12/27/17

"THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS" Blessings Involving The Son (1:7-12) by Mark Copeland


                     "THE EPISTLE TO THE EPHESIANS"

                  Blessings Involving The Son (1:7-12)

INTRODUCTION

1. We saw in the previous lesson that Paul starts his epistle to the 
   Ephesians with praising God for the spiritual riches (blessings) that
   we have in Christ - Ep 1:3

2. Throughout Ep 1:4-14 Paul lists some of these wonderful blessings
   that are ours, and in verses 4-6 we saw those blessings which 
   center around the Father, how that we who are in Christ are:
   a. "Chosen by God", to be holy and without blame before Him in love 
      (1:4)
   b. "Predestined by God", to receive the adoption as sons of God 
      (1:5-6a)
   c. "Accepted by God", that is, to be highly favored by Him (1:6b)

3. How is it that we who are sinners are so blessed by God?
   a. The answer is hinted at in verses 4-6 by the repeated reference
      to Christ:
      1) "chose us IN HIM"
      2) "adoption as sons BY JESUS CHRIST"
      3) "made us accepted IN THE BELOVED"
   b. Thus it is only in and through Jesus Christ that we can receive 
      these wonderful blessings! (remember 1:3)

4. This becomes even clearer as we now consider verses 7-12, as Paul 
   expands upon "Blessings Involving The Son"...
   a. Please note that the distinction being made between blessings 
      involving the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is a narrow one
   b. For truly each of the blessings described usually involve two or 
      more Persons in the Godhead
   c. But for memorization purposes it can be helpful to divide up the 
      blessings in the way we have done

[The first blessing we notice in this section is that through His 
Son...]

I. GOD HAS REDEEMED US (7a)

   A. DEFINING "REDEMPTION"...
      1. The Greek word is apolutrosis {ap-ol-oo'-tro-sis}
      2. It means "a releasing effected by payment of ransom"
      3. As Hendriksen defines it, "deliverance as a result of the
         payment of a ransom"
      4. Hendriksen goes on to suggest that this "redemption" implies:
         a. "emancipation...from the guilt, punishment, and power of
            sin" - cf. Jn 8:34; Ro 7:14; Ga 3:13
         b. "restoration to true liberty" - cf. Jn 8:36

   B. OUR REDEMPTION IS "THROUGH HIS (CHRIST'S) BLOOD"...
      1. The purchase price paid in order to redeem us was the blood of
         Jesus - cf. 1Pe 1:18-19
      2. By His death on the cross, Jesus has paid the price to deliver 
         us from the bondage of sin, for which He deserves our highest 
         praise! - cf. Re 5:9, 12

[We now see how God could carry out His choice to have a people who are 
holy and without blame, adopted as sons unto Him, when all He had to 
work with were "sinners".  Through the death of Jesus and the shedding 
of His blood, God was just to "redeem" or "deliver" sinners from the 
bondage of sin!

There is another way to express what God has done to make it possible
for us to be "holy and without blame before Him in love", and that is, 
through His Son...]

II. GOD HAS FORGIVEN US (7b-8)

   A. DEFINING "FORGIVENESS"...
      1. The Greek word is aphesis {af'-es-is}, and it's shades of 
         meaning include:
         a. "release from bondage or imprisonment"
         b. "forgiveness or pardon, of sins (letting them go as if they
            had never been committed), remission of the penalty"
      2. With the shedding of Jesus' blood, it is now possible to be 
         "forgiven", that is, "pardoned" so that we are no longer guilty
         of or imprisoned by sin

   B. WHAT HAS BEEN FORGIVEN ARE OUR "SINS" (TRESPASSES)...
      1. The Greek word here is paraptoma, {par-ap'-to-mah}
         a. Lit., it means "a side-slip (lapse or deviation)"
         b. Thus it refers to (unintentional) error or (willful) 
            transgression
      2. The very sort of things (faults, offenses, sins, trespasses) 
         that would keep us from being "holy and without blame"
      3. Through Jesus' blood, we can obtain "pardon" from such things,
         and be "holy and without blame"!

   C. THE BASIS FOR BOTH "REDEMPTION" AND "FORGIVENESS" IS GOD'S GRACE...
      1. "according to the riches of His grace" - 7c
      2. "which He made to abound toward us" - 8a
      3. As Paul told Titus, it is by God's mercy and grace we are
         justified - Tit 3:3-7
      4. This wonderful grace is manifested by God in all...
         a. "wisdom" - from the Greek word sophia, {sof-ee'-ah}
            1) Defined by Hendriksen as "that ability to apply knowledge
               to the best advantage, enabling a person to use the most 
               effective means for the attainment of the highest goal"
            2) In God's case, His wisdom is often beyond the capability
               of man to find out on his own - cf. Ro 11:33
         b. "prudence" - from the Greek word phronesis {fron'-ay-sis}
            1) Meaning "mental action or activity, i.e. intellectual or 
               moral insight: prudence, wisdom."
            2) With much thought God has chosen to show His grace toward
               us!

[According to His wisdom, prudence, and grace, God has provided 
"redemption" and "forgiveness" through the blood of His dear Son!

But there is more!  While God's wisdom is often beyond the ability of 
man to find out on his own, through His Son...]

III. GOD HAS REVEALED HIS WILL TO US (9-10)

   A. "HE HAS MADE KNOWN TO THE MYSTERY OF HIS WILL"...
      1. As explained by Paul later in this epistle (cf. Ep 3:3-5),
         this "mystery"...
         a. Was not made known to mankind in other ages - 3:5a
         b. But has now been revealed by the Spirit to the apostles and 
            prophets - 3:5b; Ro 16:25-27
      2. Making known the "mystery of His will" is due to "His good 
         pleasure which He purposed in Himself"
         a. It pleased God in planning to reveal His will to us
         b. Just as it please God in predetermining to adopt us as sons 
            through Jesus Christ - 1:5

   B. THE "WILL OF GOD" THAT IS NOW REVEALED PERTAINS TO WHAT GOD HAD
      PLANNED TO ACCOMPLISH IN JESUS CHRIST...
      1. God's "plan" was to be carried out "in the dispensation of the
         fullness of the times"
         a. I.e., in the period of time when everything is right and 
            ready - cf. Ga 4:4-5
         b. Hendriksen suggests that the reference is to the entire New 
            Testament era...
            1) Particularly to the period which began with Christ's 
               resurrection and coronation
            2) But not ending until the Lord, upon His glorious return, 
               pronounces and executes judgment (New Testament 
               Commentary, Exposition of Ephesians, pp. 85-86)
      2. God's "plan" was to "gather together in one all things in 
         Christ..."
         a. B. W. Johnson comments:  "He might gather in one all things
            in Christ. That the scattered families and tribes of men, 
            both Jews and Gentiles, should all be gathered and united 
            under one head, Christ. Nay, not only men, but angels..."
         b. Paul elaborates upon this thought in Ep 2:16, and in 
            Col 1:19-22
            1) By the death of Christ, Jew and Gentile can become one 
               body
            2) By the blood of the cross, God is able to reconcile all 
               things to Himself
            3) The ultimate consequence of this "reconciliation" is that
               we might be presented "holy, and blameless, and 
               irreproachable in His sight" - Col 1:22; cf. Ep 1:4

[Finally, we also learn that through the Son....]

IV. GOD HAS GIVEN US AN INHERITANCE (11-12)

   A. "OBTAINED AN INHERITANCE" OR "MADE A HERITAGE"?
      1. Some translations and scholars understand that verse 11
         should read "we were made a heritage", speaking of God's 
         inheritance, with an appeal to:
         a. Ep 1:14b - where Paul speaks of "the redemption of the 
            purchased possession"
         b. Ep 1:18c - where Paul speaks of "His inheritance"
      2. Reasons for accepting the rendering found in the KJV and NKJV 
         are offered by Hendriksen:
         a. The immediate context speaks of "our inheritance" 
            - Ep 1:14a
         b. In the NT "the inheritance" is ever said to be "ours" or 
            "intended for us" - Ac 20:32; Ga 3:18; Col 3:24; He 9:15; 
            1Pe 1:4 (including Ep 1:18c, where "His inheritance" 
            can mean that which God is giving to us)
         c. Ep 1:5 speaks of "adoption as sons", and in Ro 8:15-17 
            Paul connects the idea of adoption with that of being heirs
         d. In an epistle with many similarities to Ephesians, Paul 
            certainly speaks of how we are "heirs" - Col 1:12

   B. THIS INHERITANCE IS PART OF GOD'S "PREDESTINATION"...
      1. Just as God "predetermined" that those in Christ would receive 
         "adoption as sons" (Ep 1:5), so He "predetermined" that His 
         "sons" would receive an "inheritance"!
      2. This is in accordance with God's grand "purpose", who has the 
         power to "work all things according to the counsel of His will"

   C. THE FINAL RESULT IN RECEIVING THIS INHERITANCE...
      1. "that we...should be to the praise of His glory" 
         a. That "those in Christ" (and what God has made them) will be 
            a reason to give God glory
         b. As Paul wrote the Thessalonians:  "that the name of our Lord
            Jesus Christ may be glorified in you..." - 2Th 1:12
      2. Some understand that Paul is now beginning to distinguish 
         between those like himself (Jewish believers) and those like 
         his readers (Gentile believers), for a reason that will become 
         clear later (cf. Ep 2:11-22)
         a. For Paul speaks of "we who first trusted" in verse 12...
         b. ...and then says "you also trusted" in verse 13
      3. Even if so, one cannot make too much of this distinction...
         a. Because all that is said in verses 3-11 (where "we" is 
            found) applies to Gentile believers
         b. And all that is said in verses 13-14 (where "you" is 
            found) applies to Jewish believers also

CONCLUSION

1. In Christ, then, we have every reason to praise God, knowing that...
   a. God has redeemed us (7a)
   b. God has forgiven us (7b-8)
   c. God has revealed His Will to us (9-10)
   d. God has given us an inheritance (11-12)

2. But there is even more!  And in the next lesson we shall examine what
   that is, as we consider "Blessings Involving The Holy Spirit"

For the time being, have you experienced that wonderful redemption, the
forgiveness of sins, through the blood of Jesus?  The apostle Peter
tells how we can in Ac 2:36-41...


Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Does Human Fallibility Imply a Fallible Bible? by Brad Bromling, D.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=13&article=1358

Does Human Fallibility Imply a Fallible Bible?

by Brad Bromling, D.Min.


Humanity is broken. Few would deny the biblical affirmation: “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). All people stand in need of redemption and are incapable of currying God's favor by their own imperfect efforts (Ephesians 2:3-9; Galatians 3:22). Even for those who “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7) personal sin remains a reality (1 John 1:10-2:1). The question, “Are Christians sinners who are forgiven or saints who sin?,” bespeaks the perplexity that saved people feel in the face of their daily struggles with the evil one (Saucy, 1995). This realization has driven some people to wonder whether it is even possible for the Bible to be infallible, since fallible humans were employed in its production.

WHO WROTE THE BIBLE?

The belief that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible has a long, venerable history. Although some conservative scholars are willing to grant that Moses may have employed ancient cuneiform tablets in his composition of Genesis (Harrison, 1969, p. 548), the case favoring his personal authorship of the Pentateuch is quite compelling (Archer, 1974, pp. 109-123). Moses was a man who at times was given to self-doubt, frustration, anger, and disobedience (Exodus 2:12; 3:11; 32:19; Numbers 20:10-13). Could he, with all his fallibilities, have written an infallible record of the first 2,500 years of sacred history?
The great giant-fighter, David, is credited with the authorship of much of the Psalter. As the sweet psalmist of Israel, his songs have inspired millions to rely on God when everyone else proves unreliable. Countless saints have been laid to rest under the comforting lyrics of Psalm 23. And yet, the shepherd-king had bloodstained hands. He fell prey to lust, deceit, and even murder. Could such a man compose poetic verses for an infallible volume?
The all-too-carnal actions of God’s prophets, priests, and kings embarrassingly remind us of humankind’s hopeless condition. Even apostles were unable to rise above the charge of sin and the threat of condemnation (Galatians 2:11). Is it reasonable to believe that sinners such as these—with the same penchant for error as the rest of us—collectively produced a volume that can be trusted?
One might even wonder how a book could at the same time be both of human and divine origin. Mechanical dictation (the view that the Bible’s human authors were totally passive and acted like a computer that converts voice input into typed words) has long been rejected as unsatisfactory (see Paché, 1969, pp. 66-70). The obvious stylistic differences between biblical writers have been the major objection to this view. In principle, the dictation view would be unable to alleviate the possibility of fallibility anyway, since it still requires some human involvement; if human involvement is inherently problematic, then anything short of God’s actually writing Scripture and handing it to humanity as a finished product would be suspect. The biblical writers do not shy away from ascribing human authorship to the Scriptures, which they viewed as of divine origin (Luke 24:27; Acts 4:25; 2 Peter 3:15). For them, human participation did not diminish Scripture’s divine authority (Acts 1:16; 2 Timothy 3:16; Mark 12:36; Matthew 19:4-5). Would their confidence have been so strong had they believed the Scriptures were fallible?

MUST HUMANS ERR?

The error-prone condition of humans and the imperfections of their handiwork, might lead us to the natural but incorrect conclusion that error, sin, and brokenness is inextricably inherent in being human. While it is true that nothing originating in humanity is sufficient to deal with the universal problem of sin, it is false to view sin as part of the essential definition of humanity. It is helpful to understand the difference between “truly essential” and “merely common” properties. Gerald O’Collins illustrates this point:
Until recently all human beings were conceived within their mother’s body. With the advent of in vitro fertilization, we now know that being conceived within our mother’s body is a common property but not an essential one (1995, p. 269).
While sin certainly is a “common property,” it is not essential to humanity. In their original state, Adam and Eve were sinless. Yet, they were nonetheless fully human. Sin amounts to a departure from the ideal humanity God intended for us. Since sin is not inherent in the definition of “human,” human involvement in the writing of Scripture does not demand that it is fallible.

