6/7/17

"THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS" Two Dilemmas (7:14-25) by Mark Copeland

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS"

                         Two Dilemmas (7:14-25)

INTRODUCTION

1. In Ro 7:14-25 Paul describes a great struggle...
   a. Between one who knows to do good, but cannot do it
   b. Between a desire to keep the law of God, and a war with the law of sin

2. This is a challenging passage that contains not one, but two dilemmas...
   a. The textual dilemma
   b. The human dilemma

[Dilemma: (informal) any difficult and perplexing situation;
predicament. To appreciate the difficulty of the passage itself, let's first look at...]

I. THE TEXTUAL DILEMMA

   A. DESCRIBED BY PAUL...
      1. Is it his struggle as a Christian?
         a. The use of first person pronoun ("I", "me", "my") is certainly indicative
         b. That Christians so struggle is taught elsewhere 
             - Ga 5:16-17; Jm 4:1; 1Pe 2:11
      2. Is it his struggle as a Jew?
         a. While living under the Law of Moses?
         b. Many think so, including myself
      -- So first there is the dilemma of how to understand the text

   B. DETERMINED BY CONTEXT...
      1. Consider the overall context of the book of Romans
         a. Justification by faith in Christ, not by keeping the Law of
            Moses - Ro 3:28-30
         b. The promise to Abraham comes through faith, not the Law - Ro 4:13
      2. Consider the immediate context of chapters 7 and 8
         a. Paul's comments are especially to those who know the law - Ro 7:1
         b. Those once married to the Law, die to the law through Christ- Ro 7:4
         c. Those once held by the Law have been delivered from the law- Ro 7:6
         d. The law referenced to clearly includes the Ten Commandments - Ro 7:7
         e. The law, though good, brought death not deliverance - Ro 7:7-13
         f. A deliverance appealed to, alluded to, and then explained
            - Ro 7:24-25; Ro 8:1-2,12
      -- The context helps to resolve the textual dilemma

[That Paul is describing the struggle he experienced as a Jew under the
Law becomes more apparent as we now examine the text itself regarding...]

II. THE HUMAN DILEMMA

   A. DESCRIBED AS A MAN...
      1. Who is carnal, sold under sin - Ro 7:14-15
         a. Desires to good, finds himself unable
         b. Desires to abstain from evil, finds himself unable
      2. Who agrees the law is good, but finds that sins dwells in him- Ro 7:16-20
         a. In his flesh nothing good dwells
         b. The desire to do good is present, the ability to perform is not
         c. The good he desires he does not, the evil he desires not he  does
         d. Thus sin dwells in him
      3. Who is enslaved to a "law" (of sin and death, cf. Ro 8:2) - Ro 7:21-23
         a. Where evil is present in one who desires to do good
         b. Where a law in his members (flesh) wages war against the law of his mind
         c. Where the law in his members brings him into captivity to the law of sin
      4. Who finds himself wretched - Ro 7:24
         a. "O wretched man that I am!"
         b. "Who shall deliver me from this body of death?"
      -- A wretched dilemma: sold under sin, indwelt by sin, enslaved to
         a law of sin!

   B. DELIVERED BY CHRIST...
      1. Expressed in chapter seven - Ro 7:25
         a. By way of anticipation, interrupting his train of thought
         b. "I thank God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
         c. But again, the dilemma:  willing to serve the law of God
            with the mind, but with his flesh he serves the law of sin!
      2. Explained in chapter eight - Ro 8:1-6,11-14
         a. There is no condemnation for those in Christ, provided they
            walk according to the Spirit
         b. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ frees one from
            the law of sin and death!
            1) Christ's death fulfills the righteous requirement (death for sin)
            2) Becoming spiritually minded is life and peace, for
               submission to God is now possible
            3) Indwelt by the Spirit, He imparts life to our mortal
               bodies - cf. Ro 6:12-13; Ep 3:16
            4) We are no longer debtors (enslaved) to the flesh, to live
               according to the flesh
            5) By the Spirit we can put to death the deeds of the flesh,
               and live as sons of God!
      -- A blessed condition:  no longer enslaved to sin, but empowered by the Spirit!

CONCLUSION

1. In Romans 7, Paul vividly illustrates the weakness of the Law of Moses...
   a. The Law was holy, just, and good, but it did not offer true deliverance
   b. It did not offer deliverance from the guilt and power of sin - cf. Jn 8:34
   c. One can will to do good, but the ability to truly do as one should is not there

2. In Romans 8, Paul provides deliverance from this dilemma...
   a. First, no condemnation to those in Christ
   b. Second, empowerment over the flesh by aid of the Holy Spirit
   c. The struggle is still present, but the ability to perform is now
      possible - cf. Ro 7:18 with Ga 5:16

Have you experienced freedom from the guilt of sin through the blood of
Christ (Ep 1:7)?  Are you experiencing freedom from the power of sin
through the indwelling Spirit (Ro 8:12-13)?

Both blessings begin when one receives Christ (and the Spirit) in
baptism... - cf. Ac 2:38; 22:16; Tit 3:5; Ga 4:6; 1Co 12:13
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

