"THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS" The Pursuit Of Peace And Holiness (12:12-17) INTRODUCTION 1. In "Running The Race Of Faith" (He 12:1-3), we saw the need to... a. Lay aside things that would hinder us, especially the sin of unbelief b. Have endurance, even as Jesus endured hostility and the cross c. Focus our gaze on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, whose own example should encourage us not to become weary and discouraged 2. After reminding his readers of the value of the Lord's chastening, the author of Hebrews returns to the metaphor of "running"... a. With a call to "run with style" - He 12:12-13 b. With instructions to pursue peace and holiness - He 12:14 c. With a word of caution, appealing to the example of Esau - He 12:15-17 3. One way to describe the Christian "race", then, is "The Pursuit Of Peace And Holiness" a. How well are you doing in your pursuit? b. Do you know what it is you are to be running after? c. Are you aware of the possible pitfalls that can hinder you? [To encourage excellence in regards to our pursuit, let's take a closer look at the passage, beginning with...] I. MAKING PREPARATION FOR OUR PURSUIT (12-13) A. A CALL TO "RUN WITH STYLE"... 1. We are to "strengthen"... a. "the hands which hang down" b. "the feeble knees" -- A common figure of speech (Job 4:3-4; Isa 35:3), calling us to shake off all weariness, to be firm and strong 2. We are to "make straight paths" for our feet, so that... a. "what is lame may not be dislocated" b. "but rather be healed" -- Another common expression (Isa 40:3-4), encouraging us to remove all that would hinder our progress (especially if we are weak) B. THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS CALL... 1. First, we must respond to this call to action a. This is something "we" are being called to do b. We can't expect God to do it all! c. While God will certainly help us, we must make the effort - cf. Php 2:12-13 2. This call to action is not limited to strengthening just yourself a. Certainly there is the personal application b. But as concerned Christians, we should seek to: 1) "strengthen the hands...and feeble knees" of others 2) "make straight paths" for others - cf. 1Th 5:14 c. Just as those who are "spiritual" should be concerned for the weakness of others - Ga 6:1 [In a way, this call is similar to the one the Lord gave to Joshua (Josh 1:6-9), which Joshua later gave to Israel (Josh 23:6,11). Shall we heed the call to "be strong and very courageous", i.e., to "run with style"? Now, for some thoughts about...] II. THE GOAL OF OUR PURSUIT (14) A. PEACE WITH ALL MEN... 1. We should not be surprised to read that we are to "pursue peace..." a. Jesus is "The Prince of Peace" - Isa 9:6 b. He died to make peace possible: with God, and with man - Ro 5:1; Ep 2:13-17 c. He taught that peacemakers will be called the children of God - Mt 5:9 d. A key element of the kingdom of God is peace - Ro 14:17-18 -- Therefore, we are to pursue peace with all men - Ro 14:19;12:18 2. How does one "pursue peace with all men"? a. By seeking peace with God first - Prov 16:7 1) We must first make our relationship with God what it ought to be 2) Through Jesus, we can be at peace with God - Ro 5:1 b. Letting the peace of God rule in our hearts - Col 3:15 1) The Lord is able to "give you peace always in every way" - 2Th 3:16 2) How the Lord imparts peace: a) Through His Word - Ps 119:165 b) Through prayer - Php 4:6-7 -- If one is not at peace with himself, it is unlikely he can be at peace with others c. By doing things that make for peace - Ro 14:19 1) Such as being considerate of their conscience - Ro 14:13-21 2) Seeking unity with compassion, love, tenderness, and courtesy; willing to respond to evil or reviling with a blessing - cf. 1Pe 3:8-11 B. HOLINESS, WITHOUT WHICH NO ONE WILL SEE THE LORD... 1. As God is holy, so His children must be holy - 1Pe 1:14-16; 1Th 4:7 2. How can one "pursue holiness..."? a. True holiness (sanctification) comes through: 1) Faith in Jesus - Ac 26:18; cf. He 10:10,14 2) The work of the Holy Spirit - 1Co 6:11; 2Th 2:13; cf. Tit 3:5 3) The Word of God - Jn 17:17,19 b. We cooperate with God in pursuing holiness by: 1) Offering ourselves as "slaves of righteousness" - Ro 6:19-22 2) Perfecting holiness in the fear of God - 2Co 7:1 a) Which includes cleansing ourselves from all "filthiness of the flesh and spirit" - 2Co 7:1 b) Also putting on the "new man...in true righteousness and holiness" - Ep 4:24; cf. Col 3:9-14 [In many respects, this is what the Christian life is all about: pursuing peace and holiness! How successful we are will depend on how diligently we avoid...] III. PITFALLS THAT HINDER OUR PURSUIT (15-17) A. FALLING SHORT OF THE GRACE OF GOD... 1. Without God's grace, none can be saved, pursue peace, or have the holiness necessary to see God! 2. But do Christians need to concern themselves with falling from grace? Consider... a. The warning not to neglect our great salvation - He 2:1-3 b. The warning not to be hardened by sin - He 3:12-14 c. The warning to be diligent - He 4:1,11; cf. 2Pe 1:10 d. The warning against willful sin - He 10:26-31 e. The warning not receive God's grace in vain - 2Co 6:1 f. The warning not to fall from grace - Ga 5:4 g. The warning to "look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for..." - 2Jn 8 -- Indeed, if there were no possibility for one to "fall short of the grace of God", then there would be no need for us to be "looking diligently" 3. For the Christian, however, God's grace can be just a prayer away! - cf. He 4:16 B. LETTING A ROOT OF BITTERNESS TO SPRING UP... 1. Bitterness can be a stumbling block in our pursuit of peace a. It destroys the peace within the person who harbors it (modern medicine has shown that emotions like bitterness and anger can cause problems such as headaches, backaches, allergic disorders, ulcers, high blood pressure, and heart attacks, etc.) b. It can destroy the peace in the congregation where it becomes manifest 2. It also becomes a stumbling block in our pursuit of holiness, for the problems it creates cause many to become "defiled" (unholy) -- If we are going to "make straight paths for your feet", then we need to clip any root of bitterness "in the bud"! C. BECOMING A FORNICATOR OR PROFANE PERSON... 1. Fornication is certainly a pitfall to avoid... a. Fornication is a generic term for any sort of sexual immorality (including pre-marital sex, adultery, homosexuality, etc.) b. It is contrary to God's will regarding our sanctification - 1Th 4:3-8 1) Later, we will read in Hebrews where God will judge fornicators - He 13:4 2) It will keep one out of the kingdom of heaven - 1Co 6:9-10; Ga 5:19-21 -- Therefore, let us "Flee fornication!" - 1Co 6:18 2. We must also not become a "profane person"... a. "A worldly person who profanes holy privileges by placing on them a worldly estimate." (B. W. Johnson) b. One does not have to overtly wicked; they can displease God by simply devaluing that which is important to Him! c. Such was the case with Esau... - cf. Gen 25:29-34 1) There is no indication that he was a fornicator 2) But he was a profane person because he did not proper estimate the value of his birthright 3) Though he later wanted the blessings of the birthright, it was too late; despite his tears, it was too late to change his father's mind ("he found no place for repentance") d. We can become "profane" by devaluing our spiritual blessings... 1) In Christ, we have a spiritual birthright (redemption, fellowship with God, the hope of eternal life) 2) But we can let careers, hobbies, friends, even families, come between us and the things of God -- Are we willing to "sell our birthright" for "one morsel of food"? CONCLUSION 1. As we run the race of faith, peace with others and holiness before God should be our goal 2. To run the race with "style", we need to... a. Get in the proper form (lift the hands, strengthen the knees), helping one another to do so b. Watch out for the pitfalls that can hinder us in our pursuit, such as... 1) Not utilizing God's grace to help you in your race 2) Allowing bitterness to become a stumbling block 3) Becoming a fornicator or profane person As we run this "race", the words of the apostle Paul are appropriate... "Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified." (1Co 9:24-27) Are you running in such a way as to obtain the imperishable crown?
Biomimicry, Butterflies, and Bank Fraud
|by||Eric Lyons, M.Min.|
From cocklebur-inspired Velcro® to robotic lobsters, scientists are increasingly looking to imitate the wonders of life. In the field of biomimicry (derived from the Greek words bios, meaning “life,” and mimesis, meaning “to imitate”) scientists, researchers, and engineers worldwide turn their attention to God’s creation to inspire new, intricately designed, man-made products to improve human life and solve various dilemmas.
Recently, professors Mathias Kolle and Ullrich Baumberg of the University of Cambridge studied the microscopic structures in the wing scales of the Swallowtail butterfly in hopes of mimicking its magnificent colors (see “Vivid...,” 2010). The colors of these tropical butterflies are strikingly bright because of the shape of the microscopic structures and because “they are made up of alternate layers of cuticle and air” (“Vivid...”). Amazingly, Kolle and Baumberg have been successful at making “structurally identical copies of the butterfly scales,” purportedly even with “the same vivid colours as the butterflies’ wings.” How exactly do Kolle and Baumberg believe these “color copies” could be used for the benefit of mankind? They believe the artificial structures “could be used to encrypt information in optical signatures on bank notes or other valuable items to protect them against forgery.... [W]e could see structures based on butterflies’ wings shining from a...note or even our passports.”
It is entirely appropriate for scientists to look to nature for the inspiration of their inventions. After all, “the whole Earth is full of His [God’s] glory” (Isaiah 6:3, emp. added). The infinite, omniscient Creator made marvelous, living creatures, including butterflies, for man to use, study, and learn from in this life (Genesis 1:28). Sadly, many scientists today refuse to consider the most important thing to be learned from all of the animals and plants they study and seek to imitate: they all declare the glory of God. Nature did not assemble itself (as Kolle proposed in his discussion of the Swallowtail butterfly). Mindless matter and the random, chance processes of evolution fail on every account to explain the intricate design of even the smallest of living creatures. The designs in nature that intelligent human beings seek to copy demand an adequate explanation; they demand a grand Designer.
For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God (Hebrews 3:4).For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:20).
“Vivid Colours of Butterflies Could Help Cut Bank Fraud” (2010), The Economic Times, May 31, http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/et-cetera/Vivid-colours-of-butterflies-could-help-cut-bank-fraud/articleshow/5993979.cms.
Biologist Uses His Free Will to Reject Free Will
|by||Kyle Butt, M.Div.|
Anthony Cashmore, biologist at the University of Pennsylvania, recently wrote an article alleging that human free will does not exist. He wrote: “It is my belief that, as more attention is given to the mechanisms that govern human behavior, it will increasingly be seen that the concept of free will is an illusion” (2010). According to Cashmore, you are reading this article because your genes and your environment have forced you to sit in front of your computer. You are not responsible for your decision to read this article, and, based on your alleged evolutionary history and your environment, you could not choose to be doing anything different than what you are doing now. You are literally a slave to your genes and your environment. As Cashmore wrote: “[A]n individual cannot be held responsible for either his genes or his environment. From this simple analysis, surely it follows that individuals cannot logically be held responsible for their behavior” (2010).
A response to such a bizarre claim is certainly warranted. First, it should be noted that the concept of human evolution is patently false (see Harrub and Thompson, 2003). Any attempt to discard free will based on evolutionary scenarios is doomed to failure. Second, it must be stressed that many in the greater scientific community, who hold an evolutionary bias, admit that human consciousness defies naturalistic explanations (Harrub and Thompson, 2003, pp. 247-428). Third, humans possess inherent qualities unlike anything seen in the animal kingdom. This truth testifies to the fact that humans have been stamped in the image of their divine Creator (Lyons and Thompson, 2002a and Lyons and Thompson 2002b). These are just a few of the concepts that militate against Cashmore’s thesis.
The most damaging line of evidence against Cashmore’s proposition is the way in which he attempts to convince his readers of its truth. His five-and-a-half page article argues that our society should disregard the outdated concept that humans are responsible for their behavior. But if Cashmore is right, then there is no way we can disregard the concept, due to the simple fact that we did not choose it in the first place. If humans are not responsible for their beliefs or behaviors, then the generally held concept of free will, that Cashmore is trying to demolish, is nothing more than an evolutionary, environmental by-product. According to Cashmore’s line of thinking, if we believe in free will at the present, and act on that belief, we are not responsible for it. If he is right, why in the world would he attempt to urge the scientific community to change its mind about free will, if the community does not have the power to change its mind? Why spend time and effort arguing against free will, if your audience does not have the freedom to choose to accept or reject your reasoning anyway? The fatal flaw of the “no free will” argument is that it demands that the person making the argument has the free will to do so, and it tacitly assumes the parties evaluating the argument have the power to accept or reject it.
If Cashmore is right, his genes and environment forced him to write the article. All those who read it were equally compelled to do so, and their conclusions about his writing are preprogrammed responses that cannot be otherwise. So, if anyone disagrees with Cashmore’s thesis, using his line of thinking, that person cannot be said to be right or wrong. The most that can be said is that such a person’s genes and environment led him to a different conclusion than Cashmore’s. Yet the fact that Cashmore is writing a “persuasive” piece of literature belies the reality that his thesis cannot be correct.
It is ironic that Cashmore, in his concluding acknowledgements, thanked his colleagues and those who reviewed his manuscript. Yet if he is right, they were not responsible for their behavior, and they had no choice but to help him. Why thank biological organisms that are just stumbling around their environment without a choice in the matter? That would be like an architect thanking the bricks that made a home possible, or a pilot thanking the air for providing lift for his plane. In reality, Cashmore freely chose to write his article, just as I freely chose to respond to it. You freely chose to read this response, and you can and will freely choose how you respond to it. And it is upon the basis of free will that our divine Creator urges us, as free moral agents, to choose to serve Him and live moral lives (Joshua 24:15).
Cashmore, Anthony (2010), “The Lucretian Swerve: The Biological Basis of Human Behavior and the Criminal Justice System,” PNAS, [On-line], URL: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2010/02/04/0915161107.full.pdf+html.
Harrub, Brad and Bert Thompson (2003), The Truth about Human Origins (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Lyons, Eric and Bert Thompson (2002a), “In the ‘Image and Likeness of God,’” Part 1, Reason and Revelation, [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/articles/123.
Lyons, Eric and Bert Thompson (2002b), “In the ‘Image and Likeness of God,’” Part 2, Reason and Revelation, [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/articles/125.
Biological Clocks: Evidence for a Clockmaker
|by||Will Brooks, Ph.D.|
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article was written by A.P. staff scientist Will Brooks, who holds a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.]
If one were to ask a clockmaker, “Could this device have constructed itself?” the reply would most certainly be “No.” Clocks are complex instruments designed to accurately and repeatedly keep time to the millisecond. The complexity reaches all the way down to the system of gears and shafts which drive the instrument. It would be inconceivable even to consider the idea that such an instrument would evolve naturalistically over time, eventually reaching a point when it is ready to keep accurate time without missing a single second. Yet, this is exactly what evolutionists would have us to believe regarding an even more complex instrument, the cell division cycle—our own biological clock. [NOTE: The following discussion of cell division is based on Alberts, et al., 2002.]
The cell division cycle is a coordinated sequence of events that drives the division and reproduction of all cells from the single-celled amoeba to cells in the human body. The complexity and coordination of this cycle is staggering. The cell cycle is divided into four primary phases: G1, S, G2, and M.
G1, or the Gap 1 phase, is the time in which cells carry out all of the normal processes of the cell. Some cells remain in this phase for very long periods of time. But, when appropriate stimuli are encountered by a cell, a round of cell division is triggered. This point of no return is known as the restriction point. Once a cell passes this point, it must complete the entire cell cycle and return once more to G1. After a cell reproduces, it must prepare for the next phase of the cell cycle: S-phase or DNA synthesis phase. This preparation requires activating countless genes and making many new proteins that are used only during this one phase of the cell cycle. Once every component is ready, S-phase may begin.
During the DNA synthesis phase, the cell must make an exact copy of its nuclear DNA. This duplication is important because both new cells that will result from cell division must contain equal and identical copies of the parental cell DNA. One human cell contains roughly four billion base pairs of DNA. Copying all of this DNA without error is no small task, yet the cell does so incessantly.
Following completion of DNA synthesis, the cell enters the second gap phase, G2. During this period, the cell prepares for physical division, which involves the production of a whole new set of proteins. At the same time, all those proteins used during S-phase are degraded, since they are no longer needed, and their presence would only promote more DNA synthesis. After all the proper proteins are made and degraded, the cell is ready for physical separation, which takes place during mitosis or M-phase.
Mitosis involves the separation of chromosomes, followed by the separation of the cell. Human cells have 46 pairs of chromosomes when they enter mitosis. Each pair must be separated in the appropriate way in order for each daughter cell to have two copies of the 23 human chromosomes. Once again, this is no small feat. Even one mistake leads to abnormal chromosome numbers in the daughter cells and is harmful—often lethal—to the cell. Yet, the cell achieves this separation without error over and over. At the conclusion of mitosis, two cells result, each identical to the other. Both cells are now once more in G1-phase, able to enter another round of cell division. This cycle is repeated time after time, like clockwork.
In a physical clock or watch, a system of gears and shafts are designed to keep the clock moving, keeping precise, accurate time. What are the driving forces, the gears and shafts if you will, of the cell division cycle? Our cells have their own mechanism for keeping things moving. Two families of proteins lie at the heart of cell cycle progression. They are called cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks). These two groups of proteins work in a cooperative manner to promote each action that takes place during the cell cycle. How they work to keep the biological clock ticking is amazing!
Cyclin-dependent kinases function as enzymes, with the ability to link a small phosphate group (-PO4-3) onto a variety of proteins. This linkage serves as an “on” switch for the targeted protein. By phosphorylating (linking a phosphate) to proteins in the cell, Cdks work to turn on and off other proteins that play roles in the cell cycle. But, Cdks themselves need an “on switch,” which comes from the cyclin proteins. Cyclins are able to bind to cyclin-dependent kinases in order to form a stable protein complex between the two. Once bound together, Cdks are free to phosphorylate their repertoire of targets to promote all the activities of the cell cycle.
It might seem, then, that all cyclins and Cdks are active all of the time and throughout the cell cycle, but they are not. This is where the clockwork activity of the cell is truly seen. During each phase of the cell cycle (G1, S, G2, and M), a different set of cyclin and Cdk proteins are active. Therefore, each pair of proteins is able to promote only those activities which should occur during a phase. For example, during the DNA synthesis phase (S-phase), only those proteins that play a role in making new DNA are activated. This action prevents the phases from occurring out of order or at the wrong time. But, how is only one pair of cyclin-Cdk proteins active at a time? The answer comes in the form of another cyclical event.
Unlike the Cdk proteins, which are always present in the cell, cyclin proteins come and go in a cyclical manner—which accounts for the name cyclin. Production of these proteins is coordinated with the cell cycle phases. When a cell receives signals to undergo division, the G1-cyclins are expressed by the cell. They then partner with G1-Cdks, which already are present to promote those G1 activities of the cell. Additionally, G1 cyclin-Cdks initiate expression of the next group of cyclins—the S-phase cyclins. Once expressed, S-phase cyclin-Cdk partners promote activities of S-phase and turn on the G2-cyclins. This cycle continues for each phase of the cell cycle. Figure 2 illustrates this feature by showing the levels of S-phase cyclin throughout the cell cycle.
This amazing process of cyclin expression is also coupled with cyclin destruction. Once a new cyclin is present in the cell, the previous cyclin is destroyed, which effectively ends the previous cell cycle phase. This constant repetition of cyclin protein production and destruction is the driving force behind every event in the cell division cycle.
Together, the cell cycle and the cycle of cyclin protein production/destruction are an amazingly designed system of events. Such complexity is inexplicable on the basis of naturalism. In this case, the clockmaker is the intelligent Designer, God. It would be impossible for a six-foot-tall grandfather clock or even a small watch to construct itself gradually and start ticking. Equally impossible, the cell could never appear, ready to “tick” through the highly coordinated process of cell division. Just as clocks are constructed by an intelligent designer, the cell cycle is clear evidence for intelligent design in the Universe.
Alberts, Bruce, et al. (2002), Molecular Biology of the Cell (Oxford: Garland Science).
Published in The Old Paths Archive
The Same God
In recent years we have heard and read an increasing number of statements to the effect that almost everyone is worshipping the same God, although some may call Him Allah, others Jehovah and others by some other name. That is supposed to prove, it seems, that how we worship does not matter, and perhaps all of us have an equal chance of being saved.
The theory is wrong from start to finish, but even if it were right in its basic assumption, the conclusion does not follow. Let us try to clarify.
We wonder if those who make those statements would also continue with that idea that we all worship the same God if we added Baal, Zeus, Pluto, Jupiter and/or Beelzebub. If not, why not? The truth is that even those who claim to worship Jehovah do not really worship the same God, for a great majority of people with whom I talk do not have the God in their mind that I have, revealed in the Bible. The average person has a god that is a sort of grandfather type -- a giant of a man with white hair and benevolent eyes who loves his little children and grandchildren so much that he could not think of punishing them for anything, but is willing to spoil them and grant their every wish. The God I worship is a God that is both loving and just. He has goodness and severity (Rom. 11:22). The real God that is revealed in the Bible is an unknown God to the majority of people.
The Calvinist has a god that created men all of whom are now hereditarily and totally depraved, and arbitrarily determined that some of them are going to heaven and some are going to hell, and the number is so fixed that it cannot be changed by any choice or will or act of man.
The God that I serve made man upright and he sought out many inventions (Eccl. 7:29). He made man with freedom of choice and allows him to make the choice to serve God or Satan (Josh.24:15). It has been said that "God created man in his own image; philosophers have reversed the process; they create god in theirs." It is true, not only of philosophers, but of mankind in general.
It is important to know that the kind of god you believe in will determine, to a large degree, the kind of person you are. It is philosophically, theologically and pragmatically true that one becomes more like that which he adores and worships. Be careful that Jehovah God is your God.
T. Pierce Brown
Bible Reading February 27, 28
World English Bible
Exo 8:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, Go in to Pharaoh, and tell him, "This is what Yahweh says, 'Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exo 8:2 If you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your borders with frogs:
Exo 8:3 and the river shall swarm with frogs, which shall go up and come into your house, and into your bedchamber, and on your bed, and into the house of your servants, and on your people, and into your ovens, and into your kneading troughs:
Exo 8:4 and the frogs shall come up both on you, and on your people, and on all your servants.' "
Exo 8:5 Yahweh said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Stretch forth your hand with your rod over the rivers, over the streams, and over the pools, and cause frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.' "
Exo 8:6 Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up, and covered the land of Egypt.
Exo 8:7 The magicians did in like manner with their enchantments, and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt.
Exo 8:8 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, "Entreat Yahweh, that he take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice to Yahweh."
Exo 8:9 Moses said to Pharaoh, "I give you the honor of setting the time that I should pray for you, and for your servants, and for your people, that the frogs be destroyed from you and your houses, and remain in the river only."
Exo 8:10 He said, "Tomorrow." He said, "Be it according to your word, that you may know that there is none like Yahweh our God.
Exo 8:11 The frogs shall depart from you, and from your houses, and from your servants, and from your people. They shall remain in the river only."
Exo 8:12 Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to Yahweh concerning the frogs which he had brought on Pharaoh.
Exo 8:13 Yahweh did according to the word of Moses, and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courts, and out of the fields.
Exo 8:14 They gathered them together in heaps, and the land stank.
Exo 8:15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart, and didn't listen to them, as Yahweh had spoken.
Exo 8:16 Yahweh said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Stretch out your rod, and strike the dust of the earth, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.' "
Exo 8:17 They did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and struck the dust of the earth, and there were lice on man, and on animal; all the dust of the earth became lice throughout all the land of Egypt.
Exo 8:18 The magicians tried with their enchantments to bring forth lice, but they couldn't. There were lice on man, and on animal.
Exo 8:19 Then the magicians said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God:" and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he didn't listen to them; as Yahweh had spoken.
Exo 8:20 Yahweh said to Moses, "Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh; behold, he comes forth to the water; and tell him, 'This is what Yahweh says, "Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exo 8:21 Else, if you will not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies on you, and on your servants, and on your people, and into your houses: and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of flies, and also the ground whereon they are.
Exo 8:22 I will set apart in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end you may know that I am Yahweh in the midst of the earth.
Exo 8:23 I will put a division between my people and your people: by tomorrow shall this sign be." ' "
Exo 8:24 Yahweh did so; and there came grievous swarms of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants' houses: and in all the land of Egypt the land was corrupted by reason of the swarms of flies.
Exo 8:25 Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, "Go, sacrifice to your God in the land!"
Exo 8:26 Moses said, "It isn't appropriate to do so; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to Yahweh our God. Behold, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and won't they stone us?
Exo 8:27 We will go three days' journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to Yahweh our God, as he shall command us."
Exo 8:28 Pharaoh said, "I will let you go, that you may sacrifice to Yahweh your God in the wilderness, only you shall not go very far away. Pray for me."
Exo 8:29 Moses said, "Behold, I go out from you, and I will pray to Yahweh that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people, tomorrow; only don't let Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more in not letting the people go to sacrifice to Yahweh."
Exo 8:30 Moses went out from Pharaoh, and prayed to Yahweh.
Exo 8:31 Yahweh did according to the word of Moses, and he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. There remained not one.
Exo 8:32 Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also, and he didn't let the people go.
Exo 9:1 Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh, and tell him, 'This is what Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, says: "Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exo 9:2 For if you refuse to let them go, and hold them still,
Exo 9:3 behold, the hand of Yahweh is on your livestock which are in the field, on the horses, on the donkeys, on the camels, on the herds, and on the flocks with a very grievous pestilence.
Exo 9:4 Yahweh will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt; and there shall nothing die of all that belongs to the children of Israel." ' "
Exo 9:5 Yahweh appointed a set time, saying, "Tomorrow Yahweh shall do this thing in the land."
Exo 9:6 Yahweh did that thing on the next day; and all the livestock of Egypt died, but of the livestock of the children of Israel, not one died.
Exo 9:7 Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not so much as one of the livestock of the Israelites dead. But the heart of Pharaoh was stubborn, and he didn't let the people go.
Exo 9:8 Yahweh said to Moses and to Aaron, "Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the sky in the sight of Pharaoh.
Exo 9:9 It shall become small dust over all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with boils on man and on animal, throughout all the land of Egypt."
Exo 9:10 They took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward the sky; and it became a boil breaking forth with boils on man and on animal.
Exo 9:11 The magicians couldn't stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boils were on the magicians, and on all the Egyptians.
Exo 9:12 Yahweh hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he didn't listen to them, as Yahweh had spoken to Moses.
Exo 9:13 Yahweh said to Moses, "Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and tell him, 'This is what Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, says: "Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exo 9:14 For this time I will send all my plagues against your heart, against your officials, and against your people; that you may know that there is none like me in all the earth.
Exo 9:15 For now I would have put forth my hand, and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth;
Exo 9:16 but indeed for this cause I have made you stand: to show you my power, and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth;
Exo 9:17 as you still exalt yourself against my people, that you won't let them go.
Exo 9:18 Behold, tomorrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as has not been in Egypt since the day it was founded even until now.
Exo 9:19 Now therefore command that all of your livestock and all that you have in the field be brought into shelter. Every man and animal that is found in the field, and isn't brought home, the hail shall come down on them, and they shall die." ' "
Exo 9:20 Those who feared the word of Yahweh among the servants of Pharaoh made their servants and their livestock flee into the houses.
Exo 9:21 Whoever didn't regard the word of Yahweh left his servants and his livestock in the field.
Exo 9:22 Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch forth your hand toward the sky, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, on man, and on animal, and on every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt."
Exo 9:23 Moses stretched forth his rod toward the heavens, and Yahweh sent thunder, hail, and lightning flashed down to the earth. Yahweh rained hail on the land of Egypt.
Exo 9:24 So there was very severe hail, and lightning mixed with the hail, such as had not been in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
Exo 9:25 The hail struck throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and animal; and the hail struck every herb of the field, and broke every tree of the field.
Exo 9:26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail.
Exo 9:27 Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, "I have sinned this time. Yahweh is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.
Exo 9:28 Pray to Yahweh; for there has been enough of mighty thunderings and hail. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer."
Exo 9:29 Moses said to him, "As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands to Yahweh. The thunders shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that you may know that the earth is Yahweh's.
Exo 9:30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you don't yet fear Yahweh God."
Exo 9:31 The flax and the barley were struck, for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was in bloom.
Exo 9:32 But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they had not grown up.
Exo 9:33 Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands to Yahweh; and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured on the earth.
Exo 9:34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.
Exo 9:35 The heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he didn't let the children of Israel go, just as Yahweh had spoken through Moses.
Exo 10:1 Yahweh said to Moses, "Go in to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I may show these my signs in the midst of them,
Exo 10:2 and that you may tell in the hearing of your son, and of your son's son, what things I have done to Egypt, and my signs which I have done among them; that you may know that I am Yahweh."
Exo 10:3 Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and said to him, "This is what Yahweh, the God of the Hebrews, says: 'How long will you refuse to humble yourself before me? Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Exo 10:4 Or else, if you refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow I will bring locusts into your country,
Exo 10:5 and they shall cover the surface of the earth, so that one won't be able to see the earth. They shall eat the residue of that which has escaped, which remains to you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which grows for you out of the field.
Exo 10:6 Your houses shall be filled, and the houses of all your servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; as neither your fathers nor your fathers' fathers have seen, since the day that they were on the earth to this day.' " He turned, and went out from Pharaoh.
Exo 10:7 Pharaoh's servants said to him, "How long will this man be a snare to us? Let the men go, that they may serve Yahweh, their God. Don't you yet know that Egypt is destroyed?"
Exo 10:8 Moses and Aaron were brought again to Pharaoh, and he said to them, "Go, serve Yahweh your God; but who are those who will go?"
Exo 10:9 Moses said, "We will go with our young and with our old; with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast to Yahweh."
Exo 10:10 He said to them, "Yahweh be with you if I will let you go with your little ones! See, evil is clearly before your faces.
Exo 10:11 Not so! Go now you who are men, and serve Yahweh; for that is what you desire!" They were driven out from Pharaoh's presence.
Exo 10:12 Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up on the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail has left."
Exo 10:13 Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and Yahweh brought an east wind on the land all that day, and all the night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.
Exo 10:14 The locusts went up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the borders of Egypt. They were very grievous. Before them there were no such locusts as they, neither after them shall be such.
Exo 10:15 For they covered the surface of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened, and they ate every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees which the hail had left. There remained nothing green, either tree or herb of the field, through all the land of Egypt.
Exo 10:16 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste, and he said, "I have sinned against Yahweh your God, and against you.
Exo 10:17 Now therefore please forgive my sin again, and pray to Yahweh your God, that he may also take away from me this death."
Exo 10:18 He went out from Pharaoh, and prayed to Yahweh.
Exo 10:19 Yahweh turned an exceeding strong west wind, which took up the locusts, and drove them into the Red Sea. There remained not one locust in all the borders of Egypt.
Exo 10:20 But Yahweh hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he didn't let the children of Israel go.
Exo 10:21 Yahweh said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt."
Exo 10:22 Moses stretched forth his hand toward the sky, and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.
Exo 10:23 They didn't see one another, neither did anyone rise from his place for three days; but all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.
Exo 10:24 Pharaoh called to Moses, and said, "Go, serve Yahweh. Only let your flocks and your herds stay behind. Let your little ones also go with you."
Exo 10:25 Moses said, "You must also give into our hand sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to Yahweh our God.
Exo 10:26 Our livestock also shall go with us. There shall not a hoof be left behind, for of it we must take to serve Yahweh our God; and we don't know with what we must serve Yahweh, until we come there."
Exo 10:27 But Yahweh hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he wouldn't let them go.
Exo 10:28 Pharaoh said to him, "Get away from me! Be careful to see my face no more; for in the day you see my face you shall die!"
Exo 10:29 Moses said, "You have spoken well. I will see your face again no more."
Mar 1:1 The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Mar 1:2 As it is written in the prophets, "Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.
Mar 1:3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make ready the way of the Lord! Make his paths straight!' "
Mar 1:4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching the baptism of repentance for forgiveness of sins.
Mar 1:5 All the country of Judea and all those of Jerusalem went out to him. They were baptized by him in the Jordan river, confessing their sins.
Mar 1:6 John was clothed with camel's hair and a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
Mar 1:7 He preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and loosen.
Mar 1:8 I baptized you in water, but he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit."
Mar 1:9 It happened in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
Mar 1:10 Immediately coming up from the water, he saw the heavens parting, and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.
Mar 1:11 A voice came out of the sky, "You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
Mar 1:12 Immediately the Spirit drove him out into the wilderness.
Mar 1:13 He was there in the wilderness forty days tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals; and the angels were serving him.
Mar 1:14 Now after John was taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Good News of the Kingdom of God,
Mar 1:15 and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand! Repent, and believe in the Good News."
Mar 1:16 Passing along by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.
Mar 1:17 Jesus said to them, "Come after me, and I will make you into fishers for men."
Mar 1:18 Immediately they left their nets, and followed him.
Mar 1:19 Going on a little further from there, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets.
Mar 1:20 Immediately he called them, and they left their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired servants, and went after him.
Mar 1:21 They went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath day he entered into the synagogue and taught.
Mar 1:22 They were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as having authority, and not as the scribes.
Mar 1:23 Immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out,
Mar 1:24 saying, "Ha! What do we have to do with you, Jesus, you Nazarene? Have you come to destroy us? I know you who you are: the Holy One of God!"
Mar 1:25 Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!"
Mar 1:26 The unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.
Mar 1:27 They were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching? For with authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him!"
Mar 1:28 The report of him went out immediately everywhere into all the region of Galilee and its surrounding area.
Mar 1:29 Immediately, when they had come out of the synagogue, they came into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
Mar 1:30 Now Simon's wife's mother lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told him about her.
Mar 1:31 He came and took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she served them.
Mar 1:32 At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to him all who were sick, and those who were possessed by demons.
Mar 1:33 All the city was gathered together at the door.
Mar 1:34 He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. He didn't allow the demons to speak, because they knew him.
Mar 1:35 Early in the morning, while it was still dark, he rose up and went out, and departed into a deserted place, and prayed there.
Mar 1:36 Simon and those who were with him followed after him;
Mar 1:37 and they found him, and told him, "Everyone is looking for you."
Mar 1:38 He said to them, "Let's go elsewhere into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because I came out for this reason."
Mar 1:39 He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out demons.
Mar 1:40 A leper came to him, begging him, kneeling down to him, and saying to him, "If you want to, you can make me clean."
Mar 1:41 Being moved with compassion, he stretched out his hand, and touched him, and said to him, "I want to. Be made clean."
Mar 1:42 When he had said this, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was made clean.
Mar 1:43 He strictly warned him, and immediately sent him out,
Mar 1:44 and said to him, "See you say nothing to anybody, but go show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing the things which Moses commanded, for a testimony to them."
Mar 1:45 But he went out, and began to proclaim it much, and to spread about the matter, so that Jesus could no more openly enter into a city, but was outside in desert places: and they came to him from everywhere.
Mar 2:1 When he entered again into Capernaum after some days, it was heard that he was in the house.
Mar 2:2 Immediately many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even around the door; and he spoke the word to them.
Mar 2:3 Four people came, carrying a paralytic to him.
Mar 2:4 When they could not come near to him for the crowd, they removed the roof where he was. When they had broken it up, they let down the mat that the paralytic was lying on.
Mar 2:5 Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven you."
Mar 2:6 But there were some of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,
Mar 2:7 "Why does this man speak blasphemies like that? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
Mar 2:8 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you reason these things in your hearts?
Mar 2:9 Which is easier, to tell the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven;' or to say, 'Arise, and take up your bed, and walk?'
Mar 2:10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -he said to the paralytic-
Mar 2:11 "I tell you, arise, take up your mat, and go to your house."
Mar 2:12 He arose, and immediately took up the mat, and went out in front of them all; so that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"
Mar 2:13 He went out again by the seaside. All the multitude came to him, and he taught them.
Mar 2:14 As he passed by, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting at the tax office, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he arose and followed him.
Mar 2:15 It happened, that he was reclining at the table in his house, and many tax collectors and sinners sat down with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many, and they followed him.
Mar 2:16 The scribes and the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, "Why is it that he eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?"
Mar 2:17 When Jesus heard it, he said to them, "Those who are healthy have no need for a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Mar 2:18 John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, and they came and asked him, "Why do John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don't fast?"
Mar 2:19 Jesus said to them, "Can the groomsmen fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they can't fast.
Mar 2:20 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then will they fast in that day.
Mar 2:21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, or else the patch shrinks and the new tears away from the old, and a worse hole is made.
Mar 2:22 No one puts new wine into old wineskins, or else the new wine will burst the skins, and the wine pours out, and the skins will be destroyed; but they put new wine into fresh wineskins."
Mar 2:23 It happened that he was going on the Sabbath day through the grain fields, and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of grain.
Mar 2:24 The Pharisees said to him, "Behold, why do they do that which is not lawful on the Sabbath day?"
Mar 2:25 He said to them, "Did you never read what David did, when he had need, and was hungry-he, and those who were with him?
Mar 2:26 How he entered into the house of God when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the show bread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and gave also to those who were with him?"
Mar 2:27 He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
Mar 2:28 Therefore the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath."