5/8/20

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" The Beatitudes - II (5:3-12) by Mark Copeland


                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                      The Beatitudes - II (5:3-12)

INTRODUCTION

1. At the beginning of "The Sermon On The Mount," we find that section
   of Scripture commonly referred to as "The Beatitudes" - Mt 5:3-12
   a. The word "beatitude" means "supreme blessedness or happiness"
   b. We find Jesus discussing the blessedness of those who possess certain qualities

2. As suggested in the previously lesson, it is as though Jesus was
   answering two questions people might have been asking:
   a. Who will be the citizens of "the kingdom of heaven"?
   b. What benefits do they receive?

3. In our previous study, we looked at the "The Beatitudes" from the
   viewpoint of the question:  "Who will be the citizens of the kingdom?"
   a. We saw that their character would involve eight inter-related qualities
   b. We saw that they would be poor in spirit, mourning for their 
      sins, meek, hungering for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart,
      peacemakers, and willing to suffer persecution

4. In this study, we shall look at "The Beatitudes" from the viewpoint
   of the question:  "What  benefits do they receive?"
   a. Is the kingdom of heaven worth the effort to develop such qualities of character?
   b. Is the kingdom of heaven worth whatever persecution we might endure?

[I believe the answer is a resounding "Yes!"  This becomes apparent as
we take time to consider the blessedness of the citizens of the kingdom...]

I. THEIR BENEFITS SUMMARIZED IN ONE WORD

   A. THAT WORD IS "BLESSED"...
      1. It is the first word of the sermon
         a. Just as it is the first word of the Psalms - Ps 1:1
         b. Just as it is found in the beginning words of Revelation - Re 1:3
      2. It is used nine times in nine verses (which is why this section is called "The Beatitudes")

   B. THIS WORD INVOLVES GREAT JOY AND GLADNESS...
      1. It can literally mean, "how very happy!" is the one described
      2. We can also infer this from Mt 5:12
         a. "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad..."
         b. Or as found in Luke:  "Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!" - Lk 6:23

[The benefit of being in the kingdom of heaven is the condition of 
blessedness, a state of true happiness!  To understand why, let's now look at...]

II. THEIR BENEFITS ARE BOTH PRESENT AND FUTURE

   A. "THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN"...
      1. As defined in a previous lesson (cf. Mt 4:17), those who receive the kingdom...
         a. Are under the kingly rule of God
         b. Are in a spiritual kingdom
            1) Which today involves being in the "church," the present
               manifestation of the "kingdom of heaven" - Mt 16:18;Col 1:13; Re 1:9
            2) Which will involve the "new heavens and new earth" in 
               the kingdom's future and eternal manifestation 
- Mt 25:34; 2Pe 1:10,11; 3:13; Re 21-22 2. Note that the first (5:3) and last (5:10) beatitudes include this expression... a. Which I take to imply that the blessings in between likewise apply to those in the kingdom b. Just as the kingdom is both present and future, we shall observe that the blessings described involve both present and future B. "THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED"... 1. This is in reference to those who mourn over their sins and spiritual poverty 2. They are comforted even now - 2Co 1:3-5 3. They shall be comforted in the future - Re 21:1-4 C. "THEY SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH"... 1. In one sense, they inherit it now a. As a result of putting the kingdom of God first - Mt 6:33; Mk 10:29-30 b. Though they may have less than some who are wicked, God enables them to enjoy it more! - Ec 5:19-6:2 c. This explanation seems to be consistent with the context of Psalms 37, from which the phrase was taken - Ps 37:1-11,16-29 2. But in another sense, there yet remains a promise concerning a "new earth" for those in the kingdom now - 2Pe 3:10-13 D. "THEY SHALL BE FILLED"... 1. That is, with the righteousness which we so desperately need, found only in Christ - Php 3:8-9 2. Received presently, through the precious blood of Christ - Ro 5:9 3. Received in fullness when adorned in the white linen of righteousness in preparation for the marriage of the Lamb - Re 19:5-9 E. "THEY SHALL OBTAIN MERCY"... 1. Those in the kingdom enjoy the forgiveness of sins now through the blood of Jesus - Re 1:5-6 2. They shall also be shown mercy in the future by escaping the righteous wrath of God in the Day of Judgment - Ro 5:9 F. "THEY SHALL SEE GOD"... 1. Presently, citizens of the kingdom can see God through their Lord Jesus Christ - Jn 14:6-7 2. But in the future, we shall see him face to face - Re 21:3;22:3-4 G. "THEY SHALL BE CALLED SONS OF GOD"... 1. Even now we are called the sons of God - 1Jn 3:1-2 2. How much more so, in the future! - Re 21:5-7 CONCLUSION 1. Perhaps we can better understand why those in "the kingdom of heaven" are truly called "Blessed", for while... a. Poor in spirit, theirs is the kingdom of heaven! b. Mourning for their sins, they shall be comforted! c. Meek in their relation to God and man, they shall inherit the earth! d. Hungering and thirsting for righteousness, they shall be filled! e. Merciful to others, they shall obtain mercy! f. Pure in heart, they shall see God! g. Makers of peace, they shall be called sons of God! h. Persecuted for righteousness' sake, theirs is the kingdom of heaven! 2. Certainly the benefits of the kingdom outweigh anything this world has to offer, or any persecution it might inflict! a. For there are blessings now "in this life" b. And there are blessings "in the age to come" - Mk 10:28-30 2. But the "blessedness" of the citizens is only for those who have the "characteristics" of the citizens in ever-increasing measure... a. Do we have the qualities described in "The Beatitudes"? b. If not, do not the blessings described in "The Beatitudes" encourage us to develop such qualities? May this sermon of Jesus motivate us to examine our attitudes, to see if there is not room for improvement in our relationships with both God and our fellow man!

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

Has NASA Discovered a "Missing Day"? by Bert Thompson, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=455

Has NASA Discovered a "Missing Day"?

by  Bert Thompson, Ph.D.

For years the following story has been spread by well-meaning people whose intent is to defend the accuracy and inspiration of the Bible.

In the tenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua, it is recorded that the Sun “stood still.” One day while NASA scientists were using their computers to calculate orbits for the Earth, Sun, and other planets, they discovered that there was a “lost day.” After prodding by one of their colleagues who had attended Bible school as a child, the scientists reprogrammed their computers to include appropriate biblical facts and ultimately found their “lost day,” thus proving the biblical record to be accurate.

The story sounds great, and is quite impressive in the telling. Unfortunately, it is false—from beginning to end.

In the May 1991 issue of Reason & Revelation, I wrote an article documenting the incorrect nature of this account, and urging our readers not to use it. Years later, however, the story still is being circulated—most likely due to the fact that it has been published on the Internet. While there are many positive aspects of the Internet and the World Wide Web, one negative aspect is that error can be disseminated rapidly, and widely, with little more than the click of a mouse button. Apparently that is exactly what has happened here. Some well-intentioned soul posted the story on the Internet. Another saw it, and sent it to a few (or a few hundred!) people via an electronic address book. Those people then forwarded it to others, who sent it to still others. Ad infinitum!

As those whose lives and teachings revolve around the importance of truth, we, of all people, should do all we can to avoid the dissemination of erroneous material, regardless of how “good” it may sound, or the “evidential value” it may appear to have. Yes, we should defend God’s Word. But no, we should not use error to do it. “Faithfully teaching the Faith” is not merely an awesome privilege, but an awesome responsibility as well. Because of the seriousness of this situation, and the fact that the story seems to have developed a “life of its own,” I decided to update my May 1991 article in order to expose once again the incorrect nature of this account. The revised article was published in the February 1999 issue of Reason & Revelation—the first time in the history of the journal that we have repeated an article.

Handclapping in Worship to God by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=4802

Handclapping in Worship to God

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

As churches of Christ continue to experience transitional conflict, fundamental commitment to biblical authority wanes, and personal taste and affective creativity assert themselves. Our current social milieu and cultural climate exacerbates and reinforces this increased reliance upon self and personal opinion as legitimate standards of authority. Despite the mad rush to the left in politics, religion, and morality, the faithful Christian is one who remains unshaken by the winds of change (Matthew 11:7; Ephesians 4:14). As change agents proudly and defiantly orchestrate restructuring of values and foundational principles, the faithful follower of Jesus Christ consistently reaffirms the ancient, bedrock truths of biblical religion.

The promoter of change is most conspicuous in his relentless assault upon pure worship—a typical, perennial ploy of Satan (e.g., Genesis 4:3,5; 1 John 3:12; Exodus 32:8; Leviticus 10:1-3; 1 Samuel 13:9-13; 1 Kings 12:28-30; 18:4; 2 Kings 22:17; 2 Chronicles 26:16-18; Psalms 78:58). Since, by definition, worship changes are not rooted in or sanctioned by Scripture, whence do such innovations arise? Obviously, if these items do not find their origin in Heaven, they must originate with man (Matthew 21:23-25). The human heart, unrestrained and unenlightened by divine guidance, inevitably pursues behaviors and practices that satiate fleshly appetites.

Current culture has groomed and conditioned the average person to be entertained. Television and the cinema have so developed in their sophistication that they are able to stimulate us and hold our attention with little or no effort on our part. In his bestseller, Amusing Ourselves to Death, Neil Postman described how we have allowed ourselves to shift away from rational assessment of truth in exchange for substanceless, emotional stimulation (1985, pp. 49-63). In religious practice, worshippers appear driven by that which is “better felt than told.”

Handclapping as Musical Accompaniment

One change that has made its way into worship assemblies is the act of handclapping. Handclapping is occurring in two forms: as applause, and as a rhythmical accompaniment to singing. The latter practice is clearly unacceptable on the scriptural grounds that clapping hands is parallel to the use of any other body part or mechanical device that might be used to supplement vocal, verbal music. Clapping hands, snapping fingers, or rhythmically slapping the pew are logically equivalent to the mechanical instrument of music—all of which lack divine authorization in the New Testament. God authorizes and enjoins worshippers to sing meaning-laden words and to make music in/on the human heart (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). Worshippers simply lack scriptural approval for adding other forms of musical accompaniment/expression. Please study carefully the following chart and observe that handclapping falls within the realm of nonvocal, instrumental music and, as such, is not a scripturally approved worship action. Only the left-hand column coincides with biblical specifications as articulated by God in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16—

Handclapping as Applause

Handclapping also has been introduced into worship assemblies in the form of applause [NOTE: see the defense of applause in Norton, 1992]. The congregation is drawn into applause following baptisms, sermons, and other worship events. Probably most advocates (as well as opponents) of applause in our worship assemblies base their opinion on extrabiblical grounds. Those who are for applause say: “What’s wrong with it? I like it! It’s just an updated, modern way to say, ‘Amen.’” Those who are against applause say: “We’ve never done it. I’m uncomfortable with it. It cheapens solemnity.” Surely, a more biblically-rooted critique of handclapping is in order.

What is the significance of handclapping in American culture? The primary function of applause is to indicate personal approval. Webster’s dictionary defines “clap” as “to show pleasure at or approval of” (1965, p. 333). “Applaud” means “to praise or show approval of, commend” (p. 89). We applaud performers at football, baseball, and basketball games. We applaud musicians at concerts. We applaud actors and actresses at theatrical performances. We clap our hands on such occasions because we like what we see and hear. We personally enjoy and agree with what we observe. Clapping is a way for us overtly to validate and affirm our opinion of the performance.

Closely linked to a show of approval is the function of showing recognition. By applauding performers, we express our appreciation for their skill, proficiency, and talent. We are saying, “Congratulations! You are good! You have done well. I acknowledge your talent.”

A third function of handclapping is expression of excitement. We sometimes burst forth in spontaneous applause because we are personally excited, moved, or thrilled by a performance. In this case, handclapping is an outlet, a means of catharsis, a way to achieve emotional release, and a way to express joy.

A fourth function of applause is to manifest courtesy. For example, academicians clap their hands at the conclusion of the reading of a scholarly paper—not necessarily to convey or imply agreement or approval—but to be polite and courteous. Politicians on both sides of the aisle in congress applaud the President as he delivers his State of the Union speech. Clearly, this applause is a demonstration of etiquette—not agreement.

How does handclapping in American culture correlate with scriptural worship activity? To answer this question, two additional questions must be answered: (1) Is handclapping a legitimate replacement of, or alternative to, saying “amen”?, and (2) regardless of whether handclapping appears to be parallel to “amen,” does God approve the use of handclapping in worship?

The Use of “Amen” in the Bible

Our English word “amen” is a transliteration of a Hebrew word that means “firm” (see Thayer, 1901, p. 32; Dana and Mantey, 1927, p. 259). The root stem meant “to show oneself firm and dependable; to know oneself to be secure, have faith.” Thus, the term means “certain and true.” The Israelite would say “amen” in order to confirm or identify himself with a particular verbal declaration (Brown, 1975, 1:97). “Amen” served to affirm a statement as certain, valid, and binding (1:98). The use of the term in the Old Testament may be summarized as “an acknowledgment that the divine word is an active force: May it happen in just this way” (Botterweck and Ringgren, 1974, 1:321). Similarly, “amen” has reference to words and deeds of God to which the speaker submits himself (1:321). The Septuagint often translates the Hebrew word for “amen” as “genoito” (“may it be”), which “signifies what endures or is true, the spoken Word of God in the sense of its standing fast” (Kittel, 1964, 1:336). H.B. Hackett commented that “amen” in the Old Testament was “a word used in strong asseverations, fixing as it were the stamp of truth upon the assertion which it accompanied, and making it binding as an oath” (1896, 1:82).

So “amen” had essentially two uses in the Old Testament. First, it signified the individual’s acceptance (even sworn oath) of the statement (e.g., Numbers 5:22). In Deuteronomy 27, the people gave assent to the conditions under which a series of curses would be inflicted upon them for disobedience. Second, “amen” connoted truthfulness (1 Kings 1:36). Jesus used the term in this fashion as a prelude to His remarks, translated in the NASB as “most assuredly” (John 3:3,5,11).

Interestingly enough, the Old Testament refers a few times to the clapping of the hands together. [NOTE: Keep in mind that authority for handclapping in worship today cannot be secured from the Old Testament, any more than authority for other practices, including dancing, instrumental music, and burning incense. Yet, those grasping for justification for their innovations make the same argument for handclapping that is made for instrumental music. See J. Carroll Stark’s rationale during his debate with Joe Warlick in 1903 in Henderson, Tennessee in William Woodson (1979), Standing for Their Faith (Henderson, TN: J. & W. Publications), p. 90.] Handclapping sometimes occurred in the Old Testament as a cultural (not religious) expression of joy. For example, handclapping occurred at a coronation (2 Kings 11:12) or a military victory achieved for the nation by God (Psalm 47:1)—neither of which provides support for Christian worship. Used figuratively, even rivers and trees clap their hands (Psalm 98:8; Isaiah 55:12). But the most prominent use of handclapping in the Old Testament was as a manifestation of disdain, repudiation, and ill-will (Job 27:23; 34:37; Lamentations 2:15; Ezekiel 25:6; Nahum 3:19). Will the advocates of handclapping in the worship assembly urge this use of handclapping, along with boos, hisses, and catcalls? (cf. Orr, 1939, 1:665).

In the New Testament, “amen” is found 126 times. Two additional Greek terms are used to represent the same concept. The three are translated “so let it be, truly, amen” (Arndt and Gingrich, 1957, p. 45). Jesus often prefaced His remarks with a double amen, translated “Verily, verily” or “truly, truly.” In so doing, He affirmed that His sayings were reliable and true, valid and certain (Kittel, p. 338; cf. Brown, 1975, p. 99). Summarizing the New Testament evidence, “amen” was a vocal means by which an individual affirmed the certainty, truthfulness, and reliability of God’s Word. To say “amen” was to confirm the binding nature of those truths. To a lesser extent, the speaker was expressing assent and endorsement with the accompanying intention to submit himself to God’s truth.

Observations and Comparisons

Notice that the functions of handclapping in American culture do not match the biblical function associated with saying “amen.” Handclapping in our culture carries additional baggage than that which “amen” carried in the Bible. Applause in our society is generally a response to an entertaining performance. Our applause is focused upon the performer. We are showing approval and recognition of the performer’s talent, while expressing our own personal excitement and pleasure. Consider the comments of United Methodist bishop William Grove of Charleston, West Virginia, who considers applause inappropriate in worship because it turns the church into a theater and confuses people about the focus of worship (Clarion-Ledger, 1992, p. 3).

In stark contrast to this emphasis, the use of “amen” in the Bible focuses upon the message rather than the person presenting the message. “Amen” enables the worshipper to assert publicly the truthfulness of the spoken Word. “Amen” is not designed in any way to affirm the speaker, and thereby place him in the position of being a performer. Indeed, we ought not to extol or call attention to the vain talent of the preacher, nor praise his skilled “performance.” God wants our attention centered on the meaning of the message. God wants us to focus on the fact that God’s Word is being declared and, unlike man’s word, that it is notable and unique in its truthfulness, certainty, and rightness.

Notice also “amen” is not really designed to communicate the idea “I agree with that” or “I like that.” Biblically, it doesn’t really matter whether or not I agree with God’s Word. God’s Word is true, sure, authoritative, and binding—and it deserves to be affirmed as such whether or not anyone agrees with it. Consequently, handclapping in American culture is not parallel to saying “amen” in the Bible. Handclapping, therefore, is not a justifiable alternative to or replacement of “amen.”

Why applaud at a Baptism?

We must surely ask: why would we desire to applaud at a baptism? Are we implying that the one submitting to baptism deserves applause? Does anyone deserve applause for obeying Christ—for doing what every accountable person on the planet is obligated to do? We need a healthy dose of Jesus’ own assessment of our obedience: “So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do’” (Luke 17:10). Further, applauding at a baptism implies that we are free to express ourselves any way we choose to do so—without regard to whether God is pleased with our behavior. If one person may, without God’s permission, applaud the person who is baptized, then another may feel perfectly free to jump up from his pew, throw his fist in the air, and proclaim, “Yes!! All right! Way to go!” Still another may step out into the aisle and dance a jig. The entire congregation may choose to enact a “holy wave” reminiscent of the wave at football games, starting on one side of the  auditorium and spreading across the assembly to the other side. Does the Bible teach that God is pleased with human’s expressing their feelings by any means? It does not (e.g., Jeremiah 10:23; Psalm 50:21). Notice the inconsistency of loose thinking and action—action that arises from human inclination and feeling rather than from a thoughtful, respectful consideration of God’s Word. If we applaud one who is baptized, then it follows that we ought to applaud the song leader. After all, he, too, is obeying Christ by serving in a significant role as a worship leader. But if we are going to applaud the song leader, then we also need to applaud the prayer leader, the scripture reader, the men who serve on the Lord’s Table, and the preacher. Observe at this point, our rationale has led us into creating a worship environment that amounts to a mutual admiration society in which we are applauding each other. In the midst of such worldly, self-centered displays, attention to God—the true focus of worship—has gone by the wayside. The fact of the matter is that handclapping is a secular response/reaction to human performance. It betrays the extent to which we have been influenced by the world. It is a worldly, unspiritual practice.

Must Worship Be Authorized?

Perhaps more to the point in this discussion, the real issue is: are we free to do anything we want to do in worship? From Genesis to Revelation, God has insisted that all of our actions must be authorized, approved, and sanctioned by Him. Handclapping in worship for baptisms or sermonic remarks is nothing more than our current cultural expression of emotion. Handclapping is our way of saying, “I’m really turned on, excited, by that!” Churches of Christ stand out in bold relief from the charismatic tidal wave that has swept over Christendom by insisting that the head (under the guidance of Scripture) must control the heart. We must not engage in mindless exhibition of feeling in our religious expressions (cf. 1 Kings 18:25-29; Matthew 6:7). “These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion [and] false humility” (Colossians 2:23). But rather, we must place ourselves under the control of the Spirit—Who tells us specifically and precisely how to conduct ourselves. [NOTE: For a detailed look at the principle of authority as expounded in the Bible, see Miller, 2012.]

We ought to be ashamed for even trying to defend emotional, human exclamations as God-originated or God-approved. If we are free to clap our hands in worship when we get excited, then we are free to scream, squeal, and shriek; we are free to turn somersaults down the aisle; we are free to stand on the pews and stomp our feet; and we are free to jump up and slap our hands together (like athletes) in the “hi-five” position. Likewise, we are free to boo, hiss, or throw tomatoes if we are not impressed with those conducting the worship. All such behaviors (though acceptable in a secular, entertainment-oriented context) in religion are unauthorized concoctions stemming from the unrestrained, unguided minds of mere men. They fail to respect, honor, and sanctify God as He instructs (cf. Leviticus 10:3). They reveal our human propensity to formulate worship behavior according to our own desires.

Conclusion

Handclapping existed in the Graeco-Roman world of the first century. It constituted one ritual among several others (i.e., snapping the finger and thumb, waving the flap of the toga or a handkerchief, etc.) by which degrees of approval were expressed. Consider the effect of this cultural custom on Christianity in view of the following observation:

When Christianity became fashionable the customs of the theatre were transferred to the churches. Paul of Samosata encouraged the congregation to applaud his preaching by waving linen cloths. Applause of the rhetoric of popular preachers became an established custom destined to disappear under the influence of a more reverent spirit (“Applause,” 1957, 2:138, emp. added).

Paul of Samosata was an elder in the church in Antioch around A.D. 260. Eventually censured for his practice, he did for the church of his day what the agents of change are doing for the church in our day. He introduced an unbiblical, unauthorized action into worship—an action that has no genuinely spiritual value, but which, in actuality, promotes a secular, fleshly approach to worship. History is repeating itself: “for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43); “How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44).

May we learn to find contentment and satisfaction with the simple ways of God articulated in His Word. May we feel constrained to fashion worship behavior and religious ritual in strict compliance with His instruction. May we love Him enough to set aside personal preference, and to subdue emotional inclination, in exchange for the delightful, exciting, stimulating directions delineated in Scripture. May His words be ever in our hearts and on our tongues. Amen.

references

“Applause” (1957), Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica).

Arndt, W.F. and F.W. Gingrich (1957), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).

Botterweck, G. Johannes and Helmer Ringgren, eds. (1974), Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Brown, Colin, ed. (1975), Dictionary of New Testament Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Clarion-Ledger (1992), Jackson, MS, May 30, D1, as quoted in Preacher Talk, 8[6]:3, June.

Dana, H.E. and Julius R. Mantey (1927), A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (Toronto: Macmillan).

Hackett, H.B., ed. (1896), Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible (Boston, MA: Houghton and Mifflin).

Kittel, Gerhard, ed. (1964), Theological Dictionary of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Miller, Dave (2012), Surrendering to His Lordship (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Norton, Howard (1992), “Extremists Tend to Blur Biblical Boundaries,” The Christian Chronicle, 49[6], June.

Orr, James, ed. (1939), International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Postman, Neil (1985), Amusing Ourselves to Death (New York, NY: Penguin Books).

Thayer, Joseph H. (1901), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1977 reprint).

Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary (1965), (New York, NY: World Publishing), second edition.

Hail by Dave Miller, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=945

Hail

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

I had seen hail before, and had heard of its potentially destructive force. But natural calamity and the awesome power infused by God into His physical creation never seem threatening to us self-sufficient human beings until we are thrust into the midst of catastrophe. It is then that we are brought to our senses concerning our own weak, frail condition in the face of an incredibly spectacular cosmos (Psalm 8:3-4).

The storm came from the west, and was packed with torrential rain, high velocity winds—and hail. The initial marble-sized hail, which fell so thickly that the ground appeared white with snow, soon graduated into chunks of hard ice that were larger than golf balls. It was literally as if over a hundred people had surrounded the house and were throwing large rocks as fast and furiously as they could. Several windshields, windows, and awnings around town were smashed. Automobile hoods were covered generously with dents. The yard looked as if an army, armed with picks or spades, had assaulted it. I shuddered to think what would happen to the person who became caught outdoors in such a storm.

I thought of the seventh plague in Egypt in which crops, men, and animals were destroyed (Exodus 9:13-35). This affliction was intended to convey to the Egyptian authorities that “there is none like [God] in all the earth” and that “the earth is the Lord’s” (Exodus 9:14,29). God again harnessed hail’s destructive force when He assisted the Israelites in their assault and pursuit of the Amorites. He bombarded the retreating Amorites with such large hailstones that “there were more who died from the hailstones than those whom the children of Israel killed with the sword” (Joshua 10:11). When God wished to symbolize the execution of His just and terrible wrath against the first-century persecuting power of Rome, He depicted a horrible plague of hail in which huge hundred pound hailstones rained down out of the sky on people (Revelation 16:21).

In every case, God utilized His natural creation to portray His power and presence, and to reaffirm the necessity of man’s humble submission to His will. Such awesome omnipotence merits careful consideration and recognition. Proper respect is due the Creator and Controller of the Universe.


The First Adam & The Last Adam by Jim McGuiggan



http://theabidingword.com/logos/index.html

The First Adam & The Last Adam

Adamic theology is prominent in Paul and it’s there even when it’s not clearly spelled out or clearly implied. It’s especially prominent in 1 Corinthians 15:21-58, noting 15:45; Romans 5:12-21, noting 5:14.

The two are set over against one another as two sources of humanity—humanity, but humanity viewed as existing in two different worlds and in two different modes. I don’t mean that Adam was the source (with Eve) of truly human beings and Jesus is the source of a race of non-human beings! No! Paul presents Jesus as the source of Adam’s children, redeemed and ultimately fitted for a new, enriched and glorified, immortal mode of living as humans.

In the first Adam our history as humans is one of choosing alienation from God, the source of life and as a consequence we chose Death. Choosing SIN is choosing alienation. Sin doesn’t only result in alienation—it IS alienation. In this we followed our father Adam and the result is the same in life now and as it will be at the close if indeed our life ends “in Adam.” Note the summary of humanity’s history in Adam in Romans 5:12-21 that is spelled out in more detail in Romans 1:18—3:20.
Those embraced in the redeeming work of God in Jesus Christ have rejected alienation from God and in Jesus Christ they accepted a new beginning, a new birth, a new creation status—they accepted the reconciliation offered by God in the Lord Jesus. See 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.

In union with the first/old Adam Sin and Death entered humanity’s experience and in the “last” Adam Righteousness and Life enters (1 Corinthians 15:21-22,45 and Romans 5:14). Those who by faith are immersed into the Lord Jesus (the last Adam) resurrect in the “new Man” and are part of Him (1 Corinthians 6:15, 17, noting 1 Corinthians 12:12 and “so also is Christ” rather than “so also is the Church”—in both cases the body metaphor is dropped to stress the intensity and depth of the new relationship).
In that faith exchange (which is a central notion in the word kattalage rendered reconciliation) from the first Adam to the Last Adam, human history changes. The believer by faith commits herself to the Lord Jesus who freely and graciously chose to share death with sinners in order to destroy Death and Sin that reigns in Death (Hebrews 2:14; Romans 5:21).

Such believers do that in and by being baptized “into Christ” and “into His death” and so now in living hope they look for the personal and actual experience of the glorification He currently and alone enjoys. His personal experience of resurrection and immortal glory is the believer’s assurance as is His indwelling by His Spirit (1 Peter 1:3; Romans 8:17-30; 2 Corinthians 1:23). Jesus is not only alive “at the right hand of God exalted”—He is alive and is the source of our life in us (Romans 8:11, passim).
In confessing this faith in and by burial and rising in baptism, believers stress the radical difference between human life-history as seen in Jesus and that of the first Adam. And, in that faith commitment to Jesus they stress the difference in the life chosen by those who insist on a life in Adam “the old man” (Rom 6:6) and that of one who chooses life in the Last Adam.
Those who choose life with Adam and that life-history are bound to it, as a woman is bound to a husband and they experience the consequences of such a relationship with such a husband. The fruit of such a marriage is Sin & Death (Romans 7:1-3). In and through the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, the former husband (the “old man” to whom sinners are bound) dies (Romans 6:6) and that leaves them free to be married to a new husband—Jesus Christ, and in Him the righteousness (relational fidelity) God always looked for is fulfilled (Romans 8:4).

(If this is thought interesting and thought useful, God enabling, we’ll say some more.)

DOES MAN'S SINCERITY INVALIDATE GOD'S WORD? BY STEVE FINNELL


http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2017/03/does-mans-sincerity-invalidate-gods.html


DOES MAN'S SINCERITY INVALIDATE GOD'S WORD?   BY STEVE FINNELL


If men sincerely believe they know the truth, does that belief render God's word null and void?

Eve sincerely believed Satan when he told her she could eat from the tree in the middle of the garden and she would not die. (Genesis 3:1-24)

 Did her sincerity keep her from death? No it did not.

If men sincerely believe that water baptism is not essential for salvation, does that invalidate what Jesus said in Mark 16:16....has been baptized shall be saved..?

Does man's sincerity nullify the words of Jesus.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.

Should you trust the sincerity of your own understanding or should you simply trust in the Lord.

Pride was Satan's downfall. Pride has a tendency to make men believe that their sincerity invalidates the word of God.




SINCERITY WITHOUT TRUTH CANNOT SAVE ANYONE!

When will these things be? by Roy Davison


http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/when.html

When will these things be?

What do the predictions mean in Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21?

“Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’ Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?’” (Matthew 24:1-3 // Mark 13:1-4; Luke 21:5-7).

Herod’s temple had been under construction for forty-six years (John 2:20). The Jews were proud of its grandeur. It was made of white limestone and large sections were overlaid with gold.

When Jesus said the temple would be destroyed, His disciples wondered when that would happen.

Much confusion has been caused by strange interpretations of Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. Let us carefully examine these predictions in the light of other passages on the same topics.

First we must notice that the disciples ask two separate questions. (1) When will the temple be destroyed? (2) What will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?

To avoid misunderstanding we must notice which question is being discussed in different parts of the passage. Sometimes there is confusion and people think, for example, that something about Jerusalem applies to the second coming.

When will the temple be destroyed?

Jesus warns His followers: “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations” (Luke 21:20-24 // Matthew 24:15-22; Mark 13:14-20).

In 66 AD, Cestius surrounded Jerusalem to put down a rebellion, but suddenly he discontinued the siege and left (Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book 2, Chapter 19, Section 7). When that occurred, the Christians left Jerusalem because of the warning of Jesus. In 70 AD Jerusalem was surrounded by Titus. After a long siege in which many people died of starvation, the city was taken and the temple was set on fire by the soldiers, although Titus had instructed them to spare the temple. After the fire, the temple was torn apart stone by stone to get the gold that had melted and run between the cracks. It is estimated that there were 50 tons of gold on the temple walls. During the siege, the dead bodies of those who died of starvation were thrown over the walls, and when the city was taken, blood flowed like rainwater in the streets.

Eusebius, who wrote his church history about 300 AD, states that all Christians had left Jerusalem before the siege (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, Chapter 5, Section 3).

When will heaven and earth pass away?

Although Jesus gave clear signs about the destruction of the temple, He did not know when the end of the age would be: “Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:29-32 // Matthew 24:34-36).

The temple would be destroyed in that generation, but only the Father knows when the earth will pass away.

When Christ returns, heaven and earth will be destroyed.

Jesus continues: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:35-39).

Thus, at “the coming of the Son of Man” “heaven and earth will pass away”.

Only the Father knows when the end will be. He has put this “in His own authority” (Acts 1:7). It will be “in His own time” (1 Timothy 6:15).

Thus Christ’s followers must always be ready. “Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming -- in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning -- lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” (Mark 13:33-37). “Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:40-44).

Many false teachers claim to know when Christ is coming. But Jesus says His followers do not know the time of His coming.

There are also false teachers who want to separate the coming of Christ from the destruction of the world. But the two will occur at the same time according to this passage.

Peter also writes that heaven and earth will be destroyed when Christ returns. “Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.’ For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men” (2 Peter 3:3-7).

Peter relates the “promise of His coming” to the destruction of the heavens and the earth. Since we do not know when Christ will come, the time might be short or long. In the meantime, sinners have an opportunity to repent: “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8, 9).

But whether the time be short or long, the end will come: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells” (2 Peter 3:10-13).

Jesus says certain things are not signs of His coming.

“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places” (Matthew 24:6, 7). Amazingly, some false teachers even claim that the various things Jesus says are not signs of his coming, are signs of His coming! I once heard a radio speaker quote this verse to that effect, but as he read, he skipped over the part: “but the end is not yet”! Beware of false teachers! They twist the Scriptures.

Someone who claims to know when Jesus is coming, is a false teacher.

Jesus warns: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them” (Luke 21:8). In every generation there are people who claim to know that the time has drawn near. And, as Jesus predicted, they deceive many. Why? Because many do not listen to what Jesus says: “Do not follow them.”

With John we can say: “It is the last hour” (1 John 2:18) and with Peter: “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers” (1 Peter 4:7) because since Pentecost we are in “the last days” (Acts 2:17) and Jesus can come at any moment. But anyone who claims to know more than that by saying: “The time has drawn near” (Luke 21:8) is a false teacher.

Only the Father knows when the end will be. We must always be ready.

Everyone will see Jesus when He comes.

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:23-27).

“Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him” (Revelation 1:7).

Thus someone who claims that Jesus came in 70 AD is a false teacher, as are Jehovah’s Witnesses who claim that He came invisibly in 1914.

When Jesus comes, everyone will see Him. Do not be deceived.

The signs of Jesus’ return occur as He is coming.

When those signs appear, it will be too late. The time for repentance is passed. “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:30, 31).

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:25-28).

Thus, when the sign of the Son of Man appears, the lost will tremble and the saved will rejoice. Jesus will come as a thief in the night. We must be ready. Once the sign of the Son of Man appears, it will be too late.

What then is the reply to the two questions? (1) The temple would be destroyed in that generation. His followers recognized the signs and left Jerusalem. (2) No one knows when Jesus will return, thus we must be ready at all times. Maybe there will still be thousands of years, or He may come right now! The end of all things is at hand. Are we ready?

Roy Davison

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

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

Bible Reading for May 8 -10 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading for May 8 -10

World  English  Bible

May 8

Deuteronomy 31, 32

Deu 31:1 Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel.

Deu 31:2 He said to them, I am one hundred twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: and Yahweh has said to me, You shall not go over this Jordan.

Deu 31:3 Yahweh your God, he will go over before you; he will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them: and Joshua, he shall go over before you, as Yahweh has spoken.

Deu 31:4 Yahweh will do to them as he did to Sihon and to Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land; whom he destroyed.

Deu 31:5 Yahweh will deliver them up before you, and you shall do to them according to all the commandment which I have commanded you.

Deu 31:6 Be strong and of good courage, don't be afraid, nor be scared of them: for Yahweh your God, he it is who does go with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you.

Deu 31:7 Moses called to Joshua, and said to him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of good courage: for you shall go with this people into the land which Yahweh has sworn to their fathers to give them; and you shall cause them to inherit it.

Deu 31:8 Yahweh, he it is who does go before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you, neither forsake you: don't be afraid, neither be dismayed.

Deu 31:9 Moses wrote this law, and delivered it to the priests the sons of Levi, who bore the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, and to all the elders of Israel.

Deu 31:10 Moses commanded them, saying, At the end of every seven years, in the set time of the year of release, in the feast of tents,

Deu 31:11 when all Israel is come to appear before Yahweh your God in the place which he shall choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing.

Deu 31:12 Assemble the people, the men and the women and the little ones, and your foreigner who is within your gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear Yahweh your God, and observe to do all the words of this law;

Deu 31:13 and that their children, who have not known, may hear, and learn to fear Yahweh your God, as long as you live in the land where you go over the Jordan to possess it.

Deu 31:14 Yahweh said to Moses, Behold, your days approach that you must die: call Joshua, and present yourselves in the Tent of Meeting, that I may commission him. Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the Tent of Meeting.

Deu 31:15 Yahweh appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud: and the pillar of cloud stood over the door of the Tent.

Deu 31:16 Yahweh said to Moses, Behold, you shall sleep with your fathers; and this people will rise up, and play the prostitute after the strange gods of the land, where they go to be among them, and will forsake me, and break my covenant which I have made with them.

Deu 31:17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall come on them; so that they will say in that day, Haven't these evils come on us because our God is not among us?

Deu 31:18 I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evil which they shall have worked, in that they are turned to other gods.

Deu 31:19 Now therefore write you this song for you, and teach you it the children of Israel: put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel.

Deu 31:20 For when I shall have brought them into the land which I swore to their fathers, flowing with milk and honey, and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and grown fat; then will they turn to other gods, and serve them, and despise me, and break my covenant.

Deu 31:21 It shall happen, when many evils and troubles are come on them, that this song shall testify before them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they frame this day, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.

Deu 31:22 So Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel.

Deu 31:23 He commissioned Joshua the son of Nun, and said, Be strong and of good courage; for you shall bring the children of Israel into the land which I swore to them: and I will be with you.

Deu 31:24 It happened, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished,

Deu 31:25 that Moses commanded the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, saying,

Deu 31:26 Take this book of the law, and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of Yahweh your God, that it may be there for a witness against you.

Deu 31:27 For I know your rebellion, and your stiff neck: behold, while I am yet alive with you this day, you have been rebellious against Yahweh; and how much more after my death?

Deu 31:28 Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to witness against them.

Deu 31:29 For I know that after my death you will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will happen to you in the latter days; because you will do that which is evil in the sight of Yahweh, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

Deu 31:30 Moses spoke in the ears of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song, until they were finished.


Deu 32:1 Give ear, you heavens, and I will speak. Let the earth hear the words of my mouth.

Deu 32:2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain. My speech shall condense as the dew, as the small rain on the tender grass, as the showers on the herb.

Deu 32:3 For I will proclaim the name of Yahweh. Ascribe greatness to our God!

Deu 32:4 The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice: a God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Deu 32:5 They have dealt corruptly with him, they are not his children, it is their blemish. They are a perverse and crooked generation.

Deu 32:6 Do you thus requite Yahweh, foolish people and unwise? Isn't he your father who has bought you? He has made you, and established you.

Deu 32:7 Remember the days of old. Consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; your elders, and they will tell you.

Deu 32:8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the children of men, he set the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel.

Deu 32:9 For Yahweh's portion is his people. Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

Deu 32:10 He found him in a desert land, in the waste howling wilderness. He surrounded him. He cared for him. He kept him as the apple of his eye.

Deu 32:11 As an eagle that stirs up her nest, that flutters over her young, he spread abroad his wings, he took them, he bore them on his feathers.

Deu 32:12 Yahweh alone led him. There was no foreign god with him.

Deu 32:13 He made him ride on the high places of the earth. He ate the increase of the field. He caused him to suck honey out of the rock, oil out of the flinty rock;

Deu 32:14 Butter of the herd, and milk of the flock, with fat of lambs, rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the finest of the wheat. Of the blood of the grape you drank wine.

Deu 32:15 But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked. You have grown fat. You have grown thick. You have become sleek. Then he forsook God who made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.

Deu 32:16 They moved him to jealousy with strange gods. They provoked him to anger with abominations.

Deu 32:17 They sacrificed to demons, which were no God, to gods that they didn't know, to new gods that came up of late, which your fathers didn't dread.

Deu 32:18 Of the Rock who became your father, you are unmindful, and have forgotten God who gave you birth.

Deu 32:19 Yahweh saw it, and abhorred them, because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters.

Deu 32:20 He said, I will hide my face from them. I will see what their end shall be; for they are a very perverse generation, children in whom is no faithfulness.

Deu 32:21 They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God. They have provoked me to anger with their vanities. I will move them to jealousy with those who are not a people. I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.

Deu 32:22 For a fire is kindled in my anger, Burns to the lowest Sheol, Devours the earth with its increase, and sets the foundations of the mountains on fire.

Deu 32:23 I will heap evils on them. I will spend my arrows on them.

Deu 32:24 They shall be wasted with hunger, and devoured with burning heat and bitter destruction. I will send the teeth of animals on them, With the poison of crawling things of the dust.

Deu 32:25 Outside the sword shall bereave, and in the chambers, terror; on both young man and virgin, The suckling with the gray-haired man.

Deu 32:26 I said, I would scatter them afar. I would make the memory of them to cease from among men;

Deu 32:27 were it not that I feared the provocation of the enemy, lest their adversaries should judge wrongly, lest they should say, Our hand is exalted, Yahweh has not done all this.

Deu 32:28 For they are a nation void of counsel. There is no understanding in them.

Deu 32:29 Oh that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!

Deu 32:30 How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and Yahweh had delivered them up?

Deu 32:31 For their rock is not as our Rock, even our enemies themselves being judges.

Deu 32:32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, of the fields of Gomorrah. Their grapes are grapes of gall, Their clusters are bitter.

Deu 32:33 Their wine is the poison of serpents, The cruel venom of asps.

Deu 32:34 Isn't this laid up in store with me, sealed up among my treasures?

Deu 32:35 Vengeance is mine, and recompense, at the time when their foot slides; for the day of their calamity is at hand. The things that are to come on them shall make haste.

Deu 32:36 For Yahweh will judge his people, and have compassion on his servants, when he sees that their power is gone, There is none remaining, shut up or left at large.

Deu 32:37 He will say, Where are their gods, The rock in which they took refuge;

Deu 32:38 Which ate the fat of their sacrifices, And drank the wine of their drink offering? Let them rise up and help you! Let them be your protection.

Deu 32:39 See now that I, even I, am he, There is no god with me. I kill, and I make alive. I wound, and I heal. There is no one who can deliver out of my hand.

Deu 32:40 For I lift up my hand to heaven, And say, As I live forever,

Deu 32:41 if I whet my glittering sword, My hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to my adversaries, and will recompense those who hate me.

Deu 32:42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood. My sword shall devour flesh with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the head of the leaders of the enemy.

Deu 32:43 Rejoice, you nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants. He will render vengeance to his adversaries, And will make expiation for his land, for his people.

Deu 32:44 Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he and Joshua the son of Nun.

Deu 32:45 Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel;

Deu 32:46 He said to them, Set your heart to all the words which I testify to you this day, which you shall command your children to observe to do, even all the words of this law.

Deu 32:47 For it is no vain thing for you; because it is your life, and through this thing you shall prolong your days in the land, where you go over the Jordan to possess it.

Deu 32:48 Yahweh spoke to Moses that same day, saying,

Deu 32:49 Go up into this mountain of Abarim, to Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and see the land of Canaan, which I give to the children of Israel for a possession;

Deu 32:50 and die on the mountain where you go up, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor, and was gathered to his people:

Deu 32:51 because you trespassed against me in the midst of the children of Israel at the waters of Meribah of Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because you didn't sanctify me in the midst of the children of Israel.

Deu 32:52 For you shall see the land before you; but you shall not go there into the land which I give the children of Israel.


May 9

Deuteronomy 33, 34

Deu 33:1 This is the blessing, with which Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death.

Deu 33:2 He said, Yahweh came from Sinai, And rose from Seir to them. He shone forth from Mount Paran. He came from the ten thousands of holy ones. At his right hand was a fiery law for them.

Deu 33:3 Yes, he loves the people. All his saints are in your hand. They sat down at your feet; Everyone shall receive of your words.

Deu 33:4 Moses commanded us a law, An inheritance for the assembly of Jacob.

Deu 33:5 He was king in Jeshurun, When the heads of the people were gathered, All the tribes of Israel together.

Deu 33:6 Let Reuben live, and not die; Nor let his men be few.

Deu 33:7 This is the blessing of Judah: and he said, Hear, Yahweh, the voice of Judah. Bring him in to his people. With his hands he contended for himself. You shall be a help against his adversaries.

Deu 33:8 Of Levi he said, Your Thummim and your Urim are with your godly one, whom you proved at Massah, with whom you strove at the waters of Meribah;

Deu 33:9 who said of his father, and of his mother, I have not seen him; Neither did he acknowledge his brothers, Nor did he know his own children: For they have observed your word, and keep your covenant.

Deu 33:10 They shall teach Jacob your ordinances, and Israel your law. They shall put incense before you, and whole burnt offering on your altar.

Deu 33:11 Yahweh, bless his substance. Accept the work of his hands. Strike through the hips of those who rise up against him, of those who hate him, that they not rise again.

Deu 33:12 Of Benjamin he said, The beloved of Yahweh shall dwell in safety by him. He covers him all the day long. He dwells between his shoulders.

Deu 33:13 Of Joseph he said, His land is blessed by Yahweh, for the precious things of the heavens, for the dew, for the deep that couches beneath,

Deu 33:14 for the precious things of the fruits of the sun, for the precious things of the growth of the moons,

Deu 33:15 for the chief things of the ancient mountains, for the precious things of the everlasting hills,

Deu 33:16 for the precious things of the earth and its fullness, the good will of him who lived in the bush. Let the blessing come on the head of Joseph, On the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.

Deu 33:17 The firstborn of his herd, majesty is his. His horns are the horns of the wild ox. With them he shall push the peoples all of them, even the ends of the earth: They are the ten thousands of Ephraim. They are the thousands of Manasseh.

Deu 33:18 Of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out; and Issachar, in your tents.

Deu 33:19 They shall call the peoples to the mountain. There they will offer sacrifices of righteousness, for they shall draw out the abundance of the seas, the hidden treasures of the sand.

Deu 33:20 Of Gad he said, He who enlarges Gad is blessed. He dwells as a lioness, and tears the arm, yes, the crown of the head.

Deu 33:21 He provided the first part for himself, for there was the lawgiver's portion reserved. He came with the heads of the people. He executed the righteousness of Yahweh, His ordinances with Israel.

Deu 33:22 Of Dan he said, Dan is a lion's cub that leaps out of Bashan.

Deu 33:23 Of Naphtali he said, Naphtali, satisfied with favor, full of the blessing of Yahweh, Possess the west and the south.

Deu 33:24 Of Asher he said, Asher is blessed with children. Let him be acceptable to his brothers. Let him dip his foot in oil.

Deu 33:25 Your bars shall be iron and brass. As your days, so your strength will be.

Deu 33:26 There is none like God, Jeshurun, who rides on the heavens for your help, In his excellency on the skies.

Deu 33:27 The eternal God is your dwelling place. Underneath are the everlasting arms. He thrust out the enemy from before you, and said, Destroy.

Deu 33:28 Israel dwells in safety; the fountain of Jacob alone, In a land of grain and new wine. Yes, his heavens drop down dew.

Deu 33:29 You are happy, Israel. Who is like you, a people saved by Yahweh, the shield of your help, the sword of your excellency! Your enemies shall submit themselves to you. You shall tread on their high places.


Deu 34:1 Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. Yahweh showed him all the land of Gilead, to Dan,

Deu 34:2 and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, to the hinder sea,

Deu 34:3 and the South, and the Plain of the valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, to Zoar.

Deu 34:4 Yahweh said to him, This is the land which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, I will give it to your seed: I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.

Deu 34:5 So Moses the servant of Yahweh died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of Yahweh.

Deu 34:6 He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab over against Beth Peor: but no man knows of his tomb to this day.

Deu 34:7 Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.

Deu 34:8 The children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping in the mourning for Moses were ended.

Deu 34:9 Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands on him: and the children of Israel listened to him, and did as Yahweh commanded Moses.

Deu 34:10 There has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom Yahweh knew face to face,

Deu 34:11 in all the signs and the wonders, which Yahweh sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land,

Deu 34:12 and in all the mighty hand, and in all the great terror, which Moses worked in the sight of all Israel.

May 10

Joshua 1, 2


Jos 1:1 Now it happened after the death of Moses the servant of Yahweh, that Yahweh spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' servant, saying,

Jos 1:2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you, and all this people, to the land which I give to them, even to the children of Israel.

Jos 1:3 I have given you every place that the sole of your foot will tread on, as I told Moses.

Jos 1:4 From the wilderness, and this Lebanon, even to the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your border.

Jos 1:5 No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not fail you nor forsake you.

Jos 1:6 Be strong and of good courage; for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

Jos 1:7 Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you. Don't turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.

Jos 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success.

Jos 1:9 Haven't I commanded you? Be strong and of good courage. Don't be afraid, neither be dismayed: for Yahweh your God is with you wherever you go.

Jos 1:10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying,

Jos 1:11 "Pass through the midst of the camp, and command the people, saying, 'Prepare food; for within three days you are to pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which Yahweh your God gives you to possess it.' "

Jos 1:12 Joshua spoke to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, saying,

Jos 1:13 "Remember the word which Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded you, saying, 'Yahweh your God gives you rest, and will give you this land.

Jos 1:14 Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock, shall live in the land which Moses gave you beyond the Jordan; but you shall pass over before your brothers armed, all the mighty men of valor, and shall help them

Jos 1:15 until Yahweh has given your brothers rest, as he has given you, and they have also possessed the land which Yahweh your God gives them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession, and possess it, which Moses the servant of Yahweh gave you beyond the Jordan toward the sunrise.' "

Jos 1:16 They answered Joshua, saying, "All that you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.

Jos 1:17 Just as we listened to Moses in all things, so will we listen to you. Only may Yahweh your God be with you, as he was with Moses.

Jos 1:18 Whoever rebels against your commandment, and doesn't listen to your words in all that you command him, he shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage."


Jos 2:1 Joshua the son of Nun secretly sent two men out of Shittim as spies, saying, "Go, view the land, and Jericho." They went and came into the house of a prostitute whose name was Rahab, and slept there.

Jos 2:2 The king of Jericho was told, "Behold, men of the children of Israel came in here tonight to spy out the land."

Jos 2:3 The king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, "Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered into your house; for they have come to spy out all the land."

Jos 2:4 The woman took the two men and hid them. Then she said, "Yes, the men came to me, but I didn't know where they came from.

Jos 2:5 It happened about the time of the shutting of the gate, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went, I don't know. Pursue them quickly; for you will overtake them."

Jos 2:6 But she had brought them up to the roof, and hid them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.

Jos 2:7 The men pursued them the way to the Jordan to the fords: and as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.

Jos 2:8 Before they had laid down, she came up to them on the roof;

Jos 2:9 and she said to the men, "I know that Yahweh has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you.

Jos 2:10 For we have heard how Yahweh dried up the water of the Red Sea before you, when you came out of Egypt; and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites, who were beyond the Jordan, to Sihon and to Og, whom you utterly destroyed.

Jos 2:11 As soon as we had heard it, our hearts melted, neither did there remain any more spirit in any man, because of you: for Yahweh your God, he is God in heaven above, and on earth beneath.

Jos 2:12 Now therefore, please swear to me by Yahweh, since I have dealt kindly with you, that you also will deal kindly with my father's house, and give me a true token;

Jos 2:13 and that you will save alive my father, my mother, my brothers, and my sisters, and all that they have, and will deliver our lives from death."

Jos 2:14 The men said to her, "Our life for yours, if you don't talk about this business of ours; and it shall be, when Yahweh gives us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you."

Jos 2:15 Then she let them down by a cord through the window; for her house was on the side of the wall, and she lived on the wall.

Jos 2:16 She said to them, "Go to the mountain, lest the pursuers find you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers have returned. Afterward, you may go your way."

Jos 2:17 The men said to her, "We will be guiltless of this your oath which you have made us to swear.

Jos 2:18 Behold, when we come into the land, you shall bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which you did let us down by. You shall gather to yourself into the house your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father's household.

Jos 2:19 It shall be that whoever goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood will be on his head, and we will be guiltless. Whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand is on him.

Jos 2:20 But if you talk about this business of ours, then we shall be guiltless of your oath which you have made us to swear."

Jos 2:21 She said, "According to your words, so be it." She sent them away, and they departed. She tied the scarlet line in the window.

Jos 2:22 They went, and came to the mountain, and stayed there three days, until the pursuers had returned. The pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but didn't find them.

Jos 2:23 Then the two men returned, descended from the mountain, passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun; and they told him all that had happened to them.

Jos 2:24 They said to Joshua, "Truly Yahweh has delivered into our hands all the land. Moreover, all the inhabitants of the land melt away before us."


May 8, 9

Luke 21

Luk 21:1 He looked up, and saw the rich people who were putting their gifts into the treasury.

Luk 21:2 He saw a certain poor widow casting in two small brass coins.

Luk 21:3 He said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow put in more than all of them,

Luk 21:4 for all these put in gifts for God from their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, put in all that she had to live on."

Luk 21:5 As some were talking about the temple and how it was decorated with beautiful stones and gifts, he said,

Luk 21:6 "As for these things which you see, the days will come, in which there will not be left here one stone on another that will not be thrown down."

Luk 21:7 They asked him, "Teacher, so when will these things be? What is the sign that these things are about to happen?"

Luk 21:8 He said, "Watch out that you don't get led astray, for many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he,' and, 'The time is at hand.' Therefore don't follow them.

Luk 21:9 When you hear of wars and disturbances, don't be terrified, for these things must happen first, but the end won't come immediately."

Luk 21:10 Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

Luk 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, famines, and plagues in various places. There will be terrors and great signs from heaven.

Luk 21:12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you up to synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for my name's sake.

Luk 21:13 It will turn out as a testimony for you.

Luk 21:14 Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate beforehand how to answer,

Luk 21:15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to withstand or to contradict.

Luk 21:16 You will be handed over even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. They will cause some of you to be put to death.

Luk 21:17 You will be hated by all men for my name's sake.

Luk 21:18 And not a hair of your head will perish.

Luk 21:19 "By your endurance you will win your lives.

Luk 21:20 "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is at hand.

Luk 21:21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let those who are in the midst of her depart. Let those who are in the country not enter therein.

Luk 21:22 For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.

Luk 21:23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who nurse infants in those days! For there will be great distress in the land, and wrath to this people.

Luk 21:24 They will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Luk 21:25 There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the earth anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves;

Luk 21:26 men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Luk 21:27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

Luk 21:28 But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near."

Luk 21:29 He told them a parable. "See the fig tree, and all the trees.

Luk 21:30 When they are already budding, you see it and know by your own selves that the summer is already near.

Luk 21:31 Even so you also, when you see these things happening, know that the Kingdom of God is near.

Luk 21:32 Most certainly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all things are accomplished.

Luk 21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.

Luk 21:34 "So be careful, or your hearts will be loaded down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day will come on you suddenly.

Luk 21:35 For it will come like a snare on all those who dwell on the surface of all the earth.

Luk 21:36 Therefore be watchful all the time, praying that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will happen, and to stand before the Son of Man."

Luk 21:37 Every day Jesus was teaching in the temple, and every night he would go out and spend the night on the mountain that is called Olivet.

Luk 21:38 All the people came early in the morning to him in the temple to hear him.


May 10

Luke 22

Luk 22:1 Now the feast of unleavened bread, which is called the Passover, drew near.

Luk 22:2 The chief priests and the scribes sought how they might put him to death, for they feared the people.

Luk 22:3 Satan entered into Judas, who was surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered with the twelve.

Luk 22:4 He went away, and talked with the chief priests and captains about how he might deliver him to them.

Luk 22:5 They were glad, and agreed to give him money.

Luk 22:6 He consented, and sought an opportunity to deliver him to them in the absence of the multitude.

Luk 22:7 The day of unleavened bread came, on which the Passover must be sacrificed.

Luk 22:8 He sent Peter and John, saying, "Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat."

Luk 22:9 They said to him, "Where do you want us to prepare?"

Luk 22:10 He said to them, "Behold, when you have entered into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him into the house which he enters.

Luk 22:11 Tell the master of the house, 'The Teacher says to you, "Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?" '

Luk 22:12 He will show you a large, furnished upper room. Make preparations there."

Luk 22:13 They went, found things as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

Luk 22:14 When the hour had come, he sat down with the twelve apostles.

Luk 22:15 He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer,

Luk 22:16 for I tell you, I will no longer by any means eat of it until it is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God."

Luk 22:17 He received a cup, and when he had given thanks, he said, "Take this, and share it among yourselves,

Luk 22:18 for I tell you, I will not drink at all again from the fruit of the vine, until the Kingdom of God comes."

Luk 22:19 He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave to them, saying, "This is my body which is given for you. Do this in memory of me."

Luk 22:20 Likewise, he took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

Luk 22:21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table.

Luk 22:22 The Son of Man indeed goes, as it has been determined, but woe to that man through whom he is betrayed!"

Luk 22:23 They began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing.

Luk 22:24 There arose also a contention among them, which of them was considered to be greatest.

Luk 22:25 He said to them, "The kings of the nations lord it over them, and those who have authority over them are called 'benefactors.'

Luk 22:26 But not so with you. But one who is the greater among you, let him become as the younger, and one who is governing, as one who serves.

Luk 22:27 For who is greater, one who sits at the table, or one who serves? Isn't it he who sits at the table? But I am in the midst of you as one who serves.

Luk 22:28 But you are those who have continued with me in my trials.

Luk 22:29 I confer on you a kingdom, even as my Father conferred on me,

Luk 22:30 that you may eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. You will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Luk 22:31 The Lord said, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat,

Luk 22:32 but I prayed for you, that your faith wouldn't fail. You, when once you have turned again, establish your brothers."

Luk 22:33 He said to him, "Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death!"

Luk 22:34 He said, "I tell you, Peter, the rooster will by no means crow today until you deny that you know me three times."

Luk 22:35 He said to them, "When I sent you out without purse, and wallet, and shoes, did you lack anything?" They said, "Nothing."

Luk 22:36 Then he said to them, "But now, whoever has a purse, let him take it, and likewise a wallet. Whoever has none, let him sell his cloak, and buy a sword.

Luk 22:37 For I tell you that this which is written must still be fulfilled in me: 'He was counted with the lawless.' For that which concerns me has an end."

Luk 22:38 They said, "Lord, behold, here are two swords." He said to them, "That is enough."

Luk 22:39 He came out, and went, as his custom was, to the Mount of Olives. His disciples also followed him.

Luk 22:40 When he was at the place, he said to them, "Pray that you don't enter into temptation."

Luk 22:41 He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw, and he knelt down and prayed,

Luk 22:42 saying, "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done."

Luk 22:43 An angel from heaven appeared to him, strengthening him.

Luk 22:44 Being in agony he prayed more earnestly. His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground.

Luk 22:45 When he rose up from his prayer, he came to the disciples, and found them sleeping because of grief,

Luk 22:46 and said to them, "Why do you sleep? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation."

Luk 22:47 While he was still speaking, behold, a multitude, and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He came near to Jesus to kiss him.

Luk 22:48 But Jesus said to him, "Judas, do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?"

Luk 22:49 When those who were around him saw what was about to happen, they said to him, "Lord, shall we strike with the sword?"

Luk 22:50 A certain one of them struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.

Luk 22:51 But Jesus answered, "Let me at least do this" -and he touched his ear, and healed him.

Luk 22:52 Jesus said to the chief priests, captains of the temple, and elders, who had come against him, "Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs?

Luk 22:53 When I was with you in the temple daily, you didn't stretch out your hands against me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness."

Luk 22:54 They seized him, and led him away, and brought him into the high priest's house. But Peter followed from a distance.

Luk 22:55 When they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard, and had sat down together, Peter sat among them.

Luk 22:56 A certain servant girl saw him as he sat in the light, and looking intently at him, said, "This man also was with him."

Luk 22:57 He denied Jesus, saying, "Woman, I don't know him."

Luk 22:58 After a little while someone else saw him, and said, "You also are one of them!" But Peter answered, "Man, I am not!"

Luk 22:59 After about one hour passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, "Truly this man also was with him, for he is a Galilean!"

Luk 22:60 But Peter said, "Man, I don't know what you are talking about!" Immediately, while he was still speaking, a rooster crowed.

Luk 22:61 The Lord turned, and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the Lord's word, how he said to him, "Before the rooster crows you will deny me three times."

Luk 22:62 He went out, and wept bitterly.

Luk 22:63 The men who held Jesus mocked him and beat him.

Luk 22:64 Having blindfolded him, they struck him on the face and asked him, "Prophesy! Who is the one who struck you?"

Luk 22:65 They spoke many other things against him, insulting him.

Luk 22:66 As soon as it was day, the assembly of the elders of the people was gathered together, both chief priests and scribes, and they led him away into their council, saying,

Luk 22:67 "If you are the Christ, tell us." But he said to them, "If I tell you, you won't believe,

Luk 22:68 and if I ask, you will in no way answer me or let me go.

Luk 22:69 From now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God."

Luk 22:70 They all said, "Are you then the Son of God?" He said to them, "You say it, because I am."

Luk 22:71 They said, "Why do we need any more witness? For we ourselves have heard from his own mouth!"