1/20/21

Does God Alone Possess Immortality? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3566

Does God Alone Possess Immortality?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

The Bible repeatedly testifies to the fact that this life is not all there is. For the faithful, the best is yet to come (Luke 16:22; 23:43; 2 Timothy 4:8). For the unfaithful, the worst is yet to come (Luke 16:23-24). The unrighteous “will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life” (Matthew 25:46, emp. added; cf. Lyons and Butt, 2005). At death, “the dust will return to the earth as it was,” but “the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7; cf. Genesis 2:7). Jesus taught: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26, emp. added). In short, the soul of man is immortal (Romans 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:10; 1 Corinthians 15:53-54).

If the soul of man is immortal, however, some wonder how Paul could truthfully write to Timothy that God “alone has immortality” (1 Timothy 6:16, emp. added)? If God alone has immortality, then how can man also be immortal?

Indeed, both God and man are immortal. God, by His very nature, is eternal (Psalm 90:2), and thus He is not subject to death (Greek thanatos). Only when God, the Word, put on flesh and physically inhabited His natural world did He willingly subject Himself to death (John 1:1-5,14; 19:30; Philippians 2:5-8). Yet, even then, death had no power over Him (Acts 2:22-36; 1 Corinthians 15:21). He defeated thanatos; He is athanatos (immortal). He not only physically rose from the dead, but His Spirit never ceased to exist.

Still, how can God “alone” have immortality (Greek athanasia; 1 Timothy 6:16), if the soul of man is also immortal (1 Corinthians 15:53-54; cf. Matthew 25:46)? The answer is really quite simple: The only reason man is immortal is because God gives man immortality. God created man differently than plants and animals; He chose to make man “in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). Among other things, one of the great blessings of being an image-bearer of God is that humans have an immortal soul (see Lyons and Thompson, 2002). However, in the sense that God’s everlasting nature is immortal, God alone possesses immortality.

Consider a parallel. According to Scripture, both God and His faithful children are pure and holy (1 John 3:3; Matthew 5:8; 1 Peter 1:16). They are pure and holy, however, on different levels. Whereas God is innately perfect (Isaiah 6:3; James 1:13), man can only become pure and holy through the grace of God and the blood of Christ (Hebrews 10:22; Ephesians 1:3-14). God is holy; man becomes holy. Likewise, God “alone [inherently] has immortality” (1 Timothy 6:16), but He has given it to man.

REFERENCES

Lyons, Eric and Bert Thompson (2002), “In the ‘Image and Likeness of God’: Parts 1 & 2,” Reason & Revelation, 22:17-32, March and April.

Lyons, Eric and Kyle Butt (2005), “The Eternality of Hell: Parts 1 & 2,” Reason & Revelation, 25:1-15, January and February.

Do Science and Scripture Harmonize? Yes (Obviously). by Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=5569

Do Science and Scripture Harmonize? Yes (Obviously).

by  Jeff Miller, Ph.D.

It has been said that the Bible and science disagree—they cannot both be true. Those Bible believers who accept such assertions comfort themselves by acknowledging that the Bible is not a “science textbook” and, therefore, would not be expected to speak with accuracy concerning scientific matters. In truth, regardless of whether or not the Bible is a science textbook, geography textbook, history textbook, or any other type of book, if the Bible is inspired by the omniscient Creator of the Universe, it should be accurate in anything it says. When it touches on scientific matters, it should be perfect in its descriptions—and it is.

In fact, according to the Bible, God Himself instituted the field of science. When God created human beings on day six and told them to “have dominion” over the Earth and “subdue” it (Genesis 1:28), He was commanding mankind to do something that would require extensive scientific investigation and experimentation. If God founded science, why would science be at odds with His Word? When God, through His servant Paul, said in Romans 1:20 that His existence and some of His attributes could be learned from studying His creation, He was putting His stamp of approval on the scientific study of creation—“the things that are made.” When He said in 1 Thessalonians 5:21 to “[t]est all things; hold fast what is good,” He was essentially summarizing the scientific method. By encouraging humans to study “the works of the Lord” (e.g., Creation and the Flood), He was endorsing science (Psalm 111:2). When God wanted Adam to name the animals, He instituted the field of biology (Genesis 2:19). When He highlighted to Job the natural laws that govern the Universe, He was encouraging the study of physics (Job 38:33). Job 12:8-10 emphasizes geology, while Psalm 19:1 and Genesis 15:5 encourage astronomy. Numbers 19 even delineates a basic recipe for antibacterial soap—chemistry in action. Solomon, in his inspired wisdom, endorsed the study of biological science, encouraging the study of eagles and serpents (Proverbs 30:18-19), as well as ants, badgers, locusts, and spiders (Proverbs 30:25-28). Jesus encouraged botany when drawing His audience’s attention to the lilies of the field (Matthew 6:28), seeds (Matthew 13:1-9,24-30), trees and vines (Matthew 7:16-20), and grass (Matthew 6:30); ornithology by pointing to the birds of the air as an illustration (Matthew 6:26); entomology when mentioning moths (Matthew 6:19-20); and zoology when discussing sheep, dogs, and swine (Luke 15:3-7; Matthew 7:6). In God’s sermon to Job in chapters 38-41, He chose to humble Job and instruct him by giving him a science lesson covering geology, cosmology, astronomy, physics, oceanography, nomology, optics, meteorology, and biology, including zoology, ornithology, entomology, herpetology, botany, and marine biology. Bottom line: God founded, endorsed, and even commanded science. Science is not anti-Scripture.

