11/10/16

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" The Genealogy Of Jesus Christ (1:1-17) by Mark Copeland

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                 The Genealogy Of Jesus Christ (1:1-17)

INTRODUCTION

1. We begin our study by reading the first seventeen verses of Matthew
   (Mt 1:1-17)

2. In 2Ti 3:16-17, we are told that ALL scripture is profitable
   a. This includes such sections as the one we have just read
   b. Though some may consider it a dry, laborious genealogical table
      of names...
      1) It is profitable for doctrine
      2) It is profitable for instruction in righteousness

3. My objective will be to share some spiritual thoughts that can be
   gleaned from this scripture

[Since Matthew is the only one of the four gospel writers to begin his
gospel with a genealogical record of Jesus, let me first suggest a 
reason why...]

I. WHY MATTHEW BEGINS WITH THIS GENEALOGY

   A. IT IS CONSISTENT WITH THE NATURE AND PURPOSE OF HIS GOSPEL...
      1. It has been observed that:
         a. Matthew wrote for the Jews
         b. Mark wrote for the Romans
         c. Luke wrote for the Greeks
         d. John wrote for the church
      2. Matthew's gospel was designed to convince Jews that Jesus is
         the Messiah
         a. Fulfillment of Jewish prophecy is a recurring theme - e.g.,
            Mt 1:22-23; 2:4-6,14-15,17-18,23
         b. Genealogy was certainly important to the nation of Israel 
            - Gen 5, 10, 1Ch 1-9

   B. TO SHOW THAT JESUS FULFILLS TWO MESSIANIC PREREQUISITES...
      1. The Messiah had to be a descendant of Abraham - cf. Gen 22:18
      2. The Messiah had to be a descendant of David - cf. Isa 11:1-2,
         10
      -- Mt 1:1 proclaims this to be true of Jesus, and Mt 1:2-17
         demonstrates it

[Whatever else Jesus may have done, if He was not a descendant of 
Abraham and David, He could not be the Messiah.  So a gospel directed
especially to the Jews would naturally settle this issue before 
proceeding.  Now let's note some...]

II. SIGNIFICANT FEATURES OF THIS GENEALOGY

   A. THE WAY IT IS DIVIDED...
      1. Into three sections of fourteen names each - Mt 1:17
         a. Abraham to David
         b. David to the Babylonian captivity
         c. Babylonian captivity to Jesus
         -- This may have been to facilitate committing to memory
      2. Which may explain why some names were omitted
         a. Between Joram and Uzziah there were three kings (Ahaziah,
            Joash, & Amaziah) - cf. Mt 1:8
         b. But such omission was not unusual in Jewish genealogies; 
            minor figures were often deleted
         -- The main purpose was to establish essential connections,
            not minor details

   B. JESUS' "LEGAL" RIGHT TO DAVID'S THRONE IS ESTABLISHED...
      1. Not His "fleshly" right, for Matthew describes Jesus as the
         adopted son of Joseph
      2. Luke records the "fleshly" ancestry of Jesus in Lk 3:23-38
         a. A record of His ancestry from His mother's side
         b. Where He is shown to have descended from David through 
            Nathan, not Solomon
         -- A careful study of Lk 3 confirms this
      3. This helps to answer a puzzling dilemma found in the OT
         a. God promised that the Messiah would come from the loins of
            David
         b. But a descendant through Solomon, Jeconiah (Mt 1:11), was
            so wicked that God promised none of his descendants would
            rule on the throne of David - Jer 22:24-30
         c. How then would God fulfill His promise to David?
            1) By a descendant from a son other than Solomon
            2) Which Jesus was, having descended in the flesh from
               Nathan
      4. So Jesus is both "legal" and "fleshly" heir to the throne of
         David...
         a. "Legal" heir by virtue of His adoption by Joseph, 
            descendant of Solomon
         b. "Fleshly" heir by virtue of His birth by Mary, descendant
            of Nathan

   C. THE INSERTION OF FOUR MOTHER'S NAMES...
      1. They are unique, not only to be included in such a list, but
         in that:
         a. Three were tainted in regards to moral purity
            1) Tamar played a harlot
            2) Rahab was a harlot
            3) Bathsheba was an adulteress
         b. Ruth, though morally sweet and noble, mingled the royal
            blood line with Gentile blood!
      2. Why mention these four women?  Perhaps to suggest...
         a. The relation of Christ to the stained and sinful?
         b. Jesus would be a King to show mercy and pity to harlots,
            and open His kingdom to include Gentiles?

[Whether this was Matthew's intention here, he does illustrate later
that Christ extended mercy to the morally repugnant and would enlarge
His kingdom to include all nations.

Finally, let's consider...]

III. LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM THIS GENEALOGY

   A. GOD ALWAYS KEEPS HIS WORD...
      1. He made promises...
         a. To Abraham
         b. To David
         c. Through Isaiah
         ...and the coming of Jesus, son of David, son of Abraham,
         fulfilled that promise!
      2. We can therefore have confidence that God will keep His word!
         a. E.g., the promise of His Son's final coming - cf. Ac 1:9
         b. There is no need to lose heart!
            1) The duration between this promise and its fulfillment
               has barely reached the time between the promise made to
               Abraham and its fulfillment!
            2) I.e., 2000 years passed, but God still kept His promise
               to Abraham
            3) Likewise He will keep His promise to us!

   B. GODLINESS IS NOT INHERITED...
      1. Many godly fathers have had ungodly sons!
         a. Solomon had Rehoboam
         b. Hezekiah had Manasseh
         c. Josiah had Jeconiah
      2. As it has been said, "God has no grandchildren"
         a. Being a child of God does not insure that your children 
            will be God's children!
         b. As parents, let us...
            1) Be diligent to raise our children in the "nurture and 
               admonition of the Lord"
            2) Not lose heart when our children stray (even Manasseh
               eventually repented)

   C. THE GREATNESS OF OUR LORD'S MERCY AND COMPASSION...
      1. Jesus humbled Himself when He came to this earth in the 
         likeness of men - cf. Php 2:5-8
      2. He did this for our sakes!
         a. To taste death for everyone - He 2:9
         b. To help bring us to glory - He 2:10
         c. To deliver us from the fear and power of death - He 2:14-15
         d. To become our merciful and faithful High Priest - He 2:
            16-18

CONCLUSION

1. All this and much more, Jesus did by becoming what the first 
   seventeen verses of Matthew's gospel proclaims:  "...the Son of 
   David, the Son of Abraham"

2. This genealogy of Jesus Christ...
   a. Establishes the right of Jesus to be the Messiah
   b. Reminds us of God's mercy
      1) In the lives of Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba
      2) In our own lives by fulfilling His promise to send Son to die
         for our sins

Have you received the mercy God offers through "Jesus Christ...the
Son of David, the Son of Abraham"?
 

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" Introduction To Matthew by Mark Copeland

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                        Introduction To Matthew

INTRODUCTION

1. The book of Matthew has always occupied a position of high esteem in
   the faith and life of the church:

   "When we turn to Matthew, we turn to the book which may well be
   called the most important single document of the Christian faith,
   for in it we have the fullest and the most systematic account of
   the life and the teachings of Jesus."  (William Barclay)

2. The writings of the early church fathers reveal that it was...
   a. The most frequently quoted
   b. Perhaps the most widely read gospel
   ...during the first two centuries of the church's history

[Why was this book so popular?  Perhaps we can understand why as we
consider some background information pertaining to it...]

I. AUTHOR AND DATE OF THE GOSPEL

   A. MATTHEW (LEVI)...
      1. The apostolic origin and canonical rank of the gospel of
         Matthew were accepted without a doubt by the early church
         (ISBE)
      2. Matthew, surnamed Levi, had been a tax-collector...
         a. He was one of Jesus' earliest disciples - Mt 9:9; Mk 2:14
         b. He was chosen to be one of the twelve apostles - Mt 10:2-3
      3. Being a close associate of Jesus during His ministry...
         a. Matthew's gospel is a first hand account
         b. Unlike Luke who depended upon other eyewitnesses - Lk 1:1-4

   B. BEFORE 70 A.D....
      1. Irenaeus says it was written when Peter and Paul were
         preaching in Rome
      2. Eusebius states that this was done when Matthew left Palestine
         and went to preach to others (Historia Ecclesiastica, III, 24)
      3. Clement of Alexandria said that the presbyters who succeeded
         each other from the beginning declared that "the gospels
         containing the genealogies (Matthew and Luke) were written
         first" (Eusebius, Historia Ecclesiastica, VI, 14)
      4. A date before 70 A.D. is considered by many to be the most
         feasible

II. THEME AND OUTLINE OF THE GOSPEL

   A. ITS THEME OR PURPOSE...
      1. Written to Jews, designed to prove that Jesus is the Messiah
         of OT prophecy
      2. Evidenced by his frequent appeal to OT Messianic prophecies
         a. He quotes from almost every book in the OT
         b. Twelve times he identifies O.T. prophecies as fulfilled in
            the life of Jesus
            - Mt 1:22; 2:15,23; 4:14; 5:17; 8:17; 12:17; 13:14,35;
              21:4; 27:9
      -- One could say that the theme is: "Jesus, King of the Jews"

   B. A DETAILED OUTLINE...
      (adapted from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary)
      1. The birth and childhood of Jesus Christ - 1:1-2:23
         a. Genealogy of Christ - 1:1-17
         b. Birth of Christ - 1:18-25
         c. Visit of the Magi - 2:1-12
         d. Flight into Egypt and massacre of the infants - 2:13-18
         e. Residence at Nazareth - 2:19-23
      2. The preparation for the ministry of Jesus Christ - 3:1-4:11
         a. The forerunner of Christ - 3:1-12
         b. Baptism of Christ - 3:13-17
         c. Temptation of Christ - 4:1-11
      3. The ministry of Jesus Christ - 4:12-25:46
         a. His ministry in Galilee - 4:12-18:35
            1) Residence at Capernaum - 4:12-17
            2) Call of four disciples - 4:18-22
            3) General survey of the Galilean ministry - 4:23-25
            4) Sermon on the mount - 5:1-7:29
            5) Ten miracles and related events - 8:1-9:38
            6) Mission of the twelve - 10:1-42
            7) Christ's answer to John, and related discourse - 11:1-30
            8) Opposition from the Pharisees - 12:1-50
            9) A series of parables on the kingdom - 13:1-58
           10) Withdrawal of Jesus following John's beheading - 14:1-36
           11) Conflict with the Pharisees over tradition - 15:1-20
           12) Withdrawal to Phoenecia and healing of a Canaanitish
               woman's daughter - 15:21-28
           13) Return to the Sea of Galilee and performing of miracles
               - 15:29-38
           14) Renewed conflict with the Pharisees and Sadducees - 15:
               39-16:4
           15) Withdrawal to the region of Caesarea Philippi - 16:5-
               17:23
           16) Instruction of the twelve at Capernaum - 17:24-18:35
         b. His ministry in Perea - 19:1-20:16
            1) Teaching on divorce - 19:1-12
            2) Blessing of the children - 19:13-15
            3) Interview with the rich young man - 19:16-30
            4) Parable of the laborers in the vineyard - 20:1-16
         c. His ministry in Judea - 20:17-34
            1) Another prediction of Christ's death and resurrection 
               - 20:17-19
            2) Ambitious request of Zebedee's sons - 20:20-28
            3) Healing of two blind men - 20:29-34
         d. His ministry in Jerusalem - 21:1-25:46
            1) Triumphal entry - 21:1-11
            2) Cleansing the Temple - 21:12-17
            3) Cursing of the barren fig tree - 21:18-22
            4) Questioning of Jesus' authority and his parabolic answer
               - 21:23-22:14
            5) Questioning of Jesus by various groups - 22:15-46
            6) Jesus' public denunciation of the Pharisees - 23:1-39
            7) Olivet Discourse - 24:1-25:46
      4. The suffering of Jesus Christ - 26:1-27:66
         a. Plot against Jesus - 26:1-16
         b. The final meal - 26:17-30
         c. Prediction of Peter's denial - 26:31-35
         d. Events in Gethsemane - 26:36-56
         e. Events at the Jewish trials - 26:57-27:2
         f. Remorse of Judas - 27:3-10
         g. Events at the Roman trials - 27:11-31
         h. The Crucifixion - 27:32-56
         i. Burial - 27:32-56
      5. The resurrection of Jesus Christ - 28:1-20
         a. Discovery of the empty tomb - 28:1-8
         b. Appearance of Jesus Christ - 28:9,10
         c. Report of the soldiers - 28:11-15
         d. The great commission - 28:16-20

III. SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE GOSPEL

   A. A JEWISH GOSPEL...
      1. We've noted its frequent appeal to OT prophecies
      2. It's organization is mostly topical, as opposed to strictly
         chronological (a common style in Jewish literature)
      -- It appears to have been written with a Jewish audience in mind

   B. AN ECCLESIASTICAL GOSPEL...
      1. It is the only gospel which mentions the word "church"
         a. It foretells its beginning - Mt 16:18
         b. It describes some of the life in the church - Mt 18:15-17
      2. It contains lengthy discourses especially beneficial to those
         in the church
         a. Such as the sermon on the mount - Mt 5-7
         b. Such as the many parables - Mt 13
         c. Such as the Olivet discourse - Mt 24-25
      3. It contains admonitions important to disciples of Christ
         a. Such as the importance of doing the Father's will - Mt 7:
            21-23
         b. Such as observing all that Jesus commanded - Mt 28:20
      -- In other words, this was a gospel designed for use by those in
         the early church

   C. AN EVANGELISTIC GOSPEL...
      1. It is a preaching gospel
         a. Especially when compared with the apostles' preaching found
            in Acts
         b. For it expands upon the basic elements and point made in
            their sermons
      2. Consider these themes in apostolic preaching:
         a. God's promises in the OT have been fulfilled - Ac 3:18,24
         b. The long-awaited Messiah, born of David's line, has come 
            - Ac 13:23
         c. He is Jesus of Nazareth - Ac 13:23
         d. He went about preaching and doing good through mighty works
            - Ac 10:38
         e. He was crucified according to the promise and will of God
            - Ac 2:22,23
         f. He was raised from the dead, and exalted at God's right
            hand - Ac 2:24,32-33
         h. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the
            dead - Ac 3:20-21; 17:30-31
         i. Therefore, all should heed His message, repent, and be
            baptized - Ac 2:36-38
         -- All of these points are expanded in the gospel of Matthew

CONCLUSION

1. The purpose which Matthew's gospel served in the first century was
   simple...
   a. To confirm faith in Jesus as God's Anointed One (the Messiah)
   b. To instructing disciples on living the Christian life

2. It can serve a similar purpose for us today...
   a. Increase our faith in Jesus as the Christ
   b. Instruct us in the righteousness expected of those in His kingdom

The last three verses present the climax of this amazing gospel:

   And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been
   given to Me in heaven and on earth.

   "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing
   them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
   Spirit,

   "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
   and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
   
                                                      (Mt 28:18-20)

Have you submitted to the authority and command of Jesus as it pertains
to becoming His disciple and observing what He taught?  If so, then you
have the precious promise of His abiding presence in your life!
 

He Climbed Up the Waterspout by Garry K. Brantley, M.A., M.Div.




http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=588

He Climbed Up the Waterspout

by  Garry K. Brantley, M.A., M.Div.

As David stood before the city of Jerusalem, the Jebusites, confident of their city’s natural and manufactured fortifications, taunted him: “You shall not come in here; but the blind and the lame will repel you...” (2 Samuel 5:6). In response, David persuaded his army: “Whoever climbs up by way of the water shaft and defeats the Jebusites...he shall be chief and captain” (2 Samuel 5:8). The parallel account in first Chronicles indicates that Joab accepted and accomplished David’s challenge (11:6).
For years, scholars have debated the exact means by which Joab penetrated the city’s fortification, questioning the translation of 2 Samuel 5:8, its historicity, or both. Yigal Shiloh, who re-examined the waterworks in the City of David (ancient Jerusalem), argued that such shafts as that mentioned by David appear on the historical scene after the time he conquered Jerusalem (1981, 7[4]:39). Hence, supposedly there was no water shaft at Jerusalem through which Joab could have entered the ancient city.
Translation considerations do not resolve this tension. The Hebrew word translated “water shaft” (2 Samuel 5:6) is tsinnor. This word appears only one other time in the Hebrew text, where it is translated “waterfalls” (Psalm 42:7), which is consistent with the aquatic imagery of this psalm. Further, the related word tsanterot appears in Zechariah 4:12, and means “pipes” or “tubes” (cf. Harris, 1980, 2:771; Kleven, 1994, 20[4]:34). Biblical usage, therefore, links tsinnor with a conduit of water, which is consistent with the traditionally accepted translation appearing in English versions. Additionally, Ugaritic texts corroborate the translation in 2 Samuel 5:8 as a type of water shaft (Kleven, 1994, 20[4]:35).
Cut-away view of the waterworks beneath the City of David (after Gill, 1994, 20[4]:24). Geologist Dan Gill has shown that ancient inhabitants merely modified a natural system of shafts and conduits formed by water eroding and dissolving limestone and dolomite rock. Joab’s assault force could have entered through the Gihon Spring and Warren’s Shaft, or through a conduit exiting on the eastern slope. At some unknown date, the spring’s drainage was diverted from the Kidron Valley, transforming Warren’s Shaft into a well, which was accessible via tunnels from behind the walls of the city. In 701 B.C., Hezekiah enlarged the conduit from the spring, bringing water 1748 feet into the Siloam pool.
Therefore, if Shiloh is correct, there is a serious problem with the Bible’s integrity. How could David speak of a water shaft that was non-existent? Recently, Dan Gill, the geologist on Shiloh’s staff, suggested that there were at least two points outside the city’s wall through which Joab could have entered Jerusalem by stealth: (1) from the Gihon Spring and up Warren’s Shaft; and (2) through a tunnel that exists on the eastern slope (1994, 20[4]:30). Warren’s Shaft, discovered in 1867 by Captain Charles Warren (and named after him), provided the ancient city with guarded access to the Gihon Spring, which lay outside the city’s protective wall. The irregular dimensions of the channel suggest that Warren’s Shaft was not humanly contrived initially; rather, in all likelihood it was a naturally occurring sinkhole (erosion shaft) caused by water percolating through dolomite (see Shanks, 1985, 11[6]:38). Thus, before artificial water systems became architectural norms in royal centers, the Jebusites had access to a much-coveted water supply. It is reasonable to believe that the Jebusites’ city was well known for this unusual accommodation. Fortunately for David, that convenience was the city’s Achilles heel.
Warren’s Shaft most likely was the aperture through which Joab ascended—a valiant feat that led to the demise of David’s unsuspecting enemy, and won him a place of honor in his king’s army. We can be certain of one thing: the physical evidence suggests that there was a water shaft at the ancient Jebusite city as mentioned by David. Thus, archaeological and geological data are consistent with the biblical record, and corroborate its historical reliability.

REFERENCES

Gill, Dan (1994), “How They Met,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 20[4]:21-33,64, July/August.
Harris, Laird, Gleason Archer, and Bruce Waltke, eds. (1980), Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago, IL: Moody), 2:771.
Kleven, Terence (1994), “Up the Waterspout,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 20[4]:34-35, July/August.
Shanks, Hershel (1985), “The City of David After Five Years of Digging,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 11[6]:22-38, November/December.
Shiloh, Yigal (1981), “Jerusalem’s Water Supply During Siege: The Rediscovery of Warren’s Shaft,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 7[4]:24-39, July/August.

Eyeballing Design in the Vampire Squid by Kyle Butt, M.Div.



http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1919

Eyeballing Design in the Vampire Squid

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

In January 2007, Science magazine posted an article titled, “Loopy Lens Proteins Provide Squid with Excellent Eyesight,” by Elizabeth Pennisi. The article comments on the work done by graduate student Alison Sweeny who “wanted to learn about eye evolution” (Pennisi, 2007, 315[5811]:456). In order to do that, Sweeny dissected the eyeballs of a deep-water squid known as the Vampire squid.
To see underwater, an animal needs a special lens system. Pennisi wrote: “Seeing clearly underwater requires a special spherical lens with a high refractive index in the center but a lower index toward the edge” (315[5811]:456). The intricate lens structures in the eye of the Vampire squid were discovered to be extremely efficient for seeing clearly underwater. In fact, the caption to a picture in the article states: “Near-perfect eyes. Vampire squid lenses are designed for seeing details, even in virtual darkness” (315[5811]:456, emp. added). Jonathan Henry, biologist at the University of Illinois, stated: “It’s amazing how finely tuned the squid’s lens is to do its job” (315[5811]:456). In the concluding remarks of the article, Pennisi quoted Sweeney as saying that the lens of the Vampire squid “has a visual acuity better than in a state-of-the-art Zeiss dissecting microscope” (315[5811]:456).
Interesting, is it not, that Sweeney and the other researchers were attempting to learn more about “eye evolution”? Yet, they discovered exactly the opposite. They found a lens that is designed, finely tuned, and works better than a state-of-the-art microscope. Unfortunately, they missed the obvious implication that such statements demand: evolution cannot account for design or fine tuning. And how is it that all recognize that a Zeiss dissecting microscope has intelligent designers, but many miss the fact that the superior squid lens also has a designer? The biblical writer summarized this situation perfectly when he wrote:
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1:20-22, emp. added).

REFERENCE

Elizabeth Pennisi (2007), “News Focus Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Meeting: Loopy Lens Proteins Provide Squid With Excellent Eyesight,” Science, 315[5811]:456, January 26, [On-line], URL: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/315/5811/456a.

Different Views of Death by Wayne Jackson, M.A.




http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=237

Different Views of Death

by  Wayne Jackson, M.A.

None of us enjoys contemplating the prospect of losing a loved one to death. It is a horrible experience. Yet, if the deceased is a child of God, the pain is lessened considerably. This is why the apostle Paul could say, in his letter to the saints at Thessalonica, that we “sorrow not, even as the rest [non-Christians], who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). When a dear one in Christ leaves this life, we sorrow—not for the one who has gone to be with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8), but for our own temporal loss. And it is temporal, because eventually there will be happy reunions (Genesis 25:8; Matthew 8:11).
I recently read of a case that illustrates the bleakness faced by the unbeliever when he is forced to face the prospect of death’s separations.
Marie Curie was undoubtedly the most prominent woman scientist of all time. She was twice awarded the Nobel Prize. She was married to Pierre Curie, a prominent scientist in his own right. On April 19, 1906, Pierre was run over by a galloping team of horses pulling a heavy wagon. His head was crushed by one of the wheels and he died instantly.
In a biography about her mother, Eve Curie describes how Marie was devastated by the accident. She clung to Pierre’s corpse as he was dressed for the funeral. She kissed him repeatedly. From that day, Eve says, she became “a pitiful and incurably lonely woman” (p. 247). For a long time she wrote notes to him each day in her diary. Here is one of those notations: “Your coffin was closed and I could see you no more.... We saw you go down into the deep, big hole.... They filled the grave and put sheaves of flowers on it, everything is over. Pierre is sleeping his last sleep beneath the earth; it is the end of everything, everything, everything” (p. 249).
Obviously Madame Curie had utterly no hope of ever seeing her beloved husband again. Years before, Marie had abandoned whatever faith she had. Eve writes that her mother “gave her [daughters] no sort of pious education. She felt herself incapable of teaching them dogmas in which she no longer believed: above all she feared for them the distress she had known when she lost her faith” (p. 268).
How very sad. Death is not the end of everything. Rather, it is the beginning. It is the beginning of eternity. May we so bind our families together in service to God that when our parting comes, it will be a “sweet sorrow.”

REFERENCES

Curie, Eve (1937), Madame Curie: A Biography (Garden City, NY: Doubleday).

“The Church of God” and the Deity of Christ by Eric Lyons, M.Min.




http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=2034

“The Church of God” and the Deity of Christ

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The church of which all Christians are to be a part is God’s church. Although many so-called Christians claim to be members of the church that God established nearly 2,000 years ago, they often wear names that indicate ownership by, or allegiance to, men (or offices of men). Some call themselves the “Lutheran Church” (after Martin Luther). Others call themselves after the designated local leaders of the church, e.g., Episcopalians (from the Greek word for bishop) and Presbyterians (from the Greek word for elder). The Scriptures, however, make clear that the church to which all of God’s children are to belong is not a church begun by man, owned by man, or called after man (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:10-17). Christians must accept the fact that the church of the New Testament is God’s church, not man’s.
Several times in the New Testament, the term “church” (Greek ekklesia) is linked together with the Greek term theos (God), and thus one easily can ascertain the fact that the church to which obedient believers belong is the church begun and owned by God. Paul wrote “to the church of God which is at Corinth” (1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1, emp. added), and later commanded the Corinthians to “[g]ive no offense...to the church of God” (1 Corinthians 10:32-33, emp. added). He confessed to the churches of Galatia that he had “persecuted the church of God” before becoming a Christian (Galatians 1:13, emp. added). Paul also wrote to the Christians in Thessalonica, reminding them how they “became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea” (1 Thessalonians 2:14, emp. added), and even boasted of them “among the churches of God” for their endurance through persecution (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4, emp. added). One must not miss the point that the church of the New Testament is God’s church. It is of divine origin and established according to Deity’s “eternal purpose” (Ephesians 3:11).
Interestingly, Bible writers often refer to the “church of God” as the body or church of Christ. Near the end of his letter to the Christians in Rome, Paul wrote: “All the churches of Christ greet you” (Romans 16:16, NASB, emp. added). He taught the Corinthian Christians how they were “members individually” of “the body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27, emp. added). Since Paul informed the churches at Ephesus and Colosse that “the church” is Christ’s “body” (Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:18,24), the body of Christ is equivalent to the church of Christ (cf. Ephesians 4:11-12). Simply put, it is Jesus’ church. He promised to build it (saying, “I will build My church”—Matthew 16:18, emp. added), and later purchased it “with His own blood” (Acts 20:28; cf. Ephesians 1:7,14; Hebrews 9:14).
These verses not only inform Christians of the names by which they should identify themselves, they also indicate something significant about the nature of Christ. Although some alleged Bible believers (e.g., Jehovah’s Witnesses) claim that Jesus is not divine, the very fact that Bible writers equated “the church of God” with “the body/church of Christ” is one of the many proofs that Jesus is Divine. Paul consistently used these phrases interchangeably throughout his epistles. Thus, to say the church is Christ’s is to say the church is God’s, because Christ is God (John 1:1-3; 20:28). He is the head, Savior, redeemer, and owner of the church (Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 1:18). May we thus put ourselves under the subjection of Christ as God (Ephesians 5:24), and wear only scriptural names such as “church of God” or “church of Christ.” In the words of the apostle Paul to the Ephesian elders: “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28, emp. added).

Australia's Unique Animals by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.




http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=1137

Australia's Unique Animals

by  Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.

Q.

How do creationists explain the origin and distribution of Australia’s unique animals in terms of a young Earth and a worldwide flood?

A.

Explaining the origin of Australia’s marsupial population, and especially its uniqueness to that one isolated southern continent, is difficult for evolutionists and creationists alike. Marsupials such as kangaroos, opossums, wallabies, and koalas seem unusual, but monotremes (i.e., the echidna and the platypus) are even more puzzling. The main difference between marsupials and most other mammals centers on the reproductive system. Marsupials give birth prematurely and allow the fetus to develop in an external pouch. In other mammals, excluding the monotremes which lay eggs, the fetus develops within the uterus and is attached to, and nourished by, the placenta.
Perhaps the most interesting fact about marsupials is that they nearly all have non-marsupial equivalents in other parts of the world (see Dobzhansky, et al., 1977, Figure 9.3, p. 267). The kangaroo has a similar role to the antelope roaming the African savanna. The wombat resembles a badger, and even has a backward-pointing pouch so that it will not fill with dirt while burrowing! There also are many small marsupials that have rodent counterparts. Evolutionists attribute such similarities to “parallel evolution” in both homology (being alike in form) and analogy (occupying a corresponding niche). That is, they believe that these marsupials and their placental peers developed independently; they share similar characteristics, but took two different paths to get there (see Simpson and Beck, 1965, pp. 499-501). A common ancestry, combined with similar forces of natural selection, evolutionists assert, will result in the same sort of changes through time. This common ancestor is thought to be the opossum because it is a marsupial and is found in other areas of the world apart from Australia.
According to evolutionary theory, the opossum was a primitive mammal living 200 million years ago on a single southern land mass called Gondwanaland. When parts of this supercontinent divided into what are now Australia and South America, the opossums were separated geographically. Over eons of time, so the story goes, the Australian descendants of the opossum developed into the various types of marsupials seen today. However, in South America, they “evolved” placentas and eventually migrated to North America and Eurasia.
These evolutionary ideas suffer from a number of problems, as listed below:
  • There are no intermediate fossils (“transitional forms”) showing the development of the various marsupials from an opossum or opossum-like ancestor. Further, to suggest that one type of mammal could arise by supposed evolutionary mechanisms is incredible enough, but the chances of having both placental and non-placental forms evolve in the same way, at the same time, and in different regions, are remote to say the least.
     
  • The humble opossum has been nominated as the ancestor of all mammals because it is supposed to be so “primitive,” having a relatively small brain and no “specialized” characteristics. But the opossum has thrived virtually unchanged in many parts of the world. In general, marsupials often are considered less “advanced” because they lack the complex internal reproductive system of placental mammals. However, they possess many other characteristics that could give them an edge over their placental counterparts. For instance, a female kangaroo can nourish two young ones of different ages at the same time, providing the appropriate formula from each teat. Unlike placental mammals, marsupials can suspend or abort the embryo deliberately if adverse conditions arise. And, of course, the pouch provides a superior place of protection for the young marsupial. Yes, marsupials are different, but they are not inferior.
     
  • The distribution of marsupials is not well-answered by evolutionary theories. According to Michael Pitman, “the most diverse fossil assemblies have been obtained from South America and, later (Pliocene), Australia” (1984, p. 206). That is, according to the fossil record, the marsupials already were well-defined as a distinct group before the separation of Australia from other continents. Thus, geographic separation cannot be as significant to their development as evolutionists like to think. An alternate, biblically based model is as follows:
    1. It is reasonable to suggest that God created the various kinds of marsupials. Hence, the many varieties of opossums, kangaroos, wallabies, and so on, most likely have arisen since the time of creation.
       
    2. There could be any number of reasons that God created both placental and non-placental forms. One possibility is that marsupials were created for a specific environment. For example, on the African savannas or North American plains, animals migrate to different areas according to the seasons, and range over huge tracts of land in search of better grazing. However, vegetation patterns in Australia do not allow such flexibility. The unique characteristics of marsupials that allow them to survive in a tough environment are indicative of good design, not blind evolution.
       
    3. Representatives of marsupial kinds went into the ark and were carried through the Flood. Any other varieties not in the ark became extinct with the Flood (and now exist only as fossils).
       
    4. After the Flood, marsupials may have migrated to Australia across land connections or narrow waterways. Perhaps there is a supernatural element involving the second point made above. That is, God, having created specially equipped creatures, may have directed them to settle in Australia in particular. If God can arrange for all the animals to go to Noah (Genesis 6:20), then He very well could assist and direct them in their migration from Ararat once they left the ark (Genesis 8:17).
       
    5. There is no need to postulate long periods of time for whole-scale movement of animal kinds over the Earth. Initial studies by Richard Culp show that there are minimal differences between many North American, European, and Asian varieties of certain plant and animal species (Culp, 1988). The lack of dissimilarities, and the occurrence of unique animal or plant assemblages in various parts of the world (not just Australia), may be evidence for a rapid resettlement in relatively recent times. This would be consistent with the Genesis account.

    REFERENCES

    Bartz, Paul A. (1989), “Questions and Answers,” Bible-Science Newsletter, 27[7]:12, July.
    Culp, G. Richard (1988), “The Geographical Distribution of Animals and Plants,” Creation Research Society Quarterly, 25[1]:24-27, June.
    Dobzhansky, Theodosius, F.J. Ayala, G.L. Stebbins, and J.W. Valentine (1977), Evolution (San Francisco, CA: W.H. Freeman).
    Pitman, Michael (1984), Adam and Evolution (London: Rider).
    Simpson, G.G. and W.S. Beck (1965), Life: An Introduction to Biology (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World), second edition.

Darwin, Evolution, and Racism by Eric Lyons, M.Min. Kyle Butt, M.Div.




http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=2654

Darwin, Evolution, and Racism

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.
Kyle Butt, M.Div.

The creation and evolution models stand in stark contradistinction in many ways. One model suggests the Universe is the product of an infinite, eternal, omnipotent Creator; the other credits time and random chance processes for the Universe and everything in it. The creation model declares that an intelligent Designer created a variety of life on Earth; evolution purports that all life evolved from a common ancestor. The creation model maintains that morality originated with the Creator; atheistic evolution implies that morality is a human invention without a universal standard.
Another major contrast between creation and evolution, which receives relatively little attention from evolutionists, concerns whether some groups of humans are innately superior to others. The biblical creation model indicates that all humans, regardless of shape, size, or color, descended from an original couple created specially by God (Genesis 1-2). Every human life is valuable (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 9:6), but no human (save God incarnate—John 1:1-3), nor any group of humans, is more valuable or superior than others (Romans 10:12; cf. Colossians 3:11). Darwinian evolution, on the other hand, is grounded in the idea that all humans evolved from ape-like creatures, and, since some groups of humans supposedly are less ape-like than others, some humans are more highly evolved, and thus, superior and of more value.
Multiplied millions, perhaps even billions, of people around the world are familiar with Charles Darwin’s most famous work, The Origin of Species. This year (2009) marks the book’s 150th anniversary—a fact highly publicized by today’s scientific establishment. It seems, however, that relatively few people are aware of the full title of Darwin’s 1859 work: The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection—or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (emp. added). Favored races? Did Darwin believe that some races, or “species of men,” as he referred to them (1871, p. 395), were favored or more highly evolved than others? Although he steered clear of these ideas in The Origin of Species, his second major work on evolutionary theory, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, published in 1871, did address the issue.
Darwin began the first chapter of The Descent of Man with these words: “He who wishes to decide whether man is the modified descendant of some pre-existing form, would probably first enquire whether man varies, however slightly, in bodily structure and in mental faculties; and if so, whether the variations are transmitted to his offspring in accordance with the laws which prevail with the lower animals” (1871, p. 395). Later, in his chapter titled “On the Affinities and Genealogy of Man,” Darwin wrote:
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla (p. 521).
Clearly, Darwin was convinced that the more “civilised races” (e.g., Caucasian) would one day exterminate the more savage races, which he considered to be less evolved (and thus more ape-like) than Caucasians. Darwin believed that “the negro” and “Australian” are like sub-species, somewhere between Caucasians and apes. [NOTE: In addition to Darwin’s racist comments in The Descent of Man, he also included sexist statements. His evolutionary views led him to believe that “[t]he chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shown by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman—whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands.... [T]he average of mental power in man must be above that of woman.... [M]an has ultimately become superior to woman” (pp. 873-874).]
One of Darwin’s closest friends and defenders, the prominent 19th-century English biologist Thomas Huxley, was even more direct in his evolutionary-based racist remarks. In his 1865 essay, “Emancipation—Black and White,” Huxley remarked:
It may be quite true that some negroes are better than some white men; but no rational man, cognisant of the facts, believes that the average Negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the white man. And, if this be true, it is simply incredible that, when all his disabilities are removed, and our prognathus relative has a fair field and no favour, as well as no oppressor, he will be able to compete successfully with his bigger-brained and smaller jawed rival, in a contest which is to be carried on by thoughts and not by bites. The highest places in the hierarchy of civilisation will assuredly not be within the reach of our dusky cousins, though it is by no means necessary that they should be restricted to the lowest (emp. added).
According to “Darwin’s Bulldog,” as Huxley was called, the “Negro” is not equal to “the white man.” The alleged smaller-brained, big-jawed negro supposedly cannot compete on the same playing field with the white man. Huxley espoused the false notion that “[t]he highest places in the hierarchy of civilisation will assuredly not be within the reach of our dusky cousins” (1865, emp. added). Little did Huxley know that less then 150 years later an African-American would sit in the highest office of the most wealthy and powerful nation on Earth.
The fact is, Darwinian evolution implies that some groups of humans are closer to our alleged ape-like ancestors in their mental faculties than others. Thus, some groups of humans supposedly are superior to others. The Bible teaches exactly the opposite. There are not different species or races of men; there is just one human race—an intelligent people (see Lyons, 2002)—that God created “in His image” in the beginning (Genesis 1-2; see Lyons and Thompson, 2002), both “male and female” (Genesis 1:27, emp. added). All of humanity descended from Adam and Eve, the first couple (1 Corinthians 15:45; Genesis 3:20), and later Noah, through whom the Earth was repopulated after the Flood (Genesis 6-10). Whether we are red, yellow, black, or white, we share equal value as human beings, God’s image-bearers (Genesis 1:26-28; cf. Romans 10:12). What’s more, all men stand on equal footing before God as sinners (Romans 3:10,23) in need of a Savior (John 8:24; Mark 16:15-16).

REFERENCES

Darwin, Charles (1859), The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life (New York: The Modern Library, reprint).
Darwin, Charles (1871), The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (New York: The Modern Library, reprint).
Huxley, Thomas (1865), “Emancipation—Black and White,” [On-line], URL: http://aleph0.clarku.edu/huxley/CE3/B&W.html.
Lyons, Eric (2002), “Ancient Nitwits or Knowledgeable Ancestors?” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1798.
Lyons, Eric and Bert Thompson (2002), “In the ‘Image and Likeness of God,’” Reason & Revelation [Part I & Part II], 22:17-23,25-31, March/April.

Was the Robe Placed on Jesus Scarlet or Purple? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.




http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=300&b=John

Was the Robe Placed on Jesus Scarlet or Purple?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

After being flogged with a dreadful Roman scourge, Jesus was taken by Pilate’s soldiers into the governor’s headquarters where the whole garrison gathered around Him. It was here that the soldiers placed a crown of thorns on His head, a reed in His hand, and a robe on His body. Skeptics maintain that a contradiction exists between the Gospel accounts because they describe the color of the robe differently. Whereas Matthew says that the soldiers “put a scarlet robe” on Jesus (27:27-28), Mark says that “they clothed Him with purple ” (15:16-17), and John states that the soldiers put “a purple robe” on Him (19:1-2). These differences have lead some to believe and advocate that the Gospel writers wrote under their own power with no help from a Higher Being, and thus they contradicted one another in their narratives. Because increasingly more people are swallowing such allegations blindly and rejecting the inerrancy of the Scriptures, logical answers are required. The question is, do such valid answers exist for the differences in the Gospel narratives concerning the robe placed upon Jesus after His scourging?
All would agree that we oftentimes see colors a little differently. What one person calls blue, someone else may be more specific and call navy blue. A die-hard football fan may refer to his team’s color as dark red, whereas someone else who sees the team’s faded uniforms for the first time at the end of a grueling season may conclude that the team’s color is more maroon. While coloring pictures for their parents, one child may color an orange-yellow Sun, while the other draws a Sun that is bright yellow. Surely no one would accuse these individuals of lying or being deceitful because one was more specific than another. Likewise, skeptics have no solid ground on which to stand when they disregard common sense and create biblical contradictions that do not exist. The simple fact is, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote from different perspectives; they did not participate in collusion. The same way that individuals today look at colors and see different tones, shades, and tints, the Gospel writers saw the activities surrounding the life of Jesus from different angles.
The garment placed upon Jesus after his brutal scourging likely was similar to the faded football uniforms mentioned above, but in His case we read of “a scarlet robe...faded to resemble purple” (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary). [It is difficult to imagine Pilate arraying Jesus’ bloody body with a new robe. More likely it was one that had been worn and cast off as useless (Barnes).] According to A.T. Robertson, there were various shades of purple and scarlet in the first century and it was not easy to distinguish the colors or tints (1997). In fact, the ancients (especially the Romans) used the term purple when speaking of various shades of red (McGarvey, 1875, p. 361; Barnes, 1997). Consequently, these different colors sometimes would be called by the same name.
As one can see, there is no discrepancy in the Gospel narratives concerning the color of the robe Jesus wore. Just like others of their day, the Gospel writers simply used the terms scarlet and purple interchangeably.
REFERENCES
Barnes, Albert (1997), Barnes’ Notes (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
McGarvey, J.W. (1875), Commentary on Matthew and Mark (Delight AR: Gospel Light).
Robertson, A.T. (1997), Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament (Electronic Database: Biblesoft)
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary (1985), Electronic Database: Biblesoft.

“Understand what the will of the Lord is” Ephesians 5:17 by Roy Davison





http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/038-willoftheLord.html


“Understand what the will of the Lord is”
Ephesians 5:17
The universe exists by the will of God: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Revelation 4:11).

The will of God is sovereign. After God removed the Babylonian potentate Nebuchadnezzar from power for seven years and then reinstated him, he acknowledged the preponderant will of God: “All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Daniel 4:35).

Yet, amazingly, people can reject the will of God: “But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the will of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him” (Luke 7:30). John the Baptist was a prophet of God. When these religious leaders rejected John’s message, they rejected the will of God for themselves.

Although ultimately, the will of God prevails, God grants man a limited field of operation in which he has freedom to make personal choices.

An example of this is Paul’s journey to Rome. For some time he had wanted to go to Rome. In his letter he explains: “Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now)” (Romans 1:13). He writes: “Without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, making request if, by some means, now at last I may find a way in the will of God to come to you” (Romans 1:9, 10).

This shows great insight and a commendable attitude: “If I may find a way in the will of God.” Paul understands that his plans and actions are subject to the will of God, that he can operate only within the limits God has set. As it turns out, he does indeed travel to Rome - all expenses paid - as a prisoner of the Romans!

Man’s prescribed area of choice might be compared to a fence within which a small child is allowed to play. Without the fence it would be unsafe. Inside the fence he can go where he pleases and do what he wants. Even so, his mother keeps an eye on him in case he comes up with something that exceeds the wishes of his parents!

Jesus says: “It is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish” (Matthew 18:14). Why then do people perish? Not because it is the will of God, but because man’s inherent freedom enables him to make wrong choices with bad consequences for himself and for others.

Leading up to this, Jesus had said: “Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” (Matthew 18:6, 7).

One person’s wrong choices can tempt someone else to sin and be lost. But ‘offenses must come’. Why? Because this is inherent in man’s power to choose.

Paul deals with the objection: “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” (Romans 9:19). Some try to blame God for their own bad choices! Although the will of God prevails in the end, people are responsible for the choices God allows them to make and for the consequences.

Any parent of teenagers understands this. There comes a time when parents must allow their children to make choices on their own. As they assume greater freedom of choice, they also assume responsibility for their choices and the consequences. Just because the parents allowed a choice to be made, does not make them responsible for the choice or its consequences.

One teenager protested: “Why didn’t God make man so he could only choose what is right?” This is a dishonest cop-out. What teenager wants to have his God-given freedom of choice curtailed in any way? He likes this gift that God has given him!
God created people with the ability to choose to love Him or to reject Him. The love of those who freely choose to love Him more than offsets the grief caused by those who choose to reject His will.
As Paul explains: “You will say to me then, ‘Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?’ But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory?” (Romans 9:19-23).

People are lost because they choose to reject the will of God. Even so, God still enables them to be saved if they repent and accept the gift of grace He offers through the sacrifice of His Son: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

To allow man freedom of choice, God cannot prevent people from being lost. But He has done everything possible to enable the lost to be saved by sending His Son: “the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost” (Matthew 18:11).


Jesus came to do the will of the Father.

“Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work’” (John 4:34). “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 6:38).

“I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me” (John 5:30).

It was the will of the Father that Jesus should offer His body as a sacrifice for sin: “Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come - In the volume of the book it is written of Me - to do Your will, O God’” (Hebrews 10:7).

The sacrifices of the Old Covenant were not sufficient as atonement for sin: “‘Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them’ (which are offered according to the law), then He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God’” (Hebrews 10:8, 9).


By the will of God, Christ came to be a sacrifice for sin.
“By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).

Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia: “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory forever and ever” (Galatians 1:3-5).

It is the will of God that they who believe in Christ might receive mercy, salvation and eternal life.

Jesus explained: “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:39, 40).


God wants us to be sanctified.

When charging the Thessalonians to abstain from sexual immorality, Paul states: “For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thessalonians 4:3). God wants us to be holy.

To realize this sanctification we must be born again by the will of God. “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12, 13). “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures” (James 1:18).

Our inclusion in the family of God is also called an adoption by the will of God: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:3-6).

In Christ, God has “made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth” (Ephesians 1:9, 10).

As adopted sons we have an inheritance: “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11).


We must do God’s will to be in the family of God.
Jesus said: “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50 // Mark 3:35).

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” (Matthew 7:21).

Have you ever wanted to put to silence the ignorance of foolish men? God wants us to do this and tells us how: “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1 Peter 2:15).

Until the end we must continue to do the will of God: “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Hebrews 10:36).

“The world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever” (1 John 2:17).

The letter to the Hebrews closes with this beautiful benediction: “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever” (Hebrews 13:20, 21).


To do God’s will, we must know God’s will.

The Scriptures reveal the will of God. David wrote: “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8). “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).

The will of God must be learned. David prayed: “Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness” (Psalm 143:10).

Jesus states a prerequisite for knowing the will of God: “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 7:17). One must first want to do God’s will to recognize which doctrine is from God.
One must then conform to the will of God to really experience the will of God: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

Having heard of the faith and love of the Christians at Colosse, Paul writes: “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Colossians 1:9).

“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).


What have we learned from the Scriptures about the will of God?

The universe exists by the sovereign will of God. Although ultimately, the will of God prevails, God grants man a limited field of operation in which he has freedom to make choices. People can reject the will of God and are responsible for the consequences.

People perish, not because it is the will of God, but because man’s inherent freedom enables him to make wrong choices with bad consequences for himself and for others.

Jesus came to do the will of the Father by being a sacrifice for sin.

It is the will of God that they who believe in Christ receive mercy, salvation and eternal life, that they be sanctified through a spiritual rebirth and become sons of God by adoption.

In the family of God we must continue to do the will of God until the end to receive the promise of eternal life.

To do the will of God, we must know the will of God from the Scriptures. We must want to do the will of God to recognize His will and we must actually do His will to experience His will.

“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).
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.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

Bible Reading November 10 by Gary Rose





Bible Reading November 10 (World English Bible)


Nov. 10
Isaiah 57-60

Isa 57:1 The righteous perishes, and no man lays it to heart; and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.
Isa 57:2 He enters into peace; they rest in their beds, each one who walks in his uprightness.
Isa 57:3 "But draw near here, you sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the prostitute.
Isa 57:4 Against whom do you sport yourselves? against whom make you a wide mouth, and put out the tongue? Aren't you children of disobedience, a seed of falsehood,
Isa 57:5 you who inflame yourselves among the oaks, under every green tree; who kill the children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks?
Isa 57:6 Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion; they, they are your lot; even to them have you poured a drink offering, you have offered an offering. Shall I be appeased for these things?
Isa 57:7 On a high and lofty mountain have you set your bed; there also you went up to offer sacrifice.
Isa 57:8 Behind the doors and the posts have you set up your memorial: for you have uncovered yourself to another than me, and have gone up; you have enlarged your bed, and made you a covenant with them: you loved their bed where you saw it.
Isa 57:9 You went to the king with oil, and did increase your perfumes, and did send your ambassadors far off, and did debase yourself even to Sheol.
Isa 57:10 You were wearied with the length of your way; yet you didn't say, It is in vain: you found a reviving of your strength; therefore you weren't faint.
Isa 57:11 "Of whom have you been afraid and in fear, that you lie, and have not remembered me, nor laid it to your heart? Haven't I held my peace even of long time, and you don't fear me?
Isa 57:12 I will declare your righteousness; and as for your works, they shall not profit you.
Isa 57:13 When you cry, let those who you have gathered deliver you; but the wind shall take them, a breath shall carry them all away: but he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain."
Isa 57:14 He will say, "Cast up, cast up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling-block out of the way of my people."
Isa 57:15 For thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: "I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite.
Isa 57:16 For I will not contend forever, neither will I be always angry; for the spirit would faint before me, and the souls who I have made.
Isa 57:17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I angry, and struck him; I hid my face and was angry; and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart.
Isa 57:18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts to him and to his mourners.
Isa 57:19 I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace, to him who is far off and to him who is near," says Yahweh; "and I will heal them."
Isa 57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea; for it can't rest, and its waters cast up mire and dirt.
Isa 57:21 "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."

Isa 58:1 "Cry aloud, don't spare, lift up your voice like a trumpet, and declare to my people their disobedience, and to the house of Jacob their sins.
Isa 58:2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways: as a nation that did righteousness, and didn't forsake the ordinance of their God, they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to draw near to God.
Isa 58:3 'Why have we fasted,' say they, 'and you don't see? why have we afflicted our soul, and you take no knowledge?' "Behold, in the day of your fast you find your own pleasure, and exact all your labors.
Isa 58:4 Behold, you fast for strife and contention, and to strike with the fist of wickedness: you don't fast this day so as to make your voice to be heard on high.
Isa 58:5 Is such the fast that I have chosen? the day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a rush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Yahweh?
Isa 58:6 "Isn't this the fast that I have chosen: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?
Isa 58:7 Isn't it to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor who are cast out to your house? when you see the naked, that you cover him; and that you not hide yourself from your own flesh?
Isa 58:8 Then your light shall break forth as the morning, and your healing shall spring forth speedily; and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of Yahweh shall be your rear guard.
Isa 58:9 Then you shall call, and Yahweh will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.' "If you take away from the midst of you the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking wickedly;
Isa 58:10 and if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul: then your light shall rise in darkness, and your obscurity be as the noonday;
Isa 58:11 and Yahweh will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in dry places, and make strong your bones; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters don't fail.
Isa 58:12 Those who shall be of you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
Isa 58:13 "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, and the holy of Yahweh honorable; and shall honor it, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words:
Isa 58:14 then you shall delight yourself in Yahweh; and I will make you to ride on the high places of the earth; and I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father:" for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken it.

Isa 59:1 Behold, Yahweh's hand is not shortened, that it can't save; neither his ear heavy, that it can't hear:
Isa 59:2 but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
Isa 59:3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue mutters wickedness.
Isa 59:4 None sues in righteousness, and none pleads in truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
Isa 59:5 They hatch adders' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he who eats of their eggs dies; and that which is crushed breaks out into a viper.
Isa 59:6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.
Isa 59:7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; desolation and destruction are in their paths.
Isa 59:8 The way of peace they don't know; and there is no justice in their goings: they have made them crooked paths; whoever goes therein does not know peace.
Isa 59:9 Therefore is justice far from us, neither does righteousness overtake us: we look for light, but, behold, darkness; for brightness, but we walk in obscurity.
Isa 59:10 We grope for the wall like the blind; yes, we grope as those who have no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the twilight; among those who are lusty we are as dead men.
Isa 59:11 We roar all like bears, and moan sore like doves: we look for justice, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.
Isa 59:12 For our transgressions are multiplied before you, and our sins testify against us; for our transgressions are with us, and as for our iniquities, we know them:
Isa 59:13 transgressing and denying Yahweh, and turning away from following our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.
Isa 59:14 Justice is turned away backward, and righteousness stands afar off; for truth is fallen in the street, and uprightness can't enter.
Isa 59:15 Yes, truth is lacking; and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey. Yahweh saw it, and it displeased him that there was no justice.
Isa 59:16 He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his own arm brought salvation to him; and his righteousness, it upheld him.
Isa 59:17 He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on his head; and he put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a mantle.
Isa 59:18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, wrath to his adversaries, recompense to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompense.
Isa 59:19 So shall they fear the name of Yahweh from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun; for he will come as a rushing stream, which the breath of Yahweh drives.
Isa 59:20 "A Redeemer will come to Zion, and to those who turn from disobedience in Jacob," says Yahweh.
Isa 59:21 "As for me, this is my covenant with them," says Yahweh: "my Spirit who is on you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, nor out of the mouth of your seed, nor out of the mouth of your seed's seed," says Yahweh, "from henceforth and forever."

Isa 60:1 "Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of Yahweh is risen on you.
Isa 60:2 For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples; but Yahweh will arise on you, and his glory shall be seen on you.
Isa 60:3 Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.
Isa 60:4 "Lift up your eyes all around, and see: they all gather themselves together, they come to you; your sons shall come from far, and your daughters shall be carried in the arms.
Isa 60:5 Then you shall see and be radiant, and your heart shall thrill and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you.
Isa 60:6 The multitude of camels shall cover you, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come; they shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praises of Yahweh.
Isa 60:7 All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together to you, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you; they shall come up with acceptance on my altar; and I will glorify the house of my glory.
Isa 60:8 "Who are these who fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?
Isa 60:9 Surely the islands shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, for the name of Yahweh your God, and for the Holy One of Israel, because he has glorified you.
Isa 60:10 "Foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you: for in my wrath I struck you, but in my favor have I had mercy on you.
Isa 60:11 Your gates also shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day nor night; that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, and their kings led captive.
Isa 60:12 For that nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; yes, those nations shall be utterly wasted.
Isa 60:13 "The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the fir tree, the pine, and the box tree together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.
Isa 60:14 The sons of those who afflicted you shall come bending to you; and all those who despised you shall bow themselves down at the soles of your feet; and they shall call you The city of Yahweh, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
Isa 60:15 "Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, so that no man passed through you, I will make you an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.
Isa 60:16 You shall also suck the milk of the nations, and shall suck the breast of kings; and you shall know that I, Yahweh, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.
Isa 60:17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron. I will also make your officers peace, and righteousness your ruler.
Isa 60:18 Violence shall no more be heard in your land, desolation nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.
Isa 60:19 The sun shall be no more your light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light to you: but Yahweh will be to you an everlasting light, and your God your glory.
Isa 60:20 Your sun shall no more go down, neither shall your moon withdraw itself; for Yahweh will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended.
Isa 60:21 Your people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.
Isa 60:22 The little one shall become a thousand, and the small one a strong nation; I, Yahweh, will hasten it in its time." 

 

Nov. 10
2 Timothy 4

2Ti 4:1 I command you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at his appearing and his Kingdom:
2Ti 4:2 preach the word; be urgent in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with all patience and teaching.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not listen to the sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers after their own lusts;
2Ti 4:4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and turn aside to fables.
2Ti 4:5 But you be sober in all things, suffer hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill your ministry.
2Ti 4:6 For I am already being offered, and the time of my departure has come.
2Ti 4:7 I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith.
2Ti 4:8 From now on, there is stored up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day; and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved his appearing.
2Ti 4:9 Be diligent to come to me soon,
2Ti 4:10 for Demas left me, having loved this present world, and went to Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.
2Ti 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service.
2Ti 4:12 But I sent Tychicus to Ephesus.
2Ti 4:13 Bring the cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus when you come, and the books, especially the parchments.
2Ti 4:14 Alexander, the coppersmith, did much evil to me. The Lord will repay him according to his works,
2Ti 4:15 of whom you also must beware; for he greatly opposed our words.
2Ti 4:16 At my first defense, no one came to help me, but all left me. May it not be held against them.
2Ti 4:17 But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me, that through me the message might be fully proclaimed, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
2Ti 4:18 And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me for his heavenly Kingdom; to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
2Ti 4:19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the house of Onesiphorus.
2Ti 4:20 Erastus remained at Corinth, but I left Trophimus at Miletus sick.
2Ti 4:21 Be diligent to come before winter. Eubulus salutes you, as do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers.
2Ti 4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.