2/17/17

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" Our Duty To God And Country (12:13-17) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                 Our Duty To God And Country (12:13-17)

INTRODUCTION

1. Teaching in the temple on Tuesday of the Last Week, we’ve seen...
   a. The authority of Jesus questioned by religious leaders - Mk11:20-33
   b. The parable of the wicked vinedressers, directed toward the
      religious leaders - Mk 12:1-12

2. Jesus is then approached by Pharisees and Herodians...
   a. Intending to get Him in trouble with the authorities - Mk 12:13;
      Lk 20:20
   b. Who question Him whether one should pay taxes to Caesar - Mk12:14-15

3. Ever the Master Teacher, Jesus easily dealt with their question...
   a. Seeing through their hypocrisy, He called for a coin - Mk 12:15
   b. He asked whose inscription was on it, and they answered "Caesar’s"
      - Mk 12:16
   c. His reply cause them to marvel - Mk 12:17

4. The reply of Jesus reveals that we have responsibilities to both God
   and country...
   a. There are things that we must render to Caesar (country)
   b. There are things that we must render to God

[What is our duty to God and country?  In this study we shall review
what the Scriptures tell us about our responsibilities as citizens and
as disciples.  We start with...]

I. OUR DUTY TO COUNTRY

   A. PAY TAXES...
      1. This was the point of Jesus in our text - Mk 12:14-17
      2. Paul also taught us to pay taxes - Ro 13:6-7

   B. OBEY LAWS...
      1. We are to submit to the ordinances (laws) of the land 
         - Ro 13:1-5; Tit 3:1
      2. This we do for the Lord’s sake, that we might silence foolish
         men - 1Pe 2:13-16

   C. FEAR AND HONOR...
      1. We are to respect and honor those in positions of authority
         - Ro 13:7
         a. To fear (respect) the king - cf. Pro 24:21
         b. Not to speak evil of our rulers - cf. Exo 22:28; Ac 23:5;
            Tit 3:2; 2Pe 2:10; Jude 8-9
      2. Even as we are to honor all and love the brethren - 1Pe 2:17
      -- Have you noticed that Paul or Peter never had unkind words
         about Nero?

   D. DO GOOD...
      1. We are to be ready for every good work - Tit 3:1
      2. We are to have conduct that is honorable before all 
         - 1Pe 2:11-12,15-16

   E. PRAY...
      1. To make supplications, offer prayers, intercessions, and giving
         of thanks - 1Ti 2:1
      2. To pray for kings and all who are in authority - 1Ti 2:1-3

[Christians are but sojourners and pilgrims in this world (1Pe 2:11).
While our true citizenship is in heaven (Ph 3:20), we are to be a
blessing to those earthly countries in which we sojourn.  Fulfill our
God-given obligations, and we will be an asset to any country in which
we live!  Now let’s review...]

II. OUR DUTY TO GOD

   A. LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR BEING...
      1. Jesus considered this the greatest commandment of the Law 
         - Mt 22:34-38
      2. Being the greatest command, I would suggest this is our
         greatest duty!

   B. OBEY GOD FROM THE HEART...
      1. If we love God, we will keep His commandments - 1Jn 5:3
      2. Jesus taught that keeping His commandments is evidence of true
         love - Jn 14:15,21,23

   C. MAKE GOD OUR PRIORITY...
      1. His will, His rule, His righteousness, should be our first
         priority - Mt 6:33
      2. Not only over our personal concerns, but even over our duty to
         country
         a. When there is a conflict between duty to God and country,
            God must come first
         b. As stated by Peter:  "We ought to obey God rather than men"
            - Ac 5:27-29
      3. This helps to answer questions that often arise regarding the
         Christian’s duty to government
         a. Can a Christian vote?
         b. Can one serve in political office?
         c. Can one serve in the military or other civic duty?
      4. If such duties come at too high a price (i.e., placing country
         before God), a Christian must obey God rather than men
         a. In some countries, the price may be too high, and Christians
            could not serve in political office or exercise certain
            rights as citizens
         b. Other countries may allow for God to take precedence in
            one’s conduct, permitting Christians to participate in such
            things

CONCLUSION

1. Christians ought to be a blessing for any country in which they
   reside...
   a. A source of revenue, with respect for laws, and reverence for
      those in authority
   b. Contributing to the general welfare, through good deeds and
      fervent prayers

2. Christians can be a blessing to their country......
   a. When Christians render first to God what is His due, and then what
      is due the country
   b. When the country respects the priority that must be given God by
      its citizens

While those in authority might not always understand their proper place,
and expect more of their citizens than what is right, may we who are
disciples of Christ never fail to:

   "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s,
   and to God the things that are God’s."
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Parable Of The Wicked Vinedressers (12:1-12) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

            The Parable Of The Wicked Vinedressers (12:1-12)

INTRODUCTION

1. Reviewing the events of the Last Week recorded by Mark so far...
   a. Sunday - The triumphal entry and brief visit to the temple 
               - Mk 11:1-11
   b. Monday - The cursing of the fig tree and the cleansing of the
      temple - Mk 11:12-19
   c. Tuesday - The lesson of the fig tree and the authority of Jesus
      questioned - Mk 11:20-33

2. As we continue our study with chapter twelve, it is still Tuesday of
   the Last Week...
   a. In the temple, Jesus begins to speak in parables - Mk 12:1
   b. Matthew records a trilogy of parables, while Mark just one

[Mark records the parable of "The Wicked Vinedressers" (Mk 12:1-12), its
meaning quite clear...]

I. THE MEANING OF THE PARABLE

   A. THE PARTICULARS OF THE PARABLE...
      1. The vineyard immediately brings to mind Israel
         a. The figure of a vineyard referring to Israel was well-known
            - cf. Isa 5:1-7
         b. But here it is not Israel as a nation per se...
            1) Rather, "the special advantages and opportunities which
               were given to the people as the chosen seed" (W.M. Taylor,
               The Parables of Our Savior)
            2) For later Jesus explains the vineyard (or kingdom of God)
               will be given to others ( "a nation producing its fruit")
               - Mk 12:9; cf. Mt 21:43
      2. The man who planted the vineyard is God
      3. The wicked vinedressers represents Israel’s leaders - Mk 12:12
         a. Their chief priests, scribes, elders, and their followers
            - cf. Mt 21:45
         b. Therefore, the physical nation of Israel as a whole
      4. The servants who were sent in behalf of the landowner
         represents the prophets
         a. As a nation, Israel rejected many of her prophets 
            - cf. 2Ch 36:15-16
         b. Note the plaintive cry of Jesus over Jerusalem later on
            - cf. Mt 23:37
      5. The landowner’s son is Jesus Christ Himself

   B. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS REVEAL JESUS’ INTENT...
      1. To help them see why God would be just
         a. In bringing condemnation upon Israel
         b. In giving the blessings of Israel to those more deserving
            - cf. Mt 21:43
      2. Their rejection of Jesus had been foretold - Mk 12:10-11; cf.
         Ps 118:22-23
         a. The "builders" were the religious leaders of the nation
         b. The "stone" they rejected was Christ
         c. Yet, this stone would be made a "chief cornerstone" by God
            Himself
            1) In which God would build something new, i.e., the church
               - cf. 1Pe 2:4-10
            2) Where both Jew and Gentile are members of God’s household
               - Ep 2:19-20

[The main lesson of this parable can be summarized in the words of Ps 2:12...

         "Kiss (i.e., pay homage to) the Son, lest He be angry,
            And you perish in the way,
            When His wrath is kindled but a little.
         "Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him."

So obvious was Jesus’ meaning and intent in telling this parable, that
the religious leaders’ would have arrested Him at that moment had it not
been for the people (Mk 12:12).

What application can we make from this parable?  Is there a lesson for
us today that can be drawn...?]

