"THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS" Shall We Continue In Sin? (6:1-23) by Mark Copeland

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS"

                   Shall We Continue In Sin? (6:1-23)


1. In Romans, Paul addresses the problem of sin...
   a. In the first two and a half chapters, he demonstrates that all
      have sinned - cf. Ro 3:23
   b. In the next two and a half chapters, he declares how we can be
      justified through faith in Jesus Christ - cf. Ro 5:1-2
   c. He concludes that where sin abounded, grace abounded much more- Ro 5:20-21

2. Paul then anticipates an erroneous inference...
   a. "Let's continue in sin, that grace may abound!" - Ro 6:1
   a. A conclusion that is repulsive to him - Ro 6:2a

3. Today, many Christians may live in reference to sin as though they
   had the same idea...
   a. Living as though there is no need to be diligent in overcoming sin
   b. Perhaps reasoning, "If I sin, I can simply confess and God will forgive"
   -- I.e., continue in sin that grace may abound!

4. Yet a careful study of the sixth chapter reveals why such a thought is absurd...
   a. Paul provides four reasons why we should not continue in sin
   b. When understood, they will prompt us to say with Paul:  "Certainly not!"

[Shall we continue in sin...?]


      1. Baptism is a burial into the death of Christ
      2. Baptism is where we were crucified with Christ - cf. Ro 6:6
      3. Thus baptism (not repentance) is where we die to sin
      -- Having been crucified with Christ should impact how we live
         - cf. Ga 2:20

      1. Just as Christ rose from the grave, so we rise from baptism to
         walk in newness of life
      2. We are now a new creation in Christ - cf. 2Co 5:17

      1. The very purpose of dying to sin in baptism, to be free from sin!
      2. A point Paul will expound upon later

      1. Christ now lives with God in newness of life
      2. Because we died with Christ, so can we! - cf. Ep 2:4-6

[The idea of being alive in Christ leads to Paul's second major point in
response to the question "Shall we continue in sin?"...]


      1. We who were dead in sin can now choose not to let it reign in us!
      2. We are no longer debtors to sin - cf. Ro 8:12-13

      1. We can present ourselves to God...
         a. As alive from the dead
         b. As instruments of righteousness to Him
      2. I.e., we can now glorify Him even with our bodies - cf. 1Co 6:19-20

      1. Sin no longer needs to be our master
      2. In Christ, we have been set free! - cf. Ro 8:1-2

[This freedom is not license to sin.  On the contrary, consider Paul's
third point in response to the question "Shall we continue in sin?"...]


      1. Grace is no excuse to sin
      2. We are either slaves of sin, or slaves of righteousness
      3. If we continue in sin, we once again become slaves of sin!- cf. Jn 8:34
      4. For Christians to continue in sin makes things worse - cf. 2 Pe 2:20-22

      1. We were slaves of sin
      2. But when we obeyed from the heart the doctrine (i.e., the
         gospel which commands baptism), we were set free from sin
         a. Not just sin's condemnation - cf. Ac 2:38; 22:16; Ro 8:1-2
         b. But also sin's dominion - cf. Ro 8:12-13
      3. We were set free from sin so we could become slaves of righteousness!

      1. We previously offered our bodies as slaves of sin
      2. So now offer our bodies as slaves of righteousness for the
         purpose of producing holiness - cf. 1Pe 1:14-16

[Finally, we note Paul's concluding point in response to the question
"Shall we continue in sin?"...]


      1. The end of those enslaved to sin is "death"
      2. Such "death" is separation from God
         a. Living in sin separates us from God now - cf. Isa 59:1-2
         b. Dying in sin will separate us from for eternity - cf. Re 21:8

      1. By His grace we have been set free from sin, via baptism! 
          - Ro 6:2-14; cf. Tit 3:4-7
      2. By His grace we can now be slaves to God, through continued
         obedience! - Ro 6:15-19
      3. By His grace we can bear the fruit of holiness, which in turn
         leads to eternal life! - Ro 6:22; cf. 2:4-11


1. Shall we continue in sin?
   a. If we understand what Paul has written in this chapter...
   b. ...then we will cry out with him:  "Certainly not!" (NKJV) - Ro 6:2,15

2. Paul's strong response has been variously translated...
   a. "It is not to be thought of!" (Knox)
   b. "Not at all!" (Williams)
   c. "That be far from us!" (Conybeare)
   d. "Of course not!" (Phillips)
   e. "May it never be!" (NASB)
   f. "Far be it!" (Rotherham)
   g. "Never!" (Moffatt)
   h. "By no means!" (Goodspeed, NRSV)
   i. "Certainly not!" (NEB, NKJV)
   j. "Heaven forbid!" (TCNT)
   k. "God forbid!" (KJV, ASV)
   -- May we develop the same response to taking sin lightly!

Have you been set free from sin...?  Have you become enslaved to sin
once again...?  Let the grace of God deliver you from the guilt and
power of sin by responding to the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

Biblical Wisdom Still Relevant by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Biblical Wisdom Still Relevant

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

About 3,000 years ago, one of the wisest men to have ever lived penned through divine inspiration this statement: “A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). Solomon’s statement speaks to the fact that in many cases, it is the emotional and spiritual attitude of an individual that sustains his or her physical existence as much or more than physical factors. On March 28, 2006, a brief article on loneliness provided some excellent modern scientific documentation for Solomon’s sentiments.
The study was in no way exhaustive since it only looked at information from about 229 adults. But the results were quite interesting. In a nut shell, the study showed that loneliness can be a potential factor that increases blood pressure. The study further indicated that when individuals became more emotionally connected to others and less lonely, their blood pressure can decrease. In fact, the authors of the study suggested that the “magnitude of the effect of loneliness on blood pressure is comparable to the magnitude of reduction that can be achieved through weight loss and exercise” (Hawkley and Berry as quoted in Minerd, 2006). Thus, one can see that the physical factors of losing weight and exercise can potentially be matched or eclipsed by the emotional attitudes of an individual, exactly as Solomon suggested.
Drs. Hawkley and Berry noted that many factors in the culture of the United States tend to increase the opportunity for loneliness and that, “under these circumstances risk of loneliness increases, and along with it so does risk of morbidity and mortality” (Minerd, 2006). In other words, emotional distress “dries the bones.”
Solomon’s ancient wisdom is as relevant to today’s society as it was to his three millennia ago. The Bible’s timeless nature is exactly the product that what would be expected from an all-knowing God Who can declare “the end from the beginning” (Isaiah 46:10).


Minerd, Jeff (2006), “Loneliness Weighs Heavily on the Heart,” [On-line], URL: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/Hypertension/tb/2947.

Wonders of God’s Creation by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Wonders of God’s Creation

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

According to the General Theory of Evolution, about 14 billion years ago “all the matter in the universe was concentrated into one very dense, very hot region that may have been much smaller than a period on this page. For some unknown reason, this region exploded” (Hurd, et al., p. 61). As a result of the alleged explosion of a period-sized ball of matter, billions of galaxies formed, and eventually planets such as Earth evolved. Supposedly, the evolution of galaxies, and every planet, moon, and star within these galaxies, all came about by non-purposeful, unintelligent accidents. Likewise, every life form that eventually appeared on Earth purportedly evolved by mindless, random chances over millions of years. Some life forms “just happened” to evolve the ability to reproduce asexually, while others “just happened” to develop the capability to reproduce sexually. Some life forms “just happened” to evolve the ability to walk along vertical ledges (e.g., geckos), while others “just happened” to evolve the “gift” of glowing (e.g., glow worms). Some life forms “just happened” to evolve the ability to make silk (e.g., spiders), which, pound-for-pound, is stronger than steel, while others “just happened” to evolve the ability to “turn 90 degrees in under 50 milliseconds” while flying in a straight line (e.g., the blowfly; Mueller, 2008, 213[4]:82). Allegedly, everything has come into existence by random chances over billions of years. According to the General Theory of Evolution, there was no Mind, no Intelligence, and no Designer that created the Universe and everything in it.
Ironically, though atheistic evolutionary scientists insist that the Earth and all living things on it have no grand, intelligent Designer, these same scientists consistently refer to amazing “design” in nature. Consider an example of such paradoxical language in a recent National Geographic article titled, “Biomimetics: Design by Nature” (Mueller, 2008). The word “design” (or one of its derivatives—designs, designed, etc.) appeared no less than seven times in the article in reference to “nature’s designs.” Evolutionary biologist Andrew Parker spoke of his collection of preserved animals as “a treasure-trove of brilliant design” (quoted in Mueller, 2008, 213[4]:75, emp. added). After interviewing Parker, National Geographic writer Tom Mueller noted how the capillaries between the scales of a thorny devil lizard are “evidently designed to guide water toward the lizard’s mouth” (p. 81, emp. added). He then explained how “[i]nsects offer an embarrassment of design riches” (p. 75, emp. added). Mueller referred to nature’s “sophistication” and “clever devices” (p. 79), and praised nature for being able to turn simple materials “into structures of fantastic complexity, strength, and toughness” (p. 79). After learning of the uncanny, complicated maneuverability of a little blowfly, Mueller even confessed to feeling the need to regard the insect “on bended knee in admiration” (p. 82). Why? Because of its “mysterious” and “complicated” design. Brilliant and well-funded scientists around the world admit that living things perform many feats “too mysterious and complicated to be able to replicate” (p. 82). They are “designed,” allegedly, with no “Designer.”
But how can you get design without purpose, intelligence, and deliberate planning? The first three definitions the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary gives for “design” (noun) are as follows: “1a:a particular purpose held in view by an individual or group...b:deliberate purposive planning... 2:a mental project or scheme in which means to an end are laid down; 3a:a deliberate undercover project or scheme” (“Design,” 2008, emp. added). After defining “design” as a drawing, sketch, or “graphic representation of a detailed plan...,” the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language noted that design may be defined as “[t]he purposeful or inventive arrangement of parts or details” (2000, p. 492, emp. added). A design is preceded by “deliberate purposive planning,” “a detailed plan,” or an “inventive arrangement.” A design is the effect, not of time, chance, and unintelligent, random accidents, but of the purposeful planning and deliberate actions of an inventor or designer. A designer brings about a design. Thus, by definition, design demands a designer, and one with some measure of intelligence.
National Geographic purports that nature “blindly cobbles together myriad random experiments over thousands of generations” in order to produce complex, living organisms that the world’s “top scientists have yet to comprehend” (Mueller, 2008, 213[4]:90). We, on the other hand, choose to believe that, just as a painting demands a painter, and a poem a poet, the world’s amazing designs, which continually stump the most intelligent scientists on Earth, demand an intelligent Designer. Consider three wonders of God’s Creation—from the land, sea, and air—that testify on behalf of a grand Designer and against the random, chance processes of mindless evolution.


The height of an 18-foot giraffe, the tallest of all land animals, is quite daunting. The clumsy-looking giraffe’s ability to run 34 miles per hour is very impressive. Its minimal sleep requirements—only about 30 minutes a day, often broken up into several short naps—and its ability to go weeks without drinking is remarkable (“Giraffe,” 1999). Its 18-inch, prehensile tongue, eight-foot-long tail, and six-foot-tall newborns are all very striking. Most remarkable, however, is the design of the giraffe’s circulatory system.
Consider that a giraffe’s brain is about eight feet higher than its heart. In order to get blood from its heart up to its brain, a giraffe must have an enormous heart that can pump blood extremely hard against gravity. What’s more, it must maintain such blood pressure as long as the giraffe’s neck is vertically in the air. It should come as no surprise that this long-necked mammal is equipped with a two-foot-long, 20-plus-pound, thick-walled heart that is large enough and strong enough to pump blood eight feet high—creating blood pressure that is about twice that of any other large mammal, and as much as three times that of the average person (Foster, 1977, 152[3]:409).
But what about when a giraffe suddenly lowers its head several feet below its heart to get a drink of water? What happens to all of the blood that the heart normally pumps so powerfully against gravity to the brain? If the design of the giraffe were merely left up to time and chance, one would expect that the first time a giraffe tried to lower its neck to get a drink of water, the heart would pump so much blood to the brain that blood vessels in the brain would explode, or the brain would fill up with blood so quickly that the giraffe would pass out.
How does the giraffe keep from having brain bleeds, or from feeling woozy and passing out every time it bends down and raises back up? A National Geographic article on giraffes explains:
To withstand the surge of blood to and from the brain as its neck sweeps up and down, the giraffe has developed control valves in the jugular veins and a special network of blood vessels in its head. Known as the rete mirabile caroticum—wonder net of the carotids—this circulatory buffer keeps blood pressure constant in the brain” (Foster, p. 409).
A giraffe, then, has intricate valves in its jugular veins that help control how much blood gets to the brain during those times when a giraffe has its head lowered. Working together with these valves is a network of blood vessels that “controls the flow of blood into the head” (p. 411). Then, “[w]hen the head is raised, the same net counters the danger of blackouts from reduced blood pressure” (p. 411).
One might wonder how giraffes, which stand on their feet most of the day and have such high blood pressure, keep their lower extremities from pooling with blood. The fact is, even though “the blood vessels in the lower legs are under great pressure (because of the weight of fluid pressing down on them),” giraffes “have a very tight sheath of thick skin over their lower limbs that maintains high extravascular pressure” (“Giraffe,” 2008, parenthetical comment in orig.). Similar to a fighter pilot’s G-suit that “exerts pressure on the body and legs of the wearer under high acceleration and prevents blackout....[l]eakage from the capillaries in the giraffe’s legs, due to high blood pressure, is also probably prevented by a similar pressure of the tissue fluid outside the cells. In addition, the walls of the giraffe’s arteries are thicker than those in any other mammal” (Kofahl, 1992, 14[2]:23).
So, the giraffe has:
  • “a complex pressure-regulation system” (“Giraffe,” 2008).
  • “unique valves” that prevent overpressure when it lowers its head (Foster, 1977, p. 409).
  • a network of blood vessels that helps stabilize blood pressure as the giraffe moves its neck up and down.
  • a heart powerful enough to send an adequate amount of blood eight feet upwards against gravity.
  • arteries in the lower part of its body thick enough to withstand the high blood pressure.
  • skin tight enough to force blood back upward and keep capillaries in its lower extremities from bursting.
  • oversized lungs (large enough to hold 12 gallons of air) that “compensate for the volume of dead air” in its 10-foot long trachea (Foster, p. 409; “Mammals: Giraffe,” 2008). [“Without this extra air-pumping capacity a giraffe would breathe the same used air over and over” (Foster, p. 409).]
National Geographic would have us believe that “nature” provided giraffes with all of this “special equipment” (Foster, p. 411). Supposedly, giraffes’ specialized, necessary, “unique” control valves are “remarkable adaptations” that “developed” (p. 409, emp. added). In other words, multiplied millions of years of “evolution” have “modified the giraffe’s anatomy to allow this stretched-version mammal to function” (p. 409).
How do the mindless, purposeless, random processes of time and chance adequately explain “unique valves,” “a complex pressure-regulation system,” a “wonder net” that “keeps blood pressure constant in the brain” (whether the giraffe’s neck is raised or lowered), a heart, lungs, and arteries all just the right size, etc.? Even more difficult (impossible) for evolution to explain is how all of these sophisticated body parts came about simultaneously? After all, what good is a big heart without a network of blood vessels that stabilizes blood pressure? And what is the point of the rete mirabile caroticum, if the giraffe did not have a heart powerful enough to pump blood eight feet into the air? Evolutionist Robert Wesson openly addressed this issue in his book, Beyond Natural Selection. He wrote:
All these things had to be accomplished in step, and they must have been done rapidly.... That it could all have come about by synchronized random mutations strains the definition of random. The most critical question, however, is how the original impetus to giraffeness—and a million other adaptations—got started and acquired sufficient utility to have selective value.... The observer must be often tempted to suppose that organisms have responded to their conditions and needs more purposefully than strict Darwinian theory can allow (1991, p. 226, emp. added).
Truly, the amazingly intricate design of the giraffe’s circulatory system, as well as the rest of its anatomy and physiology, demand a better explanation than the random, chance processes of evolution. The fact is, the giraffe is brilliantly designed—a wonder of God’s creation.


Two colorful, eight-legged cephalopods, known as cuttlefish, recently graced the cover of the journal New Scientist (2008, 198[2653]). With bluish-green blood, iridescent skin, feeding tentacles that shoot from their mouths like birthday party blowers, and eyes like something from a Batman movie, it is no surprise that the editors of New Scientist used the term “alien” in their description of the cuttlefish; the animals do look bizarre—plain and simple. Make no mistake, however, these creatures are anything but simple. In fact, just above the cuttlefish was the cover title, “Alien Intelligence: Secret Code of an Eight-Legged Genius” (Brooks, 2008, emp. added). Michael Brooks, author of the feature article, declared that the cuttlefish is “the world’s most inventive mollusk” (2008, p. 31, emp. added) with a “sophisticated system for talking to one another” (p. 28, emp. added). Scientists have documented “around 40 different cuttlefish body patterns, many of which are used to communicate with other cuttlefish” (p. 29). At other times, cuttlefish send “tailor-made” signals to predators (p. 29, emp. added).
Even more incredible than their communication skills, is the cuttlefishes’ ability to blend in to their surroundings. Brooks described them as having “the world’s best camouflage skills” (p. 29). Similar to how these mollusks (cuttlefish have an internal shell called a cuttlebone, thus, scientists classify them as mollusks) communicate with other animals via a variety of body patterns, they also move their bodies into a variety of positions in hopes of staying hidden. For example, while swimming next to large seaweed, a cuttlefish can mimic the motion of the grass by positioning and waving its eight arms similar to how seaweed sways in water. This makes it very difficult for both attackers and possible prey to locate the cuttlefish. In a recent study, scientists placed either horizontal or vertical stripes on the walls of cuttlefish tanks. How did the cuttlefish react? According to Dr. Roger Hanlon, “If the stripes were vertical they would raise an arm. If the stripes were horizontal they would stretch their bodies out horizontally” (as quoted in Brooks, p. 31). Amazing! Cuttlefish can even change the texture of their skin to mimic the shape of certain barnacle-encrusted rocks or corals.
But what must give other sea life more problems than anything is the cuttlefish’s ability to change color—and to do it so quickly. A cuttlefish can change the color of its entire body in the blink of an eye. If this mollusk wants to change to red, it sends signals from its brain to its “pigment” sacs (called chromatophores) to change to red. Cuttlefish can hide from other sea life by changing to the color of sand or seaweed. They can also appear as a strobe light, blinking “on and off” very quickly. So extraordinary are these “masters of camouflage” (p. 28) that government researchers are even “looking into the possibility of copying cuttlefish camouflage for use in the military” (p. 31). Researchers are enamored with “how cuttlefish achieve their quick and convincing camouflage” (p. 30). Nevertheless, “[i]t’s highly unlikely that anyone could achieve that same level of camouflage” (p. 30). Scientists admittedly find it difficult “mimicking the colour-matching abilities of the cuttlefish...and its texture-matching ability, which utilizes the muscles beneath it” (p. 30). In fact, “[n]o one knows exactly” how cuttlefish match their backgrounds so effectively, especially since “[e]xperiments have shown that cuttlefish don’t look at their skin to check how well it matches the background” (p. 31, emp. added). What’s more, if, as scientists believe, this animal is colorblind, only seeing in shades of green (p. 31), how does it always choose the color most helpful (like changing to the color of sand when on the ocean floor)?
The cuttlefish is a remarkable creature. Evolutionists have called this animal a “genius.” Scientists admit that cuttlefish are “sophisticated,” “intelligent,” “tailor-made” creatures with a “secret code.” Yet “evolution” was the very first word Michael Brooks used in his New Scientist article to explain the existence of cuttlefish (p. 29). But how can intelligence arise from non-intelligence? How can something “tailor-made” have no tailor? No one would suggest that Morse code is the product of time and chance, yet Brooks and other evolutionists would have us believe that the cuttlefish’s “secret code” is the product of millions of years of mindless evolution (p. 31)? Preposterous! Nature cannot explain the cuttlefish. The real Code-Giver, the intelligent Designer Who “tailor-made” the cuttlefish, is God. He “created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind” (Genesis 1:21).


