12/14/20

Another Pointless Attempt to Defeat Biogenesis by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=4498


Another Pointless Attempt to Defeat Biogenesis

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

“British scientists recreate the molecules that gave birth to life itself”—the title of a recent article posted by the UK based, Mail Online (Enoch, 2012). Such a bold, presumptuous title certainly grabs your attention, considering that it leaves the impression that abiogenesis has finally been proved—that non-living “molecules” can give rise to life, contrary to the mounds of scientific evidence that prove that life comes only from life (see Miller, 2012). Unfortunately for the atheistic evolutionist, the article admits more bad news for the beloved theory than good.

The article begins with the statement, “Scientists [i.e., evolutionary scientists—JM] are one step closer to understanding the origin of life...” (Enoch). To the atheist, this would sound exciting, until he realizes that the author is tacitly admitting that after decades of work trying to establish that life could somehow evolve from non-life—which must have occurred in order for Darwinian evolution even to begin—scientists still do not understand the origin of life. Robert Hazen, a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory, admitted in his lecture series, Origins of Life, that scientists “don’t know how life began,” but rather, have to “make an assumption that life emerged from basic raw materials through a sequence of events that was completely consistent with the natural laws of chemistry and physics” (Hazen, 2005). Paul Davies, theoretical physicist, cosmologist, astrobiologist, and professor at Arizona State University said, “One of the great outstanding scientific mysteries is the origin of life. How did it happen?... The truth is, nobody has a clue” (2006, 192[2578]:35). Eminent British evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, also admitted that no one knows how life began (Stein and Miller, 2008).

The problem with this idea, from a scientific standpoint, is that science has, in fact, spoken about the origin of life. Science has proven time and again that, in nature, life comes only from life (Miller, 2012). Life does not come from non-living things in nature. So, according to science, the answer to the origin of life question must be found outside of nature—from a supernatural source. Don’t expect the atheistic evolutionist to accept that logical implication from the scientific evidence, and don’t expect Enoch’s article to make that admission either.

What are the facts that can be gained from the research discussed in the article? The tests conducted by organic chemists at the University of York and the University of Nottingham reveal that “using simple left-handed amino acids to catalyse the formation of sugars resulted in the production of the predominantly right-handed form of sugars” (Enoch). This is amazing and significant research. The problem, as usual, is not the evidence of science, but the interpretation of the evidence by evolutionists. The researchers assert that their find might explain how carbohydrates could have originally evolved on Earth and why the right-handed form dominates in nature. According to Paul Clark, who led the team of scientists who conducted this research, “One of the interesting questions is where carbohydrates come from because they are the building blocks of DNA and RNA. What we have achieved is thefirst step on that pathway to show how simple sugars—threose and erythrose—originated” (Enoch, emp. added).

Notice that they “jump from A to Z” in their conclusion that their findings have proven to be the “first step” in showing how “simple sugars…originated.” How can one make such an assertion? That’s like seeing a car for the first time, noticing that it is green, and proceeding to assume that the first step has been taken in proving that all vehicles are green cars. The researchers go beyond the evidence when they apply their excellent research to a hypothetical world that allegedly might have existed eons ago, that might have had just the right conditions and available materials to produce the results they gathered from their experiments—conditions and materials which have only been present in their laboratory, not in nature—which may or may not have been the means by which, in the evolutionist’s eyes, life could have somehow spontaneously arrived in the first place.

As is usually the case when such research is publicized, the authors want to grab your attention by boldly implying something that has not actually occurred. One has to read the article cautiously to catch the myriad disclaimers laced throughout the article, which subtly highlight the fact that the implications of the research are characterized by mere assertions and conjecture—not proof. A quick perusal through the short, 357 word article, watching for disclaimers, reveals the following phrases concerning the interpretation of the research: “could have occurred”; “could explain”; “many people think”; “we are trying to understand”; “most scientists believe”; “hypothetical conditions”; “that may have been present on early Earth.” The truth: naturalistic scientists don’t have a clue how life originated. They can only guess and speculate because (1) they were not around when life was originally initiated, and (2) because nature reveals that life cannot come from non-life.

With that in mind, notice the significant admission by Paul Clarke. “For life to have evolved, you have to have a moment when non-living things become living—everything up to that point is chemistry. We are trying to understand the chemical origins of life” (Enoch, emp. added). So, Clark admits that his team’s research does not even involve trying to answer the ultimate question of how life could come from non-life. His team was merely interested in trying to figure out how the non-living building blocks of life could come about—not how they could make the jump to life. That question is still untouched by Clark’s team, and the scientific world at large.

In essence, these scientists are merely trying to figure out how the blocks of life could have come about from pre-existing materials that they hope were in existence eons ago—not how those building blocks could have accidentally arranged themselves into a building that came to life and started walking around giving birth to other fully functional buildings. In truth, the question of “how life could come from non-life” has already been addressed by the work of Redi, Spallanzani, and Pasteur, and their scientific research indicates that abiogenesis cannot happen (see Miller, 2012). So why are Clark and his team wasting their time trying to prove how the building blocks leading up to a disproven theory could form? According to the article,

The research has echoes of the landmark Miller-Urey study in 1952, which simulated hypothetical conditions that may have been present on early Earth. It showed how the building blocks of life can form from simple chemical reactions—for example, electrical activity like that associated with lightning can prompt the formation of amino acids.

The problem with this statement is that the authors appear to have not gotten the memo that the Miller-Urey experiments are now considered to be almost totally irrelevant to the abiogenesis question today (see Miller, 2012 for a discussion of these experiments and how they are viewed today). The fact that the authors point to those experiments indicates that either they are behind the times among the evolutionary community or are so desperate to validate the possibility of abiogenesis that they ignore recent research which refutes their hopes.

Sadly, in this day and age, many scientists are only interested in studying nature to determine how things happen through various evolutionary theories, rather than simply finding how things happen. Their initial assumptions corrupt their interpretations of the evidence. Why would scientists not simply follow the evidence—wherever it might lead? Could it be that “they have itching ears” that prohibit them from enduring “sound doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:3)? Could it be that they refuse to “receive the love of the truth,” but instead, choose to “believe the lie” because they take “pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)? Regardless, the evidence is clear. In nature, life comes only from life. So, according to the scientific evidence, the only way life could have been initiated in the beginning was through a supernatural act by a Being outside of the natural realm. That is where the scientific evidence leads the logical mind.

REFERENCES

Davies, Paul (2006), New Scientist, 192[2578]:35, November 18.

Enoch, Nick (2012), “British Scientists Recreate the Molecules that Gave Birth to Life Itself,” Mail Online, January 27, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2092494/Life-sweet-New-clue-chemical-origins-sugar-molecules-DNA-recreated-scientists.html.

Hazen, Robert (2005), Origins of Life (Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company).

Miller, Jeff (2012), “The Law of Biogenesis,” Reason & Revelation, 32[1]:2-11, January (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), http://apologeticspress.org/apPubPage.aspx?pub=1&issue=1018&article=1722.

Stein, Ben and Kevin Miller (2008), Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (Premise Media).

An Introduction to Christian Evidences for Christians by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=5556

An Introduction to Christian Evidences for Christians

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

Christian Evidences: The Need

According to church statistician Flavil Yeakley, 40% of the young people in the Lord’s Church fall away when they leave home. Of the 40% that leave the Church, half of them join denominations. The other half (20%) become irreligious.1 About half of the irreligious will become atheists. The typical reasons for their departure from faith are that the young people learned about evolution in college; they came to disbelieve in miracles because of being taught naturalism; they believe that there is a lack of evidence for God and Creation; and they believe that Christianity goes against logic and common sense.2 So things they learned in science shook their faith in what they had been taught in church and at home. In fact, their faith was more than shaken—it was destroyed. They left the Church. Is the study of Christian evidences important?

Should it surprise us that so many are leaving the Church for such reasons? Of the children being educated in the United States, 87% of them are in the public school system.3 The official doctrine that has been taught in public school classrooms over the last several decades is naturalism—the belief that only the natural exists (i.e., no supernatural phenomena such as Creation, the global Flood of Noah, or biblical miracles occurred). Certainly, we encourage our children to respect and learn from their teachers at school, teaching them to view their teachers as authorities in the dissemination of academic knowledge. With naturalistic evolution being pressed on the minds of so many children from a young age, should it surprise us that naturalism is rapidly on the rise in our country and that even within the Lord’s Church our children are being influenced? A 2012 Gallup poll revealed that from 1982 to 2012, the number of naturalists in our country increased from 9% to 15%— the equivalent of roughly 19,000,000 Americans at the time the poll was administered.4 A Gallup poll from 2017 updated the percentage: 19% of Americans now believe in naturalistic evolution.5 Roughly one in five Americans have embraced atheistic evolution.

When writing their New Testament books, Paul, Luke, James, Peter, Jude, and John addressed the issues that the Church was facing in their day: the false doctrines affecting the Church, the ever-increasing Roman threat, Judaism in the Church, and other highly relevant issues, including Greek philosophy. If they were writing today, what do you suppose God would inspire them to address? Among other things, would they not spend ample time addressing the rapidly increasing threat being posed by naturalism? One wonders if they would not devote even more time to the subject of Christian evidences than they already did in their writings. One could argue that 70+ years ago, the primary threat being posed to the Church outside of the typical vices was denominationalism. In response, Christians made a concerted effort to ensure that their congregations were well-equipped to defend the truth concerning pure New Testament Christianity. Statistically, denominationalism and its younger sibling, liberalism, are clearly still significant threats to the Church—20% of our young people are leaving the Church and joining denominations. However, 70+ years ago, naturalism was not the threat that it is today. Due to the threat the Church is facing, we would do well to spend as much time studying Christian evidences in the Church as we do denominationalism and liberalism. If a person’s faith in more fundamental concepts has eroded, how will it help to teach him about baptism, the true Bride of Christ, or proper worship? Mark it down: the time is rapidly approaching when the threat of denominationalism will be significantly less of a threat to the Church compared to naturalism. Are we equipped to contend for the faith? Are we “ignorant of [Satan’s] devices” (2 Corinthians 2:11)?

I know of members of the Church who see no need to spend much time on the subject of Christian evidences, and by implication, they see no need to be prepared to teach others Christian evidences. They reason, “We just need to read and study the Bible! That’s it. I didn’t need to study Christian evidences, and neither do they. Christian evidences is unnecessary.” Merely covering one’s eyes so that he cannot see the tornado approaching will not save a person, nor his family, from impending doom. Perhaps for many people it is the case that they do not need to have answers to faith challenges like naturalism—Darwinian evolution and the Big Bang; they do not need to be treated to a survey of the many evidences that support the Christian faith; but according to the statistics, many others do. If 20% of our youth are becoming irreligious, how many of the others would have become irreligious due to the same issues had they not been given answers to the challenges being directed against their faith at school? Thankfully, they had wise parents and/or elders and preachers who gave them the tools and the knowledge they needed to stay grounded in their faith.

With Scripture, humanity certainly has what it needs to know how to live life the way God wants us to—how to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3). But we are also commanded to be able to defend the truth from false doctrines eroding the faith of the Church (cf. 1 Peter 3:15; Jude 3). We must “test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). How can we do so without examining the evidences for and against Christianity?

The sufficiency of Scripture also does not mean that we are not encouraged to study other products of God’s words and wisdom that He has given us—namely, His creation (often termed, “general revelation”). Several passages speak to that truth, with Romans 1:20 perhaps being the premier passage on the subject. According to Paul, one can study “the things that are made” (i.e., creation) and come to the conclusion that God exists, and even learn about the nature of God from those things. The Bible encourages us to study the great “works of the Lord” (Psalm 111:2), the greatest of which would surely be the Creation of the entire Universe and the destruction of the Earth in the global Flood of Noah. Scripture tells us that we can learn about God by studying astronomy (Genesis 15:5), cosmology (Psalm 19:1), and geology (Job 12:8). In His sermon to Job in Job 38-41, God used the created order repeatedly to teach Job about Himself. Disciplines covered included physics, oceanography, nomology, optics, meteorology, and biology—including zoology, ornithology, entomology, herpetology, botany, and marine biology.

Christian Evidences: Defined

Studying Christian evidences is crucial in this day and age if we wish to stand against the naturalistic tide sweeping the country and influencing the youth of our day. A study of Christian evidences is authorized by God. In fact, a study of Christian evidences is mandated by God. And it should be noted that studying Christian evidences is the logical, rational thing to do.

What are “Christian evidences”? Simply put, the discipline of Christian evidences is the study of evidences for Christianity—namely the evidences that substantiate the three “pillars” of Christian faith: the existence of God; the inspiration of the Bible; and the deity of Christ. The importance of evidence cannot be understated. In the field of philosophy, there is a general rule that is followed if a person wishes to be rational: the Law of Rationality. It says that one should only draw those conclusions that are warranted by the evidence.6 Many within Christendom seem unware that Scripture endorses and commands adherence to the same obvious axiom. “Test all things; hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21). The Bible explicitly prohibits having a “blind” faith (i.e., coming to believe something without adequate evidence). Scripture incessantly makes the point that we should come to a knowledge of the truth based on the evidence that has been provided to us. According to Romans 1:20, so much evidence has been provided to come to the truth of God’s existence that not to come to the right conclusion is “without excuse.” We can know the truth—not merely accept it “on faith”—and it will set us free (John 8:32). As did the “fair-minded” Bereans of Acts 17, God wants us to search for evidence that substantiates a claim before blindly believing it (vs. 11). Since many false teachers are in the world, He tells us to “not believe every spirit, but test the spirits” before believing them (1 John 4:1). Unlike fideism (i.e., blind “faith”)—which pits itself against reason7—Paul believed in establishing truth using reasoning from the evidence (Acts 26:25). In fact, Jesus told His audience not to believe/have faith in Him if He did not substantiate His claims with evidence (John 10:37). “Doubting Thomas” was not in error for failing to have a blind faith. Rather, he was in error for having been witness to more evidence of the truth than nearly anybody who had ever lived or ever would live, and yet he still disbelieved, requiring even more direct observational evidence than he had already received (John 20:24-29).

The blind “faith” idea is unbiblical. The biblical portrait of faith in God would be more like seeing evidence being “poured” into a “truth container.” The “evidence” rises to the top of the container and begins pouring over the top, establishing the truth of God. Where “faith” comes in is when we look at the truth container, filled to the brim with evidence, and choose whether or not to believe it. Most do not and will not (Matthew 7:13-14). It is their own choice, but it is not because God has not provided enough evidence to come to the truth. Rather, they have rejected the evidence which is readily available, due to their own personal motives.

Biblical faith is not blind, and yet God still expects us to come to the conclusion that He exists, that the Bible was ultimately authored by Him, and that Jesus is His divine Son, in spite of the fact that we cannot directly observe God or directly witness the confirming miracles and signs that Jesus did to authenticate His message. The implication is that God has given us sufficient evidence to be able to know these things, and He expects us to dig for and study that evidence. And that is the point of Christian evidences. Famous philosopher from the 1800s, Herbert Spencer, said, “Those who cavalierly reject the Theory of Evolution, as not adequately supported by facts, seem quite to forget that their own theory is supported by no facts at all.8 If Spencer was correct, then the Christian’s plight would be dire indeed. Fideism has lent credibility to arguments like this one, and rational people rightly reject religion and Christianity in particular when theists promote having an irrational, blind faith. But as the study of Christian evidences has long revealed, Spencer’s comments were without merit and in fact revealed his ignorance of the preponderance of evidence that surrounded him at the very moment he penned those words. With every breath he inhaled and every stroke his pen made, evidence of the Christian faith was entering his body and radiating from it.

One might ask, “How can one come to believe in something invisible—something that he cannot even directly observe or experiment on— and that faith not be blind?” How can we come to know that gravity exists? We cannot see, taste, touch, hear, or smell gravity, and yet we have a mound of evidence that supports its existence. The nature of the evidence is indirect, rather than direct, but it is evidence none-the-less. Much of science (especially historical sciences like geology, paleontology, cosmology, evolutionary biology, etc.) relies on gathering indirect evidence to come to rational conclusions about what happened, how it happened, when it happened, or why it happened, and many times the event itself was not directly observed. Forensic scientists attest to that basic truth on a daily basis. They enter the scene of a crime and can determine what crime occurred, who committed the crime, when they committed it, how they committed it, and oftentimes even why they did it, without having personally observed the event. Similarly, though God’s existence cannot be empirically verified, it can be easily verified indirectly through deductive reasoning from the scientific evidence available to us.

Christian Evidences: An Outline

As previously mentioned, Christian evidences centers on three pillars at the most basic level: the existence of God, the inspiration of Scripture, and the deity of Christ. Apologetics is generally tied to Christian evidences as well—defending the biblical model that stems from those three fundamental planks. The following general topical outline results:

1.  God exists: Although we cannot directly observe God, several lines of evidence exist that lead one to the logical conclusion that He exists. These are generally termed “Classical Arguments.” The typical arguments include the Moral, Cosmological, and Teleological Arguments. The Ontological, Intuitional, and Aesthetic Arguments are seen less frequently, though they continue to provide valid evidence for God as well.9

a.   The primary response to the existence of a God argument is made by the naturalists (i.e., atheists, agnostics, and skeptics). They say the Universe came about solely naturally. The Big Bang Theory and Darwinian evolution are generally invoked to substantiate that claim. So Christian evidences often addresses those subjects.10

b.   Others argue that proving that a god exists does not substantiate which God exists. This question is answered upon establishing the second fundamental plank of Christian evidences.

2.  The Bible is inspired: If the Bible can be shown to have characteristics that humans could not have produced, then it will have provided internal evidence of its divine origin, and subsequently, identification of which God exists. Thus, Christian evidences explores various internal evidences of the Bible’s supernatural characteristics: its scientific foreknowledge, perfect unity, its brevity and omissions, its objectivity, its predictive prophecy, and its perfect accuracy (historically, geographically, etc.11).

a.   Skeptics respond that the Bible claims certain events happened which are not plausible and which are not substantiated with geological, paleontological, or archaeological evidences (e.g., the Flood, Babel, wilderness wandering, etc.). Thus, Christian evidences explores such criticisms and responds.

b.   Others insist that the Bible, whether or not it was originally inspired, has been corrupted in its transmission and translation.12

c.   Still others take issue with the alleged “perfect unity” of Scripture, and cite hundreds of alleged contradictions in Scripture, attempting to prove that the Bible was written by mere humans. After all, “to err is human,” but “to err” should not be God.13

d.   Other skeptics argue that regardless if there is a god, it cannot be the God of the Bible, because the God of the Bible is a walking contradiction. They proceed to highlight events in Scripture which they believe prove Him not to be Who He claims (e.g., God cannot be omnipotent and omnibenevolent and still allow horrendous things to happen to good or innocent people;14 God allowed slavery, sexism, genocide, etc.15).

e.   Christian evidences, again, explores each of these criticisms to assess their validity and responds.

3.             The Deity of Christ: The deity of Christ is a central theme of Scripture that distinguishes Christianity from other alleged “biblical” religions (e.g., Judaism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism, and Islam). Since the second plank of Christian evidences has already been established before a discussion of plank three would be relevant, a discussion of the deity of Christ generally centers on the teachings of Scripture on the subject, although some things about Christ have been further verified by ancient testimony from non-Christian and even hostile sources.16

If we as Christians are going to obey the command to be ready to give a defense of Christianity (1 Peter 3:15) in the 21st century, Christian evidences must be studied in each of our congregations and in a regular way. Knowing that 20% of our young people are leaving the Church and becoming irreligious, in large part due to what they perceive to be a lack of evidence for Christianity, should surely cause us to adjust our study and evangelism strategies.

Endnotes

1 Flavil Yeakley (2012), Why They Left (Memphis, TN: Gospel Advocate), p. 39.

2 Michael Lipka (2016), “Why America’s ‘Nones’ Left Religion Behind,” Factank, Pew Research Center, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/08/24/why-americas-nones-left-religion-behind/.

3 “Statistics About Nonpublic Education in the United States” (2016), U.S. Department of Education, https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oii/nonpublic/statistics.html; “Public and Private School Comparison,” (2016), Fast Facts, National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=55.

4 Frank Newport (2012), “In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins,” GALLUP Politics, http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/Hold-Creationist-View-Human-Origins.aspx.

5 Art Swift (2017), “In U.S., Belief in Creationist View of Humans at New Low,” Gallup, http://news.gallup.com/poll/210956/belief-creationist-view-humans-new-low.aspx.

6 Lionel Ruby (1960), Logic: An Introduction (Chicago, IL: J.B. Lippincott), pp. 130-131.

7 “Fideism” (2015), Merriam-Webster On-line Dictionary, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fideism.

8 Herbert Spencer (1891), Essays Scientific, Political and Speculative, Online Library of Liberty, http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/spencer-essays-scientific-political-and-speculative-vol-1--5?q=those+who+cavalierly#Spencer_0620-01_8, emp. added.

9 cf.  Dave Miller, ed. (2017), Does God Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

10 cf. Jeff Miller (2017), Science vs. Evolution (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press), 2nd edition.

11 cf. Kyle Butt (2007), Behold! The Word of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

12 cf. Dave Miller (2015), “3 Good Reasons to Believe the Bible Has Not Been Corrupted,” Reason & Revelation, 35[8]:86-92.

13 cf. Eric Lyons (2003), The Anvil Rings: Volume 1 (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

14 Dave Miller (2015), Why People Suffer (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

15 cf.  Kyle Butt (2010), A Christian’s Guide to Refuting Atheism (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

16 cf. Kyle Butt and Eric Lyons (2006), Behold! The Lamb of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

 

American Astronauts: From Belief to Unbelief by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2490

American Astronauts: From Belief to Unbelief

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The “space race” between the Soviet Union and the United States was in full swing. I was four years old when my father took me outside on a dark Arizona night in October 1957, to peer upward in hopes of catching a glimpse of the first manmade object to orbit the Earth—Russia’s Sputnik 1. Sure enough, it streaked across the heavens as a pinpoint of light. By April of 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space aboard Vostok 1. Peering through the window of his spacecraft, Gagarin was reported to have made the comment, “I don’t see any God up here” (“Yuri Gagarin...,” n.d.). [NOTE: Yuri’s colleague and good friend, Colonel Valentin Petrov, later insisted that Yuri never made such a statement, though it came to be attributed to him, but was actually the result of a comment by Russian Premiere Nikita Khrushchev in an anti-religious propaganda speech before the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party: “At that time Khrushchev gave all the Party and Komsomol organizations the task to promote this propaganda and said: ‘Why should you clutch at God? Look, Gagarin flew in space and saw no God’” (“Gagarin Never Said...,” 2006).] Russian astronaut Valery Bykovsky told newsmen in 1963 that no Soviet cosmonaut believed in God and none of them had seen anything to change their minds during their space flights (“Soviet Cosmonauts...,” 1963, p. D7, emp. added). At the time, the spiritual and religious sensibilities of most Americans were shocked by such blatant, unmitigated unbelief.

Indeed, a sharp contrast may be drawn between the Russians and their American counterparts. For example, it was Christmas Eve,

Apollo 8 crew just after splashdown
Photo Credit: NASA

December 24, 1968 when Apollo 8 entered lunar orbit on the first manned mission to the Moon. Before retiring that evening, the astronauts did a live television broadcast to Earth, showing pictures of the Earth and Moon seen from their space capsule. They concluded the broadcast in the following fashion. Lunar Module Pilot William Anders said: “For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you.” He then began reading from the Bible, specifically Genesis 1:1-4. Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell then continued the reading with Genesis 1:5-8. Finally, Commander Frank Borman completed the reading with Genesis 1:9-10, and then closed the broadcast with the words, “And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you—all of you on the good Earth” (Williams, 2007).

Seven months later, on July 20, 1969, with the largest worldwide television audience in history watching, Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first two humans to visit another world when they stepped onto the Moon from their Apollo 11 Lunar Module Eagle. Since the infamous atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair had filed suit against NASA (a suit eventually rejected by the courts) due to the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis, Aldrin was asked to forego his plan to read publicly from the Bible while on the Moon’s surface. Nevertheless, while still on the Moon, he radioed to Earth the following: “Houston. This is Eagle, the LM Pilot speaking. I would like to request a few moments of silence. Over. I would like to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his own individual way” (“Apollo 11 Astronaut...,” 2007). While still on the Moon, Aldrin read John 15:5 to himself and then observed the Lord’s Supper (2007). During a television broadcast by the astronauts the evening before splashdown, Aldrin quoted Psalm 8:3-4—“When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou has ordained; What is man that thou art mindful of him? And the Son of Man, that thou visitest Him?” (2007).

Two years later, astronaut James B. Irwin walked on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission in July 1971. Concerning that lunar mission, Irwin declared, “I felt the power of God as I’d never felt it before” (Wilford, 1991). At the end of the first day of exploring the rugged lunar highlands, Irwin said he was reminded of “my favorite Biblical passage from Psalms,” which he then quoted by radio to Mission Control in Houston: “I’ll look unto the hills from whence cometh my help” (Wilford).

Of course, America’s brave astronauts merely reflected the religious convictions shared by the bulk of American culture at the time—extending all the way back to the beginning of the country. Tragically, that spiritual conviction, so characteristic of American civilization then, has since experienced extensive erosion. Contrast the astronauts in the early days of America’s space program with more recent ones. Returning from a 16-day mission in March 2008, crew members of Endeavor stated that as space exploration forges ahead, they believed the human race will find life elsewhere in the Universe (“Astronauts Say...,” 2008).

Buzz Aldrin on the Moon
Photo Credit: NASA

Mike Foreman, a mission specialist on the Endeavor, said, “If we push back boundaries far enough, I’m sure eventually we’ll find something out there” (“Astronauts Say...”). Such thinking is typical of evolutionists who must look elsewhere for their faltering theory of evolution (cf. Richard Dawkins in Expelled; Stein and Miller, 2008). Foreman continued: “Maybe not as evolved as we are, but it’s hard to believe that there is not life somewhere else in this great universe” (“Astronauts Say...”).

Another astronaut, Gregory Johnson, asserted: “I personally believe that we are going to find something that we can’t explain.... There is probably something out there but I’ve never seen it” (“Astronauts Say...”). The crew commander, Dominic Gorie, compared their space adventure to explorers in past eras who knew not what they would encounter when they sailed the uncharted seas of the Earth. “As we travel in the space, we don’t know what we’ll find. That’s the beauty of what we do. I hope that someday we’ll find what we don’t understand” (“Astronauts Say...”). Richard Linnehan, a fellow mission specialist, admitted that it could take a while before human beings come into contact with extraterrestrial life (“Astronauts Say...”). Here is yet another indication of America’s drift from God in exchange for fanciful theory and meaningless pursuits. Rather than being dazzled by the marvels of the Universe and acknowledging God as the great Creator, some of our astronauts now are filled with thoughts of little green men. Paul’s words form a sad commentary on the transition that has transpired:

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1:20-22, emp. added).

REFERENCES

“Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s Notes on Handwritten Card Offered by Auction House” (2007), International Herald Tribune, September 19, [On-line], URL: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/09/19/america/NA-GEN-US-Astronaut -Auction.php.

“Astronauts Say There Must Be Life in Space” (2008), Space Daily, May 12, [On-line], URL: http://www.spacedaily.com/2006/080512063010.m60tu6xh.html.

“Gagarin Never Said He Did Not See God in Space—His Friend, An Air Force Colonel” (2006), Interfax, April 12, [On-line], URL: http://www.interfax-religion.ru/orthodoxy/?act=interview&div=73 &domain=1.

“Soviet Cosmonauts Called Unbelievers” (1963), The Washington Post, p. D7, December 11, [On-line], URL: http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost_historical/access/179980282 .html?dids=179980282:179980282&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&date= DEC+11%2C+1963&author=&pub=The+Washington+Post&desc=Soviet +Cosmonauts+Called+Unbelievers&pqatl=google.

Stein, Ben and Kevin Miller (2008), Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (Premise Media).

Wilford, John N. (1991), “James B. Irwin, 61, Ex-Astronaut; Founded Religious Organization,” The New York Times, August 10, [On-line], URL: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE3DD173DF933A2575B C0A967958260.

Williams, David (2007), “The Apollo Christmas Eve Broadcast,” NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, [On-line], URL: http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/apollo8_xmas.html.

“Yuri Gagarin Biography” (no date), Biography Base, [On-line], URL: http://www.biographybase.com/biography/Gagarin_Yuri.html.

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Family Of Jesus (3:20-21) by Mark Copeland

 

                 "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                  The Family Of Jesus (3:20-21)

INTRODUCTION

1. The ministry of Jesus in Galilee certainly drew the attention of many...
   a. Multitudes followed Him everywhere - Mk 3:7-8
   b. Jesus' very life was endangered by the crowds - Mk 3:9-10
   c. The house where he stayed was besieged - Mk 3:19b-20

2. It also drew the attention of His physical family...
   a. Who were concerned about what they heard - Mk 3:21a
   b. Who sought to take Him into custody - Mk 3:21b
   c. For they even questioned His sanity - Mk 3:21c

[The reaction of His family is interesting, somewhat understandable.
Before we consider their reaction, and how they later responded to
Jesus, let's review what is revealed in the Scriptures about...]

I. THE MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY

   A. HIS PARENTS...
      1. Mary - His birth mother
         a. A virgin until Jesus was born - Mt 1:18-25; Lk 1:26-38
         b. Visited her cousin Elizabeth - Lk 1:39-56
         c. Gave birth to Jesus in Bethlehem - Lk 2:1:19
         d. Took Jesus to Jerusalem when He was 12 - Lk 2:48-51
         e. Present with Jesus at a marriage in Cana - Jn 2:1-10
         f. Sought Jesus when He was teaching - Mt 12:46; Mk 3:31; Lk 8:19
         g. Present at the cross, committed to John's care - Jn 19:27
         h. With the disciples in Jerusalem following the ascension - Ac 1:14
      2. Joseph - His adoptive father
         a. Descendant of David - Mt 1:1-16
         b. Took Mary as wife, did not know her until Jesus was born - Mt 1:18-25
         c. From Nazareth, enrolled at Bethlehem - Lk 2:1-5
         d. Presented Jesus at the temple in Jerusalem, returned to Nazareth - Lk 2:22-30
         e. Fled to Egypt, later re-settled in Nazareth - Mt 2:13-15, 19-23
         f. Took Jesus to Jerusalem when He was 12 - Lk 2:48-51
         g. Supposed father of Jesus, a carpenter - Mt 13:55; Lk 3:23;4:22; Jn 1:45; 6:42
      -- Jesus was blessed to be born of a virtuous woman, and raised by a just man

   B. HIS SIBLINGS...
      1. Brothers - James, Joses, Simon, Judas
         a. All four mentioned by name on one occasion - Mk 6:3; Mt 13:55
         b. They accompanied Jesus and His mother from Cana to Capernaum - Jn 2:11-12
         c. Later, with Mary they sought to see Jesus - Mk 3:31; Mt 12:46; Lk 8:19-20
      2. Sisters - Mary, Salome
         a. There were at least two sisters - Mt 13:56; Mk 6:3
         b. No names are given in the Scriptures
         c. Later Christian literature gives the names Mary and Salome
            - Protevangelium of James 19:3-20:4; Gospel of Philip 59:
            6-11; Epiphanius, Pan. 78.8.1; 78.9.6
      -- Jesus was blessed to have a number of half-siblings

[Some believe these "brothers" and "sisters" were actually step-siblings
or cousins, that His mother Mary remained a virgin all her life.  In any
case, let's now direct our attention to...]

II. THE MISGIVINGS IN HIS FAMILY

   A. BEFORE HIS RESURRECTION...
      1. Some thought He was crazy - Mk 3:21
         a. They thought "He is out of His mind"
         b. They endeavored to take custody of Him
      2. His brothers did not believe in Him - Jn 7:3-5
         a. They taunted Him to prove Himself
         b. To show Himself openly to the world
      -- When their brother claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God,
         who can blame them?

   B. AFTER HIS RESURRECTION...
      1. Jesus appeared to James - 1Co 15:8
      2. His brothers became His disciples - Ac 1:14
      3. James
         a. Became identified as "the Lord's brother", a pillar in the
            church, likely author of the epistle of James - Ac 12:17;
            15:13; 21:18; Ga 1:19; 2:19; Jm 1:1
         b. Martyred by being thrown from the pinnacle of the temple- Josephus, Eusebius
      4. Joses - little known, evidently became a traveling missionary- 1Co 9:5
      5. Simon - little known, likewise a traveling missionary - 1Co 9:5
      6. Judas - believed to be the author of the epistle of Jude - Ju 1:1
      -- Jesus' resurrection from the dead overcame any misgivings by His brothers

CONCLUSION

1. The initial unbelief of some members of His family is understandable...
   a. Mary never doubted, for she alone really knew the truth about Jesus' birth
   b. But the doubt of His brothers was a normal reaction to His outlandish claims

2. Their initial unbelief and eventual faith can be thought-provoking...
   a. They did not believe despite the miracles of His ministry (why not?)
   b. Yet they later chose to follow His apostles and suffer for His cause (how come?)

3. The transformation in the skeptical members of Jesus' family is easily understood...
   a. If in fact Jesus did rise from the dead and appear to them afterward!
   b. Thus "The Family Of Jesus" serves as a powerful testimony to the resurrection of Jesus!

One last thought:  if Jesus was not truly born of a virgin, what kind of
mother would let her son suffer like Jesus did on the cross and not say
a word?  A simple admission that Joseph (or someone else) was the father
of Jesus, and He could have come down from that cross.  Her silence speaks volumes...! 
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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7 Reasons Why We Praise God by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

https://thepreachersword.com/2013/04/28/seven-reasons-why-we-praise-god/

 7 Reasons Why We Praise God

PraiseTheLord.2

“Praise the LORD” is the beginning phrase of Pslams 146-150.  Thirty-nine times in these five  Psalms he uses the word “praise” in reference to the LORD.  This has been a frequent theme of the Psalmist.  And it should be a frequent, yes a daily occurrence in our lives.  These Psalms speak of at least seven ways that we Him .

We PRAISE THE LORD for His… 

Position.  He is the Almighty.  King. Ruler. Creator. He is Awesome.  Because He is God I extol, exalt and bless His holy name.

Power.  His power is seen in His mighty deeds.  In creation of the world.  In mankind. In His awesome acts. He is the Power behind the flood.  The parting of the Red Sea. Fire from heaven.  He is the power making it possible for a virgin to conceive.  The power of the resurrection of the dead.

Personality.  Consider His qualitites.  Goodness. Righteousness. Graciousness. Compassion. Slow to anger. Great in mercy.  Thank God for who He is.

Preeminence.  He is over all things because he made all things.  He has no rival.  No equal.  He is in a class by Himself.  The Psalmist speaks of his gloriosus majesty.  His everlasting Kingdom.  His dominion.

Provisions.  He is the great provider of every need that we have in this life.  Physical needs.  Emotional needs.  Spiritual needs.  Praise the LORD for His provisions.

Presence. People say, “I’m here for you.”  Maybe they are.  Maybe not.  But God is.  All the time.  He is near to all who call on him.  He hears.   He fulfills our desires.  He saves us.  Indeed we are in His presence.

Preservation. The LORD protects us.  He destroys the wicked.  He preserves His people.

How many reasons do we have to praise God?  Just seven?  Hardly!  Seventy?  Seventy times seven?  Today think of all the reasons for which you can praise God.  Then you will proclaim with the Psalmist….

“I will extol You, my God, O King; And I will bless Your name forever and ever.  Every day I will bless You, And I will praise Your name forever and ever.”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

CALVINISM THE TRADITION OF ERRORS by steve finnell

 

https://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2017/02/calvinism-tradition-of-errors-steve.html

 

CALVINISM THE TRADITION OF ERRORS  by steve finnell

Calvinists believe that no person is saved because of their individual decision to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, to repent, to confess Jesus as the Christ, nor to be baptized in water.

Calvinists believe God selects certain people for salvation and then forces them to believe, to repent, and to confess. They believe water baptism is not essential for salvation, period.

Calvinist believe all Christians are saved by grace alone.

ERROR 1: Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.(NASB)

Calvinists erroneously believe that saving faith is the gift mentioned here. The gift is salvation, not faith.(NOTE: Have been saved.)

Calvinists mistakenly understand that, not as a result of works, means believing in Jesus is a work forbidden as a term for salvation. Jesus has a different view than John Calvin.

John 6:28-29 There they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent."(NASB)

How do men come to believe?

Romans 10:12-17.......So faith comes from hearing, hearing  by the word of Christ.(NASB)

Faith comes by hearing, not by having the gift of a saving faith inherited because God imputed faith at conception for a selected few.

Works that do not save.

Romans 3:20 because by works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.)NASB)

Keeping the Law of Moses cannot save anyone.

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit.(NASB)

God does not save because of the good deeds men do.

Neither, faith, repentance, confession, nor immersion in water are keeping the Law of Moses nor are they good deeds. (John 3:16, Acts 3:19, Romans 10:9, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38)

ERROR 2: Ephesians 1:1-7.....4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intentions of His will......(NASB)

Calvinists erroneously contend that a certain few were predestined for salvation and that all others would burn in hell.

God predestined, that all who become Christians will be saved. God did not pre-select which individuals would become Christians.

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared , bringing salvation to all men, (NASB)

God's grace in available to all men. God does not force His grace on any man. God grace is only withheld from those who reject His terms for salvation.

 

FIRST TIMOTHY by Paul Southern

 

https://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Southern/Paul/1901/tim1.html

FIRST TIMOTHY

  • THE TITLE
  • This epistle gets its name from the fact that it is the first of two letters by the writer to Timothy

  • THE WRITER
  • The first verse names Paul as the writer.

  • THE ADDRESSEE
  • The letter is addressed "unto Timothy, my true child in faith" (1:2). Timothy was an inhabitant of Lystra (Acts 16:1,2), and was probably converted by Paul on his first mission tour (Acts 14:1-7). Timothy's father was a Greek, but his grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice were devout Jewesses (Acts 16:1, II Timothy 1:3-5). He had been carefully taught the Jewish scriptures (II Timothy 3:14,15). Timothy joined Paul on the apostle's second mission tour (Acts 16:3,4), and is everywhere spoken of in terms of high praise (I Thessalonians 3:2; Philippians 2:19-23). He was left by Paul at Ephesus to work with the church there (I Timothy 1:3). Paul longed to have Timothy with him as death approached the aged apostle (II Timothy 4:9,13,21).

  • TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING
  • Although the time and place of writing are indefinite, the letter was probably written between A.D. 64 and 66 from some place in Macedonia (Philippians 2:24; Philemon 22). Some commentators believe the letter was written between Paul's first and second imprisonment in Rome.

  • PURPOSE AND CONTENTS OF THE LETTER
  • The purpose of the letter is two-fold:

    1. To offset the false doctrines of Jewish teachers (4:7-10; 6:3-5, 20, 21).
    2. To guide and encourage Timothy in his evangelistic duties.
      1. Concerning public devotions (2:1-8).
      2. Concerning the duties and behavior of Christian women (2:9-15).
      3. Concerning church officers (3:1-13).
      4. Concerning Timothy's teaching (3:14-16; 4:1-10).
      5. Concerning Timothy's personal holiness (4:11-16).
      6. Concerning the treatment of offenders, of widows, of elders, of slaves, of the rich; and the duties of these several classes of persons (Chs. 5,6). This letter has been compared to "pearls of various sizes and colors, loosely strung on one thread."

  • KEY-WORDS AND EXPRESSIONS
  • Characteristic key-words and expressions are: "faithful is the saying;" "godliness"; "fables"; "genealogies"; "profane babblings"; "sound doctrines."

  • EXERCISES FOR STUDENT ACTIVITY
    1. Summarize the life of Timothy (Acts 14:6-20; 16:1-3; 17:14,15; 18:5; 20:4; Romans 16:21; I Corinthians 4:17; 16:10; II Corinthians 1:1; Philippians 1:1; 2:19-23; Colossians 1:1; I Timothy 1:3-5; 3:14,15; 4:14; II Timothy 1:3-6; 4:9,13,21).
    2. With I Timothy as a text, describe the kind of a man a preacher should be.
    3. Summarize the teaching of I Timothy concerning the nature of God and His sovereignty.
    4. Discuss the attitude which the church should have toward elders (5:1,17,19).
    5. What directions does Paul give concerning widows? (5:3-16).
    6. What does Paul say about money, covetousness, etc.? (6:6-10, 17-19).
    7. Under what conditions did Paul tell Timothy to "use a little wine?" (5:23).
    8. With I Timothy 6:3-16 as a scriptural source, prepare a sermon outline on the subject: Flee, Follow, Fight.
    9. Explain "the mystery of godliness" described in I Timothy 3:16.
    10. List all the words used to designate the church in I Timothy.
    11. In what connections does Paul use the statement, "Faithful is the saying?"
    12. Note all the athletic, military, and other figures in I Timothy.
    13. What warnings does Paul give regarding false doctrines and apostasy?

  • A STUDY OF CHURCH LEADERSHIP
    1. Qualifications of elders
    2. There are three words in the Greek New Testament which are used to designate the men in charge of a local congregation of Christians. The words are not synonymous, but they are used interchangeably with reference to the same group of persons. Each word represents some particular phase of the elders' office, work or duties. There is no distinction in rank or office suggested by these words, for they are all applied to the same persons. Each of these Greek words is translated by a pair of English words. Thus, in the English New Testament we find six words used to designate the ones charged with the oversight of the local congregation.

      1. Presbuteros: Translated by two English words, elder and presbyter. The word suggests an older man, hence refers to age and experience (Acts 14:23; I Timothy 5:1,17; Titus 1:5; I Peter 5:1).
      2. Episkopos. Translated by two English words, bishop and overseer. The word suggests supervision, direction and oversight, hence refers to function (Acts 20:28; Titus 1:7; I Timothy 3:1, Philippians 1:1).
      3. Poimain: Translated by two English words, pastor and shepherd. The word suggests nurture, feeding, and teaching, hence refers to tender care and compassion (Ephesians 4:11; I Peter 2:25; 5:2).

      An elder must have each of the following qualifications:

      I Timothy 3:1-7

      1. Without reproach
      2. Husband of one wife
      3. Temperate
      4. Sober-minded
      5. Orderly
      6. Given to hospitality
      7. Apt to teach
      8. No brawler
      9. No striker
      10. Gentle
      11. Not contentious
      12. No lover of money
      13. Rules well his own house
      14. Not a novice
      15. Good testimony from without

      Titus 1:5-9

      1. Blameless
      2. Husband of one wife
      3. Having children that believe
      4. Not self-willed
      5. Not soon angry
      6. No brawler
      7. No striker
      8. Not greedy of filthy lucre
      9. Given to hospitality
      10. Lover of good
      11. Sober-minded
      12. Just
      13. Holy
      14. Self-controlled
      15. Sound in the faith

      A man must possess these qualifications before his appointment to the eldership.

    3. Qualifications of deacons (I Timothy 3:8-13)
        1. They must be grave, or sober-minded.
        2. They must not be double-tongued, or two-faced.
        3. They must not be given to much wine.
        4. They must not be lovers of money.
        5. They must hold the mystery of faith in a pure conscience.
        6. They must be proved.
        7. They must be blameless.
        8. They must be husbands of one wife.
        9. They must rule their children and their own houses well.
        10. They must serve well.

      A man must possess these qualifications before his appointment to the diaconate.

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

    Bible Reading for December 14 and 15 by Gary Rose

     

    Bible Reading for December 14 and 15

    World  English  Bible


    Dec. 14

    Hosea 9-12

    Hos 9:1 Don't rejoice, Israel, to jubilation like the nations; for you were unfaithful to your God. You love the wages of a prostitute at every grain threshing floor.

    Hos 9:2 The threshing floor and the winepress won't feed them, and the new wine will fail her.

    Hos 9:3 They won't dwell in Yahweh's land; but Ephraim will return to Egypt, and they will eat unclean food in Assyria.

    Hos 9:4 They won't pour out wine offerings to Yahweh, neither will they be pleasing to him. Their sacrifices will be to them like the bread of mourners; all who eat of it will be polluted; for their bread will be for their appetite. It will not come into the house of Yahweh.

    Hos 9:5 What will you do in the day of solemn assembly, and in the day of the feast of Yahweh?

    Hos 9:6 For, behold, they have gone away from destruction. Egypt will gather them up. Memphis will bury them. Nettles will possess their pleasant things of silver. Thorns will be in their tents.

    Hos 9:7 The days of visitation have come. The days of reckoning have come. Israel will consider the prophet to be a fool, and the man who is inspired to be insane, because of the abundance of your sins, and because your hostility is great.

    Hos 9:8 A prophet watches over Ephraim with my God. A fowler's snare is on all of his paths, and hostility in the house of his God.

    Hos 9:9 They have deeply corrupted themselves, as in the days of Gibeah. He will remember their iniquity. He will punish them for their sins.

    Hos 9:10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness. I saw your fathers as the first ripe in the fig tree at its first season; but they came to Baal Peor, and consecrated themselves to the shameful thing, and became abominable like that which they loved.

    Hos 9:11 As for Ephraim, their glory will fly away like a bird. There will be no birth, none with child, and no conception.

    Hos 9:12 Though they bring up their children, yet I will bereave them, so that not a man shall be left. Indeed, woe also to them when I depart from them!

    Hos 9:13 I have seen Ephraim, like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place; but Ephraim will bring out his children to the murderer.

    Hos 9:14 Give them--Yahweh what will you give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.

    Hos 9:15 "All their wickedness is in Gilgal; for there I hated them. Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of my house! I will love them no more. All their princes are rebels.

    Hos 9:16 Ephraim is struck. Their root has dried up. They will bear no fruit. Even though they bring forth, yet I will kill the beloved ones of their womb."

    Hos 9:17 My God will cast them away, because they did not listen to him; and they will be wanderers among the nations.


    Hos 10:1 Israel is a luxuriant vine that puts forth his fruit. According to the abundance of his fruit he has multiplied his altars. As their land has prospered, they have adorned their sacred stones.

    Hos 10:2 Their heart is divided. Now they will be found guilty. He will demolish their altars. He will destroy their sacred stones.

    Hos 10:3 Surely now they will say, "We have no king; for we don't fear Yahweh; and the king, what can he do for us?"

    Hos 10:4 They make promises, swearing falsely in making covenants. Therefore judgment springs up like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field.

    Hos 10:5 The inhabitants of Samaria will be in terror for the calves of Beth Aven; for its people will mourn over it, Along with its priests who rejoiced over it, for its glory, because it has departed from it.

    Hos 10:6 It also will be carried to Assyria for a present to a great king. Ephraim will receive shame, and Israel will be ashamed of his own counsel.

    Hos 10:7 Samaria and her king float away, like a twig on the water.

    Hos 10:8 The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed. The thorn and the thistle will come up on their altars. They will tell the mountains, "Cover us!" and the hills, "Fall on us!"

    Hos 10:9 "Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah. There they remained. The battle against the children of iniquity doesn't overtake them in Gibeah.

    Hos 10:10 When it is my desire, I will chastise them; and the nations will be gathered against them, when they are bound to their two transgressions.

    Hos 10:11 Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh; so I will put a yoke on her beautiful neck. I will set a rider on Ephraim. Judah will plow. Jacob will break his clods.

    Hos 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap according to kindness. Break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek Yahweh, until he comes and rains righteousness on you.

    Hos 10:13 You have plowed wickedness. You have reaped iniquity. You have eaten the fruit of lies, for you trusted in your way, in the multitude of your mighty men.

    Hos 10:14 Therefore a battle roar will arise among your people, and all your fortresses will be destroyed, as Shalman destroyed Beth Arbel in the day of battle. The mother was dashed in pieces with her children.

    Hos 10:15 So Bethel will do to you because of your great wickedness. At daybreak the king of Israel will be destroyed.


    Hos 11:1 "When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.

    Hos 11:2 They called to them, so they went from them. They sacrificed to the Baals, and burned incense to engraved images.

    Hos 11:3 Yet I taught Ephraim to walk. I took them by his arms; but they didn't know that I healed them.

    Hos 11:4 I drew them with cords of a man, with ties of love; and I was to them like those who lift up the yoke on their necks; and I bent down to him and I fed him.

    Hos 11:5 "They won't return into the land of Egypt; but the Assyrian will be their king, because they refused to repent.

    Hos 11:6 The sword will fall on their cities, and will destroy the bars of their gates, and will put an end to their plans.

    Hos 11:7 My people are determined to turn from me. Though they call to the Most High, he certainly won't exalt them.

    Hos 11:8 "How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I make you like Zeboiim? My heart is turned within me, my compassion is aroused.

    Hos 11:9 I will not execute the fierceness of my anger. I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of you; and I will not come in wrath.

    Hos 11:10 They will walk after Yahweh, who will roar like a lion; for he will roar, and the children will come trembling from the west.

    Hos 11:11 They will come trembling like a bird out of Egypt, and like a dove out of the land of Assyria; and I will settle them in their houses," says Yahweh.

    Hos 11:12 Ephraim surrounds me with falsehood, and the house of Israel with deceit. Judah still strays from God, and is unfaithful to the Holy One.


    Hos 12:1 Ephraim feeds on wind, and chases the east wind. He continually multiplies lies and desolation. They make a covenant with Assyria, and oil is carried into Egypt.

    Hos 12:2 Yahweh also has a controversy with Judah, and will punish Jacob according to his ways; according to his deeds he will repay him.

    Hos 12:3 In the womb he took his brother by the heel; and in his manhood he contended with God.

    Hos 12:4 Indeed, he struggled with the angel, and prevailed; he wept, and made supplication to him. He found him at Bethel, and there he spoke with us,

    Hos 12:5 even Yahweh, the God of Armies; Yahweh is his name of renown!

    Hos 12:6 Therefore turn to your God. Keep kindness and justice, and wait continually for your God.

    Hos 12:7 A merchant has dishonest scales in his hand. He loves to defraud.

    Hos 12:8 Ephraim said, "Surely I have become rich, I have found myself wealth. In all my wealth they won't find in me any iniquity that is sin."

    Hos 12:9 "But I am Yahweh your God from the land of Egypt. I will yet again make you dwell in tents, as in the days of the solemn feast.

    Hos 12:10 I have also spoken to the prophets, and I have multiplied visions; and by the ministry of the prophets I have used parables.

    Hos 12:11 If Gilead is wicked, surely they are worthless. In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls. Indeed, their altars are like heaps in the furrows of the field.

    Hos 12:12 Jacob fled into the country of Aram, and Israel served to get a wife, and for a wife he tended flocks and herds.

    Hos 12:13 By a prophet Yahweh brought Israel up out of Egypt, and by a prophet he was preserved.

    Hos 12:14 Ephraim has bitterly provoked anger. Therefore his blood will be left on him, and his Lord will repay his contempt. 

     

    Dec.15

    Hosea 13, 14

    Hos 13:1 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling. He exalted himself in Israel, but when he became guilty in Baal, he died.

    Hos 13:2 Now they sin more and more, and have made themselves molten images of their silver, even idols according to their own understanding, all of them the work of the craftsmen. They say of them, 'They offer human sacrifice and kiss the calves.'

    Hos 13:3 Therefore they will be like the morning mist, and like the dew that passes away early, like the chaff that is driven with the whirlwind out of the threshing floor, and like the smoke out of the chimney.

    Hos 13:4 "Yet I am Yahweh your God from the land of Egypt; and you shall acknowledge no god but me, and besides me there is no savior.

    Hos 13:5 I knew you in the wilderness, in the land of great drought.

    Hos 13:6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted. Therefore they have forgotten me.

    Hos 13:7 Therefore I am like a lion to them. Like a leopard, I will lurk by the path.

    Hos 13:8 I will meet them like a bear that is bereaved of her cubs, and will tear the covering of their heart. There I will devour them like a lioness. The wild animal will tear them.

    Hos 13:9 You are destroyed, Israel, because you are against me, against your help.

    Hos 13:10 Where is your king now, that he may save you in all your cities? And your judges, of whom you said, 'Give me a king and princes?'

    Hos 13:11 I have given you a king in my anger, and have taken him away in my wrath.

    Hos 13:12 The guilt of Ephraim is stored up. His sin is stored up.

    Hos 13:13 The sorrows of a travailing woman will come on him. He is an unwise son; for when it is time, he doesn't come to the opening of the womb.

    Hos 13:14 I will ransom them from the power of Sheol. I will redeem them from death! Death, where are your plagues? Sheol, where is your destruction? "Compassion will be hidden from my eyes.

    Hos 13:15 Though he is fruitful among his brothers, an east wind will come, the breath of Yahweh coming up from the wilderness; and his spring will become dry, and his fountain will be dried up. He will plunder the storehouse of treasure.

    Hos 13:16 Samaria will bear her guilt; for she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women will be ripped open."


    Hos 14:1 Israel, return to Yahweh your God; for you have fallen because of your sin.

    Hos 14:2 Take words with you, and return to Yahweh. Tell him, "Forgive all our sins, and accept that which is good: so we offer our lips like bulls.

    Hos 14:3 Assyria can't save us. We won't ride on horses; neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, 'Our gods!' for in you the fatherless finds mercy."

    Hos 14:4 "I will heal their waywardness. I will love them freely; for my anger is turned away from him.

    Hos 14:5 I will be like the dew to Israel. He will blossom like the lily, and send down his roots like Lebanon.

    Hos 14:6 His branches will spread, and his beauty will be like the olive tree, and his fragrance like Lebanon.

    Hos 14:7 Men will dwell in his shade. They will revive like the grain, and blossom like the vine. Their fragrance will be like the wine of Lebanon.

    Hos 14:8 Ephraim, what have I to do any more with idols? I answer, and will take care of him. I am like a green fir tree; from me your fruit is found."

    Hos 14:9 Who is wise, that he may understand these things? Who is prudent, that he may know them? For the ways of Yahweh are right, and the righteous walk in them; But the rebellious stumble in them. 

     

    Dec. 14

    1 John 4

    1Jn 4:1 Beloved, don't believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

    1Jn 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit who confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,

    1Jn 4:3 and every spirit who doesn't confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God, and this is the spirit of the Antichrist, of whom you have heard that it comes. Now it is in the world already.

    1Jn 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.

    1Jn 4:5 They are of the world. Therefore they speak of the world, and the world hears them.

    1Jn 4:6 We are of God. He who knows God listens to us. He who is not of God doesn't listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

    1Jn 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God.

    1Jn 4:8 He who doesn't love doesn't know God, for God is love.

    1Jn 4:9 By this God's love was revealed in us, that God has sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.

    1Jn 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

    1Jn 4:11 Beloved, if God loved us in this way, we also ought to love one another.

    1Jn 4:12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God remains in us, and his love has been perfected in us.

    1Jn 4:13 By this we know that we remain in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

    1Jn 4:14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as the Savior of the world.

    1Jn 4:15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God remains in him, and he in God.

    1Jn 4:16 We know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him.

    1Jn 4:17 In this love has been made perfect among us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, even so are we in this world.

    1Jn 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has punishment. He who fears is not made perfect in love.

    1Jn 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

    1Jn 4:20 If a man says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who doesn't love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

    1Jn 4:21 This commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should also love his brother. 

     

    Dec. 15

    1 John 5

    1Jn 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Whoever loves the Father also loves the child who is born of him.

    1Jn 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments.

    1Jn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. His commandments are not grievous.

    1Jn 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: your faith.

    1Jn 5:5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

    1Jn 5:6 This is he who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

    1Jn 5:7 For there are three who testify:

    1Jn 5:8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and the three agree as one.

    1Jn 5:9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is God's testimony which he has testified concerning his Son.

    1Jn 5:10 He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. He who doesn't believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son.

    1Jn 5:11 The testimony is this, that God gave to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

    1Jn 5:12 He who has the Son has the life. He who doesn't have God's Son doesn't have the life.

    1Jn 5:13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

    1Jn 5:14 This is the boldness which we have toward him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he listens to us.

    1Jn 5:15 And if we know that he listens to us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of him.

    1Jn 5:16 If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life for those who sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death. I don't say that he should make a request concerning this.

    1Jn 5:17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.

    1Jn 5:18 We know that whoever is born of God doesn't sin, but he who was born of God keeps himself, and the evil one doesn't touch him.

    1Jn 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

    1Jn 5:20 We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us an understanding, that we know him who is true, and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

    1Jn 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols.