3/31/21

Morphing Flight: Beyond Irreducible Complexity by Jerry Fausz, Ph.D.

 https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=927

Morphing Flight: Beyond Irreducible Complexity

by  Jerry Fausz, Ph.D.

[EDITORS NOTE: A.P. auxillary staff scientist Dr. Fausz holds a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech.]

Researchers and observers have long recognized that birds and various other flying creatures change the positioning of their body structures in flight in order to perform specific maneuvers or adjust their aerodynamic profile to accommodate changing flight conditions. This adaptive orientation of body shape has been dubbed “morphing” in the popular literature. The words “morph” and “morphing” are actually digressive forms of the word “metamorphosis,” which derives from the Greek “meta” (to change) and “morfe” (form). This is an apt description of the ability that birds possess to change the form or geometry of their bodies for increased maneuverability, as well as for stable flight in a wide variety of ambient conditions.

This eagle is pulling its feet against its body to reduce aerodynamic drag. Note also the craning of the wings (normally used to slow descent speed) and the spreading of the wing feathers to break up wing tips vortices that increase drag.

This capability has always been respected and often mimicked by aircraft engineers to the extent that it has been technologically possible to do so. Furthermore, bird observations have often inspired technological advancement in aircraft design and development. The Wright brothers incorporated morphing into their first successfully powered aircraft design. In a letter, Wilbur Wright described the biological observation that was the basis for this morphing design:

My observation of the flight of buzzards leads one to believe that they regain their lateral stability when partly overturned by a gust of wind, by a torsion of the tips of the wings (Wright, 1900, Image 4).

Consequently, the Wright brothers designed their first aircraft to be able to “twist” its wings for lateral stability and control, mimicking bird capability. Another well-known example of morphing in aircraft design is retractable landing gear which serves the same purpose for aircraft as when a bird pulls its feet up to its body in flight. That is, this type of morphing dramatically decreases aerodynamic drag which, in turn, increases energy efficiency for the bird of prey—which translates to fuel efficiency in aircraft. Additional “low-tech” examples of morphing include movable control surfaces used to impart forces and torques on the aircraft for maneuvering and stability, wing “slats,” “slots,” and “flaps” that extend to change the shape of the wing, providing higher lift at lower speeds for takeoff and landing, and variable “sweep” wings that allow aircraft to fly efficiently at dramatically differing flight speeds, such as in transitioning from subsonic to supersonic flight. In contrast with these examples of “low tech” morphing designs of the past, a morphing aircraft has been defined as “one that utilizes innovative actuators, effectors, or mechanisms to adapt its state substantially in order to enhance behavior and performance in addressing multiple environments” (Love, et al., 2007, emp. added). These past examples of morphing technologies were certainly innovative in their time, but are now fairly commonplace—not even considered “morphing” by some.

Nonetheless, research in new innovation for morphing aircraft is once again looking to birds for inspiration and guidance. NASA Administrator Dan Goldin stated:

NASA will open the door to a bold and revolutionary era by using technology to mimic nature. The seemingly effortless flight of birds provides the inspiration for new aircraft utilizing wings that reconfigure in flight. The vehicle changes—or morphs—from a low-speed configuration to one more suited for high speed (as quoted in Levine, 2001).

NASA is not the only organization actively pursuing aircraft morphing technology, however. A recent article described an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) currently under development, called “Roboswift” as “a small, remote-controlled aircraft that changes shape to mimic the aerodynamic profile of a swift” (Simonite, 2008). A researcher at the University of Florida, also studying morphing technology for UAVs, commented:

Despite the past century of innovation in aircraft technology, the versatility of modern aircraft remains far worse than airborne biological counterparts. The shape changing accomplished by birds and bats in flight stands as one of the few examples of true morphing. As such, the aircraft community is devoting considerable attention to the study of biological systems and how they might be implemented on a flight vehicle (Abdulrahim, 2005, emp. added).

Clearly, research in aircraft technology and design continues to draw ideas and inspiration from nature’s flyers. It is also clear that our technical capabilities seriously lag behind their natural abilities.

In spite of the fact that aerospace researchers have birds and other flying creatures to show them “how it’s done,” morphing aircraft design poses some very daunting technical challenges. This fact was discussed in an article describing the Morphing Aircraft Structures (MAS) project being carried out by the Lockheed Martin company with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA):

Morphing technology development requires integrated research in materials, smart structures, multi-functional airframe, and adaptive control. It is necessary to evaluate these constitutive technologies in a morphing vehicle to establish requirements and assure readiness for technology implementation (Love, et al., 2007).

Another research team, funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Northrup Grumman, further stated: “Significant design challenges require advances in smart structures and materials (skins), actuation and power distribution, and feedback control of the morphing structure” (Ghandi, et al., 2007). The implication here is that morphing design is highly multi-disciplinary (structures, aerodynamics, control, etc.) and that all of these areas require additional research before the technology readiness level will be sufficient to actually build a true morphing aircraft. These examples only scratch the surface of the extreme levels of government funding and human resources that have gone into morphing aircraft research, yet there is still much work that must be done before a viable design can be realized, mainly due to the multi-disciplinary nature of the problem.

Given the substantial resources that have been poured into morphing aircraft research without yet achieving the final objective, it seems inconceivable that researchers would look at their biological inspiration and assume that the capabilities they are striving to emulate were derived from an unprompted, undirected natural process. That is, however, what often occurs. Consider what one evolutionist insisted:

This provides a cautionary note for those pursuing biomimicry, direct replication of biological features: essential aspects of those biological features may be driven by secondary characteristics or functions unrelated to the features’ primary functions. The bat wing, with all of its elegant modifications for flight, is an obvious example. It is derived from a typical vertebrate forelimb with all of the associated musculature, skeletal, and neuronal architectural characteristics that were originally developed for terrestrial or aboreal locomotion. That is, it was not designed for propulsive flight a priori as an engineered device might be, but was modified from other structures that originated for other functions (Evers, 2007, p. 10).