So, why the confusion? Some confusion comes from the nature of observational science: we cannot taste, touch, smell, hear, or see God, Creation, or the Flood. So the conclusion some draw is that biblical Creation is unscientific. While it is true that several aspects of the biblical model cannot be empirically verified since we cannot observe them today, the same can be said of several crucial steps in any naturalistic theory (e.g., the “Big Bang,” origin of life, origin of species, etc.). Such is the nature of “historical science”: deductive reasoning from indirect evidence must be used to substantiate a theory that concerns unobservable historical events, in the same way forensic scientists use science to investigate events that they did not personally witness. The biblical model, similar to any historical model, must be substantiated by indirect evidence, rather than direct. As we have shown elsewhere (see www.apologeticspress.org), the naturalistic model contradicts the evidence and the biblical model is supported by the evidence.

Further confusion comes from a comparison of Scripture with mainstream naturalistic science. It is true that several popular naturalistic theories have been advanced in modern times which contradict the Bible, but it is also true that, upon closer inspection, those models are found to contradict true science in fundamental ways. For example, one cannot be a naturalist and still believe in phenomena that do not happen in nature (e.g., cause-less effects1; the spontaneous generation of the laws of science2; matter/energy3; life4; genetic information5; design6; etc.). A theory cannot contradict itself and still be true. True science will not have internal contradictions like those of naturalistic theories.

The biblical model, however, does not espouse such internally inconsistent, pseudo-scientific theories. Instead, it states unequivocally that the Universe was created ex nihilo by Jehovah, the Grand Designer, in six days—a proposition which does not contradict the evidence, and which is supported by indirect evidence. Several hundred years after Creation week, a global Flood occurred which dramatically affected the Earth. The evidence from science supports the Bible’s narrative of that event as well, including evidence from geology, paleontology, astronomy, biology, and meteorology.7

The biblical model is scientific because it can explain the origin of the laws of science. It is scientific because it can explain the Universe and its characteristics without contradiction. The biblical model is scientific since it accurately stated several of the laws of science before they were even discovered (e.g., the Law of Causality; First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics; Law of Biogenesis).8 The biblical model is scientific since it has made many verified scientific predictions.9 Bottom line: God founded science. When legitimate scientific findings are interpreted properly and fairly, science supports the Bible and Christianity. It certainly is not at odds with Scripture—since they share the same Author!

Endnotes

1 Jeff Miller (2011), “God and the Laws of Science: The Law of Causality,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/article/3716.

2 Jeff Miller (2012), “The Laws of Science –by God,” Reason & Revelation, 32[12]:137-140.

3 Jeff Miller (2013), “Evolution and the Laws of Science: The Laws of Thermodynamics,” Apologetics Press, http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=9&article=2786&topic=93.

4 Jeff Miller (2012), “The Law of Biogenesis [Part I],” Reason & Revelation, 32[1]:2-11.

5 Jeff Miller (2014), “God and the Laws of Science: Genetics vs. Evolution [Part 1],” Reason & Revelation, 34[1]:2-11.

6 Jeff Miller (2017), “Atheists’ Design Admissions,” Reason & Revelation, 37[12]:134-143.

7 Paul Garner (2011), The New Creationism (Carlisle

8 Jeff Miller (2017), Science vs. Evolution (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

9 Jeff Miller (2014), “Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate Review: Tying Up Really Loose Ends,” Reason & Revelation, 34[4].

Suggested Resournces

Divine Design and the Pine Tree by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1557

Divine Design and the Pine Tree

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

The naturalistic explanation given by evolutionists for the existence of the created order cannot meet the dictates of logic that characterize the unencumbered, unprejudiced human mind. The more one investigates the intricacies and complexities of the natural realm, the more self-evident it is that a grand and great Designer is responsible for the existence of the Universe. In fact, the evidence is overwhelming and decisive.