AN ANALOGY FROM THE LIVING WORD

The incarnation of Jesus provides a helpful analogy to understanding the inspiration of Scripture. The New Testament writers unhesitatingly affirmed three propositions about Jesus: He was divine (John 1:1-3); He was human (Galatians 4:4); and, He was sinless (1 Peter 2:22). Just because the Savior was human, and bore the likeness of “sinful flesh” (Romans 8:3), does not imply that He sinned. Instead, Jesus’ sinlessness reminds us of the original state of Adam (see Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:22,45; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Timothy 2:5). Like the Living Word, we might say the written Word is both fully human and fully divine. Clearly, if God could produce a human being (Jesus) Who was infallible, then, reasonably, God could also produce a “human” book that is infallible (see Geisler and Brooks, 1990, p. 152). How this was accomplished has not been revealed. Apparently, like the prophets of old, all biblical writers were “borne” along by the Holy Spirit in their writing (2 Peter 1:21).

REFERENCES

Archer, Gleason L., (1974), Old Testament Introduction (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, revised edition).
Geisler, Norman and Ron Brooks, (1990), When Skeptics Ask (Wheaton, IL: Victor).
Harrison, R.K. (1969), Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
O'Collins, Gerald, (1995), Christology (New York, NY: Oxford University Press).
Paché, René (1969), The Inspiration and Authority of Scripture (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Saucy, Robert L. (1995), “ ‘Sinners’ Who Are Forgiven or ‘Saints’ Who Sin?,” Bibliotheca Sacra, 152:400-412, October-December.

God’s Longsuffering is Not Eternal by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=791

God’s Longsuffering is Not Eternal

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


One of God’s most encouraging attributes is His longsuffering. The merciful patience of God Almighty gives His redeemed, albeit imperfect, church hope and support. Immediately following a reminder to the Christians in Rome that the Old Testament was “written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope,” Paul referred to God as “the God of patience and comfort” (Romans 15:4-5). Throughout the Old Testament, Bible writers portrayed God as longsuffering (meaning, “to suffer long with”), especially in His dealings with the Israelites, who constantly rejected His guidance (cf. Numbers 13-14; 16; 21:4-9). Jesus and the New Testament apostles and prophets also spent ample time magnifying God’s merciful patience (cf. Romans 2:4; 1 Peter 3:20). The apostle Peter wrote: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise [of Jesus’ Second Coming], as some count slackness, but is longsufferingtoward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9, emp. added).
Unfortunately, the picture of God often painted in the 21st century seems to leave the impression that God’s longsuffering will go on forever. Portraits of God’s justice and vengeance often are neglected (Hebrews 10:26-39; Romans 12:19), while His compassionate patience toward sinners is so accentuated that God’s longsuffering is transformed into an eternal patience. Such a concept, however, stands in stark contradistinction to God’s revealed will.
The fact is, God will judge the world one day (Acts 17:30-31), and He will take “vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). His longsuffering is not an “eternal” suffering. The ungodly people of Noah’s day learned this point. God delayed His destruction of the world by water for many years (perhaps as many as 120 years; cf. Genesis 6:3) while Noah preached righteousness to them (2 Peter 2:5). Eventually, however, God’s longsuffering came to an end. Centuries later, God again revealed His mercy and longsuffering when He conversed with Abraham about Sodom and Gomorrah. Six times Abraham petitioned God not to destroy Sodom (Genesis 18:23-33), and six times God agreed to spare the city from His vengeance, even if as few as ten righteous people were found therein.
Time and again, God has dealt patiently with sinful mankind. Yet, we must recognize that God’s longsuffering with sinners eventually ends. It ended in the days of Noah. It ended for Sodom and Gomorrah in the days of Abraham. And, it eventually will end for all the unfaithful when Jesus returns (2 Peter 3:10). God most certainly is longsuffering, but such forbearance with wayward saints and alien sinners will end one day. “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming” (Matthew 25:13).

When Did Jesus Cleanse the Temple? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=2813

When Did Jesus Cleanse the Temple?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Q.

Did Jesus cleanse the temple on the day of His triumphal entry?

A.

Many Bible students are aware that the apostle John placed Jesus’ cleansing of the temple near the beginning of His ministry, while Matthew, Mark, and Luke positioned the occasion during the final week of the Savior’s life (see Lyons, 2004). The question regarding whether Jesus cleansed the temple on the first day He entered Jerusalem (during the week of His crucifixion) or on a subsequent day, however, is rarely pondered. Why did Mark place the cleansing of the temple on the day after Jesus’ triumphal entry, while Matthew seems to indicate the cleansing took place on the very day Jesus’ entered Jerusalem?
Following Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, Matthew noted: “And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, ‘Who is this?’ So the multitudes said, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee’” (21:10-11). “Then,” Matthew wrote, “Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple...” (21:12, emp. added). Notice that Matthew does not say exactly when Jesus cleansed the temple, only that the event happened “then” (Greek kai, most often translated simply “and”—cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, RSV, etc.). All one can know from Matthew’s account (as well as Luke’s [19:45]) is that (1) Jesus entered Jerusalem, and (2) at some later time, He cleansed the temple.
Mark, however, used more detailed, chronological language. On the first day, Jesus went into Jerusalem and the temple (Mark 11:1-11), then later that day He and His apostles departed for Bethany. “Now the next day, when they had come out of Bethany” (11:12, emp. added), Jesus again went into Jerusalem and into the temple. Unlike His trip to the temple the previous day, this time Jesus entered the temple “to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple” (Mark 11:15-18). Thus, Jesus actually made two trips to the temple: once on the day of His triumphal entry (Mark 11:11), then again “the next day” to cleanse the temple (Mark 11:12,15-18). In this instance, Mark’s account is more sequential, while Matthew’s is more of a summary.
Keep in mind that neither Matthew nor Mark was mistaken in his account. We often report events with the same variety. Sometimes we speak more chronologically, while at other times more generally. Consider the family that returns home to tell friends about a trip to Disney World. One family member may summarize everything they did while at Epcot, while another family member may speak more specifically about how they actually went to Epcot parts of two different days and were able to see all sorts of things. No one would be justified in alleging that either family member was mistaken. Likewise, Matthew and Mark’s accounts are complementary—notcontradictory.

REFERENCES

Lyons, Eric (2004), “Chronology and the Cleansing of the Temple,” [On-line], URL:http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/528.

Can We Prove Jesus Was a Real Person? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=876


Can We Prove Jesus Was a Real Person?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


You may find this surprising, but there are many people in the world today who actually think that Jesus is nothing more than a fantasy figure that various secret societies created 2,000 years ago. Allegedly, His name belongs in the same fictional writings that contain such fairy-tale characters as Peter Pan, Hercules, and Snow White and the seven dwarfs. Gerald Massey, in his book, Gnostic and Historic Christianity, has “informed” us that “[w]hether considered as the God made human, or as man made divine, this character [Jesus—EL] never existed as a person” (1985, p. 22). Skeptics like Massey, Acharya (1999), and others believe that Christians have been deceived into thinking that there really was a man named Jesus, when, in fact, He never lived.
How do those of us who believe in the historicity of Jesus Christ respond to such allegations? Can we really know that there was a sinless, miracle-working, death-defying man named Jesus who lived upon the Earth approximately 2,000 years ago, or have we accepted His existence blindly?
Even though the New Testament proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus actually lived, it is by no means the only historical evidence available. Around the year A.D. 94, a Jewish historian by the name of Josephus mentioned Jesus’ name twice in his book, Antiquities of the Jews. In section 18 of that work, Josephus wrote: “And there arose about this time Jesus, a wise man, if indeed we should call him a man; for he was a doer of marvelous deeds, a teacher of men who receive the truth with pleasure” (emp. added). Then, in section 20, Josephus documented how a man named Ananus brought before the Sanhedrin “a man named James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ, and certain others” (emp. added).
About 20 years later, Tacitus, a Roman historian, wrote a book surveying the history of Rome. In it he described how Nero (the Roman emperor) “punished with every refinement the notoriously depraved Christians (as they were popularly called).” He went on to write that “their originator, Christ, had been executed in Tiberius’ reign by the governor of Judea, Pontius Pilatus” (Annals15:44, emp. added). Even though Tacitus, Josephus, and other historians from the first and second centuries A.D. were not followers of Christ, they did have something to say about Him—and they even verified that Jesus was a real person Who was so famous that He even attracted the attention of the Roman emperor himself!
Another obvious reason to believe that Jesus was a real person is because our entire dating method is based upon His existence. The letters “B.C.” stand for “before Christ,” and the letters “A.D.” (standing for Anno Domini) mean “in the year of the Lord.” So when a history teacher speaks of Alexander the Great ruling much of the world in 330 B.C., he or she is admitting that Alexander lived about 330 years before Jesus was born.
Even though this is only a sampling of the evidence relating to the man known as Jesus, it is enough to prove that He was a real person, and not just some imaginary character. We do not accept His existence blindly—it is a historical fact!

REFERENCES

Josephus, Flavius (1957 reprint), The Life and Works of Flavius Josephus, trans. William Whitson (Philadelphia, PA: John Whitson).
Massey, Gerald (1985), Gnostic and Historic Christianity (Edmond, WA: Holmes Publishing Group).
Acharya, S. (1999), The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold (Kempton, IL: Adventures Unlimited Press).
Tacitus, Cornelius P. (1952 reprint), The Annals and the Histories, trans. Michael Grant (Chicago, IL: William Benton), Great Books of the Western World Series.

By the Numbers by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=117

By the Numbers

by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.


In the feature article, I raised the issue of time, only to say that it does not need to be a problem. Whether differences built up between populations gradually, or rapidly at the beginning, or in occasional brief spurts of intense change, seems to be an empirical matter. The pattern of change should not be assumed ahead of time.
However, we do have to work within certain constraints. If James Ussher’s dates are anything to go by, the Flood occurred in 2348 B.C., and the dispersion from the Tower of Babel occurred in 2234 B.C. Even conservative writers do not agree on the exact dating (e.g., Morris, 1974, pp. 247-250) but, for the sake of argument, let us say that human variation began around the time of Ussher’s date for the Flood. This sets a time limit of approximately 4,350 years.
Next, we need to know the extent of variation. The commonly cited figure is 0.2%. In other words, if you were to compare your DNA with the DNA of a stranger picked randomly from anywhere in the world, you would find that two base pairs (the “rungs” of the twisted, ladder-like DNA molecule) in every thousand base pairs are different, on average. There are around 3 billion base pairs in human DNA, so 0.2% of this figure would equal 6 million base pairs.
Actually, the situation is a little worse than this. If ancient art is anything to go by, skin coloration was a significant feature at an early stage (again, for the sake of argument, I will not worry about the discrepancies between archaeological and biblical chronologies). We could assume that obvious physical variations were fairly well established by the time of Abraham (c. 2000 B.C.). Is there enough time to accumulate these changes in the first few hundred years after the Flood?
The situation is helped a little by the estimate that only 6% of the 0.2% variation represents differences across major groupings (Gutin, 1994, p. 72). Between, say, a European and an Asian chosen at random, we would expect to find a difference of only 360,000 base pairs. Of course, all we need are sufficient mutations in the genes that are most responsible for making us appear different to people in other places. In the case of skin color (see feature article), this could mean a few mutations among a handful of genes.
So far, this is just a sketch of where we need to go in terms of a biblical model. No one, including the evolutionist, has explained all the empirical data. Still, 6 million mutations in such a short time requires some explanation.
One solution may lie in much higher mutation rates. Most estimates have rested on molecular clocks which, in turn, have rested on evolutionary assumptions. Until recently, we have not had good empirical measures of the mutation rates in humans. The situation improved when geneticists were able to analyze DNA from individuals with well-established family trees going back several generations. One study found that mutation rates in mitochondrial DNA are 18 times higher than previous estimates (Parsons, et al., 1997). If this new rate were applied to the “mitochondrial Eve” research, it would turn out that this hypothetical woman lived 6,000 years ago. “No one thinks that’s the case,” science writer Ann Gibbons is quick to point out (1998, 279:29). Still, if these new estimates hold, evolutionary anthropologists will have to do some fancy footwork around their dates for key events in the development of modern humans. Most important, the new data may put a biblical empirical model in closer reach.

REFERENCES

Gibbons, Ann (1998), “Calibrating the Mitochondrial Clock,” Science, 279:28-29, January 2.
Gutin, Joann C. (1994), “End of the Rainbow,” Discover, 15[2]:70-75, November.
Morris, Henry M. (1974), Scientific Creationism (San Diego, CA: Creation-Life Publishers).
Parsons, Thomas J., et al. (1997), “A High Observed Substitution Rate in the Human Mitochondrial DNA Control Region,” Nature Genetics, 15:363.

Founding Father Elias Boudinot on Islam by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=4586


Founding Father Elias Boudinot on Islam

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


American views of Islam going back to the origins of America have been generally consistent. With a Christian worldview intact at the beginning, Americans have naturally recognized Islam’s inherent hostility toward Christianity and its fundamental threat to the American way of life. For example, Elias Boudinot was a premiere Founding Father with a long and distinguished career. He served as a member of the Continental Congress, where he served as its president (1782-1783); he signed the Treaty of Peace with Great Britain; he was a member of the U.S. House where he helped frame the Bill of Rights; he served as the Director of Mint under presidents Washington and Adams; etc. In his masterful refutation of Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason, Boudinot labeled Muhammad an “impostor,” and insightfully observed that
Mahomet aimed to establish his pretensions to divine authority, by the power of the sword and the terrors of his government; while he carefully avoided any attempts at miracles in the presence of his followers, and all pretences to foretell things to come. His acknowledging the divine mission of Moses and Christ confirms their authorityas far as his influence will go while their doctrines entirely destroy all his pretensions to the like authority…. And now, where is the comparison between the supposed prophet of Mecca, and the Son of God; or with what propriety ought they to be named together?...The difference between these characters is so great, that the facts need not be further applied (1801, pp. 36-39, emp. added).
This premiere Founder merely expressed the sentiments of the bulk of the Founders as well as the rank and file of American citizens. The political correctness that now characterizes western civilization has desensitized citizens and left the country vulnerable to the sinister infiltration of an ideology that is antithetical to the principles of the American Republic.

REFERENCES


Did Jesus Rise “On” or “After” the Third Day? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

http://apologeticspress.org/AllegedDiscrepancies.aspx?article=756&b=Matthew

Did Jesus Rise “On” or “After” the Third Day?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The most frequent reference to Jesus’ resurrection reveals that He rose from the grave on the third day of His entombment. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all record Jesus as prophesying that He would arise from the grave on this day (Matthew 17:23; Mark 9:31; Luke 9:22). The apostle Paul wrote in his first epistle to the Corinthians that Jesus arose from the grave “the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:4). What’s more, while preaching to Cornelius and his household, Peter taught that God raised Jesus up “on the third day” (Acts 10:40, emp. added). The fact is, however, Jesus also taught (and Mark recorded) “that the Son of Man” would “be killed, and after three days rise again” (Mark 8:31, emp. added). Furthermore, Jesus elsewhere prophesied that He would be in the heart of the Earth for “three days and three nights” (Matthew 12:40). So which is it? Did Jesus rise from the dead on the third day or after three days?
While to the 21st-century reader these statements may initially appear to contradict one another, in reality, they harmonize perfectly if one understands the different, and sometimes more liberal, methods ancients often used when reckoning time. In the first century, any part of a day could be computed for the whole day and the night following it (cf. Lightfoot, 1979, pp. 210-211). The Jerusalem Talmud quotes rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah, who lived around A.D. 100, as saying: “A day and night are an Onah [‘a portion of time’] and the portion of an Onah is as the whole of it” (from Jerusalem Talmud: Shabbath ix. 3, as quoted in Hoehner, 1974, pp. 248-249, bracketed comment in orig.). Azariah indicated that a portion of a 24-hour period could be considered the same “as the whole of it.” Thus, as awkward as it may sound to an American living in the 21stcentury, a person in ancient times could legitimately speak of something occurring “on the third day,” “after three days,” or after “three days and three nights,” yet still be referring to the same exact day.
The Scriptures contain several examples which clearly show that in Bible times a part of a day was often equivalent to the whole day.
  • According to Genesis 7:12, the rain of the Noahic Flood was upon the Earth “forty days and forty nights.” Verse 17 of that same chapter says it was on the Earth for just “forty days.” Who would argue that it had to rain precisely 960 hours (40 days x 24 hours) for both of these statements to be true?
  • In Genesis 42:17 Joseph incarcerated his brothers for three days. Then, according to verse 18, he spoke to them on the third day and released them (all but one, that is).
  • In 1 Samuel 30:12,13, the phrases “three days and three nights” and “three days” are used interchangeably.
  • When Queen Esther was about to risk her life by going before the king uninvited, she instructed her fellow Jews to follow her example by not eating “for three days, night or day” (Esther 4:16). The text goes on to tell us that Esther went in unto the king “on the third day” (5:1, emp. added).
  • Perhaps the most compelling Old Testament passage which clearly testifies that the ancients (at least occasionally) considered a portion of a twenty-four hour period “as the whole of it” is found in 2 Chronicles 10. When Israel asked King Rehoboam to lighten their burdens, he wanted time to contemplate their request, so he instructed Jeroboam and the people of Israel to return “after three days” (2 Chronicles 10:5, emp. added). Verse 12, however, indicates that Jeroboam and the people of Israel came to Rehoboam “on the third day, as the king had directed, saying, ‘ Come back to me the third day’ ” (emp. added). Fascinating, is it not, that even though Rehoboam instructed his people to return “after three days,” they understood this to mean “on the third day.”
  • From Acts 10, we can glean further insight into the ancient practice of counting consecutive days (in part or in whole) as complete days. Luke recorded how an angel appeared to Cornelius at “about the ninth hour of the day” (approximately 3:00 p.m.; Acts 10:3). “The next day” (10:9) Peter received a vision from God and welcomed visitors sent by Cornelius. “On the next day” (10:23) Peter and the servants of Cornelius departed for Caesarea. “And the following day they entered Caesarea” where Peter taught Cornelius and his household the Gospel (10:24). At one point during Peter’s visit,Cornelius spoke about his encounter with the angel of God. Notice carefully how he began the rehearsal of the event. He stated: “Four days ago to this hour, I was praying in my house during the ninth hour…” (10:30, NASB, emp. added). Although the event actually had occurred only 72 hours (or three literal days) earlier, Cornelius spoke of it as taking place “four days ago to this hour.” Why four days instead of three? Because according to the first-century method of reckoning time, a part of the first day and a part of the fourth day could be counted as whole days. Surely one can see how this information aligns itself perfectly with Jesus’ burial taking place on Friday and His resurrection occurring on Sunday. A part of Friday, all day Saturday, and a part of Sunday would be considered three days in ancient times, not one or two.
Even though in modern times some may find this reasoning somewhat confusing, similar idiomatic expressions frequently are used today. For example, we consider a baseball game that ends after only completing 8½ innings a “9-inning game.” And even though the losing pitcher on the visiting team only pitched 8 innings (and not 9 innings like the winning pitcher from the home team), he is said to have pitched a complete game. Consider also the guest at a hotel who checks in at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, and checks out at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday—less than 24 hours later. Did the man stay one day or two days at the hotel? Technically, the guest was there for less than one full day (24-hour period), yet the hotel legally can charge him for two days since he did not leave before the mandatory 11:00 a.m. checkout time. Considering how flexible we are in measuring time, depending on the context, perhaps we should not be surprised at how liberal the ancients could be in calculating time.
Further evidence proving that Jesus’ statements regarding His burial were not contradictory centers around the fact that even His enemies did not accuse Him of contradicting Himself. No doubt this was due to their familiarity with and use of the flexible, customary method of stating time. In fact, the chief priests and Pharisees even said to Pilate the day after Jesus was crucified: “Sir, we remember, 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” (Matthew 27:63-64, emp. added). The phrase “after three days” must have been equivalent to “the third day,” else surely the Pharisees would have asked for a guard of soldiers until the fourth day. Interesting, is it not, that modern skeptics charge Jesus with contradicting Himself, but not the hypercritical Pharisees of His own day.
The idiomatic expressions that Jesus and the Bible writers employed to denote how long Jesus would remain in the grave does not mean that He literally was buried for 72 hours. If we interpret the account of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection in light of the cultural setting of the first century, and not according to the present-day (mis)understanding of skeptics, we find no errors in any of the expressions that Jesus and the gospel writers used.

REFERENCES

Hoehner, Harold W (1974), “Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ—Part IV: The Day of Christ’s Crucifixion,” Bibliotheca Sacra, 131:241-264, July.
Lightfoot, John (1979 reprint), A Commentary on the New Testament from the Talmud and Hebraica (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Are you an heir of God? by Roy Davison

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/023-heirs.html

Are you an heir of God?
Will you receive “an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith”? (Acts 26:18).
An heir is someone who is entitled to a legacy because of a family relationship or a testament. Although an inheritance is a gift, a testament can require that certain conditions be met.
Some people imagine how grand it would be to inherit a fortune from some unknown, wealthy relative.
As they dream, they fail to realize that their heavenly Father has willed them a fortune worth more than all the world. “Listen, my beloved brethren: Has God not chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?” (James 2:5).
This inheritance is received in the resurrection. “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed -- in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:50-52). This inheritance is an eternal kingdom where death will be no more.
There are conditions. They who live according to the flesh will not inherit the kingdom. “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). “For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephesians 5:5). “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). 
Only by the power of God and with the help of His Son, Jesus Christ, can we be restored to a close family relationship with the Father. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). “Your iniquities have separated you from your God” (Isaiah 59:2).
Christ bore the punishment for our sins so we could be reconciled with the Father and receive the inheritance: “He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9:15). The New Testament grants the inheritance and states the conditions. 
Christ told Paul to preach to the nations: “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and fromthe power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:17, 18).
Only by faith in Christ can one become a child of God. Believers must be baptized into Christ to receive the inheritance. “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26-29).
God saves us by grace through a rebirth at baptism. “But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7). 
We are reborn to an inheritance in heaven: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:3, 4).
Through Christ we are freed from bondage to sin so we can be adopted into the family of God. “Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, 'Abba, Father!' Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Galatians 4:1-7).
To receive the inheritance, we must be led by the Spirit: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:14-17).
God leads us through His word: “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).
To inherit eternal life we must love God: “And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, 'Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?' He said to him, 'What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?'
So he answered and said, '“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,” and “your neighbor as yourself.”' And He said to him, 'You have answered rightly; do this and you will live'“ (Luke 10:25-28).
Keeping commandments is not enough. To inherit eternal life we must take up the cross and follow Christ: “Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, 'Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?' So Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. You know the commandments: “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not bear false witness,” “Do not defraud,” “Honor your father and your mother.”' And he answered and said to Him, 'Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.' Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, 'One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me'“ (Mark 10:17-21 // Luke 18:18-22).
Jesus promises blessings and eternal life to those who put Him first in their lives: “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life” (Matthew 19:29).
To inherit the kingdom we must do good: “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me'“ (Matthew 25:34-40).
This inheritance is in Christ: “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:11-14). The Holy Spirit is a seal, a guarantee of our inheritance.
As we grow in the knowledge of Christ, we better understand how great this inheritance is. Paul prayed that the Ephesians would “know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:18). 
The New Testament explains how you can be an heir of God and a joint heir with Christ. To receive the inheritance you must be rich in faith and you must love God will all your heart. Through the death of Christ your sins can be forgiven so you can be in the family of God. You must be baptized into Christ to become an heir. By the mercy of God through the washing of regeneration you are reborn to an incorruptible inheritance in heaven. To inherit eternal life, you must be led by the Spirit through the guidance of God's word. You must do good, keep God's commandments and follow Christ.
God gives this great promise: “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:7).
Roy Davison
The Scripture quotations in this article 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 December 27, 28 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading December 27, 28
(World English Bible)
Dec. 27
Zechariah 1-4

Zec 1:1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying,
Zec 1:2 "Yahweh was very displeased with your fathers.
Zec 1:3 Therefore tell them: Thus says Yahweh of Armies: 'Return to me,' says Yahweh of Armies, 'and I will return to you,' says Yahweh of Armies.
Zec 1:4 Don't you be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying: Thus says Yahweh of Armies, 'Return now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings;' but they did not hear, nor listen to me, says Yahweh.
Zec 1:5 Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever?
Zec 1:6 But my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, didn't they overtake your fathers? "Then they repented and said, 'Just as Yahweh of Armies determined to do to us, according to our ways, and according to our practices, so he has dealt with us.' "
Zec 1:7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying,
Zec 1:8 "I had a vision in the night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in a ravine; and behind him there were red, brown, and white horses.
Zec 1:9 Then I asked, 'My lord, what are these?' " The angel who talked with me said to me, "I will show you what these are."
Zec 1:10 The man who stood among the myrtle trees answered, "They are the ones Yahweh has sent to go back and forth through the earth."
Zec 1:11 They reported to the angel of Yahweh who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, "We have walked back and forth through the earth, and behold, all the earth is at rest and in peace."
Zec 1:12 Then the angel of Yahweh replied, "O Yahweh of Armies, how long will you not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which you have had indignation these seventy years?"
Zec 1:13 Yahweh answered the angel who talked with me with kind and comforting words.
Zec 1:14 So the angel who talked with me said to me, "Proclaim, saying, 'Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.
Zec 1:15 I am very angry with the nations that are at ease; for I was but a little displeased, but they added to the calamity."
Zec 1:16 Therefore thus says Yahweh: "I have returned to Jerusalem with mercy. My house shall be built in it," says Yahweh of Armies, "and a line shall be stretched forth over Jerusalem." '
Zec 1:17 "Proclaim further, saying, 'Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and Yahweh will again comfort Zion, and will again choose Jerusalem." ' "
Zec 1:18 I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, four horns.
Zec 1:19 I asked the angel who talked with me, "What are these?" He answered me, "These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem."
Zec 1:20 Yahweh showed me four craftsmen.
Zec 1:21 Then I asked, "What are these coming to do?" He said, "These are the horns which scattered Judah, so that no man lifted up his head; but these have come to terrify them, to cast down the horns of the nations, which lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it."

Zec 2:1 I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand.
Zec 2:2 Then I asked, "Where are you going?" He said to me, "To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its breadth and what is its length."
Zec 2:3 Behold, the angel who talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him,
Zec 2:4 and said to him, "Run, speak to this young man, saying, 'Jerusalem will be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it.
Zec 2:5 For I,' says Yahweh, 'will be to her a wall of fire around it, and I will be the glory in the midst of her.
Zec 2:6 Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,' says Yahweh; 'for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the sky,' says Yahweh.
Zec 2:7 'Come, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.'
Zec 2:8 For thus says Yahweh of Armies: 'For honor he has sent me to the nations which plundered you; for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye.
Zec 2:9 For, behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they will be a spoil to those who served them; and you will know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me.
Zec 2:10 Sing and rejoice, daughter of Zion; for, behold, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of you,' says Yahweh.
Zec 2:11 Many nations shall join themselves to Yahweh in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you.
Zec 2:12 Yahweh will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.
Zec 2:13 Be silent, all flesh, before Yahweh; for he has roused himself from his holy habitation!"

Zec 3:1 He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Yahweh, and Satan standing at his right hand to be his adversary.
Zec 3:2 Yahweh said to Satan, "Yahweh rebuke you, Satan! Yes, Yahweh who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Isn't this a burning stick plucked out of the fire?"
Zec 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the angel.
Zec 3:4 He answered and spoke to those who stood before him, saying, "Take the filthy garments off of him." To him he said, "Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with rich clothing."
Zec 3:5 I said, "Let them set a clean turban on his head." So they set a clean turban on his head, and clothed him; and the angel of Yahweh was standing by.
Zec 3:6 The angel of Yahweh protested to Joshua, saying,
Zec 3:7 "Thus says Yahweh of Armies: 'If you will walk in my ways, and if you will follow my instructions, then you also shall judge my house, and shall also keep my courts, and I will give you a place of access among these who stand by.
Zec 3:8 Hear now, Joshua the high priest, you and your fellows who sit before you; for they are men who are a sign: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant, the Branch.
Zec 3:9 For, behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes: behold, I will engrave its engraving,' says Yahweh of Armies, 'and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
Zec 3:10 In that day,' says Yahweh of Armies, 'you will invite every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.' "

Zec 4:1 The angel who talked with me came again, and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep.
Zec 4:2 He said to me, "What do you see?" I said, "I have seen, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps thereon; there are seven pipes to each of the lamps, which are on the top of it;
Zec 4:3 and two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl, and the other on the left side of it."
Zec 4:4 I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, "What are these, my lord?"
Zec 4:5 Then the angel who talked with me answered me, "Don't you know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord."
Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, "This is the word of Yahweh to Zerubbabel, saying, 'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh of Armies.
Zec 4:7 Who are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you are a plain; and he will bring out the capstone with shouts of 'Grace, grace, to it!' "
Zec 4:8 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Zec 4:9 "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house. His hands shall also finish it; and you will know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you.
Zec 4:10 Indeed, who despises the day of small things? For these seven shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. These are the eyes of Yahweh, which run back and forth through the whole earth."
Zec 4:11 Then I asked him, "What are these two olive trees on the right side of the lampstand and on the left side of it?"
Zec 4:12 I asked him the second time, "What are these two olive branches, which are beside the two golden spouts, that pour the golden oil out of themselves?"
Zec 4:13 He answered me, "Don't you know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord."
Zec 4:14 Then he said, "These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth."

Dec. 28
Zechariah 5-8

Zec 5:1 Then again I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, a flying scroll.
Zec 5:2 He said to me, "What do you see?" I answered, "I see a flying scroll; its length is twenty cubits, and its breadth ten cubits."
Zec 5:3 Then he said to me, "This is the curse that goes out over the surface of the whole land; for everyone who steals shall be cut off according to it on the one side; and everyone who swears falsely shall be cut off according to it on the other side.
Zec 5:4 I will cause it to go out," says Yahweh of Armies, "and it will enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him who swears falsely by my name; and it will remain in the midst of his house, and will destroy it with its timber and its stones."
Zec 5:5 Then the angel who talked with me came forward, and said to me, "Lift up now your eyes, and see what is this that is appearing."
Zec 5:6 I said, "What is it?" He said, "This is the ephah basket that is appearing." He said moreover, "This is their appearance in all the land
Zec 5:7 (and behold, a talent of lead was lifted up); and this is a woman sitting in the midst of the ephah basket."
Zec 5:8 He said, "This is Wickedness;" and he threw her down into the midst of the ephah basket; and he threw the weight of lead on its mouth.
Zec 5:9 Then lifted I up my eyes, and saw, and behold, there were two women, and the wind was in their wings. Now they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah basket between earth and the sky.
Zec 5:10 Then said I to the angel who talked with me, "Where are these carrying the ephah basket?"
Zec 5:11 He said to me, "To build her a house in the land of Shinar. When it is prepared, she will be set there in her own place."

Zec 6:1 Again I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, four chariots came out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass.
Zec 6:2 In the first chariot were red horses; in the second chariot black horses;
Zec 6:3 in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot dappled horses, all of them powerful.
Zec 6:4 Then I asked the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?"
Zec 6:5 The angel answered me, "These are the four winds of the sky, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.
Zec 6:6 The one with the black horses goes out toward the north country; and the white went out after them; and the dappled went forth toward the south country."
Zec 6:7 The strong went out, and sought to go that they might walk back and forth through the earth: and he said, "Go around and through the earth!" So they walked back and forth through the earth.
Zec 6:8 Then he called to me, and spoke to me, saying, "Behold, those who go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country."
Zec 6:9 The word of Yahweh came to me, saying,
Zec 6:10 "Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah; and come the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah, where they have come from Babylon.
Zec 6:11 Yes, take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest;
Zec 6:12 and speak to him, saying, 'Thus says Yahweh of Armies, "Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: and he shall grow up out of his place; and he shall build the temple of Yahweh;
Zec 6:13 even he shall build the temple of Yahweh; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on his throne; and he shall be a priest on his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
Zec 6:14 The crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of Yahweh.
Zec 6:15 Those who are far off shall come and build in the temple of Yahweh; and you shall know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you. This will happen, if you will diligently obey the voice of Yahweh your God." ' "

Zec 7:1 It happened in the fourth year of king Darius that the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Chislev.
Zec 7:2 The people of Bethel sent Sharezer and Regem Melech, and their men, to entreat Yahweh's favor,
Zec 7:3 and to speak to the priests of the house of Yahweh of Armies, and to the prophets, saying, "Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?"
Zec 7:4 Then the word of Yahweh of Armies came to me, saying,
Zec 7:5 "Speak to all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and in the seventh month for these seventy years, did you at all fast to me, really to me?
Zec 7:6 When you eat, and when you drink, don't you eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?
Zec 7:7 Aren't these the words which Yahweh proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and its cities around her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?' "
Zec 7:8 The word of Yahweh came to Zechariah, saying,
Zec 7:9 "Thus has Yahweh of Armies spoken, saying, 'Execute true judgment, and show kindness and compassion every man to his brother.
Zec 7:10 Don't oppress the widow, nor the fatherless, the foreigner, nor the poor; and let none of you devise evil against his brother in your heart.'
Zec 7:11 But they refused to listen, and turned their backs, and stopped their ears, that they might not hear.
Zec 7:12 Yes, they made their hearts as hard as flint, lest they might hear the law, and the words which Yahweh of Armies had sent by his Spirit by the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from Yahweh of Armies.
Zec 7:13 It has come to pass that, as he called, and they refused to listen, so they will call, and I will not listen," said Yahweh of Armies;
Zec 7:14 "but I will scatter them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they have not known. Thus the land was desolate after them, so that no man passed through nor returned: for they made the pleasant land desolate."

Zec 8:1 The word of Yahweh of Armies came to me.
Zec 8:2 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath."
Zec 8:3 Thus says Yahweh: "I have returned to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called 'The City of Truth;' and the mountain of Yahweh of Armies, 'The Holy Mountain.' "
Zec 8:4 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "Old men and old women will again dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, every man with his staff in his hand for very age.
Zec 8:5 The streets of the city will be full of boys and girls playing in its streets."
Zec 8:6 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, should it also be marvelous in my eyes?" says Yahweh of Armies.
Zec 8:7 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
Zec 8:8 and I will bring them, and they will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and they will be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness."
Zec 8:9 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "Let your hands be strong, you who hear in these days these words from the mouth of the prophets who were in the day that the foundation of the house of Yahweh of Armies was laid, even the temple, that it might be built.
Zec 8:10 For before those days there was no wages for man, nor any wages for an animal; neither was there any peace to him who went out or came in, because of the adversary. For I set all men everyone against his neighbor.
Zec 8:11 But now I will not be to the remnant of this people as in the former days," says Yahweh of Armies.
Zec 8:12 "For the seed of peace and the vine will yield its fruit, and the ground will give its increase, and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things.
Zec 8:13 It shall come to pass that, as you were a curse among the nations, house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing. Don't be afraid. Let your hands be strong."
Zec 8:14 For thus says Yahweh of Armies: "As I thought to do evil to you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath," says Yahweh of Armies, "and I didn't repent;
Zec 8:15 so again have I thought in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Don't be afraid.
Zec 8:16 These are the things that you shall do: speak every man the truth with his neighbor. Execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates,
Zec 8:17 and let none of you devise evil in your hearts against his neighbor, and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate," says Yahweh.
Zec 8:18 The word of Yahweh of Armies came to me.
Zec 8:19 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "The fasts of the fourth fifth, seventh, and tenth months shall be for the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts. Therefore love truth and peace."
Zec 8:20 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "Many peoples, and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come;
Zec 8:21 and the inhabitants of one shall go to another, saying, 'Let us go speedily to entreat the favor of Yahweh, and to seek Yahweh of Armies. I will go also.'
Zec 8:22 Yes, many peoples and strong nations will come to seek Yahweh of Armies in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favor of Yahweh."
Zec 8:23 Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "In those days, ten men will take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, they will take hold of the skirt of him who is a Jew, saying, 'We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.' "


Dec. 27
Revelation 15, 16

Rev 15:1 I saw another great and marvelous sign in the sky: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them God's wrath is finished.
Rev 15:2 I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who overcame the beast, his image, and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.
Rev 15:3 They sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God, the Almighty! Righteous and true are your ways, you King of the nations.
Rev 15:4 Who wouldn't fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you only are holy. For all the nations will come and worship before you. For your righteous acts have been revealed."
Rev 15:5 After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.
Rev 15:6 The seven angels who had the seven plagues came out, clothed with pure, bright linen, and wearing golden sashes around their breasts.
Rev 15:7 One of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever.
Rev 15:8 The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power. No one was able to enter into the temple, until the seven plagues of the seven angels would be finished.

Rev 16:1 I heard a loud voice out of the temple, saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God on the earth!"
Rev 16:2 The first went, and poured out his bowl into the earth, and it became a harmful and evil sore on the people who had the mark of the beast, and who worshiped his image.
Rev 16:3 The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man. Every living thing in the sea died.
Rev 16:4 The third poured out his bowl into the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.
Rev 16:5 I heard the angel of the waters saying, "You are righteous, who are and who were, you Holy One, because you have judged these things.
Rev 16:6 For they poured out the blood of the saints and the prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. They deserve this."
Rev 16:7 I heard the altar saying, "Yes, Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments."
Rev 16:8 The fourth poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was given to him to scorch men with fire.
Rev 16:9 People were scorched with great heat, and people blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues. They didn't repent and give him glory.
Rev 16:10 The fifth poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was darkened. They gnawed their tongues because of the pain,
Rev 16:11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores. They didn't repent of their works.
Rev 16:12 The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates. Its water was dried up, that the way might be made ready for the kings that come from the sunrise.
Rev 16:13 I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, something like frogs;
Rev 16:14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs; which go forth to the kings of the whole inhabited earth, to gather them together for the war of that great day of God, the Almighty.
Rev 16:15 "Behold, I come like a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his clothes, so that he doesn't walk naked, and they see his shame."
Rev 16:16 He gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew, Megiddo.
Rev 16:17 The seventh poured out his bowl into the air. A loud voice came forth out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"
Rev 16:18 There were lightnings, sounds, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men on the earth, so great an earthquake, so mighty.
Rev 16:19 The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
Rev 16:20 Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Rev 16:21 Great hailstones, about the weight of a talent, came down out of the sky on people. People blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for this plague is exceedingly severe.

Dec. 28
Revelation 17, 18

Rev 17:1 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and spoke with me, saying, "Come here. I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who sits on many waters,
Rev 17:2 with whom the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality, and those who dwell in the earth were made drunken with the wine of her sexual immorality."
Rev 17:3 He carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet-colored animal, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns.
Rev 17:4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of the sexual immorality of the earth.
Rev 17:5 And on her forehead a name was written, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF THE PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."
Rev 17:6 I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. When I saw her, I wondered with great amazement.
Rev 17:7 The angel said to me, "Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
Rev 17:8 The beast that you saw was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go into destruction. Those who dwell on the earth and whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel when they see that the beast was, and is not, and shall be present.
Rev 17:9 Here is the mind that has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sits.
Rev 17:10 They are seven kings. Five have fallen, the one is, the other has not yet come. When he comes, he must continue a little while.
Rev 17:11 The beast that was, and is not, is himself also an eighth, and is of the seven; and he goes to destruction.
Rev 17:12 The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority as kings, with the beast, for one hour.
Rev 17:13 These have one mind, and they give their power and authority to the beast.
Rev 17:14 These will war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings. They also will overcome who are with him, called and chosen and faithful."
Rev 17:15 He said to me, "The waters which you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and languages.
Rev 17:16 The ten horns which you saw, and the beast, these will hate the prostitute, and will make her desolate, and will make her naked, and will eat her flesh, and will burn her utterly with fire.
Rev 17:17 For God has put in their hearts to do what he has in mind, and to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be accomplished.
Rev 17:18 The woman whom you saw is the great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth."

Rev 18:1 After these things, I saw another angel coming down out of the sky, having great authority. The earth was illuminated with his glory.
Rev 18:2 He cried with a mighty voice, saying, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, and she has become a habitation of demons, a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird!
Rev 18:3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality, the kings of the earth committed sexual immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from the abundance of her luxury."
Rev 18:4 I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, that you have no participation in her sins, and that you don't receive of her plagues,
Rev 18:5 for her sins have reached to the sky, and God has remembered her iniquities.
Rev 18:6 Return to her just as she returned, and repay her double as she did, and according to her works. In the cup which she mixed, mix to her double.
Rev 18:7 However much she glorified herself, and grew wanton, so much give her of torment and mourning. For she says in her heart, 'I sit a queen, and am no widow, and will in no way see mourning.'
Rev 18:8 Therefore in one day her plagues will come: death, mourning, and famine; and she will be utterly burned with fire; for the Lord God who has judged her is strong.
Rev 18:9 The kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived wantonly with her, will weep and wail over her, when they look at the smoke of her burning,
Rev 18:10 standing far away for the fear of her torment, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, Babylon, the strong city! For your judgment has come in one hour.'
Rev 18:11 The merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise any more;
Rev 18:12 merchandise of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple, silk, scarlet, all expensive wood, every vessel of ivory, every vessel made of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble;
Rev 18:13 and cinnamon, incense, perfume, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, sheep, horses, chariots, and people's bodies and souls.
Rev 18:14 The fruits which your soul lusted after have been lost to you, and all things that were dainty and sumptuous have perished from you, and you will find them no more at all.
Rev 18:15 The merchants of these things, who were made rich by her, will stand far away for the fear of her torment, weeping and mourning;
Rev 18:16 saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, she who was dressed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls!
Rev 18:17 For in an hour such great riches are made desolate.' Every shipmaster, and everyone who sails anywhere, and mariners, and as many as gain their living by sea, stood far away,
Rev 18:18 and cried out as they looked at the smoke of her burning, saying, 'What is like the great city?'
Rev 18:19 They cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and mourning, saying, 'Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had their ships in the sea were made rich by reason of her great wealth!' For in one hour is she made desolate.
Rev 18:20 "Rejoice over her, O heaven, you saints, apostles, and prophets; for God has judged your judgment on her."
Rev 18:21 A mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and cast it into the sea, saying, "Thus with violence will Babylon, the great city, be thrown down, and will be found no more at all.
Rev 18:22 The voice of harpists, minstrels, flute players, and trumpeters will be heard no more at all in you. No craftsman, of whatever craft, will be found any more at all in you. The sound of a mill will be heard no more at all in you.
Rev 18:23 The light of a lamp will shine no more at all in you. The voice of the bridegroom and of the bride will be heard no more at all in you; for your merchants were the princes of the earth; for with your sorcery all the nations were deceived.
Rev 18:24 In her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all who have been slain on the earth."