12/25/20

Atheist Parenting Book by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2223

Atheist Parenting Book

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

In the July 16, 2007 issue of Newsweek, Lisa Miller informed readers about a new and different parenting book, titled Parenting Beyond Belief. Edited by Dale McGowan, this volume “aims to help folks who are raising their kids without religion deal with the sticky questions that come up about Santa Claus and heaven, and it raises more serious concerns about how to bring up ethical, confident, non-believing kids in a culture saturated with talk about God” (Miller, 2007, p. 10). According to McGowan’s Web site, Parenting Beyond Belief “is the first comprehensive parenting book by a major publisher on raising children without religion” (2007). McGowan added: “We hope it isn’t the last” (2007).

Included in Parenting Beyond Belief is discussion about a new summer camp for children of atheists. Camp Quest: The Secular Summer Camp, which operates in six different locations in North America, claims to be “the first residential summer camp in the history of the United States for the children of Atheists, Freethinkers, Humanists, Brights, or whatever other terms might be applied to those who hold to a naturalistic, not supernatural world view” (Camp Quest, n.d., emp. added).

It seems as if atheists are more determined than ever to indoctrinate children with godless materials and ideologies. In the end, Dale McGowan’s hope of seeing more atheistic materials for families ultimately fails to provide reasonable, not to mention comforting, answers to life’s biggest questions. Imagine the child who ponders his origin for the first time: “Mom, why are we here?” “Ricky,” mom replies, “we’re here because, by chance, billions of years ago a tiny ball of matter exploded. Eventually Earth was formed, life emerged from lifeless matter, and millions of years later humans evolved from lower animals.” “So we’re here by accident?” Ricky asks. “That’s one way of looking at it,” says his mother. Parenting Beyond Belief and Camp Quest no doubt help atheistic parents explain origins and ultimate destinations to their children in a more creative way. However, the bottom line is, children will learn that life ultimately is meaningless because their existence is accidental and there is no life beyond death.

The key to an abundant life, both in the present and in the afterlife, is found only through Christ Jesus (John 10:10). May God help us to teach our children this truth, as well as reach out to those reared by atheists, who may never have heard the answers that Jesus and His Word can provide.

REFERENCES

Camp Quest: The Secular Summer Camp (no date), [On-line], URL: http://www.camp-quest.org/.

McGowan, Dale (2007), “Parenting Beyond Belief,” [On-line], URL: http://www.parentingbeyondbelief.com/.

Miller, Lisa (2007), “BELIEF WATCH: How To,” Newsweek, July 16.

Atheist Finally “Sobers Up” by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1467

Atheist Finally “Sobers Up”

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Nearly 30 years ago, a debate of significant proportions took place. It was September 20-23, 1976. The place was the campus of North Texas State University in Denton, Texas. The disputants were two longtime professors of philosophy—Thomas B. Warren (whose Ph.D. in philosophy was from Vanderbilt) and Antony G.N. Flew (who was teaching in the University of Reading near London, England). The propositions they debated juxtaposed succinctly the real issue between thorough-going (positive) atheism and thorough-going (biblical) theism. Dr. Flew affirmed, “I know that God does not exist,” and Dr. Warren affirmed, “I know that God does exist.”

Dr. Warren once explained why he selected Antony Flew as his opponent in the debate. His rationale was simple: if those who are on the cutting edge of philosophical thought and who are considered to be the leaders in their chosen area of expertise—the “best of the best” if you will—are unable to defend their position when confronted by a fair and accurate defense of the truth, their error will be exposed. Those who were influenced by these leading men would be forced (like the “domino effect”) to recognize the sterility of the viewpoint they had embraced. Antony Flew had been a leading champion of atheism for decades. His writings dominated philosophical journals, and he was a prolific author [his books included Hume’s Philosophy of Belief (1961), God and Philosophy (1966), Evolutionary Ethics (1967), An Introduction to Western Philosophy (1971), and even a book on logic—Thinking Straight (1975)]. Having taught at Oxford, Aberdeen, Keele, and Reading universities in Britain, Flew also served as a visiting professor in many American universities, and conducted numerous debates in the process of defending his atheism.

For the first two nights of the Warren-Flew debate, Flew assumed the affirmative position in an attempt to prove that God does not exist. However, Warren’s kind-but-relentless assault in the negative position seemed to leave Flew battered, bewildered, and disoriented—so much so that when Dr. Warren assumed the affirmative position on the third night of the debate, he spent a few minutes attempting to ascertain the reason for Dr. Flew’s failure, while in the affirmative, to present a sound argument for his atheistic contention in a precise logical way:

It has been suggested that his failure is due to the fact that he is in a foreign country, but such could have little or nothing to do with this proposition. That he is out of his own country has nothing to do with how he handles intellectual material. Neither is his failure due to his not being accustomed to this style of debating. I have heard him in discussion before, and he seemed not to be bothered at all by the kind of format that was involved. Perhaps he did not know the responsibility of an affirmative speaker? But that cannot be so because, in his writings, he constantly chides a man who does not recognize his responsibility as an affirmant. Perhaps because he does not know the arguments? I deny that emphatically. In reading the works of Dr. Flew, I am convinced that he knows the arguments that are involved as well as anybody in the world. Perhaps because he does not understand or accept the law of rationality? The truth of the matter is: he has written very strongly and frequently in defense of it! But he has not acted in harmony with it in this discussion. Ordinarily, when he is writing in the affirmative, and he writes almost constantly of matters that are concerned with God or very closely related to God—at least subjects that are peripheral to the subject of God. In fact, it is the case that he is almost God-intoxicated. He constantly emphasizes in his books that the onus of proof is on the affirmative writer or speaker! But I am afraid that he has not recognized that truth in this discussion (1977, pp. 131-132, emp. in orig.).

In the very next speech—the first negative—Dr. Flew responded to Dr. Warren’s comments in the following words: “Dr. Warren may be assured that I am sobering up from God intoxication. I shall be writing considerably less, if anything, in this area in the future” (p. 143, emp. added). Now, 28 years later, Dr. Flew appears, indeed, to finally have sobered up. At the age of 81, he has announced to the world that, based upon the scientific evidence, he now believes in some type of God (“Famous Atheist…,” 2004). However, do not jump to any premature conclusions. One interviewer spoke with Dr. Flew about his recent adjustments in his thinking, and concluded:

The fact of the matter is: Flew hasn’t really decided what to believe. He affirms that he is not a Christian—he is still quite certain that the Gods of Christianity or Islam do not exist, that there is no revealed religion, and definitely no afterlife of any kind. But he is increasingly persuaded that some sort of Deity brought about this universe, though it does not intervene in human affairs, nor does it provide any postmortem salvation. He says he has in mind something like the God of Aristotle, a distant, impersonal “prime mover.” It might not even be conscious, but a mere force. In formal terms, he regards the existence of this minimal God as a hypothesis that, at present, is perhaps the best explanation for why a universe exists that can produce complex life. But he is still unsure. In fact, he asked that I not directly quote him yet, until he finally composes his new introduction to a final edition of his book God and Philosophy, due out next year. He hasn’t completed it yet, precisely because he is still examining the evidence and thinking things over. Anything he says now, could change tomorrow (Carrier, 2004).

Here is what Flew has stated about whether he believes in God in the biblical sense:

I do not think I will ever make that assertion, precisely because any assertion which I am prepared to make about God would not be about a God in that sense ... I think we need here a fundamental distinction between the God of Aristotle or Spinoza and the Gods of the Christian and the Islamic Revelations…. My one and only piece of relevant evidence [for an Aristotelian God] is the apparent impossibility of providing a naturalistic theory of the origin from DNA of the first reproducing species... [In fact] the only reason which I have for beginning to think of believing in a First Cause god is the impossibility of providing a naturalistic account of the origin of the first reproducing organisms (as quoted in Carrier, italics in orig., emp. added).

It’s a step. But Dr. Flew has a long way to go to arrive at the truth concerning God’s existence. Observe that even when an atheist is forced to recognize that the evidence demands that a purposive, intelligent Being lies behind the Creation, he still endeavors to relegate this intelligence to an impersonal force that does not “provide a postmortem salvation.” Why? Because the same Being also would provide a “postmortem condemnation” in which humans will rightly and justly receive punishment for their sinful behavior on Earth. Can’t have that, can we?! It would mean adjusting one’s daily life choices and relegating one’s stubborn pride beneath the will of God.

Flew also stated: “My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato’s Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads” (“Famous Atheist…,” emp. added). If that were true, he would have already been led to the truth that the God of the Bible exists (just read the Warren-Flew debate!). Indeed, all the available evidence leads to that singular conclusion. The very evidence that Flew now believes indicates the existence of some sort of God, is the same evidence that he once insisted supported atheism! It took him 66 years to arrive at this most recent conclusion (Flew has been a self-avowed atheist since he was 15). But given the current human lifespan, he does not have another 66 years to follow the evidence to where it leads.

REFERENCES

Carrier, Richard (2004), “Antony Flew Considers God—Sort Of,” [On-line], URL: http://www.secweb.org/asset.asp?AssetID=369.

“Famous Atheist Now Believes in God” (2004), The Associated Press, December 9, [On-line], URL: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=315976.

Flew, Antony G.N. and Thomas B. Warren (1977), Warren-Flew Debate (Jonesboro, AR: National Christian Press).

Atheist Asks: “Have You Read the Bible in its Entirety?” by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1687

 Atheist Asks: “Have You Read the Bible in its Entirety?”

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Since 2008, the Atheist Agenda, a student organization on the campus of the University of Texas at San Antonio, has hosted an event called “Smut for Smut.” The group offers to give a free pornographic magazine to everyone who will turn in the Bible or other religious books like the Quran (Hallowell, 2012). When the event began it received considerable press, but the 2012 event “barely attracted attention” (2012). In fact, only about 30 people stopped by the booth, and the Atheist Agenda collected just five Bibles, one Quran, and one Encyclopedia of Islam.

While the event was a dismal failure in regard to ramping up hype for atheism on the campus, it did bring to light a very troubling fact about many who call themselves Christians. A video clip posted in Hallowell’s article shows one of the members of the Atheist Agenda confronting what looks like a fellow student. This fellow student is holding up a sign in protest of the event and in support of the Bible. The atheist is attempting to explain why his group equates the Bible with pornography. The fellow student disagrees, and then the atheist asks the student, “Have you read the Bible in its entirety?” The student shakes his head almost imperceptibly, and in a very low voice admits he has not read the Bible. After that, he tries to walk away as the atheist follows him explaining to him all the alleged “horrible things” found “in the Bible” that the young man had not read.

The fact that the young man had not read the Bible utterly demolished any credibility he may have had. Of course, the atheist was misrepresenting what the Bible says. In no legitimate way does the Bible compare to a pornagraphic magazine. But the young student could do nothing to defend the Bible because he had not read it. Suppose that question were asked of you? Could you respond that you have read the Bible? Or would you be shamed into silence and forced to walk away as you listened to an enemy of God revile His precious Word. How in the world can Christians always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks them a reason for the hope that is in them (1 Peter 3:15), if those Christians have not studied the Word of God diligently?

In Romans 2, Paul explained to the Jews that their sinful lives were causing the Gentiles to speak evil of the God of Israel. He scolded them in harsh terms when he wrote: “For ‘The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you’” (Romans 2:24). In a similar way, the modern skeptical community delights in pinpointing “Christians” living sinful lives, or being so apathetic to the teachings of Christ that they do not care enough to read the Bible. Let it never be said of you that your stand for the truth was rendered useless to the cause of Christ because you could not honestly say that you had read the Bible in its entirety. “Hear the word of the Lord…. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:1,6).

REFERENCE

Hallowell, Billy (2012), “Atheist Students Encourage Christians to Exchange Their Bibles for…Pornography,” The Blaze, http://news.yahoo.com/atheist-students-encourage-christians-exchange-bibles-pornography-013422828.html.

 

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Parable Of The Growing Seed (4:26-29) by Mark Copeland

 

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

               The Parable Of The Growing Seed (4:26-29)

INTRODUCTION

1. Of the many parables taught by Jesus, there is one found only in Mark's gospel...
   a. It is "The Parable Of The Growing Seed"
   b. Recorded in Mk 4:26-29 (Read)

2. The setting of this parable is the same as when Jesus told...
   a. The parable of "The Four Soils" - cf. Mk 4:1-20
   b. The parable of "The Mustard Seed" - cf. Mk 4:30-32

[Let's begin by taking a closer look the parable itself...]

I. THE PARABLE ANALYZED

   A. WHAT IT REVEALS ABOUT THE KINGDOM OF GOD...
      1. It describes how the Word of God produces fruit (i.e., how the kingdom grows)
         a. The "seed" is not identified in this parable as the Word of God
         b. But it was defined as such in the parable of "The Sower" - cf. Mk 4:14; Lk 8:11
      2. The growth produced by the Word is a mystery - Mk 4:26-28a
         a. The sower can sow the seed and see it sprout and grow
         b. But the growth is beyond his comprehension, and even grows by itself
      3. The growth produced by the Word is gradual - Mk 4:28b-29
         a. It doesn't all occur at once
         b. But step by step:  first the blade, then the head, then the full grain
         c. But through such growth the harvest eventually comes - Mk 4:29
      -- So the kingdom grows mysteriously and gradually by virtue of God's Word

   B. COMPARING THIS PARABLE WITH "THE FOUR SOILS"...
      1. The parable of "The Four Soils" emphasizes human responsibility
         a. The seed did not produce the desired fruit unless it fell on good soil
         b. It takes "a good and noble heart" for the seed to produce fruit! - cf. Lk 8:15
      2. The parable of "The Growing Seed" stresses the divine power within the Word
         a. A "good and noble heart" cannot bear fruit by itself!
         b. It takes Seed that has within itself the power to germinate and grow in good soil
      -- This parable emphasizes the need to trust in the power of the Seed (God's Word)

[Yes, the Word is the "seed" which contains the power for spiritual life
and growth when planted in the soil of a good and noble heart!  We may
not fully comprehend the true working of that power, but the parable
illustrates how we can still use it!  And for that, let's now consider...]

II. THE PARABLE APPLIED

   A. THE WORD OF GOD IS A POWERFUL "SEED"...
      1. It can cause us to be "born again" - 1Pe 1:22-25; Jm 1:18
      2. It can help us to "grow" - 1Pe 2:1-2
      3. It can indeed "save your souls" - Jm 1:21
      4. It is living and powerful, filled with Spirit-giving life - He 4:12; Jn 6:63
      -- Never underestimate the power of the Word of God!

   B. TWO WAYS TO UTILIZE THE POWERFUL "SEED"...
      1. By receiving it into our own hearts (for spiritual growth)
         a. Here we are talking about the growth of the kingdom of God in our lives
         b. Of course, we must receive it properly
            1) With a good and noble heart - Lk 8:15; cf. Ac 17:11
            2) With meekness - Jm 1:21
            3) As babies longing for their mothers' milk - 1Pe 2:2
            4) "Laying aside" those things that would "choke" the Word - cf. Jm 1:21; 1Pe 2:1
         c. When so received, growth will occur
            1) But remember the parable, for the growth will be gradual - Mk 4:28
            2) Therefore the need to feed daily on the Word, "that you may grow thereby" - 1Pe 2:2
      2. By sowing it as far and wide as we possibly can (for kingdom growth)
         a. Here we are talking about the growth of the kingdom of God in the world
         b. Like the sower in the parable of "The Sower", we must sow the seed everywhere
         c. But like the sower in the parable of "The Growing Seed", we must remember...
            1) Growth comes through the divine power of the seed
               a) It is God who gives the increase - cf. 1Co 3:5-7
               b) We are simply "seed-throwers" and "water-boys"!
            2) Growth comes in stages, not all at once
               a) There will be days when all we seem to be doing is "sowing"
               b) There will be days when all we seem to be doing is "waiting"
            3) Like the farmer, then, we must be patient - cf. Jm 5:7
      -- In our lives and in the world, spiritual growth occurs only through the Word!

CONCLUSION

1. The general lessons in the parable of "The Growing Seed" are these...
   a. In the kingdom of God, as in the kingdom of nature, we are laborers together with God
   b. The results depend on Him, and for the perfection of these results He takes His own time

2. That being the case...
   a. Our duty is to sow the seed, it is for God to give the increase - cf. 1Co 3:6-9
   b. Having sown the seed, we must wait for God's Word to perfect the growth - cf. Php 1:6

3. Therefore this parable teaches us to trust and hope in power of the Word of God...
   a. Do we trust in its power to save the lost?
      1) Or do we look to gimmicks designed by men?
      2) The gospel is God's power to save! - cf. Ro 1:16-17
   b. Do we trust in its power to save your own soul?
      1) Or do we look to self-help methods that promise but really can't deliver?
      2) The Word of God is what is capable of saving our souls! - cf. Jm 1:21

Are you sowing the seed of the kingdom, brother?  Both in the world, and
in your own life as well...?     
 
Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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How Should Christians Respond to the Bathroom Battles? by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

https://thepreachersword.com/2016/05/17/how-should-christians-respond-to-the-bathroom-battles/

How Should Christians Respond to the Bathroom Battles?

Bathroom battles

This is a confusing and frustrating time for Christians.

Homosexual relations, same-sex marriage, and transgender rights are more than social or political issues, they speak to Biblical principles. Our moral foundation. And our spiritual values. We have occasionally addressed these issues from the perspective of “What does the Bible say?”

The latest cultural bombshell now involves the use of public restroom facilities.

Following a bill passed by the North Carolina Legislature that people could only use restroom facilities based on their God-given gender, the Obama administration declared on May 9th that such legislation was illegal and discriminatory.

However, four days later came an ever bigger cultural shock. The President issued a directive requiring public schools to accommodate transgender students based on Title IX guidelines.

So boys who self-identify as girls must be allowed to use restrooms, locker rooms and shower stalls of their choosing, and vice versa. Schools that defy these directives could face the loss of federal funding and of course lawsuits. So far the Governors of North Carolina have vowed to resist these edicts.

ThePreachersWord is not inclined to wade into the battle over bathroom use per sae. We comment on social issues, such as a recent post on gender identity, when they fundamentally undermine the Truth of God’s Word.

This battle almost seems surreal. It’s an abandonment of common sense. Personal privacy. And common decency.

However, at the heart of this battle is something more. It’s another opportunity for liberals whose goal is social reengineering and fundamentally changing the culture of our country. Southern Baptist Convention president Ronnie Floyd bluntly expressed it this way. “It’s an outrageous attack on our Creator Himself, upon human sexuality and morality and a further advancement of the flagrant attack on religious freedom in our culture.”

Various other religious leaders have spoken out on this issue and called for Christians to get involved. It seems, as one writer put it that our “country stands at the edge of a great moral abyss.”

However, I am reminded that Christianity was born into a wicked world filled with pervasive perversion. In the midst of a moral morass of putridity, the Gospel flourished. Souls were saved. And the message of Jesus Christ spread to the far-flung corners of the Roman Empire.

We must remember what battle is really all about.   “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:12)

We are not opposed to Christian involvement in social concerns and political issues.  But let us filter our opposition with the fruit of the Spirit–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22)

Let’s not forget our purpose on earth. Our goal. Our message. And our God-given mandate.

Let us pray for our country. For the Church. And for our young people. May parents exercise wisdom in the spiritual training of their children. And let us “speak the Truth in love” to those who may oppose us and our God.

And may we live as Paul admonished, “blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom (we) shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life” (Phil 2:15).

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

HAS BELIEVED AND BEEN BAPTIZED! by steve finnell

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

 HAS BELIEVED AND BEEN BAPTIZED! 

by steve finnell


Jesus made the terms for salvation very simply. Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. (NASB)

Repentance and confession are connected to belief and water baptism. Terms of salvation: Belief-Repentance-Confession-Water Baptism.

BELIEF

Acts 2:36-37 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him Lord and Christ--this Jesus whom you crucified." 37 Now when they heard this they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall do?"(NASB)

REPENTANCE AND BAPTISM

Acts 2:38 And Peter replied, "Each one of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; then you also shall receive this gift, the Holy Spirit. (The Living Bible-Paraphrased)

The 3000 converts on the Day of Pentecost believed, repented, and were immersed in water. That was the first day of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

BELIEF

 John 11:25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, (NASB)

BELIEF, CONFESSION AND BAPTISM

Acts 8:34-38.....37[And Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."] 38 And he ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch, and he baptized him. (NASB)

BELIEF

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish , but have eternal life. (NASB)

REPENTANCE

Acts 17:30-31 Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men  that all people everywhere should repent, 31 because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead." (NASB)

BAPTISM

Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. (NASB)

CONFESSION

Matthew 10:32-33 "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. (NASB)

BELIEF: Mark 16:16, Acts 8:34-38, John 3:16, John 6:40, John 14:6, John 8:24, Acts 16:30-31, Acts 10:43

REPENTANCE: Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, Luke 24:47, Acts 17:30-31.

CONFESSION: Matthew 10:32, Luke 12:8, Romans 10:9-10, Acts 8:34-38

IMMERSION IN WATER: Mark 16:16, Acts 8:12, Acts 22:16, Romans 6:3-7, Galatians 3:27, Titus 3:5, John 3:5, Ephesians 5:25-27, Acts 2:38, 40,41,47.

It takes a master of deception, a skilled professional, and a willing student, for anyone to believe that Faith, Repentance, Confession, and Immersion in water are not essential in order to be saved.

JAMES by Paul Southern

 

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

JAMES

  1. THE TITLE
  2. This book bears the name of the writer, James (1:1).

  3. THE PERSONS NAMED JAMES
  4. Most scholars conclude there are three persons called James in the New Testament.

    1. James the son of Zebedee, one of the twelve, elder brother of John, and sometimes called James the Elder or Great (Mt 4:21).
    2. James the son of Alphaeus, also one of the twelve, and referred to as James the Less (Mt 10:3).
    3. James, brother of the Lord, who was not one of the twelve apostles (Mt 13:55).

  5. THE WRITER
  6. Although a moot point, it is believed by many that James the brother of the Lord wrote this book called James. That he was not one of the twelve apostles is indicated by the fact that he did not believe on the Lord until after the resurrection (Jn 7:2-9; Mk 3:21; Acts 1:13,14). He was a pillar in the early church, being associated largely with the saints at Jerusalem (Acts 12:17; 15:13-21; Gal 1:19; 2:9-12). Josephus declared that James was brought before the Sanhedrin by Sadducees, charged of departing from the Jewish Law, and then stoned to death. Clement of Alexander claimed that James was flung down from the gable of the temple, stoned, and beaten to death with a club for speaking to Jews about Christ.

  7. THE ONES ADDRESSED
  8. The letter was addressed primarily to the Jews scattered abroad, "twelve tribes which are of the Dispersion" (1:1). Evidently they were Christian Jews, for James called them "My brethren" with respect to the "faith of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2:1). Some were rich and some poor (2:1-10; 5:1-6). Lust, greed and pride were evidenced among them (4:1-12). They were severely persecuted (1:2-4, 12-18). The general state of the ones addressed is not such as a gospel teacher could look on with satisfaction. The poor were oppressed and dragged before the judgment seats by the rich. These trials were not endured with the patience and humility which might have been expected of them as Christians. Instead of seeking wisdom from God they regarded Him as their tempter. Worldliness of spirit created strifes and dissentions among them. They seemed to believe that their nominal Christian faith would save them, without a holy life.

  9. TIME AND PLACE OF WRITING
  10. Jerusalem, where James did most of his work, is believed to be the place of writing. The date is uncertain. Some place it as early as A.D. 40; others as late as A.D. 62. Many conservative scholars believe that it was written around A.D. 48. Their argument is based on several factors. Since the issues of Romans 4 and Galatians 3 are absent, it is thought that the book was written before the Jerusalem conference. Evidently it was not written after the dreadful calamity of A.D. 70. The circumstances described and sins condemned are characteristic of early Jewish Christians. Furthermore, there is no reference to Gentile Christians, which allusions would have been natural after A.D. 50. It is probably safe to say that the Epistle of James is one of the earliest of the New Testament books.

  11. THE PURPOSE AND CONTENTS
  12. The book was written to warn Christian Jews against their besetting sins and to exhort them to steadfastness under persecution. It is one of the seven General Epistles, so called because they were not addressed to particular persons or churches. The general theme is practical religion, or faith at work (1:27; 2:14-26). Abrupt in style, it has been called "The Christian Book of Proverbs." It omits the word gospel, lacks the doctrinal emphasis found in Paul's writings, makes no reference to the work of redemption, the incarnation, the resurrection or ascension, and mentions Christ's name only twice (1:1; 2:1). With the exception of his references to works, James assumes the doctrinal features of the gospel. He is concerned largely with the social and ethical aspects of Christianity. Luther called the epistle of James "a veritable epistle of straw" because it emphasized salvation by works and did not agree with his doctrine of justification by faith only. There is no scriptural basis for Luther's criticism that Paul and James are contradictory concerning salvation. Each taught that man is saved by "faith working through love (Gal 5:6; Js 2:14-26).

  13. EXERCISES FOR STUDENT ACTIVITY
    1. True-False
      1. The epistle of James was addressed to James, the son of Alphaeus T F
      2. In the New Testament there are four persons called James T F
      3. The epistle of James was written by the son of Zebedee T F
      4. The epistle of James was written from Jerusalem in A.D. 70 T F
      5. James, the brother of the Lord, was one of the twelve T F
      6. James, brother of the Lord, was a pillar in the Jerusalem church T F
      7. The epistle of James is a "General" letter T F
      8. There are seven "General" letters in the New Testament T F
      9. The ones addressed by James were being persecuted T F
      10. Salvation by faith is the theme of James' epistle T F
      11. James and Paul contradict each other on doctrinal points T F
      12. The book of James defines practical religion T F
      13. The epistle of James tells of the resurrection of Christ T F
      14. The name of Christ occurs three times in the epistle of James T F
      15. Points discussed in the epistle of James are closely connected T F

    2. Topics for further study
      1. Does the author of James speak with the tone of the Old Testament background or the New?
      2. List any indication in the epistle that James is Jewish in thought, style, and doctrine.
      3. Compare the epistle of James with the speech of James and the letter recorded in Acts 15:13-29.
      4. Discuss temptation as it is presented in James 1:2-4, 12-16.
      5. List all the things that James commands Christians to do; not to do.
      6. How could the epistle of James be used in employer-employee relations today?
      7. Note the teaching of James on each of the following subjects; wisdom, war, life, prayer, oaths, obedience, wealth, and the tongue.
      8. List all the similes and metaphors used in James.

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

Bible Reading for December 25 - 27 by Gary Rose

 

Bible Reading for December 25 - 27

World  English  Bible


Dec. 25

Zephaniah 1-3

Zep 1:1 The word of Yahweh which came to Zephaniah, the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hezekiah, in the days of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah.

Zep 1:2 I will utterly sweep away everything off of the surface of the earth, says Yahweh.

Zep 1:3 I will sweep away man and animal. I will sweep away the birds of the sky, the fish of the sea, and the heaps of rubble with the wicked. I will cut off man from the surface of the earth, says Yahweh.

Zep 1:4 I will stretch out my hand against Judah, and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place: the name of the idolatrous and pagan priests,

Zep 1:5 those who worship the army of the sky on the housetops, those who worship and swear by Yahweh and also swear by Malcam,

Zep 1:6 those who have turned back from following Yahweh, and those who haven't sought Yahweh nor inquired after him.

Zep 1:7 Be silent at the presence of the Lord Yahweh, for the day of Yahweh is at hand. For Yahweh has prepared a sacrifice. He has consecrated his guests.

Zep 1:8 It will happen in the day of Yahweh's sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, the king's sons, and all those who are clothed with foreign clothing.

Zep 1:9 In that day, I will punish all those who leap over the threshold, who fill their master's house with violence and deceit.

Zep 1:10 In that day, says Yahweh, there will be the noise of a cry from the fish gate, a wailing from the second quarter, and a great crashing from the hills.

Zep 1:11 Wail, you inhabitants of Maktesh, for all the people of Canaan are undone! All those who were loaded with silver are cut off.

Zep 1:12 It will happen at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the men who are settled on their dregs, who say in their heart, "Yahweh will not do good, neither will he do evil."

Zep 1:13 Their wealth will become a spoil, and their houses a desolation. Yes, they will build houses, but won't inhabit them. They will plant vineyards, but won't drink their wine.

Zep 1:14 The great day of Yahweh is near. It is near, and hurries greatly, the voice of the day of Yahweh. The mighty man cries there bitterly.

Zep 1:15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness,

Zep 1:16 a day of the trumpet and alarm, against the fortified cities, and against the high battlements.

Zep 1:17 I will bring distress on men, that they will walk like blind men, because they have sinned against Yahweh, and their blood will be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung.

Zep 1:18 Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them in the day of Yahweh's wrath, but the whole land will be devoured by the fire of his jealousy; for he will make an end, yes, a terrible end, of all those who dwell in the land.


Zep 2:1 Gather yourselves together, yes, gather together, you nation that has no shame,

Zep 2:2 before the appointed time when the day passes as the chaff, before the fierce anger of Yahweh comes on you, before the day of Yahweh's anger comes on you.

Zep 2:3 Seek Yahweh, all you humble of the land, who have kept his ordinances. Seek righteousness. Seek humility. It may be that you will be hidden in the day of Yahweh's anger.

Zep 2:4 For Gaza will be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation. They will drive out Ashdod at noonday, and Ekron will be rooted up.

Zep 2:5 Woe to the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! The word of Yahweh is against you, Canaan, the land of the Philistines. I will destroy you, that there will be no inhabitant.

Zep 2:6 The sea coast will be pastures, with cottages for shepherds and folds for flocks.

Zep 2:7 The coast will be for the remnant of the house of Judah. They will find pasture. In the houses of Ashkelon, they will lie down in the evening, for Yahweh, their God, will visit them, and restore them.

Zep 2:8 I have heard the reproach of Moab, and the insults of the children of Ammon, with which they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their border.

Zep 2:9 Therefore as I live, says Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, surely Moab will be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, a possession of nettles, and salt pits, and a perpetual desolation. The remnant of my people will plunder them, and the survivors of my nation will inherit them.

Zep 2:10 This they will have for their pride, because they have reproached and magnified themselves against the people of Yahweh of Armies.

Zep 2:11 Yahweh will be awesome to them, for he will famish all the gods of the land. Men will worship him, everyone from his place, even all the shores of the nations.

Zep 2:12 You Cushites also, you will be killed by my sword.

Zep 2:13 He will stretch out his hand against the north, destroy Assyria, and will make Nineveh a desolation, as dry as the wilderness.

Zep 2:14 Herds will lie down in the midst of her, all the animals of the nations. Both the pelican and the porcupine will lodge in its capitals. Their calls will echo through the windows. Desolation will be in the thresholds, for he has laid bare the cedar beams.

Zep 2:15 This is the joyous city that lived carelessly, that said in her heart, "I am, and there is none besides me." How she has become a desolation, a place for animals to lie down in! Everyone who passes by her will hiss, and shake their fists.


Zep 3:1 Woe to her who is rebellious and polluted, the oppressing city!

Zep 3:2 She didn't obey the voice. She didn't receive correction. She didn't trust in Yahweh. She didn't draw near to her God.

Zep 3:3 Her princes in the midst of her are roaring lions. Her judges are evening wolves. They leave nothing until the next day.

Zep 3:4 Her prophets are arrogant and treacherous people. Her priests have profaned the sanctuary. They have done violence to the law.

Zep 3:5 Yahweh, in the midst of her, is righteous. He will do no wrong. Every morning he brings his justice to light. He doesn't fail, but the unjust know no shame.

Zep 3:6 I have cut off nations. Their battlements are desolate. I have made their streets waste, so that no one passes by. Their cities are destroyed, so that there is no man, so that there is no inhabitant.

Zep 3:7 I said, "Just fear me. Receive correction, so that her dwelling won't be cut off, according to all that I have appointed concerning her." But they rose early and corrupted all their doings.

Zep 3:8 "Therefore wait for me," says Yahweh, "until the day that I rise up to the prey, for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour on them my indignation, even all my fierce anger, for all the earth will be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.

Zep 3:9 For then I will purify the lips of the peoples, that they may all call on the name of Yahweh, to serve him shoulder to shoulder.

Zep 3:10 From beyond the rivers of Cush, my worshipers, even the daughter of my dispersed people, will bring my offering.

Zep 3:11 In that day you will not be disappointed for all your doings, in which you have transgressed against me; for then I will take away out of the midst of you your proudly exulting ones, and you will no more be haughty in my holy mountain.

Zep 3:12 But I will leave in the midst of you an afflicted and poor people, and they will take refuge in the name of Yahweh.

Zep 3:13 The remnant of Israel will not do iniquity, nor speak lies, neither will a deceitful tongue be found in their mouth, for they will feed and lie down, and no one will make them afraid."

Zep 3:14 Sing, daughter of Zion! Shout, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem.

Zep 3:15 Yahweh has taken away your judgments. He has thrown out your enemy. The King of Israel, Yahweh, is in the midst of you. You will not be afraid of evil any more.

Zep 3:16 In that day, it will be said to Jerusalem, "Don't be afraid, Zion. Don't let your hands be weak."

Zep 3:17 Yahweh, your God, is in the midst of you, a mighty one who will save. He will rejoice over you with joy. He will calm you in his love. He will rejoice over you with singing.

Zep 3:18 I will remove those who grieve about the appointed feasts from you. They are a burden and a reproach to you.

Zep 3:19 Behold, at that time I will deal with all those who afflict you, and I will save those who are lame, and gather those who were driven away. I will give them praise and honor, whose shame has been in all the earth.

Zep 3:20 At that time will I bring you in, and at that time will I gather you; for I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says Yahweh. 

 

Dec. 26

Haggai 1, 2

Hag 1:1 In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, the Word of Yahweh came by Haggai, the prophet, to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,

Hag 1:2 "This is what Yahweh of Armies says: These people say, 'The time hasn't yet come, the time for Yahweh's house to be built.' "

Hag 1:3 Then the Word of Yahweh came by Haggai, the prophet, saying,

Hag 1:4 "Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies waste?

Hag 1:5 Now therefore this is what Yahweh of Armies says: Consider your ways.

Hag 1:6 You have sown much, and bring in little. You eat, but you don't have enough. You drink, but you aren't filled with drink. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm, and he who earns wages earns wages to put them into a bag with holes in it."

Hag 1:7 This is what Yahweh of Armies says: "Consider your ways.

Hag 1:8 Go up to the mountain, bring wood, and build the house. I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified," says Yahweh.

Hag 1:9 "You looked for much, and, behold, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?" says Yahweh of Armies, "Because of my house that lies waste, while each of you is busy with his own house.

Hag 1:10 Therefore for your sake the heavens withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit.

Hag 1:11 I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on that which the ground brings forth, on men, on livestock, and on all the labor of the hands."

Hag 1:12 Then Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of Yahweh, their God, and the words of Haggai, the prophet, as Yahweh, their God, had sent him; and the people feared Yahweh.

Hag 1:13 Then Haggai, Yahweh's messenger, spoke Yahweh's message to the people, saying, "I am with you," says Yahweh.

Hag 1:14 Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of Yahweh of Armies, their God,

Hag 1:15 in the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.


Hag 2:1 In the seventh month, in the twenty-first day of the month, the Word of Yahweh came by Haggai the prophet, saying,

Hag 2:2 "Speak now to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying,

Hag 2:3 'Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Isn't it in your eyes as nothing?

Hag 2:4 Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,' says Yahweh. 'Be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,' says Yahweh, 'and work, for I am with you,' says Yahweh of Armies.

Hag 2:5 This is the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, and my Spirit lived among you. 'Don't be afraid.'

Hag 2:6 For this is what Yahweh of Armies says: 'Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the dry land;

Hag 2:7 and I will shake all nations. The precious things of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory, says Yahweh of Armies.

Hag 2:8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,' says Yahweh of Armies.

Hag 2:9 'The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,' says Yahweh of Armies; 'and in this place will I give peace,' says Yahweh of Armies."

Hag 2:10 In the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the Word of Yahweh came by Haggai the prophet, saying,

Hag 2:11 "Thus says Yahweh of Armies: Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying,

Hag 2:12 'If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and with his fold touches bread, stew, wine, oil, or any food, will it become holy?' " The priests answered, "No."

Hag 2:13 Then Haggai said, "If one who is unclean by reason of a dead body touch any of these, will it be unclean?" The priests answered, "It will be unclean."

Hag 2:14 Then Haggai answered, " 'So is this people, and so is this nation before me,' says Yahweh; 'and so is every work of their hands. That which they offer there is unclean.

Hag 2:15 Now, please consider from this day and backward, before a stone was laid on a stone in the temple of Yahweh.

Hag 2:16 Through all that time, when one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When one came to the wine vat to draw out fifty, there were only twenty.

Hag 2:17 I struck you with blight, mildew, and hail in all the work of your hands; yet you didn't turn to me,' says Yahweh.

Hag 2:18 'Consider, please, from this day and backward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, since the day that the foundation of Yahweh's temple was laid, consider it.

Hag 2:19 Is the seed yet in the barn? Yes, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree haven't brought forth. From this day will I bless you.' "

Hag 2:20 The Word of Yahweh came the second time to Haggai in the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying,

Hag 2:21 "Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, 'I will shake the heavens and the earth.

Hag 2:22 I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations. I will overthrow the chariots, and those who ride in them. The horses and their riders will come down, everyone by the sword of his brother.

Hag 2:23 In that day, says Yahweh of Armies, will I take you, Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel,' says Yahweh, 'and will make you as a signet, for I have chosen you,' says Yahweh of Armies." 

 

Dec. 27

Zechariah 1-4

Zec 1:1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying,

Zec 1:2 "Yahweh was very displeased with your fathers.

Zec 1:3 Therefore tell them: Thus says Yahweh of Armies: 'Return to me,' says Yahweh of Armies, 'and I will return to you,' says Yahweh of Armies.

Zec 1:4 Don't you be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying: Thus says Yahweh of Armies, 'Return now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings;' but they did not hear, nor listen to me, says Yahweh.

Zec 1:5 Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever?

Zec 1:6 But my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, didn't they overtake your fathers? "Then they repented and said, 'Just as Yahweh of Armies determined to do to us, according to our ways, and according to our practices, so he has dealt with us.' "

Zec 1:7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of Yahweh came to Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, the prophet, saying,

Zec 1:8 "I had a vision in the night, and behold, a man riding on a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in a ravine; and behind him there were red, brown, and white horses.

Zec 1:9 Then I asked, 'My lord, what are these?' " The angel who talked with me said to me, "I will show you what these are."

Zec 1:10 The man who stood among the myrtle trees answered, "They are the ones Yahweh has sent to go back and forth through the earth."

Zec 1:11 They reported to the angel of Yahweh who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, "We have walked back and forth through the earth, and behold, all the earth is at rest and in peace."

Zec 1:12 Then the angel of Yahweh replied, "O Yahweh of Armies, how long will you not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which you have had indignation these seventy years?"

Zec 1:13 Yahweh answered the angel who talked with me with kind and comforting words.

Zec 1:14 So the angel who talked with me said to me, "Proclaim, saying, 'Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.

Zec 1:15 I am very angry with the nations that are at ease; for I was but a little displeased, but they added to the calamity."

Zec 1:16 Therefore thus says Yahweh: "I have returned to Jerusalem with mercy. My house shall be built in it," says Yahweh of Armies, "and a line shall be stretched forth over Jerusalem." '

Zec 1:17 "Proclaim further, saying, 'Thus says Yahweh of Armies: "My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and Yahweh will again comfort Zion, and will again choose Jerusalem." ' "

Zec 1:18 I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, four horns.

Zec 1:19 I asked the angel who talked with me, "What are these?" He answered me, "These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem."

Zec 1:20 Yahweh showed me four craftsmen.

Zec 1:21 Then I asked, "What are these coming to do?" He said, "These are the horns which scattered Judah, so that no man lifted up his head; but these have come to terrify them, to cast down the horns of the nations, which lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it."


Zec 2:1 I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand.

Zec 2:2 Then I asked, "Where are you going?" He said to me, "To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its breadth and what is its length."

Zec 2:3 Behold, the angel who talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him,

Zec 2:4 and said to him, "Run, speak to this young man, saying, 'Jerusalem will be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it.

Zec 2:5 For I,' says Yahweh, 'will be to her a wall of fire around it, and I will be the glory in the midst of her.

Zec 2:6 Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,' says Yahweh; 'for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the sky,' says Yahweh.

Zec 2:7 'Come, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.'

Zec 2:8 For thus says Yahweh of Armies: 'For honor he has sent me to the nations which plundered you; for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye.

Zec 2:9 For, behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they will be a spoil to those who served them; and you will know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me.

Zec 2:10 Sing and rejoice, daughter of Zion; for, behold, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of you,' says Yahweh.

Zec 2:11 Many nations shall join themselves to Yahweh in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in the midst of you, and you shall know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you.

Zec 2:12 Yahweh will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.

Zec 2:13 Be silent, all flesh, before Yahweh; for he has roused himself from his holy habitation!"


Zec 3:1 He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Yahweh, and Satan standing at his right hand to be his adversary.

Zec 3:2 Yahweh said to Satan, "Yahweh rebuke you, Satan! Yes, Yahweh who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Isn't this a burning stick plucked out of the fire?"

Zec 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the angel.

Zec 3:4 He answered and spoke to those who stood before him, saying, "Take the filthy garments off of him." To him he said, "Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with rich clothing."

Zec 3:5 I said, "Let them set a clean turban on his head." So they set a clean turban on his head, and clothed him; and the angel of Yahweh was standing by.

Zec 3:6 The angel of Yahweh protested to Joshua, saying,

Zec 3:7 "Thus says Yahweh of Armies: 'If you will walk in my ways, and if you will follow my instructions, then you also shall judge my house, and shall also keep my courts, and I will give you a place of access among these who stand by.

Zec 3:8 Hear now, Joshua the high priest, you and your fellows who sit before you; for they are men who are a sign: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant, the Branch.

Zec 3:9 For, behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes: behold, I will engrave its engraving,' says Yahweh of Armies, 'and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

Zec 3:10 In that day,' says Yahweh of Armies, 'you will invite every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.' "


Zec 4:1 The angel who talked with me came again, and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep.

Zec 4:2 He said to me, "What do you see?" I said, "I have seen, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps thereon; there are seven pipes to each of the lamps, which are on the top of it;

Zec 4:3 and two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl, and the other on the left side of it."

Zec 4:4 I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, "What are these, my lord?"

Zec 4:5 Then the angel who talked with me answered me, "Don't you know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord."

Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, "This is the word of Yahweh to Zerubbabel, saying, 'Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh of Armies.

Zec 4:7 Who are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you are a plain; and he will bring out the capstone with shouts of 'Grace, grace, to it!' "

Zec 4:8 Moreover the word of Yahweh came to me, saying,

Zec 4:9 "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house. His hands shall also finish it; and you will know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you.

Zec 4:10 Indeed, who despises the day of small things? For these seven shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. These are the eyes of Yahweh, which run back and forth through the whole earth."

Zec 4:11 Then I asked him, "What are these two olive trees on the right side of the lampstand and on the left side of it?"

Zec 4:12 I asked him the second time, "What are these two olive branches, which are beside the two golden spouts, that pour the golden oil out of themselves?"

Zec 4:13 He answered me, "Don't you know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord."

Zec 4:14 Then he said, "These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth." 

 

Dec. 25

Revelation 11, 12

Rev 11:1 A reed like a rod was given to me. Someone said, "Rise, and measure God's temple, and the altar, and those who worship in it.

Rev 11:2 Leave out the court which is outside of the temple, and don't measure it, for it has been given to the nations. They will tread the holy city under foot for forty-two months.

Rev 11:3 I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred sixty days, clothed in sackcloth."

Rev 11:4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands, standing before the Lord of the earth.

Rev 11:5 If anyone desires to harm them, fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies. If anyone desires to harm them, he must be killed in this way.

Rev 11:6 These have the power to shut up the sky, that it may not rain during the days of their prophecy. They have power over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.

Rev 11:7 When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them, and kill them.

Rev 11:8 Their dead bodies will be in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified.

Rev 11:9 From among the peoples, tribes, languages, and nations people will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not allow their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb.

Rev 11:10 Those who dwell on the earth rejoice over them, and they will be glad. They will give gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

Rev 11:11 After the three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet. Great fear fell on those who saw them.

Rev 11:12 I heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here!" They went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies saw them.

Rev 11:13 In that day there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed in the earthquake, and the rest were terrified, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

Rev 11:14 The second woe is past. Behold, the third woe comes quickly.

Rev 11:15 The seventh angel sounded, and great voices in heaven followed, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ. He will reign forever and ever!"

Rev 11:16 The twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God's throne, fell on their faces and worshiped God,

Rev 11:17 saying: "We give you thanks, Lord God, the Almighty, the one who is and who was; because you have taken your great power, and reigned.

Rev 11:18 The nations were angry, and your wrath came, as did the time for the dead to be judged, and to give your bondservants the prophets, their reward, as well as to the saints, and those who fear your name, to the small and the great; and to destroy those who destroy the earth."

Rev 11:19 God's temple that is in heaven was opened, and the ark of the Lord's covenant was seen in his temple. Lightnings, sounds, thunders, an earthquake, and great hail followed.


Rev 12:1 A great sign was seen in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

Rev 12:2 She was with child. She cried out in pain, laboring to give birth.

Rev 12:3 Another sign was seen in heaven. Behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven crowns.

Rev 12:4 His tail drew one third of the stars of the sky, and threw them to the earth. The dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.

Rev 12:5 She gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Her child was caught up to God, and to his throne.

Rev 12:6 The woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that there they may nourish her one thousand two hundred sixty days.

Rev 12:7 There was war in the sky. Michael and his angels made war on the dragon. The dragon and his angels made war.

Rev 12:8 They didn't prevail, neither was a place found for him any more in heaven.

Rev 12:9 The great dragon was thrown down, the old serpent, he who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

Rev 12:10 I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now is come the salvation, the power, and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ; for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them before our God day and night.

Rev 12:11 They overcame him because of the Lamb's blood, and because of the word of their testimony. They didn't love their life, even to death.

Rev 12:12 Therefore rejoice, heavens, and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and to the sea, because the devil has gone down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has but a short time."

Rev 12:13 When the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child.

Rev 12:14 Two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, so that she might be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

Rev 12:15 The serpent spewed water out of his mouth after the woman like a river, that he might cause her to be carried away by the stream.

Rev 12:16 The earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the river which the dragon spewed out of his mouth.

Rev 12:17 The dragon grew angry with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep God's commandments and hold Jesus' testimony. 

 

Dec. 26

Revelation 13, 14

Rev 13:1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads. On his horns were ten crowns, and on his heads, blasphemous names.

Rev 13:2 The beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.

Rev 13:3 One of his heads looked like it had been wounded fatally. His fatal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled at the beast.

Rev 13:4 They worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"

Rev 13:5 A mouth speaking great things and blasphemy was given to him. Authority to make war for forty-two months was given to him.

Rev 13:6 He opened his mouth for blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his dwelling, those who dwell in heaven.

Rev 13:7 It was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. Authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation was given to him.

Rev 13:8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been killed.

Rev 13:9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear.

Rev 13:10 If anyone has captivity, he will go into captivity. If anyone is with the sword, he must be killed. Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints.

Rev 13:11 I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon.

Rev 13:12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. He makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.

Rev 13:13 He performs great signs, even making fire come down out of the sky to the earth in the sight of people.

Rev 13:14 He deceives my own people who dwell on the earth because of the signs he was granted to do in front of the beast; saying to those who dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast who had the sword wound and lived.

Rev 13:15 It was given to him to give breath to it, to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause as many as wouldn't worship the image of the beast to be killed.

Rev 13:16 He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads;

Rev 13:17 and that no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark, the name of the beast or the number of his name.

Rev 13:18 Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred sixty-six.


Rev 14:1 I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him a number, one hundred forty-four thousand, having his name, and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads.

Rev 14:2 I heard a sound from heaven, like the sound of many waters, and like the sound of a great thunder. The sound which I heard was like that of harpists playing on their harps.

Rev 14:3 They sing a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the one hundred forty-four thousand, those who had been redeemed out of the earth.

Rev 14:4 These are those who were not defiled with women, for they are virgins. These are those who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed by Jesus from among men, the first fruits to God and to the Lamb.

Rev 14:5 In their mouth was found no lie, for they are blameless.

Rev 14:6 I saw an angel flying in mid heaven, having an eternal Good News to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people.

Rev 14:7 He said with a loud voice, "Fear the Lord, and give him glory; for the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and the springs of waters!"

Rev 14:8 Another, a second angel, followed, saying, "Babylon the great has fallen, which has made all the nations to drink of the wine of the wrath of her sexual immorality."

Rev 14:9 Another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a great voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead, or on his hand,

Rev 14:10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed in the cup of his anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.

Rev 14:11 The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. They have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.

Rev 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."

Rev 14:13 I heard the voice from heaven saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' " "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow with them."

Rev 14:14 I looked, and behold, a white cloud; and on the cloud one sitting like a son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

Rev 14:15 Another angel came out from the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, "Send forth your sickle, and reap; for the hour to reap has come; for the harvest of the earth is ripe!"

Rev 14:16 He who sat on the cloud thrust his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

Rev 14:17 Another angel came out from the temple which is in heaven. He also had a sharp sickle.

Rev 14:18 Another angel came out from the altar, he who has power over fire, and he called with a great voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Send forth your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for the earth's grapes are fully ripe!"

Rev 14:19 The angel thrust his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vintage of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

Rev 14:20 The winepress was trodden outside of the city, and blood came out from the winepress, even to the bridles of the horses, as far as one thousand six hundred stadia. 

 

Dec. 27

Revelation 15, 16

Rev 15:1 I saw another great and marvelous sign in the sky: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them God's wrath is finished.

Rev 15:2 I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who overcame the beast, his image, and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.

Rev 15:3 They sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, "Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God, the Almighty! Righteous and true are your ways, you King of the nations.

Rev 15:4 Who wouldn't fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you only are holy. For all the nations will come and worship before you. For your righteous acts have been revealed."

Rev 15:5 After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.

Rev 15:6 The seven angels who had the seven plagues came out, clothed with pure, bright linen, and wearing golden sashes around their breasts.

Rev 15:7 One of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever.

Rev 15:8 The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power. No one was able to enter into the temple, until the seven plagues of the seven angels would be finished.


Rev 16:1 I heard a loud voice out of the temple, saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God on the earth!"

Rev 16:2 The first went, and poured out his bowl into the earth, and it became a harmful and evil sore on the people who had the mark of the beast, and who worshiped his image.

Rev 16:3 The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man. Every living thing in the sea died.

Rev 16:4 The third poured out his bowl into the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.

Rev 16:5 I heard the angel of the waters saying, "You are righteous, who are and who were, you Holy One, because you have judged these things.

Rev 16:6 For they poured out the blood of the saints and the prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. They deserve this."

Rev 16:7 I heard the altar saying, "Yes, Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments."

Rev 16:8 The fourth poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was given to him to scorch men with fire.

Rev 16:9 People were scorched with great heat, and people blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues. They didn't repent and give him glory.

Rev 16:10 The fifth poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was darkened. They gnawed their tongues because of the pain,

Rev 16:11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores. They didn't repent of their works.

Rev 16:12 The sixth poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates. Its water was dried up, that the way might be made ready for the kings that come from the sunrise.

Rev 16:13 I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits, something like frogs;

Rev 16:14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs; which go forth to the kings of the whole inhabited earth, to gather them together for the war of that great day of God, the Almighty.

Rev 16:15 "Behold, I come like a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his clothes, so that he doesn't walk naked, and they see his shame."

Rev 16:16 He gathered them together into the place which is called in Hebrew, Megiddo.

Rev 16:17 The seventh poured out his bowl into the air. A loud voice came forth out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"

Rev 16:18 There were lightnings, sounds, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since there were men on the earth, so great an earthquake, so mighty.

Rev 16:19 The great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

Rev 16:20 Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

Rev 16:21 Great hailstones, about the weight of a talent, came down out of the sky on people. People blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, for this plague is exceedingly severe.