3/1/19

"THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS" Heeding The Voice From The Mountain (12:18-29) by Mark Copeland


  "THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"

 Heeding The Voice From The Mountain (12:18-29)

INTRODUCTION

1. In encouraging Christians to run the race that is set before them,
   the Hebrews writer has instructed them to...
   a. Lay aside things that would hinder them - He 12:1
   b. Run with endurance - He 12:1
   c. Keep their focus on Jesus - He 12:2-3
   d. Remember the value of the Lord's chastening - He 12:4-11
   e. Run with "style" - He 12:12-13
   f. Pursue peace and holiness - He 12:14
   g. Look diligently lest one fall short of God's grace, stumble
      because of bitterness, or become a fornicator or profane person - He 12:15-17

2. Further encouragement is now provided in the last half of chapter twelve...
   a. With a reminder of the "mountain" to which they have come
   b. With a warning to heed "Him who speaks"

3. As we "run the race of faith" today, we need this same reminder and warning...
   a. Do we appreciate the significance of the "mountain" to which we have come?
   b. Are we "Heeding The Voice From The Mountain"?
   -- How we answer such questions can reveal how well we are running the race of faith!

[With our text before us, let's take a look at...]

I. THE MOUNTAIN TO WHICH WE HAVE COME (18-24)

   A. IT IS NOT MOUNT SINAI (18-21)
      1. The mountain described first is Mount Sinai, to which Israel
         came following their deliverance from Egyptian bondage - cf. Exo 19:12-19
         a. It seems to have been much like a volcano - Exo 20:18; Deu 4:11
         b. It frightened the people - Deut 5:22-26; 18:16
         c. Even Moses was afraid - Deut 9:19
      2. We have not come to such a mountain, that forces us to stand "afar off"

   B. IT IS MOUNT ZION (22-24)
      1. The "mountain" to which we have come is one that encourages us to "draw near"
      2. We have come to "Mount Zion"
         a. Zion was originally the stronghold of the Jebusites in
            Jerusalem that became the "city of David" - 2Sa 5:6-10; 1Ch 11:4-9
         b. The term "Zion" came to be used to refer to:
            1) The city of Jerusalem - Ps 48:2; 84:7; Am 6:1
            2) The heavenly Jerusalem where God dwells - Isa 28:16; Ps 2:6 Re 14:1
      3. In coming to "Mount Zion", we have also come to...
         a. "the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem"
            1) The heavenly city longed for by Abraham and the others - cf. He 11:10,13-16
            2) The heavenly city longed for by Christians today - cf. He 13:14
            3) The heavenly city we will one day experience - Re 3:12; 21:1-7; 22:14
            -- "This heavenly city is where our Lord dwells and is our
               eternal home. In coming to Christ we have come into the
               covenant which gives us the right to a place in that
               city." (B. W. Johnson, People's New Testament)
         b. "an innumerable company of angels"
            1) The heavenly servants of God, of which there is a great number - cf. Re 5:11
            2) Who also minister to those who will inherit salvation - He 1:14
         c. "the general assembly and church of the firstborn registered in heaven"
            1) The church in the universal sense, made up of all who are saved - Ac 2:47
            2) They are the "firstborn ones", who enjoy special privileges of their birthright
            3) Their names are in "the Book of Life" - Php 4:3; Re 3:5
         d. "God the Judge of all"
            1) The Judge of all the earth - cf. Gen 18:25
            2) He is the One to whom we must give heed, as we shall note shortly
         e. "the spirits of just men made perfect"
            1) Those who died in faith, such as the Old Testament saints - He 11:39-40
            2) Note:  They had not been made perfect apart from us, but
               now they are made perfect;  they were redeemed by the blood of Christ! - cf. He 9:15
         f. "Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant"
            1) As we've seen, He is the Mediator of "a better covenant" - He 8:6
            2) This "new covenant" is by means of His death - He 9:15
         g. "the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel"
            1) Abel still speaks through the example of his faith - He 11:4
            2) But in comparison, the blood of Jesus speaks volumes! - He 10:11-14

[In coming to Christ, being redeemed by the blood of the New Covenant,
we have drawn near to this wonderful "mountain"!  It is a place that
offers many wonderful blessings, both now and with promise for the future.

But the author's purpose is not just to review the blessings we have in
coming to this "mountain"; he is warning us:

       "See that you do not refuse Him who speaks." (He 12:25a)

To appreciate the need for his warning, let's now consider...]

II. WHY WE SHOULD HEED THE VOICE FROM THE MOUNTAIN (25-29)

   A. THOSE AT MOUNT SINAI DID NOT ESCAPE (25)
      1. We have seen from our study that...
         a. "every transgression and disobedience received a just reward" - He 2:2
         b. Those who sinned, their "corpses fell in the wilderness" - He 3:17
         c. Those who rejected Moses' law died "without mercy" - He 10: 28
      2. Thus the argument is again one of comparison, from the lesser to the greater...
         a. "How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation..." - He 2:1-4
         b. "Of how much worse punishment , do you suppose, will he be thought worthy..." - He 10:26-31
      3. As Jesus said in Lk 12:48...
         a. "For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required..."
         b. "...and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."
      -- In Christ we enjoy so much more; dare we refuse to heed Him
         who speaks, not from Mount Sinai, but from Mount Zion (i.e.,heaven itself)!

   B. THE ONE WHO SPEAKS WILL SHAKE HEAVEN AND EARTH (26-27)
      1. When God spoke at Mount Sinai, the earth trembled - Exo 19:18
      2. The day is coming when both heaven and earth will be shaken,even removed!
         a. As promised in Hag 2:6
         b. Which refers to "the removal of those things that are
            being shaken, as of things that are made" - cf. 2Pe 3:10-12
      -- Dare we refuse to heed Him who speaks with such impact?

   C. WE ARE RECEIVING A KINGDOM WHICH CANNOT BE SHAKEN (28)
      1. While everything made will one day perish, we "are receiving"
         a kingdom which cannot be shaken!
         a. Note the present tense ("are receiving")
         b. Thus we are in the process of receiving this "kingdom"
      2. It is a kingdom both present and future...
         a. In one sense, we are now "in" the kingdom - cf. Col 1:13; Re 1:9
         b. In another sense, we have yet to enter the kingdom - cf. 2Pe 1:10-11
      3. It is a kingdom...
         a. Inaugurated when Jesus ascended to sit at God's right hand on David's throne - Ac 2:30-36
         b. To be culminated when Jesus returns to deliver the kingdom to God - 1Co 15:23-26
      4. Thus it is a kingdom...
         a. "which shall never be destroyed...it shall stand forever" - Dan 2:44
         b. Of which "there will be no end" - Lk 1:33
      -- Receiving such a kingdom, dare we refuse to heed Him who speaks?

   D. THE ONE WHO SPEAKS IS "A CONSUMING FIRE" (29)
      1. We've read of a "fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries" - He 10:27
      2. We've seen "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" - He 10:31
      3. Even Jesus taught us to "fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" - Mt 10:28
      -- Dare we refuse to heed such an awesome God?

CONCLUSION

1. God has indeed spoken...
   a. He has spoken through His Son - cf. He 1:1-2
   b. He has spoken from Mount Zion, that heavenly city, the New Jerusalem...
      1) To which we have come through an obedient faith in Jesus - cf. He 5:9
      2) Where we can enjoy the fellowship of angels, the redeemed in
         heaven and on earth, and of Jesus and God Himself!
      3) Where we can enjoy a New and better covenant, based upon the
         better sacrifice of Jesus' blood!

2. But with such wonderful blessings come the responsibility of giving heed...
   a. Not to neglect our great salvation
   b. Not to refuse Him who speaks from the heavenly "mountain"

Therefore our goal should be that as expressed by the author himself:

   "...let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with
   reverence and godly fear." (He 12:28b)

With God's grace to help us (cf. He 4:14-16), we can serve Him in a
manner well-pleasing to Him.  Are you "Heeding The Voice From The Mountain"?

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Can God Do Everything? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4668


Can God Do Everything?

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Q:

Can God do everything?

A:

Both Christians and atheists generally have assumed that if the God depicted in the Bible exists, He can do anything—since He is represented as being all-powerful. However, this assumption is incorrect. The Bible does not claim that the omnipotence of God implies that He can do anything and everything. In reality, “omnipotence” by definition does not, and cannot, apply to that which does not lend itself to power. Skeptics and atheists have posed queries that they feel nullify the notion of omnipotence, thereby demonstrating the nonexistence of God. For example, “Can God create a boulder so large that He, Himself, cannot lift it?”
Separate and apart from the fact that God is not, Himself, physical, and that He created the entire physical Universe, though He is metaphysical and transcendent of the Universe, the question is a conceptual absurdity. It’s like asking, “Can God create a round square or a four-sided triangle?” No, He cannot—but not for the reasons implied by the atheist: that He does not exist or that He is not omnipotent. Rather, it is because the question is, itself, self-contradictory and incoherent. It is nonsensical terminology. Rather than saying God cannot do such things, it would be more in harmony with reality to say that such things simply cannot be done at all. God is infinite in power, but power meaningfully relates only to what can be done, to what is possible of accomplishment—not to what is impossible! It is absurd to speak of any power (even infinite power) being able to do what simply cannot be done. Logical absurdities do not lend themselves to being accomplished, and so, are not subject to power, not even to infinite power (see Warren, 1972, pp. 27ff.).
Further, to suggest that God is deficient or limited in power if He cannot create a rock so large that He cannot lift, is to imply that He could do so if He simply had more power. But this is false. Creating a rock that He, Himself, cannot lift, or creating a four-sided triangle, or making a ball that is at the same time both white all over and black all over, or creating a 90-year-old teenager, or making a car that is larger on the inside than it is on the outside—to propose such things is to affirm logical contradictions and absurdities. Such propositions do not really say anything at all. Though one can imagine logical absurdities that cannot be accomplished, they do not constitute a telling blow against the view that God is infinite in power.
So, no, the concept of “omnipotence” does not mean that there are no limits to what an omnipotent being can do. While God can do whatever is possible to be done, in reality, He will do only what is in harmony with His nature. In fact, the Bible pinpoints specific things that God cannot do. For example, the Bible states unequivocally that God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; 2 Timothy 2:13; Titus 1:2). He is a Being whose very essence entails truthfulness. Falsehood is completely out of harmony with His divine nature.
Another impossibility pertaining to God’s power is the fact that He shows no partiality or favoritism (Deuteronomy 10:17; Romans 2:11; Colossians 3:25; 1 Peter 1:17). He is “open and above board”—evenhanded—with all His creatures. He can be counted on to interact with human beings as He said He would. His treatment of us centers on our own self-chosen behavior—not on our ethnicity or skin color (Acts 10:34-35; 1 Samuel 16:7).
A third instance that qualifies the meaning of “omnipotent” is seen in God’s inability to forgive the individual who will not repent and forsake sin (Joshua 24:19; Proverbs 28:13; Matthew 6:15; 18:35; Luke 13:3,5). As great and as magnificent as the mercy and forgiveness of God are, it is impossible for Him to bestow forgiveness upon the person who does not seek that forgiveness by meeting the pre-conditions of remission. God is literally powerless to bestow forgiveness through any other avenue than the blood of Jesus and obedience to the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16; 2:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17; John 3:5).
The more one studies the Bible, examining the attributes and characteristics of the God depicted there, the more one is struck with (1) the inspiration of the Bible—since its skillful handling of such matters places it beyond the charge of successful contradiction, and (2) awe at the infinitude of God. Not one of the factors discussed in this article reflects adversely upon the reality of God’s omnipotence. But it is abundantly clear that a person may so live as to render the God of heaven incapable of coming to that person’s aid. It is imperative that every human being recognizes the need to understand His will and to conform one’s behavior to that will. It is imperative that every individual avoid placing self in the precarious position of being in need of that which God cannot do.

REFERENCE

Warren, Thomas B. (1972), Have Atheists Proved There Is No God (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).

Blind, Biased Failure to See God by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3754


Blind, Biased Failure to See God

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


The flagellum that propels bacteria has long been recognized as a marvel of engineering. Scientists know that this rotating wonder, and the assembly to which it is attached, is a tiny but powerful molecular engine. One of nature’s smallest, and yet most powerful, motors rotates at over 200 revolutions per second, driven by incredible torque. Researchers have also long been puzzled by what enables the flagellum to come to a stop, and even reverse its rotation. In recent years they have discovered that it does so using a “clutch.” The bacterium can disconnect from the flagellum by releasing a protein that disengages the clutch (“‘Clutch’ Stops...,” 2008).

In the presence of such sophistication and intelligent design, one would think that researchers would recognize divine design when they see it. Sadly, however, the massive propaganda campaign that has inundated the science departments of American schools for a half century has blinded its victims to glaring evidence. Consider the lead researcher’s analysis of the clutch discovery: “We think it’s pretty cool that evolving bacteria and human engineers arrived at a similar solution to the same problem” (“‘Clutch’ Stops...”). Really? Nonsentient, uncoordinated, chance forces of nature somehow designed and created a technologically advanced device long before sentient, intelligent human engineers designed their own version? The same researcher also observed:
“This makes a lot of sense as far as the cell is concerned.... The flagellum is a giant, very expensive structure. Often when a cell no longer needs something, it might destroy it and recycle the parts. But here, because the flagellum is so big and complex, doing that is not very cost-effective. We think the clutch prevents the flagellum from rotating when constrained by the sticky matrix of the biofilm” (“‘Clutch’ Stops...”).
Wait a minute. “Makes a lot of sense”? “Very expensive”? “Big and complex”? The verbal gymnastics that evolutionists engage in would be humorous if not so sadly serious. These are terms that demand intelligence and sentience. The evolutionists constantly allow themselves the luxury of speaking as if the myriad organisms that display incredible design and purpose somehow created themselves and then consciously tweaked themselves over millions of years to become more efficient. They regularly cut themselves slack by speaking as if a mind—a conscious, intelligent being—were orchestrating the endless stream of biological marvels that grace the planet.

So blinded by irrational commitment to an outlandish theory, evolutionists are unable to hear the evidence screaming in their ears and flashing before their eyes, and come to the only logical conclusion: such intricate, complex design demands an intelligent, superior Designer. To deny it is bias of the first order.

“Thus says the LORD.... ‘I am the LORD, who makes all things…Who turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolishness” (Isaiah 44:24-25).

REFERENCE


“‘Clutch’ Stops Flagella” (2008), Photonics Media, June 23, http://www.photonics.com/Article.aspx?AID=34236.

Blind Faith by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=444


Blind Faith

by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


A common misconception among atheists, humanists, and evolutionists is that those who reject evolution in order to hold to a fundamental, literal understanding of the biblical documents are guided by “blind faith.” Robinson articulated this position quite emphatically when he accused Christians of abandoning rationality and evidence in exchange for intellectual dishonesty and ignorance of the truth (1976, pp. 115-124). Many within the scientific community labor under the delusion that their “facts” and “evidence” are supportive of evolution and opposed to a normal, face-value understanding of the biblical text. They scoff at those who disagree with them, as if they alone have a corner on truth.
The fact of the matter is that while most of the religious world deserves the epithets hurled by the “informed” academicians, those who espouse pure, New Testament Christianity do not. New Testament Christians embrace the biblical definition of faith, in contrast to the commonly conceived understanding of faith that is promulgated by the vast majority of people in the denominational world.
The faith spoken of in the Bible is a faith that is preceded by knowledge. One cannot possess biblicalfaith in God until he or she comes to the knowledge of God. Thus, faith is not accepting what one cannot prove. Faith cannot outrun knowledge—for it is dependent upon knowledge (Romans 10:17). Abraham was said to have had faith only after he came to the knowledge of God’s promises and was fully persuaded (Romans 4:20-21). His faith, therefore, was seen in his trust and submission to what he knew to be the will of God. Biblical faith is attained only after an examination of the evidence, coupled with correct reasoning about the evidence.
The God of the Bible is a God of truth. Throughout biblical history, He has stressed the need for the acceptance of truth—in contrast with error and falsehood. Those who, in fact, fail to seek the truth are considered by God to be wicked (Jeremiah 5:1). The wise man urged: “Buy the truth, and sell it not” (Proverbs 23:23). Paul, himself an accomplished logician, exhorted people to love the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). He stated the necessity of giving diligence to the task of dealing with the truth properly (2 Timothy 2:15). Jesus declared that only by knowing the truth is one made free (John 8:32). Luke ascribed nobility to those who were willing to search for and examine the evidence, rather than being content to simply take someone’s word for the truth (Acts 17:11). Peter admonished Christians to be prepared to give a defense (1 Peter 3:15), which stands in stark contrast to those who, when questioned about proof of God, or the credibility and comprehensibility of the Bible, triumphantly reply, “I don’t know—I accept it by faith!”
Thus, the notion of “blind faith” is completely foreign to the Bible. People are called upon to have faith only after they receive adequate knowledge. In fact, the Bible demands that the thinker be rational in gathering information, examining the evidence, and reasoning properly about the evidence, thereby drawing only warranted conclusions. That, in fact, is the essentiality of what is known in philosophical circles as the basic law of rationality: one should draw only such conclusions as are justified by the evidence. Paul articulated exactly this concept when he wrote: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). John echoed the same thought when he said to “test the spirits” (1 John 4:1). These passages show that the New Testament Christian is one who stands ready to examine the issues. God expects every individual to put to the test various doctrines and beliefs, and then to reach only such conclusions as are warranted by adequate evidence. Man must not rely upon papal authorities, church traditions, or the claims of science. Rather, all people are obligated to rely upon the properly studied written directives of God (2 Timothy 2:15; John 12:48; 2 Peter 3:16). Biblical religion and modern science clash only because the majority of those within the scientific community have abandoned sound biblical hermeneutics and insist upon drawing unwarranted, erroneous conclusions from the relevant scientific evidence.
The Bible insists that evidence is abundantly available for those who will engage in unprejudiced, rational inquiry. The resurrection claim, for example, was substantiated by “many infallible proofs,” including verification through the observation of more than five hundred persons at once (Acts 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:5-8). Many proofs were made available in order to pave the way for faith (John 20:30-31). Peter offered at least four lines of evidence to those gathered in Jerusalem before he concluded his argument with “therefore…” (Acts 2:14-36). The acquisition of knowledge through empirical evidence was undeniable, for Peter concluded, “as you yourselves also know” (Acts 2:22, emp. added). John referred to the auditory, visual, and tactile evidences that provided further empirical verification (1 John 1:1-2). Christ offered “works” to corroborate His claims, so that even His enemies did not have to rely merely on His words—if they would but honestly reason to the only logical conclusion (John 10:24-25,38). The proof was of such magnitude that one Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews, even admitted: “[W]e know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (John 3:2).
Nevertheless, there are always those who, for one reason or another, refuse to accept the law of rationality, and who avoid the warranted conclusions—just like those who side-stepped the proof that Christ presented, and attributed it to Satan (Matthew 12:24). Christ countered such an erroneous conclusion by pointing out their faulty reasoning and the false implications of their argument (Matthew 12:25-27). The proof that the apostles presented was equally conclusive, though unacceptable to many (Acts 4:16).
The proof in our day is no less conclusive, nor is it any less compelling. While it is not within the purview of this brief article to prove such (see Warren and Flew, 1977; Warren and Matson, 1978), the following tenets are provable: (1) we can know (not merely think, hope, or wish) that God exists (Romans 1:19-20); (2) we can know that the Bible is the verbally inspired Word of God, and intended to be comprehended in much the same way that any written human communication is to be understood; (3) we can know that one day we will stand before God in judgment and give account for whether we have studied the Bible, learned what to do to be saved, and obeyed those instructions; and (4) we can know that we know (1 John 2:3).
By abandoning the Bible as a literal, inerrant, infallible standard by which all human behavior is to be measured, the scientist has effectively rendered biblical religion, biblical faith, and New Testament Christianity sterile—at least as far as his or her own life is concerned. Once the Bible is dismissed as “figurative,” “confusing,” or “incomprehensible,” one has opened wide the doors of subjectivity, in which every man’s view is just as good as another’s. The more sophisticated viewpoint may be more appealing, but it remains just as subjective and self-stylized.

REFERENCES

Robinson, Richard (1976), “Religion and Reason,” Critiques of God, ed. Peter A. Angeles (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus).
Warren, Thomas B. and Antony G.N. Flew (1977), The Warren-Flew Debate (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).
Warren, Thomas B. and Wallace I. Matson (1978), The Warren-Matson Debate (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).

What You Are: (Part 1) SALT By: Ben Fronczek

http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?p=1521

What You Are: (Part 1) SALT


By: Ben Fronczek
Reading: Matthew 5:1-12
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said:        
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Have you ever honestly thought about how you come across to others?
More than likely, everybody that comes in contact with you will see you differently. Some will like what they see in you and your personality, and you will probably irritate others to different degrees. Some won’t even want to be in your presence.
But you know, I’ve learned as I’m sure you have, that you can’t please everybody, and really that’s not what our life should be all about. Rather, the most important thing should be our desire to please God. Because when it’s all said and done, how God looks at us is what really matters in the end.
In the Sermon on the MT. Jesus talked about how to be truly blessed and find real happiness. No it’s not about how much you have in the bank or how big your house is, or even how much we own; those things don’t bless our soul or provide lasting happiness or contentment deep down in our spirit.
Rather Jesus said that we will have a blessed life and find real contentment if we change some of our attitudes, and priorities.
– He said we will be more happy and blessed if we become humble, if we are poor in spirit. Why? Because we become teachable, sensitive, and more adaptable, rather than being a hard headed know it all.
– He also said that we will be happier if we are of the disposition to mourn or grieve, especially when we sin or do what isn’t right, because that’s the first step in being comforted.
– He also said we will be happier if we have a gentle or meek disposition rather that than one that is harsh, or mean.
– Next He said that we will be happier or blessed if we hunger and thirst after doing what is good and right, especially if it is pleasing to God.
– He said we will be happier, even blessed if we willing to show mercy to others rather that vengeance.
– Life will also be blessed if we choose to become pure in heart.
– And, doing our best to be a peace maker will also bless our lives and help us to find real happiness. In doing so we will be recognize as God sons and daughters.
– Even persecution for doing what is right, persecution for trying to be a good Christian will provide a blessing and give us more joy than distress; because in our gut we know we are doing what’s right and in God’s eyes. In doing so, you will be like the prophets of old, even like Jesus Himself who was persecuted because they were good and trying to do what was right in God’s sight.
And so this leads me back to my original question; how do you think you come across to others? Because if you are truly attempting to be a good Christian, the more you apply these Be-attitudes the more your life will have an impact on others.
I would like to begin a new series of lessons called, WHAT YOU ARE.  I’d like to talk about what we are called or referred to as Christians in the Bible. In doing so I hope it will open your eyes as to how important you are and maybe I can help you become more aware of the role and responsibilities that may be laid out for you and me as we live out our life as a Christian.
Here in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus has a lot of important things to say, including how blessed it will be if we have the right attitude and how we can be have a tremendous impact on others. Listen to what Jesus has to say next in Matthew, verses 5:13-16.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”  
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Jesus is letting us know that if we choose to try to live this blessed life that He has been talking about, then by nature we are going to be like salt and light in this world, in our communities, even in our own households.
So first of all we are called or referred to as Salt.
Salt is an interesting mineral. I’m told that one of the saltiest products on the McDonald’s menu is not the fries, but the milk shakes because salt makes a sweet thing taste sweeter.
How important is salt? Here are just a few fun facts about salt:
– 200 million tons are required each year to fill our needs. (That’s like 13.4 million Dump trucks full fo salt)
– In ancient Greece, the exchange of salt for slaves gave rise to the expression, “…not worth his salt.”
– Special salt rations were given to Roman soldiers which were known as “Solarium Argentums” the forerunner of the English word “Salary.”
– The word salad literally means “salted”, and comes from the ancient Roman practice of salting leaf vegetables.                                                                            
– Thousands of Napoleon’s troops died during his retreat from Moscow because their wounds would not heal from lack of salt.
– The human body contains about 240 g or 4oz. of salt. Our body doesn’t store it like sugar, therefore we need a constant supply of it in small doses  (3 to 5 g/day) to remain healthy. Without enough of it, our nervous system will not work properly, muscles won’t contract, blood won’t circulate, food won’t digest and the heart won’t beat. Salt helps regulate a proper balance of water in our body. Without a doubt, salt is important for life.
Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth…”
Some uses of Salt In Bible times salt was gathered in Palestine from along the seashore or inland lakes.
1. IT WAS USED AS SEASONING: In Bible times and still today, salt is used for seasoning our food. Salt seems to enhance or bring out the flavor of what we are eating. Even though small amount of it is hardly noticeable to the eye it makes a difference when applied. In the Bible, Salt was also used to flavor the offerings and sacrifices (Lev. 2:13, Ez.43:24)
2. Preservative: For thousands of years it has been used to preserve food. They did not have the refrigeration systems that we have today and so meat and fish were salted and dried to preserve them. You can also pickle vegetables with salt. Salt was also used in Egypt in the process of mummifying their rulers.
3. Salt has healing properties Salt water helps to kill bacteria and prevent infection. From saline solution to clean out eyes and flush sinuses, salt has been used in many ways to heal and give comfort to the body. But in a bad wound salt can sting or burn as it goes to work healing.
4. It was also used as Symbol of Friendship: Salt was seen as a covenant relationship. In Numbers 18:19 Moses wrote, “It is a covenant of salt forever before the Lord with you and your descendants with you.”      So salt also represented a relationship of trust.
5. Salt was so valued it was also used as currency and for trade.
In some places and at different times salt was traded ounce for ounce for gold because it was so precious and important.
So what did Jesus mean by this statement, that we are salt?            
I believe it refers to the silent workings of a Christian in the lives of others as come in contact with them. It is the influence we should have on others; to season, sweeten, and preserve and promote healing for eternal life.
Christ is saying let your influence season the life of others for the kingdom. Salt changes things. A wholesome Christian life should influence or change the lives of others on a spiritual level.
But like someone has said, “Salt is no good if it never leaves the salt shaker, it is only a decoration on the kitchen table.”
– We deny the function of the salt when we fail to be salt and get out there and act like a Christian by being kind, merciful, and like a peacemaker.
– We deny the salt function when we fail to mingle with people that are lost with the purpose in mind to have a positive effect on them.
And by not doing this or acting like we should we deny what Jesus expects of us. As Christians we are not to draw away from society, but rather season it. We are no longer of the world, but we live in it. And if we as Salt don’t rub against those who have no flavor, or those who have wounds of sin, and are perishing, who will?
 One of the interesting things about salt is that when it’s used, it loses itself, it disappears. You don’t see salt in your food because after it makes its contribution it disappears. When it is used in various chemical processes, it dissipates after fulfilling its purpose. Salt used on a icy highways makes winter travel safe as it disappears.
In the same way, being a salty Christian, or in being the salt of the earth, one should not hesitate to give of themselves without the need to be seen.
Jesus said, “You are the salt” He didn’t say, ‘You might be, you ought to be.’ No, you are the salt! We are either the salty or not. And if we aren’t He goes on to say that we are no longer good for anything and should be thrown out.
Today I’m here to remind you that you are Salt!
Whether you want to or not, you have an effect on others.
– You can be the one helping to heal, or the one hurting others.
– You can either build others up, or tear them down.
– You can either encourage, or discourage.
– You can either helps someone, or hinder them from moving forward.
– You can either impress them by Christ-like behavior, or repulse them by your selfish behavior and discredit Christianity and the church by doing so.
I’m sure by now you getting the idea!
So what do you think, what kind of effect are you having on others?      Rather than making you feel guilty about what you have done in the past,     I want to encourage you with the reality that the past is the past but the future holds many new opportunities to be salt in the lives of others.
As we take on the character of salt, one of two things is going to happen as you interact with others:
(1) Our conduct will help to melt cold hearts of others, and like with some foods, our salt may enhance them, maybe even make them sweeter, or
(2) Like salt in an open wound, that can sting, you may even cause some pain. Maybe you are feeling that sting from God’s word today. And Rather than melting and seasoning someone’s heart, some may get up-set and turn on you. Jesus lets us know that they may even persecute you.
But remember, if they mock us because of our Godly behavior, they mock the things of God. In truth they are rejecting Him.
So my encouragement this day is to act as Jesus would have you act, and may your influence be like salt.
For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566
All comments can be emailed to: bfronzek@gmail.com

Sealed by the Spirit by T. Pierce Brown

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

Sealed by the Spirit

In 2 Cor. 1:21-22, we read, "Now he that established us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God; who also sealed us, and gave us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." In Eph. 1:13-14, we read, "in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation, -- in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is an earnest of our inheritance, unto the redemption of God's own possession, unto the praise of his glory." Ephesians 4:30 says, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption."
Calvinistic theologians take these passages to mean that one who has ever believed in the Lord is at that moment granted salvation from sin and its punishment, and that salvation is secured so that there is no possibility of it being lost, for he is "sealed and secured" by God and given a pledge that he can never be lost. It is often styled "eternal security of the believer," or "impossibility of apostasy."
We would have no argument with the idea of the eternal security of the believer if those who use the terms would use them as God does. That is, a "believer" is a faithful child of God who is "walking in the light, as He is in the light (1 Jn. 1:7), a sheep in the fold of Christ who is "hearing the voice of Jesus and following Him" (John 10:27-28). We contend that all the powers of evil on earth or in hell cannot cause a person to be lost who is following the voice of Jesus and doing His will. He has "eternal security." The questions, however, are: May a person who is a believer ever fall away from the faith or cease to be a believer? May a person's love for Christ grow cold? (Mt. 24:12). A person who was a 'goat' ceased to be a goat and became a sheep. May a person cease to be a sheep, and leave the fold? When we consider all the Bible warnings, we know that he can. So, in order to better understand the idea of being "sealed" and having an "earnest of the Spirit," let us examine those terms and see their meaning more completely.
There is little doubt that the term "earnest," from the Greek "arrabon" originally referred to what we call "earnest money" deposited by a purchaser as a down payment, and to be forfeited if the purchase was not complete, or the agreement broken. In the New Testament it is suggested that the Holy Spirit is given to a Christian as a divine pledge or down payment on the future blessings that God has in store for us.
Surely every Christian is at least dimly aware that every spiritual blessing he now has in Christ is but a foretaste, a sort of "down payment," of the life and blessings God has reserved in heaven for us "who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation reserved in heaven for us, ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Pet. 1:4-5). Note that we are kept by the power of God, but it is through faith. The basic question with which we are dealing is, "Once the earnest money was given, did it necessarily follow that the thing purchased was unconditionally guaranteed?" The answer should be apparent whether one looks at any purchase today, or how the term applied in either the Old Testament or the New. There were and are terms of any contract, will or covenant. If one party does not abide by the terms, the earnest money that was put down is forfeit. Anyone who ever put up "earnest money" to buy a house may have discovered that.
1 John 3:23-24 is one among many passages that teach that abiding in Christ is dependent upon keeping His commandments. If we grieve the Spirit (Eph. 4:30, quench the Spirit (1 Thes. 5:19), do despite to the Spirit (Heb. 10:29), then we may break the contract or the relationship that existed when the earnest was given. 
Now let us examine briefly what is meant by the "seal." The noun "sphragio" and the verb, "sphragizo" are used in various ways to indicate ownership, security, authentication, etc., in a way that is very similar to how we use the word "seal" in the English language. We seal a letter by moistening the glue. A notary puts his seal on a document to attest to the fact that the party or parties involved actually gave the testimony indicated, or that the signatures are valid. When the tomb of Jesus was sealed (Mt. 27:66), it was for the purpose of fixing it so the body could not easily be removed. It was not meant to be broken, but note carefully that although it was not meant to be broken, it was. When we seal a letter, it is not meant to be opened before it gets to its destination, but it can be. When a notary puts his seal on an agreement, the agreement is not supposed to be broken, but it can be. 
When God gives the Holy Spirit to His children as an authentication that He has bought us, and we belong to Him, that seals an agreement that we have made with Him that we accept the authority of Jesus as Lord, and belong to Him forever. That in no way implies that we cannot break that agreement, and be unfaithful. When Abraham received "the sign of circumcision, as a seal of the righteousness of faith which he had" (Rom. 4:11) God was attesting to the fact that Abraham and his descendants who kept the ritual properly, and obeyed the law would be His special people. It did NOT signify that they could not break His covenant, be disobedient and be cut off from the blessings promised. Surely no person who reads the history of Israel could logically conclude otherwise.
To summarize: God has put His "stamp of approval" (seal) on us as His children by giving us His Spirit (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16). If we demonstrate that we are His by producing the fruit of the Spirit, then this seal shows that we are owned by Him and are under His protection and authority. We may fail to do that, "break the seal" and be lost. Even in the context of Ephesians 4:30-32 when Paul says we are sealed unto the day of redemption, he warns us not to grieve the Holy Spirit, and to be kind and forgiving. Jesus said that God will not forgive us if we do not forgive others (Mt. 6:14-18). So we must conclude that though He has sealed us with the Spirit, and the Lord knows who are His (2 Tim. 2:19), if we do not depart from unrighteousness we will be lost, or as we might put it, the seal will be broken.
The Holy Spirit is both an earnest (a foretaste of what God has in store for us) and a seal, but those terms do not refer to the same function or purpose, for the Holy Spirit as a seal is showing that we belong to Him and are under His authority and care, and the Holy Spirit as an earnest is to give us an idea of what we shall have as a result of belonging to Him.
T. Pierce Brown

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

Bible Reading March 1-3 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading  March 1-3

World  English Bible

Mar.1
Exodus 11

Exo 11:1 Yahweh said to Moses, "Yet one plague more will I bring on Pharaoh, and on Egypt; afterwards he will let you go. When he lets you go, he will surely thrust you out altogether.
Exo 11:2 Speak now in the ears of the people, and let them ask every man of his neighbor, and every woman of her neighbor, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold."
Exo 11:3 Yahweh gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians. Moreover the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's servants, and in the sight of the people.
Exo 11:4 Moses said, "This is what Yahweh says: 'About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt,
Exo 11:5 and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of livestock.
Exo 11:6 There shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there has not been, nor shall be any more.
Exo 11:7 But against any of the children of Israel a dog won't even bark or move its tongue, against man or animal; that you may know that Yahweh makes a distinction between the Egyptians and Israel.
Exo 11:8 All these your servants shall come down to me, and bow down themselves to me, saying, "Get out, with all the people who follow you;" and after that I will go out.' " He went out from Pharaoh in hot anger.
Exo 11:9 Yahweh said to Moses, "Pharaoh won't listen to you, that my wonders may be multiplied in the land of Egypt."
Exo 11:10 Moses and Aaron did all these wonders before Pharaoh, and Yahweh hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he didn't let the children of Israel go out of his land.

Mar. 2
Exodus 12

Exo 12:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,
Exo 12:2 "This month shall be to you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year to you.
Exo 12:3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, 'On the tenth day of this month, they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household;
Exo 12:4 and if the household is too little for a lamb, then he and his neighbor next to his house shall take one according to the number of the souls; according to what everyone can eat you shall make your count for the lamb.
Exo 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You shall take it from the sheep, or from the goats:
Exo 12:6 and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at evening.
Exo 12:7 They shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel, on the houses in which they shall eat it.
Exo 12:8 They shall eat the flesh in that night, roasted with fire, and unleavened bread. They shall eat it with bitter herbs.
Exo 12:9 Don't eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted with fire; with its head, its legs and its inner parts.
Exo 12:10 You shall let nothing of it remain until the morning; but that which remains of it until the morning you shall burn with fire.
Exo 12:11 This is how you shall eat it: with your waist girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste: it is Yahweh's Passover.
Exo 12:12 For I will go through the land of Egypt in that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and animal. Against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am Yahweh.
Exo 12:13 The blood shall be to you for a token on the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and there shall no plague be on you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt.
Exo 12:14 This day shall be to you for a memorial, and you shall keep it a feast to Yahweh: throughout your generations you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance forever.
Exo 12:15 " 'Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; even the first day you shall put away yeast out of your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day, that soul shall be cut off from Israel.
Exo 12:16 In the first day there shall be to you a holy convocation, and in the seventh day a holy convocation; no manner of work shall be done in them, except that which every man must eat, that only may be done by you.
Exo 12:17 You shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this same day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations by an ordinance forever.
Exo 12:18 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty first day of the month at evening.
Exo 12:19 Seven days shall there be no yeast found in your houses, for whoever eats that which is leavened, that soul shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he be a foreigner, or one who is born in the land.
Exo 12:20 You shall eat nothing leavened. In all your habitations you shall eat unleavened bread.' "
Exo 12:21 Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said to them, "Draw out, and take lambs according to your families, and kill the Passover.
Exo 12:22 You shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood that is in the basin; and none of you shall go out of the door of his house until the morning.
Exo 12:23 For Yahweh will pass through to strike the Egyptians; and when he sees the blood on the lintel, and on the two doorposts, Yahweh will pass over the door, and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to strike you.
Exo 12:24 You shall observe this thing for an ordinance to you and to your sons forever.
Exo 12:25 It shall happen when you have come to the land which Yahweh will give you, according as he has promised, that you shall keep this service.
Exo 12:26 It will happen, when your children ask you, 'What do you mean by this service?'
Exo 12:27 that you shall say, 'It is the sacrifice of Yahweh's Passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians, and spared our houses.' " The people bowed their heads and worshiped.
Exo 12:28 The children of Israel went and did so; as Yahweh had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
Exo 12:29 It happened at midnight, that Yahweh struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of livestock.
Exo 12:30 Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead.
Exo 12:31 He called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, "Rise up, get out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel; and go, serve Yahweh, as you have said!
Exo 12:32 Take both your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also!"
Exo 12:33 The Egyptians were urgent with the people, to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, "We are all dead men."
Exo 12:34 The people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading troughs being bound up in their clothes on their shoulders.
Exo 12:35 The children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they asked of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing.
Exo 12:36 Yahweh gave the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. They despoiled the Egyptians.
Exo 12:37 The children of Israel traveled from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on foot who were men, besides children.
Exo 12:38 A mixed multitude went up also with them, with flocks, herds, and even very much livestock.
Exo 12:39 They baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt; for it wasn't leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt, and couldn't wait, neither had they prepared for themselves any food.
Exo 12:40 Now the time that the children of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred thirty years.
Exo 12:41 It happened at the end of four hundred thirty years, even the same day it happened, that all the armies of Yahweh went out from the land of Egypt.
Exo 12:42 It is a night to be much observed to Yahweh for bringing them out from the land of Egypt. This is that night of Yahweh, to be much observed of all the children of Israel throughout their generations.
Exo 12:43 Yahweh said to Moses and Aaron, "This is the ordinance of the Passover. There shall no foreigner eat of it,
Exo 12:44 but every man's servant who is bought for money, when you have circumcised him, then shall he eat of it.
Exo 12:45 A foreigner and a hired servant shall not eat of it.
Exo 12:46 In one house shall it be eaten; you shall not carry forth anything of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall you break a bone of it.
Exo 12:47 All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.
Exo 12:48 When a stranger shall live as a foreigner with you, and will keep the Passover to Yahweh, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one who is born in the land: but no uncircumcised person shall eat of it.
Exo 12:49 One law shall be to him who is born at home, and to the stranger who lives as a foreigner among you."
Exo 12:50 All the children of Israel did so. As Yahweh commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
Exo 12:51 It happened the same day, that Yahweh brought the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies.

Mar. 3
Exodus 13

Exo 13:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Exo 13:2 "Sanctify to me all of the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of animal. It is mine."
Exo 13:3 Moses said to the people, "Remember this day, in which you came out from Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand Yahweh brought you out from this place. No leavened bread shall be eaten.
Exo 13:4 This day you go forth in the month Abib.
Exo 13:5 It shall be, when Yahweh shall bring you into the land of the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Amorite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite, which he swore to your fathers to give you, a land flowing with milk and honey, that you shall keep this service in this month.
Exo 13:6 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh day shall be a feast to Yahweh.
Exo 13:7 Unleavened bread shall be eaten throughout the seven days; and no leavened bread shall be seen with you, neither shall there be yeast seen with you, in all your borders.
Exo 13:8 You shall tell your son in that day, saying, 'It is because of that which Yahweh did for me when I came forth out of Egypt.'
Exo 13:9 It shall be for a sign to you on your hand, and for a memorial between your eyes, that the law of Yahweh may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand Yahweh has brought you out of Egypt.
Exo 13:10 You shall therefore keep this ordinance in its season from year to year.
Exo 13:11 "It shall be, when Yahweh shall bring you into the land of the Canaanite, as he swore to you and to your fathers, and shall give it you,
Exo 13:12 that you shall set apart to Yahweh all that opens the womb, and every firstborn which you have that comes from an animal. The males shall be Yahweh's.
Exo 13:13 Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and you shall redeem all the firstborn of man among your sons.
Exo 13:14 It shall be, when your son asks you in time to come, saying, 'What is this?' that you shall tell him, 'By strength of hand Yahweh brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage;
Exo 13:15 and it happened, when Pharaoh would hardly let us go, that Yahweh killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of animal. Therefore I sacrifice to Yahweh all that opens the womb, being males; but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.'
Exo 13:16 It shall be for a sign on your hand, and for symbols between your eyes: for by strength of hand Yahweh brought us forth out of Egypt."
Exo 13:17 It happened, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God didn't lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, "Lest perhaps the people change their minds when they see war, and they return to Egypt;"
Exo 13:18 but God led the people around by the way of the wilderness by the Red Sea; and the children of Israel went up armed out of the land of Egypt.
Exo 13:19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had made the children of Israel swear, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones away from here with you."
Exo 13:20 They took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.
Exo 13:21 Yahweh went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them on their way, and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light, that they might go by day and by night:

Exo 13:22 the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, didn't depart from before the people.

Mar.1, 2
Mark 3

Mar 3:1 He entered again into the synagogue, and there was a man there who had his hand withered.
Mar 3:2 They watched him, whether he would heal him on the Sabbath day, that they might accuse him.
Mar 3:3 He said to the man who had his hand withered, "Stand up."
Mar 3:4 He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do harm? To save a life, or to kill?" But they were silent.
Mar 3:5 When he had looked around at them with anger, being grieved at the hardening of their hearts, he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored as healthy as the other.
Mar 3:6 The Pharisees went out, and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.
Mar 3:7 Jesus withdrew to the sea with his disciples, and a great multitude followed him from Galilee, from Judea,
Mar 3:8 from Jerusalem, from Idumaea, beyond the Jordan, and those from around Tyre and Sidon. A great multitude, hearing what great things he did, came to him.
Mar 3:9 He spoke to his disciples that a little boat should stay near him because of the crowd, so that they wouldn't press on him.
Mar 3:10 For he had healed many, so that as many as had diseases pressed on him that they might touch him.
Mar 3:11 The unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, "You are the Son of God!"
Mar 3:12 He sternly warned them that they should not make him known.
Mar 3:13 He went up into the mountain, and called to himself those whom he wanted, and they went to him.
Mar 3:14 He appointed twelve, that they might be with him, and that he might send them out to preach,
Mar 3:15 and to have authority to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons:
Mar 3:16 Simon, to whom he gave the name Peter;
Mar 3:17 James the son of Zebedee; John, the brother of James, and he surnamed them Boanerges, which means, Sons of Thunder;
Mar 3:18 Andrew; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James, the son of Alphaeus; Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot;
Mar 3:19 and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him. He came into a house.
Mar 3:20 The multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
Mar 3:21 When his friends heard it, they went out to seize him: for they said, "He is insane."
Mar 3:22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebul," and, "By the prince of the demons he casts out the demons."
Mar 3:23 He summoned them, and said to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan?
Mar 3:24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
Mar 3:25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
Mar 3:26 If Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he can't stand, but has an end.
Mar 3:27 But no one can enter into the house of the strong man to plunder, unless he first binds the strong man; and then he will plunder his house.
Mar 3:28 Most certainly I tell you, all sins of the descendants of man will be forgiven, including their blasphemies with which they may blaspheme;
Mar 3:29 but whoever may blaspheme against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"
Mar 3:30 -because they said, "He has an unclean spirit."
Mar 3:31 His mother and his brothers came, and standing outside, they sent to him, calling him.
Mar 3:32 A multitude was sitting around him, and they told him, "Behold, your mother, your brothers, and your sisters are outside looking for you."
Mar 3:33 He answered them, "Who are my mother and my brothers?"
Mar 3:34 Looking around at those who sat around him, he said, "Behold, my mother and my brothers!
Mar 3:35 For whoever does the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother."

Mar. 3
Mark 4

Mar 4:1 Again he began to teach by the seaside. A great multitude was gathered to him, so that he entered into a boat in the sea, and sat down. All the multitude were on the land by the sea.
Mar 4:2 He taught them many things in parables, and told them in his teaching,
Mar 4:3 "Listen! Behold, the farmer went out to sow,
Mar 4:4 and it happened, as he sowed, some seed fell by the road, and the birds came and devoured it.
Mar 4:5 Others fell on the rocky ground, where it had little soil, and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of soil.
Mar 4:6 When the sun had risen, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
Mar 4:7 Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
Mar 4:8 Others fell into the good ground, and yielded fruit, growing up and increasing. Some brought forth thirty times, some sixty times, and some one hundred times as much."
Mar 4:9 He said, "Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear."
Mar 4:10 When he was alone, those who were around him with the twelve asked him about the parables.
Mar 4:11 He said to them, "To you is given the mystery of the Kingdom of God, but to those who are outside, all things are done in parables,
Mar 4:12 that 'seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest perhaps they should turn again, and their sins should be forgiven them.' "
Mar 4:13 He said to them, "Don't you understand this parable? How will you understand all of the parables?
Mar 4:14 The farmer sows the word.
Mar 4:15 The ones by the road are the ones where the word is sown; and when they have heard, immediately Satan comes, and takes away the word which has been sown in them.
Mar 4:16 These in like manner are those who are sown on the rocky places, who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with joy.
Mar 4:17 They have no root in themselves, but are short-lived. When oppression or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they stumble.
Mar 4:18 Others are those who are sown among the thorns. These are those who have heard the word,
Mar 4:19 and the cares of this age, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.
Mar 4:20 Those which were sown on the good ground are those who hear the word, and accept it, and bear fruit, some thirty times, some sixty times, and some one hundred times."
Mar 4:21 He said to them, "Is the lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn't it put on a stand?
Mar 4:22 For there is nothing hidden, except that it should be made known; neither was anything made secret, but that it should come to light.
Mar 4:23 If any man has ears to hear, let him hear."
Mar 4:24 He said to them, "Take heed what you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you, and more will be given to you who hear.
Mar 4:25 For whoever has, to him will more be given, and he who doesn't have, even that which he has will be taken away from him."
Mar 4:26 He said, "The Kingdom of God is as if a man should cast seed on the earth,
Mar 4:27 and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should spring up and grow, he doesn't know how.
Mar 4:28 For the earth bears fruit: first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
Mar 4:29 But when the fruit is ripe, immediately he puts forth the sickle, because the harvest has come."
Mar 4:30 He said, "How will we liken the Kingdom of God? Or with what parable will we illustrate it?
Mar 4:31 It's like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, though it is less than all the seeds that are on the earth,
Mar 4:32 yet when it is sown, grows up, and becomes greater than all the herbs, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of the sky can lodge under its shadow."
Mar 4:33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it.
Mar 4:34 Without a parable he didn't speak to them; but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.
Mar 4:35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let's go over to the other side."
Mar 4:36 Leaving the multitude, they took him with them, even as he was, in the boat. Other small boats were also with him.
Mar 4:37 A big wind storm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so much that the boat was already filled.
Mar 4:38 He himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up, and told him, "Teacher, don't you care that we are dying?"
Mar 4:39 He awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace! Be still!" The wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Mar 4:40 He said to them, "Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith?"
Mar 4:41 They were greatly afraid, and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"