11/7/16

"STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS"Zechariah - I Am Zealous For Zion (9:1-11:17) by Mark Copeland

                    "STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS"

             Zechariah - I Am Zealous For Zion (9:1-11:17)

INTRODUCTION

1. The last six chapters of the book of Zechariah contain two "burdens"
   (i.e., weighty words of judgment)...
   a. The "burden" against Israel's enemies - cf. Zech 9:1-2
   b. The "burden" against Israel herself - Zech 12:1

2. There is a sharp contrast between these chapters and the first 
   eight...
   a. Prompting some to suggest they may have been written by a 
      different author
   b. While others (myself included) believe they were written much 
      later in the life of Zechariah

3. Though the temple was completed by this time, and Zechariah's 
   initial work a success...
   a. His work as a prophet was not over
   b. Through him the Lord has much to say about the future of Israel,
      with glimpses concerning the coming Messiah (Jesus)

[In this lesson, we shall survey the first "burden", which contains
words of judgment against Israel's longtime enemies, while offering 
words of hope to Israel herself...]

I. JUDGMENT AGAINST ISRAEL'S ENEMIES

   A. AGAINST SYRIA...
      1. Against its leading cities:  Damascus, Tyre, Sidon - Zech 9:
         1-2
      2. Despite her strength and wealth, the Lord will bring 
         destruction - Zech 9:3-4
      -- Many commentators point to the conquests of Alexander the 
         Great as the fulfillment of this prophecy (ca. 333 B.C.)

   B. AGAINST PHILISTIA...
      1. Her cities (Gaza, Ekron, Ashkelon) will be dismayed - Zech 9:5
      2. Strangers will abide there; those that remain will be for God
         - Zech 9:6-7
      3. In contrast, God will protect His house, or Israel - Zech 9:8
      -- Alexander the Great did not destroy Jerusalem as he made his 
         way through Palestine (cf. Josephus, Antiquities Of The Jews)

[Verse 8 might actually belong to what follows.  If so, then it begins
what appears to be designed to provide comfort to Israel concerning her
future...]

II. ISRAEL'S HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

   A. HER KING IS COMING...
      1. The promise of the King - Zech 9:9a
      2. The character of the King - Zech 9:9b
      3. The nature of His kingdom - Zech 9:10
         a. A peaceful kingdom
         b. A universal reign
      -- That Jesus fulfilled this passage is taught in the New 
         Testament! - Mt 21:1-7; 28:18; Ep 1:22; 2:14-17

   B. GOD WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE...
      1. Her prisoners will be delivered, even from her enemies like
         Greece - Zech 9:11-13
      2. The Lord lead them to victory and glory - Zech 9:14-17
      -- The fulfillment of this passage may be figurative, alluding to
         the spiritual victory we have in Christ (cf. Lk 4:16-21);
         some, however, believe Zechariah is returning to the theme of
         Israel overcoming the Greeks in the time of Alexander

   C. ISRAEL WILL BE RESTORED...
      1. The people are encouraged to seek blessings from the Lord, not
         idols - Zech 10:1-2
      2. The Lord will provide proper shepherds - Zech 10:3-5
         a. The old leaders removed
         b. New leaders raised up to lead them to victory
      3. Both Judah and Joseph (Ephraim) will be redeemed and restored
         - Zech 10:6-8
      4. Though sown among the nations, they shall remember and return
         - Zech 10:9-11
      5. Strengthened in the Lord, they shall walk in His name - Zech 10:12
      -- While speaking in terms that may have been meaningful to the
         Israelites of that day, this section may also have its 
         fulfillment in the work of Christ through the gospel

   D. BUT NOT WITHOUT JUDGMENT...
      1. With great imagery, coming judgment is described - Zech 11:1-3
         a. Coming by way of the north (Lebanon)
         b. In which the shepherds in particular wail for their loss
      2. Zechariah is told to feed a flock destined for slaughter 
         - Zech 11:4-6
         a. Whose owners and shepherds do not pity them
         b. For a time is coming when the Lord would not pity His flock
      3. Zechariah does so, but not for long - Zech 11:7-14
         a. He starts by making two staffs, one called "Beauty", the 
            other "Bonds"
         b. He feeds the flock, but not without opposition from the 
            other shepherds
         c. He gives up on the flock, breaking his staffs
            1) The breaking of "Beauty" symbolizing the breaking of the
               covenant
            2) He is paid 30 pieces of silver, and is told to throw it
               to the potter
            3) Then he breaks "Bonds" which symbolizes the break of the
               brotherhood between Judah and Israel
      4. Zechariah is then told to take the implements of a foolish 
         shepherd - Zech 11:15-17
         a. For the Lord will one day raise up a foolish shepherd
         b. One who will not care for the flock, upon whom judgment 
            will come
      5. What is this chapter about?  
         a. Many see in it the destruction that befell Israel and 
            Jerusalem by the hands of the Romans in A.D. 70
         b. Because Israel's shepherds (leaders) rejected its Good 
            Shepherd for which they paid a paltry 30 pieces of silver
            (cf. Mt 27:1-10), they were rejected by God

CONCLUSION

1. The last six chapters of Zechariah have been described as some of 
   the most difficult in the Bible...
   a. The difficulty lies in discerning the true fulfillment of these
      prophecies
   b. Not only their initial fulfillment, but whether a double 
      fulfillment was intended as well
   -- Even the apostles were unable to fully discern Old Testament 
      prophecy without the Lord's help - cf. Lk 24:44-47

2. As with all Old Testament prophecy, I recommend the following...
   a. Where the inspired writers of the NT have provided inspired
      interpretation, we should certainly hold to what they wrote
   b. But on those prophecies of the OT where NT writers have not 
      commented, we should be very cautious:
      1) We can offer our understanding as to what they pertain
      2) But we should abstain from developing doctrines or practices 
         based upon our uninspired interpretations of such prophecy

3. Indeed, if the Lord had wanted us to know...
   a. I am persuaded the New Testament would have made it known
   b. Just as it did the "mystery" of the gospel - cf. Ro 16:25-26; 
      Ep 3:3-5

Part of that "mystery" that had been hidden so long was contained in 
these very words of Zechariah:

   "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of 
   Jerusalem!  Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and
   having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal
   of a donkey.  (Zech 9:9)

And again...

   Then I said to them, "If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages;
   and if not, refrain." So they weighed out for my wages thirty 
   pieces of silver.  And the LORD said to me, "Throw it to the 
   potter"; that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty
   pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD for
   the potter.  (Zech 11:12-13)

Yes, the mystery concerning One who was coming to be their King. He has
come, but some rejected Him for 30 pieces of silver (cf. Mt 27:1-10)!

Have you rejected Jesus from being your King, for what is a paltry sum
in comparison to the blessings He provides? - cf. Ac 2:36-38
 

"STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS" Zechariah - I Am Zealous For Zion (7:1-8:23) by Mark Copeland

                    "STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS"

              Zechariah - I Am Zealous For Zion (7:1-8:23)

INTRODUCTION

1. Thus far in our survey of the book of Zechariah...
   a. We noticed "A Call To Repentance" - Zech 1:1-6
   b. We surveyed the "Visions In The Night", of which there were eight
      1) The rider and the horses - Zech 1:7-17
      2) The four horns and four craftsmen - Zech 1:18-21
      3) The man with the measuring line - Zech 2:1-13
      4) Joshua the high priest - Zech 3:1-10
      5) The gold lampstand and two olive trees - Zech 4:1-14
      6) The flying scroll - Zech 5:1-4
      7) The woman in a basket - Zech 5:5-11
      8) The four chariots - Zech 6:1-8
   c. We considered "The Command To Crown Joshua" - Zech 6:9-15

2. In these different ways God used Zechariah...
   a. To motivate Joshua, Zerubbabel, and the captives who returned 
      with them to rebuild the temple - cf. Ezra 6:14-15
   b. To increase their anticipation of the future as well, as they 
      would wonder about the fulfillment of these visions

3. Zechariah's work was not yet finished...
   a. About two years later, as the temple was still in construction, 
      he was asked concerning the observance of certain fasts
   b. This provided the Lord the opportunity to do two things:
      1) To remind the people of what prompted their exile
      2) To once again proclaim His great zeal for Zion (Jerusalem)

[An important lesson or two can be gleaned from this section (Zech 7:1-
8:23) that Christians would do well to remember.  Also, God's zeal for
Zion as expressed in this section appears to have Messianic
ramifications...]

I. THE QUESTION ABOUT THE FIFTH MONTH FAST

   A. THE PRIESTS ARE ASKED...
      1. In the fourth year of King Darius (ca. 518 B.C., nearly two 
         years later) - Zech 7:1
      2. When the people send messengers - Zech 7:2

   B. THE PEOPLE WISH TO KNOW...
      1. Should they continue to weep and fast in the fifth month? 
         - Zech 7:3
      2. The fifth month was the time of the year the temple was 
         destroyed nearly seventy years before - cf. 2Ki 25:8,9; Jer 52:12,13

[Perhaps because the temple was being rebuilt, they wanted to know if
they should continue with a fast designed to commemorate the temple's 
destruction.  In response, the Lord challenges them to evaluate their 
devotion...]

II. THE FAILURE OF THE PEOPLE REVIEWED

   A. THEIR FASTS:  FOR THE LORD, OR FOR THEMSELVES?
      1. In addition to the fast on the fifth month, there was one on
         the seventh (mourning the murder of Gedaliah - cf. 2Ki 25:25;
         Jer 41:1-3)
      2. These fasts were developed during their seventy year exile
      3. But the people are challenged to consider whether they had 
         been serving themselves or the Lord in keeping these fasts 
         - Zech 7:4-6
      4. The Lord would have preferred them to obey Him from the 
         beginning - Zech 7:7
      5. Note:  Which is better...
         a. To worship God as He first instructed?
         b. Or to develop traditions to bemoan your state after you 
            have disobeyed Him?
         -- Clearly God desired the former

   B. THEIR EXILE WAS BECAUSE OF THEIR SINS...
      1. The Lord had asked them to display justice, mercy and 
         compassion - Zech 7:9-10
      2. But the people refused to hear, so God scattered them among
         the nations - Zech 7:11-14

[Their fasting, while appearing to express devotion for the loss of the
temple, should never have been necessary.  If they had served God to
begin with, there would be no need to fast!

As the Lord continues, He explains why their fasts should now be 
occasions for feasting...]

III. A TIME FOR FEASTING, NOT FASTING

   A. THE LORD'S ZEAL FOR JERUSALEM...
      1. The Lord is zealous for Zion with great zeal - Zech 8:1-2
      2. He will return to Zion, and dwell in Jerusalem - Zech 8:3a
      3. Jerusalem will be called "the City of Truth", "The Mountain of
         the LORD of hosts", and "The Holy Mountain" - Zech 8:3b

   B. THE LORD'S FUTURE FOR JERUSALEM...
      1. It will be place of peace for the elderly and young - Zech 8:
         4-6
      2. The Lord will bring His remnant back, and He shall be their
         God - Zech 8:7-8
      3. Those building the temple should take heart, for the Lord
         shall make them a blessing - Zech 8:9-13
      4. Just as God once sought their punishment, now He is determined
         to do good for them - Zech 8:14-15

   C. THE LORD'S DESIRE FOR JERUSALEM...
      1. For the people to speak truth, show justice and peace, not
         evil (to do what should have been done before the exile!)
         - Zech 8:16-17
      2. To let the fasts be a time for joy, gladness and cheerful
         feasts - Zech 8:18-19
         a. The fast of the fourth month had commemorated the breaching
            of the walls when Jerusalem was destroyed - 2Ki 25:3,4;
            Jer 52:6,7
         b. The fast of the fifth month commemorated the destruction of
            the temple
         c. The fast of the seventh month commemorated the murder of
            Gedaliah
         d. The fast of the tenth month commemorated the beginning of
            the siege of Jerusalem - 2Ki 25:1,2; Jer 39:1; 52:4,5
         -- But now these were to be replaced with feasting!

   D. THE LORD'S PROMISE FOR JERUSALEM...
      1. Many nations will come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem
         - Zech 8:20-22
      2. People of every language will seek to know the God of the Jews
         - Zech 8:23

CONCLUSION

1. How comforting and exciting this must have been to those in 
   Zechariah's day!
   a. It certainly should have encouraged them to continue with 
      rebuilding the temple
   b. It should have encouraged them to look forward to the future

2. While there may have been a partial fulfillment to these prophecies
   with the rebuilding of the temple and walls of Jerusalem, it is 
   likely that there are Messianic elements as well...
   a. With fulfillment beginning with the establishment of the church
      in Jerusalem - cf. Isa 2:2-3; Ac 2:1-47; He 12:22
   b. With fulfillment culminating with the ushering in of the "New 
      Jerusalem" in the "new heavens and new earth" following the 
      Lord's second coming - cf. He 11:16; 13:14; 2Pe 3:10-13; Re 21:
      1-22:5

3. Finally, is there a not a lesson to be learned about "self-imposed 
   religion"?
   a. The exiles had begun fasting by their own design
   b. What the Lord preferred was for them to have heeded His Word in
      the beginning!
   c. Jesus taught that man-made traditions lead to vain worship - Mt 15:8-9
   d. Paul described the inability of self-imposed religion to deal 
      with the flesh - Col 2:20-23

If we desire to truly be citizens in the "New Jerusalem", then let's 
concentrate on doing the will of the Father, not on making up new ways
to worship Him.  As Jesus warned:

   "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom
   of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
                                                              (Mt 7:21)

In our acts of devotion, are we doing the Father's will, or things 
devised by men?
 

Has Noah's Ark Been Found? by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.





http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=1341

Has Noah's Ark Been Found?

by  Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.

Q.

Has Noah’s ark been found?

A.

In short, no, the ark has not been found. However, it is worth digging into this question a little deeper, because claims of discovery or sightings are so frequent.
People have reported seeing the ark many times over the last 150 years. They include Turkish soldiers, Russian pilots, Kurdish villagers, and foreign travelers. Most of the sightings and searches have focused on Greater Ararat (17,011 feet above sea level), although the biblical “mountains of Ararat” (Genesis 8:4), where the ark came to rest, probably refers to a much larger geographic area. The mountains are located in a politically troubled part of eastern Turkey, bordering Armenia and Iran. Ararat’s size and location have contributed to a variety of proposed sites, and some colorful adventures.
Most search efforts in the last few decades have attempted to pinpoint the locations given by previous “eyewitness” reports. One such report receiving much attention in the past year came from George Jammal—a Palestinian living in California. In an unsolicited letter to the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), and in a taped interview with ICR scientist John Morris, Jammal claimed to have discovered the ark in 1984. He alleged also to have a piece of wood from the ark, although Morris (1994) says he never was able to confirm this or the location of the find. Then in 1992, Sun Pictures began work on a film called The Incredible Discovery of Noah’s Ark. Although Morris had little confidence in the details of Jammal’s story, he referred Jammal to Sun, who used him extensively. During that interview, Jammal produced the mysterious timber.
The two-hour show, which aired on CBS in February 1993, switched between sensational stories about the discovery of the ark, and excellent scenes portraying evidence for a global flood. In either case, the anti-creationists were not happy. They expected CBS to make a public apology, but CBS and Sun maintained that the show was simply entertainment. What really caused a stir, however, was the revelation that Jammal literally cooked up his piece of wood, working in collusion with prominent humanist Gerald LaRue. Critics have had a field day using this incident to discredit the whole Ark show. Yet while the humanists snicker over their prank, we may ask which is worse: that Sun Pictures naively accepted someone’s claims at face value, or that people worked deliberately to lie and defraud? In any case, the film did not present a verifiable discovery of Noah’s ark, and Morris now regrets his involvement with Jammal (1994, p. 3).
Another controversial claim received wide attention in the early 1990s. Various video tapes and articles were in circulation proclaiming that the ark had been found 12-15 miles south of Greater Ararat (e.g., Yocham, 1991). Actually, this story began more than three decades ago. In 1959, a Turkish pilot had noticed a large, boat-shaped object in aerial photographs of the area, and an article in Life magazine the next year brought it to the world’s attention. Despite high expectations, a scientific expedition in 1960 showed that this was neither a boat nor the remains of Noah’s ark. However, one of the expedition’s members, René Noorbergen, published a book in 1974 claiming that this object was indeed the ark (Shea, 1988, p. 8).
The site’s most vigorous promoter is self-styled biblical archaeologist Ron Wyatt. Since his first visit in 1977, Wyatt has convinced various scientists to investigate the site. While many of these scientists believe in the Flood account, their results, plus surveys carried out by Turkish geologists, have shown convincingly that this boat-shaped object is a natural geologic formation. Various claims, such as having mapped the subsurface structure of a boat or having discovered wooden and metallic artifacts, are all false (Snelling, 1992).
No doubt more claims will come to light in the future. We must ask: Who is making these claims, and can the details be verified? Considering that the Ararat region has experienced volcanic and glacial activity, the likelihood of finding recognizable remains of an ancient wooden vessel is extremely remote. Therefore, Christians should treat ark discovery claims with a high degree of skepticism.

REFERENCES

Morris, John (1994), “Noah’s Ark: Setting the Record Straight,” Acts & Facts, pp. 2-3, January.
Shea, William (1988), “Noah’s Ark,” Archaeology and Biblical Research, 1[1]:6-14,35, Winter.
Snelling, Andrew A. (1992), “Amazing ‘Ark’ Exposé,” Creation Ex Nihilo, 14[4]:26-38, September-November.
Yocham, Virgil (1991), Noah’s Ark (Lubbock, TX: Sunset Extension School, VHS tape recorded June 1991).

Evolutionists Want It Both Ways by Dave Miller, Ph.D.





http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=728

Evolutionists Want It Both Ways

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Astronomers from more than 30 research institutions in 15 countries are working together to select a site for a giant telescope that they hope will read TV or radio signals from alien civilizations. Slated to cost one billion dollars, the Square Kilometer Array, or SKA, would be the world’s most powerful radio telescope. Speaking at a conference of the International Society for Optical Engineering in Orlando, Florida, project astronomers said they hope to find “immediate and direct evidence of life elsewhere in the Universe” (“Sites Under...,” 2006).
Despite this bold venture, the scientists admit that “such a search would have distinct limitations, to be sure.” “Distinct limitations”? Like what? For one, the scientists “aren’t sure how to recognize such signals, if they do turn up. The hope is that the signals would consist of organized patterns suggestive of intelligence, and not attributable to any known celestial sources” (“Sites Under...,” 2006, emp. added). Wait a minute. Evolutionary scientists are renowned for their condescending ridicule of creationists because those who believe in God assert that evidence of intelligent design in the Universe is proof of an Intelligent Designer. No, the evolutionists counter, the Universe got here by accident through random chance, mindless trial and error, and the blind, mechanistic forces of nature. They maintain that life on Earth owes its ultimate origin to dead, non-purposive, unconscious, non-intelligent matter. Yet they are perfectly willing to squander one billion dollars on a telescope with the speculative idea that solid proof—hard evidence—for the existence of alien life would reside in otherwise undecipherable radio or TV signals that convey “organized patterns suggestive of intelligence.” [NOTE: One is reminded of NASA’s Viking mission to Mars in the mid-seventies in which scientists eagerly declared evidence for life on Mars based on initial photos that appeared to show a “B” or even a face on a rock (cf. “‘Life’ on Mars,” 2006; Warren and Flew, 1976, pp. 112,156). Such judgments soon were deemed premature and incorrect.] Atheistic evolutionists want it both ways: organized patterns prove the existence of life and organized patterns do not prove the existence of God. Philosophers and logicians refer to such duplicitous posturing as irrational and “logical contradiction.” Apparently, evolutionists call it “science.”

REFERENCES

“‘Life’ on Mars” (2006), [On-line], URL: http://burro.astr.cwru.edu/stu/mars_life.html.
“Sites Under Review for Telescope that Could Detect Alien TV” (2006), World Science, July 10, [On-line], URL: http://www.world-science.net/exclusives/060711_ska.htm.
Warren, Thomas B. and Antony Flew (1976), The Warren-Flew Debate (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).

Did the Sun Stand Still? by Brad Bromling, D.Min.





http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1139

Did the Sun Stand Still?

by  Brad Bromling, D.Min.

Q.

How can I believe the Bible is reliable when it says that the Sun “stood still” at the request of Joshua?

A.

This question relates to the history narrated in Joshua 10. After the defeat of Ai, five kings of Canaan joined forces to attack the city of Gibeon for making an alliance with Israel. Upon hearing of this move, Joshua and his men marched through the night from Gilgal to Gibeon where, with the Lord's help, Israel waged war. In the midst of battle, Joshua prayed to God that the Sun would stand still until Israel could vanquish her enemy. This request was granted, as the record states: “So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. And there has been no day like that, before it or after it, that the Lord heeded the voice of man, for the Lord fought for Israel” (Joshua 10:13-14).
Critics insist that such an event is impossible, and thereby impugn the veracity of the Scriptures. Various solutions to this alleged problem have been proposed. This article will consider four of them. First, some suggest that the text should be understood in a figurative sense and that the event did not involve a miracle. Hence, it is suggested that the Lord helped Israel win the battle in such an incredibly short time that she felt as though the day had been lengthened, when in fact it was not (Keil, 1980, 2:110). Second, some scholars take the language figuratively and attach a purely naturalistic explanation to the event. Donald Patten and his colleagues believe that the planet Mars passed by Earth in an unusually close orbit that caused the Earth to tilt on its axis (1973, pp. 172-198). Viewed from the right geographical location, the Sun actually would hang in the sky longer than normal. Third, others suggest that a local miracle took place. Hence, the Sun’s rays may have been refracted miraculously so that they gave every appearance of daylight-illumination in Palestine, when in reality the Sun had slipped below the horizon (Davis, 1980, p. 69). Fourth, still others take the language literally and accept that the Sun was indeed halted miraculously. Henry Morris explains that even more may have been involved: “Since the account says that the moon also stood still (Joshua 10:13), it may be that the entire solar system stopped in its tracks for a day, with all relative positions and motions simply suspended” (1971, p. 73).
Each of these solutions has met with criticism. Against the first it has been contended that a cardinal rule of interpretation is that a passage is to be considered literal until proven figurative. Joshua 10 reads like simple, historical narration. The Lord could have made the day “seem” long, but the text says that “the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the people had revenge upon their enemies” (Joshua 10:13). The second has been challenged for lack of evidence. The notion that the Earth shifted on its axis in response to a fly-by of Mars is purely hypothetical. The third option is rejected out-of-hand by anyone who refuses to accept the possibility of miraculous occurrences. Against the literal reading, it is argued that since the Earth orbits the Sun, it would have been the Earth that ceased to rotate, rather than the Sun stopping, that lengthened the day. Also, if the Earth stopped it would experience incalculable global catastrophes.
If each solution has difficulties, what is one to make of the event? Primarily this: it was a miracle. Joshua prayed for divine assistance, and he received it. An omnipotent God could have helped in any way He chose. Before anyone can dismiss the Bible because it reports miracles as though they really happened, he must do two things. First, he must prove that there is no God Who has the ability to accomplish such tasks. Now, if there is a God Who is capable of speaking the entire Universe into existence (Psalm 33:9), then it must be admitted that He has the power to do with it whatever He wishes. Who is measly man to say that the God of the Universe does not have the power to stop the Earth, Moon, and Sun, and still maintain every other semblance of order? By definition, God is beyond the scope of such criticism.
Second, the critic must be able to prove that the Bible is of purely human origin. However, the Bible itself is one the best-known examples of a miracle. When all of the facts are considered, it is evident that without God, the Bible cannot be explained. The burden of proof rests with the skeptic; until he can prove there is no God, and that the Bible is merely a human production, he has no basis upon which to deny the biblical record of a miracle. To dismiss the Bible because it contains accounts of “impossible” events is inane. With God nothing is impossible except, of course, those things which are at odds with His nature (e.g., He cannot lie—Titus 1:2). As with all miracles, no explanation is given as to how the feat in Joshua 10 was performed. How did the axe head float (2 Kings 6)? How did five loaves and two fish feed over five thousand (Matthew 14)? How did Jesus give sight to the blind (John 9)? That these things happened is sufficient for the man who accepts the omnipotence of God.
Accordingly, two of the above solutions seem to fit the data. First, God may have caused the solar rays to linger over Palestine for the specified time. If God thus made the Sun to appear—from Joshua's perspective—to hang in the sky above Gibeon, it would be correct to report the event in such terms. Or second, it may be that the Sun (and indeed the entire solar system) was suspended miraculously for a day. Whether the miracle was local or universal is not specifically stated in the text. Either way, “there has been no day like that, before it or after it” (Joshua 10:14)!
A final thought on this subject needs to be addressed. The story occasionally circulates that “NASA scientists were checking the position of the sun, moon, and planets 100 years from now and 1,000 years from now in order to plot space craft trajectories. As they ran their computers up and down the centuries, their machines came to a grinding halt because they showed a day missing about the time Joshua lived.” This story is purely fictional. Computers do not have the ability to make such a discovery, and every effort to contact the scientists allegedly involved has resulted in either failure or denial. The July 1989 Bible-Science Newsletter carries an excellent article that debunks this farce (Bartz, 1989, p. 12).

REFERENCES

Bartz, Paul A. (1989), “Questions and Answers,” Bible-Science Newsletter, 27[7]:12, July.
Davis, J.J., and J.C. Whitcomb (1980), A History of Israel (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House).
Keil C.F., and Franz Delitzsch (1980), Biblical Commentaries on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, reprint).
Morris, Henry M. (1971), The Bible Has the Answer (Nutley, NJ: Craig Press).
Patten D.W., R.R. Hatch, and L.C. Steinhauer (1973), The Long Day of Joshua and Six Other Catastrophes (Seattle, WA: Pacific Meridian).

"Christ—the Firstfruits" by Eric Lyons, M.Min.





http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=783


"Christ—the Firstfruits"

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul wrote at length concerning the resurrection of the dead, because some of the Christians in Corinth taught “that there is no resurrection of the dead” (vs. 12). As one of his proofs for the Christian’s eventual resurrection, Paul pointed to the fact of the resurrection of Christ, and showed that the two stand or fall together, saying, “if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (vss. 16-17)! After hypothetically arguing from the absurd in an attempt to get the Corinthian Christians to see that their stance on the final resurrection completely undermined Christianity, Paul proceeded to demonstrate that Christ had risen, and thus made the resurrection of the dead inevitable. It is in this section of scripture that some find a difficulty. Beginning with verse 20, Paul wrote:
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming (1 Corinthians 15:20-23, emp. added).
In view of the fact that Jesus was not the first person ever to arise from the dead (cf. 2 Kings 13:21; Luke 7:14-15; Matthew 10:8; 11:5), some have questioned why the apostle Paul twice described Jesus as “the firstfruits” from the dead in 1 Corinthians 15. Did Paul err? Was he ignorant of the widow’s son whom God revived at Zarephath (1 Kings 17:22)? Did he not know that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43-44)? How could Paul legitimately speak of Christ as “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep”?
One solution to this alleged discrepancy can be found in the fact that Jesus was the first to rise from the dead—never to die again. All who have ever arisen from the dead, including the sons of both the widow of Zarephath and the Shunammite (2 Kings 4:8-37), the daughter of Jairus (Mark 5:35-43), Lazarus, et al., died in later years. Jesus, however, accurately could be called “the firstfruits” of the dead because “Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him” (Romans 6:9). All others who previously were raised at one time, died again, and are among those who “sleep” and continue to wait for the bodily resurrection; only Jesus has truly conquered death. In this sense, Christ is “the firstborn from the dead” (Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5; cf. Acts 26:23).
Another possible explanation of the difficulty surrounding 1 Corinthians 15:20,23 and Paul’s use of the word “firstfruits” (Greek aparche) is to understand how "firstfruits" was used in the Old Testament. Under the Old Law, the firstfruits were the earliest gathered grains, fruits, and vegetables that the people dedicated to God in recognition of His faithfulness for providing the necessities of life. The Israelites were to offer to God a sheaf of the first grain that was harvested on the day after the Sabbath following the Passover feast (Leviticus 23:9-14). Paul may have used the term “firstfruits” in this letter to the Corinthian church to reinforce the certainty of the resurrection. Just as the term “firstfruits” indicates that “the first sheaf of the forthcoming grain harvest will be followed by the rest of the sheaves, Christ, the firstfruits raised from the dead, is the guarantee for all those who belong to him that they also will share in his resurrection” (Kistemaker, 1993, p. 548). Jesus is God’s “firstfruits” of the resurrection. And, like the Israelites, God will gather the rest of the harvest at the final resurrection. It may be that Paul wanted the Corinthians to understand (by way of metaphor) that Christ’s resurrection is a pledge of our resurrection. It is inevitable—guaranteed by God Himself.

REFERENCES

Kistemaker, Simon J. (1993), Exposition of the First Epistle to the Corinthians (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Atheist Parenting Book by Eric Lyons, M.Min.





http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2223

Atheist Parenting Book

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

In the July 16, 2007 issue of Newsweek, Lisa Miller informed readers about a new and different parenting book, titled Parenting Beyond Belief. Edited by Dale McGowan, this volume “aims to help folks who are raising their kids without religion deal with the sticky questions that come up about Santa Claus and heaven, and it raises more serious concerns about how to bring up ethical, confident, non-believing kids in a culture saturated with talk about God” (Miller, 2007, p. 10). According to McGowan’s Web site, Parenting Beyond Belief “is the first comprehensive parenting book by a major publisher on raising children without religion” (2007). McGowan added: “We hope it isn’t the last” (2007).
Included in Parenting Beyond Belief is discussion about a new summer camp for children of atheists. Camp Quest: The Secular Summer Camp, which operates in six different locations in North America, claims to be “the first residential summer camp in the history of the United States for the children of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists, Brights, or whatever other terms might be applied to those who hold to a naturalistic, not supernatural world view” (Camp Quest, n.d., emp. added).
It seems as if atheists are more determined than ever to indoctrinate children with godless materials and ideologies. In the end, Dale McGowan’s hope of seeing more atheistic materials for families ultimately fails to provide reasonable, not to mention comforting, answers to life’s biggest questions. Imagine the child who ponders his origin for the first time: “Mom, why are we here?” “Ricky,” mom replies, “we’re here because, by chance, billions of years ago a tiny ball of matter exploded. Eventually Earth was formed, life emerged from lifeless matter, and millions of years later humans evolved from lower animals.” “So we’re here by accident?” Ricky asks. “That’s one way of looking at it,” says his mother. Parenting Beyond Belief and Camp Quest no doubt help atheistic parents explain origins and ultimate destinations to their children in a more creative way. However, the bottom line is, children will learn that life ultimately is meaningless because their existence is accidental and there is no life beyond death.
The key to an abundant life, both in the present and in the afterlife, is found only through Christ Jesus (John 10:10). May God help us to teach our children this truth, as well as reach out to those reared by atheists, who may never have heard the answers that Jesus and His Word can provide.

REFERENCES

Camp Quest: The Secular Summer Camp (no date), [On-line], URL: http://www.camp-quest.org/.
McGowan, Dale (2007), “Parenting Beyond Belief,” [On-line], URL: http://www.parentingbeyondbelief.com/.
Miller, Lisa (2007), “BELIEF WATCH: How To,” Newsweek, July 16.

Cows, Kids, and CO2 by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=2164

Cows, Kids, and CO2

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The fundamental fallacy of the modern environmental movement is its inherent denial of supernaturalism and metaphysical reality. Rather than acknowledging that the entire Universe was created by the transcendent God of the Bible, Who both prepared and perpetuates the Earth for human habitation (Genesis 1:1-2:19; 8:22; Hebrews 11:3), the environmental movement posits an eternal Universe that must be protected and preserved by humans in order for life to continue. The future of the Earth is viewed as dependent on mankind. If man damages the fragile environment, he is hastening its imminent demise.
It was one thing for those young people who embraced this perspective to march in the streets in the 1960s and promote their wacky ideas. But now that they have moved into powerful political positions, their ideas permeate policy and literally wreak havoc on people’s lives. First it was the “deadly” ozone-depleting hairspray aerosols. Then it was the evil internal combustion engine. Two recent instances demonstrate the absurd extent to which environmentalists are willing to go.
A 400-page United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization report has identified rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the environment (Lean, 2006). We are told that the 1.5 billion cattle of the Earth are responsible for 18% of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming—more than cars, planes, and all other forms of transportation combined. More than a third of the greenhouse gas, methane (which warms the world 20 times faster than carbon dioxide), is emitted by cows and their manure. And it’s not just methane, since cattle also produce more than 100 other polluting gases, including more than two-thirds of the world’s emissions of ammonia—one of the main causes of acid rain (Lean, 2006). That’s right, gaseous expulsions by cows do more to damage the planet than cars. The environmentalists are beside themselves.
But it doesn’t stop there. While it is common for environmentalists to blame mankind as the prime perpetrator of environmental destruction, now one environmentalist insists that, more specifically, children are significant culprits in the human assault on the natural order. Parents, we are told, should limit their offspring to no more than two children in order to reduce carbon dioxide output. The report published by the environmentalist group, Optimum Population Trust, insists that the greatest thing one could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child (Templeton, 2007).
The arrogance of measly man thinking he can control the forces of nature by his paltry tinkering with the created order—as if he even had the knowledge and wisdom to do so. Ultimately, this feeble, faltering faux pas manifests willful ignorance and a lack of faith in the Creator. The environmentalists need a healthy dose of spiritual reality—the same one Job received when he thought it necessary to question God’s superintendence of the Universe:
Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, and I will ask you, and you instruct Me! Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, who set its measurements, since you know? ...You know, for you were born then, and the number of your days is great!....Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it.... Then I will also confess to you, that your own right hand can save you (Job 38:2-5,21; 40:2,14, emp. added).
If there is no God and evolution is true, then humans are no more valuable than rocks, cockroaches—and, yes, cows. So if we really want to get serious about saving the planet, simply kill all the cows and kids. When humans eliminate God from their thinking and jettison the biblical worldview, insanity begins to sound sensible. That’s the real “inconvenient truth.”

REFERENCES

Lean, Geoffrey (2006), “Cow ‘Emissions’ More Damaging to Planet than CO2 from Cars,” The Independent, December 10, [On-line], URL: http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/article2062484.ece.
Templeton, Sarah-Kate (2007), “Children ‘Bad for Planet,’” The Australian, May 7, [On-line], URL: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21684156-5009760,00.html#.

Did Jesus Come to Bring Peace—or Turmoil? by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.





http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=732&b=John

Did Jesus Come to Bring Peace—or Turmoil?

by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

[NOTE: During the February 12, 2009 Darwin Day debate with Kyle Butt, Dan Barker listed 14 alleged Bible discrepancies as evidence against God’s existence. He stated (nine minutes and 50 seconds into his opening speech) that the Bible gives contradictory descriptions of God and Christ being peaceful, while at the same time bringing about turmoil and war. His allegation is refuted in the following article written by Caleb Colley in 2004.]
Militant, violent, religious extremists have caused legitimate concern for America’s security. In Palestine, on the very soil Jesus walked, people kill each other in warfare motivated by religion. Do the teachings of Christ authorize or encourage such behavior? In John 14:27, Jesus said: “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Some have charged that Jesus’ promise of peace in that verse contradicts His message in Matthew 10:34: “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.” Did Jesus come to Earth to bring peace—or turmoil?
Based on scriptural evidence, it is indisputable that Jesus wants His followers to have peace. The words “Christ” and “peace” are found together in the same verse no less than 24 times in the New King James Version. Consider Philippians 1:2: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 1:2 reads: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul urged the Thessalonians, “Be at peace among yourselves” (1 Thessalonians 5:13). The message of Christ is called “the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15), and Philippians 4:7 says that the peace of God “surpasses all understanding” and that peace will guard the hearts and minds of Christians. Jesus, Who is called the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6, most definitely came to bring peace.
Could it also be that Jesus came to bring turmoil? Certainly. In the context of Matthew 10:34, Jesus was explaining to His disciples that the Gospel, in some cases, would cause division. A son would believe in Jesus, but his father might not. A mother would believe, but her daughter might refuse even to hear the Gospel. In Matthew 10:37-38, Jesus presented a hard truth: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” Richard Lenski offered insight into the implications of the “turmoil” brought by Christ:
The idea is this: if Christ had not come, the earth would have gone on undisturbed in its sin and its guilt until the day of its doom. Now Christ came to take away that sin and that guilt. At once war resulted, for in their perversion men clung to their sin, fought Christ and the gospel, and thus produced two hostile camps. Christ foresaw this effect and willed it. Emphatically He declared that He came to throw a sword on the earth. Better the war and the division, saving as many as possible, than to let all perish in their sin (1943, p. 415).
Many react with hostility to the Gospel. This is not because Christ’s teaching promotes hostility (see Matthew 5:44; 7:12; John 13:14; 13:35), but because Jesus’ teachings are highly controversial. In Matthew 10:34, Jesus did not mean to suggest that His purpose was to bring hostility or turmoil, but that hostility would, in some cases, be an effect of His teaching (Barnes, 1949, p. 115). It always will be the case that some people will respond negatively to Christ’s teachings, for some always will prefer spiritual darkness to the light of Jesus (John 3:19). Christ, Who came to Earth to bring both peace and turmoil, never contradicted Himself.
REFERENCES
Barnes, Albert (1949), Notes on the New Testament: Matthew and Mark (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Lenksi, Richard C. H. (1943), The Interpretation of St. Matthew’s Gospel (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg).

“Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). The doctrine of Christ has not changed. by Roy Davison





http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/En04JC-SameDoctrine.html


“Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever”
(Hebrews 13:8).

The doctrine of Christ has not changed.

Since Jesus and His word do not change, neither does His doctrine.

“Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines” (Hebrews 13:9).

This warning assumes that one can distinguish between the doctrine of Christ and a doctrine that is foreign to it.

How can we make this distinction?

First, our attitude must be right. “Jesus answered them and said, 'My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me. If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority'” (John 7:16, 17). We must really want to do God's will. Only then can we recognize the doctrine that comes from God. We must carefully follow “the good doctrine” (1 Timothy 4:6).

If we do not want to do God's will, we will allow ourselves to be deceived by some false doctrine. People who do not love the truth are able to believe a lie (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). Paul warned: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3, 4). When people want to follow “their own desires” they seek out false teachers who tell them what they want to hear.

It is a matter of the heart. As Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome: “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered” (Romans 6:17). Our lives, our service, our worship are subservient to a pattern of doctrine that we willingly obey.

Second, we must know the Scriptures to distinguish between false doctrine and the doctrine of Christ. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Third, we must avoid false teachers. “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). “Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds” (2 John 9-11). Everything that is “contrary to sound doctrine” is wrong (1 Timothy 1:10).

Forth, we must be active members of the body of Christ.

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head - Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-15).

To avoid being tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine, we must be in fellowship with the apostles and prophets of our Lord, who together with Christ form the foundation of the church, “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20).

The Apostle John explains: “That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3). Peter writes: “Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior” (2 Peter 3:1, 2). Through the written word we have fellowship with the apostles and thereby with the Father and the Son. We must continue “steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine” (Acts 2:42).

Evangelists, elders and teachers help us grow to maturity in Christ so we will not be tossed to and fro by strange doctrine.

Evangelists must charge others to “teach no other doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:3). They must “speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). They must show an example of integrity in doctrine (Titus 2:7).

An elder must hold “fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict” (Titus 1:9).

Being active in a faithful congregation helps us avoid being blown about by false doctrines.

False doctrine is evil. Paul wrote: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1).

Shall we remain in the doctrine of Christ, or listen to doctrines of demons?

Our worship is worthless if we proclaim the doctrines of men rather than the doctrine of Christ. The following is said of those who reject God's word in favor of traditions: “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:8, 9).

Through the ages, two kinds of doctrinal errors have been prevalent. Some think it is not necessary to carefully follow the word of God; others, who claim to follow the word, add their own regulations. In the time of Christ Sadducees rejected God's word, and Pharisees added their own regulations. Jesus warns us about these two errors: “'How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? - but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.' Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees” (Matthew 16:11, 12).

The faith is unchanged.

Since the doctrine remains the same, the faith also does not change. The faith is the doctrine of Christ believed. There is “one faith” (Ephesians 4:5).

We must “continue in the faith” (Acts 14:22; Colossians 1:23). Jude exhorts us “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

We must “keep the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). We must “be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:13). We must “stand fast in the faith” (1 Corinthians 16:13). We must be “steadfast in the faith” (1 Peter 5:9). We must be “established in the faith” (Colossians 2:7). We may not “depart from the faith” (1 Timothy 4:1) or “stray from the faith” (1 Timothy 6:10, 21).

Paul instructs us: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

The gospel is unchanged.

The gospel is the doctrine of Christ proclaimed. Since the doctrine does not change, the gospel also may not be changed.

Paul wrote to the Galatians: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-9).

When proclaiming the gospel we must tell people who Jesus is, that He died for our sins and rose from the dead. “This Jesus God has raised up” (Acts 2:32). “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2). “Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31). “Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God” (Acts 9:20). “He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead” (Acts 10:42).

This proclamation of the gospel also includes telling people what they must do to be saved. Jesus commands His followers: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15, 16). Peter commanded the hearers on Pentecost: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38). Paul wrote: “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9, 10).

“Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines” (Hebrews 13:8, 9). His doctrine is unchanged. The faith is unchanged. The gospel is unchanged. If you obey from the heart that same gospel, you too can be saved by the blood of the changeless Christ and have eternal life.

If you believe in Christ, repent of your sins, confess Christ, and are baptized in His name for the forgiveness of sins, you can be a Christian just like the Christians in the New Testament.


Roy Davison
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

Bible Reading November 7 by Gary Rose





Bible Reading November 7   (World English Bible)



Nov. 7
Isaiah 45-48

Isa 45:1 Thus says Yahweh to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him, and strip kings of their armor; to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut:
Isa 45:2 "I will go before you, and make the rough places smooth. I will break the doors of brass in pieces, and cut apart the bars of iron.
Isa 45:3 I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, Yahweh, who call you by your name, even the God of Israel.
Isa 45:4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel my chosen, I have called you by your name. I have surnamed you, though you have not known me.
Isa 45:5 I am Yahweh, and there is none else. Besides me, there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not known me;
Isa 45:6 that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides me. I am Yahweh, and there is no one else.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness. I make peace, and create calamity. I am Yahweh, who does all these things.
Isa 45:8 Distil, you heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness. Let the earth open, that it may bring forth salvation, and let it cause righteousness to spring up with it. I, Yahweh, have created it.
Isa 45:9 Woe to him who strives with his Maker-- a clay pot among the clay pots of the earth! Shall the clay ask him who fashions it, 'What are you making?' or your work, 'He has no hands?'
Isa 45:10 Woe to him who says to a father, 'What have you become the father of?' or to a mother, 'To what have you given birth?' "
Isa 45:11 Thus says Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: "You ask me about the things that are to come, concerning my sons, and you command me concerning the work of my hands!
Isa 45:12 I have made the earth, and created man on it. I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens; and I have commanded all their army.
Isa 45:13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will make straight all his ways. He shall build my city, and he shall let my exiles go free, not for price nor reward," says Yahweh of Armies.
Isa 45:14 Thus says Yahweh: "The labor of Egypt, and the merchandise of Ethiopia, and the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over to you, and they shall be yours. They will go after you. They shall come over in chains; and they will bow down to you. They will make supplication to you: 'Surely God is in you; and there is none else. There is no other god.
Isa 45:15 Most certainly you are a God who hid yourself, God of Israel, the Savior.' "
Isa 45:16 They will be disappointed, yes, confounded, all of them. Those who are makers of idols will go into confusion together.
Isa 45:17 Israel will be saved by Yahweh with an everlasting salvation. You will not be disappointed nor confounded to ages everlasting.
Isa 45:18 For thus says Yahweh who created the heavens, the God who formed the earth and made it, who established it and didn't create it a waste, who formed it to be inhabited: "I am Yahweh; and there is no other.
Isa 45:19 I have not spoken in secret, in a place of the land of darkness. I didn't say to the seed of Jacob, 'Seek me in vain.' I, Yahweh, speak righteousness. I declare things that are right.
Isa 45:20 "Assemble yourselves and come. Draw near together, you who have escaped from the nations. Those have no knowledge who carry the wood of their engraved image, and pray to a god that can't save.
Isa 45:21 Declare and present it. Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has shown this from ancient time? Who has declared it of old? Haven't I, Yahweh? There is no other God besides me, a just God and a Savior; There is no one besides me.
Isa 45:22 "Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.
Isa 45:23 By myself have I sworn, the word has gone forth from my mouth in righteousness, and will not return, that to me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
Isa 45:24 They will say of me, 'There is righteousness and strength only in Yahweh.' " Even to him shall men come; and all those who were incensed against him shall be disappointed.
Isa 45:25 In Yahweh shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

Isa 46:1 Bel bows down, Nebo stoops; their idols are on the animals, and on the livestock: the things that you carried about are made a load, a burden to the weary animal.
Isa 46:2 They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.
Isa 46:3 "Listen to me, house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, that have been borne by me from their birth, that have been carried from the womb;
Isa 46:4 and even to old age I am he, and even to gray hairs will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear; yes, I will carry, and will deliver.
Isa 46:5 "To whom will you liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?
Isa 46:6 Some pour out gold from the bag, and weigh silver in the balance. They hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god. They fall down--yes, they worship.
Isa 46:7 They bear it on the shoulder, they carry it, and set it in its place, and it stands, from its place it shall not move: yes, one may cry to it, yet it can not answer, nor save him out of his trouble.
Isa 46:8 "Remember this, and show yourselves men; bring it again to mind, you transgressors.
Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me;
Isa 46:10 declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done; saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure;
Isa 46:11 calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country; yes, I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed, I will also do it.
Isa 46:12 Listen to me, you stout-hearted, who are far from righteousness:
Isa 46:13 I bring near my righteousness, it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not wait; and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

Isa 47:1 "Come down, and sit in the dust, virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, daughter of the Chaldeans: for you shall no more be called tender and delicate.
Isa 47:2 Take the millstones, and grind meal; remove your veil, strip off the train, uncover the leg, pass through the rivers.
Isa 47:3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered, yes, your shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and will spare no man."
Isa 47:4 Our Redeemer, Yahweh of Armies is his name, the Holy One of Israel.
Isa 47:5 "Sit in silence, and go into darkness, daughter of the Chaldeans; for you shall no more be called the mistress of kingdoms.
Isa 47:6 I was angry with my people, I profaned my inheritance, and gave them into your hand: you did show them no mercy; on the aged have you very heavily laid your yoke.
Isa 47:7 You said, I shall be mistress forever; so that you did not lay these things to your heart, neither did remember the latter end of it.
Isa 47:8 "Now therefore hear this, you who are given to pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart, I am, and there is none else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children:
Isa 47:9 but these two things shall come to you in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood; in their full measure shall they come on you, in the multitude of your sorceries, and the great abundance of your enchantments.
Isa 47:10 For you have trusted in your wickedness; you have said, None sees me; your wisdom and your knowledge, it has perverted you, and you have said in your heart, I am, and there is none else besides me.
Isa 47:11 Therefore evil will come on you; you won't know when it dawns: and mischief wil fall on you; you will not be able to put it away: and desolation shall come on you suddenly, which you don't know.
Isa 47:12 "Stand now with your enchantments, and with the multitude of your sorceries, in which you have labored from your youth; if so be you shall be able to profit, if so be you may prevail.
Isa 47:13 You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels: let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save you from the things that shall come on you.
Isa 47:14 Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: it shall not be a coal to warm at, nor a fire to sit before.
Isa 47:15 Thus shall the things be to you in which you have labored: those who have trafficked with you from your youth shall wander everyone to his quarter; there shall be none to save you.

Isa 48:1 "Hear this, house of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel, and have come forth out of the waters of Judah; who swear by the name of Yahweh, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness
Isa 48:2 (for they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves on the God of Israel; Yahweh of Armies is his name):
Isa 48:3 I have declared the former things from of old; yes, they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them: suddenly I did them, and they happened.
Isa 48:4 Because I knew that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew, and your brow brass;
Isa 48:5 therefore I have declared it to you from of old; before it came to pass I showed it to you; lest you should say, 'My idol has done them, and my engraved image, and my molten image, has commanded them.'
Isa 48:6 You have heard it; see all this; and you, will you not declare it? "I have shown you new things from this time, even hidden things, which you have not known.
Isa 48:7 They are created now, and not from of old; and before this day you didn't hear them; lest you should say, 'Behold, I knew them.'
Isa 48:8 Yes, you didn't hear; yes, you didn't know; yes, from of old your ear was not opened: for I knew that you did deal very treacherously, and was called a transgressor from the womb.
Isa 48:9 For my name's sake will I defer my anger, and for my praise will I refrain for you, that I not cut you off.
Isa 48:10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.
Isa 48:11 For my own sake, for my own sake, will I do it; for how should my name be profaned? and my glory I will not give to another.
Isa 48:12 "Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel my called: I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.
Isa 48:13 Yes, my hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand has spread out the heavens: when I call to them, they stand up together.
Isa 48:14 "Assemble yourselves, all you, and hear; who among them has declared these things? He whom Yahweh loves shall perform his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans.
Isa 48:15 I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him; I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.
Isa 48:16 "Come near to me and hear this: "From the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time that it was, there am I." Now the Lord Yahweh has sent me, with his Spirit.
Isa 48:17 Thus says Yahweh, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am Yahweh your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way that you should go.
Isa 48:18 Oh that you had listened to my commandments! then had your peace been as a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea:
Isa 48:19 your seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of your body like its grains: his name would not be cut off nor destroyed from before me.
Isa 48:20 Go you forth from Babylon, flee you from the Chaldeans; with a voice of singing declare you, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth: say you, Yahweh has redeemed his servant Jacob.
Isa 48:21 They didn't thirst when he led them through the deserts; he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them; he split the rock also, and the waters gushed out.
Isa 48:22 "There is no peace," says Yahweh, "for the wicked." 

Nov. 7
2 Timothy 1

2Ti 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus,
2Ti 1:2 to Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
2Ti 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve as my forefathers did, with a pure conscience. How unceasing is my memory of you in my petitions, night and day
2Ti 1:4 longing to see you, remembering your tears, that I may be filled with joy;
2Ti 1:5 having been reminded of the unfeigned faith that is in you; which lived first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and, I am persuaded, in you also.
2Ti 1:6 For this cause, I remind you that you should stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
2Ti 1:7 For God didn't give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.
2Ti 1:8 Therefore don't be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but endure hardship for the Good News according to the power of God,
2Ti 1:9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before times eternal,
2Ti 1:10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the Good News.
2Ti 1:11 For this, I was appointed as a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
2Ti 1:12 For this cause I also suffer these things. Yet I am not ashamed, for I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed to him against that day.
2Ti 1:13 Hold the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 1:14 That good thing which was committed to you, guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
2Ti 1:15 This you know, that all who are in Asia turned away from me; of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.
2Ti 1:16 May the Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain,
2Ti 1:17 but when he was in Rome, he sought me diligently, and found me
2Ti 1:18 (the Lord grant to him to find the Lord's mercy in that day); and in how many things he served at Ephesus, you know very well.