Born Among History by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=953

Born Among History

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

How do we know that the New Testament is not a book of myths and lies? How can people born 1,900 years this side of its completion have total confidence in the New Testament’s accuracy? What is it that causes so many of us to believe in the truthfulness of this book?
One thing that makes the New Testament such a unique work is how many times the events recorded therein are verified by other independent historical witnesses. Repeatedly, history has shown itself to be an ally, rather than an enemy, to the twenty-seven books that make up the New Testament. As a person reads through these books, he will find names of kings and queens, governors and priests. He will read of cities and villages, and sometimes even learn of the roads and passageways that connected them. The New Testament was born among historical people, places, and events, which allows twenty-first-century readers opportunities to inquire about its trustworthiness.
Consider just one example. As a non-Christian reads through the New Testament book of Acts, he comes to the account where Herod is addressing a group of people from Tyre and Sidon (Acts 12:20-23). In verses 21-23, he reads:
So on a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on his throne and gave an oration to them. And the people kept shouting, “The voice of a god and not of a man!” Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died.
Perhaps the person reading this account begins struggling with whether or not “this whole Christian thing is for me,” and whether there is any evidence that corroborates the information found in the New Testament. How much more open to the truth of God’s Word might this skeptical gentlemen be if he could come in contact with the vast amount of historical data that supports the facts found therein? In this particular case, he might find it very helpful to learn that a well-educated, first-century Jewish historian by the name of Josephus gave a detailed account of Herod’s death in his work, The Antiquities of the Jews (18:8:2). Notice how the two accounts stand side by side.
  • Where Luke wrote that Herod was “arrayed in royal apparel,” Josephus wrote that “he put on a garment made wholly of silver, and of a contexture truly wonderful.”
  • Where Luke wrote that “the people kept shouting, ‘The voice of a god and not of a man!,’ ” Josephus mentioned that “his flatterers cried out…that he was a god; and they added, ‘Be thou merciful to us; for although we have hitherto reverenced thee only as a man, yet shall we henceforth own thee as superior to mortal nature.’ Upon this the king did neither rebuke them, nor reject their impious flattery.”
  • And finally, where Luke recorded: “Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died,” Josephus wrote: “A severe pain also arose in his belly, and began in a most violent manner. He therefore looked upon his friends, and said, ‘I whom you call a god, am commanded presently to depart this life….’ [H]is pain was become violent…. And when he had been quite worn out by the pain in his belly for five days, he departed this life.”
Although the accounts of Luke and Josephus were written independently, regarding the death of Herod they agree in all of the essentials.
Acts 12:20-23 represents only one of many examples in Scripture where secular history upholds its reliability. Over the past 1,900 years, the Bible has been examined more critically than any other book in the world, and yet it repeatedly is found to be historically accurate. Such accuracy surely gives the skeptic something important to consider in his examination of Scripture.

REFERENCES

Josephus, Flavius (1987 edition), Antiquities of the Jews, in The Life and Works of Flavius Josephus, transl. William Whiston (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson).

Wrong Must Be Explained by Brad Bromling, D.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=387

Wrong Must Be Explained

by  Brad Bromling, D.Min.

Lyle and Erik Menendez brutally killed their mother and father. The evidence is plain; no one denies it. So, why is it so hard to find them guilty? Their defense attorneys argued persuasively that the brothers endured a nightmarish childhood of sexual and physical abuse, and that they were thus acting out of a kind of insanity that excuses them from first-degree murder charges. The arguments on both sides reduce to the same basic premise: wrong was committed.
The prosecution accused the brothers of murder and appealed to the public’s sense that murder is evil. Likewise the brothers, in claiming they had been mistreated, appealed to a society that abhors child abuse. This was not a matter of arbitrary human laws being violated, it went much deeper. It was a matter of “right and wrong”—a concept that is universal and unique to humanity.
No matter where people are found, they recognize that some things are wrong. Although human groups differ on what they prohibit, they all censor something. C.S. Lewis articulated this point well:
Think of a country where people were admired for running away in battle, or where a man felt proud of double-crossing all the people who had been kindest to him. You might just as well try to imagine a country where two and two made five. Men have differed as regards what people you ought to be unselfish to—whether it was only your own family, or your fellow countrymen, or everyone. But they have always agreed that you ought not to put yourself first. Selfishness has never been admired. Men have differed as to whether you should have one wife or four. But they have always agreed that you must not simply have any woman you liked (1952, p. 5).
This also is personal. When I look inside myself, I find this moral sense that I did not invent. I can find no explanation for it in the world—it must derive from beyond that realm. If there is nothing but matter in the Universe, and matter is the only eternal reality—then how do you explain this moral sense in humanity? Did it arise from rocks, trees, or animals? No, this moral sense is one of the clearest and most personal reminders that there is a God.

REFERENCE

Lewis, C.S. (1952), Mere Christianity (New York: Macmillan).

Remembering the Role of Supplementation When Learning about Salvation by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=3502

Remembering the Role of Supplementation When Learning about Salvation

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

If Matthew 1:1 was the only Bible verse a person ever read about the family and genealogy of Christ, then one might think that Jesus was the immediate son of David, rather than a descendant of David separated in time from the second king of Israel by 1,000 years. If Matthew chapter two was the only passage a person ever considered regarding the birth and early childhood of Jesus’ life, then one would never know that shepherds visited Jesus shortly after His birth. According to Romans 3:23, “[A]ll have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” If this sentence was the only inspired statement that a person ever read regarding sin, and disregarded both the context of Romans 3 as well as the rest of the New Testament, then one would think that Jesus was a sinner. But Jesus, of course, was “without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).
Are football referees supposed to know only a few of the rules in order to officiate a game correctly? Is a baker content in knowing only one of the ten ingredients that go into a pineapple upside-down cake? Would you be pleased if the only traffic law that truck drivers knew was the law regarding on what side of the road to drive? The answer to all of these questions is obvious. People generally understand the need to learn the entire rulebook, driver’s manual, or recipe. Knowing just part of these things will result in chaos and negative consequences. Likewise, taking only a part of God’s Word, to the neglect of the rest of His Word, is a recipe for confusion and disaster. Since the “entirety” of Scripture is truth (Psalm 119:160), all of God’s Word on any subject must be considered.
Most Bible students seem to understand the importance of the holistic approach to Bible interpretation when considering any number of topics, including the aforementioned genealogy of Christ and His perfect, sinless nature. Sadly, however, when it comes to the question regarding what a person must do to be saved, this rational approach to Bible interpretation is discarded.
Consider, for example, John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Many people have the idea that this one sentence is all they need to know to be saved. I once had a conversation with a man who said that the only part of the Bible that he needed was John 3:16. It did not matter what any other verse says. As long as he knew John 3:16 and believed what it said, he believed he was saved.
Notice, however, one problem (among many) that such a shallow interpretation of the Bible causes. If every student of the Bible picked a different verse and lifted that one verse above all others as “my little recipe for salvation,” then “Christianity” would be in a constant state of contradiction. Someone could say that nothing else matters except baptism because 1 Peter 3:21 says that “baptism now saves you—not the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (NASB, emp. added). Does 1 Peter 3:21 teach that a person must be immersed to be saved? Yes. But anyone who claims that immersion in water is all a person must do to be saved would be wrong. Likewise, anyone who claims that a mere mental assent that Jesus is the Son of God is the only thing necessary for salvation would be equally wrong (cf. James 2:19).
The fact is, the Bible teaches that a person must believe and be baptized to be saved (Mark 16:16). A person must believe in Jesus and confess His name to receive salvation (Romans 10:9-10). A person must repent and be baptized to have his sins forgiven (Acts 2:38). Additionally, a person must remain faithful until death in order to receive the crown of life (Revelation 2:10).
Bible students will never properly understand Scripture if they adopt an interpretation method that pits one inspired passage against another. They will never understand what to do to be saved if they elevate one verse to the exclusion of all others. The truth is, the Bible is in perfect harmony with itself. One passage will never contradict another, but they will supplement each other. John 3:16 is a wonderful, truthful passage of Scripture. But, so is 1 Peter 3:20-21. And so is Mark 16:16, as well as the rest of Scripture. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, NASB, emp. added).

Was Jesus Unkind to the Syrophoenician Woman? by Eric Lyons, M.Min. Kyle Butt, M.Div.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=3797

Was Jesus Unkind to the Syrophoenician Woman?

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

Testing, proving, or trying someone can be a very effective teaching technique. A teacher might effectively test the honesty of her students by giving them a difficult closed-book exam over a chapter they had not yet studied. Those who took their “F” without cheating would pass the test. Those who opened up their books when the teacher left the room and copied all of the answers word for word, would fail the test, and learn the valuable lesson that honesty is always the best (and right) policy, even when it might appear that it means failure.
Teachers test their students in a variety of ways. Good parents prove their children early on in life in hopes that they learn the virtues of honesty, compassion, and obedience. Coaches may try their players in attempts to instill in them the value of being disciplined in all phases of their game. Bosses test and challenge their employees in hopes of assembling the best team of workers who put out the best products possible. Indeed, mankind has understood the value of tests for millennia.
It should come as no surprise that God has used this same teaching technique various times throughout history. He tested Abraham on Mount Moriah (Genesis 22:1-2; Hebrews 11:17), and hundreds of years later He repeatedly tested the Israelites in the wilderness (Exodus 20:20; Deuteronomy 8:2; Psalm 81:7). King David declared how the Lord “tested” and “tried” him (Psalm 17:3), while his son Solomon wrote: “The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts” (Proverbs 17:3). Roughly 1,000 years later, the apostle Paul declared the same inspired truth—“God…tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4). Even when God revealed Himself in the person of Jesus, He tested man. For example, once when Jesus saw “a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, ‘Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?’” John revealed, however, that Jesus asked this question to “test” Philip (John 6:5-6).
There are certain tests administered by God that some find cold and heartless, partly because they fail to recognize that a test is underway. One such event is recorded in Matthew 15:21-28.
Then Jesus went out from there and departed to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He [Jesus] answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
In this passage, the reader learns that Jesus: (1) initially remained silent when a Canaanite woman cried out for mercy (vss. 22-23); (2) informed her that He was “not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (vs. 24); and (3) told her that it was not fitting to take that which was meant for the “children” and give it to the “little dogs” (vs. 26). In addition, Jesus’ disciples urged Him to “send her away, for she cries out after us” (vs. 23).
Although Jesus eventually healed the Canaanite woman’s demon-possessed daughter, some believe that Jesus’ overall encounter with the woman indicates that He was unkind and intolerant. For example, the prolific infidel Steve Wells documented hundreds of cases of alleged intolerance in the biblical text. Jesus’ encounter with the Syrophoenician women is number 529 on his list. Of the episode, Wells wrote: “Jesus initially refuses to cast out a devil from a Syrophoenician woman’s daughter, calling the woman a ‘dog’. After much pleading, he finally agrees to cast out the devil” (2010).
Even many religious writers and speakers view Jesus’ statements to the woman as unkind, intolerant, offensive, or a racial slur. Dean Breidenthal, in a sermon posted under the auspices of the Princeton University Office of Religious Life, said concerning Jesus’ comment: “I suspect we wouldnot be so bothered by Jesus’ unkind words to the Syrophoenician woman if they were not directed against the Gentile community. Those of us who are Gentile Christians have less trouble with Jesus’ invectives when they are directed against the Jewish leadership of his day” (2003, emp. added). Please do not miss the implication of Breidenthal’s comment. If the statement made by Jesus actually could be construed as unkind, then Jesus would be guilty of violating one of the primary characteristics of love, since love “suffers long and is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Any unkindness on Jesus’ part would cast doubt on His deity. Is it true that Jesus exhibited an unkind attitude in His treatment of the Syrophoenician woman?

TO THE JEW FIRST AND ALSO TO THE GREEKS

In order to understand properly Jesus’ statement, one must recognize the divinely appointed order in which the Gospel would spread. Jesus was passing through the land of the Gentiles (Greeks) and was approached by a woman who was not a Jew. While Jesus’ message would eventually reach the Gentile world, it is evident from the Scriptures that the Jewish nation would be the initial recipient of that message. In his account of Jesus’ encounter with the Syrophoenician woman, Matthew recorded that Jesus said: “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (15:24). When Jesus sent the twelve apostles on the “limited commission,” He told them: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10:5-6).
Just before Jesus ascended to heaven after His resurrection, He informed the apostles: “[A]nd you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The sequence of places where the apostles would witness manifests the order in which the Gospel would be preached (i.e., the Jews first and then the Gentiles). In addition, in his epistle to the church at Rome, the apostle Paul stated: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (1:16). Jesus’ statement to the Syrophoenician woman indicated that the Jewish nation was Jesus’ primary target for evangelism during His earthly ministry.

HOW FAR CAN AN ANIMAL ILLUSTRATION BE TAKEN?

To our 21st-century ears, the idea that Jesus would refer to the Gentiles as “little dogs” has the potential to sound belittling and unkind. When we consider how we often use animal terms in illustrative or idiomatic ways, however, Jesus’ comments are much more benign. For instance, suppose a particular lawyer exhibits unyielding tenacity. We might say he is a “bulldog” when he deals with the evidence. Or we might say that a person is “as cute as a puppy” or has “puppy-dog eyes.” If someone has a lucky day, we might say something like “every dog has its day.” Or if an adult refuses to learn to use new technology, we might say that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” In addition, one might say that a person “works like a dog,” is the “top dog” at the office, or is “dog tired.” Obviously, to call someone “top dog” would convey no derogatory connotation.
For Jesus’ statement to be construed as unkind or wrong in some way, a person would be forced to prove that the illustration or idiom He used to refer to the Gentiles as “little dogs” must be taken in a derogatory fashion. Such cannot be proved. In fact, the term Jesus used for “little dogs” could easily be taken in an illustrative way without any type of unkind insinuation. In his commentary on Mark, renowned commentator R.C.H. Lenski translated the Greek term used by Jesus (kunaria) as “little pet dogs.” Lenski further noted concerning Jesus statement: “In the Orient dogs have no owners but run wild and serve as scavengers for all garbage and offal.... It is an entirely different conception when Jesus speaks of ‘little pet dogs’ in referring to the Gentiles. These have owners who keep them even in the house and feed them by throwing them bits from the table” (1961, p. 304). Lenski goes on to write concerning Jesus’ statement: “All that Jesus does is to ask the disciples and the woman to accept the divine plan that Jesus must work out his mission among the Jews.... Any share of Gentile individuals in any of these blessings can only be incidental during Jesus’ ministry in Israel” (pp. 304-305). In regard to the non-derogatory nature of Jesus’ comment to the Gentile woman, Allen Black wrote: “The form of his statement is proverbial. And the basis of the proverb is not an antipathy for Gentiles, but the necessary Jewish focus of Jesus’ earthly ministry” (1995, p. 137).

A TEST OF FAITH

Given other information in Matthew’s gospel account as well as the overall context of Matthew chapter 15, it appears that more was going on in these verses than Jesus simply wanting the Gentile woman to understand that He was “not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (15:24). Consider that Matthew had earlier recorded how a Roman centurion approached Jesus on behalf of his paralyzed servant. Jesus did not respond in that instance as He did with the Syrophoenician woman. He simply stated: “I will come and heal him” (8:7). After witnessing the centurion’s refreshing humility and great faith (pleading for Christ to “only speak a word” and his servant would be healed—vss. 8-9), Jesus responded: “I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel” (vs. 10, emp. added).
If Jesus so willingly responded to a Gentile in Matthew chapter eight by miraculously healing his servant of paralysis, why did He initially resist healing the Gentile woman’s demon-possessed daughter in Matthew chapter 15? Consider the immediate context of the chapter. The scribes and Pharisees had once again come to criticize and badger Jesus (15:1-2). The Son of God responded with a hard-hitting truth: that His enemies were hypocrites who treasured tradition more than the Word of God, and whose religion was heartless (vss. 3-9). What was the reaction of the Pharisees? Matthew gives no indication that their hearts were pricked by the Truth. Instead, Jesus’ disciples reported to Him that “the Pharisees were offended” by Jesus’ teachings (vs. 12, emp. added), to which Jesus responded: “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (vss. 13-14). Unlike many modern-day preachers who water down the Gospel and apologize for the Truth, Jesus did not sugar coat it. It may be a difficult pill to swallow, but sincere truth-seekers will respond in all humility, regardless of being offended.
Being offended is exactly what many people would have been had they initially been turned down by Jesus as was the Canaanite woman. While she pled for mercy, at first Jesus remained silent. Then, after being informed that Jesus “was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (vs. 24), she worshiped Him and begged Him for help (vs. 25). Even after being told, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs” (vs. 26), this persistent, humble woman did not allow potentially offensive remarks to harden her heart. Unlike the hypocritical Jewish scribes and Pharisees who responded to Jesus with hard-heartedness, this Gentile acknowledged her unworthiness, while persistently pursuing the Holy One for help (15:27). Ultimately, her faith resulted in the healing of her daughter and served as an admonition to those witnessing the event about the nature of true faith.
What many people miss in this story is what is so evident in other parts of Scripture: Jesus was testing this Canaanite woman, while at the same time teaching His disciples how the tenderhearted respond to possibly offensive truths. The fact is, the truth can hurt (cf. Acts 2:36-37). However, we must remember to respond to God’s tests and teachings of truth with all humility, rather than haughtiness (James 4:6,10).
Before people “dog” Jesus for the way He used an animal illustration, they might need to reconsider that “their bark is much worse than their bite” when it comes to insinuating that Jesus was unkind and intolerant. In truth, they are simply “barking up the wrong tree” by attempting to call Jesus’ character into question. They need to “call off the dogs” on this one and “let sleeping dogs lie.”

REFERENCES

Black, Allen (1995), The Book of Mark (Joplin, MO: College Press).
Breidenthal, Dean (2003), “The Children’s Bread,” http://web.princeton.edu/sites/chapel/Sermon%20Files/2003_sermons/090703.htm.
Lenski, R.C.H. (1961), The Interpretation of Mark’s Gospel (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg).
Wells, Steve (2010), Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/int/long.html.

New Scientist asks, “How Would Jesus Vote?” by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2590

New Scientist asks, “How Would Jesus Vote?”

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

New Scientist is a popular science periodical that has been published in the United Kingdom since 1956. On a weekly basis, the magazine addresses an assortment of subject matters—from cosmology to biology, from philosophy to climate change. New Scientist is also one of the world’s leading proponents of atheistic evolution. Thus, it is no surprise to see the word “evolution” on the cover of the September 27, 2008 issue. In an unexpected move, however, New Scientist incorporated, not the name Darwin, Sagan, or Dawkins on the cover, but that of Jesus. Regarding the upcoming presidential election, the journal asked, “How Would Jesus Vote?”
New Scientist’s editors and contributors are great at asking questions they never actually answer (see Lyons, 2007). Jesus, for example, is never even mentioned in the article; nor is the Bible. The author, Jim Giles of San Francisco, never comes close to answering how Jesus would vote, or whether He would even choose to vote. What this pro-atheism, pro-evolution, pro-embryonic stem-cell research, anti-biblical magazine has done, however, is demonstrate the obvious differences between the two most prominent presidential candidates.
New Scientist noted in the opening line of the article that the first difference is “stark”: “Asked at what point human rights should be assigned,” Barack Obama answered: “Well, you know, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade” (Giles, 2008, 199[2675]:14). John McCain replied to the same question, saying simply, life begins “[a]t the moment of conception” (Giles, p. 14; cf. Major, 1995; cf. Isaiah 49:1,5; Jeremiah 1:5; Luke 1:41-42). “Those concerned about a McCain presidency,” which certainly includes New Scientist, “have even more to worry about when it comes to the U.S. Supreme Court” (Giles, p. 15). New Scientist believes that a McCain presidency “would create a favourable climate for overturning abortion laws” (p. 15), something atheistic evolutionists find unsettling. On the other hand, they welcome “Obama’s support for gay marriage and abortion rights.”
What’s more, New Scientist believes that this election “could also reshape the teaching of evolution” (Giles, p. 15). After all, vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has “talked about the need to teach both creationism and evolution” (p. 15), whereas the democratic vice-presidential candidate, Joe Biden, is on record calling intelligent design “malarkey.” In a 2006 appearance on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, Biden was asked about intelligent design. His answer: “I refuse to believe the majority of people believe this malarkey” (“Soundbites,” 2008, 199[2675]:15).
As if it were not clear throughout the article which candidate New Scientist would like to see elected, Giles concluded by warning readers: “[I]f McCain is president...the consequences for science could be profound” (p. 15). In what ways? In all the ways mentioned in the article: Conservatives might be appointed to the Supreme Court; Roe v. Wade might be overturned; Embryonic stem-cell research restrictions might not be lifted; Intelligent Design, or “even worse,” creationism might find its way back into the classroom. Etc.
It is obvious who New Scientist would vote for President. The question that Christians must continue to ask is the one New Scientist failed to answer: How would Jesus vote? If a Christian in America chooses to exercise his or her right to vote, and if the choice is between Barack Obama and John McCain, the answer to this question seems obvious. Jesus certainly is concerned about the sanctity of human life (Matthew 15:19; Genesis 9:6; Proverbs 6:17), the make-up of the family (Matthew 19:4-6), and the truth regarding the origin of the Universe (Genesis 1; John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16).
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children” (Ephesians 5:1).

REFERENCES

Giles, Jim (2008), “Their Will Be Done,” New Scientist, 199[2675]:14-15, September 27.
Lyons, Eric (2007), “The Big Fizzle: Admissions from an Evolutionary Astrophysicist,” Reason & Revelation, 6[7]:25R,28R, July, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3393.
Major, Trevor (1995), “The Value of Early Human Life,” Reason & Revelation, 15[2]:9-15, February, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/259.
“Soundbites” (2008), New Scientist, 199[2675]:15, September 27.

Who Cares for the Fleas? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1612

Who Cares for the Fleas?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Humane Society, and other animal rights groups have devoted themselves for years to preventing cruelty to animals. Such groups now seek to convince the rest of the world that animals should be “celebrated” and treated like “family” (e.g., “About Us…,” 2011). Such humanistic, evolution-based thinking has resulted in the frequent arrest and prosecution of those who are deemed guilty of mistreating animals. For example, a woman in Missouri was “charged with six counts of felony animal abuse after authorities seized six dogs from a flea-infested property in Iron Mountain Lake” (“Six Dogs…,” 2008, emp. added). As city workers and volunteers worked to clean up the neglected property where the dogs were kept, the local police chief explained: “We have a lot of debris to remove…. We are also going to burn off the ground to get rid of the flea infestation that exists” (“Case Updates,” 2009, emp. added). In a case in Connecticut, a woman was charged with animal cruelty when an animal control officer documented the condition of two dogs, noting that the abuse included “a terrible flea infestation” (“Dogs Neglected…,” 2009, emp. added). In California, a man was arrested on animal cruelty charges for tossing from his vehicle an unwanted Chihuahua, described as“flea-ridden” and “emaciated” (“Flea-infested…,” 2011). In New York, authorities “rescued” 23 dogs that were found to be “underfed, anemic, and flea-infested,” having “never seen a veterinarian to receive vaccinations or checkups” (Berke, 2012, emp. added). A host of such instances could be cited in which people are charged with animal cruelty for allowing animals to become, among other things, “flea-infested” (e.g., Braden, 1992; Eims, 2012; Michigan Animal Abuse…, 2011).
Inherent in all of these accounts is the fact that fleas are viewed as undesirable creatures to be eradicated. Their presence on other animals allegedly constitutes abuse by humans. So how should we deal with the nasty flea problem that causes the animal police to punish animal owners? The ASPCA offers the following advice for handling fleas on dogs and cats: “Speak with your veterinarian about choosing the right flea treatment product. Common options include a topical, liquid treatment applied to the back of the neck, shampoos, sprays and powders. Some products kill both adult fleas and their eggs, but they can vary in efficacy” (“Fleas,” n.d., emp. added; cf. “Controlling Fleas…,” 2012). “Also, it is important to treat your yard as thoroughly as your house. Concentrate on shady areas, where fleas live, and use an insecticide or nematodes, microscopic worms that kill flea larvae” (“Fleas,” emp. added). And how does PETA propose to deal with the flea problem?
Although PETA encourages nonlethal methods of insect control whenever possible, we realize that lethal methods sometimes must be used to combat insects…. For a flea infestation, sprinkle carpets with diatomaceous earth…, leave it down overnight, then vacuum it up. This will kill most fleas (“What is the…?,” n.d., emp. added). Vacuum your house as frequently as possible, and stow the vacuum bag inside a plastic bag in your freezer to kill any fleas or flea eggs that you happened to vacuum up…. Diatomaceous earth…will kill fleas by causing them to dehydrate…. Keep your grass cut short, and try dousing it with beneficial nematodes―these are roundworms who are more than happy to dine on flea larvae (“The ABCs of…,” n.d., emp. added).
Observe the self-contradiction and utter hypocrisy of the left: Dog owners should be prosecuted for allowing their pets to become flea infested. But how does one prevent dogs from becoming flea infested? Kill the fleas, of course. But wait! What about the fleas? Who is sticking up for their rights? Don’t they have the same right to life as dogs? And where is the consistency in treating a flea problem by attacking the environment with insecticide, let alone promoting interspecies conflict by assisting one specie (nematodes) to devour another specie (fleas)? Causing slow death to fleas by dehydration is surely as cruel as starving a dog.
Such is the absurdity and insanity of any viewpoint that conflicts with the Creator’s communication regarding the environment and its constituent variables. “Celebrating” animals is conspicuously tantamount to “worshipping and serving the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:25)—a social circumstance that signals a depraved period in history in which people became “futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:21-22). Such a period is inevitably accompanied by “vile passions” and a militant refusal to “retain God in their knowledge” (vss. 26,28). Does this social scenario not describe America today?
What should one expect when 50 years ago American school children began being taught in earnest that they owe their ultimate origin to naturalistic, mechanistic forces of “nature”—rocks and dirt if you will? What should one expect since God and the Bible have been systematically banned from public education? We should fully expect to see precisely what we’re seeing in American civilization—hedonism, the increase of atheism, embracing and welcoming animism and pagan religion (i.e., Hinduism and Buddhism), and a host of other maladies that will spell the demise of the Republic.
Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of dollars and man hours have been spent in the last few decades to protect animals and punish those deemed cruel to animals. Yet paralleling this period in America, unborn humans have been slaughtered by the millions. Moral sensibilities can be defined and governed only by God, since “the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). As God and the principles of Christianity are jettisoned from American culture, so consistent, logical living of life must dissolve as well. The solution is to saturate the American mind once again with the truths of the Bible. There is no other solution. As the 8th century B.C. prophet plainly declared: “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).
[DISCLAIMER NOTE: The author is not suggesting that no concern whatsoever should be given to the cruel treatment of animals. The Bible reflects a measure of concern in this regard (e.g., Proverbs 12:10; Deuteronomy 22:6-7). The problem is that those who neglect or abandon the Christian worldview inevitably develop an inflated preoccupation with animals as pets and assign a value and significance to animals that is unwarranted and ultimately counterproductive to civilized society.]

REFERENCES

“The ABCs of Cruelty-Free Flea Control” (no date), PETA, http://www.peta.org/living/companion-animals/The-ABCs-of-Cruelty-Free-Flea-Control.aspx.
“About Us: Overview” (2011), The Humane Society, September 19, http://www.humanesociety.org/about/overview/.
Berke, Ned (2012), “23 Dogs Recovered From Sheepshead Bay Couple,” Sheepshead Bites, February 16, http://www.sheepsheadbites.com/2012/02/breaking-bay-couple-arrested-for-cruelty-to-animals-20-dogs-recovered-from-two-homes/.
Braden, Tyra (1992), “Woman Fined For Housing Flea-infested Pets Lehighton Resident Convicted Of Cruelty To Animals, Other Charges,” The Morning Call, November 11, http://articles.mcall.com/1992-11-11/news/2887493_1_cruelty-trash-disposal-animals.
“Case Updates” (2009), Pet-Abuse.com, March 8, http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/14626/MO/US/#ixzz1tFexUsg2http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/14626/MO/US/.
“Controlling Fleas and Ticks on Your Pets” (2012), The Humane Society, January 23, http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/controlling_flea_ticks_pets.html.
“Dogs Neglected, Flea Infestation Stonington, CT (2009), September 4, Pet-Abuse.com, http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/15777/CT/US/.
Eims, Penny (2012), “Florida Man Arrested on Two Counts of Animal Cruelty for Neglecting Dogs,” Examiner, April 13, http://www.examiner.com/article/florida-man-arrested-on-two-counts-of-animal-cruelty-for-neglecting-dogs.
“Flea-infested, Emaciated Dog Thrown from Truck Manteca, CA” (2011), Pet-Abuse.com, July 25, http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/18389/CA/US/.
“Fleas” (no date), ASPCA, http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/dog-care-fleas.aspx.
Michigan Animal Abuse Cases (2011), http://files.meetup.com/1258100/MichiganAnimalAbuseCases_v1.pdf.
“Six Dogs Seized From Flea Infested Property Iron Mountain Lake, MO” (2008), Pet-Abuse.com, September 25,
http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/14626/MO/US/#ixzz1tFexUsg2http://www.pet-abuse.com/cases/14626/MO/US/.
“What is the best way to get rid of fleas and ticks?” (no date), PETA, http://www.peta.org/about/faq/What-is-the-best-way-to-get-rid-of-fleas-and-ticks.aspx.

A Three- or Seven-year Famine? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=1267&b=2%20Samuel

A Three- or Seven-year Famine?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Census-taking under the Law of Moses was not inherently evil. In fact, God actually commanded Moses to number the Israelite soldiers on two occasions—once in the second year after deliverance from Egyptian bondage, and again about 40 years later, near the end of Israel’s wanderings in the desert (Numbers 1:1-3,19; 26:2-4). Even though the book of Numbers describes many of their experiences while wandering through a barren land, the book takes its name (first assigned by the translators of the Septuagint) from these two numberings of the Israelites. Indeed, the taking of a census was a legitimate practice under the old law (cf. Exodus 30:11-16). Sometimes, however, motives can turn lawful actions into sinful deeds (cf. Matthew 6:1-18). Such was the case with King David when he decided to number the Israelites in the latter part of his reign. God had not commanded a census be taken, nor did David instigate it for some noble cause. Instead, the Bible implies that David’s intentions (and thus his actions) were dishonorable, foolish, and sinful (cf. 2 Samuel 24:3,10ff.).
Following David’s sin, God instructed the prophet Gad to tell David: “I offer you three things; choose one of them for yourself, that I may do it to you” (2 Samuel 24:12). Gad then came to David and said, “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land? Or shall you flee three months before your enemies, while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ plague in your land?” (2 Samuel 24:13, emp. added). The chronicler recorded that Gad said to David:
Thus says the Lord: “Choose for yourself, either three years of famine, or three months to be defeated by your foes with the sword of your enemies overtaking you, or else for three days the sword of the Lord—the plague in the land, with the angel of the Lord destroying throughout the territory of Israel” (1 Chronicles 21:11-12, emp. added).
For some Bible readers, 2 Samuel 24:13 and 1 Chronicles 21:12 pose a serious problem. Why does 2 Samuel 24:13 indicate that God gave David the option of a seven-year famine, while 1 Chronicles 21:12 specifies a three-year famine?
At least two feasible explanations exist for the difference in Samuel 24:13 and 1 Chronicles 21:12. First, it is possible that the prophet Gad approached David twice. It may be that Gad gave David the option of a seven-year famine at their first meeting (2 Samuel), then later gave David the three-year option. There is, after all, a difference in the wording of the two passages. Second Samuel 24:13 is a question: “Shall seven years of famine come to you in your land?” First Chronicles 21:12 is a command with alternatives: “Choose for yourself, either three years of famine....” Why would God make such a change in the alternatives He presented David? Perhaps because of David’s confession of sin, contrite heart, and plea for mercy.
A second possibility is that an ancient scribe confused the Hebrew numeral letters. Similar to how printing companies today can make slight errors when printing copies of the Bible, and just as copyists’ errors can be found in various historical works (e.g., Tacitus, Josephus, etc.) without corrupting the overall integrity of the text, occasionally Bible readers come across numbers, names, etc. that are the result of a copyist’s errors—not mistakes by the original inspired writers. A scribe may have glanced down at the manuscript of 1 Chronicles with which he was working and mistakenly seen the “three” from “three months” (later in the verse) and thought it belonged to the “years of famine” figure earlier in the verse.
[NOTE: For more information on copyists’ errors, please see our foundational essay on this subject, “Inspired Writers and Competent Copyists,” Lyons, 2007.]

REFERENCES

Lyons, Eric (2007), “Inspired Writers and Competent Copyists,” Reason and Revelation, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3268.

Grace, Works and Salvation by T. Pierce Brown


http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Brown/T/Pierce/1923/grace.html

Grace, Works and Salvation

We see an increasing number of brethren who seem to have come to an understanding that we are saved by grace, and not by our good works. This continues to surprise me, for I have been preaching the gospel for more than half a century, and never remember preaching it any other way. Eph.2:8 and Titus 3:5 read just like they did a thousand years ago. However, we have always tried to make clear that the grace offered by our Lord always had to be accepted on the terms by which it was offered, and this is not always made clear by many of the preachers who seem to have only recently discovered this amazing grace, even those who are sound and conservative, as they try to emphasize that glorious truth that salvation is by grace. Note the kind of statements that are sometimes made, although true as far as they go, may leave persons with wrong assumptions.

"I have come to view human works differently in recent times. I had previously thought they were necessary to ensure our salvation. Now I simply see them as a loving appreciative response to what God has already done for us in providing salvation." It is true that all the good works done before we were saved from our past sins could not earn or "secure" our salvation. It is equally true that all the good works one may do after salvation from past sins cannot earn or "ensure" our salvation, as if God's grace had the matter fairly well covered, but in order to "clinch the deal" we had to do a certain amount of good works, the exact amount and kind to be determined by our own private whim. It is possible that some of our preaching has left the impression that God's grace provides most of our salvation, but at least some work of ours, especially baptism, does the little extra job that grace did not do. At least this is what it may sound like when you knock on a door and find a person who has not been to a church service for ten years, but who says, "I belong to the Church of Christ. I've been baptized." Or even when some good brother dies, and at his funeral, you hear, "He was the most faithful Christian. The doors of that church were never opened but that he was there." Whether he ever did anything else for the Lord was not made clear, but he had apparently "worked out his own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12) by being there when the door was open. So the impression was apparently gained in some way that there was some merit in "getting baptized" or "being faithful in attendance" and especially some in "giving back to the Lord a small portion of that which He has given us." One may go fishing all day Sunday, but if he gets back by the building in time to have the Lord's Supper brought out to his car as he is on the way home, he can reverently say, "I communed" and assume that whatever God's grace did not take care of, his obedience did.

So when a person is emphasizing that all the good works that you could possibly do will not ensure your salvation from past sins, he is doing what needs to be done. When one emphasizes that all the good works that one may do after he becomes a Christian will not ensure his eternal salvation, he is still doing what needs to be done. But if his teaching is so incomplete as to leave out or misrepresent Jesus' teaching in Mt. 25:30-46, or to teach that God's grace saves a person in spite of what he may or may not do, he has taught a false and dangerous doctrine.

Perhaps we should ask these new exegetes to deal in some detailed way with such questions as these:
1. Since doing good works is simply a loving response to what God has already done for us in providing salvation, suppose no one sees any good works such as those mentioned in Mt.25 or other places?
2. Does this mean that you do not have a loving response to God's grace, and that you have therefore not accepted it on the terms by which he offered it?
3. Then since you do not have these good works (a loving response to God's grace) and therefore must not have properly accepted that grace, are you saved by it anyway?
4. If we had to accept God's grace by being baptized for the remission of our sins in a faithful, obedient, loving response to that grace, do we have to continue to accept God's grace by continuing a faithful, obedient, loving response to that grace by obeying such commands as Gal 6:10, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith?"
5. If we do not try to do that, can we still be saved by grace?
6. If we do that, do we have any right to assume, "I am no longer saved by grace. I am saved because I obeyed the command of the Lord?"
7. Do we not realize that even if we obeyed one or more commands of the Lord perfectly, there are dozens of them that we have failed to obey perfectly and therefore cannot be saved on the basis of our obedience, whether or not it included doing any good works, but on the basis of grace, through faith?

So, we much teach in such a fashion that we let persons know they can "do despite unto the Spirit of grace" (Heb. 10:29). We can "fall from grace" (Gal. 5:4). We can fail to "continue in the grace of God" (Acts 14:23). We must not "continue in sin that grace may abound" (Rom. 6:1). It is possible even to "receive the grace of God in vain" (2 Cor. 6:1). One of the most brilliant men I ever baptized now thinks he has learned so much that he rejects various parts of the Bible, such as Hebrews, James and Jude since they present, in his words, "a grace that can be earned through obedience."

I am reminded that Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived, acted like one of the most foolish ones. No Bible author presents a grace that has to be earned. They all present a grace that could be accepted or rejected. In every case, unless it continued to be accepted on the terms offered, it was rejected, and it might even happen as Jude says, that one can "turn the grace of God into lasciviousness" (Jude 4-5) by refusing to do the good works of obedience that are the loving response to what God has done for us.

So, if you are raising the question about something being "necessary to ensure your salvation" you may want to ask: Have I now learned the great truth that He is the author of eternal salvation to those who disobey Him? (Cf. Heb. 5:9). For heaven's sake, and we mean that literally, do not teach about the wonderful grace of God in such a fashion as to leave the idea that grace takes care of you regardless of what you do or try to do. It is certainly true that one can think of "good works" as things he may do that obligate God to save him, or he may think of them as things he may do in grateful thanks to God who has saved him. The first attitude is always wrong. The second may be wrong if it leads one to assume that since he was saved without doing "good works" he no longer needs to be concerned about doing "good works."
T. Pierce Brown


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

Bible Reading June 7 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading June 7 (World English Bible)

June 7
1 Samuel 7, 8

1Sa 7:1 The men of Kiriath Jearim came, and fetched up the ark of Yahweh, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of Yahweh.
1Sa 7:2 It happened, from the day that the ark abode in Kiriath Jearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after Yahweh.
1Sa 7:3 Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, If you do return to Yahweh with all your heart, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtaroth from among you, and direct your hearts to Yahweh, and serve him only; and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.
1Sa 7:4 Then the children of Israel did put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and served Yahweh only.
1Sa 7:5 Samuel said, "Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray for you to Yahweh."
1Sa 7:6 They gathered together to Mizpah, and drew water, and poured it out before Yahweh, and fasted on that day, and said there, "We have sinned against Yahweh." Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpah.
1Sa 7:7 When the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together at Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. When the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines.
1Sa 7:8 The children of Israel said to Samuel, "Don't cease to cry to Yahweh our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines."
1Sa 7:9 Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a whole burnt offering to Yahweh: and Samuel cried to Yahweh for Israel; and Yahweh answered him.
1Sa 7:10 As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel; but Yahweh thundered with a great thunder on that day on the Philistines, and confused them; and they were struck down before Israel.
1Sa 7:11 The men of Israel went out of Mizpah, and pursued the Philistines, and struck them, until they came under Beth Kar.
1Sa 7:12 Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto has Yahweh helped us.
1Sa 7:13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more within the border of Israel: and the hand of Yahweh was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.
1Sa 7:14 The cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath; and its border did Israel deliver out of the hand of the Philistines. There was peace between Israel and the Amorites.
1Sa 7:15 Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.
1Sa 7:16 He went from year to year in circuit to Bethel and Gilgal, and Mizpah; and he judged Israel in all those places.
1Sa 7:17 His return was to Ramah, for there was his house; and there he judged Israel: and he built there an altar to Yahweh.

1Sa 8:1 It happened, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.
1Sa 8:2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, Abijah: they were judges in Beersheba.
1Sa 8:3 His sons didn't walk in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted justice.
1Sa 8:4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel to Ramah;
1Sa 8:5 and they said to him, Behold, you are old, and your sons don't walk in your ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
1Sa 8:6 But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. Samuel prayed to Yahweh.
1Sa 8:7 Yahweh said to Samuel, Listen to the voice of the people in all that they tell you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me, that I should not be king over them.
1Sa 8:8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, in that they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also to you.
1Sa 8:9 Now therefore listen to their voice: however you shall protest solemnly to them, and shall show them the manner of the king who shall reign over them.
1Sa 8:10 Samuel told all the words of Yahweh to the people who asked of him a king.
1Sa 8:11 He said, This will be the manner of the king who shall reign over you: he will take your sons, and appoint them to him, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and they shall run before his chariots;
1Sa 8:12 and he will appoint them to him for captains of thousands, and captains of fifties; and he will set some to plow his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and the instruments of his chariots.
1Sa 8:13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
1Sa 8:14 He will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your olive groves, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
1Sa 8:15 He will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
1Sa 8:16 He will take your male servants, and your female servants, and your best young men, and your donkeys, and put them to his work.
1Sa 8:17 He will take the tenth of your flocks: and you shall be his servants.
1Sa 8:18 You shall cry out in that day because of your king whom you shall have chosen you; and Yahweh will not answer you in that day.
1Sa 8:19 But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; and they said, No: but we will have a king over us,
1Sa 8:20 that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.
1Sa 8:21 Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he rehearsed them in the ears of Yahweh.
1Sa 8:22 Yahweh said to Samuel, Listen to their voice, and make them a king. Samuel said to the men of Israel, Every man go to his city.

 Jun. 7, 8
John 12

Joh 12:1 Then six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, who had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
Joh 12:2 So they made him a supper there. Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with him.
Joh 12:3 Mary, therefore, took a pound of ointment of pure nard, very precious, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment.
Joh 12:4 Then Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, one of his disciples, who would betray him, said,
Joh 12:5 "Why wasn't this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and given to the poor?"
Joh 12:6 Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having the money box, used to steal what was put into it.
Joh 12:7 But Jesus said, "Leave her alone. She has kept this for the day of my burial.
Joh 12:8 For you always have the poor with you, but you don't always have me."
Joh 12:9 A large crowd therefore of the Jews learned that he was there, and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
Joh 12:10 But the chief priests conspired to put Lazarus to death also,
Joh 12:11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.
Joh 12:12 On the next day a great multitude had come to the feast. When they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
Joh 12:13 they took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet him, and cried out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!"
Joh 12:14 Jesus, having found a young donkey, sat on it. As it is written,
Joh 12:15 "Don't be afraid, daughter of Zion. Behold, your King comes, sitting on a donkey's colt."
Joh 12:16 His disciples didn't understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him, and that they had done these things to him.
Joh 12:17 The multitude therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, was testifying about it.
Joh 12:18 For this cause also the multitude went and met him, because they heard that he had done this sign.
Joh 12:19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, "See how you accomplish nothing. Behold, the world has gone after him."
Joh 12:20 Now there were certain Greeks among those that went up to worship at the feast.
Joh 12:21 These, therefore, came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, "Sir, we want to see Jesus."
Joh 12:22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn, Andrew came with Philip, and they told Jesus.
Joh 12:23 Jesus answered them, "The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
Joh 12:24 Most certainly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Joh 12:25 He who loves his life will lose it. He who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life.
Joh 12:26 If anyone serves me, let him follow me. Where I am, there will my servant also be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
Joh 12:27 "Now my soul is troubled. What shall I say? 'Father, save me from this time?' But for this cause I came to this time.
Joh 12:28 Father, glorify your name!" Then there came a voice out of the sky, saying, "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again."
Joh 12:29 The multitude therefore, who stood by and heard it, said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
Joh 12:30 Jesus answered, "This voice hasn't come for my sake, but for your sakes.
Joh 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world. Now the prince of this world will be cast out.
Joh 12:32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."
Joh 12:33 But he said this, signifying by what kind of death he should die.
Joh 12:34 The multitude answered him, "We have heard out of the law that the Christ remains forever. How do you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up?' Who is this Son of Man?"
Joh 12:35 Jesus therefore said to them, "Yet a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness doesn't overtake you. He who walks in the darkness doesn't know where he is going.
Joh 12:36 While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become children of light." Jesus said these things, and he departed and hid himself from them.
Joh 12:37 But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they didn't believe in him,
Joh 12:38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, "Lord, who has believed our report? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
Joh 12:39 For this cause they couldn't believe, for Isaiah said again,
Joh 12:40 "He has blinded their eyes and he hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and would turn, and I would heal them."
Joh 12:41 Isaiah said these things when he saw his glory, and spoke of him.
Joh 12:42 Nevertheless even of the rulers many believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they didn't confess it, so that they wouldn't be put out of the synagogue,
Joh 12:43 for they loved men's praise more than God's praise.
Joh 12:44 Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me, but in him who sent me.
Joh 12:45 He who sees me sees him who sent me.
Joh 12:46 I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness.
Joh 12:47 If anyone listens to my sayings, and doesn't believe, I don't judge him. For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
Joh 12:48 He who rejects me, and doesn't receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day.
Joh 12:49 For I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.
Joh 12:50 I know that his commandment is eternal life. The things therefore which I speak, even as the Father has said to me, so I speak."