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Does the Holy Spirit Know When Jesus Will Return? by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1650

Does the Holy Spirit Know When Jesus Will Return?

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

One question that various individuals have submitted to Apologetics Press in recent years involves the Second Coming of Christ and the omniscience of the Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4) and thus omniscient (Psalm 139), why did Jesus say about His return, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32, emp. added)? Why would the “Father alone” (Matthew 24:36, NASB) be aware of the time of Jesus’ Second Coming? Does this awareness exclude the Holy Spirit?

When Jesus came to Earth in the flesh, He willingly “made Himself of no reputation” (Philippians 2:7; He “emptied Himself”—NASB). He moved from the spiritual realm to put on flesh (John 1:14) and voluntarily became subject to such burdens as hunger, thirst, weariness, and pain. Our omnipotent, omniscient, holy God chose to come into this world as a helpless babe Who, for the first time in His eternal existence, “increased in wisdom” (Luke 2:52). While on Earth in the flesh, Jesus was voluntarily in a subordinate position to the Father (cf. Jackson, 1995).

It has been suggested that, similar to how Jesus chose not to know certain information while on Earth, including the date of His return, perhaps the Holy Spirit also willingly restricted Himself to some degree during the first century (see Holding, 2012). Perhaps the special role of the Holy Spirit in the first century in regards to spiritual and miraculous gifts (Acts 2:38; 1 Corinthians 12:7), special revelation (John 14:26; 16:13), divine inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16), intercession (Romans 8:26), etc., is somewhat similar to the role that Christ played. That is, could it be that both God the Son and God the Spirit voluntarily restricted their knowledge on Earth in the first century? And thus, could that be why Jesus said, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32, emp. added)? Considering that a number of Christians and scholars believe that even God the Father may freely choose to limit His own knowledge of certain things (cf. Brents, 1874, pp. 74-87; Camp, n.d.), many would likely explain Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36 by contending that the Holy Spirit freely limited His knowledge for a time regarding Christ’s return.

Given especially the indisputable fact that the Son of God voluntarily chose not to know certain things for a time, it may be possible that the Holy Spirit could choose the same. However, the Holy Spirit Himself revealed through the apostle Paul that He, the Spirit, “searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10-11). Furthermore, there are no explicit statements in Scripture about the Holy Spirit’s willful unawareness of certain things as there are about Jesus (Mark 13:32; cf. Luke 2:52). All one can cite is Jesus’ statement about “only the Father” knowing the date of the Son’s return and conclude that this declaration implies the Spirit of God was unaware of that day. What’s more, in context, Jesus placed much more emphasis on the words “no one knows” than the qualifying statements “not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son.” Jesus wanted His hearers to understand that just as those in Noah’s day “did not know” the day of the Flood (Matthew 24:39, emp. added) and just as the servants in the parable of the servants “do not know when the master of the house is coming” (Mark 13:35, emp. added; Matthew 24:50), so “you do not know what hour the Lord is coming” (Matthew 24:42, emp. added; Mark 13:33). Thus, Jesus taught the all-important central message in these chapters of “watching” and being “ready” for the unknown time of Christ’s return (Matthew 24:36-25:46; Mark 13:32-37). Even though we may learn something of the Messiah’s voluntary, self-imposed emptying of some of His omniscience (Mark 13:32), Jesus’ “purpose was not to define the limits of his theological knowledge, but to indicate that vigilance, not calculation, is required” (Lane, 1974, p. 482)—a lesson that all “end-of-time” false prophets need to learn.

Rather than quickly dismiss the omniscience of the Holy Spirit during a particular period of time in human history, a better explanation exists: expressions such as “no one,” “only,” “except,” “all,” etc. are oftentimes used in a limited sense. Consider what Paul revealed in Romans 3: “Jews and Greeks…are all under sin. As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one…. They have all turned aside… there is none who does good, no, not one” (vss. 9,10,12, emp. added). In this passage, Paul was stressing the fact that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), but he was using these inclusive and exclusive terms (e.g., “all,” “none”) in a somewhat limited sense. Paul was obviously not including Jesus in this passage, as elsewhere he wrote that Jesus “knew no sin” (2 Corinthians 5:21; cf. Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 1:19). Neither was he including infants (see Butt, 2003), the mentally challenged, or angels. Who then has sinned? All humans of an accountable mind and age (see Miller, 2003), with the obvious exception being the sinless Son of God.

In John 17:3, Jesus prayed to the Father, saying, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3, emp. added). Are we to believe, as some do (cf. “Is There Only…?” 2009), that Jesus was implying neither He nor the Holy Spirit is divine? Not at all. Rather, when the Bible reveals that there is only one God, one Savior, one Lord, one Creator (Isaiah 44:24; John 1:3), etc., reason and revelation demand that we understand the inspired writers to be excluding everyone and everything—other than the members of the Godhead (see Lyons, 2008). Throughout the Gospel of John, the writer repeatedly referred to Jesus’ deity (1:1,3,23; 4:25; 9:38; 10:30-33; 20:28)—Jesus most certainly was not denying it in John 17:3. Unless the biblical text specifically mentions what a member of the Godhead does not know or do, we should be careful alleging ignorance, limited power, etc.

In Matthew 11:27, Jesus stated: “All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (emp. added). Are we to believe that the Spirit of God does not fully comprehend the Son of God or God the Father? After all, Jesus said, “[N]o one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son.” Once again, the terms “no one,” “anyone,” and “except” must be understood in a limited sense. Jesus was in no way suggesting that the Spirit of God, Who “searches all things, yes, the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10), does not fully understand the Father as Jesus does. The Son of God was revealing that aside from the “one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him” (Matthew 11:27), “no man or angel clearly and fully comprehends the character of the infinite God…. None but God fully knows Him” (Barnes, 1997, emp. in orig.). Once again, Jesus was alluding to His deity. Mere humans cannot truthfully speak in this manner. “The full comprehension and acknowledgment of the Godhead, and the mystery of the Trinity, belong to God alone” (Clarke, 1996). Jesus was and is God. We should no more exclude the Holy Spirit from Jesus’ statement about Himself and God the Father in Matthew 11:27 than we should exclude the Father or the Son from Paul’s statement about the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 2:10-11.

