11/6/19

"THE BOOK OF PROVERBS" Wisdom's Plea To Be Heard (8:1-36) by Mark Copeland


"THE BOOK OF PROVERBS"
Wisdom's Plea To Be Heard (8:1-36)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our previous study, we found warnings against the immoral woman...
   a. Who seduces with her beauty and flattery - Pr 6:24-25
   b. Who in the open square lurks at every corner - Pr 7:12

2. In the eighth chapter, we once again find wisdom personified as a
   woman...
   a. Similar to what we read earlier in these discourses - Pr 1:20-23
   b. Who cries out to be heard by the sons of men - Pr 8:3-4

[What does she have to say?  Why should we listen to her?  Let's study
the eighth chapter of Proverbs to found out, beginning with...]

I. THE PLEA OF WISDOM (8:1-11)

   A. SHE DESIRES TO BE HEARD...
      1. By crying out, lifting up her voice - Pr 8:1
      2. Not lurking in the corner (cf. Pr 7:12), but openly:
         a. On the top of the hill, beside the way, where paths meet
            - Pr 8:2
         b. By the gates, at the entry of the city - Pr 8:3

   B. SHE DESIRES TO BE HEARD BY ALL...
      1. By the sons of men - Pr 8:4
      2. By the simple ones and fools - Pr 8:5

   C. SHE DESIRES TO IMPART GREAT THINGS...
      1. Excellent things, right things - Pr 8:6
      2. Words of truth and righteousness - Pr 8:7-8
      3. Things that are plain and right - Pr 8:9
      4. That which is better than silver, gold, rubies, and all that
         can be desired - Pr 8:10-11

[So wisdom is crying out to be heard by everyone, to share things of
great value.  Will we listen to her?  To encourage us to do so, read
further what she says about...]

II. THE VALUE OF WISDOM (8:12-21)

   A. SEEN IN WHAT SHE POSSESSES...
      1. Prudence, knowledge and discretion - Pr 8:12
      2. The fear of the Lord, prompting her to hate pride, evil, and
         the perverse mouth - Pr 8:13
      3. Counsel and sound wisdom, understanding and strength - Pr 8:14

   B. SEEN IN WHAT SHE GIVES...
      1. To kings, princes, nobles, and justices, the ability to rule
         with justice - Pr 8:15-16
      2. To all who love her, riches, honor, righteousness, justice, and
         wealth - Pr 8:17-21

[Doesn't the value of wisdom make us want to hear her?  To help us
appreciate the value of wisdom even more, we next read of...]

III. THE POSSESSION OF WISDOM (8:22-31)

   A. BY THE LORD BEFORE THE CREATION...
      1. At the beginning of His way, before His works - Pr 8:22
      2. From everlasting, before there was an earth - Pr 8:23
      3. Before there were depths of water, or mountains and hills - Pro
         8:24-25
      4. Before the earth was created, before the primal dust of the
         world - Pr 8:26

   B. BY THE LORD IN HIS ACTS OF CREATION...
      1. When He prepared the heavens - Pr 8:27a
      2. When He created the world - Pr 8:27b-29
      3. She was beside Him as a master craftsman, rejoicing in His
         creation - Pr 8:30-31

[The wisdom utilized by God in the creation of the heavens and earth is
the voice crying out for us to hear!  If we have ears to hear, shall we
not hear?   Finally, we hear wisdom speak of...]

IV. THE BLESSEDNESS OF WISDOM (8:32-36)

   A. FOR THOSE WILLING TO KEEP HER WAYS...
      1. They are blessed - Pr 8:32
      2. So hear her instruction and be wise, do not disdain it - Pro
         8:33

   B. FOR THOSE WILLING TO LISTEN INTENTLY...
      1. They are blessed - Pr 8:34a
      2. As they watch daily and wait - Pr 8:34b
      3. They find life and obtain favor from the Lord - Pr 8:35
      4. Unlike one who sins against her (he wrongs his own soul - Pro
         8:36a
      5. Unlike those who hate her (they love death) - Pr 8:36b

CONCLUSION

1. So wisdom cries out to be heard...
   a. To share understanding and knowledge, truth and righteousness
   b. To bless our lives with riches and honor, especially that offered
      by the Lord

2. To whom shall we hearken...?
   a. To the woman lurking in the corners, whose house is the way to
      hell? - Pr 7:27
   b. Or the woman standing on the top of the high hill, and by the open
      gates? - Pr 8:1-3

The answer should be obvious...

   "Blessed is the man who listens to me (wisdom), Watching daily
   at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds
   me finds life, And obtains favor from the LORD;"
                                                - Pr 8:34-35


Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016
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Megiddo: Lesson from "A Thousand Towns" by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.




Megiddo: Lesson from "A Thousand Towns"

by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.


A MapFor many hundreds of years, the balance of power in the Ancient Near East pivoted on a few square miles of the rugged Carmel Range. Practically speaking, anyone traveling from Egypt in the south, to Anatolia, Assyria and Babylonia in the north and northeast, had to skirt Mount Carmel or negotiate one of the three passes through the range. Of these, the most direct route went through the narrow middle valley, which opened at its northeastern end on the town of Megiddo and the fertile Jezreel Valley.
Megiddo’s exceptional location made it a site of conflict for the major and minor powers of the region. While Canaanite culture dominated Megiddo from the twentieth through twelfth centuries B.C., Egyptians, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians and others had their turn at occupation. About sixteen historical battles were fought in or near the city over a period of 2,500 years before Christ. A hill rose from the plain as new cities built on the remains of the old. It is no wonder that the book of Revelation uses the hill of Megiddo (harmagedon, incorrectly transliterated “Armageddon” in some versions) to symbolize the spiritual war between forces of good and evil.

MAJOR EVENTS AT MEGIDDO

Archaeologists have dated one of the earliest recorded conflicts to 1469 B.C., based on a fascinating inscription from the Temple of Amun at Karnak. The record describes how Pharaoh Thutmose III (1490-1436 B.C.) marched his army up the middle valley, thus outguessing the Canaanite forces, which were waiting in the northern and southern passes. Enemy chariotry rushed to meet the emerging Egyptians, but Thutmose defeated them near Megiddo. However, he delayed his attack on the city, and had to lay siege for seven months before finally capturing Megiddo and putting it under Egyptian control. Campaign records repeatedly state: “The capture of Megiddo is the capture of a thousand towns.”
The first biblical reference to Megiddo comes around seventy years later. Joshua 12:21 lists the city’s king among those whom “Joshua and the children of Israel smote on this side Jordan on the west” (12:7). Yet the victory was incomplete. A few chapters later we read that the tribe of Manasseh, whose allotment included Megiddo, “could not drive out the inhabitants of those cities” (17:12). When the Israelites held the advantage, however, they exacted tribute from their beleaguered neighbors (17:13; see also Judges 1:27-28). Another two hundred years passed before Israel, led by Barak and Deborah, scored a definitive military victory in the Megiddo area (Judges 5:19). By the middle of the ninth century B.C., Megiddo had become an important administrative center in Solomon’s kingdom (e.g., I Kings 4:12; 9:15).
Israel’s glory soon dissipated with the dividing of his kingdom. Around 925 B.C.—barely five years after Solomon’s death—Pharaoh Shishak I reestablished Egyptian rule over Palestine. He looted the temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 14:25-26) and then, according to an inscription at Karnak, turned north to conquer several cities, including Megiddo. This renewed a great tug of war between the superpowers. Assyria annexed Megiddo and the surrounding areas in the late eighth century, and deported many of its people to distant lands (2 Kings 17:1-6). But Assyrian power gradually declined, and in 609 B.C. Pharaoh Necho II marched northward to aid them against the rising Babylonians. Despite a warning from God, via Necho, to stay out of the fray (2 Chronicles 35:22), King Josiah of Judah attacked the Egyptians near Megiddo. The ill-advised attempt ended in failure and Josiah’s death (2 Chronicles 25:23-24). Sadly, this brought an end to his religious reforms, and the beginning of the end for Judah.

RECONCILING STONES AND SCRIPTURES

Despite the rich record of Megiddo in the Bible and in other ancient records, almost every aspect of the archaeological evidence is open to debate. Finkelstein and Ussishkin (1994), who are beginning a new exploration of Megiddo, hope to shed light on these issues. For example, they believe that a six-chambered “Solomonic gate” did not appear in Solomon’s time, although they see plenty of other evidence for Solomon’s building program (1 Kings 9:15). They hope also to investigate structures named “Solomon’s stables,” which some workers say were neither Solomon’s nor stables (see discussion by Currid, 1992). Others suspect that a fresh sifting of the rubble will reveal stables from Solomon’s era (Davies, 1994). While their existence would suggest that Megiddo was one of the king’s “cities for chariots, and cities for horseman” (1 Kings 9:19), the Bible nowhere states that Solomon built stables at this site.
Other questions are more serious. For example, in speaking of a mysterious destruction level in the late thirteenth century, Finkelstein and Ussishkin dismiss the idea that this had anything to do with the Israelites (1994, 20[1]:40). “Incidentally,” they add, “the Bible gives no indication that Megiddo was conquered by the Israelites at this early period.” What they have in mind, of course, is the now-popular idea that the events of Joshua occurred much later than 1406 B.C. (contrary to the view of most conservative scholars). Hence, because the Bible admits that the Israelites failed to occupy Megiddo, and because the city experienced a major conflict in the late thirteenth century, then the invading Israelites cannot be responsible. However, if we begin with an earlier date for the conquest, then this destruction layer falls around the time of Barak and Deborah’s campaign. Although Scripture says nothing about their razing of the city, archaeological evidence is not inconsistent with conservative chronology.
What is interesting in this analysis is that seemingly trustworthy extrabiblical records also challenge the conclusions of archaeology. For example, Finkelstein and Ussishkin state that the Karnak account of Thutmose III’s campaign possesses “a dramatic reality” (20[1]:31). However, Megiddo shows no signs of destruction in 1469 B.C., and no signs of a city wall to resist the pharaoh’s seven-month siege. Similarly, the signs of destruction are minimal or nonexistent around 925 B.C. when, according to another Karnak inscription, Shishak should have conquered Megiddo. In this case, however, archaeologists have found a stele at Megiddo honoring Shishak, which prompts Finkelstein and Ussishkin to suggest that the pharaoh conquered the city without destroying it (20[1]:43).

CONCLUSION

With a basic trust in written records and archaeological data, we can learn an important lesson: destruction does not always follow a victorious military campaign. If that is true for Egyptian war stories, then it should hold true for accounts of conquest in Joshua and Judges. Indeed, there is ample reason to believe that the Bible is a reliable source of information on this period. It is unfair to expect a perfect overlap: archaeology may uncover some events unknown to Scripture, or Scripture may relate some events unknown to archaeology. Further, an apparent discrepancy between the two should not immediately bring suspicion upon the Bible. While stones and potsherds are valuable, the Bible always will provide the most accurate account of its own people.

REFERENCES

Currid, John D. (1992), “Puzzling Public Buildings,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 18[1]:52-61, January/February.
Davies, Graham I. (1994), “King Solomon’s Stables,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 20[1]:44-49, January/February.
Finkelstein, Israel, and David Ussishkin (1994), “Megiddo,” Biblical Archaeology Review, 20[1]:26-33,36-43, January/February.

Matthew Fontaine Maury by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.





Matthew Fontaine Maury

by Trevor Major, M.Sc., M.A.


Many people have the impression that the nineteenth century was a bad time for Christianity. It witnessed the spread of uniformitarian geology, higher criticism, and evolution. However, it was by no means a victory for skepticism. What we often forget is that most people outside academia rejected these new ideas. In England, for example, Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species appeared in 1859, and Essays and Reviews, which appeared in 1860, catapulted German higher criticism into Anglican theology. Yet according to Gregory, “the years following 1860 were a time of great religious revival in England” (1986, p. 373).
Also, many prominent teachers and researchers remained committed to their belief in God and His inspired Word. One outstanding example is Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873). He was born in Virginia, and joined the U.S. Navy at age nineteen. Although an accomplished sailor, Maury always leaned toward the academic side of his profession. Following a serious coach accident, which confined him to duty on land, Maury’s scholarly reputation earned him a position in 1842 as Superintendent of the Depot of Charts and Instruments.
Almost immediately, Maury began the greatest task of his career. He was determined that captains should have charts that would enable them to sail as quickly and as safely as possible around the world. He used old log books and thousands of new observations to produce his famous wind and current charts of the world’s major oceans. These achievements earned him the epithet, “pathfinder of the seas.” Maury also wrote directions to accompany his charts, and he combined these with other observations about the ocean to produce The Physical Geography of the Sea, which first appeared in 1855. This was an immensely popular book, and marked the beginning of the science of oceanography.
Throughout all this success, Maury never forgot his belief in Scripture. Physical Geography is filled with references to the Bible. He could not help but be fascinated by passages that mention the sea, such as Psalm 8:8, Psalm 107:23-24, and Ecclesiastes 1:7. Whoever studies the sea, Maury contended, “must look upon it as a part of that exquisite machinery by which the harmonies of nature are preserved, and then will begin to perceive the developments of order and the evidences of design” (1859, p. 57).
Maury knew full well that these views clashed with those of his colleagues. Before five thousand people at the founding of the University of the South in 1860, he proclaimed the following:
I have been blamed by men of science, both in this country and in England, for quoting the Bible in confirmation of the doctrines of physical geography. The Bible, they say, was not written for scientific purposes, and is therefore no authority in matters of science. I beg pardon! The Bible is authority for everything it touches. What would you think of an historian who should refuse to consult historical records of the Bible, because the Bible was not written for the purposes of history? The Bible is true and science is true (as quoted in Lewis, 1927, p. 99, emp. in orig.).
Such convictions have earned Maury a well-deserved place in Bible-science literature. He is honored as a man who took God at His Word. However, readers may want to treat one claim with a little suspicion (see Major, 1995). Several accounts suggest that Maury was so confident about God’s Word that his mapping of ocean currents resulted directly from reading or hearing about the “paths of the seas” in Psalm 8:8. Some go on to suggest that ocean currents would have remained hidden unless Maury had read this passage in the Bible. Some set this crucial event in Maury’s childhood, and others set it during the recovery from his accident. One popular account by Virginia Lee Cox has a son reading to Maury during an illness (Lewis, 1927, p. 252), but Maury began his mapping project when the oldest son was only two years old. Another problem is that some currents, such as the Gulf Stream, were well-studied by the 1840s. Maury’s feat was to bring his scientific knowledge to bear on a vast array of nautical information, but he was not the first to discover ocean currents.
There is little doubt that Maury held a special fascination for Psalm 8:8 and other passages that mention the sea and the sky. They confirmed to him that revelation in nature and revelation in Scripture were in harmony because they have One Author. These convictions, and Maury’s character, make him worthy of emulation by Bible-believing scientists today.

