"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Savior's Sigh (8:11-13) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                      The Savior's Sigh (8:11-13)


1. Have you ever considered the Lord's reaction to your behavior...
   a. When you refuse to believe in Him?
   b. When you do not follow Him as you should?

2. In this lesson I want us to think how Jesus must feel...
   a. When we put off obeying the gospel of Christ
   b. When we fail to trust and obey Him in our daily walk

[In our text (Mk 8:11-13) we read of Jesus' response to those who came
to test Him.  Let's begin by carefully noting...]


      1. Jesus had just returned to the western shores of Galilee 
         - Mk 8:10
      2. The Pharisees began to dispute with Him - Mk 8:11
         a. They had challenged Jesus before - Mk 2:6-7,16; 3:22; 7:1-2
         b. Matthew adds that they were joined by the Sadducees 
            - Mt 16:1
      3. They demanded a sign - Mk 8:11
         a. A sign from heaven, perhaps like Joshua? - cf. Josh 10:12-14
         b. Had they not seen and heard of the many miracles already
         c. They were testing Him, perhaps hoping He would fail and be

      1. He sighed deeply in His spirit - Mk 8:12
         a. The anguish which Jesus experienced came from deep down
            inside him - Hendriksen
         b. Here the word "spirit" is used in a sense not much different
            from "heart" or "inner being." - ibid.
      2. Similar responses on other occasions
         a. Grieved by the hardness of their hearts - Mk 3:5
         b. Sighed as He healed the deaf mute - Mk 7:34
         c. Groaned in His spirit seeing the grief of others - Jn 11:33
         d. Wept over the city of Jerusalem - Lk 19:41-44

[Because of their hard hearts, no sign such as they were demanding would
be given them, except His resurrection (Mk 8:12-13; cf. Mt 12:39-40;
16:1-4).  Now consider whether Jesus might "sigh deeply in His spirit


      1. Just as He observed the behavior of Saul of Tarsus - Ac 9:5
      2. Just as He observed the churches of Asia
         a. He knew their works - Re 2:2,9,13,19; 3:1,8,15
         b. He found fault where it was due - Re 2:4,14,20; 3:2,16

      1. When we refuse to obey His gospel, time after time? 
         - cf. Mt 11:28-30
      2. When our conduct is not much different than those of the world?
         - cf. Mt 5:20
      3. When our love is no different than that displayed by sinners?
         - cf. Mt 5:44-48
      4. When the kingdom of God is not our priority in life? 
         - cf. Mt 6:33
      5. When tribulation or persecution causes us to stumble? 
         - cf. Mt 13:20-21
      6. When anxiety or materialism makes us unfruitful? - cf. Mt 13:22
      7. When discouragement leads us to abandon prayer? - cf. Lk 18:1
      8. When human traditions displace keeping the commands of God?
         - cf. Mk 7:7,9
      9. When denominationalism defeats His prayer for unity? 
         - cf. Jn 17:20-21
     10. When love of the world replaces love for His Father? 
          - cf. 1Jn 2:15-17


1. From the Savior's sigh we learn that Jesus cared deeply...
   a. For those He was willing to heal (e.g., the deaf mute)
   b. For those He was willing to save (e.g., the Pharisees)

2. In similar fashion, Jesus stands ready...
   a. To save us from our sins
   b. To heal us of our souls' diseases

How will Jesus react to our response to Him?  Will it be with great joy,
or a deep sigh in His spirit...?
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" Feeding The Four Thousand (8:1-10) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                   Feeding The Four Thousand (8:1-10)


1. During His earthly ministry, Jesus focused attention on the house of
   a. As He commanded when giving the Limited Commission - Mt 10:5-6
   b. As He explained to the Syro-Phoenician woman - Mt 15:24

2. Even so, there were occasions when Gentiles benefited from His
   physical presence...
   a. The Syro-Phoenician woman's daughter healed - Mk 7:24-30
   b. Healings in the area of Decapolis, including the deaf mute 
      - Mt 15:29-31; Mk 7:31-37
   c. Feeding of the four thousand - Mk 8:1-10

[It is the feeding of the four thousand that we now direct our
attention, first by taking a closer look at...]


      1. "In those days" - Mk 8:1
         a. Connecting this miracle with those we've just studied 
            - Mk 7:31-37; Mt 15:29-31
         b. Placing it in the area of Decapolis, SE of the Sea of
            Galilee - Mk 7:31
         c. A prominently Gentile region, where Jesus had healed a
            demoniac - Mk 5:1-13
         d. Who had broadcast what Jesus did for him throughout
            Decapolis - Mk 5:18-20
      2. Other particulars - Mk 8:1-3
         a. A great multitude, who had been with Jesus three days
         b. In a wilderness region, without food, far from their homes

      1. Prompted by Jesus' compassion - Mk 8:2-3
      2. Unforeseen by Jesus' disciples - Mk 8:4
      3. Using only seven loaves and a few small fish - Mk 8:5-7
      4. Occurring after Jesus gave thanks for the bread, and blessed
         the fish - Mk 8:6-7
      5. With seven large baskets of leftover fragments - Mk 8:8
      6. Feeding 4000 men, besides women and children 
         - Mk 8:9; cf. Mt 15:38

[After feeding the multitude, Jesus sent them away and got on a boat
with His disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee over to Dalmanutha (on
the west coast).  With the narrative fresh on our minds, here are...]


               The 5000                           The 4000
      1. In Galilee                       1. In Decapolis
      2. Jews - cf. Jn 6:14-15            2. Gentiles (Decapolis)
                                             - Mk 7:31; 8:1
      3. With Jesus one day - Mk 6:35     3. With Jesus three days - Mk 8:2
      4. Near villages - Mk 6:36          4. In wilderness - Mk 8:3-4
      5. Five loaves, two fish - Mk 5:41  5. Seven loaves, few small
                                             fish - Mk 8:5,7
      6. 5000 men, plus women and         6. 4000 men, plus women and
         children - Mt 14:21                 children - Mt 15:38
      7. Surplus = 12 hand baskets        7. Surplus = 7 large baskets *
         - Mk 6:43                           - Mk 8:8
      -- * The large baskets were like hampers, large enough to hide in
         - cf. Ac 9:25

      1. We see a picture of need - "nothing to eat"
      2. We see a revelation of love - "I have compassion on the
      3. We see a consideration of grace - "if I send them away hungry
         to their own houses, they will faint on the way"
      4. We see a question of helplessness - "How can one satisfy these
         people with bread here in the   wilderness?"
      5. We see a command requiring trust - "He commanded the multitude
         to sit down on the ground"
      6. We see a manifestation of power - "those who had eaten were
         about four thousand"
      7. We see a superabundance of supply - "they took up seven largef
         baskets of leftover fragments"
      -- From Handfuls On Purpose, Smith & Lee

      1. There is need - Ro 3:23
      2. There is love - Ro 5:8
      3. There is grace - Ro 6:23
      4. There is helplessness - Ro 3:9
      5. There is a command requiring trust 
         - Ro 6:3; cf. Mk 16:16; Ac 2:38; 22:16
      6. There is manifestation of power - Ro 6:4-7; 8:1-2,11-13
      7. There is superabundance of supply - Ro 8:31-39; cf. Ep 3:20-21
      -- He who fed thousands with bread then feeds millions with the
         bread of life today!


1. The feeding of the four thousand was a miracle which...
   a. Was quite different than feeding the five thousand
   b. Foreshadowed the grace to be offered all men, both Jew and Gentile

2. May it serve to remind us concerning Jesus...
   a. He knows our every need
   b. He is touched by our infirmities
   c. He is able to abundantly supply our need

As Paul wrote to his beloved brethren in the churches at Philippi and

   "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in
   glory by Christ Jesus." - Php 4:19

   "Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all
   that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
   to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations,
   forever and ever. Amen."  - Ep 3:20-21
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

Quotable Quotes by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Quotable Quotes

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Many of us have listened to preachers talk about the Bible. Sometimes, that preacher might quote a certain biblical passage. In order to quote the passage, he had to have read it or heard it sometime in the past. In the same way, there were many ancient preachers who quoted the Bible, just like preachers do today. These early preachers lived only a few years after the Bible was written, and they quoted from it quite often. For instance, a man named Ignatius, who lived from A.D. 70-110, quoted from the books of Matthew, Acts, Romans, and several others. Another man, Polycarp, lived from A.D. 70-156. In chapter 4 of a letter he wrote to some people who lived in Philippi, Polycarp stated that “the love of money is the root of all evils” and that “we brought nothing into the world, so we can carry nothing out.” In chapter 5 of the same letter he wrote, “God is not mocked.” Later in chapter 7, he said: “For whosoever does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is antichrist.”
Justin Martyr, another early “church father” who lived from approximately A.D. 100-165, quoted large sections of the New Testament. In his First Apology, chapter 15 opens with this quote: “Whosoever looketh upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart before God.” And, “If thy right eye offend thee, cut it out; for it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of heaven with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into everlasting fire.”
Irenaeus (A.D. 130-202), in Against Heresies, book 1 chapter 8, quoted Paul as saying, “and last of all, He appeared to me also, as to one born out of due time.” And in the same chapter, he quoted Jesus as saying, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me” (for an extensive catalog of the writings of the “church fathers” see Knight, 2002).
The list of names and quotes could go on for several pages. After researching the church fathers and their texts for several years, the eminent New Testament scholar, Bruce Metzger, wrote: “Indeed, so extensive are these citations that if all other sources for our knowledge of the text of the New Testament were destroyed, they would be sufficient alone in reconstructing practically the entire New Testament” (1968, p. 86).
If the ancient preachers who lived between A.D. 70-200 quoted extensively from the New Testament, it means that the New Testament had to be complete, already circulating among the Christians, and accepted as Scripture long before they quoted it. It also means that we can compare the New Testament that we read in the twenty-first century to the quotes that such preachers produced in those early years. What we find when we compare the two is that they are virtually identical.
God used early preachers to help preserve the New Testament, and to teach us some very important lessons. The first thing we learn is that the New Testament we possess today is the same one God inspired the apostles and others to write. We also learn that good, solid preaching, which will save the souls of the hearers, must focus on the Word of God. “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11).


Knight, Kevin (2002), “The Fathers of the Church,” [On-line], URL: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/.
Metzger, Bruce (1968), The Text of the New Testament (New York: Oxford University Press).

Lessons Learned in the Practice of Law: God is a Perfect Judge by Kevin Cain, J.D.


Lessons Learned in the Practice of Law: God is a Perfect Judge

by  Kevin Cain, J.D.

[Editor’s Note: The following article was written by A.P. auxiliary staff writer, Kevin Cain, who holds degrees from Freed-Hardeman University (B.S., M.Min.) and the Doctor of Jurisprudence from South Texas College of Law. A former Briefing Attorney of The First Court of Appeals, his current practice focuses on litigation at the trial and appellate levels in both State and Federal Courts.]
I am an attorney. I make a living studying the law, applying the law, and helping my clients navigate the murky waters of the legal profession. Over the years practicing as an attorney, I have come across cases, legal maxims, rules of law, statutes, and experiences that remind me of subtle lessons that God has long ago passed on to us through His holy Word. It simply reminds me of the great wisdom and superiority of God and His ways. One of these lessons was impressed upon me at a recent hearing.
I do not practice criminal law, but many trial courts have a combined civil and criminal docket—meaning they try both civil and criminal cases. Therefore, when I show up at the courthouse for a hearing on a civil case, I often sit and listen to people in orange jumpsuits plead guilty and beg for the judge’s mercy while I wait for my hearing to be called. Usually the assistant district attorney (ADA) and the defense attorney have reached a deal before the defendant pleads guilty. However, this agreement merely results in a recommendation from the ADA to the judge for purposes of sentencing the defendant. The judge may or may not accept this recommendation. The judge may give the defendant deferred adjudication or probation, or he may sentence the defendant to jail time. Rarely does the judge pass a sentence that is harsher than the sentence recommended by the ADA—rare, but not impossible.
I recently sat in a courthouse and listened to an attorney and the defendant’s mother plead for leniency and mercy on behalf of the defendant, who had just plead guilty to arson. The defense attorney begged for probation, while the ADA recommended 10 years in prison. The judge sentenced the 22-year-old man, with his one year-old daughter in the court room, to 15 years in prison. The defendant wept silently, and his mother wept bitterly as her son was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs to begin his 15 years in prison. I do not envy the judges who have to make life-changing decisions like this.
In this lifetime, on this side of eternity, we will never know perfect judgment, where justice and mercy are perfectly blended together resulting in judgment that is perfectly fair. Judges are faced with pleas for mercy, tears of sympathy, and cries for justice. What is a judge to do? Each judge must ask, “Is this defendant truly sorry and changed, or is he simply regretting that he got caught and sorry he is facing judgment?” While we often hear of judges who appear to have exercised poor judgment in their sentencing, and presume that we could do better, this is not a job I want day in and day out. As a judge stares down his gavel at a defendant pleading for his life, how is a judge to know if that person is truly sorry, sincere, or is simply putting on a show?
The true God we read of in the Bible is a perfect judge. He knows the hearts and minds of men. Our God searches the hearts of men—that is, he knows our every thought (Romans 8:27).  God tries our hearts and our minds (Psalm 7:9). “The Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought” (1 Chronicles 28:9). God can look past the external distractions that so often mislead, and He looks directly into our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7). Because of God’s ability to know our thoughts, our motives, and the intents of our hearts, He is a perfect judge who will exact perfect judgment. “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (Genesis 18:25). “And He shall judge the world in righteousness, He shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness” (Psalm 9:8). Our God will judge us all with precision, bringing together mercy and wrath perfectly. “But with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and He shall smite the earth: with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall He slay the wicked” (Isaiah 11:4). In other words when God judges this world, separating the saved from the lost, we will still be able to say, “He has done all things well” (Mark 7:37). When we pray for forgiveness, only God knows if we are truly sincere, sorry, and changed. God is a perfect judge.
A person can stand before a judge and fool him into leniency based on a purely external show of feigned sorrow. Another person may incur the judge’s wrath even though he is truly heart-broken and penitent. Nevertheless, our God looks beyond the external tears, confessions, pleas, and apologies; and He knows those who truly have torn hearts and those who merely demonstrate an external, superficial show of sorrow (Joel 2:13). “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart’” (1 Samuel 16:7). God is a perfect judge.
Our biases and inconsistencies on this subject are obvious and apparent. When we hear of some person (whom we have never met) who has committed some atrocious crime, we immediately think, “I hope he is punished to the fullest extent of the law, and even beyond that if possible.” However, when it is me or someone I personally know who is facing criminal prosecution, we immediately pray and beg for mercy and understanding from the judge, because we truly are sorry. So, where is the balance, and what is the answer?
In the United States, we have a legal system that is literally second to none. Many people risk their lives every day around this world defending this nation and our liberties and rights. Among those rights, according to the U.S. Constitution, is the right to a trial by jury. People are dying every day in an effort to enter this country of ours to have access to our legal system that is driven and founded on concepts of liberty, justice, and equity. We have a judicial system where disagreements are settled in a civil manner in the court house, not in the streets at the hands of an angry mob. However, our legal system is far from perfect and has more problems and flaws than most attorneys, judges, and jurists would care to admit. We will never know perfect judgment in this lifetime. And thankfully, I am not called to judge every person to determine where they will spend eternity, much less attempt to exact some form of temporary justice for every wrong that is committed today. Rather, God wants me to present every person with God’s Word (Matthew 28:19-20)—the very text, law, and code that will be the guide by which everyone will someday be judged (Revelation 20:12). God wants me to stand in the gap and warn the world of the righteous judgment to come (Ezekiel 3:17-19; 22:30). God will take care of the judging. My role is not to ensure perfect judgment in my time, but to prepare for perfect judgment in God’s time.  God is a perfect judge.

Hermeneutical Principles in the Old Testament by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Hermeneutical Principles in the Old Testament

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

One of the attributes of God is His rational nature. God is inherently logical, rational, and reasonable. He is a God of truth. He created humans in His own image, which includes this same rational nature. The human mind was created by God to function rationally. God’s communication to humanity presupposes this feature. The Bible was written in human language, and it was written in such a way that it assumes that its intended meanings may be understood correctly. In fact, within the Bible itself, beginning in the Old Testament, are found the hermeneutical principles by which the reader may understand the intended meanings.
This article summarizes six key principles apparent in the Old Testament that are indispensable to correct hermeneutical procedure. Many Bible passages demand that the reader of the Bible apply simple-but-necessary principles of interpretation in order to arrive at the meaning God intended.
Absolute, objective truth exists and can be known. The human mind can come to knowledge of that truth. Many theologians today are maintaining that truth is subjective and relative. The “new hermeneutic” people claim that a circle is set up between interpreter and text, each interpreting the other in an ongoing process, with the interpreter’s presuppositions determining the meanings the interpreter draws from the text. But, as usual, man’s complex theories are ridiculous in view of the simple, straightforward statements of Scripture. The Old Testament everywhere assumes that humans can and must come to the knowledge of absolute truth.
Solomon said to “buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding” (Proverbs 23:23, NKJV). Both Isaiah and Jeremiah affirmed that people can, and must, be taught in order to come to knowledge of those things that must be known (Isaiah 54:13; Jeremiah 31:34; cf. John 6:45; 7:17). Moses already had stressed to the Israelites that it would be absolutely imperative for them to teach their children those things that would be necessary to please God (Deuteronomy 6:1-9). Were the children capable of comprehending and coming to knowledge? Moses also explained that the purpose of the desert hardships was to make the Israelites “know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3). If all of life is to be governed by the words that proceed from God, humans are capable of assimilating those words and coming to a correct understanding of what is required of them.
Moses further pointed out that “the secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Certainly, there are many things that humans cannot know—things far beyond our limited capability to understand (Romans 11:33). However, God has revealed certain truths that we are well capable of grasping, and that God expects us to comprehend. These truths “belong” to us, i.e., they are directed to us, and we will be held accountable for our reaction to them. Far too many people dwell on peripheral matters that cannot be fully known, while they neglect those things for which they will be held responsible in eternity. No wonder God frequently issued warnings against being ignorant, uninformed, or resistant to knowing (Isaiah 1:3; 5:13; Jeremiah 9:6; Hosea 4:6).
Solomon observed that the words of God’s wisdom “are all plain to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge” (Proverbs 8:9). His wisdom claims that “those who seek me diligently will find me” (Proverbs 8:17). Could Adam and Eve know whether it was permissible for them to consume the fruit (Genesis 3:1-3)? Could Cain know what sacrifice God expected (Genesis 4:5)? Could Moses know whether he should speak to or strike the rock (Numbers 20:8-11)? These instances demonstrate that the perennial problem with humanity is not the ability to come to knowledge of God’s Word; rather, the consistent problem is the will and the desire to conform. Many other passages leave no doubt that God has a body of truth that He has made available to mankind, and He expects every person to use mental faculties and cognitive powers to understand that truth.
The Old Testament also conveys the idea that in order to arrive at God’s truth, correct reasoning must be employed. Isaiah quoted God’s statement to the nation: “Come now, and let us reason together” (1:18). God later said: “Put Me in remembrance; let us contend together; state your case, that you may be acquitted” (43:26). In his farewell address to the nation, Samuel declared: “Now therefore, stand still, that I may reason with you before the Lord” (1 Samuel 12:7). Solomon insisted that “[t]he first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him” (Proverbs 18:17). He also said, “the simple believes every word, but the prudent man considers well his steps” (Proverbs 14:15). This investigative, cautious, perceptive spirit necessitates an analytical approach to life. We must use our God-given rationality to think clearly, accurately, and logically in our treatment of Scripture, as well as in sorting out the daily affairs of life. These passages teach that we both can, and must, ascertain the correct meaning of Scripture through the proper exercise of our reasoning powers.
The task of learning what God wants us to know requires considerable effort. We must be willing to expend the time and trouble to carefully, prayerfully, and diligently analyze and examine God’s words. Moses underscored this principle in his remarks to the Israelites on the plains of Moab just prior to their entrance into the Land of Canaan. He described the task as requiring constant, consistent attention:
And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart; you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:6-9).
Solomon referred to the attentiveness required to remain true to God: “My son, keep your father's command, and do not forsake the law of your mother. Bind them continually upon your heart; tie them around your neck. When you roam, they will lead you; when you sleep, they will keep you; and when you awake, they will speak with you” (Proverbs 6:20-22). This attentiveness must include an intense desire to pursue, know, and acquire truth—like the psalmist who wanted God’s laws so badly that he could almost taste them (Psalm 19:10). It was to be sought after more than fine gold (Psalm 19:10; 119:127). Most are simply too busy, or unwilling, to expend effort to such an intensity. Life has too many distractions, and offers too many other interests. But the Bible makes clear that if we wish to understand God’s will for our lives, arduous, persistent, aggressive effort is essential to ascertain that will.
A fourth hermeneutical principle found in the Bible is that we must recognize that there are incorrect interpretations and that we are capable of distinguishing the correct from the incorrect. False teachers actually do exist who misrepresent God’s Word and deceive people with incorrect interpretations. God, through Jeremiah, warned the nation: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:16). Think of the many con men and shysters throughout Bible history who sought to lead God’s people astray—from Pharaoh’s magicians (Exodus 7:11; 2 Timothy 3:8) and Ahab and Jezebel’s prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:19), to Zedekiah (1 Kings 22:11,24) and Hananiah (Jeremiah 28). God expected people to see through their charades and their erroneous ideologies, and to recognize the pure Word of God.
So it is clear that the Old Testament warns of false interpretations and misrepresentations of God’s Word. In God’s sight, there is only the truth on the one hand, and various departures from that truth on the other hand. All people are required to distinguish between truth and error, and to cling to the truth. “To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20).
The Bible also teaches that the interpreter must remain within the framework of Scripture, neither adding to nor subtracting from the written revelation. Moses declared in the long ago: “You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you” (Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32). Solomon said: “Every word of God is pure...add not to His words, least He reprove you, and you be found a liar” (Proverbs 30:5-6). Jeremiah urged: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it” (Jeremiah 6:16). In other words, the individual is responsible for identifying the limits of God’s directives, and then confining himself to those directives. These passages make clear that God has defined the parameters of moral, spiritual, and religious truth for humanity. He expects us to confine ourselves to His instructions in our thinking and practice.
The Old Testament is riddled with instances of people failing to conform themselves precisely to the instructions given to them by God. Cain was neither an atheist nor a reprobate. He, in fact, was a religious individual who was willing to engage in religious worship. He was also to be commended for directing his worship behavior toward the right God. Nevertheless, his slight adjustment in the specifics of worship action evoked God’s displeasure (Genesis 4:5; 1 John 3:12). Nadab and Abihu were the right boys, at the right time, at the right place, with the right censers, and the right incense. Yet by using the wrong fire, they were summarily executed by God (Leviticus 10:1-2). King Saul was censured twice for his unauthorized actions (1 Samuel 13:11-13; 15:19-24). Uzzah was struck dead simply for touching the Ark of the Covenant, though his apparent motive was to protect the Ark (2 Samuel 6:7). David later identified the problem as “because we did not consult Him about the proper order” (1 Chronicles 15:13). God’s previous instructions on the matter were not followed as they should have been.
Remaining within the framework of Scripture requires a proper recognition of the role of the “silence” of the Scriptures. A misunderstanding occurs in two ways: (1) some reason that if the Bible is silent concerning a particular practice (and therefore does not explicitly condemn it), they are free to engage in that practice; (2) others reason that if the Bible does not mention a practice, then they are not free to engage in that practice. But neither of these viewpoints accounts adequately for the biblical picture.
The Bible may not expressly mention a given item, and yet authorize its use. For example, Noah was told to construct a boat, without being given all of the details about how to do so (Genesis 6:14). He was authorized to achieve the task using a variety of carpentry tools. God’s silence on this particular point therefore was permissive. On the other hand, God did not explicitly forbid using poplar, cedar, or ash. Rather, He specified “gopherwood.” God’s silence was therefore restrictive in this case.
Two further examples illustrate this principle. God did not explicitly forbid Nadab and Abihu from using fire from some other source than the one divinely specified. He simply told them what fire they were to use. Use of fire from any other source was an unauthorized act, i.e., it had not received God’s prior approval. The text says that they “offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them” (Leviticus 10:1). It was not that God had told them not to do so; it was that He had not told them to do it.
In like manner, when Joshua received instructions from God regarding the proper tactics to be used in conquering the city of Jericho, God spoke in a positive fashion, specifying what they were to do. He did not tell them what they were not to do. The instructions included the act of shouting when the trumpet was sounded (Joshua 6:3-5). However, Joshua—who obviously understood the principle of remaining within the confines of God’s instructions, and grasped the hermeneutical concept of restrictive silence—relayed God’s instructions to the nation by offering further clarification: “Now Joshua had commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout” (Joshua 6:10-11). Joshua understood that things could be forbidden by God—not because He explicitly forbade them—but because He simply gave no authority to do them. With diligent and honest study, we, too, can settle every question of interpretation and authority.
That brings us to a sixth principle for understanding the Bible. We must have the right mindset, the right attitude, a genuine desire to know the will of God, and an honest heart to accept the truth, no matter how difficult the demands of that truth might be. Solomon noted that “a wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel” (Proverbs 1:5). “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a just man, and he will increase in learning” (Proverbs 9:9). These passages make clear that we cannot go to Scripture with the ulterior motive of getting our way or proving our position. We must be eager to learn from Scripture what the Lord intended for us to learn. We must not be like Jeremiah’s contemporaries who defiantly asserted: “We will not walk therein” and “We will not listen” (6:16-17).
This extremely brief discussion of hermeneutical principles that are evident in the Old Testament is certainly not intended to be complete. But it shows how the Old Testament contains within itself principles by which its truth may be extracted. All accountable humans have it within their power to transcend their prejudices and presuppositions sufficiently to arrive at God’s truth—if they genuinely wish to do so. There is simply no such thing as “my interpretation” and “your interpretation.” There is only God’s interpretation and God’s meaning—and with diligent, rational study, we can arrive at the truth on any subject that is vital to our spiritual well-being.
Rather than shrug off the conflicting views and positions on various subjects (like baptism, music in worship, miracles, how many churches may exist with God’s approval, etc.), and rather than dismiss religious differences as hopeless, irresolvable, and irrelevant, we must be about the business of studying and searching God’s Book, cautiously refraining from misinterpreting and misusing Scripture. If we will give diligent and careful attention to the task with an honest heart that is receptive to the truth, we can be certain of our ability to come to the knowledge of God’s will. The Old Testament is an appropriate place to commence this quest.

Did the Trees of the Garden of Eden Have Rings? by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


Did the Trees of the Garden of Eden Have Rings?

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.


Did the trees of the Garden of Eden have rings?


According to the Creation model, based on biblical chronologies, the Universe can be known to be roughly 6-8,000 years old. However, the question is sometimes asked, “But why does the Earth have the appearance of age?” [NOTE: In actuality, the Earth has a “young” appearance in some ways as well, but it is true that there are some visual characteristics of the Earth that would seem, on the surface, to indicate an old age for the Earth.] Among other things, the creationist’s response to such characteristics typically includes a discussion of the concept of a mature creation (i.e., God created the Universe fully functional for its intended purposes from the beginning). Man was walking, talking, working, and even able to procreate from the first day he was created (Genesis 2:15-25). Even though he was less than a day old, a passerby would have mistaken Adam as a man of several years strictly by observing his physical appearance. Even though light from stars billions of light years away from the Earth would take billions of light years to reach it on its own, God made the stars with their light already visible to living beings on Earth in order to fulfill the design He had for them (Genesis 1:14-19). [NOTE: See Lyons, 2011 for more discussion of the “appearance” of age in the Universe.] But what about the plants? Did they have an appearance of age? Did trees already have “rings” in them starting on day three? We cannot know for certain, but reason and revelation can shed some light on the subject.
In order for Adam and Eve to have the nourishment necessary to sustain their lives (apparently, they were not authorized to eat animals until after the Flood—cf. Genesis 1:29-30; 9:3-4), and in order to make sense of God’s command to eat the fruit from certain trees in the Garden (Genesis 2:16), it stands to reason that those trees would have already been mature on day six—fully grown, bearing fruit, and even potentially containing rings—in the same way that light from far away stars was already on the Earth. Moses’ general description of God’s workings with the plant life in the Garden is documented in Genesis 2:9 as simply that He “made every tree grow.” Clearly, that was a fast process during the Creation week.
But this raises a potential concern. Dendrochronology is the study of tree rings to determine the age of a tree. Dendrochronology tells us that each tree ring found in the trunk of a tree represents approximately one year of age for that tree. A tree with ten rings should be roughly ten years old. The oldest tree as measured by tree ring dating is from California’s White Mountains and is dated to be over 4,000 years old (Owen, 2008). Now, if the purpose of tree rings is to tell the age of a tree, would it not have been deceptive for God to create trees with rings when they were not old enough to have them? What would be the point of His creating trees with rings, if not to give a false appearance of age?
A quick internet search of the phrase, “purpose of tree rings,” brings up many articles, most of which are on the subject of dendrochronology. It is common knowledge that the primary purpose of tree rings today is to tell the age of the tree. Most of the study being done by scientists on tree rings is in dendrochronology, dendroclimatology, dendroecology, and dendropyrochronology. And that is where the confusion lies. How humans are using the information from tree rings today is very different from their purpose and function for the tree itself as designed by God.
A closer look at the tree ring reveals that it is formed as a result of the climate changes that occur during the seasons. The dark ring that we typically think of as the “tree ring” is known as “late wood” and is formed during the summer and autumn seasons. This area of wood is more dense and helps provide strength to the tree (Wimmer, 2011; Premyslovska, et al., 2007, p. 118). As the tree grows larger, year by year, more rings are added to the tree, providing it with more late wood and thus, more strength to stand. Therefore, if God created a fully mature, large tree, one would expect Him to create it with rings to give it strength—not as a deception to make Adam think that the Earth is actually older than it appears. After all, how could one reasonably charge God with deception anyway, considering that in Genesis 1 He told us through the hand of Moses exactly what He did and how long it took Him? [NOTE: Years or geographical areas in which seasonal changes are subtle result in little to no distinction between the commencement of new tree rings (and subsequently add potential error into the tree ring dating equation). If the Earth’s climate was closer to a tropical environment year round in the past, as some have theorized, tree rings may not have been clearly visible to the human eye. The whole core of the tree would be composed of a denser, stronger wood without clear distinctions between rings. Regardless, it is clear that the creation of tree rings in the trees of the Garden would have been reasonable and useful, not deceptive.]


Lyons, Eric (2011), “Common Sense, Miracles, and the Apparent Age of the Earth,” Reason & Revelation (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), 31[8]:77-80, August, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=997&article=1670.
Owen, James (2008), “Oldest Living Tree Found in Sweden,” National Geographic News, April 14, http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/04/080414-oldest-tree.html.
Premyslovska, E., Slezingerova, J., and L. Gandelova (2007), “Tree Ring Width and Basic Density of Wood in Different Forest Types,” Proceedings of the DENDROSYMPOSIUM, May 3-6, Riga, Latvia, pp. 118-122.
Wimmer, R. (2011), “Wood Quality: Causes, Methods, Control,” The University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, http://www.boku.ac.at/botanik/wood/woodquality/Chapter2.pdf.

Is Homosexuality Acceptable? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Is Homosexuality Acceptable?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Same-sex “marriage” is in the news a lot. Is homosexuality acceptable?


Homosexual activists have achieved what Americans 50 years ago would have thought impossible and unthinkable. In addition to systematically securing legal sanction with the help of liberal judges who act as legislators, they are gradually convincing more and more Americans that same-sex relations should be accepted as legitimate behavior. In 1965, 82% of men and 58% of women said that homosexuality represented a “clear threat” to the American way of life. By 1993, only 66.3% of the American population believed that sexual relations between two consenting adults of the same sex were always wrong (Singer and Deschamps, 1994). A 2001 Gallup poll showed a continuation of a slow, but steady, liberalization of American public opinion toward homosexuality (Newport, 2001). A poll in the same year by the Barna Research Group found that nearly half of all adults (48%) believe that sexual relations between consenting adults of the same gender should be legal. Two years later, Gallup found that six out of ten Americans feel that homosexual relations between consenting adults should be legal. This is the highest level of acceptance of the legality of homosexuality that has been measured over the 26 years that Gallup has been asking such a question. A slightly smaller percentage (54%) says that homosexuality should be considered an acceptable lifestyle (Newport, 2003).
Observe the obvious erosion of American moral sensibility—from 82% to 46% in just 40 years. This alarming desensitization process is typical of human civilizations throughout history (cf. the Old Testament nation of Israel). Those who are ignorant of the past are indeed doomed to repeat it. The extent to which America has digressed from its original moral moorings becomes shockingly apparent when one examines the stance taken by American society for the first 150 years of its national existence. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a ruling in 1885:
For certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the coordinate States of the Union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guaranty of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement (Murphy v. Ramsey, emp. added).
And yet the current U.S. Supreme Court eliminated all state sodomy laws in 2003, opening the floodgates to the legalization of homosexuality and same-sex marriages state by state. Justice Scalia, who penned the dissenting opinion for his fellow dissenters, Justices Rehnquist and Thomas, correctly concluded that if homosexual marriages are to be legalized, no legal/rational basis exists upon which to forbid all other sexual relationships, regardless of the perversity involved.
State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution...adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision (Lawrence et al..., 2003, italics in orig., emp. added).
Scalia added: “This effectively decrees the end of all morals legislation.... [N]one of the above-mentioned laws can survive rational-basis review” (Lawrence et al. vs. Texas, emp. added).
How far are Americans willing to go? To be consistent, they cannot logically oppose any other form of sexual promiscuity. If a woman were to want multiple husbands, on what basis could anyone object? The same may be said for those who wish to marry their child, their sister—or their pet. Once the objective moral framework provided by God in the Bible is abandoned or brushed aside, the slippery slope to complete moral breakdown is inevitable. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12). “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34).


Lawrence et al. v. Texas (2003), [On-line], URL: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/get case.pl?court=US & navby=c ase & vol= 000 & invol=02-102.
Murphy v. Ramsey (1885), 114 U.S. 15; 5 S. Ct. 747; 29 L. Ed. 47; 1885.
Newport, Frank (2001), “American Attitudes Toward Homosexuality Continue to Become More Tolerant,” The Gallup Organization, June 4, [On- line], URL: http://www.gallup.com/poll/content/login.aspx?ci=4432.
Newport, Frank (2003), “Six out of 10 Americans Say Homosexual Relations Should be Recognized as Legal,” The Gallup Organization, May 15, [On-line], URL: http://www.gallup.com/ poll/content/login.aspx?ci=8413.
Singer, Benett and David Deschamps (1994), “Gay and Lesbian Stats,” The New Press, [On-line], URL: http://www.pflagupstatesc.org/statistics.htm.

Are We to Fear God? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Are We to Fear God?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The word “fear” appears in the New King James Version of the Bible 367 times. In some of these occurrences, the text is expounding upon “the fear of the Lord” and its relationship to wisdom (cf. Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7). In numerous other passages of Scripture, one can read where God commands that His creation fear Him (Leviticus 25:17; Deuteronomy 6:13; Matthew 10:28; et al.). It is widely known that one of the repeated truths in the Bible is that God’s “mercy is on those who fear Him” (Luke 1:50). It also is well known, however, that in the New Testament Paul informed Timothy that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). The apostle John went even further, saying, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment” (1 John 4:18).
Some time ago, I noticed where Steve Wells, author of the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, highlighted 2 Timothy 1:7 and 1 John 4:18 (verses indicating Christians are not to fear), and placed alongside these verses twenty-six Bible references that specify we are to fear God. He then asked, “Should we fear God?” Obviously, it was Wells’ intent to convince his readers that the Bible’s discussion of fear is contradictory. How can a person fear God and not fear God at the same time? Although this is a question I thought a skeptic never would raise due to its seemingly obvious answer, it nevertheless requires a response.
In most cases, when the Bible praises man’s fearlessness and his need to move beyond fear, it is using the term in a different context than the way it is used when referring to “the fear of the Lord.” The passage in 2 Timothy 1:7 is not teaching that we should not fear God; rather, Paul was instructing Timothy that we should not fear for our lives while doing the Lord’s work. God wants His children to be fearless in their service to Him. Such courage will help His people “not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord” (2 Timothy 1:8). Like the Israelites who were instructed by Joshua and Caleb not to fear the people of Canaan (Numbers 14:8-9), Christians must not fear their adversaries around them, nor the task before them. God expects His people to understand that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
But what about 1 John 4:17? Is it not referring to fearing God? A person must keep in mind that the term “fear” is used in various senses in Scripture (and whenever different senses of the same word or thing are under discussion, the skeptics’ allegations hold no value). Fear can mean terror, dread, and horror; but it also can mean awe, reverence, and respect. The “perfect love” about which John writes casts out the former, not the latter. As the late Guy N. Woods noted:
“Fear,” as here contemplated, is not that which the Psalmist declares is “the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10), a reverential, godly fear, which shrinks from any action which would displease God, the fear which an obedient child has for a loving father;…but terror, dread, slavish fear, such as is characteristic of a slave in the presence of a cruel and heartless master…. The fear that is absent from genuine love is the fear of the whip in the hands of the master; the dread of the chastisement which comes to the disobedient. Perfect (mature) love casts out such fear, because it cannot exist where genuine love is (1979, pp. 304-305, emp. in orig.).
In Malachi 2:5, the prophet linked fear and reverence together in describing the attitude that Levi (whose name here represents the entire priestly class) possessed at one point in the past. Malachi stated: “So he feared Me, and was reverent before My name.” The Hebrew word transliterated yare’, frequently translated “fear,” also means “religious awe.” For this reason, some modern versions (like the New American Standard) have translated Malachi 2:5 thusly: “So he revered Me, and stood in awe of My name.”
Today, God expects His people to revere Him, not panic at the thought of Him as a slave might fear his cruel master. Furthermore, one way a Christian walks “in the fear of the Lord” (Acts 9:31) is by boldly following in the steps of the Savior, Who stood fearless in the face of His adversaries.
Woods, Guy N. (1979), A Commentary on the New Testament Epistles of Peter, John, and Jude (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).

Jesus Christ Is The Propitiation For Our Sins by Roy Davison


Jesus Christ Is The Propitiation For Our Sins
The Apostle John writes these reassuring words: "My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world" (1 John 2:1, 2).
What does it mean that Jesus is the propitiation for our sins? John uses the same word in chapter four: "In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:9, 10).
What does the word 'propitiation' mean? These are the only two passages in the New Testament where this specific Greek word is used, but twelve other words are used that have a similar meaning (from four word families).
One English word must sometimes be used to translate several Greek words. Thus, a discussion of the Greek words can help us to understand this subject.
The English word 'propitiation' refers to something that makes peace by satisfying a demand. In reference to religion it refers to an atonement for sin to regain God's favor. Thus these passages teach that God gave His Son as an atonement for our sins because He loves us.
The Greek word here, ‛ιλασμός, is a noun, defined as atonement, expiation, propitiation, a means of appeasing.
Two other words in the same family are also used to describe what Jesus has done for us.
"Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people" (Hebrews 2:17).
Here we have the verb form of the same word, ‛ιλάσκομαι, defined as 'to atone for (sin) or to make reconciliation'. Notice that this 'making amends for sin' relates to the activity of a priest and that the Messiah had to be a man to accomplish this task.
Another word in the same family is ‛ιλαστήρον that refers to the 'mercy seat', a place of atonement in the Old Testament temple (Hebrews 9:5) or to an atoning victim, an expiatory sacrifice.
This word is found in Romans 3:25. How Christ serves as a propitiation for our sins is explained by Paul in Romans 3:21-26. "But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus" (Romans 3:21-26).
We all sin and fall short of the glory of God, which separates us from God. Because God is righteous, He cannot condone sin. Thus, amends must be made for our sin before we can be reconciled with God. God accomplished this by sending His own Son to atone for our sins.
"The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Although we deserve to die because of our sins, God sent His Son to die in our place so we can be saved.
In verse 24 we find a word from a different family with a related meaning: redemption. We are "justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith" (Romans 3:24, 25).
Five words from this family are used in the New Testament to describe redemption through Christ. The root meaning of these words is 'ransom'. A ransom is what is paid so someone can be set free.
Here we have the word απολύτρωσις. The prefix απο gives this word the added force that the ransom has been paid in full. It is defined as 'redemption, deliverance, a liberation accomplished by the payment of a ransom'. This word appears in the following passages to describe what Jesus has done for us.
"But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption" (1 Corinthians 1:30 NASV).
"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace" (Ephesians 1:7).
"He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins" (Colossians 1:13, 14).
"But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance" (Hebrews 9:11-15).
This word, as used in verse fifteen, indicates that the blood of Christ also cleansed those who served God under the Old Covenant. The thousands of animal sacrifices were not in and of themselves effectual, but sins were forgiven because they were representations of the true sacrifice that would be made later by the Lamb of God.
In verse twelve a different word is used for redemption, λύτρωσις, defined as 'redemption, a ransoming, deliverance from the penalty of sin': "With His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption" (Hebrews 9:12).
We notice that this word is related to the work of a priest who offers a sacrifice for the sins of the people.
Remember that this word family is based on the root word for ransom. The basic verb is λυτρόω which means 'to ransom, to redeem, to liberate by payment of a ransom'.
Paul uses this word to describe our purification by the sacrifice of Christ: "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works" (Titus 2:11-14).
This word is also used by Peter: "And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot" (1 Peter 1:17-19).
The basic noun for ransom is λύτρον which is used in Mark 10:45. "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45 // Matthew 20:28).
To whom is the ransom paid? This question has been hotly debated. Some even claim that the ransom was paid to the devil! But the devil is owed nothing. His power is solely negative. We are in the power of the devil only because we have chosen to sin and rebel against God. When God forgives our sins and transfers us into the kingdom of His son (Colossians 1:13) the devil no longer has us in his grip.
The ransom is paid to satisfy the justice of God. God's righteousness requires that sin be punished. Because of His love for us He sent His Son to become a man, to live without sin, and to take upon Himself the punishment for our sins, He "who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness -- by whose stripes you were healed" (1 Peter 2:24).
The word αντίλυτρον, that also means 'ransom: what is given in exchange for another as the price of his redemption', is found in Paul's first letter to Timothy. "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (1 Timothy 2:5, 6).
Two other words used to describe the atonement of Christ have the basic meaning 'to buy'.
The word εξαγοράζω means 'to buy up, to buy back, buy off, to ransom, to redeem'. "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree')" (Galatians 3:13). "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons" (Galatians 4:4, 5).
The word αγοράζω is simply the common word for 'buy'. God has bought us with the blood of His Son!
"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body" (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20).
"You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men" (1 Corinthians 7:23).
Certain false teachers "will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them" (2 Peter 2:1).
The 'new song' is sung in heaven by those who have been purchased by the blood of Christ. "And they sang a new song, saying: 'You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation'" (Revelation 5:9). "They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth. These are the ones who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb" (Revelation 14:3, 4).
Another word family has the basic meaning of 'restore a relationship, reconcile'.
One form is αποκαταλλάσσω which means 'to reconcile, to restore to favor'. Paul explains how God reconciled us to Himself by Christ.
"For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight" (Colossians 1:19-22).
"For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity" (Ephesians 2:14-16).
This word family has the verb καταλλάσσω and the noun καταλλαγή: 'to reconcile' and 'reconciliation'. The basic meaning is 'reunite after separation'.
"For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation" (Romans 5:10, 11).
"Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).
Jesus Christ is the propitiation for our sins! We have all sinned and deserve to die. But God loves us so much that He sent his Son to undergo the penalty for our sins. He redeemed us by His blood. He bore our sins in His body on the cross. He paid the price for our sins so God could forgive us without violating His own righteousness.
If you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, if you are willing to turn away from sin and dedicate your life to God, if you are willing to confess Christ, and if you are baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit for the remission of your sins (Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38), you will be redeemed by the blood of Christ. Your sins will be washed away (Acts 22:16) and you will be reconciled to God (Romans 5:10).
Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.
Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading January 27, 28, 29 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading January 27, 28, 29 (World English Bible)

Jan. 27
Genesis 27

Gen 27:1 It happened, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his elder son, and said to him, "My son?" He said to him, "Here I am."
Gen 27:2 He said, "See now, I am old. I don't know the day of my death.
Gen 27:3 Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and take me venison.
Gen 27:4 Make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat, and that my soul may bless you before I die."
Gen 27:5 Rebekah heard when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it.
Gen 27:6 Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, "Behold, I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying,
Gen 27:7 'Bring me venison, and make me savory food, that I may eat, and bless you before Yahweh before my death.'
Gen 27:8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command you.
Gen 27:9 Go now to the flock, and get me from there two good kids of the goats. I will make them savory food for your father, such as he loves.
Gen 27:10 You shall bring it to your father, that he may eat, so that he may bless you before his death."
Gen 27:11 Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man.
Gen 27:12 What if my father touches me? I will seem to him as a deceiver, and I would bring a curse on myself, and not a blessing."
Gen 27:13 His mother said to him, "Let your curse be on me, my son. Only obey my voice, and go get them for me."
Gen 27:14 He went, and got them, and brought them to his mother. His mother made savory food, such as his father loved.
Gen 27:15 Rebekah took the good clothes of Esau, her elder son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob, her younger son.
Gen 27:16 She put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands, and on the smooth of his neck.
Gen 27:17 She gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
Gen 27:18 He came to his father, and said, "My father?" He said, "Here I am. Who are you, my son?"
Gen 27:19 Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn. I have done what you asked me to do. Please arise, sit and eat of my venison, that your soul may bless me."
Gen 27:20 Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?" He said, "Because Yahweh your God gave me success."
Gen 27:21 Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not."
Gen 27:22 Jacob went near to Isaac his father. He felt him, and said, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau."
Gen 27:23 He didn't recognize him, because his hands were hairy, like his brother, Esau's hands. So he blessed him.
Gen 27:24 He said, "Are you really my son Esau?" He said, "I am."
Gen 27:25 He said, "Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless you." He brought it near to him, and he ate. He brought him wine, and he drank.
Gen 27:26 His father Isaac said to him, "Come near now, and kiss me, my son."
Gen 27:27 He came near, and kissed him. He smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him, and said, "Behold, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which Yahweh has blessed.
Gen 27:28 God give you of the dew of the sky, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and new wine.
Gen 27:29 Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers. Let your mother's sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you. Blessed be everyone who blesses you."
Gen 27:30 It happened, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob had just gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting.
Gen 27:31 He also made savory food, and brought it to his father. He said to his father, "Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that your soul may bless me."
Gen 27:32 Isaac his father said to him, "Who are you?" He said, "I am your son, your firstborn, Esau."
Gen 27:33 Isaac trembled violently, and said, "Who, then, is he who has taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before you came, and have blessed him? Yes, he will be blessed."
Gen 27:34 When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceeding great and bitter cry, and said to his father, "Bless me, even me also, my father."
Gen 27:35 He said, "Your brother came with deceit, and has taken away your blessing."
Gen 27:36 He said, "Isn't he rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright. See, now he has taken away my blessing." He said, "Haven't you reserved a blessing for me?"
Gen 27:37 Isaac answered Esau, "Behold, I have made him your lord, and all his brothers have I given to him for servants. With grain and new wine have I sustained him. What then will I do for you, my son?"
Gen 27:38 Esau said to his father, "Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, my father." Esau lifted up his voice, and wept.
Gen 27:39 Isaac his father answered him, "Behold, of the fatness of the earth will be your dwelling, and of the dew of the sky from above.
Gen 27:40 By your sword will you live, and you will serve your brother. It will happen, when you will break loose, that you shall shake his yoke from off your neck."
Gen 27:41 Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him. Esau said in his heart, "The days of mourning for my father are at hand. Then I will kill my brother Jacob."
Gen 27:42 The words of Esau, her elder son, were told to Rebekah. She sent and called Jacob, her younger son, and said to him, "Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you.
Gen 27:43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban, my brother, in Haran.
Gen 27:44 Stay with him a few days, until your brother's fury turns away;
Gen 27:45 until your brother's anger turn away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send, and get you from there. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day?"
Gen 27:46 Rebekah said to Isaac, "I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these, of the daughters of the land, what good will my life do me?"

Jan. 28
Genesis 28

Gen 28:1 Isaac called Jacob, blessed him, and commanded him, "You shall not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan.
Gen 28:2 Arise, go to Paddan Aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother's father. Take a wife from there from the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother.
Gen 28:3 May God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, that you may be a company of peoples,
Gen 28:4 and give you the blessing of Abraham, to you, and to your seed with you, that you may inherit the land where you travel, which God gave to Abraham."
Gen 28:5 Isaac sent Jacob away. He went to Paddan Aram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, Rebekah's brother, Jacob's and Esau's mother.
Gen 28:6 Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan Aram, to take him a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he gave him a command, saying, "You shall not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan,"
Gen 28:7 and that Jacob obeyed his father and his mother, and was gone to Paddan Aram.
Gen 28:8 Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan didn't please Isaac, his father.
Gen 28:9 Esau went to Ishmael, and took, besides the wives that he had, Mahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham's son, the sister of Nebaioth, to be his wife.
Gen 28:10 Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
Gen 28:11 He came to a certain place, and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. He took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep.
Gen 28:12 He dreamed. Behold, a stairway set upon the earth, and its top reached to heaven. Behold, the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
Gen 28:13 Behold, Yahweh stood above it, and said, "I am Yahweh, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac. The land whereon you lie, to you will I give it, and to your seed.
Gen 28:14 Your seed will be as the dust of the earth, and you will spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south. In you and in your seed will all the families of the earth be blessed.
Gen 28:15 Behold, I am with you, and will keep you, wherever you go, and will bring you again into this land. For I will not leave you, until I have done that which I have spoken of to you."
Gen 28:16 Jacob awakened out of his sleep, and he said, "Surely Yahweh is in this place, and I didn't know it."
Gen 28:17 He was afraid, and said, "How dreadful is this place! This is none other than God's house, and this is the gate of heaven."
Gen 28:18 Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil on its top.
Gen 28:19 He called the name of that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz at the first.
Gen 28:20 Jacob vowed a vow, saying, "If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and clothing to put on,
Gen 28:21 so that I come again to my father's house in peace, and Yahweh will be my God,
Gen 28:22 then this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, will be God's house. Of all that you will give me I will surely give the tenth to you."

Jan. 29
Genesis 29

Gen 29:1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the children of the east.
Gen 29:2 He looked, and behold, a well in the field, and, behold, three flocks of sheep lying there by it. For out of that well they watered the flocks. The stone on the well's mouth was large.
Gen 29:3 There all the flocks were gathered. They rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone again on the well's mouth in its place.
Gen 29:4 Jacob said to them, "My relatives, where are you from?" They said, "We are from Haran."
Gen 29:5 He said to them, "Do you know Laban, the son of Nahor?" They said, "We know him."
Gen 29:6 He said to them, "Is it well with him?" They said, "It is well. See, Rachel, his daughter, is coming with the sheep."
Gen 29:7 He said, "Behold, it is still the middle of the day, not time to gather the livestock together. Water the sheep, and go and feed them."
Gen 29:8 They said, "We can't, until all the flocks are gathered together, and they roll the stone from the well's mouth. Then we water the sheep."
Gen 29:9 While he was yet speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she kept them.
Gen 29:10 It happened, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban, his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban, his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.
Gen 29:11 Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.
Gen 29:12 Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son. She ran and told her father.
Gen 29:13 It happened, when Laban heard the news of Jacob, his sister's son, that he ran to meet Jacob, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things.
Gen 29:14 Laban said to him, Surely you are my bone and my flesh. He lived with him for a month.
Gen 29:15 Laban said to Jacob, "Because you are my brother, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what will your wages be?"
Gen 29:16 Laban had two daughters. The name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel.
Gen 29:17 Leah's eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and attractive.
Gen 29:18 Jacob loved Rachel. He said, "I will serve you seven years for Rachel, your younger daughter."
Gen 29:19 Laban said, "It is better that I give her to you, than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me."
Gen 29:20 Jacob served seven years for Rachel. They seemed to him but a few days, for the love he had for her.
Gen 29:21 Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife, for my days are fulfilled, that I may go in to her."
Gen 29:22 Laban gathered together all the men of the place, and made a feast.
Gen 29:23 It happened in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him. He went in to her.
Gen 29:24 Laban gave Zilpah his handmaid to his daughter Leah for a handmaid.
Gen 29:25 It happened in the morning that, behold, it was Leah. He said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? Didn't I serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?"
Gen 29:26 Laban said, "It is not done so in our place, to give the younger before the firstborn.
Gen 29:27 Fulfill the week of this one, and we will give you the other also for the service which you will serve with me yet seven other years."
Gen 29:28 Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week. He gave him Rachel his daughter as wife.
Gen 29:29 Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah, his handmaid, to be her handmaid.
Gen 29:30 He went in also to Rachel, and he loved also Rachel more than Leah, and served with him yet seven other years.
Gen 29:31 Yahweh saw that Leah was hated, and he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren.
Gen 29:32 Leah conceived, and bore a son, and she named him Reuben. For she said, "Because Yahweh has looked at my affliction. For now my husband will love me."
Gen 29:33 She conceived again, and bore a son, and said, "Because Yahweh has heard that I am hated, he has therefore given me this son also." She named him Simeon.
Gen 29:34 She conceived again, and bore a son. Said, "Now this time will my husband be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons." Therefore was his name called Levi.
Gen 29:35 She conceived again, and bore a son. She said, "This time will I praise Yahweh." Therefore she named him Judah. Then she stopped bearing.

Jan. 27, 28
Matthew 14

Mat 14:1 At that time, Herod the tetrarch heard the report concerning Jesus,
Mat 14:2 and said to his servants, "This is John the Baptizer. He is risen from the dead. That is why these powers work in him."
Mat 14:3 For Herod had laid hold of John, and bound him, and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife.
Mat 14:4 For John said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her."
Mat 14:5 When he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
Mat 14:6 But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced among them and pleased Herod.
Mat 14:7 Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatever she should ask.
Mat 14:8 She, being prompted by her mother, said, "Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptizer."
Mat 14:9 The king was grieved, but for the sake of his oaths, and of those who sat at the table with him, he commanded it to be given,
Mat 14:10 and he sent and beheaded John in the prison.
Mat 14:11 His head was brought on a platter, and given to the young lady: and she brought it to her mother.
Mat 14:12 His disciples came, and took the body, and buried it; and they went and told Jesus.
Mat 14:13 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat, to a deserted place apart. When the multitudes heard it, they followed him on foot from the cities.
Mat 14:14 Jesus went out, and he saw a great multitude. He had compassion on them, and healed their sick.
Mat 14:15 When evening had come, his disciples came to him, saying, "This place is deserted, and the hour is already late. Send the multitudes away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves food."
Mat 14:16 But Jesus said to them, "They don't need to go away. You give them something to eat."
Mat 14:17 They told him, "We only have here five loaves and two fish."
Mat 14:18 He said, "Bring them here to me."
Mat 14:19 He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass; and he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the multitudes.
Mat 14:20 They all ate, and were filled. They took up twelve baskets full of that which remained left over from the broken pieces.
Mat 14:21 Those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Mat 14:22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat, and to go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
Mat 14:23 After he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into the mountain by himself to pray. When evening had come, he was there alone.
Mat 14:24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, distressed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
Mat 14:25 In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea.
Mat 14:26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It's a ghost!" and they cried out for fear.
Mat 14:27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying "Cheer up! It is I! Don't be afraid."
Mat 14:28 Peter answered him and said, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the waters."
Mat 14:29 He said, "Come!" Peter stepped down from the boat, and walked on the waters to come to Jesus.
Mat 14:30 But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
Mat 14:31 Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand, took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?"
Mat 14:32 When they got up into the boat, the wind ceased.
Mat 14:33 Those who were in the boat came and worshiped him, saying, "You are truly the Son of God!"
Mat 14:34 When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret.
Mat 14:35 When the people of that place recognized him, they sent into all that surrounding region, and brought to him all who were sick,
Mat 14:36 and they begged him that they might just touch the fringe of his garment. As many as touched it were made whole.

Jan. 29, 30
Matthew 15

Mat 15:1 Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem, saying,
Mat 15:2 "Why do your disciples disobey the tradition of the elders? For they don't wash their hands when they eat bread."
Mat 15:3 He answered them, "Why do you also disobey the commandment of God because of your tradition?
Mat 15:4 For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.'
Mat 15:5 But you say, 'Whoever may tell his father or his mother, "Whatever help you might otherwise have gotten from me is a gift devoted to God,"
Mat 15:6 he shall not honor his father or mother.' You have made the commandment of God void because of your tradition.
Mat 15:7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying,
Mat 15:8 'These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Mat 15:9 And in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrine rules made by men.' "
Mat 15:10 He summoned the multitude, and said to them, "Hear, and understand.
Mat 15:11 That which enters into the mouth doesn't defile the man; but that which proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man."
Mat 15:12 Then the disciples came, and said to him, "Do you know that the Pharisees were offended, when they heard this saying?"
Mat 15:13 But he answered, "Every plant which my heavenly Father didn't plant will be uprooted.
Mat 15:14 Leave them alone. They are blind guides of the blind. If the blind guide the blind, both will fall into a pit."
Mat 15:15 Peter answered him, "Explain the parable to us."
Mat 15:16 So Jesus said, "Do you also still not understand?
Mat 15:17 Don't you understand that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the belly, and then out of the body?
Mat 15:18 But the things which proceed out of the mouth come out of the heart, and they defile the man.
Mat 15:19 For out of the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false testimony, and blasphemies.
Mat 15:20 These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands doesn't defile the man."
Mat 15:21 Jesus went out from there, and withdrew into the region of Tyre and Sidon.
Mat 15:22 Behold, a Canaanite woman came out from those borders, and cried, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, you son of David! My daughter is severely demonized!"
Mat 15:23 But he answered her not a word. His disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away; for she cries after us."
Mat 15:24 But he answered, "I wasn't sent to anyone but the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Mat 15:25 But she came and worshiped him, saying, "Lord, help me."
Mat 15:26 But he answered, "It is not appropriate to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
Mat 15:27 But she said, "Yes, Lord, but even the dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."
Mat 15:28 Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you even as you desire." And her daughter was healed from that hour.
Mat 15:29 Jesus departed there, and came near to the sea of Galilee; and he went up into the mountain, and sat there.
Mat 15:30 Great multitudes came to him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others, and they put them down at his feet. He healed them,
Mat 15:31 so that the multitude wondered when they saw the mute speaking, injured whole, lame walking, and blind seeing-and they glorified the God of Israel.
Mat 15:32 Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days and have nothing to eat. I don't want to send them away fasting, or they might faint on the way."
Mat 15:33 The disciples said to him, "Where should we get so many loaves in a deserted place as to satisfy so great a multitude?"
Mat 15:34 Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said, "Seven, and a few small fish."
Mat 15:35 He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground;
Mat 15:36 and he took the seven loaves and the fish. He gave thanks and broke them, and gave to the disciples, and the disciples to the multitudes.
Mat 15:37 They all ate, and were filled. They took up seven baskets full of the broken pieces that were left over.
Mat 15:38 Those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.
Mat 15:39 Then he sent away the multitudes, got into the boat, and came into the borders of Magdala.