"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN" The Proof Is In The Pudding (7:17) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

                   The Proof Is In The Pudding (7:17)


1. The evidence for Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, is manifold...
   a. The testimony of John the Baptist - Jn 5:33; e.g., 1:29,34
   b. The works (miracles) that Jesus did - Jn 5:36; e.g., 2:11; 20: 30-31
   c. The testimony of God Himself - Jn 5:37; e.g., Mt 3:16-17; 17:5
   d. The testimony of the OT scriptures - Jn 5:39; e.g., Isa 9:6-7
   e. His resurrection from the dead, attested to by eyewitnesses - Ro 1:4; e.g., Jn 20:24-29

2. Jesus offered another proof that He is from God...
   a. It came at a time when many questioned who He was - Jn 7:12-15
   b. If you are willing to do God's will, you will know His doctrine is from God - Jn 7:16-17

3. Jesus' claim is akin to well-known proverb...
   a. "The proof of the pudding is in the eating"
   b. As stated more often, "The proof is in the pudding"

[This is a remarkable claim by Jesus, certainly worthy of closer examination...]


      1. There must first be a willing heart
         a. A good and noble heart - cf. Lk 8:15
         b. A heart willing to hear and examine carefully - cf. Ac 17:11
         c. A humble heart, one that fears God - cf. Ps 25:9,12
      2. There must then be obedience from the heart
         a. Such as found in the Christians at Rome - Ro 6:17
         b. The kind of obedience that must be in all aspects of our service - Ep 6:6; Col 3:23
      -- "Those who would test the divinity of the doctrine of Christ
         can not do so by rendering a mere mechanical obedience to his
         teaching. A willing, heartfelt obedience is essential to a true
         knowledge of his doctrine. Such a disposition makes a good and
         honest heart in which the seeds of his kingdom must inevitably
         grow." - J. W. McGarvey

      1. They will know that Jesus' teaching comes from above - cf. Jn 12:49
      2. They will know that His teaching is everlasting life - cf. Jn 12:50
      -- "He shall have evidence, in the very attempt to do the will of
         God, of the truth of the doctrine." - Barnes

[What kind of evidence does one receive?  The answer may be put in the
words of Isaiah, "The work of righteousness will be peace, And the
effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever." (Isa 32:17)
Consider therefore the...]


      1. Jesus offered such peace to His disciples - Jn 14:27; 16:33
      2. As we do the Father's will as taught by Jesus, we experience such peace:
         a. As the result of our justification in Christ - Ro 5:1
         b. As the prayer for faithful Christians - Ro 15:13; 2Th 3:16
         c. As the fruit of the Spirit in the lives of Christians - Ga 5:22
         d. As the response to prayer - Php 4:6-7
      -- Such peace, when experienced, confirms Jesus' doctrine as being from God

      1. Jesus offered assurance to His disciples - Jn 14:27b; 16:33
      2. As we do the Father's will as taught by Jesus, we experience such assurance:
         a. As when we love the brethren in deed and truth - cf. 1Jn 3: 18-19
         b. As expressed by Paul - cf. 2Ti 1:12; also Ro 8:38-39
      -- Such assurance, when experienced, confirms Jesus' doctrine as being from God

[B. W. Johnson expressed it this way:  "He who in his heart says, "Thy
will be done, give me light and I will walk in it," will find that
Christ is just the teacher demanded by his soul, and that the gospel
meets his soul's want. Jesus will so meet the wants of his soul that he
will be satisfied and will know the doctrine, that it comes from him who
made the soul." (People's New Testament)  Yet, we should note...]


      1. It is not evidence that Jesus' doctrine is not from God
         a. We may have not done the Father's will yet
         b. We may have not done the Father's will from the heart
      2. It may not be evidence that we failed to truly do the Father's will at one time
         a. Our faith may yet be weak, needing to grow
         b. Our faith may have become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin - He 3:12-14

      1. We should not trust in that evidence alone
         a. Many believed they are saved because of their feelings
         b. They might construe such as the ultimate proof of salvation
      2. The heart can easily be deceived
         a. There are ways that seem right, but may lead to death - Pro 16:25
         b. It is not in man to direct his footsteps - Jer 10:23
      3. We must always be open to the Word of God
         a. Let the Word of God produce the feelings (faith, then feelings)
         b. Don't let one's feelings reject the Word of God (not feelings, then faith)


1. The proof that is in the pudding is somewhat subjective, but it is proof...
   a. Proof that can further confirm a faith based upon more objective evidence
   b. Proof that if lacking should be a sign our faith needs work (i.e., diligence)

2. It is a diligent faith willing to do the will of God that produces a
   full assurance...

   "And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the
   full assurance of hope until the end," (He 6:11)

Are you willing to do the Father's will from the heart?  The blessings
of peace, assurance, and confirmation that Jesus' doctrine is truly from
God, awaits those who obey His will...!

"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN" Even His Brothers Did Not Believe (7:1-9) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

               Even His Brothers Did Not Believe (7:1-9)


1. In a gospel designed to create faith in Jesus, John tells of those who lacked faith...
   a. Those in His own nation - Jn 1:11
   b. Those among His disciples - Jn 6:66

2. For a time, even His own brothers (named in Mt 13:55) did not believe...
   a. As recorded in Jn 7:5
   b. As implied in Mk 3:21
   c. As foretold in Ps 69:8
   -- Though they eventually came to believe in Jesus - Ac 1:14

3. Why did Jesus' brothers not believe in Him from the very beginning...?
   a. Had they not seen the miracles?
   b. Did they not know Him as well as anyone?

[Reasons why they did not believe at first, and the reason they came to
believe at last, can provide some valuable lessons for us today...]


      1. Perhaps they were blinded by familiarity
         a. As is often said, "Familiarity breeds contempt"
         b. This hindered many who knew Jesus from childhood - Mt 13: 54-58
         c. A problem common among prophets - Mt 13:57; Jn 4:44
      2. Perhaps they were blinded by envy
         a. Large crowds had been following Jesus everywhere
         b. Making it difficult for His family to speak to Him at times - Mt 12:46-47
         c. Jealousy can be a powerful hindrance to seeing things clearly
      3. Perhaps they were blinded by preconceptions
         a. Many Jews had wrong conceptions concerning the kingdom - cf. Jn 6:15
         b. His brothers had their ideas as to what He should do - Jn 7: 2-4
         c. It is easy to reject someone if they do not live up to your expectations
      -- For one reason or another, Jesus' brothers did not believe in Him

      1. Do we let familiarity blind us to the truth?
         a. Do we reject what a close friend or relative may tell us?
         b. Especially since they have their own faults of which we are well aware?
         -- Truth can be communicated by imperfect messengers - cf. Ph 1:15-18
      2. Do we let envy get in the way of truth?
         a. Are we jealous that we might be wrong and others may be right?
         b. Do we think that by admitting others are right, it somehow makes them better?
         -- Truth (and salvation!) is too precious to let envy or  jealousy keep us from it
      3. Do we let preconceived notions obstruct a clear evaluation of the truth?
         a. Refusing to reexamine our cherished beliefs?
         b. Rejecting a view or teaching simply because we have never heard it before?
         -- Truth requires a willingness to hear, and has nothing to
            fear from investigation - Ac 17:11

[Don't discount the potential impact of familiarity, envy, or
preconceptions.  Such blinded the brothers of Jesus so that even His
miracles did not convince them!  What finally prompted them to believe
is worthy of note...]


      1. As noted previously, Jesus' brothers eventually became disciples
         a. They were with the apostles after the Ascension - Ac 1:12-14
         b. James, the Lord's brother, became a key figure in the church
            at Jerusalem - Ac 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; Ga 2:9
         c. James and Judas wrote their respective epistles - Jm 1:1; Jude 1
         d. According to secular history, James was martyred for his faith
      2. What changed them?  The resurrection of Jesus from the dead!
         a. Jesus appeared to James - 1Co 15:7
         b. The others may have seen Him on other occasions - cf. 1Co 15:6
      3. The significance of Jesus' resurrection
         a. Miracles can be faked
         b. Rising from the dead cannot!
      -- The resurrection shattered any blinders of familiarity, envy, preconceptions

      1. It is understandable that one might find the gospel story incredible
         a. A man born of a virgin?
         b. A man who was the Son of God?
         c. A man who supposedly...
            1) Walked on water?
            2) Calmed the seas?
            3) Fed thousands with five loaves and two fish?
            4) Healed the sick and lame, gave sight to the blind, raised the dead?
            5) Was Himself raised from the dead?
      2. Yet there is a good reason to believe the incredible story!
         a. That is, the conversion of those like Jesus' brothers
            1) Who at first did not believe (for whatever reason)
            2) Who were persuaded by overwhelming empirical evidence
               - cf. Ac 1:3; 10:39-41
            3) Who never recanted their testimony, despite hardship and persecution
         b. What else can explain the transformation of Jesus' brothers?
            1) It was the same thing that transformed the disciples of Jesus!
            2) "If the disciples were totally disappointed and on the
               verge of desperate flight because of the very real reason
               of the crucifixion, it took another very real reason in
               order to transform them from a band of disheartened and
               dejected Jews into the most self-confident missionary
               society in world history." - Pinchas Lapide, former
               Chairman of the Applied Linguistics Department at
               Israel's Bar-Iland University (TIME, May 7, 1979)
            3) This Orthodox Jewish scholar concluded that a bodily
               resurrection could possibly have been that reason!
      -- The conversion of His brothers and others who first doubted
         should strengthen our faith in Jesus!


1. The unbelief of Jesus' brothers serves as a warning...
   a. How easily one can be blinded by such things as familiarity, envy, and preconceptions
   b. How carefully we must give others a fair hearing

2. The unbelief of Jesus' brothers also serves as a blessing...
   a. Their eventual conversion implies overwhelming evidence of Jesus' resurrection
   b. Since we believe in Jesus through the words of such men, the
      foundation of our faith is stronger

With the help of their own example, we can heed the exhortation given by
one of Jesus' brothers:

   praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God,
   looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."
                                                         (Jude 20-21)

"THE GOSPEL OF JOHN" To Whom Shall We Go? (6:67-69) by Mark Copeland

                          "THE GOSPEL OF JOHN"

                     To Whom Shall We Go? (6:67-69)


1. When Jesus talked about being the Bread of Life, it troubled some people...
   a. He used figurative language, which sounded cannibalistic - cf. Jn 6:51-59
   b. Difficult to understand, some were offended (those lacking in faith) - cf. Jn 6:60-65
   c. Many of His disciples left Him - cf. Jn 6:66
   -- Prompting Jesus to ask the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?" - Jn 6:67

2. Peter's response serves as the text of our lesson...
   a. "To whom shall we go?" - Jn 6:68a
   b. He acknowledged that Jesus alone has the words of eternal life - Jn 6:68b
   c. He also confesses their faith in Him as the Christ, the Son of the living God - Jn 6:69
   -- His question is one that we do well to ask today

[For the answers to our true purpose and mission in life, to find the
words of eternal life, "To Whom Shall We Go?"  There are many places we
could turn to, indeed many do turn to, but they are not the right ones.
For example, consider...]


      1. Many people look to whatever the majority believes
         a. E.g., what their peers thinks
         b. E.g., whatever the latest polls indicate
      2. But consider the words of Jesus, in describing the end of the majority - Mt 7:13-14
      3. If you followed the majority...
         a. In Noah's day, you would have perished in the flood
         b. In Joshua's day, you would have perished in the wilderness

      1. Many feel that human wisdom can lead them to truth and life
         a. Especially that pronounced by educated professors
         b. Or that pronounced by "pop" psychologists on talk shows
      2. But God's thoughts and ways are not always our own - cf. Isa 55:8-9
      3. In fact, God has chosen to save man in a manner specifically
         designed to confound those who depend solely upon human wisdom - cf. 1Co 1:18-29

      1. It is common for people to trust their preacher, priest, or pastor
      2. They reason that surely these "men of God" could not be wrong or lead them astray
         a. Yet Paul warned of how we can easily be misled - cf. 2 Co 11:13-15
         b. And Jesus warned about the "blind leading the blind" - Mt 15:12-14

      1. "Let your conscience be your guide" is the motto of many
      2. But our conscience cannot always be reliable
         a. Paul had served God with a good conscience throughout his life - Ac 23:1
         b. Even at a time when he was persecuting Christians! - cf. Ac 26:9-11
      3. Our conscience is like a clock, which works properly only if
         set properly

      1. This is often where many people turn
         a. Who go by whatever "feels right"
         b. Who place stock in things "better felt than told"
      2. Yet the Bible declares the danger of trusting in "feelings"
         a. "There is a way which seems right...but its end is the way of death." - Pr 14:12
         b. "He who trusts in his own heart is a fool..." - Pr 28:26
         c. "O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not
            in man who walks to direct his own steps." - Jer 10:23

[None of these should be the ultimate source to where we turn if we are
looking for the words of eternal life.  As confessed by Peter, there is
only One...]


      1. As Peter confessed in our text - Jn 6:68-69
      2. He is the one who provides "food which endures to everlasting life" - Jn 6:27,35,40
      3. He is the way, the truth and the life - Jn 14:6
      4. Upon this One has God "set His seal" - Jn 6:27
         a. I.e., confirmed Him to be the source of eternal life
         b. Through the miracles, and ultimately His resurrection - Jn 5:36; Ro 1:4
      -- Yet how does one "go to Jesus" when He no longer walks on the
         earth?  We must turn to...

      1. Jesus prepared and equipped His apostles to carry on and
         complete His work
         a. He told them of the Holy Spirit - Jn 16:7-11
         b. Who would guide them into all the truth - Jn 16:12-13
      2. To receive the apostles (apostolos, lit., one sent) is to receive Jesus - Jn 13:20
      3. Thus the apostles were authoritative spokesmen for Christ
         - e.g., 1Th 4:1-2,8; 1Jn 4:6; Jude 17
      4. They received all things pertaining to life and godliness - 2Pe 1:3
      5. They did not shun to proclaim the whole counsel of God - Ac 20:
      -- But how do we "go to the apostles" when they no longer live on
         the earth?  We must turn to...

      1. The apostles wrote that we might benefit from their
         understanding- e.g., Ep 3:3-5
      2. We must view their words as the commandments of the Lord
         - e.g., 1Co 14:37
      3. Therefore we are to hold fast to what they taught - cf. 2 Th 2:15; 3:15; Jude 3
      4. As exemplified by the very first church in Jerusalem - Ac 2:42
      -- The words of the apostles preserved in their writings, can lead
         us to Him who alone has the words of eternal life!


1. To whom shall we go...?
   a. The answer must be "Jesus!"
   b. He is "...the Christ, the Son of the living God"
   c. He alone has "...the words of eternal life"

2. Where will you find Jesus...?
   a. Not in the words of modern theologians and filmmakers, who have
      sought to remake Jesus according to their own image
   b. But in the words of His apostles, eyewitnesses of His majesty and
      inspired by the Spirit to reveal all that we need to experience
      life and godliness

Don't let the cacophony of modern voices lead you away from Jesus and
His words of eternal life. Make sure that it is His apostles' writings,
the Word of God, that leads you to Him who is the way, the truth and the
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

Ben Carson and Islam by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Ben Carson and Islam

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

"Ben Carson at CPAC 2015" by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons-Wikimedia 2015
One of the current presidential candidates, Ben Carson, was recently asked whether he believes Islam is consistent with the U.S. Constitution: “No, I do not. I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation” (Sanders, 2015). As one would expect in the current PC climate of the nation, considerable negative reactions were generated. It seems surreal that so many Americans could be so adamantly ignorant of both history and the teachings of the Quran as they naively defend, support, and even encourage the spread of Islam in America via the construction of mosques and introducing public school students to its tenets.
Yet, the Quran is forthright and unmistakable in its declarations concerning the violent nature of Islam as well as the inferior status of women—two things the left absolutely detest. The reader is urged to secure a reputable English translation of the Quran, and read the verses identified in the following articles on the A.P. Web site:
“Does ISIS Represent True Islam? http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=8&article=5116&topic=47
“Violence and the Quran” http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=8&article=1491&topic=47
“Husband and Wife in the Quran” http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=8&article=4993&topic=47
“Polygamy and the Quran” http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=8&article=4029&topic=47
What’s more, the Founders of the United States of America were very plain about their recognition of the threat that Islam poses to freedom and the principles on which they established the Republic. Please read the following historical documentation:
“Islam and Early America” http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1485&topic=33
“Were the Founding Fathers ‘Tolerant’ of Islam? [Part I]” http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=4622&topic=33
“Were the Founding Fathers ‘Tolerant’ of Islam? [Part II]” http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1117&article=2138
“Islamophobia”? http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=5142&topic=44
“Founding Father Elias Boudinot on Islam” http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=4586&topic=44
“John Quincy Adams on Islam” http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=1142&topic=44
“The Treaty of Tripoli and America’s Founders” http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=4520&topic=44
“What Good Things Can You Say About Islam?” http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=7&article=5143&topic=44


Sanders, Sam (2015), “Ben Carson Wouldn’t Vote For A Muslim President; He’s Not Alone,” NPR, September 21, http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/09/21/442308328/republican-rhetoric-highlights-americas-negative-relationship-with-muslims.

The Finger of God by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


The Finger of God

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Skeptics have railed against the Bible on account of its allusions to God’s body parts. For example, the Bible speaks of the arm of God (Job 40:9), the hand of God (Job 19:21), the face of God (Job 13:24), the eyes of God (Deuteronomy 11:12), the ears of God (Psalm 130:2), the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3), the voice of God (Job 40:9), and even the “finger of God” (Exodus 31:18). Attentive Bible students are aware that all such references are simply accommodative language—anthropomorphisms (man forms)—in which the Scriptures provide humans with a reference point for relating to God’s activity. The Bible clearly teaches that God is spirit—not physical (John 4:24). He does not possess physical mass. Jesus Himself stated, “a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Luke 24:39; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:50). It is difficult for humans to conceptualize an infinite, eternal Being Who is not composed of physical matter, since humans are subject to space and time, and experience existence in a setting that is preeminently material. Nevertheless, while we may have difficulty fully understanding the nature of a nonphysical Being, the concept itself is neither self-contradictory nor incoherent.
For example, when Moses and Aaron unleashed the plagues by the power of God upon Pharaoh and the Egyptian population, Pharaoh’s magicians concluded: “This is the finger of God” (Exodus 8:19). They simply meant that the plague was God’s doing—that the affliction was the result of God’s power. In like manner, the Bible states that the original Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses on two tablets of stone were “written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18; cf. Deuteronomy 9:10). In other words, God authored them and supernaturally placed them in writing on the stone tablets. Another sample of this type of figurative speech is seen in the declaration of the psalmist regarding God’s creative activity: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” (Psalm 8:3-4, emp. added). Obviously, God does not have fleshly fingers, nor would He find it necessary to use them if He had them. Being the ultimate Mind, He can bring into existence ex nihilo (out of nothing) whatever He chooses by simply willing it into existence.
This same figure of speech is seen in the New Testament as well. Jesus stated: “But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Luke 11:20, emp. added). He simply meant that His actions were by divine agency. Observe the alternate wording of a parallel passage where, in place of the “finger of God,” the text has the “Spirit of God”: “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you” (Matthew 12:28). It is evident that “finger” simply refers to deity (whether the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit) manifesting His presence and power in a time-space continuum.
Those scholars who have devoted their lives to studying dead languages, discovering their linguistic intricacies, figurative features, and idiomatic expressions, have long recognized this particular figure. For example, E.W. Bullinger, who published a monumental volume in the nineteenth century titled Figures of Speech Used in the Bible (1898), labeled this linguistic attribute “anthropopatheia” or “condescension,” which he identified as “the ascription of human passions, actions, or attributes to God” (p. 871). He devoted several pages to illustrating this figure of speech (pp. 871-897). In his specific remarks regarding the “finger” of God, he wrote: “A Finger is attributed to God, to denote the putting forth of His formative power, and the direct and immediate act of God” (p. 881). John Haley, who in 1874 produced the respected and scholarly reference work Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible, defended the “immateriality” of God on the grounds that all such anthropomorphic passages “are simply bold figures and startling hyperboles in which the Orientals are wont to indulge” (p. 63). He identified the expression “finger of God” as referring to God’s “direct agency.”
The Bible has been the target of a myriad of attacks by skeptics for over 2,000 years. It will undoubtedly continue to be so. No other book in all of human history has been the object of such sustained, frenzied, and antagonistic scrutiny. For the honest, unbiased investigator, the Bible’s supernatural attributes continue to validate its authenticity.


Bullinger, E.W. (1898), Figures of Speech Used in the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1968 reprint).
Haley, John W. (1977 reprint), Alleged Discrepancies of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker).

Steven Hawking Is Wrong, God Created the Universe by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Steven Hawking Is Wrong, God Created the Universe

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Stephen Hawking is a brilliant scientist. He has battled a crippling disease since he was 20, made a name for himself on a global scale through his scientific prowess, and been an inspiration to many. But in his latest book, The Grand Design, he is just plain wrong. Michael Holden wrote an article he titled: “‘God Did Not Create the Universe,’ Says Hawking,” in which he stated that Hawking’s new book, co-authored with Leonard Mlodinow, proposes the idea that the laws which hold the Universe together do not need an intelligent Designer.

