9/18/20

"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" The Olivet Discourse - II (24:29-51)

 

 
 
"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

The Olivet Discourse - II (24:29-51)

INTRODUCTION

1. In our previous lesson, we covered the first half of Matthew 24...
   a. Commonly called "The Olivet Discourse", since Jesus was on the
      Mount of Olives when He delivered it
   b. A challenging passage of scripture, believed to discussing...
      1) The destruction of Jerusalem, which occurred in 70 A.D.
      2) The second coming of Christ, which is yet to occur
      3) Or both events, described either in turn or intertwined

2. I've proposed the entire chapter foretells the destruction of
   Jerusalem, based first upon the setting leading up to the discourse,
   which includes...
   a. Jesus' words spoken in the temple
      1) His parables about Israel's rejection of Him - Mt 21:28-32, 33-46; 22:1-14
      2) His condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees - Mt 23:27-36
      3) His lamentation over Jerusalem - Mt 23:37-39
   b. Jesus' prophecy spoken about the temple - Mt 24:1-2
   c. The questions of the disciples, which when Mark and Luke's
      account are considered, appear to be:
      1) "When will these things be?"
      2) "What will be the sign when all these things will be 
         fulfilled?" -- Cf. Mt 24:3; Mk 13:4; Lk 21:7

3. We saw that in verses 4-29, Jesus describes...
   a. What will "not" be the sign (other than the gospel preached to
      all nations) - Mt 24:4-14
   b. What will be the sign - Mt 24:15
      1) The abomination of desolation spoken by Daniel - Dan 9:26-27
      2) Which Luke explains to be Jerusalem surrounded by armies - Lk 21:20
   c. What to do when they saw the sign - Mt 24:16-28
      1) Those in Judea were to flee to the mountains to avoid a great tribulation
      2) They were not to be misled by false christs or false prophets

[Up to verse 29, Jesus described a local, escapable judgment to befall
Jerusalem.  He does not describe the worldwide, inescapable judgment
taught elsewhere in the Scriptures.  But with verse 29, some believe
Jesus now addresses His second coming (cf. J.W. McGarvey's Four-Fold
Gospel).  As we continue with our study, I propose that the destruction
of Jerusalem is still under consideration...]

II. THE OLIVET DISCOURSE (continued)

   D. WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT...
      1. Events to occur "immediately after the tribulation of those days"...
         a. Cosmic disturbances - Mt 24:29
            1) The sun will be darkened
            2) The moon will not give its light
            3) The stars will fall from heaven
            4) The heavens will be shaken
         b. The sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven - Mt 24:30
            1) All the tribes of the earth will mourn
            2) They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of
               heaven with power and great glory
         c. The elect will be gathered - Mt 24:31
            1) For with a great sound of the trumpet, angels will be sent
            2) They shall gather the elect from the four winds, from
               one end of heaven to another     
      2. Such events certainly sound like the second coming of Christ,
         but consider two reasons why they may not be referring to
         Jesus' coming at the Last Day...
         a. The events were to occur "immediately after the tribulation
            of those days" ("in those days, after that tribulation")- Mt 24:29; Mk 13:24
            1) They are connected in time to the tribulation described in Mt 24:15-28
            2) This "coming" of Jesus was to occur at the conclusion of
               the siege of Jerusalem
         b. The events are similar to those used to foretell God's
            judgment of other nations
            1) Babylon - Isa 13:1,6-13
            2) Egypt - Isa 19:1-2; cf. Eze 32:2,7-9
            3) Tyre - Isa 23:1; 24:21-23
            4) Edom - Isa 34:4-6
            5) Nineveh - Nah 1:1-5
            6) Israel - Am 8:9
            7) Judah - Jer 4:5-6,23-28
      3. For such reasons, I suggest that even in Mt 24:29-31...
         a. Jesus refers to the destruction of Jerusalem
         b. Like other Jewish prophets, Jesus uses figurative language to depict:
            1) The judgment to befall the wicked (in terms of worldwide destruction)
            2) The provision made for the righteous (in terms of the gathering by angels)
         c. Jewish prophets foretold God's judgment upon such nations...
            1) Using figures of worldwide destruction, even though the
               judgment was local
            2) Perhaps because such judgments foreshadow God's Final
               Judgment to come upon the entire world at the Last Day

   [The rest of the chapter includes...]

   E. ADMONITIONS TO BE PREPARED AND PRODUCTIVE...
      1. The parable of the fig tree - Mt 24:32-33
         a. New branches and leaves indicate summer is near
         b. When you see these things (Jerusalem surrounded by armies),
            the time is near
      2. It would happen before "this generation" passed away - Mt 24:34
         a. Some define "generation" as a race of people (i.e., the
            Jews) - cf. McGarvey, B. W. Johnson
         b. But note its use by Jesus just prior to this discourse 
            - Mt 23:33-36 (esp. 36)
         -- The destruction of Jerusalem came to pass within forty years!
      3. The words of Jesus will come to pass - Mt 24:35
         a. Heaven and earth shall pass away one day - cf. 2Pe 3:7,10
         b. But Jesus' words will by no means pass away
         -- With v. 35, some believe Jesus now talks about the second
            coming; but Jesus is using an illustration to demonstrate
            the surety of His words - e.g., Mt 5:18
      4. Of that day and hour, only the Father knows - Mt 24:36
         a. They might discern the general timing with the advance of
            armies toward Jerusalem
         b. But the day and hour when the siege would begin, only the Father knew
         -- So don't delay when the "sign" appears (Jerusalem surrounded by armies)
      5. It will be like the days of Noah - Mt 24:37-39
         a. In the days before the flood...
            1) Noah knew what was coming and was preparing, but people
               continued with their normal activities
            2) Only when it was too late did the people know
         b. Prior to the siege of Jerusalem...
            1) Many people probably thought the conflict would end
               peacefully, and so lived their lives accordingly
            2) But once the siege began, it was too late
      6. Some will be taken away - Mt 24:40-41
         a. When the city was stormed, 97,000 Jews were taken captive
         b. Some to be killed by beasts in Roman theaters, some sent to
            work in Egypt, others sold as slaves -- Flavius Josephus,
            Jewish Wars (as quoted in Barnes Commentary on Matthew)
      7. Therefore, watch! - Mt 24:42-44
         a. You don't know the hour of the Son of Man's coming
         b. Don't be caught off guard, like the master of a house who
            did not know when a thief would break in
         c. Be ready, for the Son of Man will come when you not expect Him
         -- The siege of Jerusalem might begin promptly, so flee Judea
            quickly when you see the armies surrounding Jerusalem!
      8. The parable of the faithful servant and the wicked servant - Mt 24:45-51
         a. The faithful servant is blessed if doing the master's will when he comes
         b. So the disciples of Jesus are admonished to be productive

CONCLUSION

1. Admittedly, there is much in "The Olivet Discourse" that alludes to
   our Lord's second coming at the Last Day...
   a. But that is no different than the prophecies by other Jewish
      prophets who foretold God's judgment upon other nations
   b. It was a common motif used by Jewish prophets, we should not be
      surprised to see Jesus using the same
   -- And rightly so, for God's judgments upon nations in the past are
      types and shadows of the Final Judgment to befall the entire
      world when Jesus comes again

2. In addition to the setting leading up to the discourse, there is the
   natural flow of the discourse itself that leads me to conclude it is
   entirely about the destruction of Jerusalem...
   a. Jesus' disciples are told what will not be the sign - Mt 24:1-14
   b. They are told will be the sign that His coming is near - Mt 24:15
   c. They are told what to do when they see the sign - Mt 24:16-28
   d. His coming in judgment (the fall of Jerusalem) is described in
      terms reminiscent of other Jewish prophets who foretold of God's
      judgments upon various nations - Mt 24:29-31
   e. Admonitions are given for them to be prepared and productive in
      the meantime - Mt 24:32-51

So I view "The Olivet Discourse" to describe a local, escapable
judgment which occurred as Jesus foretold in 70 A. D.  However, there
is still the worldwide, inescapable judgment at the Last Day 
- cf. 1 Th 5:2-3; 2Th 1:7-10; 2Pe 3:10-12

Are you ready for that Day?  The admonitions to be prepared and
productive are very similar:

   "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in
   which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the
   elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the
   works that are in it will be burned up."

   "Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what
   manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
   looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because
   of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the
   elements will melt with fervent heat?"

   "Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens
   and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved,
   looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in
   peace, without spot and blameless;"- 2Pe 3:10-14 
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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The Name “Christian” by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1499

The Name “Christian”

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Christendom is conspicuous for the myriad of names worn by individuals and churches—from “Catholic” and “Protestant” to Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Episcopalian, and an innumerable host of others. Those who employ these terms to identify their religious orientation also would claim to be “Christian”—as if the secondary terms are simply further refinements or clarifications of the broader, more basic designation of Christian.

Whence did these names arise? History answers this question for each name. For example, “Catholic” simply means “comprehensive” or “universal.” The Catholic Church therefore wishes to emphasize that it constitutes the universal church. “Baptist” is connected to the Greek word for immersion, and thus represents the wearer’s conviction that baptism is by immersion. A “Baptist” is an “immersionist.” “Presbyterian” comes from the Greek word presbuteros, which refers to the form of government by which the church is to be organized. A “presbyter” in the New Testament was one of a plurality of elders who functioned as the leaders or overseers of the local congregation. “Pentecostal” refers to the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit empowered the apostles to speak in tongues. Thus a “Pentecostal” is one who believes in the miraculous gifts of the Spirit. All other names, terms, and designations by which people who claim to be Christian refer to themselves may also be explained on the basis of some doctrine or feature of Christianity that historically came to receive special emphasis among a specific group of people.

What does the New Testament have to say about this state of affairs? Does Christ sanction the use of differing names and terms to identify individuals and churches? Perhaps the place to begin is in the Old Testament when the messianic prophet Isaiah predicted that the day would come when God would implement a “new name:”

For Zion’s sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
Until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns.
The Gentiles shall see your righteousness, and all kings your glory.
You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord will name (Isaiah 62:1-2).

This fascinating prophecy contains four points that merit close consideration: (1) Righteousness/salvation would go forth from Jerusalem; (2) the Gentiles would see this righteousness/salvation; (3) a new name would be given; and (4) the Lord Himself would bestow that new name.

One must go to the New Testament to find fulfillment and clarification of these marvelous assertions. A number of names are used to refer to God’s people in the New Testament, including believer, disciple, saint, servant, and brother. But all of these terms were used previously in the Old Testament (Exodus 4:31; Isaiah 8:16; John 9:28; Psalm 106:16; Proverbs 2:8; Leviticus 25:46,55; Nehemiah 1:2). They were not new. Isaiah’s inspired prediction allows us to pinpoint the precise occasion on which a new name was given. His first indicator was that righteousness or salvation would go forth from Jerusalem. Here is an apparent allusion to the commencement of the Christian era on the Day of Pentecost in A.D. 30, described in detail in Acts 2. After His death and resurrection, Jesus instructed His apostles to go to Jerusalem and there await the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4,12). They did so, and the Holy Spirit, as predicted, empowered the apostles to present the Gospel message and to launch Christianity and the church of Christ (Acts 2). Indeed, on that auspicious occasion, just as Isaiah predicted, the means to salvation went forth as brightness, and proceeded to go forth from Jerusalem even as Jesus predicted (Acts 1:8). The first point of Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled.

However, the throng gathered on Pentecost was composed entirely of Jews (Acts 2:5). In fact, though about 3,000 were converted to Christianity that day (Acts 2:41), and several thousand thereafter (Acts 4:4; 5:14; 6:1,7), all the converts were Jewish. Samaritans (half-Jews) were eventually incorporated into the Lord’s church (Acts 8:5ff.). But it was not until perhaps eight to ten years later that the first Gentiles obeyed the Gospel and were added to the church. This momentous event occurred when Peter, at the instigation of a heavenly vision, agreed to go to the home of a Roman centurion to preach the Gospel to him, his family, and close friends (Acts 10:24). They, in turn, became the very first Gentile converts to Christianity as a result of hearing the preached message and submitting themselves to water baptism (Acts 10:47-48; 11:14).

But look back at Isaiah’s prophecy. The second action that Isaiah anticipated would occur, after salvation went forth from Jerusalem, was that the Gentiles themselves would be the recipients of this same righteousness/salvation and likewise bask in the glory of the Lord. The conversion of Cornelius and those with him in Acts 10 constitutes the fulfillment of the second criterion of Isaiah’s prediction. Incredibly, immediately after the conversion of the Gentiles in Acts 10, in the very next chapter, Luke reported that Peter was confronted by hostile Jerusalem Jews who had heard about the inclusion of Gentiles into the Christ’s church. These Jewish Christians insisted that he give account of his actions. He did so in Acts 11:4-18, recounting sequentially the events of Acts 10. Upon hearing of these astounding events orchestrated by the Holy Spirit, the hostile Jews melted, backed off, glorified God, and conceded: “Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life” (Acts 11:18). This was an amazing concession that further cleared the way for Gentile missions.

At this point in his inspired narrative, beginning in Acts 11:19, Luke proceeded to clarify the full significance of what had just occurred. The persecution that drove Jewish Christians out of Jerusalem (Acts 8:1-4) forced them to travel into predominately Gentile areas. However, these Jewish Christians had refrained from imparting the Gospel message to Gentiles (Acts 11:19). But with the conversion of the household of Cornelius, the Gospel now began to be presented to the predominately Gentile population in the city of Antioch: “And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord” (Acts 11:21). Aside from Cornelius’ own household, Antioch thus became the first Gentile church of Christ in all of human history. The church in Jerusalem immediately sent Barnabas to Antioch to confirm the reports, who in turn (quite logically) went to Tarsus in search of the “apostle to the Gentiles,” Paul, to introduce him into the mix at Antioch. Together, the two men spent an entire year meeting with the church and teaching many people.

In line with the prophecy of Isaiah, the first two preconditions to God imparting a new name had now been met. If the application of Isaiah’s prophecy is correct, one ought naturally next to expect the bestowal of the new name. We are not disappointed. The very next statement by Luke is simply: “And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). What an earthshaking statement! Astonishing! Isaiah was absolutely accurate—dead on! Consider the following three observations about this astounding moment in human history.

First, observe that from the inception of Christianity (Acts 2), converts were called “disciples.” They were not called Christians on the day of Pentecost! Though thousands had converted to Christianity, and now belonged to Christ and were therefore followers of Christ, they nevertheless were not called Christians. Unlike Judaism, one of the central features of New Testament Christianity is its international application—with absolutely no consideration given to ethnicity. In this sense, the church of Christ reached its full existence only when Gentiles were incorporated into its membership (cf. “also to the Greek” in Romans 1:16; 2:9-10). This circumstance came only with the conversion of Cornelius and the commencement of the Antioch church of Christ. Thus we do not read what we would full well expect to find: that “the disciples were called Christians first in Jerusalem.”

Second, Luke included a grammatical feature worth considering. He said the disciples “were called.” The term he used (chrematidzo) is typically used in the New Testament in relation to those occasions when God is specifically the One Who does the calling: “to appoint, warn, or nominate, by Divine direction” (Clarke, n.d., p. 772; cf. McCord, n.d., 2:311). The term occurs nine times in the New Testament: Matthew 2:12,22; Luke 2:26; Acts 10:22; 11:26; Romans 7:3; Hebrews 8:5; 11:7; 12:25 (Moulton, et al., 1978, p. 1011). In every case, divine calling, warning, or admonition is contextually self-evident (cf. Thayer, 1901, p. 671; Robertson, 1930, 3:160). In fact, several translations indicate this use of the word by inserting “by/from/of God” (KJV, ASV, NASB, RSV), or “divinely” instructed/warned (NKJV) in some or all of the passages.

Third, observe the final feature of Isaiah’s prophecy: “which the mouth of the Lord will name” (Isaiah 62:2). Church historians insist that the name “Christian” arose as the result of persecution wherein the enemies of Christ originated the name as a term of derision. However, they are mistaken. Isaiah predicted that God Himself would be the author of the name. And so He was. The name Christian is, indeed, so special that it occurs only three times in the New Testament and each time flags a critical aspect of the name. In addition to Acts 11:26, where the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy spotlights the magnificent inclusion of the Gentiles in the church of Christ, the word occurs again in Acts 26:28. In that setting, Paul strove ardently to convert King Agrippa. Agrippa indicated his awareness that Paul’s purpose—his mission and goal in life—was to make people Christians. He endeavored to make people followers of Christ—not followers of Moses or any other religion.

The final occurrence of the word Christian in the New Testament is Peter’s use of the term in a context dealing with suffering that is inflicted on God’s people by their enemies: “Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter” (1 Peter 4:16). “In this matter” in the NKJV is a rendering of the literal Greek phrase “in this name,” i.e., the name “Christian.” Peter insisted that the suffering that is heaped upon a follower of Christ ought to be borne under the name Christian—not some other religious appellation.

Writing over 200 years ago, Rice Haggard recognized the extreme importance of the name “Christian” in the divine scheme of things, when he wrote: “[I]t is but a due honor to the Lord Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, that they who profess his religion, should wear his name” (1804, p. 14).

REFERENCES

Clarke, Adam (no date), Clarke’s Commentary: Matthew-Acts (New York: Abingdon-Cokesbury).

Haggard, Rice (1804), An Address to the Different Religious Societies, on the Sacred Import of the Christian Name (Lexington, KY: Joseph Charless).

McCord, Hugo (no date), Fifty Years of Lectures (Atwood, TN: Atwood Church of Christ).

Moulton, W.F., A.S. Geden, and H.K. Moulton (1978), A Concordance to the Greek Testament (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark), fifth edition.

Robertson, A.T. (1930), Word Pictures in the New Testament (New York, NY: Harper).

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

The Meaning of Baptism and the Catholic Ritual by Moisés Pinedo

 

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=2685


The Meaning of Baptism and the Catholic Ritual

by  Moisés Pinedo

It is distressing to see how the doctrine of baptism is distorted in modern-day Christendom. With the passing of time, baptism, as a necessity for salvation, has been replaced by a “prayer of faith,” abstract manifestations of conversion, and ecclesiastical ceremonies based on traditionalism. Today, many ignore the concept, implications, and importance of baptism. Jesus said: “[U]nless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5, emp. added). Paul wrote that there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5, emp. added). These New Testament passages and others make it clear that baptism is not merely a religious tradition or a commandment of men. Therefore, it is very important to understand it correctly.

It is essential to know the meaning of “baptism.” Depending on the context in which it is mentioned, “baptism” may mean many different things. For example, in an evangelical context, it is regarded as just a “public profession of faith” (Rhodes, 1997, p. 178). In a Catholic context, the word “baptism” brings to mind a ceremony, godparents, elegant robes, emotional parents, an infant in white, a fountain, and a few drops of water (as well as a pre-paid fee for the ceremony and the actual “baptism”). However, when we consider the real meaning of the word “baptism,” many of these erroneous concepts disappear.

In his Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, W.E. Vine defined “baptism” and other related words:

BAPTISMA, baptism, consisting of the processes of immersion, submersion and emergence (from bapto, to dip).

BAPTIZO, to baptize, primarily a frequentative form of bapto, to dip, was used among the Greeks to signify the dyeing of a garment, or the drawing of water by dipping a vessel into another, etc. (1966, 1:96-97, emp. added).

From the definition of the word, it is easy to see exactly what was involved in the act of baptism: “immersion, submersion and emergence.” Unfortunately, the word “baptism” has been passed from generation to generation as a transliteration, i.e., a phonetic representation of a word in another language. [Note the similarity between the Greek baptisma and the English “baptism”]. A study of the Greek etymology of this word opens the door to its real meaning and also gives us a better picture of how it was carried out in New Testament times. Baptism was not sprinkling or pouring, as Catholicism teaches, but immersion. The Bible points out some important implications concerning baptism.

First, baptism requires enough water to immerse completely a believer. The gospel accounts inform us that John the baptizer baptized in the Jordan River (Matthew 3:4-6; Mark 1:4-5; Luke 3:2-3; John 1:28). The Jordan was the largest and most important river in Palestine, and it contained enough water for the innumerable baptisms (immersions) that took place there. For example, in this river, Naaman the leper immersed himself seven times (2 Kings 5:14). If baptism were an act of sprinkling, it would have been unnecessary to baptize in the Jordan; instead, a single container of water would have been sufficient. However, as the apostle John noted, John the baptizer also baptized in the Aenon, “because there was much water there” (John 3:23).

Second, baptism is immersion since one goes down into and comes up out of the water. This fact is seen clearly in the various baptisms in the gospel accounts and the book of Acts. The gospel writers recorded the baptism of Jesus (Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22). Matthew 3:16 and Mark 1:10 tell us specifically that Jesus “came up from the water.” Certainly the phrase “to come up from the water” would have been omitted if Jesus was only sprinkled.

Acts 8:26-39 records one of the most illustrative accounts of the procedure of baptism. Luke wrote that while an Ethiopian was on his return trip from Jerusalem, he heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ from the mouth of Philip (a servant of God). Then, “they came to some water. And the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?’” (Acts 8:36). Luke does not record the source or location of that water, but we can infer that it was sufficient for Philip to immerse the Ethiopian. Luke clarifies how baptism was performed when he notes that “both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water,” and “they came up out of the water” (Acts 8:38-39, emp. added). From this biblical narrative, it is illogical to conclude that the baptism of the Ethiopian was some form of sprinkling. It is impossible to “go down into” and “come up out of” a few drops of water! There is no doubt that the Ethiopian was immersed.

Third, baptism represents the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. It is not a random practice void of any logic pattern, or special meaning. God chose baptism as the perfect representation of the redemptive plan performed by His Son, Jesus Christ. In Romans 6:3-4, Paul explained the symbolic meaning of baptism: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” R.L. Whiteside noted about these verses:

In being buried in baptism there is a likeness of his death; so also there is a likeness of his resurrection in our being raised from baptism to a new life. Hence, in being baptized we are united with him in the likeness of this death and resurrection. We are therefore, partakers with him in death, and also in being raised to a new life. Jesus was buried and arose to a new life; we are buried in baptism and arise to a new life. These verses show the act of baptism, and also its spiritual value (1988, p. 132).

There is great spiritual value and meaning in the act of immersion. It not only re-enacts the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, but also unites the believer with Christ (Galatians 3:27). There is no other act of faith that is an effective (and biblical) substitute for being immersed into Christ. When a person is immersed, he is buried with Christ. Could sprinkling be described as a burial? When a person dies, do people sprinkle dirt on his head and declare him “buried”? Of course not! Rather, he is covered completely (immersed) with dirt. Similarly, to be “buried” with Christ, we must be covered completely (immersed) in water. Sprinkling falls far short of representing the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.Both Paul and Peter, in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and 1 Peter 3:21, added emphasis to the importance and significance of baptism.

Finally, it is important to note that the modern Catholic practice of “baptism,” i.e., sprinkling or pouring, is inconsistent with the Catholics’ own understanding of the meaning and method of biblical baptism. In the first chapter of the “Sacraments of the Christian Initiation,” the Catechism of the Catholic Church declares:

This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to “plunge” or “immerse”; the “plunge” into the water symbolizes the catechumen’s burial into Christ’s death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as “a new creature” (1994, 1214, emp. added).

It appears that ignorance of the etymology and procedure of biblical “baptism” did not mislead Catholicism from the truth concerning baptism, but rather the emphasis that Catholicism places on tradition above biblical truth. Catholics also declare:

To facilitate the application of the new discipline, baptism by infusion—which consists in pouring water on the child’s head instead of immersing the whole child in a basin—gradually became common because it was easier; it became the almost universal practice in the fourteenth century. But although immersion fell into disuse, it still had its place in the rubrics (Cabié, 1988, 3:72, emp. added).

It is declared (with shameless audacity) that the commandment for immersion given by the Lord (Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16) was replaced by the traditional rite of sprinkling or pouring out of convenience. These words can find accurate parallel in the words of condemnation pronounced by Jesus against the Pharisees when He said:

Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men... All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition (Mark 7:6-9).

 

REFERENCES

Cabié, Robert (1988), The Church at Prayer (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press).

Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994), (Mahwah, NY: Paulist Press).

Rhodes, Ron (1997), The Complete Book of Bible Answers (Eugene, OR: Harvest House).

Vine, W.E. (1966), An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words (Old Tappan, NJ: Fleming H. Revell).

Whiteside, Robertson L. (1988 reprint), Paul’s Letter to the Saints at Rome (Bowling Green, KY: Guardian of Truth Foundation).

The Meaning of "Psallo" in the New Testament by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

 

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=868

The Meaning of "Psallo" in the New Testament

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

After failing to discover a biblical command, a binding example, or a necessary inference for the use of mechanical instruments in Christian worship, those who advocate the use of such music often somtimes allege that the term psallo includes the use of instrumental music. Psallo is the Greek verb translated “making melody” in Ephesians 5:19, and “I will sing” in 1 Corinthians 14:15. The noun form of this term, psalmos, appears in such passages as 1 Corinthians 14:26, Ephesians 5:19, and Colossians 3:16. If one looks up psallo in a Greek lexicon, he probably will find the following definitions: to touch, pull, or pluck; to twitch the strings on a carpenter’s line; to pluck or strike the cords on a musical instrument; to sing praises. Upon reviewing these definitions, some claim that Paul’s use of psallo and psalmos implies the use of a stringed instrument in worship. They further assert that these words always convey the idea of instrumental accompaniment to singing, even if the instrument is not mentioned. Are they correct? If not, why not?

When one studies the etymology of this word, he will find that it is incorrect to say that every time psallo was used in antiquity, it meant to play an instrument. By studying reliable Greek lexicons (dictionaries) and various historical documents, one soon comes to understand that the term psallo has had a variety of meanings in different periods of its history. In fact, the evidence indicates that even before Christ came to Earth, psallo no longer meant to play instruments of music. Numerous scholarly sources could be cited to prove this point, but for the sake of space, three will suffice. First, Walter Bauer’s highly respected lexicon, revised by Frederick Danker in 2000, indicates that even in the Septuagint (a Greek translation of the Old Testament that appeared about 250 years before Christ was born), it “is usually the case” that psallo is translated as only “to sing” (2000, p. 1096). In Henry Thayer’s often-quoted Greek lexicon, he noted that by the time the events recorded in the New Testament took place, psallo meant “to sing a hymn, to celebrate the praises of God in song” (1962, p. 675). Finally, E. A. Sophocles, a native Greek and for thirty-eight years a professor of the Greek language at Harvard University, declared (after examining a plethora of secular and religious historical documents) that there was not a single example of psallo ever used in the time of Christ that involved or implied the use of an instrument; rather, it always meant to chant or sing religious hymns (see Kurfees, 1999, p. 47).

When one wishes to know the definition of a word from times past, he must inquire as to how the word was used at any particular time in history. For example, when one reads the word “prevent” in the King James Version (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:15), he must understand that this word does not mean the same thing it did when this version was first produced in 1611. Then, it meant “to go before; to precede.” Today, it means “to keep from happening; to impede.” The word “idiot” was used in the seventeenth century in reference to one “in a private station, as distinguished from one holding public office.” Today, it is used to speak of “an unlearned, or ignorant person.” Just as these English words once had meanings that now are entirely obsolete, the Greek word psallo once meant “to pluck or strike the chords of a musical instrument.” But, before the beginning of the New Testament period, it had lost this meaning. In his well-researched book, Instrumental Music in the Worship, M.C. Kurfees noted that the word psallo never is used in the New Testament or in contemporaneous literature to mean anything other than to sing (1999, p. 45). The other meanings had entirely disappeared by the time the New Testament was written.

The fact is, however, even if this word had retained all of its original meanings (and the evidence shows that it had not), the letters Paul penned to the Christians in Ephesus and Colossae specifically name the “plucked” instrument—the heart. Thus, a harp, piano, banjo, or any other kind of musical instrument is not an integral part of psallo.

REFERENCES

Danker, Frederick William (2000), A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press).

Kurfees, M.C. (1999 reprint), Instrumental Music in the Worship (Nashville, TN: Gospel Advocate), first published in 1911.

Thayer, Joseph Henry (1962), Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan).


God’s Vision For A Relevant Church by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

https://thepreachersword.com/2020/02/18/gods-vision-for-a-relevant-church/#more-15448
 

God’s Vision For A Relevant Church

This past Sunday morning Norma Jean and I visited the University church in  Tampa.  This congregation holds a special place in our hearts.  It’s the church we attended when we were dating and first married.

Josh Creel is one of the ministers that serves in a preaching capacity and does a wonderful job.  His sermon title, “God’s Vision For A Relevant Church” captured my attention since my theme for the year is “20/20 Vision: Restoring Our Focus.”

Josh cited a Barna Group survey that asked, “What, if anything, helps Americans grow in their faith?”

The responses included a variety of answers including, prayer, Bible reading, family and friends.  Interestingly, the “church did not even crack the top-10 list.”  In fact, the survey showed that people are divided on the “importance of attending church.”

Millennials (those under 30), the survey showed, “stand out as least likely to value church attendance; only two in 10 believe it is important.”  59% of Millennials who grew up attending church have dropped out.  In fact, overall church membership and attendance have decreased among all age groups in the past 20 years.

The answers to Barna’s questions discovered a variety of reasons for a lack of church involvement.  The church is irrelevant to me.  I’m not finding community there. I’m not learning about or experiencing God there. And doubts are not tolerated.

From the book of Ephesians, here’s a synopsis of Josh’s points showing God’s vision for the church.

(1) The Church cannot be irrelevant. (Eph. 1:3-2:10)

Why?  Because God purposed, planned and predestinated the church. It was in His mind before He created the world.  The church is the Body of Christ. And Jesus is its head.

Eight times in this text, Paul speaks of being “in Christ.”  When we are “in Christ” we enjoy all spiritual blessings.  We receive redemption. Find forgiveness of sins. Have the promise of the Holy Spirit.  And become an heir of an eternal inheritance.

How can such a Divinely designed church be irrelevant?

(2) The church is where community is experienced.  (Eph. 2:11-3:13)

God created us in Christ for community.  We were fashioned for Divine association.  We were formed for fellowship in His family.  Christianity was never intended to be a solo act.

Paul speaks of Christians being together seven times.  He says we’re one in Christ.  And are to be united.  We’re called fellow citizens and fellow-heirs.  “With everyone else who belongs to the family of God” (Eph. 2:19).

Paul Tournier was right when he wrote, “There are two things one cannot do alone, be married and be a Christian.”

How can such a relationship be unimportant?

(3) God cannot be missing from the church. (Eph 3:8-21; 4:11-12, 22-24)

Paul wrote that “through the church, the manifold wisdom of God might be known.”  In it Christ is glorified. Gifts are discovered. Equipping occurs to prepare us for mutual edification and spiritual service.  Growth occurs. And spiritual maturity is realized as we become a new person in Christ.

How can such a mission and ministry be meaningless?

(4) The church is where doubts are answered.  (Eph 4:14-16)

When fears arise and doubts descend on us, like a tempest-tossed vessel on the ocean, we can find stability.  Receive assurance.  Reestablish our faith. And find help and hope when the truth is spoken in love.

How can such a noble endeavor be inconsequential?

(5) The church is where God is both learned and experienced. (Eph 1:1-6:24)

The entire Ephesians epistle affirms that we’ve received God’s revelation. Since the church is “the pillar and ground of the truth (1 Tim 3:15), its teachers,  preachers and pastors, preach the gospel.  Enlighten unbelievers.  Edify the saints. Encourage the weak.  And help all who would open their hearts understand God’s Word. Experience His love. Accept His grace. Receive his mercy. And know the surety of their salvation.

How can such an experience be uneventful?

If you’ve read to this point, you may question, “I’ve been to churches that are not like you’ve described.”

Maybe so.

But the Ephesians letter is speaking of the universal church. Not a specific local congregation. It is portraying God’s vision.

If we’re falling short of these divine imperatives, then let’s refocus. Let every church leader and local congregation recapture God’s vision. So that He can “receive the glory in the church by Christ Jesus.” And that we can become all He created us to be.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

Dear Brother Faull, Is there ever reason for a person to be re-baptized?

 

http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2017/02/dear-brother-faull-is-there-ever-reason.html

Dear Brother Faull,
Is there ever reason for a person to be re-baptized?
Some religious groups make the following mistakes regarding baptism:
1.                  They baptize the wrong person.  They sprinkle innocent babies, who can neither believe in Christ, nor repent of sin [as they have none.]  The command is for sinners to believe, to repent, and to be baptized.  Most churches criticize Mormons for “baptizing for the dead.”  However, baptism by proxy is no more unscriptural than faith and repentance by proxy.  Salvation is personal and cannot be done for you.
2.                  They baptize with the wrong mode.  They substitute sprinkling and pouring for immersion.  The command is to immerse the individual in the water.  The one doing the baptizing is to handle the one being immersed, not the water.  When one is baptized, he goes down under the water and comes up out of the water.
Acts 8:35-38, “35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.  36 And as they went on [their] way, they came unto a certain water:  and the eunuch said , See, [here is ] water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?  37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.  And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still:  and they went down both into the water both Philip and eunuch; and he [Philip] baptized him.”
It is also a burial and a resurrection.
Romans 6:1-4, “1 What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?  2 God forbid.  How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?  3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?  4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death:  that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
Only immersion fulfills the analogy called for in these figures.
3.                  They baptize with the wrong motive. Baptism is not to get you into a congregation. It is not an invitation into some church. It is not just an outward sign of an inward act. It is being baptized into Christ for the remission of sins.”
Acts 2:38, “38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Galatians 3:27, “For as many of you as have been baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
Acts 22:16, “And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
4.                  They baptize with the wrong authority.  It is not because the local congregation insists on it.  It is not because you have to do it to get into their church.  It is not because people voted on you and accepted you as a legitimate candidate for baptism.  One is baptized because the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit commanded it to be done.
Matthew 28:18-20, “18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  20 Teaching them to observe all thing whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you always, [even] unto the end of the world.  Amen."
Those who were baptized in the Name of (authority of) John the Baptist, were re-baptized by the authority of Christ.  This is a  good example for re-immersion by the right authority.
Acts 19:1-5, “1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus:  and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?  And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.  3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized?  And they said, Unto John’s baptism.  4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  5 When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”
5.                  They baptize for the wrong reason.It is not like those who preach that salvation precedes baptism. That is: "He that believeth and is saved, should be baptized. That is not what Jesus said. Nor is it like others who baptize infants. They teach, “He that is baptized and saved, shall believe. That is not right. 
Is it like others who say, “He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be saved also?”  No!
Then what did Jesus say?
Mark 16:16,  “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.”
These are quite different, aren’t they? 
Peter says that baptism is the (Greek says, “demand or appeal”) of a good conscience before God.
I Peter 3:21, “The like figure whereunto [eve] baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If you were not immersed into Christ for the remission of your sins, because of our personal faith in Christ, and the repentance of your sins, I personally fail to see how you can have a good conscience before God.
Baptism into a man-made religion, by a substitute mode, for an illegitimate reason should not satisfy one who wants to stand before God in all good conscience.
I hope this straightforward, honest answer helps you decide what to do.

Trying Times by J.C. Bailey

 

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Bailey/John/Carlos/1903/Articles/tryingti.html

Trying Times

The USA has had both floods and cyclones with some loss of life. Canada has had some floods with some loss of life. Canada is passing through a very serious political crisis. Only time will show how serious it is. Ethiopia has a civil war. In the midst of this civil war they had a prolonged drought. The press reported that more than a million people starved to death. Iran has just had one of the worst earthquakes of this century. Today they reported that more than 500 had died and the number could go much higher. India is subject to tropical storms, and they have just had the worst storm in more than a century. While the loss of life was not as great as in Ethiopia or in Iran, tens of thousands are left with only the clothes they have on their bodies! Do you know what they have asked for more than any other one thing? "Our Bible is gone, please give us a new Bible."

Thousands of our brethren are without shelter and without clothes. There has been some clothing shipped, but for light clothes for children and grownups, the demand is almost limitless. Brother Ron Clayton is making an appeal to meet this need. Be sure to respond. In Canada our postage rate is so high that it is better to just send the money and let them buy clothes in India. They produce their own wool, cotton and silk.

From these natural catastrophes, I want to draw some lessons.

"Jehovah is slow to anger, and great in power, and will by no means clear the guilty. Jehovah hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet" (Nahum 1:3).

Then we turn to the New Testament. "For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed to us-ward" (Rom. 8:18); "And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose" (Rom. 8:28).

Paul is on a ship in the sea; they are lost; they are cold; they are hungry; they have not had anything to eat for fourteen days. Yet Paul said, be of good cheer. How could they be of good cheer? Paul told them that the God he served had told him that all would be saved. I quote, "...for I believe God, that it shall be even as he hath spoken unto me" (Acts 27:25).

I want to look at the Scriptures we have used and at some additional Scriptures that encourage us to say, I believe God, that it shall be as He told me. Do you profess to be a Christian? "But if God so clothes the grass of the field which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall not he much more clothe you, o ye of little faith? Be not therefore anxious saying what shall we eat, what shall we drink, or wherewithal shall we be clothed. For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matt. 6:30-33).

We shall add some verses that we do not hear quoted very often, but that does not make their messages any less true. "Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood up and cried saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the Scripture hath said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him were to receive. For the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:37- 39). We shall see when this measure of the Spirit was given.

Jesus was preached as Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). Those who heard Peter, recognized the fact that he was Lord (Ruler) and Christ (the Anointed One). They then asked what they should do (vs. 37). And Peter said to them, "Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." When they repented and were baptized, they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. Verse 39 reads, "For to you is the promise and to your children and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him."

The Lord said that we are to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and the material things would be added. Yet there is a greater promise. After a believer repents and is baptized into Christ, he receives spiritual power.

J.C. Bailey, 1990, Bengough, Saskatchewan

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

Bible Reading September 18 - 20 by Gary Rose

 

Bible Reading September 18 - 20

World  English  Bible

 

Sept. 18

Psalms 80-82

Psa 80:1 Hear us, Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock, you who sit above the cherubim, shine forth.

Psa 80:2 Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might! Come to save us!

Psa 80:3 Turn us again, God. Cause your face to shine, and we will be saved.

Psa 80:4 Yahweh God of Armies, How long will you be angry against the prayer of your people?

Psa 80:5 You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in large measure.

Psa 80:6 You make us a source of contention to our neighbors. Our enemies laugh among themselves.

Psa 80:7 Turn us again, God of Armies. Cause your face to shine, and we will be saved.

Psa 80:8 You brought a vine out of Egypt. You drove out the nations, and planted it.

Psa 80:9 You cleared the ground for it. It took deep root, and filled the land.

Psa 80:10 The mountains were covered with its shadow. Its boughs were like God's cedars.

Psa 80:11 It sent out its branches to the sea, Its shoots to the River.

Psa 80:12 Why have you broken down its walls, so that all those who pass by the way pluck it?

Psa 80:13 The boar out of the wood ravages it. The wild animals of the field feed on it.

Psa 80:14 Turn again, we beg you, God of Armies. Look down from heaven, and see, and visit this vine,

Psa 80:15 the stock which your right hand planted, the branch that you made strong for yourself.

Psa 80:16 It's burned with fire. It's cut down. They perish at your rebuke.

Psa 80:17 Let your hand be on the man of your right hand, on the son of man whom you made strong for yourself.

Psa 80:18 So we will not turn away from you. Revive us, and we will call on your name.

Psa 80:19 Turn us again, Yahweh God of Armies. Cause your face to shine, and we will be saved.


Psa 81:1 Sing aloud to God, our strength! Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob!

Psa 81:2 Raise a song, and bring here the tambourine, the pleasant lyre with the harp.

Psa 81:3 Blow the trumpet at the New Moon, at the full moon, on our feast day.

Psa 81:4 For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.

Psa 81:5 He appointed it in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out over the land of Egypt, I heard a language that I didn't know.

Psa 81:6 "I removed his shoulder from the burden. His hands were freed from the basket.

Psa 81:7 You called in trouble, and I delivered you. I answered you in the secret place of thunder. I tested you at the waters of Meribah." Selah.

Psa 81:8 "Hear, my people, and I will testify to you, Israel, if you would listen to me!

Psa 81:9 There shall be no strange god in you, neither shall you worship any foreign god.

Psa 81:10 I am Yahweh, your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

Psa 81:11 But my people didn't listen to my voice. Israel desired none of me.

Psa 81:12 So I let them go after the stubbornness of their hearts, that they might walk in their own counsels.

Psa 81:13 Oh that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!

Psa 81:14 I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn my hand against their adversaries.

Psa 81:15 The haters of Yahweh would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever.

Psa 81:16 But he would have also fed them with the finest of the wheat. I will satisfy you with honey out of the rock."


Psa 82:1 God presides in the great assembly. He judges among the gods.

Psa 82:2 "How long will you judge unjustly, and show partiality to the wicked?" Selah.

Psa 82:3 "Defend the weak, the poor, and the fatherless. Maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.

Psa 82:4 Rescue the weak and needy. Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked."

Psa 82:5 They don't know, neither do they understand. They walk back and forth in darkness. All the foundations of the earth are shaken.

Psa 82:6 I said, "You are gods, all of you are sons of the Most High.

Psa 82:7 Nevertheless you shall die like men, and fall like one of the rulers."

Psa 82:8 Arise, God, judge the earth, for you inherit all of the nations.

 

Sept. 19

Psalms 83-85

Psa 83:1 God, don't keep silent. Don't keep silent, and don't be still, God.

Psa 83:2 For, behold, your enemies are stirred up. Those who hate you have lifted up their heads.

Psa 83:3 They conspire with cunning against your people. They plot against your cherished ones.

Psa 83:4 "Come," they say, "and let's destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more."

Psa 83:5 For they have conspired together with one mind. They form an alliance against you.

Psa 83:6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites; Moab, and the Hagrites;

Psa 83:7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;

Psa 83:8 Assyria also is joined with them. They have helped the children of Lot. Selah.

Psa 83:9 Do to them as you did to Midian, as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the river Kishon;

Psa 83:10 who perished at Endor, who became as dung for the earth.

Psa 83:11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb; yes, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna;

Psa 83:12 who said, "Let us take possession of God's pasturelands."

Psa 83:13 My God, make them like tumbleweed; like chaff before the wind.

Psa 83:14 As the fire that burns the forest, as the flame that sets the mountains on fire,

Psa 83:15 so pursue them with your tempest, and terrify them with your storm.

Psa 83:16 Fill their faces with confusion, that they may seek your name, Yahweh.

Psa 83:17 Let them be disappointed and dismayed forever. Yes, let them be confounded and perish;

Psa 83:18 that they may know that you alone, whose name is Yahweh, are the Most High over all the earth.


Psa 84:1 How lovely are your dwellings, Yahweh of Armies!

Psa 84:2 My soul longs, and even faints for the courts of Yahweh. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Psa 84:3 Yes, the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young, near your altars, Yahweh of Armies, my King, and my God.

Psa 84:4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house. They are always praising you. Selah.

Psa 84:5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you; who have set their hearts on a pilgrimage.

Psa 84:6 Passing through the valley of Weeping, they make it a place of springs. Yes, the autumn rain covers it with blessings.

Psa 84:7 They go from strength to strength. Everyone of them appears before God in Zion.

Psa 84:8 Yahweh, God of Armies, hear my prayer. Listen, God of Jacob. Selah.

Psa 84:9 Behold, God our shield, look at the face of your anointed.

Psa 84:10 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

Psa 84:11 For Yahweh God is a sun and a shield. Yahweh will give grace and glory. He withholds no good thing from those who walk blamelessly.

Psa 84:12 Yahweh of Armies, blessed is the man who trusts in you.


Psa 85:1 Yahweh, you have been favorable to your land. You have restored the fortunes of Jacob.

Psa 85:2 You have forgiven the iniquity of your people. You have covered all their sin. Selah.

Psa 85:3 You have taken away all your wrath. You have turned from the fierceness of your anger.

Psa 85:4 Turn us, God of our salvation, and cause your indignation toward us to cease.

Psa 85:5 Will you be angry with us forever? Will you draw out your anger to all generations?

Psa 85:6 Won't you revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?

Psa 85:7 Show us your loving kindness, Yahweh. Grant us your salvation.

Psa 85:8 I will hear what God, Yahweh, will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, his saints; but let them not turn again to folly.

Psa 85:9 Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land.

Psa 85:10 Mercy and truth meet together. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

Psa 85:11 Truth springs out of the earth. Righteousness has looked down from heaven.

Psa 85:12 Yes, Yahweh will give that which is good. Our land will yield its increase.

Psa 85:13 Righteousness goes before him, And prepares the way for his steps. 

 

Sept. 20

Psalms 86-88

Psa 86:1 Hear, Yahweh, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.

Psa 86:2 Preserve my soul, for I am godly. You, my God, save your servant who trusts in you.

Psa 86:3 Be merciful to me, Lord, for I call to you all day long.

Psa 86:4 Bring joy to the soul of your servant, for to you, Lord, do I lift up my soul.

Psa 86:5 For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive; abundant in loving kindness to all those who call on you.

Psa 86:6 Hear, Yahweh, my prayer. Listen to the voice of my petitions.

Psa 86:7 In the day of my trouble I will call on you, for you will answer me.

Psa 86:8 There is no one like you among the gods, Lord, nor any deeds like your deeds.

Psa 86:9 All nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord. They shall glorify your name.

Psa 86:10 For you are great, and do wondrous things. You are God alone.

Psa 86:11 Teach me your way, Yahweh. I will walk in your truth. Make my heart undivided to fear your name.

Psa 86:12 I will praise you, Lord my God, with my whole heart. I will glorify your name forevermore.

Psa 86:13 For your loving kindness is great toward me. You have delivered my soul from the lowest Sheol.

Psa 86:14 God, the proud have risen up against me. A company of violent men have sought after my soul, and they don't hold regard for you before them.

Psa 86:15 But you, Lord, are a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness and truth.

Psa 86:16 Turn to me, and have mercy on me! Give your strength to your servant. Save the son of your handmaid.

Psa 86:17 Show me a sign of your goodness, that those who hate me may see it, and be shamed, because you, Yahweh, have helped me, and comforted me.


Psa 87:1 His foundation is in the holy mountains.

Psa 87:2 Yahweh loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.

Psa 87:3 Glorious things are spoken about you, city of God. Selah.

Psa 87:4 I will record Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me. Behold, Philistia, Tyre, and also Ethiopia: "This one was born there."

Psa 87:5 Yes, of Zion it will be said, "This one and that one was born in her;" the Most High himself will establish her.

Psa 87:6 Yahweh will count, when he writes up the peoples, "This one was born there." Selah.

Psa 87:7 Those who sing as well as those who dance say, "All my springs are in you."


Psa 88:1 Yahweh, the God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before you.

Psa 88:2 Let my prayer enter into your presence. Turn your ear to my cry.

Psa 88:3 For my soul is full of troubles. My life draws near to Sheol.

Psa 88:4 I am counted among those who go down into the pit. I am like a man who has no help,

Psa 88:5 set apart among the dead, like the slain who lie in the grave, whom you remember no more. They are cut off from your hand.

Psa 88:6 You have laid me in the lowest pit, in the darkest depths.

Psa 88:7 Your wrath lies heavily on me. You have afflicted me with all your waves. Selah.

Psa 88:8 You have taken my friends from me. You have made me an abomination to them. I am confined, and I can't escape.

Psa 88:9 My eyes are dim from grief. I have called on you daily, Yahweh. I have spread out my hands to you.

Psa 88:10 Do you show wonders to the dead? Do the dead rise up and praise you? Selah.

Psa 88:11 Is your loving kindness declared in the grave? Or your faithfulness in Destruction?

Psa 88:12 Are your wonders made known in the dark? Or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

Psa 88:13 But to you, Yahweh, I have cried. In the morning, my prayer comes before you.

Psa 88:14 Yahweh, why do you reject my soul? Why do you hide your face from me?

Psa 88:15 I am afflicted and ready to die from my youth up. While I suffer your terrors, I am distracted.

Psa 88:16 Your fierce wrath has gone over me. Your terrors have cut me off.

Psa 88:17 They came around me like water all day long. They completely engulfed me.

Psa 88:18 You have put lover and friend far from me, and my friends into darkness. 

 

Sept. 18

1 Corinthians 14

1Co 14:1 Follow after love, and earnestly desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.

1Co 14:2 For he who speaks in another language speaks not to men, but to God; for no one understands; but in the Spirit he speaks mysteries.

1Co 14:3 But he who prophesies speaks to men for their edification, exhortation, and consolation.

1Co 14:4 He who speaks in another language edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the assembly.

1Co 14:5 Now I desire to have you all speak with other languages, but rather that you would prophesy. For he is greater who prophesies than he who speaks with other languages, unless he interprets, that the assembly may be built up.

1Co 14:6 But now, brothers, if I come to you speaking with other languages, what would I profit you, unless I speak to you either by way of revelation, or of knowledge, or of prophesying, or of teaching?

1Co 14:7 Even things without life, giving a voice, whether pipe or harp, if they didn't give a distinction in the sounds, how would it be known what is piped or harped?

1Co 14:8 For if the trumpet gave an uncertain sound, who would prepare himself for war?

1Co 14:9 So also you, unless you uttered by the tongue words easy to understand, how would it be known what is spoken? For you would be speaking into the air.

1Co 14:10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of sounds in the world, and none of them is without meaning.

1Co 14:11 If then I don't know the meaning of the sound, I would be to him who speaks a foreigner, and he who speaks would be a foreigner to me.

1Co 14:12 So also you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, seek that you may abound to the building up of the assembly.

1Co 14:13 Therefore let him who speaks in another language pray that he may interpret.

1Co 14:14 For if I pray in another language, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.

1Co 14:15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

1Co 14:16 Otherwise if you bless with the spirit, how will he who fills the place of the unlearned say the "Amen" at your giving of thanks, seeing he doesn't know what you say?

1Co 14:17 For you most certainly give thanks well, but the other person is not built up.

1Co 14:18 I thank my God, I speak with other languages more than you all.

1Co 14:19 However in the assembly I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might instruct others also, than ten thousand words in another language.

1Co 14:20 Brothers, don't be children in thoughts, yet in malice be babies, but in thoughts be mature.

1Co 14:21 In the law it is written, "By men of strange languages and by the lips of strangers I will speak to this people. Not even thus will they hear me, says the Lord."

1Co 14:22 Therefore other languages are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to the unbelieving; but prophesying is for a sign, not to the unbelieving, but to those who believe.

1Co 14:23 If therefore the whole assembly is assembled together and all speak with other languages, and unlearned or unbelieving people come in, won't they say that you are crazy?

1Co 14:24 But if all prophesy, and someone unbelieving or unlearned comes in, he is reproved by all, and he is judged by all.

1Co 14:25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed. So he will fall down on his face and worship God, declaring that God is among you indeed.

1Co 14:26 What is it then, brothers? When you come together, each one of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has another language, has an interpretation. Let all things be done to build each other up.

1Co 14:27 If any man speaks in another language, let it be two, or at the most three, and in turn; and let one interpret.

1Co 14:28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in the assembly, and let him speak to himself, and to God.

1Co 14:29 Let the prophets speak, two or three, and let the others discern.

1Co 14:30 But if a revelation is made to another sitting by, let the first keep silent.

1Co 14:31 For you all can prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be exhorted.

1Co 14:32 The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets,

1Co 14:33 for God is not a God of confusion, but of peace. As in all the assemblies of the saints,

1Co 14:34 let your wives keep silent in the assemblies, for it has not been permitted for them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as the law also says.

1Co 14:35 If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home, for it is shameful for a woman to chatter in the assembly.

1Co 14:36 What? Was it from you that the word of God went out? Or did it come to you alone?

1Co 14:37 If any man thinks himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him recognize the things which I write to you, that they are the commandment of the Lord.

1Co 14:38 But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.

1Co 14:39 Therefore, brothers, desire earnestly to prophesy, and don't forbid speaking with other languages.

1Co 14:40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

 

Sept. 19

1 Corinthians 15

1Co 15:1 Now I declare to you, brothers, the Good News which I preached to you, which also you received, in which you also stand,

1Co 15:2 by which also you are saved, if you hold firmly the word which I preached to you--unless you believed in vain.

1Co 15:3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

1Co 15:4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

1Co 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

1Co 15:6 Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers at once, most of whom remain until now, but some have also fallen asleep.

1Co 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,

1Co 15:8 and last of all, as to the child born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also.

1Co 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, who is not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the assembly of God.

1Co 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am. His grace which was bestowed on me was not futile, but I worked more than all of them; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

1Co 15:11 Whether then it is I or they, so we preach, and so you believed.

1Co 15:12 Now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

1Co 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised.

1Co 15:14 If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith also is in vain.

1Co 15:15 Yes, we are found false witnesses of God, because we testified about God that he raised up Christ, whom he didn't raise up, if it is so that the dead are not raised.

1Co 15:16 For if the dead aren't raised, neither has Christ been raised.

1Co 15:17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins.

1Co 15:18 Then they also who are fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

1Co 15:19 If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable.

1Co 15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead. He became the first fruits of those who are asleep.

1Co 15:21 For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man.

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.

1Co 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ's, at his coming.

1Co 15:24 Then the end comes, when he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will have abolished all rule and all authority and power.

1Co 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

1Co 15:26 The last enemy that will be abolished is death.

1Co 15:27 For, "He put all things in subjection under his feet." But when he says, "All things are put in subjection," it is evident that he is excepted who subjected all things to him.

1Co 15:28 When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son will also himself be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all.

1Co 15:29 Or else what will they do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead aren't raised at all, why then are they baptized for the dead?

1Co 15:30 Why do we also stand in jeopardy every hour?

1Co 15:31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

1Co 15:32 If I fought with animals at Ephesus for human purposes, what does it profit me? If the dead are not raised, then "let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."

1Co 15:33 Don't be deceived! "Evil companionships corrupt good morals."

1Co 15:34 Wake up righteously, and don't sin, for some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.

1Co 15:35 But someone will say, "How are the dead raised?" and, "With what kind of body do they come?"

1Co 15:36 You foolish one, that which you yourself sow is not made alive unless it dies.

1Co 15:37 That which you sow, you don't sow the body that will be, but a bare grain, maybe of wheat, or of some other kind.

1Co 15:38 But God gives it a body even as it pleased him, and to each seed a body of its own.

1Co 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.

1Co 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial differs from that of the terrestrial.

1Co 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.

1Co 15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.

1Co 15:43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.

1Co 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body and there is also a spiritual body.

1Co 15:45 So also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

1Co 15:46 However that which is spiritual isn't first, but that which is natural, then that which is spiritual.

1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, made of dust. The second man is the Lord from heaven.

1Co 15:48 As is the one made of dust, such are those who are also made of dust; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

1Co 15:49 As we have borne the image of those made of dust, let's also bear the image of the heavenly.

1Co 15:50 Now I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood can't inherit the Kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.

1Co 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,

1Co 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.

1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

1Co 15:54 But when this corruptible will have put on incorruption, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen: "Death is swallowed up in victory."

1Co 15:55 "Death, where is your sting? Hades, where is your victory?"

1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

1Co 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the Lord's work, because you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

 

Sept. 20

1 Corinthians 16

1Co 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I commanded the assemblies of Galatia, you do likewise.

1Co 16:2 On the first day of the week, let each one of you save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come.

1Co 16:3 When I arrive, I will send whoever you approve with letters to carry your gracious gift to Jerusalem.

1Co 16:4 If it is appropriate for me to go also, they will go with me.

1Co 16:5 But I will come to you when I have passed through Macedonia, for I am passing through Macedonia.

1Co 16:6 But with you it may be that I will stay, or even winter, that you may send me on my journey wherever I go.

1Co 16:7 For I do not wish to see you now in passing, but I hope to stay a while with you, if the Lord permits.

1Co 16:8 But I will stay at Ephesus until Pentecost,

1Co 16:9 for a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

1Co 16:10 Now if Timothy comes, see that he is with you without fear, for he does the work of the Lord, as I also do.

1Co 16:11 Therefore let no one despise him. But set him forward on his journey in peace, that he may come to me; for I expect him with the brothers.

1Co 16:12 Now concerning Apollos, the brother, I strongly urged him to come to you with the brothers; and it was not at all his desire to come now; but he will come when he has an opportunity.

1Co 16:13 Watch! Stand firm in the faith! Be courageous! Be strong!

1Co 16:14 Let all that you do be done in love.

1Co 16:15 Now I beg you, brothers (you know the house of Stephanas, that it is the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have set themselves to serve the saints),

1Co 16:16 that you also be in subjection to such, and to everyone who helps in the work and labors.

1Co 16:17 I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus; for that which was lacking on your part, they supplied.

1Co 16:18 For they refreshed my spirit and yours. Therefore acknowledge those who are like that.

1Co 16:19 The assemblies of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priscilla greet you much in the Lord, together with the assembly that is in their house.

1Co 16:20 All the brothers greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.

1Co 16:21 This greeting is by me, Paul, with my own hand.

1Co 16:22 If any man doesn't love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. Come, Lord!

1Co 16:23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

1Co 16:24 My love to all of you in Christ Jesus. Amen.