"STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS" Habakkuk - From A Sob To A Song (1:1-3:19) INTRODUCTION 1. We have seen that during the O.T. period known as "Judah Alone"... a. Zephaniah was prophesying to Judah b. Nahum was pronouncing God's judgment upon Nineveh 2. Then there was Habakkuk, a prophet filled with troubling questions a. Concerning his NAME 1) It means "Embrace" 2) "His name, as Luther well puts it, speaks as one who took his nation to his heart, comforted it and held it up, as one embraces and presses to his bosom a poor weeping child, calming and consoling it with good hope." (Geikie) b. Concerning the DATE 1) Around 612-606 B.C. 2) Just as Babylon was making her westward move toward world conquest c. Concerning his MESSAGE: the book easily falls into three sections 1) A "burden" - Hab 1:1-2:1 2) A "vision" - Hab 2:2-20 3) A "prayer" - Hab 3:1-19 3. We note an immediate difference between Habakkuk and other prophets... a. Instead of taking the Lord's message directly to the people (as do most prophets) b. He takes the complaint of the people directly to the Lord, representing them in the complaint -- As he does so, it has been said that Habakkuk goes "From A Sob To A Song" [This process begins with a "burden" as found in the first section of his message...] I. HIS "BURDEN": FAITH GRAPPLING WITH A PROBLEM A. THE PROPHET RAISES A QUESTION... 1. He laments over apparent rule of wickedness and violence 2. How can the Lord justify His apparent indifference to such things? - Hab 1:1-4 B. GOD'S ANSWER... 1. He is not indifferent! 2. He is doing something that will be hard to fathom - Hab 1:5-11 a. Raising up the Chaldeans (Babylon) to execute His judgment b. Using a violent nation that arrogantly thinks it is serving its own god (and purpose) C. THE PROPHET'S SECOND QUESTION... 1. How can a holy God employ such an impure and godless agent? - Hab 1:12-17 2. This is hard for Habakkuk to understand, but he will watch to see what the Lord will say to him - Hab 2:1 [Indeed, it is a heavy "burden" for Habakkuk. God has answered his first question by saying He will use the Chaldeans to punish the wickedness and violence in Judah. But the Chaldeans are wicked also, how can God use them? Habakkuk receives his answer in the form of a "vision"...] II. HIS "VISION": FAITH GRASPING THE SOLUTION A. GOD'S ANSWER: FIRST, THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY HIS FAITH... 1. Habakkuk is to write what God reveals to him - Hab 2:2-3 2. The proud is not upright; but the just shall live by his faith- Hab 2:4 B. GOD'S ANSWER: SECOND, GOD WILL JUDGE THE PROUD... 1. Woe to the proud possessed with the lust of conquest and plunder - Hab 2:5-8 2. Woe to their efforts to build a permanent empire through cruelty and godless gain - Hab 2:9-11 3. Woe to those who build cities with bloodshed - Hab 2:12-14 4. Woe to those with cruelty in their treatment of those they conquered - Hab 2:15-17 5. Woe to those given over to idolatry - Hab 2:18-20 a. Who worship that in which there is no breath at all b. While the Lord is in His holy temple, before whom the earth should keep silence [The answer to Habakkuk's second question appears to be this: While God may use a wicked nation like Babylon to punish the wickedness of Judah, He will not let Babylon's wickedness go unpunished either! In the meantime, the just (righteous) person will live by his faith in God, which Habakkuk illustrates with his "prayer"...] III. HIS "PRAYER": FAITH GLORYING IN ASSURANCE A. PETITION FOR GOD'S ACTION AND MERCY... 1. Written in the form of a psalm - Hab 3:1,19c 2. Asking God to revive His works, and in His wrath remember mercy - Hab 3:2 B. PRAISE FOR GOD'S PAST DELIVERANCE... 1. His mighty works in the past - Hab 3:3-7 2. Bringing both judgment to the wicked and salvation to His people - Hab 3:8-15 C. PROFESSION OF FAITH... 1. He trembled at what he has heard, that he will have rest in the day of trouble - Hab 3:16 2. But he expresses his faith, that while trouble may come he will rejoice in the Lord who will be his strength - Hab 3:17-19 -- Here we find one of the greatest expressions of faith found anywhere! CONCLUSION 1. What lessons can we glean from this short book? (as suggested by Homer Hailey) a. The universal supremacy of God's judgment upon the wicked 1) God would use Chaldea to punish wicked Judah 2) Then Chaldea would be destroyed for its own wickedness b. Evil is self-destructive 1) If the righteous can be patient, trusting in the Lord 2) The tyranny and arrogance of the wicked will eventually fall c. The fact of divine discipline 1) In Job it is shown in the suffering of the individual 2) In Habakkuk it is shown in the suffering of the nation -- In both cases, suffering is disciplinary 2. Perhaps the most important lesson concerns the value of "faith"... a. By it the righteous in Habakkuk's day would live b. Even more so today! 1) In receiving salvation - Ro 1:16-17 2) In persevering - He 10:35-39 -- Notice that both quote from Hab 2:4 But our faith must not be a shallow faith; it must be like that expressed by Habakkuk... "Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls;" "Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer's feet, And He will make me walk on my high hills." Habakkuk 3:17-19 Is this our kind of faith?
Deuteronomy 22:28-29 and Rape
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
One prevalent idea in skeptical circles is that the God of the Old Testament is cruel and condones practices that are immoral. Each example that skeptics have provided to prove this thesis, however, has been shown to be false. We see time and again that the God of the Old Testament is the same God of love that we observe in the life and personality of Jesus Christ. One passage that is incorrectly used to impugn God’s character is Deuteronomy 22:28-29. Moses wrote:
If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.According to the skeptic, these verses teach that a man who rapes a woman gets to have her as his wife. The skeptic then demands that any God who would reward a rapist with the woman he rapes is wicked and immoral. Thus the God of the Bible cannot be the loving God Christians say He is.
The reason the skeptic at first glance seems to have something of a case is simply because most English translations of these verses do not accurately render the original intent of the Hebrew. To be fair, this issue causes even those who are not skeptically minded some difficulty. When most English speakers hear that a person has “seized” another person, we necessarily jump to the conclusion that it is a violent action against the will of the other person. This problem has been aggravated by the fact that some translations inaccurately and mistakenly translate the word as “rape.” The truth is, however, the Hebrew word in this case translated “seizes” (tapas) can mean many things. Here are some examples of the way it is translated in Deuteronomy 22:28 in several different English translations:
- “lay hold on her” (ASV)
- “taking her” (DRA)
- “and takes her” (NLV/NAB)
- “and hath caught her” (YLT).
The Hebrew word tapas (“lay hold of her,” emphasized above) simply means to take hold of something, grasp it in hand, and (by application) to capture or seize something. It is the verb used for “handling” the harp and flute (Gen. 4:21), the sword (Ezek. 21:11; 30:21), the sickle (Jer. 50:16), the shield (Jer. 46:9), the oars (Ezek. 27:29), and the bow (Amos 2:15). It is likewise used for “taking” God’s name (Prov. 30:9) or “dealing” with the law of God (Jer. 2:8). Joseph’s garment was “grasped” (Gen. 39:12; cf. 1 Kings 11:30), even as Moses “took” the two tablets of the law (Deut. 9:17)… [T]he Hebrew verb “to handle, grasp, capture” does not in itself indicate anything about the use of force (italics in orig.).In truth, we use English words in this way on a regular basis. For instance, a brief look at the English word “take” illustrates the point. You can take someone’s cookie, or take a person’s wife, or take a bride to be your wife. The idea of force is not inherent in the word at all. If you take a person in your arms, what have you done? Or if a young man takes a young woman to be his wife, is there force involved? No. Also, think about the English word “hold.” You can take hold of something in a number of ways. We often say that a woman will hold the child in her arms, or a bridegroom takes a bride to “have and to hold.” The Hebrew word tapas is acting in exactly the same way as the English words “hold” and “take” are.