Take, for example, the pine tree. Some 120 species and subspecies of the pine tree exist worldwide (“What Are...?,” n.d.). The Ponderosa pine tree (pinus ponderosa) is one of America’s abundant tree species, covering approximately 27 million acres of land (“Ponderosa Pine,” 1995). A young Ponderosa pine has brownish-black bark that changes to a distinctive orange-brown color as the tree grows older. The bark is segmented into large plate-like structures whose appearance has been likened to a jigsaw puzzle. This unusual design has a purpose. If the tree catches fire, these plates pop off as the bark burns. The tree, in effect, sheds its burning bark! This design, along with the great thickness of the bark, allows the tree to be very resistant to low intensity fires (“Ponderosa Pine,” n.d.). Since design demands a designer, who is responsible for this intricate design?

Ponderosa bark

Ponderosa bark
Courtesy sxc.hu and Jesse Adams

Another species of pine tree is the Lodgepole Pine (pinus contorta), so named since Native Americans used Lodgepole pine for the “lodge poles” in their tepees. This amazing pine tree grows cones that are slightly smaller than a golf ball, are tan when fresh, but turn gray with age. These serotinous cones remain closed until the heat of a forest fire causes them to open. After the fire, the cones open and reseed the forest. The species thus regenerates itself—even though the forest fire kills the tree itself (“Lodgepole Pine,” n.d.). Since such design demands a designer, who is responsible for this ingenious design?

Yet another species of pine tree is the Whitebark Pine (pinus albicaulis). This tree possesses a symbiotic relationship with a bird species known as the Clark’s Nutcracker. The tree is dependent on this bird for reproduction, while the seed of the tree is a major source of food for the bird. This mutualistic relationship is further seen in the fact that Whitebark pinecones do not open and cast seed when they are ripe. The cones remain closed until the Nutcracker comes along, pries the cone open with its bill, and stores the seed within a pouch beneath its tongue. The bird then caches the seed to be used later as a food supply. Some of these seed caches are forgotten, or are not needed, thus enabling the tree to reproduce (“Whitebark Pine,” n.d.). Such amazing design—with no Mind behind it? Illogical!

Ponderosa bark

Ponderosa pine tree
Courtesy bigstockphotos.com and Angela McElroy

The interdependent, interconnected, interpenetrating features of God’s Creation are beyond the capability of man to trace out—let alone to “manage” or “assist.” Neither a pine tree nor a pinecone is sentient. They have no thinking capacity or consciousness. They possess no personhood, soul, or spirit. Pine trees did not get together and discuss the threat of forest fires to their future survival, and then decide to produce pinecones that would remain closed during a fire only to open afterwards. The standard explanations by evolutionists for such wonders of creation are incoherent and nonsensical. Elihu reminded Job: “Behold, God is exalted in His power; Who is a teacher like Him? Who has appointed Him His way, and who has said, ‘You have done wrong’? Remember that you should exalt His work, of which men have sung. All men have seen it; man beholds from afar” (Job 36:22-25—NASB).

Indeed, the realm of nature literally shouts forth the reality of the all-powerful Maker Who alone accounts for the intelligent design of the created order. As the psalmist so eloquently affirmed: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.... There is no speech, nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4). Indeed, “since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made” (Romans 1:20). Only a foolish person would conclude there is no God (Psalm 14:1).

REFERENCES

“Lodgepole Pine” (no date), USDA Forest Service, [On-line], URL: http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/helena/resources/trees/LodgepolePine.shtml.

“Ponderosa Pine” (no date), USDA Forest Service, [On-line], URL: http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/helena/resources/trees/PonderosaPine.shtml.

“Ponderosa Pine” (1995), Western Wood Products Association, [On-line], URL: http://www.wwpa.org/ppine.htm.

“What Are Pine Trees?” (no date), The Lovett Pinetum Charitable Foundation, [On-line], URL: http://www.lovett-pinetum.org/1whatare.htm.

“Whitebark Pine” (no date), USDA Forest Service, [On-line], URL: http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/helena/resources/trees/WhitebarkPine.shtml.

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Healings In Gennesaret (6:53-56) by Mark Copeland

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

The Healings In Gennesaret (6:53-56)
 
 INTRODUCTION

1. Following Jesus' walk on water, other miracles soon followed...
   a. Shortly after anchoring the boat on the shores of Gennesaret - Mk 6:53
   b. When Jesus healed everyone who was brought to Him - Mk 6:54-56

2. "The Healings In Gennesaret" provide an opportunity to make observations about...
   a. The success of Jesus' healing ministry
   b. The purpose of Jesus' healing ministry

[Similar observations can be made about the healing ministries of Peter
and Paul, which can serve to critique so-called healing ministries today
(are they really of God?).  So let's begin by noting...]