CONCLUSION

It is unnecessary to conclude that the Holy Spirit must at one time have given up some of His omniscience because Jesus stated of His return. “[N]o one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” In light of the way in which God and the Bible writers oftentimes used exclusive terms in limited senses, especially as those terms relate to the Godhead, it cannot be proven that Jesus was excluding the Spirit of God in this statement. If we should not exclude Jesus and the Holy Spirit from the God that Jesus praised in John 17:3, and we should not exclude the Holy Spirit from the Divine that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 11:27, it seems entirely unnecessary to infer that in Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36 Christ was implying that the Holy Spirit was unaware of the day of His return.

REFERENCES

Barnes, Albert (1997), Barnes’ Notes (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).

Brents, T.W. (1874), The Gospel Plan of Salvation (Bowling Green, KY: Guardian of Truth Foundation, 1987 reprint).

Butt, Kyle (2003), “Do Babies Go to Hell When They Die?” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=13&article=1201.

Camp, Franklin (no date) “1 Peter 1:1-2,” Redemption Through the Bible (Adamsville, AL: Brother’s).

Clarke, Adam (1996), Adam Clarke’s Commentary (Electronic Database: Biblesoft).

Holding, James (2012), “Mark 13:32 and the Holy Spirit,” Tekton, http://www.tektonics.org/lp/mk1332.html.

“Is There Only One True God?” (2009), Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Web Site, http://www.watchtower.org/e/200602b/article_01.htm.

Jackson, Wayne (1995), “Did Jesus Exist in the Form of God While on Earth?” Reason & Revelation, 15[3]:21-22, March, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=354.

Lane, William (1974), The Gospel of Mark (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).

Lyons, Eric (2008), “The Only True God,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=10&article=983#.

Miller, Dave (2003), “The Age of Accountability,” Apologetics Press, http://www.apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=11&article=1202.

Does God’s Existence Rest Upon Human Consensus? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2767

Does God’s Existence Rest Upon Human Consensus?

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Three minutes and 45 seconds into Dan Barker’s opening statement in our Darwin Day debate on February 12, 2009, he presented an argument that he has often used in other debates and writings. In his list of “probability” arguments, he included as his fifth argument against God’s existence the following comments: “There is no agreement among believers as to the nature or the moral principles of this God that they are arguing for. They all differ with each other” (Butt and Barker, 2009). According to Dan, since those professing Christianity come down on either side of moral issues such as abortion, divorce, and the death penalty, then the God Who wrote the Bible “in all probability” does not exist, and the Bible must not be a sufficient guide for human morality.

Is Dan correct in his assessment that disagreement among professed believers nullifies the existence of God? Certainly not! Barker is incorrect for a number of reasons, the majority of which are quite clear after the briefest consideration of the argument. First, we could simply say that Dan’s argument, used against his own brand of atheism, refutes itself, since he admits that atheists do not agree on moral issues. In his book godless, Barker stated: “Most atheists think that values, though not objective things in themselves, can be objectively justified by reference to the real world.... Although most atheists accept the importance of morality, this is not conceding that morality exists in the universe” (2008, p. 213-214, emp. added). Notice that Barker qualifies his statement with the word “most,” implying that some atheists do not see morality as he does. In his discussion of human free will, Barker wrote: “By the way, this contributes to my compatibilist position on human free will. (Not that all atheists agree with me.) I am an determinist, which means that I don’t think complete libertarian free will exists.... I admit that my definition of free will is subject to debate” (2008, p. 128, emp. added). If Barker’s statement about disagreement of professed believers is true, we could, with equal force, use it on atheism and say that since there is no agreement among atheists on moral issues, then atheism “in all probability” is false.

Of course, Barker does not want to extend his “truth” criterion to atheism. And his statement is inherently flawed in the first place. If two or more people disagreed on whether the holocaust happened, but they all professed to be honest historians, would their disagreement prove that there never was a holocaust? If two people, who both claim to be honest geographers, disagree on the fact that the continent of North America exists, would that negate its reality? Or if two or more people adamantly disagreed on the idea that Dan Barker exists, would his existence be jeopardized based on their disagreement? No, on every count. Agreement among people cannot be used as evidence of the truth or falsity of any proposition.

Barker’s atheistic colleague, Sam Harris, has eloquently written on this truth. He disagrees with many atheists about ethical questions. In spite of his atheism, he contends that objective right and wrong do exist (an impossible proposition for a true atheist to maintain, by the way). He wrote:

The fact that people of different times and cultures disagree about ethical questions should not trouble us. It suggests nothing at all about the status of moral truth. Imagine what it would be like to consult the finest thinkers of antiquity on questions of basic science: “What,” we might ask, “is fire? And how do living systems reproduce themselves? And what are the various lights we see in the night sky?” We would surely encounter a bewildering lack of consensus on these matters. Even though there was no shortage of brilliant minds in the ancient world, they simply lacked the physical and conceptual tools to answer questions of this sort. Their lack of consensus signified their ignorance of certain physical truths, not that no such truths exist (2004, p. 171, emp. added).

The irony of this quote from Harris is that it manifests the atheistic community’s lack of consensus on ethical issues, which should disprove atheism according to Barker’s line of reasoning. Furthermore, it hammers home the self-evident truth that consensus among professed followers of any concept or entity has no bearing on its existence or its claim to truth. Harris further remarked: “It is quite conceivable that everyone might agree and yet be wrong about the way the world is. It is also conceivable that a single person might be right in the face of unanimous opposition” (2004, pp. 181-182, emp. added).

While it is true that the lack of consensus on moral issues by those who profess Christianity does nothing to discount the existence of God, it is appropriate to ask why such disparity exists. Again, it is ironic that Dan Barker has answered his own question in this regard. In his speech, “How to be Moral Without Religion,” given at the University of Minnesota on October 19, 2006, Barker stated: “A tendency that we all have, we look through our documents to try to find what supports our already prejudice views about what we think morality should be like.” In one succinct sentence, Barker explained why there is a lack of consensus among professed believers on moral issues. It is not because God does not exist. It is not because the Bible is hopelessly confusing and cannot be understood. It is not because there is no objective moral truth. It is simply because humans bring their already prejudiced views to the text of the Bible and try to force it to say what they “think” it should say.

REFERENCES

Barker, Dan (2006), “How to be Moral Without Religion,” [On-line], URL: http://www.ffrf.org/about/bybarker/CASH1.mp3.

Barker, Dan (2008), godless (Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press).

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

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

Does God Accept Human Sacrifice? by Kyle Butt, M.Div.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2775

Does God Accept Human Sacrifice?

by  Kyle Butt, M.Div.

Twelve minutes and 45 seconds into Dan Barker’s opening statement in our Darwin Day debate on February 12, 2009, he claimed that the God of the Bible cannot exist because the Bible presents contradictory information about God’s acceptance of human sacrifice. Barker said: “Does He [God—KB] accept human sacrifice? In some verses, ‘Yes,’ in some verses, ‘No.’ Remember the thing about when [sic] Abraham; He asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac” (Butt and Barker, 2009).

This brief statement is the only one that he gave as “evidence” of this alleged Bible contradiction. In our debate he did not cite any verses that he believes show this contradiction. But in chapter 13 of his book godless, he made the same claim and listed several verses. On page 240, he quoted Deuteronomy 12:31: “Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.” Barker then quoted Genesis 22:2: “And he [God—KB] said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of” (KJV). Dan does not offer any comments on these two verses, other than to list them as contradictory.

On close inspection, however, it becomes evident that these two verses cannot be contradictory. From the biblical narrative in Genesis 22, it is clear that God never intended to allow Abraham to kill his son. When Abraham got to the top of the appointed mountain, before he killed his son, God stopped him and showed him a ram caught in a thicket that was provided as a sacrifice instead of Isaac. God knew that He would stop Abraham before the sacrifice (see Lyons, 2009), and thus, never planned to accept a human sacrifice in this instance. If Isaac was never sacrificed, due to God’s intervention, then it cannot be claimed that God accepted human sacrifice on this occasion. In fact, since God stepped in and commanded Abraham not to sacrifice his son (Genesis 22:12), Abraham would have been sinning if he had continued with the sacrifice. It is impossible to claim that God accepted the human sacrifice of Isaac when the Bible specifically states that He prevented it. [NOTE: At this point in the discussion, Barker generally changes the argument, and demands that it was immoral for Abraham to follow God’s commands. That allegation will be dealt with in a future article. It is important to stay focused on Barker’s original allegation of contradiction before moving on to refute his allegation that God is immoral.]

EXODUS 22:29

In addition to the incident with Isaac, Barker cited Exodus 22:29 as an example of God accepting human sacrifice. In godless, he quoted this verse on page 240: “For thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors; the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.” With all due respect to Barker, either he has intentionally misled the reader by citing this verse, or he is unaware of its true meaning. Based on his background of Bible study and his claims of biblical knowledge, the former, unfortunately, seems to be the case.

Exodus 22:29 was never intended to mean that the Israelites were supposed to sacrifice their firstborn sons to God. In fact, Exodus 13:13 says, “And all the firstborn of man among your sons you shall redeem.” What did it mean to redeem the firstborn son? It meant that the Israelites were to give to the Lord five skekels of silver when the firstborn son was one month old (see Numbers 18:16). What was the purpose of redeeming the firstborn son? Moses explained that it was a memorial of the process by which God delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage (Exodus 13:14-15). It is inexcusably poor scholarship for any person who has read the book of Exodus to make such an uninformed statement as to demand that Exodus 22:29 speaks of human sacrifice. We should remember, however, that Barker has admitted his belief that honesty is not always the best tactic for dealing with Christianity or the Bible (Butt, 2003).

JEPHTHAH’S VOW

As further “evidence” of a Bible contradiction in regard to human sacrifice, Barker cited the story of Jephthah that is found in Judges 11:30-39. In that biblical narrative, Jephthah made a vow to God that, if God would give him victory against his enemies, then Jephthah would sacrifice the first thing that came out of his house upon his return. Jephthah defeated his enemies and his only daughter was the first thing that greeted him. Jephthah was very sorry for his vow, but the text says that he “carried out his vow with her which he had vowed” (Judges 11:39).

In regard to Jephthah’s vow, there are several insurmountable problems with presenting this as an example of God accepting human sacrifice. First, there is considerable evidence that the girl was not killed, she simply was dedicated to the Lord, remained unmarried, and had no children (for a more thorough discussion of Jephthah’s vow, see Miller, 2003). Second, there is no indication that God approved of Jephthah’s vow. If Jephthah offered his daughter as a literal burnt offering, he disobeyed God’s instructions in the Law of Moses (Leviticus 18:21; 20:2-5; Deuteronomy 12:31; 18:10). The Jephthah incident cannot be used to show that God either asked for human sacrifice, or approved of it.

SAUL’S DESCENDANTS

Furthermore, Barker cited 2 Samuel 21:8-14 as an example of God accepting human sacrifice. Barker quoted those verses as follows: “But the king [David] took the two sons of Rizpah…and the five sons of Michal…and he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the Lord: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest… And after that God was intreated for the land” (2008, pp. 240-241). Again, this narrative offers no proof that God ever accepted human sacrifice. Was it the case that God sometimes demanded that sinful people who deserved capital punishment be put to death for their sins? Yes, it was (see Miller, 2002). Could it be, then, that the descendants of Saul were guilty of offenses that deserved the death penalty? Yes.

Notice that the text indicates that the ones who were hanged were “men” (2 Samuel 21:6), who would have been old enough to be responsible for their moral decisions. Furthermore, notice that the text indicates that Saul’s “house” or “household” was a bloodthirsty house (2 Samuel 21:1), apparently implying that many of his relatives were involved in his murderous plots. In 2 Samuel 16:5-14, the Bible introduces a wicked man named Shimei who was “from the family of the house of Saul” (2 Samuel 16:5). And Saul’s wickedness is documented throughout the book of 1 Samuel. Could it be that Saul’s descendants who were hanged had followed in the wicked paths of many from the “house of Saul” and deserved the death penalty? Yes. Thus, it is once again impossible to use this passage to “prove” that God accepted human sacrifice.

"THE DEATH OF CHRIST

Finally, Barker alleges that the sacrifice of Christ provides an example of God accepting human sacrifice. He cited Hebrews 10:10-12 and 1 Corinthians 5:7 as evidence. Once more, Barker is guilty of egregious textual manipulation and dishonesty. Did God approve of the sinful actions of those who killed Jesus? Absolutely not. In fact, Peter explained that those who killed Jesus had done so with “lawless hands” (Acts 2:23). He further explained that they had to repent of their sins or they would be lost forever (Acts 2:38). While God used the sinful actions of Jesus’ murderers to bring about His purposes (Acts 3:17-19), He never condoned those actions. Those who murdered Jesus violated God’s law; they did not accomplish their dastardly deeds at God’s request, nor with His approval.

Barker is well aware of this truth. In fact, he has spoken in other places about Christ’s atoning sacrifice. In his book Losing Faith in Faith, Barker stated:

Christians do know how to think; but they don’t start deep enough. A thoughtful conclusion is the synthesis of antecedent presuppositions or conclusions. The propitiatory nature of Christ’s sacrificial atonement, for example, is very logical. Logical, that is, if you first accept the existence of sin, the fall of humankind, the wrath of God and divine judgment. If you don’t buy the premises, then, of course, the conclusion cannot be logical (1992, p. 60).

Barker, of course, does not “buy the premises,” but his denial of them does not make them any less logical or true. And if they are true, then he acknowledges that the sacrifice of Christ, although perpetrated by sinful men acting against God’s will, fits logically into the scheme of redemption.

CONCLUSION

God has never accepted human sacrifice. The examples that Barker has listed fail completely to manifest a contradiction in the Bible concerning God’s policy toward the practice. Barker’s lack of knowledge, or his intentional dishonesty, is evident throughout his discussion of the biblical view of human sacrifice. Since no contradiction exists, the accusation of a Bible contradiction is unfounded, and cannot be used against the Bible or the existence of God. Let us all be gravely reminded that those who twist the Scriptures, and force them to seemingly say what they do not say, do so at their own eternal peril (2 Peter 3:16).

REFERENCES

Barker, Dan (1992), Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist (Madison, WI: Freedom From Religion Foundation).

Barker, Dan (2008), godless (Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press).

Butt, Kyle (2003), “What ‘We All Know’ About a Lie,” [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/articles/1839.

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

Lyons, Eric (2009), “Does God Really Know Everything?”, [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/articles/607.

Miller, Dave (2002), “Capital Punishment and the Bible,” [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/articles/1974.

Miller, Dave (2003), “Jephthah’s Daughter,” [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/articles/4709.

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" The Danger Of Traditions (7:1-13) by Mark Copeland

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

 The Danger Of Traditions (7:1-13)
 
INTRODUCTION

1. As Jesus went about teaching, He often ran afoul of religious leaders over keeping traditions...
   a. E.g., plucking heads of grain on the Sabbath - Mk 2:23-28
   b. E.g., eating with unwashed hands - Mk 7:1-13

2. In Mk 7:1-13, Jesus describes the danger of traditions at length...
   a. How keeping them can make void the very commands of God
   b. How keeping them can make our worship vain before God

3. Traditions are very important in some religions...
   a. In Roman Catholicism, tradition is placed on par with God's Word
      1) "It is an article of faith from a decree of the Vatican Council
         that Tradition is a source of theological teaching distinct
         from Scripture, and that it is infallible.  It is therefore to
         be received with the same internal assent of Scripture, for it
         is the word of God." - Catholic Dictionary, p. 41-42
      2) "Do you have to believe in Tradition?  Yes, because it is the
         Word of God and has equal authority with the Bible." - Catholic Catechism For Adults, p. 11
   b. Protestant churches have their own traditions
      1) It is often their traditions that distinguish between the denominations
      2) To be a member of a particular denomination, one must accept its traditions

4. In this study, with Mk 7:1-13 as our basic text, we will address the following questions...
   a. What are traditions?
   b. Are traditions always wrong?
   c. If not, when does a tradition become sinful?

[Let's begin with...]

I. THE MEANING OF TRADITION

   A. THE WORD ITSELF...
      1. The Greek word is paradosis, which means "giving over" or "handing down"
      2. It refers to teaching that is handed down either by word (orally) or in writing

   B. AS UNDERSTOOD BY THE JEWS...
      1. It applied to the oral teachings of the elders (distinguished elders from Moses on down)
      2. These traditions were often divided into three classes...
         a. Oral laws supposedly given by Moses in addition to the written laws
         b. Decisions of various judges which became precedents in judicial matters
         c. Interpretations of highly respected rabbis held in reverence along with the OT scriptures
         -- Article on "Tradition", ISBE
      3. Prior to his conversion, Paul was a staunch supporter of Jewish tradition - Ga 1:13-14

   C. AS UNDERSTOOD BY ROMAN AND GREEK CATHOLICS...
      1. Their views appear to be parallel to that of the Jews
      2. What they consider "Tradition" is what they believe to be the teachings:
         a. Of Jesus or the apostles, persevered orally rather than through writing
         b. Of various councils which have left various decrees
         c. Of various church leaders (such as the pope) considered to
            be inspired with later revelations from God
      3. Of course, one is expected to take their word for it that these
         "traditions" were truly from God and have been faithfully transmitted

   D. AS FOUND IN THE SCRIPTURES...
      1. The word "tradition" as such is not found in the Old Testament
      2. It is found thirteen (13) times in New Testament
         a. Three (3) times it refers to "apostolic teaching"
            1) That which had been delivered by the apostles - 1Co 11:2
            2) Whether by word (in person) or epistle - 2Th 2:15
            3) Which Christians were expected to keep - 2Th 3:6
         b. Ten (10) times it refers to "the tradition of the elders" or "the traditions of men"
            1) As in our text and parallel passages - Mk 7:3-13; Mt 15:2-6
            2) Of which Paul warned the Colossians - Col 2:8
            3) From which Jewish Christians had been delivered - 1Pe 1:18; Ga 1:14
      3. Jesus did not feel bound to abide by "the traditions of the elders"
         a. Some traditions He had no problem with keeping
            1) Such as going to a wedding feast - Jn 2:1-2
            2) Or attending the Feast Of Dedication - Jn 10:22-23
         b. But He just as easily had no problem with violating other traditions
            1) Plucking grain on the Sabbath - Mk 2:23-28
            2) Eating with unwashed hands - Mk 7:1-5
      4. Evidently Jesus did not subscribe to the view of "traditions" handed down orally
         a. He never appealed to the traditions of the elders
         b. He either appealed to the authority of the written Word (the
            Law of Moses), or to His own authority as the Son of God

[Not all "traditions" are wrong.  If they are teachings of God, "handed
down" by inspired men, they are to be heeded (2Th 2:15).  But if they
are doctrines or interpretations handed down by uninspired men, like the
traditions of the Jews they are suspect.  As we return to our text (Mk 7:1-13), Jesus points out...]

II. THE DANGER OF TRADITIONS OF MEN

   A. THEY CAN LEAD TO HYPOCRITICAL WORSHIP...
      1. Traditions of men tend toward ritualism (just look at the
         rituals found in many religions that have no scriptural basis)
      2. Such ritualism is often done repeatedly, with little thought as to its origin and purpose
      3. It is easy to go through such rituals, with the heart and mind on other things
      4. Worship without the heart (or mind) of man is hypocritical worship! - Mk 7:6

   B. THEY CAN LEAD TO VAIN WORSHIP...
      1. When traditions of men are taught on the same level as the
         commands of God, it leads to vain worship - Mk 7:7
      2. Such worship may appear to be impressive, but it in actually "empty, worthless"
         a. First, because God did not command it
         b. Second, because it does not accomplish the good we really need - cf. Col 2:18-23

   C. THEY CAN MAKE THE WORD OF GOD VOID...
      1. Jesus gave the example of honoring one's parents - Mk 7:10-12
         a. The elders' tradition taught giving to the temple freed one from giving to one's parents
         b. Thus rendering the command of God of no effect
      2. There are traditions of men today with similar affect
         a. Such as the practice of sprinkling for baptism, a tradition of man
         b. When one keeps the tradition of sprinkling, they make the
            command of God to be baptized (immersed) of no effect!
      3. Through such traditions, one is actually rejecting the command of God! - Mk 7:8-9,13

CONCLUSION

1. What are traditions...?
   a. They are simply teachings that have been handed down
   b. In the case of inspired men (like the apostles) given in person or
      through their writings, such traditions are good and to be followed

2. Oral traditions, given through a succession of uninspired men, are at best suspect...
   a. Jesus did not hold traditions orally transmitted through the Jews on par with God's written word
   b. Nor should we hold traditions orally transmitted through men on par with God's written word

3. At worst, traditions of men can be vain and deadly...
   a. When their observance leads one to not keep a command of God
   b. When they are taught as doctrine, on par with God's word
   c. When they lead to ritualism, done without engaging the heart and mind of man

From the words of Jesus, let us beware of "The Danger Of Traditions",
and make sure that our faith and practice is based upon the written Word
of God, not the interpretations and teachings of uninspired men...!

 

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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Chick-fil-A. Christianity. And Bigotry. by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

https://thepreachersword.com/2018/09/18/chick-fil-a-christianity-and-bigotry/

Chick-fil-A. Christianity. And Bigotry.

How did I miss this insightful essay?

Back in April, the New Yorker published a piece by freelance writer Dan Piepenbring entitled “Chick-fil-A’s Creepy Infiltration of New York City.” While the article exposes the evils of fast foods, their advertising slogan “Eat Mor Chikin,” and his disapproval of opening their stores in the Big Apple, the writer seems more upset about the values of the founder, the late S. Truett Cathy, his son, Dan, the current CEO, and the conservative culture of the Corporation.

Piepenbring’s essay includes these complaints “The brand’s arrival here feels like an infiltration, in no small part because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism.”

Also “Its headquarters in Atlanta, are adorned with Bible verses and a statue of Jesus washing a disciple’s feet.

Furthermore, “Its stores close on Sundays.”

And worse yet “The restaurant’s corporate purpose still begins with the words ‘to glorify God.’”

Really, these are bad things? Promoting service to others, providing an opportunity for your employees to worship on Sunday and giving God the glory, is something to be shunned? And even excoriated?

Of course, the author is upset that their CEO opposes same-sex marriage. And that of course, is a great danger to our Republic.

Now, full disclosure demands my admission to liking Chick-fil-A. I like their sandwiches. Their salads. Their shakes. Their waffle fries. And, of course, I do like the basic values espoused by the Cathy family and the corporation. I’ve even been known to stand in long lines like New Yorkers are doing to eat there.

However, I doubt I would eat at Chick-fil-A if the food was terrible. Furthermore, not everyone is eating there because they agree with their religious views. In fact, ThePreachersWord could site some Biblical and theological differences we would have with the Cathy’s. But that’s not the point.

What seems to be missed by the angry detractors of the chicken chain as well as some religious folks, is that Christianity is not a corporate proposition. It is an individual relationship. It’s personal. No company can be Christian. In fact, no nation can be Christian. The word “Christian” is the “new name” given by God to individuals, born again followers of Jesus Christ. (Ax 11:26; Ax 26:28; 1 Pet. 4:16).

However, one’s commitments and convictions should influence their actions and attitudes in all walks of life. I recall a politician running for office several years ago who claimed to be a Christian but stated that he would not let his personal values influence his public life. Seriously?

The principles and precepts of Christianity should impact all of our relationships. In our family life, our vocation, and our social interactions, the values we embrace ought to direct our decisions and influence our choices. Morality cannot be not practiced in a vacuum. It must be open. Honest. And transparent. Our Christian walk must be exercised for all to see (Eph. 4:17-6:20). It is the essence of Christ’s command to be “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world” (Matt 5:13-16).

While bigotry is dangerous and destructive, as described in the Atlantic piece, the irony is the very fears that some seem to harbor about Christianity, are the very ones expressed toward Christians. The ideology of a sizeable segment of our society says that it is acceptable for humanists, atheists, and infidels to express their amoral views, but Christians must keep quiet.

To the contrary, more than ever, followers of Christ need to lift their voices to share the Good News both in word and in deed. Let’s let our light shine, not just in a church building, but in the marketplace. In our social interactions. And in our opportunities for public discourse.

Let us use every opportunity to  honor Jesus and  proclaim our faith. Openly. Honestly. Lovingly. And publicly.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

WHICH CHURCH? by steve finnell

 

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

WHICH CHURCH?  by steve finnell


Which church was established to teach the apostles doctrine. Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine..(NKJV)

Which church was established to teach the apostles' doctrine?

Was the Community Church established to preach the apostles' doctrine or the Community Church doctrine?

Was the Roman Catholic Church formed in order to teach the apostles' doctrine or to teach the Catholic catechism?

Was the Methodist Church founded in order to teach the apostles' doctrine or to proclaim Methodism?

Was the Baptist Church established to evangelize using the apostles doctrine or to preach Baptist doctrine?

If churches really wanted to preach the apostles' doctrine would they not use the identity of the church found in Scripture. Examples: Romans 16:16...The churches of Christ greet you. (NKJV), Acts 20:28 ...the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.(NKJV), 1 Corinthians 1:2...the church of God...sanctified in Christ Jesus.(NKJV).

Denominations take names other than those found in Scripture so as to identify the differences from their doctrine and that of the apostles' doctrine.

Jesus is the head of one church, His church. God did not establish multiple churches.

If all churches taught from the Bible and the Bible alone, then, denominational names would not  necessary.  

What's Wrong With Beauty and the Beast? by Richard Mansel

 

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

What's Wrong With Beauty and the Beast?

Do I wish to criticize the Disney film, Beauty and the Beast? No, I feel it is one of the greatest Disney movies ever made. It is the legend I am concerned about.

My thoughts for this article began germinating recently when I heard a song by Stevie Nicks of the same title. One line in that song characterizes the legend perfectly. She wrote, after describing him as a beast, "My lover is a man that must be tamed." In the fantasy a beautiful, morally pure girl meets a raging, immoral beast of a man. She shows him love and goodness and soon he is "tamed" and becomes a perfect gentleman.

A cursory glance at society sees this attemped in far too many cases. In fact, it lies at the center of many a broken home and heart.

A preacher friend of mine whom I respect very much received a call from a young lady in palpable grief over her wayward husband. She was convinced that divorce was her only hope of finding peace. As she whined about his physical and verbal abuse, his drinking, affairs and refusal to attend worship with her, my friend developed an idea. He asked if her husband had displayed these behaviors before they were wed. As he led her through them, she hesitantly admitted that he had.

He realized two things. First, she wanted to divorce this man for all the same reasons she married him. Second, the best time to get a divorce is before one gets married.

The former may puzzle you. Why did she marry him for these terrible reasons? Surely, she didn't, you say.

Well, I have never met her. However, it is not that difficult to see that throughout history, girls have been drawn to "beasts". How many thousands of stories could we find where girls have left behind the "nice boys" to return to the ones who beat them or led them to get arrested or pregnant or addicted to alcohol and drugs?

A sage has said, "Be careful what you wish for, you may get it."

Fantasies don't exist. We can wish all our lives for our spouse to be otherwise, and die disappointed. Even if we get what we desire, almost never is it what we wished it would have been. USA Today ran a poll a few years back where YM magazine had asked 15,000 girls ages 13-20 about their sexual behavior. Of those who responded, 96% of virgins and 76% of non-virgins said they had to be "in love" with someone before they had sex with them. Not surprisingly, most of those who had had sex, said they were not. In this study over half of those who were sexually active said they were too young. Reality is much more cruel than fantasy.

Satan is the "father of lies" (John 8:44) and yet more people believe him than God, "Who cannot lie" (Titus 1:2). You cannot change a person. That is his responsibility and if he has not done so by adulthood, it is very possible he does not intend to.

God says little about dating in Scripture. However, He is clear that we need to be Christians and marry people of like faith (1 Corinthians 7:39). Amos wrote, "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" (3:3). Often, a Christian girl will date a young man who lives a wild life claiming that she can convert him later. A better plan would be to try to convert him BEFORE you get married! Better yet, do not date men that are not Christians and this will never be an issue.

Richard Mansel

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

Bible Reading January 22 - 24 by Gary Rose

 

 

Bible Reading January 22 - 24

World  English  Bible

  Jan. 22

Genesis 22

Gen 22:1 It happened after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" He said, "Here I am."

Gen 22:2 He said, "Now take your son, your only son, whom you love, even Isaac, and go into the land of Moriah. Offer him there for a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I will tell you of."

Gen 22:3 Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. He split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went to the place of which God had told him.

Gen 22:4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place far off.

Gen 22:5 Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go yonder. We will worship, and come back to you."

Gen 22:6 Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son. He took in his hand the fire and the knife. They both went together.

Gen 22:7 Isaac spoke to Abraham his father, and said, "My father?" He said, "Here I am, my son." He said, "Here is the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"

Gen 22:8 Abraham said, "God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So they both went together.

Gen 22:9 They came to the place which God had told him of. Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, on the wood.

Gen 22:10 Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to kill his son.

Gen 22:11 The angel of Yahweh called to him out of the sky, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" He said, "Here I am."

Gen 22:12 He said, "Don't lay your hand on the boy, neither do anything to him. For now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."

Gen 22:13 Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and saw that behind him was a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering instead of his son.

Gen 22:14 Abraham called the name of that place Yahweh Will Provide. As it is said to this day, "On Yahweh's mountain, it will be provided."

Gen 22:15 The angel of Yahweh called to Abraham a second time out of the sky,

Gen 22:16 and said, "I have sworn by myself, says Yahweh, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son,

Gen 22:17 that I will bless you greatly, and I will multiply your seed greatly like the stars of the heavens, and like the sand which is on the seashore. Your seed will possess the gate of his enemies.

Gen 22:18 In your seed will all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice."

Gen 22:19 So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba. Abraham lived at Beersheba.

Gen 22:20 It happened after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, "Behold, Milcah, she also has borne children to your brother Nahor:

Gen 22:21 Uz his firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel the father of Aram,

Gen 22:22 Chesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel."

Gen 22:23 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. These eight Milcah bore to Nahor, Abraham's brother.

Gen 22:24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah. 

 

Jan. 23

Genesis 23

Gen 23:1 Sarah lived one hundred twenty-seven years. This was the length of Sarah's life.

Gen 23:2 Sarah died in Kiriath Arba (the same is Hebron), in the land of Canaan. Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her.

Gen 23:3 Abraham rose up from before his dead, and spoke to the children of Heth, saying,

Gen 23:4 "I am a stranger and a foreigner living with you. Give me a possession of a burying-place with you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight."

Gen 23:5 The children of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him,

Gen 23:6 "Hear us, my lord. You are a prince of God among us. Bury your dead in the best of our tombs. None of us will withhold from you his tomb. Bury your dead."

Gen 23:7 Abraham rose up, and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth.

Gen 23:8 He talked with them, saying, "If it be your mind that I should bury my dead out of my sight, hear me, and entreat for me to Ephron the son of Zohar,

Gen 23:9 that he may give me the cave of Machpelah, which he has, which is in the end of his field. For the full price let him give it to me among you for a possession of a burying-place."

Gen 23:10 Now Ephron was sitting in the middle of the children of Heth. Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the children of Heth, even of all who went in at the gate of his city, saying,

Gen 23:11 "No, my lord, hear me. I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. In the presence of the children of my people I give it to you. Bury your dead."

Gen 23:12 Abraham bowed himself down before the people of the land.

Gen 23:13 He spoke to Ephron in the audience of the people of the land, saying, "But if you will, please hear me. I will give the price of the field. Take it from me, and I will bury my dead there."

Gen 23:14 Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him,

Gen 23:15 "My lord, listen to me. What is a piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver between me and you? Therefore bury your dead."

Gen 23:16 Abraham listened to Ephron. Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver which he had named in the audience of the children of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, according to the current merchants' standard.

Gen 23:17 So the field of Ephron, which was in Machpelah, which was before Mamre, the field, the cave which was in it, and all the trees that were in the field, that were in all of its borders, were deeded

Gen 23:18 to Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all who went in at the gate of his city.

Gen 23:19 After this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre (that is, Hebron), in the land of Canaan.

Gen 23:20 The field, and the cave that is in it, were deeded to Abraham for a possession of a burying place by the children of Heth. 

 

Jan. 24

Genesis 24

Gen 24:1 Abraham was old, and well stricken in age. Yahweh had blessed Abraham in all things.

Gen 24:2 Abraham said to his servant, the elder of his house, who ruled over all that he had, "Please put your hand under my thigh.

Gen 24:3 I will make you swear by Yahweh, the God of heaven and the God of the earth, that you shall not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I live.

Gen 24:4 But you shall go to my country, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son Isaac."

Gen 24:5 The servant said to him, "What if the woman isn't willing to follow me to this land? Must I bring your son again to the land you came from?"

Gen 24:6 Abraham said to him, "Beware that you don't bring my son there again.

Gen 24:7 Yahweh, the God of heaven, who took me from my father's house, and from the land of my birth, who spoke to me, and who swore to me, saying, 'I will give this land to your seed.' He will send his angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.

Gen 24:8 If the woman isn't willing to follow you, then you shall be clear from this my oath. Only you shall not bring my son there again."

Gen 24:9 The servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.

Gen 24:10 The servant took ten camels, of his master's camels, and departed, having a variety of good things of his master's with him. He arose, and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor.

Gen 24:11 He made the camels kneel down outside the city by the well of water at the time of evening, the time that women go out to draw water.

Gen 24:12 He said, "Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham.

Gen 24:13 Behold, I am standing by the spring of water. The daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water.

Gen 24:14 Let it happen, that the young lady to whom I will say, 'Please let down your pitcher, that I may drink,' and she will say, 'Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink,'--let her be the one you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master."

Gen 24:15 It happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah came out, who was born to Bethuel the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham's brother, with her pitcher on her shoulder.

Gen 24:16 The young lady was very beautiful to look at, a virgin, neither had any man known her. She went down to the spring, filled her pitcher, and came up.

Gen 24:17 The servant ran to meet her, and said, "Please give me a drink, a little water from your pitcher."

Gen 24:18 She said, "Drink, my lord." She hurried, and let down her pitcher on her hand, and gave him drink.

Gen 24:19 When she had done giving him drink, she said, "I will also draw for your camels, until they have done drinking."

Gen 24:20 She hurried, and emptied her pitcher into the trough, and ran again to the well to draw, and drew for all his camels.

Gen 24:21 The man looked steadfastly at her, remaining silent, to know whether Yahweh had made his journey prosperous or not.

Gen 24:22 It happened, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden ring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold,

Gen 24:23 and said, "Whose daughter are you? Please tell me. Is there room in your father's house for us to lodge in?"

Gen 24:24 She said to him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom she bore to Nahor."

Gen 24:25 She said moreover to him, "We have both straw and provender enough, and room to lodge in."

Gen 24:26 The man bowed his head, and worshiped Yahweh.

Gen 24:27 He said, "Blessed be Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, who has not forsaken his loving kindness and his truth toward my master. As for me, Yahweh has led me in the way to the house of my master's relatives."

Gen 24:28 The young lady ran, and told her mother's house about these words.

Gen 24:29 Rebekah had a brother, and his name was Laban. Laban ran out to the man, to the spring.

Gen 24:30 It happened, when he saw the ring, and the bracelets on his sister's hands, and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying, "This is what the man said to me," that he came to the man. Behold, he was standing by the camels at the spring.

Gen 24:31 He said, "Come in, you blessed of Yahweh. Why do you stand outside? For I have prepared the house, and room for the camels."

Gen 24:32 The man came into the house, and he unloaded the camels. He gave straw and provender for the camels, and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.

Gen 24:33 Food was set before him to eat, but he said, "I will not eat until I have told my message." He said, "Speak on."

Gen 24:34 He said, "I am Abraham's servant.

Gen 24:35 Yahweh has blessed my master greatly. He has become great. He has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male servants and female servants, and camels and donkeys.

Gen 24:36 Sarah, my master's wife, bore a son to my master when she was old. He has given all that he has to him.

Gen 24:37 My master made me swear, saying, 'You shall not take a wife for my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live,

Gen 24:38 but you shall go to my father's house, and to my relatives, and take a wife for my son.'

Gen 24:39 I said to my master, 'What if the woman will not follow me?'

Gen 24:40 He said to me, 'Yahweh, before whom I walk, will send his angel with you, and prosper your way. You shall take a wife for my son of my relatives, and of my father's house.

Gen 24:41 Then will you be clear from my oath, when you come to my relatives. If they don't give her to you, you shall be clear from my oath.'

Gen 24:42 I came this day to the spring, and said, 'Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, if now you do prosper my way which I go--

Gen 24:43 behold, I am standing by this spring of water. Let it happen, that the maiden who comes forth to draw, to whom I will say, "Give me, I pray you, a little water from your pitcher to drink,"

Gen 24:44 and she will tell me, "Drink, and I will also draw for your camels,"--let her be the woman whom Yahweh has appointed for my master's son.'

Gen 24:45 Before I had done speaking in my heart, behold, Rebekah came forth with her pitcher on her shoulder. She went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, 'Please let me drink.'

Gen 24:46 She hurried and let down her pitcher from her shoulder, and said, 'Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink.' So I drank, and she made the camels drink also.

Gen 24:47 I asked her, and said, 'Whose daughter are you?' She said, 'The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore to him.' I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her hands.

Gen 24:48 I bowed my head, and worshiped Yahweh, and blessed Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me in the right way to take my master's brother's daughter for his son.

Gen 24:49 Now if you will deal kindly and truly with my master, tell me. If not, tell me, that I may turn to the right hand, or to the left."

Gen 24:50 Then Laban and Bethuel answered, "The thing proceeds from Yahweh. We can't speak to you bad or good.

Gen 24:51 Behold, Rebekah is before you. Take her, and go, and let her be your master's son's wife, as Yahweh has spoken."

Gen 24:52 It happened that when Abraham's servant heard their words, he bowed himself down to the earth to Yahweh.

Gen 24:53 The servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave precious things to her brother and her mother.

Gen 24:54 They ate and drank, he and the men who were with him, and stayed all night. They rose up in the morning, and he said, "Send me away to my master."

Gen 24:55 Her brother and her mother said, "Let the young lady stay with us a few days, at least ten. After that she will go."

Gen 24:56 He said to them, "Don't hinder me, seeing Yahweh has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master."

Gen 24:57 They said, "We will call the young lady, and ask her."

Gen 24:58 They called Rebekah, and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" She said, "I will go."

Gen 24:59 They sent away Rebekah, their sister, with her nurse, Abraham's servant, and his men.

Gen 24:60 They blessed Rebekah, and said to her, "Our sister, may you be the mother of thousands of ten thousands, and let your seed possess the gate of those who hate them."

Gen 24:61 Rebekah arose with her ladies. They rode on the camels, and followed the man. The servant took Rebekah, and went his way.

Gen 24:62 Isaac came from the way of Beer Lahai Roi, for he lived in the land of the South.

Gen 24:63 Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the evening. He lifted up his eyes, and saw, and, behold, there were camels coming.

Gen 24:64 Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel.

Gen 24:65 She said to the servant, "Who is the man who is walking in the field to meet us?" The servant said, "It is my master." She took her veil, and covered herself.

Gen 24:66 The servant told Isaac all the things that he had done.

Gen 24:67 Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife. He loved her. Isaac was comforted after his mother's death. 

 

Jan.  22

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." 

 

Jan. 23, 24

Matthew 12

Mat 12:1 At that time, Jesus went on the Sabbath day through the grain fields. His disciples were hungry and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.

Mat 12:2 But the Pharisees, when they saw it, said to him, "Behold, your disciples do what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath."

Mat 12:3 But he said to them, "Haven't you read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him;

Mat 12:4 how he entered into the house of God, and ate the show bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but only for the priests?

Mat 12:5 Or have you not read in the law, that on the Sabbath day, the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are guiltless?

Mat 12:6 But I tell you that one greater than the temple is here.

Mat 12:7 But if you had known what this means, 'I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless.

Mat 12:8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

Mat 12:9 He departed there, and went into their synagogue.

Mat 12:10 And behold there was a man with a withered hand. They asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?" that they might accuse him.

Mat 12:11 He said to them, "What man is there among you, who has one sheep, and if this one falls into a pit on the Sabbath day, won't he grab on to it, and lift it out?

Mat 12:12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath day."

Mat 12:13 Then he told the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out; and it was restored whole, just like the other.

Mat 12:14 But the Pharisees went out, and conspired against him, how they might destroy him.

Mat 12:15 Jesus, perceiving that, withdrew from there. Great multitudes followed him; and he healed them all,

Mat 12:16 and commanded them that they should not make him known:

Mat 12:17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,

Mat 12:18 "Behold, my servant whom I have chosen; my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit on him. He will proclaim justice to the nations.

Mat 12:19 He will not strive, nor shout; neither will anyone hear his voice in the streets.

Mat 12:20 He won't break a bruised reed. He won't quench a smoking flax, until he leads justice to victory.

Mat 12:21 In his name, the nations will hope."

Mat 12:22 Then one possessed by a demon, blind and mute, was brought to him and he healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.

Mat 12:23 All the multitudes were amazed, and said, "Can this be the son of David?"

Mat 12:24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, "This man does not cast out demons, except by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons."

Mat 12:25 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.

Mat 12:26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?

Mat 12:27 If I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.

Mat 12:28 But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you.

Mat 12:29 Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and plunder his goods, unless he first bind the strong man? Then he will plunder his house.

Mat 12:30 "He who is not with me is against me, and he who doesn't gather with me, scatters.

Mat 12:31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.

Mat 12:32 Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that which is to come.

Mat 12:33 "Either make the tree good, and its fruit good, or make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit.

Mat 12:34 You offspring of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.

Mat 12:35 The good man out of his good treasure brings out good things, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings out evil things.

Mat 12:36 I tell you that every idle word that men speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.

Mat 12:37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

Mat 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from you."

Mat 12:39 But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign will be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet.

Mat 12:40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Mat 12:41 The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, someone greater than Jonah is here.

Mat 12:42 The queen of the south will rise up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, someone greater than Solomon is here.

Mat 12:43 But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out of the man, passes through waterless places, seeking rest, and doesn't find it.

Mat 12:44 Then he says, 'I will return into my house from which I came out,' and when he has come back, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order.

Mat 12:45 Then he goes, and takes with himself seven other spirits more evil than he is, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first. Even so will it be also to this evil generation."

Mat 12:46 While he was yet speaking to the multitudes, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, seeking to speak to him.

Mat 12:47 One said to him, "Behold, your mother and your brothers stand outside, seeking to speak to you."

Mat 12:48 But he answered him who spoke to him, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?"

Mat 12:49 He stretched out his hand towards his disciples, and said, "Behold, my mother and my brothers!

Mat 12:50 For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother."