"STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS" Zechariah - I Am Zealous For Zion (12:1-14:21) INTRODUCTION 1. With this final lesson on the book of Zechariah, we come to the second of two "burdens" which make up the last six chapters... a. The first "burden" was against Israel's enemies, though it also spoke of Israel's hope for the future - cf. Zech 9:1-2,9-10 b. This second "burden" is against Israel herself, though it too speaks of a glorious future for Jerusalem - cf. Zech 12:1; 14:8-11 2. As previously mentioned, these last chapters are among the most difficult in the Bible... a. Some look for a literal fulfillment of what is described, concluding it has yet to come b. Others suggest this section is figurative, and is fulfilled with the coming of Christ and His kingdom, the church 3. I confess I am challenged by this section of Scripture; what I will do in this lesson is: a. Briefly survey the main points presented in Zechariah's prophecy b. Offer some thoughts as to what this prophecy refers to [As we have seen from the very beginning, the main theme of the book is "I Am Zealous For Zion" (cf. Zech 1:14). This last section certainly resounds with that theme as it describes...] I. THE FUTURE OF JERUSALEM A. THE LORD'S CARE FOR JERUSALEM... 1. Jerusalem is depicted in some future time as under siege by the nations - Zech 12:1-9 2. "In that day" (12:3,4), the Lord will use Jerusalem: a. As a "cup of drunkenness" to all the surrounding peoples b. As a "very heavy stone" for all peoples -- I.e., Jerusalem will be a means by which God judges the nations 3. "In that day" (12:6,8,9), the Lord will defend Jerusalem, and destroy her enemies B. THE LORD'S CLEANSING FOR JERUSALEM... 1. Cleansed from her sins - Zech 12:10-13:6 a. The Lord will pour out on Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication b. They will look on Him whom they have pierced, and mourn "in that day" (12:11) as they did when Josiah died-cf. 2 Chr35:20-25 c. "In that day" (13:1,2,4), the Lord will... 1) Open a fountain for sin and for uncleanness 2) Cut off the idols from the land 3) Cause the prophets and unclean spirit to depart from the land, prompting... a) Parents to kill their sons who dare to prophesy b) Those who prophesy to be ashamed and admit they are not prophets 2. Refined through persecution - Zech 13:7-9 a. The Shepherd will be struck and His sheep scattered - cf. Mt 26:31-32 b. But the Lord will use this to refine and test the people of God - cf. He 12:3-11 C. THE LORD'S DELIVERANCE FOR JERUSALEM... 1. "The day of the Lord" is coming when the Lord will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem - Zech 14:1-3 a. The city will be taken and rifled, the women ravished b. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant will not be cut off 2. But then the Lord go forth and fight against those nations - Zech 14:4-7 a. He will stand on the Mount of Olives, which will cause a great valley b. Through the valley the people will flee for safety c. "In that day" (14:6) there will be no light until evening D. THE LORD'S GLORY FOR JERUSALEM... 1. What is said of Jerusalem "in that day" (14:8,9) - Zech 14:8-11 a. Living waters shall flow from Jerusalem both east and west, summer and winter b. The Lord will be King over all the earth c. The land from Geba (6 mi. NE of Jerusalem) to Rimmon (35 mi. SW of Jerusalem) will be turned into a plain, while Jerusalem will be built up and safely inhabited 2. What is said of Jerusalem's enemies "in that day" (14:13) - Zech 14:12-15 a. The Lord will strike them with a plague b. The Lord will send a great panic among them c. Judah will fight for Jerusalem, with the wealth of the nations gathered d. The plague will afflict even the animals 3. What is said of Jerusalem "in that day" (14:20,21), continued - Zech 14:16-21 a. Those of the nations which remain will worship the King, the LORD of hosts and keep the Feast of Tabernacles b. Those who do not will experience drought and the plague c. "Holiness to the Lord" will be engraved on the bells of the horses - cf. Exo 28:36-38 d. The pots in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness to the LORD of Hosts e. There shall no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts [Can you see why it has been said that these last six chapters are among the most difficult in the Bible? What is this talking about? Has it been fulfilled?] II. SOME PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS A. THIS SECTION NATURALLY RAISES QUESTIONS... 1. Are we to expect a literal or figurative fulfillment? 2. Was it fulfilled at the beginning of the Messianic period? (His first coming) 3. Or is it to be fulfilled toward the end of the Messianic period? (His second coming) B. SOME THOUGHTS FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION... 1. As mentioned previously, I recommend the following regarding OT prophecy: a. Where the inspired writers of the NT have provided inspired interpretation, we should certainly hold to what they wrote b. But with 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 prophecies 3) Indeed, many false doctrines and cults are based upon speculative interpretations of OT prophecies 2. Those who believe in a literal fulfillment say it is yet to be fulfilled a. The pre-millenialist, for example, believes this section pertains to events surrounding literal Jerusalem just prior to the coming of Christ b. But what little is quoted by Jesus and NT writers is applied to His first coming 1) Compare Zech 13:7 with Mt 26:31-32; Mk 14:27 2) Compare Zech 12:10 with Jn 19:37 3. I believe this section is intended to be understood figuratively a. For that is how inspired men in the NT often explained OT prophecy; e.g.... 1) Notice how James applied Amos 9:11-12 2) He applied the rebuilding of the tabernacle of David to the establishment of the church - cf. Ac 15:14-17 b. If so, then Jerusalem throughout this section should be understood as the church 1) As seen in He 12:22-24 2) That the Lord is illustrating how His care, cleansing, deliverance and glory for His people would continue 3) But it is written in terms meaningful to the people of Zechariah's day 4. I am not closed to the idea that there may be futuristic elements of this prophecy a. For Peter indicates that some of Isaiah's prophecies were yet to be fulfilled - cf. 2Pe 3:13-14 with Isa 65:17-19; 66:22 b. But if there are, I would tend to view Zechariah's prophecy in the same time frame as Re 20:7-22:25 1) I.e., a depiction of the church in its last tribulation and ultimate glory 2) In which both Zechariah and John describe it in terms particularly meaningful to the people of their day CONCLUSION 1. While the book of Zechariah may continue to challenge us, its main purpose is evident... a. Zechariah was sent to encourage the people of God b. This he did, through visions, teachings, and prophecies c. His theme throughout is the same: "I Am Zealous For Zion" 2. As Christians in the church of our Lord... a. We have come to "Mt Zion and to the City of living God, the heavenly Jerusalem" - He 12:22 b. We can rest assured that regarding His church today the Lord is still "zealous for Zion"! In light of the wonderful truth expressed by Paul... Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit. (Ep 2:19-22) ...may we be diligent in building the "temple" (church) of the Lord today!
Have the Bones of Jesus Been Found?
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
Simcha Jacobovici, a television director, and movie director James Cameron (of Titanic fame) have teamed up to produce a television documentary for Discovery Channel titled “The Jesus Family Tomb.” In this production, Jacobovici suggests that the real tomb of Jesus has been discovered, complete with ossuaries for His body, Mary Magdalene’s body, His mother Mary’s body, and the body of Judah, allegedly the son of Jesus. This outlandish claim, although supposedly backed by scientific and historical “evidence,” is another sad example of senseless hype surrounding baseless claims about Jesus Christ.
The available historic evidence overwhelmingly destroys the false assertions made by Jacobovici. First, the idea that Jesus’ bones were buried would contradict the most historically accurate book ever written—the Bible. As Newsweek writers Miller and Chen wrote: “Good sense, and the Bible, still the best existing historical record of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, argue against Jacobovici’s claims” (2007). Indeed they do. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most historically documented event in ancient history (see Butt, 2002). The New Testament documents have been examined with a scrutiny beyond any applied to other historical books, and their authenticity and reliability have dumbfounded the most skeptical observers. With one voice, the books of the New Testament declare that Jesus Christ was buried in a borrowed tomb, rose three days after His death, and ascended to heaven, leaving no bones behind to be buried in an ossuary.
Furthermore, besides the fact that Jacobovici’s idea goes against the Bible, other details militate against the tomb being Jesus’ (not that any are needed). For instance, the names on the ossuary were very common. In fact, almost one-fourth of women in Jerusalem at the time would most likely have been named Mary or some derivative form of the name (Miller and Chen, 2007). In addition, the tomb is of a wealthy family and was located in Jerusalem. But Jesus’ family was poor from Nazareth. As Alan Segal, religion professor at Barnard College, stated: “Why would Jesus’ family have a tomb outside of Jerusalem if they were from Nazareth? Why would they have a tomb if they were poor?” (as quoted in Miller and Chen).
In truth, this latest “discovery” is little more than an attempt to cash in on the hype created by Dan Brown (author of The Da Vinci Code) and his ilk. It is so devoid of truth and legitimate historical scholarship that it is more of a science fiction film than a documentary. This and a host of future attempts to cast doubt on the biblical narratives will come and go, but rest assured that “the Word of the Lord endures forever.”
Miller, Lisa and Joanna Chen (2007), “Raiders of the Lost Tomb?” Newsweek, March 5, [On-line], URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17328478/site/newsweek/.
Exceptional Spider Silk
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
To the average person, a spider’s web looks rather weak and flimsy. With the greatest of ease, a person can destroy a web. In only a second, the spider’s house is razed with the wave of a hand. Even Job’s uninspired friend, Bildad, testified of the fragileness of webs when he likened the unrighteous to those “whose trust is a spider’s web” (Job 8:14), who are leaning upon a house that easily perishes. So why are scientists increasingly mesmerized by the spider’s silk webbing?
Scientists are so enamored with spider silk because it has an “exceptional capacity to absorb kinetic energy” (Cunningham, 2007). Although it may not seem strong and tough from the vantage point of a human who easily can tear down a spider’s web, pound-for-pound, the silk from certain kinds of spiders is five times stronger than steel. What’s more, it can stretch 30 percent farther than the stretchiest known nylon, and is twice as flexible. Scientists have discovered that spider silk can even stretch 40 percent beyond its original length without breaking. In fact, due to its amazing strength and flexibility, it has been said that you could stop a jumbo jet in mid-flight with a spider web made of silk only one centimeter thick.
Since harvesting silk from spiders is impractical, scientists are attempting to make synthetic “spider silk” that could be used for countless things, including bulletproof vests, bridge suspension cables, and artificial tendons. Scientists especially covet the silk’s “exceptional capacity to absorb kinetic energy” and are hoping to copy what they call its “winning formula.” How have scientists fared thus far? In truth, even “[t]he best industrial fibers don’t absorb as much kinetic energy as spider silk does.... Despite years of research, scientists still can’t make a material as tough as the silk found within a spider web” (Cunningham, emp. added). Zoologist Chris Holland admitted that synthetic fibers “can’t even come close to” equaling the amazing qualities of spider-produced silk (as quoted in Cunningham).
What explanation do scientists give for the origin of spiders and their exceptional silk? To what do we owe this “winning formula” that intelligent scientists have been attempting to copy for years? According to Holland, “[s]piders...evolved the capacity to spin silk” (as quoted in Cunningham, emp. added). The mastermind behind the unequalled, “energy-efficient, high-performance” fibers in spider silk is, allegedly, mindless evolution. Truly, “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Corinthians 1:25). “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4).
Differences Do Not Demand Discrepancies
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
Sometimes statements differ because they are contradictory. The fact is, nothing can both be and not be for the same person, place, or thing, at the same time, and in the same sense (cf. Jevons, 1928, p. 117; Aristotle, 3:4). It is impossible for a single door to be completely shut and completely open at the same time. It is contradictory for a man to say, “Yesterday I never left my house to go to the store,” if indeed he did leave his house yesterday to go to the store. Differences in stories may very well be the result of lies and contradictory statements.
At the same time, differences do not necessarily mean that various accounts are discrepant. For example, a person may affirm, “I went shopping with my daughter yesterday.” That same person might also tell someone, “Yesterday, I went to several different stores with my best friend.” Both of these statements, though different, easily could be true. Perhaps the mother went shopping with her daughter and her best friend, Melissa. Or, it could be that the daughter is the mother’s best friend. Either way, it would be irresponsible and unreasonable to interpret such differences as contradictions.
People generally understand that differences can abound in various accounts without a person needing to resort to charges of discrepancy. Imagine how long an employee would keep his job if he operated under the assumption that every time one of his colleagues said something that differed from a previous comment or from what another colleague stated, “someone was lying.” Such an employee would soon find himself unemployed. Generally speaking, people who make accusations without sufficient evidence to prove their case are quickly marginalized and distrusted.
Sadly, when it comes to the Bible, many people leave behind reason and fair-mindedness. Different accounts must be “contradictory.” Different wordings by different writers must mean someone was wrong. Though unproven and unprovable assertions in nearly every other area of life are quickly exposed as baseless allegations, when it comes to the Bible, differences are often thought to equal discrepancies.
The fact is, the different but truthful wordings in Scripture are exactly what a person should expect to find in a book composed of 66 smaller books written by approximately 40 different writers, who wrote to different people, at different times, and in different places. Furthermore, the differences in Scripture are parallel to the justifiable differences we expect from each other’s accounts in modern times.
- Why must Luke be mistaken about the temptations of Jesus because he wrote them in a different order than Matthew (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13; see Lyons, 2004)? Can a person not give an honest description of something without everything being in chronological order? If a person never said the details are in the precise order in which they occurred, would he not have the freedom to arrange his story however he chose (e.g., climactically or thematically)?
- Was it essential for the apostle John to mention every woman who came to the tomb of Jesus on the morning of His resurrection, or was he at liberty to mention as few as he wanted (John 20:1; cf. Matthew 28:1; Luke 24:1; cf. Butt, 2004)? If Mary Magdalene was at the tomb on that Sunday morning, and John recorded that she was there, without ever denying that others also were there, could his record of the events be truthful? Of course. Differencesexist among the gospel writers’ accounts, but no one can prove that they are dischordant. Just as a person might say, “I went to the park with Bill, Bob, and Bubba,” he might also truthfully say, “I went to the park with Bill and Betty.” These statements are not contradictory. One merely supplements the other. A person may only mention Bill and Betty in one setting (e.g., at worship where the church knows the married couple), while at another setting (e.g., at the office where only the men are known) he may truthfully just mention the men.
REFERENCESAristotle, Metaphysics, trans. W.D. Ross, http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/metaphysics.4.iv.html.
Butt, Kyle (2004), “Addition Does Not a Contradiction Make,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=541.
Jevons, W. Stanley (1928), Elementary Lessons in Logic (London: Macmillan).
Lyons, Eric (2004), “In What Order Did Satan Tempt Jesus?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=746.
"Jesus Was a Vegetarian"
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
Recently I read the statement, “Jesus was a vegetarian.” Supposedly, since Jesus did not eat meat, neither should we. There are several problems with this line of reasoning.
First, people often use the “Jesus did x, y, or z” to demand that we should do the same things. But the truth is, just because Jesus did or did not do something does not necessarily have any bearing on what we should or should not do. Jesus did many things that we are under no moral obligation to imitate. For instance, could we say, “Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem and so should you?” Or what about, “Jesus never rode in a car, and neither should we?” Would we be correct to demand, “Jesus never had electric lights, so cut off your power?” Or “Jesus never sent a text message, so stop texting?” You can quickly see the problem here. While it is the case that Jesus is the perfect example of how all humans should live, it is not the case that every aspect of His life is something that we should copy. Paul explained it well in Philippians 2:5 when he said, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” Notice it is the “mind” of Christ, or His attitude, that we are to imitate. That means that while Jesus was seeking the lost He may have gone up on a mountain to preach, but we may need to use a microphone or a YouTube video. Or whereas Jesus walked from village to village, we may need to drive, fly, or ride a bus. Just because Jesus wore sandals that does not mean hiking boots are off limits for His followers.
The second reason the “Jesus was a vegetarian” statement was so strange to me is because it is patently false. He certainly was not a vegetarian. He often ate meat. In Luke 24:42-43 the text says: “So they gave Him [Jesus] a piece of broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence.” The passage could not be more straightforward about Jesus consuming fish. In addition, since Jesus was a Jew who faithfully followed the Old Law, He was commanded to eat the Passover Lamb every year. In Exodus 12:5-8, we read that all the Jews were to take a Passover lamb, kill it on the 14th day of the first month and “eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs.” In the New Testament, we see Jesus arranging this very procedure with His apostles. Luke 22:7-8 states, “Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover must be killed. And He [Jesus] sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.’” This was just one of the many animal sacrifices that Jewish people ate on a regular basis.
Third, the New Testament makes it clear that killing and eating animals is perfectly acceptable to God. In 1 Timothy 4:1-4 the Holy Spirit foretold that some were going to depart from teaching the truth and were going to command people to “abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” Notice that in this passage, the sense in which God calls animals “good” is the fact that they are good for food. The idea that God, Jesus, or the Bible somehow morally obligate people to be vegetarians simply is incorrect.
Atheists Admit Things Look Designed
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
The concept of creation by a supernatural Creator has been a powerful and persuasive aspect of truth since the beginning of time. The idea that there is no supernatural Creator, and that everything we see in the Universe—from hummingbirds to humans—has evolved through mindless, chance processes has been advanced in an attempt to dispel the truth of creation. One reason that naturalistic evolution has not made more head-way against creation than it has is because, intuitively, humans can see the obvious fact that the world exhibits every indication of intelligent design. Even the most outspoken atheistic evolutionists tacitly admit this to be the case.
For instance, Richard Dawkins stated: “Living things are not designed, but Darwinian natural selection licenses a version of the design stance for them. We get a short cut to understanding the heart if we assume that it is designed to pump blood” (2006, p. 182, emp. added). Did you catch that? He said that things weren’t designed by any intelligence, but we can understand them more readily if we assume they were.
University of Chicago professor Jerry Coyne, in his book Why Evolution is True, wrote: “If anything is true about nature, it is that plants and animals seem intricately and almost perfectly designed for living their lives” (2009, p. 1, emp. added). He further stated, “Nature resembles a well-oiled machine, with every species an intricate cog or gear” (p. 1). On page three of the same book, he wrote: “The more one learns about plants and animals, the more one marvels at how well their designs fit their ways of life.” Atheist Michael Shermer, in his book Why Darwin Matters, stated: “The design inference comes naturally. The reason people think that a Designer created the world is because it looks designed” (2006, p. 65, ital. in orig.).
Consider another example. Kenneth Miller is an evolutionary biologist at Brown University and co-author of a biology textbook published by Prentice Hall that is used widely in high school classes across the country. In his book, Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul, he admits that structural and molecular biologists, as they study the natural order, routinely mention the presence of design in their explorations. He, himself, admits that the human body shows evidence of design, pointing out examples like the design of the ball and socket joints of the human hips and shoulders, as well as the “S” curve of the human spine that allows us to walk upright (2008). So powerful is the design inference, Dawkins was forced to grudgingly admit: “So compelling is that illusion [of design—KB] that it has fooled our greatest minds for centuries, until Charles Darwin burst onto the scene” (2009, p. 416).
The irony of the situation is that each of these writers contends that such design is a product of naturalistic, mindless factors. But their telling statements underscore the obvious conclusion. If an Intelligent Designer really did create the world, what would it look like? Answer: Exactly like the one we have!
REFERENCESBrown University (2008), “There is ‘Design’ in Nature, Biologist Argues,” ScienceDaily, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080217143838.htm.
Coyne, Jerry (2009), Why Evolution Is True (New York: Viking).
Dawkins, Richard (2006), The God Delusion (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin).
Dawkins, Richard (2009), The Greatest Show on Earth (New York: Free Press).
Shermer, Michael (2006), Why Darwin Matters (New York: Henry Holt and Company).
Culture, Clogged Courts, and God
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
Anyone old enough to remember the 1950s and 1960s cannot help but observe that the moral and spiritual condition of America has changed dramatically in the last 50 years. One stark contrast between then and now pertains to the nation’s criminal justice system—which has shifted from protecting the rights of the victim to protecting the rights of the criminal. Since the 1960s, crime rates have steadily risen to historically all-time highs. Prisons are full to overflowing. A greater percentage of the country’s citizenry is engaging in criminal behavior. The administration of law has been significantly altered. Penal institutions have moved away from the idea that lawbreakers must be punished (not merely rehabilitated), that they should be exposed to harsh prison conditions to discourage a life of crime, and that they should be made to work in order to “pay their debt to society.” It was not uncommon for the prison system to use prisoners to build roads, grow crops, etc. Now, however, generally speaking, prisoners routinely enjoy air-conditioned, comfortable sleeping quarters, nourishing meals three times per day, recreation facilities that enable inmates to increase their physical strength, and lots of leisure time. Technically, the only real consequence of their crimes is simply—confinement. The judicial system allows criminals who commit acts that are “worthy of death” (Romans 1:32) to be spared the consequences of their own actions by sitting on death row literally for years.
The propaganda that asserted itself so forcefully in the 1960s regarding proper discipline (in both home and society) arose from mere human opinion—social theories concocted by those who rejected the spiritual reality depicted in the Bible. The social chaos that has gripped American culture is the direct result of this sinister silencing of God in the public sector. But the Bible is still here. It still provides divine insight into the human condition—for those who are willing to listen.
Touted to be wise beyond all others, Solomon recorded for all time, by inspiration of God, a nugget of insight sorely needed in view of America’s present predicament: “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” (Ecclesiastes 8:11). The Hebrew term translated “speedily” refers to the need to be “in a hurry” and to act “quickly” (Holladay, 1988, p. 185). It refers to “haste” and “speed” (Kaiser, 1980, 1:492; Brown, et al., 1901, p. 555). Moses used this term on the occasion when God threatened to wipe out the congregation of Israel by means of a fast-spreading plague. Moses urged Aaron to “hurry to the assembly to make atonement for them” (Numbers 16:46, NIV). Delay would be disastrous and result in more loss of life. On another occasion, God instructed Joshua to use his spear to signal his soldiers who lay in ambush to attack the city of Ai: “So those in ambush arose quickly out of their place; they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand, and they entered the city and took it, and hurried to set the city on fire” (Joshua 8:19-20). In order for the army to be victorious, time was of the essence. Another example is seen in the tormented psalmist’s cry to God to save him from his enemies: “Bow down Your ear to me, deliver me speedily; be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me” (31:2). The psalmist sought immediate relief from his anguished circumstances. So it is in Ecclesiastes 8:11. When citizens flaunt the laws of the land and commit crimes against their fellowman, a corresponding righteous response is demanded. Indeed, that response is critically indispensable to society’s survival. Crime must be met with a firm response and curtailed swiftly.
But what happens when a sizable segment of a society lacks commitment to right, truth, and compliance with moral standards? What happens when a culture embraces the ludicrous notion that “tolerance” is a virtue and that challenging deviant behavior is “judgmental”? The response to criminal behavior softens and diffuses. Destructive forces are allowed to flourish—forces that will contribute to the unraveling of the fabric of civilization. Indeed, the tendency to flaunt law will spread, gradually permeating the population, and hastening its dissolution. “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” (Ecclesiastes 8:11). The only hope of America is to return to the moral principles of the Bible.
Holladay, William L. (1988), A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Kaiser, Walter (1980), “mehera,” Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason Archer, Jr. and Bruce Waltke (Chicago, IL: Moody).
“The Event Could Have Happened Only One Way”by Eric Lyons, M.Min.
A concerned Bible student once wrote our offices regarding the apostle Peter’s triple denial of Jesus. It was not the usual inquiry regarding how many times the rooster crowed following Peter’s denials of Christ (a question that we have answered elsewhere; see Lyons, 2004). Rather, his question focused on the charges made against Peter prior to each of his denials. All four gospel writers first testify that a “servant girl” confronted Peter (Matthew 26:69; Mark 14:66; Luke 22:56; John 18:17). The writers then seem to “go their separate ways.”
Matthew writes: “[A]nother girl saw him and said to those who were there, ‘This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth’” (26:71, emp. added).About one hour later (Luke 22:59), just prior to Peter’s third denial, John records that “one of the servants of the high priest,” a relative of Malchus, accused Peter (18:26, emp. added). Matthew and Mark, on the other hand, write: “[T]hose who stood by” charged him with associating with Jesus (Matthew 26:73; Mark 14:70, emp. added). What is going on here? How can all of the gospel accounts be accurate if they all are different? Allegedly, “[t]he event could have happened only one way.” Is this true? Did Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John err in their recording of this event?
Mark records: “[T]he servant girl saw him again, and began to say to those who stood by, ‘This is one of them’” (14:69, emp. added).
Luke writes: “And after a little while another saw him and said, ‘You also are of them’” (22:58, emp. added).
John testifies: “[T]hey said to him, ‘You are not also one of His disciples, are you?’” (18:25, emp. added).
Before answering this supposed contradiction, imagine that you are sitting next to three newspaper reporters at a professional basketball game. Ten minutes into the game, a fracas breaks out in the stands involving one prominent basketball player and a few fans—a scenario not too bizarre, given recent outbreaks at sporting events. The next morning, the three reporters retell the events in the following manners:
Reporter #1: After an angry fan sitting behind the team’s bench insulted Joe Smith by calling him a “namby-pamby boy,” Joe ran into the stands and demanded that he stop.Is it possible for all three of these reports to be true? Could it honestly be stated that Joe was responding to “an angry fan,” while at the same time reacting to “a small group of fans”? Could Joe have been called both a sissy and a namby-pamby boy? The answer to all three questions is “yes.” Reporters tell stories from different perspectives, often including details that other reporters omit. Most people have no problem understanding modern-day examples of supplementation. In fact, we often read different reports of the same story in order to get a fuller picture of what took place. One reporter’s story can differ from another’s without contradicting it.
Reporter #2: A small group of fans behind the Wings’ bench had been taunting Smith with racial slurs for 10 minutes. Finally, Joe had had enough. He jumped into the stands and yelled at everyone in the group, insisting that they stop the verbal abuse.
Reporter #3: What caused Joe Smith to leap into the stands and threaten a father and his three sons? The father had called Joe a sissy, and the sons joined in by repeatedly calling him a “mama’s boy.”
Are the differences in the gospel writers’ accounts of the accusations hurled at Peter proof of biblical errancy? Not any more than the differences in the basketball reporters’ accounts are proof of mistakes on their part. On the occasion of Peter’s first denial, one of the high priest’s servant girls accused Peter of being a disciple of Christ. Prior to Peter’s second denial, the writers inform us that he was accused by a plurality of people, including (1) the same servant girl who confronted him the first time (Mark 14:69), (2) an unnamed man (Luke 22:58), and (3) a group of individuals simply designated as “they” (John 18:25). Only an hour later, “one of the servants of the high priest,” a relative of Malchus, accused Peter (John 18:26), along with “those who stood by” (Matthew 26:73; Mark 14:70). Nothing in these accounts is incongruous.
Surely one can picture the various blood-thirsty individuals all hurling charges at Peter throughout the night in hopes of him being arrested, beaten, and killed, as was Jesus. We must keep in mind that these accounts are not contradictory, but supplementary. No writer gives every detail about every event. One must read them all in order to have the best possible understanding.
Truly, “the event happened only one way.” However, it was recorded by four different individuals from four different, but harmonizing, viewpoints.
“Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). The church of Christ remains the same. by Roy Davison
The church of Christ remains the same.
Just as Jesus and His doctrine are the same, His church is also the same. The church of Christ today has the same Founder, the same Head, the same foundation, the same leadership and the same forms of worship as in the New Testament.
Every church that does not have the same Founder, Head, foundation, leadership or worship, is not the church that Jesus built, but is a human concoction resulting from strange winds of doctrine and rebellion against Christ.
The Founder is the same.
Jesus built His church (Matthew 16:18). How can a church with a different founder be the church of Christ. If Luther, Calvin, Wesley or any person other than Jesus is the founder of a church, it is not the same church that He built. It is an unscriptural religious group.
The Head is the same.
“Christ is head of the church” (Ephesians 5:23). The Father, “put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body” (Ephesians 1:22, 23). There is one Shepherd (John 10:16). “He is the head of the body, the church” (Colossians 1:18).
If a church has some head other than Christ, such as a pope, or a president, or a central administration of any kind, it is not the church you read about in the New Testament. It has rejected Christ as its Head.
The foundation is the same.
“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11).
The church of Christ is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20).
The church is founded on the gospel of Christ. That gospel was put in writing by the apostles and prophets of Christ, and has been passed on to us through the prophetic writings of the New Testament.
Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome: “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith” (Romans 16:25, 26).
Peter wrote: “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).
Because Jesus and His inspired apostles and prophets form the foundation of the church, we read of the first Christians: “They continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine” (Acts 2:42).
The church of Christ today is built on Christ and on His teachings that have been passed on to us in the New Testament by His apostles and prophets.
Our apostles and prophets today are the same apostles and prophets of the first-century church.
The office of Peter and the other apostles was for all time. Of heavenly Jerusalem we read: “Now the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb” (Revelation 21:14).
A church that has an alleged successor of Peter as its head, is not the church of Christ because the Lord's church has Christ as its only head and Peter himself, with the other apostles, is in the foundation. Peter does not need a successor because he is still serving as apostle through his writings in the New Testament. A church that has contemporary or other apostles and prophets, is not the church that Jesus built, because the Lord's church still has the same apostles and prophets.
The leadership is the same.
In addition to the original apostles and prophets, the Lord has given elders, deacons, evangelists and teachers to lead, serve and instruct His church: “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” (Ephesians 4:11-13).
Churches with leaders other than those Christ gave to His church (evangelists, teachers, elders and deacons) are not the church that Jesus built because the leaders are not the same.
A church that appoints elders and deacons who do not meet the qualifications set out in 1 Timothy 3:1-12 and Titus 1:5-9 is not the church that Jesus built. A church that has evangelists and teachers who preach and teach something other than the doctrine of Christ, is not the church of Christ.
Public teaching and leadership are provided by men and not by women in the church that Jesus built. “Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man” (1 Timothy 2:11, 12). “Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church” (1 Corinthians 14:34, 35).
A church that has women teaching men in public, or that has women preachers, elders or deacons is not the same church that Jesus built.
The worship is the same.
In the New Testament we learn how the church worshiped God. The church of Christ today worships God that same way.
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42). On the basis of the apostles' doctrine, the first Christians came together for prayer and to break bread (eat the Lord's supper).
They partook of the Lord's supper on the first day of the week (Sunday): “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight” (Acts 20:7).
They also had a free-will collection on the first day of the week: “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:1, 2).
The Scriptures were read: “Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea” (Colossians 4:16). “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near” (Revelation 1:3).
Prayer was sometimes accompanied by fasting (Acts 13:2, 3). “So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed” (Acts 14:23).
They taught and encouraged one another, and praised God in song: “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Colossians 3:16).
Since the prayers and songs of Christians have a teaching function, they must be understandable (thus not just sounds without meaning): “I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:15).
Churches that incorporate Old Testament or heathen rituals into their worship such as the burning of incense or candles, the use of mechanical instruments of music, the wearing of distinctive clothing, the veneration of statues or icons, are not the church that Jesus built. Their worship is vain because it is based on the teachings of men rather than the word of God. Jesus said of such worshipers: “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).
The church of Christ today is the same and worships God the same as the church in the New Testament.
Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). His church is also the same. It has the same Founder and Head. The foundation is the same. It has the same apostles and prophets. The same doctrine is proclaimed and practiced. Its leadership and its worship are the same.
This is how we can distinguish the Lord's church from the many man-made counterfeit denominations in the world today and “not be carried about with various and strange doctrines” (Hebrews 13:8, 9).
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.
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
Bible Reading November 8 (World English Bible)
Isa 49:1 Listen, islands, to me; and listen, you peoples, from far: Yahweh has called me from the womb; from the bowels of my mother has he made mention of my name:
Isa 49:2 and he has made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand has he hid me: and he has made me a polished shaft; in his quiver has he kept me close:
Isa 49:3 and he said to me, "You are my servant; Israel, in whom I will be glorified."
Isa 49:4 But I said, "I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely the justice due to me is with Yahweh, and my reward with my God."
Isa 49:5 Now says Yahweh who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob again to him, and that Israel be gathered to him (for I am honorable in the eyes of Yahweh, and my God is become my strength);
Isa 49:6 yes, he says, "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give you for a light to the nations, that you may be my salvation to the end of the earth."
Isa 49:7 Thus says Yahweh, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One, to him whom man despises, to him whom the nation abhors, to a servant of rulers: "Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall worship; because of Yahweh who is faithful, even the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."
Isa 49:8 Thus says Yahweh, "In an acceptable time have I answered you, and in a day of salvation have I helped you; and I will preserve you, and give you for a covenant of the people, to raise up the land, to make them inherit the desolate heritage:
Isa 49:9 saying to those who are bound, 'Come out!'; to those who are in darkness, 'Show yourselves!' "They shall feed in the ways, and on all bare heights shall be their pasture.
Isa 49:10 They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun strike them: for he who has mercy on them will lead them, even by springs of water he will guide them.
Isa 49:11 I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.
Isa 49:12 Behold, these shall come from far; and behold, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim."
Isa 49:13 Sing, heavens; and be joyful, earth; and break forth into singing, mountains: for Yahweh has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his afflicted.
Isa 49:14 But Zion said, "Yahweh has forsaken me, and the Lord has forgotten me."
Isa 49:15 "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, these may forget, yet I will not forget you!
Isa 49:16 Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.
Isa 49:17 Your children make haste; your destroyers and those who made you waste shall go forth from you.
Isa 49:18 Lift up your eyes all around, and see: all these gather themselves together, and come to you. As I live," says Yahweh, "you shall surely clothe you with them all as with an ornament, and gird yourself with them, like a bride.
Isa 49:19 "For, as for your waste and your desolate places, and your land that has been destroyed, surely now you shall be too small for the inhabitants, and those who swallowed you up shall be far away.
Isa 49:20 The children of your bereavement shall yet say in your ears, The place is too small for me; give place to me that I may dwell.
Isa 49:21 Then you will say in your heart, 'Who has conceived these for me, seeing I have been bereaved of my children, and am solitary, an exile, and wandering back and forth? Who has brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where were they?' "
Isa 49:22 Thus says the Lord Yahweh, "Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and set up my banner to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their bosom, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders.
Isa 49:23 Kings shall be your nursing fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers: they shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth, and lick the dust of your feet; and you shall know that I am Yahweh; and those who wait for me shall not be disappointed."
Isa 49:24 Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captives be delivered?
Isa 49:25 But thus says Yahweh, "Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered; for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children.
Isa 49:26 I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I, Yahweh, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob."
Isa 50:1 Thus says Yahweh, "Where is the bill of your mother's divorce, with which I have put her away? or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities were you sold, and for your transgressions was your mother put away.
Isa 50:2 Why, when I came, was there no man? when I called, was there none to answer? Is my hand shortened at all, that it can't redeem? or have I no power to deliver? Behold, at my rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness: their fish stink, because there is no water, and die for thirst.
Isa 50:3 I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering."
Isa 50:4 The Lord Yahweh has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with words him who is weary: he wakens morning by morning, he wakens my ear to hear as those who are taught.
Isa 50:5 The Lord Yahweh has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away backward.
Isa 50:6 I gave my back to the strikers, and my cheeks to those who plucked off the hair; I didn't hide my face from shame and spitting.
Isa 50:7 For the Lord Yahweh will help me; therefore I have not been confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be disappointed.
Isa 50:8 He is near who justifies me; who will bring charges against me? Let us stand up together: who is my adversary? Let him come near to me.
Isa 50:9 Behold, the Lord Yahweh will help me; who is he who shall condemn me? Behold, all they shall wax old as a garment, the moth shall eat them up.
Isa 50:10 Who is among you who fears Yahweh, who obeys the voice of his servant? He who walks in darkness, and has no light, let him trust in the name of Yahweh, and rely on his God.
Isa 50:11 Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who gird yourselves about with firebrands; walk you in the flame of your fire, and among the brands that you have kindled. You shall have this of my hand; you shall lie down in sorrow.
Isa 51:1 "Listen to me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek Yahweh: look to the rock whence you were cut, and to the hold of the pit whence you were dug.
Isa 51:2 Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for when he was but one I called him, and I blessed him, and made him many.
Isa 51:3 For Yahweh has comforted Zion; he has comforted all her waste places, and has made her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of Yahweh; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.
Isa 51:4 "Attend to me, my people; and give ear to me, my nation: for a law shall go forth from me, and I will establish my justice for a light of the peoples.
Isa 51:5 My righteousness is near, my salvation is gone forth, and my arms shall judge the peoples; the islands shall wait for me, and on my arm shall they trust.
Isa 51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look on the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment; and those who dwell therein shall die in like manner: but my salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.
Isa 51:7 "Listen to me, you who know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; don't you fear the reproach of men, neither be you dismayed at their insults.
Isa 51:8 For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool; but my righteousness shall be forever, and my salvation to all generations."
Isa 51:9 Awake, awake, put on strength, arm of Yahweh; awake, as in the days of old, the generations of ancient times. Isn't it you who did cut Rahab in pieces, who pierced the monster?
Isa 51:10 Isn't it you who dried up the sea, the waters of the great deep; who made the depths of the sea a way for the redeemed to pass over?
Isa 51:11 The ransomed of Yahweh shall return, and come with singing to Zion; and everlasting joy shall be on their heads: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.
Isa 51:12 "I, even I, am he who comforts you: who are you, that you are afraid of man who shall die, and of the son of man who shall be made as grass;
Isa 51:13 and have forgotten Yahweh your Maker, who stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and fear continually all the day because of the fury of the oppressor, when he makes ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor?
Isa 51:14 The captive exile shall speedily be freed; and he shall not die and go down into the pit, neither shall his bread fail.
Isa 51:15 For I am Yahweh your God, who stirs up the sea, so that its waves roar: Yahweh of Armies is his name.
Isa 51:16 I have put my words in your mouth, and have covered you in the shadow of my hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and tell Zion, 'You are my people.' "
Isa 51:17 Awake, awake, stand up, Jerusalem, that have drunk at the hand of Yahweh the cup of his wrath; you have drunken the bowl of the cup of staggering, and drained it.
Isa 51:18 There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she has brought forth; neither is there any who takes her by the hand among all the sons who she has brought up.
Isa 51:19 These two things have happened to you. Who will bemoan you? Desolation and destruction, and the famine and the sword; how shall I comfort you?
Isa 51:20 Your sons have fainted, they lie at the head of all the streets, as an antelope in a net; they are full of the wrath of Yahweh, the rebuke of your God.
Isa 51:21 Therefore hear now this, you afflicted, and drunken, but now with wine:
Isa 51:22 Thus says your Lord Yahweh, and your God who pleads the cause of his people, "Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of staggering, even the bowl of the cup of my wrath; you shall no more drink it again:
Isa 51:23 and I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you, who have said to your soul, 'Bow down, that we may walk over you;' and you have laid your back as the ground, and as the street, to those who walk over."
Isa 52:1 Awake, awake, put on your strength, Zion; put on your beautiful garments, Jerusalem, the holy city: for henceforth there shall no more come into you the uncircumcised and the unclean.
Isa 52:2 Shake yourself from the dust; arise, sit on your throne, Jerusalem: loose yourself from the bonds of your neck, captive daughter of Zion.
Isa 52:3 For thus says Yahweh, "You were sold for nothing; and you shall be redeemed without money."
Isa 52:4 For thus says the Lord Yahweh, "My people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there: and the Assyrian has oppressed them without cause.
Isa 52:5 "Now therefore, what do I here," says Yahweh, "seeing that my people are taken away for nothing? those who rule over them mock," says Yahweh, "and my name continually all the day is blasphemed.
Isa 52:6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he who does speak; behold, it is I."
Isa 52:7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
Isa 52:8 The voice of your watchmen! they lift up the voice, together do they sing; for they shall see eye to eye, when Yahweh returns to Zion.
Isa 52:9 Break forth into joy, sing together, you waste places of Jerusalem; for Yahweh has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.
Isa 52:10 Yahweh has made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Isa 52:11 Depart you, depart you, go you out from there, touch no unclean thing; go you out of the midst of her; cleanse yourselves, you who bear the vessels of Yahweh.
Isa 52:12 For you shall not go out in haste, neither shall you go by flight: for Yahweh will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rearward.
Isa 52:13 Behold, my servant shall deal wisely, he shall be exalted and lifted up, and shall be very high.
Isa 52:14 Like as many were astonished at you (his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men),
Isa 52:15 so shall he sprinkle many nations; kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they understand.
2 Timothy 2
2Ti 2:1 You therefore, my child, be strengthened in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 2:2 The things which you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit the same to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.
2Ti 2:3 You therefore must endure hardship, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
2Ti 2:4 No soldier on duty entangles himself in the affairs of life, that he may please him who enrolled him as a soldier.
2Ti 2:5 Also, if anyone competes in athletics, he isn't crowned unless he has competed by the rules.
2Ti 2:6 The farmers who labor must be the first to get a share of the crops.
2Ti 2:7 Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.
2Ti 2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, of the seed of David, according to my Good News,
2Ti 2:9 in which I suffer hardship to the point of chains as a criminal. But God's word isn't chained.
2Ti 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the chosen ones' sake, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
2Ti 2:11 This saying is faithful: "For if we died with him, we will also live with him.
2Ti 2:12 If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we deny him, he also will deny us.
2Ti 2:13 If we are faithless, he remains faithful. He can't deny himself."
2Ti 2:14 Remind them of these things, charging them in the sight of the Lord, that they don't argue about words, to no profit, to the subverting of those who hear.
2Ti 2:15 Give diligence to present yourself approved by God, a workman who doesn't need to be ashamed, properly handling the Word of Truth.
2Ti 2:16 But shun empty chatter, for they will proceed further in ungodliness,
2Ti 2:17 and their word will consume like gangrene, of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
2Ti 2:18 men who have erred concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past, and overthrowing the faith of some.
2Ti 2:19 However God's firm foundation stands, having this seal, "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Let every one who names the name of the Lord depart from unrighteousness."
2Ti 2:20 Now in a large house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of clay. Some are for honor, and some for dishonor.
2Ti 2:21 If anyone therefore purges himself from these, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, and suitable for the master's use, prepared for every good work.
2Ti 2:22 Flee from youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
2Ti 2:23 But refuse foolish and ignorant questionings, knowing that they generate strife.
2Ti 2:24 The Lord's servant must not quarrel, but be gentle towards all, able to teach, patient,
2Ti 2:25 in gentleness correcting those who oppose him: perhaps God may give them repentance leading to a full knowledge of the truth,
2Ti 2:26 and they may recover themselves out of the devil's snare, having been taken captive by him to his will.