7/31/17

"THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS" Keeping The Commandments Of God (7:19) by Mark Copeland

                 "THE FIRST EPISTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS"

                 Keeping The Commandments Of God (7:19)

INTRODUCTION

1. The idea of "commandment-keeping" is not a popular one among many
   people today...
   a. Some equate it with what they call "legalism"
   b. Others look at keeping any kind of commandment as an unpleasant task
      1) Perhaps a carry-over from childhood?
      2) Where they feel like they were constantly being "commanded" to
         do things?

2. Yet keeping the commandments of God should not be looked upon by
   Christians in this way...

   "Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping
   the commandments of God is what matters." (1Co 7:19)

[In this lesson, I want us to consider some things about keeping the
commandments of God, which I hope will change any adverse feelings we
may have towards doing so...]

I. WHAT IS THE PROPER ATTITUDE TOWARD COMMANDMENT-KEEPING?

   A. IT SHOULD NOT BE ONE OF "LEGALISM"...
      1. Legalism is that idea that one earns or merits salvation by
         their obedience
      2. Such an attitude would be wrong on the part of Christians 
         - Ti 3:3-7
      3. Unfortunately, many react to legalism by going to the extreme
         of saying keeping commandments is not important
      4. Yet Paul, whom none could accuse of being a legalist, penned
         the words of our text!

   [Here is a different perspective, based on two verses that start out
   like our text, but end differently...]

   B. THINK OF IT AS "FAITH WORKING THROUGH LOVE"...
      1. Compare 1Co 7:19 with Ga 5:6
      2. Cannot keeping the commandments of God be an expression of
         "faith working love"?
         a. By keeping the commandments I demonstrate my faith 
            - Jm 2:14-18
         b. By keeping the commandments I show my love
            1) To Jesus - Jn 14:15; 15:14
            2) To God - 1Jn 5:3
            3) To the children of God - 1Jn 5:2
      3. Thought of in this way, keeping the commandments of God is very
         important!

   C. THINK OF IT AS PRODUCING "A NEW CREATION"...
      1. Compare 1Co 7:19 with Ga 6:15
      2. Cannot keeping the commandments be thought of as helping to
         produce a "new creation"?
         a. Becoming a new creation is a blessing we enjoy by being in
            Christ - 2Co 5:17
         b. But to enjoy this blessing involves keeping certain commandments...
            1) For example, baptism to receive Christ - cf. Ga 3:27
            2) Also, putting off and putting on qualities to become like
               Christ - cf. Col 3:5-17
      3. Again, when we think of keeping the commandments of God as
         necessary to become a new creation in Christ, then it becomes
         very important!

[This I believe is the proper attitude toward "commandment-keeping":

* A demonstration of our faith and love!

* Part of the process by which we can become a new creation in Christ!

But is "commandment-keeping" hard, laborious?  Is it something unpleasant...?]

II. IS COMMANDMENT-KEEPING A DIFFICULT TASK?

   A. NOT ACCORDING TO THOSE WHO HAVE DONE IT LONGEST...!
      1. Like the apostle John - 1Jn 5:3
      2. I strongly suspect that if you were to ask some of our elderly
         saints, that they would concur with both John and the psalmist
         - Ps 119:129-136

   B. THE HARDEST PART IS DECIDING TO DO IT...!
      1. Laboring over whether to make a decision is often harder than
         carrying it out
      2. For example, keeping commandments given by parents to children
         a. E.g., to clean the room, take out the garbage
         b. The hardest part is making the decision to do it willingly
         c. Once that is done, the "chore" really isn't one!
      3. The same is true with keeping the commandments of God (e.g.,baptism)

   C. IT IS MADE EASY FOR US WITH THE HELP OF GOD AND CHRIST...!
      1. God will protect and provide as we try to keep His commandments
         - 1Co 10:13
         a. Protect you from what you are unable to overcome
         b. Provide you with ways of escape for that which you do face
      2. Yes, we are not alone as we try to keep the commandments of God
         - Php 2:12-13; 4:13
      3. Even if forsaken by all others in times of greatest need, God
         is still there! - 2Ti 4:16-18

CONCLUSION

1. But such blessings, and such assurance of faith, comes only to those
   who like Paul live as though "keeping the commandments of God is what
   matters"!

2. How important is keeping the commandments of God...?
   a. It is essential to receiving mercy from God 
      - Ps 103:15-18; Mt 7:21-23
   b. It is essential to receiving the love and the abiding presence of
      God - Jn 14:21,23
   c. It is essential to having our prayers answered - 1Jn 3:22

Dear friends and brethren, are you keeping the commandments of God?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Born Among History by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

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

Born Among History

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


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

REFERENCES

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

Atheist Blogger Leah Libresco Converted to Theism by Morality by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1638

Atheist Blogger Leah Libresco Converted to Theism by Morality
by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


