"THE THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN" Chapter One John greets Gaius, praying for his prosperity and health, rejoicing to hear that he is walking in truth (1-4). John approves his hospitality toward brethren and strangers, especially those serving the Lord (5-8). John condemns the deeds of Diotrephes (9-10), commends the testimony of Demetrius (11-12), and concludes with a hope to see Gaius soon (13-14). POINTS TO PONDER * The joy of seeing one’s converts growing in Christ * The importance of hospitality in the spread of the gospel * The contrast between spirituality and carnality among Christians REVIEW QUESTIONS 1) What are the main points of this chapter? - Greetings, with an expression of great joy - 3Jn 1:1-4 - The confirmation of Gaius - 3Jn 1:5-8 - The condemnation of Diotrephes - 3Jn 1:9-10 - The commendation of Demetrius - 3Jn 1:11-12 - Concluding remarks - 3Jn 1:13-14 2) To whom is this epistle addressed? (1) - The beloved Gaius 3) For what does John pray in behalf of Gaius? (2) - That he may prosper and be in health, just as his soul prospers 4) What gave John his greatest joy? (4) - To hear that his children walk in truth 5) For what does John praise Gaius? (5-7) - His kindness toward brethren and strangers, especially those serving the Lord 6) What benefit do we receive when we support those who serve the Lord? (8) - We become fellow workers for the truth 7) Of what was Diotrephes guilty? (9-10) - Seeking preeminence, refusing to receive John - Prating against him with malicious words - Refusing to receive brethren, putting out of the church those who do 8) What exhortation does John give to Gaius? Who does he commend? (11-12) - Do not imitate what is evil, but what is good; Demetrius, for his good testimony
"THE THIRD EPISTLE OF JOHN" Introduction What was the early church like? We know a lot about its early leaders, such as apostles Paul and Peter; but what about the average Christians themselves? Were they more spiritual than Christians today? Did they experience the kind of problems seen so often in churches today? Several books of the New Testament reflect the life of the early church, and this is especially true of The Third Epistle of John. It is a private letter, between "The Elder" and a Christian named Gaius. It provides portraits of three different men, and in so doing gives us a glimpse of 1st century life in local churches. When one examines the portraits found in this letter, we learn that there is not much difference between people back then, and in the church today. Therefore this epistle is very relevant, though we may live almost 2000 years later. AUTHOR "The Elder" (3Jn 1:1) is believed by most conservative scholars to be the apostle John. The internal evidence for the third epistle is similar to that of the second: * The three epistles of John utilize much the same language and ideas * All bear similarity to concepts and language to the Gospel of John * The term "elder" would be a fitting description of John as the author, writing in his old age The external evidence is slight, but Dionysius of Alexandria, living in the third century A.D., credits John with being the author. RECIPIENT The epistle is addressed to "beloved Gaius". Gaius was a common Roman name, and appears five times in the New Testament (Ac 19:29; 20:4; Ro 16:23; 1Co 1:14; 3Jn 1:1). Whether he is one of those mentioned by Luke or Paul cannot be determined. He was evidently a dear friend of John, known for his hospitality (more below). PLACE AND DATE Ephesus is usually suggested as the location from which John wrote this epistle, as he was known to live there in the later years of his life. Estimation of the date of writing varies widely, some placing it before the destruction of Jerusalem (70 A.D.). Most however place it around 90-95 A.D. PURPOSE AND THEME The purpose of the epistle is threefold, related to the three men mentioned by name: * To confirm that Gaius did right in supporting those teachers who came his way, encouraging him to continue this hospitality - 3Jn 1:5-8 * To express his condemnation of Diotrephes for rejecting John and others whom he should had received - 3Jn 1:9-10 * To encourage Gaius to imitate what is good, commending Demetrius as a good example - 3Jn 1:11-12 As for the theme, with the examples of the three men preserved for us in this letter, let me suggest one based on the words of John in verse 11: Do not imitate what is evil, but what is good OUTLINE Here is a simple outline of the book... Greetings, with an expression of great joy (1-4) The confirmation of Gaius (5-8) The condemnation of Diotrephes (9-10) The commendation of Demetrius (11-12) Concluding remarks (13-14) REVIEW QUESTIONS 1) Who is author of The Third Epistle Of John? - The Elder, likely John the apostle who wrote the gospel of John 2) Who was the recipient of this epistle? - The beloved Gaius, identity otherwise unknown 3) When was it written? From where? - Most date it from 90-95 A.D.; Ephesus 4) What has been suggested as its threefold purpose? - To confirm Gaius did right - To condemn Diotrephes for doing wrong - To commend Demetrius as a good example 5) What has been suggested as its theme? - Do not imitate what is evil, but what is good 6) What are the main divisions of this epistle as outlined above? - Greetings, with an expression of great joy (1-4) - The confirmation of Gaius (5-8) - The condemnation of Diotrephes (9-10) - The commendation of Demetrius (11-12) - Concluding remarks (13-14)
Islam Says a Husband May Beat His Wife
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
The politically correct climate of American culture is characterized by a host of self-contradictory and nonsensical viewpoints. One example is the way the left is vociferous in its support and defense of the spread of Islam via the construction of mosques and permission to teach about Islam in public schools. The left quickly steps forward and loudly condemns anyone who would dare to raise a finger of concern about the impact of Islam on the American way of life.
Yet, ironically, the social liberal, who disdains Christian morality, gives a “free pass” to Islam on some of the very issues for which it has viciously opposed the Christian moorings of American society. The “women’s lib” movement of the 1960s is a glaring example. The fight for “women’s rights” and the equal status of women in the home and on the job has been a hallmark of the liberal establishment. And yet, incredibly, the Islamic world has been known since its inception to consign women to an inferior status and to exert a degrading influence on them. How many female advocates of “women’s lib” would be willing to wear what Muslim women are required to wear around the world? How many “liberated women” in America would be willing to be subjected to a polygamous husband who relegates her to one among several other of his wives? And how many American women would be in favor of implementing the Quran’s teaching regarding the right of the husband to beat his wife? Read it for yourself in Mohammed Pickthall’s celebrated Muslim translation:
Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High Exalted, Great (Surah 4:34, emp. added; cf. 4:11; 2:223,228,282; 38:45; 16:58-59; see also Brooks, 1995; Trifkovic, 2002, pp. 153-167).A host of Islamic translations confirm this translation. The words in bold above are rendered in Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s translation: “refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly).” Ahmed Raza Khan’s translation reads: “do not cohabit with them, and (lastly) beat them.” Abul A’la Maududi has “remain apart from them in beds, and beat them.” Wahiduddin Khan “refuse to share their beds, and finally hit them.” Muhamad Abib Shakir has “leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them.” Shaykh Muhammad Sarwar reads: “do not sleep with them and beat them.” The Saheeh International translation reads: “forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them.” Hassan Qaribullah and Ahmed Darwish have: “desert them in the bed and smack them (without harshness).” Ali Quli Qarai’s rendering reads: “keep away from them in the bed, and [as the last resort] beat them” (Tanzil Project, 2007-2014).
As if these instructions were not enough to awaken the sensibilities of the political/moral left, consider further the penalty enjoined by the Quran for the adulterer, keeping in mind that the practice of adultery is commonplace among the anti-Christian establishment of our nation (Bonewell, 2012).
The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.... And those who accuse honourable women but bring not four witnesses, scourge them (with) eighty stripes and never (afterward) accept their testimony—They indeed are evildoers (Surah 24:2,4, emp. added).Are those who believe Islam ought to be accommodated and encouraged to participate fully in the political and educational framework of the nation willing to allow Sharia law to become the law of the country?
REFERENCESAli, Abdullah Yusuf (1934), The Meaning of the Holy Quran (Beltsville, MD: Amana Publications), 2002 reprint.
Bonewell, Kelly (2012), “Adultery: Just the Statistics,” The End of All Our Exploring, http://www.kellybonewell.com/psychology/adultery-just-the-statistics/.
Brooks, Geraldine (1995), Nine Parts of Desire (New York, NY: Anchor Books).
Tanzil Project (2007-2014), http://tanzil.net/#4:34.
Trifkovic, Serge (2002), The Sword of the Prophet (Boston, MA: Regina Orthodox Press).
BLOOD—The Liquid of Life
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
Blood always has been a curious substance whose vast mysteries and capabilities have yet to be fully explored. Doctors in the twenty-first century transfuse it, draw it, separate it, package it, store it, ship it, and sell it. And, although modern-day scientists have not uncovered completely all of the wonders of blood, they have discovered that it is the key to life. Without this “liquid of life,” humans and animals would have no way to circulate the necessary oxygen and proteins that their bodies need in order to survive and reproduce. Hemoglobin found in the red blood cells carries oxygen to the brain, which in turn uses that oxygen to allow it to control the entire body. A brain without oxygen is like a car without gas or a computer without electricity. Blood makes all of the functions in the body possible.
In the past, ignorance of blood’s value caused some “learned” men to do tragic things. For instance, during the middle ages, and even until the nineteenth century, doctors believed that harmful “vapors” entered the blood and caused sickness. For this reason, leeches were applied to victims of fever and other illnesses in an attempt to draw out blood containing these vapors. Also, the veins and arteries located just above the elbow were opened, and the patient’s arms were bled to expunge the contaminated blood. George Washington, the first President of the United States, died because of such misplaced medical zeal.
Maybe you have seen a red and white striped, twirling pole at the entrance to a barbershop. In the middle ages, barbers did much more than cut hair. They also performed minor surgeries (such as tooth extractions). One of their most frequent feats was bloodletting. Barbershops generally kept on hand a fresh supply of leeches—stored in a basin on top of the pole.
But what does all this have to do with the Bible? Thousands of years before the lethal practice of bloodletting was conceived, mankind had been informed by God that blood was indeed the key to life. In Leviticus 17:11, Moses wrote: “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.” Because red blood cells carry oxygen (due to hemoglobin in the cells), life is made possible. In fact, we know today that human red blood cells carry approximately 270,000,000 molecules of hemoglobin per cell. If there were any less, there would not be enough residual oxygen to sustain life after, say, a hard sneeze or a hefty pat on the back.
Today, we understand completely the truthfulness of Moses’ statement that “the life of the flesh is in the blood.” But how did an ancient shepherd like Moses come to know such information? Just a lucky guess? How could Moses have known almost 3500 years ago that life was in the blood, while it took the rest of the scientific and medical community thousands of years (and thousands of lives!) to discover this truth? That answer, of course, is that Moses was guided by the Great Physician—and therein lies the difference between life and death.
Aristotle’s “Unmoved Mover” and Those Who Are “Without Excuse”
|by||Caleb Colley, Ph.D.|
In Paul’s discussion of the sins of the Gentiles, the apostle explained that those Gentiles who refused to acknowledge the existence of a higher power (one that is responsible for the origin of the natural order) had no excuse for their failure in this regard:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened (Romans 1:18-21).If it is the case that those who refuse to believe in God (despite evidence He has presented in the material world) are without excuse, then we would expect to learn of people who, while perhaps lacking special revelation from God, nonetheless applied their God-given rationality to develop belief in a being that is responsible for the physical world. We find just such an example in one of the most famous and important philosophers, Aristotle.
In Aristotle’s Physics, the philosopher addresses the question of motion. After a lengthy discussion on the nature of motion and the immediate causes for motion, Aristotle addresses the remote cause for motion:
If everything that is in motion is moved by something that is in motion, either this is an accidental attribute of the things (so that each of them moves something while being itself in motion, but not because it is itself in motion) or it belongs to them in their own right. If, then, it is an accidental attribute, it is not necessary that that which causes motion should be in motion; and if this is so it is clear that there may be a time when nothing that exists is in motion, since the accidental is not necessary but contingent.... But the non-existence of motion is an impossibility (1984, 1:428, parenthetical item in orig.).Aristotle, exemplary in his philosophical quest at this juncture, simply asks himself why there is motion. His conclusion, after a lengthy discussion, is essentially this: Because it is undeniable that motion exists, then there must be a first cause for the motion—an unmoved mover, whose movement (or causing of movement) is not an accidental property of His, but rather a necessary component of His being. Whereas each item in the created order is in motion because it has been moved by a distinct mover, the unmoved mover must possess the quality of motion (or the causing of motion). Aristotle lived prior to the Christian age, and was not a Hebrew; yet in his quest to understand the natural order, he was not prejudiced against belief in the supernatural.
Thomas Aquinas would adapt Aristotle’s argument to formulate what we know as part of the cosmological argument for the existence of the God of the Bible (see Maurer, 2010; cf. Jeffcoat, n.d.):
Now whatever is in motion is put in motion by another.... For motion is nothing else than the reduction of something from potentiality to actuality.... It is therefore impossible that in the same respect and in the same way a thing should be both mover and moved, i.e., that it should move itself. If that by which it is put in motion be itself put in motion, then this also must needs be put in motion by another, and that by another again. But this cannot go on to infinity, because then there would be no first mover, and, consequently, no other mover.... Therefore it is necessary to admit a first efficient cause, to which everyone gives the name of God (1952, 19:12,13, emp. added).Peter Kreeft summarizes Aquinas’ argument: “Since no thing (or series of things) can move (change) itself, there must be a first, Unmoved Mover, source of all motion” (1990, p. 63, parenthetical items in orig.).
The necessity of the unmoved Mover is obvious. Yet, Paul recognized that some had become so calloused by worldly concerns as to prejudice their hearts against the Creator. So, God “gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness” (Romans 1:28-30). Despite the forceful clarity with which God has revealed Himself to His creation, some will misuse their intellectual freedom and reject Him. May we, on the other hand, willingly receive a simple, yet critical, lesson from Aristotle and Aquinas concerning the necessary existence of our Creator.
Aristotle (1984), Physics, trans. R.P. Hardie and R.K. Gaye, in The Complete Works of Aristotle, ed. Jonathan Barnes (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).
Jeffcoat, W.D. (no date), “The Cosmological Argument for the Existence of God,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/rr/reprints/Cosmological-Argument-for-Exist.pdf.
Kreeft, Peter (1990), Summa of the Summa (San Francisco: Ignatius Press).
Maurer, Armand (2010), “Medieval Philosophy,” Encyclopaedia Brittanica, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1350843/Western-philosophy/8653/Thomas-Aquinas?anchor=ref365766.
Are Songs and Prayers Sometimes One and the Same?
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
Q.Are songs and prayers sometimes one and the same?
A.Ask any five year old if there is a difference between singing and praying and you will likely receive the “you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me” look. “Everyone knows there is a difference between singing and praying.” A song is composed of words and music. Its words are “uttered in musical tones and with musical inflections and modulations” (“Sing,” 2010). A prayer is “an address (as a petition) to God…in word or thought” (“Prayer,” 2010; cf. 1 Samuel 1:12-13). Prayers are without musical tones and inflections, right?
Although praying and singing are often two distinct acts of worship (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:15), sometimes they are one and the same. That is, occasionally (or perhaps oftentimes) petitions to God are sung to Him. The Greek word most frequently translated “prayer” in the New Testament is proseuche. It is defined simply as a “petition addressed to deity, prayer” (Danker, 2000, p. 878, emp. in orig.). In the Old Testament, the English word “prayer” is derived most frequently from the Hebrew word te pillâ. This word is found 76 times in the Old Testament. Interestingly, this word for prayer occurs most often (32 times) in the book of Psalms. Psalms are songs that were (and are) sung (cf. Psalm 105:2; 1 Chronicles 16:9; Colossians 3:16; James 5:13). The Israelites titled this collection of inspired poems tehillim, meaning “songs of praise or hymns” (“Psalms,” 1988).
Admittedly, simply because a song contains the word “prayer” (or “pray,” “praying,” etc.) does not make the song a type of prayer. However, as Harris, Archer, and Waltke observed in their Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, “five Psalms are specifically called ‘prayers’ in their superscription (Ps 17, 86, 90, 102, 142)” (1980, p. 726). Bible publishers often add headings to each of the psalms in an attempt to help the reader easily recognize the subject matter. Thomas Nelson Publishers added the word “prayer” to the subject headings of some 25 psalms in their New King James translation of the book of Psalms. They also used prayer terminology (e.g., “a plea” or “an appeal”) to label several other psalms. Obviously, both the ancients (who gave us Psalms’ superscriptions) and certain modern-day Bible publishing companies have seen many of the psalms for what they are: prayers.
Consider a few of the psalms in which David and others prayed.
- “Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; have mercy on me, and hear my prayer. How long, O you sons of men, will you turn my glory to shame? How long will you love worthlessness and seek falsehood? Selah” (4:1-2). [NOTE: “Selah” is found 71 times in the book of Psalms. Although its precise import is unknown, “it is generally agreed that Selah must be a musical or liturgical sign” (Wiseman, 1996, p. 1074).]
- “Hear a just cause, O LORD, attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer which is not from deceitful lips” (17:1).
- “And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You...Selah. Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry” (39:7,11-12).
- “Save me, O God, by Your name, and vindicate me by Your strength. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth...Selah (54:1-3).
- “Give ear to my prayer, O God, and do not hide Yourself from my supplication. Attend to me, and hear me” (55:1-2).
- “Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer.... I will sing praise to your name forever” (61:1,8).
- “O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah” (84:8).
- “Bow down Your ear, O LORD, hear me.... Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer” (86:1,6).
- “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come to You…. Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands” (102:1,25). [NOTE: According to Hebrews 1:8-12, the psalmist was actually speaking (i.e., praying) to Jesus, “the Son”.]
Generally speaking, songs and prayers are distinguished by songs being uttered with musical tones and inflections, and prayers being worded without musical accompaniment. However, one lesson learned from the inspired book of Psalms, the ancient hymnbook of the Jews, as well as from Habakkuk three, is that prayers may also be sung. That is, a song that petitions our Heavenly Father and Savior is both a song and a prayer.
Danker, Frederick William, William Arndt, and F.W. Gingrich, (2000), Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).
Harris, R. Laird, Gleason Archer, Jr. and Bruce Waltke, eds. (1980), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Jamieson, Robert, et al. (1997), Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Bible Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
“Prayer” (2010), Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prayer.
“Psalms” (1988), The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
“Sing” (2010), Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sing?show=0&t=1284488817.
Wiseman, D.J. (1996), “Selah,” New Bible Dictionary, ed. J.D. Douglas (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press), third edition.
How Could Jesus be God if He was Seen by Man?
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
According to Jehovah’s Witnesses, one of the reasons Jesus could not (and cannot) be God is because Jesus was seen by humankind. The official Web site of Jehovah’s Witnesses (www.watchtower.org) indicates that “[a]s the Son of God, he [Jesus—EL] could not be God himself, for John 1:18 says: ‘No one has ever seen God’ ” (“What Does the Bible Say...,” 2000). The problem with such reasoning is two-fold.
First, it ignores the fact that man only saw Jesus (“the Word”—John 1:1) after “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). He came in a veiled form. No human has ever seen Jesus in His true image (i.e., as a spirit Being—John 4:24—in all His glory and splendor). In his letter to the church at Philippi, the apostle Paul mentioned that Christ—Who had existed in heaven “in the form of God”—“made Himself of no reputation,” and took on the “likeness of men” (Philippians 2:6-7). Men saw an embodiment of God as Jesus dwelt here in a fleshly form. Men saw “the Word” that “became flesh.” But no one has ever seen God’s true, complete image (as a spirit Being).
The second problem with Jehovah’s Witnesses’ denial of Jesus’ deity (based on the fact that “no one has ever seen God”) is that their argument crumbles when Jehovah God’s appearances to man are considered. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jehovah is God and “is the name of the true God only” (“Identifying...,” 2002). According to their doctrine, Jehovah, not Christ, is God Almighty. Yet, man has seen Jehovah. Genesis chapter 18 records an occasion when “Jehovah appeared” to Abraham near Mamre (vs. 1). Jehovah spoke directly to Abraham (vs. 13), and the faithful servant of God “stood before the Lord” (vs. 22). The final verse of Genesis 18 states: “And Jehovah went his way, as soon as he had left off communing with Abraham. And Abraham returned unto his place” (vs. 33). If Jehovah’s Witnesses were consistent with their argument, Jehovah could not be Almighty God because man has seen Jehovah. If John 1:18 somehow disqualifies Jesus from being God, it must also prohibit “Jehovah” from being God, because they both were seen. What Bible students must understand is that man has only seen manifestations of God (i.e, in human flesh, or in the midst of a burning bush—Exodus 3:2, etc.); he has never seen God (the Father or the Son) in His true spirit image.
[NOTE: If you would like to read further on the subject “Has Man Seen God?” and examine the alleged contradiction between such passages as John 1:18 and Exodus 33:11, click on the following link: http://www.apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=2682.]
“What Does the Bible Say About God and Jesus?” (2002), [On-line], URL: http://www.watchtower.org/library/ti/index.htm.
“Scientists Don’t Have a Clue How Life Began”
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
Twenty years ago, John Horgan, staff writer for Scientific American, wanted to write an article titled, “Pssst! Don’t Tell the Creationists, but Scientists Don’t Have a Clue How Life Began.” His editor at the time did not like the title and changed it. Horgan has waited 20 years, however, and the original editor is gone who did not like his title, so he simply re-used it for an article he wrote in February of 2011, two decades later (Horgan, 2011). The fact that Horgan could accurately say that the scientific community did not have a clue 20 years ago about the origin of life, and the situation has not changed in two decades of intense research, speaks volumes about the false theory of evolution and its explanation of the origin of life.
The reason that “scientists don’t have a clue how life began” is because those whom Horgan is labeling as “scientists” have prejudicially eliminated the only viable option for the origin of life. What Horgan means is that scientists who believe in evolution cannot give any plausible, naturalistic scenario that would make life possible. Horgan mistakenly equates “scientists” with “evolutionary scientists.” The fact of the matter is, thousands of scientists across the country know exactly how life began—God created life during the six-day Creation week. In fact, we at Apologetics Press have several highly qualified staff and auxiliary scientists who have studied the evidence and know how life began.
The quandary that Horgan and evolutionary scientists are in arises from the fact that, according to evolution, life had to spontaneously generate from non-living chemicals—and there is no plausible naturalistic accounting for this. To defend his position that “scientists” do not have a clue, Horgan explained that the idea of DNA molecules forming spontaneously has major problems: “DNA can make neither proteins nor copies of itself without the help of catalytic proteins called enzymes. This fact turned the origin of life into a classic chicken-or-egg puzzle: Which came first, proteins or DNA?” (2011). Horgan then noted that origin-of-life scientists have postulated that RNA might be the answer to the beginning of life. But he concluded: “The RNA world is so dissatisfying that some frustrated scientists are resorting to much more far out—literally—speculation” (2011). The far out ideas to which Horgan eluded are notions that life was dropped off by aliens, or that microbes from outer space “seeded” our planet. Horgan correctly observed that such outlandish suggestions only “push the problem of life’s origin into outer space. If life didn’t begin here, how did it begin out there?”
In his concluding paragraph, Horgan wrote: “Creationists are no doubt thrilled that origin-of-life research has reached such an impasse…but they shouldn’t be. Their explanations suffer from the same flaw: What created the divine Creator? And at least scientists are making an honest effort to solve life’s mystery instead of blaming it all on God” (2011). Horgan is exactly right when he says that scientists (read that “evolutionary scientists”) do not have a clue how life began. He is wrong, however, to insist that the evolutionary scenario of life’s origin rests on the same footing as the concept of creation. The origin-of-life research has not shown that a naturalistic origin for life is merely improbable; instead, it has shown that it is impossible—life does not and cannot spontaneously generate from non-living chemicals. That being the case, the only truly “scientific” idea left would be to follow the evidence where it leads—to an intelligent, supernatural creator. Antony Flew, at one time the world’s foremost atheistic philosopher, came to just such a conclusion when he wrote: “The only satisfactory explanation for the origin of such ‘end-directed, self-replicating’ life as we see on earth is an infinitely intelligent Mind” (2007, p. 132).
REFERENCESFlew, Antony and Roy Varghese (2007), There Is No God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind (New York: HarperOne).
Horgan, John (2011), “Pssst! Don’t Tell the Creationists, but Scientists Don’t Have a Clue How Life Began,” Scientific American, http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=pssst-dont-tell-the-creationists-bu-2011-02-28.
Adult Cells Still the Better Option for Therapeutic Research
|by||Caleb Colley, Ph.D.|
For years, ethical issues have plagued the development of embryonic stem-cell research in America (cf. Bush, 2001). Despite its slight potential for therapeutic benefits in the distant future, embryonic stem-cell research has been shown to be unethical because it necessitates killing people (see Thompson and Harrub, 2001; cf. Gibson, 2007; Colley, 2007b). Scientists also have known for several years that adult stem-cell research has yielded greater results than embryonic stem-cell research (see Harrub and Thompson, 2004; Saunders and Prentice, 2006; “Stem Cell Research: Facts...,” 2001; Miller, 2007). Unlike embryonic stem cells, however, adult stem cells are only partially pluripotent, “capable of forming several cell types—principally blood, muscle, and nerve cells. It has been possible to recognize, select, and develop them to the point that they form mature cell types with the help of growth factors and regulating proteins” (Lillge, 2001; cf. “Stem Cell Basics,” 2006). In 2007, researchers determined that adult stem cells may be transformed into “blank slates that should be able to turn into any of the 220 cell types of the human body, be it heart, brain, blood or bone” (Kolata, 2007). This method allows for the development of truly pluripotent cells without resorting to “therapeutic” cloning or the destruction of embryos (see Kolata). Stem cells from adults may offer hope of developing therapies for patients suffering from diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s (see Takahashi, et al., 2007; cf. McIlroy, 2007; Colley, 2007a).
Not only have scientists changed adult stem cells into “iPS,” or pluripotent cells that carry the same possibilities for regenerative medicine as do embryonic stem cells (see Vogel and Holden, 2007), but now scientists have “transformed one type of fully developed adult cell directly into another inside a living animal” (Stein, 2008). Harvard biologists have “pinpointed three crucial molecular switches that, when flipped, completely convert a common [adult] cell in the pancreas into the more precious insulin-producing ones that diabetics need to survive” (Stein, bracketed item added; cf. Zhou, et al., 2007). This raises the possibility that “patients suffering from not only diabetes but also heart disease, strokes and many other ailments could eventually have some of their cells reprogrammed to cure their afflictions without the need for drugs, transplants or other therapies” (Stein). Zhou and colleagues discussed their research, in Nature:
Here...we identify a specific combination of three transcription factors (Ngn3 (also known as Neurog3) Pdx1 and Mafa) that reprograms differentiated pancreatic exocrine cells in adult mice into cells that closely resemble β-cells. The induced β-cells are indistinguishable from endogenous islet β-cells in size, shape and ultrastructure. They express genes essential for β-cell function and can ameliorate hyperglycaemia by remodelling [sic] local vasculature and secreting insulin. This study provides an example of cellular reprogramming using defined factors in an adult organ and suggests a general paradigm for directing cell reprogramming without reversion to a pluripotent stem cell state (2008, parenthetical items in orig., emp. added).Researchers in the field of regenerative medicine have grand dreams of using adult cells to replace conventional surgery with a sort of genetic substitution (see Stein, 2008).
Those of us at Apologetics Press continue to pray that the Creator’s view of the matter will be paramount in the minds of those who push our society to new limits of biological inquiry. Embryonic stem-cell research is unscriptural and unethical. The scientific community is making it increasingly clear that embryonic stem-cell research is also unnecessary.
Colley, Caleb (2007a), “Adult Stem Cells Match the Potential of Embryonic Stem Cells,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3551.
Colley, Caleb (2007b), “Therapeutic Embryonic Stem-Cell Research ‘Just Not Realistic’,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3504.
Gibson, Robert (2007), “Stem Cell Research Is Good News for Heart Patients,” The Epoch Times, [On-line], URL: http://en.epochtimes.com/news/7-10-11/60678.html.
Harrub, Brad and Bert Thompson (2004), “Presidential Elections, Superman, Embryonic Stem Cells, Bad Science, and False Hope,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2621.
Kolata, Gina (2007), “Scientists Bypass Need for Embryo to Get Stem Cells,” The New York Times, [On-line], URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/21/science/21stem.html.
Lillge, Wolfgang (2001), “The Case for Adult Stem Cell Research,” 21st Century Science and Technology Magazine, [On-line], URL: http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/articles/winter01/stem_cell.html.
McIlroy, Anne (2007), “Stem-Cell Method Hailed as ‘Massive Breakthrough’,” The Globe and Mail, [On-line], URL: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071121.wstemcells21/BNStory/Science/home.
Miller, Dave (2007), “Adult Stem-Cell Research,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3272.
Saunders, William L., Jr., and David Prentice (2006), “Adult Stem Cell Treatments–Nine Faces of Success” (Washington, D.C.: Family Research Council), a tract.
Stein, Rob (2008), “Scientists Reprogram Adult Cells’ Function,” The Washington Post, [On-line], URL: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/27/AR2008082701829.html.
“Stem Cell Basics” (2006), The National Institutes of Health, [On-line], URL: http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/basics5.asp.
“Stem Cell Research: Facts and Fallacies” (2001), National Right to Life, [On-line], URL: http://www.nrlc.org/Factsheets/FS08_StemCellResearch.pdf.
Takahashi, Kazutoshi, et al. (2007), “Induction of Pluripotent Stem Cells from Adult Human Fibroblasts by Defined Factors,” Cell, 131:1-12, November, [On-line], URL: http://images.cell.com/images/Edimages/Cell/IEPs/3661.pdf.
Thompson, Bert and Brad Harrub (2001), “Human Cloning and Stem-Cell Research—Science’s ‘Slippery Slope’ [Part III],” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2510.
Vogel, Gretchen and Constance Holden (2007), “Field Leaps Forward With New Stem Cell Advances,” Science, 318:1224-1225, November 23.
Zhou, Qiao, et al. (2008), “In Vivo Reprogramming of Adult Pancreatic Exocrine Cells to β-Cells,” Nature, [On-line], URL: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nature07314.html.
When Did Satan Enter Judas?by Eric Lyons, M.Min.
Q.On the evening before His crucifixion, Jesus met with His disciples in Jerusalem to eat the Passover meal. According to John’s gospel account, “Satan entered” Judas during the meal (13:27). Luke, however, recorded that “Satan entered Judas” prior to the Passover meal (22:1-7). Is this a contradiction?
A.If the Bible writers had indicated that Satan only entered Judas once during his lifetime, and that occasion was mentioned in the Bible as being at two different times, then skeptics would have a reasonable argument. The truth is, however, Satan easily could have entered Judas more than once, just as evil spirits and demons entered people in the past multiple times. [NOTE: We are not informed exactly what is meant by Satan “entering” Judas. It could simply mean that Satan had a strong influence on Judas and filled his heart with evil passions, similar to how he “filled” Ananias’ heart to lie to the Holy Spirit—Acts 5:3.]
The Old Testament reveals that King Saul was overcome with an “evil spirit” at various times throughout his reign. After Samuel anointed David to be the future king of Israel, “the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrorized him” (1 Samuel 16:14, NASB). Then, following David’s battle with Goliath, “an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved in the midst of the house” (1 Samuel 18:10, NASB; cf. 19:9). Also, “[w]henever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him” (1 Samuel 16:23, NASB, emp. added).
If an evil spirit could “come upon Saul” and “depart from him” at various times throughout his reign, and if, as Jesus indicated in the first century, unclean spirits or demons could go in and out of someone (Luke 11:24-26), then it is logical to conclude that Satan could have “entered” and “departed” from Judas on more than one occasion. In fact, that is exactly what happened. Prior to John’s mention of Satan entering Judas, he noted how the devil had “already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him [Jesus]” (John 13:2, emp. added). Luke explained how, prior to the Passover meal, Judas met with Jesus’ enemies and made an agreement with them to betray Jesus at some secluded location (22:1-7). Later, during the Passover meal, “Satan entered Judas” again (John 13:27).
There is no contradiction here, just accounts of two different occasions when Satan entered Judas.
(1 Peter 2:17)
Job “was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil” (Job 1:1).
God told Abraham, “Now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son” (Genesis 22:12).
Cornelius “feared God with all his household” (Acts 10:2).
What does it mean to fear God?
To be God-fearing is to have an overwhelming feeling of profound respect for God that causes us to be highly conscious of our own inadequacy and dependence. God is so great and we are so small, that it is scary! Ezekiel fell on his face when he saw the glory of the Lord (Ezekiel 1:28). Fear is the reasonable response of mortal man in the presence of almighty God. Fear of God is the sober realization that our eternal destiny depends on His judgment.
The word fear is used in connection with God more than 300 times in the Scriptures.
Fear of God is a healthy fear, like fear of fire or fear of falling. Its effects are positive. Whom do you trust more, a God-fearing person, or someone who does not fear God?
Every person on earth is commanded to fear God.
“Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him” (Psalm 33:8).
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth - to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people - saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water’” (Revelation 14:6, 7).
We learn to fear God by reading the Scriptures.
“And Moses commanded them, saying: ‘At the end of every seven years, at the appointed time in the year of release, at the Feast of Tabernacles, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the LORD your God and carefully observe all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God’” (Deuteronomy 31:10-13).
By reading the Scriptures or by hearing them read aloud, adults and children learn to fear God.
Leaders ought to fear God.
The king of Israel was to read the Scriptures to learn to fear the Lord: “Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel” (Deuteronomy 17:18-20).
King David wrote: “The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: ‘He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God’” (2 Samuel 23:3, 4).
When King Jehoshaphat appointed judges, he charged them: “Take heed to what you are doing, for you do not judge for man but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. Now therefore, let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes. ... Thus you shall act in the fear of the LORD, faithfully and with a loyal heart” (2 Chronicles 19:6, 7, 9).
Fear of God is a prerequisite for wisdom.
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments” (Psalm 111:10). “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).
We fear God because He is our judge.
Jesus said: “My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!” (Luke 12:4, 5).
Although we fear God as our judge, genuine love can dispel fear of punishment. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).
John refers to fear of punishment, not fear of God. People who love God do not fear condemnation because they “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Hebrews 12:28).
Those who fear God are comforted: “Fear not, for I am with you” (Isaiah 41:10). When Daniel saw the Son of Man [compare Daniel 10:5, 6 with Revelation 1:12-15] he “stood trembling” but was told, “Do not fear, Daniel. ... O man greatly beloved, fear not!” (Daniel 10:10, 12, 19).
Christians are commanded: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
Although perfect love casts out fear, lack of fear does not prove love! Someone who does not fear God, does not fear judgment. And many who are confident that they are saved will be lost because they did not build on the Rock by obeying Christ (Matthew 7:22, 23). If they had truly loved God and feared Him as judge, they would have obeyed Christ.
A God-fearing person wants to please God.
Of Hezekiah, king of Judah, it is said: “Did he not fear the LORD and seek the LORD’s favor?” (Jeremiah 26:19).
They who fear God want to be faithful and true. Joshua told Israel, “Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth” (Joshua 24:14). Later, Samuel reminded them: “Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you” (1 Samuel 12:24).
God has promised that we can be His sons and daughters if we separate ourselves from the uncleanness of the world (2 Corinthians 6:14-18). Paul continues in the next chapter: “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
A God-fearing person wants to obey God.
“Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him” (Deuteronomy 8:6). “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul?” (Deuteronomy 10:12). “You shall walk after the LORD your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him” (Deuteronomy 13:4).
A God-fearing person wants to avoid evil.
“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:7). “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil” (Proverbs 8:13).
God takes care of those who fear Him.
“The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. ... Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him” (Psalm 34:7, 9).
“The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them” (Psalm 145:18, 19).
“Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God” (Ecclesiastes 8:11-13).
“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. ‘They shall be Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘on the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him’” (Malachi 3:16, 17).
God extends grace to those who fear Him.
“His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation” (Luke 1:50). “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy” (Psalm 33:18). “The LORD takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy” (Psalm 147:11).
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them” (Psalm 103:10-18).
Let us walk in the fear of the Lord.
“Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied” (Acts 9:31).
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).
“You who fear the LORD, praise Him!” (Psalm 22:23).
“Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” (Revelation 19:5). Fear God! Amen.
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.,
Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.,
Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
Bible Reading September 6 (WEB)
Psa 43:1 Vindicate me, God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation. Oh, deliver me from deceitful and wicked men.
Psa 43:2 For you are the God of my strength. Why have you rejected me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
Psa 43:3 Oh, send out your light and your truth. Let them lead me. Let them bring me to your holy hill, To your tents.
Psa 43:4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God, my exceeding joy. I will praise you on the harp, God, my God.
Psa 43:5 Why are you in despair, my soul? Why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God! For I shall still praise him: my Savior, my helper, and my God.
Psa 44:1 We have heard with our ears, God; our fathers have told us, what work you did in their days, in the days of old.
Psa 44:2 You drove out the nations with your hand, but you planted them. You afflicted the peoples, but you spread them abroad.
Psa 44:3 For they didn't get the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them; but your right hand, and your arm, and the light of your face, because you were favorable to them.
Psa 44:4 You are my King, God. Command victories for Jacob!
Psa 44:5 Through you, will we push down our adversaries. Through your name, will we tread them under who rise up against us.
Psa 44:6 For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.
Psa 44:7 But you have saved us from our adversaries, and have shamed those who hate us.
Psa 44:8 In God we have made our boast all day long, we will give thanks to your name forever. Selah.
Psa 44:9 But now you rejected us, and brought us to dishonor, and don't go out with our armies.
Psa 44:10 You make us turn back from the adversary. Those who hate us take spoil for themselves.
Psa 44:11 You have made us like sheep for food, and have scattered us among the nations.
Psa 44:12 You sell your people for nothing, and have gained nothing from their sale.
Psa 44:13 You make us a reproach to our neighbors, a scoffing and a derision to those who are around us.
Psa 44:14 You make us a byword among the nations, a shaking of the head among the peoples.
Psa 44:15 All day long my dishonor is before me, and shame covers my face,
Psa 44:16 At the taunt of one who reproaches and verbally abuses, because of the enemy and the avenger.
Psa 44:17 All this has come on us, yet have we not forgotten you, Neither have we been false to your covenant.
Psa 44:18 Our heart has not turned back, neither have our steps strayed from your path,
Psa 44:19 Though you have crushed us in the haunt of jackals, and covered us with the shadow of death.
Psa 44:20 If we have forgotten the name of our God, or spread forth our hands to a strange god;
Psa 44:21 won't God search this out? For he knows the secrets of the heart.
Psa 44:22 Yes, for your sake we are killed all day long. We are regarded as sheep for the slaughter.
Psa 44:23 Wake up! Why do you sleep, Lord? Arise! Don't reject us forever.
Psa 44:24 Why do you hide your face, and forget our affliction and our oppression?
Psa 44:25 For our soul is bowed down to the dust. Our body cleaves to the earth.
Psa 44:26 Rise up to help us. Redeem us for your loving kindness' sake.
Psa 45:1 My heart overflows with a noble theme. I recite my verses for the king. My tongue is like the pen of a skillful writer.
Psa 45:2 You are the most excellent of the sons of men. Grace has anointed your lips, therefore God has blessed you forever.
Psa 45:3 Gird your sword on your thigh, mighty one: your splendor and your majesty.
Psa 45:4 In your majesty ride on victoriously on behalf of truth, humility, and righteousness. Let your right hand display awesome deeds.
Psa 45:5 Your arrows are sharp. The nations fall under you, with arrows in the heart of the king's enemies.
Psa 45:6 Your throne, God, is forever and ever. A scepter of equity is the scepter of your kingdom.
Psa 45:7 You have loved righteousness, and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
Psa 45:8 All your garments smell like myrrh, aloes, and cassia. Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made you glad.
Psa 45:9 Kings' daughters are among your honorable women. At your right hand the queen stands in gold of Ophir.
Psa 45:10 Listen, daughter, consider, and turn your ear. Forget your own people, and also your father's house.
Psa 45:11 So the king will desire your beauty, honor him, for he is your lord.
Psa 45:12 The daughter of Tyre comes with a gift. The rich among the people entreat your favor.
Psa 45:13 The princess inside is all glorious. Her clothing is interwoven with gold.
Psa 45:14 She shall be led to the king in embroidered work. The virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to you.
Psa 45:15 With gladness and rejoicing they shall be led. They shall enter into the king's palace.
Psa 45:16 Your sons will take the place of your fathers. You shall make them princes in all the earth.
Psa 45:17 I will make your name to be remembered in all generations. Therefore the peoples shall give you thanks forever and ever.
1 Corinthians 2
1Co 2:1 When I came to you, brothers, I didn't come with excellence of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.
1Co 2:2 For I determined not to know anything among you, except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
1Co 2:3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling.
1Co 2:4 My speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
1Co 2:5 that your faith wouldn't stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
1Co 2:6 We speak wisdom, however, among those who are full grown; yet a wisdom not of this world, nor of the rulers of this world, who are coming to nothing.
1Co 2:7 But we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the wisdom that has been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds for our glory,
1Co 2:8 which none of the rulers of this world has known. For had they known it, they wouldn't have crucified the Lord of glory.
1Co 2:9 But as it is written, "Things which an eye didn't see, and an ear didn't hear, which didn't enter into the heart of man, these God has prepared for those who love him."
1Co 2:10 But to us, God revealed them through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
1Co 2:11 For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so, no one knows the things of God, except God's Spirit.
1Co 2:12 But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that were freely given to us by God.
1Co 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.
1Co 2:14 Now the natural man doesn't receive the things of God's Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can't know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 2:15 But he who is spiritual discerns all things, and he himself is judged by no one.
1Co 2:16 "For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he should instruct him?" But we have Christ's mind.
With all the violence, hatred and just plain evil- wouldn't it be nice to just hit the reset button? If you have watched TV at all lately, its obvious that the level of lying has reached monumental proportions and trusting anything the media says is no longer an option. Everyone has an agenda, spins the truth and sometimes even make things up out of thin air. Depressing, discouraging and downright disheartening, isn't it?
Now, IF there WERE a RESET BUTTON, it wouldn't be on a crossing post, because only a few people would be able to see it, no it would have to be someplace a bit more accessible- how about right in front of you, on your keyboard? Perhaps something like the red heart in the following picture.
For me, the reset would start with (F)aith and end with (H)eaven and the key to the reset would be having the heart of the letter "G", which stands for GOD.
It is written in Ezekiel, Chapter 36 (WEB)
26 I will also give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes. You will keep my ordinances and do them.
No, the reset the WORLD needs is a new heart, a heart of flesh; not one that is like stone. Only God can make this possible and the only question that remains is:
WILL YOU AND I LISTEN?