, is named (O’Connor and Robertson, 2008). In 1962, Borel discussed in depth the law of probability known as the Single Law of Chance—a law that he said “is extremely simple and intuitively evident, though rationally undemonstrable” (1962, p. 2). This principle states that “events whose probability is extremely small never occur” (1965, p. 57). He further stated that we “at least…must act, in all circumstances, as if they were impossible” (1962, p. 3, italics in orig.). The law, he said, applies to
the sort of event, which, though its impossibility may not be rationally demonstrable, is, however, so unlikely that no sensible person will hesitate to declare it actually impossible. If someone affirmed having observed such an event we would be sure that he is deceiving us or has himself been the victim of a fraud (1962, p. 3, italics in orig., emp. added).
To clarify the meaning of “extremely small” probabilities, he defined different categories of events in which the probabilities are so small that they are “practically negligible,” including events from the human, terrestrial, and cosmic perspectives (1965, p. 57).
In his discussion on the probabilities of certain cosmic events, he argues convincingly from mathematical calculations and intuition that reasonable human beings consider probabilities of chance cosmic events that fall below one in 1045 to be negligible (1965, p. 59). In other words, if the probability of a certain event happening in the Universe is less than one in 1045 (i.e., a one with 45 zeros after it), human beings intuitively categorize that event as so unlikely that we consider it to be an impossible event.
Several years ago, evolutionist Harold Morowitz of Yale, and currently professor of biology and natural philosophy at George Mason University, estimated the probability of the formation of the smallest and simplest living organism to be one in 10340,000,000 (1970, p. 99). A few years following Morowitz’s calculations, the late, renowned evolutionist Carl Sagan made his own estimation of the chance that life could evolve on any given single planet: one in 102,000,000,000 (1973, p. 46)! Note also that these calculations were made before the last several decades have revealed with even more clarity the complexity of life (cf. Deweese, 2010). These probability estimations for the formation of life, made by the evolutionists themselves, are, of course, so far beyond the limit articulated for cosmic events by the Single Law of Chance that we must respond in shock, rather than humor, at the big lie that has been perpetrated on the world at large by so many in the scientific community in thrusting macroevolution on the masses. The distinguished British astronomer, Sir Fred Hoyle once said regarding evolution, “the chance that higher forms have emerged in this way is comparable with the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein” (1981b, 294:105). He further stated:
At all events, anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with the Rubik cube will concede the near-impossibility of a solution being obtained by a blind person moving the cubic faces at random. Now imagine 1050 blind persons each with a scrambled Rubik cube, and try to conceive of the chance of them all simultaneously arriving at the solved form. You then have the chance of arriving by random shuffling at just one of the many biopolymers on which life depends. The notion that not only biopolymers but the operating programme of a living cell could be arrived at by chance in a primordial organic soup here on the Earth is evidently nonsense of a high order (1981a, 92:527, emp. in orig.).
Borel’s Single Law of Chance certainly lays plain the impossibility and incredibility of the evolutionary proposition. However, Borel tried to distance himself from the implications of his findings and their application to the spontaneous emergence of life by noting that the laws of chance do “not seem possible to apply” to some evolutionary events (1963, p. 125, emp. added). He further stated:
[I]t is generally held that living beings are the result of a slow process of evolution, beginning with elementary organisms, and that this process of evolution involves certain properties of living matter that prevent us from asserting that the process was accomplished in accordance with the laws of chance (1963, p. 125).
In other words, evolutionary processes are not considered a succession of random, chance events. Instead, it seems that they are considered intentional events that somehow occur without intention. However, since non-living matter has no mind of its own, the progression of events that would have to occur to lead to the optimal arrangement of that matter allegedly to bring about life would have to be just that—a succession of random, chance events. In making the assertion that the laws of chance do not apply to evolution, he tacitly acknowledges the fact that the evolutionary model would actually require multiple, successive random events taking place gradually over time in order to bring even the pre-living “organism” to a place in which life could allegedly burst into existence. And as if to further drive the tombstone into the grave, according to Borel, himself, “[i]t is repetition that creates improbability” (1962, p. 3). Such almost endless successive random events would actually create more of a problem for evolution. “[I]t is their [the successive repetition of improbable events leading towards significant complexity—JM] almost indefinite repetition that creates improbability and rightly seems to us impossible” (1962, pp. 3-4, emp. added). After all of these successive evolutionary events leading towards life, the final random, chance event in which all the circumstances happen to be “just right” to bring about the jump from non-life to life is so improbable, according to the evolutionists themselves, that the Single Law of Chance would consider the event impossible and not worthy of human attention. [NOTE: We are not suggesting that it is possible for life to be spontaneously created from non-life, no matter what the circumstances or arrangements of matter may be. We are only noting the implications of the evolutionists’ own arguments and their application to the laws of science.]

