"STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS" Malachi - My Messenger (2:17-4:6) INTRODUCTION 1. In our previous lesson we introduced the last of "The Minor Prophets"... a. Malachi, whose name means "My Messenger" b. A prophet of God during the time of Ezra and Nehemiah (ca. 444 B.C.) c. A prophet who like Ezra the priest... 1) Attacked the spiritual and moral decay at that time 2) Especially among the priests d. A prophet who used the didactic-dialectic style of teaching 1) Making a charge, raising potential objections, and then refuting them 2) Which later became common in Jewish schools and synagogues 2. We have already seen how Malachi addressed three problems affecting Israel at that time... a. They were doubting God's love - Mal 1:1-5 b. They were dishonoring God's name - Mal 1:6-2:9 1) By offering blemished sacrifices 2) By offering half-hearted worship c. They were profaning God's covenant - Mal 2:10-16 1) By marrying heathen women 2) By divorcing their Jewish wives 3. In the last section of the book of Malachi, we find... a. More indications of their spiritual and moral decay b. Promises concerning the coming Messiah! [We begin with the last verse of the second chapter, noting how...] I. THEY WERE TRYING GOD'S PATIENCE A. BY QUESTIONING THE JUSTICE OF GOD - Mal 2:17 1. They had wearied God with their words 2. Especially regarding His justice: a. For they said that those who do evil is good in God's sight, that He even delights in them b. For they asked, "Where is the God of justice?" B. THE LORD'S RESPONSE WILL BE TO SEND HIS MESSENGER - Mal 3:1-5 1. First, the "messenger" who will prepare His way for Him - Mal 3:1a a. A clear reference to John the Baptist b. Compare Isa 40:3; Mt 3:1-3; 11:7-10 2. Then will appear the "Messenger of the covenant" - Mal 3:1b a. Here the reference is to Christ, the Messiah for which they had longed b. Who certainly came to His temple - Mt 21:12ff c. And was a messenger of a new covenant - Mt 26:26-28 3. His coming will be one to purge His people - Mal 3:2-5 a. Like a refiner's fire and a fuller's soap b. The sons of Levi (i.e., priests) especially, that their offerings may be acceptable c. He will come near to judge those who do not fear the Lord - cf. Mt 3:11-12 [With the coming of the "Messenger of the covenant", they would have their answer to the question "Where is the God of justice?" As we continue, we see yet another complaint God had against the Israelites in Malachi's day...] II. THEY WERE FORSAKING GOD'S ORDINANCES A. GOD CHARGES THEM WITH INCONSISTENCY - Mal 3:6-7 1. Unlike God Himself, whose unchanging nature has kept Him from totally consuming Israel! - Mal 3:6 2. Yet their history showed a practice of apostasy - Mal 3:7a 3. Even when called to return, they ask "In what way shall we return?" - Mal 3:7b 4. No answer is given directly a. Perhaps because the answer is so obvious it does not deserve a response b. Or the answer is given by the example which follows... B. THEIR TITHES AS A CASE IN POINT - Mal 3:8-12 1. They had robbed God by their failure to offer their tithes - Mal 3:8 2. For this reason the whole nation had been accursed - Mal 3:9 3. They are challenged to bring the tithes, and to see the blessings that would follow - Mal 3:10-12 [The sixth and final complaint that God had against them is now presented...] III. THEY WERE DESPISING GOD'S SERVICE A. BY SAYING IT WAS VAIN TO SERVE GOD - Mal 3:13-15 1. Their words were harsh against God - Mal 3:13 2. Questioning what profit there was in keeping His ordinances - Mal 3:14 2. Calling the proud blessed, saying the wicked are raised up, and those who tempt God go free - Mal 3:15 B. YET SOME BEGAN TO HEED MALACHI'S MESSAGE - Mal 3:16-4:6 1. Those who feared the Lord, as they spoke to one another - Mal 3:16a 2. Whom the Lord noticed, and a "book of remembrance" was written - Mal 3:16b 3. Whom the Lord promised to make His "jewels" and spare them - Mal 3:17 a. It will be easy to discern the righteous - Mal 3:18 b. For the day was coming when the wicked will be burned liked stubble - Mal 4:1 c. But those who fear His name will be blessed by "the Sun of Righteousness" (i.e., Jesus) - Mal 4:2-3 4. Until then... a. The faithful are exhorted to heed the Law of Moses - Mal 4:4 b. And await the coming of "Elijah the prophet" (i.e., John the Baptist) who will come to prepare people for the coming of the Lord - Mal 4:5-6; cf. Lk 1:16-17 CONCLUSION 1. As with most prophets, Malachi had a message for both the present and the future... a. Exhorting the people to look at themselves, how they were guilty of: 1) Doubting God's love 2) Dishonoring God's name 3) Profaning God's covenant 4) Trying God's patience 5) Forsaking God's ordinances 6) Despising God's service -- Note: These points were adapted from Wiersbe's "Be Amazed" commentary b. Encouraging the people to look forward to the coming of: 1) God's Messenger (John), who would come in the spirit of Elijah and prepare people for the coming of the Lord 2) The Messenger of the covenant (Jesus), who come to refine and purify those willing to repent, and bring judgment on those who do not fear the Lord 2. It is encouraging to note that some evidently took Malachi's message to heart - Mal 3:16-18 a. Whom the Lord would claim as His b. Whom the Lord would make His "jewels" c. Whom the Lord would spare as a man spares His own son who serves him As we come to the close of this survey of "The Minor Prophets", perhaps it is appropriate to ask: Are we willing to take the prophets' messages to heart? * They were written for our learning and admonition - cf. Ro 15:4; 1Co 10:11 * They help make us wise for the salvation which by faith in Christ - cf. 2Ti 3:14-15 * They are certainly profitable for instruction in righteousness - cf. 2Ti 3:16-17 I pray that in some way this series has helped you to appreciate the value of studying "The Minor Prophets" and making application of them to your life.
"STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS" Malachi - My Messenger (1:1-2:16) INTRODUCTION 1. With the aid of the prophetic ministries of Haggai and Zechariah... a. The temple was rebuilt - Ezra 5:1-2; 6:14-16 b. What had begun in 536 B.C. was finally finished in 516 B.C. 2. In 458 B.C., another group of exiles returned to Jerusalem, led by Ezra... a. A priest b. His work was to teach the people the word of God - Ezra 7:10 3. About 444 B.C., a third group of exiles returned led by Nehemiah... a. Who became governor b. Under his leadership, the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt (Neh 1-6) c. Together with Ezra, he led the people to a great revival (Neh 7-13) 4. Contemporary with Ezra and Nehemiah was another prophet, Malachi... a. His name means "My Messenger" 1) Certainly Malachi was a messenger of God 2) But he also spoke of God's messengers to come - Mal 3:1 b. Like Ezra the priest... 1) Malachi attacked the spiritual and moral decay that was prevalent 2) Among both priests and people c. In so doing, he resorted to a new style of teaching 1) Known as the didactic-dialectic method of speaking 2) I.e., making a charge, raising potential objections, and then refuting them 3) Which later became common in Jewish schools and synagogues [In this study, we shall consider several examples of this style of teaching as we survey the first two chapters. In these chapters we find Malachi addressing several problems...] I. THEY WERE DOUBTING GOD'S LOVE A. EVIDENTLY THEY WERE QUESTIONING GOD'S LOVE FOR THEM... 1. After years of captivity, one might understand why they felt this way 2. Their return from Babylonian captivity was not without difficulty B. GOD REASSERTS HIS LOVE FOR ISRAEL... 1. Note the didactic-dialectic style - Mal 1:2 a. "I have loved you" b. "In what way have You loved us?" c. "Was not Esau Jacob's brother? Yet Jacob I have loved; but Esau I have hated" 2. God is speaking of Jacob and Esau as the representative of their descendant nations; God did not hate Esau personally, but did hate what Edom as a nation had become 3. He goes on to illustrate what He means a. Edom (the descendants of Esau) had become desolate; despite their claims to the country, it would remain desolate - Mal 1:3-4 b. But Israel would one day see the Lord magnified beyond its border - Mal 1:5 [If the people only observed how Israel was being restored while Edom remained desolate, they would know God still loved them as a nation. But perhaps their doubting of God's love had led to another problem that was prevalent at that time...] II. THEY WERE DISHONORING GOD'S NAME A. BY OFFERING BLEMISHED SACRIFICES - Mal 1:6-11 1. Sons honor their fathers, and servants their masters; but they were despising God 2. When asked in what way, they are told of their defiled sacrifices 3. They were offering to God what they would be embarrassed to offer men 4. The Lord would even wish that someone shut the doors so they could not sacrifice 5. Despite their dishonor, one day God's name would be great even among the Gentiles B. BY OFFERING HALF-HEARTED WORSHIP - Mal 1:12-14 1. They also were profaning God's name by saying His service is contemptible and a weariness 2. Those who continued to bring blemished sacrifices would fall under God's curse, for He is "a great King" C. SUCH CORRUPTION WOULD NOT GO UNANSWERED - Mal 2:1-9 1. Addressing the priests directly, the nature of God's curse is graphically depicted 2. Because they had failed to live up to what was expected of God's priests, He will make them base and contemptible [As Malachi continues, we also learn...] III. THEY WERE PROFANING GOD'S COVENANT A. BY MARRYING HEATHEN WOMEN - Mal 2:10-12 1. They were dealing treacherously and profaning the covenant made with their fathers by marrying pagan women ("the daughter of a foreign God") 2. This nature of this problem is described in Ezra 9-10; Neh 13:23-24 3. Malachi prays that the Lord will cut off from Jacob those who do this - Mal 2:12; cf. Ezr 10:7-8; Neh 13:23-28 B. BY DIVORCING THEIR JEWISH WIVES - Mal 2:13-16 1. Despite their weeping, God was no longer regarding their sacrifices - cf. 1Pe 3:7 2. For they had dealt treacherously with the wives of the their youth (i.e., Jewish wives) by divorcing them a. Even though they had entered into a covenant (e.g., "Till death do us part") b. Even though God had made them one (cf. Gen 2:24) 3. Therefore God hates divorce - Mal 2:16 a. For it covers one's garment with violence (e.g., against the wife and children) b. It is treacherous to so deal with one's spouse in that way! CONCLUSION 1. Israel was showing signs of spiritual and moral decay... a. Failing to appreciate God's love for them b. Dishonoring God by offering second-best and half-hearted worship c. Profaning God's covenant by disregarding it and their wives 2. It is easy for Christians to make application with such verses... a. As spiritual priests we are to offer spiritual sacrifices
(1 Pe 2:9; Ro 12:1-2) b. Is our service honoring God? Or do we: 1) Dishonor God by offering less than our best and with half-hearted service? 2) Profane God's covenant by disregarding the covenant we made with Him and our wives when we married them? 3) Hinder our worship to God by our treatment of our wives? c. Are we any better than the priests of Malachi's day? Let the book of Malachi be a guide as to when one's religion is showing signs of spiritual and moral decay! Certainly God is worthy of our best, and we should do what we can to make sure these words prove true: For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations," Says the LORD of hosts. - Malachi 1:11
Hazor and Old Testament Accuracy
|by||Wayne Jackson, M.A.|
The city of Hazor lay almost nine miles north of the Sea of Galilee. During the time of Joshua, it was a Canaanite stronghold in northern Palestine. In the conquest of Canaan, as Joshua marched his army northward, he was confronted by a coalition of forces under the leadership of Jabin, King of Hazor. The biblical record declares that the Israelite army resoundingly defeated this confederation and burned Hazor to the ground (Joshua 11:1-14).
In excavations at Hazor (1955-1958, 1968), Yigael Yadin discovered evidence that this city had been destroyed in the thirteenth century B.C. He identified it with Joshua’s conquest. The problem with this assertion is this: it does not harmonize with scriptural chronology regarding the time of the Exodus from Egypt. The data contained in 1 Kings 6:1 indicate that the Exodus occurred some 480 years prior to the fourth year of Solomon’s reign (c. 966 B.C.), thus in the mid-fifteenth century B.C. Liberal critics, subscribing to the documentary hypothesis, simply dismiss 1 Kings 6:1 as an addition of some later time, and therefore chronologically worthless. It is interesting to note, however, that “the name of the month which appears in that text is the archaic form of the name and not the late one” (Davis, 1971, p. 29).
But the fact of the matter is, Professor Yadin’s discoveries revealed that there were two destructions at Hazor: one in the thirteenth century B.C. and another in the fifteenth century B.C. (Avi-Yonah, 1976, 2:481-482). Actually, this is precisely the picture presented in the Old Testament.
In addition to the conquest of Hazor during the time of Joshua in the mid-fifteenth century B.C., two centuries later, in the period of Israel’s judges, the Israelites again engaged the King of Hazor in battle. Under the leadership of Deborah and Barak (c. 1258 B.C.), the armies of Hazor, under Sisera, were decisively defeated (Judges 4:2ff.), and as professor Siegfried H. Horn observed, “undoubtedly Hazor was destroyed” (Horn, 1963, p. 31).
Once more, the precise accuracy of the biblical record has been vindicated, and the charges of liberal critics have been shown to be baseless.
Davis, John J. (1975), Moses and the Gods of Egypt (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Horn, Siegfried H. (1963), Records of the Past Illuminate the Bible (Washington, D.C.: Review & Herald).
|by||Jeff Miller, Ph.D.|
Two years after Ben Stein and Kevin Miller released the controversial movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (Stein and Miller, 2008), which grossed nearly $7,700,000, the heated debate over discrimination towards those holding creationist beliefs continues. The Washington Post described astrophysicist Dr. Martin Gaskell as “uniquely qualified” for the position as director of the new, prestigious MacAdam Student Observatory at the University of Kentucky (UK). “He oversaw the design and construction of an observatory at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also advised UK during the building of the MacAdam facility” (Lovan, 2010). However, although his credentials placed him “breathtakingly above the other applicants,” it seems that his Christian faith caused him to be rejected for the position. He, therefore, sued the university, “claiming lost income and emotional distress.” U.S. District Judge Karl S. Forester, who rejected a motion from the university concerning going to trial, said, “There is no dispute that based on his application, Gaskell was a leading candidate for the position” (Lovan).
Ironically, Gaskell does not even consider himself a creationist and does not believe the Earth to be “a few thousand years old.” However, apparently threatened by a lecture he gave in 1997 in which he stated that evolution has “significant scientific problems” and contains “unwarranted atheistic assumptions and extrapolations,” science professors believed “his Christian faith could conflict with his duties as a scientist” (Lovan). How unfortunate that many scientists are so quick to jump to conclusions about others before gathering all of the evidence. It is hardly unexpected, considering that they have done the same thing by jumping to wild, outlandish, unscientific conclusions in holding to evolutionary theory despite all scientific evidence that stands against it. The evolutionists are so stressed about the creationists’ arguments that they are now expelling people who even appear to be creationists. Contrary to open-minded, academically free expression of scientific thought, this sort of censorship provides a real barrier to scientific progress. Creationists must be making an impact with many in the debate if the evolutionary community is becoming so hyperactive in its decisions.
Lovan, Dylan (2010), “Scientist Alleges Religious Discrimination in KY,” The Washington Post, December 10, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/17/AR2010121701178.html.Stein, Ben and Kevin Miller (2008), Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (Premise Media).
Different Names, Same Person
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
Names can be rather confusing at times. A teacher might become puzzled on the first day of school when she finds out that half of her students do not immediately respond when she calls roll. The reason: they normally are called by another name than that which appears on the school records. A coach may not immediately recognize a certain player’s identity, because his team speaks of this player (on the opposing team) only by using a nickname. After some investigation, however, the coach soon learns who the player actually is. Millions of individuals through the millennia have worn more than one name. Even at Apologetics Press, nearly half of my co-workers wear derivatives of their full, official name. Our Production Administrator's name is James Monroe, but he prefers to be called Jim. David Lee, our Executive Director, is just Dave to those who know him. Most people in the twenty-first century understand that this is simply the way it is; people often go by more than one name.
When reading the Bible, we need also to remember that people in ancient times frequently had more than one name as well. Keeping this in mind will help clarify various passages that may seem somewhat ambiguous. When studying the book of Genesis, it is helpful to bear in mind that Abram’s name was changed to Abraham (Genesis 17:5), and Jacob’s to Israel (Genesis 32:28). Later, while living in Egypt, “Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-Paaneah” (Genesis 41:45). Numerous other individuals mentioned in the Bible also were known by more than one name.
- Moses’ father-in-law was known both as Reuel and Jethro (Exodus 2:18; 3:1).
- Gideon acquired the name Jerubbaal because he destroyed the altar of Baal at Ophrah (Judges 6:32; 7:1; 8:29,35).
- Pharaoh Necho changed the name of King Josiah’s oldest son, Eliakim, to Jehoiakim (2 Kings 23:34).
- The apostle Peter is sometimes called Peter, Simon Peter, Simon, and Cephas (Matthew 14:28; 16:16; 17:25; John 1:42; 1 Corinthians 1:12).
- And Saul is called Paul (Acts 13:9).
Countless Bible questions can be answered logically just by acknowledging that the ancients often were just as flexible in their giving of names as people are in the twenty-first century.
"My God, My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?"
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
Imagine trying to live in a world where every person decided for himself or herself how long an inch should be. One person’s inch might be as long as a pencil, while another’s might be as short as a penny. Further imagine trying to buy lumber or carpet, or trying to calculate any kind of geometry. In truth, trying to measure things without a standard is impossible.
The same is true of religion and spiritual matters. If everyone made his or her own “measurements” about what is right and wrong, then mass confusion would rule the day—which is exactly why God gave us the Bible. It is the standard by which all of our actions are to be measured. Because the Bible claims to be the only true standard, most people insist upon evidence proving that it is from God. If a person has an open Bible and an honest heart, such evidence is available.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
“MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?”
As Jesus was nearing His death, He cried out, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?,” which being translated means “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34). Many of those around Jesus did not understand what He had said. But any Jew familiar with the Old Testament should have immediately recognized Jesus’ lament as a direct quote from the first line of Psalm 22. King David wrote that psalm about 1,000 years before the death of Jesus. Yet verses 16 through 18 describe in minute detail what was happening at the crucifixion: “They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”
Could you imagine having the twenty-second Psalm in your hand (or mind), and watching the soldiers at Jesus’ feet actually casting lots for His clothing (Matthew 27:35)—exactly as the psalmist predicted? With one of Christ’s last breaths on the cross, He tried to get people to understand that He was the Messiah.
As we today look back upon the situation—almost 2000 years after the fact—we see that Jesus proved the Bible had accurately foretold the future, thereby verifying its inspiration. As Isaiah said: “Declare unto us what shall happen: declare ye the former things, what they are, that we may consider them, and know the latter end of them; or show us things to come” (41:22). The very thing the pagans could not do (41:22-24), God’s Word could (see Isaiah 42:8-9).
|by||Dave Miller, Ph.D.|
A recent atheist conference in Crystal City, Virginia included the usual insistence by atheists that “God is a myth” and “children must not be taught religion” (Castillo, 2007). Oxford professor Richard Dawkins unleashed his typical militant, intolerant tirade against Christians. He insisted: “Religion is not the root of all evil, but it gets in the way of [determining] how we got here and where we find ourselves...and that is an evil in itself” (Castillo, emp. added). Ironic, is it not, that if atheism is true and there is no God, no absolute, objective evil even exists. That means that Dawkins must use the term “evil” to refer simply to his own subjective opinion.
When asked to state the main difference between believers and atheists, Dawkins unhesitatingly quipped: “Well, we’re bright” (Castillo). Apart from the arrogance, let us make certain that we have grasped correctly his sentiment. In order to be an atheist, one must know that God does not exist. That means that one must possess evidence that proves that God does not exist. In fact, the atheist must know (and thus be able to prove) the following (see Warren and Flew, 1977, pp. 7-8,55-58):
1. Matter is eternal, having existed non-contingently, without a beginning.But the atheist cannot know or prove any of these eight items! Even modern science acknowledges that the Universe is not eternal (see Miller, 2007, 27:30-31). These eight are but a fraction of the insurmountable barriers to proving atheism. So the atheist cannot prove the very things that must be proven in order to assert that God does not exist. Yet, we are assured by one of the world’s leading atheists that they, in contrast to theists, are “bright.” “Professing to be wise, they became fools.... [and] exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Romans 1:22,25).
2. Matter is all that exists.
3. Matter has always existed.
4. No one piece of matter is worth any more than any other piece of matter.
5. By sheer chance, dead matter became living matter.
6. By sheer chance, dead matter became conscious matter.
7. By sheer chance, dead matter became a human being.
8. By sheer chance, dead matter developed conscience.
Miller, Jeff (2007), “God and the Laws of Thermodynamics: A Mechanical Engineer’s Perspective,” Reason & Revelation, 27:25-31, April, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3293.
Warren, Thomas B. and Antony G.N. Flew (1977), The Warren-Flew Debate on the Existence of God (Ramer, TN: National Christian Press).
Daniel Webster 1802 July 4th Oration
[NOTE: Daniel Webster (1782-1852) was born during the Founding Era, graduated from Dartmouth and served in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, and as U.S. Secretary of State. Widely recognized as a prominent statesman, lawyer, and politician, he delivered a 4th of July Oration in 1802 in Fryeburg, New Hampshire. The following are excerpts from that long lost speech rediscovered 80 years later. Observe, especially, the bolded sections that anticipated our current circumstances as a nation.]Fellow-Citizens—It is at the season when nature hath assumed her loveliest apparel that the American people assemble in their several temples to celebrate the birthday of their nation. Arrayed in all the beauties of the year, the Fourth of July once more visits us. Green fields and a ripening harvest proclaim it, a bright sun cheers it, and the hearts of freemen bid it welcome. Illustrious spectacle! Six millions of people this day surround their altars, and unite in an address to Heaven for the preservation of their rights. Every rank and every age imbibes the general spirit. From the lisping inhabitant of the cradle to the aged warrior whose gray hairs are fast sinking in the western horizon of life, every voice is, this day, tuned to the accents of LIBERTY! WASHINGTON! MY COUNTRY!
Festivals established by the world have been numerous. The coronation of a king, the birth of a prince, the marriage of a princess, have often called wondering crowds together. Cities and nations agree to celebrate the event which raises one mortal man above their heads, and beings called men stand astonished and aghast while the pageantry of a monarch or the jewelled grandeur of a queen poses before them. Such a festival, however, as the Fourth of July is to America, is not found in history; a festival designed for solemn reflection on the great events that have happened to us; a festival in which freedom receives a nation's homage, and Heaven is greeted with incense from ten thousand hearts….
To preserve the government we must also preserve a correct and energetic tone of morals. After all that can be said, the truth is that liberty consists more in the habits of the people than in anything else. When the public mind becomes vitiated and depraved, every attempt to preserve it is vain. Laws are then a nullity, and Constitutions waste paper. There are always men wicked enough to go any length in the pursuit of power, if they can find others wicked enough to support them. They regard not paper and parchment. Can you stop the progress of a usurper by opposing to him the laws of his country? then you may check the careering winds or stay the lightning with a song. No. Ambitious men must be restrained by the public morality: when they rise up to do evil, they must find themselves standing alone. Morality rests on religion. If you destroy the foundation, the superstructure must fall. In a world of error, of temptation, of seduction; in a world where crimes often triumph, and virtue is scourged with scorpions—in such a world, certainly, the hope of an hereafter is necessary to cheer and to animate. Leave us, then, the consolations of religion. Leave to man, to frail and feeble man, the comfort of knowing, that, when he gratifies his immortal soul with deeds of justice, of kindness, and of mercy, he is rescuing his happiness from final dissolution and laying it up in Heaven.
Our duty as citizens is not a solitary one. It is connected with all the duties that belong to us as men. The civil, the social, the Christian virtues are requisite to render us worthy the continuation of that government which is the freest on earth. Yes, though the world should hear me, though I could fancy myself standing in the congregation of all nations, I would say: Americans, you are the most privileged people that the sun shines on. The salutary influences of your climate are inferior to the salutary influences of your laws. Your soil, rich to a proverb, is less rich than your Constitution. Your rivers, large as the oceans of the old world, are less copious than the streams of social happiness which flow around you. Your air is not purer than your civil liberty, and your hills, though high as heaven and deep as the foundations of the earth, are less exalted and less firmly founded than that benign and everlasting religion which blesses you and shall bless your offspring. Amidst these profuse blessings of nature and of Providence, beware! Standing in this place, sacred to truth, I dare not undertake to assure you that your liberties and your happiness may not be lost. Men are subject to men’s misfortunes. If an angel should be winged from Heaven, on an errand of mercy to our country, the first accents that would glow on his lips would be, Beware! be cautious! you have everything to lose; you have nothing to gain. We live under the only government that ever existed which was framed by the unrestrained and deliberate consultations of the people. Miracles do not cluster. That which has happened but once in six thousand years cannot be expected to happen often. Such a government, once gone, might leave a void, to be filled, for ages, with revolution and tumult, riot and despotism. The history of the world is before us. It rises like an immense column, on which we may see inscribed the soundest maxims of political experience. These maxims should be treasured in our memories and written on our hearts. Man, in all countries, resembles man. Wherever you find him, you find human nature in him and human frailties about him. He is, therefore, a proper pupil for the school of experience. He should draw wisdom from the example of others—encouragement from their success, caution from their misfortunes. Nations should diligently keep their eye on the nations that have gone before them. They should mark and avoid their errors, not travel on heedlessly in the path of danger and of death while the bones of their perished predecessors whiten around them.
How Many Times Did the Rooster Crow?by Eric Lyons, M.Min.
Perhaps the most famous alleged Bible contradiction centers on Peter’s triple denial of Jesus and the crowing of a rooster. For years, skeptics have charged that Mark’s account of this event blatantly contradicts the other gospel accounts, thus supposedly “proving” the imperfection of the Scriptures. Even Bible believers have questioned the differences surrounding this event, yet relatively few have taken the time to understand them. Whenever people ask us about Peter’s denials and the differences within the gospel accounts, we often fail to give an adequate answer to their questions (see 1 Peter 3:15). This lack of understanding and poor defense of God’s Word has led skeptics to become more confident in their position (that the Bible is not God’s Word), and has caused some Bible believers to abandon their position on the infallibility of the Scriptures.
The passages in question are found in Matthew 26, Mark 14, Luke 22, and John 13. Matthew, Luke, and John all quoted Jesus as saying that Peter would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed.
- Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times” (Matthew 26:34).
- Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me” (Luke 22:34).
- Jesus answered him… “Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times” (John 13:38).
- And immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times” (Matthew 26:74b-75).
- Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times” (Luke 22:60-61).
- Peter then denied again [for the third time—EL]; and immediately a rooster crowed (John 18:27).
Mark differs from the other writers in that he specifies the rooster crowed once after Peter’s first denial and again after his third denial. But, do these differences represent a legitimate contradiction? Do they indicate, as some critics charge, that the Bible is not from God? Absolutely not!
Consider the following illustration. A family of three went to a high school football game together for the first time. The father and son had been to several games prior to this one, but the mother never had been fortunate enough to attend a high school game until now. After entering the stadium, Ricky tells his 16-year-old son, Cary, that they will meet him right outside Gate 12 after the buzzer sounds. Having filed away the instructions, Cary races to the stands to ensure that he sees the opening kickoff. Ricky’s wife, Vickie, who did not hear the instructions he gave Cary, then asks him when they were going to see Cary again. He responds, “We are going to meet him right outside the gate we just entered after the fourth buzzer.” After the fourth buzzer? But he told Cary after the buzzer sounded they would meet him. Did Ricky contradict himself? No. At this particular stadium, the time keepers normally sound a buzzer after each quarter. But, when we say “at the buzzer,” or when we speak of “a buzzer beater” (such as in basketball), usually we are referring to the final buzzer. Cary was familiar with sports lingo, and thus Ricky told him they would see him “ after the buzzer sounds.” Vickie, on the other hand, having never attended a football game in her life, was given different instructions. In a more precise way, Ricky instructed her that Cary would meet them, not after the first, second, or third buzzer, but after the fourth and final buzzer that marks the end of regulation play. Ricky knew that if he told Vickie, “Cary will meet us after the buzzer sounds,” she would have expected to meet him after the first buzzer sounded. Thus, Ricky simply informed Vickie in a more detailed manner. Surely, no one would claim that Ricky had contradicted himself.
In a similar way, no one should assume that, because three of the gospel writers mentioned one crowing while Mark mentioned two crowings, a contradiction therefore exists. Realistically, there were two “rooster crowings.” However, it was the second one (the only one Matthew, Luke, and John mentioned) that was the “main” crowing (like the fourth buzzer is the “main” buzzer at a football game). In the first century, roosters were accustomed to crowing at least twice during the night. The first crowing (which only Mark mentioned—14:68) usually occurred between twelve and one o’clock. Relatively few people ever heard or acknowledged this crowing (Fausset’s Bible Dictionary). Likely, Peter never heard it; else surely his slumbering conscience would have awakened.
The second crowing took place not long before daybreak—likely around three o’clock ( Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary). [Please remember, biblical hours cannot be translated exactly into our modern clock-hours.] It was this latter crowing that commonly was called “the cockcrowing.” Why? Because it was at this time of night (just before daybreak) that roosters crowed the loudest, and their “shrill clarion” was useful in summoning laborers to work (McClintock and Strong, 1968, 2:398). This crowing of the roosters served as an alarm clock to the ancient world. Mark recorded earlier in his gospel account that Jesus spoke of this “main” crowing when He stated: “Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning” (Mark 13:35, emp. added). Interestingly, even when workers were called to work via artificial devices (e.g., bugles), this time of the night still was designated by the proverbial phrase, “the cockcrowing” (McClintock and Strong, 2:398). If you lived in the first century and your boss said to be ready to work when “the rooster crows,” you would know he meant that work begins just before daybreak. If he said work begins at the second crowing of the rooster, likewise, you would know he meant the same thing—work begins just before daylight. These are not contradictory statements, but rather two ways of saying the same thing.
When Jesus said, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times” (Matthew 26:34), it seems obvious that He was using “the rooster crows” in the more conventional way. Mark, on the other hand, specifies that there were two crowings. In the same way that the husband gives his wife more detailed instructions concerning a football game, Mark used greater precision in recording this event. It may be that Mark quoted the exact words of Jesus, while the other writers (under the guidance of the Holy Spirit) saw fit to employ the less definite style to indicate the same time of night (McGarvey, 1875, p. 355). Or, perhaps Jesus made both statements. After Peter declared that he never would deny the Lord, Jesus could have repeated His first statement and added another detail, saying: “[E]ven this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times” (Mark 14:30, emp. added). We cannot be sure why Mark’s account is worded differently than the other writers, but by understanding that “ the rooster crowing” commonly was used to indicate a time just before daybreak, we can be assured that no contradiction exists among the gospel writers.
REFERENCES“Animals” (1986), Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft)
“Cock” (1998), Fausset’s Bible Dictionary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).
“Cock-crowing,” McClintock, John and James Strong (1968), Cyclopaedia of Biblical Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).
Lenski, R.C.H. (1961), The Interpretation of St. Mark’s Gospel (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg).
McGarvey, J.W. (1875), Commentary on Matthew and Mark (Delight AR: Gospel Light).
Why do so few become Christians
and live as Christians?
and live as Christians?
Jesus said: "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart: and you will find rest for your souls" (Matthew 11:28, 29).
Living as a Christian means to have rest, peace with God. Do we have rest and peace? If not maybe we have not really gone to Jesus to learn how to live.
One must first become a Christian in order to live as a Christian.
One is not a Christian by birth. Personal commitment is required. Our parents cannot decide for us. Everyone must decide for himself to follow Christ.
What does this involve?
Becoming a Christian means being saved by God's grace on the basis of faith in Jesus. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned: but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:16-19).
Jesus did not come to condemn the world. The world was already condemned because of sin.
"For as many as have sinned without the law shall also perish without the law: and as many as have sinned under the law shall be judged by the law" (Romans 2:12).
Jesus brought salvation. He came "to give his life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28). "For the Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10).
"He who believes in the Son has eternal life: but he who disobeys1 the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God rests upon him" (John 3:36).
An obedient faith is required to escape the wrath of God. One's faith must be confessed, "For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:10).
One must repent and be baptized: "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38).
People are faced with a choice. "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision" (Joel 3:14).
To live as a Christian we must make a personal decision. We must become a Christian by faith and obedience.
Why do so few live as Christians?
After Jesus has done so much to make salvation possible, why are so many lost anyway? Why do so few live as Christians? This has several causes.
Many do not live as Christians because of selfishness, self-centeredness.
"Then Jesus said to his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). "Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone: but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit" (John 12:24, 25).
"He who finds his life shall lose it: and he who loses his life for my sake shall find it" (Matthew 10:39).
"For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it: and whoever loses his life for my sake shall find it. For what does it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Matthew 16:25, 26).
"Whoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whoever shall lose his life shall preserve it" (Luke 17:33).
Since Jesus gave His life for us, He asks us to forfeit our lives to serve Him. Many do not want to do this.
Many do not live as Christians because of impenitence.
Most people refuse to repent. Referring to such people, Paul said: "But because of your hard and unrepentant heart you are storing up for yourself wrath on the day of wrath when the righteous judgment of God shall be revealed" (Romans 2:5).
Jesus made repentance a condition for salvation: "There were some present at that time who told him of the Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answered, saying to them, Do you suppose these Galileans were greater sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, No: but, unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish" (Luke 13:1-3).
"The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some men count slowness; but is patient toward you, not wanting that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9).
"This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as other Gentiles walk, in the futility of their minds, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their hearts: who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to licentiousness, greedy to practice all kinds of uncleanness" (Ephesians 4:17-19).
"Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
"Therefore, submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up" (James 4:7-10).
Many do not live as Christians because they set their minds on earthly things.
Earthly-minded people scorn the sacrifice of Christ. "For many, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even with weeping, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, with minds set on earthly things" (Philippians 3:18, 19).
When people make this world their god, they are struck with spiritual blindness: "But if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. For the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, lest they should see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God" (2 Corinthians 4:3, 4).
In their blindness they think God's word is foolishness: "For the preaching of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness; but to those of us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Corinthians 1:18).
They do not think very highly of Christians either. Even worse, to them we stink. If we want to live as Christians, we must be willing to endure the ridicule and persecution of people of the world.
"Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and makes manifest through us the fragrance of the knowledge of him in every place. For we are an aroma of Christ to God, among those who are being saved, and among those who are perishing: To the one we are the aroma of death to death; and to the other the aroma of life to life" (2 Corinthians 2:14-16).
Someone who loves money cannot live as a Christian: "But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil" (1 Timothy 6:8-10).
The waging of war is also an expression of earthly-mindedness because of which many are lost, as Jesus warned Peter: "Put your sword back in its place: for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword" (Matthew 26:52).
Earthly-mindedness leads to spiritual infertility: "And these are the ones who are like seed sown among thorns; they hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lust for other things enter in, and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful" (Mark 4:18, 19).
Many do not live as Christians because of false doctrine.
Jesus warned: "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved" (Matthew 24:11-13).
Peter warned that ignorant and unstable people twist the Scriptures to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). "But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who secretly shall bring in destructive heresies" (2 Peter 2:1).
People accept false doctrine because they lack love for the truth: "And then shall the lawless one be revealed, whom the Lord shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and shall destroy by the brightness of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is through the working of Satan, with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who perish; because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that all those might be condemned who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12).
Why are their so few who live as Christians even though Jesus died for them? Because they are self-centered and earthly-minded they refuse to repent. Because they reject love for truth they believe a lie by which they are lost.
Let us live as Christians.
Let us walk the narrow road: "Enter in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there are who enter in by it: but small is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there are who find it" (Matthew 7:13, 14).
Although it is not an easy road, Jesus will help us. As Paul said, "Persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:9).
The salvation of Christ extends beyond death: "And some of you shall they cause to be put to death. And you shall be hated by all for my name's sake. But not a hair of your head shall perish. By your perseverance you shall win your souls" (Luke 21:16-19).
Jesus takes good care of His sheep: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish, nor shall any man pluck them out of my hand" (John 10:27, 28).
"Therefore be imitators of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us, and has given himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice, a sweet smelling aroma to God" (Ephesians 5:1, 2).
"Grace to you and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of our God and Father: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Galatians 1:3-5).
1 Some translators have interpreted απειθων in this verse as 'those not believing' but the word means 'those not obeying'.
New Testament quotations are from the Revised King James New Testament
(RKJNT) and Old Testament quotations are from the translation of the Jewish Publication Society.
(RKJNT) and Old Testament quotations are from the translation of the Jewish Publication Society.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
Bible Reading November 9 (World English Bible)
Isa 53:1 Who has believed our message? To whom has the arm of Yahweh been revealed?
Isa 53:2 For he grew up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form nor comeliness. When we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
Isa 53:3 He was despised, and rejected by men; a man of suffering, and acquainted with disease. He was despised as one from whom men hide their face; and we didn't respect him.
Isa 53:4 Surely he has borne our sickness, and carried our suffering; yet we considered him plagued, struck by God, and afflicted.
Isa 53:5 But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed.
Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray. Everyone has turned to his own way; and Yahweh has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isa 53:7 He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he didn't open his mouth. As a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is mute, so he didn't open his mouth.
Isa 53:8 He was taken away by oppression and judgment; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living and stricken for the disobedience of my people?
Isa 53:9 They made his grave with the wicked, and with a rich man in his death; although he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
Isa 53:10 Yet it pleased Yahweh to bruise him. He has caused him to suffer. When you make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed. He shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Yahweh shall prosper in his hand.
Isa 53:11 After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light and be satisfied. My righteous servant will justify many by the knowledge of himself; and he will bear their iniquities.
Isa 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Isa 54:1 "Sing, barren, you who didn't bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, you who did not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife," says Yahweh.
Isa 54:2 "Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of your habitations; don't spare: lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes.
Isa 54:3 For you shall spread aboard on the right hand and on the left; and your seed shall possess the nations, and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.
Isa 54:4 "Don't be afraid; for you shall not be ashamed: neither be confounded; for you shall not be disappointed: for you shall forget the shame of your youth; and the reproach of your widowhood you shall remember no more.
Isa 54:5 For your Maker is your husband; Yahweh of Armies is his name: and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; the God of the whole earth shall he be called.
Isa 54:6 For Yahweh has called you as a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit, even a wife of youth, when she is cast off," says your God.
Isa 54:7 "For a small moment have I forsaken you; but with great mercies will I gather you.
Isa 54:8 In overflowing wrath I hid my face from you for a moment; but with everlasting loving kindness will I have mercy on you," says Yahweh your Redeemer.
Isa 54:9 "For this is like the waters of Noah to me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I will not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.
Isa 54:10 For the mountains may depart, and the hills be removed; but my loving kindness shall not depart from you, neither shall my covenant of peace be removed," says Yahweh who has mercy on you.
Isa 54:11 "You afflicted, tossed with storms, and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in beautiful colors, and lay your foundations with sapphires.
Isa 54:12 I will make your pinnacles of rubies, and your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.
Isa 54:13 All your children shall be taught of Yahweh; and great shall be the peace of your children.
Isa 54:14 In righteousness you shall be established: you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not be afraid; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.
Isa 54:15 Behold, they may gather together, but not by me: whoever shall gather together against you shall fall because of you.
Isa 54:16 "Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals, and brings forth a weapon for his work; and I have created the waster to destroy.
Isa 54:17 No weapon that is formed against you will prevail; and you will condemn every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of Yahweh, and their righteousness which is of me," says Yahweh.
Isa 55:1 "Come, everyone who thirsts, to the waters, and he who has no money; come, buy, and eat; yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
Isa 55:2 Why do you spend money for that which is not bread? and your labor for that which doesn't satisfy? listen diligently to me, and eat you that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness.
Isa 55:3 Turn your ear, and come to me; hear, and your soul shall live: and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.
Isa 55:4 Behold, I have given him for a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander to the peoples.
Isa 55:5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you don't know; and a nation that didn't know you shall run to you, because of Yahweh your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for he has glorified you."
Isa 55:6 Seek Yahweh while he may be found; call you on him while he is near:
Isa 55:7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to Yahweh, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Isa 55:8 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," says Yahweh.
Isa 55:9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Isa 55:10 For as the rain comes down and the snow from the sky, and doesn't return there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, and gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
Isa 55:11 so shall my word be that goes forth out of my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing I sent it to do.
Isa 55:12 For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing; and all the trees of the fields shall clap their hands.
Isa 55:13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree; and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to Yahweh for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off."
Isa 56:1 Thus says Yahweh, "Keep justice, and do righteousness; for my salvation is near to come, and my righteousness to be revealed.
Isa 56:2 Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast; who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil."
Isa 56:3 Neither let the foreigner, who has joined himself to Yahweh, speak, saying, "Yahweh will surely separate me from his people;" neither let the eunuch say, "Behold, I am a dry tree."
Isa 56:4 For thus says Yahweh, "To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and hold fast my covenant:
Isa 56:5 to them I will give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name better than of sons and of daughters; I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
Isa 56:6 Also the foreigners who join themselves to Yahweh, to minister to him, and to love the name of Yahweh, to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath from profaning it, and holds fast my covenant;
Isa 56:7 even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples."
Isa 56:8 The Lord Yahweh, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, "Yet will I gather others to him, besides his own who are gathered."
Isa 56:9 All you animals of the field, come to devour, yes, all you animals in the forest.
Isa 56:10 His watchmen are blind, they are all without knowledge; they are all mute dogs, they can't bark; dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber.
Isa 56:11 Yes, the dogs are greedy, they can never have enough; and these are shepherds who can't understand: they have all turned to their own way, each one to his gain, from every quarter.
Isa 56:12 "Come," say they, "I will get wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow shall be as this day, a day great beyond measure."
2 Timothy 3
2Ti 3:1 But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come.
2Ti 3:2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, no lovers of good,
2Ti 3:4 traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5 holding a form of godliness, but having denied the power thereof. Turn away from these, also.
2Ti 3:6 For of these are those who creep into houses, and take captive gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts,
2Ti 3:7 always learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2Ti 3:8 Even as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so do these also oppose the truth; men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith.
2Ti 3:9 But they will proceed no further. For their folly will be evident to all men, as theirs also came to be.
2Ti 3:10 But you did follow my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, steadfastness,
2Ti 3:11 persecutions, and sufferings: those things that happened to me at Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. I endured those persecutions. Out of them all the Lord delivered me.
2Ti 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
2Ti 3:13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.
2Ti 3:14 But you remain in the things which you have learned and have been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them.
2Ti 3:15 From infancy, you have known the holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus.
2Ti 3:16 Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness,
2Ti 3:17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.