II. AN APPLICATION OF THE PARABLE

   A. GOD OFTEN BESTOWS WONDERFUL PRIVILEGES...
      1. This He had done with the nation of Israel
         a. Like a precious vineyard, God planted Israel in Canaan
         b. He blessed the nation with laws, priests, prophets, and
            other special privileges
         c. He eventually sent His only begotten Son as their Messiah
      2. What about us?
         a. Have we not received wonderful privileges from God?
         b. We enjoy free access to the Word of God, and the freedom to
            worship without fear of persecution; many in the world do not
         c. We are blessed to hear things that prophets, kings, and
            saints of old desired to hear and were not able 
            - cf. Mt 13:16-17

   B. PEOPLE OFTEN MAKE BAD USE OF THEIR PRIVILEGES...
      1. The history of Israel as a nation established by God
         a. They consistently murmured against God in the wilderness
         b. They turned away from God time and again during the period
            of the Judges
         c. They persecuted His prophets, and eventually rejected His
            own Son
      2. What about us?
         a. We have blessings given to us through Christ
            1) The forgiveness of sins through His blood
            2) The aid of the Holy Spirit in putting to death the deeds
               of the body
            3) The joy of fellowship in the family of God
            4) The privilege of sharing the gospel with a dying world
         b. And yet Christians often turn their back on such blessings
            1) They sin, and do not seek forgiveness
            2) They do not seek the help God gives to deal with the
               problem of sin
            3) They neglect their brethren by forsaking the assembling,
               and by not developing close relationships with them
            4) They make little or no effort to spread the precious
               gospel of Christ

   C. JUDGMENT COMES ON THOSE WHO MAKE BAD USE OF THEIR PRIVILEGES...
      1. Again, the nation of Israel is an example
         a. They suffered forty years of wandering in the wilderness
         b. God allowed neighboring nations to be a thorn in their side
         c. They endured Assyrian and Babylonian captivity
         d. God destroyed their temple and their religion by the Syrians
            (167 B.C.) and the Romans (70 A.D.)
         e. He has indeed taken away the kingdom of God from them, and
            given it to a nation bearing the fruits of it - cf. Mt 21:43
      2. What about us?
         a. Consider the words of Jesus - Jn 15:1-2,6; Re 2:4-5,16; 3:1-3
         b. Consider what was written to the Hebrew Christians 
            - He 10:26-31
      3. Clearly, if we do not utilize our special privileges...
         a. God will take away the blessings we have (i.e., the kingdom
            of God)
         b. And give it to someone who appreciates it (i.e., bears the
            fruit of it)

CONCLUSION

1. Truly God has given us wonderful blessings...
   a. He made us worthy to be "partakers of the inheritance of the
      saints" - Col 1:12
   b. He "has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us
      into the kingdom of the Son of His love" - Col 1:13
   c. In Christ we have "redemption through His blood, the forgiveness
      of sins" - Col 1:14
   d. He sent us apostles and prophets of His Son, whose words are in
      the New Testament

2. Let us be careful how we receive them (cf. Jn 13:20), for the next
   time the Beloved Son is sent, He is coming in terrifying judgment!
   - 2Th 1:7-10

Indeed, as Jesus said...

   "For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required;
   and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."
                                                         - Lk 12:48
 

The Beni Hasan Tomb Inscription and the Patriarchal Period by Dewayne Bryant, M.A.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=4811

The Beni Hasan Tomb Inscription and the Patriarchal Period

by  Dewayne Bryant, M.A.

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Dewayne Bryant holds two Masters degrees, and is a doctoral candidate at Amridge University. He has participated in an archaeological dig at Tell El-Borg in Egypt and holds professional membership in the American Schools of Oriental Research, the Society of Biblical Literature, and the Archaeological Institute of America.]
The patriarchal narratives of Genesis are some of the most beloved passages in the Bible. They are also some of the most heavily criticized. Before the middle of the 20th century, many scholars assumed the historicity of the patriarchs. In the 1970s, two minimalists published what is regarded by many in academia as one of the greatest of one-two punches in the history of biblical studies. John Van Seters (Abraham in History and Tradition, 1975) and Thomas Thompson (The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives, 1974) each questioned the historicity of the patriarchs. Their study was so influential in academic circles that, since that time, few scholars have written in support of the historicity of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Van Seters and Thompson are much like other critics who feel quite comfortable in approaching the Bible with a level of academic condescension and suspicion that is nearly unparalleled in other disciplines. Although their work was helpful in weeding out faulty assumptions and recognizing instances of misuse of archaeology, their objections go too far and are flawed. Scholars have answered them accordingly. In his book The Bible in its World (1977), Kenneth Kitchen first tackled the objections raised against the historicity of the patriarchal narratives. Others scholars have followed (see Millard and Wiseman, 1983; Yamauchi, 1994).
Ancient Near Eastern scholarship has continued to vindicate the patriarchal narratives. One particularly interesting piece of archaeological data comes from the modern village of Beni Hasan, which lies 160 miles south of Cairo. It is home to 39 monumental tombs of Egyptian officials from the Middle Kingdom Period (2050-1650 B.C.), in addition to a few tombs from the Old Kingdom Period (2686-2186 B.C.). The tomb of a nomarch (governor) named Khnumhotep II is particularly interesting for the study of the patriarchs.
The walls of Khnumhotep’s tomb contain paintings portraying scenes from his life. The most famous, however, is a depiction of a caravan from Canaan. The accompanying hieroglyphic inscription indicates that there were 37 members of this caravan. The exact purpose of their visit is debated among scholars, but most agree that it was some kind of commercial venture (Hoffmeier, 1996, p. 61).
The differences between the Egyptians and the Canaanite merchants depicted in the scene is immediately obvious. While the Egyptians wear their customary white linen kilts, the merchants wear multi-colored garments. The clothing worn by the men is a sign of their wealth. This calls to mind the passim of Joseph that sparked jealousy in his brothers (NOTE: the Hebrew word passim, or “coat,” is difficult to understand because it appears only twice in the Old Testament. While interpretations include “long-sleeved,” “multi-colored,” and “decorated,” it would appear that being multi-colored would be an attractive possibility, since to have such a garment would be quite costly). The merchants also have full heads of hair with beards. This differed from Egyptian men, who shaved their heads and faces (cf. Genesis 41:14).
The Beni Hasan tomb painting recalls two important details about the patriarchal narratives in Genesis. First, each of the patriarchs spent time in Egypt. The fact that they traveled in groups—as in the case of Jacob prior to his encounter with Esau (Genesis 33), as well as his move to Egypt with the extended family (Genesis 46)—also fits the biblical text.
Second, the fact that the merchants move relatively freely in Egypt is reminiscent of Egyptian-Canaanite relations prior to the Hyksos invasion. Prior to the arrival of the Semitic rulers known as the Hyksos (c. 1750 BC), Egyptian rulers allowed settlers from Canaan to settle temporarily in the northeastern corner of the country during times of famine (although they did build a line of forts to regulate the visits of these visitors). The border was permeable, and visits from Canaanite people were often permitted. This changed after the Egyptians drove the Hyksos from Egypt.
The Hyksos were foreign rulers who took control of the northern part of Egypt. Scholars are uncertain whether they came to power by peaceful infiltration or military invasion. What is indisputable is that this takeover engendered hatred on the part of the Egyptians. After the Hyksos had been expelled by pharaoh Ahmose I (c. 1560 B.C.), the Egyptians became somewhat xenophobic and had a particular dislike for Canaanite peoples (often calling them “wretched Asiatics”). The fact that the book of Genesis preserves this memory of Egypt’s permeable borders means that the stories had to exist prior to seventeenth century B.C., when the Hyksos invaded. Later Hebrew scribes could not have known these historical details and would have had no reason to invent them.
Although the patriarchs are not mentioned by name in any extant historical or archaeological sources, this should not be cause for concern among Christians. Archaeology rarely speaks to any single individual, especially when it comes to those who are not nationally or internationally known (e.g., kings, high-ranking political officials, and important religious figures). It also shows that the narratives in Genesis fit with the proper time period. Later scribes could not have known some of the details presented, meaning that the text of Genesis is not a later fiction as many critics attempt to claim. Far from showing the unreliability of the Bible, archaeology has proved to be one of Scripture’s strongest allies.

REFERENCES

Hoffmeier, James L. (1996), Israel in Egypt (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Kitchen, Kenneth A. (1977), The Bible in its World: The Bible & Archaeology Today (Carlisle: Paternoster Press).
Millard, Alan and Donald J. Wiseman (1983), Essays on the Patriarchal Narratives (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns).
Thompson, Thomas (1974), The Historicity of the Patriarchal Narratives: The Quest for the Historical Abraham (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter).
Van Seters, John (1975), Abraham in History and Tradition (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press).
Yamauchi, Edwin (1994), “The Current State of Old Testament Historiography” in Faith, Tradition and History. Alan R. Millard, James K. Hofmeier, and David W. Baker, eds. (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns).

Non-Religion on the Rise in America by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3742

Non-Religion on the Rise in America

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Three extensive surveys over the past 20 years have revealed that a growing number of Americans are becoming less and less religious. In 1990, 8.2% of Americans claimed to be non-religious, most notably agnostics and atheists (Kosmin, 1991). In 2001, that number had jumped to 14.1% (Kosmin, et al., 2001), and by 2008 it had reached 15% (Kosmin and Keysar, 2009). Based upon a combined total of 217,742 residential households surveyed (an average of 72,580 per effort) in the contiguous United States, the percentage of non-religious Americans has almost doubled in two decades. Whereas in 1990, one out of every 12 Americans claimed to be non-religious, today nearly one out of every six Americans claims no religious affiliation. [NOTE: The percentage of non-religious individuals would be even higher were it not for the many millions of Catholic Hispanics who have migrated to the United States over the past two decades.]

Sadly, the America that we inhabit today is a very different country (religiously speaking) than it was when I grew up in the 1980s, and drastically dissimilar to the country in which my father was reared in the 1940s. In 1947, for example, 89% of Americans identified themselves as Christian Protestants or Catholics, in addition to the millions of other “religious” Americans (e.g., Jews, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc.; Gallup and Lindsay, 1999, p. 7), which would have left comparatively very few skeptics, agnostics, and atheists.

The odds of you crossing paths with an atheist, agnostic, or skeptic at some point in the next few months are pretty high. The likelihood of your children, grandchildren, nephews, or nieces running into atheistic professors or skeptical students in high school or college is very high (considering many public schools and universities are breeding grounds for non-religious Americans). More than ever, Christians need to equip themselves with the tools and weapons to help them “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

Being the time of the year when many are purchasing items for others, we hope that you will consider equipping your friends and family members with soul-saving, life-enriching materials. Why not order your younger children or grandchildren a subscription to Discovery, A.P.’s monthly children’s magazine on Scripture and science? Why not consider arming your teens with Truth Be Told: Exposing the Myth of Evolution? Why not purchase multiple copies of our newest book A Christian’s Guide to Refuting Modern Atheism and give them away to college students who may very well be struggling for the first time in their lives with knowing how to defend their belief in the one true God of the Bible? At the very least, why not send your friends or family members a link to this site, where they can join the millions of others who have obtained thousands of pages of free electronic Christian evidence material?

The Lord has blessed Apologetics Press with a 30+ year history. During that time, supporters of this work have enabled us to produce a plethora of material on Christian evidences. We believe that making available solid materials on the existence of God, the inspiration of the Bible, the deity of Christ, etc. is more important today than ever before in America’s history. Are you armed and ready for the fight? Have you helped to prepare your family and friends for this eternally important spiritual warfare? Why not take action today and make a difference? Please feel free to call upon us if we can be of any assistance (1-800-234-8558).

REFERENCES

Gall, George Jr. and Michael Lindsay (1999), Surveying the Religious Landscape: Trends in U.S. Beliefs (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing).

Kosmin, Barry (1991), The National Survey of Religious Identification, http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CCwQFjAD&url= http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jewishdatabank.org%2FArchive%2FNSRI1990- Research_Report_with_Selected_Tabulations.pdf&ei= nH_1TIvqG8WBlAfd5Jz4BQ&usg=AFQjCNHASEXKYZTsxzKlRe24U8-4foBJQA.

Kosmin, Barry A., Egon Mayer, and Ariela Keysar (2001), American Religious Identification Survey, www.gc.cuny.edu/faculty/research_briefs/aris.pdf.

Kosmin, Barry A. and Ariela Keysar (2009), American Religious Identification Survey, www.americanreligionsurvey-aris.org/reports/ARIS_Report_2008.pdf.

Infant Baptism by Moisés Pinedo


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=2709

Infant Baptism

by  Moisés Pinedo

Rooted in the idea that infants bear Adam’s sin (“original sin”) is the perceived need to baptize babies to free them from this “sinful nature” and “from the power of darkness” (Cathecism..., 1994, 1250). It has also been declared that
[t]he sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth (1250).
Some well-meaning people who disagree with infant baptism have opposed it strictly because they see it as an imposition of one’s will on someone who is incapable of making his or her own decisions. While making one’s own choices is critical in regard to salvation, the argument against imposing the wishes of others on someone else should not be the determining factor in whether or not infant baptism is practiced. The only determinant should be whether God authorizes or requires it. After all, if God has commanded us to baptize babies, we should obey His command, even if the world calls it an imposition. But, if there is no biblical reason to follow this practice, we should not impose something purposeless on our children. With this understanding, the following parallel has been drawn:
If my newborn son is born with an illness, should I deny him medicine arguing that he is not consciously receiving it? Would I say that it would be better to wait until he has sufficient ability to reason? (Domínguez, 2006, emp. added).
Of course, infant baptism might be a necessity if original sin were passed down through the generations. However, children do not inherit the sins of their parents, so, ultimately, no one can inherit the sin of Adam (cf. Exodus 32:32-33; Deuteronomy 24:16; 2 Kings 14:6; 2 Chronicles 25:4; Jeremiah 31:30; Ezekiel 18:20; Pinedo, 2009). Therefore, babies and little children do not have “sickly souls,” nor do they need baptism for spiritual healing. No one would give penicillin to a baby who is not sick and does not need it. No one would take his newborn son to the hospital so that he could undergo surgery to remove a nonexistent tumor. Similarly, no one should subject a baby to a baptism that is designed to forgive sins which he or she cannot commit (cf. Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21).
The Bible never gives a command, provides an example, or implies that infant baptism should be administered. There is not a single Bible verse that mentions it. Therefore, some Catholics have tried to find biblical support for infant baptism by arguing from the silence of Scripture. Using Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:15, where Jesus commissioned His disciples to preach and baptize, it has been suggested that the disciples would “consequently go forward in the practice of infant baptism, unless restrained and prohibited by a special interdict” (Hibbard, 1843, p. 95). This argument is fallacious because it suggests that where the Bible does not record a prohibition, everything is acceptable. The Bible does not prohibit “pet baptism.” So, should we proceed to “baptize” them?
Others have suggested that the word “creature” in Mark 16:15 may include babies. However, this word is limited by the context in which it appears. The Greek word for “creation” (ktisis) is used to designate the act of creation or the creative actions in progress. It also refers to the product of creation (see Vine, 1966, 1:254,255). In its general usage, this word includes not only babies, but also the totality of what was created, i.e., animals and plants, as well as everything inanimate. Fortunately, the context helps us to understand that baptism should be performed on “every creature” who is able to be taught the Gospel and believe it (Mark 16:15-16). This automatically excludes animals, plants, and inanimate things—as well as babies and little children who cannot yet understand or believe the Gospel.
In Matthew 28:19, Jesus told the apostles to “[g]o therefore and make disciples of all nations” (emp. added). A disciple is a person who learns at the feet of another. This certainly cannot include infants. In verse 20, Jesus told His apostles to teach the new disciples to “observe all things” that He commanded. The disciples were not only to learn, but also to observe or practice what they had learned. The truth is obvious: the Gospel was preached to, heard, and believed by people who were able to understand, believe, and obey.
But, what about the biblical accounts of entire families being baptized? Is it possible that babies were members of those families, and that they were also baptized? The Catholic Catechism explores this “possibility” and states:
There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole “households” received baptism, infants may also have been baptized (1994, 1252, emp. added).
Some Catholic leaders have gone even further. In his book, The Faith of our Fathers, Archbishop James C. Gibbons declared:
The Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of St. Paul, although containing only a fragmentary account of the ministry of the Apostles, plainly insinuate that the Apostles baptized children as well as grown persons. We are told, for instance, that Lydia “was baptized, and her household,” by St. Paul; and that the jailer “was baptized, and all his family.” The same Apostle baptized also “the household of Stephanas” (1891, p. 308, emp. added).
Although at first glance this argument may seem valid, it is actually an assumption lacking biblical support. First, it is hasty to conclude that when the Bible writers referred to the “household” of someone, they always included every member of the family. Second, there is no biblical evidence that those households included babies or young children. Since there is no way to prove that there were babies in the households in question, nor that the word “household” necessarily included babies, these passages do not endorse infant baptism.
In fact, the context of these passages in Acts speaks loudly against infant baptism. Concerning the Philippian jailer, Luke tells us exactly which members of “all his family” (Acts 16:33) were baptized. They were those who were taught the Word by Paul and Silas (16:32), and those who rejoiced with the jailer, having “believed in God” (16:34). Can babies be taught the Word and believe in God, understand the sacrifice of His Son, and immediately act upon faith? Can they rejoice as a result of their obedient faith? Concerning Lydia, Luke tells us that “the Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul” (Acts 16:14). Those who were baptized had hearts and minds that were open to the Word. Do babies have open hearts and discerning minds? The New Testament clearly teaches that baptism was performed on people who were taught the Word, who had open hearts, who carefully listened to and obeyed the Word, and who rejoiced because they made the conscious decision to follow Christ.
Using Colossians 2:11-12, another attempt to defend infant baptism has been based on the idea that baptism “replaces” circumcision. According to this argument, since “circumcision was done to infants,” then infant baptism is a biblical practice (“Infant Baptism,” n.d.). Although Paul used circumcision to illustrate the time when people “put off” sin and become Christians (in baptism—Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27), he never taught, promoted, or commanded infant baptism (cf. Lyons, 2003). Consider these points: (1) Paul made a comparison between circumcision and baptism, not infant baptism. The comparison was between the “cutting off” (of the flesh) in circumcision and the spiritual “cutting off” (of sin) which occurs at baptism. (2) Circumcision was commanded only for the descendants of Abraham, and proselytes (Genesis 17:12-13; Exodus 12:48), but baptism is for all nations (Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16). (3) Circumcision was performed only on male babies (Genesis 17:10), but baptism is for men and women (Galatians 3:28; Acts 8:12). (4) Circumcision was performed on the male infant’s eighth day (Genesis 17:12), but baptism is to be performed when one believes and repents (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). (5) Many people were circumcised before becoming Christians (Philippians 3:5), and others were circumcised afterward even though it was optional (Acts 16:3; cf. 15:1-29). If baptism replaced circumcision, how could they both be performed at the same time, among the same people, and under the same covenant (Brents, 1874, pp. 345-347)? (6) Paul declared that in Christ Jesus neither circumcision is worth anything, nor uncircumcision (Galatians 5:6). Colossians 2:11-12 does not justify nor advocate infant baptism.
If the Bible does not support infant baptism, when and how did this practice begin? Catholics acknowledge that “[i]n the course of the fourth century it became quite common for people to be born into Christian families, and by the next century, in the whole Mediterranean world, this was the common pattern. This means that the process of baptism changed considerably. Infant baptism became the general pattern” (Orlandis, 1993, p. 35; cf. Koch, 1997, p. 116). In A.D. 418, the Council of Carthage officially accepted this practice and enacted a condemnation for those who opposed it (see “Canons,” n.d., 2). This is one more piece of evidence that infant baptism is not commanded by God, but rather is a man-made tradition.
Finally, according to Catholicism, what happens to the babies who do not receive baptism soon after they are born? According to the Catholic Catechism, babies are born with sin, and should be baptized so they may be “freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God” (1994, 1250). In other words, little babies are condemned in spiritual darkness and separated from any spiritual blessing. The provincial Council of Cologne even declared that “[f]aith teaches us that infants...are excluded from the kingdom of heaven if they die [unbaptized]” (quoted in “The Existence of Limbo...,” 2006, bracketed item in orig.) Nevertheless, it is also declared that
[a]s regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus’ tenderness toward children which caused him to say: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,” allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism (Catechism..., 1994, 1261, emp. added).
On one hand, Catholicism asserts that little children, without baptism, are in spiritual bondage, while, on the other hand, it wants us to believe that “there is a way of salvation for those children who died without baptism.” Does this mean that little children are contaminated with original sin at birth but are liberated from this sin at death? If there is a “way of salvation for those children who died without baptism,” why should Catholics baptize their babies at all?
Such incongruity can only be the result of a doctrine that lacks biblical authority. Infants are gifts from God, pure and unblemished by the world (Psalm 127:3). As they grow, precious little ones can learn what sin is, and what its consequences are. Hopefully, as accountable persons they will realize their need for forgiveness from God, and, ultimately, they will choose between believing and being baptized to be saved (Mark 16:16), and disobeying and living eternally separated from God (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

REFERENCES

Brents, T.W. (1874), The Gospel Plan of Salvation (Bowling Green, KY: Guardian of Truth Foundation, 1987 reprint).
“Canons” (no date), Council of Carthage [On-line], URL: http://www.seanmultimedia.com/Pie_Council_Of_Carthage_May_1_418.html.
Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994), (Mahwah, NY: Paulist Press).
Domínguez, J. (2006), “Baptism of Children, Infants, and Babies” [“Bautismo de los Niños, de los Infantes, de los Bebés”], [On-line], URL: http://biblia.com/cpb/bautismo.htm.
“The Existence of Limbo: A Common Doctrine from Which It Would be Rash to Depart...” (2006), [On-line], URL: http://www.tldm.org/news8/Limbo.htm#_ednref20#_ednref20.
Gibbons, James C. (1891), The Faith of Our Fathers (Baltimore: John Murphy).
Hibbard, F.G. (1843), Christian Baptism: In Two Parts (New York: G. Lane & P.P. Sandford).
“Infant Baptism” (no date), Catholic Answers, [On-line], URL: http://www.catholic.com/library/infant_baptism.asp.
Koch, Carl (1997), A Popular History of the Catholic Church (Winona, MN: Saint Mary’s Press).
Lyons, Eric (2003), “Does Baptism Replace Circumcision?,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2287.
Orlandis, José (1993), A Short History of the Catholic Church, trans. Michael Adams (New York: Scepter).
Pinedo, Moisés (2009), “Are Children Born With Sin?,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/240109.
Vine, W.E. (1966), An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell).

Does the Development of Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria Support Neo-Darwinian Evolution? by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=5372

Does the Development of Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria Support Neo-Darwinian Evolution?

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

It is not uncommon to hear evolutionists claim that bacteria evolving a resistance to antibiotics are proof positive that Darwinian evolution (i.e., macroevolution) is true. Is that claim valid?
There is no question that bacteria can change or “evolve” in some sense. Fred Tenover, Director of the Office of Antimicrobial Resistance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, summarized the ways in which bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics, explaining that bacteria can sometimes be intrinsically resistant to antimicrobial agents, but in other cases, there can be an acquisition of resistance.1 De novo mutation can lead to such change or resistance genes can be acquired from other organisms through conjugation (where two bacteria join, pooling or exchanging their genetic information), and rarely, DNA transposition (i.e., transformation and transduction) can lead to bacterial resistance to antibiotics, where genetic information is absorbed by or transported into bacteria from outside sources.2 The question is whether such changes imply that, (1) neo-Darwinian evolution is true (i.e., that creatures can evolve across phylogenic boundaries into a completely different kind of creature over time) or rather that (2) only microevolution or diversification of the bacteria “kind” (Genesis 1:11ff.) is true, i.e., small changes within bacteria that lead “to new varieties within a species,”3 which, based on the observed evidence, operate within strict boundaries that disallow evolution across phylogenic boundaries. More specifically, when bacteria change through mutation, does that mean that the standard, modern evolutionary model, neo-Darwinism, is true (i.e., that mutations coupled with natural selection provide the mechanism for evolution from a single-celled organism to humans)?
In response, first note that although bacteria can change through the three aforementioned mechanisms, the bacteria are still bacteria after the change. They have not changed into a different kind of creature, and therefore, such changes would fall under microevolutionary change or diversification within the bacterium “kind.” To suggest that because bacteria can change, a bacterium can, therefore, eventually change into a buffalo, is well beyond the actual evidence and requires a blind “faith” to accept.
Also keep in mind that it is misleading to claim that “bacteria evolve” anything—as though they intentionally improve themselves in response to a need. Evolutionary biologist and Distinguished Professor at Stony Brook University in New York Douglas J. Futuyma explained that “the adaptive ‘needs’ of the species do not increase the likelihood that an adaptive mutation will occur; mutations are not directed toward the adaptive needs of the moment.... Mutations have causes, but the species’ need to adapt isn’t one of them.”4 Bacteria cannot control any change that occurs in them. They cannot intentionally mutate as a response to antibiotics, and yet such intention is what evolutionists have suggested causes evolution—like the Lamarckian portrait of a horse straining to eat leaves from a tall tree and eventually evolving a long neck in order to accommodate that need. In the case of bacterial mutations, most of these mutations occur at random in a population of bacterial cells. Some mutations happen to enable bacteria to be resistant to a particular antibiotic, and others do not.
Further, consider that mutations do not add information to the genome, and the creation of information is necessary to evolve a single cell into a human.5 Repeatedly copying the old 1972 Atari video game “Pong” will not one day cause it to spontaneously “evolve” into “Madden NFL 17” for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, regardless of the copying errors that are produced along the way. In the same way, mutations will not generate the information necessary to evolve a creature into a human.6 Information is always the product of a mind or sender.
As an example, consider bacteria in the presence of an antibiotic. If a mutation caused the export pump of a certain bacterium to be over-expressed, the change may allow that bacterium to remove the antibiotic more efficiently and, therefore, allow it to survive in the presence of the antibiotic. At the same time, neighboring bacteria may not survive the same conditions since their pumps were not over-expressed. So, bacteria without the mutation are selected against, and the mutated bacterium predominates. Notice, however, that this mutation did not require any new information, but, rather, involved changing existing information.
Finally, consider this important question: are mutated bacteria really better off, over-all? Evolution requires an over-all upward trend in an organism’s state. Creatures must progress and become more complex over time in order for evolution to be true; but mutations, overwhelmingly, show a downward trend in species.7 In those cases where mutations lead to beneficial outcomes, like those that lead to antibiotic resistance in bacteria, the change can actually tend to make those bacteria less viable over-all—e.g., outside of the environment where the antibiotic was present.8 In the example of a bacterium with an over-expressed pump, in the absence of the antibiotic, it may not be advantageous to the bacterium for its pump to be over-expressed. In humans, genetic mutations that lead to, for instance, a milk allergy, might cause those individuals with the allergy to temporarily fare better if they live in areas where there are breakouts of infectious microbes in cow’s milk. Over-all, however, the milk allergy could cause them to be deficient in calcium and potassium. Those with the sickle-cell trait—where one parent passes a mutated hemoglobin gene to a child and the other passes a normal gene9—do not die from having the trait, and they also tend to have a resistance to malaria because of it.10 Does that mean that those with the sickle-cell trait are more fit, over-all, in comparison to those without it? Have they really evolved to a higher life form by acquiring the trait? Certainly not. Those with the sickle-cell trait can have serious health problems, and their children are more likely to develop the dangerous disease sickle-cell anemia, depending on the genes passed on by the other parent.11 The negatives of the mutated hemoglobin outweigh the positives. The Second Law of Thermodynamics—the Universe is gradually deteriorating and decaying—demands that continual digression and deterioration occur in the genome, not progression toward higher beings as evolution requires. Genetic entropy is the rule.12
Bottom line: bacteria, and all living organisms, change over time, in harmony with how God created creatures in the beginning. God created distinct “kinds” of creatures during the Creation week, and representatives from many of those kinds were brought onto the Ark before the Flood. Those representatives had sufficient genetic potential to cause an immense amount of diversity to come about within those respective kinds over the centuries since the Flood.13 Though the primary mechanism for that change is still being investigated, mutations do generate a degree of change in species. Those mutations, however, according to the evidence, do not have the potential to turn bacteria into something other than bacteria. Indeed, the Earth consistently “[brings] forth the living creature according to its kind” (Genesis 1:24).14

Endnotes

1 Fred C. Tenover (2006), “Mechanisms of Antimicrobial Resistance in Bacteria,” The American Journal of Medicine, 119[6A]:S3-S10.
2 Joe Deweese (2015), “What is Horizontal Gene Transfer, and Does it Support Evolution?” Reason & Revelation, 35[9]:100-105.
3 “Microevolution” (2014), Biology-Online.org, http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Microevolution.
4 Douglas J. Futuyma (1983), Science on Trial (New York: Pantheon Books), pp. 137,138.
5 Note that the second and third mechanisms listed in paragraph two involve the addition of genetic information to bacteria, but it is a pooling of already existing information, not the generation of new information. The information already had to exist.
6 Jeff Miller (2014), “God and the Laws of Science: Genetics vs. Evolution [Part I],” Reason & Revelation, 34[1]:2-10.
7 Ibid.
8 Luke McNally and Sam P. Brown (2016), “Visualizing Evolution As It Happens,” Science, 353[6304]:1096-1097, September 9. The authors acknowledge that “[a] key factor slowing the spread of antibiotic resistance is the cost of resistance; resistance mutations generally reduce growth in the absence of the antibiotic” (p. 1097, emp. added).
9 “Sickle Cell Trait” (2016), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/sicklecell/traits.html.
10 “Protective Effect of Sickle Cell Trait Against Maleria-Associated Mortality and Morbidity” (2012), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/biology/sickle_cell.html.
11 “Sickle Cell Trait” (2016), American Society of Hematology, http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Anemia/Sickle-Cell-Trait.aspx.
12 J.C. Sanford (2008), Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome (Waterloo, NY: FMS Publications), Kindle file.
13 Nathaniel T. Jeanson (2016), “On the Origin of Eukaryotic Species’ Genotypic and Phenotypic Diversity: Genetic Clocks, Population Growth Curves, and Comparative Nuclear Genome Analyses Suggest Created Heterozygosity in Combination with Natural Processes as a Major Mechanism,” Answers Research Journal, 9[2016]:81-122.
14 Special thanks to biochemist Dr. Joe Deweese for reviewing this article and offering helpful suggestions.

Mommas Can Murder, but Daddies Can't? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=915

Mommas Can Murder, but Daddies Can't?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Few things enrage a community more than finding out that a pregnant woman has been murdered. Towns struck with such an atrocity often rise up and declare that justice must be served: “Violators should be charged with two counts of murder, not just one.” In recent times, men committing such heinous crimes have been charged with double murder. From Missouri to California, from Ohio to Utah, prosecutors have been pushing for maximum penalties by charging men, who allegedly have killed their pregnant wives (or girlfriends), with two counts of murder. In one particular case in California, a man, who police and prosecutors believe kicked and punched his pregnant girlfriend, was charged with assaulting the mother and murdering the baby (whom the mother was carrying in the womb).
It is encouraging to know that our judicial system has seen fit to prosecute those who murder unborn babies, and to make the guilty pay the highest penalties allowed. In these situations, our judicial system has treated the unborn baby as he/she really is—a human being (cf. Jeremiah 1:4-5; Luke 1:39-44). “A person guilty of murdering an unborn child is guilty of murdering a person.” This is what we are being told over and over again by those who seek to charge men, who take the lives of a woman and her unborn baby, with double murder.
Wait a minute! How can an unborn child be considered a human being in one situation (when a man takes the life of a woman and her baby), but then, when a pregnant woman wants to take the life of her unborn child, the baby becomes an “appendage” of the mother’s body. “The baby is not a human being, just an extra lump of tissue that the mother can discard at will.” If the father intentionally kicks a baby while in the mother’s womb, killing the child, he likely will be sentenced to prison, or possibly to death (and rightly so—Genesis 9:6). On the other hand, if a mother goes to an abortion clinic and pays a doctor to insert a pliers-like instrument into her uterus literally to pull and shred the baby into pieces, snapping the spinal cord, and crushing the skull, she has done nothing illegal?
How, in the name of common sense, can our courts rule that when a woman takes the life of her own child, “it is a choice,” but when someone else takes that life, “it is murder”? Such reasoning makes no sense. Abortion-rights activists, at least, are consistent in this regard (see White, 2003). As Heather Boonstra, senior public policy associate at the Alan Guttmacher Institute, stated: “The law cannot hold both that a pregnant woman is two persons and at the same time allow her to have an abortion” (2001).
Something must change! The laws on the books today in America regarding the rights of an unborn child must be enforced—consistently. The “hands that shed innocent blood,” whether mother or father, are abominable to the Lord and His people (Proverbs 6:17). Let us pray to the Almighty regarding this matter, and work to encourage our government officials to uphold the value of human life by one day reversing the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

