11/19/15

From Mark Copeland... Homosexuality A Christian Perspective Concluding Remarks

Homosexuality

A Christian Perspective

Concluding Remarks
If there is one passage of Scripture which summarizes God's view of homosexuality, then it is that found in Paul's letter to a church which was in a city famous for its sexual immorality:
"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."
"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."
(1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
In this passage we find both condemnation and hope. Homosexuality and sodomy are condemned as sin, but hope is seen in that those who engaged in such can find forgiveness and the ability to change through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. May God be praised!
As children of God, let those of us who are disciples of Christ not renege on our responsibility concerning this sin which is becoming more acceptable in our society. It is my prayer that this material may be used in the service of God by others to:
  • Teach the truth in love
  • Expose homosexuality for the sin that it is
  • Lovingly accept and assist those who come to Jesus in an effort to overcome this tenacious sin
May God give us the grace to do so, in a spirit becoming of the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

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The Gift of “Fallible” Scripture by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=1703

The Gift of “Fallible” Scripture

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

On September 13, 2005 the Catholic Communications Network announced the publication of “a major new teaching document from the Bishops of England, Wales, and Scotland” (“New Document...,” 2005) that was later presented in Rome to Pope Benedict XVI and the various Catholic delegates assembled there from around the world (“The Gift of Scripture—A New Teaching...,” 2005). Prepared for the purpose of explaining the Dei Verbum (the “Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation of the Second Vatican Council”) and several other Catholic documents published in the last forty years, this 60-page booklet is offered by the Catholic Truth Society so that “all who value the ‘gift of Scripture’...may be more richly nourished at the ‘table of God’s word’” (“The Gift...,” n.d.). Although very little still is known about this document by the masses (largely due to its text being neither available in an on-line version nor in a printed format in many Catholic churches), at least one portion of it appears to be more of the same mumbo-jumbo that self-professed “non-fundamentalist Christians” are increasingly spouting.
Ruth Gledhill of London’s Times Online quotes from one section of The Gift of Scripture where the authors wrote: “We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision” (2005). Allegedly, passages on human salvation can be trusted, but the bishops explained “[w]e should not expect total accuracy from the Bible in other, secular matters” (as quoted in Gledhill, 2005). A plethora of problems could be cited concerning “believers” who assert Bible writers made various scientific and historical mistakes when penning Scripture (see Lyons and Miller, 2004 for more information), but note particularly the illogic of suggesting that salvation passages can be trusted, whereas portions of the Bible dealing with other matters (e.g., history, geography, astronomy, medicine, etc.) may not be accurate.
First, no statements in Scripture lead a person to believe this manner of interpreting the Bible is acceptable. Conversely, both Jesus and the Bible writers always worked from the premise that God’s Word is entirely true, not partially true. Neither Old Testament nor New Testament writers ever criticized each others writings. They always viewed statements by each other as being truthful.
Second, were it true that only the “salvation” sections of the Bible are inerrant, everyone who reads the text would have the personal responsibility of wading through the Scriptures to decide exactly which matters pertain to salvation (and thus are correct and pertinent) and which do not matter. Such an interpretation of Scripture, however, makes a mockery of biblical authority. Who gets to say whether baptism is a matter of “salvation”? What about the role of women as addressed by Paul in 1 Timothy 2:8ff.? Is this a “salvation” passage, a “historical” passage, or a “secular” passage? Is it correct or incorrect? Who gets to decide? If Christians abandon the doctrine of biblical inerrancy, then having a standard of truth by which all humans are to live their lives would be impossible. Like the son who obeys his father insofar as he agrees with the father’s rules, a Christian would have his own standard of authority because the Bible would be authoritative only when he judged it to be a reliable guide. Simply put, Scripture cannot be demonstrated to be divinely authoritative if the Bible (in its original autographs) contained factual errors.
Finally, if a person believes that the Bible is fallible, then one is forced to accept the inevitable conclusion that, on some occasions, God “breathed” truth, while on others He “breathed” error (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16). But, if God can inspire a man to write theological and doctrinal truth, He simultaneously can inspire the same man to write with historical and scientific precision. If God cannot handle correctly “trivial” matters (such as geographical directions, or the names of individuals), why would anyone think that they could trust Him with something as critically important as the safety of their immortal soul, and expect Him to handle it in a more appropriate fashion?
The truth is, God has provided sufficient evidence to allow an honest person to arrive at the truth and to know His will (John 6:45; 7:17; 8:32). Those who are willing to compromise, and who back away from a devotion to verbal inspiration and inerrancy of Scripture, demonstrate a lack of faith in both God and His Word.

REFERENCES

“The Gift of Scripture” (no date), Catholic Truth Society, [On-line], URL: http://www.cts-online.org.uk/Sc80.htm.
“The Gift of Scripture—A New Teaching Document from the Bishops of England, Wales, and Scotland” (2005), Clifton Diocese, [On-line], URL: http://www.cliftondiocese.com/Articles/497/.
Gledhill, Ruth (2005), “Catholic Church No Longer Swears by Truth of the Bible,” Times Online, October, [On-line], URL: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-13090-1811332-13090,00.html.
Lyons, Eric and Dave Miller (2004), “Biblical Inerrancy,” Reason & Revelation, 24:57-63, June, [On-line], URLhttp://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2541.
“New Document Stresses the Importance of the Bible for Catholics” (2005), The Catholic Church in England and Wales, [On-line], URL: http://www.catholic-ew.org.uk/cn/05/050913.htm.

