12/9/16

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" Beware Of Leaven (16:5-12) by Mark Copeland

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                       Beware Of Leaven (16:5-12)

INTRODUCTION

1. In the course of His public ministry, Jesus was often challenged by
   the Pharisees, along with the Sadducees...
   a. They questioned why He ate with sinners - Mt 9:11
   b. They accused His disciples of breaking the Sabbath - Mt 12:1-2
   c. They accused His disciples of violating the traditions of the
      elders - Mt 15:1-2
   d. They sought to test Him by asking for a sign - Mt 16:1

2. Jesus therefore warned His disciples concerning these religious
   leaders...
   a. They were "blind leaders of the blind" - Mt 15:12-14
   b. The disciples were to beware of their doctrine - Mt 16:5-12

3. Jesus described their doctrine as "leaven" (yeast)...
   a. Used in the making of bread, leaven gradually spreads through
      the dough, making it rise
   b. Jesus used the figure of leaven to describe the spread of His
      kingdom - Mt 13:33
   c. But in Mt 16:6, He uses it to depict the pernicious doctrines of
      the Pharisees and Sadducees - Mt 16:11-12

[What were the doctrines of the Pharisees and Sadducees that Jesus
warned about?  Are there modern Pharisees and Sadducees that we should
beware of today?  To answer these questions, let's begin by taking a
look at...]

I. THE LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES

   A. THE PHARISEES IN JESUS' DAY...
      1. A religious and political group noted for its conservatism
         a. They were strict observers of the Law of Moses
         b. They also adopted "the traditions of the elders", 
            interpretations of the Law that had been handed down 
            - cf. Mk 7:1-5
      2. Jesus described them as "blind leaders of the blind" - Mt 15:
         12-14
         a. They made the commandments of God of no effect by their
            traditions - Mt 15:3-6
         b. They were hypocrites, teaching one thing and practicing
            another - Mt 15:7-8; 16:3; 23:1-4, 27-28; cf. Lk 12:1
         c. They did their works to be seen of men - Mt 23:5
         d. They loved the attention and special treatment by others 
            - Mt 23:6-7
         d. They wore religious titles - Mt 23:8-10
         e. They prevented others from finding the way to the kingdom
            of heaven - Mt 23:13
         f. They used their religion to make money and impress others
            - Mt 23:14
         g. They didn't make people better, they made them worse! - Mt23:15
         h. They made distinctions where God did not - Mt 23:16-22
         i. Though sticklers for some commandments, they ignored others
            - Mt 23:23-24
         j. They honored men of God who went before them, but were more
            like those who persecuted the people of God - Mt 23:29-31

   B. PHARISEES IN OUR DAY...
      1. Many people accuse those who stress the keeping of God's 
         commands as legalists, and therefore "Pharisees" today - but 
         consider:
         a. The words legalism, legalist, are not found in the 
            Scriptures - they are labels often used to defame those who
            seek to encourage the keeping of God's commands
         b. Jesus never faulted the Pharisees for strict adherence to
            the Law itself
            1) Only for making the commands of God of no effect by 
               their traditions!
            2) Only for leaving some commands of God undone while doing
               others!
         c. If calling for strict observance of God's commandments 
            makes one a legalist, then Jesus was a legalist!
            1) While the Law was in force, He expected it to be taught
               and observed down to its smallest detail - Mt 5:17-19
            2) He expected His disciples to surpass the Pharisees in
               their righteousness - Mt 5:20
            3) He called for His disciples to express their love for
               Him by keeping His commandments - Jn 14:15,21,23
            4) He promised His love and friendship to those who would
               keep His commandments - Jn 15:10,14
            5) He expected disciples from all nations to observe 
               whatever He commanded His apostles - Mt 28:19-20
         d. If calling for strict observance of God's commandments
            makes one a legalist, then the apostles were legalists!
            1) Paul stressed the keeping of commandments - 1Co 7:19;
               1Th 4:1-2
            2) John stressed the keeping of commandments - 1Jn 2:3-5;
               3:22-24; 5:2-3
      2. The true Pharisees today are those who:
         a. Teach and practice traditions of men, instead of the 
            commands of God
         b. Teach one thing, while practicing another
         c. Do things to be seen of men, wearing special garments and
            asking to be called by religious titles
         d. Do not truly show people the way to the kingdom of heaven
         e. Use religion to make money and impress others
         f. Make distinctions where God has made none
         g. Stress some commands, but neglect others as unnecessary

[Such are the Pharisees of today, who often condemn others as
"legalists" (as a way to deflect the charge that their lives and 
teachings are contrary to the commandments of our Lord).

Now let's take a look at...]

II. THE LEAVEN OF THE SADDUCEES

   A. THE SADDUCEES IN JESUS' DAY...
      1. A religious and political group noted for its liberalism
         a. Included many powerful members of the priesthood - Ac 5:17
         b. They insisted only the laws found in the Pentateuch (first
            five books of the OT) were binding
         c. They rejected "the traditions of the elders", 
            interpretations of the Law that had been handed down
         d. They did not believe in the resurrection, spirits, angels 
            - Ac 23:8; Mt 22:23
         e. They did not believe in rewards or punishment after death,
            nor in heaven or hell
      2. Jesus charged them with two faults - Mt 22:23-29
         a. They did not know the Scriptures
            1) Even those scriptures they held to be true!
            2) For Jesus used a statement in the Pentateuch to show
               their error - Mt 22:31-32; Exo 3:6
         b. They did not know the power of God
            1) Like many liberals, they were influenced by rationalism
            2) They assumed that if they could not conceive or 
               comprehend something, it could not be
            3) They failed to believe what Gabriel and Jesus both knew:
               that with God, nothing is impossible! - Lk 1:37; 
               Mt 19:26

   B. SADDUCEES IN OUR DAY...
      1. Those who take some portions of God's word, but reject the 
         rest; such as:
         a. Those who heed only the "red-letter" words of Jesus
         b. Those who will accept the words of Jesus, but not His 
            apostles
         c. Those who accept the words of His apostles, but hold that
            all of Jesus' teachings in the gospels are Old Covenant 
            teaching
         -- The apostles' words are just as authoritative (Jn 13:10;
            Ac 2:42; 1Co 14:37), and so were the words of Jesus 
            spoken during His earthly ministry (Mt 28:20; Ac 20:35;
            1Ti 5:18b; Lk 10:7)
      2. Those who accept human reason over divine revelation
         a. Many will not accept a Biblical doctrine unless it "makes 
            sense" to them
         b. A dangerous position to hold, since God has chosen to 
            confound the wise and arrogant with the foolishness of the
            gospel message - cf. 1Co 1:18-31
         c. Some doctrines revealed may contain elements beyond man's
            ability to fully comprehend (such as the mystery of 
            godliness:  God manifested in the flesh - 1Ti 3:16; or the
            nature of the Godhead itself)
         -- A child-like trust is more becoming of a Christian - cf. 
            Mt 18:3; Ps 131:1-3
      3. Those who rule out the power of God
         a. Who reject any doctrine, any promise, of the Scriptures if
            conceived as not being physically possible
         b. Such as the creation of the world, the virgin birth, the
            miracles of Jesus, the resurrection of the dead
         -- Once we accept the premise that with God all things are
            possible, we cannot reject Biblical testimony or doctrine
            just because it does not fit our preconceived ideas of what
            is possible

CONCLUSION

1. Is there a need to "Beware Of Leaven" today?
   a. Are there modern-day Pharisees and Sadducees?
   b. Are there doctrines that can permeate and spread through the 
      Lord's church like leaven?

2. The answer to such questions is a resounding "Yes!"
   a. Such doctrines abound in the denominational world around us
   b. Much error that makes its way into the church usually falls into
      one of two categories:
      1) Traditions of men proclaimed as doctrines (like the Pharisees)
      2) Doctrines of the Bible rejected as impossible (like the
         Sadducees)

And so the warning by Jesus is just as great today:

 "...beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." (Mt 16:11)
 

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" Blind Leaders Of The Blind (15:12-14) by Mark Copeland

                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                 Blind Leaders Of The Blind (15:12-14)

INTRODUCTION

1. Who can you trust regarding religious matters today?
   a. Many people trust their preacher, priest, or pastor
   b. They assume that "a man of God" must be trustworthy

2. Yet the Bible does not always speak highly of religious leaders...
   a. Paul warned about "savage wolves" not sparing the flock of God
      - Ac 20:29-30
   b. Peter wrote of "false teachers" bringing in destructive heresies
      - 2Pe 2:1-2
   -- Such men would knowingly destroy the people of God

3. Not all those who mislead do so knowingly...
   a. Jesus told His disciples about "blind leaders of the blind"
      - Mt 15:12-14
   b. Being "blind" themselves, they may not be aware of how they
      mislead others

4. The end result is still the same, however...
   a. Those misled still "fall into the ditch" and are destroyed -
      Mt15:14; Isa 9:16
   b. Whether led by a "false teacher", or by a "blind leader"

5. That we ourselves might not blindly follow a blind leader...
   a. What are some of the characteristics of a blind leader?
   b. How can we be sure not to be misled by a blind leader?
   -- These are the questions we hope to answer in this study

[While Peter had much to say about false teachers (cf. 2Pe 2), Jesus
had much to say about blind leaders...]

I. CHARACTERISTICS OF A BLIND LEADER

   A. HOLDING TO THE TRADITIONS OF MEN...
      1. This was the case of the Pharisees in Mt 15
      2. They were willing to put their traditions above God's word 
         - Mt 15:3,6,9
      3. Blind leaders today will do the same
         a. Teaching as doctrine their traditions
         b. Not knowing that what they teach comes from man, not God

   B. MAKING DISTINCTIONS WHERE GOD HAS MADE NONE...
      1. This was the case of the Pharisees in Mt 23, where they are
         called "blind" five times
      2. They made fine distinctions between the types of oaths one
         could swear - Mt 23:16-22
      3. Blind leaders will often do the same today
         a. Making fine distinctions so that one need not keep God's
            word
         b. Saying some commands of God are essential to salvation, and
            others not

   C. LEAVING COMMANDS OF GOD UNDONE...
      1. Again, the Pharisees were guilty of this, for which they were
         called "blind guides"
      2. They left undone the "weightier" matters of God's law - Mt 23:
         23-24
         a. They stressed tithing, but neglected justice, mercy, faith
         b. Thus they would strain out a gnat, but swallow a camel
      3. Blind leaders today often do the same, but in reverse...
         a. They are quick to stress the "weightier" matters, and leave
            what they consider the "lighter" things undone
         b. But Jesus said we should do both, leaving neither undone!

   D. FOCUSING ONLY ON THE OUTER MAN...
      1. The "blind Pharisee" worked only on the outside - Mt 23:25-28
         a. Concerned with keeping the traditions of ritual cleansing
         b. Willing to put up with extortion, self-indulgence,
            hypocrisy and lawlessness
      2. Today, blind leaders are happy with the appearance of 
         success...
         a. Big buildings, large crowds
         b. Accepting people into the church without challenging them
            to true repentance

   E. OTHER CHARACTERISTICS...
      1. From this passage (Mt 23) in which Jesus assails the 
         Pharisees, we glean some other characteristics of those who
         were blind leaders
      2. Summarizing these quickly...
         a. They say and do not, binding heavy burdens on others - Mt23:1-4
         b. They do their works to be seen of men - Mt 23:5
         c. They love the attention and special treatment by others 
            - Mt 23:6-7
         d. They wear religious titles, though Jesus condemned it - Mt23:8-10
         e. They fail to truly show the way to the kingdom of heaven 
            - Mt 23:13
         f. They use their religion to make money and impress others 
            - Mt 23:14
         g. They don't make people better, they make them worse! - Mt23:15
         h. They honor the men of God who went before them, but are
            more like those who persecuted the people of God - Mt 23:
            29-31

[Sadly, this sounds like many religious leaders today, especially some
on TV!  If we are not careful, we can easily be led astray by them.  
This leads to our next point...]

II. HOW NOT TO BE MISLED BY BLIND LEADERS

   A. LISTEN TO THEM CAREFULLY...
      1. We need to have the same attitude as the Bereans - Ac 17:11
         a. When Paul came to town, they "received the word with all
            readiness"
         b. This describes how they listened to Paul - paying close
            attention to the things he was teaching
      2. We must first give all teachers a fair and careful hearing
         a. Seek to understand exactly what they are saying
         b. It requires that we be good listeners
      -- Many are misled because they have never learned to listen
         carefully to what is being taught them! (How well do you
         listen?)

   B. SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES DAILY...
      1. This was another noble quality of the Bereans - Ac 17:11
         a. Having listened carefully, they then went home and compared
            what Paul said to the Scriptures
         b. They did not simply accept whatever Paul said
      2. Unfortunately, many today are Biblically illiterate...
         a. They do not follow along in their Bibles when someone is
            teaching or preaching
         b. They do not read their Bibles daily
      -- Failure to do these things leaves one in a blind condition,
         unable to discern what is the word of God, or some teaching
         and tradition of man!

CONCLUSION

1. What will be the end of blind leaders, and those who follow them?
   a. Like plants, they will be "uprooted" by the Heavenly Father - Mt 15:13
   b. Together they will both "fall into a ditch" - Mt 15:14
   c. Though very religious, thinking that they serve the Lord, Jesus
      will tell them:  "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who
      practice lawlessness!" - cf. Mt 7:21-23

2. Who are to blame, if people are misled by blind leaders?
   a. The blind leader will be held accountable, but not totally
   a. If people are blind, it is only because they have closed their
      own eyes - Mt 13:15

May the example of the Bereans remind us of what is necessary not to be
misled by blind leaders, and may we so see and hear that what Jesus
said will be true of us:

   "But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they
   hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous
   men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear
   what you hear, and did not hear it."  (Mt 13:16-17)
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

Jehoiachin, the Bible, and Archaeology by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=1406

Jehoiachin, the Bible, and Archaeology

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

For centuries, God had warned the sinful nation of Judah to turn from its wicked, idolatrous ways. Judah refused, and strayed farther from the true God. Due to Judah’s immoral, rebellious behavior, God sent His prophets to foretell the nation’s destruction and exile at the hands of the Babylonians. Just as God had predicted, the Babylonians crushed the forces of Judah and took them into exile.
The ruling king of Judah at the time of the Babylonian invasion was an 18-year-old young man named Jehoiachin. His brief reign of three months is chronicled in 2 Kings 24:12-15. The text states that he did evil in the sight of the Lord and that the Babylonian king (Nebuchadnezzar) came against the capital city of Jerusalem and besieged it. In response to this siege, the text states: “Then Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his servants, his princes, and his officers went out to the king of Babylon; and the king of Babylon, in the eighth year of his reign, took him prisoner” (2 Kings 24:12).
Jehoiachin’s miserable state of affairs lasted over thirty years, throughout the entire reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Yet, when Evil-Merodach became king of Babylon, he took pity on Jehoiachin and released him from prison. The biblical text mentions that the Babylonian king “spoke kindly” to Jehoiachin, and “gave him a more prominent seat than those of the kings who were with him in Babylon” (2 Kings 25:28). In addition to releasing him from prison, the Bible says that Evil-Merodach gave Jehoiachin a set amount of provisions: “And as for his provisions, there was a regular ration given him by the king, a portion for each day, all the days of his life” (2 Kings 25:30).
These rations given to Jehoiachin have become increasingly important in light of an interesting archaeological discovery. Several administrative documents have been found in ancient Babylon that record events and transactions that took place during the reign of Evil-Merodach. These documents were preserved on clay cuneiform tablets, of which many have been found broken into several pieces. Jehoiachin’s name, however, is clearly legible on the tablets. Not only is he mentioned, but documentation for an allotment of grain, oil, and foodstuffs also is also provided. Alfred J. Hoerth mentions the find in his book Archaeology and the Old Testament and includes a picture of the cuneiform tablet that mentions Jehoiachin (1998, pp. 378-379).
The significance of this find is not lost on the observant reader. The Bible mentions Jehoichin’s captivity and subsequent elevation and daily rations at the hand of Evil-Merodach. The secular record uncovered in the ruins of ancient Babylon verifies the facts to an exacting degree. Biblical accuracy is unparalleled by any ancient or modern book in existence. Only due to the superintending of a divine hand could a book as extensive, exhaustive, and historically infallible as the Bible have been produced.

REFERENCES

Hoerth, Alfred J. (1998), Archaeology and the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

God’s Ceramics Are More Than Pottery by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1234

God’s Ceramics Are More Than Pottery

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Scientists all over the world are constantly looking for better materials with which to build things. Companies need stronger metals, more flexible nylon, and tougher fabrics. This intense demand for better “building blocks” often makes it difficult for scientists to originate new ideas fast enough to keep pace. One approach that has greatly enhanced scientists’ ability to supply fresh, practical ideas has been to turn to nature and copy the structures found there. Copying design in nature has become so prevalent that the scientific community has named the field of study “biomimicry.” From the research done in this field, it has become obvious that nature’s Designer is possessed of far more creative ability than anything humanity has been able to produce.
Specific examples of excellent design in nature abound. In an article for Technology Review, Katherine Bourzac recently detailed one such example. In her article, titled “Ceramics That Won’t Shatter,” she mentioned the challenge that materials scientists face when working with ceramics. Ceramics can be an excellent construction material since they are hard and lightweight. One major drawback of using ceramics, however, is the fact that they fracture and break, much like a flower pot or dinner plate. Bourzac summarized this difficulty by saying that scientists are trying to find ceramics “that combine strength (a measure of resistance to deformation) with toughness (a measure of resistance to fracture)” (2008). Interestingly, researchers have discovered exactly what they are looking for in “the porous but resilient material called nacre that lines abalone shells.”
Bourzac explained the marvelous design of nacre, also known as mother-of-pearl. It is a combination of calcium carbonate, which breaks very easily, and special natural glue. Combined, these two substances are “3,000 times tougher than either constituent.” The efficiency of this composite material is amazing. Robert Ritchie, a scientist from the University of California who co-led the research and development of the new biomimetic ceramic, said: “When nature makes composites, the properties are better” (as quoted in Bourzac). The list of possible applications for the new ceramic is virtually endless. The new material could be used to make lightweight automobile frames, airplane hulls, bulletproof vests, and military vehicle armor.
Ritchie and his team are still working to perfect the new ceramic that is based on the natural mother-of-pearl structure. He noted that in nature, the ceramic has structures that are “smaller and closer together,” qualities that the team hopes to mimic in newer versions of their ceramic. The researchers are optimistically hopeful that they can come even closer to designing a ceramic that can be mass-produced, and that combines the strength and toughness of the natural material.
While the discovery of a new, efficient ceramic is interesting, it pales to insignificance in light of the necessary implication that should be drawn from such a discovery. If brilliant scientists have only recently discovered this technological wonder of the natural world, and they cannot mimic the structure as effectively as nature constructs it, then it must be admitted by the honest observer that nature’s Designer possesses superior mental abilities to those of the scientists. And yet, as clear and straightforward as this implication is, millions of people will utilize technology based on God’s original designs, but claim that random, chance processes of evolution should be given the credit.
In the Old Testament book of Job, the Bible records one of the most interesting verbal exchanges in all of human history (chapters 38-42). Job wanted an answer from God about why he was suffering. God spoke to Job with a series of questions that Job could not possibly answer. God asked where was Job when God hung the foundation of the world on nothing (38:4)? Could Job command the morning to occur or cause the dawn to break (38:12)? Could Job count the clouds (38:37) or cause the hawk to fly (39:26)? After God’s intense questioning, Job realized that he could not begin to answer God’s questions, much less possess the power to accomplish the things that are necessary for the Universe to continue to exist. Job responded to God by saying: “I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.... Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me which I did not know” (42:2-3, emp. added). We in the 21st century would do well to learn from Job’s wise response. The fact that we are just now scratching the surface of the technology found in a “simple” abalone shell should force us to humble ourselves and worship nature’s divine Designer.

REFERENCE

Bourzac, Katherine (2008), “Ceramics That Won’t Shatter,” Technology Review, [On-line], URL: http://www.technologyreview.com/energy/21767/?nlid=1561&a=f.

Elders, Deacons, Timothy, and Wine by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1208

Elders, Deacons, Timothy, and Wine

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Paul’s instructions pertaining to the qualifications of elders and deacons have created misunderstanding regarding the use of alcoholic beverages. Elders are not to be “given to wine” (1 Timothy 3:3), while deacons are not to be “given to much wine” (1 Timothy 3:8). Translations further obscure the matter by their variety of terminology. The ASV has “no brawler” (vs. 3) and “not given to much wine” (vs. 8). The NIV has “not given to much wine” (vs. 3) and “not indulging in much wine” (vs. 8). The NASB has “not addicted to wine” (vs. 3) and “not addicted to much wine” (vs. 8). So the question is: does 1 Timothy 3:8 sanction moderate alcohol use?
The phrase in verse three consists of two Greek words (me paroinos) and, literally translated, means “not beside, by, or at wine” (Vine, 1966, p. 146; Robertson, 1934, p. 613). The phrase is enjoining abstinence, and perhaps even the act of situating oneself in the presence of people and places where the consumption of alcoholic beverages is occurring. The ASV translated the expression “brawler” to emphasize the violent behavior that proceeds from the use of alcohol. Calling for elders to be abstinent is consistent with other terms used in the same listing: nephalion (1 Timothy 3:2)—“free from intoxicants” and “abstinent in respect to wine” (Perschbacher, 1990, p. 284), and sophrona (Titus 1:8)—“of a sound mind, temperate” (Perschbacher, p. 400), “soberminded” (Moulton and Milligan, 1930, p. 622), “self-controlled” (Arndt and Gingrich, 1957, p. 810). Elders must refrain from the use of intoxicants, and they must not associate with places and people who do use them.
In verse eight, the four words used to qualify deacons on this point (me oino pollo prosechontas) are literally translated “not wine much occupied with” (cf. Perschbacher, p. 352; Spain, 1970, p. 64). Does the use of the word “much” mean that deacons may imbibe a moderate amount of wine? At least three alternative interpretations are possible.
First, when Solomon said, “Do not be overly wicked” (Ecclesiastes 7:17—NKJV [“overwicked”—NIV; “overmuch wicked”—ASV]), did he mean to imply that a person can, with God’s approval, be moderately wicked? When Peter noted that pagans do not understand why Christians do not engage in the “same excess of riot” (1 Peter 4:4), did he mean moderate rioting was appropriate? In other words, language can forthrightly condemn an excessive indulgence or great amount of an action without implying that the action is permissible in a lesser amount or to a lesser degree. One cannot assume that what is unlawful in excess is lawful in smaller amounts. We can refer to a person’s frequent involvement in a certain activity (e.g., adultery) without intending to leave the impression that a more moderate participation in the action would be proper. Albert Barnes addressed this point succinctly:
It is not affirmed that it would be proper for the deacon, any more than the bishop, to indulge in the use of wine in small quantities, but it is affirmed that a man who is much given to the use of wine ought not, on any consideration, to be a deacon (1977, p. 148).
The word in verse eight translated “given to” (KJV, NKJV, ASV), or “indulging in” (NIV), or “addicted to” (RSV), is prosecho. It is used elsewhere in 1 Timothy (1:4) and in Titus (1:14) to refer to those who “give heed to” (KJV), or “occupy themselves with” (RSV), or “pay attention to” (NASB) Jewish myths. Who would draw the conclusion that Paul intended to encourage Christians to give some attention to Jewish myths, just not too much attention?
Consequently, Paul was spotlighting an individual who is known for drinking freely of alcoholic beverages. He was saying that no such person should be put into the eldership. A parallel would be to make an observation about a person who carouses and parties every night—“do not put such a man into the eldership!” But the speaker hardly would mean that one who parties less frequently, say on weekends only, would be acceptable. Paul no more intended to suggest that leaders in the church who use small amounts of alcohol are suited to their role than Mosaic law would have permitted priests to do so (Leviticus 10:9). Barnes commented: “The way in which the apostle mentions the subject here would lead us fairly to suppose that he did not mean to commend its use in any sense” (1977, p. 144).
A second possibility is that the terminology that Paul used was a loose form of speech (Bacchiocchi, 1989, p. 250). Both Greek and Hebrew manifest such tendencies. For example, “three days and three nights” was a loose form of speech used in antiquity to refer to two days and a portion of a third (Bullinger, 1898, pp. 845-847; Robertson, 1922, pp. 289-291). Later in the same letter, Paul instructed Timothy to “use a little wine” for his stomach and infirmities (5:23). It is not a foregone conclusion that the “wine” Paul commended to Timothy was inebriating, since evidence from antiquity exists to suggest that he was referring to the addition of grape juice to Timothy’s drinking water for medicinal purposes (see Lees, 1870, p. 374). Even if, however, Paul meant for Timothy to add fermented (i.e., intoxicating) juice to his diet, he nevertheless implied: (1) that Timothy had been abstinent up to that point; (2) that the quantity he was now to add to his diet was to be “a little”; (3) that the juice was to be diluted with water; (4) that its use was strictly medicinal in nature—not social, casual, or recreational; and (5) that it took the directive of an apostle for Timothy to introduce its use into his life and body. [Incidentally, one must not automatically assume that it was the wine that possessed medicinal properties. The wine may have simply been the antiseptic means to purify the polluted water that Timothy had been drinking by killing germs and bacterial organisms, thereby reducing their ill effect on Timothy’s fragile stomach—in which case, Paul was not commending wine; he was commending a method for cleansing contaminated water]. If Paul sanctioned the use of alcohol only on the qualifications that it was in small quantities, and that it was for medicinal purposes, why would he then turn right around and sanction deacons drinking alcohol in larger amounts—avoiding only excess?
The inconsistency of this viewpoint becomes exceedingly apparent when one compares Paul’s instructions to different Christians:
Elders (1 Timothy 3:2-3)—abstain (nephalios); don’t even be near it (me paroinon)
Deacons (1 Timothy 3:8)—drink moderately (me oino pollo)
Wives (1 Timothy 3:11)—abstain (nephalious)
Aged men (Titus 2:2)—abstain (nephalious)
Aged women (Titus 2:3)—drink moderately (me oino pollo)
In view of these inconsistencies, “much wine” must be a loose form of speech intended to express complete restraint in the use of wine.
A third possible interpretation of this verse concerns the meaning of the term “wine.” Unlike the English word (which always connotes an alcoholic beverage), the Greek word oinos is a generic term that includes all forms of the grape (cf. Lees, 1870, pp. 431ff.). The term oinos was used by the Greeks to refer to unfermented grape juice every bit as much as fermented juice. Consequently, the interpreter must examine the biblical context in order to determine whether fermented or unfermented liquid is intended. In light of this realization, some have suggested that Paul instructed the elders to refrain completely from alcoholic beverages, while deacons, on the other hand, were being instructed to engage in a moderate use of nonalcoholic grape juice. At least three lines of argumentation are evident for this interpretation.
First, in the Old Testament, the generic Hebrew term that is equivalent to oinos is yayin. Some passages praise the ingestion of yayin (Song of Solomon 5:1; Psalm 104:15; Ecclesiastes 9:7), while others condemn it (Proverbs 20:1; 31:4). The only plausible explanation is that the former is a reference to grape juice, while the latter is a reference to grape juice that has been transformed into an alcoholic beverage.
Second, only in Timothy and Titus is the word “much” used—as if the secret to pleasing God lies in the quantity of liquid ingested. If fermented juice were intended, the same distinction surely would have been made in the Old Testament. No such distinction is made. But if nonalcoholic grape juice is intended in Timothy and Titus, the intent of the qualification shifts from the level of intoxication to the matter of liquid gluttony. In that case, Paul intended to require moderation in the intake of nonalcoholic liquids.
Third, biblical warnings against the excessive intake of food and liquid are legion (e.g., Deuteronomy 21:20; Proverbs 23:20; 1 Corinthians 11:21-22; Titus 1:12). Solomon even applied the principle to honey (Proverbs 25:27). To understand Paul to be enjoining moderate use of a good gift from God (i.e., grape juice) is consistent with the context that is riddled with references to self-control, temperance, and moderation (e.g., 1 Timothy 3:2,11). It also fits the social conditions extant in Greco-Roman culture in which intemperance was rampant.
In addition to the above considerations, one must keep in mind that even if it could be proved that God sanctioned moderate drinking of alcoholic beverages in the Bible, it does not follow that God sanctions drinking modern “wine,” since the wine referred to in the Bible was unlike the wine of our day. Wine in antiquity was far less potent. One would have had to ingest large quantities in order to receive even minimal alcoholic content. The ancients typically had to add drugs to their drinks to increase their intoxicating potency. In light of all these considerations, the view that maintains that deacons may drink moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages is precarious, dangerous, and biblically unsubstantiated.

REFERENCES

Arndt, William and F.W. Gingrich (1957), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).
Bacchiocchi, Samuele (1989), Wine in the Bible (Berrien Springs, MI: Biblical Perspectives).
Barnes, Albert (1977 reprint), Notes on the New Testament: Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus and Philemon (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Bullinger, E.W. (1898), Figures of Speech Used in the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1968 reprint).
Lees, Frederic R. (1870), The Temperance Bible-Commentary (New York: Weed, Parsons, and Co.).
Moulton, James and George Milligan (1930), Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament Illustrated from the Papyri and Other Non-literary Sources (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982 reprint).
Perschbacher, Wesley J., ed. (1990), The New Analytical Greek Lexicon (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).
Robertson, A.T. (1922), A Harmony of the Gospels (New York: Harper and Row).
Robertson, A.T. (1934), A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (Nashville, TN: Broadman).
Spain, Carl (1970), The Letters of Paul to Timothy and Titus (Austin, TX: Sweet).
Vine, W.E. (1966 reprint), An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell).

Genealogies and the Virgin Birth of Christ by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=862

Genealogies and the Virgin Birth of Christ

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Rarely (if ever) have I read the words “genealogy” and “exciting” in the same sentence. It seems most people consider the genealogies of Christ as some of the Bible’s dullest reading. They frequently are described as boring, dry, and monotonous—full of “begets” that many would just as soon “forget.” In reality, however, exciting pearls of truth often are overlooked. One of these truths that escapes the reader who simply skims (or skips) the genealogies is the virgin birth of Christ.
In Matthew’s genealogy of Christ, it may be that one fails to see how the verb “begot” is used 39 times between Abraham and Joseph (verses 2-16a). And yet, instead of claiming that Joseph begot Jesus, Matthew wrote: “…and Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ” (1:16, emp. added). This wording stands in stark contrast to the format in the preceding verses (“Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, etc.”). Joseph did not beget Jesus; rather, he is referred to as “the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus.” The Holy Spirit was emphasizing the fact that Jesus was not conceived as the result of anything Joseph did. Rather, Mary “was found with child of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18, emp. added). An angel even informed Joseph that he was not the father of Jesus, rather that which was conceived [literally, “begotten”] in her was “of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:20).
Matthew gave us a second “hint” of the virgin birth of Christ when he wrote: “…and Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus who is called Christ” (1:16, emp. added). One might assume that the “whom” in this verse refers to Joseph as Jesus’ father. Others may think it is talking about both Joseph and Mary as His parents. An English teacher likely would point out that we cannot tell to whom the word “whom” belongs in this verse, because when the English word “whom” is used in a sentence it can refer to either men or women; or, it can refer to both. Though usually we can tell the meaning by the context in which the word is found, such is not the case in Matthew 1:16. Our English translations simply do not reveal the marvelous truth concealed in this verse. In order to unveil this “Gospel gem,” one must consult the language in which the New Testament was written originally—Greek. The English phrase “of whom was born Jesus” is translated from the Greek relative feminine pronoun (hes). In this verse, the feminine gender can refer only to Mary. Biblical genealogies regularly emphasize the fathers who sire a child, but here Matthew indicates that Jesus received His humanity only from His mother. Thus, Joseph is excluded from any involvement in the birth of Christ, the Son of God.
While Matthew’s genealogy clearly establishes Christ as the legal heir to the throne by tracing His ancestry down through the royal line of the kings of Israel all the way to Joseph the carpenter (and to Jesus), he still emphasizes Mary as the biological parent “of whom” Jesus was born. What accuracy! What precision! What a wonderful truth found within a genealogy so often overlooked.

Combating Evolution Education by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=1616

Combating Evolution Education

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

There is no doubt that for several years, there has been a battle being waged for the minds of the young people of this nation with regard to the matter of origins. Will they accept the atheistic General Theory of Evolution or believe in the Creation account as detailed in Genesis chapter one? Or will they compromise between the two? Or just try to ignore the debate and stick their head in the sand? The side that each person chooses to take in the debate could have long-lasting ramifications for them and the next generation. The atheistic choice will send them to hell, and affect the lives of all whom they influence along the way. The approach of compromise leads to an interpretation of the Bible which pits it against itself and has the potential of watering down a person’s view of a host of biblical doctrines—all ultimately boiling down to a lack of faith in “God said.” The apathetic, ostrich-like approach boils down to a person sitting on the sideline while the forces of Satan flood society uncontested. And yet Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32).
In light of ongoing debate over teaching the General Theory of Evolution in various public school systems, which we have been documenting for several years (e.g., Warren, 2011; Brooks, 2011; Deweese and Brooks, 2009), some have rightly asked what Christians can do to combat the forces of pseudoscience in this critical area. This question has compelled us to give a few suggestions to that end.
  1. Encourage individuals in your church/community to run for office where they can make a difference. Sheila Butt, mother of our very own Kyle Butt, was elected to office in Tennessee where she serves as a state representative. She is, therefore, in a position of potentially significant influence in this debate.
  2. Flood decision makers with letters from people all over your area expressing your opinions on the matter. Contact other churches to assist in a concerted effort to that end. Perhaps write several versions of letters that can be used in bulk so that people will be more likely to send them in. The more letters that lawmakers receive every day, the more likely they will feel pressure to hear our voices. Try sending DVDs of our Truth Be Told and Silencing of God seminars and related books (see http://www.apologeticspress.org/store/Product.aspx?pid=101; http://www.apologeticspress.org/store/Product.aspx?pid=97; http://www.apologeticspress.org/store/Product.aspx?pid=421; http://www.apologeticspress.org/store/Product.aspx?pid=49; http://www.apologeticspress.org/store/Product.aspx?pid=51). Books, especially, are hard for any of us to throw away.
  3. Get the local media involved. We all know how much the politicians are affected by the media.
  4. Host Creation/Evolution, as well as Silencing of God seminars all over the state and publicize them heavily (see http://apologeticspress.org/pdfs/Seminar_flyers/APSeminarList4Speakers.pdf). I recently spoke in South Carolina, where the hosting congregation used highway billboards to advertise the seminar. In fact, they spent several thousand dollars in advertising the event, including saturating their area with postcards and radio spots about the seminar. If local churches come together to host a seminar, more money could be pooled for advertising.
  5. Engage in consistent, fervent prayer. Host weekly Tuesday night or Thursday night prayer gatherings with Christians for the sole purpose of fighting the evolutionists’ agenda in the school system. Be sure to remember the coming elections in your prayers as well. God can easily raise up individuals who can make a significant difference in this fight if we have the zeal to plead with Him for assistance.
  6. Donate Creation/Evolution materials to local community and school libraries. If the next generation is taught the truth, the future will look much more promising. Hitler certainly championed effectiveness of indoctrinating youth with his agenda and such is the position of the homosexual community today, as well.
  7. Make sure that Christian public school teachers are equipped with materials to hand out to students who ask for information on the controversy (see http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=1314).
  8. More prayer.
  9. Encourage everyone at your church (and others) not only to have a subscription to Christian evidences journals, such as our very own Reason and Revelation (for adults) and Discovery (for children), but to order subscriptions for friends, neighbors, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. who could also benefit from the information. Some elderships have even chosen to purchase subscriptions to Discovery magazine for every young family in their congregation.
  10. Devote at least one quarter of Bible classes each year specifically on preparation to defend the truth (i.e., about the existence of God, the inspiration of the Bible, the importance of God in government and society, Creation/Evolution, etc.). The focus would be, not simply learning the material for themselves, but to prepare them to teach it to others. Perhaps even pair members of the congregation during the Bible class and have one person play the atheist and the other play the Christian to see if members are prepared to teach the truth at a moment’s notice—especially when caught without notes (cf., 1 Peter 3:15). Our Christian Evidences and Creation/Science bookmark reference cards would be beneficial for this option (see http://www.apologeticspress.org/store/Product.aspx?pid=281; http://www.apologeticspress.org/store/Product.aspx?pid=282).
  11. Encourage parents to consider homeschooling their children or sending them them to private Christian schools. Thousands of parents throughout the country have pulled their kids out of the public school system in order to ensure that their children are being trained in the way they should go—in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, rather than of monkeys. Some families simply cannot take advantage of this possibility (especially many single parent families). And some areas of the nation are handling the subject in an appropriate way, thus eliminating the necessity of this option. However, many areas have been so infiltrated by Satan’s forces that children are being adversely affected in ways that parents do not know and have not anticipated. Yet it is still their responsibility to train and nurture their children. All parents will be held accountable for rearing their children. It is not the duty of their teachers.
  12. Even more prayer. Encourage your church to set their phones to remind themselves to pray every two hours of every day.
  13. Encourage individuals and churches as possible to support A.P. financially on a monthly/yearly basis. Combating atheism, evolution, humanism, etc. is what we do, but as a non-profit organization that relies heavily on donations, we simply cannot do it without financial support. In spite of the state of the economy, our Web page had over 8.1 million hits last year from people in more than 180 countries. It is undeniable that your financial support will directly affect the lives of millions!
Please do not hesitate to let us know if you have other ideas that would be effective in combatting atheism and macroevolution (contact our offices at 334-272-8558 or e-mail us at mail@apologeticspress.org). As always, thank you for your interest in and support of Apologetics Press.

REFERENCES

Brooks, Will (2011), “Does Evolution Belong in Biomedical Curricula?” Reason & Revelation, 31[3]:18-20, March, Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=3796.
Deweese, Joe and Will Brooks (2009), “A Response to the 21st Century Science Coalition Standards of Science Education,” Reason & Revelation, 29[6]:41-47, February, Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=610.
Warren, Jim (2011), “Hart Schools Chief: Evolution is Viewed as Fact in State Test,” Kentucky.Com: State, http://www.kentucky.com/2011/12/12/1992514/kentuckys-plan-for-biology-tests.html.

General Pace and General Washington by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=790

General Pace and General Washington

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

General Peter Pace, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—America’s top military figure—recently evoked a storm of angry protests from gay-rights advocates and liberal politicians (Jelinek, 2007). The reason? He made the following statement: “I believe homosexual acts between two individuals are immoral and that we should not condone immoral acts. I do not believe the United States is well served by a policy that says it is okay to be immoral in any way” (Madhani, 2007).
General Pace is in good company. After all, when serving as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, the Father of our country was apprised of a homosexual in the army. The response of General Washington was immediate and decisive. He issued “General Orders” from Army Headquarters at Valley Forge on Saturday, March 14, 1778:
Courtesy Library of Congress: www.loc.gov
At a General Court Martial whereof Colo. Tupper was President (10th March 1778) Lieutt. Enslin of Colo. Malcom’s Regiment tried for attempting to commit sodomy, with John Monhort a soldier; Secondly, For Perjury in swearing to false Accounts, found guilty of the charges exhibited against him, being breaches of 5th. Article 18th. Section of the Articles of War and do sentence him to be dismiss’d the service with Infamy. His Excellency the Commander in Chief approves the sentence and with Abhorrence and Detestation of such Infamous Crimes orders Lieutt. Enslin to be drummed out of Camp tomorrow morning by all the Drummers and Fifers in the Army never to return; The Drummers and Fifers to attend on the Grand Parade at Guard mounting for that Purpose (“George...,” underline in orig., emp. added).
Observe that the Father of our country viewed “sodomy” (the 18th century word for homosexual relations) “with Abhorrence and Detestation of such Infamous Crimes.” All General Pace said was that “we should not condone immoral acts”—and many want to hang him!
The nation continues its headlong plunge into the abyss of perversity, immorality, and degradation. The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy implemented under the Clinton presidency would be viewed by the Founders of the Republic as a mockery of morality, decency, and military decorum. The Commander-in-Chief of America’s first military would be aghast if he were here today to witness the moral decline that has infiltrated the military and the nation. He was simply reflecting the nation’s commitment to the Christian moral framework on which the Republic was based. He embraced God’s own assessment of the sin of homosexuality: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites...will inherit the kingdom of God?” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

REFERENCES

“George Washington, March 14, 1778, General Orders” (1778), The George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799, from ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/mgw:@field(DOCID+@lit(gw110081)).
Jelinek, Pauline (2007), “No Apology From Gen. Pace for Gay Stance,” Fox News, March 14, [On-line], URL: http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2007Mar14/0,4670,MilitaryGays,00.html.
Madhani, Aamer (2007), “Top General Calls Homosexuality ‘Immoral’,” Chicago Tribune, March 12, [On-line], URL: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-070312pace,1,4954133.story? ctrack=1&cset=true.

What Did Saul’s Companions See and Hear on the Road to Damascus? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=997&b=Acts

What Did Saul’s Companions See and Hear on the Road to Damascus?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

As Saul journeyed toward Damascus in hopes of persecuting more followers of Jesus Christ, “suddenly a light shone around him from heaven” (Acts 9:3). Saul “fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ Then the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting’” (9:4-5). Interestingly, Luke, the penmen of Acts, records how those who journeyed with Saul, “stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no one” (9:7, emp. added). Critics of the Bible’s divine inspiration allege, however, that Saul contradicted Luke when he recounted these events in Jerusalem years later. As Saul (whose name by that time had been changed to Paul) gave his defense before the Jewish mob, he mentioned that “those who were with me indeed saw the lightbut they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me” (22:9, emp. added). Skeptics contend that Acts 9:7 and Acts 22:9 are contradictory. After all, how could Saul’s companions hear but not hear, and see but not see?
The fact is, whether skeptics want to admit it or not, people regularly (and honestly) talk of “seeing” and “not seeing,” as well as “hearing” and “not hearing”—even in reference to the same things at the same time. The justifiable difference, however, is in the sense in which the words are used. A man with rather poor vision and without glasses may not be able to “see anything.” But the same man with the same blurry vision may technically be able to “see something.” He can see light and darkness. He can see the blue sky. He can see fuzzy figures. He might even be able to read a document held close to his eyes. But could he make out a person’s face from 15 feet away? Could he effectively work as a night watchman? Could he safely drive a car? Certainly not with, say, 20/80 vision. Thus, in one sense the man can “see,” while in another sense “he’s blind.” Likewise, those accompanying Saul to Damascus “saw the light” (Acts 22:9), but they saw “no one” (9:7).
But what about Luke and Saul’s different details regarding what the men heard? Did they stand speechless, “hearing (akouo) a voice” (9:7) as Luke recorded, or did they “not hear (akouo) the voice of Him who spoke,” as Paul informed the Jerusalem mob in Acts 22:9? If it could be proven that the Bible writers never used words figuratively and/or in different senses, then skeptics would certainly have a valid criticism. But as we’ve already seen, and as could be pointed out throughout Scripture (e.g., two different uses of the word “day” in one verse in Genesis—1:5), the Bible writers (and those whom they quoted) often used words in a variety of ways—just as mankind has for millennia. A husband may “hear” everything his wife says, but really not “hear” anything she says. A distracted high school student can “hear” everything his algebra teacher has taught during a given class period. But how will he answer his mother that evening when she sees him struggling with simple algebra equations and asks, “Did you not hear anything your teacher said today?” In a strictly literal sense, he could say, “I heard every word my teach said.” However, in an appropriate, but figurative sense, he could say, “I didn’t hear anything she said.”
Interestingly, Jesus once spoke of those who, “seeing (blepo) they do not see (blepo), and hearing (akouo) they do not hear (akouo), nor do they understand (suniemi)” (Matthew 13:13). To whom was Jesus referring? Those individuals who could literally see and hear Him, but who did not understand Him—they did not see and hear Him in the deeper, more meaningful way that He desired. Of particular interest is the fact that Jesus used the Greek terms for seeing and hearing in different senses. If Jesus could use these words differently, pray tell, what would keep Luke and Saul from using them thusly?
Regarding Acts 9:7 and 22:9, Saul’s men obviously heard something (a sound of some kind; see Robertson, 1930, pp. 117-118), yet they did not hear (i.e., understand) the voice of the Lord as did Saul. What fair and just jury could not easily come to this same conclusion were Luke and Saul put on trial for their differences in the accounts of Jesus appearing to Saul and his men on the road to Damascus?

REFERENCE

Robertson, A.T. (1930), Word Pictures in the New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman).

Jesus called them sons of thunder by Roy Davison


http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/024-sonsofthunder.html


Jesus called them sons of thunder
What would you expect from two brothers who were called ‘sons of thunder’?

“Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons: Simon, to whom He gave the name Peter; James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James, to whom He gave the name Boanerges, that is, ‘Sons of Thunder’” (Mark 3:14-17).

The following incident might indicate why Jesus called them sons of thunder. “When the days were approaching for His ascension, He was determined to go to Jerusalem; and He sent messengers on ahead of Him, and they went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make arrangements for Him. But they did not receive Him, because He was traveling toward Jerusalem. When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, ‘Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’ But He turned and rebuked them, and said, ‘You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.’ And they went on to another village” (Luke 9:51-56 NASV).

These sons of thunder, James and John, wanted to call down fire from heaven to destroy those people who had refused hospitality to Jesus.

Through the ages many have destroyed others in the name of religion. During the crusades people who falsely claimed to be Christians murdered thousands of Moslems. In the middle ages the Catholic church murdered Protestants who dared to reject the authority of the Pope. Some Protestants murdered other Protestants they considered to be heretics.

Much grief is caused in the world today by this same godless attitude. Deceived, warped souls blow themselves up along with innocent men, women and children in the name of their religion.

Followers of Christ are of a different spirit, “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” Jesus rebuked James and John. They still had much to learn.

They also showed that they did not yet understand the spirit of the Messianic reign when they wanted to rule at the right and left hand of Jesus.

“Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Him, saying, ‘Teacher, we want You to do for us whatever we ask.’ And He said to them, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ They said to Him, ‘Grant us that we may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on Your left, in Your glory.’ But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?’ They said to Him, ‘We are able.’ So Jesus said to them, ‘You will indeed drink the cup that I drink, and with the baptism I am baptized with you will be baptized; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared.’ And when the ten heard it, they began to be greatly displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, ‘You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many’” (Mark 10:35-45).

What do we know about James and John? With their father, Zebedee, they were fishermen who worked together with Peter and Andrew (Matthew 4:18, 21; Luke 5:10). Their mother, Salome, was a witness of the crucifixion and visited the tomb (Mark 15:40; Matthew 27:56; Mark 16:1).

James and John, along with Peter, were with Jesus when He raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead (Mark 5:37) and also when He was transfigured on the mountain (Mark 9:2). Peter, James, John and Andrew asked Jesus privately for clarification about the destruction of the temple (Mark 13:3, 4). In Gethsemane Jesus took Peter, James and John with him when He went farther into the garden to pray (Mark 14:32, 33). After Jesus was arrested, John went with Him into the courtyard of the high priest (John 18:15).

No details are known about the activities of James in the early church, but he must have served prominently since he was the first martyr among the apostles. He was killed with the sword by Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12:2). This was probably about ten years after the church was established.

John and Peter are often mentioned together in the early days of the church (Acts 3:1, 3, 4, 11; 4:13, 19; 8:14; Galatians 2:9).

John lived to an old age. According to tradition he was the only apostle who was not martyred. He served churches in Asia Minor (currently Turkey) and for a time was exiled to the island of Patmos (Revelation 1:9)

John penned the Gospel of John, the three Letters of John and the Revelation, which are the later books of the New Testament. He wrote the most New Testament books other than Paul.

This ‘son of thunder’ who at one time wanted to call fire down from heaven to destroy people, is now known as the apostle of love because He emphasizes love in his writings. “For this is the message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another” (1 John 3:11). He calls himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 20:2; 21:7, 20) and he admonishes his fellow believers, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11).

Are we improving as followers of Christ? Are we becoming more like Him? Are we growing up in all things unto Him? (Ephesians 4:15). Are we growing up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ? (Ephesians 4:13). Are we farther along than we were a year ago?

Do we know what kind of spirit we have?

Through the influence of Christ, two sons of thunder learned to have a different spirit: a “spirit of faith” (2 Corinthians 4:13), “a spirit of gentleness” (Galatians 6:1), a “spirit of wisdom” (Ephesians 1:17), “a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4).

Following their example, let us learn to have “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16): a spirit of faith, gentleness, wisdom and love. Amen.

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 December 9, 10, 11 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading  December 9, 10, 11 (World English Bible)
Dec. 9
Daniel 1-4

Dan 1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Jerusalem, and besieged it.
Dan 1:2 The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God; and he carried them into the land of Shinar to the house of his god: and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
Dan 1:3 The king spoke to Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring in certain of the children of Israel, even of the seed royal and of the nobles;
Dan 1:4 youths in whom was no blemish, but well-favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and endowed with knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability to stand in the king's palace; and that he should teach them the learning and the language of the Chaldeans.
Dan 1:5 The king appointed for them a daily portion of the king's dainties, and of the wine which he drank, and that they should be nourished three years; that at its end they should stand before the king.
Dan 1:6 Now among these were, of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
Dan 1:7 The prince of the eunuchs gave names to them: to Daniel he gave the name of Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abednego.
Dan 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king's dainties, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.
Dan 1:9 Now God made Daniel to find kindness and compassion in the sight of the prince of the eunuchs.
Dan 1:10 The prince of the eunuchs said to Daniel, I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink: for why should he see your faces worse looking than the youths who are of your own age? so would you endanger my head with the king.
Dan 1:11 Then said Daniel to the steward whom the prince of the eunuchs had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah:
Dan 1:12 Prove your servants, I beg you, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink.
Dan 1:13 Then let our faces be looked on before you, and the face of the youths who eat of the king's dainties; and as you see, deal with your servants.
Dan 1:14 So he listened to them in this matter, and proved them ten days.
Dan 1:15 At the end of ten days their faces appeared fairer, and they were fatter in flesh, than all the youths who ate of the king's dainties.
Dan 1:16 So the steward took away their dainties, and the wine that they should drink, and gave them pulse.
Dan 1:17 Now as for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Dan 1:18 At the end of the days which the king had appointed for bringing them in, the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.
Dan 1:19 The king talked with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.
Dan 1:20 In every matter of wisdom and understanding, concerning which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters who were in all his realm.
Dan 1:21 Daniel continued even to the first year of king Cyrus.

Dan 2:1 In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams; and his spirit was troubled, and his sleep went from him.
Dan 2:2 Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the enchanters, and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king.
Dan 2:3 The king said to them, I have dreamed a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.
Dan 2:4 Then spoke the Chaldeans to the king in the Syrian language, O king, live forever: tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.
Dan 2:5 The king answered the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me: if you don't make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.
Dan 2:6 But if you show the dream and its interpretation, you shall receive of me gifts and rewards and great honor: therefore show me the dream and its interpretation.
Dan 2:7 They answered the second time and said, Let the king tell his servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.
Dan 2:8 The king answered, I know of a certainty that you would gain time, because you see the thing is gone from me.
Dan 2:9 But if you don't make known to me the dream, there is but one law for you; for you have prepared lying and corrupt words to speak before me, until the time be changed: therefore tell me the dream, and I shall know that you can show me its interpretation.
Dan 2:10 The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man on the earth who can show the king's matter, because no king, lord, or ruler, has asked such a thing of any magician, or enchanter, or Chaldean.
Dan 2:11 It is a rare thing that the king requires, and there is no other who can show it before the king, except the gods, whose dwelling is not with flesh.
Dan 2:12 For this cause the king was angry and very furious, and commanded to destroy all the wise men of Babylon.
Dan 2:13 So the decree went forth, and the wise men were to be slain; and they sought Daniel and his companions to be slain.
Dan 2:14 Then Daniel returned answer with counsel and prudence to Arioch the captain of the king's guard, who was gone forth to kill the wise men of Babylon;
Dan 2:15 he answered Arioch the king's captain, Why is the decree so urgent from the king? Then Arioch made the thing known to Daniel.
Dan 2:16 Daniel went in, and desired of the king that he would appoint him a time, and he would show the king the interpretation.
Dan 2:17 Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
Dan 2:18 that they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his companions should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
Dan 2:19 Then was the secret revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
Dan 2:20 Daniel answered, Blessed be the name of God forever and ever; for wisdom and might are his.
Dan 2:21 He changes the times and the seasons; he removes kings, and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to those who have understanding;
Dan 2:22 he reveals the deep and secret things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.
Dan 2:23 I thank you, and praise you, you God of my fathers, who have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we desired of you; for you have made known to us the king's matter.
Dan 2:24 Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and said thus to him: Don't destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show to the king the interpretation.
Dan 2:25 Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus to him, I have found a man of the children of the captivity of Judah, who will make known to the king the interpretation.
Dan 2:26 The king answered Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen, and its interpretation?
Dan 2:27 Daniel answered before the king, and said, The secret which the king has demanded can neither wise men, enchanters, magicians, nor soothsayers, show to the king;
Dan 2:28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has made known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head on your bed, are these:
Dan 2:29 as for you, O king, your thoughts came into your mind on your bed, what should happen hereafter; and he who reveals secrets has made known to you what shall happen.
Dan 2:30 But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but to the intent that the interpretation may be made known to the king, and that you may know the thoughts of your heart.
Dan 2:31 You, O king, saw, and behold, a great image. This image, which was mighty, and whose brightness was excellent, stood before you; and its aspect was awesome.
Dan 2:32 As for this image, its head was of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of brass,
Dan 2:33 its legs of iron, its feet part of iron, and part of clay.
Dan 2:34 You saw until a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet that were of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.
Dan 2:35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken in pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that no place was found for them: and the stone that struck the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.
Dan 2:36 This is the dream; and we will tell its interpretation before the king.
Dan 2:37 You, O king, are king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the strength, and the glory;
Dan 2:38 and wherever the children of men dwell, the animals of the field and the birds of the sky has he given into your hand, and has made you to rule over them all: you are the head of gold.
Dan 2:39 After you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you; and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
Dan 2:40 The fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron, because iron breaks in pieces and subdues all things; and as iron that crushes all these, shall it break in pieces and crush.
Dan 2:41 Whereas you saw the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, because you saw the iron mixed with miry clay.
Dan 2:42 As the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.
Dan 2:43 Whereas you saw the iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men; but they shall not cling to one another, even as iron does not mingle with clay.
Dan 2:44 In the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed, nor shall its sovereignty be left to another people; but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.
Dan 2:45 Because you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God has made known to the king what shall happen hereafter: and the dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.
Dan 2:46 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face, and worshiped Daniel, and commanded that they should offer an offering and sweet odors to him.
Dan 2:47 The king answered to Daniel, and said, Of a truth your God is the God of gods, and the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing you have been able to reveal this secret.
Dan 2:48 Then the king made Daniel great, and gave him many great gifts, and made him to rule over the whole province of Babylon, and to be chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon.
Dan 2:49 Daniel requested of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, over the affairs of the province of Babylon: but Daniel was in the gate of the king.

Dan 3:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits, and its breadth six cubits: he set it up in the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon.
Dan 3:2 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king sent to gather together the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, to come to the dedication of the image which Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
Dan 3:3 Then the satraps, the deputies, and the governors, the judges, the treasurers, the counselors, the sheriffs, and all the rulers of the provinces, were gathered together to the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up; and they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
Dan 3:4 Then the herald cried aloud, To you it is commanded, peoples, nations, and languages,
Dan 3:5 that whenever you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music, you fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up;
Dan 3:6 and whoever doesn't fall down and worship shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:7 Therefore at that time, when all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music, all the peoples, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshiped the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king had set up.
Dan 3:8 Therefore at that time certain Chaldeans came near, and brought accusation against the Jews.
Dan 3:9 They answered Nebuchadnezzar the king, O king, live for ever.
Dan 3:10 You, O king, have made a decree, that every man that shall hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music, shall fall down and worship the golden image;
Dan 3:11 and whoever doesn't fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:12 There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; these men, O king, have not regarded you: they don't serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.
Dan 3:13 Then Nebuchadnezzar in his rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Then they brought these men before the king.
Dan 3:14 Nebuchadnezzar answered them, Is it on purpose, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you don't serve my god, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?
Dan 3:15 Now if you are ready whenever you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe, and all kinds of music to fall down and worship the image which I have made, well: but if you don't worship, you shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that god that shall deliver you out of my hands?
Dan 3:16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king, Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter.
Dan 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
Dan 3:18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which you have set up.
Dan 3:19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spoke, and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.
Dan 3:20 He commanded certain mighty men who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:21 Then these men were bound in their pants, their tunics, and their mantles, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:22 Therefore because the king's commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
Dan 3:23 These three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Dan 3:24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste: he spoke and said to his counselors, Didn't we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered the king, True, O king.
Dan 3:25 He answered, Look, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the aspect of the fourth is like a son of the gods.
Dan 3:26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace: he spoke and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the Most High God, come forth, and come here. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came forth out of the midst of the fire.
Dan 3:27 The satraps, the deputies, and the governors, and the king's counselors, being gathered together, saw these men, that the fire had no power on their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed, neither were their pants changed, nor had the smell of fire passed on them.
Dan 3:28 Nebuchadnezzar spoke and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel, and delivered his servants who trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and have yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
Dan 3:29 Therefore I make a decree, that every people, nation, and language, which speak anything evil against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill; because there is no other god who is able to deliver after this sort.
Dan 3:30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.

Dan 4:1 Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all the peoples, nations, and languages, who dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you.
Dan 4:2 It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked toward me.
Dan 4:3 How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation.
Dan 4:4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace.
Dan 4:5 I saw a dream which made me afraid; and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me.
Dan 4:6 Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream.
Dan 4:7 Then came in the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers; and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known to me its interpretation.
Dan 4:8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and I told the dream before him, saying,
Dan 4:9 Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no secret troubles you, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation.
Dan 4:10 Thus were the visions of my head on my bed: I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth; and its height was great.
Dan 4:11 The tree grew, and was strong, and its height reached to the sky, and its sight to the end of all the earth.
Dan 4:12 The leaves of it were beautiful, and its fruit much, and in it was food for all: the animals of the field had shadow under it, and the birds of the sky lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it.
Dan 4:13 I saw in the visions of my head on my bed, and behold, a watcher and a holy one came down from the sky.
Dan 4:14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Cut down the tree, and cut off its branches, shake off its leaves, and scatter its fruit: let the animals get away from under it, and the fowls from its branches.
Dan 4:15 Nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of the sky: and let his portion be with the animals in the grass of the earth:
Dan 4:16 let his heart be changed from man's, and let an animal's heart be given to him; and let seven times pass over him.
Dan 4:17 The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones; to the intent that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will, and sets up over it the lowest of men.
Dan 4:18 This dream I, king Nebuchadnezzar, have seen; and you, Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in you.
Dan 4:19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was stricken mute for a while, and his thoughts troubled him. The king answered, Belteshazzar, don't let the dream, or the interpretation, trouble you. Belteshazzar answered, My lord, the dream be to those who hate you, and its interpretation to your adversaries.
Dan 4:20 The tree that you saw, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached to the sky, and its sight to all the earth;
Dan 4:21 whose leaves were beautiful, and its fruit much, and in it was food for all; under which the animals of the field lived, and on whose branches the birds of the sky had their habitation:
Dan 4:22 it is you, O king, that are grown and become strong; for your greatness is grown, and reaches to the sky, and your dominion to the end of the earth.
Dan 4:23 Whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from the sky, and saying, Cut down the tree, and destroy it; nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field, and let it be wet with the dew of the sky: and let his portion be with the animals of the field, until seven times pass over him;
Dan 4:24 this is the interpretation, O king, and it is the decree of the Most High, which is come on my lord the king:
Dan 4:25 that you shall be driven from men, and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field, and you shall be made to eat grass as oxen, and shall be wet with the dew of the sky, and seven times shall pass over you; until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will.
Dan 4:26 Whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree; your kingdom shall be sure to you, after that you shall have known that the heavens do rule.
Dan 4:27 Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you, and break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if there may be a lengthening of your tranquility.
Dan 4:28 All this came on the king Nebuchadnezzar.
Dan 4:29 At the end of twelve months he was walking in the royal palace of Babylon.
Dan 4:30 The king spoke and said, Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the royal dwelling place, by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?
Dan 4:31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from the sky, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom is departed from you:
Dan 4:32 and you shall be driven from men; and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field; you shall be made to eat grass as oxen; and seven times shall pass over you; until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will.
Dan 4:33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled on Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and ate grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of the sky, until his hair was grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.
Dan 4:34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him who lives forever; for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom from generation to generation.
Dan 4:35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he does according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or tell him, What do you?
Dan 4:36 At the same time my understanding returned to me; and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and brightness returned to me; and my counselors and my lords sought to me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent greatness was added to me.
Dan 4:37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven; for all his works are truth, and his ways justice; and those who walk in pride he is able to abase.

Dec. 10
Daniel 5-8

Dan 5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.
Dan 5:2 Belshazzar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines, might drink from them.
Dan 5:3 Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives and his concubines, drank from them.
Dan 5:4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.
Dan 5:5 In the same hour came forth the fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.
Dan 5:6 Then the king's face was changed in him, and his thoughts troubled him; and the joints of his thighs were loosened, and his knees struck one against another.
Dan 5:7 The king cried aloud to bring in the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers. The king spoke and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whoever shall read this writing, and show me its interpretation, shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Dan 5:8 Then came in all the king's wise men; but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation.
Dan 5:9 Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his face was changed in him, and his lords were perplexed.
Dan 5:10 Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords came into the banquet house: the queen spoke and said, O king, live forever; don't let your thoughts trouble you, nor let your face be changed.
Dan 5:11 There is a man in your kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, were found in him; and the king Nebuchadnezzar your father, the king, I say, your father, made him master of the magicians, enchanters, Chaldeans, and soothsayers;
Dan 5:12 because an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and showing of dark sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar. Now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.
Dan 5:13 Then was Daniel brought in before the king. The king spoke and said to Daniel, Are you that Daniel, who are of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Judah?
Dan 5:14 I have heard of you, that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.
Dan 5:15 Now the wise men, the enchanters, have been brought in before me, that they should read this writing, and make known to me its interpretation; but they could not show the interpretation of the thing.
Dan 5:16 But I have heard of you, that you can give interpretations, and dissolve doubts; now if you can read the writing, and make known to me its interpretation, you shall be clothed with purple, and have a chain of gold about your neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Dan 5:17 Then Daniel answered before the king, Let your gifts be to yourself, and give your rewards to another; nevertheless I will read the writing to the king, and make known to him the interpretation.
Dan 5:18 You king, the Most High God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father the kingdom, and greatness, and glory, and majesty:
Dan 5:19 and because of the greatness that he gave him, all the peoples, nations, and languages trembled and feared before him: whom he would he killed, and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he raised up, and whom he would he put down.
Dan 5:20 But when his heart was lifted up, and his spirit was hardened so that he dealt proudly, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him:
Dan 5:21 and he was driven from the sons of men, and his heart was made like the animals', and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys; he was fed with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of the sky; until he knew that the Most High God rules in the kingdom of men, and that he sets up over it whomever he will.
Dan 5:22 You his son, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, though you knew all this,
Dan 5:23 but have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven; and they have brought the vessels of his house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines, have drunk wine from them; and you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of brass, iron, wood, and stone, which don't see, nor hear, nor know; and the God in whose hand your breath is, and whose are all your ways, you have not glorified.
Dan 5:24 Then was the part of the hand sent from before him, and this writing was inscribed.
Dan 5:25 This is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.
Dan 5:26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God has numbered your kingdom, and brought it to an end;
Dan 5:27 TEKEL; you are weighed in the balances, and are found wanting.
Dan 5:28 PERES; your kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.
Dan 5:29 Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with purple, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.
Dan 5:30 In that night Belshazzar the Chaldean King was slain.
Dan 5:31 Darius the Mede received the kingdom, being about sixty-two years old.

Dan 6:1 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred twenty satraps, who should be throughout the whole kingdom;
Dan 6:2 and over them three presidents, of whom Daniel was one; that these satraps might give account to them, and that the king should have no damage.
Dan 6:3 Then this Daniel was distinguished above the presidents and the satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm.
Dan 6:4 Then the presidents and the satraps sought to find occasion against Daniel as touching the kingdom; but they could find no occasion nor fault, because he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.
Dan 6:5 Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
Dan 6:6 Then these presidents and satraps assembled together to the king, and said thus to him, King Darius, live forever.
Dan 6:7 All the presidents of the kingdom, the deputies and the satraps, the counselors and the governors, have consulted together to establish a royal statute, and to make a strong interdict, that whoever shall ask a petition of any god or man for thirty days, save of you, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.
Dan 6:8 Now, O king, establish the interdict, and sign the writing, that it not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which doesn't alter.
Dan 6:9 Therefore king Darius signed the writing and the interdict.
Dan 6:10 When Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house (now his windows were open in his chamber toward Jerusalem) and he kneeled on his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did before.
Dan 6:11 Then these men assembled together, and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God.
Dan 6:12 Then they came near, and spoke before the king concerning the king's interdict: Haven't you signed an interdict, that every man who shall make petition to any god or man within thirty days, save to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions? The king answered, The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which doesn't alter.
Dan 6:13 Then answered they and said before the king, That Daniel, who is of the children of the captivity of Judah, doesn't regard you, O king, nor the interdict that you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.
Dan 6:14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him; and he labored until the going down of the sun to rescue him.
Dan 6:15 Then these men assembled together to the king, and said to the king, Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians, that no interdict nor statute which the king establishes may be changed.
Dan 6:16 Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spoke and said to Daniel, Your God whom you serve continually, he will deliver you.
Dan 6:17 A stone was brought, and laid on the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.
Dan 6:18 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting; neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep fled from him.
Dan 6:19 Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste to the den of lions.
Dan 6:20 When he came near to the den to Daniel, he cried with a lamentable voice; the king spoke and said to Daniel, Daniel, servant of the living God, is your God, whom you serve continually, able to deliver you from the lions?
Dan 6:21 Then said Daniel to the king, O king, live forever.
Dan 6:22 My God has sent his angel, and has shut the lions' mouths, and they have not hurt me; because as before him innocence was found in me; and also before you, O king, have I done no hurt.
Dan 6:23 Then was the king exceeding glad, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.
Dan 6:24 The king commanded, and they brought those men who had accused Daniel, and they cast them into the den of lions, them, their children, and their wives; and the lions had the mastery of them, and broke all their bones in pieces, before they came to the bottom of the den.
Dan 6:25 Then king Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages, who dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you.
Dan 6:26 I make a decree, that in all the dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel; for he is the living God, and steadfast forever, His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed; and his dominion shall be even to the end.
Dan 6:27 He delivers and rescues, and he works signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.
Dan 6:28 So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

Dan 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head on his bed: then he wrote the dream and told the sum of the matters.
Dan 7:2 Daniel spoke and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the sky broke forth on the great sea.
Dan 7:3 Four great animals came up from the sea, diverse one from another.
Dan 7:4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I saw until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand on two feet as a man; and a man's heart was given to it.
Dan 7:5 Behold, another animal, a second, like a bear; and it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth: and they said thus to it, Arise, devour much flesh.
Dan 7:6 After this I saw, and behold, another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the animal had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
Dan 7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and, behold, a fourth animal, awesome and powerful, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it was diverse from all the animals that were before it; and it had ten horns.
Dan 7:8 I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots: and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.
Dan 7:9 I saw until thrones were placed, and one who was ancient of days sat: his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and its wheels burning fire.
Dan 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousands of thousands ministered to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
Dan 7:11 I saw at that time because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke; I saw even until the animal was slain, and its body destroyed, and it was given to be burned with fire.
Dan 7:12 As for the rest of the animals, their dominion was taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
Dan 7:13 I saw in the night visions, and behold, there came with the clouds of the sky one like a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
Dan 7:14 There was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
Dan 7:15 As for me, Daniel, my spirit was grieved in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.
Dan 7:16 I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.
Dan 7:17 These great animals, which are four, are four kings, who shall arise out of the earth.
Dan 7:18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.
Dan 7:19 Then I desired to know the truth concerning the fourth animal, which was diverse from all of them, exceedingly terrible, whose teeth were of iron, and its nails of brass; which devoured, broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet;
Dan 7:20 and concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three fell, even that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke great things, whose look was more stout than its fellows.
Dan 7:21 I saw, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
Dan 7:22 until the ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
Dan 7:23 Thus he said, The fourth animal shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be diverse from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
Dan 7:24 As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall ten kings arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the former, and he shall put down three kings.
Dan 7:25 He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time.
Dan 7:26 But the judgment shall be set, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it to the end.
Dan 7:27 The kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole sky, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High: his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
Dan 7:28 Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts much troubled me, and my face was changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.

Dan 8:1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, even to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first.
Dan 8:2 I saw in the vision; now it was so, that when I saw, I was in the citadel of Susa, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision, and I was by the river Ulai.
Dan 8:3 Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.
Dan 8:4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; and no animals could stand before him, neither was there any who could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and magnified himself.
Dan 8:5 As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west over the surface of the whole earth, and didn't touch the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.
Dan 8:6 He came to the ram that had the two horns, which I saw standing before the river, and ran on him in the fury of his power.
Dan 8:7 I saw him come close to the ram, and he was moved with anger against him, and struck the ram, and broke his two horns; and there was no power in the ram to stand before him; but he cast him down to the ground, and trampled on him; and there was none who could deliver the ram out of his hand.
Dan 8:8 The male goat magnified himself exceedingly: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and instead of it there came up four notable horns toward the four winds of the sky.
Dan 8:9 Out of one of them came forth a little horn, which grew exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the glorious land.
Dan 8:10 It grew great, even to the army of the sky; and some of the army and of the stars it cast down to the ground, and trampled on them.
Dan 8:11 Yes, it magnified itself, even to the prince of the army; and it took away from him the continual burnt offering, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.
Dan 8:12 The army was given over to it together with the continual burnt offering through disobedience; and it cast down truth to the ground, and it did its pleasure and prospered.
Dan 8:13 Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who spoke, How long shall be the vision concerning the continual burnt offering, and the disobedience that makes desolate, to give both the sanctuary and the army to be trodden under foot?
Dan 8:14 He said to me, To two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
Dan 8:15 It happened, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, that I sought to understand it; and behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.
Dan 8:16 I heard a man's voice between the banks of the Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.
Dan 8:17 So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was frightened, and fell on my face: but he said to me, Understand, son of man; for the vision belongs to the time of the end.
Dan 8:18 Now as he was speaking with me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face toward the ground; but he touched me, and set me upright.
Dan 8:19 He said, Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the latter time of the indignation; for it belongs to the appointed time of the end.
Dan 8:20 The ram which you saw, that had the two horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia.
Dan 8:21 The rough male goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
Dan 8:22 As for that which was broken, in the place where four stood up, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not with his power.
Dan 8:23 In the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce face, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.
Dan 8:24 His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper and do his pleasure; and he shall destroy the mighty ones and the holy people.
Dan 8:25 Through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and in their security shall he destroy many: he shall also stand up against the prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
Dan 8:26 The vision of the evenings and mornings which has been told is true: but seal up the vision; for it belongs to many days to come.
Dan 8:27 I, Daniel, fainted, and was sick certain days; then I rose up, and did the king's business: and I wondered at the vision, but none understood it.


Dec. 11
Daniel 9-12

Dan 9:1 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans,
Dan 9:2 in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, understood by the books the number of the years about which the word of Yahweh came to Jeremiah the prophet, for the accomplishing of the desolations of Jerusalem, even seventy years.
Dan 9:3 I set my face to the Lord God, to seek by prayer and petitions, with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.
Dan 9:4 I prayed to Yahweh my God, and made confession, and said, Oh, Lord, the great and dreadful God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness with those who love him and keep his commandments,
Dan 9:5 we have sinned, and have dealt perversely, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even turning aside from your precepts and from your ordinances;
Dan 9:6 neither have we listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
Dan 9:7 Lord, righteousness belongs to you, but to us confusion of face, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to all Israel, who are near, and who are far off, through all the countries where you have driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against you.
Dan 9:8 Lord, to us belongs confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against you.
Dan 9:9 To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness; for we have rebelled against him;
Dan 9:10 neither have we obeyed the voice of Yahweh our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
Dan 9:11 Yes, all Israel have transgressed your law, even turning aside, that they should not obey your voice: therefore has the curse been poured out on us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God; for we have sinned against him.
Dan 9:12 He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us, and against our judges who judged us, by bringing on us a great evil; for under the whole sky has not been done as has been done on Jerusalem.
Dan 9:13 As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come on us: yet have we not entreated the favor of Yahweh our God, that we should turn from our iniquities, and have discernment in your truth.
Dan 9:14 Therefore has Yahweh watched over the evil, and brought it on us; for Yahweh our God is righteous in all his works which he does, and we have not obeyed his voice.
Dan 9:15 Now, Lord our God, who has brought your people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and have gotten you renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
Dan 9:16 Lord, according to all your righteousness, let your anger and please let your wrath be turned away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain; because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people are become a reproach to all who are around us.
Dan 9:17 Now therefore, our God, listen to the prayer of your servant, and to his petitions, and cause your face to shine on your sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.
Dan 9:18 My God, turn your ear, and hear; open your eyes, and see our desolations, and the city which is called by your name: for we do not present our petitions before you for our righteousness, but for your great mercies' sake.
Dan 9:19 Lord, hear; Lord, forgive; Lord, listen and do; don't defer, for your own sake, my God, because your city and your people are called by your name.
Dan 9:20 While I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before Yahweh my God for the holy mountain of my God;
Dan 9:21 yes, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening offering.
Dan 9:22 He instructed me, and talked with me, and said, Daniel, I am now come forth to give you wisdom and understanding.
Dan 9:23 At the beginning of your petitions the commandment went forth, and I am come to tell you; for you are greatly beloved: therefore consider the matter, and understand the vision.
Dan 9:24 Seventy weeks are decreed on your people and on your holy city, to finish disobedience, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most holy.
Dan 9:25 Know therefore and discern, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem to the Anointed One, the prince, shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks: it shall be built again, with street and moat, even in troubled times.
Dan 9:26 After the sixty-two weeks the Anointed One shall be cut off, and shall have nothing: and the people of the prince who shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and its end shall be with a flood, and even to the end shall be war; desolations are determined.
Dan 9:27 He shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the offering to cease; and on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate; and even to the full end, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out on the desolate.

Dan 10:1 In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed to Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, even a great warfare: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision.
Dan 10:2 In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three whole weeks.
Dan 10:3 I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine into my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, until three whole weeks were fulfilled.
Dan 10:4 In the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel,
Dan 10:5 I lifted up my eyes, and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, whose thighs were girded with pure gold of Uphaz:
Dan 10:6 his body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as flaming torches, and his arms and his feet like burnished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude.
Dan 10:7 I, Daniel, alone saw the vision; for the men who were with me didn't see the vision; but a great quaking fell on them, and they fled to hide themselves.
Dan 10:8 So I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me; for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength.
Dan 10:9 Yet heard I the voice of his words; and when I heard the voice of his words, then was I fallen into a deep sleep on my face, with my face toward the ground.
Dan 10:10 Behold, a hand touched me, which set me on my knees and on the palms of my hands.
Dan 10:11 He said to me, Daniel, you man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright; for to you am I now sent. When he had spoken this word to me, I stood trembling.
Dan 10:12 Then said he to me, Don't be afraid, Daniel; for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard: and I am come for your words' sake.
Dan 10:13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me twenty-one days; but, behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me: and I remained there with the kings of Persia.
Dan 10:14 Now I have come to make you understand what shall happen to your people in the latter days; for the vision is yet for many days:
Dan 10:15 and when he had spoken to me according to these words, I set my face toward the ground, and was mute.
Dan 10:16 Behold, one in the likeness of the sons of men touched my lips: then I opened my mouth, and spoke and said to him who stood before me, my lord, by reason of the vision my sorrows are turned on me, and I retain no strength.
Dan 10:17 For how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, immediately there remained no strength in me, neither was there breath left in me.
Dan 10:18 Then there touched me again one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me.
Dan 10:19 He said, "Greatly beloved man, don't be afraid: peace be to you, be strong, yes, be strong." When he spoke to me, I was strengthened, and said, "Let my lord speak; for you have strengthened me."
Dan 10:20 Then he said, "Do you know why I have come to you? Now I will return to fight with the prince of Persia. When I go forth, behold, the prince of Greece shall come.
Dan 10:21 But I will tell you that which is inscribed in the writing of truth: and there is none who holds with me against these, but Michael your prince."

Dan 11:1 "As for me, in the first year of Darius the Mede, I stood up to confirm and strengthen him.
Dan 11:2 Now will I show you the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and when he has grown strong through his riches, he shall stir up all against the realm of Greece.
Dan 11:3 A mighty king shall stand up, who shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will.
Dan 11:4 When he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of the sky, but not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion with which he ruled; for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others besides these.
Dan 11:5 The king of the south shall be strong, and one of his princes; and he shall be strong above him, and have dominion; his dominion shall be a great dominion.
Dan 11:6 At the end of years they shall join themselves together; and the daughter of the king of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement: but she shall not retain the strength of her arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm; but she shall be given up, and those who brought her, and he who became the father of her, and he who strengthened her in those times.
Dan 11:7 But out of a shoot from her roots shall one stand up in his place, who shall come to the army, and shall enter into the fortress of the king of the north, and shall deal against them, and shall prevail.
Dan 11:8 Also their gods, with their molten images, and with their goodly vessels of silver and of gold, shall he carry captive into Egypt; and he shall refrain some years from the king of the north.
Dan 11:9 He shall come into the realm of the king of the south, but he shall return into his own land.
Dan 11:10 His sons shall war, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces, which shall come on, and overflow, and pass through; and they shall return and war, even to his fortress.
Dan 11:11 The king of the south shall be moved with anger, and shall come forth and fight with him, even with the king of the north; and he shall set forth a great multitude, and the multitude shall be given into his hand.
Dan 11:12 The multitude shall be lifted up, and his heart shall be exalted; and he shall cast down tens of thousands, but he shall not prevail.
Dan 11:13 The king of the north shall return, and shall set forth a multitude greater than the former; and he shall come on at the end of the times, even of years, with a great army and with much substance.
Dan 11:14 In those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south: also the children of the violent among your people shall lift themselves up to establish the vision; but they shall fall.
Dan 11:15 So the king of the north shall come, and cast up a mound, and take a well-fortified city: and the forces of the south shall not stand, neither his chosen people, neither shall there be any strength to stand.
Dan 11:16 But he who comes against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him; and he shall stand in the glorious land, and in his hand shall be destruction.
Dan 11:17 He shall set his face to come with the strength of his whole kingdom, and with him equitable conditions; and he shall perform them: and he shall give him the daughter of women, to corrupt her; but she shall not stand, neither be for him.
Dan 11:18 After this shall he turn his face to the islands, and shall take many: but a prince shall cause the reproach offered by him to cease; yes, moreover, he shall cause his reproach to turn on him.
Dan 11:19 Then he shall turn his face toward the fortresses of his own land; but he shall stumble and fall, and shall not be found.
Dan 11:20 Then shall stand up in his place one who shall cause a tax collector to pass through the kingdom to maintain its glory; but within few days he shall be destroyed, neither in anger, nor in battle.
Dan 11:21 In his place shall stand up a contemptible person, to whom they had not given the honor of the kingdom: but he shall come in time of security, and shall obtain the kingdom by flatteries.
Dan 11:22 The overwhelming forces shall be overwhelmed from before him, and shall be broken; yes, also the prince of the covenant.
Dan 11:23 After the league made with him he shall work deceitfully; for he shall come up, and shall become strong, with a small people.
Dan 11:24 In time of security shall he come even on the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers' fathers; he shall scatter among them prey, and spoil, and substance: yes, he shall devise his devices against the strongholds, even for a time.
Dan 11:25 He shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall war in battle with an exceeding great and mighty army; but he shall not stand; for they shall devise devices against him.
Dan 11:26 Yes, they who eat of his dainties shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow; and many shall fall down slain.
Dan 11:27 As for both these kings, their hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table: but it shall not prosper; for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.
Dan 11:28 Then shall he return into his land with great substance; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do his pleasure, and return to his own land.
Dan 11:29 At the time appointed he shall return, and come into the south; but it shall not be in the latter time as it was in the former.
Dan 11:30 For ships of Kittim shall come against him; therefore he shall be grieved, and shall return, and have indignation against the holy covenant, and shall do his pleasure: he shall even return, and have regard to those who forsake the holy covenant.
Dan 11:31 Forces shall stand on his part, and they shall profane the sanctuary, even the fortress, and shall take away the continual burnt offering, and they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate.
Dan 11:32 Such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he pervert by flatteries; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
Dan 11:33 Those who are wise among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by spoil, many days.
Dan 11:34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help; but many shall join themselves to them with flatteries.
Dan 11:35 Some of those who are wise shall fall, to refine them, and to purify, and to make them white, even to the time of the end; because it is yet for the time appointed.
Dan 11:36 The king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods; and he shall prosper until the indignation be accomplished; for that which is determined shall be done.
Dan 11:37 Neither shall he regard the gods of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god; for he shall magnify himself above all.
Dan 11:38 But in his place shall he honor the god of fortresses; and a god whom his fathers didn't know shall he honor with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
Dan 11:39 He shall deal with the strongest fortresses by the help of a foreign god: whoever acknowledges him he will increase with glory; and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for a price.
Dan 11:40 At the time of the end shall the king of the south contend with him; and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass through.
Dan 11:41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.
Dan 11:42 He shall stretch forth his hand also on the countries; and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
Dan 11:43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.
Dan 11:44 But news out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him; and he shall go forth with great fury to destroy and utterly to sweep away many.
Dan 11:45 He shall plant the tents of his palace between the sea and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

Dan 12:1 "At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who stands for the children of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who shall be found written in the book.
Dan 12:2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Dan 12:3 Those who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the expanse; and those who turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.
Dan 12:4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run back and forth, and knowledge shall be increased."
Dan 12:5 Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, there stood other two, the one on the brink of the river on this side, and the other on the brink of the river on that side.
Dan 12:6 One said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
Dan 12:7 I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by him who lives forever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half; and when they have made an end of breaking in pieces the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
Dan 12:8 I heard, but I didn't understand: then said I, my lord, what shall be the issue of these things?
Dan 12:9 He said, Go your way, Daniel; for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end.
Dan 12:10 Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but those who are wise shall understand.
Dan 12:11 From the time that the continual burnt offering shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred ninety days.
Dan 12:12 Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred thirty-five days.
Dan 12:13 But go you your way until the end be; for you shall rest, and shall stand in your lot, at the end of the days.

Dec. 9
2 Peter 2

2Pe 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, as false teachers will also be among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master who bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction.
2Pe 2:2 Many will follow their immoral ways, and as a result, the way of the truth will be maligned.
2Pe 2:3 In covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words: whose sentence now from of old doesn't linger, and their destruction will not slumber.
2Pe 2:4 For if God didn't spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;
2Pe 2:5 and didn't spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah with seven others, a preacher of righteousness, when he brought a flood on the world of the ungodly;
2Pe 2:6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly;
2Pe 2:7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was very distressed by the lustful life of the wicked
2Pe 2:8 (for that righteous man dwelling among them, was tormented in his righteous soul from day to day with seeing and hearing lawless deeds):
2Pe 2:9 the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment;
2Pe 2:10 but chiefly those who walk after the flesh in the lust of defilement, and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries;
2Pe 2:11 whereas angels, though greater in might and power, don't bring a railing judgment against them before the Lord.
2Pe 2:12 But these, as unreasoning creatures, born natural animals to be taken and destroyed, speaking evil in matters about which they are ignorant, will in their destroying surely be destroyed,
2Pe 2:13 receiving the wages of unrighteousness; people who count it pleasure to revel in the daytime, spots and blemishes, reveling in their deceit while they feast with you;
2Pe 2:14 having eyes full of adultery, and who can't cease from sin; enticing unsettled souls; having a heart trained in greed; children of cursing;
2Pe 2:15 forsaking the right way, they went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wrongdoing;
2Pe 2:16 but he was rebuked for his own disobedience. A mute donkey spoke with a man's voice and stopped the madness of the prophet.
2Pe 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds driven by a storm; for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever.
2Pe 2:18 For, uttering great swelling words of emptiness, they entice in the lusts of the flesh, by licentiousness, those who are indeed escaping from those who live in error;
2Pe 2:19 promising them liberty, while they themselves are bondservants of corruption; for a man is brought into bondage by whoever overcomes him.
2Pe 2:20 For if, after they have escaped the defilement of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in it and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
2Pe 2:21 For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.
2Pe 2:22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb, "The dog turns to his own vomit again," and "the sow that has washed to wallowing in the mire."

Dec. 10
2 Peter 3

2Pe 3:1 This is now, beloved, the second letter that I have written to you; and in both of them I stir up your sincere mind by reminding you;
2Pe 3:2 that you should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandments of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior:
2Pe 3:3 knowing this first, that in the last days mockers will come, walking after their own lusts,
2Pe 3:4 and saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? For, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
2Pe 3:5 For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth formed out of water and amid water, by the word of God;
2Pe 3:6 by which means the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished.
2Pe 3:7 But the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
2Pe 3:8 But don't forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.
2Pe 3:11 Therefore since all these things will be destroyed like this, what kind of people ought you to be in holy living and godliness,
2Pe 3:12 looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, which will cause the burning heavens to be dissolved, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?
2Pe 3:13 But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.
2Pe 3:14 Therefore, beloved, seeing that you look for these things, be diligent to be found in peace, without blemish and blameless in his sight.
2Pe 3:15 Regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote to you;
2Pe 3:16 as also in all of his letters, speaking in them of these things. In those, there are some things that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unsettled twist, as they also do to the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
2Pe 3:17 You therefore, beloved, knowing these things beforehand, beware, lest being carried away with the error of the wicked, you fall from your own steadfastness.
2Pe 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.


Dec. 11
1 John 1

1Jn 1:1 That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we saw, and our hands touched, concerning the Word of life
1Jn 1:2 (and the life was revealed, and we have seen, and testify, and declare to you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was revealed to us);
1Jn 1:3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us. Yes, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
1Jn 1:4 And we write these things to you, that our joy may be fulfilled.
1Jn 1:5 This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and don't tell the truth.
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10 If we say that we haven't sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.