7/17/20

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" Principles Of Evangelism - II (10:11-42) by Mark Copeland











"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

Principles Of Evangelism - II (10:11-42)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our previous study, we began looking at the instructions Jesus
   gave in charging His apostles with "The Limited Commission"...
   a. In which He sent them to preach to the house of Israel - Mt 10:5-10
   b. To prepare the way for Jesus to come to them personally 
- cf. Mt 10:23; 11:1; Lk 10:1 2. In that study, we observed five "Principles Of Evangelism"... a. Utilize the power of synergy b. Employ the practice of specialization c. Proclaim the word of God d. Offer our services freely e. Support those willing to work -- Principles that were utilized by the early church with great success, and worthy of our emulation today 3. In this study, we shall consider the rest of Jesus words in giving "The Limited Commission"... a. Gleaning at least five more "Principles of Evangelism" b. Noticing principles applied by the early church and applicable today as well [Beginning with Mt 10:11-15, we find Jesus telling His apostles...] I. BE SELECTIVE A. THE APOSTLES WERE TO FOCUS ON THOSE WHO WERE "WORTHY"... 1. Those who were both hospitable and willing to listen - Mt 10:11-13 2. But they were to "shake off the dust from your feet" when leaving a city that would not receive them or hear their words- Mt 10:14 3. It would be more tolerable in the day of judgment for Sodom and Gomorrah than for such people - Mt 10:15 B. THIS ILLUSTRATES THE NEED TO BE SELECTIVE... 1. We are not to "cast your pearls before swine" - Mt 7:6 2. People judge themselves unworthy of the gospel by their lack of interest a. Paul was willing to preach again if people were interested - Ac 13:42-44 b. But when people rejected the gospel, he turned elsewhere - Ac 13:45-46 C. MAKING APPLICATION TODAY... 1. We are to preach the gospel to every creature - Mk 16:15 a. But once people display lack of interest, we are not obligated to keep trying b. Rather than "cast our pearls" before those who don't appreciate it, we should move on to someone else 2. Admittedly, there is room for judgment... a. As to how long we try to reach someone before going on b. Some may not show much interest at first, but do later on 3. But at some point, there may be other souls who need the gospel more than our friends, family and neighbors who show no interest [Another principle of evangelism we do well to remember is to...] II. ANTICIPATE PERSECUTION A. THE APOSTLES WERE TOLD TO EXPECT PERSECUTION... 1. Jesus was sending them as sheep in the midst of wolves - Mt 10:16 2. He gave them a picture of what to expect - Mt 10:17-23 3. As His disciples, they should expect treatment similar to what He had received - Mt 10:24-25 B. THIS ILLUSTRATES THE NEED TO ANTICIPATE PERSECUTION... 1. Jesus later reminded His apostles they would be hated by the world - Jn 15:18-20 2. The apostles would later tell the disciples of persecution to come - Ac 14:22; 1Th 3:4; 2Ti 3:12 3. But the disciples were prepared to react in the proper way a. To rejoice that they were worthy to suffer in Christ's name - Mt 5:10-12 b. To rejoice knowing that trials can make them better - Ro 5: 3-5 C. MAKING APPLICATION TODAY... 1. Don't expect everyone to gladly receive your message of salvation in Christ 2. Rather, expect some to be offended and angry... a. For many don't like to be told they are sinners, in need of salvation b. They may become defensive when told repentance is necessary c. You might lose friends, be ostracized, and in some places, physically abused 3. But being forewarned is forearmed, able to respond in the proper way a. Blessing those who curse you, praying for those who despise you - Mt 5:44 b. Rejoicing for the good that can come out of persecution - Jm 1:2-4 [Evangelism is often short-circuited when met with resistance; anticipating persecution is an important principle that will help us to not lose heart. Closely related to this is another principle of evangelism...] III. FEAR GOD, NOT MAN A. THE APOSTLES WERE TOLD WHOM TO FEAR... 1. They were not to fear those who would resist them - Mt 10:26-27 2. They were not to fear those who could kill them - Mt 10:28 3. They were to fear God if they desired to be free from the fear of men a. For God had the power to destroy both body and soul - Mt 10:28 b. But God also knew everything about them and valued them highly - Mt 10:29-31 4. Confessing Jesus before men would ensure their being confessed before God - Mt 10:32-33 B. THIS ILLUSTRATES THE NEED TO BE MORE CONCERNED WITH WHAT GOD THINKS... 1. Fear of rejection often hinders many evangelistic efforts a. We want to be accepted by friends, family, neighbors b. We don't want to be turned away from them -- But they are not the ones who will judge us in the last day! 2. Paul reminds us that pleasing God rather than man is what makes one a servant of Christ - Ga 1:10 C. MAKING APPLICATION TODAY... 1. Christians need to have a healthy reverence for God - Php 2:12 2. When we revere God more than we fear man, the fear of rejection will not hinder our efforts to teach others a. We will stop trying to please others, and seek to please God! b. We will seek His favor, rather than the favor of men 3. With the proper fear of God, we will not rest until we are doing something in the area of evangelism, for that is His will for us! [Fearing God over fearing men is a matter of keeping our priorities straight. Along the same vein is the next principle of evangelism that Jesus taught...] IV. PUT THE LORD FIRST A. THE APOSTLES WERE TOLD HOW THE LORD MUST COME FIRST... 1. Jesus described the kind of conflicts that would often arise - Mt 10:34-36 a. His coming and the gospel of the kingdom would often divide family members b. The members of one's own household might become enemies 2. To be worthy, they must love Him more than family and self- Mt 10:37-39 a. They must be willing to take up their cross and follow Him b. They must be willing to lose their life in service to Him to truly find their life B. THIS ILLUSTRATES THE COST OF DISCIPLESHIP... 1. A cost Jesus encouraged all to count before becoming His disciples - Lk 14:25-33 2. A cost Jesus reminded one disciple who sought to put family first - Mt 8:21-22 C. MAKING APPLICATION TODAY... 1. Service to God is hindered by allowing family and personal interests to come first a. You see this in how some put relatives and family before the church b. We have a responsibility to our families (1Ti 5:8), but we must not let that get in the way of serving Jesus 2. Evangelism, especially foreign evangelism, will never be what it should be as long as we allow family and personal considerations hold us back a. Think of the early Christians, who "went everywhere preaching the word"
 - Ac 8:4 b. Likely there were children, parents, and others saying "Don't go"; but neither persecution nor family ties kept them from spreading the Word! [We come to the last point, which ties in with the last point of the previous lesson (Support those willing to work)...] V. SUPPORTERS SHARE IN THE REWARD A. THIS WOULD ENCOURAGE THOSE WHO RECEIVED THE APOSTLES... 1. For in receiving them, they receive Christ and God who sent Him - Mt 10:40 2. They would share in the rewards of the prophets and righteous men they supported - Mt 10:41 3. Even a cup of cold water would not go unnoticed - Mt 10:42 B. THIS ILLUSTRATES THE PRINCIPLE ESTABLISHED BY DAVID... 1. Back when David and his men were pursuing the Amalekites - 1Sa 30:9-10,18-25 a. When some had to be left with the supplies while others fought the enemy b. David decreed that all should share alike - both those at the base, and those at the front 2. Thus those who support have fellowship in both the work and reward of those they support! C. MAKING APPLICATION TODAY... 1. Never underestimate the role of supporting those who go ("How shall they preach unless they are sent?") - cf. Ro 10:14-15 2. If you cannot go or teach yourself, then do what you can to support those who can 3. Take comfort in knowing: a. It is Christ you are serving, not just a servant of Christ! b. You can receive a prophet's reward without necessarily being a prophet! CONCLUSION 1. In summation, here are ten "Principles Of Evangelism" found in "The Limited Commission"...

 a. Utilize the power of synergy f. Be selective b. Employ the practice of specialization g. Anticipate persecution c. Proclaim the word of God h. Fear God, not man d. Offer our services freely i. Put the Lord first e. Support those willing to work j. Supporters share in the reward 2. As we attempt to fulfill "The Great Commission" (Mt 28:19)... a. Can we improve on the principles taught by our Savior? b. Did not the early Christians implement them as they went forth with the gospel? As preachers or simply disciples, as churches or as individuals, success in evangelism can only be increased by remembering what our Lord told His twelve apostles before He sent them out to preach the good news of the kingdom...


Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW Principles Of Evangelism - I (10:5-10) by Mark Copeland

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW

Principles Of Evangelism - I (10:5-10)



INTRODUCTION 1. In Mt 28:19-20, Jesus gave what is commonly called "The Great Commission"... a. In which His apostles were charged to make disciples of all the nations b. A charge which still holds true today for His church 2. As we seek to carry out "The Great Commission" today... a. What principles should govern our efforts? b. Has the Lord provided any advice or counsel as to how we might best go about the work of evangelism? 3. In Mt 10:5-42, we find what is commonly called "The Limited Commission"... a. A charge given to the apostles during the earthly ministry of Jesus - Mt 10:1-5 b. So-called because He limited their work to the house of Israel - Mt 10:5-6 c. In which the Lord gave instructions to govern them as they sought to carry out their work 4. From the instructions of Jesus, we can glean some "Principles Of Evangelism"... a. Principles that helped them also carry out "The Great Commission" b. Principles that can help us be more successful in evangelism today [In this lesson and one to follow, I want to point out at least ten principles that Jesus applied in sending out His apostles. They are principles that I believe can prove successful today. The first one is...] I. UTILIZE THE POWER OF SYNERGY A. THE APOSTLES WERE SENT OUT TWO-BY-TWO... 1. As evident from Mark's account - cf. Mt 10:5a with Mk 6:7 2. A practice continued... a. When Jesus sent out the seventy - Lk 10:1 b. When the Spirit sent out Paul and Barnabas - Ac 13:2 c. When Paul and Barnabas went their separate ways - Ac 15:36-40 B. THIS ILLUSTRATES THE PRINCIPLE OF SYNERGY... 1. Synergy: "The working together of two things (muscles or drugs for example) to produce an effect greater than the sum of their individual effects" 2. Two or more preachers working together can do more than by working separately a. They encourage one another, and help each other - cf. Ec 4:9-10 b. A plurality of witnesses lend credibility to their story- cf. Jn 8:17 C. MAKING APPLICATION TODAY... 1. The practice of two or more preachers working together should be encouraged a. Especially in foreign fields or difficult areas b. Through the principle of synergy they can be effective in one area more quickly, and then move on to the next c. This is better than preachers working alone, struggling for years by themselves 2. Small congregations in the same area might need to ask themselves which is better... a. Trying to maintain two struggling works b. Or perhaps becoming one in order to grow faster, swarming later into two separate and larger congregations 3. In one's own personal evangelism... a. Seek out a companion in the congregation with similar interests b. Go together in visiting, teaching home studies, etc. [Perhaps much of the slow growth in evangelism today is a failure to appreciate the principle of synergy which was applied by the Lord and the early church. Another principle to consider is...] II. EMPLOY THE PRACTICE OF SPECIALIZATION A. THE APOSTLES WERE SENT TO THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL... 1. Which is why this is called "The Limited Commission" - Mt 10:5-6 a. Circumstances limited the arena in which they were to go b. E.g., their mission was to prepare people for Jesus' coming, and their time was limited - Mt 10:23; cf. Lk 10:1-2 2. Later, in carrying out "The Great Commission", the apostles had their individual "focus groups" a. Peter focused on the circumcised (Jews), while Paul focused on the uncircumcised (Gentiles) - Ga 2:7-9 b. Paul also focused on going where others had not gone
- Ro 15:20 B. THIS ILLUSTRATES THE VALUE OF SPECIALIZATION... 1. Specialization a. The act of specializing; making something suitable for a special purpose b. The special line of work you have adopted as your career 2. Certain skills, backgrounds, circumstances, etc., may make us more suitable to a certain area of endeavor a. We need to appreciate the diversity of function - Ro 12:3-5 b. We should not hesitate to focus in our area of expertise or opportunity - Ro 12:6-8 C. MAKING APPLICATION TODAY... 1. Preachers may choose to focus on certain areas or groups of people a. Based upon their background, ethnicity, or personal skills b. Some may be well-suited for foreign work, others for local work; some may be well-suited for holding gospel meetings, others may be better at personal work c. Time is limited, none can do it all 1) We should not expect every preacher to be alike 2) We should appreciate those who focus on their particular "mission field" 2. As a congregation... a. It's focus may depend upon several factors 1) The make up of its members and their abilities 2) The community in which the church is located b. While the congregation should try to reach all, it might focus on certain areas for which it is well-suited 1) E.g., senior citizens or young people 2) E.g., the affluent or poor 3) E.g., certain ethnic groups as opposed to others 3. In one's own personal evangelism... a. You might concentrate on your peer group b. You might focus on a particular type of evangelism for which you are well-suited [Certainly we should not specialize to the point that we refuse to help those who come our way; but there is value in utilizing one's strengths and circumstances, being selective in the direction we go. The next principle is most essential...] III. PROCLAIM THE WORD OF GOD A. THE APOSTLES WERE SENT TO PREACH... 1. In "The Limited Commission", the subject was the kingdom of heaven - Mt 10:7 2. In "The Great Commission", it was expanded to include the gospel of Christ - Mk 16:15 a. So Philip the evangelist preached when he went to Samaria - Ac 8:12 b. So Paul preached in synagogues and from house to house - Ac 19:8; 20:18-21,25; 28:23,30-31 B. THIS ILLUSTRATES WHAT SHOULD BE OUR THEME... 1. It should always be the Word of God, the Gospel: a. Which is God's power unto salvation - Ro 1:16 b. Able to save the souls of those who receive meekly - Jm 1:21 2. As Paul instructed Timothy: "Preach the word!" - 2Ti 4:1-5 C. MAKING APPLICATION TODAY... 1. Preachers need to avoid things... a. Which entertain, rather than provide sound doctrine b. Based more upon the ideas of men, rather than the Word of God -- Text based, expository preaching can help keep preachers in the Word 2. Churches should consider what message they are presenting to the lost... a. Is it the gospel of health and wealth, or the gospel of Christ? b. Are we calling for people to become just church members, or disciples of Jesus? 3. In one's own evangelism... a. Do not get sidetracked on various issues b. While many subjects may have their place, they may be "second principles" rather than "first principles" c. The lost need to know the gospel of Jesus Christ and His kingdom, first and foremost! [The next principle is also taken from the words of Jesus to His disciples in "The Limited Commission"...] IV. OFFER OUR SERVICES FREELY A. THE APOSTLES WERE TO "FREELY GIVE"... 1. They were empowered to cast out demons and heal the sick
 - Mt 10:1 a. Such signs were for the purpose of confirming their message b. As explained later - cf. Mk 16:17-20; He 2:3-4 2. They were to offer this service freely - Mt 10:8 B. THIS ILLUSTRATES THE IMPORTANCE OF
"PRACTICING WHAT YOU PREACH"...
1. We preach a gospel of salvation offered as a gift - Ro 6:23 2. Jesus certainly gave Himself freely, that we might be rich - 2Co 8:9 3. To charge people for the message we preach would be incongruous to the spirit of the message a. Do we want them to take our message of sacrificial love and the gift of salvation seriously? b. Then what we have to offer the lost should be without charge! C. MAKING APPLICATION TODAY... 1. Preachers have to be careful a. They do have a right for support (see next point) b. But they should not seek to get rich through their ministry 1) It is one thing to charge for the cost of producing materials 2) It is another to charge above expenses with the view of making money c. One sign of a false teacher or prophet is to exploit others by engaging in "covetous practices" - cf. 2Pe 2:3,14 2. Churches should also consider what they offer the community a. E.g., services such as television and radio programs, audio tapes, videos, Bible correspondence courses, etc. b. Congregations which offer such things freely... 1) Display the spirit of the gospel 2) Avoid the appearance of "being interested only in people's money" 3. In one's own evangelism... a. Offer your message freely b. What gifts or abilities to serve you might have, offer without cost c. By the grace of God you are what you are, follow the example of Jesus and His apostles in offering themselves freely to the lost [At the same time, there is another principle of evangelism which relates to when one might receive support for their labor...] V. SUPPORT THOSE WILLING TO WORK A. THE APOSTLES WERE ALLOWED MONETARY SUPPORT... 1. For which reason they were not to take anything - Mt 10:9-10 2. They could be supported by those who willing to provide for them - cf. Lk 10:7-8 B. THIS ILLUSTRATES THE PRINCIPLE OF SUPPORTING WORKERS... 1. As expounded upon by Paul in 1Co 4:4-14 a. The right to forego secular work in order to serve in spiritual matters b. The right to receive carnal things in return for spiritual service c. A principle taught in the Law, and by Christ Himself 2. Applied to elders who rule well - 1Ti 5:17-18 3. A practice encouraged by John many years later - 3Jn 5-8 C. MAKING APPLICATION TODAY... 1. Preachers may rightly receive support for their labors a. It allows them to concentrate their efforts in matters of the gospel b. Of course, this support should come from those who are Christians, and should not be a means of accumulating wealth (see previous point) 2. Churches have an important role in such support a. Churches can provide support of preachers - 2Co 11:8-9 b. Much foreign evangelism goes undone today, not because preachers are unwilling to go, but because churches have not been willing to send and support - cf. Ro 10:15 3. In one's own efforts... a. There is nothing limiting an individual from helping to support preachers b. While one might help support a local congregation's effort to send and support, one can also help through direct support CONCLUSION 1. Here are "The Principles Of Evangelism" we have gleaned so far from our Lord's instructions in giving "The Limited Commission"... a. Utilize the power of synergy b. Employ the practice of specialization c. Proclaim the word of God d. Offer our services freely e. Support those willing to work 2. As we saw, these principles were later employed by the early church... a. Which may help explain the rapid spread of the gospel in the first century b. Which can still be useful to the Lord's church today -- Could it be that failure to implement any of these may be reasons why the church is not growing like it did then? In our next lesson, we shall examine yet another five principles of evangelism from the instructions Jesus gave to His apostles...


Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Peleg, Pangea, and the Division of the Earth by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=4650

Peleg, Pangea, and the Division of the Earth

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Most everyone who has read Genesis 10:25 has been intrigued by a particular statement found there. The text says: “To Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided; and his brother’s name was Joktan.” What does the statement, “the earth was divided” mean in this verse? In light of the modern idea of Pangea (see Butt, 2006), many have wondered if this verse could be talking about the breaking up of one supercontinent into the various continents that we see today. While this interpretation is not impossible, it is unlikely.

In the context, this verse comes just seven verses before Genesis 11:1. Of course, in the original language, Genesis was not divided into chapters and verses, so there would have been no chapter division. Thus, Genesis 10:25 would naturally have flowed into the discussion of Babel that immediately follows it. In addition, the word “earth” in the passage leads many people to believe that the division is of the physical continents, since, most of the time, in English, the word relates to the physical mass of land. Yet Genesis 11:1 gives us another clear meaning of the term as it was being used in the context. The verse says: “Now the whole earth had one language and one speech.” What does the text mean when it says “the whole earth?” It is obviously referring to the whole human population that inhabited the Earth. It could not be discussing a physical, geological mass of land.

Interestingly, verse nine of chapter 11 states: “Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth, and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.” Notice that in this verse, the first use of the term “earth” refers to the people on the earth, and the next use “over the face of all the earth” refers to the actual land. The important idea to consider is which “earth” is being divided in this context. The context shows that the “earth” that was divided was the people, and nothing is stated about the division of the land. As Eric Lyons wrote concerning the reference to Peleg: “This is a clear reference to the confusion of languages at the tower of Babel described in chapter 11. The “Earth” (i.e., people; cf. 11:1) divided when God confused the languages (11:7-8). Thus, the division in Peleg’s day is linked contextually to the linguistic segregation at Babel (Genesis 11:1-9)” (Lyons, 2004). It seems the best interpretation of Peleg’s name and the division of the Earth during his lifetime is that the text is referring to the separation of the human population due to the fact that God confused their languages at Babel.

REFERENCES

Butt, Kyle (2006), “Pangea and the Flood,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=1729.

Lyons, Eric (2004), “Only One Language Before Babel?, Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=6&article=760.

Origin and History of Catholicism [Part II] by Moisés Pinedo

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=2506

Origin and History of Catholicism [Part II]

by  Moisés Pinedo

[EDITOR'S NOTE: To read Part I of this article, click HERE]

CATHOLIC DEVELOPMENT

A new church was born, a church completely different from the church established by Christ. While the church of Christ was born in Jerusalem (Acts 1:12; 2:1; etc.), this church was born in Rome. While the church of Christ was born with spiritual power (Acts 2:2-4), this church was born with political and military power. While the church of Christ was born under the authority of only one divine Head (Colossians 1:18), this church was born under the authority of one human head—the pope. This new church soon invaded the Earth with its new doctrines.

However, an unexpected threat for this kind of Christianity was quickly approaching from the East: Islam. With Muhammad as its leader, the religion of Islam originated in A.D. 622 and spread aggressively. Less than 25 years from the beginning of the “Hegira” (i.e., Muhammad’s flight from Mecca), the followers of Muhammad had taken control of Egypt, Palestine, Persia, and Syria (Mattox, 1961, p. 173). With its thirst for conquest, this religion threatened to convert the whole world to its beliefs. Soon the threat to Catholicism became increasingly obvious. Many Catholics in conquered nations had converted to Islam out of fear; the advancement of this doctrine over Roman influence and its official religion seemed inevitable. The Roman religion, and the unity of the nation that depended on it, would collapse soon if something were not done quickly. Thus the conflicts between Catholics and Muslims gave rise to the infamous Crusades.

The Crusades (from 1096 until 1270) were military expeditions that started out as a fulfillment of a “solemn vow” to regain the “holy places” in Palestine from the hands of the Muslims. In November 1095, Pope Urban II encouraged the masses to fight together against the Islamic Seljuk Turks who invaded the Byzantine Empire and subjected Greek, Syrian, and Armenian Catholics. He also wanted to extend his political and religious power. To encourage Catholics to involve themselves in a bloody war in the “name of God,” the pope offered forgiveness of sins, care for the lands belonging to crusaders, and the prospect of plunder (see Hitchens and Roupp, 2001, p. 186).

Although multitudes of people answered the call to join the Crusades, they failed to accomplish the initial goal of recovering the Holy Lands. After many years of fighting and much loss of life, the Holy Lands were still in Muslim hands. Nevertheless, the Crusades improved the relationship between Catholic nations and stopped the advancement of the Turks in Europe.

Shortly after the Crusades, new ideologies, which Catholicism considered heresies, threatened the Catholic Church. Multitudes of people, led by relentless religious leaders, executed those considered to be heretics without judicial process. The need for judicial regulation concerning heresy, the Catholic concern about the growth of new revolutionary ideas, and the desire to increase the power of the Catholic Church, gave rise to another wave of bloodshed paradoxically known in history as the “Holy” Inquisition.

The Inquisition is described generally as the judicial institution created in the Middle Ages to deal with the enemies of the state religion (i.e., Catholicism). There were three types of inquisitions.

  1. The Episcopal Inquisition was established by Pope Lucius III in 1184. It was overseen and administered by local bishops. Once the orthodox doctrines were established, any deviation from them was investigated and studied by the bishop of the respective diocese. If the “crime” was confirmed, it was punished, primarily by canonic penances (see Chami, 1999a).
  2. The Pontifical Inquisition was created by Pope Gregory IX in 1231 (see Schmandt, 1988, 10:277). This type of inquisition was entrusted to the Dominican order which answered only to the pontiff. It was introduced in France in 1233, in Aragon in 1238, and in Italy in 1254 (Mattox, 1961, pp. 214-215). The inquisitors would go to the place of the alleged heresy, and with the help of the authorities, ask the heretics to present themselves voluntarily before the tribunal. The public also was encouraged to report heretics; anyone could accuse anyone else of heresy. The accused was forced to confess his “heresy” without an opportunity to confront his accusers or defend himself. A long imprisonment awaited the “heretic” who denied the charges. His imprisonment would be interrupted by numerous torture sessions until he confessed his “heresy.” If he continued to refuse to confess, he was turned over to the civil authorities who administered the death penalty to the “obstinate heretic.”
  3. The Spanish Inquisition is considered the most dreadful of all. It began in 1478 with the approval of Pope Sixtus IV, and it lasted until 1834 (see “Inquisition,” 1997, 6:328). This tribunal was different from the Pontifical Inquisition because the inquisitor was appointed by the king rather than the pope, so the inquisitor became a servant of the state rather than the church (see Chami, 1999b). Some of the principal reasons for this inquisition were:
    • The Jewish “threat”—In the 14th and 15th centuries, Europe was ravaged by grave economic crises. Many plagues and epidemics contributed to this situation. Because of their strict hygiene practices, the Jews in Europe survived these epidemics and plagues. While Europeans fell into despair and poverty, most Jews retained their economic status. This situation produced many protests against the Jews and increased the political and religious avarice for, and confiscation of, Jewish wealth. Forced to give up their economic activities, and being pressured by fanatical priests, many Jews converted to the Catholic religion at the beginning of the 15th century. Many Catholics became jealous of the continued financial progress and social position of these Jews and accused them of artificial, insincere conversion (see Domínguez, n.d.).
    • The need for unity in the kingdom—Spain was united politically under the “Catholic Rulers,” Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, but there still were different religious ideologies in the country. Hoping to unify their country religiously, the rulers asked the pope for permission to “purify” their kingdom of non-Catholic ideologies by means of the Inquisition (see Chami, 1999b).

These were some reasons for the cruel Spanish Inquisition. In time, this brutal tribunal dedicated itself to the persecution of Muslims, alleged witches, and supporters of Protestantism.

Though prior inquisitions were cruel, the Spanish Inquisition was devised to terrify even the vilest criminal. Its instruments of torture were even more innovative and inhumane than those of earlier times. Torture treatments included, but were not limited to (1) dislocation of the joints of the body; (2) mutilation of vaginal, anal, and oral interior cavities; (3) removal of tongues, nipples, ears, noses, genitals, and intestines; (4) breaking of legs, arms, toes, and fingers; (5) flattening of knuckles, nails, and heads; (6) sawing of bodies in half; (7) perforation of skin and bones; (8) tearing of skin from the face, abdomen, back, extremities, and sinuses; and (9) stretching of body extremities (see Rodriguez, 2007).

Although Catholicism may want to deny its past, history speaks loudly concerning the atrocities committed in the name of the Catholic faith. Catholicism may try to hide behind the injustices committed by other religious groups to cover its own disgrace, but the truth is that Catholic methodology was the inspiration for the bloody canvas of other religious “artists.” There is no doubt that the Crusades and Inquisitions played a major role in the development and growth of the Catholic Church in a world that did not want to conform to this kind of religion.

CATHOLICISM IN RECENT TIMES

In the past, the Catholic Church used violent methods to destroy opposition to its teachings and practices. Today, without the torture, tribunals, and slaughter, Catholicism seems passive toward the growth of other religions.

The beginning of the 16th century added new fuel to the fire of the Inquisition. Ninety-five reasons for this were nailed to the door of the Catholic Church building in Wittenberg, Germany. Who was responsible? One man: Martin Luther. Although some men before him had attempted to ignite the fire of reformation (e.g., John Wycliffe, John Hus, et al.), the Reformation movement was ineffective until Luther.

Martin Luther was born in Eisleben, Saxony, Germany in 1483. He was the son of a poor miner and paid for his studies at the University of Erfurt with alms he collected. In 1505, he became more interested in the salvation of his soul and the search for spiritual peace thanthe study of law. He entered the Augustinian monastery at Erfurt where he became a devout, but spiritually troubled, monk. By 1508, Luther had come to the conclusion that some teachings and organization of the Catholic Church were completely different from those of the New Testament. The immorality of the clergy in Rome, irreverence toward the sacraments by their own defenders, and the avarice of those who collected indulgences and other penalties set Martin Luther on a collision course with the Catholic Church. In 1517, his 95 theses disturbed the Catholic world to the point that, by 1520, the pope drew up a bull calling for Luther to recant his teachings or be excommunicated.However, he did not succumb to this threat, and continued to spread his teachings (see Mattox, 1961, pp. 243-261; Pelikan, 1988, 12:531-533). Others, such as Huldreich Zwingli (1484-1531) in Switzerland and John Calvin (1509-1564) in France and Geneva, Switzerland, also contributed greatly to the Reformation and the development of Protestant religions.

Various conditions helped the progress of the Reformation in the 16th century. (1) The Renaissance—This cultural movement stimulated intellectual freedom and awakened enthusiastic study of the Scriptures in Europe. Many people began to realize the difference between Catholicism and New Testament Christianity. (2) Corruption of the hierarchy in the Catholic Church—Money bought rights and privileges, and immorality ruled the day, even among the Catholic clergy. Inconsistency between faith and practice became notorious. (3) Secular sovereigns’ support of opposition to Catholic hierarchy—By this time, the Catholic Church owned a third of the land of Western Europe. Kings and rulers were eager to possess this land, as well as other properties that the church had taken for itself. (4) The advent of the printing press—Luther and others used the printing press to spread their ideas and the Scriptures throughout Germany and other countries (see Mattox, 1961, pp. 239-246). By 1542, Protestantism was spreading to many places and was even penetrating Italy with its doctrines. Because of his fear of this new ideological rebellion, Pope Paul III incited the public and church leaders to return to the harsh levels of the Inquisition. In spite of this, Protestantism flourished.

The Catholic Church had encountered a great enemy that seemingly lacked the faintest intention of yielding. However, the “Holy Office” of the Inquisition continued work during the subsequent centuries and expanded to the colonies of Spain in the New World. The tribunal of the Inquisition had jurisdiction over other tribunals organized in Latin American colonies. In these colonies, the Inquisition did not reach the same disgraceful level it did in Europe since natives merely were beginning to learn the Catholic religion and did not yet understand every Catholic dogma. But the poor example of “kindness” shown in conquered nations could not erase the inherent cruelty of the “holy” tribunal.

In 1808, Joseph Bonaparte (brother of Napoleon) signed a decree terminating the “Holy Office,” but it was not until 1834 that the final edict of its abolition was published (see O’Malley, 2001; “Inquisition,” 1997, 6:328). Having its political, military, and social arm broken, the only thing left for the Catholic Church was to “follow the herd” and accept what seemed to be the end of its dictatorship.

In sharp contrast to its past, the Catholic Church has become progressively more tolerant of other religions in spite of its public, verbal opposition. This tolerance has led to a mixture of Catholicism with evangelical religions, such as Lutheranism, Pentecostalism, etc., resulting in serious repercussions for Catholicism worldwide. This situation clearly shows that this kind of religion is based not on the Bible, but on religious preferences. No one can say with certainty what the Catholic Church will become or accept in the future, but history vividly illuminates its past beliefs and practices.

REFERENCES

Chami, Pablo A. (1999a), “Origin of the Inquisition” [“Origen de la Inquisición”], [On-line], URL: http://www.pachami.com/Inquisicion/Origen.html.

Chami, Pablo A. (1999b), “The Spanish Inquisition” [“La Inquisición en España”], [On-line], URL: http://pachami.com/Inquisicion/Espa.htm.

Domínguez, Antonio O. (no date), “The Jewish Problem” [“El Problema Judío”], [On-line], URL: http://www.vallenajerilla.com/berceo/florilegio/inquisicion/problema judio.htm.

Hitchens, Marilynn and Heidi Roupp (2001), How to Prepare for SAT: World History (Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series).

“Inquisition” (1997), The New Encyclopædia Britannica (London: Encyclopædia Britannica).

Mattox, F.W. (1961), The Eternal Kingdom (Delight, AR: Gospel Light).

O’Malley, John W (2001), “Inquisition,” Encarta Encyclopedia 2002 (Redmond, WA: Microsoft Corporation).

Pelikan, Jaroslav (1988), “Luther, Martin,” The World Book Encyclopedia (Chicago, IL: World Book).

Rodriguez, Ana (2007), “Inquisition: Torture Instruments, ‘a Cultural Shock’ for the Audience” [“Inquisición: Instrumentos de Tortura, ‘Sacudida Cultural’ para el Espectador”], La Jornada, March 9, [On-line], URL: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2007/01/09/index.php?section=cultura& ;article=a04n1cul.

Schmandt, Raymond H. (1988), The World Book Encyclopedia (Chicago, IL: World Book).


Origin and History of Catholicism [Part I] by Moisés Pinedo

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=2476

Origin and History of Catholicism [Part I]
by  Moisés Pinedo

Often Catholics make two important assertions: (1) The Catholic Church is the oldest church. [Catholics are firmly convinced that the Catholic Church is much older than any Protestant group that exists today. Although this assertion is historically correct, is it true that the Catholic Church is the oldest church?] (2) The Catholic Church is the biblical church. [Catholics claim that their church is the one described in the Bible and, therefore, the church which God approves.]

These two claims bear some serious implications. First, if the Catholic Church is the oldest church, then: (a) there could not be any church prior to it; (b) the first church, which Christ promised He was going to establish, must be the Catholic Church; and (c) all biblical and/or historical record of the first church should point to Catholicism. Second, if the Catholic Church is the biblical church, then: (a) the Bible should have a record of this church; and (b) its teachings and practices should be approved by the Bible.

ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY

To determine whether the Catholic Church is the oldest church, we must go to the Bible to find a record of the first church. The prophet Daniel said that

...the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever (2:44, emp. added).

God had a plan for the followers of His Son to be part of a kingdom different from any other, a spiritual kingdom that would stand forever: the church (cf. Colossians 1:13). But when did this divine institution begin?

Matthew 16:18 records the first time the term “church” is introduced in the New Testament. Jesus said: “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (emp. added). The term “church,” from the Greek ekklesia, was generally used by the Greeks to refer to a political assembly (cf. Acts 19:41). This term is used for the first time to describe the followers of Christ in Matthew 16:18.

When Jesus spoke of His church in this verse, He declared three very important things. First, Jesus said, “I will build my church.” The future tense of the verb indicates that the church was not yet established. It did not exist at that time. Second, Jesus said, “I will build,” indicating that Christ Himself would establish the church and be its foundation. Third, Jesus said, “My church,” indicating that the Church would belong to Him.

Notice again Jesus’ statement to Peter, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church” (Matthew 16:18). Using two Greek terms—petros and petra—the New Testament makes clear that this “rock” (petra) would be the foundation upon which Jesus would build His church. But to what or to whom does this “rock” refer? Matthew tells us that Jesus had asked His disciples who they thought He was. “Simon Peter answered and said, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’” (Matthew 16:16). Because of this declaration, Jesus made the statement mentioned above (Matthew 16:18). Therefore, it can mean only one thing: Jesus was going to build His church on the confession that Peter had made about Him. In other words, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” would be the foundation upon which the church was to be built. Jesus promised Peter that he would be the blessed person to open the doors of Christianity (or the church), but Peter (petros) would not be the rock (petra) of the church.

Although these verses in Matthew 16 do not give us the beginning of the first church, they do give us an exact prediction of its origin, including the following:

  1. This church was not yet built at the time Jesus was speaking (vs. 18).

  2. This church would be built by Christ, Who would also be its foundation (vs. 18).

  3. This church would belong to Christ (vs. 18).

  4. This church would be built on the confession that Jesus is Christ (vss. 16,18).

  5. Peter would open (symbolically) the doors of this church (vs. 19).

So then, when did these things happen, and when did the first church come into existence?

Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them (Acts 2:41).

This verse, recorded by Luke, tells us the result of the sermon Peter and the other apostles preached on Pentecost. The Bible notes that the apostles had stayed in Jerusalem after Jesus’ ascension, waiting for the promise of the Father (i.e., the arrival of the Holy Spirit; cf. Acts 1:4,12; 2:1). When the Holy Spirit was sent, the apostles began to speak in different languages (Acts 2:4-11). Many people believed, but there were also some who mocked (Acts 2:13). Then, Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and preached to those who were listening to him (Acts 2:14). After showing convincing evidence of the Messianic veracity of Jesus, Peter declared, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36, emp. added).

Luke’s account takes our minds back to the words of Jesus. Jesus had predicted that Peter would open the doors of the church, and that the church would be built on his confession (Matthew 16:16-18). In Acts 2:36, Peter not only opened the doors of Christianity, but he also confessed once more that Jesus was the Lord and the Christ (i.e., the rock on which the church would be built). Therefore, it was on this exact day that the words of Jesus were fulfilled. Acts 2:41 indicates that those who believed “were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.” The question then becomes, “To what were the people who believed and were baptized added?” Verse 47 gives us the answer: “the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” [NOTE: The ASV omits the word “church” and notes “them,” but the idea is the same. Concerning this rendering, Boles stated that the meaning is that those who were baptized, “were by this process added together, and thus formed the church” (1941, p. 52)]. This is the first biblical text that speaks of the church as being in existence; it is at this exact moment in Scripture that the presence of the first church is noted. Peter had opened the doors of the church through the preaching of the Word. He had confessed once more the deity of Jesus. And the Lord had added to His church the people who obeyed.

Which church, then, is the oldest church? The answer is, of course, the church that Christ built in Acts 2. But what church was this? Was this the beginning of the Catholic Church (as Catholicism teaches)? Note that Christ said He was going to build His church (Matthew 16:18), not the Catholic Church.

Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you (Romans 16:16, emp. added).

Although there were various congregations that praised God in many parts of the world when the apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, there was still a unique characteristic about them: all of them belonged to Christ (i.e., they were churches of Christ), for Christ said that He would build His church. Therefore, all of them honorably bore the name of their Founder—Christ.

Acts 2 informs us that the church of Christ was established in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost (c. A.D. 30). It had a unique foundation, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:11). Christ, not Peter, was the cornerstone of the church (cf. 1 Peter 2:4-8). The church was comprised of a group of believers who took the title “Christians” (not “Catholics”) by divine authority (Acts 11:26; cf. Isaiah 62:2). They made up the only body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23; 4:4). The church also was considered the bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:24; Revelation 19:7). Christ was its authority and its Head (Colossians 1:18); it had no earthly head. In its organization, human names and divisions were condemned (1 Corinthians 1:10-13). This was the wonderful, divine institution that God established on Earth—the church of His Son, the church of Christ (see Miller, 2007).

ORIGIN OF CATHOLICISM

If the Catholic Church is not the oldest church, how and when did it become a historical entity? When the church of the Lord began in Acts 2, it grew rapidly. According to Acts 2:41, about 3,000 people believed the preaching of Peter and the other apostles, and were baptized. Acts 4:4 tells us that shortly thereafter the number of believers was at least 5,000, and Acts 6:7 informs us that “the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem.”

At the beginning, the Roman government considered Christians to be one of several insignificant Jewish sects. The book of Acts concludes by noting that even in Roman custody, Paul continued preaching and teaching “with all confidence, no one forbidding him” (Acts 28:31). The Romans underestimated the power and influence of Christianity, allowing the church time and opportunities to grow in its early years (Acts 18:12-16; 23:23-29). However, there was always great opposition from the orthodox Jewish leaders of that time who intellectually, psychologically, and physically persecuted the apostles and other Christians (e.g., Acts 4:1-3,18; 5:17-18; 9:1-­2,22-24; 13:45,50; 17:4-5,13; 21:27-31; 23:12-22).

Although persecution was a terrible scourge for Christians, they had been warned about it and knew how they should react. Jesus had warned His disciples on different occasions about the coming persecutions for His name’s sake (Matthew 10:22). He told them that they would be persecuted in the same ways He was persecuted (John 15:19-20). In fact, persecution from the Jews became a reality shortly after the church began (Acts 8:1). Because of their hypocrisy and ignorance of the Scriptures, the hard-hearted Jews hated the Gospel message.

Jesus also had advised His disciples to escape to other cities when they were persecuted (Matthew 10:23). He wanted them not only to seek safety but also to preach the Gospel in other places. At first, Christians did not want to leave the safety and security of their homelands, but persecution forced their departure (Acts 8:1; 11:19; etc.). As they scattered, Christians began to obey the Great Commission given by the Lord to “go into all the world and preach the gospel,” announcing the arrival of the kingdom of heaven (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19; cf. Acts 8:4; 14:4-7; et al.).

As a result of their worldwide efforts to teach and the jealousy of Jews in many of the places to which Christians traveled, Christianity gained not only religious interest but also political attention. The Roman government began to pay more attention to this “new religion” which frequently was accused of being troublesome and blasphemous toward the government (cf. Acts 17:6-9; 19:23-27).

Suetonius, a Roman historian, seems to confirm this fact by writing the following about Claudius Caesar: “He banished from Rome all the Jews, who were continually making disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus” (1890, p. 318). Clearly, by the time of the Emperor Claudius (A.D. 41-54), efforts to intimidate and discredit Christians were already a serious matter (cf. Acts 18:2). When Claudius died, the infamous Nero took over. He had grand dreams of building a magnificent Rome to satisfy his own pleasures. Many historians believe that Nero was responsible for the great fire that consumed Rome in A.D. 64 and killed many of its inhabitants (e.g., Suetonius, Dio Cassius, et al.; cf. Nelson, 1985, p. 450). Many of his contemporaries also believed Nero was responsible. To suppress these rumors, Nero unfairly charged Christians with the crime and punished them in unbelievably horrible ways. His actions encouraged hatred toward Christians (cf. Tacitus, 1836, pp. 287-288). Christians never had enjoyed the approval of the Roman Empire, but Nero was the first emperor to instigate an intense persecution against them. Excessive, intense persecution continued for centuries. As James Baird wrote, “In actuality, Christianity was opposed more vigorously than any other religion in the long history of Rome” (1978, p. 29).

But beside the misfortunes brought upon Christians by the opponents of divine justice, there was another danger on the horizon, a danger even worse than the persecution itself: the predicted apostasy. In His earthly ministry, Jesus taught His disciples to live for the truth, to teach the truth, and even to die for the truth. The truth of His Word (John 17:17) was an invaluable treasure. Jesus knew that after His ascension, the truth would be challenged, and many would depart from it. On one occasion, Jesus warned His disciples, “Beware of the false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matthew 7:15). Paul confirmed what Jesus said when he wrote, “For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock” (Acts 20:29). The apostle John wrote about the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy as a present reality (1 John 4:1). The apostasy which Jesus predicted existed then, and many already had left the faith (cf. 2 Timothy 4:10).

However, the influence of the apostles still was strong and they guarded the purity of the truth. Many of the apostolic writings preserved in the New Testament were directed toward correcting false teachings, defending the faith, and warning new Christians of dangerous theological doctrines that would arise (cf. Galatians 1:6-10; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 1 Peter 3:15; 1 John). To set in order some things that were lacking in some congregations and to defend “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3), God commanded (through the apostles) that a plurality of elders (also called “bishops” or “pastors”—Acts 20:17,28; Titus 1:5,7; 1 Peter 5:1-4) be appointed in each congregation of the church (Titus 1:5-9; cf. Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-7). The elders were in charge of guiding and feeding the Lord’s flock (Acts 20:28). It was their responsibility to watch over the church which Christ bought with His own blood (Ephesians 5:25; Hebrews 7:26-27).

Upon the death of the apostles (who left no apostolic successors), the elders, along with the deacons, evangelists, and teachers, took total responsibility of defending the faith. Many of them had been instructed directly by the apostles, and thus they were a fundamental part of the spiritual development of the church. [NOTE: Some of these men sometimes are called the “church fathers” or “apostolic fathers.”] In his book, The Eternal Kingdom, F.W. Mattox wrote:

During the first fifty years after the death of the Apostle John, the church struggled to maintain Apostolic purity. The literature of this period, written by men who are commonly called the “Apostolic Fathers” and “Apologists,” shows clearly the efforts made to maintain the New Testament pattern and the trends that later brought on apostasy (1961, p. 107).

Although monumental, many of these early apologists’ efforts to unify the church were based erroneously upon mere human rationality. Little by little, new ideas began to be accepted, which instigated changes in the church. The first main change had to do with the organization of the church, specifically with the authority of the elders. As we have noted, in the early days of the church each congregation had a plurality of elders who simultaneously watched over it. Nevertheless, many began to consider one elder as greater than the others, and eventually he alone was given the title of “bishop.” Disputes and contentions for power began. Later, “bishops” began to preside individually over various congregations in a city, which they called a “diocese” (Latourette, 1965, p. 67).

One of the people who strove to unify the church under only one man (i.e., “the Bishop”) was Ignatius of Antioch. In his letter to the Ephesians, he wrote:

For if I in this brief space of time, have enjoyed such fellowship with your bishop—I mean not of a mere human, but of a spiritual nature—how much more do I reckon you happy who are so joined to him as the Church is to Jesus Christ, and as Jesus Christ is to the Father, that so all things may agree in unity!... Let us be careful, then, not to set ourselves in opposition to the bishop, in order that we may be subject to God (Roberts and Donaldson, 1973, 1:51).

This new structure (i.e., one bishop having authority over others) began as a call to defend the truth, but it caused such a departure from the divine pattern that by A.D. 150, the government of many local congregations differed completely from the simple organization outlined in the New Testament. This “innocent” change in the organization of the church was the seed which preceded the germination of the Catholic movement many years later.

In time, the bishops who exercised authority in certain regions began to meet together to discuss matters that concerned all of them. Eventually these meetings became councils where creeds and new ideas were declared formally binding on all Christians, and alleged heretics were condemned.

Constantine, Emperor of Rome, assembled the first of these councils, the Council of Nicea (A.D. 325). By the time of his reign, the Christian population had grown tremendously. In spite of constant persecution and the growing apostasy, many Christians had remained faithful to God, and their influence was growing. The faith, influence, and courage of these Christians (which led many to die for love of the truth) were obvious to Constantine. Christianity was thought to be, in some ways, a potential threat to the Empire if it continued to grow. Therefore, there were only two options: (1) try to eradicate Christianity from the Empire by increasing opposition to it (a tactic which had failed for almost three centuries), or (2) “go with the flow” so that Christianity would help unify and strengthen the Empire. Constantine decided not only to stop persecution against Christianity but to promote it. To help the church, Constantine ordered that 50 hand-written copies of the Bible be produced, and he placed some Christians in high positions in his government (Miller and Stevens, 1969, 5:48,51). Additionally, he restored places of worship to Christians without demanding payment (see “The Edict...,” n.d.).

Under Constantine’s direction, more changes were made—especially in the organization of the church. Since the end of persecution was something that Christians thought impossible, and since favoritism from the government seemed even less attainable, many Christians allowed themselves to be influenced by the government to the point that they deviated more and more from the truth. Under Constantine’s influence, a new ecclesiastical organization began to develop, modeled after the organization of the Roman government. Although “Christianity” thrived under his influence, it is ironic that Constantine himself was not a Christian. However, just before his death—and surely with the hope that his sins would be removed—he agreed to be baptized for the Christian cause (see Hutchinson and Garrison, 1959, p. 146).

Although Catholicism did not actually come into existence during the time of Constantine, certainly his influence and his legacy were fundamental stones upon which Catholicism soon built its power. As the church obtained benefits from the government, it became more and more similar to the government and moved further from the divine pattern. By the seventh century, many Christians, accepting the model of the Roman government, installed one man, the pope, in Rome to exercise universal ecclesiastical power. According to the model of the counselors for the Roman emperor, a group of cardinals was chosen to be advisors to the pope. According to the model of the Roman governors, bishops were appointed over dioceses. And, in accordance with the model of the Roman Universal (i.e., catholic) Empire, a new church—the Roman Catholic Church—was established. Consequently, the Catholic Church was established at the beginning of the seventh century, under the leadership of the first man to be called “pope” universally, Boniface III.

REFERENCES

Baird, James O. (1978), “The Trials and Tribulations of the Church from the Beginning,” The Future of the Church, ed. William Woodson (Henderson, TN: Freed-Hardeman College).

Boles, H. Leo (1941), A Commentary on Acts of the Apostles (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate).

“The Edict of Milan” (no date), [On-line], URL: http://home.inreach.com/bstanley/edict.htm.

Hutchinson, Paul and Winfred Garrison (1959), 20 Centuries of Christianity (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co.).

Latourette, Kenneth S. (1965), Christianity through the Ages (New York: Harper & Row)

Mattox, F.W. (1961), The Eternal Kingdom (Delight, AR: Gospel Light).

Miller, Dave (2007), What the Bible Says about the Church of Christ (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Miller, Jule and Texas Stevens (1969), Visualized Bible Study Series: History of the Lord’s Church (Houston, TX: Gospel Services).

Nelson, Wilton M., ed. (1985), Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible [Diccionario Ilustrado de la Biblia] (Miami, FL: Editorial Caribe), fourteenth edition.

Roberts, Alexander and James Donaldson, eds. (1973 reprint), Ante-Nicene Fathers: The Apostolic Fathers with Justin Martyr and Irenaeus (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Suetonius Tranquillus (1890), The Lives of the Twelve Cæsars, trans. Alexander Thomson (London: George Bell and Sons).

Tacitus, Cornelius (1836), The Works of Cornelius Tacitus (Philadelphia, PA: Thomas Wardle).

“Hanging on a cross you don’t need…” by Jim McGuiggan

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

“Hanging on a cross you don’t need…”

In 1923 one of the greatest earthquake disasters in history hit Japan and reduced Tokyo and Yokohama to smoking ruins. Millions were homeless, starvation, disease and anarchy were the only things flourishing and the government and military could do nothing about it.
They knew a man who could reorganize and restructure things but he was in prison. The common people almost worshiped him but the government, the capitalists, the radical nationalists and the military people hated and feared him. He was in prison for orchestrating a vast non-violent strike in the docks and even though the workers got all that he had demanded for them he himself was thrown into prison for his leadership in the strike action. His name was Toyohiko Kagawa. They let him out of prison and he began the work of rebuilding the nation. The government offered him a huge wage and all the privileges that went with such a role but he turned it all down saying, “To work with the poor I must be poor.”
He was born in 1888, the illegitimate son of a wealthy and high-ranking politician and a geisha. The father took a liking to the child and adopted him but before the boy was five both his parents had died and although he was officially a samurai and head of nearly twenty villages he went to live with his grandmother and a stepmother. The stepmother hated him and his life was one of unrelieved misery until when he was eleven a rich uncle adopted him and planned great things for him. If his stepmother’s house was the frying pan his boarding school was the fire.
But he met and learned English from Henry Myers a Presbyterian minister. He learned more than that—he learned about Christ and Myers baptized Kagawa into Christ. Horace Shipp said, “Young Kagawa became a Christian. He did a rarer thing: he began to practice Christianity.” He was a pacifist to the core, at times he literally turned the other cheek and he insisted on giving away all his possessions and often his food. In 1904 Japan without warning attacked the Russian ships at Port Arthur and destroyed their entire Baltic fleet. Japan as a nation hailed this as a great triumph and justified it on the basis of less obvious but threatening developments in Russian foreign affairs.
At the seminary where he now attended Kagawa dared to speak against Japan’s act of war and the students would take turns to beat him up. Finally he was expelled, he fell ill (tuberculosis) and went away to die in a little fishing village. But a boat was wrecked on the coast and Kagawa worked until he was absolutely exhausted helping to rescue people. This experience made him determined to live and later his stated aim was “The salvation of 100,000 poor, the emancipation of 9,430,000 laborers and the liberation of twenty million tenant-farmers.”
He took a header into the infamous slums at Shinkawa and for nineteen years he lived in a cubicle six feet by six feet, with one side open to act as door and windows. As part of the lowest of the low, even by Shinkawa standards, he shared his living quarters and for four years he held the hand of a murderer that couldn’t sleep alone. He got a little income from a Training school and he doubled it by working as a chimney sweep and gave it away or gave away all the food and clothes it bought.
It was from one of his ceaseless stream of visitors that he contracted a fierce eye disease that moved him closer and closer to blindness.
The slum bullies robbed him with violence, burned down his shack, knocked his teeth out and challenged his faith by demanding that he give away his clothes. He did that on more than one occasion and had to wear a woman’s robe until he could replace them.
Once he was on the verge of taking on a jeering and threatening bully who was going to stop his preaching but instead he turned and ran. The crowd roared with laughter but he was back the next day in the same place preaching Christ.

It’s no surprise then that when the earthquake hit and Japan was in awful need that they let him out of prison and asked him to be Chief of Social Welfare. Once as he visited an American University two students went to hear him speak but when he was done, unimpressed one said to the other, “He didn’t have a lot to say, did he?” A woman behind them leaned over and said, “When you’re hanging on a cross you don’t need to say a lot.” He died in 1960.

Toyohiko Kagawa is one face of God’s love for the world.

HOW DO YOU INTERPRET SCRIPTURE? by steve finnell


http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2017/03/how-do-you-interpret-scripture-steve.html

HOW DO YOU INTERPRET SCRIPTURE?  by steve finnell

What is your interpretation of Scriptures concerning your salvation? The question is not what is your preacher, priest, pastor, your Bible college professor, your Sunday school teacher, your relatives; interpretations of Scripture. What do you think?

Acts 3:19 Repent, then turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, ( NIV 1973)

1. Does that mean adults need to repent of the guilt, they inherited from Adam so their sins may be forgiven?

2. Does that teach that unbelieving infants need to repent of their sins and turn to God?

3. Does it mean that once you become a Christian you can live a sinful lifestyle and still be saved?

4. Does it mean that God will force the elect to repent and turn to Him so their sins may be forgiven?

Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. (NIV 1973)

1. Does it mean those who, believe only, will be saved?

2. Does it signify that those who believe are saved and should be baptized as a testimony of their faith?

3. Does it mean that non-believers will also be saved, because there are many roads to heaven?

4. Does it mean that God is responsible for making men believe and be baptized, because grace alone saves?

Acts 2:38 Peter replied: "Repent and be baptized, every one you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NIV 1973)

1. Does is mean, repent only, so your sins may be forgiven?

2. Does it mean be baptized because your sins have already been forgiven.

3. Does it mean you received the gift of the Holy Spirit before you repented and were baptized in water?

4. Does it mean that Jesus did not command His disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?

5. Does it mean that "and" is not a conjunction in this verse of Scripture?

6. Does it mean, that immersion in water is not essential for salvation?

What do these Scriptures mean to you?
Galatians 3:26-27, Romans 10:9-10, Romans 5:1-2, Ephesians 5:25-27, Romans 6:3-10, Colossians 2:9-13, Ephesians 2:6-9, Acts 22:16, John 3:5, John 3:16, John 8:24, Titus 3:5, Romans 10:16-17, Acts 2:38, Mark 16:16, Acts 3:19, Luke 24:47, 1 Peter 3:20-21.


WHO DO YOU TRUST FOR YOUR SALVATION?

Near the Father by B. Johnson

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Johnson/Edna/Elizabeth/1939/close.html

Near the Father

When our children were small, they used to love to be near their daddy no matter where he was or what he was doing. If he had some outside job to do, they were right behind him, following his every step. If he went somewhere in the car they would gladly stand next to him with their arms around his neck while he drove. (Those were the days before seat belts and car seats.)

When he came home late from Bible studies, they would sit by him while he ate his evening meal—just watching and waiting for any sign of affection. As they grew a little older they loved to accompany their dad on those evening studies. Road trips were the best. Sometimes they curled up in the back well of the car floor board as the thump, thump, thump of the tires on a cement road lulled them into slumber. They were content just to be wherever he was.

When I was a child, I remember seeing my mother sit for hours reading her Bible. Because I was a very active little girl, the concept of sitting in a chair seemed untenable to me, but surely my mother knew what it was like to be near her Heavenly Father. On her death bed, her continual request was that I sing the hymn 'Be with Me Lord'. Just the idea of being near her Heavenly Father gave her great comfort in her dying hours.

Seeing this kind of affection has often made me wonder why children in God's family don't have more desire to be near the Heavenly Father. Why would God's children not continually seek the Father in his Word, just to be near him?

How often do we draw close to our Father in study? Are we searching the scriptures daily (Acts 17:11)? Do we go to the Father in prayer just to be near Him, or do we wait until some crisis arises when we must have his help? Are we praying without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)? Like children of a physical family, if we abide in close fellowship with our Father through prayer and study, we will be greatly blest. What comfort and love we are missing if we are not near to Him.

"For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God" (Ecclesiastes 9:1).

Beth Johnson

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

Bible Reading for July 17 - 19 by Gary Rose


Bible Reading for July 17 - 19

World  English  Bible

July 17

1 Chronicles 13-15

1Ch 13:1 David consulted with the captains of thousands and of hundreds, even with every leader.

1Ch 13:2 David said to all the assembly of Israel, If it seems good to you, and if it is of Yahweh our God, let us send abroad everywhere to our brothers who are left in all the land of Israel, with whom the priests and Levites are in their cities that have suburbs, that they may gather themselves to us;

1Ch 13:3 and let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we didn't seek it in the days of Saul.

1Ch 13:4 All the assembly said that they would do so; for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.

1Ch 13:5 So David assembled all Israel together, from the Shihor the brook of Egypt even to the entrance of Hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim.

1Ch 13:6 David went up, and all Israel, to Baalah, that is, to Kiriath Jearim, which belonged to Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God Yahweh that sits above the cherubim, that is called by the Name.

1Ch 13:7 They carried the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart.

1Ch 13:8 David and all Israel played before God with all their might, even with songs, and with harps, and with stringed instruments, and with tambourines, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.

1Ch 13:9 When they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled.

1Ch 13:10 The anger of Yahweh was kindled against Uzza, and he struck him, because he put forth his hand to the ark; and there he died before God.

1Ch 13:11 David was displeased, because Yahweh had broken forth on Uzza; and he called that place Perez Uzza, to this day.

1Ch 13:12 David was afraid of God that day, saying, How shall I bring the ark of God home to me?

1Ch 13:13 So David didn't move the ark to him into the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite.

1Ch 13:14 The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house three months: and Yahweh blessed the house of Obed-Edom, and all that he had.


1Ch 14:1 Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and masons, and carpenters, to build him a house.

1Ch 14:2 David perceived that Yahweh had established him king over Israel; for his kingdom was exalted on high, for his people Israel's sake.

1Ch 14:3 David took more wives at Jerusalem; and David became the father of more sons and daughters.

1Ch 14:4 These are the names of the children whom he had in Jerusalem: Shammua, and Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon,

1Ch 14:5 and Ibhar, and Elishua, and Elpelet,

1Ch 14:6 and Nogah, and Nepheg, and Japhia,

1Ch 14:7 and Elishama, and Beeliada, and Eliphelet.

1Ch 14:8 When the Philistines heard that David was anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to seek David: and David heard of it, and went out against them.

1Ch 14:9 Now the Philistines had come and made a raid in the valley of Rephaim.

1Ch 14:10 David inquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? and will you deliver them into my hand? Yahweh said to him, Go up; for I will deliver them into your hand.

1Ch 14:11 So they came up to Baal Perazim, and David struck them there; and David said, God has broken my enemies by my hand, like the breach of waters. Therefore they called the name of that place Baal Perazim.

1Ch 14:12 They left their gods there; and David gave commandment, and they were burned with fire.

1Ch 14:13 The Philistines yet again made a raid in the valley.

1Ch 14:14 David inquired again of God; and God said to him, You shall not go up after them: turn away from them, and come on them over against the mulberry trees.

1Ch 14:15 It shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then you shall go out to battle; for God is gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines.

1Ch 14:16 David did as God commanded him: and they struck the army of the Philistines from Gibeon even to Gezer.

1Ch 14:17 The fame of David went out into all lands; and Yahweh brought the fear of him on all nations.


1Ch 15:1 David made him houses in the city of David; and he prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent.

1Ch 15:2 Then David said, None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them has Yahweh chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister to him forever.

1Ch 15:3 David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of Yahweh to its place, which he had prepared for it.

1Ch 15:4 David gathered together the sons of Aaron, and the Levites:

1Ch 15:5 of the sons of Kohath, Uriel the chief, and his brothers one hundred twenty;

1Ch 15:6 of the sons of Merari, Asaiah the chief, and his brothers two hundred twenty;

1Ch 15:7 of the sons of Gershom, Joel the chief, and his brothers one hundred thirty;

1Ch 15:8 of the sons of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the chief, and his brothers two hundred;

1Ch 15:9 of the sons of Hebron, Eliel the chief, and his brothers eighty;

1Ch 15:10 of the sons of Uzziel, Amminadab the chief, and his brothers one hundred twelve.

1Ch 15:11 David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites, for Uriel, Asaiah, and Joel, Shemaiah, and Eliel, and Amminadab,

1Ch 15:12 and said to them, You are the heads of the fathers' houses of the Levites: sanctify yourselves, both you and your brothers, that you may bring up the ark of Yahweh, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it.

1Ch 15:13 For because you didn't carry it at the first, Yahweh our God made a breach on us, because we didn't seek him according to the ordinance.

1Ch 15:14 So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of Yahweh, the God of Israel.

1Ch 15:15 The children of the Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles thereon, as Moses commanded according to the word of Yahweh.

1Ch 15:16 David spoke to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brothers the singers, with instruments of music, stringed instruments and harps and cymbals, sounding aloud and lifting up the voice with joy.

1Ch 15:17 So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brothers, Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari their brothers, Ethan the son of Kushaiah;

1Ch 15:18 and with them their brothers of the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Eliphelehu, and Mikneiah, and Obed-Edom, and Jeiel, the doorkeepers.

1Ch 15:19 So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed with cymbals of brass to sound aloud;

1Ch 15:20 and Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with stringed instruments set to Alamoth;

1Ch 15:21 and Mattithiah, and Eliphelehu, and Mikneiah, and Obed-Edom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps tuned to the eight-stringed lyre, to lead.

1Ch 15:22 Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was over the song: he instructed about the song, because he was skillful.

1Ch 15:23 Berechiah and Elkanah were doorkeepers for the ark.

1Ch 15:24 Shebaniah, and Joshaphat, and Nethanel, and Amasai, and Zechariah, and Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, did blow the trumpets before the ark of God: and Obed-Edom and Jehiah were doorkeepers for the ark.

1Ch 15:25 So David, and the elders of Israel, and the captains over thousands, went to bring up the ark of the covenant of Yahweh out of the house of Obed-Edom with joy.

1Ch 15:26 It happened, when God helped the Levites who bore the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, that they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams.

1Ch 15:27 David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites who bore the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: and David had on him an ephod of linen.

1Ch 15:28 Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of Yahweh with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, sounding aloud with stringed instruments and harps.

1Ch 15:29 It happened, as the ark of the covenant of Yahweh came to the city of David, that Michal the daughter of Saul looked out at the window, and saw king David dancing and playing; and she despised him in her heart.


July 18

1 Chronicles 16-18

1Ch 16:1 They brought in the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God.

1Ch 16:2 When David had made an end of offering the burnt offering and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of Yahweh.

1Ch 16:3 He dealt to everyone of Israel, both man and woman, to every one a loaf of bread, and a portion of flesh, and a cake of raisins.

1Ch 16:4 He appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of Yahweh, and to celebrate and to thank and praise Yahweh, the God of Israel:

1Ch 16:5 Asaph the chief, and second to him Zechariah, Jeiel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Mattithiah, and Eliab, and Benaiah, and Obed-Edom, and Jeiel, with stringed instruments and with harps; and Asaph with cymbals, sounding aloud;

1Ch 16:6 and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests with trumpets continually, before the ark of the covenant of God.

1Ch 16:7 Then on that day David first ordained to give thanks to Yahweh, by the hand of Asaph and his brothers.

1Ch 16:8 Oh give thanks to Yahweh. Call on his name. Make his doings known among the peoples.

1Ch 16:9 Sing to him. Sing praises to him. Tell of all his marvelous works.

1Ch 16:10 Glory in his holy name. Let the heart of those who seek Yahweh rejoice.

1Ch 16:11 Seek Yahweh and his strength. Seek his face forever more.

1Ch 16:12 Remember his marvelous works that he has done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth,

1Ch 16:13 you seed of Israel his servant, you children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

1Ch 16:14 He is Yahweh our God. His judgments are in all the earth.

1Ch 16:15 Remember his covenant forever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations,

1Ch 16:16 the covenant which he made with Abraham, his oath to Isaac.

1Ch 16:17 He confirmed the same to Jacob for a statute, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,

1Ch 16:18 saying, I will give you the land of Canaan, The lot of your inheritance,

1Ch 16:19 when you were but a few men in number, yes, very few, and foreigners were in it.

1Ch 16:20 They went about from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people.

1Ch 16:21 He allowed no man to do them wrong. Yes, he reproved kings for their sakes,

1Ch 16:22 saying, Don't touch my anointed ones! Do my prophets no harm.

1Ch 16:23 Sing to Yahweh, all the earth! Display his salvation from day to day.

1Ch 16:24 Declare his glory among the nations, and his marvelous works among all the peoples.

1Ch 16:25 For great is Yahweh, and greatly to be praised. He also is to be feared above all gods.

1Ch 16:26 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but Yahweh made the heavens.

1Ch 16:27 Honor and majesty are before him. Strength and gladness are in his place.

1Ch 16:28 Ascribe to Yahweh, you relatives of the peoples, ascribe to Yahweh glory and strength!

1Ch 16:29 Ascribe to Yahweh the glory due to his name. Bring an offering, and come before him. Worship Yahweh in holy array.

1Ch 16:30 Tremble before him, all the earth. The world also is established that it can't be moved.

1Ch 16:31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice! Let them say among the nations, Yahweh reigns.

1Ch 16:32 Let the sea roar, and its fullness! Let the field exult, and all that is therein!

1Ch 16:33 Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before Yahweh, for he comes to judge the earth.

1Ch 16:34 Oh give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good, for his loving kindness endures forever.

1Ch 16:35 Say, Save us, God of our salvation! Gather us together and deliver us from the nations, to give thanks to your holy name, to triumph in your praise.

1Ch 16:36 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, from everlasting even to everlasting. All the people said, Amen, and praised Yahweh.

1Ch 16:37 So he left there, before the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, Asaph and his brothers, to minister before the ark continually, as every day's work required;

1Ch 16:38 and Obed-Edom with their brothers, sixty-eight; Obed-Edom also the son of Jeduthun and Hosah to be doorkeepers;

1Ch 16:39 and Zadok the priest, and his brothers the priests, before the tabernacle of Yahweh in the high place that was at Gibeon,

1Ch 16:40 to offer burnt offerings to Yahweh on the altar of burnt offering continually morning and evening, even according to all that is written in the law of Yahweh, which he commanded to Israel;

1Ch 16:41 and with them Heman and Jeduthun, and the rest who were chosen, who were mentioned by name, to give thanks to Yahweh, because his loving kindness endures forever;

1Ch 16:42 and with them Heman and Jeduthun with trumpets and cymbals for those that should sound aloud, and with instruments for the songs of God; and the sons of Jeduthun to be at the gate.

1Ch 16:43 All the people departed every man to his house: and David returned to bless his house.


1Ch 17:1 It happened, when David lived in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Behold, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of the covenant of Yahweh dwells under curtains.

1Ch 17:2 Nathan said to David, Do all that is in your heart; for God is with you.

1Ch 17:3 It happened the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,

1Ch 17:4 Go and tell David my servant, Thus says Yahweh, You shall not build me a house to dwell in:

1Ch 17:5 for I have not lived in a house since the day that I brought up Israel, to this day, but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tent to another.

1Ch 17:6 In all places in which I have walked with all Israel, spoke I a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to be shepherd of my people, saying, Why have you not built me a house of cedar?

1Ch 17:7 Now therefore thus you shall tell my servant David, Thus says Yahweh of Armies, I took you from the sheep pen, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel:

1Ch 17:8 and I have been with you wherever you have gone, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a name, like the name of the great ones who are in the earth.

1Ch 17:9 I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place, and be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the first,

1Ch 17:10 and as from the day that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel; and I will subdue all your enemies. Moreover I tell you that Yahweh will build you a house.

1Ch 17:11 It shall happen, when your days are fulfilled that you must go to be with your fathers, that I will set up your seed after you, who shall be of your sons; and I will establish his kingdom.

1Ch 17:12 He shall build me a house, and I will establish his throne forever.

1Ch 17:13 I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my loving kindness away from him, as I took it from him that was before you;

1Ch 17:14 but I will settle him in my house and in my kingdom forever; and his throne shall be established forever.

1Ch 17:15 According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak to David.

1Ch 17:16 Then David the king went in, and sat before Yahweh; and he said, Who am I, Yahweh God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?

1Ch 17:17 This was a small thing in your eyes, God; but you have spoken of your servant's house for a great while to come, and have regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree, Yahweh God.

1Ch 17:18 What can David say yet more to you concerning the honor which is done to your servant? for you know your servant.

1Ch 17:19 Yahweh, for your servant's sake, and according to your own heart, have you worked all this greatness, to make known all these great things.

1Ch 17:20 Yahweh, there is none like you, neither is there any God besides you, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

1Ch 17:21 What one nation in the earth is like your people Israel, whom God went to redeem to himself for a people, to make you a name by great and awesome things, in driving out nations from before your people, whom you redeem out of Egypt?

1Ch 17:22 For your people Israel you made your own people forever; and you, Yahweh, became their God.

1Ch 17:23 Now, Yahweh, let the word that you have spoken concerning your servant, and concerning his house, be established forever, and do as you have spoken.

1Ch 17:24 Let your name be established and magnified forever, saying, Yahweh of Armies is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and the house of David your servant is established before you.

1Ch 17:25 For you, my God, have revealed to your servant that you will build him a house: therefore has your servant found in his heart to pray before you.

1Ch 17:26 Now, Yahweh, you are God, and have promised this good thing to your servant:

1Ch 17:27 and now it has pleased you to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever before you: for you, Yahweh, have blessed, and it is blessed forever.


1Ch 18:1 After this it happened, that David struck the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and its towns out of the hand of the Philistines.

1Ch 18:2 He struck Moab; and the Moabites became servants to David, and brought tribute.

1Ch 18:3 David struck Hadadezer king of Zobah to Hamath, as he went to establish his dominion by the river Euphrates.

1Ch 18:4 David took from him one thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen; and David hamstrung all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for one hundred chariots.

1Ch 18:5 When the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck of the Syrians twenty-two thousand men.

1Ch 18:6 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus; and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought tribute. Yahweh gave victory to David wherever he went.

1Ch 18:7 David took the shields of gold that were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem.

1Ch 18:8 From Tibhath and from Cun, cities of Hadadezer, David took very much brass, with which Solomon made the bronze sea, and the pillars, and the vessels of brass.

1Ch 18:9 When Tou king of Hamath heard that David had struck all the army of Hadadezer king of Zobah,

1Ch 18:10 he sent Hadoram his son to king David, to Greet him, and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and struck him; (for Hadadezer had wars with Tou;) and he had with him all manner of vessels of gold and silver and brass.

1Ch 18:11 These also did king David dedicate to Yahweh, with the silver and the gold that he carried away from all the nations; from Edom, and from Moab, and from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines, and from Amalek.

1Ch 18:12 Moreover Abishai the son of Zeruiah struck of the Edomites in the Valley of Salt eighteen thousand.

1Ch 18:13 He put garrisons in Edom; and all the Edomites became servants to David. Yahweh gave victory to David wherever he went.

1Ch 18:14 David reigned over all Israel; and he executed justice and righteousness to all his people.

1Ch 18:15 Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder;

1Ch 18:16 and Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Abimelech the son of Abiathar, were priests; and Shavsha was scribe;

1Ch 18:17 and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and the sons of David were chief about the king.


July 19

1 Chronicles 19-21

1Ch 19:1 It happened after this, that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon died, and his son reigned in his place.

1Ch 19:2 David said, I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father showed kindness to me. So David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. David's servants came into the land of the children of Ammon to Hanun, to comfort him.

1Ch 19:3 But the princes of the children of Ammon said to Hanun, Do you think that David honors your father, in that he has sent comforters to you? Haven't his servants come to you to search, to overthrow, and to spy out the land?

1Ch 19:4 So Hanun took David's servants, and shaved them, and cut off their garments in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away.

1Ch 19:5 Then there went certain persons, and told David how the men were served. He sent to meet them; for the men were greatly ashamed. The king said, Stay at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return.

1Ch 19:6 When the children of Ammon saw that they had made themselves odious to David, Hanun and the children of Ammon sent one thousand talents of silver to hire them chariots and horsemen out of Mesopotamia, and out of Arammaacah, and out of Zobah.

1Ch 19:7 So they hired them thirty-two thousand chariots, and the king of Maacah and his people, who came and encamped before Medeba. The children of Ammon gathered themselves together from their cities, and came to battle.

1Ch 19:8 When David heard of it, he sent Joab, and all the army of the mighty men.

1Ch 19:9 The children of Ammon came out, and put the battle in array at the gate of the city: and the kings who had come were by themselves in the field.

1Ch 19:10 Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians.

1Ch 19:11 The rest of the people he committed into the hand of Abishai his brother; and they put themselves in array against the children of Ammon.

1Ch 19:12 He said, If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you shall help me; but if the children of Ammon are too strong for you, then I will help you.

1Ch 19:13 Be of good courage, and let us be strong for our people, and for the cities of our God: and Yahweh do that which seems him good.

1Ch 19:14 So Joab and the people who were with him drew near before the Syrians to the battle; and they fled before him.

1Ch 19:15 When the children of Ammon saw that the Syrians had fled, they likewise fled before Abishai his brother, and entered into the city. Then Joab came to Jerusalem.

1Ch 19:16 When the Syrians saw that they were defeated by Israel, they sent messengers, and drew forth the Syrians who were beyond the River, with Shophach the captain of the army of Hadadezer at their head.

1Ch 19:17 It was told David; and he gathered all Israel together, and passed over the Jordan, and came on them, and set the battle in array against them. So when David had put the battle in array against the Syrians, they fought with him.

1Ch 19:18 The Syrians fled before Israel; and David killed of the Syrians the men of seven thousand chariots, and forty thousand footmen, and killed Shophach the captain of the army.

1Ch 19:19 When the servants of Hadadezer saw that they were defeated by Israel, they made peace with David, and served him: neither would the Syrians help the children of Ammon any more.


1Ch 20:1 It happened, at the time of the return of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that Joab led forth the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. Joab struck Rabbah, and overthrew it.

1Ch 20:2 David took the crown of their king from off his head, and found it to weigh a talent of gold, and there were precious stones in it; and it was set on David's head: and he brought forth the spoil of the city, exceeding much.

1Ch 20:3 He brought forth the people who were therein, and cut them with saws, and with iron picks, and with axes. David did so to all the cities of the children of Ammon. David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

1Ch 20:4 It happened after this, that there arose war at Gezer with the Philistines: then Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Sippai, of the sons of the giant; and they were subdued.

1Ch 20:5 There was again war with the Philistines; and Elhanan the son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver's beam.

1Ch 20:6 There was again war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, whose fingers and toes were twenty-four, six on each hand, and six on each foot; and he also was born to the giant.

1Ch 20:7 When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea David's brother killed him.

1Ch 20:8 These were born to the giant in Gath; and they fell by the hand of David, and by the hand of his servants.


1Ch 21:1 Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.

1Ch 21:2 David said to Joab and to the princes of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring me word, that I may know the sum of them.

1Ch 21:3 Joab said, Yahweh make his people a hundred times as many as they are: but, my lord the king, aren't they all my lord's servants? Why does my lord require this thing? Why will he be a cause of guilt to Israel?

1Ch 21:4 Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab. Therefore Joab departed, and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem.

1Ch 21:5 Joab gave up the sum of the numbering of the people to David. All those of Israel were one million one hundred thousand men who drew sword: and in Judah were four hundred seventy thousand men who drew sword.

1Ch 21:6 But he didn't count Levi and Benjamin among them; for the king's word was abominable to Joab.

1Ch 21:7 God was displeased with this thing; therefore he struck Israel.

1Ch 21:8 David said to God, I have sinned greatly, in that I have done this thing: but now, put away, I beg you, the iniquity of your servant; for I have done very foolishly.

1Ch 21:9 Yahweh spoke to Gad, David's seer, saying,

1Ch 21:10 Go and speak to David, saying, Thus says Yahweh, I offer you three things: choose one of them, that I may do it to you.

1Ch 21:11 So Gad came to David, and said to him, Thus says Yahweh, Take your choice:

1Ch 21:12 either three years of famine; or three months to be consumed before your foes, while the sword of your enemies overtakes you; or else three days the sword of Yahweh, even pestilence in the land, and the angel of Yahweh destroying throughout all the borders of Israel. Now therefore consider what answer I shall return to him who sent me.

1Ch 21:13 David said to Gad, I am in distress. Let me fall, I pray, into the hand of Yahweh; for very great are his mercies: and let me not fall into the hand of man.

1Ch 21:14 So Yahweh sent a pestilence on Israel; and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.

1Ch 21:15 God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was about to destroy, Yahweh saw, and he relented of the disaster, and said to the destroying angel, It is enough; now stay your hand. The angel of Yahweh was standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

1Ch 21:16 David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of Yahweh standing between earth and the sky, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell on their faces.

1Ch 21:17 David said to God, Isn't it I who commanded the people to be numbered? It is even I who have sinned and done very wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand, O Yahweh my God, be against me, and against my father's house; but not against your people, that they should be plagued.

1Ch 21:18 Then the angel of Yahweh commanded Gad to tell David, that David should go up, and raise an altar to Yahweh in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

1Ch 21:19 David went up at the saying of Gad, which he spoke in the name of Yahweh.

1Ch 21:20 Ornan turned back, and saw the angel; and his four sons who were with him hid themselves. Now Ornan was threshing wheat.

1Ch 21:21 As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David, and went out of the threshing floor, and bowed himself to David with his face to the ground.

1Ch 21:22 Then David said to Ornan, Give me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build thereon an altar to Yahweh: for the full price you shall give it to me, that the plague may be stopped from afflicting the people.

1Ch 21:23 Ornan said to David, Take it for yourself, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: behold, I give you the oxen for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meal offering; I give it all.

1Ch 21:24 King David said to Ornan, No; but I will most certainly buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is yours for Yahweh, nor offer a burnt offering without cost.

1Ch 21:25 So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.

1Ch 21:26 David built there an altar to Yahweh, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called on Yahweh; and he answered him from the sky by fire on the altar of burnt offering.

1Ch 21:27 Yahweh commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into its sheath.

1Ch 21:28 At that time, when David saw that Yahweh had answered him in the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there.

1Ch 21:29 For the tabernacle of Yahweh, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of burnt offering, were at that time in the high place at Gibeon.

1Ch 21:30 But David couldn't go before it to inquire of God; for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of Yahweh.


Jul.  17

Acts 11

Act 11:1 Now the apostles and the brothers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.

Act 11:2 When Peter had come up to Jerusalem, those who were of the circumcision contended with him,

Act 11:3 saying, "You went in to uncircumcised men, and ate with them!"

Act 11:4 But Peter began, and explained to them in order, saying,

Act 11:5 "I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision: a certain container descending, like it was a great sheet let down from heaven by four corners. It came as far as me.

Act 11:6 When I had looked intently at it, I considered, and saw the four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, creeping things, and birds of the sky.

Act 11:7 I also heard a voice saying to me, 'Rise, Peter, kill and eat!'

Act 11:8 But I said, 'Not so, Lord, for nothing unholy or unclean has ever entered into my mouth.'

Act 11:9 But a voice answered me the second time out of heaven, 'What God has cleansed, don't you call unclean.'

Act 11:10 This was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven.

Act 11:11 Behold, immediately three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent from Caesarea to me.

Act 11:12 The Spirit told me to go with them, without discriminating. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered into the man's house.

Act 11:13 He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, and saying to him, 'Send to Joppa, and get Simon, whose surname is Peter,

Act 11:14 who will speak to you words by which you will be saved, you and all your house.'

Act 11:15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, even as on us at the beginning.

Act 11:16 I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, 'John indeed baptized in water, but you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit.'

Act 11:17 If then God gave to them the same gift as us, when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I, that I could withstand God?"

Act 11:18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life!"

Act 11:19 They therefore who were scattered abroad by the oppression that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except to Jews only.

Act 11:20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus.

Act 11:21 The hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.

Act 11:22 The report concerning them came to the ears of the assembly which was in Jerusalem. They sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch,

Act 11:23 who, when he had come, and had seen the grace of God, was glad. He exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they should remain near to the Lord.

Act 11:24 For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith, and many people were added to the Lord.

Act 11:25 Barnabas went out to Tarsus to look for Saul.

Act 11:26 When he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. It happened, that for a whole year they were gathered together with the assembly, and taught many people. The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

Act 11:27 Now in these days, prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.

Act 11:28 One of them named Agabus stood up, and indicated by the Spirit that there should be a great famine all over the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius.

Act 11:29 As any of the disciples had plenty, each determined to send relief to the brothers who lived in Judea;

Act 11:30 which they also did, sending it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.


Jul. 18, 19

Acts 12

Act 12:1 Now about that time, Herod the king stretched out his hands to oppress some of the assembly.

Act 12:2 He killed James, the brother of John, with the sword.

Act 12:3 When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This was during the days of unleavened bread.

Act 12:4 When he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of four soldiers each to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover.

Act 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in the prison, but constant prayer was made by the assembly to God for him.

Act 12:6 The same night when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains. Guards in front of the door kept the prison.

Act 12:7 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side, and woke him up, saying, "Stand up quickly!" His chains fell off from his hands.

Act 12:8 The angel said to him, "Get dressed and put on your sandals." He did so. He said to him, "Put on your cloak, and follow me."

Act 12:9 And he went out and followed him. He didn't know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he saw a vision.

Act 12:10 When they were past the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened to them by itself. They went out, and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.

Act 12:11 When Peter had come to himself, he said, "Now I truly know that the Lord has sent out his angel and delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from everything the Jewish people were expecting."

Act 12:12 Thinking about that, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.

Act 12:13 When Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a maid named Rhoda came to answer.

Act 12:14 When she recognized Peter's voice, she didn't open the gate for joy, but ran in, and reported that Peter was standing in front of the gate.

Act 12:15 They said to her, "You are crazy!" But she insisted that it was so. They said, "It is his angel."

Act 12:16 But Peter continued knocking. When they had opened, they saw him, and were amazed.

Act 12:17 But he, beckoning to them with his hand to be silent, declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. He said, "Tell these things to James, and to the brothers." Then he departed, and went to another place.

Act 12:18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter.

Act 12:19 When Herod had sought for him, and didn't find him, he examined the guards, and commanded that they should be put to death. He went down from Judea to Caesarea, and stayed there.

Act 12:20 Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. They came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus, the king's personal aide, their friend, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king's country for food.

Act 12:21 On an appointed day, Herod dressed himself in royal clothing, sat on the throne, and gave a speech to them.

Act 12:22 The people shouted, "The voice of a god, and not of a man!"

Act 12:23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he didn't give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.

Act 12:24 But the word of God grew and multiplied.

Act 12:25 Barnabas and Saul returned to Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their service, also taking with them John whose surname was Mark.