Right, Wrong, and God's Existence by Kyle Butt, M.A.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=878

Right, Wrong, and God's Existence

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

Everyone in the world believes that some things are right and other things are wrong. At times, people do not agree on the exact way to decide whether something is right or wrong. But it is undeniable that the concepts of right and wrong, good and evil, do exist.
The person who does not believe that God exists has only one choice when it comes to explaining morality—man must have thought it up by himself. However, since man is seen as little more than the last animal to be produced by evolution, this becomes problematic. A lion does not feel guilty after killing a gazelle for its lunch. A dog does not feel remorse after stealing a bone from another dog. And a female pig feels no guilt after eating her newborn piglets. Yet man, who is supposed to have evolved, feels both guilt and remorse when he commits certain acts that violate his “moral code.” The simple fact that we are discussing morals establishes that morality—which is found only in humans—had to have a cause other than evolution. After all, one ape never sat around and said to another, “Today, I think we should talk about right and wrong.” Even the famous atheist George Gaylord Simpson of Harvard admitted that “morals arise only in man.” What, or should we say, Who, instilled a conscience in humans? The apostle Peter provided the only legitimate answer. In 1 Peter 1:16, he wrote that we should be holy because God is holy. The only possible source of knowledge regarding right and wrong is the almighty God who embodies all that is good. In Ecclesiastes 7:29, wise King Solomon wrote: “Truly, this only I have found: that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.”
To suggest that the morality inherent in all mankind evolved from a warm pool of inorganic slime in the great long ago is an inadequate explanation. Morals could only have been placed in mankind by a Being who understood, even to a greater degree than men, the difference between right and wrong. This knowledge should lead us to follow the directive Jesus gave in Matthew 5:48: “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

Does Job 10:5 Support the Day-Age Theory? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=3801

Does Job 10:5 Support the Day-Age Theory?
by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Job was an amazing man. Aside from being “the greatest of all the people of the East” (Job 1:3), he was, more importantly, “one who feared God and shunned evil” (1:1). Even while enduring some of the most intense physical, mental, and emotional suffering imaginable, he was determined to put his trust in the Lord (13:15). Still, as a finite, imperfect man, he occasionally misspoke. In hoping for a hearing with his Creator, Job chapter 10 reveals that this patriarchal hero complained against God (vss. 1-7). He said things about God and his own suffering that he would later confess he “did not understand” (42:3). It was in the midst of this unfounded complaint that Job questioned God, saying, “Does it seem good to You that You should oppress, that You should despise the work of Your hands, and smile on the counsel of the wicked? Do You have eyes of flesh? Or do You see as man sees?Are Your days like the days of a mortal man? Are Your years like the days of a mighty man…?” (10:3-5, emp. added).
Some have come to believe that the questions Job asked in verse five somehow support the view that the days of Creation were not literal days, but long periods of geologic time. In fact, a friend recently relayed to me how someone objected to her literal interpretation of Genesis chapter one partly based upon this verse. Does Job 10:5 really support the Day-Age Theory of Creation?
First, it is disappointing that anyone who claims to care about “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15) would appeal to this section of Scripture to prove any doctrine. Although Job is a great example of perseverance (James 5:10-11), there is no indication that his speeches were inspired. Neither he nor anyone else in the book ever claimed Job’s statements were “given by inspiration of God.” Job is an inspired book, but a very unique book in that it is full of speeches by uninspired men (e.g., Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar). In fact, when God finally answered Job out of the whirlwind, He asked the patriarch: “Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (38:2, emp. added). Obviously, God never would have asked such a rhetorical question had Job been inspired. Prior to the Lord’s speeches, Elihu twice accused Job of the very same thing (34:35; 35:16). Later, Job even said himself: “I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know” (42:3, emp.added; cf. 30:16-23). Ironically, in the very passage that some would claim supports the Day-Age Theory, Job was guilty of uttering things he “did not know” (see 10:3).
But doesn’t Job, through his rhetorical questions, simply acknowledge a well-known truth—that God’s days and years are not like those of man (10:5)? Certainly, this fact is known from other scriptures. Just as God does not see as a finite man (Job 10:4) but as an infinite, omniscient Creator (Psalm 139:1-12), God’s days and years are not numbered like those of a man (Job 10:5). God is eternal (Deuteronomy 33:27). He is “from everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2). In Job 10:4-6, the patriarch acknowledged that God did not need to investigate his life (as a man would) to know that he was not wicked. He is the infinite, eternal, omniscient Creator Who already knew that Job was innocent. Notice, however, that this truth says nothing about how long the days of Creation were.
Still, some would argue, “Regardless of the context of Job 10:5, thefact remains that God is not bound by time and the days of Genesis just as easily could have been thousands or millions of years.” There is no question that God is not bound by time. The point, however, is not whether God is outside of time, but what God has revealed to us—both in Genesis 1 and in the rest of Scripture. God could have created the Universe in any way He desired, in whatever order He wanted, and in whatever time frame He chose. He could have created the world and everything in it in six hours, six minutes, six seconds, or in one millisecond—He is, after all, God Almighty (Genesis 17:1). But the question is not what God couldhave done; it is what He said He did. And He said that He created everything in six days (Genesis 1). When God gave theIsraelites the Ten Commandments, He stated:
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessedthe Sabbath day and hallowed it (Exodus 20:8-11, emp. added).
This Sabbath command can be understood properly only when the days of the week are considered regular 24-hour days.
Based upon God’s use of words throughout Scripture which represent time periods that are much longer than a regular day (cf. Genesis 1:14; 2 Peter 3:8; Lyons, 2007), we can rightly conclude that God could have revealed to man that this world was created over a vast period of time. [For example, He could have used the Hebrew word dôr, which means long periods of time.] The fact is, however, God said He created this world and everything in it in six days (Genesis 1; Exodus 20:11; 31:17; cf. Psalm 33:9; 148:5; Mark 10:6). What’s wrong with just believing what God said He did?

REFERENCE

Lyons, Eric (2007), “With God One Day is a Thousand Years,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3414.

Morality Without Religion? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1508

Morality Without Religion?

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Bible and Scales
In the incessant conspiracy to expel the God of the Bible from public life and to dismantle America’s Christian heritage, a variety of ploys and myths frequently is floated by those who profess “political correctness.” One commonly heard quip is: “We can have morality without religion.” Those who advocate such thinking insist that Christianity must be removed from the public sector—whether in government or public schools. They declare that morality is distinct from religion, and that individuals will acknowledge and embrace morality in the absence of Christianity. It was Hitler who said, “The great masses of the people...more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a little one” (1933, 1:10).
The fact is that the Creator of the human race is the sole Author and Source of objective morality. Otherwise, moral distinctions would simply be the product of the subjective whims of humans. Morality would thus legitimately vary from person to person and country to country. One society might decide to legalize pedophilia while another might make it illegal—and both would be “right” in the sense that everyone would be free to formulate their own moral standards. The result would be complete and utter social anarchy in which every person would be equally free to believe and behave however he or she chooses.
Charles Carroll
Charles Carroll
In stark contrast, the Bible presents the only logical and sane assessment of reality—an objective standard, authored by the Creator, exists for the entire human race. That standard resides within the confines of the Christian religion as articulated in the New Testament. Unless human civilization gauges its moral behavior according to that objective, absolute framework, moral and spiritual chaos in society will be the end result. In the words of Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence: “Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time;they, therefore, who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure...are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments” (as quoted in Steiner, 1907, p. 475, emp. added).
Yet, for some fifty years now, Americans have been pummeled with the humanistic notion that morality can be maintained in society to the exclusion of Christianity. With almost prophetic anticipation, the very first president of the United States—the Father of our country—anticipated and addressed this sinister misnomer. After serving his country for two terms as president, George Washington delivered his farewell address to the nation, dispelling the “morality-without-religion” theory in sweeping tones:
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and moralityare indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric? (1796, pp. 22-23, emp. added).
Washington was simply echoing the teaching of the Bible. He recognized that the American republic was founded on the moral principles of the Christian religion. He understood that to abandon the Christian religion was ultimately to abandon the moral principles inherent in that religion. He also affirmed that those who “shake the foundation of the fabric,” by undermining the importance ofChristian morality, are not sincere friends of America. Indeed, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). “For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you shall perish, and those nations shall be utterly ruined” (Isaiah 60:12).

REFERENCES

Hitler, Adolf (1933), Mein Kampf, [On-line], URL: http://www.hitler.org/writings/Mein_Kampf/mkv1ch10.html.
Steiner, Bernard (1907), The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry (Cleveland, OH: Burrows Brothers).
Washington, George (1796), Address of George Washington, President of the United States...Preparatory to His Declination (Baltimore, MD: George & Henry Keating).

Does God REALLY Know Everything? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=787&b=Genesis

Does God REALLY Know Everything?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Numerous passages of Scripture clearly teach that God is omniscient. The Bible declares that God “knows the secrets of the heart” (Psalm 44:21), that His eyes “are in every place” (Proverbs 15:3), and that “His understanding is infinite” (147:5). Of Jehovah, the psalmist also wrote:
O Lord, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.... Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there (139:1-4,6-8).
The New Testament reemphasizes this truth: “God is greater than our heart, and knows all things” (1 John 3:20, emp. added). Not only does He know the past and the present, but the future as well (Acts 15:18; cf. Isaiah 46:10). According to the Bible, there is nothing outside of the awareness of God.
Atheist Dan Barker, however, alleged in his February 12, 2009 debate with Kyle Butt that the Bible paints a contradictory picture of God and His knowledge. Whereas some scriptures indicate that God knows the future, supposedly, the God of the Bible cannot exist because other passages reportedly teach that God does not know the future. Twelve minutes and 54 seconds into his first speech, Barker exclaimed:
Look what God said after he stopped it [Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac—EL]. He said: “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for I know now, I now know, that you fear God, seeing that you have not withheld thy son.” I know now? I thought God knew everything. The Bible says God knows the future but here He is saying, “I didn’t even know.” The Bible even says that God searches and understands all the imaginations of the heart. The God of the Bible knows the future. The God of the Bible does not know the future (2009).
Is Barker correct? Does the Bible paint a contradictory picture of God’s knowledge? Do some passages testify to the omniscience of God, while others indicate that He is finite in His understanding?
The kind of language found in Genesis 22:12 actually is present throughout Scripture. As early as Genesis chapter three, God asked Adam, “Where are you?” (3:9). In Genesis four, He asked Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” (4:9). The book of Job reveals that at the beginning of God’s first speech to Job, God asked the patriarch, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” (38:4, emp. added). Are we to assume questions like these or statements like those found in Genesis 22:12 and 18:21 (“I will know”) imply a lack of knowledge on God’s part?
First, one must acknowledge that questions often are asked and statements frequently are made for a variety of reasons. Are we really to assume that the Creator of heaven and Earth was ignorant of Adam’s whereabouts when He asked him, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9)? Are we to believe that God did not know where Job was when He made the world (Job 38:4)? Certainly not! What father, having seen his son dent a car door, would imply ignorance by asking, “Who did that?” Obviously, the father did not ask the question to obtain information, but to see if the son would admit to something the father knew all along. On occasion, Jesus used questions or made statements for the same purpose. When He questioned the Pharisees’ disciples and the Herodians regarding whose inscription was on a particular coin, it clearly was not because He did not know (Matthew 22:15-22). Likewise, when Jesus asked the multitude that thronged Him, “Who touched Me?” (Luke 8:45), it was not because the woman who touched Him was hidden from Him (Luke 8:47). Jesus knew the woman who was made well by touching His garment before she confessed to touching Him (Mark 5:32). His question was intended to bring attention to her great faith and His great power (Mark 5:34). In no way are the questions God asks or the statements He makes an indication of Him being less than omniscient.
Second, the term “know” (Hebrew yada, Greek ginosko) or one of its derivatives (i.e., knew, known, etc.) is used in Scripture in a variety of ways. Several times it is used in reference to a man and woman having sexual intercourse (Genesis 4:1,17,25; Judges 11:39; 19:25). Jesus used the term to refer to His regard for His sheep (i.e., people—John 10:27). In contrast to the way of the wicked that will perish, the psalmist wrote that God “knows” (i.e., approves, takes delight in, etc.) the way of the righteous (Psalm 1:6). Paul used the term “know” in Ephesians 3:19 in the sense of knowing “experimentally what intellectually is beyond our powers of knowing”—the love of Christ (Jamieson, 1997). The fact is, like so many words in Scripture (and in modern times) the word “know” has a variety of meanings. What’s more, neither Dan Barker nor any Bible critic can prove that the term “know” in Genesis 22:12 directly contradicts God’s omniscience.
Third, the Bible’s usage of phrases such as “now I know” (Genesis 22:12) or “I will know” (Genesis 18:21) in reference to God actually are for the benefit of man. Throughout the Bible, human actions (such as “learning”) frequently are attributed to God for the purpose of helping us better understand His infinity. When Jehovah “came down to see the city and the tower” built at Babel (Genesis 11:5), it was not for the purpose of gaining knowledge. Anthropomorphic expressions such as these are not meant to suggest that God is not always fully aware of everything. Rather, as in the case of Babel, such wording was used to show that He was “officially and judicially taking the situation under direct observation and consideration” (Morris, 1976, p. 272). Almighty God visited Sodom and Gomorrah likely “for appearance’ sake, that men might know directly that God had actually seen the full situation before He acted in judgment” (p. 342). “These cities were to be made ensamples to all future ages of God’s severity, and therefore ample proof given that the judgment was neither rash nor excessive (Ezek 18:23; Jer 18:7)” [Jamieson, 1997]. Similarly, in the case of God testing Abraham regarding Isaac, although God already knew what Abraham would choose to do, there still was a reason to allow Abraham the opportunity to actually show his great faith and know that God indeed had witnessed (in real time and not just in His foreknowledge), Abraham’s actions. God came “to know” of Abraham’s faith by actual experiment. The meaning of the phrase, “now I know” (Genesis 22:12), therefore, “is not that God had, by the events of this probation, obtained information regarding Abraham's character that He did not previously possess; but that these qualities had been made apparent, had been developed by outward acts” (Jamieson, 1997).
Similar to how God instructs man to pray and make “known” to Him our petitions for our benefit (Philippians 4:6), even though He actually already knows of our prayers and needs before they are voiced (Matthew 6:8), for our profit the all-knowing God sometimes is spoken of in accommodative language as acquiring knowledge.