Dr. Evers issued a warning here to all those engaged in morphing aircraft research that are proceeding from the perspective of biomimicry (copying nature)—that they may be in fact designing structures that are not optimally suited to their purpose because they are copying from organic structures that, presumably, were not designed for the purpose they serve. Note, however, that Dr. Evers states that the bat wing was “modified from other structures that originated for other functions” (p. 10, emp. added). One might wonder how the bat wing “was not designed for propulsive flight a priori,” but the “typical vertebrate forelimb,” from which it supposedly derived, “originated for other functions.” This type of “doublespeak” is not uncommon, however, in Darwinist writings, and it belies an underlying difficulty with Darwinian thought. Nature’s machines are so good at what they do that it is difficult for even die-hard Darwinists to accept that they all arose as a result of an undirected process even while arguing that they did.

Dr. Evers’ comments also illustrate how Darwinists will often focus on the structural aspects of animal functionality when comparing characteristics of different animals. As we have already noted here, however, morphing flight is an example of a capability that involves so much more than just the structural configurations that give animals such as bats, birds and butterflies the ability to fly. Indeed, morphing flight is a highly multi-disciplinary skill. The different disciplinary facets of morphing may be broken down as follows:

SENSING

Flying creatures and machines must be able to detect or sense the condition of the atmosphere around them, as well as their own position and structural configuration, in order to be able to carry out the activity of flying in a given environment. Examples of the types of data that must be gathered include air speed, altitude, air pressure, position relative to other objects, and the position and shape of their wings at each moment (especially true if morphing is being employed). This capability can involve highly specialized sensors in aircraft such as angular rate gyros for measuring orientation, and ports along the wing for measuring air pressure. Flying animals are able to make use of typical animal sensing capabilities such as vision, hearing, and smell, but must also rely on some very special sensor systems. Examples of these special sensors in animals include echo-location in bats (Colley, 2004), a bird’s ability to sense linear and angular acceleration with its ears (Pennycuick, 2008, p. 307), and highly sensitive hair-like mechanoreceptors that allow insects to sense the approach of potential predators (Vaidyanathan, et.al., 2001). It has even been suggested, in recent research, that birds can sense the magnetic field of the Earth, providing valuable information for navigation (Brahic, 2008).

COMPUTATION

The sensor inputs from eyes, ears, etc., as well as specialized sensor systems, must be integrated and processed in the brain for biological flyers, or alternatively, the flight computer if one is considering the sensor systems of flying machines. The processing that must be carried out includes specialized algorithms for flight stability, guidance, navigation, and control. Flight stability is arguably the most important of these functions, since without stability it is impossible to remain in flight, and lack of stability in flying can easily lead to tragic results. In aircraft, flight stability algorithms are executed at the highest possible processing speeds and given top priority for processor usage. Guidance is the function that determines, to the highest possible accuracy, where the flyer is currently located, particularly with respect to where it needs to go. On the other hand, navigation compares guidance information with known geographical waypoints to compute the “best” course for the flyer to follow to end up where the guidance function wants it to go. The control function takes guidance and navigation information and generates commands for the actuation system to steer the flyer along the computed course. In biological flyers, these commands are electrical impulses from the brain that stimulate specific muscles and organs. In aircraft, the commands are also electrical signals that activate electric motors or trigger hydraulic actuation. Given the computational requirements of flight locomotion, it may not be surprising that the size of a bird’s brain with respect to its body size is, on average, 10 times that of the reptiles with whom they are assumed to share common ancestry (Jerison, 2004).

ACTUATION

Morphing flight requires highly specialized structures, but it also requires equally specialized actuators to move and position those structures. The very definition of morphing aircraft, given previously, describes an aircraft that “utilizes innovative actuators, effectors, or mechanisms” (Love, et al., 2004). Natural flyers, as well, require a specialized skeletal structure and attached musculature to perform their amazing feats of aerial acrobatics. Mujahid Abdulrahim discussed the wing craning actuator on his morphing aircraft design and the specialized bird structure that it was modeled after:

The wing craning (gull-wing) mechanism is loosely modeled after a set of parallel bones connecting the shoulder and elbow joints of a bird wing. A rotation of the shoulder joint in the vertical plane results in an extension or contraction of the entire wing. The skeletal mechanism provides a geometric ratio between the extension of the inner and outer bones. Such a mechanism allows the bird to morph into a variety of positions using a single movement. Each of the positions is largely stable and affords a unique capability within the flight envelope (2005).

The specialization of this “skeletal mechanism” for morphing flight is clearly illustrated in this narrative, and the muscles that actuate these motions would be expected also to be specialized for the task in their attachments to the skeletal structure, as well as their configuration.

So, each of these “subsystems” require specialized components to fulfill their part in enabling the wonders of morphing flight. The manner in which these subsystems interact, however, is equally critical to the success of morphing in providing a positive contribution to flight capability. The sensory outputs have to provide specific information to be useful for stability, guidance and navigation, and the computational capability has to have sufficient processing capacity and be “wired” in such a way as to operate effectively on that information. Similarly, the computation function has to possess information about actuator configuration and dynamics in order to output appropriate command signals to achieve the objective of flight stability and to successfully execute the desired motion in flight. Finally, the actuators have to possess the dynamic range, as well as force and torque magnitudes, to achieve the necessary changes in body shape and position in a timely fashion.

Multiple components of bird anatomy have been studied in the literature with respect to the irreducible complexity they possess regarding the bird’s ability to fly. For example, Matthew Vanhorn discussed the amazing complexity of bird feathers (Vanhorn, 2004), Caleb Colley pointed out how bats use their ears (hearing) for echolocation (2004), and irreducible complexity has been examined in general terms with regard to various components of bird physiology (Fausz, 2008). These discussions of the various elements of bird physiology are compelling irreducible complexity arguments when one considers the specialized requirements of flight systems (cf. Miller, 2006, 5[2]:5-R).

This block diagram illustrates the interconnection and interdependence of the major subsystems involved in achieving advanced flight capability.

When these physical components are considered in a system context, however, the arguments of irreducible complexity are taken to a whole new level. As discussed, the bird’s brain must have sufficient capacity to carry out the required computations, but this capacity is useless for flight without the required sensor information or the appropriate actuation systems for carrying out the computed commands. Likewise, without the necessary brain capacity the specialized sensing and actuation components would serve no purpose, and would likely be detrimental to survival. Useful flight capability is not possible without flight stability, at a minimum, and this is only possible if the necessary sensor, computer, and actuator components are all in place. Indeed, attempting flight without stability will, with high probability, result in the death of the flyer.

The multi-disciplinary nature of morphing flight has already been discussed, but is further reflected in the following:

To lay the foundation for a truly multi-role aircraft, multidisciplinary research efforts are currently focusing on technologies that enable substantial changes to the wing configuration.... Aerodynamics analysis [sic] (including unsteady and transient aerodynamics) are also important to accurately characterize the vehicle for control surface sizing, engine compatibility, and flight-control design. Despite significant strides to develop wing structure and actuation systems, much work remains to effectively control both the morphing planform as well as the entire morphing aircraft (Ghandi, et al., 2007).

This discussion illustrates that, even in focused research, it is difficult to make sure that all aspects of a significant multi-disciplinary problem are given adequate attention. This is no less true when it comes to biological creatures capable of morphing flight.

The irreducible complexity associated with bird feathers and other components of bird physiology are enough of a challenge to the Darwinian notion of natural selection to render it impractical. However, when one considers the system level implications of morphing flight, and the necessity of simultaneous development of multiple combinations of these physical components, natural selection as an explanation for morphing flight capability is seen to be absolutely irrational. Furthermore, the difficulty of achieving this capability in flying machines, even with substantial resources focused within a significant research effort, illustrates that birds are the product of, not just design, but of an incredibly capable Designer with an unparalleled understanding of the multi-disciplinary nature of the problem. That Designer, of course, is God, who spoke to Job on this subject:

Does the hawk fly by your wisdom,

and spread its wings toward the south?

Does the eagle mount up at your

command, and make its nest on high?

On the rocks it dwells and resides,

on the crag of the rock and the stronghold.

From there it spies out the prey; its

eyes observe from afar (Job 39:26-29).

Here God describes the computational capability inherent in a hawk flying by “wisdom” and an eagle by “command.” He also indicates the tremendous acuity of the eagle’s eyes for sensing prey, as well as several other facts about the behavior of these birds. Truly, only an omniscient, omnipotent God would possess this knowledge and the ability to apply it in such wondrous works of design and creation. Few birds have more impressive morphing flight capability than birds of prey, such as hawks and eagles, making them perfect examples of the amazing design ability of the Creator.

REFERENCES

Abdulrahim, Mujahid (2005), “Flight Performance Characteristics of a Biologically-Inspired Morphing Aircraft,” 43rd AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, January 10-13, Reno, NV.

Brahic, Catherine (2008), “Birds Can ‘See’ the Earth’s Magnetic Field,” New Scientist, [On-line], URL: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13811-birds-can-see-the-earths-magnetic-field.html.

Colley, Caleb (2004), “Bat ‘Vision’,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2633.

Evers, J.H. (2007), “Biological Inspiration for Agile Autonomous Air Vehicles,” Platform Innovations and System Integration for Unmanned Air, Land and Sea Vehicles (AVT-SCI Joint Symposium). Meeting Proceedings RTO-MP-AVT-146, Paper 15: 1-14. Neuilly-sur-Seine, France: RTO, [On-line], URL: http://www.rto.nato.int/abstracts.asp.

Fausz, Jerry (2008), “Designed to Fly,” Reason and Revelation, 28[2]:9-15, February, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/3599.

Ghandi, N., Jha, A., Monaco, J., Seigler, T.M., Ward, D. and Inman, D.J. (2007), “Intelligent Control of a Morphing Aircraft,” 48th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, April 23-26, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Jerison, Harry J. (2004), “Dinosaur Brains,” Encyclopedia of Neuroscience (CDROM: Elsevier), third edition.

Levine, Jay (2001), “The Morphing Aircraft,” The Dryden X-Press, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, [On-line], URL: http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/Newsroom/X-Press/stories/043001/new_morph.html.

Love, M.H., Zink, P.S., Stroud, R.L., Bye, D.R., Rizk, S. and White, D. (2007), “Demonstration of Morphing Technology through Ground and Wind Tunnel Tests,” 48th AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AHS/ASC Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference, April 23-26, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Miller, Dave (2006), “Bee Flight Physics,” Reason & Revelation, 5[2]:5-R, February, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2839.

Pennycuick, Colin J. (2008), Modelling the Flying Bird (San Diego, CA: Academic Press), first edition.

Simonite, Tom (2008), “Morphing Aircraft Mimics a Bird on the Wing,” New Scientist, March 6, [On-line], URL: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13419-morphing-aircraft-mimics-a-bird-on-the-wing.html.

Vaidyanathan, Ravi, Roger D. Quinn, Roy E. Ritzmann, and Troy S. Prince (2001), “An Insect-Inspired Endgame Targeting Reflex for Autonomous Munitions,” International Conference on Intelligence Robots and Systems, October, 2001, Wailea, Hawaii.

Vanhorn, Matthew (2004), “Words of a Feather,” Apologetics Press, [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2610.

Wright, Wilbur (1900), “Letter to Octave Chanute,” The Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers, May 13, Library of Congress, [On-line], URL: http://tinyurl.com/ybropwa.

More In-Your-Face Atheism by Eric Lyons, M.Min.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2604

More In-Your-Face Atheism

by  Eric Lyons, M.Min.

America’s Founding Fathers believed in God, with the overwhelming majority of them claiming affiliation with Christianity (see Miller, 2008). Our forefathers prayed to God in private and in public, exalted the Almighty in their assemblies, and acknowledged Him as sovereign in their speeches and writings. On our coinage is “in God we trust,” in our pledge is “one nation under God,” and in the fourth verse of our national anthem is “our motto: ‘In God is our trust’.” Our nation’s capital is replete with references to the God of the Bible. “God” is inscribed on the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the U.S. Capitol, and the Library of Congress.

Sadly, though “God” is etched in stone in our capital’s most historic landmarks, this winter, Washington, D.C.’s bus riders are encouraged to forget God. The American Humanist Association has spent $40,000 to place “holiday ads” on D.C.’s buses. Their slogan: “Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake” (“Why Believe...?” 2008; “Humanists Launch...,” 2008). According to the American Humanists’ Web site, this message will be “blazoned on the sides, taillights, and interiors of over 200 Washington D.C. Metro buses” (“Humanists Launch...,” emp. added).

Such in-your-face atheism is nothing new to America, and certainly not to the United Kingdom. Throughout 2008, the American Humanist Association advertised across the nation on highway billboards: “Don’t believe in God? You are not alone” (“Humanists Launch...”). In the United Kingdom, the British Humanist Association began a bus campaign in London only a few weeks prior to the one in America’s capital. Their message: “There’s Probably No God. Now Stop Worrying and Enjoy Your Life” (“Atheists Plan...,” 2008). Supporters of the U.K. campaign included the world’s most well-known atheist, Richard Dawkins, who gave $9,000. [NOTE: Reportedly, the word “probably” was inserted in the ad only “to ensure the posters didn’t breach transit advertising regulations, which stipulate ads should not offend religious people” (“Atheists Plan...”).]

Make no mistake: today’s militant atheism in America is in-your-face as much as ever. America and many other countries around the world (especially those in Western Europe) are facing the most brazen atheism in their history. Journalists call it “the new atheism” (“Why Believe...?”). Our prayer is that individual Christians and churches throughout the world take heed to the apostle Paul’s admonition to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). We must strive to “speak the words of truth and reason” (Acts 26:25), and “be ready to give a defense to everyone” (1 Peter 3:15). Indeed, “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).

Recognize that there is a battle over the most fundamental pillar of Christianity (the existence of God). Equip yourself and your family members with the tools needed to build a strong faith—one based on reason and revelation. Let us know if we can assist you in any way.

REFERENCES

“Atheists Plan Anti-God Ad Campaign on Buses” (2008), Associated Press, October 23, [On-line], URL: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,443705,00.html.

“Humanists Launch Godless Holiday Campaign” (2008), American Humanist Association, [On-line], URL: http://www.whybelieveingod.org/pressrelease.html.

Miller, Dave (2008), The Silencing of God (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).

“‘Why Believe in a God?’ Ad Campaign Launches on D.C. Buses” (2008), Associated Press, November 12, [On-line], URL: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,450445,00.html.

Morality Without Religion? by Dave Miller, Ph.D.

 

https://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=3480

Morality Without Religion?

by  Dave Miller, Ph.D.

Bible and Scales

In the incessant conspiracy to expel the God of the Bible from public life and to dismantle America’s Christian heritage, a variety of ploys and myths frequently is floated by those who profess “political correctness.” One commonly heard quip is: “We can have morality without religion” (e.g., Barker, 2006). Those who advocate such thinking insist that Christianity must be removed from the public sector—whether in government or public schools. They declare that morality is distinct from religion, and that individuals will acknowledge and embrace morality in the absence of Christianity. It was Hitler who said, “The great masses of the people...more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a little one” (1933, 1:10).

The fact is that the Creator of the human race is the sole Author and Source of objective morality. Otherwise, moral distinctions would simply be the product of the subjective whims of humans. Morality would thus legitimately vary from person to person and country to country. One society might decide to legalize pedophilia while another might make it illegal—and both would be “right” in the sense that everyone would be free to formulate their own moral standards. The result would be complete and utter social anarchy in which every person would be equally free to believe and behave however he or she chooses. No wonder Thomas Jefferson insisted: “I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively” (1789).

Charles Carroll
Charles Carroll

In stark contrast, the Bible presents the only logical and sane assessment of reality—an objective standard, authored by the Creator, exists for the entire human race. That standard resides within the confines of the Christian religion as articulated in the New Testament. Unless human civilization gauges its moral behavior according to that objective, absolute framework, moral and spiritual chaos in society will be the end result. In the words of Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence: “Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they, therefore, who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure...are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments” (as quoted in Steiner, 1907, p. 475, emp. added).

Yet, for some fifty years now, Americans have been pummeled with the humanistic notion that morality can be maintained in society to the exclusion of Christianity. With almost prophetic anticipation, the very first president of the United States—the Father of our country—anticipated and addressed this sinister misnomer. After serving his country for two terms as president, George Washington delivered his farewell address to the nation, dispelling the “morality-without-religion” theory in sweeping tones:

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government. The rule, indeed, extends with more or less force to every species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric? (1796, pp. 22-23, emp. added).

Washington was simply echoing the teaching of the Bible. He recognized that the American republic was founded on the moral principles of the Christian religion. He understood that to abandon the Christian religion was ultimately to abandon the moral principles inherent in that religion. He also affirmed that those who “shake the foundation of the fabric,” by undermining the importance of Christian morality, are not sincere friends of America. Indeed, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34). “For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you shall perish, and those nations shall be utterly ruined” (Isaiah 60:12).

REFERENCES

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

Hitler, Adolf (1933), Mein Kampf, [On-line], URL: http://www.hitler.org/writings/Mein_Kampf/mkv1ch10.html.

Jefferson, Thomas (1789), “Letter to James Madison, August 28, 1789,” The Works of Thomas Jefferson in Twelve Volumes, ed. Paul Leicester Ford, [On-line], URL: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/mtj:@field(DOCID+@lit (tj050135)).

Steiner, Bernard (1907), The Life and Correspondence of James McHenry (Cleveland, OH: Burrows Brothers).

Washington, George (1796), Address of George Washington, President of the United States...Preparatory to His Declination (Baltimore, MD: George & Henry Keating).

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK" Faith And Forgiveness (11:20-26)

 

"THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

Faith And Forgiveness (11:20-26)
 

INTRODUCTION

1. So far in Mark’s account of the Last Week, we have considered...
   a. The triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Sunday - Mk 11:1-11
   b. The cursing of the fig tree and cleansing of the temple on Monday - Mk 11:12-19

2. On Tuesday, the day begins with Jesus and His disciples passing by the fig tree...
   a. Which was withered to its roots - Mk 11:20
   b. Wherein Peter comments, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You
      cursed has withered away!" - Mk 11:21

[Jesus uses the opportunity to teach His disciples two important
lessons, both related to prayer.  We do well to give careful heed to
what Jesus taught His disciples, beginning with...]

I. FAITH AND PRAYER

   A. THE NARRATIVE...
      1. Jesus tells His disciples to have faith in God - Mk 11:22
      2. He says that with faith and no doubt, a mountain can be cast into the sea - Mk 11:23
      3. He tells them that if they pray believing they will receive,
         whatever they ask will be given them - Mk 11:24

   B. SOME OBSERVATIONS...
      1. This passage clearly teaches the importance of faith in prayer, yet many have abused it
         a. Taking it too literally
         b. Ignoring what the Bible teaches elsewhere regarding prayer
      2. Moving a mountain was a metaphor in Jewish literature for doing
         what was seemingly impossible (Isa 40:4; 49:11; 54:10; cf. Mt 21:21-22). 
         Those who believe in God can have confidence that he
         will accomplish even the impossible, according to his sovereign will. - ESV Study Bible
      3. The ESV Study Bible offers further insights worth considering:
         a. God delights to "give good things to those who ask him" (Mt 7:11
            and is capable of granting any prayer though we must
            ask with godly motives (Jm 4:3) and according to God’s will (1Jn 5:14)
         b. Those who trust God for the right things in the right way
            can have confidence that God will "supply every need...
            according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus" (Php 4:19),
            knowing that he will work "all things together for good" and
            will "graciously give us all things" (Ro 8:28,32)
         c. Some have misused this verse by telling people that if they
            pray for physical healing (or for some other specific
            request) and if they just have enough faith, then they can
            have confidence that God has already done (or will do) whatever they ask
         d. But we must always have the same perspective that Jesus had
            - that is, confidence in God’s power but also submission to
            his will: "Father, all things are possible for you - Yet not
            what I will, but what you will" (Mk 14:36)
      4. So let us seek to grow in faith as we pray, but also with
         understanding that what we ask must be in harmony with the will of God
      5. If we feel that we lack in faith, there are two things we can do to grow in faith:
         a. Read the Word of God - cf. Ro 10:17
         b. Pray that the Lord will help increase our faith - cf. Mk 9:24; Lk 17:5

[The importance of faith in prayer cannot be overestimated.  But neither
can the importance of praying with a forgiving spirit...]

II. FORGIVENESS AND PRAYER

   A. THE NARRATIVE...
      1. Jesus enjoins the need to forgive others as we pray - Mk 11:25
      2. Without a forgiving heart, we cannot hope to receive forgiveness ourselves - Mk 11:26

   B. SOME OBSERVATIONS...
      1. Forgiving others was very important to Jesus, as stressed time and again
         a. In the sermon on the mount - Mt 5:7; 6:12-15
         b. In response to Peter’s question - Mt 18:21-22
         c. In the parable of the unforgiving servant - Mt 18:23-25
         d. In the sermon on the plain - Lk 6:37
         e. In teaching the disciples how to pray - Lk 11:4
         f. In teaching His disciples to forgive - Lk 17:3-4
      2. Jesus and His followers demonstrated the forgiving spirit
         a. Jesus on the cross - Lk 23:34
         b. Stephen as he was being stoned - Ac 7:59-60
         c. Paul when he was abandoned - 2Ti 4:16
      3. We must develop the forgiving spirit, which we can do by:
         a. Focusing on God’s love for us - Ro 5:8; 1Jn 4:10-11
         b. Remembering Christ’s willingness to die and forgive - 1Jn 3:16; Lk 23:34
         c. Meditating on the passages above about the importance of forgiving others

CONCLUSION

1. We have considered two very important conditions for having our prayers answered...
   a. Faith, that we believe what we ask according to God’s will shall
      be done, for God does not answer the prayers of doubters - Jm 1:6-8
   b. Forgiveness, for unless we forgive God will not forgive, and God
      does not hear the prayers of the unrighteous - 1Pe 3:12

2. What Jesus teaches about faith and forgiveness is challenging...
   a. But consider the blessings that will come from acceptable prayer!
   b. Where we must confess a weak faith and an unforgiving spirit, let
      us pray that grace will create in us a new heart!

Such grace comes through responding to the gospel of the grace of God...
- cf. Tit 2:11-14; 3:4-7
 
 Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

Newsflash! All Lives Matter. by Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

https://thepreachersword.com/2015/08/04/newsflash-all-lives-matter/#more-7582

Newsflash! All Lives Matter.

races babies

“We say so often … do black lives matter? And at the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves, do all lives matter — regardless of race, creed, color, economic status, what profession that person holds? All lives matter.”

The above quote is from an African-American, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong. It was spoken at a news conference over the week-end following the murder of a Memphis police officer, Sean Bolton, 33, who was shot multiple times Saturday night. He was taken to a hospital in critical condition but later pronounced dead. 

Speaking of Bolton, a white man, Armstrong said, “Last night, we lost not only an officer, but a great man, a dedicated servant to our community, and a family member.”

Officer Armstrong’s comments seem to be a bit of a push back against the liberal Black activist group “Back Lives Matter” whose rallying cry is against blacks unfairly targeted by police.

Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon from Johns Hopkins, and currently a candidate for President, was more direct when he recently spoke at a rally to defund Planned Parenthood. He called the movement “divisive” and “silly.”

“Of course all lives matter. I don’t want to get into it, it’s so silly,” said Dr. Carson, “Black lives are part of all lives, right? When we’re talking about a culture of life, then we ought to be talking about a culture of life and not allow ourselves to get caught up in all the divisive rhetoric and terminology and political correctness. It’s the reason we can’t make any progress as a society.”

In fact, Presidential candidates from both the right and the left, including Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Jeb Bush, have been criticized for saying “All lives matter.” O’Malley recently apologized for saying “all lives matter.”

“We’re so uptight and so politically correct now that we apologize for saying lives matter?” commented Jeb Bush. “Life is precious. It’s a gift from God. I frankly think that it’s one of the most important values that we have.

Of course, African-American Pro Life groups have been saying that “Black Lives Matter” since abortion was legalized with the decision of Roe v Wade in 1973. According to one source, over 16 million black babies have been slaughtered by the abortion mills in the past 40 years. They account for almost 40% of all abortions.

Yes, black lives matter. White lives matter. The unborn lives matter. All lives matter.

Why?

Because life is a gift from God. He is the Creator. The Giver of life. And the Sustainer of life.   The apostle affirmed this Truth in his sermon on Mars Hill in Athens. He proclaimed that “God…made the world and everything in it…And he has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth…..for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.” (Acts 17:24-31).

Sadly, some folks in our mixed up, messed up world, get more worked up over the shooting of a lion named Cecil than they are over the murder of over 58 million unborn babies and the selling of their body parts.

The Bible says that “God so loved the world.” That means Black. White. Hispanic. Asian.  And the unborn in the womb. All are created in the image and likeness of God, with an eternal soul that is valued by the Almighty.

As a kid, I remember singing a song in Bible class that goes like this.

Jesus loves the little children,

All the children of the world.

Red and yellow, black and white

They are precious in His sight,

Jesus loves the little children of the world

In a secular society that is fractured by partisan politics, humanistic dogma, political correctness and immoral philosophies remember this: Life Matters. All Life Matters. Because God is its source.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

DIETARY RED FLAG! BY STEVE FINNELL

 

https://steve-finnell.blogspot.com/2016/11/dietary-red-flag-by-steve-finnell-what.html

 

DIETARY RED FLAG! BY STEVE FINNELL


What would be a valid indicator of men falling from the truth of Christianity?

1 Timothy 4:1-5 But the Spirit explicitly say that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrine of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.

Dietary restrictions and falling from the faith are linked.

Peter's Vision.

Acts 10:9-15.....12 and there were in it all kinds of four-footed animal and crawling creatures of the earth and birds of the air. 13 A voice came to him, "Get up, Peter, kill and eat!" 14 But Peter said, ""By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean." 15 Again a voice came to him a second time, "What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy."

Dietary restrictions were abolished by God.

 If you are keeping the dietary restriction found in Leviticus Chapter 11, you may want  to do a reassessment of your faith.

Dietary restrictions, along with Sabbath keeping were nailed to the cross.(Colossians 2:14)

We must all speak the same thing by Roy Davison

 

http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/onevoice.html

We must all speak the same thing

"Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10).

"Be of the same mind toward one another" (Romans 12:16).

Many think this level of agreement is impossible. Yet, Christians are told to "be perfectly joined together;" to think, speak and act in harmony. This is possible, but only with the help of God.

We can speak the same thing if we follow Christ.

All who follow Christ are united in Him.

Following someone else causes division. That was the problem at Corinth. Paul continues: "For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, 'I am of Paul,' or 'I am of Apollos,' or 'I am of Cephas,' or 'I am of Christ.' Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?" (1 Corinthians 1:11-13).

Division is caused by following the founder or leader of some denomination rather than Christ.

To follow Christ means to obey Him.

To speak the same thing, we must speak according to God's word: "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God" (1 Peter 4:11).

To be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment, our thoughts, words and actions must be guided by the word of God. How can we be divided if we obey Christ? Paul admonished Timothy: "But as for you, continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:14-17).

We may not go beyond what is written (1 Corinthians 4:6). "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son" (2 John 9).

Division is caused by people who follow fables rather than the word of God. Paul wrote to Timothy: "I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Timothy 4:1-4).

"Preach the word!" All who preach the Word of God, speak the same thing, "holding fast the faithful word" (Titus 1:9), "speaking the truth in love" (Ephesians 4:15).

Division comes from a lack of love for the truth. People are devoted to false doctrines, their own ideas, the latest fads, the wisdom of this world and the traditions of men. Jesus said to the self-righteous, pious people of His time: "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.' For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men'" ... "All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition" (Mark 7:6-9).

Unity exists by definition in the body of Christ, His church.

"But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another" (1 Corinthians 12:24,25).

Division does not come from God. "For God is not the author of confusion but of peace" (1 Corinthians 14:33). He has given us all we need, to be one in Christ.

Paul explains this in his letter to the Ephesians: "I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore He says: 'When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.' (Now this, 'He ascended' what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness by which they lie in wait to deceive, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ -- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love" (Ephesians 4:1-16).

Why then is there so much division?

This is the fault of those who do not follow Christ, who do not speak according to God's Word, who turn away from the truth and listen to fables, who go beyond what is written, who do not remain in the doctrine of Christ.

Division is inevitable between those who follow Christ and those who do not follow Christ. "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" (Amos 3:3).

Paul explains this to the Corinthians, whom he admonished to speak the same thing: "For first of all, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you, and in part I believe it. For there must also be factions among you, that those who are approved may be recognized among you" (1 Corinthians 11:18,19).

If we are approved by God, we experience unity in the body of Christ: if we follow Christ, speak according to God's word, love the truth and turn away from fables, if we continue in the doctrine of Christ and do not go beyond what is written.

If we do not listen to the Head, we are not in the body. When Christ controls our thoughts, words and actions, we will think, speak and act as one, as one body. Then we have one Spirit, one faith, one baptism, and one Lord.

My prayer to God is "that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel" (Philippians 1:27).

"Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 15:5,6).

Roy Davison

The Scripture quotations in this article are from
The New King James Version. ©1979,1980,1982,
Thomas Nelson Inc., Publishers unless indicated otherwise.
Permission for reference use has been granted.

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

Bible Reading for March 31 and April 1 by Gary Rose

 

Bible Reading for March 31 and April 1

World  English  Bible

 

Mar. 31

Leviticus 17, 18

Lev 17:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,

Lev 17:2 "Speak to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them: 'This is the thing which Yahweh has commanded,

Lev 17:3 Whatever man there is of the house of Israel, who kills a bull, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or who kills it outside the camp,

Lev 17:4 and hasn't brought it to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to offer it as an offering to Yahweh before the tabernacle of Yahweh: blood shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people.

Lev 17:5 This is to the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices, which they sacrifice in the open field, that they may bring them to Yahweh, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to the priest, and sacrifice them for sacrifices of peace offerings to Yahweh.

Lev 17:6 The priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of Yahweh at the door of the Tent of Meeting, and burn the fat for a pleasant aroma to Yahweh.

Lev 17:7 They shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat idols, after which they play the prostitute. This shall be a statute forever to them throughout their generations.'

Lev 17:8 "You shall say to them, 'Any man there is of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice,

Lev 17:9 and doesn't bring it to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to sacrifice it to Yahweh; that man shall be cut off from his people.

Lev 17:10 " 'Any man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who eats any kind of blood, I will set my face against that soul who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people.

Lev 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes atonement by reason of the life.

Lev 17:12 Therefore I have said to the children of Israel, "No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who lives as a foreigner among you eat blood."

Lev 17:13 " 'Whatever man there is of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who takes in hunting any animal or bird that may be eaten; he shall pour out its blood, and cover it with dust.

Lev 17:14 For as to the life of all flesh, its blood is with its life: therefore I said to the children of Israel, "You shall not eat the blood of any kind of flesh; for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off."

Lev 17:15 " 'Every person that eats what dies of itself, or that which is torn by animals, whether he is native-born or a foreigner, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening: then he shall be clean.

Lev 17:16 But if he doesn't wash them, or bathe his flesh, then he shall bear his iniquity.' "


Lev 18:1 Yahweh said to Moses,

Lev 18:2 "Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, 'I am Yahweh your God.

Lev 18:3 You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived: and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you; neither shall you walk in their statutes.

Lev 18:4 You shall do my ordinances, and you shall keep my statutes, and walk in them: I am Yahweh your God.

Lev 18:5 You shall therefore keep my statutes and my ordinances; which if a man does, he shall live in them: I am Yahweh.

Lev 18:6 " 'None of you shall approach anyone who are his close relatives, to uncover their nakedness: I am Yahweh.

Lev 18:7 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, nor the nakedness of your mother: she is your mother. You shall not uncover her nakedness.

Lev 18:8 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife: it is your father's nakedness.

Lev 18:9 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home, or born abroad.

Lev 18:10 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son's daughter, or of your daughter's daughter, even their nakedness: for theirs is your own nakedness.

Lev 18:11 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's wife's daughter, conceived by your father, since she is your sister.

Lev 18:12 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's sister: she is your father's near kinswoman.

Lev 18:13 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister: for she is your mother's near kinswoman.

Lev 18:14 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father's brother, you shall not approach his wife: she is your aunt.

Lev 18:15 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law: she is your son's wife. You shall not uncover her nakedness.

Lev 18:16 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother's wife: it is your brother's nakedness.

Lev 18:17 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter. You shall not take her son's daughter, or her daughter's daughter, to uncover her nakedness; they are near kinswomen: it is wickedness.

Lev 18:18 " 'You shall not take a wife to her sister, to be a rival, to uncover her nakedness, while her sister is yet alive.

Lev 18:19 " 'You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is impure by her uncleanness.

Lev 18:20 " 'You shall not lie carnally with your neighbor's wife, and defile yourself with her.

Lev 18:21 " 'You shall not give any of your children to sacrifice to Molech; neither shall you profane the name of your God: I am Yahweh.

Lev 18:22 " 'You shall not lie with a man, as with a woman. That is detestable.

Lev 18:23 " 'You shall not lie with any animal to defile yourself with it; neither shall any woman give herself to an animal, to lie down with it: it is a perversion.

Lev 18:24 " 'Don't defile yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations which I am casting out before you were defiled.

Lev 18:25 The land was defiled: therefore I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out her inhabitants. 

 

Apr. 1

Leviticus 19, 20

Lev 19:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,

Lev 19:2 "Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and tell them, 'You shall be holy; for I Yahweh your God am holy.

Lev 19:3 " 'Each one of you shall respect his mother and his father. You shall keep my Sabbaths. I am Yahweh your God.

Lev 19:4 " 'Don't turn to idols, nor make molten gods for yourselves. I am Yahweh your God.

Lev 19:5 " 'When you offer a sacrifice of peace offerings to Yahweh, you shall offer it so that you may be accepted.

Lev 19:6 It shall be eaten the same day you offer it, and on the next day: and if anything remains until the third day, it shall be burned with fire.

Lev 19:7 If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination. It will not be accepted;

Lev 19:8 but everyone who eats it shall bear his iniquity, because he has profaned the holy thing of Yahweh, and that soul shall be cut off from his people.

Lev 19:9 " 'When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not wholly reap the corners of your field, neither shall you gather the gleanings of your harvest.

Lev 19:10 You shall not glean your vineyard, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and for the foreigner. I am Yahweh your God.

Lev 19:11 " 'You shall not steal; neither shall you deal falsely, nor lie to one another.

Lev 19:12 " 'You shall not swear by my name falsely, and profane the name of your God. I am Yahweh.

Lev 19:13 " 'You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of a hired servant shall not remain with you all night until the morning.

Lev 19:14 " 'You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind; but you shall fear your God. I am Yahweh.

Lev 19:15 " 'You shall do no injustice in judgment: you shall not be partial to the poor, nor show favoritism to the great; but you shall judge your neighbor in righteousness.

Lev 19:16 " 'You shall not go up and down as a slanderer among your people; neither shall you stand against the life of your neighbor. I am Yahweh.

Lev 19:17 " 'You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him.

Lev 19:18 " 'You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am Yahweh.

Lev 19:19 " 'You shall keep my statutes. " 'You shall not crossbreed different kinds of animals. " 'you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed; " 'neither shall there come upon on you a garment made of two kinds of material.

Lev 19:20 " 'If a man lies carnally with a woman who is a slave girl, pledged to be married to another man, and not ransomed, or given her freedom; they shall be punished. They shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

Lev 19:21 He shall bring his trespass offering to Yahweh, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, even a ram for a trespass offering.

Lev 19:22 The priest shall make atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before Yahweh for his sin which he has committed: and the sin which he has committed shall be forgiven him.

Lev 19:23 " 'When you come into the land, and have planted all kinds of trees for food, then you shall count their fruit as forbidden. Three years shall they be forbidden to you. It shall not be eaten.

Lev 19:24 But in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, for giving praise to Yahweh.

Lev 19:25 In the fifth year you shall eat its fruit, that it may yield its increase to you. I am Yahweh your God.

Lev 19:26 " 'You shall not eat any meat with the blood still in it; neither shall you use enchantments, nor practice sorcery.

Lev 19:27 " 'You shall not cut the hair on the sides of your heads, neither shall you clip off the edge of your beard.

Lev 19:28 " 'You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor tattoo any marks on you. I am Yahweh.

Lev 19:29 " 'Don't profane your daughter, to make her a prostitute; lest the land fall to prostitution, and the land become full of wickedness.

Lev 19:30 " 'You shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary; I am Yahweh.

Lev 19:31 " 'Don't turn to those who are mediums, nor to the wizards. Don't seek them out, to be defiled by them. I am Yahweh your God.

Lev 19:32 " 'You shall rise up before the gray head, and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God. I am Yahweh.

Lev 19:33 " 'If a stranger lives as a foreigner with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.

Lev 19:34 The stranger who lives as a foreigner with you shall be to you as the native-born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you lived as foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.

Lev 19:35 " 'You shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in measures of length, of weight, or of quantity.

Lev 19:36 You shall have just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin. I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.

Lev 19:37 You shall observe all my statutes, and all my ordinances, and do them. I am Yahweh.' "


Lev 20:1 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,

Lev 20:2 "Moreover, you shall tell the children of Israel, 'Anyone of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners in Israel, who gives any of his seed to Molech; he shall surely be put to death. The people of the land shall stone him with stones.

Lev 20:3 I also will set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people because he has given of his seed to Molech, to defile my sanctuary, and to profane my holy name.

Lev 20:4 If the people of the land all hide their eyes from that person, when he gives of his seed to Molech, and don't put him to death;

Lev 20:5 then I will set my face against that man, and against his family, and will cut him off, and all who play the prostitute after him, to play the prostitute with Molech, from among their people.

Lev 20:6 " 'The person that turns to those who are mediums, and to the wizards, to play the prostitute after them, I will even set my face against that person, and will cut him off from among his people.

Lev 20:7 " 'Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am Yahweh your God.

Lev 20:8 You shall keep my statutes, and do them. I am Yahweh who sanctifies you.

Lev 20:9 " 'For everyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death: he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

Lev 20:10 " 'The man who commits adultery with another man's wife, even he who commits adultery with his neighbor's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

Lev 20:11 The man who lies with his father's wife has uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Lev 20:12 " 'If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death: they have committed a perversion; their blood shall be upon them.

Lev 20:13 " 'If a man lies with a male, as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Lev 20:14 " 'If a man takes a wife and her mother, it is wickedness: they shall be burned with fire, both he and they; that there may be no wickedness among you.

Lev 20:15 " 'If a man lies with an animal, he shall surely be put to death; and you shall kill the animal.

Lev 20:16 " 'If a woman approaches any animal, and lies down with it, you shall kill the woman, and the animal: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Lev 20:17 " 'If a man takes his sister, his father's daughter, or his mother's daughter, and sees her nakedness, and she sees his nakedness; it is a shameful thing; and they shall be cut off in the sight of the children of their people: he has uncovered his sister's nakedness; he shall bear his iniquity.

Lev 20:18 " 'If a man lies with a woman having her monthly period, and uncovers her nakedness; he has made naked her fountain, and she has uncovered the fountain of her blood: and both of them shall be cut off from among their people.

Lev 20:19 " 'You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother's sister, nor of your father's sister; for he has made naked his close relative: they shall bear their iniquity.

Lev 20:20 If a man lies with his uncle's wife, he has uncovered his uncle's nakedness: they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless.

Lev 20:21 " 'If a man takes his brother's wife, it is an impurity: he has uncovered his brother's nakedness; they shall be childless.

Lev 20:22 " 'You shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my ordinances, and do them; that the land, where I am bringing you to dwell, may not vomit you out.

Lev 20:23 You shall not walk in the customs of the nation, which I am casting out before you: for they did all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.

Lev 20:24 But I have said to you, "You shall inherit their land, and I will give it to you to possess it, a land flowing with milk and honey." I am Yahweh your God, who has separated you from the peoples.

Lev 20:25 " 'You shall therefore make a distinction between the clean animal and the unclean, and between the unclean fowl and the clean: and you shall not make yourselves abominable by animal, or by bird, or by anything with which the ground teems, which I have separated from you as unclean for you.

Lev 20:26 You shall be holy to me: for I, Yahweh, am holy, and have set you apart from the peoples, that you should be mine.

Lev 20:27 " 'A man or a woman that is a medium, or is a wizard, shall surely be put to death: they shall stone them with stones; their blood shall be upon them.' " 

 

Mar. 31 and April 1

Luke 2


Luk 2:1 Now it happened in those days, that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled.

Luk 2:2 This was the first enrollment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

Luk 2:3 All went to enroll themselves, everyone to his own city.

Luk 2:4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David;

Luk 2:5 to enroll himself with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him as wife, being pregnant.

Luk 2:6 It happened, while they were there, that the day had come that she should give birth.

Luk 2:7 She brought forth her firstborn son, and she wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a feeding trough, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luk 2:8 There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.

Luk 2:9 Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.

Luk 2:10 The angel said to them, "Don't be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people.

Luk 2:11 For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Luk 2:12 This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough."

Luk 2:13 Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly army praising God, and saying,

Luk 2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will toward men."

Luk 2:15 It happened, when the angels went away from them into the sky, that the shepherds said one to another, "Let's go to Bethlehem, now, and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us."

Luk 2:16 They came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby was lying in the feeding trough.

Luk 2:17 When they saw it, they publicized widely the saying which was spoken to them about this child.

Luk 2:18 All who heard it wondered at the things which were spoken to them by the shepherds.

Luk 2:19 But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart.

Luk 2:20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, just as it was told them.

Luk 2:21 When eight days were fulfilled for the circumcision of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Luk 2:22 When the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord

Luk 2:23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, "Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord"),

Luk 2:24 and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, "A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons."

Luk 2:25 Behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.

Luk 2:26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

Luk 2:27 He came in the Spirit into the temple. When the parents brought in the child, Jesus, that they might do concerning him according to the custom of the law,

Luk 2:28 then he received him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,

Luk 2:29 "Now you are releasing your servant, Master, according to your word, in peace;

Luk 2:30 for my eyes have seen your salvation,

Luk 2:31 which you have prepared before the face of all peoples;

Luk 2:32 a light for revelation to the nations, and the glory of your people Israel."

Luk 2:33 Joseph and his mother were marveling at the things which were spoken concerning him,

Luk 2:34 and Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which is spoken against.

Luk 2:35 Yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed."

Luk 2:36 There was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher (she was of a great age, having lived with a husband seven years from her virginity,

Luk 2:37 and she had been a widow for about eighty-four years), who didn't depart from the temple, worshipping with fastings and petitions night and day.

Luk 2:38 Coming up at that very hour, she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of him to all those who were looking for redemption in Jerusalem.

Luk 2:39 When they had accomplished all things that were according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.

Luk 2:40 The child was growing, and was becoming strong in spirit, being filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.

Luk 2:41 His parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the Passover.

Luk 2:42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast,

Luk 2:43 and when they had fulfilled the days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. Joseph and his mother didn't know it,

Luk 2:44 but supposing him to be in the company, they went a day's journey, and they looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances.

Luk 2:45 When they didn't find him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for him.

Luk 2:46 It happened after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions.

Luk 2:47 All who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.

Luk 2:48 When they saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us this way? Behold, your father and I were anxiously looking for you."

Luk 2:49 He said to them, "Why were you looking for me? Didn't you know that I must be in my Father's house?"

Luk 2:50 They didn't understand the saying which he spoke to them.

Luk 2:51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth. He was subject to them, and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

Luk 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.