I. THE SETTING OF THE HEALINGS

   A. IN GENNESARET...
      1. Where Jesus and His disciples anchored their boat - Mk 6:53
      2. A densely populated and fertile plain south of Capernaum - Hendriksen
      3. About 3 miles along the Sea of Galilee (also called the Lake of Gennesaret, Lk 5:1) - ibid.
      4. Its natural beauty and fertility were most remarkable... the
         plain produced walnuts, palms, figs, olives, and grapes - Josephus

   B. OTHER OCCASIONS...
      1. The healings of Peter - Ac 5:14-16
         a. In Jerusalem
         b. During the early days of the church
      2. The healings of Paul - Ac 19:11-12
         a. In Ephesus
         b. During his extended stay, while on his third journey

[In both rustic and urban settings, wonderful things happened when true
men of God were healing the sick.  But now let's consider carefully...]

II. THE SUCCESS OF THE HEALINGS

   A. IN GENNESARET...
      1. When people heard He was there, they gathered the sick - Mk 6:54-56
      2. Wherever He went, they brought the sick to Him
         a. On beds
         b. Laying them in the market places
      3. Note well:  "as many as touched Him were made well"

   B. OTHER OCCASIONS...
      1. Peter in Jerusalem - Ac 5:14-16
         a. The sick were laid out in the street on beds and couches
         b. People from surrounding cities were brought the sick and possessed
         c. Note well:  "they were all healed"
      2. Paul at Ephesus - Ac 19:11-12
         a. God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul
         b. Even handkerchiefs brought from his body to the sick healed them
         c. Note well:  implied is that all who received such ministrations were healed

[The crowds that gathered around Jesus, Peter, and Paul were
understandable.  The success of these three men was remarkable.  Now for an observation or two about...]

III. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE HEALINGS

   A. IN GENNESARET...
      1. The purpose of the healings was to confirm Jesus' claims - cf. Jn 5:36; 10:25,37-38
      2. People who saw such signs made the connection - e.g., Jn 3:2; 9:30-33
      3. Jesus did refrain on one occasion from doing miracles for lack of faith - cf. Mt 13:58
      4. But note well:  He never failed any miracle that He Himself attempted!

   B. OTHER OCCASIONS...
      1. The purpose of apostolic miracles was to confirm their message - Mk 16:17-20
      2. God bore witness to His Word by the gifts of the Holy Spirit - He 2:3-4
      3. The apostles did not always heal those they knew were sick - cf. 2Ti 4:20
      4. But note well:  the apostles never failed any miracle they attempted!

CONCLUSION

1. Today, there are self-proclaimed faith healers who say God is working through them...
   a. Often large crowds attend their meetings, hoping to be healed
   b. But many people leave such meetings, disappointed that they were not healed
   c. Despite having such healers lay their hands on them, and pray for them

2. When true servants of God healed, everyone was healed...!
   a. Whether it was Jesus, Peter or Paul
   b. The purpose of miracles to confirm they were servants of God
   c. And God left no room for doubt!

3. The fact is, such healing ministries were for a specific purpose...
   a. They were to confirm the message and messengers as being from God
   b. Once the Word of God was completely revealed and confirmed, there
      is no longer a need for such miracles of confirmation - cf. 1Co 13:8-10
   c. Which explains why such miracles are not being done today
   d. Contrary to claims made by false teachers who mislead many

When we carefully study the miracles of Jesus and those of His apostles,
comparing them with the so-called miracle healers of today, we can
easily see the difference...

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Attributes of God From A-Z by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

https://thepreachersword.com/2018/08/16/attributes-of-god-from-a-z/

Attributes of God From A-Z

Yesterday, as Norma Jean and I toured the National Museum of Archaeology  in Athens and viewed the artifacts of the great thinkers and philosophers of Greece and Rome, it occurred to me that with all their intellectual acumen, most did not truly know Jehovah God.

Yesterday’s post discussed Paul’s sermon revealing to the Epicureans and Stoics “The Unknown God” as Jehovah God. Many mocked the apostle’s message. Regardless, God has revealed Himself to us.

The Bible reveals God’s character and nature. Several years ago we did a series of posts describing the nature of God from A-Z. Here’s the “cliff notes” version.