REFERENCES

Butt, Kyle and Dan Barker (2009), Does the God of the Bible Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Jamieson, Robert, et al. (1997), Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Bible Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Morris, Henry M. (1976), The Genesis Record (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

From Jim McGuiggan... CONSISTENT REALISM

CONSISTENT REALISM

Is there no one you'd die for? Gladly die for? Gladly die for in a heartbeat?
Every day in hamlets and villages and towns and huge cities there are people who are dying for those they love. Sometimes the death is sudden and violent but in the vast majority it is a longer dying process where lovers deprive them themselves to keep their beloved ones alive. They deny themselves sufficient food so that others might eat, deny themselves sleep so that others might rest and be cared for, deny themselves adequate clothing so that others might be warmed; they worry about others and are driven by love into lives that are a long crucifixion and into an early grave.
They aren't few in number—they live and die in their multiplied millions; generation after generation. They wander cities looking for work, any kind of work, any hours, any conditions to get money to feed their young, their aged or their sick; together they wander the earth to to find a protected place for their families as they are presently doing in the great European Exodus. This great wandering will cease to be a gripping news item as it now is—and should bebut the daily, ceaseless, generation after generation self-giving that goes unheralded will still be going on.
It's those of us who are comfortable who view all this as “heroic” and that's no bad thing but those who live that way view it as inevitable. They love and while it's true that love sets free it's also true that love leaves them no choice. In their millions they don't have time or energy to think about how their lives are interpreted by the comfortable. To call them heroes because they love their beloved ones would make no sense to them—”And what else would we do?” they'd say.
The wonderful music of Paul Williams [by far my favorite song writer] has now gone out of style; it doesn't reflect the way the world actually sounds. The popular music is feverish, wild, loud, saturated with sensation that knows nothing of commitment, starkly taking without giving, pregnant with gutter speech and devoid of mystique and sneering at what it calls “sentimentalism”—it's realistic, we're told, and that is the central issue. So Williams' music is “old-fashioned” and [though he's anything but dead and forgotten] it's not in step with the grand drift of popular music. Maybe so, but “You & Me Against the World” is as realistic as songs about smash-and-grab sexual experiences; his “Loneliness” is as true to the human condition as any of the “we want it all and we want it now” songs and his “Flash” is as happy and true as any “curse society and everybody in it” productions.
The call to realism is no bad thing but if we're going to be realistic we need to be thoroughly realistic. The rape of a child by a morally-deranged father is a fact but so is the pure love of children—one is as real as the other! People trafficking is a heart-stopping reality but so is the life of someone like Toyohiko Kagawa, so are the tens of thousands of “Child Haven” enterprises in every major country. The brutal religions and their ruthless adherents who without apology promote and practice heartless violence are real but so is the faith that has Jesus Christ as its throbbing center. Realism will insist that there are hypocrites but consistent realism will insist that there are millions of the genuine. There's Hitler but there's Frank and Nini Lott; there's Pol Pot and Papa Doc but there's also a Toyohiko Kagawa. Realism must take into account the good as well as the evil. There's a Nero but there's also a Paul, there's a cross on which people are murdered but there's also a Jesus of Nazareth who dies on one of them.
It is a strange and complex world where a Jesus is murdered on a cross and the baleful Tiberius sits on a throne. It makes no sense to fasten our eyes on the spellbinding reality of Jesus Christ and deny the stupefying reality of the stake of torment he died on. Equally it makes no sense to ceaselessly note the instrument of torture and death and ignore the young man [who is God being a man] who hangs there. The NT will force us to look at the reality of corrupt and murderous authorities but it confronts us with the resurrected and glorified Jesus Christ who conquered them.
It insists he conquered them for the world, as one sufferer among the countless sufferers; he did it not simply for himself and to please the Holy Father, he did it for the entire human family and in doing it for us all he is the revelation of God.
We mustn’t speak the gospel as if God found it difficult to love us. Sinners love not only their own, they also love strangers and even enemies; are we to speak of God as though he finds it difficult to do what countless numbers of sinners  do? God calls his followers to love their own and the stranger and the enemy but has a hard time doing it himself?
A one-sided realism that denies or completely ignores the goodness in the world strips the world of glory and gallantry and makes it a place of unrelieved gloom, it promotes unyielding despair and calls nobody upward to brawl against the evil invisible force that moves like a plague or a starving parasite that feeds on the human family. But a one-sided realism can also produce sentimentalism that turns its blind eyes heavenward [as a blind person will sometimes do] to enjoy only “the sunny side of doubt” [Tennyson].
Tomorrow millions of Christians will gather to “participate in the body of Christ” as they Supper together. In this they will bear witness to [“proclaim”--1 Corinthians 11:26] the One who in himself and on the cross embodies the kind of realism Christians in their best moments embrace. Through him they know about suffering and death and, like him, they seek no exemption from those harsh realities but through him they know about the triumph of life and righteousness over death and evil.
As the NT teaches us, in a believer's baptism as they enter into union with the slain but resurrected Jesus Christ, the believers take into account the meaning and purpose of Christ's self-giving death and they say, “Dear God, count me in.” So it is as they gather and together they feed on the living Christ they also renew their covenant in and with him who said, “This is my blood of the new covenant” the believers again say, “Dear God count me in.”
This means that in his name and for his sake they will commit themselves to embody the Story they teach and sing and pray and reflect on and bear witness to. They will commit to being people who are part of a vast ocean of moral goodness but they will do that in his name, in the name of the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. They will be congregations of balanced realism and followers of the Holy One who in and as Jesus Christ is the one true realist.
Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

From Roy Davison.... Why is Sunday a special day for Christians?


http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/firstday.html

Why is Sunday a special day for Christians?

The greatest event in human history occurred on Sunday. Jesus rose from the grave on the first day of the week, which is the New Testament term for Sunday1. “Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene” (Mark 16:9).

Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday!

Later that day He appeared to Cleopas and another disciple when He joined them as they were walking to the village of Emmaus. At first they were prevented from recognizing Him as He explained Scriptures that had predicted the death and resurrection of Christ. “Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, ‘Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.’ And He went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight” (Luke 24:28-31). When He broke bread, Jesus allowed them to recognize Him.
Although it was late, they immediately returned to Jerusalem “and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, ‘The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!’ And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread” (Luke 24:33-35).
Jesus breaking bread with the disciples is reminiscent of the institution of the Lord’s supper and anticipates its later observance by Christians on the first day of the week.
While they were together, Jesus appeared among them: “Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you’” (John 20:19).
“After eight days,” which would be the next Sunday (since the starting day was also counted), Jesus stood in their midst again while they were assembled (John 20:26).
Thus the Holy Spirit specifically states that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, and also that Jesus appeared to the disciples when they were assembled on the first day of the week.
Except for the creation of light (Genesis 1:3-5), during four thousand years of Biblical history, the first day of the week is never mentioned. But the Holy Spirit emphasizes that Jesus rose on the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1, 19)2.
The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, and the testimony of those who experienced these events, form the foundation of the Christian faith. Paul wrote: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time” (1 Corinthians 15:3-8).
Sunday is a special day for Christians because of memorable events on that day!

The Holy Spirit came on Sunday!

Sunday was the day on which the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles (Acts 1:8) and the church was established (Acts 2:47). These events occurred on Pentecost after Jesus returned to His Father (Acts 2:1). Pentecost was celebrated on the day after the seventh sabbath after the Passover (Leviticus 23:15, 16), thus on a Sunday.


The first Christians assembled on Sunday.

In the New Testament, Christians came together on the first day of the week to remember Jesus, as He had asked them to do, by dividing a loaf among themselves and drinking from the cup. This was referred to as “breaking bread.”
“Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight” (Acts 20:7).
This passage informs us when New Testament Christians assembled (on Sunday) and why they assembled (to partake of the Lord’s supper).
With regard to how the Lord’s supper should be observed, Paul refers to its institution by Jesus (Matthew 26:26-28; Mark 14:22-24; Luke 22:19-20). “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes” (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
The first Christians “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). Christians today do likewise3.

The first day of the week is the Lord’s day.

In Revelation 1:10 John says: “I was in the spirit on the Lord’s Day4.” An unusual grammatical form is used here. The only other place in the New Testament where the possessive form of “Lord” is used is in 1 Corinthians 11:20 in connection with “the Lord’s supper” which was observed on the first day of the week.
This distinctive expression “the Lord’s day” is found in early church history as a designation for the first day of the week and is presently the common name for Sunday in Greece.
The Didache, for example, written between 70 and 120 AD, states in section 14:1: “But having assembled on ‘the Lord’s day’5, [the day] of the Lord, you must break bread and give thanks” (Translated from Greek by RD).
Many people view Sunday as their day, a day on which they can do whatever they like! But for Christians, the first day of the week is the Lord’s day, a day of assembly with other Christians to remember and worship their Lord!

The Christian assembly may not be neglected.

Because Jesus asked them to do so, Christians come together on the first day of each week to encourage one another and to celebrate His resurrection. This is not to be neglected. “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24, 25).

On Sunday a collection was held.

That a Christian was to give “as he may prosper” on the first day of the week confirms that the regular Christian assembly was on Sunday. “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:1, 2). 
This was not just a local arrangement because Paul gave the same orders to other churches6.
This was not done at home as some claim, because then there would be no collection at all and why would it need to be on Sunday? Also, there would then be collections when Paul came, which he wanted to avoid.
On the first day of the week a collection was taken7.

Sunday is not a sabbath.

For Christians Sunday is a special day of worship. They assemble to break bread on that day, but the first day of the week is never called a sabbath in the Scriptures.
Jews who became Christians were allowed to continue observing the sabbath (see Romans 14:5, 6). There is nothing wrong with resting on Saturday! But sabbath observance was never a requirement for Christians.
When certain Jewish Christians insisted that Christians had to keep the law of Moses, this was rejected by the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28, 29).
Paul specifically states that one is not to be judged with regard to sabbath-keeping: “So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ” (Colossians 2:16, 17)8.

Let us worship according to the New Covenant.

Much New Testament instruction is given by prescriptive example rather than by legal definition. A prescriptive example is a normative example, one that is intended to be followed.
How we are to worship under the New Covenant is made known partially by commandment and partially by examples. 

Observance of the Lord’s supper, for instance, is commanded by Christ: “Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19). “This” in the command is defined by example.
In telling the Christians at Corinth how to observe the Lord’s supper, Paul simply cites the example (1 Corinthians 11:23-26).
When Christians are to assemble to partake of the supper is also defined by example. The foundation is laid by the many references to the first day of the week in connection with the resurrection of Jesus, including an example of breaking bread. It is specifically stated that Christians assembled on the first day of the week to break bread at Troas (Acts 20:7), and that Sunday is the day of assembly is further substantiated by a command that Christians are to give on the first day of the week (1 Corinthians 16:1, 2). This normative example of the New Covenant was also followed in early Church history9.

Why is Biblical instruction regarding Sunday often ignored or misapplied?

Although most people in Christendom assemble on Sunday, very few observe the Lord’s supper each week and in the manner prescribed. What is required to understand and correctly apply Biblical teaching?
Examples are powerful. That is why much use is made of examples as an instructional device, in both the Old and the New Testaments.
Although the Law of Moses contains more direct commands than the New Covenant, most Old Testament teaching is also by example. Jesus asked the Jews, “Have you not read what David did?” (Matthew 12:3) and He expected that they would understand certain principles inherent in the example. The historic, poetic and prophetic writings in the Old Testament teach mainly by example.
Parables are also examples. Jesus taught in parables for two reasons: so His followers could understand certain truths, but also so those who had a wrong attitude to God would notunderstand His teaching! (Matthew 13:10, 11).
Spiritual insight is required to understand spiritual instruction: “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:13, 14).
Most people in Christendom ignore or misapply Biblical instruction because they follow the doctrine of their denomination rather than the word of God. Referring to such worshippers, God says: “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:8, 9).
Someone with spiritual discernment will worship the Lord according to His word that provides guidance both by command and by prescriptive example.

On Sunday Christians celebrate Christ’s resurrection.

For us, Sunday is a very special day, the Lord’s day. On that day Jesus rose from the grave (Mark 16:9), He was recognized when He broke bread with two disciples (Luke 24:30, 31) and He revealed Himself to His disciples while they were assembled (John 20:19, 26). On Sunday the Holy Spirit came and the church was established. For two thousand years Christians have assembled on the first day of the week to break bread and to joyously commemorate the resurrection of Christ. Amen.
Roy Davison
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.

Endnotes

1 According to Matthew 28:1, the first day of the week is the day after the Sabbath. Since the Sabbath is what we call Saturday, Sunday is the first day of the week.

2 Some false teachers claim that mention of the first day of the week in the New Testament is purely incidental. In the entire Old Testament, the first day of the week is never mentioned incidentally. It is stated that God created light on the first day of the week (Genesis 1:3-5). Many incidents in the Old Testament occurred on the first day of the week, but this is never mentioned because it was not significant.
Also during the ministry of Christ until His death, not a single mention is made of the first day of the week, although it is sometimes possible to determine that certain things occurred on the day after the Sabbath (Mark 1:32-34; Luke 4:40, 41). The day is not specified, however, because it was not significant.
Thus, during the description of more than four thousand years of human history, the Holy Spirit never once stated incidentally that something happened on the first day of the week.
But in the description of one certain day in the history of the world, the Holy Spirit clearly indicated that it occurred on the first day of the week. All four Gospels mention that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week.
This mention of the first day of the week indicates that the first Christians remembered the resurrection on a weekly basis. We can illustrate this with a comparison. How do you reply when someone asks you the day of your birth? Probably with the day of the year. Someone in Ghana might give the day of the week because there the day of the week on which one is born is very important! It becomes part of one’s name and is believed to influence one’s personality! 
Suppose that everyplace in the New Testament where is says “on the first day of the week” it gave the day of the month or the day of the year? Then we would know that those days were significant for the first Christians.
But, of course, neither the day of the month, nor the day of the year is mentioned, but the day of the week, because the first Christians celebrated the resurrection of Jesus each week! And from that day until this, on every first day of the week Christians have remembered the resurrection of Jesus!

3 That the daily breaking of bread in Acts 2:46 refers to regular meals and not to the Lord’s supper can be deduced from the expression “they ate their food with gladness” since according to 1 Corinthians 11:22 the Lord’s supper is not a regular meal for nourishment.

4 Some claim that “on the Lord’s day” in Revelation 1:10 refers to the Day of Judgment which in Scripture is sometimes called “the day of the Lord” (but with a different Greek construction). Only a small part of the Revelation refers to the day of judgment, however, and John was not “on the day of judgment” when he received the Revelation! The linguistic agreement with “the Lord’s supper” (1 Corinthians 11:20) and the usage in early church history indicate that “the Lord’s day” in Revelation 1:10 refers to Sunday.

5 This is the possessive form of Lord as in Revelation 1:10. The second occurrence of Lord is the more usual genitive form, which evidently was added for clarification.

6 Although this example relates specifically to a “contribution for the poor among the saints” in Jerusalem (Romans 15:26), a general practice for financing church activities can be inferred from the example. A weekly contribution is commanded that could be used for the fulfilment of other obligations such as caring for widows (Acts 6:1; 1 Timothy 5:16), a “liberal sharing with them and all men” (2 Corinthians 9:13), “doing good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10), and providing for an evangelist (Philippians 4:16).

7 In early church history, a collection was taken on Sunday. In a description of the Christian assembly by Justin Martyr (110-165 AD) he wrote: “And they who are well to do, and willing, give what each thinks fit; and what is collected is deposited with the president, who succours the orphans and widows and those who, through sickness or any other cause, are in want, and those who are in bonds and the strangers sojourning among us, and in a word takes care of all who are in need” (First Apology, chapter 67).

8 Sabbatarians (people who teach that Christians should keep the sabbath) often make the false claim that Emperor Constantine (who ruled from 306 to 337 AD) changed the day of Christian worship from Saturday to Sunday. Actually, all Constantine did was to officially recognize the existing Christian day of worship.
In addition to the New Testament teaching that the sabbath is not binding on Christians (Colossians 2:16, 17), early church history (long before the time of Constantine) also indicates that Christians did not keep the sabbath.
Justin Martyr, who lived from 110 to 165 AD, conducted a written debate with a Jew named Trypho. Trypho criticized Christians for not keeping the sabbath: “But this is what we are most at a loss about: that you, professing to be pious, and supposing yourselves better than others, are not in any particular separated from them, and do not alter your mode of living from the nations, in that you observe no festivals or sabbaths, and do not have the rite of circumcision” (chapter 10). To this Justin replied: “The new law requires you to keep perpetual sabbath, and you, because you are idle for one day, suppose you are pious, not discerning why this has been commanded you” (chapter 12).
Tertullian, who lived from 145 to 220 AD, in his writings against Marcian, mentions that the law of Moses, including the sabbath, had been abolished: “Now tell me, Marcian, what is your opinion of the apostle’s language, when he says, ‘Let no man judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath, which is a shadow of things to come, but the body is of Christ.’ We do not now treat the law, further than (to remark) that the apostle here teaches clearly how it has been abolished, even by passing from shadow to substance - that is, from figurative types to the reality, which is Christ” (book 5, chapter 19, verses 16, 17).

9 Christians assembled on Sunday in early church history.
In the same way that Christians in the New Testament assembled on the first day of the week to observe the Lord’s supper, this was also done in church history from the earliest times! Our faith rests on the Scriptures, not on church history. But especially early church history can sometimes help us to better understand the Scriptures.
Barnabas (not the Barnabas in the Bible) in a letter written between 120 and 130 AD indicates that Christians assembled on Sunday: “Wherefore, also, we keep the 8th day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead” (chapter 15).
Justin Martyr, who lived from 110 to 165 AD, in his defense of the Christian religion (First Apology, chapter 67), wrote: “And on the day called Sunday, all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place. ... Sunday is the day on which we all hold our common assembly, because it is the first day on which God, having wrought a change in the darkness and matter, made the world; and Jesus Christ our Savior on the same day rose from the dead.”
Bardesanes wrote about 180 AD: “And what shall we say of the new race of us Christians, whom Christ at His advent planted in every country and in every region? for, lo! wherever we are, we are all called after the one name of Christ - Christians. On one day, the first of the week, we assemble ourselves together.”

These quotations reflect the Biblical doctrine that followers of Christ come together on the first day of the week to remember His resurrection by means of the Lord’s supper.


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

From Gary... Bible Reading November 19


Bible Reading  

November 19

The World English Bible


Nov. 19
Jeremiah 26-29

Jer 26:1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, came this word from Yahweh, saying,
Jer 26:2 Thus says Yahweh: Stand in the court of Yahweh's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in Yahweh's house, all the words that I command you to speak to them; don't diminish a word.
Jer 26:3 It may be they will listen, and turn every man from his evil way; that I may repent me of the evil which I purpose to do to them because of the evil of their doings.
Jer 26:4 You shall tell them, Thus says Yahweh: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you,
Jer 26:5 to listen to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I send to you, even rising up early and sending them, but you have not listened;
Jer 26:6 then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.
Jer 26:7 The priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of Yahweh.
Jer 26:8 It happened, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that Yahweh had commanded him to speak to all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold on him, saying, You shall surely die.
Jer 26:9 Why have you prophesied in the name of Yahweh, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant? All the people were gathered to Jeremiah in the house of Yahweh.
Jer 26:10 When the princes of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to the house of Yahweh; and they sat in the entry of the new gate of Yahweh's house.
Jer 26:11 Then spoke the priests and the prophets to the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy of death; for he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears.
Jer 26:12 Then spoke Jeremiah to all the princes and to all the people, saying, Yahweh sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that you have heard.
Jer 26:13 Now therefore amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of Yahweh your God; and Yahweh will repent him of the evil that he has pronounced against you.
Jer 26:14 But as for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as is good and right in your eyes.
Jer 26:15 Only know for certain that, if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood on yourselves, and on this city, and on its inhabitants; for of a truth Yahweh has sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.
Jer 26:16 Then said the princes and all the people to the priests and to the prophets: This man is not worthy of death; for he has spoken to us in the name of Yahweh our God.
Jer 26:17 Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spoke to all the assembly of the people, saying,
Jer 26:18 Micah the Morashtite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah; and he spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus says Yahweh of Armies: Zion shall be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.
Jer 26:19 Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him to death? Didn't he fear Yahweh, and entreat the favor of Yahweh, and Yahweh relented of the disaster which he had pronounced against them? Thus should we commit great evil against our own souls.
Jer 26:20 There was also a man who prophesied in the name of Yahweh, Uriah the son of Shemaiah of Kiriath Jearim; and he prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah:
Jer 26:21 and when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death; but when Uriah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt:
Jer 26:22 and Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, namely, Elnathan the son of Achbor, and certain men with him, into Egypt;
Jer 26:23 and they fetched forth Uriah out of Egypt, and brought him to Jehoiakim the king, who killed him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.
Jer 26:24 But the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death.
Jer 27:1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, came this word to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying,
Jer 27:2 Thus says Yahweh to me: Make bonds and bars, and put them on your neck;
Jer 27:3 and send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the children of Ammon, and to the king of Tyre, and to the king of Sidon, by the hand of the messengers who come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah;
Jer 27:4 and give them a command to their masters, saying, Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, You shall tell your masters:
Jer 27:5 I have made the earth, the men and the animals that are on the surface of the earth, by my great power and by my outstretched arm; and I give it to whom it seems right to me.
Jer 27:6 Now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the animals of the field also have I given him to serve him.
Jer 27:7 All the nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son's son, until the time of his own land come: and then many nations and great kings shall make him their bondservant.
Jer 27:8 It shall happen, that the nation and the kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, says Yahweh, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.
Jer 27:9 But as for you, don't you listen to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreams, nor to your soothsayers, nor to your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon:
Jer 27:10 for they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land, and that I should drive you out, and you should perish.
Jer 27:11 But the nation that shall bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, that nation will I let remain in their own land, says Yahweh; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.
Jer 27:12 I spoke to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.
Jer 27:13 Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as Yahweh has spoken concerning the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?
Jer 27:14 Don't listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon; for they prophesy a lie to you.
Jer 27:15 For I have not sent them, says Yahweh, but they prophesy falsely in my name; that I may drive you out, and that you may perish, you, and the prophets who prophesy to you.
Jer 27:16 Also I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, Thus says Yahweh: Don't listen to the words of your prophets who prophesy to you, saying, Behold, the vessels of Yahweh's house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon; for they prophesy a lie to you.
Jer 27:17 Don't listen to them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: why should this city become a desolation?
Jer 27:18 But if they be prophets, and if the word of Yahweh be with them, let them now make intercession to Yahweh of Armies, that the vessels which are left in the house of Yahweh, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, don't go to Babylon.
Jer 27:19 For thus says Yahweh of Armies concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vessels that are left in this city,
Jer 27:20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon didn't take, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem;
Jer 27:21 yes, thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that are left in the house of Yahweh, and in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem:
Jer 27:22 They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be, until the day that I visit them, says Yahweh; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place.
Jer 28:1 It happened the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azzur, the prophet, who was of Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of Yahweh, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying,
Jer 28:2 Thus speaks Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.
Jer 28:3 Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of Yahweh's house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried to Babylon:
Jer 28:4 and I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, who went to Babylon, says Yahweh; for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.
Jer 28:5 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people who stood in the house of Yahweh,
Jer 28:6 even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: Yahweh do so; Yahweh perform your words which you have prophesied, to bring again the vessels of Yahweh's house, and all them of the captivity, from Babylon to this place.
Jer 28:7 Nevertheless hear you now this word that I speak in your ears, and in the ears of all the people:
Jer 28:8 The prophets who have been before me and before you of old prophesied against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence.
Jer 28:9 The prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet shall happen, then shall the prophet be known, that Yahweh has truly sent him.
Jer 28:10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the bar from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and broke it.
Jer 28:11 Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus says Yahweh: Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon within two full years from off the neck of all the nations. The prophet Jeremiah went his way.
Jer 28:12 Then the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the bar from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying,
Jer 28:13 Go, and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus says Yahweh: You have broken the bars of wood; but you have made in their place bars of iron.
Jer 28:14 For thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the animals of the field also.
Jer 28:15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah to Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah: Yahweh has not sent you; but you make this people to trust in a lie.
Jer 28:16 Therefore thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will send you away from off the surface of the earth: this year you shall die, because you have spoken rebellion against Yahweh.
Jer 28:17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.
Jer 29:1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the residue of the elders of the captivity, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon,
Jer 29:2 (after that Jeconiah the king, and the queen mother, and the eunuchs, and the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the craftsmen, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem),
Jer 29:3 by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), saying,
Jer 29:4 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, to all the captivity, whom I have caused to be carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon:
Jer 29:5 Build you houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
Jer 29:6 Take wives, and father sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply you there, and don't be diminished.
Jer 29:7 Seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to Yahweh for it; for in its peace you shall have peace.
Jer 29:8 For thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel: Don't let your prophets who are in the midst of you, and your diviners, deceive you; neither listen you to your dreams which you cause to be dreamed.
Jer 29:9 For they prophesy falsely to you in my name: I have not sent them, says Yahweh.
Jer 29:10 For thus says Yahweh, After seventy years are accomplished for Babylon, I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says Yahweh, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end.
Jer 29:12 You shall call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
Jer 29:13 You shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.
Jer 29:14 I will be found by you, says Yahweh, and I will turn again your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places where I have driven you, says Yahweh; and I will bring you again to the place from where I caused you to be carried away captive.
Jer 29:15 Because you have said, Yahweh has raised us up prophets in Babylon;
Jer 29:16 thus says Yahweh concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, and concerning all the people who dwell in this city, your brothers who haven't gone forth with you into captivity;
Jer 29:17 thus says Yahweh of Armies; Behold, I will send on them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that can't be eaten, they are so bad.
Jer 29:18 I will pursue after them with the sword, with the famine, and with the pestilence, and will deliver them to be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the earth, to be an object of horror, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a reproach, among all the nations where I have driven them;
Jer 29:19 because they have not listened to my words, says Yahweh, with which I sent to them my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but you would not hear, says Yahweh.
Jer 29:20 Hear you therefore the word of Yahweh, all you of the captivity, whom I have sent away from Jerusalem to Babylon.
Jer 29:21 Thus says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and concerning Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who prophesy a lie to you in my name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he shall kill them before your eyes;
Jer 29:22 and of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captives of Judah who are in Babylon, saying, Yahweh make you like Zedekiah and like Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;
Jer 29:23 because they have worked folly in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives, and have spoken words in my name falsely, which I didn't command them; and I am he who knows, and am witness, says Yahweh.
Jer 29:24 Concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite you shall speak, saying,
Jer 29:25 Thus speaks Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, saying, Because you have sent letters in your own name to all the people who are at Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah, the priest, and to all the priests, saying,
Jer 29:26 Yahweh has made you priest in the place of Jehoiada the priest, that there may be officers in the house of Yahweh, for every man who is mad, and makes himself a prophet, that you should put him in the stocks and in shackles.
Jer 29:27 Now therefore, why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth, who makes himself a prophet to you,
Jer 29:28 because he has sent to us in Babylon, saying, The captivity is long: build you houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them?
Jer 29:29 Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet.
Jer 29:30 Then came the word of Yahweh to Jeremiah, saying,
Jer 29:31 Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus says Yahweh concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, and I didn't send him, and he has caused you to trust in a lie;
Jer 29:32 therefore thus says Yahweh, Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite, and his seed; he shall not have a man to dwell among this people, neither shall he see the good that I will do to my people, says Yahweh, because he has spoken rebellion against Yahweh.


Nov. 19
Hebrews 5

Heb 5:1 For every high priest, being taken from among men, is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.
Heb 5:2 The high priest can deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray, because he himself is also surrounded with weakness.
Heb 5:3 Because of this, he must offer sacrifices for sins for the people, as well as for himself.
Heb 5:4 Nobody takes this honor on himself, but he is called by God, just like Aaron was.
Heb 5:5 So also Christ didn't glorify himself to be made a high priest, but it was he who said to him, "You are my Son. Today I have become your father."
Heb 5:6 As he says also in another place, "You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek."
Heb 5:7 He, in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and petitions with strong crying and tears to him who was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his godly fear,
Heb 5:8 though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered.
Heb 5:9 Having been made perfect, he became to all of those who obey him the author of eternal salvation,
Heb 5:10 named by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
Heb 5:11 About him we have many words to say, and hard to interpret, seeing you have become dull of hearing.
Heb 5:12 For when by reason of the time you ought to be teachers, you again need to have someone teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God. You have come to need milk, and not solid food.
Heb 5:13 For everyone who lives on milk is not experienced in the word of righteousness, for he is a baby.
Heb 5:14 But solid food is for those who are full grown, who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil.