2/22/17

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Olivet Discourse - I (13:1-23) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                   The Olivet Discourse - I (13:1-23)

INTRODUCTION

1. A challenging passage in the Bible is Jesus’ discourse on the Mount
   of Olives...
   a. Given shortly after He left the temple with His disciples
   b. Recorded in Mt 24, Mk 13, Lk 21
   c. Commonly referred to as "The Olivet Discourse"
   -- Our focus in this study will be primarily on Mark’s account

2. It’s difficulty becomes apparent as one considers the diversity of
   interpretations...
   a. Some maintain it is entirely about events preceding the Lord’s
      second and final coming
   b. Others that it is entirely about events related to the destruction
      of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
   c. Yet others believe it contains reference to both events

3. Even those who say it refers to both events differ as to when a
   particular event is described...
   a. Some say that vs. 5-23 refer to the destruction of Jerusalem, and
      vs. 24 begins the discussion about the Lord’s second coming - cf.
      J.W. McGarvey
   b. Others contend that vs. 32 begins talking about the second coming
   c. Others say Jesus switches back and forth throughout the discourse

[At this time, I view "The Olivet Discourse" in Mk 13 as depicting the
destruction of Jerusalem which occurred in 70 A.D., though it
foreshadows His second coming.  To see why, let’s start with...]

I. THE SETTING OF THE OLIVET DISCOURSE

   A. THE WORDS OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE...
      1. His parables depicting Israel’s rejection of Him, and its
         consequence
         a. The parable of the wicked vinedressers 
            - Mk 12:1-12; cf. Mt 21:33-46
         b. Matthew includes the parable of two sons - cf. Mt 21:28-32
         c. Also the parable of the wedding feast - cf. Mt 22:1-14
      2. His condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees
         a. The warning against the pretentious scribes - Mk 12:38-40
         b. Matthew records a more elaborate condemnation 
            - cf. Mt 23:1-28
         c. Who would fill up the measure of their fathers’ guilt 
            - Mt 23:29-32
         d. Who kill, crucify, scourge, and persecute the prophets, wise
            men, and scribes He would send to them - Mt 23:33-34
         e. Upon whom the blood of all the righteous would come, upon
            that very generation - Mt 23:35-36
      3. His lamentation over Jerusalem, recorded by Matthew
         a. The city who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her
            - cf. Mt 23:37
         b. The city unwilling to accept the love shown to her 
            - cf. Mt 23:37
         c. Whose house would be left desolate - Mt 23:38-39

   B. THE PROPHECY OF JESUS ABOUT THE TEMPLE...
      1. After his disciples were showing Him the buildings of temple
         - Mk 13:1
      2. Declaring that not one stone would be left upon another - Mk13:2

   C. THE QUESTIONS OF THE DISCIPLES...
      1. In Mark’s gospel, two questions are asked - Mk 13:4
         a. "When will these things be?"
         b. "What will be the sign when all these things will be
            fulfilled?"
      2. In Luke’s gospel, the two questions are similar - Lk 21:7
         a. "When will these things be?"
         b. "What sign will there be when these things are about to take
            place?"
      3. In Matthew’s gospel, the second question is worded differently
         - Mt 24:3
         a. "When will these things be?"
         b. "What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the
            age?"
      4. Observations regarding these questions:
         a. Only Matthew makes reference to a "coming" and "end of the
            age"
         a. Matthew wrote his gospel for a Jewish audience
            1) Who would likely view the destruction of temple as a
               judgment against Jerusalem and the complete end of the
               Jewish age (as evidently His disciples did)
            2) Re: the end of the Jewish age - the end began with the
               death of Jesus making the OT covenant obsolete 
               (He 9:15-16); it ended in fullness with the destruction of
               the temple and cessation of its OT covenantal sacrifices
               (cf. He 8:13)
         b. Mark and Luke wrote their gospels to Gentiles
            1) To avoid misunderstanding by non-Jewish readers, the
               disciples’ questions are worded to reflect what the
               Olivet discourse is about
            2) I.e., the destruction of the temple (i.e., "these
               things") and the sign when its destruction would be
               imminent

[When the setting leading up to "The Olivet Discourse" is carefully
considered, the subject becomes clear.  The destruction of the temple is
under consideration, not the second coming of Christ.  Now let’s proceed
to examine more closely...]

II. THE OLIVET DISCOURSE

   A. WHAT WILL NOT BE THE SIGN...
      1. Be careful that none deceive you, claiming to be the Christ
         - Mk 13:5-6
      2. Don’t be troubled by wars, earthquakes, famines, pestilence
         - Mk 13:7-8
         a. Such things will come, but the end (destruction of the
            temple) is not yet
         b. They are only the beginning of sorrows (not the sign of the
            end)
      3. Anticipate persecution and hard times - Mk 13:9-13
         a. You will be killed and hated for His name’s sake
         b. Many will be offended, betray one another, and hate one
            another
         c. False prophets will deceive many
         d. The love of many will grow cold because of lawlessness
         e. But he who endures to "the end" will be saved -- "the end"
            refers here:
            1) Not to the second coming (implying one must live until
               Christ comes again)
            2) Nor to the destruction of Jerusalem (implying once one
               has survived that event, one’s salvation is secured)
            3) But to the end of one’s life - cf. Re 2:10
      4. The gospel of the kingdom will be preached to all nations 
         - Mk 13:10
         a. As a witness to all the nations - cf. Mt 24:14
         b. Then the end (the destruction of the temple) will come - cf.
            Mt 24:14
            1) This would end the Jewish sacrifices, and other remnants
               of OT worship
            2) That which was nailed to the cross, abolished by Jesus’
               death, would pass away 
               - cf. Col 2:14-17; Ep 2:14-16; He 8:13
         c. Was the gospel preached to all nations prior to the
            destruction of the temple?
            1) Note what Paul wrote prior to 70 A.D. 
               - Ro 10:16-18; Col 1:23
            2) Whether we take Jesus’ and Paul’s words as literal or
               accommodative, according to Paul it had!

   B. WHAT WILL BE THE SIGN...
      1. The "abomination of desolation" - Mk 13:14
         a. Standing where it ought not (the holy city Jerusalem)
         b. As foretold by Daniel - cf. Dan 9:26-27
      2. When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies - cf. Lk 21:20
         a. Luke therefore explains the "abomination of desolation"
         b. In 70 A.D., Roman armies surrounded Jerusalem prior to
            destroying it and the temple
      3. Thus Jesus answers the disciples’ question:  "What sign will
         there be when these things are about to take place?"

