12/30/20

Belief in God and “Gut Feelings” by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2467

Belief in God and “Gut Feelings”

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

In September of this year, Stephanie Pappas wrote an article for LiveScience titled, “Belief in God Boils Down to a Gut Feeling.” In that article, she explained that researchers from Harvard University recently “discovered” that people who are more apt to trust their first intuitions are more likely to believe in God than those people who stop and reflect on those intuitions. In order to test this idea, the researchers gave participants a math test that consisted of three problems with questions such as: “A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?” (Pappas, 2011). As Pappas explained, the intuitive answer is 10 cents, but that is wrong. Those who gave answers such as 10 cents, instead of the correct answer of 5 cents for the test were “one-and-a-half times more likely to believe in God than those who got all the answers right” (Pappas, emp. added). Using this and other test results, the researchers concluded that intuitive thinkers, or those who follow their gut feelings, are more likely to believe in God than more reflective types. David Rand, one of the researchers, stated: “It’s not that one way is better than the other. Intuitions are important and reflection is important, and you want some balance of the two. Where you are on that spectrum affects how you come out in terms of belief in God” (Pappas).

Now let us take a critical look at what is really going on with this most recent Harvard “study.” First, why do you think LiveScience is reporting on a study about belief in God? Do you think it is because the scientific community has had a sudden change of heart and now believes the concept of God to be one that can be verified scientifically? Of course not. On the contrary, this “study” is in LiveScience in an attempt to reduce belief in God to a function of a certain type of brain chemistry or thought process—and an inferior one at that. Notice that David Rand concludes that “where you are on the spectrum affects how you come out in terms of belief in God.” If it so happens that you are an intuitive thinker, then you do not really control whether you believe in God or not, it is just that your thinking is more open to the possibility. If you are a more “reflective” thinker, then there is a good chance you cannot help your lack of a belief in God; it is just the way you think. In other words, belief in God is a function of your physical chemistry (an ultimately evolution) rather than your God-given ability to rationally make a choice.

Furthermore, notice that while the researchers were quick to say that one way of thinking is not superior to the other, it was the “intuitive” thinkers who got the very simple math problems wrong, and those are the people who tend to believe in God more. Observe the implied deficiency associated with a belief in God. Those who are more likely to believe in God cannot even answer simple math problems. It should be noted that this “study” was of an extremely small group of people and had no substantial “scientific” information to add to the question about belief in God.

Unfortunately, it is true that many in the religious world erroneously believe in God due to emotions and feelings rather than reason and evidence. True biblical faith is not founded on personal feelings and emotions, instead it is based on reflection (i.e., reason and evidence, 1 Thessalonians 5:21). While the Harvard study may hint at how some people in the religious world come to belief in God, the study fails to account for those whose faith is legitimate—being based on reflection of the evidence. Further, in the same way that many believe in God based on “intuition” rather than “reflection,” a fair assessment would be to note that there are just as many people who fail to believe in God because they are unwilling to draw the conclusions that come from proper reflection of the evidence (e.g., design in the Universe, causality, etc.). An appropriate counter study to this Harvard research, which would provide a more complete picture of the truth, would be to determine how many do not believe in God because of an inherent bias against Him (due, for instance, to some event in their past or a desire to live without moral restraint) and/or because those individuals have a tendency in their lives to not draw appropriate conclusions that are warranted by the evidence (in contradiction to the Law of Rationality; Ruby, 1960, pp. 126-127).

Attempts by the atheistic scientific community to reduce belief in God to genetics, brain cells, digestion, or the color of a person’s eyes are legion—and all equally unsuccessful. The bottom line is that belief in God will never be successfully linked to any physical trait, pattern of brain cells, genetic variation, and certainly not to a method of reasoning that causes a person to miss simple math problems. On the contrary, all those who sincerely desire to use proper reasoning (Acts 26:24) to follow the truth where it leads (John 18:37), will arrive at the correct conclusion that God exists (Miller, 2011). If people do not believe in God, it is not because of their genes or their “reflective” capacities; it is because they have refused to properly assess the evidence that God has provided. Sadly, those people will be “without excuse” on the Day of Judgment (Romans 1:20).

REFERENCES

Miller, Dave (2011), “Is Christianity Rational?” http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=977.

Pappas, Stephani (2011), “Belief in God Boils Down to a Gut Feeling,” LiveScience, http://news.yahoo.com/belief-god-boils-down-gut-feeling-104403461.html.

Ruby, Lionel (1960), Logic: An Introduction (Chicago, IL: J.B. Lippincott).

Bee Flight Physics by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=813

Bee Flight Physics

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

In 1934, using mathematical calculations, French entomologist August Magnan concluded that bee flight was aerodynamically impossible. The haphazard flapping of their wings simply should not enable bees to fly. The mystery that has perplexed scientists ever since (due to inadequate understanding of aerodynamic theory) is now believed to have been clarified. Using high-speed digital cameras and a giant robotic model of a bee wing, bioengineers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Nevada at Las Vegas have been studying honeybee flight in an effort to determine how bees fly (Alt­shuler, et al., 2005). They discovered that bees operate with the same basic aerodynamic principles that facilitate flight capability in other flying creatures, including velocity, wing stroke amplitude, stroke reversals, wingbeat frequency, and wing length. They simply utilize these principles in different proportions and combinations.

Why? Why would bees operate on altered aerodynamic principles? The scientists do not know. They speculate that since bees consume floral nectar, they possess “excess power available for ecologically useful but aerodynamically expensive behaviors” (102[50]:18218). Observe that “ecologically useful” implies that bee flight is specifically suited to bee activity—which is another way to say that a bee is strategically and deliberately designed to fulfill its function efficiently. The scientists compare honeybees to hummingbirds “that are able to forage for high-energy nectar rewards by using more energetically demanding flight” (102[50]:18218, emp. added). In other words, the use of adjusted aerodynamic principles is not due to alleged inherited evolutionary inefficiency; rather, it is the result of deliberate design calculated to achieve different objectives and accommodate different purposes. Hummingbirds do not fly like sparrows—because they are not sparrows! And bees do not fly like mosquitoes—because they are not mosquitoes! Each flying creature’s flight capabilities are specifically suited to accommodate its created purpose and function.

Do bees have any specific needs in order to accomplish their peculiar functions? Yes, and the scientists, themselves, offer the following: “Honeybees and other hymenopterans [the order of insects that includes bees, wasps, and ants—DM] need to carry much heavier loads that may actually exceed body mass in numerous contexts, including undertaking, prey transport, and foraging for nectar or pollen” (102[50]:18218). Again, in other words, bee flight is specifically designed to accommodate the tasks that bees perform. But design demands a designer! Design requires an intelligence that exceeds the blind, mechanistic forces of nature.

Here is the conclusion set forth by the researchers:

In conclusion, our analysis of honeybee aerodynamics reveals how the rapid low-amplitude wing motion of bees is sufficient to maintain the weight of the animal. [We knew that—DM.] Furthermore, honeybees exhibit considerable ability to generate excess aerodynamic power, which they accomplish by raising stroke amplitude while maintaining constant frequency. This ability may be related to requirements of social insects to carry loads related to foraging, undertaking, and brood transport (102[50]:18218, emp. added).

Notice: the bee deliberately generates extra aerodynamic power. Why? The scientists speculate that it is due to the bee’s need to carry out its social duties—the requirements it possesses due to its place in the insect social order. My friend, such a circumstance has intelligent design written all over it. Such complexity, such design, such planning, and such purpose could not have happened without a Mind. That Mind is none other than the God of the Bible:

Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power.... For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the Lord, and there is no other” (Isaiah 40:26; 45:18).

You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created (Revelation 4:11).

REFERENCE

Altshuler, Douglas L., William B. Dickson, Jason T. Vance, Stephen P. Roberts, and Michael H. Dickinson (2005), “Short-Amplitude High-Frequency Wing Strokes Determine the Aerodynamics of Honeybee Flight,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 102[50]:18213-18218, December 13.

Bat “Vision” by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1450

Bat “Vision”

by  Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

Bats often fly speedily through stalactite-filled caves and seemingly impenetrable wooded areas. For bats, one wrong move or turn can mean serious injury or death. Contrary to popular opinion, most bats possess at least decent vision. However, bats’ hearing is so sensitive that, for navigational purposes, bats use their ears more than their eyes. Bats are capable of emitting a sound that humans cannot hear. Some species use this very high-pitched, shrill tone when flying to determine what is in front of them (see “Echolocation,” n.d.). The sound bounces off objects in a bat’s path, and the bat hears the echo. Amazingly, the bat is able to determine precisely the direction he should fly in order to avoid smashing into the looming object. This process is referred to as “echolocation.” Bats also use echolocation to find food, especially flying insects.

Bats make this sound from a few, to two hundred, times per second. Do not confuse this sound with the squeaky noise you hear when you stand next to the bat exhibit at your local zoo. That noise is made by bats when they are frustrated, excited, or mating. Bats use different sounds, along with their large ears, to perform echolocation. Scientists use bat detectors to transpose the sounds to a lower frequency—one that humans can hear (see “California Underground...,” 1999). Not all bats, however, use echolocation; approximately 200 species of fruit bats in Africa, Asia, and Australia have larger eyes and are able to use their sharp vision to quickly negotiate obstacles.

Other animals, including dolphins and orca and beluga whales, use echolocation under water, like sonar signals (see “Echolocation”). The process of echolocation also has been observed in terrestrial mammals such as rodents, insectivores, Megachiroptera, and in nocturnal cave-dwelling oil birds and cave swiftlets (see Uy, 1994, p. 1; Blackshear, n.d., p. 1.). In addition, scientific research over the past fifty years has revealed that the auditory system is a major tool employed by blind humans as a means of perception.

Did the complex auditory and navigation systems of bats evolve, as many would have us believe?

REFERENCES

Blackshear, Jim (no date), “A Research Proposal: Echolocation—How Can We Best Teach It?,” Stephen F. Austin State University, [On-line], URL: http://hubel.sfasu.edu/courseinfo/SL02/jb2echolocation.htm.

“California Underground: Bat Echolocation Station” (1999), Oakland Museum of California, [On-line], URL: http://www.museumca.org/caves/onli_echo.html.

“Echolocation” (no date), National Parks Conservation Association, [On-line], URL: http://www.eparks.org/wildlife_protection/wildlife_facts/bats/echolocation.asp.

Uy, Christine (1994), “ ‘Seeing’ Sounds: Echolocation by Blind Humans,” ed. Bridget Wagner, Tony Chen, Harvard Undergraduate Society for Neuroscience, [On-line], URL: http://hcs.harvard.edu/husn/BRAIN/vol1/echo.html.

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" Jesus Calms The Storm (4:35-41) by Mark Copeland

 

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

              Jesus Calms The Storm (4:35-41)

INTRODUCTION

1. Following a day full of teaching activity...
   a. Jesus and His disciples got in a boat to sail across the Sea of Galilee - Mk 4:35-36
   b. A windstorm arose, beating waves into the boat - Mk 4:37
   c. Jesus was sleeping, but was wakened by His disciples fearing their lives - Mk 4:38
   d. Jesus rebuked the wind and calmed the seas - Mk 4:39
   e. He then reproached His disciples for their fear and lack of faith- Mk 4:40
   f. Filled with great fear, His disciples expressed their awe of Jesus to one another - Mk 4:41

2. The account of Jesus calming the storm is well-known...
   a. Popular in many children's Bible classes
   b. The setting for the song "Master, The Tempest Is Raging"

[Many sermons and lessons have been based on this amazing miracle of
Jesus.  In this sermon, we shall touch on just a few lessons that can be
gleaned from this event, beginning with the fact that...]

I. WE ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM STORMS

   A. WE FACE STORMS BECAUSE WE ARE HUMANS...
      1. Being Jesus' disciples did not protect them from storms
      2. We live in a world where there are many storms, both literal and figurative
      3. Christians experience literal tornados, hurricanes, just like everyone else
      4. Christians likewise face storms such as sickness, accidents, disappointments, death
      5. Paul certainly experience the perils of storms and shipwrecks- 2Co 11:25-26
      -- Jesus does not promise exemption from the normal storms of life

   B. WE FACE STORMS BECAUSE WE ARE CHRISTIANS...
      1. Jesus warned that we will experience tribulation as His disciples - Jn 16:33
      2. Paul did, and warned his fellow disciples - 2Co 11:24-25; Ac14:22; 2Ti 3:12
      3. Peter wrote that we should not be surprised - 1Pe 4:12
      -- Jesus does not promise exemption from the storms of religious persecution

[So if we find ourselves in the midst of storms, whether literal or
figurative, whether its because we are simply humans or because we are
Christians, do not think it strange.  Instead take heart knowing that...]

II. JESUS HELPS US DEAL WITH STORMS

   A. THROUGH FAITH...
      1. During storms, we are often afraid ("we are perishing!") - Mk  4:38
      2. Jesus teaches that fear is indicative of a lack of faith - Mk 4:40
      3. To overcome fear in storms, we need to grow in faith!
         a. Faith that God will protect us if it be His will - cf. Ps 46:1-3
         b. Faith that God will deliver us to His heavenly city even if we die - Ps 46:4-5,10-11
      -- Jesus reveals the role of faith in the midst of storms

   B. THROUGH HIS WORD...
      1. Jesus' words prepare us to withstand the storms of life - Mt 7:24-27
      2. How to pray in order to be heard by God - Mt 6:5-8
      3. To lay up treasure in heaven instead of on earth - Mt 6:19-21
      4. To seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness - Mt 6:31-34
      -- Jesus shares the secrets to standing strong against the storms of life

   C. THROUGH PRAYER...
      1. Jesus is key to receiving mercy and grace to help in time of need - He 4:14-16; 7:25
      2. In anxious times, God offers peace to guard our hearts and
         minds in Christ Jesus through prayer - Php 4:6-7
      -- Jesus stands ready to calm our hearts and minds when facing storms

   D. THROUGH HIS SACRIFICE...
      1. The greatest "storm" all of us will face will be the Day of Judgment - 2Pe 3:7,10-12
      2. A day in which we will all stand before the judgment seat of Christ - 2Co 5:10
      3. But Christ shed His blood to spare us on that Day - Ro 5:6-10
      4. By obeying the gospel, we can have our names added to the
         Lamb's book of life and escape condemnation for our sins - cf.
         Mk 16:15-16; Ac 2:38; Re 20:11-15
      -- Jesus stands ready to save us and protect us from the "perfect storm" to come

CONCLUSION

1. Everyone will face one or more storms in his or her life...
   a. Whether literally or metaphorically
   b. Whether atheist or believer

2. How shall we react when the time(s) come...?
   a. Shall we cry out like the disciples who were weak in faith ("we are perishing!")?
   b. Or shall we weather the storms with confident faith and calm repose?

3. And how shall we stand on when the final storm comes...?
   a. The "perfect storm", that is, the Day of Judgment?
   b. Shall we hear Jesus say, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit
      the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world"? - cf. Mt 25:34
   c. Or will we hear Him say, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the
      everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels"? - cf. Mt 25:41

When Jesus rebuked the wind and spoke to the sea, "Peace, be still", the
wind ceased and there was a great calm.  The disciples, with fear and amazement, said:

      "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?"

The wind and the sea obeyed Jesus.  Shall we not obey Him who now has
all authority in heaven and on earth...? - cf. Mt 28:18-20  
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Eliminate any Hint of Sexual Impropriety by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

https://thepreachersword.com/2017/06/02/eliminate-any-hint-of-sexual-impropriety/

Eliminate any Hint of Sexual Impropriety

In her book, Settle For More, Megyn Kelly relates a time early in her broadcasting career about a rumor regarding her relationship with Britt Hume, her boss and  managing editor of the DC bureau of Fox News.

Radar Online started the story. Kelly was called a “Hume wrecker.” And she was furious. Megyn wrote that there was no romantic relationship between the two of them–“not a single inappropriate or even borderline moment, ever.”

The next day Hume came into Kelly’s office with a “half-cocked grin” and asked, “Have you seen Radar?”

Kelly was not amused. She feared people would assume the worse. But Hume replied, “They won’t. Because we didn’t have an affair.” Then he offered this insightful answer.

“Therefore, there will never be proof of an affair. There will never be a text, a photograph, a phone bill, a doorman, a driver, an email, or anything whatsoever that suggests an affair. And people will come to see that it’s a lie.”

Hume’s reasoning was right. Later the person who began the vicious rumor was found and fired from their job.

This story reminds me of the Bible warning regarding sexual purity in Ephesians 5:3. “But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.”

Did you get it?

“Not even a hint.”

In a world that winks at loose morals, it’s too easy for Christians to become influenced by what our culture approves, instead of what God commands. While the Bible condemns fornication, adultery and homosexual behavior, it also warns us against lust, lewdness, and lasciviousness. (Gal. 5:19-21). These are called “the works of the flesh.”

We are to have nothing to do with thoughts, fantasies, or actions that even suggest impurity. Sexual purity is more, much more than just refraining from illicit sexual relationships. It begins in the mind. In the heart.

Jesus said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man…” (Matt 15:19-20)

The challenge is that we can deceive ourselves. Yes, even our own heart. The prophet Jeremiah warned, “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?” (Jer 17:9). Even a religious person can deceive their own heart.” (Jas 1:26).

So, Jeremiah asked the Lord to search his heart and test his mind. (Jer 17:10). What would happen, if the Lord did that to us and then sent us a text message with the results for us to read? Would there be any hint of impurity?

A quick glance?

A curious peek?

An indecent thought?

A flirtatious gesture?

A secret internet site?

A hidden magazine?

An amorous email?

A titillating text message?

A teasing wink?

A coy smile?

An unholy hug?

An erotic novel?

An obscene joke?

A bawdy movie?

An off-color remark?

A racy TV show?

“Be not conformed to the world,” (Rom. 12:1), is not a suggestion. It’s a command. If we’re really honest, it’s tough. Difficult. And demanding. But not impossible.

“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold,” as J. B. Phillips paraphrases this passage. Then he writes, “Let God re-mold your minds from within.”

That’s the answer to overcoming any hint of impurity. A heart directed by God. Divine mind control. Inner spiritual strength.

When there’s no hint of impropriety, rumors are quickly expelled. Lies are exposed. Our character is exonerated. And God is exalted.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


IT MUST BE FALSE by steve finnell

 

https://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2017/01/

IT MUST BE FALSE by steve finnell


If the majority disbelieves it, then it must be false. There are over 7 billion people in the world and only 2.2 billion believe that Jesus is the Son of God, does it mean it is false to say Jesus is the Son of God? No, it does not. Why would anyone place their belief on majority opinion?

Of the 2.2 billion who claim Jesus as Lord and Savior the majority do not believe in the New Testament terms for pardon, does that make God's terms for pardon untrue? No, it does not.

Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. (NASB)

The majority of believers in Christ do not believe what Jesus said in Mark 16:16, does that make it false doctrine?

Example: Many say you do not have to be baptized in water to be saved.

Example: Many say you can be saved and have your sins forgiven before you believe; because as an unbelieving infant you were baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and added to the body of Christ.

All non-believers and most believers in Christ deny God's terms for pardon.
1. Faith, John 3:16
2. Repentance, Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Luke 24:47
3. Confession, Romans 10:9, Acts 8:36-37
4. Immersion in water, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, Colossians 2:11-13, Galatians 3:27, Romans 6:3-7, 1 Peter 3:20-21, John 3:5, Ephesians 5:25-27, Titus 3:5

DOES DENYING GOD'S TERMS FOR PARDON MAKE THEM FALSE DOCTRINE? 

SECOND PETER by Paul Southern

 

 
https://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Southern/Paul/1901/peter2.html

SECOND PETER

  1. THE TITLE
  2. This book bears the name of the writer (1:1), and is the second of two general epistles by Peter (3:1).

  3. THE WRITER
  4. For information concerning Peter, the student is referred to the outline of I Peter, and to Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias.

  5. THE ONES ADDRESSED
  6. The letter is addressed to "them that have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and the Savior Jesus Christ" (1:1). However, the immediate recipients of this epistle were the same people who received Peter's first letter, "sojourners of the dispersion," or Jewish Christians scattered abroad in the five provinces named in I Peter 1:1.

  7. TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING
  8. We have no definite information concerning the time and place of writing. Conservative estimates set the date around A.D. 67 or 68. Some scholars conclude from II Peter 1:13-16 that Peter's death was imminent. Although the epistle makes no direct reference to its point of origin, many commentators hold that Peter wrote it from Rome just before he died.

  9. OCCASION FOR THE LETTER
  10. The libertines and mockers, two classes of false teachers within the church, were causing considerable difficulty. This letter warns the church against them, and exhorts Christians to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (II Peter 3:18). The plea for steadfastness is prominent, in view of numerous heretics threatening the spiritual life of the saints.

  11. A COMPARISON WITH I PETER
  12. A comparison of the Petrine Epistles reveals some interesting points. In I Peter the persecutions were from without, whereas II Peter reveals internal troubles. The first epistle often refers to the suffering, death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. Second Peter fails to mention these. The spirit of the first letter is that of sweetness and mildness. The underlying tone in II Peter shows severity, anxiety, denunciation. In I Peter the second coming of Jesus is connected with the reward of the faithful saints, whereas in II Peter it is linked with the doom of sinners. The key-note of I Peter is hope; of II Peter, knowledge.

  13. EXERCISES FOR STUDENT ACTIVITY
    1. True-False
      1. Man must have a special revelation to know God's will T F
      2. Peter wrote three general epistles T F
      3. Second Peter was written from Ephesus T F
      4. The key-note of II Peter is knowledge T F
      5. The spirit of II Peter manifests sweetness and mildness T F
      6. II Peter links Christ's return with the happiness of Christians T F
      7. II Peter tells of internal church trouble T F
      8. II Peter mentions the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ T F
      9. II Peter names seven Christian graces T F
      10. A child of God can fall from grace T F
      11. II Peter shows the author anticipated an imminent death T F
      12. Jesus predicted Peter's martyrdom T F
      13. Peter witnessed the transfiguration of Christ T F
      14. The apostle Peter is our day-star T F
      15. All false teachers are cowards T F
      16. All false teachers will be punished T F
      17. A dumb ass had more sense than Balaam T F
      18. Mockers walk in the footsteps of Christ T F
      19. Jehovah counts time by years T F
      20. The Lord will announce the day of His coming T F

    2. Topics for further study
      1. Study the points of similarity and the points of difference in First and Second Peter.
      2. Characterize false teachers as they are presented in II Peter.
      3. What is meant by the expression, "cast them down to hell (tartarus)"? (2:4).
      4. What interpretation do Roman Catholics place on II Peter 1:20?
      5. Characterize the libertines and mockers discussed in II Peter.
      6. Give Peter's description of the dissolution of the physical universe.
      7. Since we treasure the dying counsels of great men, it is interesting to note the final precepts of Peter. Holiness appears to him of first importance, steadfastness is the greatest blessing, and the divinity of Christ is his last thought.

Published in The Old Paths Archive
(http://www.oldpaths.com)

Bible Reading for December 30 and 31 by Gary Rose

 

Bible Reading for December 30 and 31

World  English  Bible


Dec. 30

Zechariah 13, 14

Zec 13:1 "In that day there will be a spring opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.

Zec 13:2 It will come to pass in that day, says Yahweh of Armies, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they will be remembered no more. I will also cause the prophets and the spirit of impurity to pass out of the land.

Zec 13:3 It will happen that, when anyone still prophesies, then his father and his mother who bore him will tell him, 'You must die, because you speak lies in the name of Yahweh;' and his father and his mother who bore him will stab him when he prophesies.

Zec 13:4 It will happen in that day, that the prophets will each be ashamed of his vision, when he prophesies; neither will they wear a hairy mantle to deceive:

Zec 13:5 but he will say, 'I am no prophet, I am a tiller of the ground; for I have been made a bondservant from my youth.'

Zec 13:6 One will say to him, 'What are these wounds between your arms?' Then he will answer, 'Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.'

Zec 13:7 "Awake, sword, against my shepherd, and against the man who is close to me," says Yahweh of Armies. "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; and I will turn my hand against the little ones.

Zec 13:8 It shall happen that in all the land," says Yahweh, "two parts in it will be cut off and die; but the third will be left in it.

Zec 13:9 I will bring the third part into the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will test them like gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will hear them. I will say, 'It is my people;' and they will say, 'Yahweh is my God.' "


Zec 14:1 Behold, a day of Yahweh comes, when your spoil will be divided in your midst.

Zec 14:2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city will be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city will go out into captivity, and the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city.

Zec 14:3 Then Yahweh will go out and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

Zec 14:4 His feet will stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in two, from east to west, making a very great valley. Half of the mountain will move toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

Zec 14:5 You shall flee by the valley of my mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azel; yes, you shall flee, just like you fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Yahweh my God will come, and all the holy ones with you.

Zec 14:6 It will happen in that day, that there will not be light, cold, or frost.

Zec 14:7 It will be a unique day which is known to Yahweh; not day, and not night; but it will come to pass, that at evening time there will be light.

Zec 14:8 It will happen in that day, that living waters will go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the eastern sea, and half of them toward the western sea; in summer and in winter will it be.

Zec 14:9 Yahweh will be King over all the earth. In that day Yahweh will be one, and his name one.

Zec 14:10 All the land will be made like the Arabah, from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; and she will be lifted up, and will dwell in her place, from Benjamin's gate to the place of the first gate, to the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananel to the king's winepresses.

Zec 14:11 Men will dwell therein, and there will be no more curse; but Jerusalem will dwell safely.

Zec 14:12 This will be the plague with which Yahweh will strike all the peoples who have warred against Jerusalem: their flesh will consume away while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will consume away in their sockets, and their tongue will consume away in their mouth.

Zec 14:13 It will happen in that day, that a great panic from Yahweh will be among them; and they will lay hold everyone on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand will rise up against the hand of his neighbor.

Zec 14:14 Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered together: gold, and silver, and clothing, in great abundance.

Zec 14:15 So will be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the donkey, and of all the animals that will be in those camps, as that plague.

Zec 14:16 It will happen that everyone who is left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, Yahweh of Armies, and to keep the feast of tents.

Zec 14:17 It will be, that whoever of all the families of the earth doesn't go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, Yahweh of Armies, on them there will be no rain.

Zec 14:18 If the family of Egypt doesn't go up, and doesn't come, neither will it rain on them. This will be the plague with which Yahweh will strike the nations that don't go up to keep the feast of tents.

Zec 14:19 This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations that don't go up to keep the feast of tents.

Zec 14:20 In that day there will be on the bells of the horses, "HOLY TO YAHWEH;" and the pots in Yahweh's house will be like the bowls before the altar.

Zec 14:21 Yes, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to Yahweh of Armies; and all those who sacrifice will come and take of them, and cook in them. In that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of Yahweh of Armies. 

 

Dec. 31

Malachi 1-4

Mal 1:1 An oracle: the word of Yahweh to Israel by Malachi.

Mal 1:2 "I have loved you," says Yahweh. Yet you say, "How have you loved us?" "Wasn't Esau Jacob's brother?" says Yahweh, "Yet I loved Jacob;

Mal 1:3 but Esau I hated, and made his mountains a desolation, and gave his heritage to the jackals of the wilderness."

Mal 1:4 Whereas Edom says, "We are beaten down, but we will return and build the waste places;" thus says Yahweh of Armies, "They shall build, but I will throw down; and men will call them 'The Wicked Land,' even the people against whom Yahweh shows wrath forever."

Mal 1:5 Your eyes will see, and you will say, "Yahweh is great--even beyond the border of Israel!"

Mal 1:6 "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, then where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is the respect due me? Says Yahweh of Armies to you, priests, who despise my name. You say, 'How have we despised your name?'

Mal 1:7 You offer polluted bread on my altar. You say, 'How have we polluted you?' In that you say, 'Yahweh's table contemptible.'

Mal 1:8 When you offer the blind for sacrifice, isn't that evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, isn't that evil? Present it now to your governor! Will he be pleased with you? Or will he accept your person?" says Yahweh of Armies.

Mal 1:9 "Now, please entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With this, will he accept any of you?" says Yahweh of Armies.

Mal 1:10 "Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you," says Yahweh of Armies, "neither will I accept an offering at your hand.

Mal 1:11 For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same, my name is great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering: for my name is great among the nations," says Yahweh of Armies.

Mal 1:12 "But you profane it, in that you say, 'Yahweh's table is polluted, and its fruit, even its food, is contemptible.'

Mal 1:13 You say also, 'Behold, what a weariness it is!' and you have sniffed at it," says Yahweh of Armies; "and you have brought that which was taken by violence, the lame, and the sick; thus you bring the offering. Should I accept this at your hand?" says Yahweh.

Mal 1:14 "But the deceiver is cursed, who has in his flock a male, and vows, and sacrifices to the Lord a blemished thing; for I am a great King," says Yahweh of Armies, "and my name is awesome among the nations."


Mal 2:1 "Now, you priests, this commandment is for you.

Mal 2:2 If you will not listen, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name," says Yahweh of Armies, "then will I send the curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay it to heart.

Mal 2:3 Behold, I will rebuke your seed, and will spread dung on your faces, even the dung of your feasts; and you will be taken away with it.

Mal 2:4 You will know that I have sent this commandment to you, that my covenant may be with Levi," says Yahweh of Armies.

Mal 2:5 "My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him who he might be reverent toward me; and he was reverent toward me, and stood in awe of my name.

Mal 2:6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found in his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many away from iniquity.

Mal 2:7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of Yahweh of Armies.

Mal 2:8 But you have turned aside out of the way. You have caused many to stumble in the law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi," says Yahweh of Armies.

Mal 2:9 "Therefore I have also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according to the way you have not kept my ways, but have had respect for persons in the law.

Mal 2:10 Don't we all have one father? Hasn't one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, profaning the covenant of our fathers?

Mal 2:11 Judah has dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the holiness of Yahweh which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god.

Mal 2:12 Yahweh will cut off, to the man who does this, him who wakes and him who answers, out of the tents of Jacob, and him who offers an offering to Yahweh of Armies.

Mal 2:13 This again you do: you cover the altar of Yahweh with tears, with weeping, and with sighing, because he doesn't regard the offering any more, neither receives it with good will at your hand.

Mal 2:14 Yet you say, 'Why?' Because Yahweh has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion, and the wife of your covenant.

Mal 2:15 Did he not make one, although he had the residue of the Spirit? Why one? He sought a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.

Mal 2:16 For I hate divorce," says Yahweh, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with violence!" says Yahweh of Armies. "Therefore take heed to your spirit, that you don't deal treacherously.

Mal 2:17 You have wearied Yahweh with your words. Yet you say, 'How have we wearied him?' In that you say, 'Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of Yahweh, and he delights in them;' or 'Where is the God of justice?'


Mal 3:1 "Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me; and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, behold, he comes!" says Yahweh of Armies.

Mal 3:2 "But who can endure the day of his coming? And who will stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like launderer's soap;

Mal 3:3 and he will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi, and refine them as gold and silver; and they shall offer to Yahweh offerings in righteousness.

Mal 3:4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to Yahweh, as in the days of old, and as in ancient years.

Mal 3:5 I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against the perjurers, and against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and who deprive the foreigner of justice, and don't fear me," says Yahweh of Armies.

Mal 3:6 "For I, Yahweh, don't change; therefore you, sons of Jacob, are not consumed.

Mal 3:7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my ordinances, and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says Yahweh of Armies. "But you say, 'How shall we return?'

Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me! But you say, 'How have we robbed you?' In tithes and offerings.

Mal 3:9 You are cursed with the curse; for you rob me, even this whole nation.

Mal 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and test me now in this," says Yahweh of Armies, "if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough for.

Mal 3:11 I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast its fruit before its time in the field," says Yahweh of Armies.

Mal 3:12 "All nations shall call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land," says Yahweh of Armies.

Mal 3:13 "Your words have been stout against me," says Yahweh. "Yet you say, 'What have we spoken against you?'

Mal 3:14 You have said, 'It is vain to serve God;' and 'What profit is it that we have followed his instructions, and that we have walked mournfully before Yahweh of Armies?

Mal 3:15 Now we call the proud happy; yes, those who work wickedness are built up; yes, they tempt God, and escape.'

Mal 3:16 Then those who feared Yahweh spoke one with another; and Yahweh listened, and heard, and a book of memory was written before him, for those who feared Yahweh, and who honored his name.

Mal 3:17 They shall be mine," says Yahweh of Armies, "my own possession in the day that I make, and I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him.

Mal 3:18 Then you shall return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God and him who doesn't serve him.

Mal 4:1 "For, behold, the day comes, it burns as a furnace; and all the proud, and all who work wickedness, will be stubble; and the day that comes will burn them up," says Yahweh of Armies, "that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

Mal 4:2 But to you who fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in its wings. You will go out, and leap like calves of the stall.

Mal 4:3 You shall tread down the wicked; for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I make," says Yahweh of Armies.

Mal 4:4 "Remember the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded to him in Horeb for all Israel, even statutes and ordinances.

Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Yahweh comes.

Mal 4:6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse." 

 

Dec. 30

Revelation 21, 22

Rev 21:1 I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more.

Rev 21:2 I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband.

Rev 21:3 I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, "Behold, God's dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.

Rev 21:4 He will wipe away from them every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. The first things have passed away."

Rev 21:5 He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." He said, "Write, for these words of God are faithful and true."

Rev 21:6 He said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give freely to him who is thirsty from the spring of the water of life.

Rev 21:7 He who overcomes, I will give him these things. I will be his God, and he will be my son.

Rev 21:8 But for the cowardly, unbelieving, sinners, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their part is in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

Rev 21:9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls, who were loaded with the seven last plagues came, and he spoke with me, saying, "Come here. I will show you the wife, the Lamb's bride."

Rev 21:10 He carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,

Rev 21:11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, as if it was a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

Rev 21:12 having a great and high wall; having twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.

Rev 21:13 On the east were three gates; and on the north three gates; and on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

Rev 21:14 The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them twelve names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb.

Rev 21:15 He who spoke with me had for a measure, a golden reed, to measure the city, its gates, and its walls.

Rev 21:16 The city lies foursquare, and its length is as great as its breadth. He measured the city with the reed, Twelve thousand twelve stadia. Its length, breadth, and height are equal.

Rev 21:17 Its wall is one hundred forty-four cubits, by the measure of a man, that is, of an angel.

Rev 21:18 The construction of its wall was jasper. The city was pure gold, like pure glass.

Rev 21:19 The foundations of the city's wall were adorned with all kinds of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald;

Rev 21:20 the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprasus; the eleventh, jacinth; and the twelfth, amethyst.

Rev 21:21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each one of the gates was made of one pearl. The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.

Rev 21:22 I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God, the Almighty, and the Lamb, are its temple.

Rev 21:23 The city has no need for the sun, neither of the moon, to shine, for the very glory of God illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb.

Rev 21:24 The nations will walk in its light. The kings of the earth bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.

Rev 21:25 Its gates will in no way be shut by day (for there will be no night there),

Rev 21:26 and they shall bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it so that they may enter.

Rev 21:27 There will in no way enter into it anything profane, or one who causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb's book of life.


Rev 22:1 He showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb,

Rev 22:2 in the middle of its street. On this side of the river and on that was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruits, yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Rev 22:3 There will be no curse any more. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants serve him.

Rev 22:4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

Rev 22:5 There will be no night, and they need no lamp light; for the Lord God will illuminate them. They will reign forever and ever.

Rev 22:6 He said to me, "These words are faithful and true. The Lord God of the spirits of the prophets sent his angel to show to his bondservants the things which must happen soon."

Rev 22:7 "Behold, I come quickly. Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book."

Rev 22:8 Now I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. When I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who had shown me these things.

Rev 22:9 He said to me, "See you don't do it! I am a fellow bondservant with you and with your brothers, the prophets, and with those who keep the words of this book. Worship God."

Rev 22:10 He said to me, "Don't seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand.

Rev 22:11 He who acts unjustly, let him act unjustly still. He who is filthy, let him be filthy still. He who is righteous, let him do righteousness still. He who is holy, let him be holy still."

Rev 22:12 "Behold, I come quickly. My reward is with me, to repay to each man according to his work.

Rev 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.

Rev 22:14 Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city.

Rev 22:15 Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.

Rev 22:16 I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify these things to you for the assemblies. I am the root and the offspring of David; the Bright and Morning Star."

Rev 22:17 The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" He who hears, let him say, "Come!" He who is thirsty, let him come. He who desires, let him take the water of life freely.

Rev 22:18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to them, may God add to him the plagues which are written in this book.

Rev 22:19 If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, may God take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.

Rev 22:20 He who testifies these things says, "Yes, I come quickly." Amen! Yes, come, Lord Jesus.

Rev 22:21 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all the saints. Amen.