In fact, Holden quoted Hawking as saying: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist” (as quoted in Holden, 2010, emp. added). While the book is not yet on the shelves, there are already glaring flaws with Hawking’s reasoning.

First, Hawking cannot explain why the law of gravity exists in the first place. He says “because there is a law of gravity,” but he can give no reason why such a law is present, and is constant. Without an adequate explanation for the origin of laws, such as gravity, any explanation of the origin of a Universe dependent on those laws is incomplete. Furthermore, regardless of what theoretical, mathematical calculations Hawking has concocted, the simple fact of the matter is, if there ever was a time when nothing existed, there would be nothing now. The mere fact that Hawking suggests that anything can “spontaneously create itself out of nothing,” is, with all due respect, ridiculously absurd and completely unscientific! It is impossible to get something from nothing—any way you slice it. Using Hawking’s way of thinking, we could suggest that this article you are reading “spontaneously created itself out of nothing.” Yet such a conclusion defies all known scientific laws.

In Acts 26:24, the Roman governor Festus said to the apostle Paul: “You are beside yourself! Much learning is driving you mad!” While that accusation did not accurately apply to Paul, it does, unfortunately, apply to Hawking’s concept of “spontaneous creation out of nothing.” The Psalmist wrote: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” Sadly, Hawking’s brilliant mind has been turned to false, unscientific foolishness. Would to God that Hawking and all his fellow scientists would turn to the God of the Bible who speaks “the words of truth and reason” (Acts 26:25).


Holden, Michael (2010), “‘God Did Not Create the Universe’, Says Hawking,” http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100902/lf_nm_life/us_britain_hawking.

Is Satan Real? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Is Satan Real?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Is Satan Real?


Several years ago, after teaching a Bible class on the book of Genesis, a longtime Christian indicated to me that he did not believe in the reality of Satan. This gentleman acknowledged the existence of good and evil, but he thought that “Satan” was simply a word used in Scripture to describe evil, rather than refer to an actual wicked being.
It is true that Satan is evil. (Have you ever noticed that you cannot spell “devil” without spelling “evil”?) He tempts, deceives, destroys, lies, murders, etc. But, he is not merely a word used by the Holy Spirit and His inspired penmen to symbolize evil; he is, as Jesus and Paul referred to him, “the evil one” (Matthew 6:13; 2 Thessalonians 3:3, emp. added). He is not just wickedness; he is “the wicked one” (1 John 3:12, emp. added). He does not merely represent dishonesty; “he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).
Although Satan is not deity and in no way has the infinite, eternal attributes of God, the devil is as real as God. That is, the same God-inspired book that describes the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, omni-benevolent, glorious Creator, also tells us about a real, fallen spiritual being called Satan. His name appears 14 times in the first two chapters of Job (perhaps the oldest book of the Bible). Scripture reveals that God confronted Satan in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:14-16). Jesus spoke to him in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). And Michael the archangel contended with him about the body of Moses (Jude 9).
Satan is not a fairytale character on par with the Big Bad Wolf or Captain Hook. He is not a little red cartoon figure with horns and a pitchfork who gleefully sits on a throne in hell (see Butt, 2012). The sooner that Christians take seriously “the adversary” (Satan), “the accuser” (devil), who goes “to and fro on the earth…walking back and forth” (Job 1:7), “like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8), the better prepared we will be to withstand his schemes (Ephesians 6:11) and snares (2 Timothy 2:26). We should neither underestimate him nor overestimate him. He is not deity (and thus not all-powerful or all-knowing), but he is also not a figment of our imagination. Unlike God, he desires all men to be lost (cf. 1 Timothy 2:4). Thankfully, “God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).


Butt, Kyle (2012), “Satan is Not the Ruler of Hell,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1026.

Christ Emptied…Himself! by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Christ Emptied…Himself!

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Through the years, some theologians have used Philippians 2:6-7 to defend the idea that the second Person of the Godhead, at the time of the incarnation (when “the Word became flesh”—John 1:14), “emptied Himself” of deity. It has been alleged that whereas Christ existed in the “form of God” prior to the incarnation, He “emptied” himself of that status while on Earth.
Despite the popularity of such ideas in some religious circles, they cannot be proven by citing Philippians 2:6-7 or any other passage in the Bible. In Philippians 2:7, Paul wrote that Jesus “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men.” Exactly what did the apostle mean by the phrase, “emptied himself”? Because it is assumed that the verb “emptied” (Greek ekenōsen) requires an object (a genitive qualifier), then Christ must have “emptied himself” of something. However, as Gordon Fee has mentioned in his commentary on Philippians, “Christ did not empty Himself of anything, the text simply says that He emptied himself, He poured Himself out” (1995, p. 210, emp. added). The NIV seems to have captured this sense by stating that He “made himself nothing” (emp. added). The Greek word kenόō literally means “to empty; to make empty; or to make vain or void.” This word is rendered “made void” in Romans 4:14, where Paul stated that “faith is made void.” Faith did not empty itself of anything, rather faith emptied itself. Similarly, commenting on Jesus death as if it had already occurred, Isaiah wrote: “He [Jesus—EL] poured out his soul unto death” (Isaiah 53:12). What did Christ pour out? Himself.
But how does Philippians 2:7 say Christ emptied Himself? “Grammatically, Paul explains the ‘emptying’ of Jesus in the next phrase: ‘Taking the form of a servant and coming in the likeness of men’” (Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary). Unlike Adam and Eve, who made an attempt to seize equality with God (Genesis 3:5), Jesus, the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), humbled Himself and obediently accepted the role of the bondservant. As N.T. Wright stated: “The real humiliation of the incarnation and the cross is that the one who was himself God, and who never during the whole process stopped being God, could embrace such a vocation” (1986, p. 346).
Although this text does not instruct us regarding of what Christ emptied Himself, we can be assured that there was no change in His divine nature. While Jesus was on Earth, He claimed equality with God the Father (John 10:28) and allowed others to call him “God” (John 20:30; Matthew 16:16). He also accepted worship, even though He plainly taught that only God is worthy of worship (Matthew 8:2; Matthew 4:10). If one contends that Jesus was not divine while upon the Earth, then they make Him either a fraud or a madman.
Philippians 2:7 does not teach that Christ emptied himself of His deity. Rather, to His divinity He added humanity (i.e., He was “made in the likeness of men”). For the first time, He was subject to such things as hunger, thirst, pain, disease, and temptation (cf. John 19:28; Hebrews 4:15). In short, He came to Earth as a God-man.


Barnes’ Notes (1997), Electronic Database, Biblesoft.
Fee, Gordon D. (1995), Paul’s Letter to the Philippians (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary (1986), Electronic Database, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Biblesoft.
Wright, N.T. (1986), “αρπαγμός and the Meaning of Philippians 2:5-11,” Journal of Theological Studies, 37:321-52, April.

Evolution, Textbooks, and Homeschooling by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Evolution, Textbooks, and Homeschooling

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Day after day, week after week, year after year, an estimated 55 million U.S. public school students open their science textbooks to learn about Big Bang theory, spontaneous generation, and man’s alleged evolution from toads (“Back to School...,” 2009). Although various scientific laws defy the General Theory of Evolution (e.g., the Law of Biogenesis, the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics; see The Scientific Case..., 2004), and even though nearly half of Americans still believe God created humans in our present form (cf. “Poll: Creationism...,” 2004; see also Gallup and Lindsay, 1999, pp. 36-37), multiplied millions of tax-payer-funded textbooks espouse man’s alleged animal ancestry as fact. Christians might hold out hope for their public-schooled children having teachers who do not believe in evolution, however, the odds are stacked against them. A 2007 nationwide survey revealed that only “16% of US science teachers are creationists” (Holmes, 2008). [NOTE: Similar to how atheists are annoyed that “only” 85% of the members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences are atheists (see Brooks, 2006, p. 10), many militant evolutionists are bothered because “only” 84% of U.S. science teachers are evolutionists; see “Comments,” 2008).]
Hundreds of thousands of creationists in the U.S. have chosen to homeschool their children partly because they do not want their most precious God-given gifts (Psalm 127:3) sitting year after year at the feet of evolutionists, reading evolutionary textbooks, especially without critical analysis. These homeschooling parents still provide their children with training in Earth science, biology, chemistry, etc. In fact, many religiously motivated homeschoolers (which comprise at least 83% of homeschooling families in the U.S.; see Lovan, 2010) provide countless more hands-on, operational science experiences for their children than a lot of young people receive in public schools (where funding is limited and where classrooms are often shared with 20-30 other students). Some individuals, however, are extremely critical of the various textbooks many homeschoolers use.
Associated Press writer Dylan Lovan recently penned an article wherein he interviewed three non-religious homeschooling families and two evolutionary scientists, all who expressed disappointment over the available homeschooling science textbooks. After reviewing two of the best-selling biology textbooks homeschoolers frequently use, Virginia Tech biology professor Duncan Porter said “he would give the books an F” (Lovan, 2010). Ecology and evolutionary professor Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago stated: “If this is the way kids are home-schooled then they’re being shortchanged, both rationally and in terms of biology” (as quoted in Lovan). “These books are promulgating lies to kids,” said Dr. Coyne (as quoted in Lovan), and allegedly are not scientifically credible. What is so terrible about the science books produced by Apologia, Bob Jones, and other publishers that frequently sell to homeschooling families? The textbooks “dispute Charles Darwin’s theory” of evolution (Lovan, 2010).
And why shouldn’t the theory of evolution be disputed? Why shouldn’t it be assessed critically and debated? Why shouldn’t students learn that all evolutionary dating methods are based upon various assumptions (see Butt and Lyons, 2009, pp. 94-100; see also DeYoung, 2005)? Why shouldn’t they be taught scientific laws that contradict evolution? Why shouldn’t they be allowed to explore the scientific case for Creation and ask whether non-intelligence can reasonably explain complex, functional design, like that in a living, human cell? As Dr. Jay Wile, textbook writer for Apologia, said: “We definitely do not lie to the students. We tell them the facts that people like Dr. Coyne would prefer to cover up.” In truth, it is evolutionists like Jerry Coyne who feel “compelled to lie in order to prop up a failing hypothesis (evolution)” (as quoted in Lovan).
Furthermore, regarding Coyne and Porter’s concerns that homeschoolers are being “shortchanged, both rationally and in terms of biology” because of their use of science textbooks that do not blindly embrace Darwinian evolution, consider how well the average homeschool student scores in standardized science tests. Two different studies (from 1998 and 2009), which included a total of more than 30,000 homeschool students from all 50 states, revealed that, on average, homeschoolers score 30 to 36 percentile points higher than the average student on standardized science tests (see Slatter, 2009). What’s more, many of these same homeschoolers go on to attend universities around the country where they excel in science classes, rather than being hindered because of their religious homeschooling heritage.
The facts speak for themselves: (1) Evolution is not a proven fact (so why should it be the only theory of origins presented to students?); (2) Studies show that, on average, homeschoolers outperform public school students by a wide margin on standardized tests, including science tests, despite most homeschoolers being taught that life on Earth was created and designed by an intelligent, infinite, eternal Mind. Evolutionists may give creationist homeschooling families an “F” on their choice of science curriculum, but in reality, it is the theory of evolution that deserves the “F.”


“Back to School: 2006-2007” (2009), U.S. Census Bureau, http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_ features_special_editions/007108.html.
Brooks, Michael (2006), “In Place of God,” New Scientist, 192[2578]:8-11.
Butt, Kyle and Eric Lyons (2009), Truth Be Told (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
“Comments” (2008), The Richard Dawkins Foundation, http://richarddawkins.net/articles/2609-16-of-us-science-teachers-are-creationists.
DeYoung, Donald B. (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Gallup, George Jr. and Michael Lindsay (1999), Surveying the Religious Landscape: Trends in U.S. Beliefs (Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Publishing).
Holmes, Bob (2008), “16% of US Science Teachers are Creationists,” New Scientist, May 20, http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13930-16-of-us-science-teachers-are-creationists.html.
Lovan, Dylan (2010), “Top Home-School Texts Dismiss Darwin, Evolution,” http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h3x1DHDjafMujXt9RNwwH6ugU9NgD9E9AOV80.
“Poll: Creationism Trumps Evolution” (2004), CBS News, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/22/opinion/polls/main657083.shtml.
The Scientific Case for Creation (2004), (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), http://www.apologeticspress.org/pdfs/e-books_pdf/scfc.pdf.
Slatter, Ian (2009), “New Nationwide Study Confirms Homeschool Academic Achievement,” August 10, http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/200908100.asp.

Preposterous Pro-Abortion Positions by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Preposterous Pro-Abortion Positions

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Aristotle once wrote: “[T]he same attribute cannot at the same time belong and not belong to the same subject and in the same respect…. [I]t is impossible for the same man at the same time to believe the same thing to be and not to be” (Aristotle, 4:4). It is impossible, for example, for a single door to be completely shut and completely open at the same time. Likewise, it is contradictory for a man to say, “Yesterday I never left my house to go to the store,” if indeed he did leave his house yesterday to go to the store. The fact is, nothing can both be and not be for the same person, place, or thing, at the same time, and in the same sense (cf. Jevons, 1928, p. 117). For a person to say otherwise, he is either a liar or delusional.
Consider the nature of a contradiction in light of the pro-abortion movement and related laws in America. How is it that the same unborn child can be a human being and not a human being at the same time? For example, if a mother and her six-month-old unborn baby boy are brutally murdered while walking into a hospital, the perpetrator may likely be charged with “double murder” (cf. Ertelt, 2009). Why double murder? Because both the mother and her unborn child are human beings. However, if that same mother walks into a medical facility to have someone remove the (alleged) non-human “appendage” from her body, the mother and her accomplice are protected by the law (in many states, even when the unborn child is nine months old). These positions are so blatantly contradictory that even Heather Boonstra, senior public policy associate at the pro-abortion Alan Guttmacher Institute, stated: “The law cannot hold both that a pregnant woman is two persons and at the same time allow her to have an abortion” (as quoted in Simon, 2001).
It is no secret that President Barack Obama strongly supports the pro-abortion platform. He has been a consistent advocate of pro-abortion policies for many years. It is also no secret that Washington, D.C. has some of the least restrictive abortion laws in the United States (“State Policies…,” 2013), allowing for abortion for any reason at any point during the mother’s pregnancy. Astonishingly, as Dave Boyer reported in the Washington Times in 2012, “[t]he pro-choice Obama White House requires pregnant visitors to count their unborn child as a person for tours of the executive mansion” (2012, emp. added). So, in our nation’s capitol, a pregnant woman can visit the President’s home, only if she first fills out paper work in which she counts her unborn child as a human being. Yet, that same mother is free to leave the White House, enter a D.C. abortion clinic, and have her unborn child murdered, under protection of a blatantly contradictory law that our President endorses.
The fact is, at best, the pro-abortion movement in America is absurd—leaving behind reality at every turn. At worst, it is a repugnant, blight on society—so evil that the horrific shedding of innocent blood is actually considered proper. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21).


Aristotle, Metaphysics, trans. W.D. Ross, http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/metaphysics.4.iv.html.
Boyer, Dave (2012), “Security at Pro-Choice White House Counts Unborn Children,” Washington Times, May 8, http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/may/8/security-white-house-counts-unborn-children/?page=all.
Ertelt, Steven (2009), “California Man Convicted Killing Both Pregnant Girlfriend and Unborn Child,” http://www.lifenews.com/state4210.html.
Jevons, W. Stanley (1928), Elementary Lessons in Logic (London: Macmillan).
Simon, Stephanie (2001), “Debate Grows on Whether Fetuses Should Have Special Legal Status,” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6A, June 17, http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1683&dat=20010617&id=G8AaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XjAEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6739,6695111.
“State Policies in Brief: An Overview of Abortion Laws” (2013), Guttmacher Institute, June 1, http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_OAL.pdf.

When Were the Sun, Moon, and Stars Created? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


When Were the Sun, Moon, and Stars Created?

by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

At first glance, this seems like an easy question. Just as children have been singing for generations, it was on day four when God made “the Sun, Moon, and stars galore.” Some, however, have alleged that the “sun, moon and stars were created ‘in the beginning’ (Gen. 1:1)” (Thurman, 2006, p. 3), rather than on day four of Creation. Presumably,
on the fourth day, God “set” the sun, moon and stars in the heavens to govern the days, months, seasons and years (verse 17). When God “set” the lights in the heavens, it was much like when we “set” a clock. And that really is what God did—He “set” His clock on the 4th day. But these (the sun, moon, stars) were all created “in the beginning” (Gen. 1:1) (Thurman, 2006, p. 3, emp. added).
The problem with this line of argumentation is that it contradicts what the Bible says.
Certainly, “[i]n the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). But, it was not until later that God created the Sun, Moon, and stars. Genesis 1:14-19 reads:
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day (Genesis 1:14-19, emp. added).
God not only “set” (Hebrew nathan) the Sun, Moon, and stars in their precise locations in the heavens on the fourth day of Creation, but it was on this day when God literally “made” (Hebrew asah) these heavenly bodies. Similar to how God initially made the land and seas void of animal life (which later was created on days five and six of Creation), the “heavens” were made “in the beginning,” but the hosts of heaven (which now inhabit them) were created “in the firmament of the heavens” on day four (Genesis 1:14).
Consider also how God spoke light into existence on day one of Creation, saying, “Let there be light” (1:3, emp. added). On the fourth day God declared, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens...and it was so” (1:14-15, emp. added). Gary Workman commented on this similarity, saying:
“Let there be lights” (v. 14) is identical in grammatical construction with other statements of “let there be...” in the chapter. Therefore the command can only mean that God spoke the luminaries into existence on the fourth day just as he had created the initial light on day one and the firmament on day two (1989, p. 3).
On day one God made intrinsic light; on day four He made the generators of light. Keep in mind that “the Father of lights” (James 1:17), Who is “light” (1 John 1:5), could create light easily without first having to create the Sun, Moon, and stars. Just as God could produce a fruit-bearing tree on day three without a seed, He could produce light supernaturally on day one without the “usual” light bearers (which subsequently were created on day four). Again, there is no indication in Scripture that the generators of light already were made before day four.
Suppose, however, that the creation of the heavens “in the beginning” had included the creation of the Sun, Moon, and stars (which Genesis 1:14-19 says were made on day four). One still would not be justified in trying to appease the evolutionary timeline by claiming that the “beginning” took place billions of years before the six days of Creation. Why? Because God said, “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day” (Exodus 20:11, emp. added). Both the heavens and all that is in the heavens were created during the six-day creation.
In truth, on day one God created “the heavens,” and on day four He made the Sun, Moon, and stars. And all things were made within the six days of Creation. No “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:15) Bible passage will lead a person to any other conclusion.


Thurman, Clem (2006), “How Was Light Before the Sun?” Gospel Minutes, September 8.
Workman, Gary (1989), “Questions from Genesis One,” The Restorer, 9[5/6]:3-5, May/June.

Lest We Forget by J. C. Bailey


Lest We Forget

Churches of Christ started out with a noble aspiration. God gave to man a perfect Saviour. This perfect Saviour built a perfect church. Jesus said in Matthew 16:18, "I will build my church; and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." He intended that God was to be served in that divine institution for all time and eternity. We read, "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be the glory in the church by Jesus Christ throughout all ages, world without end" (Ephesians 3:20-21). Some say we should serve Christ and that the church is not important. But the above verse states clearly that Christ is to be served in the church for all time and eternity.

If one asks what church? It was the only church that existed then, it was the church of Christ. Paul told the Ephesian elders that he (Paul) had declared unto them the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:17). In the next verse Paul says that the church was purchased with the blood of Christ. But it should also be noted that the falling away from the truth was foretold in the days of the early church.

Here is the warning, "I know that after my departure grievous wolves would enter among you, not sparing the flock, also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them" (Acts 20:28-30). Peter also warned of the apostasy. "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves" (2 Peter 2:1).

The Old Testament foretold apostasy as well. The Old Testament was unlike the New Testament because the New Testament would never be replaced. We read in Jeremiah 31:31-32, "...I will make a new covenant..., not like the covenant I made in the day I took them out of the land of Egypt." Again the difference between the old covenant and the new was explained in Hebrews 7:16, "...not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of endless life." John came as a messenger to announce Christ Jesus declaring that the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17). Colossians 1:13 says, "Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." It is a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28).

Jesus said that heaven and earth would pass away but His word would not pass away. There will be no more revelation (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We were warned not to take from or add to the word of Christ (Revelation 22:18-19). Those who would add to or take from, should heed this warning.

When we look at the teaching of many religious groups today that have added to and taken from the word of God, it should give us more desire to restore New Testament Christianity. What a noble thing to do. Jesus said, "If you love me you will keep my commandments." He also said, "Come unto me and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).

Only by following the teachings of Christ can one become a New Testament Christian. "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). We must repent of our sins. We must confess that we believe that Jesus is the son of God. Then we must be baptized for the remission of sins. Then and only then does one become a New Testament Christian and a member of the only church the Bible talks about -- the church that Jesus built -- the church of Christ.

J. C. Bailey, 1996, Weyburn, Saskatchewan

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading March 10-12 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading March 10-12 (World English Bible)

Mar. 10
Exodus 20

Exo 20:1 God spoke all these words, saying,
Exo 20:2 "I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exo 20:3 You shall have no other gods before me.
Exo 20:4 "You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Exo 20:5 you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me,
Exo 20:6 and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Exo 20:7 "You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
Exo 20:8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 You shall labor six days, and do all your work,
Exo 20:10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates;
Exo 20:11 for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.
Exo 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.
Exo 20:13 "You shall not murder.
Exo 20:14 "You shall not commit adultery.
Exo 20:15 "You shall not steal.
Exo 20:16 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
Exo 20:17 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."
Exo 20:18 All the people perceived the thunderings, the lightnings, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. When the people saw it, they trembled, and stayed at a distance.
Exo 20:19 They said to Moses, "Speak with us yourself, and we will listen; but don't let God speak with us, lest we die."
Exo 20:20 Moses said to the people, "Don't be afraid, for God has come to test you, and that his fear may be before you, that you won't sin."
Exo 20:21 The people stayed at a distance, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
Exo 20:22 Yahweh said to Moses, "This is what you shall tell the children of Israel: 'You yourselves have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.
Exo 20:23 You shall most certainly not make alongside of me gods of silver, or gods of gold for yourselves.
Exo 20:24 You shall make an altar of earth for me, and shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your cattle. In every place where I record my name I will come to you and I will bless you.
Exo 20:25 If you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of cut stones; for if you lift up your tool on it, you have polluted it.
Exo 20:26 Neither shall you go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed to it.'

Mar. 11
Exodus 21

Exo 21:1 "Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them.
Exo 21:2 "If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years and in the seventh he shall go out free without paying anything.
Exo 21:3 If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself. If he is married, then his wife shall go out with him.
Exo 21:4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's, and he shall go out by himself.
Exo 21:5 But if the servant shall plainly say, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children. I will not go out free;'
Exo 21:6 then his master shall bring him to God, and shall bring him to the door or to the doorpost, and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him for ever.
Exo 21:7 "If a man sells his daughter to be a female servant, she shall not go out as the male servants do.
Exo 21:8 If she doesn't please her master, who has married her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, seeing he has dealt deceitfully with her.
Exo 21:9 If he marries her to his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.
Exo 21:10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marital rights.
Exo 21:11 If he doesn't do these three things for her, she may go free without paying any money.
Exo 21:12 "One who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death,
Exo 21:13 but not if it is unintentional, but God allows it to happen: then I will appoint you a place where he shall flee.
Exo 21:14 If a man schemes and comes presumptuously on his neighbor to kill him, you shall take him from my altar, that he may die.
Exo 21:15 "Anyone who attacks his father or his mother shall be surely put to death.
Exo 21:16 "Anyone who kidnaps someone and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.
Exo 21:17 "Anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.
Exo 21:18 "If men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone, or with his fist, and he doesn't die, but is confined to bed;
Exo 21:19 if he rises again and walks around with his staff, then he who struck him shall be cleared: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall provide for his healing until he is thoroughly healed.
Exo 21:20 "If a man strikes his servant or his maid with a rod, and he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished.
Exo 21:21 Notwithstanding, if he gets up after a day or two, he shall not be punished, for he is his property.
Exo 21:22 "If men fight and hurt a pregnant woman so that she gives birth prematurely, and yet no harm follows, he shall be surely fined as much as the woman's husband demands and the judges allow.
Exo 21:23 But if any harm follows, then you must take life for life,
Exo 21:24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
Exo 21:25 burning for burning, wound for wound, and bruise for bruise.
Exo 21:26 "If a man strikes his servant's eye, or his maid's eye, and destroys it, he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.
Exo 21:27 If he strikes out his male servant's tooth, or his female servant's tooth, he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake.
Exo 21:28 "If a bull gores a man or a woman to death, the bull shall surely be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the bull shall not be held responsible.
Exo 21:29 But if the bull had a habit of goring in the past, and it has been testified to its owner, and he has not kept it in, but it has killed a man or a woman, the bull shall be stoned, and its owner shall also be put to death.
Exo 21:30 If a ransom is laid on him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is laid on him.
Exo 21:31 Whether it has gored a son or has gored a daughter, according to this judgment it shall be done to him.
Exo 21:32 If the bull gores a male servant or a female servant, thirty shekels of silver shall be given to their master, and the ox shall be stoned.
Exo 21:33 "If a man opens a pit, or if a man digs a pit and doesn't cover it, and a bull or a donkey falls into it,
Exo 21:34 the owner of the pit shall make it good. He shall give money to its owner, and the dead animal shall be his.
Exo 21:35 "If one man's bull injures another's, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live bull, and divide its price; and they shall also divide the dead animal.
Exo 21:36 Or if it is known that the bull was in the habit of goring in the past, and its owner has not kept it in, he shall surely pay bull for bull, and the dead animal shall be his own.

Mar. 12
Exodus 22

Exo 22:1 "If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it, or sells it; he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.
Exo 22:2 If the thief is found breaking in, and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt of bloodshed for him.
Exo 22:3 If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt of bloodshed for him; he shall make restitution. If he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.
Exo 22:4 If the stolen property is found in his hand alive, whether it is ox, donkey, or sheep, he shall pay double.
Exo 22:5 "If a man causes a field or vineyard to be eaten, and lets his animal loose, and it grazes in another man's field, he shall make restitution from the best of his own field, and from the best of his own vineyard.
Exo 22:6 "If fire breaks out, and catches in thorns so that the shocks of grain, or the standing grain, or the field are consumed; he who kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.
Exo 22:7 "If a man delivers to his neighbor money or stuff to keep, and it is stolen out of the man's house; if the thief is found, he shall pay double.
Exo 22:8 If the thief isn't found, then the master of the house shall come near to God, to find out if he hasn't put his hand to his neighbor's goods.
Exo 22:9 For every matter of trespass, whether it be for ox, for donkey, for sheep, for clothing, or for any kind of lost thing, about which one says, 'This is mine,' the cause of both parties shall come before God. He whom God condemns shall pay double to his neighbor.
Exo 22:10 "If a man delivers to his neighbor a donkey, an ox, a sheep, or any animal to keep, and it dies or is injured, or driven away, no man seeing it;
Exo 22:11 the oath of Yahweh shall be between them both, whether he hasn't put his hand to his neighbor's goods; and its owner shall accept it, and he shall not make restitution.
Exo 22:12 But if it is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner.
Exo 22:13 If it is torn in pieces, let him bring it for evidence. He shall not make good that which was torn.
Exo 22:14 "If a man borrows anything of his neighbor's, and it is injured, or dies, its owner not being with it, he shall surely make restitution.
Exo 22:15 If its owner is with it, he shall not make it good. If it is a leased thing, it came for its lease.
Exo 22:16 "If a man entices a virgin who isn't pledged to be married, and lies with her, he shall surely pay a dowry for her to be his wife.
Exo 22:17 If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.
Exo 22:18 "You shall not allow a sorceress to live.
Exo 22:19 "Whoever has sex with an animal shall surely be put to death.
Exo 22:20 "He who sacrifices to any god, except to Yahweh only, shall be utterly destroyed.
Exo 22:21 "You shall not wrong an alien, neither shall you oppress him, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
Exo 22:22 "You shall not take advantage of any widow or fatherless child.
Exo 22:23 If you take advantage of them at all, and they cry at all to me, I will surely hear their cry;
Exo 22:24 and my wrath will grow hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.
Exo 22:25 "If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be to him as a creditor; neither shall you charge him interest.
Exo 22:26 If you take your neighbor's garment as collateral, you shall restore it to him before the sun goes down,
Exo 22:27 for that is his only covering, it is his garment for his skin. What would he sleep in? It will happen, when he cries to me, that I will hear, for I am gracious.
Exo 22:28 "You shall not blaspheme God, nor curse a ruler of your people.
Exo 22:29 "You shall not delay to offer from your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. "You shall give the firstborn of your sons to me.
Exo 22:30 You shall do likewise with your cattle and with your sheep. Seven days it shall be with its mother, then on the eighth day you shall give it to me.
Exo 22:31 "You shall be holy men to me, therefore you shall not eat any flesh that is torn by animals in the field. You shall cast it to the dogs.

Mar. 9, 10
Mark 7

Mar 7:1 Then the Pharisees, and some of the scribes gathered together to him, having come from Jerusalem.
Mar 7:2 Now when they saw some of his disciples eating bread with defiled, that is, unwashed, hands, they found fault.
Mar 7:3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, don't eat unless they wash their hands and forearms, holding to the tradition of the elders.
Mar 7:4 They don't eat when they come from the marketplace, unless they bathe themselves, and there are many other things, which they have received to hold to: washings of cups, pitchers, bronze vessels, and couches.)
Mar 7:5 The Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why don't your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat their bread with unwashed hands?"
Mar 7:6 He answered them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
Mar 7:7 But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.'
Mar 7:8 "For you set aside the commandment of God, and hold tightly to the tradition of men-the washing of pitchers and cups, and you do many other such things."
Mar 7:9 He said to them, "Full well do you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.
Mar 7:10 For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother;' and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him be put to death.'
Mar 7:11 But you say, 'If a man tells his father or his mother, "Whatever profit you might have received from me is Corban, that is to say, given to God;" '
Mar 7:12 then you no longer allow him to do anything for his father or his mother,
Mar 7:13 making void the word of God by your tradition, which you have handed down. You do many things like this."
Mar 7:14 He called all the multitude to himself, and said to them, "Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Mar 7:15 There is nothing from outside of the man, that going into him can defile him; but the things which proceed out of the man are those that defile the man.
Mar 7:16 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!"
Mar 7:17 When he had entered into a house away from the multitude, his disciples asked him about the parable.
Mar 7:18 He said to them, "Are you thus without understanding also? Don't you perceive that whatever goes into the man from outside can't defile him,
Mar 7:19 because it doesn't go into his heart, but into his stomach, then into the latrine, thus making all foods clean?"
Mar 7:20 He said, "That which proceeds out of the man, that defiles the man.
Mar 7:21 For from within, out of the hearts of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, sexual sins, murders, thefts,
Mar 7:22 covetings, wickedness, deceit, lustful desires, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, and foolishness.
Mar 7:23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."
Mar 7:24 From there he arose, and went away into the borders of Tyre and Sidon. He entered into a house, and didn't want anyone to know it, but he couldn't escape notice.
Mar 7:25 For a woman, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, having heard of him, came and fell down at his feet.
Mar 7:26 Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race. She begged him that he would cast the demon out of her daughter.
Mar 7:27 But Jesus said to her, "Let the children be filled first, for it is not appropriate to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."
Mar 7:28 But she answered him, "Yes, Lord. Yet even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."
Mar 7:29 He said to her, "For this saying, go your way. The demon has gone out of your daughter."
Mar 7:30 She went away to her house, and found the child having been laid on the bed, with the demon gone out.
Mar 7:31 Again he departed from the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and came to the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the region of Decapolis.
Mar 7:32 They brought to him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech. They begged him to lay his hand on him.
Mar 7:33 He took him aside from the multitude, privately, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat, and touched his tongue.
Mar 7:34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha!" that is, "Be opened!"
Mar 7:35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was released, and he spoke clearly.
Mar 7:36 He commanded them that they should tell no one, but the more he commanded them, so much the more widely they proclaimed it.
Mar 7:37 They were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well. He makes even the deaf hear, and the mute speak!"

Mar. 11, 12
Mark 8

Mar 8:1 In those days, when there was a very great multitude, and they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to himself, and said to them,
Mar 8:2 "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have stayed with me now three days, and have nothing to eat.
Mar 8:3 If I send them away fasting to their home, they will faint on the way, for some of them have come a long way."
Mar 8:4 His disciples answered him, "From where could one satisfy these people with bread here in a deserted place?"
Mar 8:5 He asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" They said, "Seven."
Mar 8:6 He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves. Having given thanks, he broke them, and gave them to his disciples to serve, and they served the multitude.
Mar 8:7 They had a few small fish. Having blessed them, he said to serve these also.
Mar 8:8 They ate, and were filled. They took up seven baskets of broken pieces that were left over.
Mar 8:9 Those who had eaten were about four thousand. Then he sent them away.
Mar 8:10 Immediately he entered into the boat with his disciples, and came into the region of Dalmanutha.
Mar 8:11 The Pharisees came out and began to question him, seeking from him a sign from heaven, and testing him.
Mar 8:12 He sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Most certainly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation."
Mar 8:13 He left them, and again entering into the boat, departed to the other side.
Mar 8:14 They forgot to take bread; and they didn't have more than one loaf in the boat with them.
Mar 8:15 He warned them, saying, "Take heed: beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod."
Mar 8:16 They reasoned with one another, saying, "It's because we have no bread."
Mar 8:17 Jesus, perceiving it, said to them, "Why do you reason that it's because you have no bread? Don't you perceive yet, neither understand? Is your heart still hardened?
Mar 8:18 Having eyes, don't you see? Having ears, don't you hear? Don't you remember?
Mar 8:19 When I broke the five loaves among the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?" They told him, "Twelve."
Mar 8:20 "When the seven loaves fed the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?" They told him, "Seven."
Mar 8:21 He asked them, "Don't you understand, yet?"
Mar 8:22 He came to Bethsaida. They brought a blind man to him, and begged him to touch him.
Mar 8:23 He took hold of the blind man by the hand, and brought him out of the village. When he had spit on his eyes, and laid his hands on him, he asked him if he saw anything.
Mar 8:24 He looked up, and said, "I see men; for I see them like trees walking."
Mar 8:25 Then again he laid his hands on his eyes. He looked intently, and was restored, and saw everyone clearly.
Mar 8:26 He sent him away to his house, saying, "Don't enter into the village, nor tell anyone in the village."
Mar 8:27 Jesus went out, with his disciples, into the villages of Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that I am?"
Mar 8:28 They told him, "John the Baptizer, and others say Elijah, but others: one of the prophets."
Mar 8:29 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Christ."
Mar 8:30 He commanded them that they should tell no one about him.
Mar 8:31 He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
Mar 8:32 He spoke to them openly. Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.
Mar 8:33 But he, turning around, and seeing his disciples, rebuked Peter, and said, "Get behind me, Satan! For you have in mind not the things of God, but the things of men."
Mar 8:34 He called the multitude to himself with his disciples, and said to them, "Whoever wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Mar 8:35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; and whoever will lose his life for my sake and the sake of the Good News will save it.
Mar 8:36 For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life?
Mar 8:37 For what will a man give in exchange for his life?
Mar 8:38 For whoever will be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man also will be ashamed of him, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."