   C. WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU SEE THE SIGN...
      1. Those in Judea are to flee to the mountains - Mk 13:14-20
         a. Don’t delay by going to your homes and getting your clothes
         b. It will be a difficult time for pregnant and nursing mothers
         c. Pray that your flight be not in winter (when travel is
            difficult) or on the Sabbath (when city gates are closed to
            travel)
         d. For there will be "great tribulation", though shortened for
            the elect’s sake
            1) Luke specifies the nature of this tribulation 
                - Lk 21:23b-24
            2) A Jewish general taking captive by the Romans just prior
               to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 offered this
               summary:
               a) All the calamities which had befallen any nation from
                  the beginning of the world were but small in
                  comparison with those of the Jews
               b) In the siege of Jerusalem, no fewer than 1,100,000
                  perished (it was during the time of the Passover, when
                  more than 3,000,000 Jews were assembled)
               c) In surrounding provinces 250,000 were slain
               d) 97,000 were taken captive, some killed by beasts in
                  Roman theaters, some sent to work in Egypt, others
                  sold as slaves
               -- Flavius Josephus, Jewish Wars, quoted by Barnes on
                  Matthew
            3) The "elect" were Christians, spared by a shortened siege
               a) The Jews in the city engaged the Romans in battle
               b) Titus, the Roman general, being called to return to
                  Rome, proceeded to end the siege and stormed the city
                  - Barnes Commentary on Matthew
      2. Don’t be misled by false christs and false prophets 
         - Mk 13:21-23
         a. Even those who show great signs and wonders to deceive
         b. For the coming (judgment) of the Son of Man will be like
            lightning across the sky
            1) Do not expect to find Him in the desert or in inner rooms
            2) When He comes in judgment, it will be swift 
               - cf. Lk 17:22-24

CONCLUSION (Part One)

1. So far, all this depicts a local, escapable judgment...
   a. Where Jesus warned those in Judea of what is to come - Mk 13:23
   b. Where they are given a sign to let them know when to flee 
      - Mk 13:14

2. It does not fit a worldwide, inescapable judgment...
   a. As will characterize the second coming of Christ - 2Pe 3:10-12
   b. As Paul taught the Christians in Thessalonica 
      - cf. 1Th 5:2-3; 2Th 1:7-10

3. Our next study will continue to examine "The Olivet Discourse",
   starting with verse 24...
   a. Which certainly sounds like the second coming of Christ, but is
      it?
   b. Or was Jesus still describing events pertaining to the destruction
      of Jerusalem?

Eusebius (ca. 300 A.D.) in his "Ecclesiastical History" wrote that
Christians heeded the warnings of Jesus in Matthew 24, and fled
Jerusalem when it was surrounded by the Roman army.

May we likewise heed the words of Jesus:

   *  not be misled by false prophets and false christs
   *  not be troubled by wars, famines, pestilence, earthquakes, or even
      persecution
   *  enduring to the end by remaining faithful to Him

...looking forward to His final coming at the Last Day!
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Widow’s Mites (12:41-44) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                      The Widow’s Mites (12:41-44)

INTRODUCTION

1. Teaching in the Temple (on Tuesday of the Last Week), Jesus
   addressed...
   a. The doctrines of the religious leaders
   b. The practices of the religious leaders

2. At the end of the day, with the last incident of His public ministry,
   Jesus...
   a. Observed people putting money into the treasury of the temple
   b. Made an observation about the contribution of one poor widow

[Jesus had just warned against pretentious scribes who "devour widows’
houses" (Mk 12:40).  In contrast, consider the remarkable example of one
poor widow...]

I. THE NARRATIVE

   A. PUTTING MONEY IN THE TEMPLE TREASURY...
      1. Jesus observed people placing money in the treasury - Mk 12:41
      2. This may have been one of 13 receptacles, in the area known as
         The Women’s Court
      3. These receptacles were marked, indicating how the money would
         be used (temple tribute, wood, sacrifices, incense, etc.)

   B. THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE RICH...
      1. Many who were rich gave large amounts - Mk 12:41
      2. That in itself was commendable, reminiscent of the first
         contributions for the tabernacle - cf. Exo 35:20-29; 36:2-7

   C. THE CONTRIBUTION OF THE WIDOW...
      1. One poor widow threw in two ‘mites’ (Grk., leptos) - Mk 12:42
      2. Worth a ‘quadrans’ (Grk., kodrantes), which was 1/64th of a
         ‘denarius’ (a day’s wage)
      3. If a day’s wage was $25, a ‘quadrans’ would be worth 75 cents,
         a ‘mite’ 40 cents

   D. THE OBSERVATION OF JESUS...
      1. The widow gave more than all who had given to the treasury 
         - Mk 12:43
      2. They gave out of their abundance, she gave all she had, her
         entire livelihood - Mk 12:44

[Jesus was so impressed, He called His disciples.  He stressed the
importance of His observation by prefacing His remarks with "Assuredly,
I say to you".  In the spirit of His observation, here are...]

II. SOME OBSERVATIONS

   A. A LESSON FOR DISCIPLES...
      1. Note that Jesus "called His disciples to Himself" - Mk 12:43
      2. This indicates that the teaching was intended for them and for
         all subsequent disciples - J.A. Brooks (NAC)
      -- What can we learn from the example of the widow’s mites?

   B. THE VALUE OF A GIFT...
      1. It is well to remember that God measures giving, not by what we
         give, but by what we keep for ourselves; - R.A. Cole (TNTC)
      2. The value of a gift is not the amount given, but the cost to
         the giver. - J.R. Edwards (PNTC)
      3. God measures the gift by the sacrifice involved 
         (cf. 2Sa 24:24). - A. Black (CPNIVC)
      4. The Lord estimates giving by our motive, our means, and by how
         much we have left. This is a great encouragement to those who
         have few material possessions, but a great desire to give to
         Him. - Believer’s Bible Commentary
      -- We learn that the liberality of the poor is often greater than
         that of the rich!

