From Mark Copeland... "ISSUES OF DISTINCTION" The All-Sufficiency Of The Scriptures

                      "ISSUES OF DISTINCTION"

                 The All-Sufficiency Of The Scriptures


1. In previous lessons we have briefly considered three "Issues Of 
   a. The Existence Of God - which differentiates between...
      1) Atheists and agnostics on the one hand
      2) Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Moslems, Christians, etc., on the 
         other hand
   b. The Identity Of God - which distinguishes between...
      1) Buddhists, Hindus, etc.
      2) Jews, Moslems, Christians, etc.
   c. The Identity of Jesus Of Nazareth - over which there is a 
      difference between...
      1) Jews, Moslems, etc.
      2) Christians

2. It would be wonderful if all who accepted Jesus as "the Christ, the
   Son of God" were one...
   a. Jesus prayed for such unity - Jn 17:20-21
   b. Paul commanded that we be one - 1Co 1:10-13

3. The main reason why there is not unity pertains to another "issue of
   a. That issue is "The All-Sufficiency Of The Scriptures"
      1) Are the Scriptures sufficient by themselves to lead us unto
      2) Or do we need other sources of authority for what we do in
         matters of religion?
   b. One's position on this issue will greatly affect his or her 
      religious beliefs and practices!

[To illustrate why this is true, allow me to demonstrate how...]


      1. Who accept in ADDITION to the Bible...
         a. Traditions of the church which have arisen over the years
         b. Papal or ecclesiastical decrees
      2. Allowing such "traditions" or "decrees" to take precedence 
         over the Scriptures
         a. E.g., using "Father" as a religious title, though Jesus 
            forbid it - Mt 23:9
         b. E.g., requiring celibacy for bishops, though Paul taught
            otherwise - 1Ti 3:1-2

      1. Who accept in ADDITION to the Bible...
         a. Latter-day prophets
         b. Modern-day revelations
      2. Who allow their "revelations" to take precedence over the
         a. E.g., the Mormons' concept of God having a body of flesh 
            - cf. Jn 4:24; Lk 24:39
         b. E.g., the Witnesses' denial of the bodily resurrection of
            Jesus - cf. Lk 24:39-40; Jn 2:19-22
         c. E.g., Pentecostals allowing women preachers - cf. 1Co 14:
            34-37; 1Ti 2:11-12

[When people reject "the all-sufficiency of the Scriptures", appealing
to other sources for their authority in religion, division is the 
natural outcome.  The first step towards unity is to recognize the need
for the same standard of authority, which ought to be the Scriptures

But are the Scriptures alone an all-sufficient guide?  Consider...]


      1. In his address to the Ephesian elders...
         a. Paul said he had proclaimed "the whole counsel of God" 
            - Ac 20:27
         b. He had held nothing back - Ac 20:20
      2. In leaving them, he entrusted them to the Word of God 
         - Ac 20:32
         a. Which was sufficient to "build you up"
         b. Which was sufficient to "give you an inheritance among all
            those who are sanctified"
      -- Note:  Paul did not leave them to "revelations" yet to come,
         but to the Word of God which was sufficient to save them!

      1. Peter wrote how God has given us all things necessary for
         spiritual life and godly living - 2Pe 1:3
      2. Note well...
         a. He had not given "some" things, but "all" things
         b. He had not given "some" things now, with "more" things to
            come later
      -- Whatever I need for "life and godliness", I know it has been
         revealed in God's Word!

      1. Jude wrote of "the faith which was once for all delivered to
         the saints" - Jude 3
      2. In the Greek, "once for all" is "one time for all time"
         a. I.e., the faith (that body of knowledge we are to believe)
            was delivered one time for all time
         b. The faith wasn't partly revealed, with more to come through
            later revelations years later!
         c. The faith wasn't revealed just for that generation, with a
            different faith to be revealed for a generation yet future!
      -- Therefore the task we have is "to contend earnestly for the
         faith", not be looking for a new faith to fit our desires or

      1. Paul wrote to Timothy of the value of the Scriptures 
         - 2 Ti 3:14-17
         a. Inspired of God, it is profitable for:
            1) Doctrine
            2) Reproof
            3) Correction
            4) Instruction in righteousness
         b. It is capable of making a person "complete, thoroughly 
            equipped for every good work"
            1) Not partial, but complete!
            2) Not some good works, but every good work!
         -- What tradition, decree of man, or modern day revelation do
            any more than the inspired Word of God?
      2. When I turn to the Scriptures, I find that I have all I need
         a. Believe in Jesus - Jn 20:30-31
         b. Have life in His name - Jn 20:30-31
         c. Have fellowship with the Father, the Son, and the apostles 
            - 1Jn 1:3
         d. Have joy that is full - 1Jn 1:4
         e. Have help when I sin - 1Jn 2:1
         f. Know that I have eternal life - 1Jn 5:13
         g. Understand the revelation of the mystery of God - Ro 16:
            25-26; Ep 3:3-4
         h. Be fruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ and have an
            abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom - 2Pe 1:
         -- What else must one know or have?


1. There will always be a distinction related to "The All-Sufficiency 
   Of The Scriptures"

2. The distinction becomes apparent as one considers the doctrines and
   practices of any religious group...
   a. Those who accept it are more apt to be like the church you read
      about in the Bible
   b. Those who deny it will quickly evolve into something much 

3. I hope I have given you reasons to place your faith in the Word of
   God, and it alone!
   a. The whole counsel of God has been proclaimed!
   b. We have all things pertaining to life and godliness!
   c. The faith has been revealed once and for all!
   d. The Scriptures can make us complete, thoroughly equipped for 
      every good work!

And so in the words of the apostle Paul...

   "...I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is
   able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those
   who are sanctified." (Acts 20:32)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2015

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The Messiah at Qumran by Garry K. Brantley, M.A., M.Div.


The Messiah at Qumran

by Garry K. Brantley, M.A., M.Div.

Since the Dead Sea Scrolls first were discovered, there has been much speculation about the relationship between the early Christians and the Qumran community. Due to the striking similarities between the theological vocabulary of the Dead Sea texts and the New Testament documents, some scholars have suggested that the first Christians either were heavily influenced by, or an outgrowth of, the Qumran sect (see Vanderkam, 1992). The recognition of an important Messiah figure, or figures, espoused in the Qumran materials is a case in point.
Scholars currently disagree whether the people of Qumran believed in one Messiah, or more. One document, called the “Manual of Discipline,” reflected their anticipation that “the Prophet and the Messiahs of Aaron and Israel” shortly would come. From this somewhat obscure text (as most are at Qumran), scholars concluded that the Qumran community looked for both priestly and royal Messiahs. The priestly figure would preside in matters of the Law and ritual, while the royal figure would be a Davidic descendant and lead God’s forces into battle. Other scholars have argued that the Dead Sea community believed in only one messianic figure (see Wise and Tabor, 1992). They do generally agree, however, that the role of Messiah at Qumran involved a militaristic element apparently directed against Rome.
Interestingly, one fragment from Cave 4 speaks of a Messiah whom “the heavens and the earth will obey” (see Eisenman and Wise, 1992, pp. 21-23). This language closely parallels the statement by Jesus: “All authority has been given to me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). Further, this text from Qumran apparently describes this Messiah as one who heals the sick, resurrects the dead, announces to the poor glad tidings, and serves as a shepherd for the holy ones. Clearly this language is strikingly similar to the New Testament’s description of Jesus’ ministry (cf. Matthew 11:4-6; John 10:11).
These parallels, however, do not imply that early Christians either were influenced directly by, or grew out of, the Qumran sect. These texts simply provide an example of a common messianic hope that the royal Messiah would free Israel from Roman oppression. It appears that before His resurrection, Jesus’ disciples defined His Messiahship from such a perspective—one that did not incorporate His vicarious death (Matthew 16:21-23). Jesus, however, rejected this common view. He redefined His role of Messiah as One Who came to free humanity, not from national tyranny, but from the oppression of sin, which is the root of all injustice (John 8:30-36). Further, early Christians clearly believed in a singular Messiah (Jesus) in Whom the distinct Old Testament roles of prophet, priest, and king would coalesce (Hebrews 1:1-3). While there may be striking parallels between concepts espoused in the New Testament and the Qumran materials, the arresting differences attest to Christianity’s unique understanding of the Messiah.


Eisenman, Robert and Michael Wise (1992), The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered (Rockport, MA: Element Books).
Vanderkam, James (1992), “The Dead Sea Scrolls and Christianity,” Understanding the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. Hershel Shanks (New York: Random House).
Wise, Michael O. and James D. Tabor (1992), “The Messiah at Qumran,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 18[6]:60-65, November/December.

Science, Common Sense, and Genesis 1:1 by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Science, Common Sense, and Genesis 1:1

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The most fundamental question that a person can (and should) ask is: “Where did the Universe and everything in it (including myself) come from?” Before a person seeks answers to questions such as, “Why am I here?” or “Where am I going?” he first needs to know from whence he came? It is fitting that the only God-inspired book in the world—the Bible—answers this very question in its opening statement: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1, emp. added). In the subsequent verses, man is informed that not only did God create the heavens and the earth, but He made everything in the heavens and on the Earth (Genesis 1:2-31; cf. Exodus 20:11). According to Scripture, everything that exists in the physical Universe ultimately came from an eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, infinite Creator (Genesis 17:1; 18:14; Psalm 139; 90:2).

The theory that atheistic evolutionists have advanced for several decades now, which supposedly best explains our existence from a purely naturalistic perspective, is known as the Big Bang. It has circulated via science textbooks all over the world. One of the leading publishers of science curricula for many years has been Prentice Hall. In their 1992 General Science textbook, titled A Voyage of Discovery, they included the following section on “The Birth and Death of the Universe”:
How was the universe born and how will it end? Most astronomers believe that about 18 to 20 billion years ago all the matter in the universe was concentrated into one very dense, very hot region that may have been much smaller than a period on this page. For some unknown reason, this region exploded. This explosion is called the big bang. One result of the big bang was the formation of galaxies, all racing away from one another (Hurd, et al., p. 61, emp. in orig.).
Since 1992 the “birth of the Universe” has been shaved substantially (from 18 to 20 billion years ago to 12 to 15 billion years ago—see Biggs, et al., 2003, p. 159), but the theory is more or less the same. Ask an atheist how the Universe came to be and you likely will hear that “it all started with a big bang.”

So which is it? Did everything in the physical Universe come into existence via the supernatural or the natural? Was it caused by a purely naturalistic Big Bang or an infinite Mighty God? How did Earth get here? How did the other seven planets in our Solar System come into being? Whence came the Milky Way and the billions of other galaxies in the Universe? How did the multiplied quadrillions of stars (some of which are hundreds of times bigger than the Sun) come into existence? Although atheistic, evolutionary scientists are fond of ridiculing Genesis 1:1 as being unreasonable and unscientific, the fact is, Scripture’s explanation for ultimate origins is both sensible and scientific.

First, a study of the material Universe reveals that all physical effects must have adequate causes that precede the effects (a truism known as the Law of Cause and Effect). One drop of rain does not flood an entire city, a paper airplane cannot carry an astronaut to the Moon, nor can a fire extinguisher cool the Sun. But what about the effect of the Universe itself? What was its cause? Was the gargantuan Universe caused by an explosion of a minute ball of matter or by an omnipotent Creator? Just as easily as one can know that a paper airplane is unable to transport an astronaut to the Moon, he can know that naturalistic explanations (e.g., Big Bang theory) are not adequate causes for the Universe. But God is.

Second, from what we observe in nature, matter and energy are neither created nor destroyed. Scientists refer to this fact as the First Law of Thermodynamics. Evolutionists allege that the Universe began with the explosion of a ball of matter several billion years ago, yet they never have provided a reasonable explanation for the cause of the “original” ball of matter. An attempt was made a few years ago in the April 28, 2007 issue of New Scientist magazine titled “The Beginning: What Triggered the Big Bang?” Notice the last line of the featured article: “[T]he quest to understand the origin of the universe seems destined to continue until we can answer a deeper question: why is there anything at all instead of nothing?” (194[2601]:33, emp. added). The fact is, a logical, naturalistic explanation for the origin of the “original” ball of matter that supposedly led to the Universe does not exist. It cannot exist so long as the First Law of Thermodynamics is true (i.e., in nature matter/energy cannot create itself).

Third, since the physical Universe exists, and yet it could not have created itself, then the Universe is either eternal or something/someone outside of the Universe must have created it. Relatively few scientists propose that the Universe is eternal. In fact, there would be no point in attempting to explain the “beginning” of the Universe if atheists believed it always existed. What’s more, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that matter and energy become less usable over time, has led most scientists to conclude that the Universe has not always existed (else we would be out of usable energy; see Miller, 2007). But, if matter is not eternal, and it cannot create itself, then the only logical conclusion is that something/someone outside of nature (i.e., supernatural) caused the Universe and everything in it. Christians call this Someone, “the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 40:28).

Finally, not only do the scientific Laws of Thermodynamics and the Law of Cause and Effect support the truth of Genesis 1:1, so also does the fact that design demands a designer. Just as sure as a painting demands a painter and a law a law-giver, the orderly, law-abiding, picturesque heavens and Earth demand, not a random, mindless, unexplained explosion (when have explosions ever caused order and design?), but an intelligent Designer. As the psalmist wrote: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (19:1). What’s more, “the whole earth is full of His glory” (Isaiah 6:3). Indeed, both the heavens and the Earth testify day after day and night after night to anyone and everyone who will listen (Psalm 19:2-4) that “He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4).

Naturalistic explanations for the Universe and its laws leave an explanatory void that only a supernatural Being (i.e., God) can fill. If man will only open his eyes and ears, he will discover what both Heaven and Earth reveal: that “the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3). Rather, “God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1, emp. added).


Biggs, Alton, et al. (2003), Science (New York: McGraw-Hill).

Hurd, Dean, George Mathias, and Susan Johnson, eds. (1992), General ScienceA Voyage of Discovery (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall).

Miller, Jeff (2007), “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective,”Reason & Revelation, 27[4]:25-31, April, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3293.

“The Universe Before Ours” (2007), New Scientist, 194[2601]:28-33, April 28.

Dragonfly Flight and the Designer by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Dragonfly Flight and the Designer

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

More proof of the existence of the Master Designer comes from research conducted by Z. Jane Wang, professor of theoretical and applied mechanics at Cornell University (Gold, 2006). Centering on flying systems and fluid dynamics, Dr. Wang notes that the best way to learn about flight is by first looking at what happensnaturally. Interesting. In order for the complex human mind to comprehend the principles of flight, that mind must focus on the natural order—the Creation. So mind must learn from that which, according to evolutionists, came into being and developed without any mind. Intelligence is dependent on non-intelligence. Who can believe it?
Reporting her findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Dr. Wang observed that her research calls into question the conventional wisdom that ascribes to airplanes (human inventions) more flight efficiency than the flying creatures of the natural realm. Dragonflies, for example, are “a marvel of engineering” (Gold, 2006). “Marvel of engineering”—without an Engineer? So claims the evolutionist—despite the irrationality of such a conclusion.
Indeed, the dragonfly possesses four wings, instead of the standard two, enabling it to dash forward at speeds approaching 60 kph. Its unusual pitching stroke allows this amazing insect to hover and even shift into reverse. According to Wang: “Dragonflies have a very odd stroke. It’s an up-and-down stroke instead of a back-and-forth stroke.... Dragonflies are one of the most maneuverable insects, so if they’re doing that they’re probably doing it for a reason” (Gold, 2006, emp. added). “For a reason”? But doesn’t “a reason” imply a reasonable mind behind the reason that thinks and assigns a logical rationale to specific phenomena?
The more scientists study dragonflies the more they are impressed with these “marvels of flight engineering” (“How Do Things...,” n.d.). They appear to twist their wings on the downward stroke, creating a whirlwind of air that flows across the wings, facilitating the lift that keeps them flying. Even more amazing, one Australian scientist, Akiko Mizu­tani, of the Centre for Visual Science at the Australian National University, has studied dragonflies at length in the past few years. She observes that, while chasing its prey, dragonflies “shadow their enemies in complex manoeuvres that military fighter pilots can only dream of. Their tricks create the visual illusion that they’re not moving” (as quoted in “How Stealthy...,” 2003, 2398:26, emp. added). In fact, according to Dr. Javaan Chahl, the quick aerial movements allow the dragonfly to disguise itself as a motionless object (“Military Looks to Mimic...,” 2003, emp. added). These insights are not lost on the military establishment. They recognize the incredible implications for technological development—from the ability of fighter aircraft to approach the enemy undetected, to greater maneuverability, to enhanced helicopter logistics. Indeed, “scientists believe the insect’s flight control could have applications in new planes and helicopters” (2003). Is it any wonder that one of the very first helicopters produced was named “Dragonfly” (“Sikorsky...,” 2003)? If no one considers the helicopter as the product of time and chance, why would any reasonable person believe that the insect to which scientists are looking for an understanding of principles of flight evolved from mindless, mechanistic forces of nature?
If the human mind, with all of its complexity and ingenious design, is necessary to engineer flight capability (e.g., airplanes), what must be said for the Mind behind the human mind? If scores of intelligent scientists must expend vast amounts of time, energy, intention, deliberation, knowledge, and thought in order to discover the secrets of the “efficient motions” of the dragonfly, what must have been required to create that dragonfly in the first place? Mindless, non-intelligent, unconscious, non-purposive “evolutionary forces”? Ridiculous! Time and chance do not and cannot account for the amazing design found in insects like the dragonfly. The only logical, plausible explanation is that dragonflies were designed by the God of the Bible, and they testify to His wisdom: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4:11).


Gold, Lauren (2006), “On the Wings of Dragonflies: Flapping Insect Uses Drag to Carry its Weight, Offering Insight into Intricacies of Flight,” Cornell University Chronicle, February 19, [On-line], URL: http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/Feb06/AAAS.dragonflies.lg.html.
“How Do Things Fly?” (no date), Boeing, [On-line], URL: http://www.boeing.com/compan yoffices/aboutus/wonder_of_flight/dragon.html.
“Military Looks to Mimic Dragonflies” (2003), ABC News, June 5, [On-line], URL: http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200306/s872489.htm.
“How Stealthy Insects Outsmart Their Foe” (2003), New Scientist, 2398:26, June 7.
“Sikorsky HO2S-1/HO3S-1G ‘Dragonfly’” (2003), USCG Homepage, [On-line], URL: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-cp/history/WEBAIRCRAFT/AC_Sikorsky_HO3S.html.

Name Changes Omit “Christian” by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Name Changes Omit “Christian”

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The YMCA has announced a name change, omitting the word “Christian” from its longtime designation “Young Men’s Christian Association” as founded in England in 1844 and in America in 1851 (Muhlstein, 2010). Likewise, the charitable organization that has long raised funds to aid poverty-stricken children around the world, Christian Children’s Fund, has eliminated “Christian” to become simply “Child Fund” (Price, 2010). The usual politically correct claptrap of sensitivity to “diversity” and “inclusion” accompanied these announcements.
A fundamental sense of shame ought to accompany the foolish desire to distance oneself from anything Christian—a view certainly not shared by Paul (Romans 1:16), nor the Founders of the American Republic. For example, signer of the Declaration of Independence, President of the Continental Congress, and Governor of Connecticut, Samuel Huntington, issued a proclamation to his home state in which he announced:
It becomes a people publicly to acknowledge the over-ruling hand of Divine Providence...and with becoming humility and sincere repentance to supplicate the pardon that we may obtain forgiveness through the merits and mediation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (1791, emp. added).
Jesus said: “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory” (Luke 9:26).


Huntington, Samuel (1791), “By His Excellency Samuel Huntington, Esquire, A Proclamation for a Day of Fasting, Prayer and Humiliation, March 9, 1791” (Hartford, CT: Hudson and Goodwin).
Muhlstein, Julie (2010), “YMCA Logo Change Reflects Changing Times,” HaroldNet, http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20100716/NEWS01/707169911.
Price, Cynthia (2010), “Christian Children’s Fund Name Change to ChildFund International Official,” ChildFund International Press Releases, June 1, http://www.childfund.org/press_releases/.

Inconsistencies About Incest? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Inconsistencies About Incest?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

On more than one list of “Bible discrepancies” is the allegation that Bible writers erred in their teachings about incest. In Leviticus 18:6-30, 20:11-12, and Deuteronomy 27:20-23, one learns that sexual relations between close family members is sinful and punishable by death: “None of you shall approach anyone who is near of kin to him, to uncover his nakedness” (Leviticus 18:6). Other passages, however, indicate that God tolerated incest among His people, and even blessed those involved in such relationships. Abraham married Sarah, his half-sister (Genesis 20:12; cf. Genesis 17:15-16; 22:17), while Abraham’s son, Isaac, married Rebekah, his second cousin (Genesis 22:20-23; 24:4,15), and Jacob, Abraham’s grandson, married his first cousins, Rachel and Leah (Genesis 24:29; 29:15-30). Even Moses’ father, Amram, “took for himself Jachebed, his father’s sister, as wife” (Exodus 6:20, emp. added; cf. Leviticus 20:19). Critics claim that such passages are contradictory. Were Bible writers really inconsistent when they addressed the subject of incest?
First, one must recognize that simply because Scripture mentions godly men such as Abraham or one of his righteous descendants doing something God forbade elsewhere, does not mean the Bible writers contradicted themselves. Christ was the only perfect man ever to live (2 Corinthians 5:21). Though Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc. were counted faithful to God (Hebrews 11:7-29), they occasionally disobeyed His will (e.g., Numbers 20:1-12). God never blessed their disobedience, only their faithfulness. Consider the harlot Rahab. Whereas God did not condone her harlotry, she was “justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way” (James 2:25). “By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace” (Hebrews 11:32). Simply because God graciously saved Rahab from the destruction of Jericho, does not mean that God condoned her past sexual sins. Similarly, just because the Bible writers mention a particular event (e.g., Amram marrying his aunt) without condemning it, does not necessarily mean the Bible writers condoned it.
Second, for one to identify a legitimate contradiction, he must be considering the same time frame. To condemn Thomas Jefferson for not paying Federal income tax would be inappropriate because there was no Federal income tax in the United States during his lifetime. Likewise, to accuse certain righteous men of breaking God’s law prior to the establishment of that law is equally erroneous. The first indication of God forbidding incestuous marriages is not until after the Israelites departed Egypt (when Moses was already 80 years old—Exodus 7:7). Prior to Mosaic Law, men could lawfully marry close family members. Indeed, God blessed Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) while he was married to Sarah, his half-sister. What’s more, implied in the creation of Adam, the first man (1 Corinthians 15:45), and Eve, “the mother of all living” (Genesis 3:20), is that their immediate offspring married each other and had children. Furthermore, following the great Flood, the entire Earth was repopulated by Noah, his three sons, and their wives (Genesis 9:1). Thus, in the beginning God allowed incest.
There was no need for strict laws on marriage partners in the early Patriarchal Age (apart from the divine “one man, one woman, for life” institution), and for at least one good reason: during this time, man was in a relatively pure state, at least physically, having left not long before the perfect condition in which he was created and the Garden that had sustained his life....[N]o harmful genetic traits had emerged at this point that could have been expressed in the children of closely related partners. However, after many generations, and especially after the Noahic Flood (Genesis 6-9), solar and cosmic radiation, chemical and viral mutagens, and DNA replication errors, led to the multiplication of genetic disorders. God protected His people by instituting strict laws against incestuous marriages in the eighteenth chapter of Leviticus (Thompson and Major, 1987, 7[2]:7).
Laws regarding incest were given only during the Mosaic dispensation. Those living prior to this period or since this age ended (Colossians 2:14) have not been bound by its laws on incest anymore than we are bound by other Mosaic mandates (e.g., refraining from eating pork—Leviticus 11:7). That said, since “more genetic disorders have arisen in the world population since the time of Moses,...it is even more important to avoid marrying a close relative. Christianity thus far has insured that such rules have been carried forward into modern laws in the western world” (Thompson and Major, 7[2]:7). Though it may not be sinful for you to marry your first cousin, you may need to think twice before saying, “I do.”


Thompson, Bert and Trevor Major (1987), “Where Did Cain Get His Wife?” Reason and Revelation, 7[2]:5-7, February.



I’m sorry if life is so painful for you now and I’m sad even if you’ve brought much of your trouble on yourself. I’ve dug a lot of holes for myself down the years and I’ve often thought that when you’re hurt by someone else’s wrong (and not your own) you can console yourself a bit by thinking you’ve entered into the kind of suffering Jesus experienced but when your guilt hurts you, that sort of stabilizing truth isn’t open to you.
There’s not a bit of doubt in my mind that God cares that we experience pain and loss even when we “deserve’’ it.  Judges 10:15-16 explicitly says so. The book is all about Israel getting what they ‘’deserved’’ (I’m sure you’ve read it). God’s redemptive response is to bring judgment on them and when they turned to him he began the rescue.
The point of particular interest is that even while they were under foreign domination God saw it and didn’t like it. That is, found no pleasure in their pain even though it was the pain of “just punishment’’. It’s said of him that he “could bear Israel’s misery no longer.’’ Isaiah 63:9 (there’s a bit of textual debate about this verse) tells us in all their affliction he was afflicted. The Jewish Publication Version says, “In all their trouble he was troubled.’’
But beyond specific texts his incarnation in Jesus makes it clear he cares when we hurt. Your analogy with your children is legitimate—you’d feel their pain so why should it surprise us that he does. You’d go to rescue them so why would it surprise us if he did. The basics, I think, are beyond honest dispute.
The problem is the complexity of some situations. If for some good reason, a reason your children or your friends or observers couldn’t fathom, you judged that the immediate rescue of one of your children would prevent you doing good, a larger, more pervasive good, for your other children—if for that good reason you didn’t move to rescue him that would generate further pain.
But even if you didn’t move to rescue him it wouldn’t mean you were being vindictive or even harsh and it certainly wouldn’t mean that you didn’t feel pain about him.
I don’t believe, and I think the scriptures forbid us to believe, that God insists on dishing out a dollar’s punishment for a dollar’s sin all the time. [That’s a good legalist view but it isn’t God’s view.] A psalmist thought that God didn’t punish us as much as our sins deserve. I wonder what we’re to make of that? In our most contrite moments we feel the same way. Now and then we’re convinced he should simply bury us and go off and forget us. We’re often guilt-ridden and that may not be the direct action of God at all. A lot of our pain is self-inflicted though God has long lifted his hand off of us. [This generates further good questions for another time perhaps.]
I’m perfectly satisfied that we should ask God to help us out of our trouble. Get a modern speech version—loose as a goose—and read through the psalms without trying to understand them—no study, just a thoughtful reading—and see how often psalmists confess sin and ask him to be kind to them though they have not been faithful.
When you’re hanging by your thumbs it doesn’t matter after a while that you got yourself there. We can’t help wanting the pain to stop. Only the truly impenitent, only the people (whoever they are) who have no heart for God and don’t care that they have no heart for God and who want simply to use him—only they have no “right’’ to ask him for rescue. Those who are in covenant with him and regret their wrong, when they speak to God, speak to their covenant Father and ‘’expect’’ to be forgiven and helped. You’d want your wayward child to come to you even if you see in the end for good reasons that you can’t change things for him.
Will God rescue you from your present trouble? Who can say? But you’ve been rescued before and know it (Psalm 124) but you may have been rescued repeatedly and didn’t know it or recognize it.  If things don’t change in that visible way we want them to change it won’t mean he’s holding a grudge or that he’s being the flinty “sin in—punishment out to the nth degree, come what may’’ type judge. He’s never that and he never was.
We want the pain gone, of course, but if we have a heart for him at all, it’s his good will we want and the marker that he’s taken us back to his heart is that easing of our pain and trouble. Some kids may not care what their fathers or mothers think about them so long as he/she bails them out of every jam they get themselves into. But kids with a heart want the good will and acceptance as well as the rescue that is an expression of the good will.
Still, they want the pain removed and however stupid they’ve been we feel their pain. All of these illustrations—true to life and even true to the life of God—deal with only one aspect of the father’s relationship to one child; his tenderness and affection. And here’s a truth we don’t always care to hear: he has a responsibility toward the child to help him grow in all the ways that would make him good for the family and whoever he works with. God has more than one child and they all have needs! That complicates things.
Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

From Roy Davison... Let us pursue the knowledge of God


Let us pursue the knowledge of God

“Let us know, let us pursue the knowledge of the LORD” (Hosea 6:3).
To pursue is to resolutely strive for something even if it is difficult to obtain.
God placed people on earth “so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:27).

Through God’s creation we know that He exists.

The creation is solid evidence for the existence of God.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor languagewhere 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).
“The heavens declare His righteousness, and all the peoples see His glory” (Psalm 97:6).
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20).
There is no excuse for anyone not to believe in God. Yet knowing God is much more than just knowing that He exists.

Through the Scriptures we know what God is like.

Knowing a person is different from knowing a fact. You know someone only if you are familiar with his characteristics, if you know what he is like. Effort is required to get to know anyone, so it is not strange that effort is required to know God.
God’s nature is revealed in the Scriptures. God reveals Himself to us as our Maker, our Sustainer, our Ruler, our Lawgiver, our Judge and our Savior. He is the source of life on earth and the source of eternal life. God reveals Himself as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Yet knowing God is more than just knowing what He is like. Some things can be known about God through His creation. More can be known through His word. Most can be known through His Son.

Through His Son we can know God. 

To know someone well, one must have a personal relationship with that person. Likewise, we must have a personal relationship with God to know Him well. By sending His Son, the Father has made this possible! Before discussing this, let us examine some fundamentals.

We cannot know God through human wisdom alone.

“For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21).

God has made Himself known through testimony.

Paul did not use human wisdom when he declared “the testimony of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1). “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son” (1 John 5:9, 10).

We must be God-fearing truth-seekers to know God.

We must seek knowledge and be open to God’s testimony to find the knowledge of God.
“Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
If you seek her as silver,
And search for her as for hidden treasures;
Then you will understand the fear of the LORD,
And find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding”
(Proverbs 2:3-6).

Only those who love truth and seek knowledge accept God’s testimony and find the knowledge of God.
Paul speaks of certain people who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7). This is because they have insufficient respect for God: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7). “For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight” (Ecclesiastes 2:26).

Someone who hates knowledge cannot know God.

God does not listen to the prayers of people who hate knowledge: “Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; they will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD, they would have none of my counsel and despised my every rebuke. Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, and be filled to the full with their own fancies” (Proverbs 1:28-31).
God said about Israel: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6).
“How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge” (Proverbs 1:22).

We may not reject the knowledge of God.

Deceitful people refuse to know God: “‘Your dwelling place is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know Me,’ says the LORD” (Jeremiah 9:6).
Just claiming to know God is not enough. Of certain people Paul wrote: “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work” (Titus 1:16).
Much evil emanates from a rejection of the knowledge of God: “because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man - and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever” (Romans 1:21-25).
They who do not know God will be punished when Jesus is “revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8).

To be God’s people we must know God.

Under the New Covenant one cannot be a part of God’s people unless one knows God: “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:34).
Under the Old Covenant, God’s people were a regular nation that included people who knew God and people who did not know God. The faithful encouraged the others to know God.
Under the New Covenant, God’s people are a spiritual nation consisting only of those who know God. “Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart” (Jeremiah 24:7).

In Christ we know God.

Jesus Christ has made God known: “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18).
If we are in the Son, we have a personal relationship with the Father: “We know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life” (1 John 5:20).
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).
Being “in Christ” involves being an active member of His body, the church (Ephesians 1:22, 23). We are “baptized into Christ” (Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27). “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:12, 13).
Paul explains that Christians have a personal relationship with the Father because the Spirit of His Son is in their hearts: “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Galatians 4:6, 7).

Our knowledge of God must increase.

Paul prayed that the Colossians might “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:10).
Peter admonishes us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).

Knowledge of God must be put into practice.

We can know God only if we love one another and keep His commandments: “Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:3, 4). “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7, 8).

Pursue the knowledge of God.

Through God’s creation we know that He exists. Through the Scriptures we know what God is like. Through the Son we can have a personal relationship with God.
Although we must seek wisdom and knowledge in general to find the knowledge of God, we cannot know God through human wisdom alone. We must be God-fearing truth-seekers who accept God’s testimony. Someone who hates knowledge cannot know God. We may not reject the knowledge of God. They who do not know God will be punished. We must know God to be His people. God’s Son, Jesus Christ, has made Him known. In the Son we have a personal relationship with the Father through His Spirit within us. Our knowledge of God must increase and must be put into practice.
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2). 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.

Published in The Old Paths Archive

From Gary... Bible Reading November 26

Bible Reading  

November 26

The World English Bible

Nov. 26
Lamentations 1-5

Lam 1:1 How the city sits solitary, that was full of people! She has become as a widow, who was great among the nations! She who was a princess among the provinces is become tributary!
Lam 1:2 She weeps sore in the night, and her tears are on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has none to comfort her: All her friends have dealt treacherously with her; they are become her enemies.
Lam 1:3 Judah is gone into captivity because of affliction, and because of great servitude; she dwells among the nations, she finds no rest: all her persecutors overtook her within the straits.
Lam 1:4 The ways of Zion do mourn, because none come to the solemn assembly; all her gates are desolate, her priests do sigh: her virgins are afflicted, and she herself is in bitterness.
Lam 1:5 Her adversaries are become the head, her enemies prosper; for Yahweh has afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her young children are gone into captivity before the adversary.
Lam 1:6 From the daughter of Zion all her majesty is departed: her princes are become like harts that find no pasture, they are gone without strength before the pursuer.
Lam 1:7 Jerusalem remembers in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that were from the days of old: when her people fell into the hand of the adversary, and none did help her, The adversaries saw her, they did mock at her desolations.
Lam 1:8 Jerusalem has grievously sinned; therefore she is become as an unclean thing; all who honored her despise her, because they have seen her nakedness: yes, she sighs, and turns backward.
Lam 1:9 Her filthiness was in her skirts; she didn't remember her latter end; therefore is she come down wonderfully; she has no comforter: see, Yahweh, my affliction; for the enemy has magnified himself.
Lam 1:10 The adversary has spread out his hand on all her pleasant things: for she has seen that the nations are entered into her sanctuary, concerning whom you did command that they should not enter into your assembly.
Lam 1:11 All her people sigh, they seek bread; they have given their pleasant things for food to refresh the soul: look, Yahweh, and see; for I am become abject.
Lam 1:12 Is it nothing to you, all you who pass by? Look, and see if there be any sorrow like my sorrow, which is brought on me, With which Yahweh has afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.
Lam 1:13 From on high has he sent fire into my bones, and it prevails against them; He has spread a net for my feet, he has turned me back: He has made me desolate and faint all the day.
Lam 1:14 The yoke of my transgressions is bound by his hand; They are knit together, they are come up on my neck; he has made my strength to fail: The Lord has delivered me into their hands, against whom I am not able to stand.
Lam 1:15 The Lord has set at nothing all my mighty men in the midst of me; He has called a solemn assembly against me to crush my young men: The Lord has trodden as in a winepress the virgin daughter of Judah.
Lam 1:16 For these things I weep; my eye, my eye runs down with water; Because the comforter who should refresh my soul is far from me: My children are desolate, because the enemy has prevailed.
Lam 1:17 Zion spreads forth her hands; there is none to comfort her; Yahweh has commanded concerning Jacob, that those who are around him should be his adversaries: Jerusalem is among them as an unclean thing.
Lam 1:18 Yahweh is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandment: Please hear all you peoples, and see my sorrow: My virgins and my young men are gone into captivity.
Lam 1:19 I called for my lovers, but they deceived me: My priests and my elders gave up the spirit in the city, While they sought them food to refresh their souls.
Lam 1:20 See, Yahweh; for I am in distress; my heart is troubled; My heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled: Abroad the sword bereaves, at home there is as death.
Lam 1:21 They have heard that I sigh; there is none to comfort me; All my enemies have heard of my trouble; they are glad that you have done it: You will bring the day that you have proclaimed, and they shall be like me.
Lam 1:22 Let all their wickedness come before you; Do to them, as you have done to me for all my transgressions: For my sighs are many, and my heart is faint.
Lam 2:1 How has the Lord covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger! He has cast down from heaven to the earth the beauty of Israel, And hasn't remembered his footstool in the day of his anger.
Lam 2:2 The Lord has swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and has not pitied: He has thrown down in his wrath the strongholds of the daughter of Judah; He has brought them down to the ground; he has profaned the kingdom and its princes.
Lam 2:3 He has cut off in fierce anger all the horn of Israel; He has drawn back his right hand from before the enemy: He has burned up Jacob like a flaming fire, which devours all around.
Lam 2:4 He has bent his bow like an enemy, he has stood with his right hand as an adversary, Has killed all that were pleasant to the eye: In the tent of the daughter of Zion he has poured out his wrath like fire.
Lam 2:5 The Lord is become as an enemy, he has swallowed up Israel; He has swallowed up all her palaces, he has destroyed his strongholds; He has multiplied in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation.
Lam 2:6 He has violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden; he has destroyed his place of assembly: Yahweh has caused solemn assembly and Sabbath to be forgotten in Zion, Has despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest.
Lam 2:7 The Lord has cast off his altar, he has abhorred his sanctuary; He has given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces: They have made a noise in the house of Yahweh, as in the day of a solemn assembly.
Lam 2:8 Yahweh has purposed to destroy the wall of the daughter of Zion; He has stretched out the line, he has not withdrawn his hand from destroying; He has made the rampart and wall to lament; they languish together.
Lam 2:9 Her gates are sunk into the ground; he has destroyed and broken her bars: Her king and her princes are among the nations where the law is not; Yes, her prophets find no vision from Yahweh.
Lam 2:10 The elders of the daughter of Zion sit on the ground, they keep silence; They have cast up dust on their heads; they have girded themselves with sackcloth: The virgins of Jerusalem hang down their heads to the ground.
Lam 2:11 My eyes do fail with tears, my heart is troubled; My liver is poured on the earth, because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, Because the young children and the infants swoon in the streets of the city.
Lam 2:12 They tell their mothers, Where is grain and wine? When they swoon as the wounded in the streets of the city, When their soul is poured out into their mothers' bosom.
Lam 2:13 What shall I testify to you? what shall I liken to you, daughter of Jerusalem? What shall I compare to you, that I may comfort you, virgin daughter of Zion? For your breach is great like the sea: who can heal you?
Lam 2:14 Your prophets have seen for you false and foolish visions; They have not uncovered your iniquity, to bring back your captivity, But have seen for you false oracles and causes of banishment.
Lam 2:15 All that pass by clap their hands at you; They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying, Is this the city that men called The perfection of beauty, The joy of the whole earth?
Lam 2:16 All your enemies have opened their mouth wide against you; They hiss and gnash the teeth; they say, We have swallowed her up; Certainly this is the day that we looked for; we have found, we have seen it.
Lam 2:17 Yahweh has done that which he purposed; he has fulfilled his word that he commanded in the days of old; He has thrown down, and has not pitied: He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you; he has exalted the horn of your adversaries.
Lam 2:18 Their heart cried to the Lord: wall of the daughter of Zion, let tears run down like a river day and night; Give yourself no respite; don't let the apple of your eye cease.
Lam 2:19 Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; Pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord: Lift up your hands toward him for the life of your young children, that faint for hunger at the head of every street.
Lam 2:20 Look, Yahweh, and see to whom you have done thus! Shall the women eat their fruit, the children that are dandled in the hands? Shall the priest and the prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord?
Lam 2:21 The youth and the old man lie on the ground in the streets; My virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword: You have killed them in the day of your anger; you have slaughtered, and not pitied.
Lam 2:22 You have called, as in the day of a solemn assembly, my terrors on every side; There was none that escaped or remained in the day of Yahweh's anger: Those that I have dandled and brought up has my enemy consumed.
Lam 3:1 I am the man that has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
Lam 3:2 He has led me and caused me to walk in darkness, and not in light.
Lam 3:3 Surely against me he turns his hand again and again all the day.
Lam 3:4 My flesh and my skin has he made old; he has broken my bones.
Lam 3:5 He has built against me, and surrounded me with gall and travail.
Lam 3:6 He has made me to dwell in dark places, as those that have been long dead.
Lam 3:7 He has walled me about, that I can't go forth; he has made my chain heavy.
Lam 3:8 Yes, when I cry, and call for help, he shuts out my prayer.
Lam 3:9 He has walled up my ways with cut stone; he has made my paths crooked.
Lam 3:10 He is to me as a bear lying in wait, as a lion in secret places.
Lam 3:11 He has turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; he has made me desolate.
Lam 3:12 He has bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.
Lam 3:13 He has caused the shafts of his quiver to enter into my kidneys.
Lam 3:14 I am become a derision to all my people, and their song all the day.
Lam 3:15 He has filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood.
Lam 3:16 He has also broken my teeth with gravel stones; he has covered me with ashes.
Lam 3:17 You have removed my soul far off from peace; I forgot prosperity.
Lam 3:18 I said, My strength is perished, and my expectation from Yahweh.
Lam 3:19 Remember my affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.
Lam 3:20 My soul still remembers them, and is bowed down within me.
Lam 3:21 This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope.
Lam 3:22 It is of Yahweh's loving kindnesses that we are not consumed, because his compassion doesn't fail.
Lam 3:23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lam 3:24 Yahweh is my portion, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
Lam 3:25 Yahweh is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.
Lam 3:26 It is good that a man should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of Yahweh.
Lam 3:27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
Lam 3:28 Let him sit alone and keep silence, because he has laid it on him.
Lam 3:29 Let him put his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope.
Lam 3:30 Let him give his cheek to him who strikes him; let him be filled full with reproach.
Lam 3:31 For the Lord will not cast off forever.
Lam 3:32 For though he cause grief, yet he will have compassion according to the multitude of his loving kindnesses.
Lam 3:33 For he does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.
Lam 3:34 To crush under foot all the prisoners of the earth,
Lam 3:35 To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the Most High,
Lam 3:36 To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord doesn't approve.
Lam 3:37 Who is he who says, and it comes to pass, when the Lord doesn't command it?
Lam 3:38 Doesn't evil and good come out of the mouth of the Most High?
Lam 3:39 Why does a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
Lam 3:40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to Yahweh.
Lam 3:41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands to God in the heavens.
Lam 3:42 We have transgressed and have rebelled; you have not pardoned.
Lam 3:43 You have covered with anger and pursued us; you have killed, you have not pitied.
Lam 3:44 You have covered yourself with a cloud, so that no prayer can pass through.
Lam 3:45 You have made us an off-scouring and refuse in the midst of the peoples.
Lam 3:46 All our enemies have opened their mouth wide against us.
Lam 3:47 Fear and the pit are come on us, devastation and destruction.
Lam 3:48 My eye runs down with streams of water, for the destruction of the daughter of my people.
Lam 3:49 My eye pours down, and doesn't cease, without any intermission,
Lam 3:50 Until Yahweh look down, and see from heaven.
Lam 3:51 My eye affects my soul, because of all the daughters of my city.
Lam 3:52 They have chased me sore like a bird, those who are my enemies without cause.
Lam 3:53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and have cast a stone on me.
Lam 3:54 Waters flowed over my head; I said, I am cut off.
Lam 3:55 I called on your name, Yahweh, out of the lowest dungeon.
Lam 3:56 You heard my voice; don't hide your ear at my breathing, at my cry.
Lam 3:57 You drew near in the day that I called on you; you said, Don't be afraid.
Lam 3:58 Lord, you have pleaded the causes of my soul; you have redeemed my life.
Lam 3:59 Yahweh, you have seen my wrong; judge you my cause.
Lam 3:60 You have seen all their vengeance and all their devices against me.
Lam 3:61 You have heard their reproach, Yahweh, and all their devices against me,
Lam 3:62 The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day.
Lam 3:63 See you their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their song.
Lam 3:64 You will render to them a recompense, Yahweh, according to the work of their hands.
Lam 3:65 You will give them hardness of heart, your curse to them.
Lam 3:66 You will pursue them in anger, and destroy them from under the heavens of Yahweh.
Lam 4:1 How is the gold become dim! how is the most pure gold changed! The stones of the sanctuary are poured out at the head of every street.
Lam 4:2 The precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold, How are they esteemed as earthen pitchers, the work of the hands of the potter!
Lam 4:3 Even the jackals draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: The daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.
Lam 4:4 The tongue of the sucking child cleaves to the roof of his mouth for thirst: The young children ask bread, and no man breaks it to them.
Lam 4:5 Those who did feed delicately are desolate in the streets: Those who were brought up in scarlet embrace dunghills.
Lam 4:6 For the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the sin of Sodom, That was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands were laid on her.
Lam 4:7 Her nobles were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk; They were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was as of sapphire.
Lam 4:8 Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: Their skin cleaves to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick.
Lam 4:9 Those who are killed with the sword are better than those who are killed with hunger; For these pine away, stricken through, for want of the fruits of the field.
Lam 4:10 The hands of the pitiful women have boiled their own children; They were their food in the destruction of the daughter of my people.
Lam 4:11 Yahweh has accomplished his wrath, he has poured out his fierce anger; He has kindled a fire in Zion, which has devoured its foundations.
Lam 4:12 The kings of the earth didn't believe, neither all the inhabitants of the world, That the adversary and the enemy would enter into the gates of Jerusalem.
Lam 4:13 It is because of the sins of her prophets, and the iniquities of her priests, That have shed the blood of the just in the midst of her.
Lam 4:14 They wander as blind men in the streets, they are polluted with blood, So that men can't touch their garments.
Lam 4:15 Depart you, they cried to them, Unclean! depart, depart, don't touch! When they fled away and wandered, men said among the nations, They shall no more sojourn here.
Lam 4:16 The anger of Yahweh has scattered them; he will no more regard them: They didn't respect the persons of the priests, they didn't favor the elders.
Lam 4:17 Our eyes do yet fail in looking for our vain help: In our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save.
Lam 4:18 They hunt our steps, so that we can't go in our streets: Our end is near, our days are fulfilled; for our end is come.
Lam 4:19 Our pursuers were swifter than the eagles of the sky: They chased us on the mountains, they laid wait for us in the wilderness.
Lam 4:20 The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of Yahweh, was taken in their pits; Of whom we said, Under his shadow we shall live among the nations.
Lam 4:21 Rejoice and be glad, daughter of Edom, that dwell in the land of Uz: The cup shall pass through to you also; you shall be drunken, and shall make yourself naked.
Lam 4:22 The punishment of your iniquity is accomplished, daughter of Zion; he will no more carry you away into captivity: He will visit your iniquity, daughter of Edom; he will uncover your sins.
Lam 5:1 Remember, Yahweh, what has come on us: Look, and see our reproach.
Lam 5:2 Our inheritance is turned to strangers, Our houses to aliens.
Lam 5:3 We are orphans and fatherless; Our mothers are as widows.
Lam 5:4 We have drunken our water for money; Our wood is sold to us.
Lam 5:5 Our pursuers are on our necks: We are weary, and have no rest.
Lam 5:6 We have given the hand to the Egyptians, To the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread.
Lam 5:7 Our fathers sinned, and are no more; We have borne their iniquities.
Lam 5:8 Servants rule over us: There is none to deliver us out of their hand.
Lam 5:9 We get our bread at the peril of our lives, Because of the sword of the wilderness.
Lam 5:10 Our skin is black like an oven, Because of the burning heat of famine.
Lam 5:11 They ravished the women in Zion, The virgins in the cities of Judah.
Lam 5:12 Princes were hanged up by their hand: The faces of elders were not honored.
Lam 5:13 The young men bare the mill; The children stumbled under the wood.
Lam 5:14 The elders have ceased from the gate, The young men from their music.
Lam 5:15 The joy of our heart is ceased; Our dance is turned into mourning.
Lam 5:16 The crown is fallen from our head: Woe to us! for we have sinned.
Lam 5:17 For this our heart is faint; For these things our eyes are dim;
Lam 5:18 For the mountain of Zion, which is desolate: The foxes walk on it.
Lam 5:19 You, Yahweh, abide forever; Your throne is from generation to generation.
Lam 5:20 Why do you forget us forever, And forsake us so long time?
Lam 5:21 Turn you us to you, Yahweh, and we shall be turned; Renew our days as of old.

Lam 5:22 But you have utterly rejected us; You are very angry against us. 

Nov. 26
Hebrews 12

Heb 12:1 Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Heb 12:2 looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising its shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Heb 12:3 For consider him who has endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, that you don't grow weary, fainting in your souls.
Heb 12:4 You have not yet resisted to blood, striving against sin;
Heb 12:5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which reasons with you as with children, "My son, don't take lightly the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by him;
Heb 12:6 For whom the Lord loves, he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives."
Heb 12:7 It is for discipline that you endure. God deals with you as with children, for what son is there whom his father doesn't discipline?
Heb 12:8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have been made partakers, then are you illegitimate, and not children.
Heb 12:9 Furthermore, we had the fathers of our flesh to chasten us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live?
Heb 12:10 For they indeed, for a few days, punished us as seemed good to them; but he for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness.
Heb 12:11 All chastening seems for the present to be not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been exercised thereby.
Heb 12:12 Therefore, lift up the hands that hang down and the feeble knees,
Heb 12:13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that which is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
Heb 12:14 Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man will see the Lord,
Heb 12:15 looking carefully lest there be any man who falls short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and many be defiled by it;
Heb 12:16 lest there be any sexually immoral person, or profane person, like Esau, who sold his birthright for one meal.
Heb 12:17 For you know that even when he afterward desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for a change of mind though he sought it diligently with tears.
Heb 12:18 For you have not come to a mountain that might be touched, and that burned with fire, and to blackness, darkness, storm,
Heb 12:19 the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which those who heard it begged that not one more word should be spoken to them,
Heb 12:20 for they could not stand that which was commanded, "If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned;"
Heb 12:21 and so fearful was the appearance, that Moses said, "I am terrified and trembling."
Heb 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable multitudes of angels,
Heb 12:23 to the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24 to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better than that of Abel.
Heb 12:25 See that you don't refuse him who speaks. For if they didn't escape when they refused him who warned on the Earth, how much more will we not escape who turn away from him who warns from heaven,
Heb 12:26 whose voice shook the earth then, but now he has promised, saying, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens."
Heb 12:27 This phrase, "Yet once more," signifies the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that have been made, that those things which are not shaken may remain.
Heb 12:28 Therefore, receiving a Kingdom that can't be shaken, let us have grace, through which we serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe,
Heb 12:29 for our God is a consuming fire.