12/14/15

From Mark Copeland... "LIFE AFTER DEATH" What Should Be Our Attitude Towards Death?



                           "LIFE AFTER DEATH"

                What Should Be Our Attitude Towards Death?

INTRODUCTION

1. Our previous lesson examined the value of such a study as "Life After 
   Death", in which we suggested that it could...
   a. Encourage us to so live as to inherit blessings
   b. Furnish us a stimulus and theme for evangelism
   c. Help us to answer inquirers, and quiet deceivers
   d. Stimulate us to more fervent prayers
   e. Strengthen our love for one another
   f. Cause more glory to be given to God
   g. Increase incentive to be steadfast in the faith

2. Understanding the value of such a study, it may be proper to begin 
   this study in earnest by stressing what our ATTITUDE as Christians 
   should be towards death itself
   a. This will help us get started in the right direction
   b. For whatever "conclusions" or "convictions" we may reach in future
      studies must be in harmony with the proper ATTITUDE as taught in 
      the Bible
      1) Some views of life after death seem totally out of harmony with
         a Biblical attitude toward death
      2) E.g., if after death the soul "sleeps" or ceases to exist, I 
         find it difficult to understand why the Bible says what it does
         about the death of the righteous

[Let's notice first, then, some...]

I. WRONG ATTITUDES TOWARD DEATH

   A. THE ATTITUDE OF THE "CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST"...
      1. Who believes that "matter, sin, sickness, and death have no 
         reality"
      2. I.e., who in essence denies the reality of death
      3. Who might to read Gen 5:5,8,11,14,17,20,27,31 and observe how
         often the Scriptures records "and he died"

   B. THE ATTITUDE OF THE "ESCAPIST"...
      1. Who fears death, and so tries to avoid all mention of it
         a. Louis XV forbade his servants to mention the word "death" in
            his presence
         b. Some Chinese are afraid that the mention of "death" invites 
            it
      2. But that approach cannot provide any true comfort

   C. THE ATTITUDE OF THE "FATALIST" OR "STOIC"...
      1. This person appears to accept it without any emotion, one way
         or the other
      2. E.g., saying "When I die, I rot...and what of it?"

   D. THE ATTITUDE OF THE "BLATANT INFIDEL"...
      1. This individual curses death and the God (if there is one) who
         allows it
      2. Who might say, "This is a dirty trick!"

   E. THE ATTITUDE OF THE "DESPAIRING PESSIMIST"...
      1. Tired of life, and in despair commits suicide
      2. But there is at least one passage that teaches us to have more 
         respect for our physical body - cf. 1Co 6:19-20

   F. THE ATTITUDE OF THE "SENTIMENTALIST"...
      1. This person gushes over death-bed scenes, grows very 
         sentimental, but actually enjoys it!
      2. Just like there are those who enjoy "thrillers", there are 
         those who delight in "tear-jerkers"
      3. Why?  You will have to ask a psychologist for that one...

   G. THE ATTITUDE OF THE "RELIGIOUS FANATIC WITH A MARTYR-COMPLEX"...
      1. Not to be confused with true martyrs who faced inevitable death
         with great courage
      2. This person actually looks for opportunity to die for the Lord
      3. Who should probably study such verses like 1Co 13:3b; Php 1:
         22-24

[Such attitudes toward death are harmful or otherwise wrong.

How then should the Christian view death?  The same way the Bible views
it...]

II. BIBLICAL ATTITUDES TOWARD THE DEATH OF THE RIGHTEOUS

   A. PRECIOUS IN THE SIGHT OF GOD...
      1. Cf. Ps 116:15
      2. Viewed from God's perspective, death simply means that one of 
         His children is finally "coming home"

   B. REMOVED FROM EVIL, AND AT PEACE...
      1. Cf. Isa 57:1-2
      2. In times of general turmoil, the righteous and merciful are 
         often caught up in the loss of life
      3. But we can consider it from a positive perspective, that such 
         no longer have to endure the evil, and are now in peace!

   C. A BEING CARRIED AWAY BY ANGELS TO BLISS...
      1. Cf. Lk 16:22
      2. Those righteous who have suffered are immediately released from
         that suffering, and are carried away by the angels to a place 
         of comfort

   D. A GOING AWAY TO PARADISE...
      1. Cf. Lk 23:43
      2. So Jesus promised the thief on the cross

   E. A DEPARTURE, AN "EXODUS"...
      1. Paul viewed his impending death as a "departure", using "a 
         metaphor drawn from loosing from moorings preparatory to setting
         sail" - 2Ti 4:6
      2. Peter used the Greek word "exodos" {ex'-od-os} (translated 
         "decease"), meaning "exit", the same word used to describe the 
         Exodus of Israel from Egyptian bondage - 2Pe 1:15

   F. A "GAIN", SOMETHING FAR BETTER THAN LIVING...
      1. Cf. Php 1:21,23
      2. This was another way Paul viewed his death

   G. TO BE WITH CHRIST, AT HOME WITH THE LORD...
      1. Cf. Php 1:23; 2Co 5:6-8
      2. This is why death was considered by Paul to be a "gain", rather
         than a loss

   H. "ASLEEP" IN JESUS, YET LIVING WITH HIM...
      1. Cf. 1Th 4:13-14; 5:9-11
      2. Those who have died "in Christ", are said to "sleep in Jesus"
      3. Whether this phrase ("sleep in Jesus") supports what some teach
         as "soul sleeping" will be examined more carefully later, but 
         Paul does say that those who sleep in Jesus still "live together
         with Him" implying awareness - 1Th 5:10
      
   I. A BLESSED REST FROM THEIR LABORS...
      1. Cf. Re 14:13
      2. One of the many blessings promised to those who patiently keep 
         the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus (Re 14:12)

CONCLUSION

1. This should suffice to convince the faithful Christian that death...
   a. Is NOT to be denied or feared
   b. But can be something precious and even longed for, for the 
      blessings it brings!

2. As said in the beginning of this lesson, whatever conclusions or 
   convictions we reach concerning the death of the righteous must 
   somehow fit in with these attitudes towards death as found in the 
   Bible

3. May God give us more grace and greater faith to so view the death of 
   those in Christ, and our own death as well!

4. And may we also ever give praise and glory to God, who through His Son
   has freed us from the "fear of death" - He 2:14-15

Have you been freed from the fear of death, by being made righteous in
the blood of the Lamb?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2015

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The Question of Inerrancy by J.W. McGarvey



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=3573


The Question of Inerrancy

by J.W. McGarvey

[Editor’s Note: The following article was penned by J.W. McGarvey and originally appeared in the May 27, 1893 issue of Christian Standard, reprinted in McGarvey, 1910, pp. 36-39. While the specific occasion that elicited the article has long since passed, the principles have not, since they still afflict the thinking of modern liberal theologians. We commend this timeless article to your consideration.]
I believe it was Professor Briggs who first introduced the current use of the term “inerrancy” in the controversy about the character of the original Scriptures. If he did not, he at least has given it its chief conspicuity in recent discussions. It is well-known that no intelligent man claims inerrancy for the printed Bibles which we now use, whether in the translations or the original tongues. The question has never had reference to any other than the language of the inspired writers, as distinguished from the alterations and interpolations which have been introduced by copyists and editors. In other words, it has reference to the autographic writing of the authors of the books. Instead of meeting the question fairly, those gentlemen who are so fond of an errant Bible, have taken a great deal of pains to obscure the real issue by throwing dust into the air. Professor Warfield, of Princeton, has an excellent article in the Independent of March 23, in which he scatters this dust, and lays bare the real issue in a most intelligible manner. We quote him:
We have heard a vast deal of late of “the first manuscripts of the Bible which no living man has ever seen,” of “Scriptures that have disappeared forever,” of “original autographs which have vanished;” concerning the contents of which these controversialists are willing to declare, with the emphasis of italics, that they know nothing, that no man knows anything, and that they are perfectly contented with their ignorance. Now, again, if this were to be taken literally, it would amount to a strong asseveration that the Bible, as God gave it to men, is lost beyond recovery; and that men are shut up, therefore, to the use of Bibles so hopelessly corrupted that it is impossible now to say what was in the original autographs and what was not! In proportion as we draw back from this contention—which is fortunately as absurd as it is extreme—in that proportion do we affirm that we have the autographic text; that not only we, but all men, may see it if they will; and that God has not permitted the Bible to become so hopelessly corrupt that its restoration to its original text is impossible. As a matter of fact, the great body of the Bible is, in its autographic text, in the worst copies of the original texts in circulation; practically the whole of it is in its autographic text in the best texts in circulation; and he who will may today read the autographic text in large stretches of Scripture without legitimate doubt, and, in the New Testament at least, may know precisely at what rarely occurring points, and to what not very great extent, doubts as to the genuineness of the text are still possible.
The Professor might have added that this autograph, thus accurately preserved, and now in the hands of every reader of the corrected Greek text of the New Testament, is faithfully represented to the eye of every English reader in the renderings and marginal readings of the Revised Version. For while, as the textual critics make plain to us, seven-eighths of the words of the New Testament are now printed in the very form in which they came from the original penmen, and nine hundred and ninety-nine thousandths of it absolutely so in meaning; and while we can put our finger on every word about which there remains any doubt; the marginal readings of the revised New Testament enable the reader who knows not a word of Greek to put his finger also on these words, and to know that all the rest are precisely those of the autographs. It is a most mischievous and deceptive device, therefore, originating from the heat of controversy, to speak of the autographic writing of the apostles as though it were lost to the world, never to be known again except by conjecture. Thank God, we have it in a purer form than our fathers had, even back to the early ages of the faith; and with this autographic writing in our hands, we stand before those who would criticize its representations, and say: Gentlemen, show us an error here which by a fair logical process can be certainly charged to the inspired penmen, and we will concede that to this extent their inspiration failed to guard against error. You have not done so yet; for all the specifications which you have made fail of this essential condition. We would caution them also to remember that there is the breadth of the heavens between infinitesimal errors of detail in a very few instances, and such errors as they are constantly charging upon the Scriptures, errors in which multitudes of facts, arguments and inferences in every part of the Bible are discredited at the good pleasure of every opinionated critic. The former would be a puzzle worthy of profound consideration and an earnest effort at solution; but the latter makes the Bible less reliable as a record of facts than Macaulay’s History of England or Bancroft’s History of the United States. We want no such Bible as that, and the coming generation will have none at all if that is the alternative

REFERENCE

McGarvey, J.W. (1910), Short Essays in Biblical Criticism (Cincinnati, OH: The Standard Publishing Company).

Struggling Leads to Strength by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=844

Struggling Leads to Strength

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Much truth is contained in the statement, “a smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.” One who does not undergo the intensity of physical training hardly can expect to become an outstanding athlete. For example, if a man desires to participate in weight training, but at the same time refuses to endure the resistance that comes with adding weight day after day, his chances of becoming stronger are very slim indeed. After all, the whole concept behind lifting weights is resistance. A person struggles with the weight in order to build muscle mass and become stronger physically. Similarly, one who seeks intelligence must struggle through the learning process. He must work at reading, writing, and figuring out problems. The same is true of faith. In order to grow and become stronger, Christians must face some resistance. That is to say, on occasion we must struggle in order to strengthen our spiritual bodies. Jesus told His apostles the night of His betrayal: “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33). Paul told Timothy: “All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).
Sometimes people wonder why God allows trials and tribulations in this world. Why did He not create us so that everything we experience is painless? One of the answers to this oft’-asked question is that sometimes we can benefit greatly from experiencing mental and/or physical pain. We witness this same principle at work in the animal world. The emperor moth must struggle from its cocoon in order to properly develop its body and wings. If it does not struggle, the result is a flightless moth. In Hebrews 11, one reads of Abraham being tested (17), Moses suffering affliction (24-25), and others being mocked, scourged, and imprisoned (36). Did these trials benefit them in any way? James wrote: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4, emp. added). In writing to the Corinthian brethren Paul said, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). The struggles Paul endured while on the Earth were a momentary trifle compared with the eternal glory before him.
You will struggle in this life. When you do, look to the Lord and trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6). Realize that different forms of suffering can make us stronger if we permit them to do so. We can be confident that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). This does not mean that everything that happens to us is good. But it does mean that if we are living godly lives, whatever does happen will work out for the best in the long run.

Evolution Wrapped Around the Pinky Finger of Woman X by Kyle Butt, M.A.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2860


Evolution Wrapped Around the Pinky Finger of Woman X

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

Just a few months ago, the evolutionary community paraded before us Ardi and Ida—two “amazing” links between humans and their alleged primate ancestors. These two “links” proved to be quite an embarrassment to the evolutionary community (see Butt, 2009). The debunked links were quite useful, however. They manifested the fact that the evolutionary scientific community will relentlessly trumpet evidence that supposedly substantiates evolution, even if that evidence is false or misleading. Unfortunately, this is especially true when it comes to alleged human evolution. As another example of such sensationalized, exaggerated tactics, Woman X recently hit newsstands.
Woman X is the name given to an unidentified creature whose partial pinky bone was found in the Altai Mountains in Siberia. Johannes Krause, et al. recently reported in Nature that they took a mtDNAfragment from a tiny piece of a pinky bone found in the Denisova Cave (2010). Supposedly, this fragment of DNA gave the researchers everything they needed to conclude that this find “represents a hitherto unknown type of hominin” DNA that “shares a common ancestor with anatomically modern human and Neanderthal” DNA. The media instantly seized upon the report, and hailed the creature as “a new and unknown type of pre-human [that] lived alongside modern humans and Neanderthals” (Fox, 2010).
On what amazing evidence did the researchers base their conclusion? They used mitochondrial DNAto determine the alleged evolutionary relationship. As Fox described the situation, “Krause and colleagues said they sequenced DNA from the mitochondria, a part of the cell, which is passed down virtually intact from a woman to her children” (2010). The problem with such mtDNA sequencing is that it has been shown repeatedly to be an inaccurate indicator of ancestral relationships (seeThompson and Harrub, 2003). Furthermore, not only is mitochondrial DNA sequencing impotent to establish any type of evolutionary ancestry, all such genetic comparisons are fraught with faulty assumptions and incorrect conclusions (see Thompson and Harrub, 2005).
Fox noted in passing that the “genetic sequence tells scientists little about what the creature would have looked like or whether it interacted with other humans” (2010). Notice the shift in the new “evidence” that supposedly proves human evolution. No longer does the evolutionary community feel the need to discover leg or hipbones that would indicate that the creature walked upright. No longer do these evolutionists feel compelled to find a skull that would show half-and-half characteristics between humans and apes (which are conspicuously absent from the fossil record). It is now the case that a tiny, microscopic piece of DNA supposedly gives them all they need to extrapolate an entirely new “pre-human” creature. If the amount of evidence needed to establish evolution continues to shrink at this rate, soon the evolutionary community will be able to discard the need for any physical “evidence,” and base their theory on nothing more than imagination—which, in fact, is what has already happened.

REFERENCES

Butt, Kyle (2009), “Ardi Joins a Long, Infamous List of Losers,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240241.
Fox, Maggie (2010), “Possible New Human Ancestor Found in Siberia,” Yahoo!, [On-line], URL:http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100324/sc_nm/us_human_species;_ylt=AgOdUD_YoUe _PoNvY1i.cFus0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFpOG5vNTZmBHBvcwMzOARzZWMDYWNjb3JkaW9u X21vc3RfcG9wdWxhcgRzbGsDcG9zc2libGVuZXdo.
Krause, Johannes, et al. (2010), “The Complete Mitochondrial DNA Genome of an Unknown Hominin from Southern Siberia,” Nature, March, [On-line], URL:http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/nature08976.pdf.
Thompson, Bert and Brad Harrub (2003), “How Many Times Does ‘Mitochondrial Eve’ Have to Die?” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2332.
Thompson, Bert and Brad Harrub (2005), “The Molecular Evidence of Human Origins,” Parts 1 & 2,Reason & Revelation, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2718 andhttp://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2734.

Only the Creator has the Right to Define Marriage by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=5178


Only the Creator has the Right to Define Marriage

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

As the Christian worldview continues to evaporate in American culture, rank and file Americans are alienating themselves from the reality of the one true God. This widening chasm between personal belief/practice and spiritual reality is reflected in court decisions and political trends. Incredibly, this devolution strikes at the very heart of the nation’s origins and its ability to perpetuate itself. The Creator alluded to in America’s founding documents and the organic writings of most of the Founders and Framers is swiftly being brushed aside and marginalized in daily life.
The only legitimate way to evaluate and regulate human behavior is to look to the Creator. He is the One Who, in the words of the Founders of the American Republic, “created” all men, “endowed” them with life, provides them with “the laws of nature and of nature’s God,” and who functions as “the Supreme Judge of the world” (Declaration of..., 1776). If human opinion becomes the standard for judging ethical behavior, nothing but confusion, contradiction, and inconsistency can result.
The latest glaring evidence of this sad circumstance comes from the highest court in the land (Chappell, 2015). In a 5 to 4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has brazenly flaunted the definition of marriage that has prevailed throughout western civilization, and most certainly in America from the beginning. This definition did not originate with men or nations. It came directly from the Creator of humanity and the Universe. When God spoke the Creation into existence, he declared forthrightly: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Jesus Christ reaffirmed the same thing (Matthew 19:4-6). One man for one woman has been the bedrock of civilization for 6,000 years, with exceptions confined to an immoral and depraved minority. Yet, now, a nation noted throughout the world for over two centuries as a bastion of Christianity has stunned humanity with an unprecedented leap into the quagmire of moral corruption and unrestrained devotion to sexual insanity (cf. Miller, 2006).
This unhappy state of affairs most certainly saddens those who yet retain a sense of Christian morality. Yet those who still believe in the God of the Bible are undaunted and unmoved by the high court’s shameful stance. For you see, only the Creator has the right to define lawful marriage—and all other human behavior. Those who reject His will inevitably will suffer the consequences of their spurning of the Creator’s prescription for happiness and contentment in this life, and eternal security in the life to come.
Consider the similarity between our day and the social setting depicted for the Thessalonians, which speaks of the
unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).
It gives Christians no comfort to be reminded of Jesus’ warning on those who are dancing in the streets with jubilation over the Court’s decision: “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep” (Luke 6:25). The warning issued to Jeremiah’s contemporaries trumpets an eerie warning:
“Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time I punish them, they shall be cast down,” says the LORD (Jeremiah 6:15).
Whatever people believe, say, or do, the fact remains: The Supreme Court is not the Supreme Court. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah discovered—there will be a day of reckoning. “Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” (Jude 7). God still declares: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay. In due time their foot will slip; their day of disaster is near and their doom rushes upon them” (Deuteronomy 32:35, NIV).

REFERENCES

Chappell, Bill (2015), “Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal in All 50 States,” NPR, June 26, http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/06/26/417717613/supreme-court-rules-all-states-must-allow-same-sex-marriages.
Miller, Dave (2006), Sexual Anarchy (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Questions & Answers: Did Noah Send Out a Raven and a Dove? by Kyle Butt, M.A.


http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=1468&b=Genesis

Questions & Answers: Did Noah Send Out a Raven and a Dove?

by Kyle Butt, M.A.

Q.
In one verse the Bible says that Noah sent out a raven, yet another verse says he sent out a dove. Is this a contradiction?
A.
While this question may seem almost simplistic, it is not unimportant. In the most recent U.S. News and World Report special edition, in an article titled “Mysteries of the Bible,” Michelle Andrews put forth the erroneous idea that there are actually two flood accounts, which she believes have been “interwoven” to look like one, yet contain “a few contradictions” (2004, p. 29). One “contradiction” concerns Noah’s actions when he “sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth...[and] a dove, to see if the waters had abated from the face of the ground” (Genesis 8:7-8).
Ms. Andrews suggests that since two different birds are mentioned, this must be a composition of two different stories, since these two facts are “contradictory.” Yet, from a quick reading of the text, it is obvious that the statements do not contradict one another. Is it possible that Noah sent out a raven and “also” a dove? Absolutely. The text even includes the word “also” so the reader will understand that the author was aware that two different birds were released. It is a misunderstanding of the concept of a contradiction to suggest that different items must be contradictory. To illustrate, could a story be told in which a farmer went to the market to sell a pig and “also” sold a chicken? Certainly. To stretch the word “contradiction” to include mere differences would be to throw the word and concept into hopeless absurdity.
Why were two birds released? The full extent of the answer is not provided in the text. There is, however, a reasonable explanation. There is no indication that God told Noah which type of bird to release. It could be that Noah arbitrarily chose a raven. Yet, the raven is a scavenger that feels quite at home around dead carcasses. After releasing the raven, the texts states that the bird went “to and fro.” It could be that Noah realized he would not get the information he needed from the raven, due to its propensity for dead carcasses, some of which might have appeared in water that had not yet abated. The dove, however, would not have been comfortable landing on such refuse and would have been able to supply Noah with the needed information. No contradiction exists between the verses which state that Noah used both a raven and a dove.
REFERENCE
Andrews, Michelle (2004), “Author, Author?,” U.S. News & World Report—Special Collector’s Edition, released in the fall of 2004.

From Jim McGuiggan... A little bit of death

A little bit of death

Tom loved Sarah ever since the first grade. How could he avoid it? Not only did she have gorgeous blue-green eyes, the kind you could dive into and swim forever, she obviously adored him. She wanted to talk to him, spent all their time with him and in big-eyed trust told all her secrets to him. He was destined to love her so it was no surprise that they went through school together, attended the same college, couldn’t keep themselves from one another so nobody batted an eye when they announced one day that they’d be married soon.
The early years were joy-filled and this pair that loved life took a dive into it and had a whale of a time. Tough times rolled around—times when illness came calling and a lack of money pressed them sore but nothing made a dent in their relationship. Sarah was fond of saying, “A little bit of trouble isn’t going to harm two people like us!” and he’d grin and agree. If God ever made two people gifted with love for one another—a love that was tough and tender and deep and strong—if God ever made such people he had made this couple.
He was thirty-five when they got the devastating news. After a routine medical examination which led to other non-routine tests the doctor told him he had cancer. At first they simply looked at one another, stupefied. From there they moved to pained denial. What would cancer be doing in a man like this? They had four thousand reasons why it couldn’t be true—the doctors were wrong but second and third opinions only confirmed the original horror story.
After the initial shock they dived into the medical and nutrition books.  Their prayers became more fervent and frequent—and more specific. They were on an emotional roller-coaster; confident that he would be all right and then fearful that he might not be; sure that God could heal him but uncertain that God would want to. But how could God say no? Too many people were praying for him—too many good people. “Prayer warriors” were devoting nights and days to imploring God to make Tom well. Letters and emails were pouring in from all over, assuring them that they were not forgotten, telling them stories of God’s goodness. These were all friends of God and surely God would take their heart’s desire into account.
But Sarah and Tom knew their Bible and life and they knew of many for whom anguished prayers went up to heaven; prayers that didn’t bring what was asked for.
The weeks became months and matters grew worse. It was clear that Tom was sinking and although there was no faith crisis—God was still God and God was still good—the tears were flowing. The nights were too long and yet the mornings came too soon; weariness and fear insinuated things they didn’t believe, things they forcefully renounced—including disappointment with God. Still, Sarah couldn’t dismiss the feeling that God was letting her down…No, he wasn’t wrong but surely…
The hospital, the chemotherapy, the bruising regimen, the failed holistic medicine and nutritional drill, the same questions from a host of well-intentioned people, the sense of defeat while repeating again and again and again, “He’s not getting any better, the doctors say” and the failed prayers of thousands of “prayer warriors”—it all took its toll.
Holding Tom’s hand as he lay in his own bed, waiting for the approaching final day or hour, Sarah, unable to be brave, unable to comfort him or herself, having read all the verses, devoured all the articles, prayed all the prayers—she told him of her awful desolation. She talked of the already brutal sense of having lost him, of his going away and leaving her alone, without him. She told him how unfair it all was, how God had said yes to the prayers of others and why couldn’t he grant this request?
And he, weak and feeling his helplessness but feeling even more his overwhelming love for his sweet, lovely girl who had filled his life with so much joy, whispered his faith and hers. Faith in the God who not only gave his Son for the world but who gave them to each other in love and honour and joy all those years ago. He reminded her of what she knew but needed to hear again, that their deep love for each other was part of the love God had for them both so there would be no ultimate loss. “You believe that, don’t you my dear?” he whispered. Sobbing but with sturdy conviction in her words she blurted out, “Oh yes! Oh, of course I do, Tom!”
Well, he said slowly, “if that’s true, you don’t think a little bit of death is going to harm two people like us, do you?”
She straightened up and was silent for a long time as she leaned back into the chair. Then taking his frail hand in hers and with tears still flowing she whispered, “You dear…lovely…man. You’re right of course. You’re not going anywhere I can’t find you and I’ll know you when I see you.”
If you met Sarah today and asked her how things were since her husband’s death she’d tell you, “A little bit of death can’t harm two people like Tom and me.”
[I’ve taken this from my little book “Celebrating the Wrath of God”. Permission granted by Waterbrook Press/Random House, Colorado Springs, Colorado.]

From Wayne Jackson... The Christian and Civil Government



http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Jackson/Boyd/Wayne/1937/civilgovernment.html


Cover of the printed booklet

The Christian and Civil Government
In order to properly understand the relationship of the Christian to the civil government, it is necessary to briefly consider the function of governments in the overall scheme of divine redemption, as viewed in the context of the Bible as a whole. There are great principles which must be carefully considered by way of introduction to this important theme. It is commonly believed that there are three institutions of divine origin: the home, civil government, and the church. I do not believe that is an accurate concept. Certainly both the home and the church are of divine origin, but did civil government actually commence with divine approval?
The Origin of Civil Government
The first civil government of which one reads in the Bible was founded by Nimrod: “the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar” (Gen. 10:10). Nimrod, whose name according to some signifies, “Let us rebel” (Jacobus, 204), was a mighty hunter before Jehovah (10:9). Of this passage Clarke notes: “The word tsayid, which we render hunter, signifies prey; and is applied in the Scriptures to the hunting of men by persecution, oppression, and tyranny. Hence, it is likely that Nimrod, having acquired power, used it in tyranny and oppression; and by rapine and violence founded that domain which was the first distinguished by the name of a kingdom on the face of the earth” (Clarke, 36). Leupold commented that "the gross violation of men's rights, that this mighty hunter became guilty of, did not elude the watchful eye" of Jehovah (1.367).
Human civil government was thus founded in rebellion to God. Centuries later, when the Israelites requested a monarch that they might “be like all the nations” (1 Sam. 8:5, 20), though Jehovah gave them a king in his anger (Hos. 13:11), their desire for such a ruler clearly reflected a rejection of the Lord's arrangement for them (1 Sam. 8:7).
If civil government was originally initiated in rebellion to God, then it is not of divine origin. In starting human governments, men surrendered the control of their affairs to Satan, hence, the devil is said to be the prince of this world (Jn. 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). In fact, Christ clearly referred to his impending arrest by the civil authorities when he said: “...the prince of the world cometh: and he hath nothing in me” (Jn. 14:30). Moreover, in the wilderness temptation, Satan showed Christ “all the kingdoms of the world” and promised, upon the condition that the Lord would worship him, “To thee will I give all this authority, and the glory of them: for it hath been delivered (Greek paradedotai, perfect tense - past action with abiding results) unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it” (Lk. 4:6). It need hardly be pointed out that if Jesus had known that Satan merely was lying, there would have been no temptation in the diabolic suggestion! I am fully aware that elsewhere the Bible says that “the higher powers are ordained of God,” and that will be considered presently.
God's Sovereignty in the World
“The term 'sovereignty' connotes a situation in which a person, from his innate dignity, exercises supreme power, with no areas of his province outside his jurisdiction” (Zondervan, 498). God is the sovereign of the universe. He is in control of all things ultimately! Now it is a fact that Jehovah desires that all men serve him by voluntary submission, but when they do not, he can, and does, take charge of earthly affairs to bring about his own redemptive purpose. The Bible is literally filled with examples of this truth. Observe the following.
God exercises providential control over the nations of the world. Daniel informs us that ultimately it is “the Most High” that “ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the lowest of men” (Dan. 4:17). The Almighty removes kings and sets up kings (Dan. 2:21). Indeed, “he is ruler over the nations” (Psa. 22:28). Of world powers Paul says that God determines their appointed seasons (i.e., the duration of their administrations) and the bounds of their habitations (the extent of their conquests) (Acts 17:26). Christ plainly said that Pilate could have exercised no authority against him except by divine permission (Jn. 19:11).
God can, consistent with his own holiness, use evil men to providentially bring about ultimate good in his world. Here is a tremendous Bible principle that needs to be recognized: the Lord can take wicked men, who are in absolute rebellion to him, and use them as instruments of vengeance to punish other evil people, or to maintain order in society.
Note:
(a) When Israel became deeply involved in idolatry, Jehovah raised up the Assyrians to be “the rod of mine anger” (Isa. 10:5). He sent the haughty Assyrians against profane Israel, and yet, amazingly, the Assyrians had no idea that they were accomplishing Heaven's will [“Howbeit he meaneth not so.” 10:7].
(b) When Assyria needed to be punished (Isa. 10:12, 24-25), God exalted the Chaldeans [Babylonians] to overthrow them, and to subdue the kingdom of Judah (Hab. 1:5ff). The evil Nebuchadnezzar, whom the Lord called “my servant” (Jer. 25:9), was employed as an instrument to this end.
(c) Then, the Babylonians, by the decree of God, were conquered by the Medes and Persians, whom the Lord denominated his “consecrated ones” (Isa. 13:3). In that endeavor God used a pagan king, Cyrus, as his “shepherd,” his “anointed” (Isa. 44:28; 45:1).
(d) Under Jehovah's direction, the Medes and Persians were subdued by the Greeks, led by the “rough he-goat,” Alexander the Great (Dan. 8:5, 21; cf. 2:39). (e) The Greeks were eventually destroyed by the Roman armies [God's armies (Mt. 22:7)] to punish Jerusalem and the Jews.
The Functions of Civil Government
Romans 13:1-7 sets forth the function of civil government. Let us studiously consider this context.
First, the “higher powers” are identified as the “rulers” of civil government (1, 3).
Second, they are said to be “ordained of God” (1). Exactly what does that expression mean? The word “ordained” translates the Greek term tetagmenai [a perfect, passive participle form of tasso]. The word simply means, as Arndt & Gingrich observe: to “appoint to or establish in an office.(the authorities) who are now in power are instituted by God - Rom. 13:1” (813). The word itself says nothing whatever about the character or the spiritual nature of the subject involved. The word is not some sort of “sanctified” term which would necessarily suggest that a child of God could function, with the Lord's approval, in that capacity. A form of the word, for instance, is used in Acts 18:2 of Claudius' edict (diatasso) which banished all Jews from Rome.
Third, those who resist the rulers withstand the ordinance (i.e., that which has been appointed) of God and shall thus receive judgment.
Fourth, rulers are appointed to be a terror (i.e., to produce fear) to those who would do evil in society.
Fifth, the civil authority serves as a “minister of God” for good on behalf of the Christian. “Minister” translates the Greek diakonos, meaning “servant;” but, again, with no necessary indication of character suggested. Remember, the evil Nebuchadnezzar was God's “servant” (Jer. 25:9) to chastise Judah; then the Lord punished the king! Moreover, at the time this Roman epistle was penned, Caesar Nero, that wicked, homosexual tyrant, was one of those rulers who is here called a “minister of God.” The point is this: just because a function is in some sense a ministry or service to God, does not necessarily mean that a Christian may serve in that capacity with divine approval! Also, observe that in Romans 13:4 the roles of the ruler and the Christian are clearly distinguished by the use of the third person and second person pronouns. “...he is a minister of God to you.” Nowhere in this context is the Christian commissioned to function in the role of an instrument of God's wrath.
Sixth, the ruler is said to “bear the sword” as a temporal “avenger of wrath” upon evildoers. Christians are clearly instructed not to avenge themselves (Rom. 12:19); God will render vengeance for them; ultimately - in the judgment (Lk. 18:8).
The use of force is necessary to maintain order in this sinful world. Let the civil agents function as ministers of wrath in society; let Christians use themselves as ministers of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:17-21), employing the “sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17).
The Christian's Duty to Government
The Christian's duty to civil government may be set forth under a threefold heading: pray, pay, and obey.
Pray - Scripture exhorts us to pray “for kings and all that are in high place; that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity” (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Note, though, that the real purpose of the prayer is for the Christians' benefit.
Pay - Because we do derive benefits from the government for services rendered, it is only right that we: “Render to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor” (Rom. 13:7). Some have suggested that a Christian may withhold his tax money if the government is involved in immoral enterprises. No, that is not the case. Governments have always promoted wickedness to some extent. The Roman government subsidized idolatry from public funds, yet Paul urged these brethren to pay taxes into that system. Thus, though governments may promote wars, finance abortions, etc., the child of God is not implicated in such evils simply because he pays taxes.
Obey - Finally, the Lord's people have the obligation to “be in subjection to the higher powers” (Rom. 13:1,5; 1 Pet. 2:13-14). We must be respectful and obedient to the rulers under which we live. The Christian should be the best possible citizen. However, our obligations to the government are not without limitations; governmental powers are not unrestricted.
The Limitations of Government
In these times in which we live, it is very probable that there will be increasing conflict between the church of the Lord and human government. We must consider, therefore, how far we may, or may not, go in yielding to the pressures of government. Let us reflect upon the following principles.
No government has the right to prohibit that which is right. When the apostles were charged to refrain from speaking and teaching in the name of Jesus, they informed the authorities that they had a greater obligation to a higher power (Acts 4:19-20; 5:29). Some countries do not allow the importation of Bibles, but a Christian could take God's word to the lost anyhow! In some places it is against the law for a parent to spank his child; could not the child of God, however, lovingly administer discipline according to the principles of the Bible (Prov. 22:15; 23:13-14)? In California one cannot legally obtain a divorce specifically on the ground of fornication, yet the Lord certainly allowed this for the innocent part in an adulterated marriage (Mr. 5:32; 19:9).
No government has the right to authorize what is wrong. A nation may legalize an act, thus making it optional; yet, that act may be immoral and so not permissible. In 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand, but that does not make the bloody act moral. Drunkenness is legal, but not right. The law of the land allows divorce for every cause imaginable, but God still permits it only on the basis of fornication (Mt. 19:9).
No government has the right to force the Christian to violate a divine command or a biblical principle. Suppose that a civil power, upon the basis of a law that forbids sexual discrimination in employment, issues an edict requiring the Lord's church to employ women preachers? What shall we do? We will, of course, obey God, not man. Or suppose you are a Christian employer in Berkeley, California, and you have a position open in your business establishment. Two people apply for the job. One is a Christian who is reasonably qualified for the work, but the other is a homosexual who happens to be better qualified. The law says you must hire the homosexual, but what would you do? I would not hesitate to violate such a law.
Recently I read an interesting article concerning how the Communists of Russia are training young men to infiltrate Western Europe for the purpose of subversively obtaining information that would be valuable in defense of that nation. The plan is for these men to form illicit sexual relationships with lonely secretaries and other female government workers and thereby to extract from them classified information.
Could a Christian, in the “line of duty,” in the interest of national defense, commit fornication with divine approval? The concept is simply unthinkable. While we doubtless have little difficulty with the foregoing examples, for many years there has been considerable controversy in the brotherhood of Christ over whether or not the Christian may, with impunity, deliberately take the life of another human being in interest of society - either national or local. And so, we must briefly address this matter.
The Christian and Carnal Warfare
May a Christian, with God's blessing, take human life in defense of his nation? The great restoration preacher, Moses E. Lard, has expressed my viewpoint exactly:
“...where a State is engaged in war, and commands a Christian subject to bear arms and fight, what is his duty? My opinion is that he must refuse obedience to the command of the State, even at the expense of his life. For no Christian man can, according to the New Testament, bear arms and take human life” (Lard, 399-400).
My reasons for this conviction are:
The Christian is never authorized to function as a punitive agent for the civil powers. While it is true, as we have observed already, that God does providentially use the powers that be to administer the sword of justice in a lawless world, he, nevertheless, has not commissioned his children to bear that sword of wrath. When Peter sought to correct the injustice of Christ's arrest by the use of the sword, Jesus told him to put it away for “all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Mt. 26:52). Guy N. Woods has well commented: “When Peter sought to defend the Lord with a sword he was rebuked for his pains; and in bidding him sheathe it, he forevermore made it clear that his followers are not to fight with carnal weapons in his behalf. But if men are forbidden to fight in his defense, in whose defense may they properly fight?” (385).
Carnal warfare is contrary to the New Testament principles of love and peace. Any view of Romans 13:1-7 which contradicts, or negates the force of, dozens of New Testament passages obligating Christians to love and to be at peace with all men, is obviously incorrect [cf. Mt. 5:21-22; 38-47; 26:52; Jn. 13:35; 18:36; Rom. 12:19-21; 14:17, 19; 1 Cor. 7:15; 2 Cor. 13:11; Gal. 5:14; Eph. 4:2-3; 31-32; Col. 3:8; 1 Thes. 5:13, 15; 4:9; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:24; Tit. 3:2; Heb. 12:14; 13:1; 1 Pet. 1:22; 2:17; 3:8-9; 1 Jn. 3:16,18]. Followers of the “Prince of Peace” are to love their brothers (1 Pet. 1:22); their neighbors (Mt. 22:39), and their enemies (Mt. 5:44; Rom. 12:20). Love (i.e., the Greek agape) always seeks nothing but the highest good of others (cf. Barclay, 174ff).
If it is argued that God loves, yet he will destroy his enemies, it may be replied: God's destruction of his enemies will be a matter of his judgmental justice upon those who have rejected his love! He has not, however, assigned that role to us (cf. Mt. 13:28- 30). If the Christian thus loves his brethren, neighbors, and enemies -  with whom else shall he war?
If a Christian can engage in carnal warfare, the kingdom of God is subordinate to human governments. Before Pilate, Jesus laid down this logical argument concerning the nature of his kingdom. (a) If my kingdom were of this world, my servants could fight in its defense (cf. Jn. 18:36). (b) But my kingdom is not of this world. (c) Therefore, [implied conclusion] my servants cannot fight in defense of my kingdom.
In connection with this point, we may note the following. There is a type of argument frequently employed in the New Testament known as the a fortiori principle. When there are two similar propositions to be proved, if one establishes the more difficult first, the other automatically stands proved (cf. Broadus, 184). Now this: if a Christian cannot fight for the Lord's kingdom (the greater), how in the name of reason could he war for the kingdoms of men (the lesser), which are coming to naught anyway (cf. 1 Cor. 2:6)?!
Carnal warfare is specifically forbidden the Christian. Paul writes: “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds).” (2 Cor. 10:4). Our battle is “not against flesh and blood” (Eph. 6:12); rather, it is spiritual. And in it, we employ the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17), not an instrument of blood.
Opposing Viewpoints Considered
Several arguments are advanced by sincere advocates of the carnal war position. We will consider the most prominent of these.
The centurion (Mt. 8), Cornelius (Acts 10), the jailor (Acts 16), etc., were not told to abandon their military professions; such, thus, must be acceptable to God. This argument is based solely upon silence and those who advance it will not stand with their own logic. The centurion was not instructed to free his slaves (Mt. 8:8-9). Are we to assume that the Lord approves of one human being owning another? Where is it specifically recorded that Rahab was commanded to forsake her harlotry (Josh. 2), or Simon his sorcery (Acts 8)?
The truth is, the Old Testament prophesied that those who entered the kingdom of Christ would become peacemakers (Isa. 2:4; 11:6-9; 60:18; Hos. 2:8; Zech. 9:10), not war-makers. We must assume, therefore, that sincere converts to the Savior, as they learned the principles of the gospel, forsook all occupations inconsistent with discipleship of Jesus Christ. And, as we shall subsequently point out, history bears this out.
God's children fought wars in the Old Testament era with his approval; thus, it could not be morally wrong today. The nation of Israel was a theocracy (a religious political system), and so the Lord used his people as instruments of wrath upon alien nations, and upon offenders within their own ranks as well [who will argue for the church using the death penalty for wayward members today?!]. The New Testament church is not a theocracy. God's people are not vessels of wrath today.
Besides, many of the wars of the Old Testament period were strictly offensive, not defensive. Yet, most today would allow the Christian to fight only in a defensive encounter. No serious student of church history should fail to read J.W. McGarvey's essay “Jewish Wars As Precedents for Modern Wars,” which appeared in Lard's Quarterly, Vol. 5, April, 1868, pp. 113-126.
The government is authorized to bear the sword; it cannot be right for the government and yet wrong for the Christian. While it is true that Jehovah does use human rulers to keep order in his world, this does not mean that these individuals are blameless. If those who serve as "instruments of divine wrath" in civil situations are blessed for functioning in that capacity, what is their reward? It is heaven?
Observe this point, please. Christ was delivered up according to the divine plan (Acts 2:23). But, Judas was the instrument of that deliverance(cf. Mt. 10:4, ASVfn). Hence, he was a necessary component in Jehovah's divine program. Yet, though he was used by God in this role(because of his character), his involvement was sinful (Mt. 27:4), and he was held accountable for it (cf. Jn. 17:12).
Look at another matter. The destruction of Jerusalem [A.D. 70] by the Romans was clearly the work of God. In one of his parables, Christ said that the king [God] would send his armies [the Romans] to destroy the Jews and burn their city (Mt. 22:7).
Was it right that God do this? Certainly. One might assume, therefore, on the basis of the argument stated above, that the early Christians could, and should, have joined with the Romans in Jerusalem's slaughter. After all, how could it be “right” for God to do it, and, at the same time, “wrong” for the Christian to participate? But such a conclusion is clearly erroneous, for the disciples of the Lord were specifically warned to avoid that conflict; indeed, they were to flee to the mountains (Mt. 25:15ff).
Those who advocate the Christian's participation in an armed defense of the nation simply cannot reconcile this New Testament example with their viewpoint.
The Testimony of History - Historically, most Christian leaders have opposed participation in carnal warfare. The non-Christian historian, Edward Gibbon, wrote the following.
“...nor could their [the Christians'] humane ignorance be convinced that it was lawful on any occasion to shed the blood of our fellow-creatures, either by the sword of justice or by that of war, even though their criminal or hostile attempts should threaten the peace and safety of the whole community. It was acknowledged that, under a less perfect law, the powers of the Jewish constitution had been exercised, with the approbation of Heaven, by inspired prophets and by anointed kings. The Christians felt and confessed that such institutions might be necessary for the present system of the world, and they cheerfully submitted to the authority of their Pagan governors. But while they inculcated the maxims of passive obedience, they refused to take any active part in the civil administration or the military defense of the empire” (416).
Noted historian Philip Schaff wrote: 
“Then, too, the conscientious refusal of the Christians to pay divine honors to the emperor and his statue, and to take part in any idolatrous ceremonies at public festivities, their aversion to the imperial military services, their disregard for politics and depreciation of all civil and temporal affairs as compared with the spiritual and eternal interests of men, their close brotherly union and frequent meetings, drew upon them the suspicion of hostility to the Caesars and the Roman people, and the unpardonable crime of conspiracy against the state” (430).
Another careful writer has observed: “Early second-century literature gives no direct evidence in regard to Christian participation in military service. The general statements which do occur imply a negative attitude. They reflect the Christian abhorrence of bloodshed and a general Christian affirmation about peace. Only in the early 170's do we find the first explicit evidence since apostolic times to the presence of Christians in the military service” (Ferguson, 221-222).
It is sometimes argued that the reason the early saints declined military service was mainly because of the government's involvement with idolatry. That is not the reason given by the ancient opponents of Christian military service. They contended that God's people ought not to be involved in military activity because it is wrong for a Christian to kill (Ferguson, 226-227).
Later, within our own American restoration movement, the list of names of those who opposed the Christian's participation in carnal warfare reads like a Who's Who of the brotherhood. Men like Alexander Campbell, Tolbert Fanning, P.S. Fall, B.U. Watkins, Moses Lard, J.W. McGarvey, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Milligan, W.K. Pendleton, T.M. Allen, David Lipscomb, Jacob Creath, Jr., and H. Leo Boles spoke out strongly for pacifism. Bill Humble states: “Except for Walter Scott, all the early restoration leaders had been pacifists” (44). A little later, Earl West comments, “On the side of those who felt Christian participation permissible, there were a few leading brethren” (338).
Conclusion
Christians are engaged in the greatest possible conflict - a war against Satan for the souls of men. Let us not, therefore, degrade ourselves by becoming entangled in the carnal conflicts of this world (cf. 2 Tim. 2:4) - which frequently result, in fact, in the wholesale destruction of souls.
Wayne Jackson
Sources
Barclay, William. 1974. New Testament Words. Philadelphia. Westminster.
Broadus, John. 1944. On the Preparation And Delivery of Sermons. New York. Harper Bros.
Clarke, Adam. Commentary on the Bible, Nashville, TN: Abingdon. Vol. I.
Ferguson, Everett. 1971. Early Christians Speak. Austin, TX: Sweet Pub. Co.
Gibbon, Edward. n.d. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, New York. Modern Library. Vol. I.
Arndt, W. & Gingrich, F.W. 1967. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament. Chicago: University of Chicago.
Humble, Bill J. 1969. The Story of the Restoration. Austin, TX: Firm Foundation.
Jacobus, Melancthon, 1864. Notes on the Book of Genesis. Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board. Vol. I.
Lard, Moses. n.d. Commentary on Romans. Cincinnati. Standard.
Leupuold, H. C. 1942. Exposition of Genesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker. Vol. 1.
Schaff, Philip. 1980. History of the Christian Church, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. Vol. II.
West, Earl I. 1953. The Search for the Ancient Order. Nashville, TN. Vol. I.
Woods, Guy N. 1959. Commentary on Peter, John, and Jude. Nashville, TN. Gospel Advocate.
Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible, Grand Rapids: Zondervan. Vol. 5. PAGE 7

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

From Gary... Bible Reading December 14



Bible Reading  

December 14

The World English Bible

Dec. 14
Hosea 9-12

Hos 9:1 Don't rejoice, Israel, to jubilation like the nations; for you were unfaithful to your God. You love the wages of a prostitute at every grain threshing floor.
Hos 9:2 The threshing floor and the winepress won't feed them, and the new wine will fail her.
Hos 9:3 They won't dwell in Yahweh's land; but Ephraim will return to Egypt, and they will eat unclean food in Assyria.
Hos 9:4 They won't pour out wine offerings to Yahweh, neither will they be pleasing to him. Their sacrifices will be to them like the bread of mourners; all who eat of it will be polluted; for their bread will be for their appetite. It will not come into the house of Yahweh.
Hos 9:5 What will you do in the day of solemn assembly, and in the day of the feast of Yahweh?
Hos 9:6 For, behold, they have gone away from destruction. Egypt will gather them up. Memphis will bury them. Nettles will possess their pleasant things of silver. Thorns will be in their tents.
Hos 9:7 The days of visitation have come. The days of reckoning have come. Israel will consider the prophet to be a fool, and the man who is inspired to be insane, because of the abundance of your sins, and because your hostility is great.
Hos 9:8 A prophet watches over Ephraim with my God. A fowler's snare is on all of his paths, and hostility in the house of his God.
Hos 9:9 They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity. He will punish them for their sins.
Hos 9:10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness. I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree at its first season; but they came to Baal Peor, and consecrated themselves to the shameful thing, and became abominable like that which they loved.
Hos 9:11 As for Ephraim, their glory will fly away like a bird. There will be no birth, none with child, and no conception.
Hos 9:12 Though they bring up their children, yet I will bereave them, so that not a man shall be left. Indeed, woe also to them when I depart from them!
Hos 9:13 I have seen Ephraim, like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place; but Ephraim will bring out his children to the murderer.
Hos 9:14 Give them--Yahweh what will you give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.
Hos 9:15 "All their wickedness is in Gilgal; for there I hated them. Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of my house! I will love them no more. All their princes are rebels.
Hos 9:16 Ephraim is struck. Their root has dried up. They will bear no fruit. Even though they bring forth, yet I will kill the beloved ones of their womb."
Hos 9:17 My God will cast them away, because they did not listen to him; and they will be wanderers among the nations.
Hos 10:1 Israel is a luxuriant vine that puts forth his fruit. According to the abundance of his fruit he has multiplied his altars. As their land has prospered, they have adorned their sacred stones.
Hos 10:2 Their heart is divided. Now they will be found guilty. He will demolish their altars. He will destroy their sacred stones.
Hos 10:3 Surely now they will say, "We have no king; for we don't fear Yahweh; and the king, what can he do for us?"
Hos 10:4 They make promises, swearing falsely in making covenants. Therefore judgment springs up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field.
Hos 10:5 The inhabitants of Samaria will be in terror for the calves of Beth Aven; for its people will mourn over it, Along with its priests who rejoiced over it, for its glory, because it has departed from it.
Hos 10:6 It also will be carried to Assyria for a present to a great king. Ephraim will receive shame, and Israel will be ashamed of his own counsel.
Hos 10:7 Samaria and her king float away, like a twig on the water.
Hos 10:8 The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed. The thorn and the thistle will come up on their altars. They will tell the mountains, "Cover us!" and the hills, "Fall on us!"
Hos 10:9 "Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah. There they remained. The battle against the children of iniquity doesn't overtake them in Gibeah.
Hos 10:10 When it is my desire, I will chastise them; and the nations will be gathered against them, when they are bound to their two transgressions.
Hos 10:11 Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh; so I will put a yoke on her beautiful neck. I will set a rider on Ephraim. Judah will plow. Jacob will break his clods.
Hos 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap according to kindness. Break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek Yahweh, until he comes and rains righteousness on you.
Hos 10:13 You have plowed wickedness. You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, for you trusted in your way, in the multitude of your mighty men.
Hos 10:14 Therefore a battle roar will arise among your people, and all your fortresses will be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth Arbel in the day of battle. The mother was dashed in pieces with her children.
Hos 10:15 So Bethel will do to you because of your great wickedness. At daybreak the king of Israel will be destroyed.
Hos 11:1 "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
Hos 11:2 They called to them, so they went from them. They sacrificed to the Baals, and burned incense to engraved images.
Hos 11:3 Yet I taught Ephraim to walk. I took them by his arms; but they didn't know that I healed them.
Hos 11:4 I drew them with cords of a man, with ties of love; and I was to them like those who lift up the yoke on their necks; and I bent down to him and I fed him.
Hos 11:5 "They won't return into the land of Egypt; but the Assyrian will be their king, because they refused to repent.
Hos 11:6 The sword will fall on their cities, and will destroy the bars of their gates, and will put an end to their plans.
Hos 11:7 My people are determined to turn from me. Though they call to the Most High, he certainly won't exalt them.
Hos 11:8 "How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboiim? My heart is turned within me, my compassion is aroused.
Hos 11:9 I will not execute the fierceness of my anger. I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of you; and I will not come in wrath.
Hos 11:10 They will walk after Yahweh, who will roar like a lion; for he will roar, and the children will come trembling from the west.
Hos 11:11 They will come trembling like a bird out of Egypt, and like a dove out of the land of Assyria; and I will settle them in their houses," says Yahweh.
Hos 11:12 Ephraim surrounds me with falsehood, and the house of Israel with deceit. Judah still strays from God, and is unfaithful to the Holy One.
Hos 12:1 Ephraim feeds on wind, and chases the east wind. He continually multiplies lies and desolation. They make a covenant with Assyria, and oil is carried into Egypt.
Hos 12:2 Yahweh also has a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his deeds he will repay him.
Hos 12:3 In the womb he took his brother by the heel; and in his manhood he contended with God.
Hos 12:4 Indeed, he struggled with the angel, and prevailed; he wept, and made supplication to him. He found him at Bethel, and there he spoke with us,
Hos 12:5 even Yahweh, the God of Armies; Yahweh is his name of renown!
Hos 12:6 Therefore turn to your God. Keep kindness and justice, and wait continually for your God.
Hos 12:7 A merchant has dishonest scales in his hand. He loves to defraud.
Hos 12:8 Ephraim said, "Surely I have become rich, I have found myself wealth. In all my wealth they won't find in me any iniquity that is sin."
Hos 12:9 "But I am Yahweh your God from the land of Egypt. I will yet again make you dwell in tents, as in the days of the solemn feast.
Hos 12:10 I have also spoken to the prophets, and I have multiplied visions; and by the ministry of the prophets I have used parables.
Hos 12:11 If Gilead is wicked, surely they are worthless. In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls. Indeed, their altars are like heaps in the furrows of the field.
Hos 12:12 Jacob fled into the country of Aram, and Israel served to get a wife, and for a wife he tended flocks and herds.
Hos 12:13 By a prophet Yahweh brought Israel up out of Egypt, and by a prophet he was preserved.

Hos 12:14 Ephraim has bitterly provoked anger. Therefore his blood will be left on him, and his Lord will repay his contempt.

 Dec. 14
1 John 4

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, don't believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1Jn 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
1Jn 4:3 and every spirit who doesn't confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God, and this is the spirit of the Antichrist, of whom you have heard that it comes. Now it is in the world already.
1Jn 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.
1Jn 4:5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak of the world, and the world hears them.
1Jn 4:6 We are of God. He who knows God listens to us. He who is not of God doesn't listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God.
1Jn 4:8 He who doesn't love doesn't know God, for God is love.
1Jn 4:9 By this God's love was revealed in us, that God has sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
1Jn 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God loved us in this way, we also ought to love one another.
1Jn 4:12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God remains in us, and his love has been perfected in us.
1Jn 4:13 By this we know that we remain in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
1Jn 4:14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as the Savior of the world.
1Jn 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him, and he in God.
1Jn 4:16 We know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.
1Jn 4:17 In this love has been made perfect among us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, even so are we in this world.
1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has punishment. He who fears is not made perfect in love.
1Jn 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.
1Jn 4:20 If a man says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who doesn't love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?
1Jn 4:21 This commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should also love his brother.