   C. THE IMPORTANCE OF A PERSON...
      1. What matters in God’s sight is not what a person has
      2. But the devotion which causes one to give even at great
         personal cost
      3. Thus even the poorest of the poor can be "rich" (in faith)
         - cf. Jm 2:5
      -- We learn that people should be measured by their faith, not
         their wealth!

   D. THE APPROVAL OF VOLUNTARY POVERTY...
      1. Many today would criticize the widow
         a. For not providing for her future
         b. For her lack of foresight and prudence
         c. For becoming dependent upon Israel’s welfare system -  cf.
            Deut 24:19-21; 26:12-13
      2. Yet her voluntary poverty is just one example found in the
         Scriptures
         a. Jesus chose a life of voluntary poverty - Lk 9:58
         b. He counseled some to do the same in their service as a
            disciple - Lk 18:22
         c. Teaching His disciples to be trust God’s providential care
            - Mt 6:31-33
      -- We learn that voluntary poverty can be a viable option for some
         disciples

   E. JESUS IS STILL WATCHING HOW PEOPLE GIVE...
      1. The ‘giving’ of Ananias and Sapphira did not go unnoticed - cf.
         Ac 5:1-11
      2. Those who give liberally and cheerfully will be noticed - e.g.,
         2Co 8:1-5; 9:6-7
      3. Just as all that we do is noticed by God - He 4:13
      -- We learn that our giving does not escape the careful eye of our
         Lord!

CONCLUSION

1. The story of the widow’s mites should prompt prayerful reflection...
   a. Regarding our own giving to the Lord’s cause, to charity
   b. We may think we excel at giving, but do we really?

2. The story of the widow’s mites also prepares us for what is to come
   in Mark’s gospel...
   a. She exemplified sacrificial giving in the service of the Lord
   b. Soon we will read of the Lord who gave all in service to us!

   "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He
   was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His
   poverty might become rich." - 2Co 8:9
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

The Bible is Still the Favorite by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=2461

The Bible is Still the Favorite

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

According to a recent Harris Poll, the Bible continues to be the number-one, favorite book in the United States. The survey was based on a sampling of 2,513 adults (“Bible is America’s...,” 2008). The second-favorite book varied among age groups and other factors, but the Bible swept first place in every age group, ethnic group, and among both genders.
The fact that the Bible remains the favorite book is encouraging. It shows that the majority of citizens in our country are willing to put forth some effort to obtain a Bible, read it, and understand the concepts found therein. When the moral landscape of our country is surveyed, however, it seems that most who claim that the Bible is their favorite book do not put into practice the moral concepts contained in the sacred volume.
It is time Americans take their affinity for the Bible to the next level by obeying its commandments. Concerning God’s commandments given to Israel, Moses wrote: “Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people’” (Deuteronomy 4:6, emp. added). In order for the United States of America to be a “wise and understanding people,” we must determine to put into practice the teachings found in our favorite book—the Bible.

REFERENCES

“Bible is America’s Favorite Book: Poll” (2008), [On-line], URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080408/lf_nm_life/reading_survey_dc;_ylt= ApOkLcDjaarq7XrugDyNkDis0NUE.

Plants that Do Math Add Evidence for God by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4733

Plants that Do Math Add Evidence for God

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

One of the first steps to becoming a good student in school is to learn the basics: reading, writing, and arithmetic. Students spend hours trying to master the basics of arithmetic. But it seems that students in grade school are not the only math masters. A new study indicates that plants may be exceptional at math as well. Allison Smith and Martin Howard of the John Innes Center in Norwich suggest that plants perform basic arithmetic in order to preserve the correct amount of starch during the night (Ledford, 2013). Heidi Ledford, writing for Nature News, explained that scientists once thought plants broke down starch at night time at a fairly constant rate. Experimental results, however, have shown that plants can vary their rate of starch consumption based on the number of hours of darkness they experience. Regardless of how many hours plants sit in darkness, they can regulate their starch use so that virtually no starch remains when the light returns (2013).
While this is the first study to suggest that plants do arithmetic, researchers indicate that this process could explain other biological systems, such as animal hybernation and long migrations in which food supplies need to be regulated to ensure survival. More research will be needed to verify Smith’s and Howard’s conclusions, but Howard states: “We are dealing with a fundamental biological process in cells that’s doing a sophisticated arithmetic calculation” (Ledford, 2013).
The implications of these findings that pertain to the existence of God are obvious. If plants really are doing arithmetic, that means they have been programmed by some type of intelligence. This intelligence must understand arithmetic, and be able to write into plants a code by which the plants can use arithmetic to their advantage. The atheistic, materialistic explanation for the origin of the Universe cannot adequately account either for the laws of math or for plants that can use those laws to survive. When the Creator designed plants, He saw that they were very good (Genesis 1:12). The concept of an intelligent Designer is the only one that adds up.

REFERENCES

Ledford, Heidi (2013), “Plants Perform Molecular Maths,” Nature, http://www.nature.com/news/plants-perform-molecular-maths-1.13251.

Is Baptism a Symbol? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1232

Is Baptism a Symbol?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The design of water baptism in the New Testament is unquestionably to allow for the sinner’s sins to be removed by the blood of Jesus. This purpose is variously described as “to be saved” (Mark 16:16), “for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38), to “put on Christ” (Galatians 3:27), to “enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5), to “wash away your sins” (Acts 22:16), to place one “into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13) and “into Christ” (Romans 6:3). These are parallel expressions that pinpoint the same design.
In an effort to avoid the clear import of such verses, some theologians have concocted the notion that water baptism is a post-salvation action that follows the forgiveness of sins. Christendom, almost in its entirety, insists that remission of sin is imparted to the sinner at the very moment the sinner “believes” (i.e., accepts Jesus as personal Savior). This reception of Christ is an internal, mostly intellectual/mental decision in which the individual makes a genuine commitment to receive Jesus as Lord.
In his book How To Be Born Again, Billy Graham articulated the viewpoint espoused by the bulk of Christendom: “All you have to do to be born again is to repent of your sins and believe in the Lord Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior” (1977, p. 156). He stated further: “Faith is trust, an act of commitment, in which I open the door of my heart to Him” (p. 160); “It means a single, individual relinquishment of mind and heart toward the one person, Jesus Christ” (p. 161); “Conversion occurs when we repent and place our faith in Christ” (p. 162). Near the close of his book, Graham summarized the prevailing view of when forgiveness occurs:
Make it happen now. …If you are willing to repent for your sins and to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can do it now. At this moment you can either bow your head or get on your knees and say this little prayer which I have used with thousands of persons on every continent: O God, I acknowledge that I have sinned against You. I am sorry for my sins. I am willing to turn from my sins. I openly receive and acknowledge Jesus Christ as my Savior. I confess Him as Lord. From this moment on I want to live for Him and serve Him. In Jesus’ name. Amen. …If you are willing to make this decision and have received Jesus Christ as your own Lord and Savior, then you have become a child of God in whom Jesus Christ dwells. …You are born again (pp. 168-169, emp. in orig.).
Mr. Graham leaves no doubt as to his view of when forgiveness of sins occurs, and that it occurs before and without water baptism.
Another popular Christian writer, Max Lucado, expressed the same viewpoint in his book, He Did This Just for You:
Would you let him save you? This is the most important decision you will ever make. Why don’t you give your heart to him right now? Admit your need. Agree with his work. Accept his gift. Go to God in prayer and tell him, I am a sinner in need of grace. I believe that Jesus died for me on the cross. I accept your offer of salvation. It’s a simply prayer with eternal results (2000, p. 50, italics and emp. in orig.).
Lucado then followed this statement with a “response page” that provided the reader with the opportunity to make the decision that he (Lucado) has just advocated. The page, titled “Your Response,” includes the statement, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of the Living God. I want him to be the Lord of my life,” and is followed by two blank lines, one for the reader to sign his or her name, and the other to record the date (p. 51).
These two widely recognized figures are sufficient to establish the point: most within Christendom believe that salvation occurs prior to water baptism. The Protestant world has insisted that water baptism is a secondary and subsequent action to salvation. But if this is the case, what then is the purpose of baptism? Various religionists have maintained that it serves as “an outward sign of an inward grace.” That is, since a person already has received the saving grace of God by which sins have been cleansed, baptism serves the purpose of providing an outward demonstration or public declaration that the person has already been saved. The claim is that baptism is a symbol—a visible expression of the forgiveness already received at the point of faith.
Perhaps the reader would be shocked to find that the Bible nowhere articulates this unbiblical—albeit provocative—concept. It is the figment of someone’s vivid imagination that has been taken up and repeated so often that it “sounds biblical,” even when it is not. When Ananias prodded Paul to “arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16), he said nothing about an alleged symbolic (versus actual) cleansing or post-forgiveness washing. He uttered not one word that would lead the unbiased reader to even remotely conclude that Paul’s sins were washed away before he was baptized in water.
The grammar that the Holy Spirit selected by which to express Himself is very often a key to allowing the Bible to interpret itself. In Acts 22:16, the grammar militates against the denominational interpretation that so often is placed on Paul’s baptism. The Holy Spirit utilized two participles and two verbs in verse 16 that clarify His intended meaning:
anastas is an aorist active participle: “having arisen” or “rising”
baptisai is an aorist middle imperative verb:  “get yourself baptized”
apolousai is also an aorist middle imperative verb:  “get your sins washed away”
epikalesamenos is an aorist middle participle:  “you will have been calling”
An adverbial participle is a participle that is used as an adverb to modify the verb. “Calling” is an adverbial participle of manner. It shows the manner in which the main verbs are accomplished. The verbs (“baptized” and “wash away sins”)—joined by the coordinate conjunction “and” (kai)—are “causative middles” (Robertson, 1934, p. 808) in the aorist tense, and so relate to the aorist middle of the participle that follows (“calling”). Hence, a literal translation would be:  “Having arisen, get yourself baptized and get your sins washed away, and you will have been calling on the name of the Lord.” In other words, Ananias was telling Paul that the way to accomplish “calling on the Lord” was to be baptized and have his sins washed away.

But doesn’t the Bible teach that baptism is, in fact, a symbol? Doesn’t baptism have “symbolic” significance? Yes, the Bible assigns symbolic significance to baptism in regard to at least three distinct features.

ROMANS 6:3-18

In a context dealing with the power of the Gospel to counteract sin (5:20), Paul addressed the potential misconception that some may form in thinking that the continued indulgence in sin might be justified in order to allow grace to flourish (6:1). When the Romans became Christians, they died to sin (vs. 2). Thus, they should no more have continued a sinful lifestyle, than a physically deceased person could continue living physically. In arguing his point, Paul informed the Romans that water baptism symbolizes the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. He used the term “likeness” (and later “form”) to pinpoint this symbolism:
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin (Romans 6:3-8).
When the believing, penitent non-Christian allows him or herself to be lowered into the watery grave of baptism, a parallel to Christ’s redemptive work is taking place. Baptism is into Christ’s death because that is where He shed His blood on our behalf. The atoning activity of Christ was achieved in His death, burial, and resurrection. Consequently, the alien sinner taps into that redemptive power in the act of water immersion. The “newness of life” follows—not precedes—baptism (vs. 6). The “old man of sin,” the “body of sin,” is eliminated in the waters of baptism. Being immersed in water— “buried in baptism” (vs. 4)—is equivalent to “you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered” (vs. 17). Only then, i.e., in the act of emulating Jesus’ atonement in the waters of baptism, is one “set free from sin” (vs. 18). To summarize, notice that seven significant achievements occur at the point of water immersion: (1) baptized into Christ; (2) baptized into Christ’s death; (3) newness of life; (4) united in His death; (5) old man/body of sin crucified/done away; (6) no longer slaves of sin; and (7) freed from sin.

COLOSSIANS 2:11-13

A second depiction of baptism as a symbol is seen in Paul’s identification of a link between baptism and the Old Testament practice of circumcision. God introduced the rite of circumcision into His covenant relationship with Abraham (Genesis 17:10ff.). This surgical procedure was strictly a physical feature of the Abrahamic covenant sustained by God with the physical descendants of Abraham, i.e., the Israelites. In this sense, it did not pertain ultimately to one’s spiritual standing with God (1 Corinthians 7:19). In contrasting and comparing Christianity with various unacceptable religions and philosophies, Paul used the physical rite of Jewish circumcision as a parallel to water baptism:
In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses (Colossians 2:11-14).
One must be very careful to allow the text to express itself with regard to the intended symbolism, refraining from drawing unintended points of comparison. The point that Paul was making is the idea that as skin was cut off in the act of circumcision, so sins are cut off at baptism—skin vs. sin!
Paul underscored this meaning by alluding to the fact that baptism in water involves a burial followed by a resurrection—being “raised” (vs. 12). Twelve verses later, he again referred to this rising from the waters of baptism: “If then you were raised with Christ…” (3:1, emp. added). The conclusion is unmistakable: being buried/lowered into the waters of baptism, and then being raised from those waters, is the point at which sin is removed from the sinner—in the same way that flesh was removed from the body in the act of circumcision. In fact, Paul presented precisely the same case to the Colossians that he presented to the Romans. Note carefully the points of comparison in the following chart:
Romans 6 Colossians 2&3
(6:2) “we died” (3:3) “you died”
(6:8) “we died with Christ” (2:20) “you died with Christ”
(6:4) “buried with Him/baptism” (2:12) “buried with Him/baptism”
(6:4) “Christ raised from dead” (2:12) “raised Him from dead”
(6:4) “Walk in newness of life” (3:5) “put to death your members”
(6:2) “live any longer in it” (3:7) “when you lived in them”
(6:4) “Walk in newness of life” (3:1) “Seek things above”
Both passages teach that people are dead in sin and lost until they access the benefits of the death of Christ by being buried in water baptism. At that point, a person becomes dead to sin in the mind of God. Coming up out of the waters of baptism is a type of resurrection that signals a change in the way that person now lives life.

1 PETER 3:20-22

Peter added a third instance of baptism’s symbolic value.
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit, by whom also He went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him (1 Peter 3:18-22).
Peter made a powerful point of comparison. The antediluvian people had the opportunity to hear God’s will for their lives. Noah preached to them (2 Peter 2:5), perhaps for over a century (Genesis 6:3). But the day came when God brought the Flood waters upon the Earth, drowning the entire human population with the exception of only eight individuals. Peter noted that those eight people were “saved by (i.e., diathrough) water,” i.e., through the medium of water. In other words, God used water as the dividing line between the lost and the saved. The water was the medium that separated the eight members of Noah’s family from the rest of humanity. He then compared those Flood waters with the water of baptism. The water of baptism is the dividing line that God has designated to distinguish between the lost person and the saved person.
But does that mean that H20 is the cleansing agent? Of course not. Such a conclusion would contradict other clear biblical testimony. Salvation is dependent upon and accomplished by means of the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross: His death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Likewise, immersion must be preceded by faith, repentance, and confession of the deity of Christ. But Peter included this very point in his discussion. When one removes the parenthetical material from the verse, the interplay between baptism and Christ’s redemptive activity is clearly seen: “There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” “Resurrection” is the figure of speech known as synecdoche in which the part is put in place of the whole. “Resurrection” includes the entire atoning event of Jesus—death, burial, and resurrection. Hence, Peter attributed one’s salvation to Christ’s work on the cross—but the application of this salvific achievement to the sinner occurs at the point of baptism.

CONCLUSION

The Bible is its own best interpreter. It teaches that baptism is, indeed, a symbol. But what does baptism symbolize? It symbolizes: (1) Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection; (2) the act of “cutting off ” in circumcision; and (3) the waters of the Flood. How could anyone get out of this that baptism symbolizes past forgiveness that was achieved prior to being immersed? The honest exegete is forced to conclude that the Bible nowhere expounds such a notion. The symbolism associated with water baptism further verifies the essentiality of immersion as a mandatory prerequisite to forgiveness. We dare not go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6), since it is by Jesus’ words that we will be judged (John 12:48).

REFERENCES

Graham, Billy (1977), How to be Born Again (Waco, TX: Word Books).
Lucado, Max (2000), He did This Just for You (Nashville, TN: Word).
Robertson, A.T. (1934), A Grammar of the Greek New Testament (Nashville, TN: Broadman).

Don't "Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater": Not All Theories are Bad! by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=4541

Don't "Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater": Not All Theories are Bad!

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

Perhaps you have fallen victim to the fallacy alluded to by the title of this article. Creationists spend quite a bit of time countering the claims being made by those who believe in the Theory of Evolution and the Big Bang Theory—and rightly so. However, in our haste to show the flaws in evolutionary theories that contradict the laws of science, the impression might be left that we believe scientific theories are somehow unimportant, or are to be rejected and even scoffed at simply because they are theories. Let’s set the record straight.
According to the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, scientific theory is “an attempt to explain a certain class of phenomena” by deducing them from other known principles (p. 2129). Scientific theories are crucial and very beneficial to the work of a scientist. They are a starting place to try to explain and make sense of scientific evidence that has been gathered. Much of what we know to be true in science started out as theory that was later verified or proved and re-categorized.
In biblical apologetics, we often lay out “theories” as to what message might be conveyed in a certain difficult text. For example, in Matthew 20:29-34 and Mark 10:46-52 the Bible records an incident where Jesus is said to have been leaving Jericho, and seemingly the same incident is recorded in Luke 18:35-43, where it says that the event happened while Jesus was drawing near to Jericho. Mark and Luke say that one blind man was healed in this incident, while Matthew says that two blind men were healed. Eric Lyons discussed various “theories” which adequately explain what is likely happening in these passages—reasonable theories which illustrate that the Bible in no way contradicts itself (Lyons, 2004). While many of these theories may not ever be known as “gospel” this side of eternity, those theories should not be considered “bad” or things to be scoffed at. Creation scientists also suggest “theories” in order to attempt to explain various scientific observations in light of biblical revelation, for example, about the Flood or the Creation account.
Theories can be good—as long as they are accepted for what they are. A theory looks at the evidence and attempts to explain what may be going on—but it does not necessarily yield definites. Theories are “maybes.” That is why there can be multiple theories to try to explain the same observed phenomena, and yet those theories can be totally different from each other and can even contradict one another without, at the same time, contradicting the evidence. One scientist says, “Well, I believe this is what’s going on.” Another scientist says, “Well, maybe, but I think this explains that phenomena better;” or “Yes, I agree, but I also think this is going on.” They have both proposed theories, and may find out in time that they are both right, only one of them is right, or neither is right. But for the moment, their explanations are merely theories—possible explanations of what they are witnessing. A theory may ultimately be proven wrong in the long run, and if not, it will still likely be revised to some extent.
That said, a fundamental rule for developing a scientific theory is that the theory must be in keeping with the scientific evidence—not in contradiction to it. A law of science trumps a “theory” if the two contradict one another, because a law, by definition, is known with certainty to describe nature and is considered to be without exception—beyond doubt. For example, if John Smith proposes a “theory” that claims that a “perpetual motion machine” could be made by combining certain mechanical components in a certain way, he would likely be scoffed at by the engineering community, since the Second Law of Thermodynamics prohibits the design of such a machine (cf. Miller, 2010). The laws of science trump theories that contradict them.
Theories are not, in and of themselves, bad. They are very good for science. The key is to develop theories that are in keeping with the evidence, and reject those theories that are found to be in contradiction to it. The Theory of Evolution and the Big Bang Theory contradict the laws of science in many ways (cf. Miller, 2011; Miller, 2012; Miller, 2007; Thompson, et al., 2003), and yet those theories are blindly clung to by many in the scientific community when those theories should be rejected. We should be sure not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” with regard to the importance of scientific theory, but if the bathwater needs to be thrown out, do it, or you could hurt the baby—in this case, the baby being the progress of science.

REFERENCES

Lyons, Eric (2004), “Controversial Jericho,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=666.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms (2003), pub. M.D. Licker (New York: McGraw-Hill), sixth edition.
Miller, Jeff (2007), “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective,” Reason & Revelation, 27[4]:25-31, April, http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3293.
Miller, Jeff (2010), “Couldn’t There Have Been Exceptions to the Laws of Science?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3713.
Miller, Jeff (2011), “God and the Laws of Science: The Law of Causality,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/article/3716.
Miller, Jeff (2012), “The Law of Biogenesis,” Reason & Revelation, 32[1]:2-11, January, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1018&article=1722.
Thompson, Bert, Brad Harrub, and Branyon May (2003), “The Big Bang Theory—A Scientific Critique” Reason & Revelation, 23[5]:33-47, May, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=541&article=540.

Nudist Spirituality? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=2114

Nudist Spirituality?

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Gay Naturists International started 23 years ago with fewer than 24 people. Today the total membership is approximately 1,300. What is the purpose of the organization? To offer gay men the opportunity to participate in nudist cruises and to visit nudist resorts. In describing these nudist activities, Bob Sandla Jr., the president of the organization, said: “There is a spirituality to [naturism]. You’re relating to your peers in a way that’s much more honest and vulnerable” (Green and Campo-Flores, 2007).
A spirituality to nudism? Such comments are typical of our sin-sick society that is constantly attempting to justify sinful behavior by somehow associating it with goodness or spirituality. The truth of the matter is, there is absolutely nothing spiritual about grotesque lasciviousness. The idea that such could be remotely associated with spirituality runs counter to everything the Bible teaches about the subject.
The apostle Paul drew a stark contrast between the sinful works of the flesh and commendable fruit of the Spirit. In fact, he wrote: “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another” (Galatians 5:16-17). Paul then enumerated several works of the flesh that God condemns as sinful and destructive. He said: “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness...drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand...that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21, emp. added). Nudist vacationing falls into the categories of fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, and revelries, which would exclude all impenitent practitioners from heaven. The outrageous claim that spirituality can be achieved by engaging in such sinful practices is little more than an attempt to “call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20).
True spirituality can only be achieved when a person chooses to crucify “the flesh with its passions and desires” and foster the fruit of the Spirit which is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-24).

REFERENCES

Green, Amy and Arian Campo-Flores (2007), “Going All the Way,” Newsweek, 149[12]:53-58, March 19.

Did Jesus Contradict the Law of Biogenesis in John 12:24? by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=1590&b=James

Did Jesus Contradict the Law of Biogenesis in John 12:24?

by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

Q:

Did Jesus contradict the Law of Biogenesis in John 12:24?

A:

In John 12:24, Jesus said concerning His approaching death, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (emp. added). The Law of Biogenesis says that in nature, life comes only from life of its own kind (Miller, 2012). Life cannot spontaneously generate or create itself. So, how could a grain which “dies,” subsequently produce living things? Does this phenomenon contradict the Law of Biogenesis? Did Jesus make a mistake? Was He ignorant of the scientific principle we call the Law of Biogenesis?
First, scientists understand today that a seed is typically not considered lifeless for some time, but rather, is dormant, and therefore, still able to produce life. Seeds are alive when they produce other life, in keeping with the Law of Biogenesis. Seeds can remain dormant for centuries and still produce life (cf. Quick, 1961, pp. 94-99). For instance, a seed from Masada in Israel that was radiocarbon-dated to the time of Christ was recently germinated and studied for over two years as it grew (Sallon, et al., 2008). A seed’s ability to produce life does not contradict the Law of Biogenesis. But does that mean that Jesus was wrong in saying that a grain “dies”?
The answer is seen in understanding that the words “life” and “death” can mean different things, depending on the context in which they are used. This is especially true in the Bible. “Death” in the Bible simply means a separation of some sort (Butt, 2006). Spiritual death occurs when we commit sin, which separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2; Romans 6:23). One’s faith is dead when it is not coupled with works of obedience (James 2:26). Physical death occurs when the spirit is separated from the physical body (James 2:26). Plants were not created in the image of God, like humans (Genesis 1:26), and were not endowed with a spirit, although sadly, many confused individuals in the world would likely disagree (cf. Miller, 2008). So, Jesus is not talking about death in the same way humans die.
But what “separation” has occurred in the case of the grain Jesus mentioned? The text helps to illuminate its own meaning. When a grain “falls to the ground,” it dies. Falls from where? Obviously, it falls from its stalk. So, when it falls, being separated from its stalk, it is no longer receiving nourishment from it, and has undergone a form of death. It is no longer growing and being nurtured by its stalk, but rather, begins to slowly decay. This is not in contradiction to the Law of Biogenesis, which indicates that life cannot come from lifeless matter in nature. A seed is typically not considered “lifeless” for centuries or longer. The renowned Greek lexicographers, Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker, help to illuminate the distinction between lifeless death and the death implied by mere separation, explaining that the meaning of apothnasko (i.e., the Greek word translated “dies” in John 12:24), when speaking of plants and animals, is not necessarily “death” as we typically use the word when referring to lifeless death. They note that in John 12:24, the word technically means “decay” (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:36), but contextually, is meant to imply the idea of “death” in Jesus’ illustration, which is why the translators used “died” (Arndt, Gingrich, and Danker, 1979, p. 91).
Armed with this information, Jesus’ meaning in the passage is clear, and alleged error cannot be sustained against Jesus or the Bible. A grain of wheat must die, i.e., be separated from its stalk and nourishment and fall to the ground, decaying, in order to produce more wheat. Similarly, Jesus had to die, i.e., His soul had to be separate from His physical body in order to bear fruit in the form of disciples—followers washed in the blood that He shed for us. Rest assured, the Bible does not contradict the laws of science. After all, God, Himself, authored them (Job 38:33).

REFERENCES

Arndt, William, F.W. Gingrich, and Frederick W. Danker (1979), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press), second edition revised.
Butt, Kyle (2006), “Does Death Imply Annihilation?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1861.
Miller, Jeff (2008), “Off With Their Heads!” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=2485.
Miller, Jeff (2012), “The Law of Biogenesis,” Reason & Revelation, 32[1]:2-11, January (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1018&article=1722.
Sallon, Sarah, Elaine Solowey, Yuval Cohen, Raia Korchinsky, Markus Egli, Ivan Woodhatch, Orit Simchoni, and Mordechai Kislev (2008), “Germination, Genetics, and Growth of an Ancient Date Seed,” Science, 320[5882]:1464.
Quick, Clarence R. (1961), “How Long Can a Seed Remain Alive?” Yearbook of Agriculture (Washington, D.C.: The United States Government Printing Office), The United States Department of Agriculture, http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/publications/documents/misc/yoa1961_quick001.pdf.

Pentecost (Acts 2) The Day the Church Began by J. C. Bailey


http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Bailey/John/Carlos/1903/Articles/pentecos.html

Pentecost (Acts 2) The Day the Church Began

The church was conceived in the mind of God. We read, “To the intent that now unto principalities and powers in the heavenly places might be made known through the church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ephesians 3:10-11).

God said that the seed of Abraham was to bless all nations (Genesis 22:18). Paul said that the promise was not to seeds but to SEED. That seed was Christ (Galatians 3:16). Isaiah said, “And it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be exalted above the hills and all nations shall flow unto it” (Isaiah 2:2). This would be a change from the Old Testament, for God, in giving the law to Moses, said, “Write thou these words for after the tenor of these words have I made a covenant with Israel” (Exodus 34:27-28). Isaiah said that all nations would flow into God's house (Isaiah 2:2). John the Baptist had one message. Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand (Matthew 3:2).

John was cast into prison and beheaded, and Jesus began His earthly ministry. His message was: “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). Jesus used the terms kingdom and church together (Matthew 16:18,19). In Mark 9:1 Jesus said that the kingdom would come in the lifetime of those to whom He spoke, and He said that it would come with power.

After Jesus arose from the dead, the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost with power. Jesus said that His chosen men would carry the message of the gospel into the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8). Paul says that Christ, “was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). Paul further declares that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to the believer (Romans 1:16). He further tells us that the gospel is the facts of the death, burial and resurrection (I Corinthians 15:3-5).

Jesus summarized all this by saying, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned”: (Mark 16:15, 16). The apostles were to wait in Jerusalem (Luke 24:49). The Holy Spirit was to come to them there. Peter, guided by the Holy Spirit, declared that God had made Him Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified (Acts 2:36). This Jesus was at the right hand of God (Acts 2:32.33). The effect of this sermon was immediate. “Now when they heard this they were pricked to the hearts and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'Brethren, what shall we do?'” There can be no mistake in the answer. Those who gave the answer were guided by the Holy Spirit.

“And Peter said unto them, 'Repent ye and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'” (Acts 2:38).

This was not a limited command, for the next verse says, “For to you is the promise and to your children and to all that are afar off even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39).

One of the most popular doctrines in the world today is the doctrine of justification by faith alone. If that doctrine is true, then Acts 2:38 is not true. To say it is not true is to charge God with folly. Jesus saves those who obey (Hebrews 5:9). Yes, we are saved by faith but we are saved by an obedient faith (James 2:14, 24). Peter, by the Holy Spirit, said they were to save themselves (Acts 2:40). Now note that they that received his word were baptized (Acts 2:41). Now, what did they do? “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:41). Our duty is revealed in that verse. If we would restore New Testament Christianity, we must return to the pattern as revealed in this chapter. Jude tells us that the faith was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3).

We pass under judgment when we reject the words of Jesus (John 12:48). Here are the words of Jesus, “Every one therefore that heareth these words of mine and doeth them shall be likened unto a wise man who built his house upon the rock and the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon the house; it fell not for it was founded on the rock. And every one that heareth these words of mine and doeth them not shall be likened unto a foolish man who built his house on the sand and the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew, and smote upon that house and it fell and great was the fall thereof” (Matthew 7:24-27).

All life comes from a seed. Each seed produces after its kind. Wheat produces wheat; it does not produce oats. Jesus said that the seed of the kingdom is the word of God. He was talking about the church. That seed never produced anything but a church of Christ in the New Testament.

Let us see what happened the day the church was born. “And Peter said to them, 'Repent ye, and be baptized everyone of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For to you is the promise and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto Him.' And with many other words he testified and exhorted them saying, 'Save yourselves from this crooked generation.' They then that received his word were baptized; and there were added unto them in that day, about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers” (Acts 2:38-42).

“Wherefore, putting away all filthiness and overflowing of wickedness, receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). Then he adds this warning, “But be ye doers of the Word and not hearers only deluding your own selves” (James 1:22).

J. C. Bailey, 1992, Weyburn, Saskatchewan

Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

Bible Reading February 22 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading February 22 (World English Bible)



Feb. 22
Exodus 3

Exo 3:1 Now Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the back of the wilderness, and came to God's mountain, to Horeb.
Exo 3:2 The angel of Yahweh appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.
Exo 3:3 Moses said, "I will turn aside now, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt."
Exo 3:4 When Yahweh saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said, "Moses! Moses!" He said, "Here I am."
Exo 3:5 He said, "Don't come close. Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place you are standing on is holy ground."
Exo 3:6 Moreover he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look at God.
Exo 3:7 Yahweh said, "I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows.
Exo 3:8 I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
Exo 3:9 Now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to me. Moreover I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them.
Exo 3:10 Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring forth my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt."
Exo 3:11 Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?"
Exo 3:12 He said, "Certainly I will be with you. This will be the token to you, that I have sent you: when you have brought forth the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain."
Exo 3:13 Moses said to God, "Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and tell them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you;' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' What should I tell them?"
Exo 3:14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM," and he said, "You shall tell the children of Israel this: 'I AM has sent me to you.' "
Exo 3:15 God said moreover to Moses, "You shall tell the children of Israel this, 'Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations.
Exo 3:16 Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and tell them, 'Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, "I have surely visited you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt;
Exo 3:17 and I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey." '
Exo 3:18 They will listen to your voice, and you shall come, you and the elders of Israel, to the king of Egypt, and you shall tell him, 'Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Now please let us go three days' journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to Yahweh, our God.'
Exo 3:19 I know that the king of Egypt won't give you permission to go, no, not by a mighty hand.
Exo 3:20 I will put forth my hand and strike Egypt with all my wonders which I will do in its midst, and after that he will let you go.
Exo 3:21 I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and it will happen that when you go, you shall not go empty-handed.
Exo 3:22 But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, and of her who visits her house, jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons, and on your daughters. You shall despoil the Egyptians.

 

Feb. 22, 23
Matthew 27

Mat 27:1 Now when morning had come, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:
Mat 27:2 and they bound him, and led him away, and delivered him up to Pontius Pilate, the governor.
Mat 27:3 Then Judas, who betrayed him, when he saw that Jesus was condemned, felt remorse, and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
Mat 27:4 saying, "I have sinned in that I betrayed innocent blood." But they said, "What is that to us? You see to it."
Mat 27:5 He threw down the pieces of silver in the sanctuary, and departed. He went away and hanged himself.
Mat 27:6 The chief priests took the pieces of silver, and said, "It's not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is the price of blood."
Mat 27:7 They took counsel, and bought the potter's field with them, to bury strangers in.
Mat 27:8 Therefore that field was called "The Field of Blood" to this day.
Mat 27:9 Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, "They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him upon whom a price had been set, whom some of the children of Israel priced,
Mat 27:10 and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me."
Mat 27:11 Now Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus said to him, "So you say."
Mat 27:12 When he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.
Mat 27:13 Then Pilate said to him, "Don't you hear how many things they testify against you?"
Mat 27:14 He gave him no answer, not even one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.
Mat 27:15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release to the multitude one prisoner, whom they desired.
Mat 27:16 They had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.
Mat 27:17 When therefore they were gathered together, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus, who is called Christ?"
Mat 27:18 For he knew that because of envy they had delivered him up.
Mat 27:19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, "Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him."
Mat 27:20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the multitudes to ask for Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
Mat 27:21 But the governor answered them, "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" They said, "Barabbas!"
Mat 27:22 Pilate said to them, "What then shall I do to Jesus, who is called Christ?" They all said to him, "Let him be crucified!"
Mat 27:23 But the governor said, "Why? What evil has he done?" But they cried out exceedingly, saying, "Let him be crucified!"
Mat 27:24 So when Pilate saw that nothing was being gained, but rather that a disturbance was starting, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, "I am innocent of the blood of this righteous person. You see to it."
Mat 27:25 All the people answered, "May his blood be on us, and on our children!"
Mat 27:26 Then he released to them Barabbas, but Jesus he flogged and delivered to be crucified.
Mat 27:27 Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium, and gathered the whole garrison together against him.
Mat 27:28 They stripped him, and put a scarlet robe on him.
Mat 27:29 They braided a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and a reed in his right hand; and they kneeled down before him, and mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
Mat 27:30 They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head.
Mat 27:31 When they had mocked him, they took the robe off of him, and put his clothes on him, and led him away to crucify him.
Mat 27:32 As they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, and they compelled him to go with them, that he might carry his cross.
Mat 27:33 They came to a place called "Golgotha," that is to say, "The place of a skull."
Mat 27:34 They gave him sour wine to drink mixed with gall. When he had tasted it, he would not drink.
Mat 27:35 When they had crucified him, they divided his clothing among them, casting lots,
Mat 27:36 and they sat and watched him there.
Mat 27:37 They set up over his head the accusation against him written, "THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS."
Mat 27:38 Then there were two robbers crucified with him, one on his right hand and one on the left.
Mat 27:39 Those who passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads,
Mat 27:40 and saying, "You who destroy the temple, and build it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!"
Mat 27:41 Likewise the chief priests also mocking, with the scribes, the Pharisees, and the elders, said,
Mat 27:42 "He saved others, but he can't save himself. If he is the King of Israel, let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him.
Mat 27:43 He trusts in God. Let God deliver him now, if he wants him; for he said, 'I am the Son of God.' "
Mat 27:44 The robbers also who were crucified with him cast on him the same reproach.
Mat 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.
Mat 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lima sabachthani?" That is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Mat 27:47 Some of them who stood there, when they heard it, said, "This man is calling Elijah."
Mat 27:48 Immediately one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him a drink.
Mat 27:49 The rest said, "Let him be. Let's see whether Elijah comes to save him."
Mat 27:50 Jesus cried again with a loud voice, and yielded up his spirit.
Mat 27:51 Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split.
Mat 27:52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
Mat 27:53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection, they entered into the holy city and appeared to many.
Mat 27:54 Now the centurion, and those who were with him watching Jesus, when they saw the earthquake, and the things that were done, feared exceedingly, saying, "Truly this was the Son of God."
Mat 27:55 Many women were there watching from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, serving him.
Mat 27:56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.
Mat 27:57 When evening had come, a rich man from Arimathaea, named Joseph, who himself was also Jesus' disciple came.
Mat 27:58 This man went to Pilate, and asked for Jesus' body. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given up.
Mat 27:59 Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
Mat 27:60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut out in the rock, and he rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, and departed.
Mat 27:61 Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.
Mat 27:62 Now on the next day, which was the day after the Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together to Pilate,
Mat 27:63 saying, "Sir, we remember what that deceiver said while he was still alive: 'After three days I will rise again.'
Mat 27:64 Command therefore that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest perhaps his disciples come at night and steal him away, and tell the people, 'He is risen from the dead;' and the last deception will be worse than the first."
Mat 27:65 Pilate said to them, "You have a guard. Go, make it as secure as you can."
Mat 27:66 So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone.