7/25/16

The bigger, the BETTER? by Gary Rose



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFnIOhZcFDA

The video is not complicated, tricky or deceiving; just BIG DOG's and their owners.  However, it is interesting, as the biggest dog that I have ever seen is a Great Dane- and these appear to be much bigger than that breed!

I wonder, why have a really, BIG DOG anyway? Status, protection or perhaps they are really good work animals, say like horses? I suppose reasons for ownership are as varied as their owners, so I can't give any ONE answer, but I think at least some people may choose the REALLY BIG DOGS for one of the reasons found in the following verses...

1 John, Chapter 2 (WEB)
 15  Don’t love the world, neither the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Father’s love isn’t in him.  16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, isn’t the Father’s, but is the world’s. 17 The world is passing away with its lusts, but he who does God’s will remains forever.  

Desire (the lust of the eyes) and pride are the two thing that seem to stand out to me as invalid reasons for owning such animals. Valid reasons would include love, rescue and pleasing characteristics (love, for example) of a particular breed.

I cannot imagine myself owning such large animals, because control would be an issue. I mean, how DO YOU STOP something that big from doing whatever it wants to do?

Reminds me of the old joke- Where does a 400 bear sit in a movie house? ANYWHERE IT WANTS!!!

Bible Reading July 25 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading July 25 (WEB)

July 25
2 Chronicles 7-9

2Ch 7:1 Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of Yahweh filled the house.
2Ch 7:2 The priests could not enter into the house of Yahweh, because the glory of Yahweh filled Yahweh's house.
2Ch 7:3 All the children of Israel looked on, when the fire came down, and the glory of Yahweh was on the house; and they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped, and gave thanks to Yahweh, saying, For he is good; for his loving kindness endures for ever.
2Ch 7:4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before Yahweh.
2Ch 7:5 King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand head of cattle, and a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.
2Ch 7:6 The priests stood, according to their offices; the Levites also with instruments of music of Yahweh, which David the king had made to give thanks to Yahweh, (for his loving kindness endures for ever), when David praised by their ministry: and the priests sounded trumpets before them; and all Israel stood.
2Ch 7:7 Moreover Solomon made the middle of the court holy that was before the house of Yahweh; for there he offered the burnt offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings, because the bronze altar which Solomon had made was not able to receive the burnt offering, and the meal offering, and the fat.
2Ch 7:8 So Solomon held the feast at that time seven days, and all Israel with him, a very great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt.
2Ch 7:9 On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly: for they kept the dedication of the altar seven days, and the feast seven days.
2Ch 7:10 On the three and twentieth day of the seventh month he sent the people away to their tents, joyful and glad of heart for the goodness that Yahweh had shown to David, and to Solomon, and to Israel his people.
2Ch 7:11 Thus Solomon finished the house of Yahweh, and the king's house: and he successfully completed all that came into Solomon's heart to make in the house of Yahweh, and in his own house.
2Ch 7:12 Yahweh appeared to Solomon by night, and said to him, I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place to myself for a house of sacrifice.
2Ch 7:13 If I shut up the sky so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;
2Ch 7:14 if my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
2Ch 7:15 Now my eyes shall be open, and my ears attentive, to the prayer that is made in this place.
2Ch 7:16 For now have I chosen and made this house holy, that my name may be there forever; and my eyes and my heart shall be there perpetually.
2Ch 7:17 As for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, and do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep my statutes and my ordinances;
2Ch 7:18 then I will establish the throne of your kingdom, according as I covenanted with David your father, saying, There shall not fail you a man to be ruler in Israel.
2Ch 7:19 But if you turn away, and forsake my statutes and my commandments which I have set before you, and shall go and serve other gods, and worship them;
2Ch 7:20 then will I pluck them up by the roots out of my land which I have given them; and this house, which I have made holy for my name, will I cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
2Ch 7:21 This house, which is so high, everyone who passes by it shall be astonished, and shall say, Why has Yahweh done thus to this land, and to this house?
2Ch 7:22 They shall answer, Because they abandoned Yahweh, the God of their fathers, who brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, and laid hold on other gods, and worshiped them, and served them: therefore has he brought all this evil on them.

2Ch 8:1 It happened at the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the house of Yahweh, and his own house,
2Ch 8:2 that the cities which Huram had given to Solomon, Solomon built them, and caused the children of Israel to dwell there.
2Ch 8:3 Solomon went to Hamath Zobah, and prevailed against it.
2Ch 8:4 He built Tadmor in the wilderness, and all the storage cities, which he built in Hamath.
2Ch 8:5 Also he built Beth Horon the upper, and Beth Horon the lower, fortified cities, with walls, gates, and bars;
2Ch 8:6 and Baalath, and all the storage cities that Solomon had, and all the cities for his chariots, and the cities for his horsemen, and all that Solomon desired to build for his pleasure in Jerusalem, and in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion.
2Ch 8:7 As for all the people who were left of the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel;
2Ch 8:8 of their children who were left after them in the land, whom the children of Israel didn't consume, of them did Solomon conscripted forced labor to this day.
2Ch 8:9 But of the children of Israel did Solomon make no servants for his work; but they were men of war, and chief of his captains, and rulers of his chariots and of his horsemen.
2Ch 8:10 These were the chief officers of king Solomon, even two-hundred fifty, who ruled over the people.
2Ch 8:11 Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David to the house that he had built for her; for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places where the ark of Yahweh has come are holy.
2Ch 8:12 Then Solomon offered burnt offerings to Yahweh on the altar of Yahweh, which he had built before the porch,
2Ch 8:13 even as the duty of every day required, offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the Sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the set feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tents.
2Ch 8:14 He appointed, according to the ordinance of David his father, the divisions of the priests to their service, and the Levites to their offices, to praise, and to minister before the priests, as the duty of every day required; the doorkeepers also by their divisions at every gate: for so had David the man of God commanded.
2Ch 8:15 They didn't depart from the commandment of the king to the priests and Levites concerning any matter, or concerning the treasures.
2Ch 8:16 Now all the work of Solomon was prepared to the day of the foundation of the house of Yahweh, and until it was finished. So the house of Yahweh was completed.
2Ch 8:17 Then went Solomon to Ezion Geber, and to Eloth, on the seashore in the land of Edom.
2Ch 8:18 Huram sent him ships and servants who had knowledge of the sea by the hands of his servants; and they came with the servants of Solomon to Ophir, and fetched from there four hundred fifty talents of gold, and brought them to king Solomon.

2Ch 9:1 When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, she came to prove Solomon with hard questions at Jerusalem, with a very great train, and camels that bore spices, and gold in abundance, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she talked with him of all that was in her heart.
2Ch 9:2 Solomon told her all her questions; and there was not anything hid from Solomon which he didn't tell her.
2Ch 9:3 When the queen of Sheba had seen the wisdom of Solomon, and the house that he had built,
2Ch 9:4 and the food of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their clothing, his cup bearers also, and their clothing, and his ascent by which he went up to the house of Yahweh; there was no more spirit in her.
2Ch 9:5 She said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in my own land of your acts, and of your wisdom.
2Ch 9:6 However I didn't believe their words, until I came, and my eyes had seen it; and behold, the half of the greatness of your wisdom was not told me: you exceed the fame that I heard.
2Ch 9:7 Happy are your men, and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you, and hear your wisdom.
2Ch 9:8 Blessed be Yahweh your God, who delighted in you, to set you on his throne, to be king for Yahweh your God: because your God loved Israel, to establish them forever, therefore made he you king over them, to do justice and righteousness.
2Ch 9:9 She gave the king one hundred and twenty talents of gold, and spices in great abundance, and precious stones: neither was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon.
2Ch 9:10 The servants also of Huram, and the servants of Solomon, who brought gold from Ophir, brought algum trees and precious stones.
2Ch 9:11 The king made of the algum trees terraces for the house of Yahweh, and for the king's house, and harps and stringed instruments for the singers: and there were none like these seen before in the land of Judah.
2Ch 9:12 King Solomon gave to the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatever she asked, besides that which she had brought to the king. So she turned, and went to her own land, she and her servants.
2Ch 9:13 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred and sixty-six talents of gold,
2Ch 9:14 besides that which the traders and merchants brought: and all the kings of Arabia and the governors of the country brought gold and silver to Solomon.
2Ch 9:15 King Solomon made two hundred bucklers of beaten gold; six hundred shekels of beaten gold went to one buckler.
2Ch 9:16 he made three hundred shields of beaten gold; three hundred shekels of gold went to one shield: and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon.
2Ch 9:17 Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with pure gold.
2Ch 9:18 And there were six steps to the throne, with a footstool of gold, which were fastened to the throne, and stays on either side by the place of the seat, and two lions standing beside the stays.
2Ch 9:19 Twelve lions stood there on the one side and on the other on the six steps: there was nothing like it made in any kingdom.
2Ch 9:20 All king Solomon's drinking vessels were of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were of pure gold: silver was nothing accounted of in the days of Solomon.
2Ch 9:21 For the king had ships that went to Tarshish with the servants of Huram; once every three years came the ships of Tarshish, bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks.
2Ch 9:22 So king Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.
2Ch 9:23 All the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, which God had put in his heart.
2Ch 9:24 They brought every man his tribute, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, and clothing, armor, and spices, horses, and mules, a rate year by year.
2Ch 9:25 Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, that he stationed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
2Ch 9:26 He ruled over all the kings from the River even to the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt.
2Ch 9:27 The king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and he made cedars to be as the sycamore trees that are in the lowland, for abundance.
2Ch 9:28 They brought horses for Solomon out of Egypt, and out of all lands.
2Ch 9:29 Now the rest of the acts of Solomon, first and last, aren't they written in the history of Nathan the prophet, and in the prophecy of Ahijah the Shilonite, and in the visions of Iddo the seer concerning Jeroboam the son of Nebat?
2Ch 9:30 Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years.
2Ch 9:31 Solomon slept with his fathers, and he was buried in the city of David his father: and Rehoboam his son reigned in his place.

Jul. 24, 25
Acts 15

Act 15:1 Some men came down from Judea and taught the brothers, "Unless you are circumcised after the custom of Moses, you can't be saved."
Act 15:2 Therefore when Paul and Barnabas had no small discord and discussion with them, they appointed Paul and Barnabas, and some others of them, to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders about this question.
Act 15:3 They, being sent on their way by the assembly, passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles. They caused great joy to all the brothers.
Act 15:4 When they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the assembly and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all things that God had done with them.
Act 15:5 But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses."
Act 15:6 The apostles and the elders were gathered together to see about this matter.
Act 15:7 When there had been much discussion, Peter rose up and said to them, "Brothers, you know that a good while ago God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the nations should hear the word of the Good News, and believe.
Act 15:8 God, who knows the heart, testified about them, giving them the Holy Spirit, just like he did to us.
Act 15:9 He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.
Act 15:10 Now therefore why do you tempt God, that you should put a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
Act 15:11 But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they are."
Act 15:12 All the multitude kept silence, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul reporting what signs and wonders God had done among the nations through them.
Act 15:13 After they were silent, James answered, "Brothers, listen to me.
Act 15:14 Simeon has reported how God first visited the nations, to take out of them a people for his name.
Act 15:15 This agrees with the words of the prophets. As it is written,
Act 15:16 'After these things I will return. I will again build the tabernacle of David, which has fallen. I will again build its ruins. I will set it up,
Act 15:17 That the rest of men may seek after the Lord; All the Gentiles who are called by my name, Says the Lord, who does all these things.
Act 15:18 All his works are known to God from eternity.'
Act 15:19 "Therefore my judgment is that we don't trouble those from among the Gentiles who turn to God,
Act 15:20 but that we write to them that they abstain from the pollution of idols, from sexual immorality, from what is strangled, and from blood.
Act 15:21 For Moses from generations of old has in every city those who preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath."
Act 15:22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole assembly, to choose men out of their company, and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, chief men among the brothers.
Act 15:23 They wrote these things by their hand: "The apostles, the elders, and the brothers, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia: greetings.
Act 15:24 Because we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, 'You must be circumcised and keep the law,' to whom we gave no commandment;
Act 15:25 it seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose out men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
Act 15:26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Act 15:27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who themselves will also tell you the same things by word of mouth.
Act 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay no greater burden on you than these necessary things:
Act 15:29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, from which if you keep yourselves, it will be well with you. Farewell."
Act 15:30 So, when they were sent off, they came to Antioch. Having gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter.
Act 15:31 When they had read it, they rejoiced over the encouragement.
Act 15:32 Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged the brothers with many words, and strengthened them.
Act 15:33 After they had spent some time there, they were sent back with greetings from the brothers to the apostles.
Act 15:34 But it seemed good to Silas to stay there.
Act 15:35 But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
Act 15:36 After some days Paul said to Barnabas, "Let's return now and visit our brothers in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, to see how they are doing."
Act 15:37 Barnabas planned to take John, who was called Mark, with them also.
Act 15:38 But Paul didn't think that it was a good idea to take with them someone who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia, and didn't go with them to do the work.
Act 15:39 Then the contention grew so sharp that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him, and sailed away to Cyprus,
Act 15:40 but Paul chose Silas, and went out, being commended by the brothers to the grace of God.
Act 15:41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the assemblies.

Pentecost (Acts 2) The Day the Church Began J. C. Bailey



http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Bailey/John/Carlos/1903/Articles/pentecos.html

Pentecost (Acts 2) The Day the Church Began

The church was conceived in the mind of God. We read, “To the intent that now unto principalities and powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:10-11).
God said that the seed of Abraham was to bless all nations (Genesis 22:18). Paul said that the promise was not to seeds but to SEED. That seed was Christ (Galatians 3:16). Isaiah said, “And it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be exalted above the hills and all nations shall flow unto it” (Isaiah 2:2). This would be a change from the Old Testament, for God, in giving the law to Moses, said, “Write thou these words for after the tenor of these words have I made a covenant with Israel” (Exodus 34:27-28). Isaiah said that all nations would flow into God's house (Isaiah 2:2). John the Baptist had one message. Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand (Matthew 3:2).
John was cast into prison and beheaded, and Jesus began His earthly ministry. His message was: “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Jesus used the terms kingdom and church together (Matthew 16:18,19). In Mark 9:1 Jesus said that the kingdom would come in the lifetime of those to whom He spoke, and He said that it would come with power.
After Jesus arose from the dead, the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost with power. Jesus said that His chosen men would carry the message of the gospel into the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8). Paul says that Christ, “was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). Paul further declares that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to the believer (Romans 1:16). He further tells us that the gospel is the facts of the death, burial and resurrection (I Corinthians 15:3-5).
Jesus summarized all this by saying, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned”: (Mark 16:15, 16). The apostles were to wait in Jerusalem (Luke 24:49). The Holy Spirit was to come to them there. Peter, guided by the Holy Spirit, declared that God had made Him Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified (Acts 2:36). This Jesus was at the right hand of God (Acts 2:32.33). The effect of this sermon was immediate. “Now when they heard this they were pricked to the hearts and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Brethren, what shall we do?'” There can be no mistake in the answer. Those who gave the answer were guided by the Holy Spirit.
“And Peter said unto them, 'Repent ye and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'” (Acts 2:38).
This was not a limited command, for the next verse says, “For to you is the promise and to your children and to all that are afar off even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39).
One of the most popular doctrines in the world today is the doctrine of justification by faith alone. If that doctrine is true, then Acts 2:38 is not true. To say it is not true is to charge God with folly. Jesus saves those who obey (Hebrews 5:9). Yes, we are saved by faith but we are saved by an obedient faith (James 2:14, 24). Peter, by the Holy Spirit, said they were to save themselves (Acts 2:40). Now note that they that received his word were baptized (Acts 2:41). Now, what did they do? “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:41). Our duty is revealed in that verse. If we would restore New Testament Christianity, we must return to the pattern as revealed in this chapter. Jude tells us that the faith was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).
We pass under judgment when we reject the words of Jesus (John 12:48). Here are the words of Jesus, “Every one therefore that heareth these words of mine and doeth them shall be likened unto a wise man who built his house upon the rock and the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon the house; it fell not for it was founded on the rock. And every one that heareth these words of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man who built his house on the sand and the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew, and smote upon that house and it fell and great was the fall thereof” (Matthew 7:24-27).
All life comes from a seed. Each seed produces after its kind. Wheat produces wheat; it does not produce oats. Jesus said that the seed of the kingdom is the word of God. He was talking about the church. That seed never produced anything but a church of Christ in the New Testament.
Let us see what happened the day the church was born. “And Peter said to them, 'Repent ye, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For to you is the promise and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto Him.' And with many other words he testified and exhorted them saying, 'Save yourselves from this crooked generation.' They then that received his word were baptized; and there were added unto them in that day, about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:38-42).
“Wherefore, putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). Then he adds this warning, “But be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only deluding your own selves” (James 1:22).
J. C. Bailey, 1992, Weyburn, Saskatchewan

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

Did Jesus Rise “On” or “After” the Third Day? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=756&b=Mark


Did Jesus Rise “On” or “After” the Third Day?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The most frequent reference to Jesus’ resurrection reveals that He rose from the grave onthe third day of His entombment. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record Jesus as prophesying that He would arise from the grave on this day (Matthew 17:23; Mark 9:31; Luke 9:22). The apostle Paul wrote in his first epistle to the Corinthians that Jesus arose from the grave “the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:4). What’s more, while preaching to Cornelius and his household, Peter taught that God raised Jesus up “on the third day” (Acts 10:40, emp. added). The fact is, however, Jesus also taught (and Mark recorded) “that the Son of Man” would “be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31, emp. added). Furthermore, Jesus elsewhere prophesied that He would be in the heart of the Earth for “three days and three nights” (Matthew 12:40). So which is it? Did Jesus rise from the dead on the third day or after three days?
While to the 21st-century reader these statements may initially appear to contradict one another, in reality, they harmonize perfectly if one understands the different, and sometimes more liberal, methods ancients often used when reckoning time. In the first century, any part of a day could be computed for the whole day and the night following it (cf. Lightfoot, 1979, pp. 210-211). The Jerusalem Talmud quotes rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah, who lived around A.D. 100, as saying: “A day and night are an Onah [‘a portion of time’] and the portion of an Onah is as the whole of it” (from Jerusalem Talmud: Shabbath ix. 3, as quoted in Hoehner, 1974, pp. 248-249, bracketed comment in orig.). Azariah indicated that a portion of a 24-hour period could be considered the same “as the whole of it.” Thus, as awkward as it may sound to an American living in the 21stcentury, a person in ancient times could legitimately speak of something occurring “on the third day,” “after three days,” or after “three days and three nights,” yet still be referring to the same exact day.
The Scriptures contain several examples which clearly show that in Bible times a part of a day was often equivalent to the whole day.
  • According to Genesis 7:12, the rain of the Noahic Flood was upon the Earth “forty days and forty nights.” Verse 17 of that same chapter says it was on the Earth for just “forty days.” Who would argue that it had to rain precisely 960 hours (40 days x 24 hours) for both of these statements to be true?
  • In Genesis 42:17 Joseph incarcerated his brothers for three days. Then, according to verse 18, he spoke to them on the third day and released them (all but one, that is).
  • In 1 Samuel 30:12,13, the phrases “three days and three nights” and “three days” are used interchangeably.
  • When Queen Esther was about to risk her life by going before the king uninvited, she instructed her fellow Jews to follow her example by not eating “for three days, night or day” (Esther 4:16). The text goes on to tell us that Esther went in unto the king “on the third day” (5:1, emp. added).
  • Perhaps the most compelling Old Testament passage which clearly testifies that the ancients (at least occasionally) considered a portion of a twenty-four hour period “as the whole of it” is found in 2 Chronicles 10. When Israel asked King Rehoboam to lighten their burdens, he wanted time to contemplate their request, so he instructed Jeroboam and the people of Israel to return “after three days” (2 Chronicles 10:5, emp. added). Verse 12, however, indicates that Jeroboam and the people of Israel came to Rehoboam “on the third day, as the king had directed, saying, ‘ Come back to me thethird day’ ” (emp. added). Fascinating, is it not, that even though Rehoboam instructed his people to return “after three days,” they understood this to mean “on the third day.”
  • From Acts 10, we can glean further insight into the ancient practice of counting consecutive days (in part or in whole) as complete days. Luke recorded how an angel appeared to Cornelius at “about the ninth hour of the day” (approximately 3:00 p.m.; Acts 10:3). “The next day” (10:9) Peter received a vision from God and welcomed visitors sent by Cornelius.“On the next day” (10:23) Peter and the servants of Cornelius departed for Caesarea. “And the following day they entered Caesarea” where Peter taught Cornelius and his household the Gospel (10:24). At one point during Peter’s visit,Cornelius spoke about his encounter with the angel of God. Notice carefully how he began the rehearsal of the event. He stated: “Four days ago to this hour, I was praying in my house during the ninth hour…” (10:30, NASB, emp. added). Although the event actually had occurred only 72 hours (or three literal days) earlier, Cornelius spoke of it as taking place “four days ago to this hour.” Why four days instead of three? Because according to the first-century method of reckoning time, a part of the first day and a part of the fourth day could be counted as whole days. Surely one can see how this information aligns itself perfectly with Jesus’ burial taking place on Friday and His resurrection occurring on Sunday. A part of Friday, all day Saturday, and a part of Sunday would be considered three days in ancient times, not one or two.
Even though in modern times some may find this reasoning somewhat confusing, similar idiomatic expressions frequently are used today. For example, we consider a baseball game that ends after only completing 8½ innings a “9-inning game.” And even though the losing pitcher on the visiting team only pitched 8 innings (and not 9 innings like the winning pitcher from the home team), he is said to have pitched a complete game. Consider also the guest at a hotel who checks in at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and checks out at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday—less than 24 hours later. Did the man stay one day or two days at the hotel? Technically, the guest was there for less than one full day (24-hour period), yet the hotel legally can charge him for two days since he did not leave before the mandatory 11:00 a.m. checkout time. Considering how flexible we are in measuring time, depending on the context, perhaps we should not be surprised at how liberal the ancients could be in calculating time.
Further evidence proving that Jesus’ statements regarding His burial were not contradictory centers around the fact that even His enemies did not accuse Him of contradicting Himself. No doubt this was due to their familiarity with and use of the flexible, customary method of stating time. In fact, the chief priests and Pharisees even said to Pilate the day after Jesus was crucified: “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day” (Matthew 27:63-64, emp. added). The phrase “after three days” must have been equivalent to “the third day,” else surely the Pharisees would have asked for a guard of soldiers until the fourth day. Interesting, is it not, that modern skeptics charge Jesus with contradicting Himself, but not the hypercritical Pharisees of His own day.
The idiomatic expressions that Jesus and the Bible writers employed to denote how long Jesus would remain in the grave does not mean that He literally was buried for 72 hours. If we interpret the account of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection in light of the cultural setting of the first century, and not according to the present-day (mis)understanding of skeptics, we find no errors in any of the expressions that Jesus and the gospel writers used.

REFERENCES

Hoehner, Harold W (1974), “Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ—Part IV: The Day of Christ’s Crucifixion,”Bibliotheca Sacra, 131:241-264, July.
Lightfoot, John (1979 reprint), A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

The Consequences of Divorce and Remarriage by Dave Miller, Ph.D.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=4188


The Consequences of Divorce and Remarriage

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Christians increasingly find themselves faced with the dilemma of dealing with individuals (usually non-Christian) who divorce and remarry any number of times for any number of reasons, and who come wishing to become part of the local church. The tendency is to permit the couple to remain in the marriage relationship they are in when they become Christians—though the marriage was contracted in violation of Matthew 19:9. This position usually cloaks itself in feigned compassion for the couple when, more often than not, members simply lack the spiritual courage to press the biblical position. One argument posed in defense of this stance is the notion that if the couple cannot continue their marriage after baptism, then baptism did not really cleanse them and adultery becomes the “unpardonable sin.” Several points which show the error of this position are in order:
First, much is accomplished at the point of biblical baptism, but baptism was never designed to change a sinful practice into an acceptable one, or to transform a sinful relationship into a righteous one. Prostitutes, homosexuals, polygamists, bisexuals, bigamists, and adulterers must sever their relationships.
Second, the biblical doctrine of forgiveness must not be confused with the equally biblical doctrine of the consequences of sin. Being forgiven never implies that all of the consequences of sin will be erased. Past sin may be blotted out, but the consequences of past sin generally remain. For example:
  1. Syphilis of the brain is a lasting consequence of a promiscuous lifestyle;
  2. Permanent removal from the garden was a lasting penalty and consequence of the sin of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3);
  3. Being banned from Canaan was a lasting penalty of Moses’ sin (Deuteronomy 32:51-52), though he could be forgiven and one day be in heaven (Revelation 15:3);
  4. God pardoned the murmurers (Numbers 14:20)—but the negative effects of their sin were lasting and disastrous (Numbers 14:29-35);
  5. Esau’s mistake of selling his inheritance rights could not be rectified—“though he sought it diligently with tears” (Hebrews 12:17).
This biblical principle simply does not square with the notion that if anyone has to break up a marriage, too much is expected of them and forgiveness is not really what it’s “cracked up” to be. If biblical history teaches us anything, it teaches us that people cannot sin and then expect to have things the way they were before. More often than not, much suffering comes upon those who violate God’s will, even though they may be forgiven and have the hope of heaven.
So it is with marriage. People may reject God’s laws of marriage and fly in the face of His will. They may then be forgiven, but they may also have gotten their lives into such a fix that they will have no choice but to live single and celibate the rest of their lives. Such is not a reflection upon God’s justice or mercy. Rather, such is a reflection of man’s own stubborn disobedience and rejection of what God designed to be for man’s good. Just as a person can sin and in so doing lose his physical life without God intervening to prevent the effect of the sin (e.g., rob a bank and be killed by the police), likewise a person can so sin in the marital realm that he or she forfeitsmarital life without God intervening.
Third, baptism is not biblical immersion if it is not preceded by repentance. We often forget this, so anxious are we to get people into the baptistery. Repentance is not simply being sorry. Godly sorrow precedes genuine repentance which is, in turn, followed by a reformation of life (2 Corinthians 7:9-10). Reformation of life entails the cessation of sinful practices and the severance of sinful relationships (Matthew 3:8; 1 Corinthians 6:11). Paul put it this way in Romans 6:2—a person must not “live any longer therein.”
What did those who practiced sorcery do to show repentance in Acts 19:19? They burned their scrolls, showing that they were ceasing their former practices. Simply vowing to refrain from buying any further books, while insisting on keeping the books they already had, would manifest a lack of true repentance. If they held membership in a sorcery society, repentance would mean that they would sever that relationship. Simon’s repentance and baptism in Acts 8 demanded the cessation of his former relationship with sorcery. What did repentance and baptism mean to the Corinthians? Consider the following chart:
Whether the Corinthians had been practicing adultery, homosexuality, male prostitution, thievery, or swindling (1 Corinthians 6:9-10), repentance prior to baptism would mean that they would have ceased living in illicit sexual unions—whether adulterous or homosexual. They would have ceased stealing and would have severed their relationship with ill-gotten gain. They would have given up any business arrangement that would call for swindling others. Repentance, by definition, would demand such. And those who continue to live in such relationships have not really repented.
One final point merits attention. Some attempt to justify adulterous unions by comparing the sin of adultery to murder. They say that there are some wrongs which cannot be righted. In the case of murder, a man may repent but he cannot raise his victim to life. They say that an unscriptural marriage fits in the same category.
This is a false analogy. In the first place, severing an illicit relationship is not an attempt to rectify past divorces or restore past marriages. Rather, it is what is demanded by repentance and God’s laws of marriage. Second, the basic principle which does apply to both murder and adultery is that repentance demands that the individual cease committing murder and that he cease living in adultery (Colossians 3:7). Can a penitent murderer continue to murder? No. He will cease the relationship which he once had with the murderous life he once lived. Likewise, one who is living in a state of adultery will be lost if he or she dies in that state (Revelation 21:8). Just saying, “I’m sorry,” will not change that state or change that relationship into a righteous one so that it may be continued. Nowhere has God ever dealt with sin in such a way. He always demands the cessation of the sinful practice or relationship before He abundantly pardons. John the Baptizer was not asking Herod to simply acknowledge his sin, say he was sorry and ask forgiveness, and then continue to live with Herodias. Herod had married her (Mark 6:17). What did repentance demand? That they break up their marriage. Why? Because, as John declared, “It [was] not lawful for [Herod] to have her” (Mark 6:18)! There wasn’t anything that Herod could merelyverbalize that would change the status of the marital relationship. It had to be terminated.

To Decay or not to Decay? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=884


To Decay or not to Decay?

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


To the “man on the street,” one of the most impressive arguments for an ancient Earth is the testimony of sedimentary-rock layers. Scientists (and park rangers) show us examples like the Grand Canyon and present their theory so effectively that—as we observe layer after layer of sedimentary rocks piled one on top of another—the only explanation seems to be that vast amounts of geologic time must have been involved. Each division of the rocks, we are told, represents a time long ago, and an ancient world that long since has ceased to exist. Creationists, however, beg to differ, and suggest that a closer look at the “record of the rocks” suggests youth, not antiquity, for our home planet.
Embedded in sedimentary rocks all over the globe are what are known as “polystrate” fossils. Polystrate means “many layers,” and refers to fossils that cut through at least two sedimentary-rock layers. Probably the most widely recognized of the polystrate fossils are tree trunks that extend vertically through two, three, or more sections of rock that supposedly were laid down in epochs covering millions of years. However, organic material (such as wood) that is exposed to the elements will rot, not fossilize. Thus, the entire length of these tree trunks must have been preserved quickly, which suggests that the rock layers surrounding them must have been deposited rapidly—possibly (and likely) during a single catastrophe like Noah’s Flood.
Trees, reeds, catfish, whales, and the other organisms with which the fossil record abounds—and that exist as polystrate fossils—did not die and lie around for hundreds, thousands, or millions of years while slowly being preserved. Truth be told, polystrate fossils testify loudly to a young Earth whose layers formed rapidly—and not very long ago! It is a young Earth after all.

How Rude!? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=770


How Rude!?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Imagine your mother asking you to do something for a neighbor, and you responding to her by saying, “Woman, what does that have to do with me?” If your mother is anything like mine, she probably would have given you “the look” (among other things) as she pondered how her son could be so rude. Responding to a mother’s (or any woman’s) request in twenty-first-century America with the refrain, “Woman…,” sounds impolite and offensive. Furthermore, a Christian, who is commanded to “honor” his “father and mother” (Ephesians 6:2), would be out of line in most situations when using such an expression while talking directly to his mother.
In light of the ill-mannered use of the word “woman” in certain contexts today, some question how Jesus could have spoken to His mother 2,000 years ago using this term without breaking the commandment to “[h]onor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12; cf. Matthew 15:4; Matthew 5:17-20). When Jesus, His disciples, and His mother were at the wedding in Cana of Galilee where there was a depletion of wine, Mary said to Jesus, “They have no wine” (John 2:3). Jesus then responded to His mother, saying, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). Notice what one skeptic has written regarding what Jesus said in this verse.
In Matt. 15:4 he [Jesus—EL] told people to “Honor thy father and thy mother”; yet, he was one of the first to ignore his own maxim by saying to his mother in John 2:4, “Woman, what have I to do with thee?” (McKinsey, 1995, p. 44).
Imagine someone talking to his own mother is such a disrespectful manner and addressing her by such an impersonal noun as “woman.” Talk about an insolent offspring! (1995, p. 134).
Jesus needs to practice some parental respect… (2000, p. 251).
Apparently Jesus’ love escaped him (n.d., “Jesus…”).
Why was Jesus disrespectful of his mother? In John 2:4, Jesus uses the same words with his mother that demons use when they meet Jesus. Surely the son of God knew that Mary had the blessing of the Father, didn’t he, (and she was the mother of God—Ed.) not to mention the fact that the son of God would never be rude? (n.d., “Problems…”, parenthetical comment in orig.).
As one can see, Mr. McKinsey is adamant that Jesus erred. He used such words to describe Jesus as disrespectful, insolent, unloving, and rude. Is he correct?
As with most Bible critics, Mr. McKinsey is guilty of judging Jesus’ words by what is common in twenty-first-century English vernacular, rather than putting Jesus’ comments in its proper first-century setting. It was not rude or inappropriate for a man in the first century to speak to a lady by saying, “Woman (gunai)….” This “was a highly respectful and affectionate mode of address” (Vincent, 1997) “with no idea of censure” (Robertson, 1932, p. 34). The New International Version correctly captures the meaning of this word in John 2:4: “ ‘Dear woman, why do you involve me?’ ” (NIV, emp. added). Jesus used this word when complimenting the Syrophoenician woman’s great faith (Matthew 15:28), when affectionately addressing Mary Magdalene after His resurrection (John 20:15), and when speaking to His disconsolate mother one last time from the cross (John 19:26). Paul used this same word when addressing Christian women (1 Corinthians 7:16). As Adam Clarke noted: “[C]ertainly no kind of disrespect is intended, but, on the contrary, complaisance, affability, tenderness, and concern, and in this sense it is used in the best Greek writers” (1996).
As to why Jesus used the term “woman” (gunai) instead of “mother” (meetros) when speaking to Mary (which even in first-century Hebrew and Greek cultures was an unusual way to address one’s mother), Leon Morris noted that Jesus most likely was indicating
that there is a new relationship between them as he enters his public ministry…. Evidently Mary thought of the intimate relations of the home at Nazareth as persisting. But Jesus in his public ministry was not only or primarily the son of Mary, but “the Son of Man” who was to bring the realities of heaven to people on earth (1:51). A new relationship was established (Morris, 1995, p. 159).
R.C.H. Lenski added: “[W]hile Mary will forever remain his [Jesus’—EL] mother, in his calling Jesus knows no mother or earthly relative, he is their Lord and Savior as well as of all men. The common earthly relation is swallowed up in the divine” (1961, p. 189). It seems best to conclude that Jesus was simply “informing” His mother in a loving-yet-firm manner that as He began performing miracles for the purpose of proving His deity and the divine origin of His message (see Miller, 2003, pp. 17-23), His relationship to His mother was about to change.
Finally, the point also must be stressed that honoring fathers and mothers does not mean that a son or daughter never can correct his or her parents. Correction and honor are no more opposites than correction and love. One of the greatest ways parents disclose their love to their children is by correcting them when they make mistakes. Similarly, one of the ways in which a mature son might honor his parents is by taking them aside when they have erred, and lovingly pointing out their mistake or oversight in a certain matter. How much more honorable would this action be than to take no action and allow them to continue in a path of error without informing them of such. We must keep in mind that even though Mary was a great woman “who found favor with God” (Luke 1:30), she was not perfect (cf. Romans 3:10,23). She was not God, nor the “mother of God” (viz., she did not originate Jesus or bring Him into existence). But, she was the one chosen to carry the Son of God in her womb. Who better to correct any misunderstanding she may had had than this Son?

REFERENCES

Clarke, Adam (1996), Adam Clarke’s Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Lenski, R.C.H. (1961), The Interpretation of the St. John’s Gospel (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg).
McKinsey, C. Dennis (no date), “Jesus, Imperfect Beacon,” Biblical Errancy [On-line], URL: http://members.aol.com/ckbloomfld/bepart11.html#issref113.
McKinsey, C. Dennis (no date), “Problems with the Credentials and Character of Jesus,” Biblical Errancy [On-line], URL: http://mywebpages.comcast.net/errancy/issues/iss190.htm.
McKinsey, C. Dennis (1995), The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy (Amherst, NY: Prometheus).
McKinsey, C. Dennis (2000), Biblical Errancy (Amherst, NY: Prometheus).
Miller, Dave (2003), “Modern-day Miracles, Tongue-Speaking, and Holy Spirit Baptism: A Refutation,” Reason & Revelation, 23:17-24, March.
Morris, Leon (1995), The Gospel According to St. John (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), revised edition.
Robertson, A.T. (1932), Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman).
Vincent, Marvin R. (1997), Word Studies in the New Testament (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).