GOD IS……

Awesome. “Out of the North he comes in golden splendor; God comes in awesome majesty.” Job. 37:22

Beautiful. “Behold the beauty of the Lord” –Ps 27:4

Compassionate. “The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.” Ps. 145:9

Dependable. “God is not a human being that he should lie, or a mortal, that he should change his mind. Has he promised, and will he not do it? Has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” —Numbers 23:19, NRSV

Eternal. “The eternal God is your Refuge, And underneath are the everlasting arms.” —Deut. 33:27, TLB

Faithful. “The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he had made.” —Ps. 145:13, NIV

Good. “For the Lord is good, and his mercy is never-ending; his faith is unchanging through all generations.” —Ps. 110:5

Holy. “Exalt the Lord our God, And worship at His holy hill; For the Lord our God is holy.” —Ps. 99:9, NKJV

Impartial. “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” —Ac. 10:34-35, NIV

Just. “For I will proclaim the name of the Lord; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock, His work is perfect, and all His ways are just. A faithful God, without deceit, just and upright is He.” —Deut. 32:3-4, NRSV

Kind. “Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” —Rom. 2:4, NRSV

Love. “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him.” —Ps. 103:11, RSV

Merciful. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” —Isa. 55:7-8, KJV

Near. “The Lord is near to all who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.”– Ps 145:18 (NKJV)

Omnipotent. “It is He (God) who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.” –Jer 10:12

Patient. “The Lord is slow to anger and abounding steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression.” –Ps 145:8

Quickens. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (give life to) your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.–Rom 8:11

Refuge. “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed. A refuge in times of trouble.” – Ps. 9:9,10 (NKJV)

Sovereign. “Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it now I, the Lord? There is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is no one besides me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” —Isa. 45:21-22, NRSV

Trustworthy. “In You our fathers put their trust; they trusted and You delivered them. They cried to You and were saved; in You they trusted and were not disappointed.” (Ps 22:4-5,  NIV)

Unchanging. “You Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will fold them up, and they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.” (Heb 1:10-12, NKJV)

Victorious. “I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but You give us victory over our enemies, You put our adversaries to shame.” (Ps 44:60-7, NIV)

Wonderful. “This also comes from the Lord of hosts; he is wonderful in counsel and excellent in wisdom”(Isa 28:19, ESV).

Xristos. (Greek for Christ) “He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” (Lk. 23:35)

Yearning (For Us). “Listen I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in you and eat with and you with me” (Rev. 3:20, NRSV)

Zealous. “His authority shall grow continually and there shall be endless peace…He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness and from this onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.” (Isa 9:7, NRSV)

Emile Calliet, in Alone at High Noon, wrote, “He who consciously or unconsciously has chosen to ignore God is an orphan in the universe.” Don’t be alone in the universe. Believe in and embrace the God of the Bible. He indeed is an Awesome God!

“To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.” (Jude 25, NKJV)

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

DID JESUS CONDEMN HOMOSEXUALITY? by David Vaughn Elliott

 

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

INSIGHT INTO BIBLE TRUTH #253
DID JESUS CONDEMN HOMOSEXUALITY?
by David Vaughn Elliott 


No, He did not. Nor did He condone it. It is a topic He never discussed. What are we to conclude from this silence? 

This is not the only issue that Jesus did not discuss. For example, we never hear Him condemning idolatry. Jesus was born into the world as a Jew, an Israelite. He "was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 15:24). Before Jesus, Israel had a long history of idolatry. It is commonly believed that the captivity cured the Jews of this sin. That offers a reason why Jesus did not need to condemn the Jews on the issue. This could also be a clue regarding Jesus' silence about homosexuality. But let's go further.

To say that Jesus never condemned this or that, keep in mind that such statements are based on the record we have in the four Gospels. Is there any record of Jesus discussing sorcery or witchcraft? What of drinking blood? What about drunkenness?  

And then there is the issue of breaking the Sabbath. During Israel's long history, Sabbath breaking was a frequent issue, even after their return from captivity. Jesus lived under the OT law, so Sabbath keeping was still in force. Luke 4:16 tells us that Jesus "came to Nazareth... and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath." Although Jesus kept the Sabbath, He was frequently accused of breaking it. On the other hand, there is no record of Jesus accusing others of breaking the Sabbath. In short, there are various sins that Jesus "never condemned."

The Gospels Are Neither Complete Nor Final

We have four Gospels, four biographical accounts of Jesus' life on earth. Some would say that the four should not even be called biographies because they cover so little of Jesus' life. True enough. The fourth Gospel ends with these picturesque words: "There are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written." This does not mean that we do not have enough written. John himself said a little earlier, "Many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name" (John 20:30-31). We don't have it all, but we have enough to believe in Him so we can have life.

Only some of what Jesus "did" is recorded. What about what He taught? Well, teaching is doing, so we don't have all He taught either. Here is a specific example. "They went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught. And they were amazed at His teaching" (Mark 1:21-22).  Nothing is said about what He taught on that occasion. 

In short, everything that Jesus did, taught, and said is not recorded. Therefore it is impossible for us to say that Jesus never condemned so-and-so. As in all of life, negative statements are often impossible to prove. We can only say that there is no record of Jesus saying so-and-so. 

But there is more to this.  

In court, we are told to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. In Jesus' ministry as recorded in the four Gospels, Jesus did "tell the truth." He did tell "nothing but the truth." However, He did not – repeat "not" – tell "the whole truth." Wow, what an assertion to make! But it is true. Jesus himself said so. On the night of his betrayal, Jesus said to the eleven (Judas had already left):

"I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth" (John 16:12-13).

There it is in black and white (maybe red in your Bible). While Jesus was on earth, He did not say everything that needed to be said. Rather, through the Holy Spirit, Jesus' apostles would be guided into "all the truth." Anyone who wants all the truth must look further than Jesus’ words during his earthly ministry – must read more than the four Gospels. 

The four Gospels make up roughly half of our New Testament. According to Jesus' own word, we dare not ignore the second half. Much of the second half was written by the Apostle Paul. Why is it that some people pit what Jesus did not say against what Paul did say? Could it be that those people are really pitting their own preconceived ideas against what the inspired Apostle Paul taught? There are various proofs that Paul was made an apostle by Jesus after Jesus' ascension. Did you ever notice what the Apostle Peter had to say about Paul's writings? "Our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction" (2 Pet. 3:15-16). If we distort what Paul wrote, we are heading for destruction. 

There is no Scriptural basis to justify anything on the basis of what Jesus did not say. Negatives such as "Jesus never condemned..." can never be proven. Furthermore, even if He didn't, the four Gospels are only a portion of God's divine revelation. They are an extremely important portion, but only a portion. We cannot treat the NT as a smorgasbord from which to select the portions we prefer. We must take it all. "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB._________________________________________
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Can We Give an Answer? by Richard Mansel

 

https://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Mansel/Richard/Dale/1964/answer.html

Can We Give an Answer?

In 1 Peter 3:15 we are told, "Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason of the hope that is within you." This is a very sobering challenge to all of us as Christians. Do we know what we believe and why? Can we defend it from Scripture?

Frequently you will ask someone to tell you what they believe and they will say, "I don't know, I will have to go ask my..." Naturally, it is acceptable to seek answers from a knowledgeable person. Moreover, "I don't know" is a legitimate answer.

But, I am talking about very simple questions we should be able to answer. Can you imagine going to a mechanic with twenty years experience and asking him a simple question about how an exhaust system works and hearing him say, "Um, I'm going to have to ask my boss."

What if you were at the mall and saw a friend you had not seen in a year. In "catching up" you find out that she is engaged. You ask, "What is your fiancee like?" She says, "Um, I don't know, I'll have to go ask his Mother."

These examples are easy to understand. Yet, we sometimes fail to apply the same principle to Christians who have been attending Bible classes and hearing sermons for years and can't tell someone what they believe or answer questions about the Bible. They just say, "Well, I'm not a preacher." Instead, they ought to be hanging their heads in shame.

We all have the same Bible. Attending seminary or Bible college does not give someone a special understanding of Scripture. All it does is provide the student with the tools to study the Scriptures in greater depth. Yet, the basics are there for everyone. We can all understand Scripture. John 8:31-32 says, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."

We all must be more diligent Bible students if we wish to know God. If all you know about God is what you hear in Bible classes and sermons you will not know Him well. You must spend time studying the Word to become well acquainted with the Father and the Son.

Start today.

Richard Mansel

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

Bible Reading January 20 and 21 by Gary Rose

 

 

Bible Reading January 20 and 21

World  English  Bible


Jan. 20

Genesis 20

Gen 20:1 Abraham traveled from there toward the land of the South, and lived between Kadesh and Shur. He lived as a foreigner in Gerar.

Gen 20:2 Abraham said about Sarah his wife, "She is my sister." Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah.

Gen 20:3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, "Behold, you are a dead man, because of the woman whom you have taken. For she is a man's wife."

Gen 20:4 Now Abimelech had not come near her. He said, "Lord, will you kill even a righteous nation?

Gen 20:5 Didn't he tell me, 'She is my sister?' She, even she herself, said, 'He is my brother.' In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands have I done this."

Gen 20:6 God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know that in the integrity of your heart you have done this, and I also withheld you from sinning against me. Therefore I didn't allow you to touch her.

Gen 20:7 Now therefore, restore the man's wife. For he is a prophet, and he will pray for you, and you will live. If you don't restore her, know for sure that you will die, you, and all who are yours."

Gen 20:8 Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ear. The men were very scared.

Gen 20:9 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said to him, "What have you done to us? How have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done!"

Gen 20:10 Abimelech said to Abraham, "What did you see, that you have done this thing?"

Gen 20:11 Abraham said, "Because I thought, 'Surely the fear of God is not in this place. They will kill me for my wife's sake.'

Gen 20:12 Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife.

Gen 20:13 It happened, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said to her, 'This is your kindness which you shall show to me. Everywhere that we go, say of me, "He is my brother." ' "

Gen 20:14 Abimelech took sheep and cattle, male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and restored Sarah, his wife, to him.

Gen 20:15 Abimelech said, "Behold, my land is before you. Dwell where it pleases you."

Gen 20:16 To Sarah he said, "Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. Behold, it is for you a covering of the eyes to all that are with you. In front of all you are vindicated."

Gen 20:17 Abraham prayed to God. God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his female servants, and they bore children.

Gen 20:18 For Yahweh had closed up tight all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah, Abraham's wife. 

 

Jan. 21

Genesis 21

Gen 21:1 Yahweh visited Sarah as he had said, and Yahweh did to Sarah as he had spoken.

Gen 21:2 Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.

Gen 21:3 Abraham called his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.

Gen 21:4 Abraham circumcised his son, Isaac, when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him.

Gen 21:5 Abraham was one hundred years old when his son, Isaac, was born to him.

Gen 21:6 Sarah said, "God has made me laugh. Everyone who hears will laugh with me."

Gen 21:7 She said, "Who would have said to Abraham, that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age."

Gen 21:8 The child grew, and was weaned. Abraham made a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.

Gen 21:9 Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking.

Gen 21:10 Therefore she said to Abraham, "Cast out this handmaid and her son! For the son of this handmaid will not be heir with my son, Isaac."

Gen 21:11 The thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight on account of his son.

Gen 21:12 God said to Abraham, "Don't let it be grievous in your sight because of the boy, and because of your handmaid. In all that Sarah says to you, listen to her voice. For from Isaac will your seed be called.

Gen 21:13 I will also make a nation of the son of the handmaid, because he is your seed."

Gen 21:14 Abraham rose up early in the morning, and took bread and a bottle of water, and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder; and gave her the child, and sent her away. She departed, and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.

Gen 21:15 The water in the bottle was spent, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs.

Gen 21:16 She went and sat down opposite him, a good way off, about a bow shot away. For she said, "Don't let me see the death of the child." She sat over against him, and lifted up her voice, and wept.

Gen 21:17 God heard the voice of the boy. The angel of God called to Hagar out of the sky, and said to her, "What ails you, Hagar? Don't be afraid. For God has heard the voice of the boy where he is.

Gen 21:18 Get up, lift up the boy, and hold him in your hand. For I will make him a great nation."

Gen 21:19 God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. She went, filled the bottle with water, and gave the boy drink.

Gen 21:20 God was with the boy, and he grew. He lived in the wilderness, and became, as he grew up, an archer.

Gen 21:21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran. His mother took a wife for him out of the land of Egypt.

Gen 21:22 It happened at that time, that Abimelech and Phicol the captain of his army spoke to Abraham, saying, "God is with you in all that you do.

Gen 21:23 Now, therefore, swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me, nor with my son, nor with my son's son. But according to the kindness that I have done to you, you shall do to me, and to the land in which you have lived as a foreigner."

Gen 21:24 Abraham said, "I will swear."

Gen 21:25 Abraham complained to Abimelech because of a water well, which Abimelech's servants had violently taken away.

Gen 21:26 Abimelech said, "I don't know who has done this thing. Neither did you tell me, neither did I hear of it, until today."

Gen 21:27 Abraham took sheep and cattle, and gave them to Abimelech. Those two made a covenant.

Gen 21:28 Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.

Gen 21:29 Abimelech said to Abraham, "What do these seven ewe lambs which you have set by themselves mean?"

Gen 21:30 He said, "You shall take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, that it may be a witness to me, that I have dug this well."

Gen 21:31 Therefore he called that place Beersheba, because they both swore there.

Gen 21:32 So they made a covenant at Beersheba. Abimelech rose up with Phicol, the captain of his army, and they returned into the land of the Philistines.

Gen 21:33 Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and called there on the name of Yahweh, the Everlasting God.

Gen 21:34 Abraham lived as a foreigner in the land of the Philistines many days.


Jan. 20

Matthew 10

Mat 10:1 He called to himself his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every sickness.

Mat 10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these. The first, Simon, who is called Peter; Andrew, his brother; James the son of Zebedee; John, his brother;

Mat 10:3 Philip; Bartholomew; Thomas; Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus; Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

Mat 10:4 Simon the Canaanite; and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Mat 10:5 Jesus sent these twelve out, and commanded them, saying, "Don't go among the Gentiles, and don't enter into any city of the Samaritans.