REFERENCES

Gregory, Frederick (1986), “The Impact of Darwinian Evolution on Protestant Theology in the Nineteenth Century,” God & Nature, ed. D.C. Lindberg and R.L. Numbers (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press), pp. 369-390.
Lewis, Charles Lee (1927), Matthew Fontaine Maury: The Pathfinder of the Seas (Annapolis, MD: United States Naval Institute, 1969 reprint by AMS Press, New York).
Major, Trevor (1995), “Honor to Whom Honor...Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873),” Creation Research Society Quarterly, 32[2]:82-87, September.
Maury, Matthew F. (1859), The Physical Geography of the Sea (New York: Harper & Brothers, sixth edition).

Lost Symbols, Mystery Cults, and the Christian Faith by Dewayne Bryant, Ph.D.





Lost Symbols, Mystery Cults, and the Christian Faith

by Dewayne Bryant, Ph.D.


Stephen Langdon is at it again. Described as Indiana Jones in a tweed jacket, Langdon is hard at work in Dan Brown’s latest novel, unraveling the secrets left behind in Washington, D.C. by America’s Founding Fathers. He races against time to prevent an international crisis, save a dear friend from meeting an untimely demise, and uncover secret truths that will help men become gods—all in a day’s work for the fictional Harvard symbologist.
Ten months after its release, The Lost Symbol still hovers near the top of the N.Y. Times bestseller list for hardcover fiction. Like his previous novel The Da Vinci Code, Brown once again delves into unorthodox religious viewpoints. In The Da Vinci Code, Langdon stumbles across a society that includes Gnostic beliefs and goddess worship. His latest thriller finds the principal character bringing up the ghost of the ancient mystery cults in his encounter with Freemasonry. While Brown does not take orthodox Christianity head-on as in previous novels, he does offer something of a historical rewrite of the ancient religious landscape.
Brown refers to the ambiguous “ancient mysteries” constantly throughout his book, but does not specify exactly what he means. It seems to be a general description of esoteric wisdom found in ancient religion ranging from the mystery cults to the later Gnostics, but also includes universal spiritual truths found in all the world’s religions. Unfortunately for Brown, his attempt to lump Christianity in as a participant in these mysteries not only shows his lack of familiarity with Christianity, but with other religions and the ancient mystery cults as well.
Brown asserts that Christianity is home to the same religious teachings found in other religions, all tracing back to ancient esoteric wisdom like that of the ancient mystery cults, which are labeled as such because of secret ceremonies (Nash, 1992, p. 115). The problem with this is that Christianity was not secretive. It was celebrated openly and quickly reached the ears of government officials ranging from regional governors to the emperors of Rome. Official persecution of Christianity began only a few short decades after the death of Christ. Within 80 years, the Roman governor Pliny the Younger of Bithynia (in modern day Turkey) complained to Emperor Trajan that the Christian influence in his territory was so strong that pagan temples had been nearly deserted due to a lack of worshippers (Letters, 10.97).
The task of the apostles was to preach the message of Christ crucified for all (cf. Acts 4:9-11), while Paul discusses the “mystery of Christ” (Colossians 4:3; cf. Ephesians 3:3-7) in epistolary form, intending his work to be read aloud and shared with others. In the Eleusinian mysteries, celebrated near Athens, death was the punishment for anyone who revealed its secrets. The Greek playwright Aeschylus was attacked and nearly murdered by an Athenian mob while acting in one of his own tragedies because the audience suspected him of revealing the cult’s secrets.
Through the mouth of the character Peter Solomon, Brown says, “The Bible is one of the books through which the mysteries have been passed down through history. Its pages are desperately trying to tell us the secret.... The ‘dark sayings’ in the Bible are the whispers of the ancients, quietly sharing with us all of their secret wisdom” (p. 491). This vanilla spirituality quickly runs headlong into a particularly thorny problem, often referred to as the “scandal of particularity.” Simply put, this is the idea that a particular God has revealed Himself to particular people at particular times and has a particular way of doing things.
Brown asserts the basic similarity of all religions to the point of stating that all religions are little more than cosmetically altered versions of the same spiritual truths. The blending of religions in Brown’s novel is not something foreign to Christianity only, but to other world religions as well. Each one makes mutually exclusive claims that cannot be reconciled with other faith traditions. Christianity claims Jesus is the Son of God; Islam says He is a mortal man. Religions such as Judaism, Islam, and Christianity claim belief in a personal God, while Buddhism is an “atheist religion” of sorts with no belief in any deity. In order for Brown’s reconstruction to be true, each religion must give up so much of what makes it unique that essentially they all become nondescript and amorphous.
Brown seems to read modern notions of religion and spirituality backward into history. Presenting America’s Founding Fathers as believers in some kind of universal spirituality would no doubt have been strange, if not offensive, to many of them. While a few of them may have been deists, even these believed in a personal God who was active in America’s founding (cf. Miller, 2005; Miller, 2008). The vast majority of the Founders, as well as the population at large, professed Christian belief (see Bancroft, 1837, 2:456; Morris, 1864).
As in previous novels, Brown commits several major blunders, which seems to have become standard operating procedure for his writing. One of these concerns one of America’s most famous works of art. A fixture of the novel is a fresco in the Capitol Rotunda titled The Apotheosis of George Washington. Completed in 1865, artist Constantino Brumidi’s masterpiece shows Washington ascending to heaven, surrounded by figures reminiscent of the Muses from Greek mythology. When viewing this scene, the protagonist Langdon says it describes Washington “being transformed into a god” (p. 84, ital. in orig.). This point will later shed light on the purported beliefs of the Freemasons—taken from the ancient mysteries—that humanity has within it a spark of the divine and is capable of virtual self-deification. In doing so, Brown seems to confuse the differences between the definitions of apotheosis as they are used in theology and art. In theological parlance, the term does mean to attain the status of deity. In art, it means to depict a subject in exalted fashion. Figures so depicted are often those who have become immortalized as national icons and who are revered because of their personal virtue and importance in the national consciousness. Other great works of art apotheosize historical figures ranging from the Greek poet Homer to Venezuelan statesman Simon Bolivar to Confederate general Robert E. Lee, yet no one is arguing that the artists of these works were trying to conceal secret spiritual truths in their masterpieces.
America’s Founding Fathers are a favorite target of critics who deny the role of Christianity in the country’s origins. Another of Brown’s historical errors is his claim that Jefferson’s version of the Bible was presented to every member of Congress in the first half of the 19th century (p. 491). He makes a point of mentioning Jefferson’s excision of the virgin birth and the resurrection in an attempt to illustrate his point of saying that America’s Founding Fathers all believed in the hidden spiritual message of Scripture and warned of interpreting the Bible literally. While Jefferson is famous for combing through the Bible and excising anything that hinted of the supernatural, his version of the gospel accounts was presented to first-time congressmen in the first half of the 20th century—not the 19th—because it distilled the essential moral teachings of Christ. This is clearly evident in its full title: The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth. Writing in a letter to John Adams on October 12, 1813, Jefferson indicates that his motive for assembling his version in this manner was because he wanted to offer the “pure principles” of Jesus’ teaching, which constituted the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man” (1813). It should also be noted that in this letter, Jefferson demonstrated knowledge of Gnostic beliefs, which he called “nonsense.” It is that very knowledge which several of Brown’s novels praise.
One of the best examples of Brown’s gross religious ignorance is his connection of the word “amen” to the name of the Egyptian god Amun (p. 358). Brown is not the first to make this assertion. This kind of connection is typical among third-rate Bible critics who fail to do meaningful research and try to make connections simply based on the sounds of words. The standard Greek lexicon defines the Greek word amen as “let it be so” or “truly” (Danker, 2000, p. 53), which comes from the Hebrew word ’amen, also meaning “truly” (Brown, et al., 1906, p. 53). The word is thoroughly Hebraic and has absolutely no connection to the Egyptian god, whose name means “hidden” (Allen, 2010, p. 186)
One On-line review of the book says Brown “loves showing us places where our carefully tended cultural boundaries—between Christian and pagan, sacred and secular, ancient and modern—are actually extraordinarily messy” (Grossman, 2009). The relationship between paganism and Christianity is indeed messy for those unwilling to examine that relationship with clarity and precision. It seems to be en vogue to simply ignore the distinctive elements of particular religions, lump them together into an amorphous blob, and declare them all virtually equivalent, regardless of any claims to historicity.
The distinctive truth of Christianity will not permit itself to be classified among mythological writings because it is not mythological in character. Though the gospel accounts are routinely described as “myth” their character is closely related to ancient biographies and is distinctly different from mythology, which never concerned itself with recent historical figures (Keener, 2009, pp. 75-76). Even the ancients generally believed that their myths had no connections to actual history.
Dan Brown is an inventive writer. His stories are fast-paced and engaging, and his conspiratorial plots are entertaining. Though he is a skillful author, Brown continually presents an axe to grind against Christianity. As was seen in The Da Vinci Code, Brown is willing to manipulate the evidence to make his case. Brown’s carefully crafted language is similar to a conspiracy theory: the reader is guided along a predetermined path that offers no room for alternative explanations. Like all good conspiracies, each piece of evidence hangs tenuously upon another. Each interpretation is precariously balanced on the next. Should any one piece be removed, the entire edifice comes crashing down. The Lost Symbol, like Brown’s previous work, is similarly vulnerable at many points where he has misinterpreted or manipulated the evidence. In each of his books the “fall of the house of Brown” is inescapable, and The Lost Symbol presents no exception.

REFERENCES

Allen, James P. (2010), Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).
Bancroft, George (1837), History of the United States (Boston, MA: Charles Bowen).
Brown, Dan (2009), The Lost Symbol (New York: Doubleday).
Brown, Francis, S. R. Driver, and Charles A. Briggs (1906), The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Peabody, MA, Hendrickson).
Danker, Frederick William, ed. (2000), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press), third edition.
Grossman, Lev (2009), “How Good is Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol?” Time, September 15, http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1923182,00.html. Accessed March 3, 2010.
Keener, Craig S. (2009), The Historical Jesus of the Gospels (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Jefferson, Thomas (1813), “Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, October 12, 1813,” The Thomas Jefferson Papers Series 1. General Correspondence. 1651-1827, Library of Congress, [On-line], URL: http://tinyurl.com/38dmuqm.
Miller, Dave (2005), “Deism, Atheism, and the Founders,” http://apologeticspress.org/articles/650.
Miller, Dave (2008), “The Founders: Atheists & Deists or Theists & Christians?” Reason & Revelation, 7[12]:45-R, December, http://apologeticspress.org/articles/240010.
Morris, Benjamin (1864), The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States (Powder Springs, GA: American Vision, 2007 reprint).
Nash, Ronald H. (1992), The Gospel and the Greeks: Did the New Testament Borrow From Pagan Thought? (Richardson, TX: Probe Books).
Pliny the Younger (no date), Letters, trans. William Melmoth, http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/bl/bl_text_plinyltrstrajan.htm.

OF WORLDS AND A NEW CREATION by Jim McGuiggan



OF WORLDS AND A NEW CREATION

  1. What do we mean when we say, “North Korea is our enemy”?
  2. What do we mean when we say AMERICA declared war on Japan or Germany?
  1. What do we mean when we say, “The allies defeated Germany”?
  2. What is Peter talking about when he says [2 Peter 2.5] God brought the flood on “the world of the ungodly”?
  1. When God destroyed BABYLON what is it he destroyed?
  2. How does He picture its destruction in Isaiah 13:1-22?
  3. How does he picture his judgment on EDOM [and her allies] in Isaiah 34:1-17?
  4. And Judah in Zephaniah 1:2-4, Jeremiah 4:23-28?
  5. And ROME in Daniel 2:44; 7:3, 7-10, 17, 23, 26-27?
  6. This prophetic speech speaks of the “end of their world.” It’s the end of the empires or structures [religious, social, military or otherwise] they have created. The destruction of an empire is described in terms of uncreation. [See the texts above.]
  7. These creations are the creations of the powerful and not the marginalized, poor and vulnerable. Note texts like Ezekiel 16:49-50 and Daniel 4:27 with 2:37-38.
  1. Note that God raises up the various kingdoms [Daniel 2:37-38; 4:25, 32; 7:2; Romans 13:1, 4, 6; 1 Peter 2:13-17; 1 Timothy 2:1-4] and holds them responsible for the state of the world under their dominion [texts in previous paragraph]. These powers [governments, authorities and such] are structures God purposed to enable humans to live and prosper under Him [Colossians 1:15].
Rome, one of the powers God raised up to do good and to serve Him [Romans 13:1, 4], like Adam rejects God’s purpose and becomes satanic [Revelation 13:4] and God brings it down as he brought down Egypt. Note the use of the images of the Egyptian plagues as God attacks the Roman world. The Egyptian and Roman “worlds” that these two empires claimed were created by the gods and human power were dismantled by God who established he is the one true God to whom all the powers should subject themselves and serve. He ends the Roman world [Revelation 21-1] and brings about a new creation—it’s a world without Rome, a world without a sea out of which Rome will rise!
God destroys Babylon’s world and brings in a new creation [Isaiah 65:13-23; 66:18-24]. This is not the physical destruction of a physical world or the description of a new physical world—these are visionary descriptions of deliverance from an old satanic world—a world created by the corrupt and corrupting powerful ones.
The “world” that Jesus condemns is a satanic empire that makes itself visible and expresses itself through structures it has corrupted and by which it corrupts and abuses the vulnerable. Courts, schools, economic programs, military might, political and financial evil, religious perversion, industrial, educational, social and civil evils. The powerful, corrupt themselves, breed resentment and violence and despair and poverty and so make the world like themselves, hating and being hated.
Had God not brought Hitler and his Nazis down the world now would be unrecognizable. Germans would have been corrupted even more than they were—those that were—than they were while Hitler lived and ruled.
If God had not brought down Stalin’s regime who knows how deep and how wide the gulf would be between the nations though we can hardly be happy about how bad things are now who can say how much worse they might be. I purpose to develop this last point in a later piece.
To be continued, God enabling.

THE BIBLE OR THE CHURCH? BY STEVE FINNELL



THE BIBLE OR THE CHURCH? BY STEVE FINNELL


Where does the complete truth reside, in the Bible or the church? The Bible has the complete truth, no truth needs to be added.

If the church has the absolute truth, then which church would that be? The Mormon Church, the Seventh-Day Adventism Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Baptist Church, the Jehovah's Witness Church, the Methodist Church, etc.

There is one Bible and many churches. Only the Bible has the absolute truth.

Churches cannot be trusted to teach and maintain the truth. 1 Timothy 4:1-4 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith......(NKJV)

You can only trust the Bible.

Church leaders cannot be trusted, the apostle Paul had to confront the apostle Peter because of his hypocrisy. Galatians 2:11-14 But when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed.......(NKJV)

Church leaders are not infallible. Only Scripture is infallible.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,(NKJV)

Man-made church doctrine is not Scripture. Creed books, denominational edicts and statements of faith, are not the infallible word of God.

Only the Bible has God's Scripture. If the churches are receiving God's inspired word, then why do they not add their creeds to the Bible?

1 Peter 1:23 But the word of the Lord endures forever."(NKJV)

God's word lasts forever. The church doctrines of men change as they rely on their own understanding.

Trust the Bible or trust church doctrines written by men? Two choices.      

Why do so few become Christians and live as Christians? by Roy Davison



Why do so few become Christians
and live as Christians?

Jesus said: "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart: and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:28, 29).
Living as a Christian means to have rest, peace with God. Do we have rest and peace? If not maybe we have not really gone to Jesus to learn how to live.
One must first become a Christian in order to live as a Christian.
One is not a Christian by birth. Personal commitment is required. Our parents cannot decide for us. Everyone must decide for himself to follow Christ.
What does this involve?
Becoming a Christian means being saved by God's grace on the basis of faith in Jesus. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned: but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:16-19).
Jesus did not come to condemn the world. The world was already condemned because of sin.
"For as many as have sinned without the law shall also perish without the law: and as many as have sinned under the law shall be judged by the law" (Romans 2:12).
Jesus brought salvation. He came "to give his life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). "For the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life: but he who disobeys1 the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God rests upon him" (John 3:36).
An obedient faith is required to escape the wrath of God. One's faith must be confessed, "For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:10).
One must repent and be baptized: "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).
People are faced with a choice. "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision" (Joel 3:14).
To live as a Christian we must make a personal decision. We must become a Christian by faith and obedience.
Why do so few live as Christians?
After Jesus has done so much to make salvation possible, why are so many lost anyway? Why do so few live as Christians? This has several causes.
Many do not live as Christians because of selfishness, self-centeredness.
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). "Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit" (John 12:24, 25).
"He who finds his life shall lose it: and he who loses his life for my sake shall find it" (Matthew 10:39).
"For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it: and whoever loses his life for my sake shall find it. For what does it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Matthew 16:25, 26).
"Whoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whoever shall lose his life shall preserve it" (Luke 17:33).
Since Jesus gave His life for us, He asks us to forfeit our lives to serve Him. Many do not want to do this.
Many do not live as Christians because of impenitence.
Most people refuse to repent. Referring to such people, Paul said: "But because of your hard and unrepentant heart you are storing up for yourself wrath on the day of wrath when the righteous judgment of God shall be revealed" (Romans 2:5).
Jesus made repentance a condition for salvation: "There were some present at that time who told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered, saying to them, Do you suppose these Galileans were greater sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, No: but, unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:1-3).
"The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some men count slowness; but is patient toward you, not wanting that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
"This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as other Gentiles walk, in the futility of their minds, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts: who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to licentiousness, greedy to practice all kinds of uncleanness" (Ephesians 4:17-19).
"Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
"Therefore, submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up" (James 4:7-10).
Many do not live as Christians because they set their minds on earthly things.
Earthly-minded people scorn the sacrifice of Christ. "For many, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even with weeping, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, with minds set on earthly things" (Philippians 3:18, 19).
When people make this world their god, they are struck with spiritual blindness: "But if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. For the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, lest they should see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4).
In their blindness they think God's word is foolishness: "For the preaching of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness; but to those of us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18).
They do not think very highly of Christians either. Even worse, to them we stink. If we want to live as Christians, we must be willing to endure the ridicule and persecution of people of the world.
"Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and makes manifest through us the fragrance of the knowledge of him in every place. For we are an aroma of Christ to God, among those who are being saved, and among those who are perishing: To the one we are the aroma of death to death; and to the other the aroma of life to life" (2 Corinthians 2:14-16).
Someone who loves money cannot live as a Christian: "But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil" (1 Timothy 6:8-10).
The waging of war is also an expression of earthly-mindedness because of which many are lost, as Jesus warned Peter: "Put your sword back in its place: for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword" (Matthew 26:52).
Earthly-mindedness leads to spiritual infertility: "And these are the ones who are like seed sown among thorns; they hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust for other things enter in, and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful" (Mark 4:18, 19).
Many do not live as Christians because of false doctrine.
Jesus warned: "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved" (Matthew 24:11-13).
Peter warned that ignorant and unstable people twist the Scriptures to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who secretly shall bring in destructive heresies" (2 Peter 2:1).
People accept false doctrine because they lack love for the truth: "And then shall the lawless one be revealed, whom the Lord shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and shall destroy by the brightness of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is through the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who perish; because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that all those might be condemned who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Tessalonicenzen 2:8-12).
Why are there so few who live as Christians even though Jesus died for them? Because they are self-centered and earthly-minded they refuse to repent. Because they reject love for truth they believe a lie by which they are lost.
Let us live as Christians.
Let us walk the narrow road: "Enter in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there are who enter in by it: but small is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there are who find it" (Matthew 7:13, 14).
Although it is not an easy road, Jesus will help us. As Paul said, "Persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:9).
The salvation of Christ extends beyond death: "And some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And you shall be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head shall perish. By your perseverance you shall win your souls" (Luke 21:16-19).
Jesus takes good care of His sheep: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, nor shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:27, 28).
"Therefore be imitators of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice, a sweet smelling aroma to God" (Ephesians 5:1, 2).
"Grace to you and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of our God and Father: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Galatians 1:3-5).
Footnote:
1 Some translators have interpreted απειθων in this verse as 'those not believing' but the word means 'those not obeying'.

Roy Davison

New Testament quotations are from the Revised King James New Testament
(RKJNT) and Old Testament quotations are from the translation of the Jewish Publication Society.


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

Bible Reading November 6 & 7 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading November 6 & 7 

World  English  Bible



Nov. 6
Isaiah 41-44

Isa 41:1 "Keep silent before me, islands, and let the peoples renew their strength. Let them come near, then let them speak. Let's meet together for judgment.
Isa 41:2 Who has raised up one from the east? Whom called him to his foot in righteousness? He hands over nations to him, and makes him rule over kings. He gives them like the dust to his sword, like the driven stubble to his bow.
Isa 41:3 He pursues them, and passes by safely, Even by a way that he had not gone with his feet.
Isa 41:4 Who has worked and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I, Yahweh, the first, and with the last, I am he."
Isa 41:5 The islands have seen, and fear. The ends of the earth tremble. They approach, and come.
Isa 41:6 Everyone helps his neighbor. They say to their brothers, "Be strong!"
Isa 41:7 So the carpenter encourages the goldsmith. He who smoothes with the hammer encourages him who strikes the anvil, saying of the soldering, "It is good;" and he fastens it with nails, that it might not totter.
Isa 41:8 "But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend,
Isa 41:9 You whom I have taken hold of from the ends of the earth, and called from its corners, and said to you, 'You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you away;'
Isa 41:10 Don't you be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. Yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isa 41:11 Behold, all those who are incensed against you will be disappointed and confounded. Those who strive with you will be like nothing, and shall perish.
Isa 41:12 You will seek them, and won't find them, even those who contend with you. Those who war against you will be as nothing, as a non-existent thing.
Isa 41:13 For I, Yahweh your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, 'Don't be afraid. I will help you.'
Isa 41:14 Don't be afraid, you worm Jacob, and you men of Israel. I will help you," says Yahweh, "and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.
Isa 41:15 Behold, I have made you into a new sharp threshing instrument with teeth. You will thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and will make the hills like chaff.
Isa 41:16 You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, and the whirlwind will scatter them. You will rejoice in Yahweh. You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.
Isa 41:17 The poor and needy seek water, and there is none. Their tongue fails for thirst. I, Yahweh, will answer them. I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
Isa 41:18 I will open rivers on the bare heights, and springs in the midst of the valleys. I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.
Isa 41:19 I will put cedar, acacia, myrtle, and oil trees in the wilderness. I will set fir trees, pine, and box trees together in the desert;
Isa 41:20 that they may see, know, consider, and understand together, that the hand of Yahweh has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it.
Isa 41:21 Produce your cause," says Yahweh. "Bring forth your strong reasons," says the King of Jacob.
Isa 41:22 "Let them announce, and declare to us what shall happen. Declare the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or show us things to come.
Isa 41:23 Declare the things that are to come hereafter, that we may know that you are gods. Yes, do good, or do evil, that we may be dismayed, and see it together.
Isa 41:24 Behold, you are of nothing, and your work is of nothing. He who chooses you is an abomination.
Isa 41:25 "I have raised up one from the north, and he has come; from the rising of the sun, one who calls on my name; and he shall come on rulers as on mortar, and as the potter treads clay.
Isa 41:26 Who has declared it from the beginning, that we may know? And before, that we may say, 'He is right?' Surely, there is no one who declares. Surely, there is no one who shows. Surely, there is no one who hears your words.
Isa 41:27 I am the first to say to Zion, 'Behold, look at them;' and I will give one who brings good news to Jerusalem.
Isa 41:28 When I look, there is no man; even among them there is no counselor who, when I ask of them, can answer a word.
Isa 41:29 Behold, all of them, their works are vanity and nothing. Their molten images are wind and confusion.

Isa 42:1 "Behold, my servant, whom I uphold; my chosen, in whom my soul delights-- I have put my Spirit on him. He will bring justice to the nations.
Isa 42:2 He will not shout, nor raise his voice, nor cause it to be heard in the street.
Isa 42:3 He won't break a bruised reed. He won't quench a dimly burning wick. He will faithfully bring justice.
Isa 42:4 He will not fail nor be discouraged, until he has set justice in the earth, and the islands will wait for his law."
Isa 42:5 Thus says God Yahweh, he who created the heavens and stretched them out, he who spread out the earth and that which comes out of it, he who gives breath to its people and spirit to those who walk in it.
Isa 42:6 "I, Yahweh, have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and make you a covenant for the people, as a light for the nations;
Isa 42:7 to open the blind eyes, to bring the prisoners out of the dungeon, and those who sit in darkness out of the prison.
Isa 42:8 "I am Yahweh. That is my name. I will not give my glory to another, nor my praise to engraved images.
Isa 42:9 Behold, the former things have happened, and I declare new things. I tell you about them before they come up."
Isa 42:10 Sing to Yahweh a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, you who go down to the sea, and all that is therein, the islands and their inhabitants.
Isa 42:11 Let the wilderness and its cities raise their voices, with the villages that Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing. Let them shout from the top of the mountains!
Isa 42:12 Let them give glory to Yahweh, and declare his praise in the islands.
Isa 42:13 Yahweh will go out like a mighty man. He will stir up zeal like a man of war. He will raise a war cry. Yes, he will shout aloud. He will triumph over his enemies.
Isa 42:14 "I have been silent a long time. I have been quiet and restrained myself. Now I will cry out like a travailing woman. I will both gasp and pant.
Isa 42:15 I will destroy mountains and hills, and dry up all their herbs. I will make the rivers islands, and will dry up the pools.
Isa 42:16 I will bring the blind by a way that they don't know. I will lead them in paths that they don't know. I will make darkness light before them, and crooked places straight. I will do these things, and I will not forsake them.
Isa 42:17 "Those who trust in engraved images, who tell molten images, 'You are our gods' will be turned back. They will be utterly disappointed.
Isa 42:18 "Hear, you deaf, and look, you blind, that you may see.
Isa 42:19 Who is blind, but my servant? Or who is as deaf as my messenger whom I send? Who is as blind as he who is at peace, and as blind as Yahweh's servant?
Isa 42:20 You see many things, but don't observe. His ears are open, but he doesn't listen.
Isa 42:21 It pleased Yahweh, for his righteousness' sake, to magnify the law, and make it honorable.
Isa 42:22 But this is a robbed and plundered people. All of them are snared in holes, and they are hidden in prisons. They have become a prey, and no one delivers; and a spoil, and no one says, 'Restore them!'
Isa 42:23 Who is there among you who will give ear to this? Who will listen and hear for the time to come?
Isa 42:24 Who gave Jacob as plunder, and Israel to the robbers? Didn't Yahweh, he against whom we have sinned? For they would not walk in his ways, and they disobeyed his law.
Isa 42:25 Therefore he poured the fierceness of his anger on him, and the strength of battle; and it set him on fire all around, but he didn't know; and it burned him, but he didn't take it to heart."

Isa 43:1 But now thus says Yahweh who created you, Jacob, and he who formed you, Israel: "Don't be afraid, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name. You are mine.
Isa 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, and flame will not scorch you.
Isa 43:3 For I am Yahweh your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I have given Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Isa 43:4 Since you have been precious and honored in my sight, and I have loved you; therefore I will give people in your place, and nations instead of your life.
Isa 43:5 Don't be afraid; for I am with you. I will bring your seed from the east, and gather you from the west.
Isa 43:6 I will tell the north, 'Give them up!' and tell the south, 'Don't hold them back! Bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth--
Isa 43:7 everyone who is called by my name, and whom I have created for my glory, whom I have formed, yes, whom I have made.' "
Isa 43:8 Bring out the blind people who have eyes, and the deaf who have ears.
Isa 43:9 Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the peoples be assembled. Who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear, and say, "That is true."
Isa 43:10 "You are my witnesses," says Yahweh, "With my servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he. Before me there was no God formed, neither will there be after me.
Isa 43:11 I myself am Yahweh; and besides me there is no savior.
Isa 43:12 I have declared, I have saved, and I have shown; and there was no strange god among you. Therefore you are my witnesses," says Yahweh, "and I am God.
Isa 43:13 Yes, since the day was I am he; and there is no one who can deliver out of my hand. I will work, and who can hinder it?"
Isa 43:14 Thus says Yahweh, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "For your sake, I have sent to Babylon, and I will bring all of them down as fugitives, even the Chaldeans, in the ships of their rejoicing.
Isa 43:15 I am Yahweh, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King."
Isa 43:16 Thus says Yahweh, who makes a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters;
Isa 43:17 who brings forth the chariot and horse, the army and the mighty man (they lie down together, they shall not rise; they are extinct, they are quenched like a wick):
Isa 43:18 "Don't remember the former things, and don't consider the things of old.
Isa 43:19 Behold, I will do a new thing. It springs forth now. Don't you know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
Isa 43:20 The animals of the field shall honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; because I give water in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen,
Isa 43:21 the people which I formed for myself, that they might set forth my praise.
Isa 43:22 Yet you have not called on me, Jacob; but you have been weary of me, Israel.
Isa 43:23 You have not brought me of your sheep for burnt offerings; neither have you honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, nor wearied you with frankincense.
Isa 43:24 You have bought me no sweet cane with money, nor have you filled me with the fat of your sacrifices; but you have burdened me with your sins. You have wearied me with your iniquities.
Isa 43:25 I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake; and I will not remember your sins.
Isa 43:26 Put me in remembrance. Let us plead together. Set forth your case, that you may be justified.
Isa 43:27 Your first father sinned, and your teachers have transgressed against me.
Isa 43:28 Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary; and I will make Jacob a curse, and Israel a reviling."

Isa 44:1 Yet listen now, Jacob my servant, and Israel, whom I have chosen.
Isa 44:2 This is what Yahweh who made you, and formed you from the womb, who will help you says: "Don't be afraid, Jacob my servant; and you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
Isa 44:3 For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and streams on the dry ground. I will pour my Spirit on your seed, and my blessing on your offspring:
Isa 44:4 and they will spring up among the grass, as willows by the watercourses.
Isa 44:5 One will say, 'I am Yahweh's;' and another will be called by the name of Jacob; and another will write with his hand 'to Yahweh,' and honor the name of Israel."
Isa 44:6 This is what Yahweh, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Yahweh of Armies, says: "I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there is no God.
Isa 44:7 Who is like me? Who will call, and will declare it, and set it in order for me, since I established the ancient people? Let them declare the things that are coming, and that will happen.
Isa 44:8 Don't fear, neither be afraid. Haven't I declared it to you long ago, and shown it? You are my witnesses. Is there a God besides me? Indeed, there is not. I don't know any other Rock."
Isa 44:9 Everyone who makes an engraved image is vain. The things that they delight in will not profit. Their own witnesses don't see, nor know, that they may be disappointed.
Isa 44:10 Who has fashioned a god, or molds an image that is profitable for nothing?
Isa 44:11 Behold, all his fellows will be disappointed; and the workmen are mere men. Let them all be gathered together. Let them stand up. They will fear. They will be put to shame together.
Isa 44:12 The blacksmith takes an axe, works in the coals, fashions it with hammers, and works it with his strong arm. He is hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water, and is faint.
Isa 44:13 The carpenter stretches out a line. He marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes. He marks it out with compasses, and shapes it like the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to reside in a house.
Isa 44:14 He cuts down cedars for himself, and takes the cypress and the oak, and strengthens for himself one among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir tree, and the rain nourishes it.
Isa 44:15 Then it will be for a man to burn; and he takes some of it, and warms himself. Yes, he burns it, and bakes bread. Yes, he makes a god, and worships it; he makes it an engraved image, and falls down to it.
Isa 44:16 He burns part of it in the fire. With part of it, he eats meat. He roasts a roast, and is satisfied. Yes, he warms himself, and says, "Aha! I am warm. I have seen the fire."
Isa 44:17 The rest of it he makes into a god, even his engraved image. He bows down to it and worships, and prays to it, and says, "Deliver me; for you are my god!"
Isa 44:18 They don't know, neither do they consider: for he has shut their eyes, that they can't see; and their hearts, that they can't understand.
Isa 44:19 No one thinks, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, "I have burned part of it in the fire. Yes, I have also baked bread on its coals. I have roasted meat and eaten it. Shall I make the rest of it into an abomination? Shall I bow down to a tree trunk?"
Isa 44:20 He feeds on ashes. A deceived heart has turned him aside; and he can't deliver his soul, nor say, "Isn't there a lie in my right hand?"
Isa 44:21 Remember these things, Jacob and Israel; for you are my servant. I have formed you. You are my servant. Israel, you will not be forgotten by me.
Isa 44:22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, your transgressions, and, as a cloud, your sins. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.
Isa 44:23 Sing, you heavens, for Yahweh has done it! Shout, you lower parts of the earth! Break out into singing, you mountains, O forest, all of your trees, for Yahweh has redeemed Jacob, and will glorify himself in Israel.
Isa 44:24 Thus says Yahweh, your Redeemer, and he who formed you from the womb: "I am Yahweh, who makes all things; who alone stretches out the heavens; who spreads out the earth by myself;
Isa 44:25 who frustrates the signs of the liars, and makes diviners mad; who turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish;
Isa 44:26 who confirms the word of his servant, and performs the counsel of his messengers; who says of Jerusalem, 'She will be inhabited;' and of the cities of Judah, 'They will be built,' and 'I will raise up its waste places;'
Isa 44:27 who says to the deep, 'Be dry,' and 'I will dry up your rivers;'
Isa 44:28 Who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure,' even saying of Jerusalem, 'She will be built;' and of the temple, 'Your foundation will be laid.' "

Nov. 7
Isaiah 45-48

Isa 45:1 Thus says Yahweh to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him, and strip kings of their armor; to open the doors before him, and the gates shall not be shut:
Isa 45:2 "I will go before you, and make the rough places smooth. I will break the doors of brass in pieces, and cut apart the bars of iron.
Isa 45:3 I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, Yahweh, who call you by your name, even the God of Israel.
Isa 45:4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel my chosen, I have called you by your name. I have surnamed you, though you have not known me.
Isa 45:5 I am Yahweh, and there is none else. Besides me, there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not known me;
Isa 45:6 that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none besides me. I am Yahweh, and there is no one else.
Isa 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness. I make peace, and create calamity. I am Yahweh, who does all these things.
Isa 45:8 Distil, you heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness. Let the earth open, that it may bring forth salvation, and let it cause righteousness to spring up with it. I, Yahweh, have created it.
Isa 45:9 Woe to him who strives with his Maker-- a clay pot among the clay pots of the earth! Shall the clay ask him who fashions it, 'What are you making?' or your work, 'He has no hands?'
Isa 45:10 Woe to him who says to a father, 'What have you become the father of?' or to a mother, 'To what have you given birth?' "
Isa 45:11 Thus says Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker: "You ask me about the things that are to come, concerning my sons, and you command me concerning the work of my hands!
Isa 45:12 I have made the earth, and created man on it. I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens; and I have commanded all their army.
Isa 45:13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will make straight all his ways. He shall build my city, and he shall let my exiles go free, not for price nor reward," says Yahweh of Armies.
Isa 45:14 Thus says Yahweh: "The labor of Egypt, and the merchandise of Ethiopia, and the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over to you, and they shall be yours. They will go after you. They shall come over in chains; and they will bow down to you. They will make supplication to you: 'Surely God is in you; and there is none else. There is no other god.
Isa 45:15 Most certainly you are a God who hid yourself, God of Israel, the Savior.' "
Isa 45:16 They will be disappointed, yes, confounded, all of them. Those who are makers of idols will go into confusion together.
Isa 45:17 Israel will be saved by Yahweh with an everlasting salvation. You will not be disappointed nor confounded to ages everlasting.
Isa 45:18 For thus says Yahweh who created the heavens, the God who formed the earth and made it, who established it and didn't create it a waste, who formed it to be inhabited: "I am Yahweh; and there is no other.
Isa 45:19 I have not spoken in secret, in a place of the land of darkness. I didn't say to the seed of Jacob, 'Seek me in vain.' I, Yahweh, speak righteousness. I declare things that are right.
Isa 45:20 "Assemble yourselves and come. Draw near together, you who have escaped from the nations. Those have no knowledge who carry the wood of their engraved image, and pray to a god that can't save.
Isa 45:21 Declare and present it. Yes, let them take counsel together. Who has shown this from ancient time? Who has declared it of old? Haven't I, Yahweh? There is no other God besides me, a just God and a Savior; There is no one besides me.
Isa 45:22 "Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other.
Isa 45:23 By myself have I sworn, the word has gone forth from my mouth in righteousness, and will not return, that to me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
Isa 45:24 They will say of me, 'There is righteousness and strength only in Yahweh.' " Even to him shall men come; and all those who were incensed against him shall be disappointed.
Isa 45:25 In Yahweh shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

Isa 46:1 Bel bows down, Nebo stoops; their idols are on the animals, and on the livestock: the things that you carried about are made a load, a burden to the weary animal.
Isa 46:2 They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.
Isa 46:3 "Listen to me, house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, that have been borne by me from their birth, that have been carried from the womb;
Isa 46:4 and even to old age I am he, and even to gray hairs will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear; yes, I will carry, and will deliver.
Isa 46:5 "To whom will you liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?
Isa 46:6 Some pour out gold from the bag, and weigh silver in the balance. They hire a goldsmith, and he makes it a god. They fall down--yes, they worship.
Isa 46:7 They bear it on the shoulder, they carry it, and set it in its place, and it stands, from its place it shall not move: yes, one may cry to it, yet it can not answer, nor save him out of his trouble.
Isa 46:8 "Remember this, and show yourselves men; bring it again to mind, you transgressors.
Isa 46:9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me;
Isa 46:10 declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done; saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure;
Isa 46:11 calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country; yes, I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed, I will also do it.
Isa 46:12 Listen to me, you stout-hearted, who are far from righteousness:
Isa 46:13 I bring near my righteousness, it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not wait; and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

Isa 47:1 "Come down, and sit in the dust, virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, daughter of the Chaldeans: for you shall no more be called tender and delicate.
Isa 47:2 Take the millstones, and grind meal; remove your veil, strip off the train, uncover the leg, pass through the rivers.
Isa 47:3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered, yes, your shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and will spare no man."
Isa 47:4 Our Redeemer, Yahweh of Armies is his name, the Holy One of Israel.
Isa 47:5 "Sit in silence, and go into darkness, daughter of the Chaldeans; for you shall no more be called the mistress of kingdoms.
Isa 47:6 I was angry with my people, I profaned my inheritance, and gave them into your hand: you did show them no mercy; on the aged have you very heavily laid your yoke.
Isa 47:7 You said, I shall be mistress forever; so that you did not lay these things to your heart, neither did remember the latter end of it.
Isa 47:8 "Now therefore hear this, you who are given to pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart, I am, and there is none else besides me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children:
Isa 47:9 but these two things shall come to you in a moment in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood; in their full measure shall they come on you, in the multitude of your sorceries, and the great abundance of your enchantments.
Isa 47:10 For you have trusted in your wickedness; you have said, None sees me; your wisdom and your knowledge, it has perverted you, and you have said in your heart, I am, and there is none else besides me.
Isa 47:11 Therefore evil will come on you; you won't know when it dawns: and mischief wil fall on you; you will not be able to put it away: and desolation shall come on you suddenly, which you don't know.
Isa 47:12 "Stand now with your enchantments, and with the multitude of your sorceries, in which you have labored from your youth; if so be you shall be able to profit, if so be you may prevail.
Isa 47:13 You are wearied in the multitude of your counsels: let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save you from the things that shall come on you.
Isa 47:14 Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: it shall not be a coal to warm at, nor a fire to sit before.
Isa 47:15 Thus shall the things be to you in which you have labored: those who have trafficked with you from your youth shall wander everyone to his quarter; there shall be none to save you.

Isa 48:1 "Hear this, house of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel, and have come forth out of the waters of Judah; who swear by the name of Yahweh, and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness
Isa 48:2 (for they call themselves of the holy city, and stay themselves on the God of Israel; Yahweh of Armies is his name):
Isa 48:3 I have declared the former things from of old; yes, they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed them: suddenly I did them, and they happened.
Isa 48:4 Because I knew that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron sinew, and your brow brass;
Isa 48:5 therefore I have declared it to you from of old; before it came to pass I showed it to you; lest you should say, 'My idol has done them, and my engraved image, and my molten image, has commanded them.'
Isa 48:6 You have heard it; see all this; and you, will you not declare it? "I have shown you new things from this time, even hidden things, which you have not known.
Isa 48:7 They are created now, and not from of old; and before this day you didn't hear them; lest you should say, 'Behold, I knew them.'
Isa 48:8 Yes, you didn't hear; yes, you didn't know; yes, from of old your ear was not opened: for I knew that you did deal very treacherously, and was called a transgressor from the womb.
Isa 48:9 For my name's sake will I defer my anger, and for my praise will I refrain for you, that I not cut you off.
Isa 48:10 Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.
Isa 48:11 For my own sake, for my own sake, will I do it; for how should my name be profaned? and my glory I will not give to another.
Isa 48:12 "Listen to me, O Jacob, and Israel my called: I am he; I am the first, I also am the last.
Isa 48:13 Yes, my hand has laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand has spread out the heavens: when I call to them, they stand up together.
Isa 48:14 "Assemble yourselves, all you, and hear; who among them has declared these things? He whom Yahweh loves shall perform his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans.
Isa 48:15 I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him; I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous.
Isa 48:16 "Come near to me and hear this: "From the beginning I have not spoken in secret; from the time that it was, there am I." Now the Lord Yahweh has sent me, with his Spirit.
Isa 48:17 Thus says Yahweh, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am Yahweh your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way that you should go.
Isa 48:18 Oh that you had listened to my commandments! then had your peace been as a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea:
Isa 48:19 your seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of your body like its grains: his name would not be cut off nor destroyed from before me.
Isa 48:20 Go you forth from Babylon, flee you from the Chaldeans; with a voice of singing declare you, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth: say you, Yahweh has redeemed his servant Jacob.
Isa 48:21 They didn't thirst when he led them through the deserts; he caused the waters to flow out of the rock for them; he split the rock also, and the waters gushed out.
Isa 48:22 "There is no peace," says Yahweh, "for the wicked."



Nov. 6
1 Timothy 6

1Ti 6:1 Let as many as are bondservants under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and the doctrine not be blasphemed.
1Ti 6:2 Those who have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brothers, but rather let them serve them, because those who partake of the benefit are believing and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.
1Ti 6:3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine, and doesn't consent to sound words, the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness,
1Ti 6:4 he is conceited, knowing nothing, but obsessed with arguments, disputes, and word battles, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions,
1Ti 6:5 constant friction of people of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. Withdraw yourself from such.
1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we certainly can't carry anything out.
1Ti 6:8 But having food and clothing, we will be content with that.
1Ti 6:9 But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful lusts, such as drown men in ruin and destruction.
1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
1Ti 6:11 But you, man of God, flee these things, and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
1Ti 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you confessed the good confession in the sight of many witnesses.
1Ti 6:13 I command you before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate testified the good confession,
1Ti 6:14 that you keep the commandment without spot, blameless, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ;
1Ti 6:15 which in its own times he will show, who is the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
1Ti 6:16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light; whom no man has seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and eternal power. Amen.
1Ti 6:17 Charge those who are rich in this present world that they not be haughty, nor have their hope set on the uncertainty of riches, but on the living God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy;
1Ti 6:18 that they do good, that they be rich in good works, that they be ready to distribute, willing to communicate;
1Ti 6:19 laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold of eternal life.
1Ti 6:20 Timothy, guard that which is committed to you, turning away from the empty chatter and oppositions of the knowledge which is falsely so called;
1Ti 6:21 which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.

Nov. 7
2 Timothy 1

2Ti 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus,
2Ti 1:2 to Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
2Ti 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve as my forefathers did, with a pure conscience. How unceasing is my memory of you in my petitions, night and day
2Ti 1:4 longing to see you, remembering your tears, that I may be filled with joy;
2Ti 1:5 having been reminded of the unfeigned faith that is in you; which lived first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and, I am persuaded, in you also.
2Ti 1:6 For this cause, I remind you that you should stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
2Ti 1:7 For God didn't give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control.
2Ti 1:8 Therefore don't be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but endure hardship for the Good News according to the power of God,
2Ti 1:9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before times eternal,
2Ti 1:10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the Good News.
2Ti 1:11 For this, I was appointed as a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
2Ti 1:12 For this cause I also suffer these things. Yet I am not ashamed, for I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed to him against that day.
2Ti 1:13 Hold the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 1:14 That good thing which was committed to you, guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
2Ti 1:15 This you know, that all who are in Asia turned away from me; of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes.
2Ti 1:16 May the Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain,
2Ti 1:17 but when he was in Rome, he sought me diligently, and found me
2Ti 1:18 (the Lord grant to him to find the Lord's mercy in that day); and in how many things he served at Ephesus, you know very well.