12/23/20

Atheism’s Real Agenda: Censure and Termination by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=825

Atheism’s Real Agenda: Censure and Termination

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

In 2004, Sam Harris published his New York Times bestseller The End of Faith. In that book, Harris supports atheism as the only rational view of the world. He condemns all forms of religious faith, including and especially Christianity, as detrimental and potentially dangerous. He goes so far as to suggest that some beliefs are so serious that simply holding such should be a punishable offense. He stated:

The link between belief and behavior raises the stakes considerably. Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them. This may seem an extraordinary claim, but it merely enunciates an ordinary fact about the world in which we live. Certain beliefs place their adherents beyond the reach of every peaceful means of persuasion, while inspiring them to commit acts of extraordinary violence against others (2004, pp. 52-53, emp. added).

In the immediate context, Harris is referring to militant Muslims whose religious beliefs lead them to kill infidels. Later in the book, however, we see another belief that Harris considers to be a punishable offense. On page 156, Harris discussed his view of political leaders who espouse Christian sentiments. He opined:

Men eager to do the Lord’s work have been elected to other branches of federal government as well. The House majority lead, Tom Delay, is given to profundities like “Only Christianity offers a way to live in response to the realities that we find in this world. Only Christianity.” He claims to have gone into politics “to promote a Biblical worldview.” Apparently feeling that it is impossible to say anything stupid while in the service of this worldview, he attributed the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado to the fact that our schools teach the theory of evolution (2004, p. 156).

 

What, then, does Harris believe should happen to a person who openly claims that Christianity is the global solution to the world’s ills? Harris quipped: “We might wonder how it is that pronouncements this floridly irrational do not lead to immediate censure and removal from office” (p. 156, emp. added).

In this brief article we will not go into the facts that the Columbine shootings were inspired by evolution, that atheism is completely irrational, and that Christianity can be shown to be the only solution to the realities of this world. The sole purpose of this article is to show that atheism’s ultimate agenda is to censure those who espouse Christianity and to persecute the belief to extinction. The atheistic community is not a “live and let live” market place of ideas. Harris vividly manifests the fact that atheism views Christianity as a dangerous belief that should be quelled at all cost, including punishing those who espouse it. The “freethought” community’s idea of “freethought” is that all people are “free” to think how they like, as long as that thought process is atheistic at its core and excludes Christianity.

With atheism being one of the fastest growing beliefs in our country, it is time that Christians recognize the agenda of those leading the atheistic charge. If atheism has its way, according to bestselling atheist Sam Harris, it should be a punishable offense to publicly proclaim that Christianity is the only solution to humanity’s problems. Rue the day that atheism and its leaders become prominent enough to enforce such an agenda. For Christians, “now it is high time to awake out of sleep” (Romans 13:11) and stand up for the Truth while we have opportunity.

REFERENCE

Harris, Sam (2004), The End of Faith (New York: W.W. Norton).

Suggested Resources

Atheism’s Contradictory Supernatural “Natural” Explanations by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=529

Atheism’s Contradictory Supernatural “Natural” Explanations

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Atheism contends that a supernatural Creator does not exist. Allegedly, a supernatural Being is unnecessary in our material Universe. Everything can be explained purely naturally through a study of the natural world. In short, nature exists “naturally,” not supernaturally.

If such is the case, however, then how did nature get here to begin with? In nature, matter and energy do not appear from nothing (so says the First Law of Thermodynamics).1 In nature, nothing always comes from nothing and something always comes from something. So from whence came the first “something”? That is, where did nature itself come from? According to some of the world’s foremost atheistic evolutionists, something came from nothing. Atheistic cosmologist Stephen Hawking stated on national television in 2011, “Nothing caused the Big Bang.”2 In the book The Grand Design that Dr. Hawking co-authored, he and Leonard Mlodinow asserted: “Bodies such as stars and black holes cannot just appear out of nothing. But a whole universe can.”3 So, although it is not natural for something to come from nothing, many atheists assume that it did “in the beginning.”

And what about the first life form? From whence did it arrive? According to atheistic evolution, life was not created supernaturally by a supernatural Creator, rather life came from non-life; it spontaneously generated “naturally.” But does life ever come from non-life naturally? Never. As evolutionist Martin Moe observed, “[A] century of sensational discoveries in the biological sciences has taught us that life arises only from life.”4 It would take a miracle for life to come from non-life, yet atheists contend that no God exists to work in such a supernatural manner. So how did the first life get here? Atheists (who have “refused to have God in their knowledge”—Romans 1:28, ASV), contend that it must have arisen naturally, yet it did so in a way that breaks the natural Law of Biogenesis.5

Atheism can continue to deny the existence of a supernatural Creator, but it does so in the only way possible—illogically and self-contradictorily. Rather than irrationally endowing nature with the ability to act supernaturally while alleging nothing supernatural exists, the reasonable person should conclude that what happened supernaturally must be the effect of a supernatural Being at work.

In truth, both Heaven and Earth reveal that “the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3). Rather, the supernatural “God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

Endnotes

1 See Jeff Miller (2013), “Evolution and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Thermodynamics,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=9&article=2786.

2 See “Curiosity: Did God Create the Universe?” (2011), Discovery Channel, August 7, emp. added.

3 2010, New York: Bantam Books, p. 180.

4 “Genes on Ice” (1981), Science Digest, 89[11]:36, emp. added.

5 For more information on the Law of Biogenesis, see Jeff Miller (2013), “The Law of Biogenesis—Parts 1 & 2,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=4165&topic=93.

Atheism: Contradictory at Best, Hideous at Worst by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3657

Atheism: Contradictory at Best, Hideous at Worst

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

Many atheists often describe certain things as being “deplorable,” “atrocious,” or “wicked.” Arguably the most famous atheist in the world in 1976, atheistic philosopher Antony Flew, confessed that the Nazis committed real, objective moral atrocities during the 1930s and 1940s when they slaughtered six million Jews (Warren and Flew, 1976, p. 248). Many atheists admit that it would be morally wrong to rape a woman or to sexually abuse and torture a four-year-old child. Richard Dawkins, the most recognized atheist in the world today, has even boasted that someone who does not believe in evolution may be “wicked” (1989).

Such recognition by atheists of anything being morally wrong begs the question: How can an atheist logically call something atrocious, deplorable, wicked, or morally wrong? According to atheism, we are nothing but matter in motion. We allegedly evolved from rocks and slime over billions of years. We supposedly arose from animals—living organisms that have no sense of morality. Animals eat their young, kill their mates, and steal the food of any animal from which they can successfully take it—whether friend, foe, or family member. Atheists allege that “we are animals…. We like to think of ourselves as elevated above other creatures. But the human body evolved” from animals (Marchant, 2008, 200[2678]:44, emp. added). Thus, the fact is, as Dr. Thomas B. Warren concluded in his debate with Antony Flew, “[T]he basic implication of the atheistic system does not allow objective moral right or objective moral wrong” (1976, p. 49).

Atheistic philosopher Jean Paul Sartre summarized godlessness well when he said, “Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist” (1961, p. 485, emp. added). If atheists refuse to admit that real moral objectivity exists, then they are forced to admit that when the Jews were starved, gassed, and experimented on “like the animals” they supposedly were (cf. Marchant, 2008), the Nazis did nothing wrong. If human life really is as worthless as bacteria (as atheist Eric Pianka said naturalism demands), then there would be nothing truly wrong with systematically spreading the ebola virus for the purpose of eliminating 90% of the human population, which Dr. Pianka suggested needed to happen in order to save the Earth (see Mims, 2006). Atheists who theoretically take atheistic evolution to its logical conclusion, are forced to admit what Dan Barker acknowledged in his debate with Kyle Butt in February 2009: that, if need be, he would rape millions of girls to save the rest of humanity (Butt and Barker, 2009, pp. 33-36). After all, if we are nothing but advanced ape-like creatures, and “our male ancestors became ancestors in part because they conditionally used rape,” then, as evolutionist Randy Thornhill confessed, “rape is evolutionary, biological, and natural” (2001; cf. Thornhill and Palmer, 2000)—a sickening thought.

Atheists can say, “We don’t like that,” or “We would never do that,” but they can never logically say that something is objectively wrong or right. If they do, they are making a self-defeating statement. They would be contradicting the very naturalism they espouse. If they actually admit that for atheism no objective standards for “good” and “evil” can exist, then rape could just as well be right, while a virtue like bravery could be bad. Either way, atheism loses. It is either contradictory, and thus self-defeating, or it is too horrible for even the most contemptible to contemplate.

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none who does good” (Psalm 14:1).

REFERENCES

Butt, Kyle and Dan Barker (2009), The Butt/Barker Debate: Does the God of the Bible Exist? (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

Dawkins, Richard (1989), “Book Review,” The New York Times, section 7, April 9.

Marchant, Jo (2008), “We Should Act Like the Animals We Are,” New Scientist, 200[2678]:44-45, October 18-24.

Mims, Forrest (2006), “Dealing With Doctor Doom,” The Citizen Scientist, www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2006/2006-04-07/feature1p/ index.html.

Sartre, Jean Paul, (1961), “Existentialism and Humanism,” French Philosophers from Descartes to Sartre, ed. Leonard M. Marsak (New York: Meridian).

Thornhill, Randy (2001), “A Natural History of Rape,” Lecture delivered at Simon Fraser University, March 16, http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/faculty/jhamlin/3925/Readings/ Thornhill_on_rape.pdf.

Thornhill, Randy and Craig T. Palmer (2000), A Natural History of Rape (Cambridge: MIT Press).

Warren, Thomas B. and Antony Flew (1976), The Warren-Flew Debate (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" Take Heed What You Hear (4:21-25) by Mark Copeland

 

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                   Take Heed What You Hear (4:21-25)

INTRODUCTION

1. When we have opportunities to hear or read the Word of God...
   a. Are we aware that we will be judged by we how give heed?
   b. That the blessings we receive are proportionate to how we hear?

2. During His ministry, Jesus began teaching in parables...
   a. To the public He would tell the parables - Mk 4:1-2
   b. In private He would explain them to His disciples - Mk 4:10-12,33-34

3. In "The Parable Of The Four Soils" Jesus...
   a. Illustrated how not all receive the Word as they should
   b. Ended with the cry, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" - Mk 4:9

[After explaining the parable, Jesus exhorted His disciples to "Take
Heed What You Hear" (Mk 4:21-25).  Let's first consider Jesus' words...]

I. AS CHARGED TO THE DISCIPLES

   A. THAT WHICH IS HIDDEN IS TO BE MADE KNOWN...
      1. Jesus asked rhetorical questions involving a lamp - Mk 4:21
      2. What was hidden would be revealed, what was secret should come
         to light - Mk 4:22
      3. The context regards His use of parables and the ultimate
         intention of His teaching
         a. Jesus spoke publicly in parables at the time - Mk 4:11
         b. The meaning was explained privately - Mk 4:33-34
         c. But His teaching was meant one day to be proclaimed abroad
         d. His disciples would be involved in publicly proclaiming it - cf. Mt 10:27
      4. Thus they were to pay close attention to what He was saying - Mk 4:23
      -- Jesus intended one day for all to hear and know His teaching

   B. TAKE HEED WHAT YOU HEAR...
      1. Jesus charged His disciples to take heed what they hear - Mk 4:24a
      2. The importance of taking heed is repeatedly stressed - Mk 4:24b-25
         a. "With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you"
         b. "To you who hear, more will be given"
         c. "For whoever has, to him more will be given"
         d. "But whoever does not have, even what he has will be take
            away from him"
      3. This is illustrated in the parable of The Talents
         a. Talents given according to each person's ability - Mt 25:15
         b. Those who utilized their talents received more responsibility - Mt 25:20-23
         c. The one talent man lost that which he did not utilize - Mt 25:24-28
         d. "For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will
            have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he
            has will be taken away." - Mt 25:29
      -- Jesus promised more for those who take heed to what they hear,
         utilize what they have

[Jesus spoke these words to prepare and motivate His disciples for their
future service.  Let's now reflect on His words...]

II. AS APPLIED TO US TODAY

   A. THAT WHICH WAS HIDDEN HAS BEEN MADE KNOWN...
      1. Things kept private were to be made public after His resurrection - cf. Mk 9:9
      2. The Spirit would be given to guide the apostles into all the truth - Jn 16:12-13
      3. They were to proclaim the gospel and His commandments to all - Mk 16:15; Mt 28:19-20
      4. The apostles (including Paul) were faithful to their charge - Ac 20:27
      5. What was once a "mystery" has now been revealed - Ro 16:25-26;Ep 3:3-5,8-9
      -- In the New Testament, that which was hidden can now be known by all!

   B. TAKE HEED WHAT YOU HEAR...
      1. The need to take heed to what we hear is still the same
      2. Consider the importance of listening carefully:
         a. To be blessed - cf. Mt 13:16-17
         b. To have faith - cf. Ro 1:16-17; 10:17
         c. To bear fruit - cf. Lk 8:15; Col 1:6
         d. To prevent apostasy - cf. He 2:1-3
         e. To avoid rejection and condemnation - cf. Mt 10:14-15; Ac 13:44-49; Mt 12:41-42
         -- For more, see "How Well Do You Listen?"
      3. The principle of measure remains the same - Mk 4:24-25
         a. "With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you"
         b. "To you who hear, more will be given"
         c. "For whoever has, to him more will be given"
         d. "But whoever does not have, even what he has will be take away from him"
      -- For those willing give careful heed to the Word of God, they
         will be richly blessed!

CONCLUSION

1. There is a well known maxim:  "You get out of something what you put into it."

2. Does this not explain why many get little out of religion and the Bible in particular...?
   a. They have little interest in spiritual matters
   b. They make little effort to learn what the Bible says
   c. Their interest in spiritual things declines with time

3. Yet Jesus promises for those willing to "Take Heed What You Hear"...
   a. "With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you"
   b. "To you who hear, more will be given"
   c. "For whoever has, to him more will be given"

That is why some never stagnate in their spiritual growth, why their
faith is refreshed and renewed daily (cf. 2Co 4:16).  And so together
with Jesus we offer the following admonition:

              "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."
                               (Mk 4:23)      
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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3 Essentials of A Good Sermon by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 https://thepreachersword.com/2016/02/12/3-essentials-of-a-good-sermon/

3 Essentials of A Good Sermon

Preaching2 

A preacher was greeting folks at the door after the service. A woman said, “Preacher, that was a very good sermon.”

Modestly the preacher replied “Thank you, but I have to give the credit to the LORD.”

“Well, It wasn’t THAT good!” she responded.

What is a good sermon?

One sage defined a good sermon this way: “It should have a good beginning. A good ending. And they should be as close together as possible.”

Famed expositor and Bible teacher G. Campbell Morgan provided one of most succinct summaries of what constitutes a good sermon. “If I am asked to condense into words the essentials of a sermon, I do it with these three: Truth, Clarity, Passion.”

(1) A good sermon is based on Truth

Truth is objective. Not subjective. Truth is the sum total of God’s revealed Word (Ps 119:160).

Jesus said, “Sanctify them through thy Word, thy Word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). Jesus is the epitome and essence of truth (Jn. 14:6) It was the truth into which the Holy Spirit guided the apostles (Jn 16:13). Paul based his preaching on the truth of Christ (1 Tim. 2:7). So should preachers today.

Any sermon today that is of benefit to its hearers must be Bible-based and Christ-centered. We must give book, chapter and verse for all we say. The old adage “speak where the Scriptures speak and be silent where the Scriptures are silent” is still relevant in the 21st century.

(2) A good sermon is understandable.

Truth needs to be preached in clear, concise, and concrete terms. Sermons filled with theological jargon, big words or ambiguous explanations are not a compliment to a preacher and do an injustice to the hearer.

Homer Hailey used to tell us preacher boys, “Jesus said to feed my sheep, not feed my giraffes.” Let’s put it down where the people can understand what we are saying.

When Peter preached on Pentecost, his pointed sermon pricked the hearts of those who cried, “Men and brethren what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37) There was no misunderstanding Paul in Philippi when he was put in prison for preaching Christ (Acts 16). Today we need more plain and pointed preaching that will penetrate and pierce the hearts of our hearers.

Paul wrote and preached in a way “where when you read, ye can understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4). The preacher’s job is to help people “understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17). Preachers should follow the example of Ezra who “read distinctly, give the sense and cause them to understand” (Neh. 8:8).

Truth should be presented with a correct exposition, clear explanation and a practical application to our daily lives.

(3) A good sermon is presented with passion.

While every preacher possesses a different style and manner of presentation, we need proclaimers who are passionate and persuasive in their preaching.

An old-time preacher once said, “I preach as if I never should preach again, and as a dying man to dying men.” Or as William McPhail put it, “The best cure for sleeping sickness in the pew is some soul-stirring preaching from the pulpit.”

A study of the Old Testament prophets and the New Testament preachers reveals an urgency to their message. Boldness in their manner. And fervor in their presentation.

Time, circumstance, moral problems, local situations and the pressing needs of the hour will determine what I will preach this Sunday. The same is true for all preachers. Everywhere. And little by little and week by week, I will “declare the whole counsel of God” and give the audience not what they want, but what they need at this precious moment.

But regardless of the topic or the text, Morgan’s three word exhortation should define our preaching: Truth. Clarity. Passion.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

GAY MARRIAGE IS LEGAL by steve finnell

 

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

GAY MARRIAGE IS LEGAL by steve finnell

According to the Supreme Court gay marriage is legal in the United States of America. The problem is being legal does not make it any less sinful. Being a homosexual is legal. Being an adulterer is legal. Having children out of wedlock is legal. Rejecting Jesus as the Son of God is legal. Being a liar is legal. Perverting the gospel by denying that water baptism is essential to the forgiveness of sins is legal.

Because men keep the laws of man is no guarantee they are free from sin.

SCRIPTURES ABOUT HOMOSEXUAL SIN

Marriage is between a man and a woman. Matthew 19:4-6 (NASB)

Homosexuality was a sin under the old covenant and is a sin under the new covenant. Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. (NASB)  1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.s (NASB)

HEBREWS by Paul Southern

 

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

HEBREWS

  1. THE TITLE
  2. This book is titled Hebrews because it is thought to have been addressed to Hebrew Christians.

  3. THE WRITER
  4. The writer's name is nowhere mentioned in the epistle, and scholars disagree concerning its authorship. However, the weight of evidence favors Paul. Others sometimes named as the writer include Luke, Apollos, Barnabas, Clement, and Priscilla. Concerning the authorship Origen said: "Who wrote the Epistle God only knows certainly." It is not within the province of this survey to discuss such a controversial issue. Suffice it to say that the Holy Spirit inspired the materials for the Christian's admonition and learning.

  5. THE ONES ADDRESSED
  6. The epistle is addressed to Hebrew Christians. Whether they constituted one local congregation, or lived in a special locality, or were Jews of the "Dispersion" living in Gentile lands is a matter of dispute. Some scholars believe that they were Hebrew Christians scattered over the old Jewish settlement of Judea. Others hold that the writer is addressing Jewish Christians in a more definite locality.

  7. TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING
  8. When and where this epistle was written cannot be definitely determined. That it was written before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 is evident, and some place the date A.D. 62-64. It was probably written in Rome, Italy, though some name Jerusalem and others Alexandria as the point of origin.

  9. THE CONTENTS
  10. The theme of this book is the superiority of Christianity over Judaism. It begins with the beginning, "sweeps across the prophetic centuries to 'these last days,' and passes beyond the races run by men to the judgment of God." Here we see the prophets of the past, an interpretation of the present, and a prediction of the future. No informed person can read this epistle with an unbiased mind and fail to see that Christianity with the gospel of Christ has superseded Judaism with the law of Moses. A formal treatise on Christian doctrine, its practical aim was to encourage Hebrew Christians to renounce the shadows of Judaism for the realities of the gospel. Warnings against apostasy are constantly stressed.

  11. TOPICS FOR STUDY
    1. Concerning the writer.
      1. There is no proof that someone besides Paul was the writer.
      2. The style, contents and argument are Pauline.
      3. Personal allusions coincide with the known history of Paul.
      4. Paul was thoroughly familiar with the Jewish system discussed.
      5. Scholars of the second century named Paul as the writer.
      6. It was written during Paul's lifetime, for the temple was standing.
      7. It was written by a friend of Timothy (13:23).
      8. The writer was or had been in Italy (13:23,24).
      9. Peter speaks of an epistle by Paul to Hebrews (I Pt 1:1; II Pt 3:1,15).
      10. The epistle closes with the usual Pauline benediction.

    2. Concerning the ones addressed
      1. They were Hebrew Christians (2:1; 3:1; 4:1; 6:1f).
      2. They had been Christians for some time (5:12-14).
      3. They were acquainted with the writer (13:18,19).
      4. They also knew Timothy who intended to visit them (13:23).
      5. They were in danger of returning to Judaism (12:1-4; 5:11; Chs. 6-9).
      6. They were suffering intense persecutions (12;3,4; 4:15,16).
      7. Apparently they lived in some particular region (13:23).
      8. Apparently they constituted a church with recognized leaders (13:17).
      9. They had been sympathetic toward other Christians (6:10; 10:32f).
      10. They had a tendency to disbelieve Christ (12:1-3; 3:12).

    3. Concerning other matters
      1. Outline the epistle under the general theme, "The Superiority of Christianity over Judaism."
      2. Make a list of all the terms of comparison.
      3. Summarize the teaching of the epistle concerning the high-priesthood of Christ.
      4. Contrast the Levitical priesthood with the Aaronic.
      5. Study closely the writer's use of the typical character of the Old Covenant institutions and ordinances.
      6. Why is the tabernacle used instead of the temple throughout the discussion?
      7. Consider carefully the danger of rejecting the sacrifice of Christ.
      8. What does Hebrews teach concerning salvation by faith?
      9. Discuss the benefits of affliction.
      10. What sources were likely involved in causing the Hebrew Christians to consider returning to Judaism?

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

Bible Reading for December 23 and 24 by Gary Rose

 

 
Bible Reading for December 23 and 24
 
World  English Bible


Dec. 23

Nahum 1-3

Nah 1:1 An oracle about Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.

Nah 1:2 Yahweh is a jealous God and avenges. Yahweh avenges and is full of wrath. Yahweh takes vengeance on his adversaries, and he maintains wrath against his enemies.

Nah 1:3 Yahweh is slow to anger, and great in power, and will by no means leave the guilty unpunished. Yahweh has his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.

Nah 1:4 He rebukes the sea, and makes it dry, and dries up all the rivers. Bashan languishes, and Carmel; and the flower of Lebanon languishes.

Nah 1:5 The mountains quake before him, and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, yes, the world, and all who dwell in it.

Nah 1:6 Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the fierceness of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken apart by him.

Nah 1:7 Yahweh is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and he knows those who take refuge in him.

Nah 1:8 But with an overflowing flood, he will make a full end of her place, and will pursue his enemies into darkness.

Nah 1:9 What do you plot against Yahweh? He will make a full end. Affliction won't rise up the second time.

Nah 1:10 For entangled like thorns, and drunken as with their drink, they are consumed utterly like dry stubble.

Nah 1:11 There is one gone forth out of you, who devises evil against Yahweh, who counsels wickedness.

Nah 1:12 Thus says Yahweh: "Though they be in full strength, and likewise many, even so they will be cut down, and he shall pass away. Though I have afflicted you, I will afflict you no more.

Nah 1:13 Now will I break his yoke from off you, and will burst your bonds apart."

Nah 1:14 Yahweh has commanded concerning you: "No more descendants will bear your name. Out of the house of your gods, will I cut off the engraved image and the molten image. I will make your grave, for you are vile."

Nah 1:15 Behold, on the mountains the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace! Keep your feasts, Judah! Perform your vows, for the wicked one will no more pass through you. He is utterly cut off.


Nah 2:1 He who dashes in pieces has come up against you. Keep the fortress! Watch the way! Strengthen your waist! Fortify your power mightily!

Nah 2:2 For Yahweh restores the excellency of Jacob, as the excellency of Israel; for the destroyers have destroyed them, and ruined their vine branches.

Nah 2:3 The shield of his mighty men is made red. The valiant men are in scarlet. The chariots flash with steel in the day of his preparation, and the pine spears are brandished.

Nah 2:4 The chariots rage in the streets. They rush back and forth in the broad ways. Their appearance is like torches. They run like the lightnings.

Nah 2:5 He summons his picked troops. They stumble on their way. They dash to its wall, and the protective shield is put in place.

Nah 2:6 The gates of the rivers are opened, and the palace is dissolved.

Nah 2:7 It is decreed: she is uncovered, she is carried away; and her handmaids moan as with the voice of doves, beating on their breasts.

Nah 2:8 But Nineveh has been from of old like a pool of water, yet they flee away. "Stop! Stop!" they cry, but no one looks back.

Nah 2:9 Take the spoil of silver. Take the spoil of gold, for there is no end of the store, the glory of all goodly furniture.

Nah 2:10 She is empty, void, and waste. The heart melts, the knees knock together, their bodies and faces have grown pale.

Nah 2:11 Where is the den of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions, where the lion and the lioness walked, the lion's cubs, and no one made them afraid?

Nah 2:12 The lion tore in pieces enough for his cubs, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his caves with the kill, and his dens with prey.

Nah 2:13 "Behold, I am against you," says Yahweh of Armies, "and I will burn her chariots in the smoke, and the sword will devour your young lions; and I will cut off your prey from the earth, and the voice of your messengers will no longer be heard."


Nah 3:1 Woe to the bloody city! It is all full of lies and robbery. The prey doesn't depart.

Nah 3:2 The noise of the whip, the noise of the rattling of wheels, prancing horses, and bounding chariots,

Nah 3:3 the horseman mounting, and the flashing sword, the glittering spear, and a multitude of slain, and a great heap of corpses, and there is no end of the bodies. They stumble on their bodies,

Nah 3:4 because of the multitude of the prostitution of the alluring prostitute, the mistress of witchcraft, who sells nations through her prostitution, and families through her witchcraft.

Nah 3:5 "Behold, I am against you," says Yahweh of Armies, "and I will lift your skirts over your face. I will show the nations your nakedness, and the kingdoms your shame.

Nah 3:6 I will throw abominable filth on you, and make you vile, and will set you a spectacle.

Nah 3:7 It will happen that all those who look at you will flee from you, and say, 'Nineveh is laid waste! Who will mourn for her?' Where will I seek comforters for you?"

Nah 3:8 Are you better than No-Amon, who was situated among the rivers, who had the waters around her; whose rampart was the sea, and her wall was of the sea?

Nah 3:9 Cush and Egypt were her boundless strength. Put and Libya were her helpers.

Nah 3:10 Yet was she carried away. She went into captivity. Her young children also were dashed in pieces at the head of all the streets, and they cast lots for her honorable men, and all her great men were bound in chains.

Nah 3:11 You also will be drunken. You will be hidden. You also will seek a stronghold because of the enemy.

Nah 3:12 All your fortresses will be like fig trees with the first-ripe figs: if they are shaken, they fall into the mouth of the eater.

Nah 3:13 Behold, your troops in your midst are women. The gates of your land are set wide open to your enemies. The fire has devoured your bars.

Nah 3:14 Draw water for the siege. Strengthen your fortresses. Go into the clay, and tread the mortar. Make the brick kiln strong.

Nah 3:15 There the fire will devour you. The sword will cut you off. It will devour you like the grasshopper. Multiply like grasshoppers. Multiply like the locust.

Nah 3:16 You have increased your merchants more than the stars of the skies. The grasshopper strips, and flees away.

Nah 3:17 Your guards are like the locusts, and your officials like the swarms of locusts, which settle on the walls on a cold day, but when the sun appears, they flee away, and their place is not known where they are.

Nah 3:18 Your shepherds slumber, king of Assyria. Your nobles lie down. Your people are scattered on the mountains, and there is no one to gather them.

Nah 3:19 There is no healing your wound, for your injury is fatal. All who hear the report of you clap their hands over you; for who hasn't felt your endless cruelty? 

 

Dec. 24

Habakkuk 1-3

Hab 1:1 The oracle which Habakkuk the prophet saw.

Hab 1:2 Yahweh, how long will I cry, and you will not hear? I cry out to you "Violence!" and will you not save?

Hab 1:3 Why do you show me iniquity, and look at perversity? For destruction and violence are before me. There is strife, and contention rises up.

Hab 1:4 Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth; for the wicked surround the righteous; therefore justice goes forth perverted.

Hab 1:5 "Look among the nations, watch, and wonder marvelously; for I am working a work in your days, which you will not believe though it is told you.

Hab 1:6 For, behold, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, that march through the breadth of the earth, to possess dwelling places that are not theirs.

Hab 1:7 They are feared and dreaded. Their judgment and their dignity proceed from themselves.

Hab 1:8 Their horses also are swifter than leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves. Their horsemen press proudly on. Yes, their horsemen come from afar. They fly as an eagle that hurries to devour.

Hab 1:9 All of them come for violence. Their hordes face the desert. He gathers prisoners like sand.

Hab 1:10 Yes, he scoffs at kings, and princes are a derision to him. He laughs at every stronghold, for he builds up an earthen ramp, and takes it.

Hab 1:11 Then he sweeps by like the wind, and goes on. He is indeed guilty, whose strength is his god."

Hab 1:12 Aren't you from everlasting, Yahweh my God, my Holy One? We will not die. Yahweh, you have appointed him for judgment. You, Rock, have established him to punish.

Hab 1:13 You who have purer eyes than to see evil, and who cannot look on perversity, why do you tolerate those who deal treacherously, and keep silent when the wicked swallows up the man who is more righteous than he,

Hab 1:14 and make men like the fish of the sea, like the creeping things, that have no ruler over them?

Hab 1:15 He takes up all of them with the hook. He catches them in his net, and gathers them in his dragnet. Therefore he rejoices and is glad.

Hab 1:16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net, and burns incense to his dragnet, because by them his life is luxurious, and his food is good.

Hab 1:17 Will he therefore continually empty his net, and kill the nations without mercy?


Hab 2:1 I will stand at my watch, and set myself on the ramparts, and will look out to see what he will say to me, and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

Hab 2:2 Yahweh answered me, "Write the vision, and make it plain on tablets, that he who runs may read it.

Hab 2:3 For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it hurries toward the end, and won't prove false. Though it takes time, wait for it; because it will surely come. It won't delay.

Hab 2:4 Behold, his soul is puffed up. It is not upright in him, but the righteous will live by his faith.

Hab 2:5 Yes, moreover, wine is treacherous. A haughty man who doesn't stay at home, who enlarges his desire as Sheol, and he is like death, and can't be satisfied, but gathers to himself all nations, and heaps to himself all peoples.

Hab 2:6 Won't all these take up a parable against him, and a taunting proverb against him, and say, 'Woe to him who increases that which is not his, and who enriches himself by extortion! How long?'

Hab 2:7 Won't your debtors rise up suddenly, and wake up those who make you tremble, and you will be their victim?

Hab 2:8 Because you have plundered many nations, all the remnant of the peoples will plunder you, because of men's blood, and for the violence done to the land, to the city and to all who dwell in it.

Hab 2:9 Woe to him who gets an evil gain for his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the hand of evil!

Hab 2:10 You have devised shame to your house, by cutting off many peoples, and have sinned against your soul.

Hab 2:11 For the stone will cry out of the wall, and the beam out of the woodwork will answer it.

Hab 2:12 Woe to him who builds a town with blood, and establishes a city by iniquity!

Hab 2:13 Behold, isn't it of Yahweh of Armies that the peoples labor for the fire, and the nations weary themselves for vanity?

Hab 2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Yahweh, as the waters cover the sea.

Hab 2:15 "Woe to him who gives his neighbor drink, pouring your inflaming wine until they are drunk, so that you may gaze at their naked bodies!

Hab 2:16 You are filled with shame, and not glory. You will also drink, and be exposed! The cup of Yahweh's right hand will come around to you, and disgrace will cover your glory.

Hab 2:17 For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, and the destruction of the animals, which made them afraid; because of men's blood, and for the violence done to the land, to every city and to those who dwell in them.

Hab 2:18 "What value does the engraved image have, that its maker has engraved it; the molten image, even the teacher of lies, that he who fashions its form trusts in it, to make mute idols?

Hab 2:19 Woe to him who says to the wood, 'Awake!' or to the mute stone, 'Arise!' Shall this teach? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in its midst.

Hab 2:20 But Yahweh is in his holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before him!"


Hab 3:1 A prayer of Habakkuk, the prophet, set to victorious music.

Hab 3:2 Yahweh, I have heard of your fame. I stand in awe of your deeds, Yahweh. Renew your work in the midst of the years. In the midst of the years make it known. In wrath, you remember mercy.

Hab 3:3 God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and his praise filled the earth.

Hab 3:4 His splendor is like the sunrise. Rays shine from his hand, where his power is hidden.

Hab 3:5 Plague went before him, and pestilence followed his feet.

Hab 3:6 He stood, and shook the earth. He looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains were crumbled. The age-old hills collapsed. His ways are eternal.

Hab 3:7 I saw the tents of Cushan in affliction. The dwellings of the land of Midian trembled.

Hab 3:8 Was Yahweh displeased with the rivers? Was your anger against the rivers, or your wrath against the sea, that you rode on your horses, on your chariots of salvation?

Hab 3:9 You uncovered your bow. You called for your sworn arrows. Selah. You split the earth with rivers.

Hab 3:10 The mountains saw you, and were afraid. The storm of waters passed by. The deep roared and lifted up its hands on high.

Hab 3:11 The sun and moon stood still in the sky, at the light of your arrows as they went, at the shining of your glittering spear.

Hab 3:12 You marched through the land in wrath. You threshed the nations in anger.

Hab 3:13 You went forth for the salvation of your people, for the salvation of your anointed. You crushed the head of the land of wickedness. You stripped them head to foot. Selah.

Hab 3:14 You pierced the heads of his warriors with their own spears. They came as a whirlwind to scatter me, gloating as if to devour the wretched in secret.

Hab 3:15 You trampled the sea with your horses, churning mighty waters.

Hab 3:16 I heard, and my body trembled. My lips quivered at the voice. Rottenness enters into my bones, and I tremble in my place, because I must wait quietly for the day of trouble, for the coming up of the people who invade us.

Hab 3:17 For though the fig tree doesn't flourish, nor fruit be in the vines; the labor of the olive fails, the fields yield no food; the flocks are cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls:

Hab 3:18 yet I will rejoice in Yahweh. I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

Hab 3:19 Yahweh, the Lord, is my strength. He makes my feet like deer's feet, and enables me to go in high places. For the music director, on my stringed instruments. 

 

Dec. 23

Revelation 7, 8

Rev 7:1 After this, I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, so that no wind would blow on the earth, or on the sea, or on any tree.

Rev 7:2 I saw another angel ascend from the sunrise, having the seal of the living God. He cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to harm the earth and the sea,

Rev 7:3 saying, "Don't harm the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, until we have sealed the bondservants of our God on their foreheads!"

Rev 7:4 I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel:

Rev 7:5 of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand, of the tribe of Reuben twelve thousand, of the tribe of Gad twelve thousand,

Rev 7:6 of the tribe of Asher twelve thousand, of the tribe of Naphtali twelve thousand, of the tribe of Manasseh twelve thousand,

Rev 7:7 of the tribe of Simeon twelve thousand, of the tribe of Levi twelve thousand, of the tribe of Issachar twelve thousand,

Rev 7:8 of the tribe of Zebulun twelve thousand, of the tribe of Joseph twelve thousand, of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.

Rev 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.

Rev 7:10 They cried with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation be to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

Rev 7:11 All the angels were standing around the throne, the elders, and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before his throne, and worshiped God,

Rev 7:12 saying, "Amen! Blessing, glory, wisdom, thanksgiving, honor, power, and might, be to our God forever and ever! Amen."

Rev 7:13 One of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are arrayed in white robes, who are they, and from where did they come?"

Rev 7:14 I told him, "My lord, you know." He said to me, "These are those who came out of the great tribulation. They washed their robes, and made them white in the Lamb's blood.

Rev 7:15 Therefore they are before the throne of God, they serve him day and night in his temple. He who sits on the throne will spread his tabernacle over them.

Rev 7:16 They will never be hungry, neither thirsty any more; neither will the sun beat on them, nor any heat;

Rev 7:17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne shepherds them, and leads them to springs of waters of life. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."


Rev 8:1 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.

Rev 8:2 I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

Rev 8:3 Another angel came and stood over the altar, having a golden censer. Much incense was given to him, that he should add it to the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar which was before the throne.

Rev 8:4 The smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, went up before God out of the angel's hand.

Rev 8:5 The angel took the censer, and he filled it with the fire of the altar, and threw it on the earth. There followed thunders, sounds, lightnings, and an earthquake.

Rev 8:6 The seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

Rev 8:7 The first sounded, and there followed hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. One third of the earth was burnt up, and one third of the trees were burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

Rev 8:8 The second angel sounded, and something like a great burning mountain was thrown into the sea. One third of the sea became blood,

Rev 8:9 and one third of the living creatures which were in the sea died. One third of the ships were destroyed.

Rev 8:10 The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from the sky, burning like a torch, and it fell on one third of the rivers, and on the springs of the waters.

Rev 8:11 The name of the star is called "Wormwood." One third of the waters became wormwood. Many people died from the waters, because they were made bitter.

Rev 8:12 The fourth angel sounded, and one third of the sun was struck, and one third of the moon, and one third of the stars; so that one third of them would be darkened, and the day wouldn't shine for one third of it, and the night in the same way.

Rev 8:13 I saw, and I heard an eagle, flying in mid heaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe! Woe! Woe for those who dwell on the earth, because of the other voices of the trumpets of the three angels, who are yet to sound!" 

 

Dec. 24

Revelation 9, 10

Rev 9:1 The fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from the sky which had fallen to the earth. The key to the pit of the abyss was given to him.

Rev 9:2 He opened the pit of the abyss, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke from a burning furnace. The sun and the air were darkened because of the smoke from the pit.

Rev 9:3 Then out of the smoke came forth locusts on the earth, and power was given to them, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Rev 9:4 They were told that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree, but only those people who don't have God's seal on their foreheads.

Rev 9:5 They were given power not to kill them, but to torment them for five months. Their torment was like the torment of a scorpion, when it strikes a person.

Rev 9:6 In those days people will seek death, and will in no way find it. They will desire to die, and death will flee from them.

Rev 9:7 The shapes of the locusts were like horses prepared for war. On their heads were something like golden crowns, and their faces were like people's faces.

Rev 9:8 They had hair like women's hair, and their teeth were like those of lions.

Rev 9:9 They had breastplates, like breastplates of iron. The sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, or of many horses rushing to war.

Rev 9:10 They have tails like those of scorpions, and stings. In their tails they have power to harm men for five months.

Rev 9:11 They have over them as king the angel of the abyss. His name in Hebrew is "Abaddon," but in Greek, he has the name "Apollyon."

Rev 9:12 The first woe is past. Behold, there are still two woes coming after this.

Rev 9:13 The sixth angel sounded. I heard a voice from the horns of the golden altar which is before God,

Rev 9:14 saying to the sixth angel who had one trumpet, "Free the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates!"

Rev 9:15 The four angels were freed who had been prepared for that hour and day and month and year, so that they might kill one third of mankind.

Rev 9:16 The number of the armies of the horsemen was two hundred million. I heard the number of them.

Rev 9:17 Thus I saw the horses in the vision, and those who sat on them, having breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of lions. Out of their mouths proceed fire, smoke, and sulfur.

Rev 9:18 By these three plagues were one third of mankind killed: by the fire, the smoke, and the sulfur, which proceeded out of their mouths.

Rev 9:19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths, and in their tails. For their tails are like serpents, and have heads, and with them they harm.

Rev 9:20 The rest of mankind, who were not killed with these plagues, didn't repent of the works of their hands, that they wouldn't worship demons, and the idols of gold, and of silver, and of brass, and of stone, and of wood; which can neither see, nor hear, nor walk.

Rev 9:21 They didn't repent of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their sexual immorality, nor of their thefts.


Rev 10:1 I saw a mighty angel coming down out of the sky, clothed with a cloud. A rainbow was on his head. His face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.

Rev 10:2 He had in his hand a little open book. He set his right foot on the sea, and his left on the land.

Rev 10:3 He cried with a loud voice, as a lion roars. When he cried, the seven thunders uttered their voices.

Rev 10:4 When the seven thunders sounded, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from the sky saying, "Seal up the things which the seven thunders said, and don't write them."

Rev 10:5 The angel who I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to the sky,

Rev 10:6 and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there will no longer be delay,

Rev 10:7 but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the mystery of God is finished, as he declared to his servants, the prophets.

Rev 10:8 The voice which I heard from heaven, again speaking with me, said, "Go, take the book which is open in the hand of the angel who stands on the sea and on the land."

Rev 10:9 I went to the angel, telling him to give me the little book. He said to me, "Take it, and eat it up. It will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey."

Rev 10:10 I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up. It was as sweet as honey in my mouth. When I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.

Rev 10:11 They told me, "You must prophesy again over many peoples, nations, languages, and kings."