6/13/17

"THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS" Do Not Be Conformed To This World (12:1-2) by Mark Copeland

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS"

               Do Not Be Conformed To This World (12:1-2)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our text, we note the command:   "And do not be conformed to this
   world..."

2. What does the word "conformed" mean to you...?
   a. Is it just a word that we quickly glance over?
   b. How does it relate to your daily living?

3. We need to be very familiar with the concept of "conformity"...
   a. Not just to understand what Paul is saying
   b. But because this word plays a very important role in our lives,
      whether young or old

[That we might properly apply the exhortation of the apostle Paul, let's
examine the concept of conformity...]

I. UNDERSTANDING CONFORMITY

   A. DEFINITION...
      1. To conform to another's pattern (RWP)
      2. E.g., the desire to be like someone else
         a. Do what they do
         b. Say what they say
         c. Wear what they wear
      3. To accept the ideas, the fashions, way of walking and talking,
         etc., that is popular
      4. A conformist, therefore, is someone who:
         a. Is afraid to be different
         b. Feels a need to be like everyone else

   B. CONFORMITY IN OUR SOCIETY...
      1. There is tremendous pressure to conform to the standards of the group
         a. Even adults feel a need to conform
         b. Also many young people (in their clothes, cars, etc.)
      2. The pressure to conform is often strongest during adolescence
         a. The young often have low-esteem
         b. They want desperately to be accepted and esteemed by others
      3. Advertisers often complicate the problem
         a. Trying to market and sell their products
         b. Trying to get people to conform to use their products (an
            old ad campaign:  "Wethead is dead!")

   C. THE DANGER OF CONFORMITY...
      1. It can easily lead you to do things you know are wrong
         a. E.g., boys in a car for a joyride, and one begins popping pills
         b. E.g., men at a business luncheon, where drinks are served
      2. When others follow suit, the pressure to conform is great
         a. Ridicule to conform is often applied
         b. Once you give in, the next time conformity is easier
      3. Conformity to the things of this world can separate us from
         God! - cf. 1Jn 2:15-17
         a. By giving in to the lust of the flesh (immorality)
         b. By succumbing to the lust of the eyes (materialism)
         c. By yielding to the pride of life (arrogance)

[We now understand why Paul commands us "do not be conformed to this
world"!  There are grave dangers in conforming to another's pattern.
How shall we deal with the pressures of conformity...?]

II. DEALING WITH THE PRESSURE TO CONFORM

   A. BE A TRANSFORMIST, NOT A CONFORMIST...
      1. A conformist (as used here) is one who...
         a. Undergoes a superficial, shallow change
         b. Becomes a cheap imitation, letting others do their thinking for them
      2. A transformist is one who...
         a. Undergoes a real change (like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly)
         b. Experiences a true "renewal"
            1) That begins with conversion - Tit 3:5
            2) That involves a renewal of the mind - Ro 12:2
            3) That continues as we go through life - 2Co 4:16
      3. Becoming a transformist...
         a. Addresses the reasons why many conform
            1) A feeling of insecurity (yet we learn that God loves us,
               we are special! - 1Jn 3:1)
            2) A desire to follow the crowd (yet we learn the ultimate
               end of following the world - 1Jn 2:15-17)
         b. Marks the difference between...
            1) Christians who are truly converted
            2) Those who are shallow imitators of true disciples

   B. BE A LEADER, NOT A FOLLOWER...
      1. A transformist is a leader
         a. Who "proves" to others what is good, acceptable and perfect
            - Ro 12:2
            1) Presents their bodies as living and holy sacrifices - Ro 12:1
            2) Has the courage to say "no" to things that are wrong
         b. Whose example helps others fight off the pressures to conform
            1) Giving others the strength to say "no"
            2) Encouraging others to do what is right - e.g., Joshua,
               Josh 24:14-15; Judg 2:7
      2. A conformist is but a simple follower
         a. Letting others do their thinking for them
         b. Letting others lead them into harm's way

CONCLUSION

1. Everyone experiences the pressure to conform to the standards and
   practices of the world...
   a. Especially the young who are so impressionable
   b. But even those who older are persuaded by those in positions of
      power and influence

2. We have a choice...
   a. Either to buckle under and be led by those destroying their own
      bodies, minds, and souls
   b. Or look to Jesus, the true nonconformist, and allow ourselves to
      be transformed by the renewing of our minds

3. If we are to conform, let us conform to the image of Jesus - cf. Ro 8:29
   a. For that will require a true transformation of the inner man
   b. And we can demonstrate what is the good, acceptable, and perfect
      will of God!
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

"Contradictions" Regarding the Ark of the Covenant by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=767

"Contradictions" Regarding the Ark of the Covenant

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

How does the “20 years” reference in 1 Samuel 7:2 harmonize with the fact that the ark was not brought from Kirjath-jearim until 2 Samuel 6:4—more than 40 years later?
Even though God’s Word can be substantially communicated from one language to another, the translation process is sufficiently complex to the extent that many of the subtleties of the parent language are lost in translation. These subtleties rarely, if ever, involve matters that are critical to the central purpose of revelation. However, apparent discrepancies on minor details can surface that require a careful re-examination of the actual linguistic data of the parent language (in this case Hebrew) in order to dissolve the apparent discrepancy.
The individual clauses of 1 Samuel 7:2-3 are linked in Hebrew by “waw consecutives” that bring the statements into close logical and temporal connection. The three verbs of verse two are a continuation of the infinitive, which points to the main sentence being resumed in verse three (“and Samuel spoke”). The gist of these grammatical data is that the writer is informing us that after the ark’s capture, the people endured Philistine oppression for the next twenty years. Though all Israel “lamented after the Lord,” He allowed the Israelites to continue their suffering at the hands of the Philistines for 20 years—at which time Samuel called upon the nation to put away its idols.
First Samuel describes the final years of the period of the judges. The reliance upon the ark as a sort of mystical talisman brought swift military tragedy, precipitating yet another period of foreign oppression by Israel’s enemies due to their own apostasy. This period of Philistine preeminence went on for twenty years before the lamentations of God’s people were finally heard. At the end of the twenty years, Samuel called on them to couple their lamentations with genuine penitence (1 Samuel 7:3). When they put away their idolatry (vs. 4), they once again enjoyed the services of the judge (vs. 6), who assisted them in throwing off Philistine oppression by military defeat (vss. 10ff.).
Thus the twenty years refers—not to the total number of years that the ark remained in Kirjath-jearim—but merely to the number of years the ark was in Kirjath-jearim before the Lord chose to hear the people’s lamentations and provide them with intervention through Samuel.

Romans 14: Faith vs. Opinion by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=3498

Romans 14: Faith vs. Opinion

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

To sort out the difference between faith and opinion as it relates to the Bible, one must first define terms. By “faith” we mean those actions that are directed by God, arising from the Word of God (Romans 10:17). For example, partaking of the Lord’s Supper on Sunday is a matter of “faith,” in that it is stipulated by God (Matthew 26:26-29; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26). It is an action that God requires us to perform. When we speak of “opinion,” we are referring to a viewpoint or action that God has placed within the realm of personal preference. For example, whether we have two songs before the sermon vs. three; or whether we partake of the Lord’s Supper near the beginning of the worship period, or near the end. God has left as optional a great amount of viewpoints and actions—allowing people to exercise their own personal discretion.
God did this very thing at the beginning of human history. On the one hand, Adam and Eve were placed under very specific articles of “faith.” For one, they were not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That stipulation was a matter of “faith,” i.e., God had legislated the matter. But the original pair was also given considerable latitude in exercising their own opinions. They could eat the fruit of any other tree on Monday, select another tree from which to eat on Tuesday, and still another on Wednesday. Eating from the Tree of Knowledge was a matter of “faith,” while eating any other tree was a matter of “opinion.”

Romans 14

Having defined our terms, let us turn our attention to two chapters in the New Testament that provide us with valuable information in sorting out the application of these principles in everyday life. Romans 14 has been a passage that has been used frequently in recent years to foster fellowship with denominationalism. They have contended that those denominational beliefs and practices with which churches of Christ disagree are not to be allowed to affect fellowship. For example, they have insisted that instrumental music in worship is strictly a matter of personal preference and tradition, and should be decided individually based on conscience. An appeal is made to Romans 14 to equate the use of the instrument with the eating of meat. It is then argued that those who are more spiritually mature may use the instrument in their worship to God. Those whose consciences prevent them from using the instrument are free to refrain from doing so. But they are the “weaker brother” and must not withhold fellowship from those who do use the instrument.
The first observation that is critical in making sense of this chapter is the fact that this context applies only to matters of opinion and indifference—not to matters of faith or doctrine. In his commentary on Romans, Moses Lard recognized this point when he wrote, “In matters of indifference, each man is a law to himself” (p. 412). He further stated, “it shows what liberty we have in the absence of divine command” (p. 412). In his commentary on Romans, David Lipscomb understood Romans chapter fourteen in the same fashion (1943, pp. 242ff.).
But what are “matters of indifference”? Matters of indifference refer to those practices that are indifferent to God—not to the individual. Obviously, the individual who believes he should not eat meat views his position as a serious “doctrinal” matter and, therefore, hardly “indifferent.” But we must understand that Romans 14 is speaking of those matters that are, in actuality, indifferent in the sight of God. For example, God has commanded Christians to spread the Gospel. The how of this action, whether by Internet, television, or automobile, is a matter of indifference to God. He authorizes us to use various means based upon our own good sense—our own consciences.
It is a misuse of Romans 14 to apply its teaching to any matter that is not indifferent to God. For example, God has specified that in order for a person to become a Christian, he/she must be immersed in water. Suppose a man believes that baptism can be by immersion, sprinkling, or pouring. To him, the “mode” of baptism is a matter of opinion—not faith. So he thinks that the person who limits the “mode” of baptism to strictly immersion is “narrow” and “weak in faith.” He would maintain that it is fine for his critic to be immersed if he so chooses, but this “weaker brother” should not bind his opinion on those who are “stronger” by insisting that only those who are immersed may be fellowshipped. This “stronger” fellow might even appeal to Romans 14 as support for his stance.
Yet, what this fellow would be failing to realize is that Romans 14 applies to matters of option that are indifferent to God. Where God has given His guidelines, all must conform to those specifications. Baptism, in God’s sight, is strictly immersion. Those who insist upon obeying God in this regard are not “weaker brethren.” Rather, they are faithful brethren; and those who differ are unfaithful to God.
Just as God has specified the action and design of baptism, He has been very specific with regard to the action of music in worship. If the use of the mechanical instrument in worship to God was optional, that is, if God left people free to offer musical worship in any form they so chose, then Romans 14 would be one passage that would be germane to such a discussion. But God has not left music in worship unaddressed. Neither has He left the question of the legitimacy of the denominations unaddressed. Denominationalism represents a departure from God’s simple will for His church. Romans 14 is of no help in assessing the legitimacy of either instrumental music or denominationalism.
Observe, then, that the one who is “weak in faith” in this chapter refers to the Christian whose knowledge, and therefore faith, has been insufficient in sorting out a particular issue that, in God’s sight, is a matter of opinion. Where the brother is “weak” is in the fact that he thinks that the issue under consideration is not a matter of opinion, but is, in fact, a matter of faith. The specific issues that Paul discusses pertain to the eating of certain foods and the observing of certain days. Regarding the former, one brother thinks that all foods may be eaten by Christians, while another brother thinks that Christians should be vegetarians. Regarding the latter, one brother thinks that certain days must be set aside and observed in special ways, while another brother recognizes no such requirements.
What is God’s view on this matter? Clearly, God’s view is that Christians are free to eat all foods. Jews had not been free in this regard. The Law of Moses contained numerous dietary regulations. But with the coming of Christianity, no such dietary regulations have been enjoined. Imposing such regulations on others constitutes “doctrines of demons,” as Paul explained in referring to those who were “commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:3-5). You remember the vision that Peter had in which he was commanded to kill and eat certain animals, to which he responded that he had never eaten anything that was “common or unclean.” The voice responded: “What God has cleansed you must not call common” (Acts 10:15). Paul states this point very emphatically in Romans 14:14—“I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself.”
So the Christian who understands that no restrictions apply to food under Christianity is the one who has grasped God’s view correctly. The Christian who thinks he should not eat certain foods is “weak in faith,” that is, his faith/belief on that particular point remains immature and uninformed by the Word of God (from whence faith arises). Due to previous beliefs and/or actions, likely learned while a non-Christian, his conscience was trained by his belief that he should not eat that particular food. A specific example would be a Jew who lived his whole life abstaining from pork which was deemed “unclean.” When he became a Christian, he might not immediately sort out the change. And even when he became aware of the correct viewpoint, it would be very difficult for him to start eating pork without his conscience bothering him. That is precisely why Paul insists that neither the stronger nor the weaker should “dispute” (vs. 1), “despise” (vs. 3), “judge” (vs. 4), or “show contempt” (vs. 10) for each other. Instead, both should want to show proper regard for each other’s consciences and spiritual well-being, and strive to encourage each other to be right with God and prepared for judgment (vss. 11-12).
The same may be said for the observance of a particular day. The context shows that the days under consideration are those that have no religious significance, i.e., they are days that are indifferent to God—like a birthday. The only day that has been legislated by God under Christianity is Sunday, the first day of the week. Christians are to assemble for worship on that day and approach God through the five avenues of worship that He, Himself, has stipulated (e.g., Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2). Sunday worship, therefore, is a matter of faith—not opinion. But other days, like birthdays, or national holidays like July 4, are matters of option that the Christian is free to observe. For the Jew who had lived his life observing the Sabbath, to suddenly not be required to abstain from labor on that day, he likely would have felt both a sense of release, but also a sense of fright and uncertainty. He would have to go through a period of struggling with and re-educating his conscience to bring his “head knowledge” into harmony with his feelings and long-term, deeply ingrained habit, before his conscience would not condemn him for Sabbath activity.
Notice, then, that the context refers to the observance of days that are religiously neutral and indifferent to God. They do not involve the observer in any unscriptural religious practice. Placing in juxtaposition this admonition in Romans 14 with a similar one in Galatians 4 will help us to see the distinction:
Again, Paul is not endorsing those who create their own “holy days” which they practice religiously. Christendom has generated an entire “Christian calendar” with numerous observances linked to events that occurred in the life of Christ (e.g., Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Lent, etc.). All such observances are unscriptural since they presume to impose human thinking onto biblical precept, and dictate to God how to practice Christianity. Has God clearly indicated what event, if any, in the life of Christ He wants observed or commemorated? Absolutely—even stipulating the precise procedures to be enacted. He authorizes Christians to observe the death of Christ, every first day of the week, using bread and grape juice to symbolize the body and blood, and to think about His sacrifice while also taking an introspective look at one’s self (1 Corinthians 11:20-34). Beyond that, if God had wanted other events in Christ’s life to be commemorated, He would have said so.
But could a Jewish Christian continue to observe the Sabbath? Yes, if he did so without linking its observance to religious obligation. Since he could no longer be justified by the Old Law (Galatians 5:4), he must not observe it as if it is binding upon himself to be pleasing to God, and he must not bind it on others.
Paul issued another directive to be followed by the more mature Christians toward those Christians who had not yet assimilated proper teaching on the subject of food and days. The brother who recognizes that God permits the eating of a particular food must refrain from eating that food item under the following condition: if his eating would tempt or encourage or incite the brother who thinks it is wrong to eat it, to go ahead and eat it. The brother who thinks eating a particular food is wrong (even if, in God’s sight, it is not wrong) sins if he eats it. He has committed the sin of damaging or defiling his conscience.

1 Corinthians 8

This sin is clarified more vividly in the similar discussion that Paul directed to the Corinthian Christians regarding the eating of food that had been previously used in a pagan offering to an idol: 1 Corinthians 8. Paul insisted that no pagan gods exist (vs. 4) and, as long as a person does not intend to honor or worship a fake god, eating food that had been offered to them was optional. However, “there is not in everyone that knowledge; for some, with consciousness of the idol, until now eat it as a thing offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled” (vs. 7). The term “conscience” in verses 7, 10, and 12 of 1 Corinthians 8 is suneidasis and refers to that inward faculty of moral/spiritual awareness that was created by God. We must not act in ways that damage (or “sear”—1 Timothy 4:2) our consciences. To do so is sin. The Christian who thinks a particular practice is wrong, when it is not wrong in God’s sight, should be about the business of re-educating his conscience, getting his thinking straight as informed by the Word of God. By that process, in time he will be able to rise above his immature assessment and feel fully “at home” with God’s view of the matter.
Furthermore, returning to Romans 14, the more mature Christian sins if his eating an authorized food prods the immature Christian to go against his conscience and consume a food that he thinks is wrong (“evil”—vs. 20) for the Christian to consume. The mature Christian is guilty of “grieving” (vs. 15), “destroying” (vss. 15,20), “offending” (vs. 21), “making weak” (vs. 21), and causing the weaker brother to “stumble” (vs. 21). In Paul’s treatment of this matter in 1 Corinthians 8, the stronger brother that so conducts himself is guilty of causing the weak brother to “perish” (vs. 11) by “wounding his weak conscience” (vs. 12).

Some Applications

Many churches have undergone internal disruption over an infinite variety of disagreements. These disagreements might be over what color of drapes ought to hang in front of the baptistery or what carpet should be on the floor. Dissension might occur over whether to build a new auditorium or multipurpose room, how to equip the kitchen, which songbooks or Bibles to buy for the pews, or whether a preacher ought to be hired or fired. Some attempt to derail the majority’s decision and get their own way by appealing to Romans 14. They insist that implementing the decision of the elders or the majority of the men would “offend” them. This tactic has been used far and wide to stymie the work of the church and prevent many positive actions from going forward.
In such instances, Romans 14 is misapplied in at least two ways: (1) Paul did not use the term “offend” merely to mean that a brother disagrees with or feels hurt by the decision. “Offend” is not defined as “ruffled feathers.” He used the term to refer to the weaker brother being led into sin. Specifically, Paul said the mature Christian ought to forego committing an action (like eating a particular food), if doing so would cause the immature Christian to engage in the same behavior in direct violation of his conscience. Placing red rather than beige curtains in front of the baptistery would hardly cause the dissenting brother to sin! (2) Those who use this tact would never cast themselves in the role of the weaker brother. They consider themselves the stronger brothers.
The fact is that if such individuals have scriptural grounds for objecting to a particular decision, rather than objecting solely out of personal opinion or preference, they should stake their case on scriptural grounds. Unfortunately, the church has always been plagued by some brethren whose ego, pride, and perhaps lust for power (like Diotrephes—3 John 9), drives them to attempt to control the church. In stark contrast, mature Christians will be extremely flexible, open-minded, and accommodative when it comes to matters of opinion in the church.
Another consideration regarding Romans 14 that helps us to distinguish between faith and opinion is seen in verses 22-23—
Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.
To “have faith” in a viewpoint/doctrine means that we are familiar with God’s view of the matter, knowing it to be optional and a matter of opinion. To “doubt” is to lack complete awareness or knowledge of a divine doctrine and/or to have hesitation to accept and enact it in one’s life. Specifically in the context, if a brother was uncertain about (doubted) whether he should eat a particular food, he would be guilty of sin if he went ahead and ate the food, because he would not be doing so “from faith,” i.e., he would be engaging in the action without being fully informed (by God’s Word) or fully convinced that such an action was acceptable to God. Since “faith comes by…hearing the word of God” (Romans 10:17), any action that a person engages in that does not have the authority/permission of God’s Word behind it, is a sinful action.
But how may the average Christian distinguish between matters of faith and matters of opinion? When a question or issue arises in the church, how do we know whether it is optional or obligatory? The answer is that we must study God’s Word carefully in order to apply its principles to the matter at hand. Excellent books have been written by Christians over the years detailing proper exegetical procedure for ascertaining God’s will on matters that are not specifically alluded to in Scripture. These include Thomas Warren’s When Is An “Example” Binding? and Logic and the Bible, Roy Deaver’s Ascertaining Bible Authority, D.R. Dungan’s Hermeneutics, et al. Such books help the student of the Bible to think through the principles involved in understanding God’s Word and applying that Word to the multitude of circumstances that arise in our lives. God’s Word was obviously written with a view toward the average human being capable of understanding God’s will for his or her life. Of course, diligence and effort must be brought to bear on the task (2 Timothy 2:15; Acts 17:11). But with adequate effort and interest in knowing God’s will, the goal can be achieved. No one can stand before God at the end of time and legitimately maintain that he was unable to recognize matters of faith and opinion.

CONCLUSION

May God help us to “pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (Romans 14:19). May we never “do anything by which our brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak” (vs. 21). May God help us to grow spiritually every day, that we might be people who are “strong in faith” (Romans 4:20), well able to distinguish between matters of opinion vs. matters of faith.

REFERENCES

Lard, Moses (1875), Commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Romans (Delight, AR: Gospel Light Publishing).
Lipscomb, David (1943), Romans (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).

Numbers…and the Use of the Word “Day” by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=3526

Numbers…and the Use of the Word “Day”

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Practically everyone understands that the term “day” can be used in various ways, both within and without Scripture. It can be used to refer to the opposite of night (Genesis 1:5). It can be used to refer to a literal, 24-hour period (or even a part of that 24-hour period—cf. Matthew 12:40; Lyons, 2004). And, it can be used to refer to a general period of time that is not limited to 24 hours, whether in the past (e.g., “in Napoleon’s day”), the present (e.g., “in this day and time”), or the future (e.g., “the Day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night,” 2 Peter 3:10). Rarely do people have a difficult time understanding each others’ use of the term day, since the context and the way in which the word is used virtually always defines the word rather easily. Think about it: How often do you have to interrupt someone because you misunderstand how they are using the word “day”?
Consider the following paragraph and the different ways in which the term “day” is used and easily distinguished.
In Abraham’s day, God made a covenant with the righteous patriarch and his descendants, saying, “Every male child among you shall be circumcised…. He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised” (Genesis 17:10,12). As long as it was day eight, it may not have mattered if Abraham and his descendants circumcised their young males during the day or night. In Moses’ day, even if day eight fell on the seventh day (the Sabbath day), the Israelites were expected to circumcise their male children on this day, “so that the law of Moses should not be broken” (John 7:23).
How is the word “day” used in the above paragraph? It is used twice in reference to the two different general periods of time in which Abraham and Moses lived. It is used once to refer to the opposite of night. It is used six times to refer to literal, 24-hour days.
One of the easiest ways (though not the only way) to detect when the Bible is using the term “day” in a literal, 24-hour sense is to see if the term is modified by a number. Obviously, day eight refers to the eighth literal day (not week, month, year, decade, etc.) of a child’s life. Day seven refers to the seventh literal day of the week—the Sabbath day. Who would mistake these “days” for anything other than regular days? Interestingly, as Henry Morris once noted, “[W]henever a limiting numeral or ordinal is attached to ‘day’ in the Old Testament (and there are over 200 such instances), the meaning is always that of a literal day” (1974, p. 224, emp. added, parenthetical item in orig.).
The popular belief among some that “we have no idea how long the days of Creation were in Genesis 1” is, with all due respect, an illogical, unbiblical notion. Do people have any trouble understanding each other’s use of this term in modern times? Do we have any difficulty understanding the hundreds of times the word day is used outside of Genesis 1? If not, why is Genesis 1 so difficult to understand for some individuals? Why will some not accept the fact that the six times the word “day” (yom) is coupled with a number in Genesis 1, regular 24-hour days are under discussion? The fact is, it is not difficult to understand or accept the Creation account as literal truth, and to interpret the days of Creation for what they obviously were—unless one is sympathetic to the long, theoretical ages postulated by evolutionary theory and is attempting to find a way to fit vast periods of evolutionary time into the Bible.