In addition, it is clearly evident from the immediate context of Deuteronomy 22 that rape is not being discussed in verses 28-29. We know that for two primary reasons. First, verses 25-27 give a clear instance in which rape is being discussed. In that case, a man raped a woman, she “cried out” (v. 27), but she was in the country and no one was there to help her. The text says that the man who committed the crime “shall die” (v. 25), but the Israelites were supposed to “do nothing to the young woman” since “there is in the young woman no sin worthy of death” (v. 26). It is of great interest that in this clear case of rape, the text uses a completely different word. The word translated “forces her” in verse 25 is the Hebrew word chazaq and yet in verse 28, the verb has been intentionally changed to tapas (see Shamoun, 2015). Second, the natural reading of verses 28-29 makes it evident that both parties are guilty of at least some of the blame. Notice that at the end of verse 28 the text says, “and they are found out.” When the passage discusses the obvious case of rape, the text specifically only mentions the man in verse 25 when it says “then only the man who lay with her,” and conspicuously leaves out any indication of “they” being involved in the sin. Dr. Bahsen compares Deuteronomy 22:28-29 to Exodus 22:16, which reads, “If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price for her to be his wife” (1992). Notice that in this verse in Exodus, there is no force and both parties shoulder some of the guilt.
The practical value of God’s instruction in Deuteronomy 22:28-29 is easy to see. A man has sexual intercourse with a young woman who is not betrothed to anyone. There is no force involved, and it is not rape. But their action has been discovered. Now, who in the land of Israel wanted to marry a young girl who has not kept herself pure? The man cannot walk away from his sin. He has put the young woman in a very difficult life situation, in which there would be few (or no) other men who would want to marry her. Since it was often the case that women had an extremely difficult time financially without the help of a husband, this would be even more devastating to the young woman. God holds both the parties accountable, instructing them to get married and stay together, both suffer the shame, and work through the difficulties that they have brought on themselves. Nothing could be more moral, loving, and wise than these instructions. Once again, the skeptical charge against God’s love is without foundation.
REFERENCESBahnsen, Greg (1992), “Premarital Sexual Relations: What is the Moral Obligation When Repeated Incidents are Confessed,” Covenant Media Foundation, http://www.cmfnow.com/articles/pe152.htm.
Shamoun, Sam (2015), “The Old Testament and Rape,” http://www.answering-islam.org/Shamoun/ot_and_rape.htm.
Demons: Ancient Superstition or Historical Reality?
|by||Wayne Jackson, M.A.|
As one begins a perusal of the New Testament, he encounters an unusual phenomenon known as “demon possession.” The first Gospel writer recorded these words: “And the report of him [Jesus] went forth into all Syria: and they brought unto him all that were sick, holden with divers diseases and torments, possessed with demons, and epileptic, and palsied; and he healed them” (Matthew 4:24, ASV). From this point on, there are numerous references to “demons” or “demon possession” in the New Testament. [NOTE: “Devils,” as found in the KJV, is an incorrect rendition. The Greek word for devil is diabolos. Other terms, diamon (found once) and dimonion (63 times), are transliterated as “demon(s)” in the ASV. There is only one devil, but there are many demons.]
Critics of the Bible, of course, allege that this is an example of the sort of gross superstition that characterizes the ancient volume. The following quote represents a typical atheistic approach to this matter:
Mark 5:1-13 relates an incredible story wherein Jesus casts out the “devils” from an unfortunate man. He then causes the devils to enter, instead, a herd of swine, and the swine, thus bedeviled, race over a cliff, fall into the sea and drown. Fundamentalists would have us believe that this is a true story. That tells us a lot about fundamentalists. Belief in demons and fairies and goblins and dragons ended, for most people, ages ago, and is remembered only in some Fairy Tales. Such primeval superstitions should be left behind, in our colorful past, where they belong (Hayes, 1996, pp. 129-130).Even religious modernists are prone to dismiss the biblical accounts of demon possession. William Barclay wrote:
We need not argue whether demons were realities or not. One thing certain is that in the time of Jesus people believed in them with terrified intensity. If a man believes he is ill, he will be ill. If a man believed that he was demon-possessed, then, illusion or no, he was definitely ill in mind and body (1976, p. 26).The Scottish scholar went on to concede that Jesus may have believed in demons, but that “He did not come into this world to give men medical knowledge, and there is no reason to think that his medical knowledge would be any more advanced than that of the people of his day” (p. 27).
To suggest that such a comment is a reflection upon the deity of Christ is an understatement. The New Testament does not represent Jesus merely as believing in demons, but depicts Him actually speaking to these beings, and being spoken to by them. He even commanded demons to do certain things. Either these evil spirits were a reality, or else the biblical record is entirely wrong. There is no other way to view the matter.
This sort of a priori dismissal of the historical record is typical of unbelief. The skeptic, and even those religionists who have been influenced by the rationalistic mode of thought, repudiate anything that is not consistent with current human experience. But such an ideology simply is not an intelligent basis upon which to establish conclusions. There is validity in the credibility of historical testimony. The reality of demon activity, therefore, is not to be determined upon the basis of twentieth-century experiences; rather, it is grounded in whether or not the New Testament documents are credible.
While I do not have the space to explore this matter in depth, I would like to make this observation. In 1846, Simon Greenleaf, Dane Professor of Law at Harvard University, produced a work titled The Testimony of the Evangelists Examined by the Rules of Evidence Administered in Courts of Justice. Greenleaf was the greatest authority in the history of legal procedure on what constitutes evidence. His massive three-volume set, A Treatise on the Law of Evidence (1842-53), is, to this very day, a standard on the topic of evidence. Greenleaf argued in The Testimony—with dramatic authority—that the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John passed the strictest tests of authenticity, and thus may be regarded as dependable (1903, pp. 1-54). And without controversy is the fact that these writers described cases of demonic activity during the ministry of Jesus.
THE ORIGIN OF DEMONS
Unlike the speculative literature of antiquity, the New Testament makes no attempt to explain the origin of demons or to describe any materialized features (cf. Reese, 1992, 2:141). This appears to be significant; the restraint, I believe, is a subtle evidence of the divine inspiration of the narratives (see Jackson, 1996). Scholars, however, have speculated as to the origin of demons. I will consider briefly some of the prevalent ideas.
(1) Some claim that demons were the disembodied spirits of a pre-Adamic race of men who lived upon the Earth in a “gap period” that allegedly fits between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. There are two things wrong with that notion: (a) There is absolutely no evidence that there ever was a historical “gap” between the first two verses of Genesis (see Fields, 1976). (b) There were no people before Adam. He came directly from God (Luke 3:38), and was the “first” man (1 Corinthians 15:45).
(2) Others trace the origin of demons to a supposed cohabitation between angels and certain women of the pre-Flood world (Genesis 6:1-6). This theory is negated by the fact that Christ taught that angels are sexless beings, incapable of such unions (Matthew 22:30; see also Kaiser, 1992, pp. 33-38).
(3) It has been argued that first-century demons may be identified with the fallen angels mentioned in 2 Peter 2:4 and Jude 6, some of whom, consistent with the divine plan, were permitted to leave temporarily that sphere of confinement for the purpose of inhabiting certain people. Charles Hodge argued this theory (1960, p. 643), which probably is the most popular idea regarding this matter.
(4) Another view is that demons were the spirits of wicked dead men who were allowed by God to leave the Hadean realm to accommodate the implementation of the divine plan of redemption. Josephus claimed that demons were the “spirits of the wicked, that enter into men that are alive and kill them, unless they can obtain some help against them” (Wars 7.6.3). Alexander Campbell delivered a lecture in Nashville, Tennessee on March 10, 1841, in which he, in rather persuasive fashion, argued the case that the “demons” of the ancient world were the spirits of the dead. The printed form of that presentation is well worth studying (Campbell, n.d., pp. 379-402).
In the final analysis, no dogmatic conclusion can be drawn with reference to the origin of demons. That they existed admits of no doubt to anyone who takes the Bible seriously; as to their origin, the Scriptures are silent.
THE NATURE AND CHARACTER OF DEMONS
As spirit entities, demons could exercise both volition (“I will return...”) and locomotion (“Then goeth he...”) (Matthew 12:44-45). Moreover, they could assimilate factual information. A demon once spoke to Christ and said: “I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God” (Luke 4:34; cf. Mark 1:24). Too, they possessed a religious sensitivity. “Thou believest that God is one; thou doest well, the demons also believe and shudder” (James 2:19). “Shudder” suggests to “be struck with extreme fear, to be horrified” (Thayer, 1958, p. 658). The fact is, they tremble in prospect of their ultimate doom (see Matthew 8:29).
As to their character, demons are depicted as “unclean” and “evil.” In describing the vile nature of the Jewish nation of His day, the Lord gave an illustration regarding a man who was possessed of an “unclean” spirit (Matthew 12:43); the spirit left the man, but eventually re-entered the gentleman, taking with him other spirits “more evil” than himself (vs. 45). This passage reveals the “unclean” (Greek akathartos—“not pure”) or “evil” (kakos—that which not only is morally malignant, but injurious as well; cf. Vine, 1991, p. 272) disposition of demons. From this text it is observed also that there were degrees of vileness (“more evil”) in demons.
THE EFFECTS OF DEMON POSSESSION
It is important to distinguish between cause and effect in these cases. The cause was that of demon possession; the effects were physical and/or emotional maladies. The Scriptures never confuse the two. In other words, “demon possession” was not just an ancient, unenlightened attempt to explain physical and/or mental problems. Rather, a clear distinction is made between being inhabited by an unclean spirit and being sick. Demon possession could produce illness, but not all illness was attributed to the indwelling of evil spirits. Note the distinction that is drawn in the following passage. “And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him [Jesus] all that were sick, and them that were possessed with demons” (Mark 1:32). The double use of the definite article (tous), together with the conjunction, reveals that two distinct classes are under consideration—those who were merely sick, and those who were demon possessed and may or may not have had attending problems. Lenski has commented: “Two classes are markedly distinguished; those suffering from ordinary diseases and those possessed with demons. The distinction shows that the latter cannot be classed with the former in spite of modern attempts in that direction” (1964, p. 84).
THE DIVINE PURPOSE IN ALLOWING DEMON POSSESSION
The truth of the matter is, the Bible does not give a specific answer to this question—as much as our curiosity wants to be fed. I believe, though, that a reasonable case can be built to help shed some light on the subject.
If the mission of Jesus Christ, as the divine Son of God, was to be effective, the Lord’s absolute authority had to be established. No stone could be left unturned. Accordingly, we see the Savior demonstrating His authority in a variety of ways. (1) Christ exhibited power over diseases and physical ailments (Matthew 9:20-22; John 4:46-54; 9:1-41). (2) The Lord exerted His authority over material objects (Matthew 14:15-21; 17:24-27; John 2:1-11; 21:1-14). (3) Jesus showed that He could control the elements of nature (Matthew 8:23-27). (4) The Master even suspended the force of gravity with reference to His own body when He walked upon the waters of the Sea of Galilee (Matthew 14:22-23). (5) The Lord released certain ones who had been captured by death (Matthew 9:18-26; John 11:1-45). (6) Finally, it is not unreasonable to assume that, just as the Savior had displayed His marvelous power in all these realms, it likewise was appropriate that He be able to demonstrate His authority in the spirit sphere as well. Satan is not in full control! In fact, note this interesting passage. When the seventy disciples returned from an evangelistic trip (Luke 10:1), they joyfully proclaimed to Christ: “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in thy name.” Jesus responded: “I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:17-18). The significance of that statement is this: the disciples’ power over demons, under the aegis of Christ’s name (authority), was but a preview of the ultimate and complete fall of the devil. One scholar has expressed the matter in the following way.
Jesus viewed the triumph of these [disciples] as being symptomatic of ever so many other victories over Satan throughout the course of the new dispensation, triumphs accomplished through the work of thousands of other missionaries. He was looking far into the future (cf. Matt. 24:14). He saw the ultimate discomfiture of the ugly dragon and all his minions (Hendriksen, 1978, p. 581).Consider another reference. Christ said: “But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you. Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man?, and then he will spoil his house” (Matthew 12:28-29; Luke 11:20-22). The Savior’s argument is: I have cast out demons, the servants of Satan. I could not have done so if I were not stronger than he is. My power thus is superior to his.
These passages, I believe, help us to understand the purpose of demon possession in the first century. It established the comprehensive and supreme authority of the Son of God.
Why demons entered particular individuals is not explained in the Scriptures. Unger speculated that “in the great majority of cases possession is doubtless traced to yielding voluntarily to temptation and to sin...” (1952, p. 95). However, in the instance of the epileptic boy, the lad had been tormented “from childhood” (Mark 9:21), which suggests, at the very least, that personal sin was not necessarily a causative factor in demon possession.
A CONTRAST WITH PAGANISM
DEMON POSSESSION TODAY?
The position that demon possession does not exist today can be argued from a twofold base. First, a thoughtful study of the details associated with the so-called modern examples of demon habitation reveals that these cases bear no resemblance to the genuine examples of spirit possession described in the New Testament. The contrast is dramatic. Second, a consideration of certain data set forth in the New Testament leads only to the conclusion that demon possession was a first-century experience; it was allowed for a very specific reason, and the divine concession was suspended near the end of the apostolic era.
THE MODERN EXORCISM MANIA
(1) The “exorcisms” of today are performed almost invariably in dark, secluded environments, only to be publicized later. When Jesus cast out demons, the episodes were public, and therefore subject to critical examination (cf. Luke 4:31-37).
(2) The Lord could expel evil spirits with but a word, and the effect was immediate (Luke 4:36; Matthew 17:18). The Jesuit Priest who supposedly “exorcised” a demon from the youngster who served as the subject of Blatty’s book, The Exorcist, confessed that it took him two months of preparation (fasting on bread and water), and twenty ritual ceremonies to purge the child.
(3) The demoniacs of the New Testament era were afflicted, either physically or mentally, by a malfunction of what were otherwise normal human traits. Those cases involved no grotesque details. However, according to Roman Catholic priest Luigi Novagese (the official exorcist for the papal diocese in Rome), “A man’s skin turned white like paper, his teeth became transparent, his eyes bulged with balls of flame and fire issued from his mouth.” One priest claimed that a demon took a bite out of his sandwich. The February 11, 1974 issue of Newsweek magazine carried a photo of the burglarized delicacy, displaying perfect, human-like teeth prints! (I wonder—do demons get cavities?)
(4) Modern demoniacs frequently are described as uttering “fierce curses” and “bursts of blasphemy.” In the New Testament record, demons always were very respectful of deity (Mark 1:24; 3:11). There is not a solitary case of a demon blaspheming either God or Christ in the biblical narratives.
(5) Two cases of demon possession in the New Testament reveal that the unclean spirits could empower their hosts with supernatural strength (Mark 5:1-20; cf. Acts 19:13-16). The demoniac described in Mark 5 could not be bound even with a “chain.” A respected university professor posed this interesting query: “If we have demon-possessed people today, why in my travels in over forty countries of the world have I never seen a person who is so strong that you can’t bind him with chains (cf. Mk. 5:3)?” (Edwards, 1996, p. 135).
(6) The ability to cast out demons in the first century was given in order to confirm the truth of the Gospel message (Mark 16:17-20). Modern “exorcists” preach everything but the Gospel.
A REASONABLE ARGUMENT
I first must mention that when the prophet Zechariah foretold the coming of the Messianic dispensation, and the blessings that would accompany the spread of the Gospel, he suggested that the Lord would “cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land” (13:1-2). Some feel that the expression “unclean spirit” may hint of, or at least include, the cessation of demonic activity. Hailey sees this as a prediction of the eventual termination of prophetic activity (on the part of God’s people) and the curtailing of the power of unclean spirits.
Likewise, unclean spirits, the antithesis of the prophets, would cease. In the conquest of Christ over Satan and his forces, unclean spirits have ceased to control men as they did in the time of the ministry of Christ and the apostles... (1972, p. 392).While this is not a common view of Zechariah’s prophecy, and certainly not one upon which an entire case could be built, it is not without possibility. A firmer proposition can be argued as follows.
With the close of the first century, the age of the supernatural came to a close. God is not empowering men to operate in a miraculous fashion today. This is evinced in the following way:
(1) Nothing duplicating the miracles of the first century is apparent today. No one can walk upon water, raise the dead, calm a raging storm, turn water into wine, instantly heal an amputated ear, extract tax money from a fish’s mouth, etc. Miracles are self-authenticating phenomena that cannot be denied, even by hostile critics (cf. John 11:47; Acts 4:14-16); clearly, they are not occurring today.
(2) The purpose of supernatural gifts was to confirm the authenticity of divine revelation being received from heaven (Mark 16:9-20; Hebrews 2:1-4). Since the revelatory process was completed when the last New Testament book was written, miracles no longer are needed, hence, have ceased. They were like the scaffolding that is removed once the building is finished.
(3) The New Testament explicitly argues that the day was on the horizon when miracles would cease. Paul defended that position both in Ephesians 4:8-16 and in 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. During the early days of the apostolic era, divine revelation had been “in part,” i.e., piece-by-piece. The apostle said, however, that when “the perfect” or “the complete” arrived, the partial revelation, which came by means of the various “gifts” (e.g., supernatural knowledge and prophecy), would cease (1 Corinthians 13:8ff.). Prominent Greek scholar, W.E. Vine, summarized the matter well.
With the completion of Apostolic testimony and the completion of the Scriptures of truth (“the faith once for all delivered to the saints”, Jude, 3, R.V.), “that which is perfect” had come, and the temporary gifts were done away. For the Scriptures provided by the Spirit of God were “perfect”. Nothing was to be added to them, nothing taken from them. This interpretation is in keeping with the context (1951, p. 184).Elsewhere this writer has discussed the theme of miracles and their duration in much greater detail (Jackson, 1990, pp. 114-124).
Here is a crucial point. If it is the case that miraculous powers have been removed from the church’s possession, including the ability to cast out demons (Mark 16:17-20), does it stand to reason that God would allow demons to supernaturally assault people today, thus granting Satan an undue advantage over the human family? How would this square with the promise that “greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4)? In other words, if the gift of expelling demons no longer is extant, is it not a reasonable conclusion that demon possession is obsolete as well?
Aune, D.E. (1979), “Demonology,” International Standard Bible Encyclopedia ed. Geoffrey Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), revised edition.
Barclay, William (1976), And He Had Compassion—The Healing Miracles of Jesus (Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press).
Campbell, Alexander (no date.), Popular Lectures and Addresses (Nashville, TN: Harbinger Book Club).
Edwards, Earl (1996), “Powers of Darkness—Demon Possession,” Settled in Heaven, ed. David Lipe (Henderson, TN: Freed-Hardeman University).
Fields, Weston W. (1976), Unformed and Unfilled (Nutley, NJ: Presbyterian & Reformed).
Greenleaf, Simon (1903 edition), The Testimony of the Evangelists Examined by the Rules of Evidence Administered in Courts of Justice (Newark, NJ: Soney & Sage).
Hailey, Homer (1972), A Commentary on the Minor Prophets (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Hayes, Judith (1996), In God We Trust: But Which One? (Madison, WI: Freedom from Religion Foundation).
Hendriksen, William (1978), An Exposition of the Gospel of Luke (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Hodge, Charles (1960 edition), Systematic Theology (London: James Clarke).
Jackson, Wayne (1990), “Miracles,” Giving a Reason for Our Hope, ed. Winford Claiborne, (Henderson, TN: Freed-Hardeman College).
Jackson, Wayne (1996), “The Silence of the Scriptures: An Argument for Inspiration,” Reason & Revelation, 16:17-22, March.
Kaiser, Walter C., Jr. (1992), More Hard Sayings of the Old Testament (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press).
Lenski, R.C.H. (1964), The Interpretation of Mark’s Gospel (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg).
McClintock, John and James Strong, eds. (1968 reprint), Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Reese, David G. (1992), “Demons,” The Anchor Bible Dictionary, ed. David Noel Freedman, (New York: Doubleday).
Ryrie, Charles C. (1959), Biblical Theology of the New Testament (Chicago, IL: Moody).
Thayer, J.H. (1958 edition), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Edinburgh, Scotland: T. & T. Clark).
Unger, Merrill F. (1952), Biblical Demonology (Wheaton, IL: Scripture Press).
Vincent, Marvin (1972 edition), Word Studies in the New Testament (Wilmington, DE: Associated Publishers and Authors).
Vine, W.E. (1951), First Corinthians—Local Church Problems (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).
Vine, W.E. (1991), Amplified Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Iowa Falls, IA: World Bible Publishers).
Woodward, Kenneth L. (1974), “The Exorcism Frenzy,” Newsweek, 83:60-66.
|by||Wayne Jackson, M.A.|
As suggested in the feature article in this issue, the term “demon” appears to come from a Greek root form meaning “to know.” Plato, in his Cratylus (i.398), suggested that the word is derived from daemon, “knowing.” Whatever else, therefore, may be said of demons, they were intelligent beings; they “knew” certain truths.
A consideration of the testimony of those demons whose statements are recorded in the New Testament is of considerable interest. From their words, one may draw some reasonable conclusions.
(1) Demons were not atheists; they believed in God; moreover, they were not polytheists; they believed that God is “one” (see James 2:19). Their faith, however, never had been coupled with obedience, hence, it was a “dead” faith (James 2:14-16). Never, however, did they seek to justify themselves in their rebellion.
(2) Demons were not religious modernists. They did not subscribe to the notion that Jesus was a mere man. They acknowledged the Lord as “the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24). In His presence they cried: “Thou art the Son of God” (Mark 3:11). Observe that they did not address Jesus as “the son of Joseph,” or any other human. Obviously they were aware of the fact that Christ, as the Son of God, was born of a virgin. There are numerous religious leaders today who refuse to make this bold and wonderful confession.
(3) The demons conceded the divine authority of Christ. On one occasion they entreated the Lord that He “would not command them to depart into the abyss” (Luke 8:31). They clearly knew that when that awesome time came, they would be obliged to obey.
(4) Demons did not deny personal responsibility. They once inquired of Jesus: “Are you come here to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:29). Observe that they recognized that a certain “time” was inevitable when they would give account for their wickedness.
(5) Demons did not deny the existence of hell, like some modern cultists do, for they knew that “torment” (a term that implies conscious punishment) was in their future (Matthew 8:29), and they trembled at the prospect of such (James 2:19).
It is a sobering fact that some modern folks do not have enough knowledge and/or faith to rival even that of a demon. This is a tragic circumstance.
http://theabidingword.com/logos/index.htmlThe Bible doesn’t supply and doesn’t pretend that it supplies every answer to every moral question we can raise. But it reveals God and comes to its greatest height when it reveals God in and as Jesus Christ. It does this in numerous rich ways and having done it the Bible urges us to work on that basis in answer to the question, “How then shall we live?” It provides the groundwork by which we can learn to “think theologically”.
Leviticus 19 tells Israel to leave the edges of their fields for the poor but doesn’t define an “edge”. Nor does it define “the poor” How are they to obey the call if they don’t know what an “edge” is or who “the poor” are? God concludes numerous verses with the motivational phrase, “I am the Lord your God!” But that’s more than motivation. It teaches them how to think of an “edge” or how to think of “the poor.” Not with a measuring line or a dictionary. They will know what an “edge” or “the poor” means when they know who their Lord is and wish to please Him; when they wish to act like Him. He’s the one that “brought you out of the land of Egypt.” Bearing that in mind, when they come to harvesting they’ll not quibble and get as near to the edge of their property as possible and they won’t debate the identity of “the poor” every generation. The issue isn’t settled by lexicons and logic, it’s by one’s experience with God and how that shapes his or her response to the neighbor.
It’s clear that the Bible tolerates things and we are seduced into thinking that that means those things are approved. To think this might not be sheer hardness of heart but it’s certainly ignorance. Pharisees saw “divorce for any cause” as approved by God and Jesus showed it was only tolerated and regulated. He makes it clear in Matthew 19 that they judged it approved because they were hard-hearted and often heartless.
The notion that polygamy was approved in the OT is false—it was tolerated and it was regulated. And slavery is tolerated in both the OT and NT but it’s never approved. (More needs to be said about “slavery” and what the word means in numerous OT texts because it is only a shallow reading of the OT that equates all OT “slavery” with what it has come to mean to us.) Concubinage is tolerated in the OT but never approved.
But since we in the West are not troubled with polygamy and concubinage we can shrug at all that. Now “slavery”—that’s another matter. It wasn’t very long ago that Western nations were using the OT to approve of slavery. (Let me repeat: in the OT, all “slavery” is not slavery.) Not long ago I heard a Bible teacher whose views I judge, borrowing a phrase, are like the older photographs we used to have—they are “underdeveloped and over-exposed”—I heard him tell a crowd that “Paul was wrong about slavery.” Poor soul, he thought Paul approved of it and then said Paul couldn’t conceive of a world without slavery. Someone who could conceive of a creation transformed (Romans 8:18-23) couldn’t think of a world without slavery? (That’s what this professor said and he went on to say worse.)
I want to make it clear that it simply isn’t enough to quote verses in support of our claims and conclude we have a right to practice the same or something similar.
The Pharisees as a group could quote Deuteronomy 24:1-4 and look back on many centuries of history and practice to support their divorcing their wives for what so often were trivial reasons. Jesus condemned their hearts and their behavior as “adulterous”. In essence He told them that that text wouldn’t have been in the Bible if they hadn’t been heartless fools.
They said, “See? We have lined our lives up with Deuteronomy 24:1-4,” and were proud of it; they had some verses to support them. He said, “If you hadn’t been doing wrong that text would never have been needed.” I once had a 20th century Western man argue with me his right to have more than one wife because the OT regulated (rather than outlawed) polygamy. It must have been okay because it was “regulated,” he insisted.
The same thing is done to defend and support “our friend” the booze industry. Because people in the Bible daily drank intoxicating wine and because God is said to give “wine” as a gift to humans it’s immediately assumed that that means He would be pleased with our supporting the booze industry. (I won’t enter the discussion here about the generic nature of the biblical words rendered “wine” and “strong drink” or “beer”. Another time perhaps, though it’s hardly worth the time—so I now judge, though I didn’t always take that view.) But the very idea that naturally fermented wine or beer or “strong drink” (as the Hebrew term is translated in English and you know what “strong drink” means to us) is anything like the wines and beers or spirits the modern booze industry sells—that’s nonsense! And I would suppose if you can drink it, you can share it, if you can share it you can make it and if you can make it you can sell it.
It doesn’t matter to me that tens of thousands of people can support the booze industry and not get overwhelmed. Good for them! If they were all that mattered I suppose the matter wouldn’t ever be worth discussing. But hundreds of millions of people—drinkers and those they affect—are put through torment by what the booze industry sells. There isn’t another “respectable” business under heaven that does the damage to a countless host of our struggling fellow-humans that comes anywhere near the ruin the booze industry generates.
We boycott all kinds of companies (from fur companies to soap to sauce) if we think they’re hurting animals or poor people in “sweat shops” and then we do what? We support and defend the worst plague on earth. And all because they drank intoxicating wine in the Bible and because Jesus made gallons and gallons of it (so we’re told though oinos doesn’t mean intoxicating wine). Well, there’s more to it than that, isn’t there! We prize our “freedom”.
One of these days if we’re “lucky” we’ll come to see that the booze industry is against all we’re for and for all we’re against!
To interpret the Bible in the spirit of the Story as a whole requires more than lexicons, grammars and other exegetical tools. I understand for personal reasons that we don’t always live up to what we know—my life has been littered with failures—and that’s tragic. But our failure to live up to the best we know mustn’t be used to lower the loving response to God that we see and hear in scripture.
God’s heart, His purpose and His love for the human family seen climactically in the Lord Jesus is the best hermeneutical tool available to us (see Ephesians 5:1-2; Romans 15:1-3 and chapter 14 as context). Each Christian will have to work this out within his/her own heart. But surely: “I have the right…” (real or imagined) is not to be and will not be the last word about a host of things to those who live before us reflecting the heart and mind of God better than the rest of us.
CHRISTIANS AND MAN-MADE CLIMATE CHANGE? by steve finnell
How is it possible to be a Bible reading Christian and believe that man-made CO2 emissions control weather and climate? I guess the same way Christians believe in the Big Bang theory and theistic evolution. You can believe God's view of climate and weather or man's view, but you cannot believe both.
Deuteronomy 28:24 "The Lord will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed. NKJV)
Man-made CO2 emissions? Not.
Mark 4:39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was great calm. (NKJV)
Man-made climate change, really?
1 Samuel 12:18 So Samuel called to the Lord and the Lord sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord ans Samuel. (NKJV)
Joshua 10:11 And it happened, as they fled before Israel and were on the descent of Beth Horon, that the Lord cast down large hailstones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died....(NKJV)
Are there hailstones due to man-made CO2 emissions? No.
Genesis 8:22"While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease." (NKJV)
Man-made CO2 emission cannot change the earth to all winter nor to all summer. There will always be cold and heat and puny mankind will not be in control of climate and weather.
Psalm 107:24-25 They see the works of the Lord, And His wonders in the deep. 25 For He commands and raises the stormy wind, Which lifts up the waves of the sea. (NKJV)
When men try to control weather and climate, it is an exercise in futility.
Matthew 5:45 "that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (NKJV)
Man-made CO2 emissions do not send rain on anyone. Man-made CO2 do not change climate nor control weather.
It is understandable that atheists believe in man-made climate change. How is it possible that Bible reading Christians can believe that man can control weather and climate? How? The same reason that believers in Christ believe in all sorts of false doctrine.
Lack of prayerful Bible study.
What is contemplative prayer?
The expression ‘contemplative prayer’ is not found in the Bible.
The word ‘contemplate’ has a general meaning of ‘to think seriously’ and we certainly should think seriously as we pray: “Be serious and watchful in your prayers” (1 Peter 4:7).
But that is not what is meant. ‘Contemplative prayer’ involves mystic exercises that supposedly put one in esoteric communion with God.
Actually, it is not ‘contemplative’ because the first step is to empty your mind of all thoughts! Various techniques are used by different proponents to accomplish this, such as breathing exercises, relaxing the body, and repeating a word like ‘Jesus’ over and over.
This is an insult to Jesus, since He said: “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do” (Matthew 6:7). ‘Contemplative prayer’ is similar to Hindu and Buddhist practices.
Nor is it prayer in the Biblical sense because it is a silent state of mind without words or thoughts. The mystic thinks God can only give him a message or make His presence felt if his mind is empty! Paul said: “I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding” (1 Corinthians 14:15).
Thus ‘contemplative prayer’ is neither contemplative nor is it prayer. A more accurate designation would be ‘mindless non-meditation’.
According to Jesus, ‘empty’ is not good. “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation” (Matthew 12:43-45).
Do you want to learn how to pray? Listen to Jesus!
“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.’ So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’” (Luke 11:1-5).
Biblical prayer is with words: “When you pray, say...” (Luke 11:2); Hezekiah “turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the LORD, saying...” (2 Kings 20:2); “But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, ‘May the good LORD provide atonement for everyone’” (2 Chronicles 30:18); “I prayed to the LORD, saying...” (Jeremiah 32:16); “He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying...” (Matthew 26:39, 42, 44).
Our words are inadequate. The solution, however, is not to get rid of the words, but to trust in God’s promise that the Spirit will help us! “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).
God listens to our prayers (1 Kings 8:28; Jeremiah 29:12). What does He hear if our minds are blank? “Hear my prayer, O God; Give ear to the words of my mouth” (Psalm 54:2).
The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982, Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
Bible Reading for March 16 and 17
World English Bible
Exodus 26, 27
Exo 26:1 "Moreover you shall make the tabernacle with ten curtains; of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, with cherubim. The work of the skillful workman you shall make them.
Exo 26:2 The length of each curtain shall be twenty-eight cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits: all the curtains shall have one measure.
Exo 26:3 Five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and the other five curtains shall be coupled one to another.
Exo 26:4 You shall make loops of blue on the edge of the one curtain from the edge in the coupling; and likewise you shall make in the edge of the curtain that is outmost in the second coupling.
Exo 26:5 You shall make fifty loops in the one curtain, and you shall make fifty loops in the edge of the curtain that is in the second coupling. The loops shall be opposite one to another.
Exo 26:6 You shall make fifty clasps of gold, and couple the curtains one to another with the clasps: and the tabernacle shall be a unit.
Exo 26:7 "You shall make curtains of goats' hair for a covering over the tabernacle. You shall make them eleven curtains.
Exo 26:8 The length of each curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits: the eleven curtains shall have one measure.
Exo 26:9 You shall couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shall double over the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tent.
Exo 26:10 You shall make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outmost in the coupling, and fifty loops on the edge of the curtain which is outmost in the second coupling.
Exo 26:11 You shall make fifty clasps of brass, and put the clasps into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one.
Exo 26:12 The overhanging part that remains of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remains, shall hang over the back of the tabernacle.
Exo 26:13 The cubit on the one side, and the cubit on the other side, of that which remains in the length of the curtains of the tent, shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it.
Exo 26:14 You shall make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering of sea cow hides above.
Exo 26:15 "You shall make the boards for the tabernacle of acacia wood, standing up.
Exo 26:16 Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and one and a half cubits the breadth of each board.
Exo 26:17 There shall be two tenons in each board, joined to one another: thus you shall make for all the boards of the tabernacle.
Exo 26:18 You shall make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards for the south side southward.
Exo 26:19 You shall make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for its two tenons, and two sockets under another board for its two tenons.
Exo 26:20 For the second side of the tabernacle, on the north side, twenty boards,
Exo 26:21 and their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
Exo 26:22 For the far part of the tabernacle westward you shall make six boards.
Exo 26:23 You shall make two boards for the corners of the tabernacle in the far part.
Exo 26:24 They shall be double beneath, and in like manner they shall be entire to its top to one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners.
Exo 26:25 There shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board.
Exo 26:26 "You shall make bars of acacia wood: five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle,
Exo 26:27 and five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the far part westward.
Exo 26:28 The middle bar in the midst of the boards shall pass through from end to end.
Exo 26:29 You shall overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars: and you shall overlay the bars with gold.
Exo 26:30 You shall set up the tabernacle according to the way that it was shown to you on the mountain.
Exo 26:31 "You shall make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cherubim. The work of the skillful workman shall it be made.
Exo 26:32 You shall hang it on four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold; their hooks shall be of gold, on four sockets of silver.
Exo 26:33 You shall hang up the veil under the clasps, and shall bring the ark of the testimony in there within the veil: and the veil shall separate the holy place from the most holy for you.
Exo 26:34 You shall put the mercy seat on the ark of the testimony in the most holy place.
Exo 26:35 You shall set the table outside the veil, and the lampstand over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and you shall put the table on the north side.
Exo 26:36 "You shall make a screen for the door of the Tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the embroiderer.
Exo 26:37 You shall make for the screen five pillars of acacia, and overlay them with gold: their hooks shall be of gold: and you shall cast five sockets of brass for them.
Exo 27:1 "You shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and its height shall be three cubits.
Exo 27:2 You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it; and you shall overlay it with brass.
Exo 27:3 You shall make its pots to take away its ashes, its shovels, its basins, its flesh hooks, and its fire pans: all its vessels you shall make of brass.
Exo 27:4 You shall make a grating for it of network of brass: and on the net you shall make four bronze rings in its four corners.
Exo 27:5 You shall put it under the ledge around the altar beneath, that the net may reach halfway up the altar.
Exo 27:6 You shall make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with brass.
Exo 27:7 Its poles shall be put into the rings, and the poles shall be on the two sides of the altar, when carrying it.
Exo 27:8 You shall make it with hollow planks. They shall make it as it has been shown you on the mountain.
Exo 27:9 "You shall make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen one hundred cubits long for one side:
Exo 27:10 and its pillars shall be twenty, and their sockets twenty, of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets shall be of silver.
Exo 27:11 Likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings one hundred cubits long, and its pillars twenty, and their sockets twenty, of brass; the hooks of the pillars, and their fillets, of silver.
Exo 27:12 For the breadth of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits; their pillars ten, and their sockets ten.
Exo 27:13 The breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be fifty cubits.
Exo 27:14 The hangings for the one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three.
Exo 27:15 For the other side shall be hangings of fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three.
Exo 27:16 For the gate of the court shall be a screen of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the embroiderer; their pillars four, and their sockets four.
Exo 27:17 All the pillars of the court around shall be filleted with silver; their hooks of silver, and their sockets of brass.
Exo 27:18 The length of the court shall be one hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty every where, and the height five cubits, of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass.
Exo 27:19 All the instruments of the tabernacle in all its service, and all its pins, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass.
Exo 27:20 "You shall command the children of Israel, that they bring to you pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually.
Exo 27:21 In the Tent of Meeting, outside the veil which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall keep it in order from evening to morning before Yahweh: it shall be a statute forever throughout their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.
Exodus 28, 29
Exo 28:1 "Bring Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, near to you from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons.
Exo 28:2 You shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.
Exo 28:3 You shall speak to all who are wise-hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron's garments to sanctify him, that he may minister to me in the priest's office.
Exo 28:4 These are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a coat of checker work, a turban, and a sash: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, and his sons, that he may minister to me in the priest's office.
Exo 28:5 They shall take the gold, and the blue, and the purple, and the scarlet, and the fine linen.
Exo 28:6 "They shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and purple, scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the skillful workman.
Exo 28:7 It shall have two shoulder straps joined to the two ends of it, that it may be joined together.
Exo 28:8 The skillfully woven band, which is on it, that is on him, shall be like its work and of the same piece; of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.
Exo 28:9 You shall take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the children of Israel:
Exo 28:10 six of their names on the one stone, and the names of the six that remain on the other stone, in the order of their birth.
Exo 28:11 With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, you shall engrave the two stones, according to the names of the children of Israel: you shall make them to be enclosed in settings of gold.
Exo 28:12 You shall put the two stones on the shoulder straps of the ephod, to be stones of memorial for the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before Yahweh on his two shoulders for a memorial.
Exo 28:13 You shall make settings of gold,
Exo 28:14 and two chains of pure gold; you shall make them like cords of braided work: and you shall put the braided chains on the settings.
Exo 28:15 "You shall make a breastplate of judgment, the work of the skillful workman; like the work of the ephod you shall make it; of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, you shall make it.
Exo 28:16 It shall be square and folded double; a span shall be its length of it, and a span its breadth.
Exo 28:17 You shall set in it settings of stones, four rows of stones: a row of ruby, topaz, and beryl shall be the first row;
Exo 28:18 and the second row a turquoise, a sapphire, and an emerald;
Exo 28:19 and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst;
Exo 28:20 and the fourth row a chrysolite, an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be enclosed in gold in their settings.
Exo 28:21 The stones shall be according to the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names; like the engravings of a signet, everyone according to his name, they shall be for the twelve tribes.
Exo 28:22 You shall make on the breastplate chains like cords, of braided work of pure gold.
Exo 28:23 You shall make on the breastplate two rings of gold, and shall put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate.
Exo 28:24 You shall put the two braided chains of gold in the two rings at the ends of the breastplate.
Exo 28:25 The other two ends of the two braided chains you shall put on the two settings, and put them on the shoulder straps of the ephod in its forepart.
Exo 28:26 You shall make two rings of gold, and you shall put them on the two ends of the breastplate, on its edge, which is toward the side of the ephod inward.
Exo 28:27 You shall make two rings of gold, and shall put them on the two shoulder straps of the ephod underneath, in its forepart, close by its coupling, above the skillfully woven band of the ephod.
Exo 28:28 They shall bind the breastplate by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be on the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastplate may not swing out from the ephod.
Exo 28:29 Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment on his heart, when he goes in to the holy place, for a memorial before Yahweh continually.
Exo 28:30 You shall put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be on Aaron's heart, when he goes in before Yahweh: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel on his heart before Yahweh continually.
Exo 28:31 "You shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue.
Exo 28:32 It shall have a hole for the head in its midst: it shall have a binding of woven work around its hole, as it were the hole of a coat of mail, that it not be torn.
Exo 28:33 On its hem you shall make pomegranates of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, around its hem; and bells of gold between and around them:
Exo 28:34 a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, around the hem of the robe.
Exo 28:35 It shall be on Aaron to minister: and its sound shall be heard when he goes in to the holy place before Yahweh, and when he comes out, that he not die.
Exo 28:36 "You shall make a plate of pure gold, and engrave on it, like the engravings of a signet, 'HOLY TO YAHWEH.'
Exo 28:37 You shall put it on a lace of blue, and it shall be on the sash; on the front of the sash it shall be.
Exo 28:38 It shall be on Aaron's forehead, and Aaron shall bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall make holy in all their holy gifts; and it shall be always on his forehead, that they may be accepted before Yahweh.
Exo 28:39 You shall weave the coat in checker work of fine linen, and you shall make a turban of fine linen, and you shall make a sash, the work of the embroiderer.
Exo 28:40 "You shall make coats for Aaron's sons, and you shall make sashes for them and you shall make headbands for them, for glory and for beauty.
Exo 28:41 You shall put them on Aaron your brother, and on his sons with him, and shall anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister to me in the priest's office.
Exo 28:42 You shall make them linen breeches to cover the flesh of their nakedness; from the waist even to the thighs they shall reach:
Exo 28:43 They shall be on Aaron, and on his sons, when they go in to the Tent of Meeting, or when they come near to the altar to minister in the holy place; that they don't bear iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute forever to him and to his descendants after him.
Exo 29:1 "This is the thing that you shall do to them to make them holy, to minister to me in the priest's office: take one young bull and two rams without blemish,
Exo 29:2 unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil: you shall make them of fine wheat flour.
Exo 29:3 You shall put them into one basket, and bring them in the basket, with the bull and the two rams.
Exo 29:4 You shall bring Aaron and his sons to the door of the Tent of Meeting, and shall wash them with water.
Exo 29:5 You shall take the garments, and put on Aaron the coat, the robe of the ephod, the ephod, and the breastplate, and dress him with the skillfully woven band of the ephod;
Exo 29:6 and you shall set the turban on his head, and put the holy crown on the turban.
Exo 29:7 Then you shall take the anointing oil, and pour it on his head, and anoint him.
Exo 29:8 You shall bring his sons, and put coats on them.
Exo 29:9 You shall dress them with belts, Aaron and his sons, and bind headbands on them: and they shall have the priesthood by a perpetual statute: and you shall consecrate Aaron and his sons.
Exo 29:10 "You shall bring the bull before the Tent of Meeting: and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the bull.
Exo 29:11 You shall kill the bull before Yahweh, at the door of the Tent of Meeting.
Exo 29:12 You shall take of the blood of the bull, and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger; and you shall pour out all the blood at the base of the altar.
Exo 29:13 You shall take all the fat that covers the innards, the cover of the liver, the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, and burn them on the altar.
Exo 29:14 But the flesh of the bull, and its skin, and its dung, you shall burn with fire outside of the camp: it is a sin offering.
Exo 29:15 "You shall also take the one ram; and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram.
Exo 29:16 You shall kill the ram, and you shall take its blood, and sprinkle it around on the altar.
Exo 29:17 You shall cut the ram into its pieces, and wash its innards, and its legs, and put them with its pieces, and with its head.
Exo 29:18 You shall burn the whole ram on the altar: it is a burnt offering to Yahweh; it is a pleasant aroma, an offering made by fire to Yahweh.
Exo 29:19 "You shall take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall lay their hands on the head of the ram.
Exo 29:20 Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood, and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and on the tip of the right ear of his sons, and on the thumb of their right hand, and on the big toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood around on the altar.
Exo 29:21 You shall take of the blood that is on the altar, and of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron, and on his garments, and on his sons, and on the garments of his sons with him: and he shall be made holy, and his garments, and his sons, and his sons' garments with him.
Exo 29:22 Also you shall take some of the ram's fat, the fat tail, the fat that covers the innards, the cover of the liver, the two kidneys, the fat that is on them, and the right thigh (for it is a ram of consecration),
Exo 29:23 and one loaf of bread, one cake of oiled bread, and one wafer out of the basket of unleavened bread that is before Yahweh.
Exo 29:24 You shall put all of this in Aaron's hands, and in his sons' hands, and shall wave them for a wave offering before Yahweh.
Exo 29:25 You shall take them from their hands, and burn them on the altar on the burnt offering, for a pleasant aroma before Yahweh: it is an offering made by fire to Yahweh.
Exo 29:26 "You shall take the breast of Aaron's ram of consecration, and wave it for a wave offering before Yahweh: and it shall be your portion.
Exo 29:27 You shall sanctify the breast of the wave offering, and the thigh of the wave offering, which is waved, and which is heaved up, of the ram of consecration, even of that which is for Aaron, and of that which is for his sons:
Exo 29:28 and it shall be for Aaron and his sons as their portion forever from the children of Israel; for it is a wave offering: and it shall be a wave offering from the children of Israel of the sacrifices of their peace offerings, even their wave offering to Yahweh.
Exo 29:29 "The holy garments of Aaron shall be for his sons after him, to be anointed in them, and to be consecrated in them.
Exo 29:30 Seven days shall the son who is priest in his place put them on, when he comes into the Tent of Meeting to minister in the holy place.
Exo 29:31 "You shall take the ram of consecration, and boil its flesh in a holy place.
Exo 29:32 Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram, and the bread that is in the basket, at the door of the Tent of Meeting.
Exo 29:33 They shall eat those things with which atonement was made, to consecrate and sanctify them: but a stranger shall not eat of it, because they are holy.
Exo 29:34 If anything of the flesh of the consecration, or of the bread, remains to the morning, then you shall burn the remainder with fire: it shall not be eaten, because it is holy.
Exo 29:35 "You shall do so to Aaron, and to his sons, according to all that I have commanded you. You shall consecrate them seven days.
Exo 29:36 Every day you shall offer the bull of sin offering for atonement: and you shall cleanse the altar, when you make atonement for it; and you shall anoint it, to sanctify it.
Exo 29:37 Seven days you shall make atonement for the altar, and sanctify it: and the altar shall be most holy; whatever touches the altar shall be holy.
Exo 29:38 "Now this is that which you shall offer on the altar: two lambs a year old day by day continually.
Exo 29:39 The one lamb you shall offer in the morning; and the other lamb you shall offer at evening:
Exo 29:40 and with the one lamb a tenth part of an ephah of fine flour mixed with the fourth part of a hin of beaten oil, and the fourth part of a hin of wine for a drink offering.
Exo 29:41 The other lamb you shall offer at evening, and shall do to it according to the meal offering of the morning, and according to its drink offering, for a pleasant aroma, an offering made by fire to Yahweh.
Exo 29:42 It shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the Tent of Meeting before Yahweh, where I will meet with you, to speak there to you.
Exo 29:43 There I will meet with the children of Israel; and the place shall be sanctified by my glory.
Exo 29:44 I will sanctify the Tent of Meeting and the altar: Aaron also and his sons I will sanctify, to minister to me in the priest's office.
Exo 29:45 I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.
Exo 29:46 They shall know that I am Yahweh their God, who brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them: I am Yahweh their God.
Mar 10:1 He arose from there and came into the borders of Judea and beyond the Jordan. Multitudes came together to him again. As he usually did, he was again teaching them.
Mar 10:2 Pharisees came to him testing him, and asked him, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"
Mar 10:3 He answered, "What did Moses command you?"
Mar 10:4 They said, "Moses allowed a certificate of divorce to be written, and to divorce her."
Mar 10:5 But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart, he wrote you this commandment.
Mar 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.
Mar 10:7 For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will join to his wife,
Mar 10:8 and the two will become one flesh, so that they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Mar 10:9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate."
Mar 10:10 In the house, his disciples asked him again about the same matter.
Mar 10:11 He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery against her.
Mar 10:12 If a woman herself divorces her husband, and marries another, she commits adultery."
Mar 10:13 They were bringing to him little children, that he should touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who were bringing them.
Mar 10:14 But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said to them, "Allow the little children to come to me! Don't forbid them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Mar 10:15 Most certainly I tell you, whoever will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it."
Mar 10:16 He took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands on them.
Mar 10:17 As he was going out into the way, one ran to him, knelt before him, and asked him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"
Mar 10:18 Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except one-God.
Mar 10:19 You know the commandments: 'Do not murder,' 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not give false testimony,' 'Do not defraud,' 'Honor your father and mother.' "
Mar 10:20 He said to him, "Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth."
Mar 10:21 Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross."
Mar 10:22 But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions.
Mar 10:23 Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, "How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!"
Mar 10:24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, "Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God!
Mar 10:25 It is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."
Mar 10:26 They were exceedingly astonished, saying to him, "Then who can be saved?"
Mar 10:27 Jesus, looking at them, said, "With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God."
Mar 10:28 Peter began to tell him, "Behold, we have left all, and have followed you."
Mar 10:29 Jesus said, "Most certainly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the sake of the Good News,
Mar 10:30 but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life.
Mar 10:31 But many who are first will be last; and the last first."
Mar 10:32 They were on the way, going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus was going in front of them, and they were amazed; and those who followed were afraid. He again took the twelve, and began to tell them the things that were going to happen to him.
Mar 10:33 "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes. They will condemn him to death, and will deliver him to the Gentiles.
Mar 10:34 They will mock him, spit on him, scourge him, and kill him. On the third day he will rise again."
Mar 10:35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came near to him, saying, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we will ask."
Mar 10:36 He said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?"
Mar 10:37 They said to him, "Grant to us that we may sit, one at your right hand, and one at your left hand, in your glory."
Mar 10:38 But Jesus said to them, "You don't know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?"
Mar 10:39 They said to him, "We are able." Jesus said to them, "You shall indeed drink the cup that I drink, and you shall be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with;
Mar 10:40 but to sit at my right hand and at my left hand is not mine to give, but for whom it has been prepared."
Mar 10:41 When the ten heard it, they began to be indignant towards James and John.
Mar 10:42 Jesus summoned them, and said to them, "You know that they who are recognized as rulers over the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
Mar 10:43 But it shall not be so among you, but whoever wants to become great among you shall be your servant.
Mar 10:44 Whoever of you wants to become first among you, shall be bondservant of all.
Mar 10:45 For the Son of Man also came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Mar 10:46 They came to Jericho. As he went out from Jericho, with his disciples and a great multitude, the son of Timaeus, Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the road.
Mar 10:47 When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out, and say, "Jesus, you son of David, have mercy on me!"
Mar 10:48 Many rebuked him, that he should be quiet, but he cried out much more, "You son of David, have mercy on me!"
Mar 10:49 Jesus stood still, and said, "Call him." They called the blind man, saying to him, "Cheer up! Get up. He is calling you!"
Mar 10:50 He, casting away his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus.
Mar 10:51 Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man said to him, "Rhabboni, that I may see again."
Mar 10:52 Jesus said to him, "Go your way. Your faith has made you well." Immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.
Mar 11:1 When they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethsphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,
Mar 11:2 and said to them, "Go your way into the village that is opposite you. Immediately as you enter into it, you will find a young donkey tied, on which no one has sat. Untie him, and bring him.
Mar 11:3 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' say, 'The Lord needs him;' and immediately he will send him back here."
Mar 11:4 They went away, and found a young donkey tied at the door outside in the open street, and they untied him.
Mar 11:5 Some of those who stood there asked them, "What are you doing, untying the young donkey?"
Mar 11:6 They said to them just as Jesus had said, and they let them go.
Mar 11:7 They brought the young donkey to Jesus, and threw their garments on it, and Jesus sat on it.
Mar 11:8 Many spread their garments on the way, and others were cutting down branches from the trees, and spreading them on the road.
Mar 11:9 Those who went in front, and those who followed, cried out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
Mar 11:10 Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"
Mar 11:11 Jesus entered into the temple in Jerusalem. When he had looked around at everything, it being now evening, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
Mar 11:12 The next day, when they had come out from Bethany, he was hungry.
Mar 11:13 Seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came to see if perhaps he might find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs.
Mar 11:14 Jesus told it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again!" and his disciples heard it.
Mar 11:15 They came to Jerusalem, and Jesus entered into the temple, and began to throw out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of those who sold the doves.
Mar 11:16 He would not allow anyone to carry a container through the temple.
Mar 11:17 He taught, saying to them, "Isn't it written, 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations?' But you have made it a den of robbers!"
Mar 11:18 The chief priests and the scribes heard it, and sought how they might destroy him. For they feared him, because all the multitude was astonished at his teaching.
Mar 11:19 When evening came, he went out of the city.
Mar 11:20 As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away from the roots.
Mar 11:21 Peter, remembering, said to him, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree which you cursed has withered away."
Mar 11:22 Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God.
Mar 11:23 For most certainly I tell you, whoever may tell this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and doesn't doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is happening; he shall have whatever he says.
Mar 11:24 Therefore I tell you, all things whatever you pray and ask for, believe that you have received them, and you shall have them.
Mar 11:25 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father, who is in heaven, may also forgive you your transgressions.
Mar 11:26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions."
Mar 11:27 They came again to Jerusalem, and as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders came to him,
Mar 11:28 and they began saying to him, "By what authority do you do these things? Or who gave you this authority to do these things?"
Mar 11:29 Jesus said to them, "I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things.
Mar 11:30 The baptism of John-was it from heaven, or from men? Answer me."
Mar 11:31 They reasoned with themselves, saying, "If we should say, 'From heaven;' he will say, 'Why then did you not believe him?'
Mar 11:32 If we should say, 'From men' "-they feared the people, for all held John to really be a prophet.
Mar 11:33 They answered Jesus, "We don't know." Jesus said to them, "Neither do I tell you by what authority I do these things."