REFERENCES

“Los Angeles Times Looks at Growing Debate Over Fetal Rights Laws in States” (2001), Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, [On-line], URL: http://report.kff.org/archive/repro/2001/5/kr010529.3.htm
White, Nicole (2003), “Proposal on Double Murder Charges Fuels Abortion Battle,” The Miami Herald, [On-line], URL: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/5607355.htm, April 11.

Does God Tempt People? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=2679&b=James

Does God Tempt People?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

In his February 12, 2009 debate with Kyle Butt, Dan Barker alleged that he “knows” the God of the Bible cannot exist because “there are mutually incompatible properties/characteristics of the God that’s in this book [the Bible—EL] that rule out the possibility of His existence.” Seven minutes and 54 seconds into his first speech, Barker cited James 1:13 and Genesis 22:1 as proof that the God of the Bible cannot exist. Since James 1:13 says: “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man” (KJV), and Genesis 22:1 affirms that “God did tempt Abraham” (KJV) to sacrifice his son, Barker asserted that God is like a married bachelor or a square circle—He cannot logically exist.
If Genesis 22:1 actually taught that God really tempted Abraham to commit evil and sin, then the God of the Bible might be a “square circle,” i.e., a logical contradiction. But, the fact of the matter is, God did not tempt Abraham to commit evil. Barker formulated his argument based upon the King James Version and only one meaning of the Hebrew word (nissâ) found in Genesis 22:1. Although the word can mean “to tempt,” the first two meanings that Brown, Driver, and Briggs give for nissâ in their Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament is “to test, to try” (1993). Likewise, the Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament (1997) defines the word simply “to test” (Jenni and Westermann, 1997, 2:741-742). The Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament agrees that nissâ is best translated, whether in secular or theological contexts, as “testing” (Botterweck, et al., 1998, 9:443-455). For this reason, virtually all major translations in recent times, including the NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV, and RSV, translate Genesis 22:1 using the term “tested,” not tempted.
When David put on the armor of King Saul prior to battling Goliath, the shepherd realized: “I cannot walk with these, for I have not tested (nissâ) them” (1 Samuel 17:39, emp. added). Obviously, this testing had nothing to do with David “tempting” his armor; he simply had not tested or tried on Saul’s armor previously. God led Israel during 40 years of desert wanderings “to humble...and test” them (Deuteronomy 8:2, emp. added), not to tempt them to sin. Notice also the contrast in Exodus 20:20 between (1) God testing man and (2) trying to cause man to sin. After giving Israel the Ten Commandments, Moses said: “Do not fear; for God has come to test (nissâ) you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin” (Exodus 20:20, emp. added). If one were to use Barker’s reasoning that nissâ must mean “to tempt,” regardless of the context, then he would have to interpret Exodus 20:20 to mean that God tempted Israel to sin, so that they will not sin.
When a person interprets the Bible, or any other book, without recognizing that words have a variety of meanings and can be used in various senses, a rational interpretation is impossible. Many alleged Bible contradictions, including several of those that Dan Barker mentioned in the Butt/Barker Debate, are easily explained simply by acknowledging that words are used in a variety of ways. Is a word to be taken literally or figuratively? Must the term in one place mean the exact same thing when in another context, or may it have different meanings? If English-speaking Americans can intelligibly converse about running to the store in the 21st century by driving a car, or if we can easily communicate about parking on driveways, and driving on parkways, why do some people have such a difficult time understanding the various ways in which words were used in Bible times? Could it be that some Bible critics like Barker are simply predisposed to interpret Scripture unfairly? The evidence reveals that is exactly what is happening.
Rather then contradicting James 1:13, Genesis 22:1 actually corresponds perfectly with what James wrote near the beginning of his epistle: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (1:2-4, emp. added). By instructing Abraham to sacrifice his promised son (cf. Hebrews 11:17), God gave Abraham another opportunity to prove his loyalty to Him, while Abraham simultaneously used this trial to continue developing a more complete, mature faith.

REFERENCES

Botterweck, G. Johannes, Helmer Ringgren, and Heinz-Josef Fabry (1998), Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Brown, Francis, S.R. Driver, and Charles B. Briggs (1993), A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Butt, Kyle and Dan Barker (2009), Does the God of the Bible Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Jenni, Ernst and Claus Westerman (1997), Theological Lexicon of the Old Testament (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).

There will be false teachers among you by Roy Davison

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/falsetea.html


There will be false teachers among you
Jeremiah lived 600 years before Christ. Jacob's descendants had divided into two kingdoms: Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Many of the people served idols and were immoral.
God called Jeremiah to make His message known. He was a true prophet of God. There were also many false prophets in the land, who told the people what they wanted to hear. In Jeremiah, chapter 23, God warns the people not to listen to false prophets. And He warns the false prophets, that He will punish them. From this chapter we learn important truths that can help us avoid false teachers today.
Peter warns Christians of all ages: “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways” (2 Peter 2:1,2).
There were false prophets in the Old Testament, there will be false teachers among us as well.
Jesus warned: “Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many” (Matthew 24:11). The fact that there are many false teachers among us and that many people listen to them is simply a fulfillment of the word of Christ.
He also said: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). False teachers are false not only in doctrine but also in their appearance. They pretend to be something they are not. On the inside they are vicious wolves who kill and scatter the sheep. But they wear a sheepskin to trick the sheep.
Paul told the elders at Ephesus: “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:29,30).
John warned: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
These warnings of Christ and His apostles would be futile if there were no way to distinguish between those who speak the truth and those who teach error.
When one considers the thousands of preachers and priests in the world, it is obvious that most of them are not speaking for God because they teach conflicting things.
One man I baptized started reading the Bible because different priests in his own church were teaching different things.
His reaction was: “Since the priests say different things, I will read the Bible for myself. What it says will certainly be right.” The first time I met him he said: “I don't know where it will lead me, but I have decided to do what the Bible says.” I thought, “If he really means that, he will become a Christian.” And he did. Have we decided to do what the Bible says?
God has given us the Holy Scriptures so we can test the spirits.
What does God think about false teachers? “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” (Jeremiah 23:1). They will be punished for their evil deeds: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings” (Jeremiah 23:2).
In verses 9 and 10 Jeremiah laments the terrible state of the land “because of the prophets.” “For both prophet and priest are profane” (verse 11). Profane means 'secular', 'not holy'.
The prophets and priests were supposed to be spiritual and holy. Instead, they were secular.
A tourist visiting a monastery in Italy was astounded by a sign in botched English: “We harbor all kinds of diseases and have no respect for religion. Please donate some small arms for our hospital.”
False teachers do indeed harbor all kinds of spiritual diseases and have no respect for true religion.
A preacher was invited to work with a small church of Christ in a mission area. He replied that he was willing to come if he could have a big salary and a house that was nice enough to impress the business people of the community.
Beware of false prophets, preachers and priests. They are more concerned about worldly things than spiritual values. Jesus said to the religious leaders: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.” ... “Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:25 and 28).
In Jeremiah 23, God says that He will bring disaster on the false prophets. The prophets of the northern kingdom caused Israel to err through idol worship. (Do some religious leaders today encourage people to bow down before images?)
Of the prophets in the southern kingdom, God says: “Also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they also strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns back from his wickedness. All of them are like Sodom to Me, and her inhabitants like Gomorrah” (Jeremiah 23:14).
False teachers strengthen the hands of evildoers. This is explained in verse 17: “They continually say to those who despise Me, 'The Lord has said, “You shall have peace” '; and to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say, 'No evil shall come upon you.' ”
This explains why false teachers are so popular! They are politically correct. They go along with the times. They adapt their message so it will not offend society. They tell people what they want to hear.
Are people who follow their own heart in our time told by some religious leaders that no evil will come upon them? Do some religious leaders condone the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah? Do some preachers say that no evil will come upon those who Jesus says commit adultery because of divorce and remarriage (Matthew 5:31,32; 19:9)?
Beware of false prophets, preachers and priests who tickle the itching ears of evildoers (2 Timothy 4:3,4).
“For from the prophets of Jerusalem profaneness has gone out into all the land” (Jeremiah 23:15). They were profane themselves, and profaneness spread from them to the whole country. We live in a secular society. We must be careful that we do not become a secular church by listening to bootlicking false teachers.
“Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:16). False teachers tell you what they think, rather than what God says.
Because of the neglect of the false prophets, the people did not repent: “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran. I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings” (Jeremiah 23:21,22).
We have been warned. We must distinguish between what comes from God and what comes from man: “ 'The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream; and he who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat?' says the Lord. 'Is not My word like a fire?' says the Lord, 'and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?' ” (Jeremiah 23:28,29).
If a man has a dream and wants to tell it, ok, but he should not claim that it came from God. Man's word is chaff. God's word is nutritious grain. They who have God's word must speak it faithfully. It is powerful, like a burning fire and a hammer that pulverizes rocks.
Peter said: “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11).
How can we distinguish between the word of man and the word of God? Through Isaiah, God commanded the people: “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). We recognize false teachers by comparing what they say with the word of God.
There are false teachers among us, just like there were false prophets in the Old Testament. Do not listen to them. False teachers are secular, more concerned about popularity than purity. Their profaneness spreads like cancer. False teachers strengthen the hands of evildoers, comforting them in their sin rather than calling them to repentance. God has given us the Scriptures so we can know the difference between the word of man and the word of God. “To the law and to the testimony!” Beware of false teachers.
Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

Bible Reading February 17, 18, 19 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading February 17, 18, 19 (World English Bible)

Feb. 17
Genesis 48

Gen 48:1 It happened after these things, that someone said to Joseph, "Behold, your father is sick." He took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
Gen 48:2 Someone told Jacob, and said, "Behold, your son Joseph comes to you," and Israel strengthened himself, and sat on the bed.
Gen 48:3 Jacob said to Joseph, "God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,
Gen 48:4 and said to me, 'Behold, I will make you fruitful, and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your seed after you for an everlasting possession.'
Gen 48:5 Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you into Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh, even as Reuben and Simeon, will be mine.
Gen 48:6 Your issue, who you become the father of after them, will be yours. They will be called after the name of their brothers in their inheritance.
Gen 48:7 As for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when there was still some distance to come to Ephrath, and I buried her there in the way to Ephrath (the same is Bethlehem)."
Gen 48:8 Israel saw Joseph's sons, and said, "Who are these?"
Gen 48:9 Joseph said to his father, "They are my sons, whom God has given me here." He said, "Please bring them to me, and I will bless them."
Gen 48:10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he couldn't see. He brought them near to him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.
Gen 48:11 Israel said to Joseph, "I didn't think I would see your face, and behold, God has let me see your seed also."
Gen 48:12 Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.
Gen 48:13 Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near to him.
Gen 48:14 Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it on Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn.
Gen 48:15 He blessed Joseph, and said, "The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God who has fed me all my life long to this day,
Gen 48:16 the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads, and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac. Let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth."
Gen 48:17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him. He held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head.
Gen 48:18 Joseph said to his father, "Not so, my father; for this is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head."
Gen 48:19 His father refused, and said, "I know, my son, I know. He also will become a people, and he also will be great. However, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his seed will become a multitude of nations."
Gen 48:20 He blessed them that day, saying, "In you will Israel bless, saying, 'God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh' " He set Ephraim before Manasseh.
Gen 48:21 Israel said to Joseph, "Behold, I am dying, but God will be with you, and bring you again to the land of your fathers.
Gen 48:22 Moreover I have given to you one portion above your brothers, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow."



Feb. 18
Genesis 49

Gen 49:1 Jacob called to his sons, and said: "Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which will happen to you in the days to come.
Gen 49:2 Assemble yourselves, and hear, you sons of Jacob. Listen to Israel, your father.
Gen 49:3 "Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength; excelling in dignity, and excelling in power.
Gen 49:4 Boiling over as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father's bed, then defiled it. He went up to my couch.
Gen 49:5 "Simeon and Levi are brothers. Their swords are weapons of violence.
Gen 49:6 My soul, don't come into their council. My glory, don't be united to their assembly; for in their anger they killed men. In their self-will they hamstrung cattle.
Gen 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
Gen 49:8 "Judah, your brothers will praise you. Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies. Your father's sons will bow down before you.
Gen 49:9 Judah is a lion's cub. From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down, he crouched as a lion, as a lioness. Who will rouse him up?
Gen 49:10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs. To him will the obedience of the peoples be.
Gen 49:11 Binding his foal to the vine, his donkey's colt to the choice vine; he has washed his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.
Gen 49:12 His eyes will be red with wine, his teeth white with milk.
Gen 49:13 "Zebulun will dwell at the haven of the sea. He will be for a haven of ships. His border will be on Sidon.
Gen 49:14 "Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the saddlebags.
Gen 49:15 He saw a resting place, that it was good, the land, that it was pleasant. He bows his shoulder to the burden, and becomes a servant doing forced labor.
Gen 49:16 "Dan will judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
Gen 49:17 Dan will be a serpent in the way, an adder in the path, That bites the horse's heels, so that his rider falls backward.
Gen 49:18 I have waited for your salvation, Yahweh.
Gen 49:19 "A troop will press on Gad, but he will press on their heel.
Gen 49:20 "Asher's food will be rich. He will yield royal dainties.
Gen 49:21 "Naphtali is a doe set free, who bears beautiful fawns.
Gen 49:22 "Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine by a spring. His branches run over the wall.
Gen 49:23 The archers have sorely grieved him, shot at him, and persecute him:
Gen 49:24 But his bow remained strong. The arms of his hands were made strong, by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, (from there is the shepherd, the stone of Israel),
Gen 49:25 even by the God of your father, who will help you; by the Almighty, who will bless you, with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb.
Gen 49:26 The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of your ancestors, above the boundaries of the ancient hills. They will be on the head of Joseph, on the crown of the head of him who is separated from his brothers.
Gen 49:27 "Benjamin is a ravenous wolf. In the morning he will devour the prey. At evening he will divide the spoil."
Gen 49:28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them and blessed them. He blessed everyone according to his blessing.
Gen 49:29 He instructed them, and said to them, "I am to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
Gen 49:30 in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite as a burial place.
Gen 49:31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah, his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah, his wife, and there I buried Leah:
Gen 49:32 the field and the cave that is therein, which was purchased from the children of Heth."
Gen 49:33 When Jacob made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the spirit, and was gathered to his people.



Feb. 19
Genesis 50

Gen 50:1 Joseph fell on his father's face, wept on him, and kissed him.
Gen 50:2 Joseph commanded his servants, the physicians, to embalm his father; and the physicians embalmed Israel.
Gen 50:3 Forty days were fulfilled for him, for that is how many the days it takes to embalm. The Egyptians wept for him for seventy days.
Gen 50:4 When the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spoke to the house of Pharaoh, saying, "If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the ears of Pharaoh, saying,
Gen 50:5 'My father made me swear, saying, "Behold, I am dying. Bury me in my grave which I have dug for myself in the land of Canaan." Now therefore, please let me go up and bury my father, and I will come again.' "
Gen 50:6 Pharaoh said, "Go up, and bury your father, just like he made you swear."
Gen 50:7 Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, all the elders of the land of Egypt,
Gen 50:8 all the house of Joseph, his brothers, and his father's house. Only their little ones, their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen.
Gen 50:9 There went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company.
Gen 50:10 They came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and there they lamented with a very great and sore lamentation. He mourned for his father seven days.
Gen 50:11 When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, "This is a grievous mourning by the Egyptians." Therefore, its name was called Abel Mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan.
Gen 50:12 His sons did to him just as he commanded them,
Gen 50:13 for his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field, for a possession of a burial site, from Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre.
Gen 50:14 Joseph returned into Egypt--he, and his brothers, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.
Gen 50:15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "It may be that Joseph will hate us, and will fully pay us back for all of the evil which we did to him."
Gen 50:16 They sent a message to Joseph, saying, "Your father commanded before he died, saying,
Gen 50:17 'You shall tell Joseph, "Now please forgive the disobedience of your brothers, and their sin, because they did evil to you." ' Now, please forgive the disobedience of the servants of the God of your father." Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
Gen 50:18 His brothers also went and fell down before his face; and they said, "Behold, we are your servants."
Gen 50:19 Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid, for am I in the place of God?
Gen 50:20 As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive.
Gen 50:21 Now therefore don't be afraid. I will nourish you and your little ones." He comforted them, and spoke kindly to them.
Gen 50:22 Joseph lived in Egypt, he, and his father's house. Joseph lived one hundred ten years.
Gen 50:23 Joseph saw Ephraim's children to the third generation. The children also of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were born on Joseph's knees.
Gen 50:24 Joseph said to his brothers, "I am dying, but God will surely visit you, and bring you up out of this land to the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob."
Gen 50:25 Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here."
Gen 50:26 So Joseph died, being one hundred ten years old, and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

 
Feb. 16, 17
Matthew 24

Mat 24:1 Jesus went out from the temple, and was going on his way. His disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple.
Mat 24:2 But he answered them, "You see all of these things, don't you? Most certainly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone on another, that will not be thrown down."
Mat 24:3 As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be? What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?"
Mat 24:4 Jesus answered them, "Be careful that no one leads you astray.
Mat 24:5 For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Christ,' and will lead many astray.
Mat 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you aren't troubled, for all this must happen, but the end is not yet.
Mat 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places.
Mat 24:8 But all these things are the beginning of birth pains.
Mat 24:9 Then they will deliver you up to oppression, and will kill you. You will be hated by all of the nations for my name's sake.
Mat 24:10 Then many will stumble, and will deliver up one another, and will hate one another.
Mat 24:11 Many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray.
Mat 24:12 Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold.
Mat 24:13 But he who endures to the end, the same will be saved.
Mat 24:14 This Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Mat 24:15 "When, therefore, you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),
Mat 24:16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
Mat 24:17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take out things that are in his house.
Mat 24:18 Let him who is in the field not return back to get his clothes.
Mat 24:19 But woe to those who are with child and to nursing mothers in those days!
Mat 24:20 Pray that your flight will not be in the winter, nor on a Sabbath,
Mat 24:21 for then there will be great oppression, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever will be.
Mat 24:22 Unless those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved. But for the sake of the chosen ones, those days will be shortened.
Mat 24:23 "Then if any man tells you, 'Behold, here is the Christ,' or, 'There,' don't believe it.
Mat 24:24 For there will arise false christs, and false prophets, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones.
Mat 24:25 "Behold, I have told you beforehand.
Mat 24:26 If therefore they tell you, 'Behold, he is in the wilderness,' don't go out; 'Behold, he is in the inner chambers,' don't believe it.
Mat 24:27 For as the lightning flashes from the east, and is seen even to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Mat 24:28 For wherever the carcass is, there is where the vultures gather together.
Mat 24:29 But immediately after the oppression of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken;
Mat 24:30 and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. Then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 He will send out his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.
Mat 24:32 "Now from the fig tree learn this parable. When its branch has now become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that the summer is near.
Mat 24:33 Even so you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Mat 24:34 Most certainly I tell you, this generation will not pass away, until all these things are accomplished.
Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Mat 24:36 But no one knows of that day and hour, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Mat 24:37 "As the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Mat 24:38 For as in those days which were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ship,
Mat 24:39 and they didn't know until the flood came, and took them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
Mat 24:40 Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one will be left;
Mat 24:41 two women grinding at the mill, one will be taken and one will be left.
Mat 24:42 Watch therefore, for you don't know in what hour your Lord comes.
Mat 24:43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched, and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.
Mat 24:44 Therefore also be ready, for in an hour that you don't expect, the Son of Man will come.
Mat 24:45 "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has set over his household, to give them their food in due season?
Mat 24:46 Blessed is that servant whom his lord finds doing so when he comes.
Mat 24:47 Most certainly I tell you that he will set him over all that he has.
Mat 24:48 But if that evil servant should say in his heart, 'My lord is delaying his coming,'
Mat 24:49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eat and drink with the drunkards,
Mat 24:50 the lord of that servant will come in a day when he doesn't expect it, and in an hour when he doesn't know it,
Mat 24:51 and will cut him in pieces, and appoint his portion with the hypocrites. There is where the weeping and grinding of teeth will be.


Feb. 18, 19
Matthew 25

Mat 25:1 "Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten virgins, who took their lamps, and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Mat 25:2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
Mat 25:3 Those who were foolish, when they took their lamps, took no oil with them,
Mat 25:4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
Mat 25:5 Now while the bridegroom delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
Mat 25:6 But at midnight there was a cry, 'Behold! The bridegroom is coming! Come out to meet him!'
Mat 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
Mat 25:8 The foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.'
Mat 25:9 But the wise answered, saying, 'What if there isn't enough for us and you? You go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.'
Mat 25:10 While they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.
Mat 25:11 Afterward the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open to us.'
Mat 25:12 But he answered, 'Most certainly I tell you, I don't know you.'
Mat 25:13 Watch therefore, for you don't know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
Mat 25:14 "For it is like a man, going into another country, who called his own servants, and entrusted his goods to them.
Mat 25:15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey.
Mat 25:16 Immediately he who received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.
Mat 25:17 In like manner he also who got the two gained another two.
Mat 25:18 But he who received the one went away and dug in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
Mat 25:19 "Now after a long time the lord of those servants came, and reconciled accounts with them.
Mat 25:20 He who received the five talents came and brought another five talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents. Behold, I have gained another five talents besides them.'
Mat 25:21 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
Mat 25:22 "He also who got the two talents came and said, 'Lord, you delivered to me two talents. Behold, I have gained another two talents besides them.'
Mat 25:23 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'
Mat 25:24 "He also who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you that you are a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter.
Mat 25:25 I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the earth. Behold, you have what is yours.'
Mat 25:26 "But his lord answered him, 'You wicked and slothful servant. You knew that I reap where I didn't sow, and gather where I didn't scatter.
Mat 25:27 You ought therefore to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received back my own with interest.
Mat 25:28 Take away therefore the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents.
Mat 25:29 For to everyone who has will be given, and he will have abundance, but from him who doesn't have, even that which he has will be taken away.
Mat 25:30 Throw out the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
Mat 25:31 "But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.
Mat 25:32 Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
Mat 25:33 He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34 Then the King will tell those on his right hand, 'Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
Mat 25:35 for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in.
Mat 25:36 I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.'
Mat 25:37 "Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink?
Mat 25:38 When did we see you as a stranger, and take you in; or naked, and clothe you?
Mat 25:39 When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?'
Mat 25:40 "The King will answer them, 'Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
Mat 25:41 Then he will say also to those on the left hand, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels;
Mat 25:42 for I was hungry, and you didn't give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink;
Mat 25:43 I was a stranger, and you didn't take me in; naked, and you didn't clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn't visit me.'
Mat 25:44 "Then they will also answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn't help you?'
Mat 25:45 "Then he will answer them, saying, 'Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you didn't do it to one of the least of these, you didn't do it to me.'
Mat 25:46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."