2/28/20

"STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS" Hosea - God's Redeeming Love (8:1-10:15) by Mark Copeland




                    "STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS"

                Hosea - God's Redeeming Love (8:1-10:15)

INTRODUCTION

1. Thus far in our survey of the book of Hosea, we have seen...
   a. The analogy of Hosea and Gomer, illustrating God's experience with Israel
      1) Israel's rejection symbolized, in the names of Hosea and Gomer's children 
           - Hos 1:2-9
      2) Israel's restoration foretold - Hos 1:10-2:1
      3) Israel's unfaithfulness described, depicted as a wife guilty of harlotry - Hos 2:2-13
      4) Israel's restoration described, finally cured of her idolatry - Hos 2:14-23
      5) Israel's restoration symbolized, depicted as a harlot taken 
         back to be a wife - Hos 3:1-5
   b. God's indictment of Israel
      1) The charges brought against Israel - Hos 4:1-5:15
      2) Israel's appeal rejected - Hos 6:1-7:16
   -- The theme proposed for this book has been "God's Redeeming Love"

2. The love God has for Israel does not preclude the need for 
   punishment if she is to be truly redeemed...
   a. As mentioned in Hos 2:13
   b. This punishment will be seen in the form of the Assyrian 
      invasion, as foretold in the section now before us

[In this lesson, we shall continue our survey of Hosea by noticing 
God's warning of punishment that is to befall Israel, chapters 8-10...]

I. GOD'S PUNISHMENT FOR ISRAEL (8:1-10:15)

   A. WARNING OF APPROACHING JUDGMENT (8:1-14)
      1. Judgment is coming because they transgressed the covenant - Hos 8:1-6
      2. They have sown the wind, through their alliances with Assyria,
         and shall reap the whirlwind - Hos 8:7-10
      3. The altars of their religion has made them sin, their 
         punishment will be a "return to Egypt" (Egypt as a symbol of captivity)  - Hos 8:11-13
      4. Israel has forgotten his Maker, and even Judah places more 
         trust in fortified cities; but judgment will come upon them both - Hos 8:14

   B. ASSYRIAN CAPTIVITY FORETOLD (9:1-17)
      1. Because Israel has played the harlot - Hos 9:1-2
      2. Ephraim (Israel) shall "return to Egypt" - Hos 9:3-9
         a. Egypt used as a type for captivity, but then Assyria is mentioned by name
         b. They will be unable to celebrate the feasts
         c. They will be punished for their sins
      3. The fleeting glory of Israel - Hos 9:10-17
         a. Though considered the firstfruits, they soon gave themselves over to idolatry
         b. Thus their glory will fly away, and they will be like one childless
         c. For their wickedness, God will cast them away

   C. ISRAEL'S SIN AND CAPTIVITY REITERATED (10:1-15)
      1. Her guilt and coming captivity - Hos 10:1-8
      2. Her sin and coming punishment - Hos 10:9-15

[With such ample warnings through prophets like Hosea, God let Israel
know what was to befall her. Yet the prophet's message did not end
there. A message of hope concerning restoration was also proclaimed, 
which we will shall consider in our next lesson. For a few remaining 
moments, let's review...]

II. SOME KEY PASSAGES IN THIS SECTION

   A. "I HAVE WRITTEN FOR HIM THE GREAT THINGS OF MY LAW, 
        BUT THEY WERE CONSIDERED A STRANGE THING"
      1. Notice Hos 8:12
      2. This is a sad commentary on the condition of Israel
         a. God had done a wondrous thing by giving them His Word - cf.Ps 19:7-11
         b. Yet they had become so perverted that God's word seemed strange to them!
      3. Is this not true today as well?
         a. We have been richly blessed with the full revelation of 
            God's will through His Son Jesus Christ
         b. Yet many people (even some in the church)...
            1) ...are so unaware of what the Bible says
            2) ...are so caught up in the thinking of the world
            ...that the principles and truths of God's word are  "considered a strange thing"!
      -- Is God's word considered a strange thing to you?

   B. "SOW FOR YOURSELVES RIGHTEOUSNESS, REAP IN MERCY"
      1. Consider Hos 10:12
      2. While we cannot earn our salvation by good works, works of 
         righteousness can result in experiencing God's grace and mercy
         a. A case in point is the conversion of Cornelius - Ac 10:1-6
         b. His fear of God, prayers, and alms did not save him, but God did take notice
         c. By striving to serve and please God, he came to know the way of mercy and salvation
      -- Thus we should be diligent in our service, not to earn 
         salvation, but to receive God's gracious mercy - e.g., Onesiphorus - 2Ti 1:16-18

   C. "YOU HAVE PLOWED WICKEDNESS, YOU HAVE REAPED INIQUITY"
      1. Read Hos 10:13
      2. Iniquity (injustice, NASB) is the natural consequence of wickedness
         a. When people turn their ears away from hearing the Word of 
            God, they will be wicked
         b. And the consequence is great injustice and lawlessness
      -- Sadly, I believe we can see why our society is reaping so much
         injustice and lawlessness today (because of the wickedness that is sown)
         
CONCLUSION

1. The messages of Hosea, though first spoken to a people of an earlier
   time, speak to us also...
   a. History tends to repeat itself; we need to learn from the mistakes of others
   b. The people of God are not immune from apostasy, wickedness and rebellion

2. As Paul wrote to the church of Corinth, after reviewing parts of Israel's history...

   "Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should
   not lust after evil things as they also lusted." (1Co 10:6)

3. God's "intent" in preserving the Old Testament was that we might 
   benefit from Israel's mistakes
   a. The works of prophets like Hosea can certainly help
   b. Will his words be well known to us, or will they too be"considered a strange thing"?

I pray this study will help his words become more familiar to us...
 

Can a Person Live in Adultery? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=4181

Can a Person Live in Adultery?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Confusion exists in the mind of some concerning the status of those who commit the sin of adultery. It is generally recognized that a couple becomes guilty of adultery when they form a sexual relationship in violation of Christ’s teaching in Matthew 19:9. But what is a church to do when one or both of those marriage partners present themselves for church membership, expressing their regret for their sin, but their intention to continue their relationship? Some argue that the couple can be forgiven, if they say they are sorry, on the grounds that people cannot live in adultery. They were guilty of committing adultery when they first came together, but they cannot be guilty of living (in an ongoing state) in adultery, and so may continue their marriage without being guilty of further sin.
Meanwhile, the church tends to shy away from dealing with the matter, permitting the couple fellowship but, amid vague feelings of uncertainty, keeping them at arm’s length. In the midst of this inconsistency, the church unwittingly brings itself under the same indictment leveled at the churches in Pergamum (Revelation 2:14) and Thyatira (Revelation 2:20-22) for their unholy “tolerance.” We must permit God’s words to give us guidance rather than be influenced by our human inclinations, sympathies, or emotions. God’s Word speaks very clearly to this matter.
It is true that sin may be viewed as the practice of isolated acts that are contrary to God’s will. But it does not follow that individuals cannot live in sin. A “liar” is one who is involved in separate acts of lying. What makes him a liar, and therefore guilty of living a life of lying, is his refusal to cease telling lies. A person is a “murderer” if he has killed one or more persons and continues to entertain the possibility of repeating such behavior. A person is an “adulterer” because he has formed a sexual relationship which violates God’s law and refuses to cease that illicit relationship. Simply saying he is sorry for the existence of this adulterous union will not and cannot alter what, in God’s sight, is “not lawful” (Matthew 14:4). As long as that marriage is continued, the parties involved are adulterers (Romans 7:3). Only by terminating that relationship can the parties involved put an end to their adultery. Otherwise, they “continue to commit adultery” (Matthew 19:9—the present tense continuous action), “live in fornication” (Colossians 3:5-7), and “live in [sin]” (Romans 6:2). When Paul reminded Christians at Corinth of their conversion day, he noted that some had previously been fornicators, adulterers, and homosexuals (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). Who could possibly doubt the fact that their salvation would have been impossible unless these sexual unions were terminated? Indeed, how could they “that are dead to sin, live any longer therein” (Romans 6:2)?

Boy Came Back from Heaven? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=5096

Boy Came Back from Heaven?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

It was 2004 when 6-year-old Alex Malarkey was plunged into a coma by injuries sustained in a car accident. After waking two months later, he claimed he had seen angels who took him to heaven to meet Jesus. Six years later, Tyndale published a book by the boy, co-authored with his father, titled The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, which became an instant bestseller, even spawning a documentary DVD. Now, at the age of 16, Alex has retracted his claims and, thankfully, is urging people to return to the Bible for the only reliable source for information on the afterlife (Zylstra, 2015).
Manmade religion typically relies heavily on subjective experience that the perpetrators expect people to accept based solely on personal “testimony.” However, such an approach to arriving at truth is in stark contrast with Bible teaching. God has always insisted that humans must weigh the evidence and draw only those conclusions warranted by that evidence (Miller, 2011). When God revealed new information, He never expected anyone to merely accept the word of another—even a prophet from God—without confirmation by an undeniable miraculous sign that demonstrates divine authenticity (John 10:37; see Miller, 2003a).
What’s more, the Bible speaks definitively concerning the afterlife. Since the Bible can be shown to be the inspired, infallible Word of God (Butt, 2007), it can be relied on to provide accurate information regarding life after death. It does not answer all our questions, but it gives sufficient information by which one can know with certainty the general parameters of life beyond the grave. The Bible teaches that for all individuals who died in Bible history, in every case, a miracle was necessary to restore the separated spirit of the individual to the body. This return of a person’s spirit constituted a resurrection. But miracles served a very specific purpose in Bible times—a purpose no longer needed (Miller, 2003a). Since God has chosen not to work miracles today (1 Corinthians 13:8-11; Ephesians 4:8-13), and no resurrections will occur until the general resurrection (John 5:25-29; Luke 14:14; 1 Corinthians 15:12ff.), there is no such thing as an “out-of-body experience” (for more discussion, read Miller, 2013).
Further, the Bible lays out a fairly complete treatment of afterlife (see Miller, 2003b). Briefly, God gives people this life on Earth to prepare their spirits for their eternal abode. When a person dies, his or her body goes into the grave, while the conscious spirit enters the hadean realm to await the final Judgment. At the Second Coming of Christ, all spirits will come forth from hades and be resurrected in immortal bodies. All will then face God in judgment, receive the pronouncement of eternal sentence, and then be consigned to heaven or hell for eternity (read Luke 16:19-31; cf. Miller, 2003b).
As usual, people could spare themselves a lot of hype and sensationalism that ends in embarrassment, disillusion, and resentment if they would simply consult the sure Word of God and order their thinking and life according to its precepts.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:12-13).
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so (Acts 17:11, emp. added).

REFERENCES

Butt, Kyle (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Miller, Dave (2003a), “Modern-Day Miracles, Tongue-Speaking, and Holy Spirit Baptism: A Refutation--EXTENDED VERSION,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=11&article=1399.
Miller, Dave (2003b), “One Second After Death,” Apologetics Press, https://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1188&topic=74.
Miller, Dave (2011), “Is Christianity Logical? Parts 1&2,” Reason & Revelation, 31[6]:50-52,56-59; 31[7]:62-64,68-71, http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=977.
Miller, Dave (2013), “What About ‘Out-of-Body Experiences’?” Apologetics Press, https://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=4694&topic=74.
Zylstra, Sarah Eekhoff (2015), “The ‘Boy Who Came Back from Heaven’ Retracts Story,” Christianity Today, January 15, http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2015/january/boy-who-came-back-from-heaven-retraction.html?paging=off.

Book Review: The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart by Wayne Jackson, M.A.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=232

Book Review: The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart

by  Wayne Jackson, M.A.

Peter J. Gomes is a Baptist clergyman who preaches for Harvard University’s Memorial Church, and who also teaches at the university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The cleric professor has created a maelstrom of controversy recently with the publication of The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart (1996). The design of this book is to neutralize the Scriptures of their doctrinally demanding thrust, thus accommodating the ancient volume to the inclinations of modern society.
Gomes argues, for example, that the Bible does not condemn abortion. He contends that the biblical term “murder” refers only to the premeditated destruction of human life “outside the womb” (p. 45)—a distinction that is arbitrary, and which, in fact, is at variance with Exodus 21:22-23.
Further, Gomes, a self-confessed homosexual, alleges that the use of the Bible to condemn homosexuality is the product of simplistic interpretative methods that reflect a failure to comprehend the context in which the Scriptures were written. Such proceduralism he calls “textual harassment.” These sort of charges flow easily, of course, from those who reject the plain testimony of the Bible in the interest of their own personal agenda. For example, the author makes an artificial distinction in types of homosexual relationships. One moment he contends that Paul, in his various letters, merely was condemning the “debauched pagan expression” of homosexuality; then, he alleges that the apostle hardly can be faulted for his ignorance, because he knew nothing of “the concept of a homosexual nature” (p. 158). He also suggests (p. 25) that there was a homosexual relationship between David and Jonathan—a notion not reflected even remotely in the Old Testament narrative regarding these great men. Gomes obviously is desperate for some semblance of support for his aberrant lifestyle.
The professor charges that the New Testament itself is anti-Semitic. One chapter is titled: “The Bible and Anti-Semitism: Christianity’s Original Sin.” It is hardly anti-Semitic, however, to contend that the Jews’ salvation is to be found only in Jesus Christ, when the same condition prevails for the Gentiles as well. No one can read Romans 9:1ff., where Paul’s heart throbs with love for his brothers in the flesh, and charge the apostle with hatred and racism.
This volume is filled with reckless charges, sweeping generalizations, and invalid arguments. It is utterly bereft of scholarly acumen.
Of late, Gomes has been a frequent guest on the talk-show circuit, and his book has received laudatory reviews in the popular press. This is to be expected from media that disregard the authority of the Bible, and seek justification for hedonistic lifestyles.

REFERENCES

Gomes, Peter J. (1996), The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart (New York: William Morrow).

DON’T THINK IT STRANGE (1) by Jim McGuiggan

http://theabidingword.com/logos/index.html

DON’T THINK IT STRANGE (1)

Jesus took Himself very seriously. You know that. Make your own list of the things He said about Himself. I wish here to focus on His claim that the entire OT was really about Him (John 5:39-40, 46). In Luke 24:25-27, 44-49 He said it was all about Him, about His suffering and the glory that would follow. In the Luke 24:25 He rebukes His distressed followers for not taking into account all that the prophets foretold. (We need to take 24:44 into account when reading that rebuke.)
Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 makes the point that Jesus died and rose in keeping with the Scriptures. He does the same thing in Romans 1:1-4 and in Acts 26:22-23. Peter does the same thing in 1 Peter 1:10-11, 20. You’ll remember how Jesus trenchantly rebuked Peter in Matthew 16:21-24 when the disciple took issue with Christ’s talk of suffering and death. Peter thought it strange talk for a Messiah but he later learned better and told God’s new chosen People, “Think it not strange that you undergo great suffering—it isn’t strange; you are sharing Christ’s sufferings.” 1 Peter 4:12-14.
Two things (among others) are clear. First, the sufferings and death of Christ were a total surprise even to (perhaps especially to) His followers and Jesus understood that suffering & death were part of what He was appointed to. None of it surprised Him. “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour?’ But for this purpose I came to this hour.” John 12:27, speaking of His suffering and death and more than that. Another conversation for another time, God enabling.
Secondly, that the apostolic gospel included the truth that His suffering and death were no chance events—they were foreknown and took place in accordance with God’s redemptive purpose. Peter to the crowd about Jesus’ suffering, death and resurrection in Acts 2:23-47, “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you…crucified and put to death; whom God raised up…” The entire section needs to be read, including 2:38 where baptism is the Spirit-appointed way of acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus via the God-appointed suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ that brought and brings forgiveness to sinners.
The apostolic gospel stressed Jesus’ death and resurrection as the fulfillment of  not just a verse or two here and there in the OT, but the entire drift of it. If Israel had known who they were and what their place in the desperately sinful and ignorant world was they would have expected to experience suffering and rejection—it came with the “job”. They were assigned to be the “covenant” and light-bringer to the world via their faithfulness (Isaiah 49) and they via their unfaithfulness became part of the problem and went after other gods. Yet there were those in the nation who remained faithful to God and were called to bring Israel back to God and so bless the world (again, Isaiah 49). Jesus (who is God being a man—David’s son according to the flesh, Romans 1:1-4) was and is the embodiment of all that Israel was to be, Abraham’s child (Galatians 3:16), was to bear rejection, suffering and death that was the fruit of the Sin of the world.
In His suffering and death He was exposing the evil world for what it was (John 12:31). Apart from God and His gracious work in human life there is only lies and deception, loss of honor and life, abuse and alienation from one another, cruelty and corruption. That is the “world” of which Satan is the prince and it ends with nothing but Death. The Godhead purposed that as Jesus of Nazareth, the Son, for humanity’s sake would share their agony and in that way expose such a world, experience its inevitable end (death) and then rise as its conqueror, as the Lord of a new creation that will be consummated at His return though such glory is currently hidden. (None of this has anything to do with God punishing Jesus.)
[To be continued, God enabling.]

DON’T THINK IT STRANGE (2) by Jim McGuiggan

http://theabidingword.com/logos/index.html
       “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to                   try you, as though some strange thing has happened to you.” 1 Peter 4:12
Yes, but we do think it strange! We don’t think that way every moment but when serious pain or loss enters we cry out and want it to stop. The Hebrew writer voiced that sense of things for us when he said of Jesus (5:8), “Though He was a Son yet He learned obedience by the things He suffered.” Despite the fact that He was God’s Son He suffered—one wouldn’t have thought He would since He was God’s Son—but He did!
The Temptation narrative has Satan voicing the same thing. The particle can be rendered “if” or “since”—context determines. Either works here. “If you’re God’s Son you shouldn’t be going hungry; turn the stones into bread!” More than three psalmists (see 22, 44 & 88) speak our minds. The psalmists wonder how things could be going so bad with them when they were part of a covenanted people. They knew they weren’t sinless but they also knew that God knew they were sinners when He made a covenant with them. Psalm 22 and 88 are more individualistic than 44. When agony came on them they laid it at God’s feet (Job does the same thing and so does God who “put forth His hand” and took from Job all He had given him—42:11 with 1:11-12; 2:5-6).
Psalmists and prophets could understand that when the nation apostatizes God may well respond in severe chastisement (Psalm 106 & Amos 4 illustrate). In such circumstances we speak of it as “punishment” but there were those who were bewildered because they hadn’t walked away from God, had held Him to be their God since they were born (Psalm 22:1-10). “Why me?” they want to know. “What have I done that this should come on me? Don’t you love me?” These protests, this bewilderment triggered by anguish is not strange. It makes good sense! Peter can say all he wants about it not being strange but we don’t believe him or at least, we don’t understand him.
In the great movie Glory Thomas is a young black gentleman, well-read and sensitive to what is going on in the world (his father being a fervent abolitionist). He is a close and long-time friend of Robert Gould Shaw who came to be the colonel-commander of the first African-American division in the northern army during the civil war. Thomas is the first man to enlist when he heard his boyhood friend is heading up that company but he discovers that his boyhood friend has now become his commanding officer and will not permit friendly fraternizing. Thomas is stunned, it is experienced as rejection and we see it on his face. Half astonishment, half bewilderment and total disbelief. His face says it all: “What? Did I do something? What did I do? It’s me, Thomas, your dear friend since boyhood…”
He was the only black gentleman in the entire regiment that felt isolated and he felt isolated and mistreated precisely because he had had and still felt from his perspective a special relationship with the commander of the force. He was anguished not because the commander was treating him differently from all his fellows but because the leader was not treating him differently. After all, they had history, a long standing relationship—friendship must mean something. Through a long painful period he comes to understand why he can’t be given special treatment; but it is through and via a long agonizing period that he learns it. And there’s this: he bonds with his fellows who never knew the blessing of the intimacy, the warmth and friendship of anyone with such power as the colonel. His privileged place and comfort had robbed him of understanding of and fellowship with his brothers. The movie closes with the leader, Thomas and the entire company marching together in glorious unity of heart and purpose. But it was through pain! Anguish!
Yes, but, why through pain, why anguish?
(To be continued, God enabling)
(Holy Father, who through pain and anguish sought us, help us to understand that we might honor you and sing your praises in a strange land.)

THE ORIGINAL INTENT OF SCRIPTURE by steve finnell

http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2017/04/the-original-intent-of-scripture-by.html

THE ORIGINAL INTENT OF SCRIPTURE  

by steve finnell


Should believers in Christ be concerned with God's original intent? Does the original intent of Scripture matter? Is the Bible an evolving book to be added to, as cultural norms change?

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NKJV)

What was the original intent of 2 Timothy 3:16-17? That creed books, church catechisms, Bible commentaries, the writings of famous preachers, the views of theologians, and post Biblical books of so-called new revelation, be deemed as Scripture? I do not think so!

Acts 2:36 "Therefore let all the house of Israel know that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ."(NKJV)

What was the original intent of Acts 2:36?   To teach mankind that Jesus was simply one of many Lords and many Christs? NO!

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, "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. (NKJV)

What was the original intent of Acts 2:38? To teach that immersion in water was because sins were forgiven the minute that a person believed that Jesus was Lord and Christ? Was it to prove the Holy Spirit was given prior to repentance and baptism? Was it to tell the world that water baptism was not essential for the forgiveness of sins. Did the original intent convey the view, that baptism was for a testimony of a person's faith? NO, NO, NO!

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (NKJV)

What was the original intent of Mark 16:15? To tell the world that God had selected a few that would be saved and He had selected all others to burn in hell, for eternity? NO!

Mark 16:16 "He who believes and is baptized will be saved...(NKJV)

What was the original intent of Mark 16:16? To teach that infants were guilty of Adam's sin and had to be baptized before they were mature enough to believe and confess Jesus as Lord and Christ? NO, infants are not guilty of sin.

The original New Covenant terms of pardon have been not changed by God. Only men change the terms of pardon. Do you really want to trust men to get you into heaven?

GOD"S TERMS OF PARDON: 1. Faith, John 3:16. Repentance, Acts 3:19, Acts 2:38. Confession, Romans 10:9. Water Immersion, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:21, Acts 22:16, Galatians 3:27.

Keeping Vows And Forsaking The World by B. Johnson


http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Johnson/Edna/Elizabeth/1939/keepingvows.html


Keeping Vows And Forsaking The World
Some say that keeping vows is not that big of a deal. We can see by the recent statistics on marriage and divorce that the marriage vows count for little in today’s society. And what about our commitment to Christ when we were immersed in the waters of baptism? Did we promise to lose our lives for Christ and the gospel? Did we agree that Jesus is our king and Lord? If He truly is our Lord, we must do the things He says (Luke 6:46).
I hear from some who claim to be members of the church that the reason they became Christians was to escape pain and suffering and to go to heaven instead of hell. Their mind (attitude) seems to focus on what they can get from God rather than how they can serve Him. They seem to have forgotten they did not create themselves, but that He created them (Psa 100:3; Rom 1:21; Mark 8:36-37).
Judas Iscariot sold his soul for 30 pieces of silver (Mat 26:15). Some today seem quite willing to sell their souls for a high-paying job, a new house, a new car, or even prestige or power. Both partners in a household will frequently work seven days a week to lay up treasure here on earth (Luke 12:16-21; Mat 6:26), but they rarely will spend more than an hour on Sunday to ‘serve the Lord’. Would spending that much time each week make any other commitment prosper? Certainly not, so why do people think it would please the Creator?
Others cite family ties or commitments to explain why they have no time to assemble for study or worship or to work for Christ during the week. Maybe they believe they have to spend hours upon hours educating their children or helping them with homework. Perhaps they find it necessary to care for aging or invalid parents. Provided we do not let these things stand in the way of our service to the Lord, we can do them with His blessing.
But some use these duties as an excuse for not serving the Lord. Jesus said: “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me” (Mat 10:37). “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26).
Beth Johnson
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The King James Version.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

Bible Reading for February 28, 29 and March 1 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading for February 28, 29 & March 1

World  English  Bible


Feb. 28
Exodus 9

Exo 9:1 Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh, and tell him, 'This is what Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, says: "Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exo 9:2 For if you refuse to let them go, and hold them still,
Exo 9:3 behold, the hand of Yahweh is on your livestock which are in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the herds, and on the flocks with a very grievous pestilence.
Exo 9:4 Yahweh will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt; and there shall nothing die of all that belongs to the children of Israel." ' "
Exo 9:5 Yahweh appointed a set time, saying, "Tomorrow Yahweh shall do this thing in the land."
Exo 9:6 Yahweh did that thing on the next day; and all the livestock of Egypt died, but of the livestock of the children of Israel, not one died.
Exo 9:7 Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not so much as one of the livestock of the Israelites dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was stubborn, and he didn't let the people go.
Exo 9:8 Yahweh said to Moses and to Aaron, "Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the sky in the sight of Pharaoh.
Exo 9:9 It shall become small dust over all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with boils on man and on animal, throughout all the land of Egypt."
Exo 9:10 They took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward the sky; and it became a boil breaking forth with boils on man and on animal.
Exo 9:11 The magicians couldn't stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boils were on the magicians, and on all the Egyptians.
Exo 9:12 Yahweh hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he didn't listen to them, as Yahweh had spoken to Moses.
Exo 9:13 Yahweh said to Moses, "Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and tell him, 'This is what Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, says: "Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exo 9:14 For this time I will send all my plagues against your heart, against your officials, and against your people; that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth.
Exo 9:15 For now I would have put forth my hand, and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth;
Exo 9:16 but indeed for this cause I have made you stand: to show you my power, and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth;
Exo 9:17 as you still exalt yourself against my people, that you won't let them go.
Exo 9:18 Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as has not been in Egypt since the day it was founded even until now.
Exo 9:19 Now therefore command that all of your livestock and all that you have in the field be brought into shelter. Every man and animal that is found in the field, and isn't brought home, the hail shall come down on them, and they shall die." ' "
Exo 9:20 Those who feared the word of Yahweh among the servants of Pharaoh made their servants and their livestock flee into the houses.
Exo 9:21 Whoever didn't regard the word of Yahweh left his servants and his livestock in the field.
Exo 9:22 Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch forth your hand toward the sky, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, on man, and on animal, and on every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt."
Exo 9:23 Moses stretched forth his rod toward the heavens, and Yahweh sent thunder, hail, and lightning flashed down to the earth. Yahweh rained hail on the land of Egypt.
Exo 9:24 So there was very severe hail, and lightning mixed with the hail, such as had not been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
Exo 9:25 The hail struck throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and animal; and the hail struck every herb of the field, and broke every tree of the field.
Exo 9:26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.
Exo 9:27 Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "I have sinned this time. Yahweh is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.
Exo 9:28 Pray to Yahweh; for there has been enough of mighty thunderings and hail. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer."
Exo 9:29 Moses said to him, "As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands to Yahweh. The thunders shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that you may know that the earth is Yahweh's.
Exo 9:30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you don't yet fear Yahweh God."
Exo 9:31 The flax and the barley were struck, for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was in bloom.
Exo 9:32 But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they had not grown up.
Exo 9:33 Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands to Yahweh; and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured on the earth.
Exo 9:34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.
Exo 9:35 The heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he didn't let the children of Israel go, just as Yahweh had spoken through Moses.

Feb. 29
Exodus 10

Exo 10:1 Yahweh said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I may show these my signs in the midst of them,
Exo 10:2 and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your son's son, what things I have done to Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that you may know that I am Yahweh."
Exo 10:3 Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and said to him, "This is what Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, says: 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exo 10:4 Or else, if you refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country,
Exo 10:5 and they shall cover the surface of the earth, so that one won't be able to see the earth. They shall eat the residue of that which has escaped, which remains to you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which grows for you out of the field.
Exo 10:6 Your houses shall be filled, and the houses of all your servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; as neither your fathers nor your fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were on the earth to this day.' " He turned, and went out from Pharaoh.
Exo 10:7 Pharaoh's servants said to him, "How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve Yahweh, their God. Don't you yet know that Egypt is destroyed?"
Exo 10:8 Moses and Aaron were brought again to Pharaoh, and he said to them, "Go, serve Yahweh your God; but who are those who will go?"
Exo 10:9 Moses said, "We will go with our young and with our old; with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast to Yahweh."
Exo 10:10 He said to them, "Yahweh be with you if I will let you go with your little ones! See, evil is clearly before your faces.
Exo 10:11 Not so! Go now you who are men, and serve Yahweh; for that is what you desire!" They were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.
Exo 10:12 Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up on the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail has left."
Exo 10:13 Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and Yahweh brought an east wind on the land all that day, and all the night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.
Exo 10:14 The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the borders of Egypt. They were very grievous. Before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.
Exo 10:15 For they covered the surface of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened, and they ate every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left. There remained nothing green, either tree or herb of the field, through all the land of Egypt.
Exo 10:16 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste, and he said, "I have sinned against Yahweh your God, and against you.
Exo 10:17 Now therefore please forgive my sin again, and pray to Yahweh your God, that he may also take away from me this death."
Exo 10:18 He went out from Pharaoh, and prayed to Yahweh.
Exo 10:19 Yahweh turned an exceeding strong west wind, which took up the locusts, and drove them into the Red Sea. There remained not one locust in all the borders of Egypt.
Exo 10:20 But Yahweh hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he didn't let the children of Israel go.
Exo 10:21 Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt."
Exo 10:22 Moses stretched forth his hand toward the sky, and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.
Exo 10:23 They didn't see one another, neither did anyone rise from his place for three days; but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
Exo 10:24 Pharaoh called to Moses, and said, "Go, serve Yahweh. Only let your flocks and your herds stay behind. Let your little ones also go with you."
Exo 10:25 Moses said, "You must also give into our hand sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to Yahweh our God.
Exo 10:26 Our livestock also shall go with us. There shall not a hoof be left behind, for of it we must take to serve Yahweh our God; and we don't know with what we must serve Yahweh, until we come there."
Exo 10:27 But Yahweh hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he wouldn't let them go.
Exo 10:28 Pharaoh said to him, "Get away from me! Be careful to see my face no more; for in the day you see my face you shall die!"
Exo 10:29 Moses said, "You have spoken well. I will see your face again no more."

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. 
  
Feb. 28, 29
Mark 2

Mar 2:1 When he entered again into Capernaum after some days, it was heard that he was in the house.
Mar 2:2 Immediately many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even around the door; and he spoke the word to them.
Mar 2:3 Four people came, carrying a paralytic to him.
Mar 2:4 When they could not come near to him for the crowd, they removed the roof where he was. When they had broken it up, they let down the mat that the paralytic was lying on.
Mar 2:5 Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you."
Mar 2:6 But there were some of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
Mar 2:7 "Why does this man speak blasphemies like that? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
Mar 2:8 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you reason these things in your hearts?
Mar 2:9 Which is easier, to tell the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven;' or to say, 'Arise, and take up your bed, and walk?'
Mar 2:10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -he said to the paralytic-
Mar 2:11 "I tell you, arise, take up your mat, and go to your house."
Mar 2:12 He arose, and immediately took up the mat, and went out in front of them all; so that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"
Mar 2:13 He went out again by the seaside. All the multitude came to him, and he taught them.
Mar 2:14 As he passed by, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he arose and followed him.
Mar 2:15 It happened, that he was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners sat down with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many, and they followed him.
Mar 2:16 The scribes and the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, "Why is it that he eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?"
Mar 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Mar 2:18 John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, and they came and asked him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don't fast?"
Mar 2:19 Jesus said to them, "Can the groomsmen fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they can't fast.
Mar 2:20 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then will they fast in that day.
Mar 2:21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, or else the patch shrinks and the new tears away from the old, and a worse hole is made.
Mar 2:22 No one puts new wine into old wineskins, or else the new wine will burst the skins, and the wine pours out, and the skins will be destroyed; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins."
Mar 2:23 It happened that he was going on the Sabbath day through the grain fields, and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of grain.
Mar 2:24 The Pharisees said to him, "Behold, why do they do that which is not lawful on the Sabbath day?"
Mar 2:25 He said to them, "Did you never read what David did, when he had need, and was hungry-he, and those who were with him?
Mar 2:26 How he entered into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the show bread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and gave also to those who were with him?"
Mar 2:27 He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
Mar 2:28 Therefore the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."

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."