Mat 10:6 Rather, go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Mat 10:7 As you go, preach, saying, 'The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!'

Mat 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons. Freely you received, so freely give.

Mat 10:9 Don't take any gold, nor silver, nor brass in your money belts.

Mat 10:10 Take no bag for your journey, neither two coats, nor shoes, nor staff: for the laborer is worthy of his food.

Mat 10:11 Into whatever city or village you enter, find out who in it is worthy; and stay there until you go on.

Mat 10:12 As you enter into the household, greet it.

Mat 10:13 If the household is worthy, let your peace come on it, but if it isn't worthy, let your peace return to you.

Mat 10:14 Whoever doesn't receive you, nor hear your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake off the dust from your feet.

Mat 10:15 Most certainly I tell you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

Mat 10:16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Mat 10:17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to councils, and in their synagogues they will scourge you.

Mat 10:18 Yes, and you will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony to them and to the nations.

Mat 10:19 But when they deliver you up, don't be anxious how or what you will say, for it will be given you in that hour what you will say.

Mat 10:20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

Mat 10:21 "Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child. Children will rise up against parents, and cause them to be put to death.

Mat 10:22 You will be hated by all men for my name's sake, but he who endures to the end will be saved.

Mat 10:23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee into the next, for most certainly I tell you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel, until the Son of Man has come.

Mat 10:24 "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his lord.

Mat 10:25 It is enough for the disciple that he be like his teacher, and the servant like his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of his household!

Mat 10:26 Therefore don't be afraid of them, for there is nothing covered that will not be revealed; and hidden that will not be known.

Mat 10:27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in the ear, proclaim on the housetops.

Mat 10:28 Don't be afraid of those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. Rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.

Mat 10:29 "Aren't two sparrows sold for an assarion coin? Not one of them falls on the ground apart from your Father's will,

Mat 10:30 but the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Mat 10:31 Therefore don't be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows.

Mat 10:32 Everyone therefore who confesses me before men, him I will also confess before my Father who is in heaven.

Mat 10:33 But whoever denies me before men, him I will also deny before my Father who is in heaven.

Mat 10:34 "Don't think that I came to send peace on the earth. I didn't come to send peace, but a sword.

Mat 10:35 For I came to set a man at odds against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.

Mat 10:36 A man's foes will be those of his own household.

Mat 10:37 He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me isn't worthy of me.

Mat 10:38 He who doesn't take his cross and follow after me, isn't worthy of me.

Mat 10:39 He who seeks his life will lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake will find it.

Mat 10:40 He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me.

Mat 10:41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet's reward. He who receives a righteous man in the name of a righteous man will receive a righteous man's reward.

Mat 10:42 Whoever gives one of these little ones just a cup of cold water to drink in the name of a disciple, most certainly I tell you he will in no way lose his reward." 

Jan. 21

Matthew 11

Mat 11:1 It happened that when Jesus had finished directing his twelve disciples, he departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.

Mat 11:2 Now when John heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples

Mat 11:3 and said to him, "Are you he who comes, or should we look for another?"

Mat 11:4 Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John the things which you hear and see:

Mat 11:5 the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them.

Mat 11:6 Blessed is he who finds no occasion for stumbling in me."

Mat 11:7 As these went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John, "What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?

Mat 11:8 But what did you go out to see? A man in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in king's houses.

Mat 11:9 But why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet.

Mat 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, 'Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.'

Mat 11:11 Most certainly I tell you, among those who are born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptizer; yet he who is least in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.

Mat 11:12 From the days of John the Baptizer until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.

Mat 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

Mat 11:14 If you are willing to receive it, this is Elijah, who is to come.

Mat 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

Mat 11:16 "But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces, who call to their companions

Mat 11:17 and say, 'We played the flute for you, and you didn't dance. We mourned for you, and you didn't lament.'

Mat 11:18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.'

Mat 11:19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Behold, a gluttonous man and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' But wisdom is justified by her children."

Mat 11:20 Then he began to denounce the cities in which most of his mighty works had been done, because they didn't repent.

Mat 11:21 "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

Mat 11:22 But I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you.

Mat 11:23 You, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, you will go down to Hades. For if the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in you, it would have remained until this day.

Mat 11:24 But I tell you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom, on the day of judgment, than for you."

Mat 11:25 At that time, Jesus answered, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you hid these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to infants.

Mat 11:26 Yes, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in your sight.

Mat 11:27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows the Son, except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and he to whom the Son desires to reveal him.

Mat 11:28 "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.

Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls.

Mat 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."