REFERENCES

Lyons, Eric (2004), “Did Jesus Rise ‘On’ or ‘After’ the Third Day?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=756.
Morris, Henry M. (1974), Scientific Creationism (San Diego, CA: Creation-Life Publishers).

"Islamophobia"? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=5142

"Islamophobia"?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Political correctness is running amok in American civilization. This irrational, self-contradictory ideology is virtually ensconced in culture. Millions have been victimized by this propaganda and intimidated into silence when confronted by ideas and behaviors that are immoral or destructive. This sinister ideology began to assert itself with a vengeance during the turbulent 1960s. In seemingly conspiratorial fashion, socialistic forces strategized means by which to bully mainstream Americans into silent passivity. As Cuban producer, director, and author Agustin Blazquez explains: “Change their speech and thought patterns by spreading the idea that vocalizing your beliefs is disrespectful to others and must be avoided to make up for past inequities and injustices” (2002). While accusing the status quo of censorship, attempting to stifle free speech, and oppress the left, ironically, the left now uses the very tactics they mistakenly imagined in their opponents. Hence, the social liberals in politics, education, and beyond launched “a sophisticated and dangerous form of censorship and oppression, imposed upon the citizenry with the ultimate goal of manipulating, brainwashing and destroying our society” (Blazquez). They have worked their agenda with a shrewd precision that would be the envy of the most sinister dictators of human history—from Nero to Hitler to Stalin.
Strangely, the effort to silence the traditional Christian values that have characterized America from the beginning has been accompanied by inconsistent and self-contradictory accommodation of Islam. Immediately after 9-11, the forces of political correctness sought to minimize the obvious connection between Islam and the attack by insisting that Islam is a peaceful religion, and by promoting Islam in public schools and encouraging the construction of Mosques throughout the country. Even as Christmas cards, Christian prayer, and allusions to Christianity in American history were being challenged across the country, an elementary school in Texas permitted a girl to present an overview and show a video about her Muslim religion to her classmates; a public middle school in San Luis Obispo, California had its students pretend to be warriors fighting for Islam; and a school near Oakland, California encouraged 125 seventh-grade students to dress up in Muslim robes for a three-week course on Islam. Consider the attack by Islamic gunmen that killed 12 people at the offices of a French satirical newspaper in Paris. The event evoked reactions that sought to lay blame on “disrespect for religion on the part of irresponsible cartoonists” and “violent extremists unrelated to Islam,” rather than placing blame on Sharia law, Islam, and the Quran (McCarthy, 2015; Packer, 2015; Kristof, 2015; “All in With…,” 2015; Tuttle, 2015).
The open promotion of Islam across the country has become widespread as footbaths are being installed in universities and other public facilities, traffic in New York City is disrupted by Muslims performing prayer rituals in the streets, public school classrooms and extracurricular activities are altered to accommodate Ramadan and daily prayer rituals, and the capitol lawn is given over to a Muslim prayer service involving hundreds. Any who dare even to question these proceedings are instantly pummeled and castigated as intolerant and “Islamophobic.”
As an example, consider the nationwide brouhaha that surrounded the construction of a mosque near ground zero. Despite what the left alleged, participating in a public rally to voice opposition to the construction of a mosque was not “bashing Islam” or being intolerant and “Islamophobic.” In 1941, the World War 2 generation was not being “Japophobic” when they went to war with Japan because Japanese aircraft bombed Pearl Harbor, killing some 2,400 of our young men, and wounding a 1,000 more. Nor were they “Naziphobic” when they sought to deter Germany from its attempted conquest of Europe and eventually America. Even to suggest such is ludicrous. They were merely facing reality—an ability today’s social liberals seem to lack, coupled with their complete naiveté regarding the sinister threat posed by Islam. What if Japanese living in America had sought to erect a Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine over the wreckage of the USS Arizona?
Make no mistake, true Christians do not hate Muslims, nor harbor prejudice or ill will against them. Rather, informed Christians and Americans simply recognize the fundamental threat that Islam poses to the freedom to practice one’s Christian beliefs without fear of reprisal. Indeed, taking steps to minimize the spread of Islam is itself the exercise of First Amendment rights. It is a sincere attempt to discourage the spread of religious views that are antithetical to liberty and the Christian principles on which America was founded—and on which her perpetuation depends. The American Founders recognized this fact.

the founders on islam

Father of American Jurisprudence and New York State Supreme Court Chief Justice James Kent noted that “we are a Christian people, and the morality of the country is deeply ingrafted [sic] upon Christianity, and not upon the doctrines or worship of those imposters”—referring to “Mahomet and the Grand Lama” (The People…, 1811, emp. added). Did you catch that? The moral fabric of America is “deeply engrafted” on Christianity—not the false religion of Islam. Labeling founders of false religions “imposters” is not “hate speech;” it is simply describing reality.
James Iredell, appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court by George Washington, felt sure that Americans would never elect Muslims, pagans, or atheists to political office when he demurred, “But it is never to be supposed that the people of America will trust their dearest rights to persons who have no religion at all, or a religion materially different from their own” (1836, 4:194, emp. added). Father of American Geography, Jedediah Morse, explained the intimate connection between America’s freedom and the Christian religion:
The foundations which support the interests of Christianity, are also necessary to support a free and equal government like our own. In all those countries where there is little or no religion, or a very gross and corrupt one, as in Mahometan and Pagan countries, there you will find, with scarcely a single exception, arbitrary and tyrannical governments, gross ignorance and wickedness, and deplorable wretchedness among the people. To the kindly influence of Christianity we owe that degree of civil freedom, and political and social happiness which mankind now enjoy (1799, p. 14, emp. added).
Here is an extremely wise, insightful, and sobering admonition—if we will listen and learn. The portrait that Morse painted has not changed in the intervening 200+ years. Muslim nations across the world are still “very gross and corrupt,” with “tyrannical governments” and “deplorable wretchedness among the people.” Is that what Americans desire for their own lifestyle? Does even the politically correct crowd wish to live in such a country? They do not. Yet, they foolishly hasten the deleterious transformation of our country.
In his masterful refutation of Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason, Elias Boudinot, who served as one of the Presidents of the Continental Congress, offered a blistering assessment of Islam in its contradistinction to Christianity:
Did not Moses and Christ show their divine mission, not only by the nature and effects of their doctrines and precepts,...but also by doing good, in the presence of all the people, works, that no other men ever did…? But Mahomet aimed to establishhis pretensions to divine authority, by the power of the sword and the terrors of his government; while he carefully avoided any attempts at miracles in the presence of his followers, and all pretences [sic] to foretell things to come…. [The laws] of Mahomet and other impostors have generally been compiled by degrees, according to the exigencies of the states, the prevalence of particular factions, or the authority who governed the people at his own will. Mahomet made his laws, not to curb, but humor the genius of the people; they were therefore altered and repealed from the same causes…. [W]here is the comparison between the supposed prophet of Mecca, and the Son of God; or with what propriety ought they to be named together? The difference between these characters is so great, that the facts need not be further applied (1801, pp. 36-39, emp. added).
Ethan Allen exposed a fallacy of Islam in his discussion of the fact that the providence of the God of the Bible “does not interfere with the agency of man,” whereas
Mahomet taught his army that the “term of every man’s life was fixed by God, and that none could shorten it, by any hazard that he might seem to be exposed to in battle or otherwise,” but that it should be introduced into peaceable and civil life, and be patronized by any teachers of religion, is quite strange, as it subverts religion in general, and renders the teaching of it unnecessary… (1854, p. 21, emp. added). 
He also warned against being “imposed upon by imposters, or by ignorant and insidious teachers, whose interest it may be to obtrude their own systems on the world for infallible truth, as in the instance of Mahomet” (p. 55, emp. added).
When Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were appointed and authorized by Congress to negotiate a treaty with the Muslim terrorists who continually raided American ships off the coast of North Africa, they met in London in 1786 with the Ambassador from Tripoli. On March 28, they penned the following words to John Jay, then serving as Secretary for Foreign Affairs, reporting their conversation with the ambassador:
We took the liberty to make some inquiries concerning the grounds of their pretentions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our Friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation. The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners; and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise. That it was a law that the first who boards an enemy’s vessel should have one slave more than his share with the rest, which operated as an incentive to the most desperate valour and enterprize [sic], that it was the practice of their corsairs to bear down upon a ship, for each sailor to take a dagger, in each hand, and another in his mouth, and leap on board, which so terrified their enemies that very few ever stood against them, that he verily believed that the Devil assisted his countrymen, for they were almost always successful (“Letter from the…,” emp. added).
While the Founders were supportive of “freedom of religion,” they were not for encouraging false religions (i.e., all non-Christian religions) to spread in America, or to be given “equal time” with Christianity, or allowed to infiltrate civil institutions (see Miller, 2013). Consider U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story who was appointed to the Court by President James Madison in 1811, and is considered the founder of Harvard Law School and one of two men who have been considered the Fathers of American Jurisprudence. In his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, Story clarified the meaning of the First Amendment as it relates to religious toleration and Islam:
The real object of the [First—DM] [A]mendment was not to countenance, much less to advance Mahometanism, or Judaism, or infidelity by prostrating Christianity; but to exclude all rivalry among Christian sects and to prevent any national ecclesiastical establishment which should give to a hierarchy [of one denomination—DM] the exclusive patronage of the national government (1833, 3:728.1871, emp. added).
Samuel Johnston, Governor of North Carolina and Member of the Constitution ratifying convention in 1788, attempted to allay fears that anti-Christian ideologies may infiltrate our elected officials:
It is apprehended that Jews, Mahometans, pagans, &c., may be elected to high offices under the government of the United States. Those who are Mahometans, or any others who are not professors of the Christian religion, can never be elected to the office of President or other high office, but in one of two cases. First, if the people of America lay aside the Christian religion altogether, it may happen. Should this unfortunately take place, the people will choose such men as think as they do themselves (as quoted in Elliot, 1836, 4:198, emp. added).
John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams and distinguished for his significant contributions to the Founding era and thereafter, summarized the attitude of most Americans and Founders toward Islam in his brilliant “Essays on the Russo-Turkish War” written in 1827. In these essays, we see a cogent, informed portrait of the threat that Islam has posed throughout world history:
In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar, the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust, by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE. Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. That war is yet flagrant; nor can it cease but by the extinction of that imposture, which has been permitted by Providence to prolong the degeneracy of man. While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men. The hand of Ishmael will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him [Genesis 16:12—DM]. It is, indeed, amongst the mysterious dealings of God, that this delusion should have been suffered for so many ages, and during so many generations of human kind, to prevail over the doctrines of the meek and peaceful and benevolent Jesus (1830, 29:269, capitals in orig., emp. added).
Observe that Adams not only documents the violent nature of Islam, in contrast with the peaceful and benevolent thrust of Christianity, he further exposes the mistreatment of women inherent in Islamic doctrine, including the degrading practice of polygamy. A few pages later, Adams again spotlights the coercive, violent nature of Islam, as well as the Muslim’s right to lie and deceive to advance Islam:
The precept of the koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force (29:274).
No Christian would deny that many Christians in history have violated the precepts of Christ by mistreating others and even committing atrocities in the name of Christ. However, Adams rightly observes that one must go against Christian doctrine to do so. Not so with Islam—since violence is sanctioned:
The fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion, is the extirpation of hatred from the human heart. It forbids the exercise of it, even towards enemies. There is no denomination of Christians, which denies or misunderstands this doctrine. All understand it alike—all acknowledge its obligations; and however imperfectly, in the purposes of Divine Providence, its efficacy has been shown in the practice of Christians, it has not been wholly inoperative upon them. Its effect has been upon the manners of nations. It has mitigated the horrors of war—it has softened the features of slavery—it has humanized the intercourse of social life. The unqualified acknowledgement of a duty does not, indeed, suffice to insure its performance. Hatred is yet a passion, but too powerful upon the hearts of Christians. Yet they cannot indulge it, except by the sacrifice of their principles, and the conscious violation of their duties. No state paper from a Christian hand, could, without trampling the precepts of its Lord and Master, have commenced by an open proclamation of hatred to any portion of the human race. The Ottoman lays it down as the foundation of his discourse (29:300, emp. added; see Miller, 2005).
These observations by a cross-section of the Founders of the American Republic represent the prevailing viewpoint in America for nearly 200 years. Only with the onslaught of “political correctness” have so many Americans blinded themselves to the sinister threat posed to their freedom and way of life.
When General George S. Patton was waging war against the Nazis in North Africa during World War 2, he had the opportunity to observe what Islam does for a nation, particularly the female population. In his monumental volume War As I Knew It, writing from Casablanca on June 9, 1943, Patton mused:
One cannot but ponder the question: What if the Arabs had been Christians? To me it seems certain that the fatalistic teachings of Mohammed and the utter degradation of women is the outstanding cause for the arrested development of the Arab. He is exactly as he was around the year 700, while we have kept on developing. Here, I think, is a text for some eloquent sermon on the virtues of Christianity (1947, p. 49, emp. added).
The Founders of the American republic were hardly “Islamophobic.” Rather, they wisely recognized the fundamental threat posed by the teachings of the Quran to the American way of life. As pursuers of truth, they believed Islam to be a false religion that should no more be encouraged to thrive in society than belief in Peter Pan’s Neverland. They viewed Christianity as the one true religion (see Miller, 2010). Indeed, mark it down, if Islam is given free course to alter the laws and public institutions of America, it logically follows that America will become just like the Islamic nations of the world. It is naïve and foolish to think that Islam can eventually become widespread in America and America remain the same country she has been. It is only logical and obvious to conclude that when America’s institutions are altered to accommodate Muslims, Islamic influence will, in time, dominate the nation. Then how will Christians be treated? The answer is self-evident. Look at how Christians are treated even now in Muslim countries around the world. Ask yourself this question: “Is there any Muslim country on Earth where I would choose to live?”
When clear thinking Americans examine Islam’s doctrines, and assess the behavior of its adherents over the centuries, they are merely doing what any rational person does every day with respect to a host of ideas. The honest heart naturally desires truth. Truth has nothing to fear. The God of the Bible wants truth contrasted with error so that all sincere persons can discern the truth and distinguish truth from falsehood (1 Kings 18:21; Acts 17:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). Christianity is inherently a religion of truth, reason, and logic (John 8:32; cf. Miller, 2011).

conclusion

"Islamophobia” is an irrelevant, concocted notion. It is a prejudicial, “red flag” word created by the left to stifle any hint of an inherent threat posed by Islam to the American way of life. In the words, again, of Agustin Blasquez: “It’s one thing to be educated, considerate, polite and have good manners, and another to be forced to self-censor and say things that are totally incorrect in order to comply with the arbitrary dictums of a deceiving and fanatical far-left agenda” (2002). As the deterioration and complete breakdown of traditional American (Christian) values climax, the destructive perpetrator—the left—is strangely eager to enable Islam to trample underfoot any Christian vestiges that remain. [NOTE: Ironically, if Islam were to take over America, many of the pluralistic ideologies championed by the left would be the first to be eliminated—from feminism to homosexuality.] To borrow the title of James Burnham’s book (1964), the suicide of the west is nearly complete. Or as D.T. Devareaux’s disturbing political cartoon depicts, Islam is happy to serve as the hammer finger on the weapon of Liberalism used by Uncle Sam (who upholds Western Civilization) to terminate his own existence (“The Art of…,” n.d.).

REFERENCES

Adams, John Quincy (1830), “Essays on Russo-Turkish War,” in The American Annual Register, ed. Joseph Blunt (New York: E. & G.W. Blunt), 29:267-402, http://www.archive.org/stream/p1americanannual29blunuoft.
Allen, Ethan (1854), Reason, the Only Oracle of Man (Boston, MA: J.P. Mendum).
“All In With Chris Hayes” (2015), “Terror Attack in Paris,” MSNBC, January 7, http://www.msnbc.com/all-in/watch/terror-attack-in-paris-381379651841.
“The Art of D.T. Devareaux” (no date), http://plancksconstant.org/es/blog1/2009/06/the_art_of_dt_devareaux.html. See “The Study of Revenge: The Polemical Artwork of D. T. Devareaux,” http://plancksconstant.org/es/blog1/2008/02/devareax.html.
Blazquez, Agustin (2002), “Political Correctness: The Scourge of Our Times,” NewsMax.com, April 8, http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/4/4/121115.shtml/.
Boudinot, Elias (1801), The Age of Revelation (Philadelphia, PA: Asbury Dickens).
Burnham, James (1964), Suicide of the West (New York: John Day Company).
Elliot, Jonathan, ed. (1836), Debates in the Convention of the State of North Carolina, On the Adoption of the Federal Constitution (Washington, D.C.: Taylor & Maury), second edition, http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwed.html.
Iredell, James (1836), The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, ed. Jonathan Elliot (Washington, D.C.: Jonathan Elliot).
Kristof, Nicholas (2015), “Is Islam to Blame for the Shooting at Charlie Hebdo in Paris?” The New York Times, January 7, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/08/opinion/nicholas-kristof-lessons-from-the-charlie-hebdo-shooting-in-paris.html?_r=0.
“Letter from the American Peace Commissioners (Thomas Jefferson & John Adams) to John Jay March 28, 1786” (1786), The Thomas Jefferson Papers Series 1. General Correspondence. 1651-1827, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mtj.mtjbib001849.
McCarthy, Andrew (2015), “Don’t Blame the Charlie Hebdo Mass Murder on ‘Extremism,’” National Review, January 7, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/395876/dont-blame-charlie-hebdo-mass-murder-extremism-andrew-c-mccarthy.
Miller, Dave (2005), “Violence and the Quran,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=8&article=1491&topic=44.
Miller, Dave (2010), Christ and the Continental Congress (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Miller, Dave (2011), “Is Christianity Logical?” Reason & Revelation, 31[6]:50-59, June, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=977.
Miller, Dave (2013), “Were the Founding Fathers ‘Tolerant’ of Islam?” Reason & Revelation, 33[3]:26-28,32-35, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1116&article=2128.
Morse, Jedidiah (1799), A Sermon, Exhibiting the Present Dangers and Consequent Duties of the Citizens of the United States of America (Hartford, CT: Hudson and Goodwin), http://www.archive.org/details/sermonexhibiting00morsrich.
Packer, George (2015), “The Blame for the Charlie Hebdo Murders,” The New Yorker, January 7, http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/blame-for-charlie-hebdo-murders.
Patton, George (1947), War As I Knew It (New York: Houghton Mifflin).
The People v. Ruggles (1811), 8 Johns 290 (Sup. Ct. NY.), N.Y. Lexis 124.
Story, Joseph (1833), Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States (Boston, MA: Hilliard, Gray, & Co.).
Tuttle, Ian (2015), “The Rush to Blame the Victims in the Charlie Hebdo Massacre,” National Review Online, January 7, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/395912/rush-blame-victims-charlie-hebdo-massacre-ian-tuttle.

How Much Water Could "the Sea" Hold? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=742&b=1%20Kings

How Much Water Could "the Sea" Hold?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Almost 1,000 years before Jesus set foot on the Earth, the first temple dedicated to Jehovah was built out of Lebanon cedar (the finest there was), costly stones, and pure gold. The Bible indicates that over 183,000 men were involved in the construction of this glorious house of worship during the reign of King Solomon (1 Kings 5:13-16). The vessels that were housed within the temple, and those that remained in the inner court, were equally as elaborate. One of these vessels that stood on the right side of the sanctuary between the altar and the porch of the temple was an immense bronze basin known as “the Sea” (1 Kings 7:23). It was five cubits (7½ feet) high, ten cubits (15 feet) in diameter at the brim, thirty cubits (45 feet) in circumference and rested on 12 bronze oxen (1 Kings 7:23-26, 39; 2 Chronicles 4:2-5,10). Unlike the ten lesser basins that were used to bathe portions of the burnt offerings, the Sea served as a washing pool for the priests (2 Chronicles 4:6). For many years the capacity of the inner court’s large basin known as “the Sea” has been at the center of controversy. The reason: 1 Kings 7:26 indicates that it held 2,000 baths. (A bath was the largest of the liquid measures in Hebrew culture; estimates are that it corresponds to anywhere from 4½-9 U.S. gallons). However, 2 Chronicles 4:5 says that the Sea held 3,000 baths. Thus, critics of the Bible’s inerrancy have charged that a blatant contradiction exists and that such lack of agreement discredits divine authorship.
There are at least three possible solutions to this alleged contradiction. First, the answer could be that a copyist, while attempting to ensure a “carbon copy” of the manuscript from which he was working, made an error. [For a general background on copyists’ errors, please see our foundational essay on that subject.] Keil and Delitzsch, in their commentary on 2 Chronicles, indicated their support of this theory. They tend to believe that the number 3,000 given in 2 Chronicles 4:5 has arisen from the confusion of the letter gimel (Hebrew transliterated letter-number for “3”) with beth (Hebrew transliterated letter- number for “2”). By a comparison of the two Hebrew letters, it easily is seen that their shape is quite similar. Even a tiny smudge from excessive wear on a scroll-column or a slightly damaged manuscript could have resulted in making the gimel look like a beth. With such an adjustment, the statements in 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles are harmonized easily. However, it very well may be that this is not a copyist’s error at all.
A second possible explanation to this alleged contradiction revolves around a Hebrew word used in 2 Chronicles 4:5 that does not appear in 1 Kings 7:26. Whereas in 1 Kings it says that the molten Sea “held” (ASV) 2,000 baths, 2 Chronicles says that it “received (Hebrew machaziyq) and held three thousand baths” (ASV, emp. added). The difference in phraseology may indicate that the Sea ordinarily contained 2,000 baths, but when filled to its utmost capacity it received and held 3,000 baths (Haley, 1951, p. 382). Thus, the chronicler informs the reader that 3,000 baths of water were required to completely fill the Sea, which usually held 2,000 baths (Barnes). Anyone who has ever been around large pools of water (like a swimming pool) knows that the pool actually can hold a few thousand gallons of water more than generally is kept in it. It very well may be that the wording in 2 Chronicles indicates such a difference about the water level in the Sea.
A third possible solution to this “problem passage” is that the “bath” unit mentioned in 1 Kings was larger than the “bath” unit used in 2 Chronicles. Since the latter account was written after the Babylonian exile, it is quite possible that reference is made to the Babylonian bath, which might have been less than the Jewish bath used at the time of Solomon. As Adam Clarke observed: “The cubit of Moses, or of the ancient Hebrews, was longer than the Babylonian by one palm…. It might be the same with the measures of capacity; so that two thousand of the ancient Jewish baths might have been equal to three thousand of those used after the captivity.” In considering a modern-day example, a 20% difference exists between the U.S. gallon and the Imperial gallon, even though the same term is used for both quantities. Thus, this alleged discrepancy may be simply a misunderstanding on the part of 21st-century readers.
The fact of the matter is that critics of the Bible cannot prove that this is a legitimate contradiction. Second Chronicles could represent a copyist’s error. On the other hand, I believe that one of the last two explanations represents a more plausible solution to the problem: either (1) the addition of the Hebrew word machaziyq (“received”) in 2 Chronicles 4:5 means that the Sea could actually hold 3,000 baths (though it normally held 2,000 baths); or (2) the “bath” unit used during the time of Solomon was larger than the one used after the Jews were released from Babylonian captivity. Until one can prove that these three solutions are not possibilities, he should refrain from criticizing the Bible’s claim of divine inspiration.
REFERENCES
Barnes, Albert (1997), Barnes’ Notes (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Clarke, Adam (1996), Adam Clarke’s Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Haley, John W. (1951 reprint), Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).
Jamieson, Robert, et al. (1997), Jamieson, Faussett, Brown Bible Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
Keil, C.F. and F. Delitzsch (1996), Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament (Electronic Database: Biblesoft), new updated edition.

Sealed by the Spirit by T. Pierce Brown


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

Sealed by the Spirit

In 2 Cor. 1:21-22, we read, "Now he that established us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God; who also sealed us, and gave us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." In Eph. 1:13-14, we read, "in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, -- in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is an earnest of our inheritance, unto the redemption of God's own possession, unto the praise of his glory." Ephesians 4:30 says, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption."

Calvinistic theologians take these passages to mean that one who has ever believed in the Lord is at that moment granted salvation from sin and its punishment, and that salvation is secured so that there is no possibility of it being lost, for he is "sealed and secured" by God and given a pledge that he can never be lost. It is often styled "eternal security of the believer," or "impossibility of apostasy."

We would have no argument with the idea of the eternal security of the believer if those who use the terms would use them as God does. That is, a "believer" is a faithful child of God who is "walking in the light, as He is in the light (1 Jn. 1:7), a sheep in the fold of Christ who is "hearing the voice of Jesus and following Him" (John 10:27-28). We contend that all the powers of evil on earth or in hell cannot cause a person to be lost who is following the voice of Jesus and doing His will. He has "eternal security." The questions, however, are: May a person who is a believer ever fall away from the faith or cease to be a believer? May a person's love for Christ grow cold? (Mt. 24:12). A person who was a 'goat' ceased to be a goat and became a sheep. May a person cease to be a sheep, and leave the fold? When we consider all the Bible warnings, we know that he can. So, in order to better understand the idea of being "sealed" and having an "earnest of the Spirit," let us examine those terms and see their meaning more completely.

There is little doubt that the term "earnest," from the Greek "arrabon" originally referred to what we call "earnest money" deposited by a purchaser as a down payment, and to be forfeited if the purchase was not complete, or the agreement broken. In the New Testament it is suggested that the Holy Spirit is given to a Christian as a divine pledge or down payment on the future blessings that God has in store for us.

Surely every Christian is at least dimly aware that every spiritual blessing he now has in Christ is but a foretaste, a sort of "down payment," of the life and blessings God has reserved in heaven for us "who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation reserved in heaven for us, ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Pet. 1:4-5). Note that we are kept by the power of God, but it is through faith. The basic question with which we are dealing is, "Once the earnest money was given, did it necessarily follow that the thing purchased was unconditionally guaranteed?" The answer should be apparent whether one looks at any purchase today, or how the term applied in either the Old Testament or the New. There were and are terms of any contract, will or covenant. If one party does not abide by the terms, the earnest money that was put down is forfeit. Anyone who ever put up "earnest money" to buy a house may have discovered that.

1 John 3:23-24 is one among many passages that teach that abiding in Christ is dependent upon keeping His commandments. If we grieve the Spirit (Eph. 4:30, quench the Spirit (1 Thes. 5:19), do despite to the Spirit (Heb. 10:29), then we may break the contract or the relationship that existed when the earnest was given.

Now let us examine briefly what is meant by the "seal." The noun "sphragio" and the verb, "sphragizo" are used in various ways to indicate ownership, security, authentication, etc., in a way that is very similar to how we use the word "seal" in the English language. We seal a letter by moistening the glue. A notary puts his seal on a document to attest to the fact that the party or parties involved actually gave the testimony indicated, or that the signatures are valid. When the tomb of Jesus was sealed (Mt. 27:66), it was for the purpose of fixing it so the body could not easily be removed. It was not meant to be broken, but note carefully that although it was not meant to be broken, it was. When we seal a letter, it is not meant to be opened before it gets to its destination, but it can be. When a notary puts his seal on an agreement, the agreement is not supposed to be broken, but it can be.

When God gives the Holy Spirit to His children as an authentication that He has bought us, and we belong to Him, that seals an agreement that we have made with Him that we accept the authority of Jesus as Lord, and belong to Him forever. That in no way implies that we cannot break that agreement, and be unfaithful. When Abraham received "the sign of circumcision, as a seal of the righteousness of faith which he had" (Rom. 4:11) God was attesting to the fact that Abraham and his descendants who kept the ritual properly, and obeyed the law would be His special people. It did NOT signify that they could not break His covenant, be disobedient and be cut off from the blessings promised. Surely no person who reads the history of Israel could logically conclude otherwise.

To summarize: God has put His "stamp of approval" (seal) on us as His children by giving us His Spirit (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16). If we demonstrate that we are His by producing the fruit of the Spirit, then this seal shows that we are owned by Him and are under His protection and authority. We may fail to do that, "break the seal" and be lost. Even in the context of Ephesians 4:30-32 when Paul says we are sealed unto the day of redemption, he warns us not to grieve the Holy Spirit, and to be kind and forgiving. Jesus said that God will not forgive us if we do not forgive others (Mt. 6:14-18). So we must conclude that though He has sealed us with the Spirit, and the Lord knows who are His (2 Tim. 2:19), if we do not depart from unrighteousness we will be lost, or as we might put it, the seal will be broken.

The Holy Spirit is both an earnest (a foretaste of what God has in store for us) and a seal, but those terms do not refer to the same function or purpose, for the Holy Spirit as a seal is showing that we belong to Him and are under His authority and care, and the Holy Spirit as an earnest is to give us an idea of what we shall have as a result of belonging to Him.
T. Pierce Brown


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

Bible Reading June 13 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading June 13 (World English Bible)



June 13
1 Samuel 19, 20

1Sa 19:1 Saul spoke to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David. But Jonathan, Saul's son, delighted much in David.
1Sa 19:2 Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeks to kill you: now therefore, please take care of yourself in the morning, and live in a secret place, and hide yourself:
1Sa 19:3 and I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I will talk with my father about you; and if I see anything, I will tell you.
1Sa 19:4 Jonathan spoke good of David to Saul his father, and said to him, Don't let the king sin against his servant, against David; because he has not sinned against you, and because his works have been very good toward you:
1Sa 19:5 for he put his life in his hand, and struck the Philistine, and Yahweh worked a great victory for all Israel: you saw it, and rejoiced; why then will you sin against innocent blood, to kill David without a cause?
1Sa 19:6 Saul listened to the voice of Jonathan: and Saul swore, As Yahweh lives, he shall not be put to death.
1Sa 19:7 Jonathan called David, and Jonathan showed him all those things. Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence, as before.
1Sa 19:8 There was war again: and David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and killed them with a great slaughter; and they fled before him.
1Sa 19:9 An evil spirit from Yahweh was on Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand; and David was playing with his hand.
1Sa 19:10 Saul sought to strike David even to the wall with the spear; but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, and he struck the spear into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night.
1Sa 19:11 Saul sent messengers to David's house, to watch him, and to kill him in the morning: and Michal, David's wife, told him, saying, If you don't save your life tonight, tomorrow you will be slain.
1Sa 19:12 So Michal let David down through the window: and he went, and fled, and escaped.
1Sa 19:13 Michal took the teraphim, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats' hair at its head, and covered it with the clothes.
1Sa 19:14 When Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, He is sick.
1Sa 19:15 Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him.
1Sa 19:16 When the messengers came in, behold, the teraphim was in the bed, with the pillow of goats' hair at its head.
1Sa 19:17 Saul said to Michal, Why have you deceived me thus, and let my enemy go, so that he is escaped? Michal answered Saul, He said to me, Let me go; why should I kill you?
1Sa 19:18 Now David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. He and Samuel went and lived in Naioth.
1Sa 19:19 It was told Saul, saying, Behold, David is at Naioth in Ramah.
1Sa 19:20 Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as head over them, the Spirit of God came on the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.
1Sa 19:21 When it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they also prophesied.
1Sa 19:22 Then went he also to Ramah, and came to the great well that is in Secu: and he asked and said, Where are Samuel and David? One said, Behold, they are at Naioth in Ramah.
1Sa 19:23 He went there to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God came on him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah.
1Sa 19:24 He also stripped off his clothes, and he also prophesied before Samuel, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore they say, "Is Saul also among the prophets?"

1Sa 20:1 David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, "What have I done? What is my iniquity?" and "What is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?"
1Sa 20:2 He said to him, "Far from it; you shall not die: behold, my father does nothing either great or small, but that he discloses it to me; and why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so."
1Sa 20:3 David swore moreover, and said, "Your father knows well that I have found favor in your eyes; and he says, 'Don't let Jonathan know this, lest he be grieved:' but truly as Yahweh lives, and as your soul lives, there is but a step between me and death."
1Sa 20:4 Then said Jonathan to David, "Whatever your soul desires, I will even do it for you."
1Sa 20:5 David said to Jonathan, "Behold, tomorrow is the new moon, and I should not fail to dine with the king; but let me go, that I may hide myself in the field to the third day at evening.
1Sa 20:6 If your father miss me at all, then say, 'David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city; for it is the yearly sacrifice there for all the family.'
1Sa 20:7 If he says, 'It is well;' your servant shall have peace: but if he be angry, then know that evil is determined by him.
1Sa 20:8 Therefore deal kindly with your servant; for you have brought your servant into a covenant of Yahweh with you: but if there be in me iniquity, kill me yourself; for why should you bring me to your father?"
1Sa 20:9 Jonathan said, "Far be it from you; for if I should at all know that evil were determined by my father to come on you, then wouldn't I tell you that?"
1Sa 20:10 Then said David to Jonathan, "Who shall tell me if perchance your father answers you roughly?"
1Sa 20:11 Jonathan said to David, "Come, and let us go out into the field." They both went out into the field.
1Sa 20:12 Jonathan said to David, "Yahweh, the God of Israel, be witness: when I have sounded my father about this time tomorrow, or the third day, behold, if there be good toward David, shall I not then send to you, and disclose it to you?
1Sa 20:13 Yahweh do so to Jonathan, and more also, should it please my father to do you evil, if I don't disclose it to you, and send you away, that you may go in peace: and Yahweh be with you, as he has been with my father.
1Sa 20:14 You shall not only while yet I live show me the loving kindness of Yahweh, that I not die;
1Sa 20:15 but also you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever; no, not when Yahweh has cut off the enemies of David everyone from the surface of the earth."
1Sa 20:16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, Yahweh will require it at the hand of David's enemies.
1Sa 20:17 Jonathan caused David to swear again, for the love that he had to him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul.
1Sa 20:18 Then Jonathan said to him, Tomorrow is the new moon: and you will be missed, because your seat will be empty.
1Sa 20:19 When you have stayed three days, you shall go down quickly, and come to the place where you did hide yourself when the business was in hand, and shall remain by the stone Ezel.
1Sa 20:20 I will shoot three arrows on its side, as though I shot at a mark.
1Sa 20:21 Behold, I will send the boy, saying, Go, find the arrows. If I tell the boy, Behold, the arrows are on this side of you; take them, and come; for there is peace to you and no hurt, as Yahweh lives.
1Sa 20:22 But if I say thus to the boy, Behold, the arrows are beyond you; go your way; for Yahweh has sent you away.
1Sa 20:23 As touching the matter which you and I have spoken of, behold, Yahweh is between you and me forever.
1Sa 20:24 So David hid himself in the field: and when the new moon was come, the king sat him down to eat food.
1Sa 20:25 The king sat on his seat, as at other times, even on the seat by the wall; and Jonathan stood up, and Abner sat by Saul's side: but David's place was empty.
1Sa 20:26 Nevertheless Saul didn't say anything that day: for he thought, Something has happened to him. He is not clean. Surely he is not clean.
1Sa 20:27 It happened on the next day after the new moon, which was the second day, that David's place was empty: and Saul said to Jonathan his son, Why doesn't the son of Jesse come to meat, neither yesterday, nor today?
1Sa 20:28 Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked leave of me to go to Bethlehem:
1Sa 20:29 and he said, Please let me go, for our family has a sacrifice in the city; and my brother, he has commanded me to be there: and now, if I have found favor in your eyes, let me get away, I pray you, and see my brothers. Therefore he is not come to the king's table.
1Sa 20:30 Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said to him, You son of a perverse rebellious woman, don't I know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness?
1Sa 20:31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on the earth, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom. Therefore now send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.
1Sa 20:32 Jonathan answered Saul his father, and said to him, "Why should he be put to death? What has he done?"
1Sa 20:33 Saul cast his spear at him to strike him. By this Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death.
1Sa 20:34 So Jonathan arose from the table in fierce anger, and ate no food the second day of the month; for he was grieved for David, because his father had done him shame.
1Sa 20:35 It happened in the morning, that Jonathan went out into the field at the time appointed with David, and a little boy with him.
1Sa 20:36 He said to his boy, Run, find now the arrows which I shoot. As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him.
1Sa 20:37 When the boy was come to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot, Jonathan cried after the boy, and said, Isn't the arrow beyond you?
1Sa 20:38 Jonathan cried after the boy, Go fast! Hurry! Don't delay! Jonathan's boy gathered up the arrows, and came to his master.
1Sa 20:39 But the boy didn't know anything: only Jonathan and David knew the matter.
1Sa 20:40 Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy, and said to him, Go, carry them to the city.
1Sa 20:41 As soon as the boy was gone, David arose out of a place toward the South, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.
1Sa 20:42 Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, because we have sworn both of us in the name of Yahweh, saying, Yahweh shall be between me and you, and between my seed and your seed, forever. He arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.



Jun. 13, 14
John 15

Joh 15:1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the farmer.
Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that doesn't bear fruit, he takes away. Every branch that bears fruit, he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Joh 15:3 You are already pruned clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
Joh 15:4 Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can't bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If a man doesn't remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
Joh 15:7 If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done for you.
Joh 15:8 "In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; and so you will be my disciples.
Joh 15:9 Even as the Father has loved me, I also have loved you. Remain in my love.
Joh 15:10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and remain in his love.
Joh 15:11 I have spoken these things to you, that my joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be made full.
Joh 15:12 "This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you.
Joh 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
Joh 15:14 You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you.
Joh 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn't know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you.
Joh 15:16 You didn't choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Joh 15:17 "I command these things to you, that you may love one another.
Joh 15:18 If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you.
Joh 15:19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said to you: 'A servant is not greater than his lord.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will keep yours also.
Joh 15:21 But all these things will they do to you for my name's sake, because they don't know him who sent me.
Joh 15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have had sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.
Joh 15:23 He who hates me, hates my Father also.
Joh 15:24 If I hadn't done among them the works which no one else did, they wouldn't have had sin. But now have they seen and also hated both me and my Father.
Joh 15:25 But this happened so that the word may be fulfilled which was written in their law, 'They hated me without a cause.'
Joh 15:26 "When the Counselor has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will testify about me.
Joh 15:27 You will also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.