11/17/15

From Mark Copeland... Homosexuality A Christian Perspective Is It Possible To Overcome Homosexuality?

Homosexuality

A Christian Perspective

Is It Possible To Overcome Homosexuality?
Of course, those who believe that homosexuality is "something you are born with" would take great issue with the idea that it is possible to change or otherwise "overcome" their homosexuality. But there are at least two reasons why I am convinced that it IS possible...

THE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE

As indicated earlier, the scientific arena is one than can be easily "tainted" by presuppositions or political correctness (even "religious" correctness). For this reason, it will be a long time before adequate research can be done that will come close to resolving this issue conclusively. But research from impartial sources has indicated that it is possible to overcome homosexuality...
Masters & Johnson, well-known researchers in human sexuality, reported in their book Homosexuality In Perspective a 67% success rate in their helping homosexuals revert to heterosexual behavior. I doubt anyone could accuse Masters & Johnson of being motivated by religious prejudices in their reporting!
Also, in an article published in the American Journal Of Psychiatry (December, 1980), E. Mansell Pattison, M.D., and Myrna Loy Pattison, from the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior, Medical College of Georgia, documented eleven cases of men who claim to have changed their sexual orientation from exclusively homosexuality to exclusive heterosexuality through involvement in a church fellowship.
This leads to the second reason why I believe it IS possible to overcome homosexuality...

THE BIBLICAL EVIDENCE

In writing to the church at Corinth, a city known for its immorality, Paul warns them:
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor HOMOSEXUALS, nor SODOMITES, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God." (1Co 6:9-10)
Notice, as we have seen earlier, that Paul includes homosexuality as conduct that can keep one out of the kingdom of God. But then Paul says something that should give great hope to those who are willing to believe that it IS possible to overcome homosexuality...
"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." (1Co 6:11)
Through the blood of Jesus Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit, it IS possible for a homosexual to be forgiven and to be sanctified (set apart for a holy purpose)!
This is not to say that it is easy. As with all sinners, forgiveness can be received immediately when united with Christ in His death through baptism. But living the kind of "sanctified" life required of all Christians is one that requires a "transformation" which occurs in time as we submit our minds and bodies to the transforming and strengthening power of the Holy Spirit!
How this process of transformation can be applied to overcoming homosexuality will be discussed in thenext lesson...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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The Flood and Mosaic Authorship by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=1458

The Flood and Mosaic Authorship

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

In a special 2004 collector’s edition of U.S. News and World Report concerning “Mysteries of the Bible,” freelance writer Michelle Andrews penned an article titled “Author, Author?,” in which she attempted to enlighten her readers on who did not write the Pentateuch. For those familiar with the Documentary Hypothesis (the theory that the books of Genesis through Deuteronomy were not penned by Moses, but by multiple authors centuries later), Andrews’ material is nothing new. As she rightly pointed out, the theory (which she supports) has been actively taught by various Bible critics and “scholars” for more than 150 years. Her purpose, it seems, was simply to ensure that U.S. News’readership was educated on this matter. Apparently, we can't have Americans in the twenty-first century still thinking that the Pentateuch was written by a man named Moses in 1500 B.C. (regardless of what Jesus taught; see John 5:46-47).
What compelling evidence did Ms. Andrews cite as proof that numerous authors wrote these books hundreds, or perhaps even one thousand, years after Moses lived? Her most explosive “proof,” and the “evidence" on which she spent more time than anything else, is the fact that… “there are two versions of the story of Noah and the flood” (2004a, p. 28). Allegedly,
In one version, God tells Noah to bring seven pairs of clean animals (meaning suitable for sacrifice) and one pair of unclean animals, while in the other he tells Noah to bring just one pair of each type of animal….
In one story, Noah releases a raven to search for land; in the other, he releases a dove. The flood lasts for 40 days and 40 nights in one version, but for a whopping 370 days and nights in the other. The two versions are cleverly interwoven in Genesis so that they appear as one story, albeit with a few contradictions (pp. 28-29).
Sadly, a large number of Americans turn to secular major news magazines such as TimeNewsweek, and U.S. News and World Report for their “daily devotionals,” rather than to the Bible, where they could read the real, unadulterated message from God (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17). The fact is, Michelle Andrews incorrectly represented God’s Word (which is nothing new for anti-Christian news outlets in twenty-first-century America). In all three of the examples she cited from Genesis 6-8 regarding the Noahic Flood, Andrews failed to realize that supplementation is an acceptable, reasonable explanation to the alleged difficulties and contradictions she assumes are present.
First, the statements concerning how many animals were to be taken on the ark are neither contradictory nor proof that two or more authors wrote the book of Genesis. There is no reason why God could not have told Noah to take two of every kind of animal on the ark (Genesis 6:19-20), and then supplement this command only four verses later by telling him to take “seven each of every clean animal” (Genesis 7:2-3). If a farmer told his son to take two of every kind of animal on his farm to the state fair, and then instructed him to take several extra chickens and two extra pigs for a barbecue, would anyone accuse the farmer of contradicting himself? Certainly not! In the book of Genesis, God merely supplemented His original instruction, informing Noah in a more detailed manner to take more of the clean animals. It was necessary for Noah to take additional clean animals because, upon his departure from the ark after the Flood, he “built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the alter” (Genesis 8:20, emp. added). If Noah had taken only two clean animals from which to choose when sacrificing to God after departing the ark, then he would have driven the various kinds of clean beasts and birds into extinction by sacrificing one of each pair. Thus, after God told Noah to take two of every kind of animal into the ark, He then instructed him to take extras of the clean animals. Similar to how Genesis 2 supplements Genesis 1 by giving a more detailed account of the Creation, the first portion of Genesis 7 merely supplements the end of the preceding chapter, “containing several particulars of a minute description which were not embraced in the general directions first given to Noah” (Jamieson, et al., 1997).
Michelle Andrews’ second criticism of the Flood account, concerning whether Noah sent out a raven or a dove from the ark, is answered just as easily as her first proposed difficulty. This example is neither proof that two authors wrote the account, nor that the account is contradictory. Rather, Noah did just what the text said that he did: he sent out a raven, first (Genesis 8:7), and then, on three different occasions, he sent out a dove (Genesis 8:8-12).
Andrews’ final alleged proof that the Flood account is really “two versions…cleverly interwoven in Genesis so that they appear as one story, albeit with a few contradictions” (pp. 28-29) centers on the duration of the Flood. Supposedly, “[t]he flood lasts for 40 days and 40 nights in one version, but for a whopping 370 days and nights in the other” (p. 28). What is the answer? The elementary explanation to this alleged conundrum, which Andrews had the audacity to set before her readers without telling them the true story, is that God caused it “to rain on the earth forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:4), but the land was still covered with water, and Noah was not allowed out of the ark, for another 331 days (Genesis 7:24; 8:5-16). There is a difference between how long it rained on the Earth, and how long the floodwaters actually remained upon the Earth.
It is sad that writers such as Michelle Andrews are more concerned about propagating an old, worn-out theory (using false statements and deception) than they are about honestly presenting the truths of the Bible. It seems that a person cannot be considered a “Bible scholar” in the twenty-first century unless he or she is willing and able to twist the Scriptures so that they say, not the obvious, but the ridiculous. Even my four-year-old son can understand the difference between it raining on the Earth for forty days, and the floodwaters being on the Earth for a much longer time than that. People like Michelle Andrews, a freelance writer who specializes in health care, should stick to writing about things like “The Secret to Great Arms” (n.d.) or “Staking Out Safe Entrees” (2004b), and leave the Bible alone—at least until she is willing to look at it with an open mind.

REFERENCES

Andrews, Michelle (no date), “The Secret to Great Arms,” [On-line], URL: http://www.lifetimetv.com/reallife/df/features/arms.html.
Andrews, Michelle (2004a), “Author, Author?” U.S. News & World Report—Special Collector’s Edition, released in the fall of 2004, pp. 28-29.
Andrews, Michelle (2004b), “Staking Out Safe Entrees,” U.S. News & World Report, February 2, pp. 57-58.
Jamieson, Robert, et al. (1997), Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Bible Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).

Proving Your Faith by Wayne Jackson, M.A.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1361

Proving Your Faith

by Wayne Jackson, M.A.

How do we know that Jesus Christ is truly the Son of God? Is our faith based merely upon tradition? Is faith the result of religious fanaticism? No, genuine faith stands firmly upon evidence.
After the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, the newly appointed apostle entered the Jewish synagogues and “proclaimed Jesus, that he is the son of God” (Acts 9:20). His message continually amazed those who heard it. It seemed incredible that one who had so opposed the Christian Way could now be one of its most zealous advocates. The historian Luke informed his readers that Saul increased in strength, and he “confounded the Jews that lived in Damascus, proving that this is the Christ” (Acts 9:22).
Of interest in this passage is the term “proving.” It is a translation of the Greek word sumbibazon. It is a present tense participle form, which suggests that Paul's preaching was characterized consistently by a demonstrative line of argumentation. The original term, from an etymological viewpoint means “to bring together,” as when, for example, parts of the body are brought together (i.e., tied together) by sinew, ligament, etc. (see Ephesians 4:16).
In the context of Acts 9:22, the word connotes bringing together pieces of information from which a logical conclusion is drawn. In “proving” to the Jews that Jesus is the “Christ” (i.e., the promised Old Testament Messiah), Paul would have: (1) introduced specific Old Testament prophecies concerning the coming Messiah; (2) compared those predictions with factual data that pertained to Jesus of Nazareth; and, (3) from the preceding, he would have drawn irresistible conclusions that no rational and honest person could deny.
The critic who alleges that Christianity is merely emotional, and not intellectual, simply does not know the facts.

Divine Design and the Pine Tree by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=1557

Divine Design and the Pine Tree

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The naturalistic explanation given by evolutionists for the existence of the created order cannot meet the dictates of logic that characterize the unencumbered, unprejudiced human mind. The more one investigates the intricacies and complexities of the natural realm, the more self-evident it is that a grand and great Designer is responsible for the existence of the Universe. In fact, the evidence is overwhelming and decisive.
Take, for example, the pine tree. Some 120 species and subspecies of the pine tree exist worldwide (“What Are...?,” n.d.). The Ponderosa pine tree (pinus ponderosa) is one of America’s abundant tree species, covering approximately 27 million acres of land (“Ponderosa Pine,” 1995). A young Ponderosa pine has brownish-black bark that changes to a distinctive orange-brown color as the tree grows older. The bark is segmented into large plate-like structures whose appearance has been likened to a jigsaw puzzle. This unusual design has a purpose. If the tree catches fire, these plates pop off as the bark burns. The tree, in effect, sheds its burning bark! This design, along with the great thickness of the bark, allows the tree to be very resistant to low intensity fires (“Ponderosa Pine,” n.d.). Since design demands a designer, who is responsible for this intricate design?
Ponderosa bark
Ponderosa bark
Courtesy sxc.hu and Jesse Adams
Another species of pine tree is the Lodgepole Pine (pinus contorta), so named since Native Americans used Lodgepole pine for the “lodge poles” in their tepees. This amazing pine tree grows cones that are slightly smaller than a golf ball, are tan when fresh, but turn gray with age. These serotinous cones remain closed until the heat of a forest fire causes them to open. After the fire, the cones open and reseed the forest. The species thus regenerates itself—even though the forest fire kills the tree itself (“Lodgepole Pine,” n.d.). Since such design demands a designer, who is responsible for this ingenious design?
Yet another species of pine tree is the Whitebark Pine (pinus albicaulis). This tree possesses a symbiotic relationship with a bird species known as the Clark’s Nutcracker. The tree is dependent on this bird for reproduction, while the seed of the tree is a major source of food for the bird. This mutualistic relationship is further seen in the fact that Whitebark pinecones do not open and cast seed when they are ripe. The cones remain closed until the Nutcracker comes along, pries the cone open with its bill, and stores the seed within a pouch beneath its tongue. The bird then caches the seed to be used later as a food supply. Some of these seed caches are forgotten, or are not needed, thus enabling the tree to reproduce (“Whitebark Pine,” n.d.). Such amazing design—with no Mind behind it? Illogical!
Ponderosa bark
Ponderosa pine tree
Courtesy bigstockphotos.com and Angela McElroy
The interdependent, interconnected, interpenetrating features of God’s Creation are beyond the capability of man to trace out—let alone to “manage” or “assist.” Neither a pine tree nor a pinecone is sentient. They have no thinking capacity or consciousness. They possess no personhood, soul, or spirit. Pine trees did not get together and discuss the threat of forest fires to their future survival, and then decide to produce pinecones that would remain closed during a fire only to open afterwards. The standard explanations by evolutionists for such wonders of creation are incoherent and nonsensical. Elihu reminded Job: “Behold, God is exalted in His power; Who is a teacher like Him? Who has appointed Him His way, and who has said, ‘You have done wrong’? Remember that you should exalt His work, of which men have sung. All men have seen it; man beholds from afar” (Job 36:22-25—NASB).
Indeed, the realm of nature literally shouts forth the reality of the all-powerful Maker Who alone accounts for the intelligent design of the created order. As the psalmist so eloquently affirmed: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.... There is no speech, nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4). Indeed, “since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made” (Romans 1:20). Only a foolish person would conclude there is no God (Psalm 14:1).

REFERENCES

“Lodgepole Pine” (no date), USDA Forest Service, [On-line], URL: http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/helena/resources/trees/LodgepolePine.shtml.
“Ponderosa Pine” (no date), USDA Forest Service, [On-line], URL: http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/helena/resources/trees/PonderosaPine.shtml.
“Ponderosa Pine” (1995), Western Wood Products Association, [On-line], URL: http://www.wwpa.org/ppine.htm.
“What Are Pine Trees?” (no date), The Lovett Pinetum Charitable Foundation, [On-line], URL: http://www.lovett-pinetum.org/1whatare.htm.
“Whitebark Pine” (no date), USDA Forest Service, [On-line], URL: http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/helena/resources/trees/WhitebarkPine.shtml.

Marriage Defined by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=4365

Marriage Defined

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

As legislators are fighting over the legitimacy of same-sex marriages, activist judges are claiming constitutional sanction in their redefining of marriage, and the rank and file citizens of these United States are embroiled in a polarizing culture war, it is nevertheless unthinkable that the President of these United States has announced his approval of homosexuality. If God exists and the Bible is His revealed Word, then America is facing imminent peril. The evaporation of Christian principles from American civilization will lead to the extinction of civility, freedom, and morality.
In the midst of such depressing circumstances, the spiritually minded may find refreshment in the words of bygone U.S. Supreme Courts. For example, in the 1885 case of Murphy v. Ramsey that addressed the legitimacy of polygamy, the high court declared:
For certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the coordinate States of the Union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one womanin the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guaranty of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement (1885, emp. added).
Observe that the high Court insisted that the stability of a nation and its proper progress rely on the home composed of one man for one woman for life—the precise declaration of God Himself (Genesis 2:24). For most of American history, courts have had no trouble recognizing and reaffirming the idea of the family and the historic definition of marriage. Such thinking was in complete agreement with and based upon the Bible (Genesis 2:24).
In another U.S. Supreme Court case, Reynolds v. United States, after conceding the constitutional right to freedom of religion, the high court nevertheless repudiated polygamy as a punishable offense against society and reaffirmed the foundational importance of monogamy: “Marriage, while from its very nature a sacred obligation, is nevertheless, in most civilized nations, a civil contract, and usually regulated by law. Upon it society may be said to be built” (1879, emp. added). Those legal sentiments reflected the views of the vast majority of Americans for the first 180+ years of American history. Departure from that social norm—one man and one woman—results in the destabilization of society.
No wonder in 1848, the Supreme Court of South Carolina articulated the sentiment of the Founders and early Americans regarding what will happen if Christian morality is abandoned:
What constitutes the standard of good morals? Is it not Christianity? There certainly is none other. Say that cannot be appealed to and...what would be good morals? The day of moral virtue in which we live would, in an instant, if that standard were abolished, lapse into the dark and murky night of pagan immorality (City Council of Charleston..., emp. added).
Practitioners of unscriptural divorce, homosexuality, and other sinister behaviors are slowly but surely eroding and dissolving the moral foundations of American civilization—what the Court called “the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization.” Will America awaken from this spiritual stupor? Will Christians rise up and react in time? The time has come for those who still retain their moral sensibilities to recognize that we are in a full-scale, unmistakable war—a culture war—a spiritual war of seismic proportions against the governmental authorities and cultural forces that now are openly hostile toward God, Christ, and the Bible. May we take heart and commit ourselves to this critical struggle, as we consider the words of God through Paul:
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians 6:10-13, emp. added).

REFERENCES

City Council of Charleston v. Benjamin (1848), 2 Strob. L. 508 (S.C. 1848).
Murphy v. Ramsey (1885), 114 U.S. 15; 5 S. Ct. 747; 29 L. Ed. 47; 1885 U.S. LEXIS 1732.
Reynolds v. United States (1879), 98 U.S. 145; 25 L. Ed. 244; 1878 U.S. LEXIS 1374; 8 Otto 145.

Is Marriage a "Good" Thing? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.



http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=664&b=Genesis

Is Marriage a "Good" Thing?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Generally, marriage is looked upon by the world around us as a good and acceptable institution. Since the commencement of time, the universal law has been that marriage is proper and beneficial. On the very day that God created the first man, He stated: “It is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18); thus He created a wife for Adam (2:21-24). Everything God had created and examined up until that point had been “good” (1:4,10,21,25). The one thing He stated as being “not good,” however, was man’s lack of human companionship. Therefore, God created woman to be man’s helper and lifelong companion. It was only after her creation (at the end of the six days) that we read for the first time His creation was “very good” (1:31).
Although other biblical passages confirm that “marriage is honorable among all” (Hebrews 13:4), and that “he who finds a wife finds a good thing” (Proverbs 18:22), some have questioned the reliability of the Creation account in light of Paul’s assessments of marriage in his first letter to the Corinthian church. In this epistle he wrote the following:
“It is good for a man not to touch a woman” (7:1).
“I wish that all men were even as I myself [i.e., not married— EL]” (7:7).
“I say to the unmarried and to the widows: It is good for them if they remain even as I am” (7:8).
“It is good for a man to remain as he is” (7:26).
It is alleged by some that Paul’s analysis of marriage is in opposition to the view found in the Creation account. Whereas God said, “it is not good that man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18, emp. added), Paul told the Corinthian church that “it is good” to remain single. Can these two views of marriage be reconciled? Or is this a legitimate contradiction?
As is often the case, the verses in 1 Corinthians only present a problem because the context of chapter 7 has been overlooked. The reader must understand that Paul is responding to questions he received in a letter from the Corinthians (7:1). Obviously some of the questions pertained to marriage, and whether or not the apostle deemed it advisable. What many people overlook is that the questions were asked, and Paul’s responses were offered, in light of “the present distress” that the Corinthians were facing. Likely, the members of the church at Corinth had asked him whether or not it was proper for a Christian to marry in their present circumstances. In 7:26, Paul wrote: “I suppose therefore that this is good because of the present distress —that it is good for a man to remain as he is [single—EL]” (1 Corinthians 7:26, emp. added). Exactly what “the present distress” was at this time is unknown, but it likely involved oppression and persecution at the hands of the Romans (possibly Emperor Nero).
Whatever the precise “distress” was in Corinth, it is clear that God inspired Paul to write that it was in their best interest to remain unmarried. Perhaps he wanted to spare them situations like someone telling them they would have to either deny Christ or see a family member put to death (cf. Jeremiah 16:1-4). Even today, if a person is aware that severe persecution is imminent, he likely will delay getting married and having children. When Jesus spoke about the “great distress” that would come upon Jerusalem, He specifically warned “those who are pregnant” and “those who are nursing babies” (Luke 21:23). Jesus informed them that they would have greater difficulties surviving “the edge of the sword” that would come upon Jerusalem (Luke 21:24; cf. Matthew 24:19-21). Similarly, Paul advised those in Corinth to remain unmarried “because of the present distress” (1 Corinthians 7:26).
The Bible teaching on marriage is clear to the unbiased reader: marriage is indeed “ honorable among all” (Hebrews 13:4), and since the beginning it normally has been “good” for mankind (Genesis 2:18). In certain instances, however, it might be inadvisable. The apostle Paul mentions one such case in 1 Corinthians 7.

From Jim McGuiggan... HERBIE'S COMMITMENT & MINE

HERBIE'S COMMITMENT & MINE

So the nine or ten year-old Herbie has heard that God needs volunteers to fight the war against the satanic and demonic forces that sweep the world into moral lunacy, cruelty and heartlessness and impurity! It’s going to be a long hard brawl with a lot of pain and loss but it’s the right war and it’s a war that God and his companions will win! Sensing that and with the beauty and innocence that can be found in the hearts of children the boy writes: “Dear God, count me in! Your friend, Herbie.” *  
There’s commitment!
I don’t know that my commitment was ever that pure or innocent but like millions of others I can’t deny that whatever was in me I gave it and whatever is in me I give it still. Mine wasn’t and isn’t Herbie’s personal commitment for his personal commitment was wrapped up in and shaped by his unique personhood and heart—only he could give his “count me in.”
Why is it then that his words move me so? Why do I want to make them mine? And I do! I really do! However wretched I feel myself to be at times there is something down in me that admires such a Herbian commitment and for me to admire it says something about me. I am one of the very many people whose inner wiring makes me more than reluctant to believe or say anything good about myself—it isn’t humility—it’s unhealthy; but it’s there and it is what it is.
[I don’t say God can’t or doesn’t use me for his good purposes—he does though for some people what I say on a couple of subjects is blasphemous or close to it. That might explain why the number of visitors to this site has dropped truly dramatically. In any case, some people think God uses me for good. My point is that God can use any of us for his good even if we don’t care for him or if we're truly unprofitable servants as I almost always see myself as being. Luke 17.10 is saying more than I'm saying here but that's for another time.]
Back to Herbie and me. I don’t at all like me [even though I believe God loves me and uses me for good from time to time] and yet I so admire the spirit of Herbie and that kind of thing delivers me from total unbridled self-dislike and the paralysis that that generates in some of us. There’s something down in me that admires something morally beautiful, something that I want to imitate, something I may not be able in this life to match but something I’d dearly long to be part of me, something I would love to be able to claim is mine also. I’ve given and do give what I’ve got but I admire more than I’ve given, more than I’ve been able to give. Still, what does that admiration or longing for what is better and lovelier say about me?
My commitment to God is real but it comes short of the purity and loveliness and innocence of a gallant little boy. I’m saying that because I am proud of him when I look at his gallantry and I hunger to be like him and that says something about me that can't be bad. God has been at work in me--there's no denying that. 
In the movie As Good As It Gets, the dysfunctional and compulsive Mr. Udhall is centered on himself and is abusive to all around him. He recognizes his insolence, his crass selfishness and isn’t capable of caring much about these traits…until he meets up with Carol the waitress. Getting to know her makes him aware of what he was already aware of and didn’t regret; now he doesn’t like himself; she and her way underscored his miserable and miserly persona. Later in desperation he gate-crashes his therapist’s office and gets no help there but Carol continues to influence him and while he isn’t “cured” he wants better and some of his speech and actions express that. As the movie closes Udhall feels some inner rays of hope, maybe he’s really changing for the better and just before they go into a cafeteria [him still skipping over the cracks in the pavement] he tells Carol that he sees fine things in her that other don’t see but the very fact that, “see them says something about me.” For him it was a sign that maybe down inside there was something more than weakness, rudeness, self-centeredness and such, something had wakened in him and he was glad to see it and he was going along with its flow.
I want to believe, can’t help believing that because I so admire Herbie and the glory of his commitment that that says something about me; maybe I'm not as wretched as I constantly tell myself I am. I want God to count me in, I want to call myself His friend. If there’s any truth in any of the above and it says something about me, it must say something about you too.
* See "Herbie's Prayer".
Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

From Roy Davison... The Lord your God is testing you



The Lord your God is testing you

“The LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 13:3).
Our life is a testing-ground for eternity. “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” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

We need to examine ourselves.

In preparation for a test, students review their work and check their knowledge. We must examine ourselves to see whether we are meeting God’s expectations. “Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the LORD” (Lamentations 3:40). “Let each one examine his own work” (Galatians 6:4). “Let a man examine himself” (1 Corinthians 11:28). “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.1 Test yourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5).
To effectively examine ourselves, it is helpful to know how God has tested mankind through the ages so we can understand how He is testing us now.

God tests everyone, including the righteous.

“His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The LORD tests the righteous” (Psalm 11:4, 5).
Belshazzar, king of Babylon, was terrified when he saw the handwriting on the wall: “Mene, mene, tekel, uphasin.” Daniel explained that “tekel” meant, “You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting” (see Daniel 5:25-28).
The most severe tests in the Bible were experienced by men of faith. Abraham was asked to offer his son;2 Job lost his children, lost his possessions, and his body was covered “with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head”;3 Joseph4 was sold into slavery by his own brothers and was imprisoned unjustly because of his integrity; Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den for faithfully praying to God.
These servants of God were strengthened by the trials they endured, and became examples of faith for others to follow down through the ages.

God tests our hearts and minds.

“The righteous God tests the hearts and minds” (Psalm 7:9). “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the hearts” (Proverbs 17:3).5
God explains: “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings” (Jeremiah 17:10).

God tests our faith and love.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:2, 3 NASB). When we remain faithful in spite of “various trials” it proves “the genuineness” of our faith (1 Peter 1:6, 7).
“The LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 13:3).

Faith and love are tested by obedience.

Abraham was tested to know whether he feared God. “Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham” (Genesis 22:1). After Abraham showed his willingness to offer Isaac, God said: “Now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me” (Genesis 22:12).
God gave the Sabbath command to test Israel. They were to gather manna on six days, but not on the seventh, “that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not” (Exodus 16:4).
Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15).

Faith and love are tested by hardship.

Israel was tested in the wilderness: “You shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what wasin your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:2, 3).6
Going through the Red Sea prefigured our baptism (1 Corinthians 10:1, 2). Entering the promised land prefigured our final rest (Hebrews 4:8-11). God tests us during our wanderings through the wilderness of this life.

