From Mark Copeland... "JESUS, THE WAY" Jesus, The Way To A Better Life

                            "JESUS, THE WAY"

                    Jesus, The Way To A Better Life


1. In the preceding study, we introduced the theme of "Jesus, The Way"

2. Now we shall concentrate our attention on the subject "Jesus, The Way
   To A Better Life"

3. The popular goal of our generation is "the good life"...
   a. This dream is not new
   b. It has been the desire of every age and every walk of life -- of
      teachers and philosophers, of kings and common men

[But to the truly good life, Jesus is the way! To see how this is true,
consider first that...]


      1. Material prosperity
      2. Pleasure
      3. Popularity

      1. Nearly everyone would agree that two words sum up what "the
         good life" is all about:  happiness and peace
      2. Many suppose material prosperity, pleasure and popularity will
         bring us these things
      3. But even a cursory observation reveals that most wealthy,
         high-living, famous people are extremely unhappy and lacking
         inner peace

      1. He taught there is more to life than material possessions - cf.
         Lk 12:15
      2. He offers a peace which things of the world cannot give, and a
         joy which is complete and full - Jn 14:27; Jn 15:11

[What the world cannot give, Jesus can. How does He do it...?]


      1. What is the cause of so much unhappiness? What deprives so many
         of inner peace?
         a. Is it not things like immorality, theft, murder?
         b. Is it not things like coveting, deceit, envy and pride?
         c. Such things destroy families, friendships, and property
      2. What then is the cause of these things?
         a. Jesus declared the source to be the sinful hearts of men
            - Mk 7:21-23
         b. James, the Lord's half-brother in the flesh, concurred with
            His diagnosis - Jm 4:1-2
      3. What has Jesus done to remove this problem? - cf. Tit 3:3-7
         a. Out of kindness, love, mercy and grace, God through Jesus
            Christ has saved us and made us righteous in His sight!
         b. This took place when we experienced the "washing of
            regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" (a reference
            to the act of baptism, in which one who believes in Jesus is
            truly born again of water and Spirit! - Jn 3:5)
         c. I.e., In other words, Jesus removes the problem of
            unhappiness and lack of inner peace by first removing the
            cause: Sin! But there is more...

      1. He warns of the folly of seeking after riches - Mt 6:19
         a. They are perishable
         b. They are open to theft
      2. He teaches us to put our treasure in heaven - Mt 6:20
         a. Where it is imperishable
         b. Where it is secure - cf. 1Pe 1:3-5
      3. How does one go about laying up treasure in heaven?
         a. By living for Jesus, even under the most adverse conditions
            - Lk 6:22-23
         b. By following His teaching - e.g., Lk 6:35

      1. Once we learn not to make material things, pleasure, and fame
         our goals in life, but to instead make following Jesus and His
         teachings our goal, He then provides us an unexpected portion
         of these very things!
         a. Material things for those who put God first 
            - Mt 6:31-33; Mk 10:28-30
         b. Pleasure that is full and inexpressible - Jn 15:11; 1Pe 1:8
         c. Fame that lasts forever - Col 3:4; 2Th 1:10-12; 2:14
      2. In the very exercise of living for Christ and following His
         a. We find peace and happiness - cf. Jn 13:12-17; Ac 20:35
         b. Note the word "blessed" (truly happy) in these verses


1. The world sets before us goals which many people cannot achieve, and
   even if achieved, often do not satisfy - cf. Ec 5:10

2. But Jesus places before us goals which can be achieved, and that do
   a. All can store up treasure in heaven
   b. All can live for Jesus

3. If there is any doubt that doing this brings lasting happiness and a
   much better life even now, just look any individual you may know who
   is truly following Jesus...
   a. Outwardly they may be suffering persecution, social ostracism, or
      physical illnesses
   b. But even then they still have that joy that is full, that peace
      which is unspeakable

4. If you are not happy, if you are not at peace in your heart, if you
   are looking for a better life, why not let Jesus be "The Way" for

5. Let Him take care of your problem of sin, which is the true cause of
   unhappiness in life...!
   a. Let Him be your guide in giving you new direction in this life!
   b. Let Him be your key to "the good life"!

As Jesus Himself said:

   "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it
   more abundantly." - Jn 10:10

Our next study will discuss how Jesus deals with the problem of sin...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2015

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The Nazareth House by Dewayne Bryant, M.A.


The Nazareth House

by Dewayne Bryant, M.A.

Christmas and Easter are the two times of the year when the thoughts of the world are most centered on the person of Jesus Christ. They also attract the unwanted attention of critics and skeptics who work to overturn the biblical portrait of Christ, who offer revisions and new interpretations of the biblical text. It is not difficult to find a documentary claiming Jesus was nothing more than a quirky rabbi, a family man, or a first-century magician. Most recently, Bart Ehrman published his book Jesus, Interrupted in 2009, another in a long line of popular works that criticizes the text of the New Testament (cf. Bryant, 2010, 30[1]:5-7).
On December 21, 2009, archaeologists announced they had uncovered an ancient house in Nazareth dating to the New Testament period. The house, quite small in comparison to modern homes, consists of two rooms and a courtyard totaling about 900 square feet of space, although excavation could uncover additional rooms. Excavation is difficult, particularly since modern structures sit directly on top of much of the ancient site. Pottery from the location shows that a relatively poor Jewish family occupied the residence.
Scholars are quick to point out that the house did not belong to Jesus and His family. It is often impossible to identify the names of the residents of a particular house in antiquity, and this one is no exception. Still, scholars suggest that it may have been a place that Jesus knew. Yardena Alexandre, excavations director at the Israel Antiquities Authority, notes, “This may well have been a place that Jesus and his contemporaries were familiar with,” adding, “A young Jesus may have played around the house with his cousins and friends. It’s a logical suggestion” (Bazar, 2009).
The location of Nazareth has long been known, in part by the tombs that existed outside the city dating to roughly the New Testament period. It was within a walking distance of three to four miles from Sepphoris, where Joseph may have worked as a builder (Greek tekton; Matthew 13:55; Mark 6:3). Some have also suggested that Jesus may have followed in Joseph’s footsteps. Participating in a trade that involved strenuous work with wood and heavy stone probably provided Jesus with considerable physical resilience. Just before His crucifixion, already suffering from exhaustion after an illegal, night-long trial and blood loss from His vicious treatment, Jesus was able to withstand a Roman scourging. The scourge claimed the lives of many of the condemned before the Roman authorities had a chance to crucify them.
Absent from the discussion involving the house in Nazareth is any talk of Jesus’ status as a mythological creation of the early church. Alexandre, as well as other archaeologists commenting in news reports, simply assume the existence of Jesus. This is fully in line with virtually all scholars and historians. Nearly all experts who study ancient history believe Jesus existed, with only the rare exception. Robert Price, a member of the Jesus Seminar, is one of the few scholars who has dismissed Jesus as a historical figure. His peers have roundly criticized his beliefs. One such example is the recently published The Historical Jesus: Five Views. In this volume, the contributors weigh Price’s arguments and find them wanting (Beilby and Eddy, 2009, pp. 84-103)—not surprising, since the Bible does not betray any of the characteristics of ancient mythology (Oswalt, 1996, p. 548).
The discovery of the house has not escaped the notice of critics, who commented on the discovery almost immediately. Comments posted on Richard Dawkins’ Web site (www.richarddawkins.net), as well as the Web site for Sam Harris’ The Reason Project (www.reasonproject.org) are revealing. That the find would elicit any discussion on discussion forums is surprising, since the discovery is not connected explicitly to Jesus. Yet it seems that any mention of Jesus in the media is enough for the militant atheists to release the hounds of frenzied dissent. In one post after another, forum participants downplay the Nazareth house as evidence of Jesus’ life. No reputable archaeologists are making such a claim, however, and the life of Jesus is well-attested in a variety of ancient sources. Such a small discovery unleashed such illogicality from those who claim to prize logic and reason most.


Bazar, Emily (2009), “Israel: First Jesus-era House Found in Nazareth,” USA Today, December 21, http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-12-21-jesus-house-nazareth_N.htm?csp=34.
Beilby, James K. and Paul Rhodes Eddy, ed. (2009), The Historical Jesus: Five Views (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic).
Bryant, Dewayne (2010), “Jesus, Rudely Interrupted,”http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240291.
Oswalt, John N. (1996), “Myth,” Baker Theological Dictionary of the Bible, ed. Walter A. Elwell (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Seeing is Believing: The Design of the Human Eye by Taylor Richardson


Seeing is Believing: The Design of the Human Eye
by Taylor Richardson

If one of your friends asked you, “How do you know God exists?,” what would you say? There are many different ways to prove God’s existence, because God has given us so much evidence. Sometimes we find that evidence in things we see in the Universe, for example, the Sun. The Sun is like a giant nuclear engine. It gives off more energy in a single second than mankind has produced since the Creation. It converts 8 million tons of matter into energy every single second, and has an interior temperature of more than 20 million degrees Celsius (see Lawton, 1981). Sometimes we find evidence in the animal kingdom. Take the golden orb spider for instance. Pound for pound, the dragline silk of this spider is five times stronger than steel, and is twice as strong as the material that currently makes up SWAT teams’ bulletproof vests. In fact, due to its amazing strength and elasticity, it has been said that you could trap a jumbo jet with spider silk that is the thickness of a pencil.
And sometimes the evidence for God’s existence can even be found within our own bodies. The writer of the book of Hebrews spoke about this evidence when he said: “For every house is built by someone, but he who built all things is God” (3:4).
One of the best examples of design within the human body is the eye. Even Charles Darwin struggled with the problem of how to explain how such a complex organ as the eye could have “evolved” through naturalistic processes. In The Origin of Species he wrote:
To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest sense (1859, p. 170, emp. added).
But even though Darwin acknowledged that the eye could not have evolved, he went on to argue that it had, in fact, been produced by natural selection through an evolutionary process. It seems almost as though Darwin could not seem to make up his mind on the matter. But he is not the only one who has struggled to explain, from a naturalistic viewpoint, the intricacy of the eye. Evolutionist Robert Jastrow once wrote:
The eye is a marvelous instrument, resembling a telescope of the highest quality, with a lens, an adjustable focus, a variable diaphragm for controlling the amount of light, and optical corrections for spherical and chromatic aberration. The eye appears to have been designed; no designer of telescopes could have done better. How could this marvelous instrument have evolved by chance, through a succession of random events? (1981, pp. 96-97, emp. added).
How indeed? Though Dr. Jastrow argued that “the fact of evolution is not in doubt,” he confessed that “…there seems to be no direct proof that evolution can work these miracles.… It is hard to accept the evolution of the eye as a product of chance” (1981, pp. 101,97,98, emp. added). Considering the extreme complexity of the eye, it is easy to understand why Jastrow would make such a comment. In his book, Does God Believe in Atheists?, John Blanchard described just how complex the eye really is.
The human eye is a truly amazing phenomenon. Although accounting for just one fourth-thousandth of an adult’s weight, it is the medium which processes some 80% of the information received by its owner from the outside world. The tiny retina contains about 130 million rod-shaped cells, which detect light intensity and transmit impulses to the visual cortex of the brain by means of some one million nerve fibres, while nearly six million cone-shaped cells do the same job, but respond specifically to colour variation. The eyes can handle 500,00 messages simultaneously, and are kept clear by ducts producing just the right amount of fluid with which the lids clean both eyes simultaneously in one five-thousandth of a second (2000, p. 313).
Statements like this proves that the eye was so well designed, and so complicated, that it could not have happened by accident, as evolution teaches.


The anatomy of the eye was first examined and recorded at Alexandria, Egypt, in the first century A.D.An anatomist, Rufus of Ephesus, described the main parts of the eye, which included the dome-like cornea at the front, the colored iris, the lens, and the vitreous humor (which gives the eye its shiny look). Today, thanks to microscopes, we now know that these, along with many other parts of the eye, work in harmony to produce the gift of sight.
Diagram of the Human Eye
The outer white layer of the eye is called the sclera, more commonly known as the “white of the eye.” This layer is an extremely durable, fibrous tissue that extends from the cornea (the clear front section of the eye) to the optic nerve (at the back of the eye). Six tiny muscles (known as the extraocular muscles, or EOMs) connect to the sclera around the eye and control the eye’s movements. Four of the muscles (known as the rectus muscles) control the horizontal and vertical movement, while two (the oblique muscles) control the rotation. All six muscles work together so that the eye moves smoothly.
The inside of the eye can be divided functionally into two distinct parts. The first is the physical “dioptric” mechanism (from the Greek word dioptra, meaning something through which one looks), which handles incoming light. This includes the cornea, iris, and lens. The cornea is the transparent, dome-shaped window (about eleven millimeters in diameter) that covers the front of the eye. Its most important function is to protect the delicate components of the eye against damage by foreign bodies. Thus, the cornea acts like a watch face, in that it lets us look through the “window” of our eye while protecting the internal components from debris and harmful chemicals. The cornea also takes care of most of the refraction (the ability of the eye to change the direction of light in order to focus it on the retina) and works with the lens to help focus items seen at varying distances as it changes its curvature. The iris and the pupil work together to let in just the right amount of light. There are two opposing sets of muscles that regulate the size of the aperture (the opening, or the pupil) according to the brightness or dimness of the incoming light. If the light is bright, the iris constricts, allowing little light to pass; but if it is dark, the iris dilates or expands, allowing more light to pass through. The light (or image) then moves through a lens that has the ability to adjust its shape to help it clarify the image by changing the focal length of the lens between 40.4 and 69.9 millimeters where it is then focused (in an inverted form) on to the retina.
Between the lens and the retina is a transparent substance (the vitreous fluid) that fills the center of the eye. This substance is important because it not only gives the eye its spherical shape, but also provides nutrition for the retinal vessels inside the eye. In children, the vitreous feels like a gel, but as we age, it gradually thins and becomes more of a liquid.
The second is the receptor area of the retina where the light triggers processes in the nerve cells. The retina plays a key role in visual perception. In his book, The Wonder of Man, Werner Gitt explains how the retina is a masterpiece of engineering design.
One single square millimetre of the retina contains approximately 400,000 optical sensors. To get some idea of such a large number, imagine a sphere, on the surface of which circles are drawn, the size of tennis balls. These circles are separated from each other by the same distance as their diameter. In order to accommodate 400,000 such circles, the sphere must have a diameter of 52 metres... (1999, p. 15).
Alan L. Gillen also praised the design of the retina in his book, Body by Design.
The most amazing component of the eye is the “film,” which is the retina. This light-sensitive layer at the back of the eyeball is thinner than a sheet of plastic wrap and is more sensitive to light than any man-made film. The best camera film can handle a ratio of 1000-to-1 photons in terms of light intensity. By comparison, human retinal cells can handle a ratio of 10 billion-to-1 over the dynamic range of light wavelengths of 380 to 750 nanometers. The human eye can sense as little as a single photon of light in the dark! In bright daylight, the retina can bleach out, turning its “volume control” way down so as not to overload. The light-sensitive cells of the retina are like an extremely complex high-gain amplifier that is able to magnify sounds more than one million times (2001, pp. 97-98, emp. added).
Without a doubt, this thin (only 0.2 mm) layer of nerve tissue is a marvel of engineering. It contains photoreceptor (light-sensitive) cells and four types of nerve cells, as well as structural cells and epithelial pigment cells. The two kinds of photoreceptor cells are referred to as rods and cones because of their shape. Each eye has about 130 million rods and 7 million cones. The rods are very sensitive to light (whether it is bright or dim), and allow the eye to see in black and white. Cones, on the other hand, are not as sensitive as rods, and function only optimally in daylight. There are three different types of cones—red light, green light, and blue light—each of which is sensitive to its respective color of light, and which allow the eye to see in full color. The rods and cones convert the different lights into chemical signals, which then travel along the optic nerve to the brain.
Not only are the images produced by the dioptric mechanism miniaturized and upside-down, but it turns out that they also are left-right inverted. The optic nerves from both eyes split up and cross each other in such a way that the left halves of the images of both eyes are received by the right hemisphere of the brain, while the right halves are received by the left. Each half of the observer’s brain receives information from only one half of the image. As Gitt went on to explain, “Note that, although the brain processes the different parts of the image in various remote locations, the two halves of the field of vision are seamlessly reunited, without any trace of a joint—amazing! This process is still far from being fully understood” (p. 17). It is hard to believe that this inverted system of sight could have been produced through evolution.
Since the eyes are one of the most important organs in the body, they must be taken care of constantly. And God designed just such a built-in cleaning system, consisting of the eyelashes, eyelids, and lacrimal glands. The lacrimal glands produce a steady flow of tears that flush away dust and other foreign materials. The tears also contain a potent anti-microbial agent known as lysozyme that destroys bacteria, viruses, etc. The eyelids and eyelashes work together to keep dirt and other debris from entering the eye. The eyelids act like windshield wipers, blinking 3-6 times a minute to moisten and clean the eye.
For many years, scientists have compared the eye to the modern manmade camera (see Miller, 1960, p. 315; Nourse, 1964, p. 154; Gardener, 1994, p. 105). True, the eye and camera do have many things in common, if the function of the camera demands that it was “made,” does it not stand to reason that the more complex human camera, the eye, also must have had a Maker? Alan Gillen explained it best when he wrote: “No human camera, artificial device, nor computer-enhanced light-sensitive device can match the contrivance of the human eye. Only a master engineer with superior intelligence could manufacture a series of interdependent light sensitive parts and reactions” (p. 99, emp. added). That master engineer was God. The writer of Proverbs knew this when he wrote, “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both” (20:12).


Blanchard, John (2000), Does God Believe in Atheists? (Auburn, MA: Evangelical Press).
Darwin, Charles (1859), On the Origin of Species (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; a facsimile of the first edition).
Gardner, Lynn (1994), Christianity Stands True (Joplin, MO: College Press).
Gillen, Alan L. (2001), Body by Design (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Gitt, Werner (1999), The Wonder of Man (Bielefeld, Germany: Christliche Literatur-Verbreitung E.V.).
Jastrow, Robert (1981), The Enchanted Loom: Mind in the Universe (New York: Simon and Schuster).
Lawton, April (1981), “From Here to Infinity,” Science Digest, 89[1]:98-105, January/February.
Miller, Benjamin and Goode, Ruth (1960), Man and His Body (New York: Simon and Schuster).
Nourse, Alan E., ed. (1964), The Body (New York: Time, Inc.).

Evening, Morning, and the Days of Creation by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Evening, Morning, and the Days of Creation

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The singular and plural forms of the Hebrew word for day (yomand yamim) appear in the Old Testament over 2,300 times, making it the fifth most common noun in the Old Testament (Saebo, 1990, 6:13-14). The term is used in three basic ways. The first two ways are defined and limited: “Day” (yom) can refer to a 24-hour period (e.g., Genesis 50:3), and it can refer to the part of the 24-hour period that is “light” (in contrast to the darkness/night; Genesis 1:3-5). Day is also used in an extended way to refer to longer, less-defined periods of time in the past, present, or future (e.g., “the day of the Lord,” Zechariah 14:1).
Just as most people who speak English can—rather effortlessly—understand how the English word “day” is used in a variety of contexts, most Bible readers can easily and quickly understand how the inspired writers used yom (day) throughout the Bible. Most people clearly comprehend if the word “day” is used in a defined manner (as a part of or an entire 24 hours) or in an undefined manner (e.g., “in the day of the Lord”). After the Flood, the Lord said, “While the earth remains…, winter and summer, day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22). “Day” is obviously used here in reference to a defined time period—the part of a 24-hour period that is light (cf. Genesis 7:4; 29:7; Exodus 24:18). During the Flood, “the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days” (Genesis 7:24). Once again, “days” (yamim) is used in a defined sense, though instead of referring to the light period of the day(s), the emphasis is on the total 24-hour period(s)—specifically, 150 24-hour periods. In Deuteronomy 31:17, the Lord foretold how the Israelites would break His covenant, and “in that day” many troubles would come upon them. The emphasis here is on a less defined period of time—in the future, when the Israelites would begin worshiping the idols of the pagan nations around them.
As with most terms, the word “day” cannot be defined accurately without considering the context in which it is found. However, inspired penmen nearly always provided various indicators within a given passage of Scripture so that readers can understand the text rather easily—including accurately interpreting how the word “day” is used hundreds of times in a limited, defined sense.
One of the indicators throughout the literal, non-prophetic language of Scripture that yom refers either to a limited, defined time of 24 hours or less [i.e., whether it is used to refer to (a) daylight hours of a 24-hour period or (b) the 24-hour period itself], is if the words “morning” and/or “evening” are used to describe the particular day. The words “morning” (boqer) and “evening” (‘ereb) appear 348 times in the Old Testament. (Boqer appears 214 times and ‘ereb 134 times; Konkel, 1997, 1:711,716.) Again and again throughout the Old Testament these words are used in reference to specific, defined portions of regular 24-hour days.
  • Noah “waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark. Then the dove came to him in the evening” (Genesis 8:10-11).
  • Moses judged Israel “on the next day…and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening” (Exodus 18:13).
  • The Lord instructed Aaron and his sons in the book of Leviticus about the various offerings, including the laws concerning peace offerings. According to Leviticus 7:15, “The flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day it is offered. He shall not leave any of it until morning.”
  • During the Israelites’ wandering in the wilderness, God caused a cloud to remain over the tabernacle “from evening until morning: when the cloud was taken up in the morning, then they would journey; whether by day or by night” (Number 9:21).
The only instances where evening and morning may not refer to defined portions of a 24-hour day are the relatively few times they are used in prophetic or figurative language (e.g., Genesis 49:27; Habakkuk 1:8). Otherwise, the evidence is overwhelming: when “morning” and/or “evening” are used in reference to a period of time (in literal, non-prophetic language) they always refer to regular, 24-hour days (or parts thereof). [NOTE: For a clear distinction between the literal, narrative, non-prophetic language of Scripture and the figurative, prophetic language of the Bible, compare the narrative of Joseph in Genesis 37-48 with what Jacob prophesies will happen to Joseph, his brothers, and their descendents in Genesis 49:1-27. For more information on the literal, historical nature of Genesis 1-2, see Thompson, 2000, pp. 133-161 and DeYoung, 2005, pp. 157-170.]
So what does this have to do with Creation? Many evolutionary sympathizers contend that the days of Creation were (or at least could have been) long periods of evolutionary geologic time (where each “day” was millions or billions of years long). One of the main problems (among others; see Lyons, 2012) with this bizarre interpretation, however, is that each day of the Creation was said to have one evening and one morning.
“So the evening and the morning were the first day” (Genesis 1:5).
“So the evening and the morning were the second day” (Genesis 1:8).
“So the evening and the morning were the third day” (Genesis 1:13).
“So the evening and the morning were the fourth day” (Genesis 1:19).
“So the evening and the morning were the fifth day” (Genesis 1:23).
“So the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31).
Just as God spoke of limited, defined periods of days using the terms “evening” and “morning”hundreds of times throughout the Old Testament, He did so six times in the Creation account. If everywhere else in the literal, non-prophetic language of the Old Testament these words are used to refer to regular 24-hour days, why is it that some contend the days of the literal, non-prophetic Genesis account of Creation were undefined, vast periods of evolutionary time? Because their loyalty to the assumption-based, unproven theory of evolution means more to them than a serious, consistent, logical interpretation of the Bible.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).


DeYoung, Donald (2005), Thousands…Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Konkel, A.H. (1997), boqerNew International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology & Exegesis, ed. Willem A. VanGemeren (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Lyons, Eric (2012), “Numbers…and the Use of the Word ‘Day,’” Apologetics Press,http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=3526&topic=327.
Saebo, M. (1990), yomTheological Dictionary of the Old Testament, ed. G. Johannes Botterweck and Helmer Ringgren (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Thompson, Bert (2000), Creation Compromises (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

No Need for Embryonic Stem Cells by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


No Need for Embryonic Stem Cells

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Doctors at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine recently evaluated published medical reports from 1997 to 2007 pertaining to the use of adult stem cells in the treatment of autoimmune as well as cardiac and vascular diseases. Their conclusion:
Stem cells harvested from blood or marrow, whether administered as purified HSCs or mesenchymal stem cells or as an unmanipulated or unpurified product can, under appropriate conditions in select patients, provide disease-ameliorating effects in some autoimmune diseases and cardiovascular disorders (Burt, et al., 2008).
In other words, while stem cells harvested from newly formed human beings have shown no verifiable promise, “blood-derived (from peripheral or umbilical cord blood) and bone marrow-derived stem cells, which can be easily and safely harvested” (Burt, et al., parenthetical item in orig.), are producing positive results.
Adult stem cells, which can be used to replace damaged or aging cells, are located in tissues throughout the body, and may be harvested without danger to the donor. Embryonic stem cells, on the other hand, are harvested from embryos four to five days after fertilization, thus requiring the death of the embryo. Advocates of the use of embryonic stem cells insist that they “are thought to offer potential cures and therapies for many devastating diseases” (“Frequently Asked...,” 2007), but thus far proof is still lacking.
Regardless of the scientific aspects and the potential medical benefits, the central issue that ought to head the list of considerations in the controversy over embryonic stem-cell research is the life of the children involved. One of the things that is listed as an “abomination” to God is “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17). During the period of the kings, God denounced the Israelites as wicked because “they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin” (Jeremiah 32:35). God must surely be outraged that “modern” man is also sacrificing children—but this time on the altar of medical research.


Burt, Richard, et al. (2008), “Clinical Applications of Blood-Derived and Marrow-Derived Stem Cells for Nonmalignant Diseases,” The Journal of the American Medical Association, 299(8):925-936, February 27, [On-line], URL: http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/299/8/925.
“Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)” (2007), Stem Cell Information, National Institutes of Health, [On-line], URL: http://stemcells.nih.gov/StemCells/Templates/StemCellContentPage.aspx ?NRMODE=Published&NRNODEGUID=%7bA604DCCE-2E5F-4395-8954-FCE1C05BE CED%7d&NRORIGINALURL=%2finfo%2ffaqs%2easp&NRCACHEHINT=NoModify Guest#whatare.

How Many Animals of Each Kind did Noah Take into the Ark? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


How Many Animals of Each Kind did Noah Take into the Ark?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Ask children who are even vaguely familiar with the biblical account of the Flood how many animals of each kind Noah took into the ark, and you likely will hear, “Two!” Most Bible students are familiar with the instructions recorded in Genesis 6:19 that God gave to Noah: “And of every living thing of all flesh you shall bring two of every sort into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female” (Genesis 6:19, emp. added; cf. 7:15). It seems that fewer people, however, are aware that God also instructed Noah, saying, “You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female; also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the earth” (Genesis 7:2-3, emp. added). According to Bible critics, these verses are contradictory. “Are clean beasts to enter by 2’s or by 7’s?” asked skeptic Dennis McKinsey (1983, p. 1).
To answer McKinsey’s question, the clean beasts and birds entered the ark “by sevens” (KJV), while the unclean animals went into the ark by twos. There is no contradiction here. Genesis 6:19 indicates that Noah was to take “two of every sort into the ark.” Then, four verses later, God supplemented this original instruction, informing Noah in a more detailed manner to take more of the clean animals. If a farmer told his son to take two of every kind of farm animal to the state fair, and then instructed his son to take several extra chickens and two extra pigs for a barbecue, would anyone accuse the farmer of contradicting himself? Certainly not. It was necessary for Noah to take additional clean animals because, upon his departure from the ark after the Flood, he “built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the alter” (Genesis 8:20). If Noah had taken only two clean animals from which to choose when sacrificing to God after departing the ark, then he would have driven the various kinds of clean beasts and birds into extinction by sacrificing one of each pair. Thus, after God told Noah to take two of every kind of animal into the ark, He then instructed him to take extras of the clean animals. Similar to how Genesis chapter 2 supplements the first chapter of Genesis by giving a more detailed account of the Creation (see Lyons, 2002), the first portion of Genesis 7 merely supplements the end of the preceding chapter, “containing several particulars of a minute description which were not embraced in the general directions first given to Noah” (Jamieson, et al., 1997).
One translation difficulty that should not trouble a person’s faith, but one of which a person might want to be aware, revolves around the actual number of clean animals taken into the ark. Through the years, serious Bible students have wondered whether this number was seven, or fourteen (Genesis 7:2). The Hebrew phrase shibb’ah shibb’ah is translated somewhat vaguely in both the King James and American Standard Versions. [According to the King James Version, clean animals were taken into the ark “by sevens” (Genesis 7:2). The American Standard Version says that the clean animals were taken “seven and seven.”] Newer translations are worded more clearly, but there is general disagreement among them. The New King James and New International Versions both agree that Noah took seven of each clean animal into the ark, whereas the Revised Standard Version, the New English Bible, and the English Standard Version all translate shibb’ah shibb’ah to mean “seven pairs” of clean animals. Although some beleive “there can be no certainty on this point” (Willis, 1979, p. 171), H.C. Leupold argued that the Hebrew phrase shibb’ah shibb’ah “would be a most clumsy method of trying to say ‘fourteen’ (1990, 1:290). Comparing similar language within Genesis 7, Whitcomb and Morris persuasively argued: “The Hebrew phrase ‘seven and seven’ no more means fourteen than does the parallel phrase ‘two and two’ (Gen. 7:9,15) mean four!” (1961, p. 65).
Though it may be that no concrete conclusion can be drawn regarding exactly how many clean animals entered Noah's ark (whether seven or fourteen), we can be certain that no contradiction has been demonstrated. Noah took different numbers of clean and unclean animals on the ark, just as the text of Genesis indicates.
Jamieson, Robert, et al. (1997), Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Bible Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Leupold, H.C. (1990 reprint), Exposition of Genesis (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Lyons, Eric (2002), “Did God Create Animals or Man First,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/513.
McKinsey, Dennis (1983), “Commentary,” Biblical Errancy, p. 1, December.
Whitcomb, John C. and Henry M. Morris (1961 reprint), The Genesis Flood (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Willis, John T. (1979), “Genesis,” The Living Word Commentary (Austin, TX: Sweet).



You’ve driven by a cemetery! You’ve probably visited one. You might have heard them speaking. You haven’t? You would if you listened really hard. You say, “Don’t be silly. Graveyards can’t talk!” Oh, come on, use your imagination! Don’t be in a hurry…listen.
All those graves are speaking.
How about their tones? Happy tones? I’ve heard a few that sounded that way but mostly they have a mournful sound. The younger ones as well, of course, but listen to the really old ones—graves that have been there for hundreds of years. [There’s one down the street from where I used to live in Northern Ireland. If I recall correctly, the man was buried something like fifty years after the KJV was first published in 1611.]
The old graves, the ones with the stones barely able to stand up, weed surrounded and with dates difficult to make out—they're the ones with the deepest and most mournful tones. But I’ve noticed that they’re the ones that speak with conviction.
What do the cemeteries and graves say when you pass by or walk around them? I’ve heard them say a lot of things. “You’ll be here too before you know it.” Things like that. Sometimes they all speak at the same time and say the same words and they say, “Dead people stay dead!” I may be wrong here but I think that happens most often when the rain is falling and it’s beginning to drip down the neck of your shirt and a cold breeze ceaselessly whispers.
It’s easy enough for Christians to sing happy songs in a church building and read great stories like the one in John 11. You know the one I’m talking about! Lazarus is bad sick, Jesus is sent for, he finally turns up and says to the girl whose hope for her now dead brother lies in the doctrine of the day of resurrection—“You’re looking at the resurrection!” Jesus in his Father’s name calls Lazarus out of the stench of death and sets him free.
It’s a great story! One of the best!
But Christians need to acknowledge the dirge sung in gloomy tones by graveyards all over the planet where the dead of the ages outnumber the living who are on their way to death.
It’s right to smile and maybe even to laugh as some fine preacher tells the story well. We’re supposed to rejoice in light of the story but we’re not to pretend that Death doesn’t stalk the world [even though we know Someone who is the Lord of Death].
Our teachers need to help us grasp the depths of the Lazarus story. We must be helped to rejoice in the truth of it but we must be helped to reflect on and examine the story from many perspectives. When they are done unpacking the story we’re supposed to be startled, assured, inspired, challenged, strengthened—we need more than information; we need transformation.
We’re not to strut! We’re not to be dismissive of the agony of the human family. Profound suffering, loss and bereavement are sacred places we should enter with reverence. The truth that graveyards tell is truth—though graveyards don’t know as much as they think they know! But death is real and graves, known and unknown, visited and unvisited, speak reality to us! Christians need to realize the power of Death over those without the Story.
In John 12:1-11 we’re told that Lazarus is now sitting at a meal, restored to happy sisters and smiling friends and people believed on Jesus. Then we’re told that some senseless leaders still thought that killing Jesus and Lazarus was the cure for their fears. Jesus delivers Lazarus from the corruption of Death and people without the Story still think that Death is lord. Such is Death’s power.
Tomorrow, Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the eighth day and the first, the day of a new beginning, the Resurrection day hosts of people will gather and announce the meaning of the death of Jesus Christ—the many meanings of the death of Jesus Christ. One of those truths is this: Cemeteries don’t tell the whole truth and sometimes they lie!
Spending Time with Jim McGuiggan

From Roy Davison... “Fear God!” (1 Peter 2:17)


“Fear God!”
(1 Peter 2:17)

True worshipers are God-fearing people.
Job “was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1).
God told Abraham, “Now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son” (Genesis 22:12).
Cornelius “feared God with all his household” (Acts 10:2).

What does it mean to fear God?

To be God-fearing is to have an overwhelming feeling of profound respect for God that causes us to be highly conscious of our own inadequacy and dependence. God is so great and we are so small, that it is scary! Ezekiel fell on his face when he saw the glory of the Lord (Ezekiel 1:28). Fear is the reasonable response of mortal man in the presence of almighty God. Fear of God is the sober realization that our eternal destiny depends on His judgment.
The word fear is used in connection with God more than 300 times in the Scriptures.
Fear of God is a healthy fear, like fear of fire or fear of falling. Its effects are positive. Whom do you trust more, a God-fearing person, or someone who does not fear God?

Every person on earth is commanded to fear God.

“Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him” (Psalm 33:8).
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth - to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people - saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water’” (Revelation 14:6, 7).

We learn to fear God by reading the Scriptures.

“And Moses commanded them, saying: ‘At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the LORD your God and carefully observe all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God’” (Deuteronomy 31:10-13).
By reading the Scriptures or by hearing them read aloud, adults and children learn to fear God.

Leaders ought to fear God.

The king of Israel was to read the Scriptures to learn to fear the Lord: “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel” (Deuteronomy 17:18-20).
King David wrote: “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God’” (2 Samuel 23:3, 4).
When King Jehoshaphat appointed judges, he charged them: “Take heed to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. Now therefore, let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes. ... Thus you shall act in the fear of the LORD, faithfully and with a loyal heart” (2 Chronicles 19:6, 7, 9).

Fear of God is a prerequisite for wisdom.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments” (Psalm 111:10). “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

We fear God because He is our judge.

Jesus said: “My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4, 5).
Although we fear God as our judge, genuine love can dispel fear of punishment. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).
John refers to fear of punishment, not fear of God. People who love God do not fear condemnation because they “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28).
Those who fear God are comforted: “Fear not, for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10). When Daniel saw the Son of Man [compare Daniel 10:5, 6 with Revelation 1:12-15] he “stood trembling” but was told, “Do not fear, Daniel. ... O man greatly beloved, fear not!” (Daniel 10:10, 12, 19).
Christians are commanded: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
Although perfect love casts out fear, lack of fear does not prove love! Someone who does not fear God, does not fear judgment. And many who are confident that they are saved will be lost because they did not build on the Rock by obeying Christ (Matthew 7:22, 23). If they had truly loved God and feared Him as judge, they would have obeyed Christ.

A God-fearing person wants to please God.

Of Hezekiah, king of Judah, it is said: “Did he not fear the LORD and seek the LORD’s favor?” (Jeremiah 26:19).
They who fear God want to be faithful and true. Joshua told Israel, “Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth” (Joshua 24:14). Later, Samuel reminded them: “Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you” (1 Samuel 12:24). 
God has promised that we can be His sons and daughters if we separate ourselves from the uncleanness of the world (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Paul continues in the next chapter: “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).

A God-fearing person wants to obey God.

“Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him” (Deuteronomy 8:6). “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul?” (Deuteronomy 10:12). “You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him” (Deuteronomy 13:4).

A God-fearing person wants to avoid evil. 

“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:7). “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil” (Proverbs 8:13).

God takes care of those who fear Him.

“The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. ... Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him” (Psalm 34:7, 9). 
“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them” (Psalm 145:18, 19). 
“Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God” (Ecclesiastes 8:11-13). 
“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. ‘They shall be Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘on the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him’” (Malachi 3:16, 17).

God extends grace to those who fear Him.

“His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation” (Luke 1:50). “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy” (Psalm 33:18). “The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy” (Psalm 147:11).
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them” (Psalm 103:10-18).

Let us walk in the fear of the Lord. 

“Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied” (Acts 9:31). 
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). 
“You who fear the LORD, praise Him!” (Psalm 22:23).
“Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” (Revelation 19:5). Fear God! 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 December 2

Bible Reading  

December 2

The World English Bible

Dec. 2
Ezekiel 21-24

Eze 21:1 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 21:2 Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, and drop your word toward the sanctuaries, and prophesy against the land of Israel;
Eze 21:3 and tell the land of Israel, Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, and will draw forth my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked.
Eze 21:4 Seeing then that I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of its sheath against all flesh from the south to the north:
Eze 21:5 and all flesh shall know that I, Yahweh, have drawn forth my sword out of its sheath; it shall not return any more.
Eze 21:6 Sigh therefore, you son of man; with the breaking of your thighs and with bitterness you will sigh before their eyes.
Eze 21:7 It shall be, when they tell you, Why do you sigh? that you shall say, Because of the news, for it comes; and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it comes, and it shall be done, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 21:8 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 21:9 Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says Yahweh: Say, A sword, a sword, it is sharpened, and also furbished;
Eze 21:10 it is sharpened that it may make a slaughter; it is furbished that it may be as lightning: shall we then make mirth? the rod of my son, it condemns every tree.
Eze 21:11 It is given to be furbished, that it may be handled: the sword, it is sharpened, yes, it is furbished, to give it into the hand of the killer.
Eze 21:12 Cry and wail, son of man; for it is on my people, it is on all the princes of Israel: they are delivered over to the sword with my people; strike therefore on your thigh.
Eze 21:13 For there is a trial; and what if even the rod that condemns shall be no more? says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 21:14 You therefore, son of man, prophesy, and strike your hands together; and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the deadly wounded: it is the sword of the great one who is deadly wounded, which enters into their chambers.
Eze 21:15 I have set the threatening sword against all their gates, that their heart may melt, and their stumblings be multiplied: ah! it is made as lightning, it is pointed for slaughter.
Eze 21:16 Gather you together, go to the right, set yourself in array, go to the left, wherever your face is set.
Eze 21:17 I will also strike my hands together, and I will cause my wrath to rest: I, Yahweh, have spoken it.
Eze 21:18 The word of Yahweh came to me again, saying,
Eze 21:19 Also, you son of man, appoint two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come; they both shall come forth out of one land: and mark out a place, mark it out at the head of the way to the city.
Eze 21:20 You shall appoint a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and to Judah in Jerusalem the fortified.
Eze 21:21 For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he shook the arrows back and forth, he consulted the teraphim, he looked in the liver.
Eze 21:22 In his right hand was the divination for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up mounds, to build forts.
Eze 21:23 It shall be to them as a false divination in their sight, who have sworn oaths to them; but he brings iniquity to memory, that they may be taken.
Eze 21:24 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because you have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your doings your sins do appear; because you have come to memory, you shall be taken with the hand.
Eze 21:25 You, deadly wounded wicked one, the prince of Israel, whose day is come, in the time of the iniquity of the end,
Eze 21:26 thus says the Lord Yahweh: Remove the turban, and take off the crown; this shall be no more the same; exalt that which is low, and abase that which is high.
Eze 21:27 I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: this also shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him.
Eze 21:28 You, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh concerning the children of Ammon, and concerning their reproach; and say you, A sword, a sword is drawn, for the slaughter it is furbished, to cause it to devour, that it may be as lightning;
Eze 21:29 while they see for you false visions, while they divine lies to you, to lay you on the necks of the wicked who are deadly wounded, whose day is come in the time of the iniquity of the end.
Eze 21:30 Cause it to return into its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your birth, will I judge you.
Eze 21:31 I will pour out my indignation on you; I will blow on you with the fire of my wrath; and I will deliver you into the hand of brutish men, skillful to destroy.
Eze 21:32 You shall be for fuel to the fire; your blood shall be in the midst of the land; you shall be no more remembered: for I, Yahweh, have spoken it.
Eze 22:1 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 22:2 You, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? then cause her to know all her abominations.
Eze 22:3 You shall say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: A city that sheds blood in the midst of her, that her time may come, and that makes idols against herself to defile her!
Eze 22:4 You have become guilty in your blood that you have shed, and are defiled in your idols which you have made; and you have caused your days to draw near, and are come even to your years: therefore have I made you a reproach to the nations, and a mocking to all the countries.
Eze 22:5 Those who are near, and those who are far from you, shall mock you, you infamous one and full of tumult.
Eze 22:6 Behold, the princes of Israel, everyone according to his power, have been in you to shed blood.
Eze 22:7 In you have they set light by father and mother; in the midst of you have they dealt by oppression with the foreigner; in you have they wronged the fatherless and the widow.
Eze 22:8 You have despised my holy things, and have profaned my Sabbaths.
Eze 22:9 Slanderous men have been in you to shed blood; and in you they have eaten on the mountains: in the midst of you they have committed lewdness.
Eze 22:10 In you have they uncovered their fathers' nakedness; in you have they humbled her who was unclean in her impurity.
Eze 22:11 One has committed abomination with his neighbor's wife; and another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law; and another in you has humbled his sister, his father's daughter.
Eze 22:12 In you have they taken bribes to shed blood; you have taken interest and increase, and you have greedily gained of your neighbors by oppression, and have forgotten me, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 22:13 Behold, therefore, I have struck my hand at your dishonest gain which you have made, and at your blood which has been in the midst of you.
Eze 22:14 Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you? I, Yahweh, have spoken it, and will do it.
Eze 22:15 I will scatter you among the nations, and disperse you through the countries; and I will consume your filthiness out of you.
Eze 22:16 You shall be profaned in yourself, in the sight of the nations; and you shall know that I am Yahweh.
Eze 22:17 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 22:18 Son of man, the house of Israel is become dross to me: all of them are brass and tin and iron and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are the dross of silver.
Eze 22:19 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because you are all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.
Eze 22:20 As they gather silver and brass and iron and lead and tin into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire on it, to melt it; so will I gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will lay you there, and melt you.
Eze 22:21 Yes, I will gather you, and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in its midst.
Eze 22:22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so you will be melted in its midst; and you will know that I, Yahweh, have poured out my wrath on you.
Eze 22:23 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 22:24 Son of man, tell her, You are a land that is not cleansed, nor rained on in the day of indignation.
Eze 22:25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in its midst, like a roaring lion ravening the prey: they have devoured souls; they take treasure and precious things; they have made her widows many in its midst.
Eze 22:26 Her priests have done violence to my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they caused men to discern between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
Eze 22:27 Her princes in its midst are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, that they may get dishonest gain.
Eze 22:28 Her prophets have daubed for them with whitewash, seeing false visions, and divining lies to them, saying, Thus says the Lord Yahweh, when Yahweh has not spoken.
Eze 22:29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery; yes, they have troubled the poor and needy, and have oppressed the foreigner wrongfully.
Eze 22:30 I sought for a man among them, who should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none.
Eze 22:31 Therefore have I poured out my indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I brought on their heads, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 23:1 The word of Yahweh came again to me, saying,
Eze 23:2 Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother:
Eze 23:3 and they played the prostitute in Egypt; they played the prostitute in their youth; there were their breasts pressed, and there was handled the bosom of their virginity.
Eze 23:4 The names of them were Oholah the elder, and Oholibah her sister: and they became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Samaria is Oholah, and Jerusalem Oholibah.
Eze 23:5 Oholah played the prostitute when she was mine; and she doted on her lovers, on the Assyrians her neighbors,
Eze 23:6 who were clothed with blue, governors and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses.
Eze 23:7 She bestowed her prostitution on them, the choicest men of Assyria all of them; and on whoever she doted, with all their idols she defiled herself.
Eze 23:8 Neither has she left her prostitution since the days of Egypt; for in her youth they lay with her, and they handled the bosom of her virginity; and they poured out their prostitution on her.
Eze 23:9 Therefore I delivered her into the hand of her lovers, into the hand of the Assyrians, on whom she doted.
Eze 23:10 These uncovered her nakedness; they took her sons and her daughters; and her they killed with the sword: and she became a byword among women; for they executed judgments on her.
Eze 23:11 Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet was she more corrupt in her doting than she, and in her prostitution which were more than the prostitution of her sister.
Eze 23:12 She doted on the Assyrians, governors and rulers, her neighbors, clothed most gorgeously, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men.
Eze 23:13 I saw that she was defiled; they both took one way.
Eze 23:14 She increased her prostitution; for she saw men portrayed on the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion,
Eze 23:15 girded with girdles on their waists, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them princes to look on, after the likeness of the Babylonians in Chaldea, the land of their birth.
Eze 23:16 As soon as she saw them she doted on them, and sent messengers to them into Chaldea.
Eze 23:17 The Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their prostitution, and she was polluted with them, and her soul was alienated from them.
Eze 23:18 So she uncovered her prostitution, and uncovered her nakedness: then my soul was alienated from her, like as my soul was alienated from her sister.
Eze 23:19 Yet she multiplied her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth, in which she had played the prostitute in the land of Egypt.
Eze 23:20 She doted on their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of donkeys, and whose issue is like the issue of horses.
Eze 23:21 Thus you called to memory the lewdness of your youth, in the handling of your bosom by the Egyptians for the breasts of your youth.
Eze 23:22 Therefore, Oholibah, thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will raise up your lovers against you, from whom your soul is alienated, and I will bring them against you on every side:
Eze 23:23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them; desirable young men, governors and rulers all of them, princes and men of renown, all of them riding on horses.
Eze 23:24 They shall come against you with weapons, chariots, and wagons, and with a company of peoples; they shall set themselves against you with buckler and shield and helmet all around; and I will commit the judgment to them, and they shall judge you according to their judgments.
Eze 23:25 I will set my jealousy against you, and they shall deal with you in fury; they shall take away your nose and your ears; and your residue shall fall by the sword: they shall take your sons and your daughters; and your residue shall be devoured by the fire.
Eze 23:26 They shall also strip you of your clothes, and take away your beautiful jewels.
Eze 23:27 Thus will I make your lewdness to cease from you, and your prostitution brought from the land of Egypt; so that you shall not lift up your eyes to them, nor remember Egypt any more.
Eze 23:28 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will deliver you into the hand of them whom you hate, into the hand of them from whom your soul is alienated;
Eze 23:29 and they shall deal with you in hatred, and shall take away all your labor, and shall leave you naked and bare; and the nakedness of your prostitution shall be uncovered, both your lewdness and your prostitution.
Eze 23:30 These things shall be done to you, because you have played the prostitute after the nations, and because you are polluted with their idols.
Eze 23:31 You have walked in the way of your sister; therefore will I give her cup into your hand.
Eze 23:32 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: You will drink of your sister's cup, which is deep and large; you will be ridiculed and held in derision; it contains much.
Eze 23:33 You shall be filled with drunkenness and sorrow, with the cup of astonishment and desolation, with the cup of your sister Samaria.
Eze 23:34 You shall even drink it and drain it out, and you shall gnaw the broken pieces of it, and shall tear your breasts; for I have spoken it, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 23:35 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because you have forgotten me, and cast me behind your back, therefore bear you also your lewdness and your prostitution.
Eze 23:36 Yahweh said moreover to me: Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? then declare to them their abominations.
Eze 23:37 For they have committed adultery, and blood is in their hands; and with their idols have they committed adultery; and they have also caused their sons, whom they bore to me, to pass through the fire to them to be devoured.
Eze 23:38 Moreover this they have done to me: they have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my Sabbaths.
Eze 23:39 For when they had slain their children to their idols, then they came the same day into my sanctuary to profane it; and behold, thus have they done in the midst of my house.
Eze 23:40 Furthermore you have sent for men who come from far, to whom a messenger was sent, and behold, they came; for whom you did wash yourself, paint your eyes, and deck yourself with ornaments,
Eze 23:41 and sit on a stately bed, with a table prepared before it, whereupon you did set my incense and my oil.
Eze 23:42 The voice of a multitude being at ease was with her: and with men of the common sort were brought drunkards from the wilderness; and they put bracelets on the hands of them twain, and beautiful crowns on their heads.
Eze 23:43 Then said I of her who was old in adulteries, Now will they play the prostitute with her, and she with them.
Eze 23:44 They went in to her, as they go in to a prostitute: so went they in to Oholah and to Oholibah, the lewd women.
Eze 23:45 Righteous men, they shall judge them with the judgment of adulteresses, and with the judgment of women who shed blood; because they are adulteresses, and blood is in their hands.
Eze 23:46 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will bring up a company against them, and will give them to be tossed back and forth and robbed.
Eze 23:47 The company shall stone them with stones, and dispatch them with their swords; they shall kill their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses with fire.
Eze 23:48 Thus will I cause lewdness to cease out of the land, that all women may be taught not to do after your lewdness.
Eze 23:49 They shall recompense your lewdness on you, and you shall bear the sins of your idols; and you shall know that I am the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 24:1 Again, in the ninth year, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 24:2 Son of man, write you the name of the day, even of this same day: the king of Babylon drew close to Jerusalem this same day.
Eze 24:3 Utter a parable to the rebellious house, and tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh, Set on the caldron, set it on, and also pour water into it:
Eze 24:4 gather its pieces into it, even every good piece, the thigh, and the shoulder; fill it with the choice bones.
Eze 24:5 Take the choice of the flock, and also a pile of wood for the bones under the caldron; make it boil well; yes, let its bones be boiled in its midst.
Eze 24:6 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Woe to the bloody city, to the caldron whose rust is therein, and whose rust is not gone out of it! take out of it piece after piece; No lot is fallen on it.
Eze 24:7 For her blood is in the midst of her; she set it on the bare rock; she didn't pour it on the ground, to cover it with dust.
Eze 24:8 That it may cause wrath to come up to take vengeance, I have set her blood on the bare rock, that it should not be covered.
Eze 24:9 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Woe to the bloody city! I also will make the pile great.
Eze 24:10 Heap on the wood, make the fire hot, boil well the flesh, and make thick the broth, and let the bones be burned.
Eze 24:11 Then set it empty on its coals, that it may be hot, and its brass may burn, and that its filthiness may be molten in it, that its rust may be consumed.
Eze 24:12 She has wearied herself with toil; yet her great rust doesn't go forth out of her; her rust doesn't go forth by fire.
Eze 24:13 In your filthiness is lewdness: because I have cleansed you and you weren't cleansed, you shall not be cleansed from your filthiness any more, until I have caused my wrath toward you to rest.
Eze 24:14 I, Yahweh, have spoken it: it shall happen, and I will do it: I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to your ways, and according to your doings, shall they judge you, says the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 24:15 Also the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 24:16 Son of man, behold, I take away from you the desire of your eyes with a stroke: yet you shall neither mourn nor weep, neither shall your tears run down.
Eze 24:17 Sigh, but not aloud, make no mourning for the dead; bind your headdress on you, and put your shoes on your feet, and don't cover your lips, and don't eat men's bread.
Eze 24:18 So I spoke to the people in the morning; and at even my wife died; and I did in the morning as I was commanded.
Eze 24:19 The people said to me, Won't you tell us what these things are to us, that you do so?
Eze 24:20 Then I said to them, The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Eze 24:21 Speak to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the pride of your power, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pities; and your sons and your daughters whom you have left behind shall fall by the sword.
Eze 24:22 You shall do as I have done: you shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men.
Eze 24:23 Your tires shall be on your heads, and your shoes on your feet: you shall not mourn nor weep; but you shall pine away in your iniquities, and moan one toward another.
Eze 24:24 Thus shall Ezekiel be to you a sign; according to all that he has done you will do: when this comes, then you will know that I am the Lord Yahweh.
Eze 24:25 You, son of man, shall it not be in the day when I take from them their strength, the joy of their glory, the desire of their eyes, and that whereupon they set their heart, their sons and their daughters,
Eze 24:26 that in that day he who escapes shall come to you, to cause you to hear it with your ears?

Eze 24:27 In that day your mouth will be opened to him who has escaped, and you shall speak, and be no more mute: so you will be a sign to them; and they shall know that I am Yahweh.

 Dec. 2
James 5

Jas 5:1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming on you.
Jas 5:2 Your riches are corrupted and your garments are moth-eaten.
Jas 5:3 Your gold and your silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be for a testimony against you, and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up your treasure in the last days.
Jas 5:4 Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you have kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of those who reaped have entered into the ears of the Lord of Armies.
Jas 5:5 You have lived delicately on the earth, and taken your pleasure. You have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter.
Jas 5:6 You have condemned, you have murdered the righteous one. He doesn't resist you.
Jas 5:7 Be patient therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it, until it receives the early and late rain.
Jas 5:8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Jas 5:9 Don't grumble, brothers, against one another, so that you won't be judged. Behold, the judge stands at the door.
Jas 5:10 Take, brothers, for an example of suffering and of patience, the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
Jas 5:11 Behold, we call them blessed who endured. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the Lord in the outcome, and how the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
Jas 5:12 But above all things, my brothers, don't swear, neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath; but let your "yes" be "yes," and your "no," "no;" so that you don't fall into hypocrisy.
Jas 5:13 Is any among you suffering? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing praises.
Jas 5:14 Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the assembly, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord,
Jas 5:15 and the prayer of faith will heal him who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Jas 5:16 Confess your offenses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The insistent prayer of a righteous person is powerfully effective.
Jas 5:17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it didn't rain on the earth for three years and six months.
Jas 5:18 He prayed again, and the sky gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit.
Jas 5:19 Brothers, if any among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,
Jas 5:20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death, and will cover a multitude of sins.