As of the summer of 2008, Usain Bolt was the fastest man alive. During the 2008 Olympics, Bolt set Olympic and World records by running 100 meters in 9.69 seconds. A human running at a speed of 28 miles per hour is quite impressive, but neither Usain Bolt nor any other human can maintain such a speed for more than a few seconds. Marathon runners may be able to run 26.2 miles without stopping, but no one averages more than 13 miles per hour while running great distances. Although the human body is a meticulously designed “machine” (see Jackson, 2000), which functions perfectly for its intended purpose on Earth, there are limits to what a person can do. When these limits are compared to the speed and distance a particular bird flew some time ago, one gains a greater appreciation for God’s wondrous creation.

In February 2007, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey fitted 16 shorebirds, known as bar-tailed godwits, with satellite transmitters. One of the godwits, dubbed E7, made its way from New Zealand to Alaska over the next three months, flying 9,340 miles with one five-week-long layover near the North Korea-China border (Hansford, 2007). After nearly four months, the godwit began its uninterrupted flight back to New Zealand. Amazingly, this little bird, which normally weighs less than one pound, flew 7,145 miles in nine days without stopping, averaging 34.8 mph. Without taking a break to eat, drink, or rest, the godwit flew “the equivalent of making a roundtrip flight between New York and San Francisco, and then flying back again to San Francisco without ever touching down” (“Bird Completes...,” 2007). Equally impressive, the godwit’s approximately 16,500-mile, roundtrip journey ended where it began. Without a map, a compass, or even a parent, godwits can fly tens of thousands of miles without getting lost.
Scientists have studied the migration of birds for decades and still cannot adequately explain this “age-old riddle” (Peterson, 1968, p. 108). Their stamina and sense of direction is mind-boggling. In his book Unsolved Mysteries of Science, evolutionist John Malone reported how much progress man has made over the last few centuries in understanding how birds are able to journey thousands of miles with pinpoint accuracy (2001, pp. 114-122). Yet, he concluded his chapter on bird migration with these words:
Partial explanations abound, but every book or scientific article on bird migration is full of conditional words and phrases: “It may be...but it also might not be.” We know more about how birds might achieve their epic flights around the world, but there are still far more mysteries than there are explanations. The tiny songbird that reappeared to build its nest in the apple tree outside your window—and we know from banding that it can indeed be exactly the same bird—has been to South America and back since you saw it last. How can that be? This is one case where it may be nicer not to know—simply allow yourself to be swept up by awe and wonder (p. 122, emp. added).
Try as they might, evolutionists attempting to explain the complexities of bird migration can only offer woeful (and often contradictory) theories, at best (Peterson, p. 108). How can a person reasonably conclude that non-intelligence, plus time, plus chance, equals a one-pound, bar-tailed godwit flying 7,145 miles in nine days without stopping for food, water, or rest? The “awe and wonder” to which John Malone alluded should be directed toward neither mindless evolution nor the birds themselves, but to the “great and awesome God” (Daniel 9:4) Who has done “wondrous works” and “awesome things” (Psalm 106:22), including endowing birds with the amazing trait we call “instinct.” Truly, it is not by evolution or man’s wisdom that a bird “soars, stretching his wings toward the south” (Job 39:26). Rather, “the stork in the sky knows her seasons; and the turtledove and the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration” (Jeremiah 8:7, NASB), because all-knowing, all-powerful Jehovah is the Creator of them all.


Whereas National Geographic highlights “nature” and encourages readers to “learn from what evolution has wrought” (Mueller, 2008, 213[4]:75, emp. added), mankind would do better to heed the example of a noble inventor/designer from the mid-1800s. Samuel Morse, who invented the telegraph system and Morse Code, sent the very first telegraph from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore, Maryland on May 24, 1844 (“Today...,” 2007). His message consisted of a brief quotation from Numbers 23:23: “What hath God wrought!” (emp. added). Samuel Morse unashamedly testified to what everyone should understand: design demands a designer. Morse’s code and the telegraph system were the immediate effects of a designer: Samuel Morse. But, the Grand Designer, Who created Morse and every material thing that Morse used to invent his telegraph system, is God. Morse recognized this marvelous, self-evident truth. Should we not recognize it as well, especially in view of the abilities of giraffes, cuttlefish, and godwits—wonders of God’s creation?
For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God (Hebrews 3:4).
The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours; the world and all its fullness, You have founded them. The north and the south, You have created them (Psalm 89:11-12).
This great and wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great. O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all (Psalm 104:25,24, emp. added).


“Bird Completes Epic Flight Across the Pacific” (2007), ScienceDaily, September 17, [On-line], http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070915131 205.htm.
Brooks, Michael (2008), “Do You Speak Cuttlefish?” New Scientist, 198[2653]: 28-31, April 26.
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2000), (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin), fourth edition.
“Design” (2008), Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, [On-line], URL: http://www.merriam-webster.com/diction ary.
Foster, Bristol (1977), “Africa’s Gentle Giants,” National Geographic, 152[3]:402-417, September.
“Giraffe” (1999), Smithsonian National Zoological Park, [On-line], URL: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Animals/AfricanSavanna/fact-giraffe.cfm.
“Giraffe” (2008), New World Encyclopedia, [On-line], URL: http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Giraffe.
Hansford, Dave (2007), “Alaska Bird Makes Longest Nonstop Flight Ever Measured,” National Geographic News, September 14, [On-line], URL: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/09/070913-longest-flight.html.
Hurd, Dean, George Mathias, and Susan Johnson, eds. (1992), General Science: A Voyage of Discovery (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall).
Jackson, Wayne (2000), The Human Body—Accident or Design? (Stockton, CA: Courier Publications).
Kofahl, Robert (1992), “Do Drinking Giraffes Have Headaches?” Creation, 14[2]:22-23, March, [On-line], URL: http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v14/i2/giraffes.asp.
Malone, John (2001), Unsolved Mysteries of Science (New York: John Wiley & Sons).
“Mammals: Giraffe” (2008), San Diego Zoo, [On-line], URL: http://www.sandiegozoo.org/animalbytes/t- giraffe.html.
Mueller, Tom (2008), “Biomimetics: Design by Nature,” National Geographic, 213[4]:68-91, April.
Peterson, Roger (1968), The Birds (New York: Time-Life).
“Today in History: May 24” (2007), The Library of Congress, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/may24.html.
Wesson, Robert (1991), Beyond Natural Selection (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press).

Religious McCarthyism by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


Religious McCarthyism

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

On February 9, 1950, a United States senator from Wisconsin delivered a routine speech that ultimately attracted the attention of the nation and the world. On that date, senator Joseph McCarthy launched his infamous tirade against the U.S. government, alleging Communist infiltration of the U.S. State Department.
McCarthy single-handedly succeeded in arousing the American population to an unprecedented state of panic and alarm. For two years, he sustained an enormous following of supporters by exploiting the legitimate mood of apprehension that had permeated the nation. This vulnerability to fear—which caused many Americans to believe McCarthy’s charges—was due to a number of circumstances: the genuine threat of Soviet atomic power; the fall of Chiang Kai-shek and Communist takeover of mainland China; the arrest and conviction of several Americans as Soviet spies; and the onset of the Korean War.
McCarthy exploited these fears, and in the process focused attention on himself. By accusing his opponents and critics of Communist sympathies, he gradually bullied them into silence. When questions were raised relative to the substance of his charges, McCarthy would respond, not with evidence, but with even stronger accusations—accusations that overwhelmed his opponents and kept his name in the headlines.
In 1951, on the Senate floor, he announced “a conspiracy so immense and an infamy so black as to dwarf any previous venture in the history of man.” When it came down to actually verifying his viewpoint, the allegations were without substance. He was a master at marshalling a shrewd blend of innuendo, half-truth, distortion, and theory that he then promoted with a brash, reckless, even unscrupulous manner that created an atmosphere of intimidation and “forced comformity.” An apparent opportunist with an enormous ego, McCarthy was not dissuaded by either persuasion or confrontation. His brashness, bullying tactics, and lack of meaningful evidence to support his charges, nevertheless, came across convincingly.
More than fifty years have passed since the McCarthy era. Looking back on it all, at least two observations are apparent: First, his charges were essentially without substance. Make no mistake: the problems he addressed were real enough—the threat of Communism was a fact. But the issues were so exaggerated, contorted, and misrepresented by the McCarthy approach to resolving the problem that, for all practical purposes, he succeeded only in compounding and aggravating the situation. In the process, an entire nation went through anguished soul-searching, bitter suspicion, and animosity. Second, there is absolutely no justification for publicly accusing people of disloyalty without sufficient evidence. McCarthy did not succeed in identifying any Communists employed by the government. Even if he had identified five, ten, or fifty, his soiling of the reputations of the innocent was inexcusable. Such reckless disregard for other people is both callous and despicable.
How does God view these two matters? In Deuteronomy 19:15-20, God underscored the fact that a single witness was insufficient to convict a person of sin. Two or three were necessary to confirm the factuality of a matter. By “witnesses,” God meant independent witnesses—not one who then relates his observations to two or three others who, in turn, take his word for it and become official members of a group of putative “witnesses.” Rather, each of the witnesses must be independent, firsthand observers. God wanted thorough investigation—not hearsay—before any action was to be taken against a person. If an accusing brother’s charges were found to be false, the false witness was to receive the punishment that he hoped to inflict on his brother.
If every person who accused another person had to verify and substantiate his claims or suffer severe consequences, far less gossip and innuendo would be generated and perpetuated. If a person had to prove a clear-cut, solid charge against a brother, or else be punished himself, he likely would keep his suspicions to himself until he could prove his point conclusively. That is precisely what God desires!
Yet someone retorts: “But if you wait to remove all doubt, it may be too late to prevent damage!” This mindset is not only an indefensible perspective, but also betrays an attitude of presumptuousness in questioning the wisdom of God’s own directives. Indeed, the human tendency is to spread one’s premature assessment of a situation and, when pressed to be more specific and to verify the assessment, to magnify, amplify, embellish, and “beef up” the charges so that they will sound more credible than they actually are.
In Deuteronomy 13:12-14, God made provision for the eradication of “liberalism” among the Israelites. But He enjoined a threefold prerequisite to such purging: “investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly” (NASB). How easy it is to pride oneself in the ability to sniff out supposed “error” and to color one’s perceptions to see what one is predisposed to see, and then to compound this sin of the heart by going public with one’s half-baked conjurings. What motivates a person who seems to want to find error? If he fails to “investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly,” the evidence suggests his motives are, at best, questionable, and at worst, impure.
In Joshua 22, the Israelites heard that the two-and-a-half trans-Jordanic tribal groups were apostatizing—going “liberal” (i.e., loosing where God had bound). The whole nation was so upset that they prepared to go to war. One cannot question their zeal for faithfulness to God. But, according to the Bible, enthusiasm for adherence to doctrinal purity must be tempered with a love for truth, justice, and fellowman—lest one’s zest for conformity cause one also to disobey. Fortunately, some within the western tribes had enough sense, discretion, and wisdom not to “jump the gun,” but first to send a delegation headed by Phinehas to investigate and ascertain the facts.
Some members of the church seem to have been born into the kingdom in an “attack mode.” Their propensity for running roughshod over others, under the pious guise of loyalty to Truth, is painfully evident in the host of congregations that have been rent asunder without genuine justification. They seem disinterested in acquiring all the facts or making certain they have not embraced a slanted, inaccurate perspective. Rather, they seem more interested in simply “striking while the iron is hot.” They are actually situation ethicists who believe “the end justifies the means,” as long as the “end” is purported to be doctrinal purity. They seem to think that as long as they are upholding Bible doctrines, they can be as brutal, unscrupulous, and careless as they choose. Do they believe their obvious lack of love for their neighbor is hidden from view? Are they honestly convinced that such behavior is excusable on the basis of their self-righteous love for straining gnats (Matthew 23:24)?
How ironic that those who think they are dedicated to righteousness and doctrinal purity are, in fact, conducting themselves in an unChristlike manner. Jesus wants every fact confirmed (Matthew 18:16; 2 Corinthians 13:1). Christians are not even to consider a charge made against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses (1 Timothy 5:19). These passages are attempting to head off the very thing that occurs so frequently among Christians. The passages are not intended to shield the guilty. But they do demonstrate that it is extremely important to God that fellow Christians not be prematurely accused or condemned.
God wants every individual Christian to possess a genuine love for fellowman (Romans 12:9-21). If we had that kind of devotion for each other, we still would oppose error, still covet doctrinal purity, and still ardently defend the faith. But we would engage in all of these actions with a kind and gentle spirit, giving each other every benefit of the doubt, approaching each other out of an attitude of humility and lowliness, harboring no animosity or envy in our hearts. We would patiently hope, think, and believe the best about one another (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).
Such a mental posture would put an end to the “shoot first, ask questions later” temperament with which some seem to be obsessed. It would replace the panic and hysteria being generated in our perilous times with a sensible, rational, mature appraisal of each individual—in or out of the church—on his own merits. We would couple that appraisal with genuine attempts to assist him in coming to a correct understanding of God’s will—before we go public.
While Jesus was on Earth, His strongest denunciations and severest criticisms were leveled against those who were guilty of this accusing mentality. If anyone in the church today deserves to receive similar condemnation, it is those who manifest this attitude. On the other hand, it is easy to allow one’s heart to be infected with feelings of resentment, animosity, and contempt for such individuals. Satan is constantly on the alert to lure a person into a heart condition that places his soul in jeopardy. Therefore, each one must rise above and transcend the personalities, the pettiness, and the inflamed emotions that only serve to sidetrack one from the single-sighted commitment to God’s will for people. Neither emotional attachment nor detachment must be allowed to derail one from the course of clear thinking that God expects in light of His written revelation.
Joseph McCarthy’s erratic and truculent behavior eventually discredited him in the public eye and, in December, 1954, the Senate formally censured him for his unconscionable conduct. He lost interest in public affairs at this point, neglecting his Senate duties, and drinking heavily. His health suffered accordingly. He died on May 2, 1957, at the age of only forty-eight.
Are there “liberals” in the church? Absolutely. One need not rely on hearsay or what someone thought they overheard. Books, tapes, and articles that promote doctrinal laxity within our ranks are abundant. We must not allow the over-reaction of some to cause us to under-react to a very real problem. However, we must learn from God’s Book and from history. We must be “swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). We must be certain that our own consciences are clear, unmotivated by pride, popularity, or pettiness (James 3:13-18; 4:1-12). We must not allow ourselves to be swept into the whirlpool of hysteria and thereby neutralize our ability to wage war with Satan intelligently and effectively. We must not be guilty of prematurely accusing our brothers, or lacking substance in verifying our viewpoint. The cause of Christ is not helped by such erratic, reckless displays of zeal. In fact, such tactics aid Satan’s assault on the church. They “cloud the water” and obscure the true issues, making Satan’s ploys more difficult to identify and address.
In order to prepare ourselves for the conflicts that face the church in our generation, we need a healthy dose of Peter’s inspired instruction: “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart” (1 Peter 1:22).


Allswang, John M. (1987), “Joseph R. McCarthy,” Great Lives from History, ed. Frank N. Magill (Pasadena, CA: Salem Press), 3:1432-1436.
McLellen, David (1987), “McCarthy, Joseph Raymond,” Encyclopedia Americana (Danbury, CT: Grolier Inc.), 18:557.
Bartlett, Charles (1989), “McCarthy, Joseph Raymond,” The World Book Encyclopedia (Chicago, IL: World Book, Inc.), 13:331.
Griffith, Robert (1987), The Politics of Fear: Joseph R. McCarthy and the Senate (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press).
Oshinsky, David M. (1983), A Conspiracy So Immense: The World of Joe McCarthy (New York: Free Press).
Rovere, Richard H. (1996 reprint), Senator Joe McCarthy (Berkeley: Univ. of Calif. Press).
Thomas, Lately (1973), When Even Angels Wept (New York: William Morrow).

What's So Important about Jesus' Resurrection? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


What's So Important about Jesus' Resurrection?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

After the widow’s son of Zarephath died, Elijah prayed to God, “and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived” (1 Kings 17:22). A few years later, the prophet Elisha raised the dead son of a Shunammite (2 Kings 4:32-35). Then, after Elisha’s death, a dead man, in the process of being buried in the tomb of Elisha, was restored to life after touching Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 13:20-21). When Jesus was on Earth, He raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead (Mark 8:21-24,35-43), as well as the widow of Nain’s son (Luke 7:11-16) and Lazarus, who had been buried for four days (John 11:1-45). After Jesus’ death and resurrection, Matthew recorded how “the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many” (27:52-53). Then later, during the early years of the church, Peter raised Tabitha from the dead (Acts 9:36-43), while Paul raised the young man Eutychus, who had died after falling out of a three-story window (Acts 20:7-12). All of these people died, and later rose to live again. Although some of the individuals arose very shortly after death, Lazarus and (most likely) the saints who were raised after the resurrection of Jesus, were entombed longer than was Jesus. In view of all of these resurrections, some have asked, “What is so important about Jesus’ resurrection?” If others in the past have died to live again, what makes His resurrection so special? Why is the resurrection of Jesus more significant than any other?
First, similar to how the miracles of Jesus were worked in order to set Him apart as the Son of God and the promised Messiah, even though all others who worked miracles during Bible times were not God in the flesh, the resurrection of Jesus is more significant than any other resurrection simply because the inspired apostles and prophets said that it was. Many people throughout the Bible worked miracles in order to confirm their divine message (cf. Mark 16:20; Hebrews 2:1-4), but only Jesus did them as proof of His divine nature. Once, during the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, a group of Jews surrounded Jesus and asked, “If You are the Christ, tell us plainly” (John 10:24)? Jesus responded to them saying, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me…. I and My Father are one” (John 10:25,30). These Jews understood that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God in the flesh (cf. 10:33,36), and Jesus wanted them to understand that this truth could be known as a result of the miracles that He worked. They testified of His deity (cf. John 20:30-31). Why? Because He said they did (10:25,35-38; cf. John 5:36). The miracles that Jesus performed bore witness of the fact that He was from the Father (John 5:36), because He said He was from the Father. A miracle in and of itself did not mean the person who worked it was deity. Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Peter, Paul, and a host of others worked miracles, with some even raising people from the dead, but not for the purpose of proving they were God in the flesh. The apostles and prophets of the New Testament worked miracles to confirm their message that Jesus was the Son of God, not to prove that they were God (cf. Acts 14:8-18). Jesus, on the other hand, performed miracles to bear witness that He was the Son of God, just as He claimed to be (cf. John 9:35-38).
Likewise, one reason that Jesus’ miraculous resurrection is more significant than the resurrections of Lazarus, Tabitha, Eutychus, or anyone else who was raised from the dead, is simply because the inspired apostles and prophets in the early church said that it was more important. Like the miracles He worked during His earthly ministry that testified of His deity, His resurrection also bore witness of His divine nature. There is no record of anyone alleging that Lazarus was God’s Son based upon his resurrection, nor did the early church claim divinity for Eutychus or Tabitha because they died and came back to life. None of the above-mentioned individuals who were resurrected ever claimed that their resurrection was proof of deity, nor did any inspired prophet or apostle. On the other hand, Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God with power…by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4). His resurrection was different because of Who He was—the Son of God. Just as the miracles He worked during His earthly ministry testified of His divine message, and thus also of His divine nature, so did His resurrection.
Second, the significance of Jesus’ resurrection is seen in the fact that He was the first to rise from the dead never to die again. Since no one who has risen from the dead is still living on Earth, and since there is no evidence in the Bible that God ever took someone who had risen from the dead into heaven without dying again, it is reasonable to conclude that all who have ever arisen from the dead, died in later years. Jesus, however, “having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him” (Romans 6:9). Jesus said of Himself: “I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore” (Revelation 1:17-18). All others who previously were raised at one time, died again, and are among those who “sleep” and continue to wait for the bodily resurrection. Only Jesus has truly conquered death. Only His bodily resurrection was followed by eternal life, rather than another physical death. Although it has been argued by skeptics that “it’s the Resurrection, per se, that matters, not the fact that Jesus never died again” (see McKinsey, 1983, p. 1), Paul actually linked the two together, saying, God “raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption” (Acts 13:34, emp. added). Furthermore, the writer of Hebrews argued for a better life through Jesus on the basis of His termination of death. One reason for the inadequacy of the old priesthood was because “they were prevented by death.” Jesus, however, because He rose never to die again, “continues forever” in “an unchangeable priesthood,” and lives to make intercession for His people (Hebrews 7:23-25).
A third reason why Jesus’ resurrection stands out above all others is because it alone was foretold in the Old Testament. In his sermon on the Day of Pentecost, Peter affirmed that God had raised Jesus from the dead because it was not possible for the grave to hold Him. As proof, he quoted Psalm 16:8-11 in the following words:
I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in Hades, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence (Acts 2:25-28).
Peter then explained this quote from Psalms by saying:
Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses (Acts 2:29-32).
The apostle Paul also believed that the psalmist bore witness to Christ, and spoke of His resurrection. In his address at Antioch of Pisidia, he said:
And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers. God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.” And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus: “I will give you the sure mercies of David.” Therefore He also says in another Psalm: “You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.” “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses (Acts 13:32-39).
Where is the prophecy for the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter? When did the prophets ever foretell of Eutychus or Tabitha’s resurrection? They are not there. No resurrected person other than Jesus had his or her resurrection foretold by an Old Testament prophet. This certainly makes Jesus’ resurrection unique.
Fourth, the significance of Jesus’ resurrection is seen in the fact that His resurrection was preceded by numerous instances in which He prophesied that He would defeat death, even foretelling the exact day on which it would occur. Jesus told some scribes and Pharisees on one occasion, “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40, emp. added). Matthew, Mark, and Luke all recorded how Jesus “began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day” (Matthew 16:21, emp. added; cf. Mark 8:31-32; Luke 9:22). While Jesus and His disciples were in Galilee, Jesus reminded them, saying, “The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up” (Matthew 17:22-23, emp. added). Just before His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Jesus again reminded His disciples, saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again” (Matthew 20:18-19, emp. added). Jesus’ prophecies concerning His resurrection and the specific day on which it would occur were so widely known that, after Jesus’ death, His enemies requested that Pilate place a guard at the tomb, saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day…” (Matthew 27:63-64, emp. added). They knew exactly what Jesus had said He would do, and they did everything in their power to stop it.
Where are the prophecies from the widow’s son of Zarephath? Had he prophesied of his resurrection prior to his death? Or what about the son of the Shunammite woman that Elisha raised from the dead? Where are his personal prophecies? Truly, no one mentioned in the Bible who rose from the dead prophesied about his or her resurrection beforehand, other than Jesus. And certainly no one ever prophesied about the exact day on which he or she would arise from the dead, save Jesus. This prior knowledge and prophecy makes His resurrection a significant event. He overcame death, just as He predicted. He did exactly what he said He was going to do, on the exact day He said He was going to do it.
Finally, the uniqueness of Jesus’ resurrection is seen in the fact that He is the only resurrected person ever to have lived and died without having committed one sin during His lifetime. He was “pure” and “righteous” (1 John 3:3; 2:1), “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2:22). He was “a lamb without blemish and without spot” (1 Peter 1:19), “Who knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21). No one else who has risen from the dead ever lived a perfect life, and then died prior to his or her resurrection for the purpose of taking away the sins of the world (cf. John 1:29). Because Jesus lived a sinless life, died, and then overcame death in His resurrection, He alone has the honor of being called “the Lamb of God” and the “great High Priest” (Hebrews 4:14). “Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many,” and because of His resurrection “those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation” (Hebrews 9:28).
Whether or not Eutychus, Tabitha, Lazarus, etc., rose from the grave, our relationship with God is not affected. Without Jesus’ resurrection, however, there would be no “Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31). Without Jesus’ resurrection, He would not be able to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). Without Jesus’ resurrection, we would have no assurance of His coming and subsequent judgment (Acts 17:31).
Most certainly, Jesus’ resurrection is significant—more so than any other resurrection ever to have taken place. Only Jesus’ resurrection was verbalized by inspired men as proof of His deity. Only Jesus rose never to die again. Only Jesus’ resurrection was prophesied in the Old Testament. Only Jesus prophesied of the precise day in which He would arise from the grave, and then fulfilled that prediction. Only Jesus’ resurrection was preceded by a perfect life—a life lived, given up, and restored in the resurrection for the purpose of becoming man’s Prince, Savior, and Mediator.


McKinsey, C. Dennis (1983), “Commentary,” Biblical Errancy, pp. 1-4, February.

New Findings Show Flaws In Old-Earth Dating Methods by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


New Findings Show Flaws In Old-Earth Dating Methods

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

For decades the general population has been informed that numerous “scientific” evidences prove beyond all doubt that the age of the Earth should be measured in billions of years instead of thousands. We have been told that dating methods, such as the rates of decay of radioactive elements, force an honest observer to an old-Earth conclusion. The problems with this “evidence” are many (see DeYoung, 2005). One of the most glaring problems with such reasoning is that it is based on assumptions that have proven to be incorrect.
For instance, in order for the old-Earth clocks that are based on radioactive elements to be accurate, it must be taken as a fact that the decay rates of the elements are constant, and have been for the last several “billion years” (not that there ever really has been such time). For years, that assumption has been shown to have serious problems (DeYoung), and recent findings have made that assumption even more glaringly false.
On August 23, Dan Stober wrote an article for the Stanford Report titled “The Strange Case of Solar Flares and Radioactive Elements.” He reported on findings from researchers at Stanford and Purdue universities that suggest that the decay rates of radioactive elements can vary based on the activity of solar flares. The implications of such a discovery are profound. As Stober wrote: “The story begins, in a sense, in classrooms around the world, where students are taught that the rate of decay of a specific radioactive material is a constant. This concept is relied upon, for example, when anthropologists use carbon-14 to date ancient artifacts” (2010, emp. added). Stober’s implication is that if the decay rates are not constant, as we have been taught by the evolutionary community for decades, then their dating methods cannot be reliable, since they “rely” on a constant rate of decay.
Stober further commented that the constant-rate-of-decay assumption “was challenged” by Ephraim Fischbach, a Purdue researcher, who found disagreement in measured decay rates of certain radioactive isotopes, “odd for supposed physical constants” (Stober, 2010). What was more, upon assessing further data, researchers noticed seasonal decay rate differences in certain isotopes, “the decay rate was ever so slightly faster in winter than in summer” (2010). Stanford professor emeritus of applied physics Peter Sturrock stated: “Everyone thought it must be due to experimental mistakes, because we’re all brought up to believe that decay rates are constant” (2010).
Further research, however, suggested that the information was not an experimental mistake. In December of 2006, Jere Jenkins, a nuclear engineer at Purdue University, noticed that the decay rate of manganese-54 dropped slightly just before and during a solar flare. Jenkins and Fischbach argue that this variation in decay rates is caused by interaction between solar neutrinos and the radioactive elements being observed. Stober quoted Fischbach as saying that all the evidence assessed by Sturrock, Fischbach, and Jenkins “points toward a conclusion that the sun is ‘communicating’ with radioactive isotopes on Earth” (2010).
Strober admitted that no one knows how neutrinos could possibly ‘communicate’ with radioactive elements on Earth. Fischbach acknowledged that “it doesn’t make any sense according to conventional ideas.” Sturrock stated, “It’s an effect that no one yet understands…. But that’s what the evidence points to. It’s a challenge for the physicists and a challenge for the solar people too.” More than that, though, it is a challenge for the dogmatic evolutionists who insist that their deep-time dating methods are accurate. This latest research brings to light the glaring flaw of such dating methods, showing that the core assumptions are not only questionable, they are verifiably false.
The suggestion that decay rates may be affected by neutrinos is nothing new. The TalkOrigins Web site cites a reference to Henry Morris mentioning the possibility as early as 1974 and Davis Young discussing it in 1988 (“Claim CD004,” 2004). The responses given by TalkOrigins do not include the new data from the latest research, and cannot dismiss the fact that the rates of radioactive elements are measurably variable, even though the neutrino interaction with them is little understood (2004). Since we can prove that certain radioactive elements have a rate that varies in the winter or summer, or during solar flares, then the assumption that decay rates are constant cannot honestly be maintained.


It has long been taught in classrooms across the world that the constancy of radioactive decay rates is a core assumption upon which old-Earth conclusions are based. Yet this assumption has been proven false, based on the fact that decay rates have been shown to vary. This information, according to scientists from Purdue and Stanford, goes against what has been “taught in classrooms” and against “what we’re all brought up to believe.” Does our society never tire of discovering that the “evidence” for old-Earth assumptions continues to disintegrate as more data is assessed? How long will it be, and how many more core evolutionary assumptions must be debunked, before those who insist on an Earth measured in billions of years acquiesce to the truth of a young Earth measured in thousands of years? Once again we see accurate scientific evidence in complete agreement with a straightforward reading of biblical history (Butt, 2002).


Butt, Kyle (2002), “The Bible Says the Earth is Young,” http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/1757.
“Claim CD004,” (2004), http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CD/CD004.html.
DeYoung, Don (2005), Thousands...Not Billions (Green Forest, AR: Master Books).
Stober, David (2010), “The Strange Case of Solar Flares and Radioactive Elements,” http://www.symmetrymagazine.org/breaking/2010/08/23/the-strange-case-of-solar-flares-and-radioactive-elements/.

Will You Be Silenced? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.


Will You Be Silenced?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

When individuals in the 21st century teach what God’s Word says about the sin of homosexuality (Romans 1:22-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11), even when done in a spirit of “love,” “meekness and fear” (as the Bible teaches—Ephesians 4:15; 1 Peter 3:15), they are often labeled as unloving, unkind, hateful, and mean-spirited. Take, for example, the response that Kirk Cameron recently received after being interviewed on Piers Morgan’s CNN show Tonight. When asked about his thoughts regarding homosexuality and same-sex marriage, Cameron respectfully called it “unnatural” and “destructive,” and “detrimental and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization….” “Marriage,” he said, “was defined in the garden between Adam and Eve. One man, one woman for life till death do you part. So I would never attempt to redefine marriage. And I don’t think anyone else should either” (“Kirk Cameron…,” 2012). For these comments, individuals and media members all over the country ridiculed Cameron as being, among other things, “out of step with the modern world” (Dray, 2012), “extremist” (Badash, 2012), “self-righteous” (Burt, 2012), and a “homophobic bigot” (Silverthorne, 2012).
After a Christian posted a comment on his Facebook page recently about President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage, saying, “As Christians, this is another sad moment in our nation’s moral downfall,” a young lady responded by writing:
For once, I beg of you, as Christians, to look at someone who is gay or different from you and love them. Just love them. Don't tell them their [sic] immoral or disgusting or brainwashed or bad. LOVE them. As God loves them. As Jesus loves them. Stop spreading HATE and FEAR. You are hurting yourselves. Your children. You are making the world a bad place, the exact opposite of what I know you want. Why is it that the Christians are the ones who seem to be the most judgmental of them all? (2012, emp. added, capitalization in orig.).
Notice that there was no hate in the gentleman’s statement—only perceived hate by someone who would much rather Christians remain completely silent about what the Bible teaches regarding God’s pattern for the home.
In the Fall of 2011, a ninth-grade honors student in Fort Worth, Texas was given a disciplinary referral form, one day of in-school suspension, and two days of out-of-school suspension because he said to a friend in class that “he was a Christian and ‘being a homosexual is wrong’” (Stames, 2011; Khalil, 2011). This one statement, which was overheard by the teacher (who previously had posted a picture in the classroom of two men kissing), allegedly warranted a reprimand and three days of suspension from class. [Thankfully, administrators dropped the suspension completely, but only after Dakota’s mother solicited the help of a constitutional attorney (Khalil).]
A Catholic church in Acushnet, Massachusetts recently changed their marquee to read, “Two men are friends not spouses.” Their words were described by those who opposed the sign as “subtle bigotry,” “hateful,” and “disrespectful.” One woman called the church saying that the church “should be burned” for spreading such hate. One man said that he was “outraged” that a church would choose to speak out on the issue of gay marriage (see “Controversial Sign...,” 2012).
In April 2012, “outspoken gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocate” Dan Savage spoke at an anti-bullying conference in Seattle, Washington before thousands of students and teachers from along the west coast (“Dan Savage…,” 2012). In his speech he stated: “We can learn to ignore the bull**** in the Bible about gay people” (“Anti-bullying Speaker…,” 2012). After several students walked out, the anti-bullying speaker stated: “You can tell the Bible guys in the hall they can come back now because I’m done beating up the Bible. It’s funny, as someone who is on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy***** people react when you push back” (“Anti-bullying Speaker…”).
No doubt, some people who claim to be Christians have spoken about the sin of homosexuality with unChristlike attitudes and in ungodly ways. Such hypocrisy certainly should be condemned, as should all ungodliness (Romans 12:9; 1 John 5:17; Galatians 5:19-12; Revelation 21:8), including homosexuality. However, what we increasingly witness today is, even when Christians teach what Almighty God has revealed about homosexuality in the most loving, kind, meek manner, they are still blasted by homosexual activists and many in the media as being guilty of “hate speech.” For teaching what the Creator has revealed (and expects Christians to teach without compromise; cf. Acts 4:17-20; 5:29), Bible believers have been expelled at school, ridiculed at work, and threatened in their churches. Even homosexual “anti-bullying experts” apparently enjoy “beating up the Bible” (and all the alleged “bull****” in it) and bullying the “pansy*****” Christians that they are supposedly teaching not to bully.
We should not be surprised at the reactions (even highly hypocritical reactions) of the world to the preaching of God’s Word. John the Baptizer, of whom Jesus said “among those born of women there has not risen one greater” (Matthew 11:11), was beheaded for courageously telling a King that it was wrong for him to be married to someone who was not his lawful wife (Mark 6:14-29). Jesus was crucified following three years of preaching a message of repentance (Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3,5). Paul, who knew very well what true, biblical love was (1 Corinthians 13), likewise preached a message of repentance (Acts 17:30-31; 26:20), including the encouragement of mankind to repent of the sin of homosexuality (Romans 1:22-32; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Timothy 1:9-10).
Will the Christ’s church continue to teach what God says on every subject and on every evil, including the sin of homosexuality? Or, will the Lord’s church cower at the threats made against her and remain quiet as homosexual activists, Hollywood actors, and influential media members attempt to silence the alleged unloving “hate speech” of Christians? “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20).
“Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:19-20, emp. added).
“[W]e should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ” (Ephesians 4:14-15, emp. added).
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15, emp. added).
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (Revelation 3:19, emp. added).


“Anti-bullying Speaker a Bully?” (2012), Fox News, April 30, http://video.foxnews.com/v/1612875073001/anti-bullying-speaker-a-bully.
Badash, David (2012), “Kirk Cameron: I Should Be Able to Slander Gays Without Being ‘Slandered’ for Slandering Gays,” March 6, The New Civil Rights Movement, http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/kirk-cameron-i-should-be-able-to-slander-gays-without-being-slandered-for-slandering-gays/politics/2012/03/06/35819.
Burt, Jacqueline (2012), “Kirk Cameron is Even More Self-Righteous and Bigoted than We Thought,” CafĂ©mom, http://thestir.cafemom.com/entertainment/133963/kirk_cameron_is_even_more.
“Controversial Sign at St. Francis Xavier Church, Acushnet, MA” (2012), May 16, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMFvrdb0vQ0.
“Dan Savage Addresses Journalist Conference Speech Controversy, Denies Attacking Christianity”  (2012), Huffington Post, May 1, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/30/dan-savage-journalist-conference-controversy_n_1464486.html.
Dray, Kayleigh (2012), “Kirk Cameron: Homosexuality is ‘Unnatural’,” Entertainment, March 4, http://www.entertainmentwise.com/news/70939/Kirk-Cameron-Homosexuality-Is-Unnatural.
Khalil, Cathryn (2011), “Student’s Homosexuality Comment Leads to Suspension,” September 22, http://www.cbs19.tv/story/15526115/students-homosexuality-comment-leads-to-suspension.
“Kirk Cameron Says ‘Homosexuality is Unnatural’” (2012), CNN, March 2, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhGQUKoH_TE.
Silverthorne, Sarah (2012), “Kirk Cameron is a Homophobic Bigot,” March 3, http://www.celebdirtylaundry.com/2012/kirk-cameron-is-a-homophobic-bigot-video-0303/.
Stames, Todd (2011), “Texas School Punishes Boy for Opposing Homosexuality,” Fox News, September 22, http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/09/22/texas-school-punishes-boy-for-opposing-homosexuality/.

The Census of David by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


The Census of David

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Many alleged discrepancies in the Bible deal with numerical values being different from one book to the next. Several plausible ways exist to show that these differing numbers are not really discrepancies at all. It could be the case that the different authors were counting different groups of people or rounding off their numbers to different places.
One such alleged discrepancy that involves differing numerical values is found between 1 Chronicles 21:5 and 2 Samuel 24:9.
1 Chronicles 21:5 (ASV): “Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to David. All Israel had one million one hundred thousand men who drew the sword, and Judah had four hundred and seventy thousand men who drew the sword.” 2 Samuel 24:9 (ASV): “Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to the king. And there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword, and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.”
Obviously, the numbers given for the men of Israel differ by 300,000, while the numbers for the men of Judah differ by 30,000. Are there any possible solutions to this alleged discrepancy? The truth of the matter is that there are several possible solutions. Let us deal first with the differing number of the men of Israel.
The first possible solution is based upon a closer reading of the text. When the two verses are compared, 1 Chronicles 21:5 says that “All Israel had one million one hundred thousand men who drew the sword” (emp. added). But 2 Samuel says, “And there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men who drew the sword” (emp. added). It could be that the author of 2 Samuel was indicating the number of “seasoned veterans” or “valiant” men, while the author of 1 Chronicles was numbering any man who drew the sword, not just the valiant ones. Gleason Archer concluded:
A possible solution may be found along these lines. So far as Israel (i.e., the tribes north of Judah) is concerned, the 1 Chronicles figure includes all the available men of fighting age, whether battle seasoned or not. But from 2 Samuel 24 we learn that Joab’s report gave a subtotal of “mighty men” (‘ish hayil), i.e., battle-seasoned troops, consisting of 800,000 veterans. But in addition there may have been 300,000 more men of military age who served in the reserves but had not yet been involved in field combat. These two contingents would make up a total of 1,100,000 men—as 1 Chronicles reports them, with employing the term ‘ish hayil (1982, pp. 188-189).
Remember that the only thing required to prove that a discrepancy does not exist is to provide a single possible solution (see Lyons, 2004). Archer’s explanation reveals quite clearly one possible solution. However, it is by no means the only one. Eric Vestrum lists another quite reasonable solution to the problem.
There is another possibility that will be reasonable after examination. The reader should re-read 1 Chr 27. Notice here that there are 12 divisions of 24,000 men each, giving a total of 288,000 men. It is possible that the Chronicler counts these men whereas the author of 2 Sam does not. Notice that the 800,000 men in 2 Sam were included in a census, as David wanted to know how many men there were for fighting. Yet, as the numbers of divisions were apparently fixed at 24,000 per division, one would presumably not need to take a census of groups whose sizes are intrinsically defined by a priori fixed numbers. It is not requiring too much to state that it is reasonably possible that the author of 2 Sam did not include these 288,000 while the (different) author of 1 Chr did. With two different authors writing apart from each other at non-identical times, it is not at all specious to assert a reasonable plausibility to a different mode of reckoning in reporting the census (Vestrum).
These two explanations suffice to prove that the numbers of men in Israel are not irreconcilable.
Moving further into the explanation of these two verses, we must look at the alleged discrepancy between the number of men who drew the sword in Judah. The author of 2 Samuel gives 470,000, while the author of 1 Chronicles gives 500,000—a difference of 30,000 men. (Please note that this is a difference of only 6%.)
A simple, prima facie explanation would be that the authors were rounding to a different place—the chronicler rounding to the nearest hundred thousand, and the author of 2 Samuel rounding to the nearest ten thousand. Some have objected, however, and claimed that a “ rounding error” of 30,000 men is just not reasonable. This objection, which is based on a western reading of the text that demands stiff, mathematically accurate numbers, does not allow for the more flexible use of numbers that often is exhibited in ancient eastern texts.
However, the “rounding” solution is not the only one available, as Archer pointed out.
So far as Judah was concerned, 2 Samuel 24 gives the round figure of 500,000, which was 30,000 more than the corresponding item in 1 Chronicles 21. Now it should be observed that 1 Chronicles 21:6 makes it clear that Joab did not complete the numbering, for he did not get around to a census of the tribe of Benjamin (nor that of Levi, either) before David came under conviction about completing the census at all. Joab was glad to desist when he saw the king’s change of heart. The procedure for conducting the census had been to start with the Transjordanian tribes (2 Samuel 24:5) and then shift to the northernmost tribe of Dan and work southward back toward Jerusalem (v. 7). This meant that the numbering of Benjamin would have come last. Hence Benjamin was not included with the total for Israel or that for Judah, either. But in the case of 2 Samuel 24, the figure for Judah included the already known figure of 30,000 troops mustered by Benjamin (which lay immediately adjacent to Jerusalem itself). Hence the total of 500,000 included the Benjamite contingent. Observe that after the division of the united kingdom into North and South following the death of Solomon in 930 B.C., most of the Benjamites remained loyal to the dynasty of David and constituted (along with Simeon to the south) the kingdom of Judah. Hence it was reasonable to include Benjamin with Judah and Simeon in the subtotal figure of 500,000—even though Joab may not have itemized it in the first report he gave to David (1982, p. 189, parenthetical items in orig.).
We can see, after looking closely at the two passages alleged to contain numeric contradictions, that several possible solutions exist for the reconciling of the verses. Once again, God’s inspired Word shines forth as the beacon of truth, resisting every accusation of contradiction or discrepancy.
Archer, Gleason L. (1982), An Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties (Grand Rapids: Zondervan).
Lyons, Eric (2004), “Answering the Allegations,” [On-Line], URL: www.apologeticspress.org/articles/506.
Vestrum, Eric, Contradictions: Numerous, Theological, Chronological, Factual, Philosophical, Ethical, [On-line], URL: http://www.tektonics.org/EV_MCK04.html.

Courage by Sandra F. Cobble


This is not the final word on courage, although it may be my final word that you will see published, for my medical prognosis is not what the doctor calls encouraging.

Courage is not a veiled death wish as seen in the lifestyles that defy all reasonable expectations. Courage is not the instantaneous acts that most persons think of as heroic. Though many such acts are to be lauded, there is seldom much thought given to the consequences of one's actions.

Do not the Scriptures teach that we are to exercise wisdom, good judgment, and prudence? Courage analyses all known factors then decides upon a course of action based on that analysis. Yes, one may be fearful of the unknown. He may even be more fearful of known potentials. But courage acts even though harm may be to one's self. When David is talking about the person who will abide in God's presence, he says in Psalm 15:1-4, "LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not." Note that even when a person swore to his own hurt and yet had the courage to keep his oath, David pronounced him blessed.

Courage is preparing to live in such a way as to glorify God despite having been pronounced terminally ill. We are born terminally ill. "For it is appointed unto man once to die and after that the judgment" (Heb. 9:27). As we begin to mature and become aware of death we may begin to make some type of arrangements for expiration, even though the idea of our own death seems unreal. We buy insurance. We make wills. And the more mature among us begin thinking about making peace with God, with our neighbor, and with ourselves.

But then comes the announcement, "Your form of cancer has no known cure." "The symptoms can be treated to some extent with radiation and chemotherapy. But you are dying. You should make arrangements to enter a nursing home so someone can care for you."

Generally persons tend to react in one of two ways. Many do not accept what their doctors have told them. They search every where for that elusive cure. Others simply give up. They take to their beds and lie there bemoaning their fate and waiting for death. Some may begin to enjoy the extra attention they are getting. They act in such a way as to evoke the sympathy of others.

But there is a better alternative, one that will glorify God. Even a smile can do wonders for another. So can a simple 'please' or 'thank you.' Taking time to just listen to another's problems of the day can ease his burdens. These simple things glorify God. And a person who is terminally ill can feel freer to ask, "How about a hug?" Both persons will feel better and will glorify God. And when a person comes to cheer up one who is terminally ill and leaves feeling better than when he came, then God has been glorified.

True courage does not ignore obstacles. True courage recognizes obstacles but goes on to glorify God despite all obstacles. Mark Twain put it this way, "Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear -- not absence of fear." William Cullen Bryant said, "So live, that when thy summons comes to join the innumerable caravan which moves to that mysterious realm, where each shall take his chamber in the silent halls of death, thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night, scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed by an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave, like one that wraps the drapery of his couch about him, and lies down to pleasant dreams."

However, Paul's inspired statement gives more comfort and encouragement than any and all the writings of ordinary men, and he said in Philippians 1:23, "For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better." Those of us who have put our trust in the Lord and accepted His grace through an obedient faith can accept the statement of Paul at face value, and face the future with courage.
Sandra F. Cobble

Published in The Old Paths Archive

Bible Reading June 5 by Gary Rose

Bible Reading June 5 (World English Bible)

June 5
1 Samuel 3, 4

1Sa 3:1 The child Samuel ministered to Yahweh before Eli. The word of Yahweh was precious in those days; there was no frequent vision.
1Sa 3:2 It happened at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place (now his eyes had begun to grow dim, so that he could not see),
1Sa 3:3 and the lamp of God hadn't yet gone out, and Samuel had laid down to sleep, in the temple of Yahweh, where the ark of God was;
1Sa 3:4 that Yahweh called Samuel; and he said, Here am I.
1Sa 3:5 He ran to Eli, and said, Here am I; for you called me. He said, I didn't call; lie down again. He went and lay down.
1Sa 3:6 Yahweh called yet again, Samuel. Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for you called me. He answered, I didn't call, my son; lie down again.
1Sa 3:7 Now Samuel didn't yet know Yahweh, neither was the word of Yahweh yet revealed to him.
1Sa 3:8 Yahweh called Samuel again the third time. He arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for you called me. Eli perceived that Yahweh had called the child.
1Sa 3:9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he calls you, that you shall say, Speak, Yahweh; for your servant hears. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
1Sa 3:10 Yahweh came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel said, Speak; for your servant hears.
1Sa 3:11 Yahweh said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of everyone who hears it shall tingle.
1Sa 3:12 In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from the beginning even to the end.
1Sa 3:13 For I have told him that I will judge his house forever, for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons did bring a curse on themselves, and he didn't restrain them.
1Sa 3:14 Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be expiated with sacrifice nor offering forever.
1Sa 3:15 Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of Yahweh. Samuel feared to show Eli the vision.
1Sa 3:16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. He said, Here am I.
1Sa 3:17 He said, "What is the thing that Yahweh has spoken to you? Please don't hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the things that he spoke to you."
1Sa 3:18 Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. He said, It is Yahweh: let him do what seems him good.
1Sa 3:19 Samuel grew, and Yahweh was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.
1Sa 3:20 All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of Yahweh.
1Sa 3:21 Yahweh appeared again in Shiloh; for Yahweh revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of Yahweh.

1Sa 4:1 The word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and encamped beside Ebenezer: and the Philistines encamped in Aphek.
1Sa 4:2 The Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was struck before the Philistines; and they killed of the army in the field about four thousand men.
1Sa 4:3 When the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Why has Yahweh struck us today before the Philistines? Let us get the ark of the covenant of Yahweh out of Shiloh to us, that it may come among us, and save us out of the hand of our enemies.
1Sa 4:4 So the people sent to Shiloh; and they brought from there the ark of the covenant of Yahweh of Armies, who sits above the cherubim: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
1Sa 4:5 When the ark of the covenant of Yahweh came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again.
1Sa 4:6 When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What means the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? They understood that the ark of Yahweh was come into the camp.
1Sa 4:7 The Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. They said, Woe to us! for there has not been such a thing heretofore.
1Sa 4:8 Woe to us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods? these are the gods that struck the Egyptians with all manner of plagues in the wilderness.
1Sa 4:9 Be strong, and behave like men, O you Philistines, that you not be servants to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Strengthen yourselves like men, and fight!
1Sa 4:10 The Philistines fought, and Israel was struck, and they fled every man to his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.
1Sa 4:11 The ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.
1Sa 4:12 There ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes torn, and with earth on his head.
1Sa 4:13 When he came, behold, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road watching; for his heart trembled for the ark of God. When the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out.
1Sa 4:14 When Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What means the noise of this tumult? The man hurried, and came and told Eli.
1Sa 4:15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old; and his eyes were set, so that he could not see.
1Sa 4:16 The man said to Eli, I am he who came out of the army, and I fled today out of the army. He said, How went the matter, my son?
1Sa 4:17 He who brought the news answered, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there has been also a great slaughter among the people, and your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken.
1Sa 4:18 It happened, when he made mention of the ark of God, that Eli fell from off his seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck broke, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.
1Sa 4:19 His daughter-in-law, Phinehas' wife, was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the news that the ark of God was taken, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and brought forth; for her pains came on her.
1Sa 4:20 About the time of her death the women who stood by her said to her, Don't be afraid; for you have brought forth a son. But she didn't answer, neither did she regard it.
1Sa 4:21 She named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel; because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband.
1Sa 4:22 She said, The glory is departed from Israel; for the ark of God is taken. 

Jun. 5, 6
John 11

Joh 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus from Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister, Martha.
Joh 11:2 It was that Mary who had anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother, Lazarus, was sick.
Joh 11:3 The sisters therefore sent to him, saying, "Lord, behold, he for whom you have great affection is sick."
Joh 11:4 But when Jesus heard it, he said, "This sickness is not to death, but for the glory of God, that God's Son may be glorified by it."
Joh 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
Joh 11:6 When therefore he heard that he was sick, he stayed two days in the place where he was.
Joh 11:7 Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let's go into Judea again."
Joh 11:8 The disciples told him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just trying to stone you, and are you going there again?"
Joh 11:9 Jesus answered, "Aren't there twelve hours of daylight? If a man walks in the day, he doesn't stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
Joh 11:10 But if a man walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light isn't in him."
Joh 11:11 He said these things, and after that, he said to them, "Our friend, Lazarus, has fallen asleep, but I am going so that I may awake him out of sleep."
Joh 11:12 The disciples therefore said, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover."
Joh 11:13 Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he spoke of taking rest in sleep.
Joh 11:14 So Jesus said to them plainly then, "Lazarus is dead.
Joh 11:15 I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe. Nevertheless, let's go to him."
Joh 11:16 Thomas therefore, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, "Let's go also, that we may die with him."
Joh 11:17 So when Jesus came, he found that he had been in the tomb four days already.
Joh 11:18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about fifteen stadia away.
Joh 11:19 Many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother.
Joh 11:20 Then when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary stayed in the house.
Joh 11:21 Therefore Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn't have died.
Joh 11:22 Even now I know that, whatever you ask of God, God will give you."
Joh 11:23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."
Joh 11:24 Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Joh 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies.
Joh 11:26 Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
Joh 11:27 She said to him, "Yes, Lord. I have come to believe that you are the Christ, God's Son, he who comes into the world."
Joh 11:28 When she had said this, she went away, and called Mary, her sister, secretly, saying, "The Teacher is here, and is calling you."
Joh 11:29 When she heard this, she arose quickly, and went to him.
Joh 11:30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was in the place where Martha met him.
Joh 11:31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and were consoling her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, "She is going to the tomb to weep there."
Joh 11:32 Therefore when Mary came to where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you would have been here, my brother wouldn't have died."
Joh 11:33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews weeping who came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
Joh 11:34 and said, "Where have you laid him?" They told him, "Lord, come and see."
Joh 11:35 Jesus wept.
Joh 11:36 The Jews therefore said, "See how much affection he had for him!"
Joh 11:37 Some of them said, "Couldn't this man, who opened the eyes of him who was blind, have also kept this man from dying?"
Joh 11:38 Jesus therefore, again groaning in himself, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone lay against it.
Joh 11:39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days."
Joh 11:40 Jesus said to her, "Didn't I tell you that if you believed, you would see God's glory?"
Joh 11:41 So they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, "Father, I thank you that you listened to me.
Joh 11:42 I know that you always listen to me, but because of the multitude that stands around I said this, that they may believe that you sent me."
Joh 11:43 When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"
Joh 11:44 He who was dead came out, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Free him, and let him go."
Joh 11:45 Therefore many of the Jews, who came to Mary and saw what Jesus did, believed in him.
Joh 11:46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees, and told them the things which Jesus had done.
Joh 11:47 The chief priests therefore and the Pharisees gathered a council, and said, "What are we doing? For this man does many signs.
Joh 11:48 If we leave him alone like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."
Joh 11:49 But a certain one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all,
Joh 11:50 nor do you consider that it is advantageous for us that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish."
Joh 11:51 Now he didn't say this of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,
Joh 11:52 and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.
Joh 11:53 So from that day forward they took counsel that they might put him to death.
Joh 11:54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews, but departed from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with his disciples.
Joh 11:55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand. Many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.
Joh 11:56 Then they sought for Jesus and spoke one with another, as they stood in the temple, "What do you think-that he isn't coming to the feast at all?"
Joh 11:57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had commanded that if anyone knew where he was, he should report it, that they might seize him.