KOLMOGOROV'S FIRST AXIOM

There is yet another problem with the assertion that macroevolution will happen, given enough time, as long as it does not have a probability of zero. Several of the events that are necessary in order for the theory of evolution and the Big Bang Theory to be true, indeed, have a probability of zero, according to the scientific evidence. The whole question is not really even one of improbability, but impossibility. How can one calculate the probability of something happening for which there is zero evidence that such a thing can even occur? Chance applies only to events or circumstances wherein possibility is present.
For instance, before the Big Bang was allegedly a small, condensed sphere comprised of all of the matter in the Universe [see May, et al., 2003]. Consider for a moment the spontaneous generation of that sphere of matter. Its appearance and subsequent organization, being a random, chance event, would fall under the guidelines of the Single Law of Chance as well. Unfortunately for evolutionists, since all scientific evidence indicates that matter cannot spontaneously generate (according to the First Law of Thermodynamics; see Miller, 2007), the probability of such an event would be much less than the “one in 1045” barrier set by the Single Law of Chance, namely, zero.
Also, what proof is available that leads to the idea that life could spontaneously generate (i.e., abiogenesis)? What scientific evidence is available that would lead to the idea that abiogenesis has a probability of anything but zero? Speculation abounds concerning the sequence of events that could cause precisely the right conditions for it to occur. However, there is zero scientific evidence to support the idea that it could happen even if those improbable conditions were ever in effect. In actuality, the scientific evidence is not “neutral” on the matter, as though there is no evidence for or against abiogenesis. Rather, the scientific evidence is not only unsupportive of abiogenesis, but all experimental scientific results are contrary to it! The experiments of renowned 19th-century scientist Louis Pasteur long ago killed the possibility of the spontaneous generation of life, and recognition of the well-respected law of science known as the Law of Biogenesis (i.e., life comes only from life and that of its kind) drove the nails into its coffin (cf. Thompson, 1989).
These truths alone create impenetrable barriers for evolutionists—non-traversable, gaping chasms that would have to be crossed in order for the theory of evolution to be plausible. According to the scientific evidence, there is a probability of zero that abiogenesis can occur. According to the laws of probability, specifically Kolmogorov’s first axiom, when the probability of an event is zero, the event is called an “impossible event” (Gubner, 2006, p. 22, emp. added). Since several events that are necessary in order for the theory of evolution and the Big Bang Theory to be true have a probability of zero, according to the laws of probability, these atheistic theories are impossible.

PROBABILITY AND CAUSAL POWER

Further, even if there were not a probability of zero when it comes to macroevolution, it is important to note as was discussed earlier that probabilities do not guarantee that an event will or will not happen, regardless of how much time is allotted. Sproul, Gerstner, and Lendsley correctly observed:
The fact is, however, we have a no-chance chance creation. We must erase the “1” which appears above the line of the “1” followed by a large number of zeroes. What are the real chances of a universe created by chance? Not a chance. Chance is incapable of creating a single molecule, let alone an entire universe. Why not? Chance is no thing. It is not an entity. It has no being, no power, no force. It can effect nothing for it has no causal power within it, it has no itness to be within. Chance…is a word which describes mathematical possibilities which, by a curious slip of the fallacy of ambiguity, slips into discussion as if it were a real entity with real power, indeed, supreme power, the power of creativity (1984, p. 118, emp. in orig.).
We certainly agree. There is only one causal Power capable of creating the Universe, and there is certainly nothing random about Him.

CONCLUSION

Recall what Borel said of events prohibited under the Single Law of Chance—that sensible humans “must act, in all circumstances, as if they were impossible” (1962, p. 3, italics in orig.). Unfortunately, so many scientists today do not act sensibly. They do not follow this simple and intuitive truth when it comes to the matter of origins. Rather, they hold to the impossible, pouring thousands of hours and billions of dollars into researching it, writing on it, speaking on it, thrusting it into the minds of people of all ages, and attacking anyone who contradicts them. They, themselves, admit that the spontaneous generation of life from non-life has never been observed and that the odds are shockingly against it, and yet, since they start with the presumptuous assumption that there is no God, they believe the existence of life is proof enough that spontaneous generation occurred. But if the scientific evidence is so strongly against it, how can it be considered scientific? Even if there was a 0.0000…1% chance that macroevolution could happen, why would a scientist stake his/her name and entire career on such astronomical, outrageous odds when, if biased assumptions are dropped, there is a much more plausible explanation for the origin of this Universe? Prominent evolutionist, Richard Dawkins, himself admitted, “The more statistically improbable a thing is, the less we can believe that it just happened by blind chance. Superficially the obvious alternative to chance is an intelligent Designer” (1982, p. 130, emp. added). We certainly agree, and sadly, the implication of that alternative is the very reason so many people irrationally hold onto impossibilities—the intelligent Designer has expectations to which this rebellious generation refuses to submit.
Nevertheless, in the words of Emile Borel:
When we calculated the probability of reproducing by mere chance a work of literature, in one or more volumes, we certainly observed that, if this work was printed, it must originally have emanated from a human brain. Now the complexity of that brain must therefore have been even richer than the particular work to which it gave birth (1963, p. 125, emp. added).
And if we might add another line to Borel’s statement: “And further, the complexity of the Mind that gave birth to that brain must be truly incomprehensible!”

REFERENCES

Borel, Emile (1962), Probabilities and Life (New York: Dover).
Borel, Emile (1963), Probability and Certainty (New York: Walker & Company).      
Borel, Emile (1965), Elements of the Theory of Probability (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall).
Dawkins, Richard (1982), “The Necessity of Darwinism,” New Scientist, 94:130-132, April 15.
Deweese, Joe (2010), “Has Life Been Made From Scratch?” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240389.
DeYoung, Donald (2005), Thousands…Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Erwin, Douglas (2000), “Macroevolution is More Than Repeated Rounds of Microevolution,” Evolution and Development, 2[2]:78-84.
Gubner, J.A. (2006), Probability and Random Processes for Electrical and Computer Engineers (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Hoyle, Fred (1981a), “The Big Bang in Astronomy,” New Scientist, 92:521-527, November 19.
Hoyle, Fred (1981b), “Hoyle on Evolution,” Nature, 294:105,148, November 12.
Jackson, Wayne (1983), “Our Earth—Young or Old?,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/rr/reprints/yng-old.pdf.
May, Branyon, et al. (2003), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique,” Reason & Revelation, 23[5]:32-34,36-47, May, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2635.
Miller, Jeff (2007), “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective,” Reason & Revelation, 27[4]:25-31, April, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3293.
Morowitz, Harold J. (1970), Entropy for Biologists (New York: Academic Press).
Morris, H. (1974), “The Young Earth,” Acts & Facts, 3[8], http://www.icr.org/article/young-earth.
O’Connor, John J. and Edmund F. Robertson (2008), “Felix Edouard Justin Emile Borel,” The MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive, http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Mathematicians/Borel.html.
Sagan, Carl, ed. (1973), Communications with Extra-terrestrial Intelligence (Boston, MA: MIT Press).
Simpson, George G. and William S. Beck (1965), Life: An Introduction to Biology (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World).
Smith, Anthony (1975), The Human Pedigree (Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippencott).
Sproul, R.C., John Gerstner, and Arthur Lendsley (1984), Classical Apologetics (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Thompson, Bert (1989), “The Bible and the Laws of Science: The Law of Biogenesis,” Reason & Revelation, 9[6]:21-24, June, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/330.
Thompson, Bert (2001), “The Young Earth,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1991.
Wald, George (1954), “The Origin of Life,” Scientific American, 191:45-53, August.

By the Numbers by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.





https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=117


By the Numbers

by  Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.

In the feature article, I raised the issue of time, only to say that it does not need to be a problem. Whether differences built up between populations gradually, or rapidly at the beginning, or in occasional brief spurts of intense change, seems to be an empirical matter. The pattern of change should not be assumed ahead of time.
However, we do have to work within certain constraints. If James Ussher’s dates are anything to go by, the Flood occurred in 2348 B.C., and the dispersion from the Tower of Babel occurred in 2234 B.C. Even conservative writers do not agree on the exact dating (e.g., Morris, 1974, pp. 247-250) but, for the sake of argument, let us say that human variation began around the time of Ussher’s date for the Flood. This sets a time limit of approximately 4,350 years.
Next, we need to know the extent of variation. The commonly cited figure is 0.2%. In other words, if you were to compare your DNA with the DNA of a stranger picked randomly from anywhere in the world, you would find that two base pairs (the “rungs” of the twisted, ladder-like DNA molecule) in every thousand base pairs are different, on average. There are around 3 billion base pairs in human DNA, so 0.2% of this figure would equal 6 million base pairs.
Actually, the situation is a little worse than this. If ancient art is anything to go by, skin coloration was a significant feature at an early stage (again, for the sake of argument, I will not worry about the discrepancies between archaeological and biblical chronologies). We could assume that obvious physical variations were fairly well established by the time of Abraham (c. 2000 B.C.). Is there enough time to accumulate these changes in the first few hundred years after the Flood?
The situation is helped a little by the estimate that only 6% of the 0.2% variation represents differences across major groupings (Gutin, 1994, p. 72). Between, say, a European and an Asian chosen at random, we would expect to find a difference of only 360,000 base pairs. Of course, all we need are sufficient mutations in the genes that are most responsible for making us appear different to people in other places. In the case of skin color (see feature article), this could mean a few mutations among a handful of genes.
So far, this is just a sketch of where we need to go in terms of a biblical model. No one, including the evolutionist, has explained all the empirical data. Still, 6 million mutations in such a short time requires some explanation.
One solution may lie in much higher mutation rates. Most estimates have rested on molecular clocks which, in turn, have rested on evolutionary assumptions. Until recently, we have not had good empirical measures of the mutation rates in humans. The situation improved when geneticists were able to analyze DNA from individuals with well-established family trees going back several generations. One study found that mutation rates in mitochondrial DNA are 18 times higher than previous estimates (Parsons, et al., 1997). If this new rate were applied to the “mitochondrial Eve” research, it would turn out that this hypothetical woman lived 6,000 years ago. “No one thinks that’s the case,” science writer Ann Gibbons is quick to point out (1998, 279:29). Still, if these new estimates hold, evolutionary anthropologists will have to do some fancy footwork around their dates for key events in the development of modern humans. Most important, the new data may put a biblical empirical model in closer reach.

REFERENCES

Gibbons, Ann (1998), “Calibrating the Mitochondrial Clock,” Science, 279:28-29, January 2.
Gutin, Joann C. (1994), “End of the Rainbow,” Discover, 15[2]:70-75, November.
Morris, Henry M. (1974), Scientific Creationism (San Diego, CA: Creation-Life Publishers).
Parsons, Thomas J., et al. (1997), “A High Observed Substitution Rate in the Human Mitochondrial DNA Control Region,” Nature Genetics, 15:363.

Does God Love Homosexuals? by Kyle Butt, M.A.





https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=5115

Does God Love Homosexuals?

by  Kyle Butt, M.A.

It is virtually impossible these days to watch the news, surf the Net, or get on Facebook and Twitter without hearing something about homosexuality. Presently, in Alabama, there is major row about same-sex marriage, and the Supreme Court is slated to rule on the subject in the coming months. It is often the case that those who call themselves Christians say mean-spirited, hateful things about homosexuals. And it is often the case that homosexuals falsely accuse all Christians who oppose homosexuality of being homophobes.
How can we engage this subject and offer a reasonable approach to both sides of the issue? First, we must insist that Christians should behave in a way that represents the spirit of Christ. Simply because a person calls himself or herself a Christian does not mean that his/her views actually represent Christ and His teachings in the New Testament. Second, just because a person is offended by a statement does not mean the statement is mean-spirited or hateful.
With these ideas in mind, it would be helpful to establish a foundational truth from the Bible. God is love and He wants everyone to be saved. Any person who has read through the Bible understands that one of its greatest themes is love. The Bible also explains that God showed His love to us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:6-8 states:
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
In one of the most well-known “love” verses in the Bible, Jesus said: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God’s love for the lost world was shown before the lost believed in Jesus. John further explained this situation when he wrote: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). From these verses it is clear that God loves lost sinners, and proved that love by sending Jesus. God loves all people, even though people are sinners.
God’s love for sinners extends to all types of sins. God loves murderers. God loves thieves. God loves hypocrites. God loves those who are apathetic to His Word. God loves child abusers. God loves those who curse. God loves self-righteous people. God loves you, and He loves me. Now, when we look to the Bible, we can see that homosexuality is a sin. There is only one relationship in which God approves of sexual activity and that is between one man and one woman in a committed, covenant marriage (see Butt, 2012). If the idea that homosexuality is a sin comes across as offensive, there is simply nothing a Christian can say or do to change that.
In light of the fact that homosexuality is a sin, what is God’s attitude toward those who practice it? The answer to that was shown in Jesus’ death on the cross. Sin breaks God’s heart, because He loves all humans that He created (John 3:16). God wants all people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4), and He insists that sinners, for their own sake, need to turn away from their sins and come to Him (Acts 2:38). God loves those who practice homosexuality just as much as He loves those who misrepresent His teaching with mean-spirited, hateful language.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, we read a list of terms that describe sinful behavior that will keep people from being saved. Idolatry is on the list, as well as drunkenness and thievery. In addition, various sexual sins are listed, including those who engage in sex before marriage, those who have sex with people who are not their spouses, and those who practice homosexuality. All of these actions are sinful. At the end of the section, in verse 11, Paul explained to the Corinthians that they used to be involved in those practices. He wrote: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” The Corinthians admitted they were sinning, changed their sinful ways, and turned to the God Who loves them and died for them. God requires this repentance from everyone.
In light of the fact that God loves all sinners, including those who practice homosexuality, it is clear that Christians should have the same attitude as God. Christians who are following the example of their Lord Jesus Christ love homosexuals and want what is the very best for them. Loving Christians point out that homosexuality is a sin— not to be homophobic or mean-spirited— but because each and every soul is important. They do not want anyone to be lost. If homosexuality is a sin, and a person will be lost if he or she does not repent, then the only loving course of action is to kindly and gently explain this fact in the hopes that those who are sinning will repent and get to live forever in heaven with their God and Creator.
So, when we ask the very relevant question, “Does God love homosexuals?” we need to understand it is virtually the same question as “Does God love hypocrites?” or “Does God love those who look at pornography?” or “Does God love those who are mean-spirited?” The answer is a resounding, “Yes.” And God put an exclamation point on His answer in the form of Jesus dying on the cross to save the sinners that He loves, as long as they will repent and turn to Him.

References

Butt, Kyle (2012), “‘Jesus Didn’t Condemn Homosexuality,’” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1627&topic=36.

From Jim McGuiggan... CHRIST AGAINST "THE WORLD"


CHRIST AGAINST "THE WORLD"

Nothing is worth preaching unless it is about God. The only God worth preaching about is the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. To preach about that God is to preach about a God who is the Creator and Father of the human family; a God who is what he chooses to be and has chosen to express his “Godhood” (and consequently to reveal) in creating humans to image him in their life and living.
The only God we know from Scripture is a God who did not choose to be God without us (Barth).
As the Bible tells it we humans refused to be content with being the image of God and chose to be gods, as wise as God and independent of God. God’s word to rebellious Israel speak the truth to the entire human family: “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its master, the donkey its owner’s manger, but Israel does not know...”
Because God chose to create us as he has done--humans and so interdependent two things happened, our corrupt rejection of God infected (and infects) the entire human family and the social structures by which humans live were corrupted and corrupting.
The “authorities” and “powers” that God created for the blessing and enrichment of human experience were shanghaied by the evil that we turned loose. Those structures—headed up by the rulers of the various human families--became powerful enemies of God’s holy and loving purpose. They became satanic and demonic and functioned to serve Satan.
Humans found themselves enslaved by something they let loose and were themselves corrupted and corrupted all around them. The (social and political) structures without which humans could not live were corrupted and they became powerful sources of corruption. The world became a planet in rebellion.
But God did not abandon his creation and he used the corrupt and corrupting powers to provide the creation goods that humanity must have to live. All this he did and does through “fallen” structures that remain corrupt (some more than others). Even corrupt governments must provide the needs of the governed or they perish—for, one way or another, with all the complexities that are involved in his work with humans who have the power of choice and the willingness to be violent, God brings them down. If they refuse to be “ministers of God for good” (Romans 13.4) he holds them accountable—they too reject their destiny and he holds them accountable.
Young men and women are corruptible and influence one another but schools, colleges, universities, financial institutions, forms of government, judicial systems, judges, presidents, prime ministers, kings and queens, teachers, military forces, police forces, senators, parliament members, capitalism and socialism and so forth compound the evils of human societies because they are more powerful than individuals. These life-shaping institutions and structures are themselves the agencies of invisible forces, satanic and demonic and people born into such a world are shaped by them.
These are what God seeks to rescue humans from; these are the forces Jesus met and defeated. Personal and individual sins matter of course—of course! But they are the outgrowth and visible expression of a vast “world” of evil that has enslaved us all.
But again, God did not abandon us nor has he abandoned us. In his own time (O God, how long?) he has worked with us and one of those ways is through a body of people called “the Church”—themselves sinners and with no claim to be superior to their fellow-humans--the Church that proclaims hope to the world; a living hope generated by God in and through Jesus Christ and his resurrection from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3-6. The offer of a new world and the joyful experience of that world is not for some elite—it’s God’s offer to the entire human family.
That is what Christians proclaim when they gather in repentance and commitment to God’s work in Jesus Christ in their Suppering with the living Lord Jesus on this coming Lord’s Day.
They proclaim a new world coming and invite all who long for that to join with them in a life of proclamation to the sad and hurting and desperate of the world!
They proclaim adventure to all those humans who find themselves bored with the tired sameness of a life without real war. How easy it is to jeer at the moral heroism of faith that defies cosmic evil via church attendance. But hear this: when men and women, girls and boys gather from here there and everywhere and eat a little bread and drink a little wine in honor of God and his Holy Son evil invisible powers take note and hear again the words of Jesus Christ about his death, “Now is the world judged!” (John 12:31) And at the Supper believers together say, “He’s returning and will right all wrongs.”
 

From Gary... Bible Reading August 3



Bible Reading   

August 3

The World English Bible


Aug. 3
2 Chronicles 34-36

2Ch 34:1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem.
2Ch 34:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, and walked in the ways of David his father, and didn't turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
2Ch 34:3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the Asherim, and the engraved images, and the molten images.
2Ch 34:4 They broke down the altars of the Baals in his presence; and the incense altars that were on high above them he cut down; and the Asherim, and the engraved images, and the molten images, he broke in pieces, and made dust of them, and strewed it on the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.
2Ch 34:5 He burnt the bones of the priests on their altars, and purged Judah and Jerusalem.
2Ch 34:6 So did he in the cities of Manasseh and Ephraim and Simeon, even to Naphtali, around in their ruins.
2Ch 34:7 He broke down the altars, and beat the Asherim and the engraved images into powder, and cut down all the incense altars throughout all the land of Israel, and returned to Jerusalem.
2Ch 34:8 Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of Yahweh his God.
2Ch 34:9 They came to Hilkiah the high priest, and delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites, the keepers of the threshold, had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin, and of the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
2Ch 34:10 They delivered it into the hand of the workmen who had the oversight of the house of Yahweh; and the workmen who labored in the house of Yahweh gave it to mend and repair the house;
2Ch 34:11 even to the carpenters and to the builders gave they it, to buy cut stone, and timber for couplings, and to make beams for the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed.
2Ch 34:12 The men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to set it forward; and others of the Levites, all who were skillful with instruments of music.
2Ch 34:13 Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and set forward all who did the work in every manner of service: and of the Levites there were scribes, and officers, and porters.
2Ch 34:14 When they brought out the money that was brought into the house of Yahweh, Hilkiah the priest found the book of the law of Yahweh given by Moses.
2Ch 34:15 Hilkiah answered Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of Yahweh. Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan.
2Ch 34:16 Shaphan carried the book to the king, and moreover brought back word to the king, saying, All that was committed to your servants, they are doing.
2Ch 34:17 They have emptied out the money that was found in the house of Yahweh, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and into the hand of the workmen.
2Ch 34:18 Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest has delivered me a book. Shaphan read therein before the king.
2Ch 34:19 It happened, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he tore his clothes.
2Ch 34:20 The king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying,
2Ch 34:21 Go inquire of Yahweh for me, and for those who are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found; for great is the wrath of Yahweh that is poured out on us, because our fathers have not kept the word of Yahweh, to do according to all that is written in this book.
2Ch 34:22 So Hilkiah, and they whom the king had commanded, went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she lived in Jerusalem in the second quarter;) and they spoke to her to that effect.
2Ch 34:23 She said to them, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you to me,
2Ch 34:24 Thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will bring evil on this place, and on its inhabitants, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah.
2Ch 34:25 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore is my wrath poured out on this place, and it shall not be quenched.
2Ch 34:26 But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of Yahweh, thus you shall tell him, Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel: As touching the words which you have heard,
2Ch 34:27 because your heart was tender, and you humbled yourself before God, when you heard his words against this place, and against its inhabitants, and have humbled yourself before me, and have torn your clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard you, says Yahweh.
2Ch 34:28 Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, neither shall your eyes see all the evil that I will bring on this place, and on its inhabitants. They brought back word to the king.
2Ch 34:29 Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem.
2Ch 34:30 The king went up to the house of Yahweh, and all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, both great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 34:31 The king stood in his place, and made a covenant before Yahweh, to walk after Yahweh, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book.
2Ch 34:32 He caused all who were found in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it. The inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers.
2Ch 34:33 Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all who were found in Israel to serve, even to serve Yahweh their God. All his days they didn't depart from following Yahweh, the God of their fathers.
2Ch 35:1 Josiah kept a Passover to Yahweh in Jerusalem: and they killed the Passover on the fourteenth day of the first month.
2Ch 35:2 He set the priests in their offices, and encouraged them to the service of the house of Yahweh.
2Ch 35:3 He said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to Yahweh, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; there shall no more be a burden on your shoulders: now serve Yahweh your God, and his people Israel.
2Ch 35:4 Prepare yourselves after your fathers' houses by your divisions, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son.
2Ch 35:5 Stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the fathers' houses of your brothers the children of the people, and let there be for each a portion of a fathers' house of the Levites.
2Ch 35:6 Kill the Passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare for your brothers, to do according to the word of Yahweh by Moses.
2Ch 35:7 Josiah gave to the children of the people, of the flock, lambs and kids, all of them for the Passover offerings, to all who were present, to the number of thirty thousand, and three thousand bulls: these were of the king's substance.
2Ch 35:8 His princes gave for a freewill offering to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah and Zechariah and Jehiel, the rulers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings two thousand and six hundred small livestock, and three hundred head of cattle.
2Ch 35:9 Conaniah also, and Shemaiah and Nethanel, his brothers, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, the chiefs of the Levites, gave to the Levites for the Passover offerings five thousand small livestock, and five hundred head of cattle.
2Ch 35:10 So the service was prepared, and the priests stood in their place, and the Levites by their divisions, according to the king's commandment.
2Ch 35:11 They killed the Passover, and the priests sprinkled the blood which they received of their hand, and the Levites flayed them.
2Ch 35:12 They removed the burnt offerings, that they might give them according to the divisions of the fathers' houses of the children of the people, to offer to Yahweh, as it is written in the book of Moses. So did they with the cattle.
2Ch 35:13 They roasted the Passover with fire according to the ordinance: and the holy offerings boiled they in pots, and in caldrons, and in pans, and carried them quickly to all the children of the people.
2Ch 35:14 Afterward they prepared for themselves, and for the priests, because the priests the sons of Aaron were busied in offering the burnt offerings and the fat until night: therefore the Levites prepared for themselves, and for the priests the sons of Aaron.
2Ch 35:15 The singers the sons of Asaph were in their place, according to the commandment of David, and Asaph, and Heman, and Jeduthun the king's seer; and the porters were at every gate: they didn't need to depart from their service; for their brothers the Levites prepared for them.
2Ch 35:16 So all the service of Yahweh was prepared the same day, to keep the Passover, and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of Yahweh, according to the commandment of king Josiah.
2Ch 35:17 The children of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, and the feast of unleavened bread seven days.
2Ch 35:18 There was no Passover like that kept in Israel from the days of Samuel the prophet; neither did any of the kings of Israel keep such a Passover as Josiah kept, and the priests, and the Levites, and all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
2Ch 35:19 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah was this Passover kept.
2Ch 35:20 After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Neco king of Egypt went up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him.
2Ch 35:21 But he sent ambassadors to him, saying, What have I to do with you, you king of Judah? I come not against you this day, but against the house with which I have war; and God has commanded me to make haste: beware that it is God who is with me, that he not destroy you.
2Ch 35:22 Nevertheless Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself, that he might fight with him, and didn't listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, and came to fight in the valley of Megiddo.
2Ch 35:23 The archers shot at king Josiah; and the king said to his servants, Have me away; for I am sore wounded.
2Ch 35:24 So his servants took him out of the chariot, and put him in the second chariot that he had, and brought him to Jerusalem; and he died, and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.
2Ch 35:25 Jeremiah lamented for Josiah: and all the singing men and singing women spoke of Josiah in their lamentations to this day; and they made them an ordinance in Israel: and behold, they are written in the lamentations.
2Ch 35:26 Now the rest of the acts of Josiah, and his good deeds, according to that which is written in the law of Yahweh,
2Ch 35:27 and his acts, first and last, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.

2Ch 36:1 Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father's place in Jerusalem.
2Ch 36:2 Joahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months in Jerusalem.
2Ch 36:3 The king of Egypt deposed him at Jerusalem, and fined the land one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold.
2Ch 36:4 The king of Egypt made Eliakim his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. Neco took Joahaz his brother, and carried him to Egypt.
2Ch 36:5 Jehoiakim was Twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh his God.
2Ch 36:6 Against him came up Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon.
2Ch 36:7 Nebuchadnezzar also carried of the vessels of the house of Yahweh to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon.
2Ch 36:8 Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and his abominations which he did, and that which was found in him, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah: and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place.
2Ch 36:9 Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh.
2Ch 36:10 At the return of the year king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of Yahweh, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem.
2Ch 36:11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem:
2Ch 36:12 and he did that which was evil in the sight of Yahweh his God; he didn't humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of Yahweh.
2Ch 36:13 He also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart against turning to Yahweh, the God of Israel.
2Ch 36:14 Moreover all the chiefs of the priests, and the people, trespassed very greatly after all the abominations of the nations; and they polluted the house of Yahweh which he had made holy in Jerusalem.
2Ch 36:15 Yahweh, the God of their fathers, sent to them by his messengers, rising up early and sending, because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling place:
2Ch 36:16 but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and scoffed at his prophets, until the wrath of Yahweh arose against his people, until there was no remedy.
2Ch 36:17 Therefore he brought on them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, old man or gray-headed: he gave them all into his hand.
2Ch 36:18 All the vessels of the house of God, great and small, and the treasures of the house of Yahweh, and the treasures of the king, and of his princes, all these he brought to Babylon.
2Ch 36:19 They burnt the house of God, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem, and burnt all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all the goodly vessels of it.
2Ch 36:20 He carried those who had escaped from the sword away to Babylon; and they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:
2Ch 36:21 to fulfill the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths: for as long as it lay desolate it kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.
2Ch 36:22 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
2Ch 36:23 Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth has Yahweh, the God of heaven, given me; and he has commanded me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all his people, Yahweh his God be with him, and let him go up.

 
Aug. 3, 4
Acts 20

Act 20:1 After the uproar had ceased, Paul sent for the disciples, took leave of them, and departed to go into Macedonia.
Act 20:2 When he had gone through those parts, and had encouraged them with many words, he came into Greece.
Act 20:3 When he had spent three months there, and a plot was made against him by Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he determined to return through Macedonia.
Act 20:4 These accompanied him as far as Asia: Sopater of Beroea; Aristarchus and Secundus of the Thessalonians; Gaius of Derbe; Timothy; and Tychicus and Trophimus of Asia.
Act 20:5 But these had gone ahead, and were waiting for us at Troas.
Act 20:6 We sailed away from Philippi after the days of Unleavened Bread, and came to them at Troas in five days, where we stayed seven days.
Act 20:7 On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and continued his speech until midnight.
Act 20:8 There were many lights in the upper chamber where we were gathered together.
Act 20:9 A certain young man named Eutychus sat in the window, weighed down with deep sleep. As Paul spoke still longer, being weighed down by his sleep, he fell down from the third story, and was taken up dead.
Act 20:10 Paul went down, and fell upon him, and embracing him said, "Don't be troubled, for his life is in him."
Act 20:11 When he had gone up, and had broken bread, and eaten, and had talked with them a long while, even until break of day, he departed.
Act 20:12 They brought the boy in alive, and were greatly comforted.
Act 20:13 But we who went ahead to the ship set sail for Assos, intending to take Paul aboard there, for he had so arranged, intending himself to go by land.
Act 20:14 When he met us at Assos, we took him aboard, and came to Mitylene.
Act 20:15 Sailing from there, we came the following day opposite Chios. The next day we touched at Samos and stayed at Trogyllium, and the day after we came to Miletus.
Act 20:16 For Paul had determined to sail past Ephesus, that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening, if it were possible for him, to be in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost.
Act 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called to himself the elders of the assembly.
Act 20:18 When they had come to him, he said to them, "You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you all the time,
Act 20:19 serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears, and with trials which happened to me by the plots of the Jews;
Act 20:20 how I didn't shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, teaching you publicly and from house to house,
Act 20:21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus.
Act 20:22 Now, behold, I go bound by the Spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there;
Act 20:23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions wait for me.
Act 20:24 But these things don't count; nor do I hold my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to fully testify to the Good News of the grace of God.
Act 20:25 "Now, behold, I know that you all, among whom I went about preaching the Kingdom of God, will see my face no more.
Act 20:26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am clean from the blood of all men,
Act 20:27 for I didn't shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.
Act 20:28 Take heed, therefore, to yourselves, and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the assembly of the Lord and God which he purchased with his own blood.
Act 20:29 For I know that after my departure, vicious wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Act 20:30 Men will arise from among your own selves, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.
Act 20:31 Therefore watch, remembering that for a period of three years I didn't cease to admonish everyone night and day with tears.
Act 20:32 Now, brothers, I entrust you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build up, and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Act 20:33 I coveted no one's silver, or gold, or clothing.
Act 20:34 You yourselves know that these hands served my necessities, and those who were with me.
Act 20:35 In all things I gave you an example, that so laboring you ought to help the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.' "
Act 20:36 When he had spoken these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.
Act 20:37 They all wept a lot, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him,
Act 20:38 sorrowing most of all because of the word which he had spoken, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.