On June 18, 2012 well-known, much-read atheistic blogger Leah Libresco put out a blog post titled: “This Is My Last Post for the Patheos Atheist Portal.” In the post, Libresco explained that she was no longer writing for the atheist portal because she is no longer an atheist. During the months prior to the post, her mental struggles and rational investigations led her to the conclusion that God exists.
What was the primary factor that forced Libresco to this theistic conclusion? She explained that morality was the key. Throughout her time as an atheist, she struggled to come to grips with how humans can adhere to a morality that seems objective if there is no God. As she searched for answers among atheistic thinkers and writers, she admitted that their answers were inadequate. She stated:
I’ve heard some explanations that try to bake morality into the natural world by reaching for evolutionary psychology. They argue that moral dispositions are evolutionarily triumphant over selfishness, or they talk about group selection, or something else. Usually, these proposed solutions radically misunderstand a) evolution b) moral philosophy or c) both. I didn’t think the answer was there (2012).
When pressed by a friend to give an answer for the foundation for morality, Libresco was forced to admit that her atheism could not provide an explanation. Did she know where an answer could be found? She stated: “It turns out I did. I believed that the Moral Law wasn’t just a Platonic truth, abstract and distant.  It turns out I actually believed it was some kind of Person, as well as Truth.” The Person, of course, to which she is referring is God.
In an interview with a CNN news reporter, Libresco noted that her conversion to theism was “kinda the same thing with any scientific theory, almost, that it had more explanatory power to explain something I was really sure of. I’m really sure that morality is objective, human independent; something we uncover like archaeologists not something we build like architects” (“Atheist Becomes Catholic,” 2012).
Libresco’s intellectual honesty regarding morality is refreshing to see. Theists have long understood and irrefutably shown that morality is objective, and atheism is impotent to provide an explanation for this reality (see Butt, 2002; 2010, pp. 87-123,204). Without a belief in a personal God from Whose character morality flows, the words “right” and “wrong” have no meaning in a moral discussion. Yet every person who is thinking honestly and rationally must admit that some things are objectively right and some things are objectively wrong. When such an admission is made, it inevitably leads to “some kind of Person, as well as Truth.” Thus, “In the beginning, God…” becomes the only statement with enough explanatory value to adequately deal with objective morality.

REFERENCES

“Atheist Becomes Catholic” (2012), http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/22/prominent-atheist-blogger-converts-to-catholicism/.
Butt, Kyle (2002), “Right, Wrong, and God’s Existence,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=878&topic=95.
Butt, Kyle (2010), A Christians Guide to Refuting Modern Atheism (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Libresco, Leah (2012), “This is My Last Post for the Patheos Atheist Portal,” http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked/2012/06/this-is-my-last-post-for-the-patheos-atheist-portal.html.

The Barren Fig Tree by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1956


The Barren Fig Tree

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Upon encountering the story of Jesus cursing the barren fig tree, the average Bible student is slightly taken aback by the “strangeness” of the events that occur. Mark’s account records the story as follows:
Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard it.... Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away” (11:12-14,20-21, emp. added).
One prominent question naturally arises from a straightforward reading of the text. Why would Jesus curse a fig tree that did not have figs on it, especially since the text says that “it was not the season for figs”? In response to this puzzling question, skeptical minds have let themselves run wild with accusations regarding the passage. Steve Wells, the author of The Skeptics’ Annotated Bible, labeled this story as an absurdity and said in a sarcastic tone: “Jesus kills a fig tree for not bearing figs, even though it was out of season. He did this to show the world just how much God hates figs” (2006, emp. added). Louis Cable, another skeptic, responded to the story with this statement: “Now to curse a fig tree for not bearing fruit in March is not unlike kicking a dog because it can not speak English thereby punishing it for the inability to do the impossible” (n.d.).
Is it the case that Jesus capriciously, out of anger, cursed the fig tree for not bearing fruit, even though the tree was incapable of producing? With a little research, one quickly ascertains that such is not the case. Not only does an excellent reason exist for the curse upon the fig tree, but an equally good spiritual application should be considered as well.
When Jesus approached the fig tree, the text indicates that the tree had plenty of leaves. R.K. Harrison, writing in the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, explains that various kinds of figs grew in Palestine during the first century. One very important aspect of fig growth has to do with the relationship between the leaf and the fruit. Harrison notes that the tiny figs, known to the Arabs as taksh, “appear simultaneously in the leaf axils” (1982, 2:302) This taksh is edible and “is often gathered for sale in the markets” (2:302). Furthermore, the text notes: “When the young leaves are appearing in spring, every fertile fig will have some taksh on it.... But if a tree with leaves has no fruit, it will be barren for the entire season” (2:301-302).
Thus, when Jesus approached the leafy fig tree, He had every reason to suspect that something edible would be on it. However, after inspecting the tree, Mark records that “He found nothing but leaves.” No taksh were budding as they should have been if the tree was going to produce edible figs that year. The tree appeared to be fruitful, but it only had outward signs of bearing fruit (leaves) and in truth offered nothing of value to weary travelers.
In addition, anyone even slightly familiar with the character of Jesus knows that He did not spend His time on this Earth eradicating barren fig trees as an ecological service to Palestinian farmers. What, then, was the point of such abrupt action against the tree? When one notices the context of the event, Jesus’ intention seems to become apparent and two fold. First, in its immediate context, the barren fig tree seems to apply to the pretentious religion of the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. Following Jesus’ curse upon the fig tree, the text says that Jesus went to Jerusalem and began to drive the money changers out of the temple (Mark 11:15-19). The activities in the temple that once had been fruitful and wholesome had become empty of value and useless. Allen Black commented: “The cursing of the fig tree symbolizes God’s judgment on Israel for not bearing the fruit he wanted from the temple. It foreshadows the cleansing of the temple and ultimately the prophecy of its destruction in chapter 13” (1995, p. 200).
Second, in a general sense, Jesus often insisted that trees which do not bear good fruit will be cut down (Matthew 7:19; Luke 13:6-9). The fig tree did not bear fruit, was useless, and deserved to be destroyed: the spiritual application being that any human who does not bear fruit for God will also be destroyed for his or her failure to produce.
Jesus did not throw a temper tantrum and curse the fig tree even though it was incapable of producing fruit. He cursed the tree because it should have been growing fruit since it had the outward signs of productivity. Jesus’ calculated timing underscored the spiritual truth that barren spiritual trees eventually run out of time. As for personal application, we should all diligently strive to ensure that we are not the barren fig tree.

REFERENCES

Black, Allen (1995), The Book of Mark (Joplin, MO: College Press).
Cable, Louis (no date), “Some Famous New Testament Forgeries,” [On-line], URL: http://www.inu.net/skeptic/ntforge.html.
Wells, Steve (2006), Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, [On-line], URL: http://www.Skepticsannotatedbible.com.
Harrison, R.K. (1982), “Fig, Fig Tree,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Faith, Evidence, and Credible Testimony by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=4146


Faith, Evidence, and Credible Testimony

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


It might surprise some to learn that Thomas was not the only “doubting disciple” immediately following Jesus’ resurrection. Do you recall what happened when Mary Magdalene, the first person to whom Jesus appeared, went to alert the mourning apostles of Jesus’ empty tomb and resurrection? When the apostles “heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe” (Mark 16:11, emp. added). According to Luke, the words of Mary Magdalene and the women who accompanied her seemed to the apostles “like idle tales” (24:11) or “nonsense” (24:11, NASB). Later, when the two disciples on the road to Emmaus reported to the apostles how Jesus had appeared to them as well, the apostles “did not believe them either” (Mark 16:13). When Jesus finally appeared to the apostles (not including Thomas) on the evening of His resurrection (John 20:19), He questioned their “doubts” (Luke 24:38) and “rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen” (Mark 16:14). Then, when Jesus appeared to the apostles eight days later, this time with Thomas present, Jesus instructed him to “not be unbelieving, but believing” (John 20:27).
Those closest to Jesus during His ministry initially doubted His resurrection from the dead and were justifiably rebuked for their unbelief. Although many of us likely would have been guilty of the same doubts, still, the apostles should have believed the witness of Mary Magdalene as soon as she testified to the empty tomb and risen Savior. Believers today, however, must be careful not to misinterpret Jesus’ rebukes of unbelief as promoting the popular notion that Christianity is an emotion-based, feel-good religion where evidence is unavailable or unnecessary.

EVIDENCE

Since the Bible repeatedly testifies that the faith of Christians is grounded in truth, reason, knowledge, and evidence (Romans 1:20; Psalm 19:1-4; John 5:31-47; Acts 1:3; 26:25), some wonder why Jesus rebuked the apostles for doubting His resurrection prior to seeing Him alive (Mark 16:14; cf. Luke 24:38). Had Jesus expected His apostles to have faith in His resurrection without proof? And why did Jesus tell Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29, emp. added)? Was Jesus commending an unverifiable, fickle faith?
The fact is, neither Thomas nor any apostle was rebuked for wanting evidence of Jesus’ resurrection. They were rightly rebuked, however, (1) for doubting the credible evidence they had already received, and (2) for demanding more evidence than was necessary for them to have solid faith in the risen Savior.

Prophecies

The same Man Whom Peter confessed was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16); the same Man Whom the apostles had seen raise Lazarus from the dead (John 11:43-44); the same Man Whom they saw transfigured (Matthew 17:5-9); the same Man Who had worked many amazing miracles in their presence (John 20:30); the same Man Who foretold precisely Peter’s triple denial (Matthew 26:34,75); the same Man Who accurately prophesied His own betrayal, scourging, and crucifixion (Matthew 20:18-19): this same Man repeatedly prophesied of His resurrection, even foretelling the very day on which it would occur (John 2:19; Matthew 12:40; 16:21; 17:22-23; 20:18-19; 26:32). So well known were Jesus’ prophecies of His resurrection from the dead on the third day that even His enemies were aware of them. In fact, the “chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, saying, ‘Sir, we remember, that while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, “After three days I will rise.” Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night and steal Him away’” (Matthew 27:62-64).
So why did Jesus rebuke His apostles for their unbelief following His resurrection? Was He implying that they should have behaved like simpletons and believed everything they ever heard from anyone? (“The simple believes every word, but the prudent considers well his steps”—Proverbs 14:15.) Not at all. Jesus had every right to rebuke His apostles’ unbelief, first and foremost, because they refused to believe His Word (cf. Romans 10:17). They had seen Him raise the dead. They had witnessed His perfect life. They had heard His consistent words of Truth, including His repeated and accurate prophecies of various matters, including His betrayal, arrest, scourging, and crucifixion. They had every logical reason to believe what Jesus had prophesied about His resurrection. Everything they had ever seen and heard from Jesus was pure, right, and true. However, rather than expect a risen Redeemer on Sunday morning, such an idea “appeared to them as nonsense” (Luke 24:11, NASB, emp. added). Rather than traveling to Galilee and searching for the living Lord as soon as the Sun appeared on the third day (Matthew 26:32), they remained in Jerusalem behind closed doors “for fear of the Jews” (John 20:19).
Jesus wanted His disciples to understand about His death and resurrection. He told them: “Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men” (Luke 9:43, emp. added). He desired for them to have a sincere, strong, evidence-based faith. Sadly, fear, preconceived ideas about the Messiah and His kingdom, and spiritual blindness (Luke 9:44; cf. 2 Corinthians 4:4) initially interfered with the apostles’ belief in His resurrection.

Credible Testimony

When Jesus told Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29), was He condoning a careless faith? Was He advancing the idea of an emotion-driven, feel-good religion? Should we expect Christians living 2,000 years this side of the resurrection of Christ to have a reasonable faith in the risen Savior? If, unlike Thomas and the rest of the apostles, Jesus has never appeared to us, how can we expect to have a fact-based faith?
The same God Who rightly expects His human creation to examine the evidence and come to a knowledge of Him without ever literally seeing Him, is the same God Who expects man to follow the facts that lead to a resurrected Redeemer without ever personally witnessing His resurrection. No one believes in God because they can put Him under a microscope and see Him. No one can prove He exists by touching Him. We cannot use the five senses to see and prove the actual essence of God (cf. John 4:24; Luke 24:39). What we have at our fingertips, however, is a mountain of credible evidence that testifies on God’s behalf. The very existence of finite matter testifies to a supernatural, infinite, eternal Creator. The endless examples of design in the Universe bear witness to a grand Designer. The laws of science (e.g., the Law of Biogenesis) testify to God’s existence. [NOTE: For additional information on the existence of God, see http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12.]
A reasonable faith in Jesus’ resurrection is, likewise, based upon a mountain of credible testimony. Just as credible testimony (and not first-hand knowledge) has lead billions of people to believe, justifiably so, that Alexander the Great, Napoleon, and George Washington were real people, millions of Christians have come to the logical conclusion that Jesus rose from the dead. Nineteen-hundred-year-old eyewitness accounts of Jesus’ resurrection exist in the most historically documented and accurate ancient book in the world—the New Testament. The event was foreshadowed and prophesied in the Old Testament (Psalm 16:10; Jonah 1:17-2:10; Matthew 12:40). Though very serious preventative steps were taken to keep the lifeless body of Jesus buried (Matthew 27:62-66), the tomb was found empty on the exact day He promised to arise. The body of Christ was never found (and, no doubt, first-century skeptics, especially the impenitent Jews who put Him to death, would have loved nothing more than to present Jesus’ dead body to early Christians).
The once fearful and skeptical disciples quickly transformed into a courageous, confident group of Christians who suffered and eventually died for their continual belief and teachings regarding the resurrected Lord. Hundreds of early Christians were able to testify to having seen Jesus firsthand after His resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:5-8). Tens of thousands of once-skeptical Jews, not the least of which was Saul of Tarsus, examined the evidence, left Judaism, and confessed Jesus Christ as the Son of God (Acts 2:41,47; 4:4; 5:14; 6:7; 21:20). What’s more, these same Jews changed their day of worship from Saturday to Sunday (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2). As with evidence for the existence of God or the inspiration of the Bible, the cumulative case for the resurrection of Christ from credible testimony lies at the heart of a fortified faith.

CONCLUSION

Jesus rightly rebuked His apostles following His resurrection. They should have believed Mary Magdalene because she was a credible witness who said nothing more than what the Son of God had previously said many times would happen: He would arise on the third day following His death. What’s more, the blessing that Jesus mentioned to the apostle Thomas (“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”—John 20:29) was not an endorsement of a blind, emotion-based, feel-good religion, but Heaven-sent support for the truthful, credible evidence that leads the open-minded, truth-seeker to confess Him as “Lord and God.”

“Living Fossils”—Evolution’s Innate Circular Reasoning by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2642

“Living Fossils”—Evolution’s Innate Circular Reasoning

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Another earthshaking find within the evolutionary community only spotlights once again the inherent irrationality of the faltering, fallacious theory. During a Southeast Asian expedition, retired Florida State University science professor, David Redfield, captured the first photos of the Laotian rock rat, once believed to have gone extinct more than 11 million years ago. The fossilized remains, collected previously from sites in Pakistan, India, Thailand, China, and Japan, were thought to verify this last known relative of a long-extinct family of rodents known as Diatomyidae (“Retired Professor Captures...,” 2006). Surprise, surprise—another alleged “ancestor” eliminated from the tattered evolutionary tree.
Observe the two contrasting, conflicting, mutually exclusive approaches to the created realm:
1. Evolution: All animals we see today are advanced forms of primitive precursors, and descendants of a single ancestor. As more advanced forms have evolved by means of adaptation, natural selection, survival of the fittest, and genetic mutation, the earlier forms were naturally displaced and disappeared. Fossils, millions of years old, represent life forms that were the evolutionary predecessors of present life forms, but which went extinct long ago.
2. Creation: God created a spectrum of animals during the six-day week of Creation. While reproducing only after their own “kind” (an ambiguous Hebrew term that likely parallels the modern taxonomic classification “family”), these animals were created with the genetic potential for producing a variety of other species, giving rise to the diversity of animal life presently on the planet. Along the way, due mostly to environmental factors, many animals have become extinct. However, other species have escaped detection by humans for centuries, only to be rediscovered in some remote area.
Which of these two viewpoints fits the actual physical facts? Obviously, the latter. Evolutionists repeatedly find themselves in the embarrassing position of discovering that the alleged evolutionary ancestors of current life forms, that supposedly went extinct millions of years ago, are in fact still living. They are forced to cover their tracks by inventing a self-contradictory, nonsensical term to identify these anomalies—in this case, “living fossils.” But that’s like a round square. Philosophers and logicians refer to such duplicitous posturing as irrational and “logical contradiction.” Evolutionists call it “science.”

REFERENCE

“Retired Professor Captures a ‘Living Fossil’ on Video” (2006), Research in Review, June 13, [On-line], URL: http://www.rinr.fsu.edu/rockrat/more.html.

America’s “Sudden Catastrophe” by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=2796


America’s “Sudden Catastrophe”

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Scanning the social landscape of America, one is struck by a number of cultural factors that characterize the present condition of society. Consider the following four. First, Americans have shifted dramatically away from instruction in the Christian religion and respect for the authority of the Bible. The public school system and the scientific community are thoroughly ensconced in an anti-religion, evolutionist posture. Statistics show that fewer Americans attend church, read their Bibles, or retain commitment to the precepts of Jesus Christ. Even among those who maintain an affiliation with the “formal” aspects of religion, churches have become “seeker sensitive” in their thrust, providing centers of entertainment and strictly positive, “feel good,” anecdotal talks in place of Bible-based, soul-strengthening sermons. Sermons that stir the soul and convict the conscience are decried as “too negative” and “hell-fire and brimstone preaching.” Yes, Americans are rejecting religious instruction and authority.
Second, Americans have distorted the notion of justice. In many ways, the criminal justice system has become a laughing stock, earning the distrust and dismay of large segments of the population. Since the 1960s shift from the rights of the victim to the rights of the criminal, America’s laws and sense of justice have been gradually restructured and redefined. Prisons are full to overflowing, resulting in unjust early release programs. Having committed crimes “deserving of death” (Acts 25:11; Romans 1:32), inmates continue to live on death row for years and years. “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil” (Ecclesiastes 8:11). On one hand, criminals commit multiple heinous crimes, inflicting injury and death on law-abiding citizens, only to be released on technicalities to continue their vile rampage on the security and well-being of the innocent. On the other hand, Christian parents can apply proper discipline to their children and be brought before authorities for child abuse and imprisoned. Yes, Americans are violating the rules of eternal justice.
Third, for over 150 years, Americans shared a common and virtually universal moral framework. As political sociologist Alexis de Tocqueville observed of America in the 1830s: “Christianity, therefore, reigns without obstacle, by universal consent; the consequence is, as I have before observed, that every principle of the moral world is fixed and determinate” (1835, 1:304-305, emp. added). Since World War II, Americans have steadily relaxed the moral sensibilities that once governed society, providing citizens with certainty and stability in their daily behavioral choices. The rigid parameters that once gave society cohesion, defining what is right or wrong, moral or immoral, have all but evaporated. From abortion and embryonic stem-cell research to same-sex relations, clear cut moral distinctions have become blurred in the minds of many people. Yes, Americans are trifling with the injunctions of morality.
Fourth, liberal politicians and activist judges are running amok throughout the country. Foolish, ungodly decisions have been perpetrated on the public—from the removal of Ten Commandment monuments from public places and the banning of prayers in city council and school board meetings, to the redefinition of marriage and accommodation of easy divorce. Even Supreme Court justices are looking to foreign courts to guide their judicial decisions and thwart the intentions of the Framers. Their reinterpretation of the Constitution that results in the expulsion of God from the public square constitutes an illicit tampering with the foundations of the nation. Yes, Americans are recklessly destroying the political constitution that holds us together.
In view of these most unfortunate circumstances, consider the words from a speech delivered on February 23, 1852 by second generation American, Daniel Webster, who offered the following chilling prophecy:
[I]f we and our posterity reject religious instruction and authority, violate the rules of eternal justice, trifle with the injunctions of morality, and recklessly destroy the political constitution which holds us together, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us that shall bury all our glory in profound obscurity(1903, 13:492-493, emp. added).
This uncanny, prophetic anticipation of America’s current condition is being fulfilled before our very eyes. All that remains to happen is the judgment that is inevitable—since God remains consistent with His actions throughout world history (Genesis 19:13; Psalm 9:17; cf. “calamity” in 2 Chronicles 7:22).

REFERENCES

Tocqueville, Alexis de (1835), Democracy in America (New York, NY: Alfred Knopf, 1994 reprint).
Webster, Daniel (1903), The Writings and Speeches of Daniel Webster (Boston, MA: Little, Brown, & Company).

When Did Baasha Reign? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=302&b=2%20Chronicles

When Did Baasha Reign?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

In the book of 1 Kings we read that Baasha became the third ruler of the Northern kingdom (Israel) “in the third year of Asa king of Judah…and reigned twenty-four years” (15:33). Then, when Baasha died, his son Elah became king over Israel “in the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah” (16:8, emp. added). However, 2 Chronicles 16:1 reads: “In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah” (emp. added). The obvious question that anyone has who reads these two passages is: How could Baasha be ruling over Israel in the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign, when 1 Kings 16 clearly indicates that Baasha had died when Asa (the third king of the southern kingdom) was only in the twenty-sixth year of his reign? Is it possible to reconcile 1 Kings 16:8 with 2 Chronicles 15:19-16:1? Or, is this a legitimate contradiction that should lead all of us to conclude that the Bible is a worthless manmade book of myths?
There are two possible solutions to this problem. To begin with, it may be that the numbers recorded in 2 Chronicles 15:19 and 16:1 simply are the result of a copyist’s error. Although skeptics may scoff at attempts to reconcile “contradictions” by claiming a copyist must have made an error sometime in the distant past, the fact is, copyists were not infallible; inspired men were the only infallible writers. Whenever duplicates of the Old Testament Scriptures were needed, copies had to be made by hand—a painstaking, time-consuming task requiring extreme concentration. History records that copyists (such as the Masoretes) had as their goal to produce accurate copies of Scripture and that they went to great lengths to ensure fidelity in their copies. They were, nevertheless, still human. And humans are prone to make mistakes, regardless of the care they take or the strictness of the rules under which they operate. The copyists’ task was made all the more difficult by the sheer complexity of the Hebrew language and by the various ways in which potential errors could be introduced.
In their commentary on 2 Chronicles, Keil and Delitzsch proposed that the number 36 in 2 Chronicles 16:1 and the number 35 in 15:19 are a scribal error for 16 and 15, respectively. The ancient Hebrew letters yod and lamed, representing the numbers 30 and 10, could have been confused and interchanged quite easily (though inadvertently) by a copyist. Merely a smudge from excessive wear on a scroll-column or a punctured or slightly torn manuscript could have resulted in making the yod look like a lamed. Furthermore, it also is possible that this error occurred first in 2 Chronicles 15:19. Then to make it consistent in 16:1, a copyist may have concluded that 16 must be an error for 36 and changed it accordingly (Archer, 1982, p. 226). Hence the numbers 35 and 36 could have arisen out of the original 15 and 16. With such an adjustment, the statements in 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles are harmonized easily.
A second possibility as to why the numbers in 1 Kings 16:8 and 2 Chronicles 15:19-16:1 seem contradictory is because the numbers may refer to the thirty-fifth and thirty-sixth years after the division of the United Kingdom (which would have been Asa’s fifteenth and sixteenth years), rather than the thirty-fifth and thirty-sixth years of Asa’s reign (Thiele, 1951, p. 59). The Hebrew word for “reign” (malkuwth) also can mean “kingdom.” In fact, 51 out of the 91 times this word appears in the King James Version of the Old Testament it is translated “kingdom” (cf. 2 Chronicles 1:1; 11:17; 20:30; Nehemiah 9:35; etc.). In their commentary on 2 Chronicles, Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown favored this explanation saying, “The best Biblical critics are agreed in considering this date to be calculated from the separation of the kingdoms, and coincident with the 16th year of Asa’s reign” (1997). [The number 16 is obtained by subtracting the reigns of Rehoboam (17 years) and Abijah (3 years) from the 36 years mentioned in 2 Chronicles 16:1.] But, as Gleason Archer recognized,
It is without parallel to refer to the kingdom of a nation as a whole and identify it thus with one particular king who comes later on in the ruling dynasty. And the fact that in its account of the later history of Judah no such usage can be instanced in Chronicles raises a formidable difficulty to this solution (p. 225).
First Kings 16:8 reveals that Baasha could not have ruled over Israel in the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign in Judah. Either the numbers 35 and 36 in 2 Chronicles 15:19-16:1 are a copyist’s error, or they represent the total number of years since the United Kingdom divided. Whichever is the case, both provide possible solutions to the alleged problem that exists between the two passages. In no way should the differences that exist between 1 Kings 16:8 and 2 Chronicles 15:19-16:1 cause one to reject the Bible as God’s inspired Word.
REFERENCES
Archer, Gleason L. (1982), An Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
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.
Thiele, Edwin R. (1951), The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).

“Let us walk in the light of the LORD” Isaiah 2:5 by Roy Davison

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

“Let us walk in the light of the LORD”
Isaiah 2:5
What if you had to find your way alone in a dark forest at night without any light? What would you think of someone who had a light, but failed to use it? In the spiritual realm that is what most people do.

We need the light of God’s word.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my pathway” (Psalm 119:105 ISV).
Deep darkness covered the earth until God said, “Let there be light” (Genesis 1:3). The Creator of physical light is also the source of spiritual light. “Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me” (Psalm 43:3).
We need the light of God’s word to guide our steps along a safe path in a dark and dangerous world. Without this light we cannot find the good way.
Jesus, the Word of God (John 1:14), is “the true light, who gives light to everyone” (John 1:9 NET). He said: “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12).

Millions walk in spiritual darkness.

It is sad that most people make no use of this “light of life.” They are like people driving their car at night without turning the headlights on.
And what about someone who goes into a forest at night, takes a light, but without batteries? These are people who have a Bible, but never read it. Of what value is a lamp without oil or a pocket light without batteries?
For a long walk, we need spare batteries!
Jesus told about ten virgins who took their lamps to meet the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13). Five were wise. They had extra oil. Five were foolish. They had oil in their lamps, but no reserves. As the bridegroom approached, their lamps started flickering out. These people have some light from God’s word but not enough.


The light of life must enlighten our heart.

The word of God must dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16).
Before the word can reside in our heart it must enter our mind through our eyes and ears. We do not have a slot for a Bible memory card on the top of our head. To have God’s word in our heart we must listen to the word being preached, participate in Bible studies, and read the Scriptures. Human memory must be refreshed and strengthened by repetition.
We must know what the Bible says, but that is not sufficient. We must also understand the word of God. His word must enlighten the eyes of our understanding (Ephesians 1:17, 18).

We must walk in the light (1 John 1:6, 7).

This spiritual enlightenment must guide our lives: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Colossians 3:16, 17).
When we walk in the light we do everything “in the name of the Lord” which means “under His authority.” 
Some people misuse this passage. They think they can do whatever they want as long as they say they are doing it in the name of the Lord! But Jesus warned: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).
To be done in the name of the Lord, our words and deeds must be based on the word of God! That is why His word must dwell in us richly, so we can know what to do and what to say! Only then can we walk in the light and do all in the name of the Lord.
To walk in the light, we need a good supply of extra oil! God’s word must dwell in us richly and that word must guide our lives.
“We also have the prophetic word made more sure, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Peter 1:19).
By heeding this word, we follow Christ “the Bright and Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16). He “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). We follow His example “by patient continuance in doing good” (Romans 2:7).
When we walk in the light we follow God’s pattern for our lives. Paul charged Timothy: “Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me” (2 Timothy 1:13). 
A pattern is a binding example. What happens if a pattern is not followed carefully? If someone cuts out a dress haphazardly, without closely following the pattern, it will not be a presentable dress.
In explaining salvation by grace to the saints at Rome, Paul said: “But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered” (Romans 6:17).
The word translated “form” has the basic meaning of “mould” and refers to the prescribed form or pattern of something.
Thus, God has subjected us to a prescribed form of doctrine that we must gladly obey.
To walk in the light we must follow God’s pattern for our lives. The light does not follow us, we must follow the light. We must walk in the light!

We must avoid darkness.

To walk in the light we must refrain from walking where there is no light! What if we leave the well-lit pathway and wander off in the dark?
To walk in the light we must enter the small gate and stay on the narrow path: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13, 14 NASB).
Avoiding darkness involves the daily choices of our lives. It is not stepping into the darkness of sinful ways, being careful what we allow our eyes to see, what TV shows we watch, what websites we visit, what books we read, what words we speak, what thoughts we nourish. Such choices determine whether we are walking in the light where God is or in the darkness where Satan is.
Avoiding darkness also requires the avoidance of religious practices that God has not prescribed.
Paul wanted the Corinthians to learn “not to go beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6 NET). “Any one who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God” (2 John 9 RSV). In Isaiah 8:20 we read: “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Peter commanded: “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11). 
What we do and say, both religiously and in our daily lives, must be based on the word of God. Otherwise we are walking where the light is not shining.

The blind cannot see the light.

Light has no value for someone who is blind. He cannot recognize light and he does not benefit from light.
This also applies to the spiritually blind. Jesus said of the hypocritical religious leaders of His time: “Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14).
“The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (words of Jesus in Matthew 6:22, 23).
Rather than having the eyes of their understanding enlightened (Ephesians 1:18), the spiritually blind have “their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:17, 18).
Spiritual blindness can result from hatred. John warns: “But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes” (1 John 2:11). Eyes that lack love are blind to the light of God’s word.
Spiritual blindness can result from rebelliousness. Ezekiel was told: “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house” (Ezekiel 12:2).
The eyes of the rebellious are blind to the light of God’s word. Rebellious people do not want to submit to the authority of God.
Rebellion is a fundamental cause of the apostasy of Christendom. Denominations are rebellious. They walk in darkness because they do not submit to God’s word. They do many things that are not prescribed in the New Testament - even things that are specifically forbidden, and they neglect to do what is prescribed. They just do what they want to do, or follow their own traditions.
People who do not want to practice the truth shun the light: “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (John 3:19-21).
They who are spiritually blind because of hatred, rebelliousness, or rejection of the truth cannot see the light.

What have we learned?

We need the light of God’s word. His word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. Millions walk in spiritual darkness. The light of life must enlighten our heart. To walk in the light, we must know the Scriptures, understand the word, and do the will of God. We follow Jesus Christ, the light of the world. We do not walk where there is no light. The spiritually blind cannot see the light.

They who walk in the light have fellowship with God.

“This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7).
“Let us walk in the light of the Lord!” (Isaiah 2:5). Amen.
Roy Davison
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

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

Bible Reading July 31 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading July 31 (World English Bible)

July 31
2 Chronicles 25-27

2Ch 25:1 Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jehoaddan, of Jerusalem.
2Ch 25:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, but not with a perfect heart.
2Ch 25:3 Now it happened, when the kingdom was established to him, that he killed his servants who had killed the king his father.
2Ch 25:4 But he didn't put their children to death, but did according to that which is written in the law in the book of Moses, as Yahweh commanded, saying, The fathers shall not die for the children, neither shall the children die for the fathers; but every man shall die for his own sin.
2Ch 25:5 Moreover Amaziah gathered Judah together, and ordered them according to their fathers' houses, under captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, even all Judah and Benjamin: and he numbered them from twenty years old and upward, and found them three hundred thousand chosen men, able to go forth to war, who could handle spear and shield.
2Ch 25:6 He hired also one hundred thousand mighty men of valor out of Israel for one hundred talents of silver.
2Ch 25:7 But there came a man of God to him, saying, O king, don't let the army of Israel go with you; for Yahweh is not with Israel, to wit, with all the children of Ephraim.
2Ch 25:8 But if you will go, do valiantly, be strong for the battle: God will cast you down before the enemy; for God has power to help, and to cast down.
2Ch 25:9 Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall we do for the hundred talents which I have given to the army of Israel? The man of God answered, Yahweh is able to give you much more than this.
2Ch 25:10 Then Amaziah separated them, to wit, the army that had come to him out of Ephraim, to go home again: therefore their anger was greatly kindled against Judah, and they returned home in fierce anger.
2Ch 25:11 Amaziah took courage, and led forth his people, and went to the Valley of Salt, and struck of the children of Seir ten thousand.
2Ch 25:12 other ten thousand did the children of Judah carry away alive, and brought them to the top of the rock, and cast them down from the top of the rock, so that they all were broken in pieces.
2Ch 25:13 But the men of the army whom Amaziah sent back, that they should not go with him to battle, fell on the cities of Judah, from Samaria even to Beth Horon, and struck of them three thousand, and took much spoil.
2Ch 25:14 Now it happened, after that Amaziah was come from the slaughter of the Edomites, that he brought the gods of the children of Seir, and set them up to be his gods, and bowed down himself before them, and burned incense to them.
2Ch 25:15 Therefore the anger of Yahweh was kindled against Amaziah, and he sent to him a prophet, who said to him, Why have you sought after the gods of the people, which have not delivered their own people out of your hand?
2Ch 25:16 It happened, as he talked with him, that the king said to him, Have we made you of the king's counsel? Stop! Why should you be struck down? Then the prophet stopped, and said, I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this, and have not listened to my counsel.
2Ch 25:17 Then Amaziah king of Judah took advice, and sent to Joash, the son of Jehoahaz the son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, Come, let us look one another in the face.
2Ch 25:18 Joash king of Israel sent to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, The thistle that was in Lebanon sent to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, Give your daughter to my son as wife: and there passed by a wild animal that was in Lebanon, and trod down the thistle.
2Ch 25:19 You say, Behold, you have struck Edom; and your heart lifts you up to boast: abide now at home; why should you meddle to your hurt, that you should fall, even you, and Judah with you?
2Ch 25:20 But Amaziah would not hear; for it was of God, that he might deliver them into the hand of their enemies, because they had sought after the gods of Edom.
2Ch 25:21 So Joash king of Israel went up; and he and Amaziah king of Judah looked one another in the face at Beth Shemesh, which belongs to Judah.
2Ch 25:22 Judah was defeated by Israel; and they fled every man to his tent.
2Ch 25:23 Joash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Joash the son of Jehoahaz, at Beth Shemesh, and brought him to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits.
2Ch 25:24 He took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God with Obed-Edom, and the treasures of the king's house, the hostages also, and returned to Samaria.
2Ch 25:25 Amaziah the son of Joash king of Judah lived after the death of Joash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel fifteen years.
2Ch 25:26 Now the rest of the acts of Amaziah, first and last, behold, aren't they written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel?
2Ch 25:27 Now from the time that Amaziah did turn away from following Yahweh they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem; and he fled to Lachish: but they sent after him to Lachish, and killed him there.
2Ch 25:28 They brought him on horses, and buried him with his fathers in the city of Judah.

2Ch 26:1 All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah.
2Ch 26:2 He built Eloth, and restored it to Judah, after that the king slept with his fathers.
2Ch 26:3 Sixteen years old was Uzziah when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jechiliah, of Jerusalem.
2Ch 26:4 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that his father Amaziah had done.
2Ch 26:5 He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the vision of God: and as long as he sought Yahweh, God made him to prosper.
2Ch 26:6 He went forth and warred against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath, and the wall of Jabneh, and the wall of Ashdod; and he built cities in the country of Ashdod, and among the Philistines.
2Ch 26:7 God helped him against the Philistines, and against the Arabians who lived in Gur Baal, and the Meunim.
2Ch 26:8 The Ammonites gave tribute to Uzziah: and his name spread abroad even to the entrance of Egypt; for he grew exceeding strong.
2Ch 26:9 Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the corner gate, and at the valley gate, and at the turning of the wall, and fortified them.
2Ch 26:10 He built towers in the wilderness, and dug out many cisterns, for he had much livestock; in the lowland also, and in the plain: and he had farmers and vineyard keepers in the mountains and in the fruitful fields; for he loved farming.
2Ch 26:11 Moreover Uzziah had an army of fighting men, who went out to war by bands, according to the number of their reckoning made by Jeiel the scribe and Maaseiah the officer, under the hand of Hananiah, one of the king's captains.
2Ch 26:12 The whole number of the heads of fathers' houses, even the mighty men of valor, was two thousand and six hundred.
2Ch 26:13 Under their hand was an army, three hundred thousand and seven thousand and five hundred, who made war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy.
2Ch 26:14 Uzziah prepared for them, even for all the army, shields, and spears, and helmets, and coats of mail, and bows, and stones for slinging.
2Ch 26:15 He made in Jerusalem engines, invented by skillful men, to be on the towers and on the battlements, with which to shoot arrows and great stones. His name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, until he was strong.
2Ch 26:16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, so that he did corruptly, and he trespassed against Yahweh his God; for he went into the temple of Yahweh to burn incense on the altar of incense.
2Ch 26:17 Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him eighty priests of Yahweh, who were valiant men:
2Ch 26:18 and they withstood Uzziah the king, and said to him, It pertains not to you, Uzziah, to burn incense to Yahweh, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, who are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for you have trespassed; neither shall it be for your honor from Yahweh God.
2Ch 26:19 Then Uzziah was angry; and he had a censer in his hand to burn incense; and while he was angry with the priests, the leprosy broke forth in his forehead before the priests in the house of Yahweh, beside the altar of incense.
2Ch 26:20 Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked on him, and behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out quickly from there; yes, himself hurried also to go out, because Yahweh had struck him.
2Ch 26:21 Uzziah the king was a leper to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of Yahweh: and Jotham his son was over the king's house, judging the people of the land.
2Ch 26:22 Now the rest of the acts of Uzziah, first and last, did Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, write.
2Ch 26:23 So Uzziah slept with his fathers; and they buried him with his fathers in the field of burial which belonged to the kings; for they said, He is a leper: and Jotham his son reigned in his place.
2Ch 27:1 Jotham was twenty-five years old when he began to reign; and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jerushah the daughter of Zadok.
2Ch 27:2 He did that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh, according to all that his father Uzziah had done: however he didn't enter into the temple of Yahweh. The people did yet corruptly.
2Ch 27:3 He built the upper gate of the house of Yahweh, and on the wall of Ophel he built much.
2Ch 27:4 Moreover he built cities in the hill country of Judah, and in the forests he built castles and towers.
2Ch 27:5 He fought also with the king of the children of Ammon, and prevailed against them. The children of Ammon gave him the same year one hundred talents of silver, and ten thousand measures of wheat, and ten thousand of barley. So much did the children of Ammon render to him, in the second year also, and in the third.
2Ch 27:6 So Jotham became mighty, because he ordered his ways before Yahweh his God.
2Ch 27:7 Now the rest of the acts of Jotham, and all his wars, and his ways, behold, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.
2Ch 27:8 He was five and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem.
2Ch 27:9 Jotham slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David: and Ahaz his son reigned in his place.


Jul. 30, 31
Acts 18

Act 18:1 After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth.
Act 18:2 He found a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by race, who had recently come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome. He came to them,
Act 18:3 and because he practiced the same trade, he lived with them and worked, for by trade they were tent makers.
Act 18:4 He reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Greeks.
Act 18:5 But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.
Act 18:6 When they opposed him and blasphemed, he shook out his clothing and said to them, "Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on, I will go to the Gentiles!"
Act 18:7 He departed there, and went into the house of a certain man named Justus, one who worshiped God, whose house was next door to the synagogue.
Act 18:8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house. Many of the Corinthians, when they heard, believed and were baptized.
Act 18:9 The Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, "Don't be afraid, but speak and don't be silent;
Act 18:10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many people in this city."
Act 18:11 He lived there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
Act 18:12 But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat,
Act 18:13 saying, "This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law."
Act 18:14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, "If indeed it were a matter of wrong or of wicked crime, you Jews, it would be reasonable that I should bear with you;
Act 18:15 but if they are questions about words and names and your own law, look to it yourselves. For I don't want to be a judge of these matters."
Act 18:16 He drove them from the judgment seat.
Act 18:17 Then all the Greeks laid hold on Sosthenes, the ruler of the synagogue, and beat him before the judgment seat. Gallio didn't care about any of these things.
Act 18:18 Paul, having stayed after this many more days, took his leave of the brothers, and sailed from there for Syria, together with Priscilla and Aquila. He shaved his head in Cenchreae, for he had a vow.
Act 18:19 He came to Ephesus, and he left them there; but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.
Act 18:20 When they asked him to stay with them a longer time, he declined;
Act 18:21 but taking his leave of them, and saying, "I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem, but I will return again to you if God wills," he set sail from Ephesus.
Act 18:22 When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the assembly, and went down to Antioch.
Act 18:23 Having spent some time there, he departed, and went through the region of Galatia, and Phrygia, in order, establishing all the disciples.
Act 18:24 Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by race, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus. He was mighty in the Scriptures.
Act 18:25 This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, although he knew only the baptism of John.
Act 18:26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside, and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
Act 18:27 When he had determined to pass over into Achaia, the brothers encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him. When he had come, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace;
Act 18:28 for he powerfully refuted the Jews, publicly showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.