God sometimes withdraws to test us. 

Hezekiah, one of the most faithful kings of Judah, was tested in this way: “God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart” (2 Chronicles 32:31).
Do you sometimes feel that God has forsaken you? He may be testing your faith and love. Remember that Jesus also felt forsaken by God when He was hanging on the cross for you (Matthew 27:46).

The Messiah refines His people by fire.

Referring to the promised Christ, God warned: “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like launderers’ soap.7 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver” (Malachi 3:2, 3).8
Metals are purged and refined by fire to remove impurities. Silver melts at 962°C. Gold melts at 1064°C.
When I was thirteen our class visited the Kaiser Steel Mill at Fontana, California. I vividly remember the white-hot liquid metal flowing from the bottom of the blast furnace into moulds. Huge hammers pounded large, red-hot ingots into glowing flat slabs of steel that were then rolled under great pressure into sheets. Heat and pressure are required to produce steel sheeting from iron ore.
Heat and pressure of a different kind refine the people of God. “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction” (Isaiah 48:10).
Jesus himself “learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8) and His followers share in His suffering. “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).
“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12, 13).
Jesus comforted the believers at Smyrna: “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10).

The fruitfulness of our faith is tested.

Jesus said: “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:1, 2).
Notice that all branches are cut. The fruitless are chopped off, the fruitful are pruned.

Our work will be tested by fire.

Paul writes: “I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:10-13).
This does not refer to our own salvation9 but to God’s testing those we teach. How we preach and worship can influence the type of people we attract and whether we build with straw or with precious stones.
Apostate churches use worldly means to entice people, such as imposing buildings, pageantry with colorful costumes, and instrumental music.
Some congregations build with straw by using worldly attractions to entice people, for example, with what they call a “contemporary service” with loud instrumental music. One young woman, who had attended such a service at what once had been a church of Christ, said, “It was great! We were up dancing10 on the tables!”
Some use worldly allurements to attract people in the hope that eventually their attention might be redirected to spiritual things. But how spiritual is this approach? Can we picture Paul and Barnabas playing “Christian rock” to draw a crowd?
Jesus said: “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (John 12:32). Paul declared: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).
They who resort to worldly attractions lack faith in the drawing power of Christ and the gospel!
Entertainment attracts straw. Gold, silver and precious stones are harder to find, but they can withstand the fire. Hearts of gold are won when we exalt Christ and give them what they cannot find elsewhere, the undiluted and unadulterated doctrine of Christ.

False religions test us.

God allowed the surrounding heathen nations to test Israel: “Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not heeded My voice, I also will no longer drive out before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died, so that through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the ways of the LORD, to walk in them as their fathers kept them, or not” (Judges 2:20-22).
In our time God allows denominations with their confusing, contradictory and unscriptural doctrines and practices to test our faith and love. Will we serve God simply as Christians, members of the one body, the church of Christ?11 Or do we prefer a denomination of human origin?

Miracles of false teachers test us.

To test people, God sometimes allows false teachers to perform wonders: “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’ - which you have not known - ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him” (Deuteronomy 13:1-4).
People are tested now the same way. Jesus warned: “For false christs and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:22).12
Certain denominations use apparitions, wonders and signs to lead people astray. Two examples:
In 1858 a girl of 14 in Lourdes, France claimed that Mary had appeared to her in a cave. Since then this has been used to encourage people to worship an image, which is contrary to God’s word (Exodus 20:4; 1 Corinthians 10:14).
There are people who claim to speak in tongues, yet women lead in their assemblies, something forbidden by God (1 Corinthians 14:34, 37).
By signs and wonders people are tested to see whether they want to obey God’s word or follow their own feelings and emotions.

We are tested by division.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “First of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you” (1 Corinthians 11:18, 19).
Jesus prayed for unity (John 17:20-23) but not for unity at the expense of truth. He prayed for unity based on God’s word (John 17:14, 17). When division comes - caused by people who depart from the truth - this “parting of the ways” purges and purifies the church. The unfaithful are chopped off, the faithful are pruned, and those who are approved can be recognized.

What have we learned?

“The LORD your God is testing you to know whether you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 13:3).
We need to examine ourselves. God tests the hearts and minds of the righteous. He tests our faith and love by means of obedience and hardship. He sometimes withdraws to test us. The Messiah refines His people by fire. The fruitfulness of our faith and the quality of our work are tested. False religions, lying wonders and division test our respect for God’s word. 
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God” (2 Timothy 2:15). Amen.
Roy Davison
Endnotes

1 To be “in the faith” is much more than merely believing that God exists. “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:6, 7). We are “in the faith” if we serve God according to the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 4).
2 “By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense” (Hebrews 11:17-19).
3 Job 2:7.
4 Referring to the trials of Joseph it is said, “The word of the LORD tested him” (Psalm 105:19; see verses 16-21).
5 David prayed: “I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness” (1 Chronicles 29:17). “Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my mind and my heart” (Psalm 26:2). Paul wrote: “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4).
6 Moses warned Israel not to forsake the Lord, “who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end” (Deuteronomy 8:15, 16).
7 Or “the lye soap of the fuller” referring to the cleansing and whitening of wool in preparation for cloth making.
8 “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, against the Man who is My Companion,” says the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; then I will turn My hand against the little ones. And it shall come to pass in all the land,” says the LORD, “that two- thirds in it shall be cut off and die, but one-third shall be left in it: I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The LORD is my God’” (Zechariah 13:7-9).
9 “If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:14, 15).
10 This was said several years ago. Recently, on February 27 & 28, 2015, this congregation held “Daddy Daughter” dances costing $25 per dad and $5 per daughter (ages 4 through 12). “Come for dancing, dinner, dessert, carriage ride, photo booth, and crafts!” (downloaded on February 28, 2015 from http://www.thehills.org).
11 The church is the body of Christ (Colossians 1:24) and there is only “one body” (Ephesians 4:4).
12 Paul explained: “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:9, 10).
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers, unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Published in The Old Paths Archive
http://www.oldpaths.com

From Gary... Bible Reading November 17


Bible Reading  

November 17

The World English Bible

Nov. 17
Jeremiah 18-21
Jer 18:1 The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying,
Jer 18:2 Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause you to hear my words.
Jer 18:3 Then I went down to the potter's house, and behold, he was making a work on the wheels.
Jer 18:4 When the vessel that he made of the clay was marred in the hand of the potter, he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Jer 18:5 Then the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Jer 18:6 House of Israel, can't I do with you as this potter? says Yahweh. Behold, as the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.
Jer 18:7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up and to break down and to destroy it;
Jer 18:8 if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do to them.
Jer 18:9 At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;
Jer 18:10 if they do that which is evil in my sight, that they not obey my voice, then I will repent of the good, with which I said I would benefit them.
Jer 18:11 Now therefore, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return you now everyone from his evil way, and amend your ways and your doings.
Jer 18:12 But they say, It is in vain; for we will walk after our own devices, and we will do everyone after the stubbornness of his evil heart.
Jer 18:13 Therefore thus says Yahweh: Ask you now among the nations, who has heard such things; the virgin of Israel has done a very horrible thing.
Jer 18:14 Shall the snow of Lebanon fail from the rock of the field? or shall the cold waters that flow down from afar be dried up?
Jer 18:15 For my people have forgotten me, they have burned incense to false gods; and they have been made to stumble in their ways, in the ancient paths, to walk in byways, in a way not built up;
Jer 18:16 to make their land an astonishment, and a perpetual hissing; everyone who passes thereby shall be astonished, and shake his head.
Jer 18:17 I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will show them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.
Jer 18:18 Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us strike him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.
Jer 18:19 Give heed to me, Yahweh, and listen to the voice of those who contend with me.
Jer 18:20 Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have dug a pit for my soul. Remember how I stood before you to speak good for them, to turn away your wrath from them.
Jer 18:21 Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and give them over to the power of the sword; and let their wives become childless, and widows; and let their men be slain of death, and their young men struck of the sword in battle.
Jer 18:22 Let a cry be heard from their houses, when you shall bring a troop suddenly on them; for they have dug a pit to take me, and hid snares for my feet.
Jer 18:23 Yet, Yahweh, you know all their counsel against me to kill me; don't forgive their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from your sight; but let them be overthrown before you; deal you with them in the time of your anger.
Jer 19:1 Thus said Yahweh, Go, and buy a potter's earthen bottle, and take of the elders of the people, and of the elders of the priests;
Jer 19:2 and go forth to the valley of the son of Hinnom, which is by the entry of the gate Harsith, and proclaim there the words that I shall tell you;
Jer 19:3 and say, Hear you the word of Yahweh, kings of Judah, and inhabitants of Jerusalem: thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, Behold, I will bring evil on this place, which whoever hears, his ears shall tingle.
Jer 19:4 Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it to other gods, that they didn't know, they and their fathers and the kings of Judah; and have filled this place with the blood of innocents,
Jer 19:5 and have built the high places of Baal, to burn their sons in the fire for burnt offerings to Baal; which I didn't command, nor spoke it, neither came it into my mind:
Jer 19:6 therefore, behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that this place shall no more be called Topheth, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of Slaughter.
Jer 19:7 I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life: and their dead bodies will I give to be food for the birds of the sky, and for the animals of the earth.
Jer 19:8 I will make this city an astonishment, and a hissing; everyone who passes thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all its plagues.
Jer 19:9 I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters; and they shall eat everyone the flesh of his friend, in the siege and in the distress, with which their enemies, and those who seek their life, shall distress them.
Jer 19:10 Then you shall break the bottle in the sight of the men who go with you,
Jer 19:11 and shall tell them, Thus says Yahweh of Armies: Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter's vessel, that can't be made whole again; and they shall bury in Topheth, until there be no place to bury.
Jer 19:12 Thus will I do to this place, says Yahweh, and to its inhabitants, even making this city as Topheth:
Jer 19:13 and the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, which are defiled, shall be as the place of Topheth, even all the houses on whose roofs they have burned incense to all the army of the sky, and have poured out drink offerings to other gods.
Jer 19:14 Then came Jeremiah from Topheth, where Yahweh had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of Yahweh's house, and said to all the people:
Jer 19:15 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, Behold, I will bring on this city and on all its towns all the evil that I have pronounced against it; because they have made their neck stiff, that they may not hear my words.
Jer 20:1 Now Pashhur, the son of Immer the priest, who was chief officer in the house of Yahweh, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things.
Jer 20:2 Then Pashhur struck Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the upper gate of Benjamin, which was in the house of Yahweh.
Jer 20:3 It happened on the next day, that Pashhur brought forth Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then said Jeremiah to him, Yahweh has not called your name Pashhur, but Magormissabib.
Jer 20:4 For thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will make you a terror to yourself, and to all your friends; and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and your eyes shall see it; and I will give all Judah into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall carry them captive to Babylon, and shall kill them with the sword.
Jer 20:5 Moreover I will give all the riches of this city, and all its gains, and all the precious things of it, yes, all the treasures of the kings of Judah will I give into the hand of their enemies; and they shall make them a prey, and take them, and carry them to Babylon.
Jer 20:6 You, Pashhur, and all who dwell in your house shall go into captivity; and you shall come to Babylon, and there you shall die, and there you shall be buried, you, and all your friends, to whom you have prophesied falsely.
Jer 20:7 Yahweh, you have persuaded me, and I was persuaded; you are stronger than I, and have prevailed: I am become a laughing-stock all the day, every one mocks me.
Jer 20:8 For as often as I speak, I cry out; I cry, Violence and destruction! because the word of Yahweh is made a reproach to me, and a derision, all the day.
Jer 20:9 If I say, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name, then there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with forbearing, and I can't contain.
Jer 20:10 For I have heard the defaming of many, terror on every side. Denounce, and we will denounce him, say all my familiar friends, those who watch for my fall; peradventure he will be persuaded, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.
Jer 20:11 But Yahweh is with me as an awesome mighty one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail; they shall be utterly disappointed, because they have not dealt wisely, even with an everlasting dishonor which shall never be forgotten.
Jer 20:12 But, Yahweh of Armies, who tests the righteous, who sees the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance on them; for to you have I revealed my cause.
Jer 20:13 Sing to Yahweh, praise you Yahweh; for he has delivered the soul of the needy from the hand of evildoers.
Jer 20:14 Cursed be the day in which I was born: don't let the day in which my mother bore me be blessed.
Jer 20:15 Cursed be the man who brought news to my father, saying, A boy is born to you; making him very glad.
Jer 20:16 Let that man be as the cities which Yahweh overthrew, and didn't repent: and let him hear a cry in the morning, and shouting at noontime;
Jer 20:17 because he didn't kill me from the womb; and so my mother would have been my grave, and her womb always great.
Jer 20:18 Why came I forth out of the womb to see labor and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame?
Jer 21:1 The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, when king Zedekiah sent to him Pashhur the son of Malchijah, and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, saying,
Jer 21:2 Please inquire of Yahweh for us; for Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon makes war against us: peradventure Yahweh will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that he may go up from us.
Jer 21:3 Then said Jeremiah to them, You shall tell Zedekiah:
Jer 21:4 Thus says Yahweh, the God of Israel, Behold, I will turn back the weapons of war that are in your hands, with which you fight against the king of Babylon, and against the Chaldeans who besiege you, without the walls; and I will gather them into the midst of this city.
Jer 21:5 I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation.
Jer 21:6 I will strike the inhabitants of this city, both man and animal: they shall die of a great pestilence.
Jer 21:7 Afterward, says Yahweh, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, even such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their life: and he shall strike them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.
Jer 21:8 To this people you shall say, Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I set before you the way of life and the way of death.
Jer 21:9 He who remains in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence; but he who goes out, and passes over to the Chaldeans who besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be to him for a prey.
Jer 21:10 For I have set my face on this city for evil, and not for good, says Yahweh: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.
Jer 21:11 Touching the house of the king of Judah, hear you the word of Yahweh:
Jer 21:12 House of David, thus says Yahweh, Execute justice in the morning, and deliver him who is robbed out of the hand of the oppressor, lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn so that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
Jer 21:13 Behold, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley, and of the rock of the plain, says Yahweh; you that say, Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations?
Jer 21:14 I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, says Yahweh; and I will kindle a fire in her forest, and it shall devour all that is around her.


Nov. 17
Hebrews 3

Heb 3:1 Therefore, holy brothers, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus;
Heb 3:2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, as also was Moses in all his house.
Heb 3:3 For he has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who built the house has more honor than the house.
Heb 3:4 For every house is built by someone; but he who built all things is God.
Heb 3:5 Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken,
Heb 3:6 but Christ is faithful as a Son over his house; whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the glorying of our hope firm to the end.
Heb 3:7 Therefore, even as the Holy Spirit says, "Today if you will hear his voice,
Heb 3:8 don't harden your hearts, as in the provocation, like as in the day of the trial in the wilderness,
Heb 3:9 where your fathers tested me by proving me, and saw my works for forty years.
Heb 3:10 Therefore I was displeased with that generation, and said, 'They always err in their heart, but they didn't know my ways;'
Heb 3:11 as I swore in my wrath, 'They will not enter into my rest.' "
Heb 3:12 Beware, brothers, lest perhaps there be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God;
Heb 3:13 but exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called "today;" lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Heb 3:14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm to the end:
Heb 3:15 while it is said, "Today if you will hear his voice, don't harden your hearts, as in the rebellion."
Heb 3:16 For who, when they heard, rebelled? No, didn't all those who came out of Egypt by Moses?
Heb 3:17 With whom was he displeased forty years? Wasn't it with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?
Heb 3:18 To whom did he swear that they wouldn't enter into his rest, but to those who were disobedient?
Heb 3:19 We see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief.