6/16/17

"THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS" A Love That Can Hate (12:9-10) by Mark Copeland


                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS"

                     A Love That Can Hate (12:9-10)

INTRODUCTION

1. In Romans 12, Paul discusses the practical side of the Christian life

2. In the first part of the chapter, he establishes the general
   principle of self-sacrifice...
   a. As the foundation of all goodness - Ro 12:1
   b. Accomplished through a transformation - Ro 12:2
   c. Manifested in humble service of one's abilities - Ro 12:3-8

3. Beginning with verse 9, we find a series of exhortations...
   a. That continue to the end of the chapter
   b. That at first glance, may at time seem disconnected

4. For example, consider the exhortations in our text (Ro 12:9-10)...
   a. The first and last relate to love
   b. But the intervening clause pertains to hate
   -- But upon careful reflection, these exhortations may not be disjointed

[One way to connect these exhortations is to describe them as depicting
"A Love That Can Hate".  To see how that is possible, consider that a
Christian must first have...]

I. AN HONEST LOVE

   A. LOVE WITHOUT HYPOCRISY...
      1. We are to have a love that is honest, sincere and genuine 
         - Ro 12:9a
      2. Whereas a love that is faked is repulsive
         a. In which someone claims to love you
         b. But their actions speak otherwise
      3. Yet sometimes our words do surpass our true feelings
         a. We talk about love, sing about it
         b. But don't always live up to it!
      4. Making us feel guilty when we read a passage such as our text
      -- How can we love sincerely and without hypocrisy?

   B. DEVELOPING AN HONEST LOVE...
      1. The position of this exhortation in Paul's writing may serve as
         a clue
         a. After discussing the need for being transformed by the
            renewing of our minds
         b. An honest love can't be experienced or shown without this
            transformation
      2. This transformation occurs the more we contemplate the love and
         mercies of God - cf. 1Jn 4:7b ("for love is of God")
      3. Only as we let the mind of Christ be in us can we love as we
         should - cf. Php 2:2-5

[So we need to develop an honest love, one that comes by contemplating
God's love for us.  But as we continue in our text, we see that it can
also be "A Love That Can Hate"...]

II. ABHORRING EVIL, CLINGING TO WHAT IS GOOD

   A. ESSENTIAL TO HAVING AN HONEST LOVE...
      1. A mutual hatred of evil and clinging to good is necessary for
         an honest love - Ro 12:9b
      2. Why?  If not careful, love can easily lose its purity and depth
         a. The lusts of the flesh are strong
         b. They can easily pervert the nature of our love
         c. Profession of love can easily become a cover for evil
      3. Therefore the need to "abhor what is evil" - cf. Ep 5:2-5
         a. Walk in love as Christ loved us
         b. But eschew any perversion of love!

   B. DEVELOPING A PROPER HATRED OF EVIL...
      1. Comes by clinging to what is good, not vice versa!
      2. Why do some hate evil?
         a. There are those who very quick to hate evil (e.g., "hobbyriders")
         b. Such are mostly negative and rarely positive in their
            attitudes
         c. They hate evil, but do not cling to what is good, creating
            an unbalance
         d. Motivated by carnal desires (power, fame), not by the spirit
            of Christ
      3. Hatred of evil should come from first clinging to that which is good
         a. As implied by the Psalmist in Ps 119:103-104
         b. The powerful emotion of hate can then be properly balanced
            by a love of good!

[So the love that is to characterize Christians is to be "A Love That
Can Hate" when that hate is properly motivated and directed.  But now
let's consider how such love is to be manifested toward our brethren...]

III. AFFECTIONATE AND PREFERENTIAL

   A. WITH GREAT TENDERNESS AND AFFECTION...
      1. The expression "kindly affectionate" means "to love as family"
         (philostorgos)
         a. Just as you would your own family members
         b. To stress the point, Paul adds "in brotherly love"
            (philadelphia)
      2. We are to have great feeling of love towards those in Christ
         a. As Paul had toward the brethren at Philippi - Php 1:8
         b. As the Ephesian elders had toward Paul - Ac 20:36-38
      --  Such is "A Love That Can Hate"!

   B. DESIRING TO OUTDO ONE ANOTHER IN SHOWING HONOR...
      1. This is the meaning of "in honor giving preference to one
         another"
         a. "The word preferring means going before, leading, setting an
            example." - Barnes
         b. "Thus in showing mutual respect and honor, they were to
            strive to excel; not to see which could obtain most honor,
            but which could confer most, or manifest most respect."- ibid.
      2. Thus we are to delight in exalting our brethren over ourselves!
         a. As commanded in Php 2:3
         b. Freeing us from petty jealousies that can threaten true love

CONCLUSION

1. What is the kind of love that God desires for His children?  "A Love
   That Can Hate"!

2. Such is the love that God has shown toward us...
   a. A love that is honest and sincere, demonstrated by the sending of
      His Son to die for our sins
   b. A love that hates evil and clings to what is good, revealed
      throughout the Word of God
   c. A love that is affectionate and delights in showing honor, as God
      has done toward His children who obey Him!

If we are in Christ, is this the kind of love we display?  If you are
not in Christ, won't you respond to this love in obedience to the gospel
of Christ...?

Note:  The main idea for this lesson came from a sermon by Alexander
MacLaren, in his Expositions Of Holy Scripture.

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016


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“Christianity Could Not Possibly Be True” by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=3518


“Christianity Could Not Possibly Be True”

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


What did atheistic author Mike Davis allege was the “smoking gun” that proved to him once and for all that “Christianity could not possibly be true”? What “sealed the issue” and led him to believe “Jesus was wrong...and no more deserving of our belief than any other guy”? When did the case against the Bible and Christianity become “closed”? In chapter one of his book, The Atheist’s Introduction to the New Testament: How the Bible Undermines the Basic Teachings of Christianity, Davis explained that Matthew 24:34 was the deciding factor.
In Matthew 24:34, Jesus stated: “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” According to Davis, since “Jesus tells his listeners that the judgment day will come before the generation he’s speaking to passes away,” and since that generation passed away 1,900 years ago, Jesus “could not have been divine” and the Bible is “untrustworthy” (2008, pp. 1-2). In actuality, what Davis confesses ultimately “proved” to him that the Bible and Jesus are unreliable is nothing more than a misinterpretation of Scripture. Jesus was not mistaken in His comments in Matthew 24:34—Jesus’ generation did not pass away prior to witnessing the things Jesus foretold in Matthew 24:4-34. But, Jesus did not foretell in those verses what Davis assumes He foretold. Davis and many others believe that, prior to verse 34, Jesus was describing events that would take place shortly before Judgment Day at the end of time. The fact of the matter is, however, Jesus was prophesying about the coming destruction upon Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and not the final Judgment.
When the disciples went to show Jesus the temple buildings (Matthew 24:1), Jesus said, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down” (24:2). Later, when Jesus was on the Mount of Olives, the disciples asked Him three questions, beginning with “when will these things be?” (24:3). In verses 4-34, Jesus revealed several signs that would indicate Rome’s destruction of Jerusalem, including the temple, was near. [NOTE: “The fall of the Hebrew system is set forth in the sort of apocalyptic nomenclature that is characteristic of Old Testament literature, e.g., when the prophets pictorially portray the overthrow of Jehovah’s enemies (cf. Isaiah 13:10-11; 34:2ff; Ezekiel 32:7-8)” (Jackson, n.d.); cf. Matthew 24:29-31; see Miller, 2003.] In verses 35-51 (and all of chapter 25), Jesus answered the disciples’ last two questions: “what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3). To summarize, in Matthew 24:4-34 Jesus foretold of the coming destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, while in 24:35-25:46 He commented on His future return and final Judgment of the world.
How sad it is that so many atheists and skeptics believe they have disproven the Bible and Christianity, when, in reality, they have simply twisted the biblical text to mean something God never intended (cf. 2 Peter 3:16). The fact that Mike Davis highlights Matthew 24:34 as the verse that once and for all proved to him the Bible is unreliable should tell us something about the extreme weakness of the skeptic’s case against Christianity.

REFERENCES

Davis, Mike (2008), The Atheist’s Introduction to the New Testament (Outskirts Press: Denver, CO).
Jackson, Wayne (no date), “A Study of Matthew 24,” http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/19-a-study-of-matthew-24.
Miller, Dave (2003), “There Will Be No Signs!” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1838.

"No Proof of God...But the Universe Might Just Be a Simulation"? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=5322


"No Proof of God...But the Universe Might Just Be a Simulation"?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of America’s most well-known evolutionary astrophysicists. He has worked as the Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City for two decades. He also frequently appears on television shows such as The Colbert Report and Real Time with Bill Maher. Though Dr. Tyson has made some oppressive comments regarding theism (and theists) in the past,1 he is not an atheist; Tyson is agnostic: he admits that he is “someone who doesn’t know” and “hasn’t really seen evidence for” God, but “is prepared to embrace the evidence” if it is ever presented.2
Interestingly, Dr. Tyson recently made some outlandish comments at the 2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate at the American Museum of Natural History about the nature of the Universe. According to Tyson, “the likelihood of the universe being a simulation ‘may be very high.’”3 News organizations reported that Tyson indicated “it’s not too hard to imagine that some other creature out there is far smarter than us” (emp. added).4 Perhaps we’re just “some sort of alien simulation.”5 Tyson went so far as to say, “[I]t is easy for me to imagine that everything in our lives is just the creation of some other entity for their entertainment. I’m saying, the day we learn that it is true, I will be the only one in the room saying, I’m not surprised.”6
Isn’t it baffling what evolutionary agnostics and atheists will believe and what they won’t (or don’t) believe? Dr. Tyson is a very educated scientist who seems to have no problem imagining that god-like aliens made our Universe for their pleasure despite the complete lack of evidence for such a belief. Yet, at the same time, Tyson refuses to believe in God because he does not believe there is enough evidence to come to the conclusion that God actually created the Universe for His own glory (Psalm 19:1-4; Isaiah 43:7) and to be inhabited by His human creatures (Isaiah 45:18), who are made in His image (Genesis 1:26-27).
One thing that Dr. Tyson did allude to that everyone should freely admit based upon the evidence: “[I]t is easy for me to imagine that everything in our lives is just the creation of some other entity” (emp. added). In truth, Creation makes sense.7 “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4, emp. added). “The heavens declare the glory” of the eternal, omnipotent Creator (Psalm 19:1), not some supposed alien civilization (who, in turn, would need an explanation for their existence if they really did exist).8 Sadly, men such as Dr. Tyson seem so open to the idea of “super” aliens, yet not to The Supernatural Creator, Who will judge our actions or lack thereof at the end of time (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

ENDNOTES

1  See Michael Brooks (2006), “In Place of God,” New Scientist, 192[2578]:8-11. See also Eric Lyons and Kyle Butt (2007), “Militant Atheism,” Reason & Revelation, 27[1]:1-5, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2051&topic=296.
2  “Neil deGrasse Tyson: Atheist or Agnostic?” (2012), Big Think, April 25, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzSMC5rWvos.
3  Kevin Loria (2016), “Neil deGrasse Tyson Thinks There’s a ‘Very High’ Chance the Universe is just a Simulation,” Business Insider, http://www.businessinsider.sg/neil-degrasse-tyson-thinks-the-universe-might-be-a-simulation-2016-4/#.VypZthVrjq0.
4  Ibid.
5  Michael Lazar (2016), “Could the Universe Be a Simulation? Nel deGrasse Tyson Thinks It Might,” Huffington Post, May 1, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-lazar/could-the-universe-be-a-s_b_9816034.html.
6  Ibid.
7  Eric Lyons (2010), “Science, Common Sense, and Genesis 1:1,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=3758&topic=93.
8  Cf. Bert Thompson (2004), “Is There Intelligent Life in Outer Space?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9 &article=1129.

Satan is not the Ruler of Hell by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=4200


Satan is not the Ruler of Hell

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Cartoons have done much to influence the idea that many people have of Satan. The picture of a red, demon-like character with small horns protruding from his head, an arrow-head pointed tail, and a pitchfork in his hand comes to the minds of many when they hear the words devil, Satan, or hell. In fact, many of the cartoons that depict Satan with such images also show him sitting as a king in hell, determining where each person will go and the punishments meted out to those who are lost eternally. This picture could not be further from the truth. And it is because of this errant view that many—maybe even a majority—of those who read Matthew 10:28 misunderstand what Jesus meant.
In the context of Matthew 10, Jesus warned His followers that wicked men would persecute them unjustly. As He sent them out to preach, He admonished them to boldly speak the truth without fearing the repercussions. In the course of His forewarning, He said: “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28; cf. Luke 12:4-5). Many Bible students who have read this verse have incorrectly assumed that Jesus was saying that Satan has the power to destroy the soul and body in hell. They have mistakenly attributed to Satan power that he never has had.
Satan is not the ruler of hell, and he does not have the power or ability to cast or drag anyone into hell. In fact, when we read about Satan’s ultimate end, we see that God is the Being who will cast Satan, also called the devil, into the “lake of fire and brimstone” (Revelation 20:2,10). Furthermore, the apostle Paul explained to the Christians in Rome that no “angels nor principalities nor powers” could separate them from the “love of God which is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:38-39). Those in Rome could choose to reject God of their own free will, but no power in existence, including Satan, could pluck them from God’s hand and cast them into hell.
In truth, God will cast Satan into hell at the end of time in the same way that He will cast all those who have lived unrighteously and rejected Him (Matthew 25:46; Revelation 20:15). There is no indication in the Bible that suggests that Satan will be “in charge” of hell anymore than any other unfaithful creature of God. He will find no delight in his eternal second death, and he will not enjoy any type of authority or special privileges there. Jesus’ admonition to fear the one who can cast both the soul and the body into hell was designed to encourage His followers to rely on God, be strong in the face of persecution, and trust that as long as they are right with God, no force in the spiritual world has the power to harm them.

Jesus Christ—The Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=5085

Jesus Christ—The Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever  
by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


The inspired penman of Hebrews reminds us repeatedly throughout his epistle of the preeminence of Christ. The Lord Jesus is greater than angels; He is superior to Moses; He is higher than the Jewish high priesthood. His sacrifice is better; His everlasting covenant is better; His ministry is better. The eternal Savior (not expired Judaism) reigns supreme.
Jesus is preeminent for countless reasons. He is Divine and thus worthy of worship (Hebrews 1:5-9). He is the creator and sustainer of the Universe (1:2-3). His reign is “forever and ever” (1:12,8). He is without blemish (4:15; 9:14). He defeated death (13:20). He alone is the “author of eternal salvation” (5:9).
Jesus’ excellency is further established in Hebrews by appealing to the Lord’s amazing immutability. Near the end of the epistle, after an exhortation to remember one’s spiritual leaders (13:7), and prior to giving a warning against “strange doctrines” (13:9), the Hebrews writer reminds his readers of the precious, faith-building truth that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (13:8).

JESUS’ CONSISTENT CHARACTER

Society benefits greatly from the dependable and consistent character of its citizens. The steady marriage of a faithful husband and wife will only strengthen the foundation of civilization. The stable, strong, and reliable father gives his family a backbone upon which to lean that will not easily degenerate in difficult times. Faithful, spiritual leaders help keep churches grounded in the Truth, rather than led astray by false doctrine. But such dependable leadership is only found among those who genuinely strive to imitate the consistency of Christ (Hebrews 13:7-9).
By the very fact that Jesus is Divine, He is changeless. God said, “I am the Lord, I do not change” (Malachi 3:6). With the Father of lights, “there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Though the material universe will grow old and be changed, God said to Jesus, “You are the same, and Your years will not fail” (Hebrews 1:10-12; Psalm 102:25-27).
Christians should rejoice in the fact that, though “time is filled with swift transition,” our High Priest is perpetually dependable. Our Savior is endlessly steadfast. Christ revealed Himself as the perfectly consistent One. Though He “was in all points tempted as we are,” He was “without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus never once broke the old law, nor was His purpose to destroy it. He came to fulfill it perfectly and completely (Matthew 5:17-19), and through His unblemished sacrifice He established the new covenant (Hebrews 9:14-15).
Even the most difficult of circumstances never caused Jesus’ perfect character to change. Neither 40 days of fasting nor a face-to-face confrontation with the deceitful devil broke His resolve to live consistently with the Will of God. He did not use hunger, homelessness, or weariness as an excuse to become bitter and fickle. Jesus is the perfect foundation of the church because nothing could break His will to build her. Not torture or tears, not the betrayal of friends or the shadow of death, could shake Jesus’ resolve to offer salvation to a fallen world in desperate need of a steadfast Savior.

JESUS’ CONSISTENT TEACHINGS

Jesus’ preeminence is further seen in His perfectly reliable instruction. Unlike the father of lies in whom “there is no truth” (John 8:44), Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6). Unlike the contradictory and “strange doctrines” of false teachers, Jesus’ teachings are beautifully and powerfully dependable. His witness is true. His judgments are true. His counsel is perfectly consistent.
Though the Herodians and the disciples of the Pharisees came to Jesus with phony flattery in hopes of entangling Him in His talk, truer words could actually never be spoken of Jesus: “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men” (Matthew 22:16). Proof of Christ’s genuineness and consistency on this occasion is seen in the fact that He immediately called out their hypocrisy before briefly and powerfully answering their question (22:18-22).
Jesus preached a consistent message that was so often about the importance of being consistent. The Sermon on the Mount is a discourse on authentic righteousness in which Jesus gets to the heart of the matter. Praying, fasting, making judgments, doing charitable deeds, etc. are important, but without the proper attitudes and motivations behind these actions—without being righteous on the inside—they profit us nothing (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3). Jesus would later rebuke the scribes and Pharisees as “hypocrites,” saying, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you…, ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me” (Matthew 15:7-8). Outwardly many of the scribes and Pharisees appeared righteous, yet inwardly they were “full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matthew 23:28). Jesus refused to overlook the inconsistency among the religious leaders of His day. His unchanging nature and consistent message were then, and are today, the greatest tools to fight the “various and strange doctrines” that so often carry men away from the Truth (Hebrews 13:9).

CONCLUSION

Meditating upon the magnificence of the Messiah is faith building and inspiring. In the book of Hebrews, the Holy Spirit has given us a gold mine of motivation to lift up and serve Jesus as the Son of God. He reigns supreme, and His unwavering, unchangeable nature and message are to be loved and lauded. Praise God that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!”

*Originally published in Gospel Advocate, December 2014, 156[12]:17-19.



"But Augustine Said..." by Brad Bromling, D.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=574


"But Augustine Said..."

by Brad Bromling, D.Min.


By many estimations, Augustine was one of the most significant theologians of the Christian age. Born in north Africa in 354 to a pagan father and pious mother, Augustine lived a playboy’s life until age 33 when he was baptized by Ambrose of Milan. After his conversion, he diligently studied theology and devoted his life to preaching and teaching. Through his writings, he left an enormous legacy that has served to inform each generation since his time of the doctrinal concepts of the fourth century.
Genesis and its account of creation often were discussed by Augustine. Therefore, it is not surprising to hear his name mentioned in the creation/evolution debate. But it is surprising to see how some modern writers employ his work (Barbero, 1994, p. 38; Frye, 1983, p. 15; Ross, 1994, pp. 16-24). First, they make an issue over Augustine’s equivocation on the exact nature of the creation days: “What kind of days these were it is extremely difficult, or perhaps impossible for us to conceive, and how much more to say!” (Augustine, City of God, XI:6). Second, they observe that Augustine cautioned his readers against speaking about such things as the orbit and motion of stars, lest an infidel should hear them make a mistake on these matters and dismiss their teaching concerning the resurrection and other core doctrines of Scripture (Snow, 1990, p. 25).
The impression is given, then, that if the great theologian Augustine felt skittish about strictly defining the creation days, and was wary of Christians speaking about science, then perhaps the creation-science movement is an illegitimate venture. In other words, theology and science don’t mix.
Giving Augustine his due, the fact remains that he was only a man. He held erroneous positions and missed the mark at various junctures in his theological writings. What he said is not to be considered normative. Departing from Augustine should not be construed as departing from scriptural authority.
Truth is not determined by one’s agreement with a specific scholar. This is recognized in science as well as theology. Modern scientists would bristle at being forced to conform to all of Darwin’s views. So, creationists feel unfairly treated when told their views don’t jibe with Augustine’s. If Augustine was wrong about the creation days, so be it. His mistake need not be accepted blindly.
Augustine’s point regarding a Christian discussing science seems be that caution should be taken to ensure that what is said is true: “...it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics...” (Augustine, as quoted in Van Till, 1990, p. 149). No creationist would deny the importance of accuracy when discussing scientific matters. Obviously, a Christian who presents erroneous information from the sciences hardly will be taken seriously. That is not to say that a Christian should not present accurate science and accurate biblical exegesis together. All truth runs in parallel lines.
What often is missed in these discussions about Augustine is his firm belief in the infallibility of Scripture and in its clear teaching of creation ex nihilo (out of nothing). He wrote: “God didn’t find [some preexisting matter—BB], like something co-eternal with himself, out of which to construct the world; but he himself set it up from absolutely nothing” (Augustine, 1993, p. 151). He adamantly denied that any material thing existed before the creation week of Genesis 1: “And if the sacred and infallible Scriptures say that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...it may be understood that he made nothing previously” (City of God, XI:6).
Historically, Augustine has made many contributions to theology: some good, some not so good. His writings are worth reading, but they are not our standard. Our “faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:5).

REFERENCES

Augustine (1993), “Sermon 214,” The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century, ed. John E. Rotelle (New Rochelle, NY: New City Press, translated by Edmund Hill), Sermons III/6.
Barbero, Yves (1994), “NCSE Makes Impact at AAAS Annual Meeting,” NCSE Reports, pp. 38-39, Winter/Spring.
Frye, Roland Mushat (1983), “Creation-Science Against the Religious Background,” Is God a Creationist?, ed. R.M. Frye (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons), pp. 1-28.
Ross, Hugh (1994), Creation and Time (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress).
Snow, Robert E. (1990) “How Did We Get Here?,” Portraits of Creation, ed. Howard J. Van Till, et al. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), pp. 13-25.
Van Till, Howard J. (1990), “The Character of Contemporary Natural Science,” Portraits of Creation, ed. Howard J. Van Till, et al. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), pp. 126-165.

"The Battle of Our Times" by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1887


"The Battle of Our Times"

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


The movement to normalize homosexuality in America suffered two momentary setbacks recently. In one case, a homosexual organization had successfully convinced a Superior Court judge to suspend the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage—though the ban had been passed by 76% of Georgia voters. The Georgia State Supreme Court reversed the Superior Court judge’s ruling and reinstated the will of the people (“Georgia’s Top Court...,” 2006). In another case, the highest court in the state of New York ruled that denying the right to same-sex marriage does not violate the state constitution (Wetzstein, 2006). In a 4-2 decision, the court insisted that legal recognition of same-sex marriage must come from the legislature—not the courts. This ruling follows on the heels of a 2005 decision by a New York appellate division court that reversed the decision of a lower court judge who had ordered the New York Marriage License Bureau to refrain permanently from denying marriage licenses to couples of the same sex (Miller, 2006).
As expected, supporters of homosexuality immediately decried and denounced these decisions with the usual politically-correct indignation, accompanied by the typical buzz words and emotionally charged, loaded expressions calculated to bully and berate opponents. Consider some of the responses to the New York decision. Howard Dean, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, declared:
[W]e must respect the right of every family to live in dignity with equal rights, responsibilities and protections under the law. Today’s decision by the New York Court of Appeals, which relies on outdated and bigoted notions about families, is deeply disappointing, but it does not end the effort to achieve this goal (as quoted in Russo, 2006, emp. added).
Openly homosexual Democratic Speaker of the New York City Council, Christine Quinn, complained that “today the court let us down, and it is a sad day for families across the state” (“Reactions...,” 2006, emp. added). Democratic U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler bemoaned:
This is a sad day for families, a sad day for justice, and a sad day in the struggle for equal rights for all Americans. The promise that, in this nation, all people are created equal, and entitled to equal rights, compels us to end discriminationagainst same-sex couples. Today, the Court of Appeals has failed to take that stand (“Reactions...,” emp. added).
Homosexual Democratic candidate for New York Attorney General, Sean Patrick Maloney, added his voice to the chorus of the offended:
Tonight, my partner of 14 years and I will have to explain to our three children that under the constitution of New York our family is less than equal. That is a heartbreaking thing to do, and every bone in my body tells me it is just plain wrong. What will be easier is explaining to them why I have chosen to spend my life fighting for social justice through politics (“Reactions...,” emp. added).
“Live in dignity”? “Equal rights”? “Outdated and bigoted notions about families”? “Created equal”? “Discrimination”? “Social justice”? Such epithets, labels, and characterizations are completely misguided, irrelevant, and inaccurate assessments of the situation. Every single one of these assertions could be similarly used to castigate those who oppose polygamy, bigamy, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and prostitution. The same logic would apply to all behavior deemed criminal and immoral. Are we to grant the social and legal right to consensual murder (e.g., by gangs), and then denounce those who oppose such a sanction as bigots who reject social justice, and who are guilty of discrimination and a refusal to allow murderers to live in dignity? Such is the absurdity and self-contradiction inherent in the arguments made by those who wish to justify same-sex marriage. Rejecting same-sex marriage is not an attack on families. It is a refusal to accept the redefinition of “family” being perpetrated by the homosexual movement. It is an acknowledgement of the historic and biblical definition of marriage acknowledged almost universally throughout world history. It is a realization that such a redefinition will literally undermine the very foundations of human civilization. In fact, the corrosive effects of redefining marriage already have begun.
For example, Catholic Charities of Boston, one of the nation’s oldest adoption agencies, recently announced that they were eliminating their adoption program (Gallagher, 2006). That’s right. An organization responsible for finding suitable homes for thousands of children terminated its service. Why? In November 2003, the Massachusetts State Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage (see Miller, 2004). Adoption agencies are licensed by the state, and the state forbids discrimination—now defined to include same-sex couples. But the Vatican is adamant that placing children with same-sex couples violates Catholic doctrine. Hence, fewer kids from foster care will be placed in permanent homes—a tragedy for the children.
Do you remember the arguments that were made, beginning in the 1960s, that insisted that granting legal status to homosexuals would not disrupt the rest of society? “What we do in our bedroom is no one’s business.” “You don’t have to agree with our lifestyle—we just want tolerance.” “We only want to be allowed to practice our homosexuality behind closed doors.” “Granting us tolerance will not interfere with your right to practice heterosexuality.” “Live and let live.” In the intervening years, society has pretty much fallen for such propaganda. Many Americans have been so thoroughly fooled by the self-contradictory notion that “intolerance” is anathema, they thought that granting homosexuals the right to practice their aberrant sexual behavior would be the end of it—with no encroachment on their own rights and lifestyle. Think again. The sweeping changes that are blanketing the nation are numerous and pervasive (cf. Miller and Harrub, 2005).
Charles Haynes, a senior scholar at the First Amendment Center in Arlington, Virginia, commented on the issue of gay rights in the face of a nationwide contest over religious and civil rights: “Everyone’s talking about it, thinking about it. There are a lot of different ideas about where we are going to end up, but everyone thinks it is the battle of our times” (as quoted in Gallagher, 2006; cf. Haynes, 2006). A sobering realization.
Think of it. The battle of our times. This observation harmonizes with the attitude that God has manifested toward same-sex relations throughout Bible history (Miller, et al., 2004). Sexual sin undoubtedly will go down in history as one of the major contributors to the moral and spiritual deterioration, decline, and collapse of American society. Homosexuality is one more glaring proof of the sexual anarchy that prevails in American civilization. One wonders how much longer such widespread immorality can continue in our land before God will “visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants” (Leviticus 18:25).

REFERENCES

Gallagher, Maggie (2006), “Banned in Boston,” The Weekly Standard, 11[33], May 15, [On-line], URL: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/191 kgwgh.asp.
“Georgia’s Top Court Reinstates Ban on Gay Marriage” (2006), The Associated Press, July 6, [On-line], URL: http://www.wsbtv.com/news/9478406/detail.html.
Haynes, Charles C. (2006), “A Moral Battleground, A Civil Discourse,” First Amendment Center, May 20, [On-line], URL: http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/commentary.aspx?id=16664.
Miller, Dave (2004), “Massachusetts and Gay Marriage,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2384.
Miller, Dave (2006), “New York and Marriage,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2829.
Miller, Dave and Brad Harrub (2005), “America’s Inevitable Moral Implosion,” [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=7&article=1405.
Miller, Dave and Brad Harrub (2004), “An Investigation of the Biblical Evidence Against Homosexuality,” Reason & Revelation, September, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2577.
“Reactions to Court of Appeals Ruling on Gay Marriage” (2006), Newsday, July 6, [On-line], URL: http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--gaymarriage-reax 0706jul06,0,1189006.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork.
Russo, Tracy (2006), “It’s Up to the NY Legislature,” [On-line], URL: http://www.democrats.org/a/2006/07/its_up_to_the_l.php.
Wetzstein, Cheryl (2006), “Gays Cannot ‘Marry’ in N.Y.,” The Washington Times, July 7, [On-line], URL: http://washingtontimes.com/national/20060706-115746-2148r.htm.

http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=1444&b=1%20Kings

Elijah and the Drought

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Twice in the New Testament one can read of the drought of Eljiah’s day that lasted for three and a half years. Jesus once referred to this famine while addressing fellow Jews in His hometown of Nazareth (Luke 4:25-26), while James mentioned it near the end of his epistle (5:17-18). Some have a problem with the drought of “three years and six months,” because 1 Kings 18:1 says: “The word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, ‘Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth’” (emp. added). Soon thereafter, “there was a heavy rain” (18:45; cf. 18:15). The question is, did the rain come “in the third year” (1 Kings 18:1, emp. added) or after “three years and six months” (Luke 4:25; James 5:17)?
Previously, in 1 Kings 17:1, Elijah had prophesied to Ahab that “there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word.” Afterward, God instructed Elijah to “turn eastward and hide by the Brook Cherith” (17:3). There he lived, eating the bread and meat that ravens brought him twice a day, until “the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land” (17:7). God then sent Elijah to Zarephath to live with a widow and her son. After the child became sick and died, Elijah raised him from the dead (17:17-24). Immediately following this event, the inspired historian wrote: “And it came to pass after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth” (18:1, emp. added).
Those who contend that Luke 4:25 and James 5:17 contradict 1 Kings 18:1 (cf. Matheney and Honeycutt, 1970, 3:210) assume that “in the third year” refers to the drought. Yet, no proof exists for such an interpretation. First Kings 18:1 does not say, “...in the third year of the drought,” but only “in the third year.” Considering both the immediate context and the fact that originally there was no chapter break separating 1 Kings 17:24 and 18:1, the most natural reading is that Elijah was “in the third year” of his residence in Zarephath. Elijah, the widow, and her household ate of the miraculously replenished flour for “(many) days” (17:8-15, ASV). Some time later Elijah revived the widow’s son. Then, “it came to pass after many days that the word of the Lord came to Elijah” (18:1, emp. added). It is reasonable to conclude that Elijah spent more than two years in Zarephath, since it was “in the third year” that God sent Elijah away from Zarephath to confront Ahab.
The “three years and six months” to which Jesus and James referred includes the two-plus years Elijah was in Zarephath and the several months Elijah lived at Brook Cherith. Although skeptics would rather assume guilt on the part of the inspired historian, Jesus, and/or James, once again they are unable to present real evidence for a genuine Bible contradiction.

 

REFERENCES

Matheney, M. Pierce and Roy L. Honeycutt, Jr. (1970), Broadman Bible Commentary: 1 Samuel-Nehemiah, ed. Clifton J. Allen (Nashville, TN: Broadman Press).

Why do I Suffer? by Joe Andrasik





http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Andrasik/Joseph/1947/suffer.html

Why do I Suffer?

This is a question that is as ancient as man himself. First we must understand that GOD did not desire that we suffer. Suffering came into being because man chose to sin. There was no suffering in the Garden of Eden until man sinned, and Adam and Eve were driven out of Eden. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned--. Romans 5:12. Man brought suffering into the world by sinning. Much suffering continues in the world caused by men who sin. Sin has long-lasting concequences.
GOD cares very much for us and does not want anyone to suffer. Psalm 116:3-5; The pains of death surrounded me, and the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the LORD: O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul! Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yes, our God is merciful.
Man's disobedience caused the loss of GOD's blessings. Our bodies are no longer immortal as Adam and Eve were in the garden before they sinned . Therefore we suffer from disease, sickness and physical death. All are the result of sin. Death literally means separation from GOD. Without being in a right (correct) relationship with GOD, we are no longer deserving of GOD's blessings. All that remains for us is to suffer at the hands of the devil. All suffering is inflicted on us by our enemy the devil.
Without being in a right (correct) relationship with GOD we have no hope at all of restoring GOD's blessings to our lives. When a person becomes a Christian that person can then begin to trust that GOD will answer his prayer. Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8. The Christian who is in a right (correct) relationship with GOD can trust that GOD will return many of the blessings he lost before he became a Christian. This includes hope of eternal life.
Just because we become Christians does not mean all suffering ceases. It does means that we can begin to rely on GOD who will help us with our burdens. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28. GOD begins to ease our suffering and helps us by carrying our most difficult burdens.
GOD lives in Heaven away from sin and suffering. He wants us to be with Him. He wants us to look beyond this world to Heaven. If there were no suffering in this world, there would be very little desire to go to Heaven and be with GOD. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:3-4.
Suffering therefore helps to remind us that we do not belong on this earth. We belong with GOD our Father. Jesus is preparing a place for every Christian who is willing to obey Him. Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. John 14:1-3.
Sometime we suffer because of our sin and GOD disciplines us. This occurs not because GOD desires to inflict pain on us but because He wants us to change our mind and return to Him. He does not want anyone to be lost. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? Hebrews 12:5-7.
Let us study the life of a very special man in the Old Testament. There was a man named Job who is described in the Book of Job. Then the LORD said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? Job 1:8. Job was a very righteous man. For most of Job's life he received many countless blessings from GOD. He was about to learn that even the righteous experience suffering. So Satan answered the LORD and said, Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face! Job 1:9-11. GOD allowed Job to suffer at the hand's of the devil. Job's suffering was brought on by the devil, not GOD. GOD allowed it to happen but only to achieve a far greater purpose in GOD's plan. We may not fully understand but GOD is able to use our circumstances of suffering and turn them into blessings for us later in our life, as we shall learn from Job's experience. GOD also knew that the outcome of Job's suffering would far outweigh the limited amount of suffering that Job would experience. This is not to minimize the suffering that Job experienced. He lost his entire family except for his wife and was in great pain for months. The book of Job would become an ageless example of the suffering of the righteous, and a source of encouragement for us.
First we must understand that we are not alone in our suffering. GOD experienced the agony of suffering himself in the person of his Son. Jesus came to live and die as the Son of GOD that we might have hope. He experienced hunger in the wilderness for forty days. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread. But He answered and said, It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:2-4. He certainly knew what it was to be cold or to experience the heat of summer. He lived as a carpenter's son for over thirty years. He knew what it was like to go without sleep. He was even tempted by sin and had to resist without sinning, to accomplish GOD's greatest sacrifice for us. Hebrew 4:15; For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Jesus, the Son of GOD, experienced what each of us experience every day to help us with our own suffering.
Perhaps the greatest suffering man will face is the fear of death. Jesus went before us to take away this fear by overcoming death with the hope of a resurrection to eternal life with GOD. Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,.. Hebrews 5:7-9.
Jesus feared death as we do, but He especially feared death on the cross. He understood what kind of death He would suffer, as He knelt down in the Garden. Then He said to them, My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me. He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will. Matthew 26:38-39. Jesus prayed three times to his Heavenly Father to be spared the death on the cross. This is the death that would satisfy GOD's justice for our sins. We deserved to be on that cross in His place, each of us dying for our own sins. He did not deserve it. Jesus thus became the perfect sacrifice in our place. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, Hebrew 2:9-11.
When we share in suffering as a Christian, GOD sees us as part of His family. We become part of the family of GOD by sharing in Jesus' suffering. This is especially true when we suffer because of our attempts to be like Christ. Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. 1 Peter 4:1-2.
Remember! We previously considered the suffering of Job. Job overcame his suffering at the hands of the devil. Let us see the final outcome of Job's faithfulness to GOD. Now the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; for he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and one thousand female donkeys. He also had seven sons and three daughters. Job 42:12-13. Christians can have an even better hope today.
Joe Andrasik

Christians may copy this tract freely
to advance the Gospel of Christ
if the content is not changed.
All references are from The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

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

Bible Reading June 16-18 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading June 16-18  (World English Bible)

June 16
1 Samuel 25, 26

1Sa 25:1 Samuel died; and all Israel gathered themselves together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.
1Sa 25:2 There was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
1Sa 25:3 Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail; and the woman was of good understanding, and of a beautiful face: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.
1Sa 25:4 David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep.
1Sa 25:5 David sent ten young men, and David said to the young men, Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name:
1Sa 25:6 and thus you shell tell him who lives in prosperity, Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.
1Sa 25:7 Now I have heard that you have shearers: your shepherds have now been with us, and we did them no hurt, neither was there anything missing to them, all the while they were in Carmel.
1Sa 25:8 Ask your young men, and they will tell you: therefore let the young men find favor in your eyes; for we come in a good day. Please give whatever comes to your hand, to your servants, and to your son David.
1Sa 25:9 When David's young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.
1Sa 25:10 Nabal answered David's servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there are many servants who break away from their masters these days.
1Sa 25:11 Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men who I don't know where they come from?
1Sa 25:12 So David's young men turned on their way, and went back, and came and told him according to all these words.
1Sa 25:13 David said to his men, Every man put on his sword! Every man put on his sword; and David also put on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the baggage.
1Sa 25:14 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to Greet our master; and he railed at them.
1Sa 25:15 But the men were very good to us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we anything, as long as we went with them, when we were in the fields:
1Sa 25:16 they were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.
1Sa 25:17 Now therefore know and consider what you will do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his house: for he is such a worthless fellow that one can't speak to him.
1Sa 25:18 Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched grain, and one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys.
1Sa 25:19 She said to her young men, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she didn't tell her husband, Nabal.
1Sa 25:20 It was so, as she rode on her donkey, and came down by the covert of the mountain, that behold, David and his men came down toward her; and she met them.
1Sa 25:21 Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained to him: and he has returned me evil for good.
1Sa 25:22 God do so to the enemies of David, and more also, if I leave of all that belongs to him by the morning light so much as one who urinates on a wall.
1Sa 25:23 When Abigail saw David, she hurried, and alighted from her donkey, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground.
1Sa 25:24 She fell at his feet, and said, On me, my lord, on me be the iniquity; and please let your handmaid speak in your ears. Hear the words of your handmaid.
1Sa 25:25 Please don't let my lord regard this worthless fellow, even Nabal; for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I your handmaid didn't see the young men of my lord, whom you sent.
1Sa 25:26 Now therefore, my lord, as Yahweh lives, and as your soul lives, seeing Yahweh has withheld you from blood guiltiness, and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now therefore let your enemies, and those who seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.
1Sa 25:27 Now this present which your servant has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who follow my lord.
1Sa 25:28 Please forgive the trespass of your handmaid: for Yahweh will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord fights the battles of Yahweh; and evil shall not be found in you all your days.
1Sa 25:29 Though men be risen up to pursue you, and to seek your soul, yet the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with Yahweh your God; and the souls of your enemies, them shall he sling out, as from the hollow of a sling.
1Sa 25:30 It shall come to pass, when Yahweh shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you, and shall have appointed you prince over Israel,
1Sa 25:31 that this shall be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. When Yahweh shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember your handmaid.
1Sa 25:32 David said to Abigail, Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me:
1Sa 25:33 and blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, that have kept me this day from blood guiltiness, and from avenging myself with my own hand.
1Sa 25:34 For in very deed, as Yahweh, the God of Israel, lives, who has withheld me from hurting you, except you had hurried and come to meet me, surely there wouldn't have been left to Nabal by the morning light so much as one who urinates on a wall.
1Sa 25:35 So David received of her hand that which she had brought him: and he said to her, Go up in peace to your house; behold, I have listened to your voice, and have accepted your person.
1Sa 25:36 Abigail came to Nabal; and behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: therefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.
1Sa 25:37 It happened in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, that his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.
1Sa 25:38 It happened about ten days after, that Yahweh struck Nabal, so that he died.
1Sa 25:39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be Yahweh, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from evil: and the evildoing of Nabal has Yahweh returned on his own head. David sent and spoke concerning Abigail, to take her to him as wife.
1Sa 25:40 When the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, David has sent us to you, to take you to him as wife.
1Sa 25:41 She arose, and bowed herself with her face to the earth, and said, Behold, your handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.
1Sa 25:42 Abigail hurried, and arose, and rode on a donkey, with five ladies of hers who followed her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife.
1Sa 25:43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they became both of them his wives.
1Sa 25:44 Now Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim.

1Sa 26:1 The Ziphites came to Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doesn't David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before the desert?
1Sa 26:2 Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.
1Sa 26:3 Saul encamped in the hill of Hachilah, which is before the desert, by the way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.
1Sa 26:4 David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come of a certainty.
1Sa 26:5 David arose, and came to the place where Saul had encamped; and David saw the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his army: and Saul lay within the place of the wagons, and the people were encamped around him.
1Sa 26:6 Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? Abishai said, I will go down with you.
1Sa 26:7 So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the place of the wagons, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head; and Abner and the people lay around him.
1Sa 26:8 Then said Abishai to David, God has delivered up your enemy into your hand this day: now therefore please let me strike him with the spear to the earth at one stroke, and I will not strike him the second time.
1Sa 26:9 David said to Abishai, Don't destroy him; for who can put forth his hand against Yahweh's anointed, and be guiltless?
1Sa 26:10 David said, As Yahweh lives, Yahweh will strike him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall go down into battle and perish.
1Sa 26:11 Yahweh forbid that I should put forth my hand against Yahweh's anointed: but now please take the spear that is at his head, and the jar of water, and let us go.
1Sa 26:12 So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul's head; and they got them away: and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither did any awake; for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from Yahweh was fallen on them.
1Sa 26:13 Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of the mountain afar off; a great space being between them;
1Sa 26:14 and David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Don't you answer, Abner? Then Abner answered, Who are you who cries to the king?
1Sa 26:15 David said to Abner, Aren't you a valiant man? and who is like you in Israel? why then have you not kept watch over your lord, the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king your lord.
1Sa 26:16 This thing isn't good that you have done. As Yahweh lives, you are worthy to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, Yahweh's anointed. Now see where the king's spear is, and the jar of water that was at his head.
1Sa 26:17 Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this your voice, my son David? David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king.
1Sa 26:18 He said, Why does my lord pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in my hand?
1Sa 26:19 Now therefore, please let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it is so Yahweh that has stirred you up against me, let him accept an offering: but if it be the children of men, cursed be they before Yahweh: for they have driven me out this day that I shouldn't cling to Yahweh's inheritance, saying, Go, serve other gods.
1Sa 26:20 Now therefore, don't let my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of Yahweh: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one does hunt a partridge in the mountains.
1Sa 26:21 Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David; for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.
1Sa 26:22 David answered, Behold the spear, O king! let then one of the young men come over and get it.
1Sa 26:23 Yahweh will render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness; because Yahweh delivered you into my hand today, and I wouldn't put forth my hand against Yahweh's anointed.
1Sa 26:24 Behold, as your life was much set by this day in my eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of Yahweh, and let him deliver me out of all oppression.
1Sa 26:25 Then Saul said to David, You are blessed, my son David: you shall both do mightily, and shall surely prevail. So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place.



June 17
1Samuel 27, 28

1Sa 27:1 David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me any more in all the borders of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.
1Sa 27:2 David arose, and passed over, he and the six hundred men who were with him, to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath.
1Sa 27:3 David lived with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's wife.
1Sa 27:4 It was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him.
1Sa 27:5 David said to Achish, If now I have found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in one of the cities in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?
1Sa 27:6 Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: why Ziklag pertains to the kings of Judah to this day.
1Sa 27:7 The number of the days that David lived in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.
1Sa 27:8 David and his men went up, and made a raid on the Geshurites, and the Girzites, and the Amalekites; for those nations were the inhabitants of the land, who were of old, as you go to Shur, even to the land of Egypt.
1Sa 27:9 David struck the land, and saved neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the cattle, and the donkeys, and the camels, and the clothing; and he returned, and came to Achish.
1Sa 27:10 Achish said, Against whom have you made a raid today? David said, Against the South of Judah, and against the South of the Jerahmeelites, and against the South of the Kenites.
1Sa 27:11 David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring them to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell of us, saying, So did David, and so has been his manner all the while he has lived in the country of the Philistines.
1Sa 27:12 Achish believed David, saying, He has made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant forever.

1Sa 28:1 It happened in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. Achish said to David, Know assuredly that you shall go out with me in the army, you and your men.
1Sa 28:2 David said to Achish, Therefore you shall know what your servant will do. Achish said to David, Therefore will I make you keeper of my head for ever.
1Sa 28:3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him, and buried him in Ramah, even in his own city. Saul had put away those who had familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land.
1Sa 28:4 The Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and encamped in Shunem: and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they encamped in Gilboa.
1Sa 28:5 When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly.
1Sa 28:6 When Saul inquired of Yahweh, Yahweh didn't answer him, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.
1Sa 28:7 Then said Saul to his servants, Seek me a woman who has a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. His servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman who has a familiar spirit at Endor.
1Sa 28:8 Saul disguised himself, and put on other clothing, and went, he and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, Please divine to me by the familiar spirit, and bring me up whoever I shall name to you.
1Sa 28:9 The woman said to him, Behold, you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off those who have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: why then do you lay a snare for my life, to cause me to die?
1Sa 28:10 Saul swore to her by Yahweh, saying, As Yahweh lives, there shall no punishment happen to you for this thing.
1Sa 28:11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up to you? He said, Bring me up Samuel.
1Sa 28:12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice; and the woman spoke to Saul, saying, Why have you deceived me? for you are Saul.
1Sa 28:13 The king said to her, Don't be afraid: for what do you see? The woman said to Saul, I see a god coming up out of the earth.
1Sa 28:14 He said to her, What form is he of? She said, An old man comes up; and he is covered with a robe. Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance.
1Sa 28:15 Samuel said to Saul, Why have you disquieted me, to bring me up? Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answers me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called you, that you may make known to me what I shall do.
1Sa 28:16 Samuel said, Why then do you ask of me, seeing Yahweh has departed from you, and has become your adversary?
1Sa 28:17 Yahweh has done to you as he spoke by me: and Yahweh has torn the kingdom out of your hand, and given it to your neighbor, even to David.
1Sa 28:18 Because you didn't obey the voice of Yahweh, and didn't execute his fierce wrath on Amalek, therefore Yahweh has done this thing to you this day.
1Sa 28:19 Moreover Yahweh will deliver Israel also with you into the hand of the Philistines; and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me: Yahweh will deliver the army of Israel also into the hand of the Philistines.
1Sa 28:20 Then Saul fell immediately his full length on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.
1Sa 28:21 The woman came to Saul, and saw that he was sore troubled, and said to him, Behold, your handmaid has listened to your voice, and I have put my life in my hand, and have listened to your words which you spoke to me.
1Sa 28:22 Now therefore, please listen also to the voice of your handmaid, and let me set a morsel of bread before you; and eat, that you may have strength, when you go on your way.
1Sa 28:23 But he refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, constrained him; and he listened to their voice. So he arose from the earth, and sat on the bed.
1Sa 28:24 The woman had a fattened calf in the house; and she hurried, and killed it; and she took flour, and kneaded it, and did bake unleavened bread of it:
1Sa 28:25 and she brought it before Saul, and before his servants; and they ate. Then they rose up, and went away that night.


June 18
1 Samuel 29, 30

1Sa 29:1 Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek: and the Israelites encamped by the spring which is in Jezreel.
1Sa 29:2 The lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds, and by thousands; and David and his men passed on in the rearward with Achish.
1Sa 29:3 Then said the princes of the Philistines, What do these Hebrews here? Achish said to the princes of the Philistines, Isn't this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or rather these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell away to me to this day?
1Sa 29:4 But the princes of the Philistines were angry with him; and the princes of the Philistines said to him, Make the man return, that he may go back to his place where you have appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us: for with what should this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? should it not be with the heads of these men?
1Sa 29:5 Is not this David, of whom they sang one to another in dances, saying, Saul has slain his thousands, David his ten thousands?
1Sa 29:6 Then Achish called David, and said to him, As Yahweh lives, you have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the army is good in my sight; for I have not found evil in you since the day of your coming to me to this day: nevertheless the lords don't favor you.
1Sa 29:7 Therefore now return, and go in peace, that you not displease the lords of the Philistines.
1Sa 29:8 David said to Achish, But what have I done? and what have you found in your servant so long as I have been before you to this day, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?
1Sa 29:9 Achish answered David, I know that you are good in my sight, as an angel of God: notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, He shall not go up with us to the battle.
1Sa 29:10 Therefore now rise up early in the morning with the servants of your lord who have come with you; and as soon as you are up early in the morning, and have light, depart.
1Sa 29:11 So David rose up early, he and his men, to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. The Philistines went up to Jezreel.

1Sa 30:1 It happened, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had made a raid on the South, and on Ziklag, and had struck Ziklag, and burned it with fire,
1Sa 30:2 and had taken captive the women and all who were therein, both small and great: they didn't kill any, but carried them off, and went their way.
1Sa 30:3 When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captive.
1Sa 30:4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.
1Sa 30:5 David's two wives were taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
1Sa 30:6 David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David strengthened himself in Yahweh his God.
1Sa 30:7 David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, Please bring me here the ephod. Abiathar brought there the ephod to David.
1Sa 30:8 David inquired of Yahweh, saying, If I pursue after this troop, shall I overtake them? He answered him, Pursue; for you shall surely overtake them, and shall without fail recover all.
1Sa 30:9 So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind stayed.
1Sa 30:10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so faint that they couldn't go over the brook Besor.
1Sa 30:11 They found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he ate; and they gave him water to drink.
1Sa 30:12 They gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him; for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights.
1Sa 30:13 David said to him, To whom do you belong? and where are you from? He said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days ago I fell sick.
1Sa 30:14 We made a raid on the South of the Cherethites, and on that which belongs to Judah, and on the South of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.
1Sa 30:15 David said to him, Will you bring me down to this troop? He said, Swear to me by God, that you will neither kill me, nor deliver me up into the hands of my master, and I will bring you down to this troop.
1Sa 30:16 When he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad over all the ground, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah.
1Sa 30:17 David struck them from the twilight even to the evening of the next day: and there not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who rode on camels and fled.
1Sa 30:18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken; and David rescued his two wives.
1Sa 30:19 There was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor anything that they had taken to them: David brought back all.
1Sa 30:20 David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drove before those other livestock, and said, This is David's spoil.
1Sa 30:21 David came to the two hundred men, who were so faint that they could not follow David, whom also they had made to abide at the brook Besor; and they went forth to meet David, and to meet the people who were with him: and when David came near to the people, he greeted them.
1Sa 30:22 Then answered all the wicked men and base fellows, of those who went with David, and said, Because they didn't go with us, we will not give them anything of the spoil that we have recovered, except to every man his wife and his children, that he may lead them away, and depart.
1Sa 30:23 Then said David, You shall not do so, my brothers, with that which Yahweh has given to us, who has preserved us, and delivered the troop that came against us into our hand.
1Sa 30:24 Who will listen to you in this matter? for as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who tarries by the baggage: they shall share alike.
1Sa 30:25 It was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.
1Sa 30:26 When David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil to the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold, a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of Yahweh:
1Sa 30:27 To those who were in Bethel, and to those who were in Ramoth of the South, and to those who were in Jattir,
1Sa 30:28 and to those who were in Aroer, and to those who were in Siphmoth, and to those who were in Eshtemoa,
1Sa 30:29 and to those who were in Racal, and to those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, and to those who were in the cities of the Kenites,
1Sa 30:30 and to those who were in Hormah, and to those who were in Borashan, and to those who were in Athach,
1Sa 30:31 and to those who were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men used to stay.

 

Jun. 15, 16
John 16

Joh 16:1 "These things have I spoken to you, so that you wouldn't be caused to stumble.
Joh 16:2 They will put you out of the synagogues. Yes, the time comes that whoever kills you will think that he offers service to God.
Joh 16:3 They will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me.
Joh 16:4 But I have told you these things, so that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you about them. I didn't tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.
Joh 16:5 But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?'
Joh 16:6 But because I have told you these things, sorrow has filled your heart.
Joh 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I don't go away, the Counselor won't come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.
Joh 16:8 When he has come, he will convict the world about sin, about righteousness, and about judgment;
Joh 16:9 about sin, because they don't believe in me;
Joh 16:10 about righteousness, because I am going to my Father, and you won't see me any more;
Joh 16:11 about judgment, because the prince of this world has been judged.
Joh 16:12 "I have yet many things to tell you, but you can't bear them now.
Joh 16:13 However when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth, for he will not speak from himself; but whatever he hears, he will speak. He will declare to you things that are coming.
Joh 16:14 He will glorify me, for he will take from what is mine, and will declare it to you.
Joh 16:15 All things whatever the Father has are mine; therefore I said that he takes of mine, and will declare it to you.
Joh 16:16 A little while, and you will not see me. Again a little while, and you will see me."
Joh 16:17 Some of his disciples therefore said to one another, "What is this that he says to us, 'A little while, and you won't see me, and again a little while, and you will see me;' and, 'Because I go to the Father?' "
Joh 16:18 They said therefore, "What is this that he says, 'A little while?' We don't know what he is saying."
Joh 16:19 Therefore Jesus perceived that they wanted to ask him, and he said to them, "Do you inquire among yourselves concerning this, that I said, 'A little while, and you won't see me, and again a little while, and you will see me?'
Joh 16:20 Most certainly I tell you, that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.
Joh 16:21 A woman, when she gives birth, has sorrow, because her time has come. But when she has delivered the child, she doesn't remember the anguish any more, for the joy that a human being is born into the world.
Joh 16:22 Therefore you now have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
Joh 16:23 "In that day you will ask me no questions. Most certainly I tell you, whatever you may ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.
Joh 16:24 Until now, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be made full.
Joh 16:25 I have spoken these things to you in figures of speech. But the time is coming when I will no more speak to you in figures of speech, but will tell you plainly about the Father.
Joh 16:26 In that day you will ask in my name; and I don't say to you, that I will pray to the Father for you,
Joh 16:27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me, and have believed that I came forth from God.
Joh 16:28 I came out from the Father, and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world, and go to the Father."
Joh 16:29 His disciples said to him, "Behold, now you speak plainly, and speak no figures of speech.
Joh 16:30 Now we know that you know all things, and don't need for anyone to question you. By this we believe that you came forth from God."
Joh 16:31 Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe?
Joh 16:32 Behold, the time is coming, yes, and has now come, that you will be scattered, everyone to his own place, and you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
Joh 16:33 I have told you these things, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have oppression; but cheer up! I have overcome the world."



Jun. 17, 18
John 17

Joh 17:1 Jesus said these things, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may also glorify you;
Joh 17:2 even as you gave him authority over all flesh, he will give eternal life to all whom you have given him.
Joh 17:3 This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
Joh 17:4 I glorified you on the earth. I have accomplished the work which you have given me to do.
Joh 17:5 Now, Father, glorify me with your own self with the glory which I had with you before the world existed.
Joh 17:6 I revealed your name to the people whom you have given me out of the world. They were yours, and you have given them to me. They have kept your word.
Joh 17:7 Now they have known that all things whatever you have given me are from you,
Joh 17:8 for the words which you have given me I have given to them, and they received them, and knew for sure that I came forth from you, and they have believed that you sent me.
Joh 17:9 I pray for them. I don't pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.
Joh 17:10 All things that are mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.
Joh 17:11 I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them through your name which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are.
Joh 17:12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name. Those whom you have given me I have kept. None of them is lost, except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
Joh 17:13 But now I come to you, and I say these things in the world, that they may have my joy made full in themselves.
Joh 17:14 I have given them your word. The world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:15 I pray not that you would take them from the world, but that you would keep them from the evil one.
Joh 17:16 They are not of the world even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth.
Joh 17:18 As you sent me into the world, even so I have sent them into the world.
Joh 17:19 For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth.
Joh 17:20 Not for these only do I pray, but for those also who believe in me through their word,
Joh 17:21 that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me.
Joh 17:22 The glory which you have given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, even as we are one;
Joh 17:23 I in them, and you in me, that they may be perfected into one; that the world may know that you sent me, and loved them, even as you loved me.
Joh 17:24 Father, I desire that they also whom you have given me be with me where I am, that they may see my glory, which you have given me, for you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Joh 17:25 Righteous Father, the world hasn't known you, but I knew you; and these knew that you sent me.
Joh 17:26 I made known to them your name, and will make it known; that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and I in them."